Human Resources expert and SCS instructor Alex Gallacher gives the inside scoop on commonly asked hiring questions.
Throughout my career in Human Resources, I’ve learned many people have questions about hiring practices, but are unsure where to turn for valid information. Building on the SCS Knowledge Hub webinar I recently hosted, I’m committed to lifting the curtain on HR practices, and sharing my insider knowledge to help people thrive. Here are my insights on three commonly asked HR-related questions.
1. Do employers understand that a title at one organization might be considered a senior role, and at other companies, it might be a junior one?
Many employers will understand ‘title inflation’ in organizations with which they may be familiar, particularly in ‘start ups’, where titles and options are often used to offset cash compensation shortfalls. Less sophisticated employers may not be as aware of this type of ‘title inflation’. There is also the issue of differences between industries, where titles can and do vary quite widely. When people are moving across industries, for example to mining from financial services or vice versa, this may require further explanation or clarification, in order that the title does not become a barrier to what otherwise might be a good person-job fit.
2. How do you position your LinkedIn profile and resume if you are making a career pivot? Your work experience may not necessarily match the opportunities you are applying for.
Be honest and clear about your desire to switch roles or industries, on both LinkedIn and on your resume, as it builds your credibility. Employers look for inconsistencies, and where they find consistency, it builds comfort; be sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile are aligned and openly state your career intentions. If your work experience does not match the role you are applying to, call out transferable skills and behaviours. Be sure to highlight relevant volunteer experience.
3. How can I explore which sectors are most likely to support hiring and training of staff?
The detailed answers are to be found using the COPS, or Canadian Occupational Projection System, in looking at the 293 occupational groupings. Here are two examples of employment trends, based on current and projected data throughout 2019-2028:
- Human resource managers are projected to be broadly in line in terms of labour demand and supply. Therefore, it is unlikely most employers will support the hiring and training of staff who aren’t qualified, as there are lots who are.
- For Information systems analysts and consultants, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 113,000, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration, and mobility) is expected to total 98,700. With this kind of mismatch, it is likely employers facing supply shortages will be open to hiring and training staff with potential to help fill their shortage(s).
Ultimately, where there are shortages, which also play out at the local level such as in the GTA, there will be innovation to fill the gaps. This has significant potential to help individuals who are willing to seek out new career opportunities!
Alex Gallacher (MBA, CHRE, ICD.D) is a successful entrepreneur, having founded and grown ENGAGE HR™ since its inception in 2004. His deep expertise in human resources, business strategy, and governance comes from a unique combination of senior management and executive roles in Canadian and global corporations, coupled with more than fifteen years of profitably serving a wide range of organizations, associations, and owner-managed businesses. Alex instructs our Human Resources Management course at SCS.