April 24th, 2014

4 Easy and Free Steps to Getting the Attention of Top Talent

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceApril’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll asked respondents what they feel is the most attractive feature of their company to new employees, aside from the work itself.  Not surprisingly, results of the poll and a simple Google search reveal that most companies have a mix of enticing qualities.  So, why are some companies still not receiving the amount of applicants they want?  

One obvious reason is the looming skills gap – especially in the technology sector.  Finding a person with your desired qualifications and experience can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.  That person is out there; you just need to grab their attention.   Here are 4 easy and free steps to doing so: 

  1. Take some time to customize your job posting. Although most companies have a solid mix of perks and benefits, not many actually promote them.  Take a look at your standard job posting template. Do you really sell your company or does it focus mainly on the job, skills and requirements?  What’s really differentiating you from your competitors who have a similar posting? Check out this blog post from January that gives some tips on promoting your company culture and everything you have to offer.
  2. Post your job on your website. Having your job published to your own site is crucial.  Even if you use a third-party tool that publishes your jobs, make it easy to find them from your homepage.  Making a new, easy-to-remember URL that forwards to your careers page is also a great tactic (ex. Yourcompany.com/jobs).  From there, ensure your page is consistent with company branding, the content flows and contains key words, and the application process is simple and clear.
  3. Submit it to Aggregators.  Job Aggregators are a search engine for jobs.  They scrape websites to collect jobs and make them available to job seekers in one place – for free.  Statistics show that more candidates prefer these aggregators for searching rather than traditional job boards, so if you’re not posting there, you’re likely missing out on a lot of great traffic.  To get started, visit a site and follow their instructions for posting a free job. There are a bunch of aggregators out there including Indeed, Simply Hired, Eluta and Wow Jobs.
  4. Facebook logoShare your job on social media.  If your company isn’t taking advantage of social media yet, you’re behind.  Since you already have that job posted to your website, get onto social media and share it.  Add a comment to make it more personal and then ask others in your company to do the same thing. Also consider joining a few groups on networks like LinkedIn and Facebook that will let you share job opportunities for free.  

These simple steps will push your job out to a large network of people.  The right customized job posting will not only attract more candidates, but key words will make it easier to search on job aggregators, search engines and job boards.  When you add social media to the mix, you make it more personal which will make it more credible.  Share your free and simple tips to promote a job by leaving us a comment.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 23rd, 2014

Getting Fired

Manchester United LogoToday I read that Manchester United let their coach David Moyes go … which is a euphemism for, he got fired.

Moyes came to Manchester United from my team, Everton where he had a long and fruitful eleven year tenure. He was let go from Manchester United after just 10 months, based upon an inability to deliver results at the level that club had come to expect. United will finish this season with their worst record in 25 years.

Was this the right move by Manchester United?

There will be two schools of thought, those who felt he just needed more time and those who felt he just was not the right guy for the job.

A tough call, but if you are not perceived to be able to do the job then sooner is better for all concerned.

How does this decision reflect in the business world?

man holding sign saying You're Fired1. Moyes was high profile and as such was a natural target. The higher profile your role, the less tolerance you can expect. High expectations increase risk!

2. Moyes failed to meet expectations. Whatever your role there will be expectations of you, and if you fail to meet expectations you can expect some kind of reaction. It is important to understand the expectations and have a plan to meet and exceed them.

3. The more the pressure the more likely that the reaction will be extreme. There were many pressures on this decision, the fans, the ownership and the press all had some influence. It is exactly the same in the business world … the higher up the chain you get the more eyes on your performance. Management should get less “slack” than non-management roles.

4. Moyes made several missteps along the way, poor hiring decisions, missed hiring decisions, poor tactical moves … with little in terms of positive moves. He really did not help his case. Whatever your role you should try to get some wins, even small wins will show a hint of promise.

5. It is difficult to know what went on with Moyes on a day to day basis but clearly there was not enough for the owners to be convinced that he should be given time. Moyes did not seem to try new tactics to solve some of his issues. He did not bring in some of the young “new blood” to change things up. If things are not going well then you need to be seen to be working on a fix.

People get fired in business every day, but (a) they expect to be given a fair chance, (b) they expect to be treated with respect, (c) they expect to receive fair warning that things are not going well and (d) they would expect to be given a chance to fix things.

The good news for most of us is that we are not likely to make front page news if we have the misfortune to get fired.

The even better news is that getting fired is painful, but not deadly. We can learn a lot about ourselves and about what roles are a fit for us. Hopefully it means that we find a job better suited for us next time!


Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 22nd, 2014

A Good Strategy is Important, Good Execution is Critical!

Jamie Dimon quote about Strategy versus ExecutionIf you are a business owner you know the importance of having a good strategy. Indeed I have written about strategic planning many times and will often credit strategic planning as being a big influence on any success that we as a company have had. The ability to get away from the day to day challenges and think through ways to grow the company is critical … working on the business, not in the business.

The thing about strategy is that it is an occasional thing … yes it gets revisited often, yes it needs to be modified to meet changing situations … BUT it is essentially an event and not a process. (A slight simplification, but bear with me).

Once you have a strategy the big challenge is execution, and if you cannot execute on your strategy then you might as well not have a strategy.

I would go so far as to say that if I copied someone else’s strategy and executed it better than the originator then I would be more successful than them!

If you agree with that theory then clearly, execution is much more important than strategy.

Have you ever had dealings with a business that was unusually inefficient? THAT is an opportunity. There are many inefficient businesses that could be disrupted by a competitor that executed more efficiently. I am not talking about a new strategy such as an internet based company trying to beat out a bricks and mortar company … I am proposing that a company with exactly the same go to market strategy as an existing one will outperform the existing business IF they can execute their plan more efficiently!

successWhat does that all mean?

1. Strategy is important … but if you really want success, focus on execution!

2. There is opportunity in inefficiency … so if you are an entrepreneur looking for such an opportunity, just look around they are abundant.

3. Execution is HARD … so don’t just assume that you can execute better than the other guy, you need to understand the business intimately, nuances and all.

4. If you run a business and are planning your time … make sure that MOST of your time is focused on execution.

5. Just because you know the theories, can think strategically and “talk the talk” it does not mean that you will be successful.

What does it take to be successful at execution…?

1. A thorough understanding of the strategy.

2. An attention to detail.

3. Excellent communication.

4. Good training.

5. HARD WORK, a willingness to roll the sleeves up and stamina … because execution IS a process NOT an event!

6. Accountability … you have to “own it”. Delegation is fine, but you must stay close to ensure things are not going off the rails.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 21st, 2014

Canada Job Market Review First Quarter 2014

General Observations:

Newspaper Jobs SectionThe new year started with some optimism and we have seen some good signs related to Canada’s job market.  Over the course of the first quarter the unemployment rate improved for a starting point around 7.2%, ending the quarter at a 6.9% unemployment rate.  Over the course of the 12 months ending March 2014 Canada added 190,000 jobs, adding 43,000 jobs in March alone.

In creating this summary I look at a number of “big picture” factors in addition to Eagle’s own experiences on the “front end” of providing talent to our clients across the country.  From these indicators we can see trends and understand where the opportunities are for jobs in Canada.

Positive movement in the stock market will result in investment by public companies, in projects, in infrastructure and other growth initiatives which at the end of the day means jobs.  I use the TSX as my guide and it continued its upward trend in Q1 ending the quarter with a reading of close to 14,200 which is almost 100 points higher than the start of the quarter.  This would suggest that we can expect these public companies to start to invest and hopefully that results in more Canadian jobs.

Oil canCanada’s oil sector continues with its challenges of gaining approval for much needed pipelines, which is somewhat restricting growth in that sector, however by most market standards the oil patch is strong.  The price of a barrel of oil at quarter end was around $108 as opposed to $100 at the start of the quarter, with a strong oil price being one indicator of an appetite for investment and growth in jobs.  It continues to be Alberta leading the charge, but Saskatchewan and British Columbia also benefit from jobs in the oil patch.  This sector employs huge numbers of people across all professions and trades and continues to be a big area of opportunity to job seekers.

Canadian dollar the LoonieThe financial sector is centered primarily in Toronto, but also has a strong presence in Montreal and is a huge employer here in Canada.  This sector continues to create a huge demand for talent and is one that job seekers would be wise to target.  The big driver of demand for talent in this sector will be regulatory change, competitive pressures, technological change, innovation and the impact of retiring baby boomers over the coming years.

Another big employer in Canada is the telecommunications sector.  Driven by technological change, competitive pressures, infrastructure growth, expansion into new markets and again, the impact of retiring boomers this is a sector that is always looking for talent.

ConstructionAs anyone who has done some renovation work, or bought a new home will know the trades are in big demand.  This is an area of opportunity with good mobility in the industry, competitive incomes and big demand.  In addition to the traditional housing type work and large building construction there are continuing major projects within various sectors such as the oil patch.

Governments across Canada are huge employers but in recent years have been under pressure to reduce spending and cut back on headcount.  That does not mean however, that there is no opportunity.  Government continue to invest in projects that will result in more efficient delivery of services, in client focused initiatives and will always provide support to certain regions and special interest groups.  While the opportunity may not be as clear cut as in the past, there is still a very large impending impact from retiring boomers, who because of their pension structure are very likely to take their retirement!

The staffing industry is the largest provider of talent in any economy and an excellent barometer of the health of our economy.  The Canadian Staffing Index would suggest that demand has fluctuated through 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014, but is generally headed upwards, albeit gently.  Here at Eagle, we saw an increase of 7% in people applying to us for jobs, however we saw a much bigger increase in demand (18%) for talent from our clients.  Put together with earlier data this would suggest that in the professional space we are seeing a consistent greater demand for talent, and at the same time a decrease in available talent.

More Specifically:

It is no surprise that with the largest metropolitan population, and the largest number of head offices, the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) creates the biggest demand for talent.  Here at Eagle our GTA region typically represents 60% of our client demand. In addition to the obvious demand from the financial sector, the telcos, the insurance industry, the construction industry and service industries are all big employers in the GTA.

The Saddledome in CalgaryOut in Western Canada it is Calgary, with the second most head offices in Canada and the economic centre for the oil patch which is the economic hub.  The first quarter has seen an uptick in demand for talent and increasing shortages of key skills.  Clients are seeing this trend and realising that they need to move quickly in order to get the people they want.  The West continues to be a good place to find work particularly for engineers and people in the industries that service the oil sector.

Eagle’s Eastern Canada region covers Ottawa, Montreal and “the Maritimes”.  Montreal continues to be fairly busy, particularly in the financial sector, the telcos and the construction industry.  There is also some demand in St John’s, NFLD (population about 200,000), and in Halifax (approx. 400,000) but everything is relative and they are not big markets.  The Federal Government in Ottawa is moving ahead on some large initiatives which is creating some demand and this market is looking healthier for professionals than in some time, however the National Capital Region has seem an increased unemployment rate over the last while.

The types of people that seem to be in constant demand from our clients has been fairly consistent.  We see a consistent demand for Program Managers and Project Managers while Business Analysts are also always in demand.  It might just be our focus but Change Management and Organizational Excellence resources are in relatively high demand too.  Big data and mobile expertise are specialisations that are in demand.  On the Finance and Accounting side we see a consistent need for financial analysts, accountants with designations and public accounting experience plus controllers as a fairly consistent talent request.  Technology experts with functional expertise in Health Care is another skill set that sees plenty of demand.


canadian flag2014 has started out positively, and I expect it to continue to improve.  We will see more skills shortages as we move through the year driven partly by an increased number of boomers retiring because their retirement portfolios have recovered sufficiently from the recession.  The US recovery seems to be progressing well which will cause a drag along effect here in Canada too.  Over all I am feeling optimistic for our economy.  With an unemployment rate under 7% we can extrapolate that the unemployment rate for professionals as being far lower, perhaps in the 4% or less range.  This bodes well for professionals of all types, in addition there is strong demand for skilled trades people.  The real impact of the unemployment rate is on the unskilled workers and those in the declining manufacturing industries.

For those people willing to go where the work is we see continued opportunity in the oil patch, with obvious demand in Fort McMurray and all areas related to the oil sands.  The cities with higher talent demand include the GTA, Calgary, Regina, Montreal, Edmonton and to a lesser degree Winnipeg, Vancouver and Saskatoon.  The industry sectors that have the most demand have not changed and include banking, insurance, construction, telecommunications and the sectors that serve those industries.

That was my quarterly look at the Canadian job market and some of its influences.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 16th, 2014

The Challenges of Leadership

Drucker quote on leadership

As a leader how do you handle the major challenges that you face day in and day out?

The typical challenges we face are relatively predictable…

1. There are financial challenges. Meeting the company targets, selling enough business, managing costs etc.

2. There are people challenges … finding and retaining talent, dealing with personnel issues, training and investment in staff.

3. There are operational challenges … technology, product innovation, process refinements etc.

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.”  Brian Tracy

Some leaders will allow issues to fester … hoping they will go away. Of course we know they never will. I call this the “head in the sand” management method or the “hope and a prayer” management method.

There are leaders who will read the latest book and magically it has all the answers … although rarely is it as simple as it seems when reading the book. I call this the “Book Learning” management style.

There are leaders who will understand the problem but really have no good idea what to do about it. One of their approaches will be to push their people to work harder … but doing “more” of the same things just tends to make the problem worse. I call this the “Beat the Staff” management method.

There are leaders who always seem to get a new idea and are always trying the latest thing. I call this “Management by Theory“.

I think we have all seen various incarnations of these management styles, sometimes from the same person!

Great leaders will get input from their teams to truly understand the problems.

They will be willing to try new ideas, but they won’t necessarily “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. This may mean piloting ideas; it might mean iterative change rather than mass change.

They will embrace change because only through change do we get better.

They will worry… but they will ACT to fix their problems, NOT hope those problems will go away.

Great leaders view their problems as challenges to overcome and not millstones around their neck. They will find a way to solve their challenges and will feel good about their success.

They know that working smart is better than just working hard… but working hard AND smart will win the prize!

They are decisive but not impulsive.

They are collaborative but willing to take the lead.

They will recognise risk, mitigate it as much as possible but know they need to act!

We all want to be great leaders, but great leaders never stop learning and never stop growing… so great today is not good enough! You need to STILL be great tomorrow!

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”  Jim Rohn

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 15th, 2014

Think Like An Owner When Travelling For Business

business woman at an airportIf a manager can emulate a business owner’s approach to business travel then they will be sending a clear and positive message to their executive about their attitude.

Here are some of the things I do, and have always done when I travel:

1.  I apply a common sense approach to business travel, I know it is necessary and helps me to grow my business … however each and every trip needs to be evaluated on its need and on maximising the return on that investment.  Trips are expensive, each trip should be justified.

2.  Travel takes me away from my regular routine, and therefore I try to maximise my use of time while still staying on top of my regular commitments.  Here are some of the ways I do that:

  • I will try to maximise my workday in the time zone I am visiting.  When I travel from Toronto to Calgary I will get as early a flight as possible, allowing me to land and be in the office as early as possible in the Calgary business day.
  • When I leave to go back to Toronto I try to catch as late a flight as possible to ensure I have as much working time in the Calgary office as possible.  It means long days, early trips to the airport and late arrivals home … but my trip is as full of available time as possible.
  • Before leaving home, and before leaving the office to return home, I will load up on some “readable” items for on the plane.  I can sometimes save up work for a few days and schedule to complete it on the plane.

You always know the right thing. The hard part is doing it.3.  I am also cognisant of the costs of travel and try to minimise them where possible.  Here are some of the ways I do that:

  • I never travel business class for work.
  • I will try to book ahead and take advantage of special deals on airfares.  I will also shop around between airlines, taking the cheapest flight rather than sticking with one airline so I can build my points/status.
  • I will also shop for hotels and take the best deals, never staying in the big name, big price places.  I use memberships (CPSA) to get good rates, or will use Hotwire and other services to make sure I get a good rate.
  • I don’t eat at fancy restaurants as a general rule, but will entertain clients in appropriate manner whenever possible!

4.  Travelling to another location should be all about them!

  • I try to keep my regular activities to a minimum.
  • I like to spend time with the management and staff at the other offices.
  • I love to get out with clients when I can.

Obviously there are times when things do not fall into place, but as a general rule I can maximise the effectiveness of my visits and minimise the costs of my visit by using the above guidelines.

Over the years there have been funny stories that I get to tell about some of the seedier hotels/motels I have found myself in and the airport experiences that I have had.  I guess that is a side benefit of my frugality … I get to tell some good war stories!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 14th, 2014

Take Your Career Opportunities!

Disraeli about being prepared for opportunityLife offers us opportunities all the time … the trick is

(a) Spotting them, and

(b) Taking advantage of them.

When you are new to a company, new in a role or just looking to move up the ladder you will be presented with opportunities to shine, either through the normal course of business or better yet because you made it happen!

Here are some thoughts for you …

1.  If you get the chance to chat with someone influential be prepared to have a meaningful conversation?

  • Do you have something interesting to tell?
  • Can you ask interesting questions and stimulate conversation?
  • Are you actually prepared for the opportunity … or are you going to wing it?
  • Do you know what messages you want to get across, and how best to present them?

2.  You might get to attend a company function, a charity event or some other “social work” setting.

  • Do you know how to behave?
  • Do you understand etiquette and manners?
  • Do you know who will be there … and what you might say to them?
  • Are you treating it like an opportunity to shine, or an opportunity for company sponsored booze?

3.  You may find yourself in large networking events.

  • Do some research … who will be there, what the event is all about, some history, the organisers etc.
  • Learn how to network … there are many sources that offer advice and some training.

4.  At any time in your career you may find yourself with opportunity.

  • Remember the basics.
  • Do NOT just play it on instincts.
  • Be prepared.
  • Put your best foot forward.

Never assume … that you know it all, that you have the experience and that your past experiences have prepared you for this moment!  You might just let the moment slip through your grasp for lack of a little preparation.

Some of the dangers lurking in the shadows of your career aspirations …

1.  People’s opinion of you can be colored, good or bad, very quickly.

2.  One small indiscretion can cause the red flags to go up, meaning that you now have a hurdle to overcome.

3.  A favorable impression on the right person can go a long way.

4.  Some of the classic moments that will  not help your career:

  • Getting drunk at a company function … social or not;
  • Speaking from the hip … possibly because of too many drinks.  Nothing wrong with a little honesty, but always be cognizant of who you are talking with.
  • Not being prepared for a meeting.
  • Being given an opportunity to present ideas/concepts/opportunities and focusing on negatives not solutions.
  • Talking too much.
  • Not listening enough.
  • Ignoring the normal etiquette of a situation.

All of the above could have been opportunities to impress, to make a positive mark on your career … don’t miss your opportunities!

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”     Oprah Winfrey

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 10th, 2014

10 Ways to Make It A “Feel Good” Day

Generosity quote

We live our lives every day dealing with the normal pressures of life. We build routines and focus on the things we need to do, and some of the things we would like to do. Every now and again it is a good idea to focus on others, to give, with no expectation of getting anything back. I call that type of day a “feel good” day, because invariably it feels good to do something for others. Which begs the question … how come we don’t do it more often?

There are many things that we can do to create a “feel good” day?

Here are 10 ideas for you … and they actually work on any day, so you could actually have “feel god” days as often as you like!

1. Buy coffee for the person in line behind you at the coffee shop … pay it forward.  It costs very little and the result WILL give someone pleasant surprise.

2. Send a hand written note to three people in your life that you know will like it … friends, relatives, colleagues.  How often do you get mail these days?  Think about how you feel when there is something other than bills or junk in your mail!

3. Buy a sandwich for a homeless person.  Don’t necessarily give them money, but you could buy them a meal … it doesn’t have to cost much.

4. Bring cup cakes (donuts, chocolates, fruit … whatever works best) to the office.  You like it when someone else does it … so just do it!

Quote from Winston Churchill about value of giving5. Praise someone who could do with a “lift”.  We don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, but a compliment or a kind word out of the blue can certainly be a mood booster for most people!

6. Smile … make it a “no frown” day!  Smiles are contagious!

7. Share a joke with your friends … make it appropriate to the most conservative of those friends.  I think most of us like the occasional (don’t overdo it)  levity to break up the work day.

8. Call your mom … (and/or dad, sister, brother)!  Enough said!

9. Do a good deed for a stranger … drive a neighbor somewhere, pick up groceries for an elderly person etc.

10. Do something for a charity (not for profit) … make a donation, volunteer some time, get involved!  Our society relies on volunteers … do something to help out.

If doing one, some, or all of these things made you feel good about yourself then resolve to do them more often!

It seems counter-intuitive to some people, but take it from me: giving is one of the best things we can for ourselves!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 9th, 2014

If You Are Leaving A Voicemail Do It Right!

Quote about communication from George Bernard ShawHow often do you get a voicemail that you find hard to understand?

How often do you get a voicemail that misses some critical information?

Voicemails are an effective tool if used correctly, but they can be frustrating if they are done badly.

In the last few days I have had several voicemails that have been difficult to understand, I listen to them a couple of times but if I don’t get the message by then I just ignore them!  That defeats the purpose of the call and leaves me frustrated.  Clearly just a little bit of attention by the caller would have made it a positive experience rather than a frustrating one.  Speaking too fast, speaking too close to the microphone can create a lisp that makes it hard to hear and accents can be difficult to understand … I had them all this week!

Here are a few tips for leaving business voicemails:

1.  Be prepared … if you are expecting to talk to someone, and are not prepared to leave a voicemail then hang up.  You can call back when you have thought through your message.

2.  Keep it short.

3.  Tell people who you are first … “This is Kevin Dee from Eagle”.

4.  Tell people why you are calling … “I am calling to follow up on an invitation you sent me”.

5.  If there is more detail, then be clear about that … “I would like to get some more information about the event”.

6.  Give a clear contact number … “You can call me back at (999) 999-9999″.

7.  Repeat the contact information … “Again this is Kevin Dee at (999) 999-9999″.  Note that by repeating this information you may save the person from having to re-listen to the voicemail … for which they will be appreciative!

8.  Speak slowly, knowing that the person may need to write this down.  Too many times I will need to listen to a voicemail multiple times and still have trouble catching the details.

9.  Enunciate your words clearly.  If you have an accent, then practice talking so that people WILL understand what you say.  (This applies to me too!)

10.  If it is a sales call, make sure you inject energy and enthusiasm into your voice.

  • Role Play leaving voicemails;
  • Smile while you are talking;
  • Preparation of your message is EXTRA important;
  • Try standing up when leaving a message.

Any communication is important and voicemail done correctly achieves your aim, but it can also create a favorable impression of you … or NOT!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

April 9th, 2014

Spring Resolutions!

ResolutionMany people make New Year Resolutions and most of those people fail to meet their goals.  If you want an indicator of that just visit any gym early in the New Year and again a couple of months later!

Spring is a great time to re-commit to some small changes in your life … call it your Spring Resolutions!

It is a much better time of year to make resolutions because everything feels better in the Spring!  The flowers start to appear, the Winter coats go into storage, you get to go outside without a coat, the sun feel good and there is a general uplift in people’s mood.

Here are some ideas for making resolutions stick!

  1. They need to be meaningful, or they will not be important enough for you to effect change.
  2. They need to be achievable, or you will lose interest or discipline or patience.
  3. They need to be top of mind … so you must find a way to build them into your routine.  Whether through reminders, or personal coaches or just sticky notes on your monitor.
  4. They should be reachable in a reasonable amount of time.  If it is going to take a year to reach your goal then you will likely give up.  Just make it into smaller goals achievable in shorter times.

Here are some examples that could change your life.

If You change nothing, nothing will change!1.  Career Goal.  You want a promotion at some point, or a career change, or even a first job.

  • I will take course “Z” in the Fall and complete it by the New Year.
  • I will send 2 targeted letters (emails) a day, customized to the specific company.
  • I will improve my personal brand by upgrading my work wardrobe, networking monthly with senior people and will work an extra 15 minutes a day to get noticed.

2.  Health Goals.  You want to get back into “college shape”, but you put on 50 pounds since then!

  • I will write down everything I eat in a log, and reduce the amount by 10%.
  • I will walk more every day … get off the bus/subway 2 stops early; walk up stairs rather than take elevator; walk for 30 minutes at lunch etc.
  • When I am ready I will set my next goals … but no later than 60 days from now.

3.  Hobbies Goal.  You might want a new hobby or have a desire to do more with an existing one.

  • I will join a group of like-minded people … a book club, a model train club, a biking club etc.
  • I will read one book a month on this subject for the next 3 months.
  • I will find one friend who will come with me … to dance lessons, choir practice etc.

All of these goals are small steps towards enriching your life … OR you could just keep doing what you do!  Like most things in life, it is a choice we all have to make … I believe it is far better to make a conscious choice and not just let life happen to you!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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