What’s an Exceptional Candidate Experience?

By | Culture, Interviewing, Life at Daxko | No Comments

Just as Daxko strives to provide an exceptional customer experience, Daxko’s People Team strives to provide an exceptional candidate experience for those interested in a career at Daxko.  The job search process is tough enough… we aim to create an experience for job seekers that is efficient, transparent, and downright delightful.  Here’s what we believe in…

  1. Posting descriptive and FUN job profiles.  Work at Daxko is never boring.  Why would the job description be?  We’ll paint an accurate and detailed picture of the role (with flavor!) so you can decide if it’s a career you’re passionate about.
  2. Acknowledging your application.  We may not be able to personally respond to each applicant, but we’ll at least let you know that your resume didn’t vanish into a black hole never to be seen again.
  3. Letting you know what to expect.  We’ll let you know upfront what’s involved in the interview process, when you can expect to hear from us again, and our best guess (it’s a fluid thing, after all) at how long the process will take.  There’s nothing worse than not knowing.
  4. A thorough interview process.  It’s no secret that Daxko has an extensive and selective interview/hiring process.  Why?  Because everything we do hinges on finding the right talent.  Good news for you is that, by the end of the process, you’ll know whether Daxko is right for you.  It’s a win-win!
  5. Breaking the bad news when you didn’t make the cut.  Trust me… these are not conversations we enjoy, but they’re a reality.  We will never leave you wondering, in the words of Heidi Klum, if “you’re in” or “you’re out.”
  6. Offering suggestions for your job search.  If you ask (and sometimes even if you don’t), we’ll offer up free advice for formatting your resume differently, better highlighting your skill set, other companies to consider, job boards/job search tools to check out, etc.  We truly want to help!
  7. Providing ways for you to build your network.  Our recruiters are well-connected – it’s part of the gig.  We invite you to connect with us on LinkedIn and other social media sites to expand your network.  And we’re happy to suggest professional organizations and career assistance groups if you’re interested in hobnobbing.
  8. Keeping top talent in mind for future opportunities.  A lot of companies tell you that they’ll hold onto your resume for future opportunities… but Daxko really does!  If we feel strongly about you as a candidate, we’ll flag your resume for future roles and reach out when there’s an opening.  In fact, we’ve hired lots of folks for jobs other than the one they originally applied for.
  9. Offering a behind-the-scenes look at life at Daxko.  When interviewing with a company, you should know what you’re getting into.  We believe in being transparent and offer lots of looks into life at Daxko.  Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo.  You’ll either be amused or frightened!

Hit us up in the commment section below with other suggestions on providing an exceptional candidate experience…

Don’t Let Strengths Become Weaknesses

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Healthy Stuff, Interviewing | No Comments

“What are the strengths you could bring to this team?”  Sound familiar?  A standard interview question, for sure.  When it comes to our careers, we often spend considerable time examining individual strengths.  We focus on honing them.  We’re praised for exhibiting them.  But do we ever worry the strengths that help make us successful may actually become our downfall?

Identifying our talents and strengths, even working to develop them, is a good thing.  Just ask Marcus Buckingham, author of Now, Discover Your Strengths.  But we run the risk of overdeveloping our strengths, thus turning them into weaknesses.  Think about it…

How many times have you witnessed someone slide from detail-oriented to perfectionist?  From enthusiastic to dramatic?  From confident to egotistical?  It’s usually gradual.  It might be triggered by a change in circumstances.  Regardless, we’re often oblivious to the fact that we’ve slipped into “flaw” territory.  With blinders on, we see only the positive effects of our strengths (e.g. completing a project, meeting a deadline, catching a error, exceeding a quota).  Rarely do we see the negative effects on those around us, to our relationships, and to our careers.

The goal?  Strike a balance where determined doesn’t turn to domineeringdelegation doesn’t lead to inaction, and wit doesn’t morph into sarcasm.  How?

  1. Be open to feedback from those around you.  Step 1: Lose the blinders.  Step 2: Ask for genuine feedback.  Step 3: Shut up.  Step 4: Listen.  Step 5: Thank your colleagues for being candid.
  2. Periodically, reassess your individual talents and strengths.  Where do they fall on the strength-weakness continuum?  Make adjustments if necessary.
  3. Instead of always focusing on “what you do best,” expand your repertoire of strengths.  Pick a lesser strength, work on growing it for a period of time, then move on to the next.

In summary… you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Plethora of (free) Career Assistance Groups in Birmingham

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Interviewing, Job Hunt | No Comments

Something I’ve been involved with over the last 7 years is helping people in their job search. Since I was blessed with a fulfilling career in recruiting, I feel like I owe it to job seekers to give them helpful tips to steer them in the right direction.

In my last blog post LinkedIn — How Are You Using It, I mentioned that I created a group on LinkedIn to unite job seekers and HR reps in Birmingham. Its purpose is to network, share job search resources, and spread the word about career fairs and jobs. It is an open group, so I invite you to join “The Career Assistance Ministry Network in Birmingham”.

If you know someone in the job search, feel free to share this list of 14 Career Assistance Groups in Birmingham. They all offer ways to teach job seekers the ins and outs of assessing career opportunties, learning job search strategies, effective networking, interviewing skills and negotiating techniques.

I recently heard a job seeker say they were frustrated with not being able to connect with a “warm, breathing human being” when they were applying for a job. Unfortunately that is the case these days, but people CAN connect with a human being to partner with them on their job search.

For example, one of the first groups on that list is the ACT Ministry hosted by Asbury United Methodist Church. They partner each attendee with a mentor to help them work through the career search guide and keep them motivated. Most of the mentors are people who have been through the ACT Ministry program and secured a successful job.

If you would like to help others in their job search, please consider volunteering with one of these wonderful groups. You can let me know in the comment section and I’d be happy to connect you. Here are a list of common opportunities:

  • Going to a networking event with job seekers
  • Reviewing resumes
  • Sitting on a recruiter/HR panel to answer questions
  • Conducting mock interviews
  • Being contacted one-on-one to talk about your industry
  • Being a one-on-one mentor
  • Teaching about a job search topic (i.e. “how to” on networking, using LinkedIn, resumes, interviewing, negotiating)
  • Speaking about a specialty job search topic (i.e. importance of branding)

Don’t forget to Pay It Forward when you can!

Kristi Merritt has been an active and visible recruiter in the Birmingham market for more than seven years. For five of those years, she led the Mountaintop Community Church’s Career Assistance Ministry. Kristi enjoys sharing the insight she’s gained and teaching people the tools they need to be successful in their job search. You can professionally connect with her on LinkedIn and follow on Twitter (@kristi_merritt).

Prepping for the Interview

By | Culture, Interviewing, Job Hunt | No Comments

Posted by Preston D

At Daxko, we believe in peer interviews.  Since we (as a team) must work with you, then we (as a team) appreciate being involved in the selection of you.  I’ve interviewed my fair share of people through the years (before and at Daxko) and have witnessed first-hand some do’s and don’ts of the interview process.

If you are prepping for an interview (at Daxko or elsewhere), please don’t overlook the common sense items.  Let’s role play a little Q&A to ensure you’re presenting yourself as the “only” candidate for the position.  Below, you (as the candidate) will ask a question and I’ll answer it… with a solid dose of sarcasm, of course!

You ask: “If I leave by noon, I should make it there with 5 minutes to spare, right?” 

To which I say: “Do you drive on Hwy 280 often?”  Whenever you come to interview, please know that we’re not sitting idly by with an entire afternoon blocked off for you to mesmerize us.  We’re a finely tuned machine of efficiency and we start meetings on time.  If you are sharing a presentation, it will take time to get set up and comfortable prior to the interview.  I’m not saying arrive an hour early, but be early.  If you can’t arrive on time for an interview, what message does that send about your timeliness as a team member?

You ask: “If I cram prior to the interview and wing it, will I be ok?” 

To which I say: “Good luck with that.”  While you may have full confidence in your ability to wing an interview with your wit and charm, we can smell “unpreparedness” a mile away.  If you are constantly looking at notes or having to pause excessively to think through a question, then it’s pretty obvious you did not spend time prepping.  Know the company that you are interviewing with by cyber stalking them.  I spent about two hours just cruising through the Daxko site learning about the company before my first interview.  Granted half that time was watching the videos, but when you know the business it makes an impression.

You ask:  “I never did homework in school… why do it now?” 

To which I say:  “We’ve never hired slackers before… why do it now?”  While homework may not be the most exciting use of your time, it’s vitally important to us.  First, it shows us how willing you are to roll up your sleeves and get to work.  Second, believe it or not, your effort will show in your interview.  We usually interview several candidates for a role; when Candidate A goes above and beyond and Candidate B coasts through, we can tell.  Here is a hint.  Don’t sit in front of the television and jot a few notes on the palm of your hand.  Spend time preparing your homework AND practice presenting it.

You ask:  “Can I get dressed in the dark before my interview?” 

To which I say:  “Sure, just make sure two of those items are pants and a shirt.”  At Daxko, we do wear shorts and flip-flops to work (Keith does, at least), but we aren’t style-ignorant animals.  We believe that your appearance displays a level of professionalism and attention-to-detail. Please put some effort into your interview attire.

You ask:  “Will I impress you by ‘googling’ and using keywords and cool phrases?”

To which I say:  “We have Google, too.”  We also have professional project managers, product managers, SQL DB administrators, trainers and support team members.  If your plan is to blow us away with talk of the PMBOK or the latest in the agile methodology for Java developers, be forewarned that we’re read up on this stuff.  We’ll know if you are trying to blow smoke, and we will call you on it.