In this interview series, we caught up with Sharlyn Lauby from HR Bartender who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
I started in human resources after a car accident left me unable to do my job at the time. You can read all about it here.
How did you get started?
You can read the story of how I came up with HR Bartender here.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Always be networking. I mentioned earlier about the importance of networking.
Years ago, I had a boss whose position was eliminated. He really struggled finding a new position because he didn’t have a network. He was a senior executive and figured he didn’t need one.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
I love that HR is constantly growing and changing, and not just from a compliance standpoint. The way we do business has changed dramatically over the past decade. Technology has a lot to do with it. HR needs to support the business and change with the times.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I like to learn and set learning goals for myself.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Networking. Here’s a situation I see a lot: Job seekers forget/ignore their network. Then at some point, they need them (meaning: job seekers need their network). And the good news is that many times, their network steps up and helps them.
What’s a common mistake you see them do?
The job seeker swears that they’ve learned their lesson and will never, ever forget their network again.
Once the job seeker lands a new job, what’s the first thing they do? Yep, stop networking.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
We’ve already talked about one aspect – networking. Another approach that job seekers need to think about, both in the short- and long-term, is their social brand.
Organizations are using social media to recruit. They use the internet to post jobs. Whether you’re just entering the workforce or thinking about an encore career, it’s to your advantage to build a social brand.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Constantly improve your business acumen.
You will always need it. I honestly cannot think of a single moment in your career where understanding the business won’t be important and valuable.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Focus on transferrable skills. Not only will it help you identify what you do well, but it will allow you to focus on those skills you enjoy doing.
How can job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
Keep your profile current and make your profile look like people are engaged with your profile. It sounds so easy, but often overlooked. What I mean by current and engaging are things like having a current profile picture, adding accomplishments, etc.
Professional sites like LinkedIn are also susceptible to trends such as endorsements, publishing directly to LinkedIn, etc.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
There are many reasons including Boomers leaving the workforce, fewer younger workers entering the workforce to replace them, the gig economy, etc.
I believe unemployment is a complex metric and organizations that try to narrow it down to a single factor might be oversimplifying it. Especially if they’re trying to use only one factor to address their recruiting challenges.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
In all fairness to managers, I think we need to give them the tools they need to do their job today, especially when it comes to recruiting talent.
I’ve heard from more than one recruiting manager that they attended hiring skills training years ago, haven’t used it for a year or more, and now they’re afraid to tell HR they need a refresher…because they don’t want someone to think they didn’t pay attention the first time.
What are the best resources (blogs, books, courses, etc.) you recommend to job seekers?
I believe people need to find their own resources.
Exploring and test-driving new resources is a big part of the fun. What works for me might not be the best thing for others. I will say that there are many good (and free!) resources on the web today, so job seekers don’t need to spend big bucks to get good information.
What is the best way for our audience to reach you?
Sharlyn Lauby and HR Bartender have also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs – Top Career Advice Websites.