Apartment Industry Career Videos

The series of videos below demonstrate and explain the career paths offered in the Apartment Industry. This series of videos was published by the National Apartment Association Education Institute and you can view their videos on the CXC Talent Solutions YouTube Channel (ADD LINK TO CXC TALENT YOUTUBE CHANNEL).

  • follow site Maintenance Careers in the Apartment Industry

  • here Management Careers in the Apartment Industry



source url The American Dream


Peter Weddle


We all know, of course, that the American Dream exists because we live in a nation founded on certain extraordinary principles. Much as we take them for granted, deep down inside, every American knows that they are especially fortunate to live in a land where they are accorded an enduring right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. While most of us are very clear about what Life and Liberty mean, however, there is some confusion about the pursuit of Happiness. And it's that misunderstanding which causes us to misperceive the American Dream.

The founding fathers, themselves, inadvertently provoked this situation with their capitalization choices. They used initial caps on Life, Liberty and Happiness, when what they really meant to enshrine was a commitment to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. In other words, what the American Dream promises is not a right to happiness, but a right to Achieve it on our own.

What does that mean for those of us in the workforce?

Over the past decade or so, social scientists have been trying to figure out just what happiness is and where it comes from. While many of us think the answers to such questions are intuitively obvious, it turns out that we may be selling ourselves short. Humans have the capacity not only to experience happiness, but to experience joy, as well. And those two states are very different.

Joy is an emotional state. It is derived from our relationships with family and friends. When those interactions engage and satisfy us, when they enable us to be the best of ourselves with the others in our Life, we experience joy, one of the human species' greatest gifts.

Happiness, on the other hand, is a cognitive state. It occurs when we are tested by meaningful challenges that stimulate us to express and experience our fullest natural potential, our talent. These challenges can occur anywhere, but they are most prevalent in the workplace. In other words, our best shot at Achieving happiness occurs when we put ourselves in a position to excel at what we love to do.

That is the essence of the American Dream. It is a personal commitment, a determination to devote our Life and exercise our Liberty to the accomplishment of two tasks:

To discovering our natural talent or what we love to do and do best.


To working only where we can use that talent to achieve satisfying goals.


The outcome of those tasks will be unique to each of us, but the tasks themselves are the same for all of us. They represent our right to the pursuit of happiness.

Those two tasks are also the key to a successful job search and a rewarding career. Whether we're in transition or currently employed, they enable and empower us to control our destiny, to shape it to an end that is important and fulfilling to us. It is our right, to be sure, but it is also our responsibility. For only we can take the first step, only we can decide to set off on our own personal Pursuit of happiness.

Why should we bother? Because as wonderful as the joy is in our relationships, we deserve more. We spend at least one-third of our lives at work, and that experience should offer more than frustration, anxiety and despair. It should be, it can be a source of profound fulfillment. Or what the founding fathers called Happiness.


Thanks for reading,




Visit my blog at Weddles.com/WorkStrong


Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including Recognizing Richard Rabbit, a fable of self-discovery for working adults, and Work Strong, Your Personal Career Fitness System.


© Copyright WEDDLE's LLC. All Rights Reserved.


follow link The Hidden Deficit in Your Career

Peter Weddle

Historically, working Americans have relied on two kinds of knowledge in the workplace: occupational and experiential.  We went to school and attended training programs to keep ourselves up-to-date in our field of work, and we learned the practical lessons of how things actually got done and done well through our day-to-day interactions on-the-job.

While both of those kinds of knowledge were deemed important, they were not given equal weight, either in our own minds or, in truth, in those of our employers.  Book learning was obviously an important foundation, but the superstructure of experience was the gold standard of an employee's value.  Indeed, until recently, if there was a choice between two candidates, one with the latest knowledge and no experience and one with slightly (or even significantly) dated expertise and a lot of experience, most organizations would have opted for the person with the longer track record.

Moreover, if you've been in the workforce for more than five years, you probably came to rely on that approach to worker valuation.  Sure, you tended to your occupational knowledge, but you did so episodically and at a relatively leisurely pace.  It was an effective strategy for managing your career because occupational knowledge expanded and was refined at a similarly slow rate.  As a result, your mastery in your field had a long half-life.

Today, it doesn't.

follow site The Shorter Half-Life of Occupational Knowledge

The half-life of occupational knowledge has shrunk dramatically in the last decade.  The pace of new knowledge creation and old knowledge refinement has now accelerated in every career field.  It doesn't matter whether you're a salesperson who must stay abreast of a constantly changing array of new products or a systems analyst who must be conversant in a continuously expanding universe of new software, half of your expertise is now obsolete every eighteen months.

What does that mean for you and your career?  To put it bluntly, you are going to have to acknowledge one change and make another.

First, you must now accept that the relative importance of expertise and experience has shifted.  Employers now view your expertise as more critical to their success than your experience.  They believe they need state-of-the-art knowledge in order to compete in the global marketplace.  Experience is still obviously helpful and remains an important foundation for high performance.  But, it is the superstructure of your knowledge in the latest concepts, techniques, technologies and products and services that will enable you to make a meaningful contribution on-the-job.

Second, you can no longer afford to coast in your occupational development.  There is no recess when it comes to staying current in your field.  You must now be in school all of the time, when you're employed and even when you're not.  In fact, if you're in transition today, the strongest resume is the one that indicates that you're continuing your knowledge acquisition even as you look for a job.  That entry indicates to an employer both that you recognize the importance of keeping your expertise current and that you take personal responsibility for doing so.

These two shifts have introduced a simple but powerful new key to success in the modern American workplace.  Whether you're in transition and looking for a new job or currently employed and seeking to keep that job, there's only one way to achieve your goal.  You have to make sure that the knowledge you bring to work each day is rich with the latest thinking and the newest ideas in your field.

Thanks for reading,


Visit me at Weddles.com

Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including the recently released blockbuster The Career Activist Republic and Work Strong, Your Personal Career Fitness System, one of the most innovative career success books in print.  Both are available at Amazon.com.

© Copyright 2010 WEDDLE's LLC.  All Rights Reserved.


The 7 Bad Habits of Ineffective Job Seekers


Habits can be good for you. As Stephen Covey pointed out in his landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the right behavior patterns can propel you to great success. Unfortunately, however, there’s also a dark side to habits. Habits can be good, and they can be bad. And, the wrong behavior patterns can constrain your opportunities and, ultimately, derail your advancement in the world of work. What are the bad habits of online job search? With a nod to Dr. Covey, I think there are seven.


I call them  The 7 Bad Habits of Ineffective Job Seekers. They are: 


    • Habit #1: Limiting the time and effort you invest in your job search
    • Habit #2: Limiting the research you do to plan your search campaign
    • Habit #3: Limiting your search to a handful of the same job boards
    • Habit #4: Limiting your application to clicking on the Submit button
    • Habit #5: Limiting your use of the Internet to reading job postings
    • Habit #6: Limiting the care you take with your communications
    • Habit #7: Limiting the preparation you do for employer interactions


As is readily apparent, bad habits are all about limitations. These self-imposed constraints curtail the jobs you see, the impression you make, and the opportunities you’re offered in the job market. Let’s look at them in more detail so you can be sure to avoid them.


Habit #1: Limiting the time and effort you invest in your job search 
As the old axiom goes, looking for a job is a full time job. That’s true whether you’re conducting your search online or off. A job search on the Internet, however, exposes you to many potential distractions that are not found in the real world. There’s e-mail and browsing, chats and discussion forums, online poker and other games, and a host of other forms of entertainment, exploration and communication. And the key to job search success is to put them all aside. You must dramatically limit the time you spend on such activities and maximize the time you spend using the Internet’s job search resources.


Habit #2: Limiting the research you do to plan your search campaign 
The #1 reason people don’t work out when they’re hired by an employer is not that they can’t do the job, but that they don’t fit in. In other words, they take the right job with the wrong employer. Doing careful, thorough research helps you avoid the negative consequences of such a situation: When you go to work for the wrong employer, your performance goes down which can, in turn, hurt your standing in your field; you waste time that could have been spent searching for your dream opportunity‚ the right job with the right employer; and you risk losing that opportunity to someone else who’s active in the job market. To put it another way, inadequate research virtually guarantees an inadequate work experience. And the alternative is right at your fingertips. Use the Internet to assess alternative employer’s culture, management, values and performance, and the focus your search on those organizations where you’re likely to feel comfortable (and do your best work).


Habit #3: Limiting your search to a handful of the same job boards 
There are over 40,000 job boards in operation on the Internet. In addition to the ones that you’ve seen advertised, there are thousands and thousands of others that you may not have heard about. Collectively, they post over two million new openings every month. To find your dream job online, therefore, you have to use enough sites to cover the job market and the right ones to satisfy your search objective. The formula 2GP + 3N + 2D will ensure you do that. It involves using two general purpose sites that offer opportunities in a broad array of professions, industries and locations; three niche sites, including one that specializes in your career field, one that specializes in your industry, and one that specializes in the geographic area where you want to live; and two distinction sites that focus on one or more of your personal attributes (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, college, military service). I call it the 7:1 Method; use seven of the right sites to find the one right job for you.


Habit #4: Limiting your application to clicking on the Submit button 
The competition for jobs today, particularly the best positions, is simply too tough for you to do nothing more than show up online and submit your resume. If you find your dream job and want to position yourself for serious consideration by the employer, you have to practice the, application two-step: Step 1 involves submitting your credentials exactly as specified by the employer and exactly for that job. It’s a test to see if you can follow instructions and will take the time to tailor your resume for the position you want. Step 2 involves networking to set yourself apart from the horde of other applicants who are also likely to submit their resume for that opening. Your goal is to find a personal or professional contact who works for the employer and will walk your resume in the door of the HR Department and lay it on the desk of the recruiter assigned to fill your dream job.


Habit #5: Limiting your use of the Internet to reading job postings 
As in the real world, recruitment ads posted online reveal only a portion of the job market. There are many more openings, including some of the best positions, that aren’t advertised. To find this so-called, hidden job market, you have to make contact and develop relationships with others online. That’s called electronic networking. It’s done by participating in discussion forums and bulletin boards hosted on the sites of such groups as your professional association and college alumni organization. To get the most out of your involvement, practice the Golden Rule of Networking: Give as good as you get. Share your knowledge and expertise with others in these online discussions, so that they will be inclined to share their knowledge of job openings and their connections in the workforce with you.


Habit #6: Limiting the care you take with your communications 
E-mail is often viewed as an informal communication medium where typos and slang are not only appropriate, but expected. When you’re looking for a job, however, e-mail is strictly a business communication. Every message makes an impression on the recruiter and other representatives of the employer who receive it, and that impression becomes a part of the data used to evaluate you. To make the right impression, carefully edit and proofread every message before you send it off. Don’t use stilted or flowery language, but do be formal and professional in what you write. Take the time and make the effort to eliminate grammatical errors and misspellings and ensure that your points are clearly and accurately expressed. Doing so tells the employer that you take pride in what you do, and that attribute makes you a stronger candidate.


Habit #7: Limiting the preparation you do for employer interactions 
In today’s highly competitive job market, the interview begins in the first nanosecond of the first contact with an employer. That means you have to be well prepared and at the top of your game virtually all of the time. What does that entail? First, make sure that you thoroughly investigate each employer to which you apply. Visit its Web-site, use a browser to search for information published by other sources, and check out the commentary and research available at such sites as Vault.com and Wetfeet.com. Then, use the formal and informal educational resources on the Internet to stay at the state-of-the-art in your field and up-to-the-minute on your industry. Finally, use the information and insights you’ve acquired to hone your ability to articulate the contribution you will make to the employer, during every interaction you have with its representatives. All of us get into a rut from time-to-time. We put ourselves on autopilot and fall back on habits. It’s a benign way to relieve some of the workload and pressure in today’s demanding business environment. When you’re looking for a new or better job, however, those ruts can be harmful; they can lead to behavior that limits your opportunity and potential success. They are the 7 bad habits of ineffective job seekers‚ the ruts in the road to your dream job.






Peter Weddle is a recruiter, HR consultant and business CEO turned author and commentator.  Described by The Washington Post as "... a man filled with ingenious ideas," he has earned an international reputation, pioneering concepts in Human Resource leadership and employment.  He has authored or edited over two dozen books and been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The National Business Employment Weekly and CNN.com.  Today, he writes two newsletters that are distributed worldwide and oversees WEDDLE's LLC, a print publisher specializing in the field of human resources.  WEDDLE's annual Guides and Directory to job boards are recognized for their accuracy and helpfulness, leading the American Staffing Association to call Weddle the Zagat guide of the online employment industry. Visit www.weddles.com for more articles.




Workforce Population Age 65 and Older - (January 13, 2011)

Data Source: 2009 statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Are there more older people in the workplace?

Between 1977 and 2007, employment of workers 65 and over increased 101 percent, compared to a much smaller increase of 59 percent for total employment (16 and over). The number of employed men 65 and over rose 75 percent, but employment of women 65 and older increased by nearly twice as much, climbing 147 percent. While the number of employed people age 75 and over is relatively small (0.8 percent of the employed in 2007), this group had the most dramatic gain, increasing 172 percent between 1977 and 2007.

Source: Current Population Survey (CPS) | Chart Data

Does this increase just reflect the aging of the baby-boom population?

No, because in 2007 the baby-boom generatio n - those individuals born between 1946 and 1964 - had not yet reached the age of 65.

Between 1977 and 2007, the age 65 and older civilian noninstitutional population - which excludes people in nursing homes - increased by about 60 percent, somewhat faster than the civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over (46 percent). Yet employment of people 65 and over doubled while employment for everyone 16 and over increased by less than 60 percent. How can employment increase more than the population? A larger share of people 65 and older is staying in or returning to the labor force (which consists of those working or looking for work). The labor force participation rate for older workers has been rising since the late 1990s. This is especially notable because the 65-and-over labor force participation rate had been at historic lows during the 1980s and early 1990s.

Friday, 30 September 2011 15:17

What is Talent Anyway?

Written by

What is Talent Anyway?
By Peter Weddle

Every recruiter on the planet knows that we're waging a War for Talent. We use the term so frequently, it's become a part of our professional jargon. But what is talent? We all probably have at least a subliminal definition of the word, but more often than not, those definitions vary widely even within the same organization. And, when they do, our recruiting results suffer.

The prevailing definition of talent, at least for the moment, seems to be that it denotes a rare skill. We use the word as a catchphrase for those hard-to-find Python programmers, clinical scientists and mechanical engineers whom hiring managers seem most to crave. Winning the War for Talent, therefore, is simply a matter of filling open positions with those who have such skills. The faster and cheaper that's done, the greater our victory.

Or is it? What happens when we fill an opening with a mediocre programmer, scientist or engineer? Or worse, a substandard one? Have we won the war or simply filled a req?

If the goal of our recruiting is to position our employer or client to achieve its mission, then we have won a battle, but lost the War. We have, in effect, done only half our job. We may have completed an assignment, but we have not contributed as we must. We have acquired skills, but not the talent that is essential to an organization's success.

Talent, you see, is much more than even the hardest to find skill. Talent is the capacity for excellence. The good news is that every human being has it. As I explain in my book, The Career Activist Republic, it is a characteristic of our species. It is a gift with which we have all been endowed. The bad news is that many people don't bring their talent to work with them. And, it's that human shortcoming which creates the War for Talent.

The shortage of excellence would be bad enough, but the hyper competition of today's global marketplace exacerbates its impact. There are now "A" level Python programmers, clinical scientists and mechanical engineers working in China and India, Brazil and Germany. To survive and have even a chance to prosper, therefore, employers don't need those with rare skills, they need those with the rare commitment to superior performance in every skill.

How do you identify such talented candidates?

Here are some telltale signs. They aren't foolproof or all inclusive, but they will give you a sense of what to look for:

Talented candidates move around. They shift continuously from assignment-to-assignment within their current employer or from one employer to another. They have what might best be described as a "three year itch." Every three years or so, they feel compelled to find a new challenge to conquer in their field.

Talented candidates are renaissance students. They see themselves as multidimensional contributors rather than as experts in a single function. For that reason, they devote themselves to professional development not only in their primary field of work, but in ancillary areas that will enable them to express their talent in a wider range of work situations.

Talented candidates seek advancement by testing rather than by pay grade. They are constantly striving to express and experience more of their talent, more of their capacity for excellence. When they interview, therefore, they are less interested in the opportunities for upward mobility and more interested in what new challenges they will get to face on-the-job.

The only way to win the War for Talent is have a clear understanding of what victory we are trying to achieve. Our goal is not simply to fill openings with those who have rare skills. Our goal must be to ensure that our employer or client succeeds. And the only way to accomplish that objective is to recruit rare performers in as many skill categories as possible. For in the end, what matters most is not if we win the War for Talent, but if our organization does.

Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com

P.S. Remember what your parents taught you: It's nice to share. Tell your coworkers and friends about WEDDLE's Newsletter. They'll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.

The Smart Resume Featured

Written by

The Smart Resume

Faced with increasingly more able competitors around the world, employers are now seeking workers who can make a difference on the job. They describe these individuals as "A" level performers or with the more general term "talent," but what they really want is nothing more (or less) than smart workers. How can you prove you deserve that description? First, of course, you have to be at the state-of-the-art in your occupational field. Then, you have to promote that fact using a smart resume.

Smart workers are always looking for ways to learn from their experience on-the-job. They see themselves as a "work-in-progress." To them, every assignment - including the most mundane and ordinary -and every challenge - including the most demanding and frustrating - is a means of developing their skills and knowledge.

That added expertise isn't passive, however. Smart workers are learner-contributors. They seek new expertise in order to improve their performance at work. They want to know more in order to do more and do it better.

That's why employers are trying so hard to find and hire them. If you have any doubt about that consider the findings of a recent survey by SHRM, the association that represents recruiters and HR professionals. It compiled two sets of data - one from 2004, well before the last recession, and the other from 2008, right in the middle of the downturn.

Here's what the survey found: before the recession, 61 percent of employers were paying hiring bonuses to lure smart workers in the door. In 2008, in the heart of the deepest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, that figure had increased to 70 percent. Similarly, in 2004, 27 percent of employers were paying retention bonuses to hang onto their smart workers, and in 2008, that number had grown to 38 percent of employers.

Why are so many employers ponying up real money to hire and hang onto smart workers? Because they believe those workers are in short supply. Why do they believe that? Because smart workers are very hard to identify.

Anyone can say they're smart - and many people do - but how does an organization's recruiters know they will actually perform that way on-the-job? Old fashioned resumes are clearly not doing the trick. What's needed, therefore, is a variation of that document. I call it the smart resume.

What's Unique About a Smart Resume?

The goal of a smart resume is to portray its owner as a "work-in-progress." It describes both what they have done in their career and what they are doing in their job search as a continuous record of learning. It sets them apart by highlighting their acquisition of skills and knowledge which will enable them to improve their performance continuously.

How does it do that? A smart resume has two distinguishing characteristics:

What a person has done on the job
A smart resume adds a new segment to the description of each job in the Experience section of the document. Once the tasks performed and accomplishments achieved are listed, it concludes with a statement that begins, What I learned. That phrase is followed with a list of the skills and knowledge, insights and wisdom the person acquired through their work experience. The statement shouldn't run more than two lines, but it should be as explicit as possible in detailing how they grew and developed on-the-job.

What a person is doing in their job search
A smart resume codifies a person's ongoing quest to add to their skills and knowledge even while they are looking for work. Why should someone add to the pressure and demands of a job search by enrolling in an academic course or training program at the same time? Because doing so tells employers they see themselves as a work-in-progress and take personal responsibility for acquiring additional expertise. The resume makes that point by adding a description of the person's on-going development to the Education section of the document.

Finally, a smart resume also recognizes that recruiters are often inundated with applicants for their openings. The first review that a resume gets, therefore, is cursory at best. If it doesn't pique the interest of the recruiter in the first four or five lines, it is unlikely to be read any further. To address this situation, a smart resume leads with its owner's strengths.

Since we humans read from the top of the page, a smart resume highlights its owner's commitment to learning where it will be seen first. Directly beneath their name and contact information, it provides a Qualifications Summary which lists their key skills and knowledge. And, the first in that sequence should be something to the effect of "An inquiring mind that is always learning."

Thanks for reading,
Peter Weddle
Visit me at www.Weddles.com

P.S. Please tell your coworkers and friends about WEDDLE's Newsletter.

To make sense of the new importance of talent, we have to first understand what it is.Contrary to popular mythology, talent is not a select skill or extraordinary accomplishment.It is not reserved for Lady Gaga and the winner of the Super Bowl.Talent is the capacity for excellence and an attribute of our species.Everyone has been endowed with the gift of talent.We all can excel.

Why is excellence now indispensible to employers? Because global competition has meant that they are no longer competing with cheap labor.They are going toe-to-toe with other companies that are employing well educated, highly motivated workers performing at the top of their game.As a consequence, American companies cannot survive let alone prosper with workers who do just enough to get by or are content to languish in mediocrity.

Now, before you rise up in righteous indignation, I am NOT saying that unemployed people are obsolete or substandard performers.What I am saying is that everyone those of us in transition <u>and</u> those of us who currently have a job are going to have to work smarter and harder than we ever have before.Not because we've been deficient, but because our competitors are more proficient than they've ever been.

The good news is that every single one of us is a "person of talent.We all have the inherent capacity to excel.To reach that level of performance, however, we will have to take two important steps.

Resetting Yourself for the New Job Market

Whether you're 22 or 62 or anywhere in between, the formula for finding a great job or hanging onto one is exactly the same.You have to be working at your talent and at the top of your game.

What does that mean?

Your talent is the intersection of passion and practicality.It is what you love to do and do well.If you're making a ton of money but have to drag yourself out of bed to go to work each day, you're not working at your talent.If you've built a career in a field where you're competent but unchallenged, where you earn a decent living but no sense of satisfaction, you're not working at your talent.

Why is that important?Because when you're not working at your talent, you cannot perform at your peak.You may be doing O.K. today, you may even be maxing out on your performance reviews right now, but the day will come when even your best won't be good enough.Why?Because you'll be competing with people who are working at their talent, and they'll have what it takes to excel.

So, Step 1 is to do a little self exploration.Turn off the cell phone, tune out of iTunes and get to know yourself better.If you are working at your talent, great; proceed to Step 2.If you aren't, however, take the time to figure out just what is your capacity for excellence.You deserve to know.And, to have it at the center of the one-third of your life you'll spend at work.

Once you know your talent, you then have to determine which occupations will enable you to work with it.I realize that's easier said than done, but there are both private and public resources that can help.Among the former are professional career counselors and coaches while among the latter is the U.S. Department of Labor's free O*Net database, located online at www.onetonline.org.

In today's highly competitive economy, however, working at your talent is only half the answer.Unfortunately, it's possible to be in the right field and still not perform at your peak.How?By disrespecting your gift.By not providing your talent with the skills and knowledge you need to put your talent to work.

So, Step 2 is to care for your talent.In today's economy, the value of your occupational expertise is directly tied to the pace of technological innovation.According to Moore's Law, the power of technology doubles every two years.As a result, the half-life of your skills and knowledge is now down to just twelve months, regardless of your profession, craft or trade.In essence, you have to be continuously reinforcing your ability to excel even when you're working full time or looking for a job.

Today's unforgiving economy confronts each and all of us with a choice.Will we let ourselves be designated a "disposable worker” or will we reset ourselves as an "indispensible talent? Will we continue to do things as we always have or will we tap our innate capacity for excellence and beat our global competitors at their own game?

Thanks for reading,


Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including WEDDLE's 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet, The Career Activist Republic, Work Strong, Your Personal Career Fitness System and Recognizing Richard Rabbit.Get them at Amazon.com and www.Weddles.com today.

© Copyright 2011 WEDDLE's LLC.All Rights Reserved.

Answers to Common Interview Questions

Your ability to quickly and confidently answer tough interview questions is a key factor in the overall impression you will make on potential employers. To ensure you are as prepared as possible, look through the questions and advice below so you can formulate your own brief, yet informative answers. If you are nervous about remembering your answers during the interview, you should write your answers down and practice speaking them aloud.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 14:14

Recruiting for an Imperfect Organization

Written by
Recruiting for an Imperfect Organization
By Peter Weddle
Here's the truism that shapes our job as recruiters: The best talent has options. They are so good at what they do or their skills are so rare, they have their pick of employers. That fact of life creates a dilemma for many of us in recruiting. How do we attract people who are superstars when our employers are not?

Organizations are composed of people, so they are, by definition, imperfect. Some gain an allure that makes them more appealing than others - think those on Fortune's best companies to work for list - but even they have characteristics that turn at least some people off. So, the challenge for recruiters may vary in degree from employer-to-employer, but it is always essentially the same. To put it bluntly, we may not have to sell a pig in a poke, but we are invariably selling some version of a barnyard animal.

What's the most appropriate strategy for such a predicament? Do we tell the truth and describe our employer accurately? We expect as much from job seekers when they submit a resume, so adhering to the same standard would seem to be the appropriate course of action. And yet, doing so might well put us at a disadvantage with other, less principled employers in the competition for talent.

And, that's the crux of the matter, isn't it? We're in a competition for talent. Some even call it a War. Victory will go to the employer that can capture an unfair share of that talent. So, we have to decide how far we will go to win. Now, some would focus on the ethical dimension of this issue, and certainly that's important. There is, however, another aspect that should be just as critical to shaping our behavior. It has to do with how we define our job.

Is recruiting simply a matter of filling open reqs? Is our job limited to the functions of sourcing and recruiting? To bringing talent in the door? Or, do we have a responsibility to acquire talent that will not only join our organization but stay there?

Now, undoubtedly hiring managers and supervisors have an impact on attrition. As the old saying goes, People join organizations, but they leave bosses. We could be the best recruiters in the world, but we can't compensate for incompetence on the line. That reality, however, does not absolve us from ourresponsibility for promoting retention. Indeed, the research indicates that unmet expectations play a huge role in the departure of new hires.

An inaccurate description of an organization's true culture, values and vision is the functional equivalent of a bait and switch con. More often than not, it leaves the new hire feeling so abused that they quickly head for the door. According to Leigh Branham, who wrote The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It's Too Late (AMACOM Books, 2004), more than one-out-of-three departing employees said the reason they were leaving was that "The job or workplace was not as expected." In fact, it was the number one reason cited.

So, What Should Recruiters Do?

How do we recruit for our imperfect organizations? The answer, I believe, is to emphasize the positive, but acknowledge what's not. In fact, candidly describing your employer's blemishes may actually make you more appealing to candidates with choices. Many of them have become cynical about employers' claims in their recruiting literature. If the companies were as good as described, they reason, no one would ever leave and they wouldn't need to hire new workers. A more balanced description, therefore, will both set your organization apart and make it appear more honest and appealing.

Many recruiters do provide just such a full description of their employers, but they do so in a way that virtually ensures the "imperfect truth" won't be heard. It's typically provided at or near the end of the recruiting process and long after the candidate has been subjected to a continuous refrain of "claims to perfection." Basically, they are told after they are sold so they aren't really listening.

A better way is to provide the imperfect truth with the claims to perfection and from the very beginning of the recruitment process. Every message should trumpet the organization's beauty, but balance it - where appropriate - with an acknowledgement of its blemishes. For example, a small company competing with larger firms for a seasoned sales manager might begin a job posting with the following statement: We don't have the resources of a Fortune 500 company, but we can provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for hands-on leadership from your first day on the job. It turns the small company's imperfect truth into a key facet of its value proposition as an employer and, in the process, positions itself as a straight shooter among the choices a good candidate will always have. That won't sell it to every prospect, but those to whom it does appeal are much more likely to stay on after they arrive.

Today's job seekers, particularly those who are top performers or have rare skills, have become savvy consumers of employers. They can be fooled, but they are likely to correct their mistake quickly and create yet another opening in the process. The better approach, therefore, is to give candidates a complete portrait of your organization - one that emphasizes its virtues while acknowledging its flaws - so that their expectations are realistic and come true on-the-job.

Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com

P.S. Commit a random act of kindness. Tell your coworkers and friends about WEDDLE's Newsletter. They'll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.

Page 4 of 5