The New Rules for Finding Your Next Job In 2022
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The New Rules for Finding Your Next Job In 2022

How to ace your next interview.

By RACHEL FEINTZEIG
Tue, Feb 1, 2022 10:24amGrey Clock 4 min

Workers are quitting in record numbers. Salaries are up, and flexibility is in. The rules for getting your next job have changed.

Leverage has shifted to candidates as employers struggle to find the talent they need, recruiters and management researchers say. Hiring processes now include more frank discussions about remote work, balancing job duties with family and staving off burnout.

Yet knowing how much to share with a hiring manager remains tricky. And in an era of virtual recruiting, it’s harder to figure out what a company is really like, and whether a boss is toxic—before you make a leap.

“It used to be when you went to interview at a company you could actually observe people at work,” says Greg Selker, a Cleveland-based recruiter. “Now you’re interviewing over Zoom.”

Here are the new rules for job-hunting now.

It’s Personal

You have kids, or an elderly parent who needs help. Should you talk about your personal situation—and talk about working an altered schedule—while interviewing?

Not at first, career experts say.

“Biases do seep in,” says Tejal Wagadia, a recruiter for a technology company who lives in Tempe, Ariz. Disclosing personal information, she says, from whether you’re married to what you do on the weekends, could inadvertently give someone a reason to not give you a job.

“If it’s not relevant to the job you’re going to be doing, why give them additional information that could potentially negatively impact you?” Ms. Wagadia advises.

Still, Covid-19 has normalized once-unusual work arrangements and brought work structure forward in interviews, says Carol Fishman Cohen, the chief executive of iRelaunch, which helps companies with return-to-work programs. She says you no longer have to wait until an offer to bring up flexibility.

“Employers are not going to be surprised by it, because it’s what everyone is talking about,” she adds.

Ask questions about how the company has evolved its approach to work during the pandemic. Based on the response, you might not have to ask for a specific accommodation to get the flexibility you need, Ms. Cohen says. If you do have to make an ask, don’t offer up too many details of your personal situation and do stress how you’ve been successful in your current role while tending to other parts of your life, too.

Get Paid

Want a big raise? Now’s your chance.

Candidates are requesting 20% to 30% more for the tech and corporate roles Ms. Wagadia recruits for, compared with what she would have offered in 2019, she says.

Ms. Wagadia says she can’t meet every request, but she doesn’t flinch when candidates throw out big numbers. She recommends using a site like salary.com to explore the going rate for your skill set and role. Then, set a range that’s $10,000 to $15,000 lower and higher than that number. Explain that your research indicates that that’s what the market commands for your experience.

It’s perfectly acceptable to have the salary conversation early in the interview process, Ms. Wagadia says. In fact, she prefers it.

Negotiation experts advise against being the first one to throw out a number. Instead, ask the recruiter what their budget is for the role. And remember that some states and cities outlaw interviewers from asking about candidates’ salary histories. Disclosing your current pay could box you into a smaller salary bump.

Burnout Ahead

The last thing you want is to take a new job that’s worse than your old one. No hiring manager is going to blurt out, “We’re all miserable here.” (And if they do, run.) Learn to read the clues.

First, get a sense of attrition at the company, says Jennifer Moss, author of the book, “The Burnout Epidemic.” A raft of departures is a red flag, both because of the factors driving staff to say goodbye and because “it’s putting a huge strain on the employees who are left behind,” Ms. Moss says.

If you feel like there is a desperation to hire you—the process is moving shockingly fast and interviewers mention that the team is currently lean—chances are you will be slammed with work as soon as you join.

Other phrases that can indicate you’ll be picking up the team’s slack, according to Ms. Moss: “Our employees wear a lot of hats. We like to hustle.”

Observe your interviewers closely: Do they all seem exhausted? Does talking about their job energize them, or seem laborious? Do they sell the company, or seem a little cynical?

“If that person isn’t excited about their work, it’s hard to think you would be,” Ms. Moss says.

How a boss approaches an interview is often how they approach managing employees, says Mr. Selker, the recruiter. Are they giving you their full attention, or are their eyes darting to another screen? Is it a conversation, or are they just grilling you the whole time, without opening up the opportunity for you to ask questions? If the latter, you’re likely looking at a workplace with a top-down management style.

Vaccine Status

Every recruiter I’ve spoken with since last fall has the same view: There’s no need to put your vaccine status on your résumé. It’s entirely appropriate to ask questions if you’ll be in an office, Mr. Selker says. Do they have a vaccine or masking policy? What protocols help to make sure folks are safe on-site?

If the recruiter says the company mandates vaccines, you can then share your vaccination status, Mr. Selker adds.

Remote Future

It’s hard to fault employers for shifting return-to-the-office plans—after all, the virus is morphing, too. But job seekers still want to know whether they’re joining a company that’s committed to flexibility for the long haul, or will require them to turn up in an office every day.

If the organization is still considering its long-term remote-work stance, leaders should be able to explain how they’re thinking it through, including which criteria would push them toward allowing remote or hybrid work indefinitely—or not.

If executives stay tight-lipped, leaving it at “we’re remote right now,” brace for a full return, says Paul Argenti, a professor of corporate communication at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

“As soon as they can, they’re going to drag you back to the office,” he says. Another hint: if the company is transitioning to hoteling, where workers reserve desks on an as-needed basis, that likely indicates more flexibility.



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The Lifespan of Large Appliances Is Shrinking

Appliance technicians blame a push toward computerisation and an increase in the quantity of components inside a machine

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Thu, Feb 22, 2024 4 min

Our refrigerators, washing machines and ovens can do more than ever, from producing symmetrical ice cubes to remotely preheating on your commute home. The downside to all these snazzy features is that the appliances are more prone to breaking.

Appliance technicians and others in the industry say there has been an increase in items in need of repair. Yelp users, for example, requested 58% more quotes from thousands of appliance repair businesses last month than they did in January 2022.

Those in the industry blame a push toward computerisation, an increase in the quantity of individual components and flimsier materials for undercutting reliability. They say even higher-end items aren’t as durable.

American households spent 43% more on home appliances in 2023 than they did in 2013, rising from an inflation-adjusted average of $390 to $558, according to Euromonitor International. Prices for the category declined 12% from the beginning of 2013 through the end of 2023, according to the Labor Department.

One reason for the discrepancy between spending and prices is a higher rate of replacement, say consumers, repair technicians and others. That’s left some people wishing they had held on to their clunky ’90s-era appliances and others bargaining with repair workers over intractable ice makers and dryers that run cold.

“We’re making things more complicated, they’re harder to fix and more expensive to fix,” says Aaron Gianni, the founder of do-it-yourself home-repair app Plunjr.

Horror stories

Sharon J. Swan spent nearly $7,000 on a Bosch gas range and smart refrigerator. She thought the appliances would last at least through whenever she decided to sell her Alexandria, Va., home and impress would-be buyers.

That was before the oven caught fire the first time she tried the broiler, leading to a 911 call and hasty return. The ice-maker in the refrigerator, meanwhile, is now broken for the third time in under two years. Bosch covered the first two fridge fixes, but she says she’s on her own for the latest repair, totalling $250, plus parts.

“I feel like I wasted my money,” says the 65-year-old consultant for trade associations.

A Bosch spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the company has been responsive to Swan’s concerns and will continue to work with her to resolve ongoing issues. “Bosch appliances are designed and manufactured to meet the highest quality standards, and they are built to last,” she said.

Kevin and Kellene Dinino wish they had held on to their white dishwasher from the ’90s that was still working great.

The sleeker $800 GE stainless steel interior dishwasher they purchased sprang a hidden leak within three years, causing more than $35,000 worth of damage to their San Diego kitchen.

Home insurance covered the claim, which included replacing the hardwood down to the subfloor and all their bottom cabinetry, but kicked the Dininos off their policy. The family also went without access to their kitchen for months.

“This was a $60 pump that was broken. What the hell happened?” says Kevin, 45, who runs a financial public-relations firm.

A GE Appliances spokeswoman said the company takes appliance issues seriously and works quickly to resolve them with consumers.

Increased complexity

Peel back the plastic on a modern refrigerator or washing machine and you’ll see a smattering of sensors and switches that its 10-year-old counterpart lacks. These extra components help ensure the appliance is using only the energy and water it needs for the job at hand, technicians say. With more parts, however, more tends to go wrong more quickly, they say.

Mansoor Soomro, a professor at Teesside University, a technical college in Middlesbrough, England, says home appliances are breaking down more often. He says that manufacturers used to rely mostly on straightforward mechanical parts (think an on/off switch that triggers a single lever). In the past decade or so, they’ve transitioned to relying more on sophisticated electrical and computerised parts (say, a touch screen that displays a dozen different sensor-controlled wash options).

When a complicated machine fails, technicians say they have a much harder time figuring out what went wrong. Even if the technician does diagnose the problem, consumers are often left with repairs that exceed half the cost of replacement, rendering the machine totalled.

“In the majority of cases, I would say buying a new one makes more economic sense than repairing it,” says Soomro, who spent seven years working at Siemens , including in the home-appliances division.

These machines are also now more likely to be made with plastic and aluminium rather than steel, Soomro says. High-efficiency motors and compressors, too, are likely to be lighter-duty, since they’re tasked with drawing less energy .

A spokeswoman for the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers says the industry has “enhanced the safety, energy efficiency, capacity and performance of appliances while adding features and maintaining affordability and durability for purchasers.” She says data last updated in 2019 shows that the average life of an appliance has “not substantially shifted over the past two decades.”

When simpler is better

Kathryn Ryan and Kevin Sullivan needed a new sensor to fix their recently purchased $1,566 GE Unitized Spacemaker washer-dryer. GE wasn’t able to fix the sensor for months, so the couple paid a local technician $300 to get the machine working.

The repairman also offered them a suggestion: Avoid the sensor option and stick to timed dries.

“You should be able to use whatever function you please on a brand new appliance, ideally,” says Sullivan, a 32-year-old musician in Burbank, Calif.

More features might seem glamorous, Frontdoor virtual appliance tech Jim Zaccone says, but fewer is usually better.

“Consumers are wising up to the failures that are happening and going, ‘Do I really need my oven to preheat while I’m at the grocery store?’” jokes Zaccone, who has been in the appliance-repair business for 21 years.

He just replaced his own dishwasher and says he bought one with “the least bells and whistles.” He also opted for a mass-market brand with cheap and readily available parts. Most surprisingly, he chose a bottom-of-the-line model.

“Spending a lot of money on something doesn’t guarantee you more reliability,” says Zaccone.

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