COACHING CLAIMANTS: In job search “NO” simply means “not today.”

January 23, 2017

When I listen to my disability and work comp claimants use the phrase “rejection letter” to describe an email they received explaining that they were not chosen for a job, I often have the following conversation with them.

First, I tell them to understand that they were not “rejected”.

I explain to them that:

·        “NO” doesn’t mean the employer isn’t hiring you because they secretly know you have a disability.

·        “NO” doesn’t mean that you are bad candidate and should not have applied for the job in the first place.

·        “NO” doesn’t mean “NO” forever, and it might really mean “not today.”

I further explain that:

·        All “NO” means is that someone else had better qualifications than you this time around.

·        All “NO” means is that perhaps you might have been # 3 or #4 out of a list of MANY applicants, not 97th out of 98 applicants.

·        All “NO” means is that, for TODAY, the employer is moving in another direction.

Recently, the word ”NO” allowed a claimant of mine the opportunity to prove to the employer that he was, in fact, the right choice for the job. Upon receiving his “rejection” letter, he called the highest level contact that he had made during the interview process and re-sold his qualifications, told them that he still believed he was the right person for the job and asked them to reconsider his qualifications. The employer then called him back stating, “Calling us back and not taking “NO” for an answer took confidence and guts. Personally, I thought you could do the job but there was one person on our team that didn’t—your call changed his mind.” Two days later my claimant was offered that same job because of his proactive approach to not taking “NO” personally.

Remember: No really means “not today” and might even help you turn a rejection into a job offer.

What is your Work Comp Or Disability Claims Administrator’s sense of urgency to RTW?

January 8, 2017

In the corporate hiring world, “speed-to-hire” is a phrase that refers the time it takes to post a job, source candidates, interview, hire and onboard a new employee. Speed-to-hire is critical for companies that want to compete for the best talent available and hire them before a better offer comes their way. The most successful companies today will awareness of and a commitment to their speed-to-hire.  Only companies that have complete corporate buy in from all levels of the organization starting with the receptionist and flowing through to recruiters, line mangers, human resources and, finally, senior management can achieve top speed-to-hire rates and, ultimately, hire the best employees!

I believe the same sense of urgency, commitment and thought process needs to happen when it comes to returning claimants to work (with a new employer). The moment a disability or work comp claimant is released to work, an excitement and energy surrounding speed-to-hire needs to be recognized by all players involved with the claimant’s file.

A lot of data exists regarding the importance of how early intervention with claimants is critical to maximizing their potential of returning to work. The longer a claimant is allowed to not be working, the easier it will be for them to get used to that concept-and even like it.

What can you do as a Claims Analyst involved with a claimant eligible to return to work in a new job? For LTD claims, don’t wait until the any-occupation stage to begin aggressive return to work training and strategies. Many times, insurers assume that since the claimant can go back to doing what they did before that they’ll be able to find another job sometime inside two years. TWO YEARS! Generally, it takes about 30 days per every $10,000 in salary to find a new job (non-claimants).   Will it take disability claimants longer?  Perhaps, but it doesn’t need to!

Today, the best job seekers “promote” themselves well! Help your disability claimants be proactive with their job search strategy by increase their visibility on social media and working with recruiters that specialize in their industry. Help the hidden job market find them!

In Work Comp the same thought holds true. If it seems likely that an injured worker will not be returning to their date of injury employer, don’t wait 2-4-6 months to find out for sure. Think “speed-to-hire!” Utilize those months of uncertainty to spend time building their network and reaching out to employers. Reactive job search activities, like searching job boards, don’t work well anymore. Recruiters don’t post jobs anymore because they don’t need to! They search LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles to find the candidates they need. Just because some claimants come from a blue-collar worker doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a online presence. Remember, recruiters now use social media as their number one tool for finding qualified candidates on all levels.

Start to build a “speed-to-hire” mentality within your entire organization in 2017 and you will save time, money and get your claimants back to new work opportunities faster!

How to turn rejection into opportunity!

January 8, 2017

When you are in a job search, it is important to remember that most companies’ hiring timelines won’t match your timeline exactly.  As a result, it is important to not fall into the trap of focusing only on jobs that are open today.  Instead, put on your sales hat and focus on jobs that will be open tomorrow as well!

When a job seeker gets a letter or email that tells them that they were not selected for a particular job, most people view this communication as a “Rejection” letter.  I see it as an “Opportunity” letter.  Because one thing that successful sales people understand very well is that “No” only means “No” today.

When people are told they are not getting hired or invited to interview for the ONE job they applied for, most make the mistake of assuming the company is saying that they are not welcome to apply to that company again. The reality is that often companies have simply found a few other candidates that they want to talk to at this time.  As a recruiter for over 20 years, I witnessed multiple times when a candidate that didn’t get invited into the initial interview process or was not offered the job originally ended up getting called back and hired at a later date.

These job seekers earn this call back due to hard work, follow up and not taking “No” for an answer.

I recommend that whenever a job seeker gets an “opportunity” letter that they actually send a letter back including the following:

  1. Thank the company for their consideration, especially if you had an interview.
  2. Resell your background and why you feel it would be a good match for their company, regardless if the job you applied for is seemingly filled or not.
  3. Express continued interest in their company and tell them you will be following up with them again in 30 days–and then do it!

This tells the company that you have strong communication and follow up skills, and a REAL interest in working for them.  Remember, companies rarely have all their jobs posted online and they certainly don’t have future jobs posted.  So just because you aren’t a match for one job doesn’t mean you aren’t a match for a job that they will begin searching for in a week or two.  Your follow up might be perfectly timed with their next opportunity!

What will you do the next time you are rejected?

Where did all the job seekers go?

January 8, 2017

For many job seekers, the holiday season is a time for… resting and taking some time off.  WHAT!?

Unfortunately, what many job seekers don’t understand is that simply because there are fewer jobs OPEN and posted in December doesn’t mean that employers aren’t thinking about their hiring needs for next year—and where they are going to find candidates for those jobs!

Most job seekers look online to find jobs, and see a large drop in job posting over the holidays.  This is mainly due to the fact that most companies have completed their hiring plans and have no additional budget until next year.  That doesn’t mean, however, that managers are not thinking about the future and the possible fact that they are currently short 3 people and have a large project starting in March.  These mangers are  planning NOW for hiring after the first of the year.  What a great time to introduce yourself.

While your out-of-work cohorts are sleeping in, you should be introducing yourself to as many hiring managers in your area of interest as you can!  If you can make even 3-4 good introductions/connections each week over the holidays that will give you 12-16 new WARM relationships that you can follow up with in January.  On January 2nd, your competition will frantically be back online looking and searching for jobs that you now know won’t be posted because you already proactively contacted the hiring manager.

DON’T take the holidays off from your job search!  It’s an amazing time of year for networking with people you rarely see and you may find that you have open access to interested (and stressed out) hiring managers regarding soon-to-be open jobs.

Happy Holidays and start making some calls!

COACHING CLAIMANTS-Effective Holiday Networking.

January 6, 2017


Your next job might be standing right next to you!

Holiday parties and gatherings give you the chance to cross paths with people that you don’t see on a regular basis during the year. If you are in a job search, this is a golden opportunity to establish contacts that could help you find your next job.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you network more effectively at social gatherings:

1)      Remember, networking is NOT about asking people if they know of job openings. Networking is about communicating with people you know and asking them for the names of people who they know that might work for companies that have the types of jobs you are looking for.

For example, instead of saying: “Hi Tom, I’m in a job search and I was wondering if you know of any Warehouse Manager jobs available?”  Try, “Hi Tom, I am in a job search, and I was wondering if you know of anyone that works for a company that might have a warehouse or shipping/receiving department—such as a manufacturing company, hospital, or a large retailer like Target or Walmart?”

The answer to the first question 99% of the time is NO; however, if you use a true networking approach and restate the question like the second example, you increase your chances of getting a YES… and the names of people who will be able to direct you to people within their company that have information about upcoming jobs.

2)      If the people you are networking with have names for you but no contact information on the spot, be respectful of their time and don’t make them dig through their cell phone or call someone on the spot. Instead, tell them that you will follow up with them during the next business day and return to enjoying yourself at your holiday gathering. But, be diligent and actually follow up on Monday. You could also take it a step further and invite them to be a LinkedIn connection!

3)      Remember to return the favor—ask them if you can introduce them to anyone at the function or maybe even offer to refill their drink.

4)      Bring business cards!  This way if someone thinks of someone that could help you—they can simply call or email you.

If you follow these tips, I think you will you find that you will have success networking at social functions and, hopefully, will be able to turn those networking contacts into interviews—and A NEW JOB!