The New Rules for Finding Your Next Job In 2022
How to ace your next interview.
How to ace your next interview.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Passwords aren’t enough to fend off hackers; these dongles are the best defense
Strong passwords are very important, but they’re not enough to protect you from cybercriminals.
Passwords can be leaked or guessed. The key to online security is protecting your account with a strong secondary measure, typically a single-use code. This is referred to as “two-factor authentication,” or 2FA, as the nerds know it.
I’ve written about all the different types of 2FA, such as getting those codes sent via text message or generated in an authenticator app. Having any kind of second factor is better than none at all, but physical security keys—little dongles that you plug into a USB port or tap on your phone during account logins—offer the highest level of protection.
Security keys have been around for over a decade, but now they’re in the spotlight: Apple recently introduced support for them as an optional, added protection for Apple ID accounts. Last month, Twitter removed text-message-based authentication as an option for nonpaying users, recommending instead an authenticator app or security key.
Some people are hesitant to use security keys because carrying around a physical object seems burdensome and they come with a $30-and-up added cost. Plus, what happens if they get lost?
I’ve used security keys since 2016 and think they are actually easier to manage than codes—especially with accounts that don’t require frequent logins. They’re not only convenient, but they can’t be copied or faked by hackers, so they’re safer, too.
Here’s how to weigh the benefits and common concerns of adding one or two of these to your keychain.
Many internet services support the use of security keys, and you can use the same security key to unlock accounts on many different services. I recommend two from industry leader Yubico:
Other options include Google’s Titan security keys ($30 and up). In addition to working with laptops and tablets with USB ports, these keys are compatible with smartphones that have NFC wireless. Most smartphones these days have that, since it’s the technology behind wireless payments such as Apple Pay.
Adam Marrè, chief information security officer at cybersecurity firm Arctic Wolf, recommends that your chosen key is certified by the FIDO Alliance, which governs the standards of these devices.
To add a key, look in the security settings of your major accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.). During setup, it will prompt you to insert the key into your laptop or tablet’s port or hold the key close to your phone for wireless contact.
Apple requires you to add two security keys to your Apple ID account, in case you lose one.
Typically, when you log in, you just go to the app or website where you’ve set up a key, enter your username and password as usual, then once again insert the key into the device or hold it close. (Some keys have a metal tab you have to press to activate.) At that point, the service should let you right in.
Getting those two-factor login codes via text message is convenient, but if you are someone criminals are targeting, you could be the victim of SIM swapping. That’s where thieves convince carriers to port your number to a new phone in their possession, and they use it along with your stolen password to hack your accounts.
Even if they don’t go to all that trouble, criminals might try to trick you to hand them your codes, by calling you or spoofing a website you typically visit. At that point they can use the code for about 60 seconds to try to break in, said Ryan Noon, chief executive at security firm Material Security.
Security keys protect you in two ways: First, there’s no code to steal, and second, they use a security protocol to verify the website’s domain during login, so they won’t work on fake sites.
You can also add an authenticator app such as Authy to your most important accounts, to use only as a backup. But once you add these secure methods, you should consider removing the text-message code option.
In the rare case that someone snoops your passcode then steals your iPhone, beware: The perpetrator could still make Apple ID account changes using only the passcode, and even remove security keys from your account.
The most important rule of security keys is to buy an extra one (or two).
“Think of your security key as you would a house or car key,” said Derek Hanson, Yubico’s vice president of solutions architecture. “It’s always recommended that you have a spare.”
If you lose a security key, remove it from your accounts immediately. You should have already registered your spare or an authenticator app as a backup to use in the meantime.
Start with your most valuable accounts: Google, Apple, Microsoft, your password manager, your social–media accounts and your government accounts.
When it comes to financial institutions, many banks don’t offer security-key protection as an option, though most leading crypto exchanges do.
Security professionals and tech companies widely agree that passkeys are the future. They’re a new type of software option that combines the high security of a physical key with the convenience of biometrics such as your face or fingerprints. Passkeys are supported across the Android, iOS, Mac and Windows platforms, and some of your favourite sites already let you use them.
You can create a passkey on Facebook in security settings by following the app’s instructions under the security-key option. Dropbox has a similar passkey setup. Once you’re done, you’ll use your face or fingerprint as a second factor, instead of a code or key.
Eventually, physical security keys could be what we keep safe in strong boxes, as backups for our biometric-enabled passkeys. Even then, you’re probably going to want to have spares.
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