June 2013

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/141831

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hr headquarters Auto and Protegra have strong employer brands. They have reputations as great places to work. They hire employees who are compatible with their company cultures. And most importantly, the image they present to the world is in sync with their internal brands. "You cannot tell customers you are one thing when actually internally you are another," Wan says. "You have to walk the talk." Almost anyone will work for food. But the best employer brand transcends pay packages. It creates a sense of community, shared identity and common goals. "If I fail ... it's not just that I don't get a raise or my boss will really nag about it. I feel I failed the brand. This is the highest level of connection," Wan says. "If I work extra hours, if I get a raise or bonus that's great, but you know what? I work extra hours because I don't want to fail that brand that represents me." Wan doesn't suggest that your marketing department should take over recruitment functions from human resources. But she says every department should have input in the process to make sure you're bringing the right people on board. Wan has offered brand consulting services to local companies through a consortium that also gives her students hands-on experience. And she's working on a book that explains her own organizational brand framework to help companies maximize their potential. "The best employer brand, my hypothesis and my research shows, cannot go wrong with their bottom line on profit and performance." help wanted MASTERS OF THE INTERVIEW GAME So you've landed a job interview. That's the good the news — and the bad news. Now you have to prepare for strangers to make snap judgments about your appearance and credentials. And you have to come up with creative answers for all the standard questions: Why do you want to work for this company? Got any hobbies besides Angry Birds? What are your weaknesses? If you think interview questions are only designed to discover how inventive you are, well, you're partly right. Recruiters don't expect you to admit that your gambling addiction interferes with your work life. They're counting on you to paint a positive picture — I'm a risk taker! "There's a rule of the game you get to know," says Victor Cui, assistant professor in business strategy at the I.H. Asper School of Business. "Experienced candidates ... know how to hide their weaknesses. They know how to answer certain questions. They know our intention behind every question." Cui says businesses have to design such mechanisms to screen candidates and reduce an information gap in the hiring process. Candidates can explore the company website, read financial reports and check out press reports before the first meeting. But typically, the company doesn't know anything about you beyond what you've included on your padded resume. Recruiters have to tick off several boxes in the process. First, they need to find someone with the qualifications a job requires. On the next level, they're looking for any added value you bring to the table. "And even beyond that, they're looking for someone who can fit into this organization. Someone who fits the culture — who can work with us and we feel like a team." Behavioural questions such as 'How do you handle a challenge?' are meant to give recruiters a better sense of who you are. "Often we're not looking for an answer — we're looking for your manner of reacting to this kind of question," Cui says. "What we're trying to do is see whether the candidate is experienced, sophisticated and mature enough to handle the situation — and professional enough. "It's a dance. It's a game that evolves." SUMMER 2013 MBiz June 2013_final.indd Sec2:s 'peg BIZ | 19 6/21/13 4:48:44 PM

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