Inspiration   Leave a comment



Geesh.  If I didn’t know better I would think that I had fallen off of the Face of the Earth.  Almost a whole month has passed since my last entry.  Where has the time gone?  How did I lose track?  All those good intentions and hmm…  What happened?

Well, I honestly was going to tell you what had happened but something came up this week.  I felt it was more important for you to know this, so you will just have to wait to find out where I was and what I was doing at a later time and read this instead.   I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed by reading this.  If you are???  We need to talk.

The other day a candidate of mine sent me an email.  It was titled You Inspired Me and I instantly had goose bumps.  Rebecca and I talk all the time about how we are the Jerry Maguire’s of the Recruitment Industry so to actually have that title directed to me was an amazing feeling.  I didn’t even have to open the email.  I was already beaming with pride and grinning from ear to ear.  Curiousity didn’t take long to get the better of me though and I began to grow impatient as it seemed to take forever for the enigma before me to unveil itself. 

Within the email was a link which opened to a personal blog.   Aside from telling you that this person began to write about their experiences as a parent and that as I made my way through the blog I became a puddle, I wish for the rest of the details to remain private.  It truly was a gift for me.  Better than receiving flowers!  I was honoured.  I inspired someone to write a blog and capture all the wonderful memories of being a parent to their child.  Not only had I inspired them but they trusted me and shared it with me. 

Somewhere along the way that candidate became a friend.  It isn’t like I had them at hello or anything but there is definitely a level of trust that has been earned over time.  They aren’t looking for new opportunities and I wasn’t looking to move them.  What started with one phone call grew into emails with jokes to make you laugh on a rough or hectic week and eventually someone to bounce ideas off of or call on those days when a kick in the butt was required for motivation. 

This is why I do what I do and this is why I do it the way I do it.

In the end, it has become a gift for several lucky individuals.  

For readers: 

Whether someone stumbles upon it by chance or deliberately there is now a place where they may find help or support and learn that they are not alone.

For the parent:

It has become a gift unto themselves in a multitude of ways and will continue to be so for many years.  It has provided comfort in times of need, acted as a reminder to focus on the positive things and to never take things for granted.   A place has been created for the parent to have a place to tell their story, collect their thoughts and share their experiences. 

For me: 

No matter what happens from here on out, I know that I made a positive impact on a complete stranger.  On those days when I question why bother with the phone calls?  ‘Because’ now leads to concrete evidence that smiles, laughter and listening truly do matter and do make a difference.



Are You Delusional?   2 comments

Are You Delusional?

I was watching Criminal Minds the other night and, if you are familiar with the show you know that there are quotes randomly mentioned throughout each episode.  This particular one, mentioned at the very beginning, caused me to put the remote down and stop surfing the channels. 

 “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw never used LinkedIn but this quote really got me thinking.  We accept the invite on LinkedIn and consider the relationship solidified.  I have been speaking with so many Recruiters about the importance of Social Media and Networking.  How important it is to reach out to the people within their network after that invitation has been accepted.  Just because you are now ‘connected’ doesn’t mean that a connection has been made.  Although no communication has taken place, we are under the impression we have really earned a ‘friend’.  It is, in fact, an illusion.

Don’t slam that door once it has been opened for you.  If you are going to take the time to use the social media tools that are available, and I highly advise you to do so, learn how to do it properly so that you aren’t wasting your time.  As you are growing your network, learn about what is truly available within it.  Why else would you take the time to send out the invites?  Do you realize how valuable your network can be?  Yes, you do or you never would have set up the account in the first place.  If only you would unlock its true potential.  Once you do, you can then begin to reap the rewards of your efforts. 

If you are having problems getting started or have questions that you would like answered ask me.  I am more than happy to help.  That is what I am here for. 

And just so you know, I live by two philosophies: 

1)  The only stupid questions are those that are unasked and left unanswered.

2)  If you are not making mistakes, how do you expect to learn?



Lea McKay

Recruiter’s Career Coach

RBS Staffing – Managing Partner


Toxic Lifeforms that Lurk in the Office   Leave a comment

 Toxic Lifeforms that Lurk in the Office

There always seems to be that one person at work that you just can’t stand to deal with, let alone before you have grabbed at least 2 cups of coffee in the morning!  They are toxic and cancerous to the office atmosphere seemingly seeking to destroy any ounce of hope and suck out all of the joy that you may have!  

Believe it or not, there are ways to survive working with these characters, keep your sanity and still remain professional.  

Keeping in mind that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, people will naturally influence the behaviour of those around them.  When a conflict arises, does the behavioural reaction always have to be negative?  Although it is sometimes easier and offers a more instant gratification, in the long run nothing changes.  Regardless of the ‘difficult personality trait’ that you are dealing with, engaging them usually results in a dark cloud surrounding you and spreading though out the office.  

In the book How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie writes that, ‘Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.  But it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.’ 

What if you could change the outcome?  Or better yet, didn’t even engage and prevented that negativity from flooding the office?  Wouldn’t that be great?!?!  

I had a few people contact me this week and last, asking the best way to deal with these people who spit venom.  Obviously, the situations were all different however the emotional outcomes seem to be similar.  Here are three things that I would suggest you try to do next time before going into combat and hanging the person by their toes from the ceiling over their cubicle! 

Take care of yourself 
When was the last time that you did something for yourself?  As Recruiters, we spend all day trying to take care of everyone and make their lives a little easier but how do you take care of yourself?  When was the last time you went to the gym and did a hardcore workout?  How long has it been since you read a book, and actually finished it and it wasn’t work related?  Walked the dog without your blackberry?  Got a massage, pedicure or manicure?  Get the idea?  

Remember to ensure that stepping away from the office actually means exactly that sometimes.  Quite often the location changes but you are still in the office mind set and have your computers and phones within arms reach.  You need to shut everything off, take time for yourselves and take care of yourselves.  If you don’t do it, who will? 
Put things into perspective 
Yes, I am the eternal optimist to the point where I could probably make you sick but, come on!  It is all relative.  So you have that one person you have to deal with day in and day out and they drive you absolutely crazy.  You do realize that there are people out there right now who would do anything to be in your position, to be able to complain about that person at work would also mean that they were receiving a pay cheque.  

‘I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.’  There are reasons these old sayings have survived and are still passed around.  Sure it can be stressful and extremely trying but there is always someone out there that has it worse than you.  Sometimes it helps to put things into perspective and to be thankful for what you have. 

Recognise you are part of a team 
No, not everyone gets along but, it makes it easier to do the job if everyone tries to though.  Next time the conflict situation arises, stop and assess the situation.  Instead of reacting and defending yourself, try to understand where this person is coming from.  As difficult as it is, don’t jump to conclusions.  Everyone has their own baggage that they bring to work and most of the time the behaviour displayed has nothing to do with work but is enough to set them off.  Maybe they are on the verge of divorce, dealing with an ill child, who knows?  It could be something as simple as no milk left for their cereal that morning.  Maybe they just need a bit of compassion shown to them or someone to listen.  A little empathy, a few kind words or a smile, sometimes these little things are enough to make the person stop and reflect upon their actions. 

The reality of it all is that you can’t make people change, no matter how hard you try, you can only change yourself.  Chances of that person getting transferred out of the country are probably slim to none, no matter how hard you wish.  Complaining about it changes nothing, only dealing with it does.  Take time for yourself, put things into perspective and try to make your team stronger.  

How you let people affect you is totally up to you.  Life is too short.  Kill them with kindness.  🙂


How do people affect you at work and what do you do to cope with it?

Hide and Go Seek   Leave a comment


 Recruiter’s Hide & Go Seek


Seek and Be Sought



This weekend, while my nieces and nephews were visiting, all the kids decided to play hide and go seek.  As one began to count, the others scattered quickly racing to search out the best hiding places.  Between the girls giggling and my nephew trying to hide in the bushes with his red sneakers sticking out from underneath – it did not prove to be a very difficult search.

Just a typical childhood game and yet, while they were playing I realised that Recruiter’s play a somewhat similar version.  We play this game day in and day out however, in the Recruiter’s version, being the last one found does not result in earned bragging rights but rather missed opportunities.  No, I am not talking about the candidates; I am talking about YOU

Do you have any idea how many opportunities you have missed?  Do you know that there are candidates looking for you?  Do you know that as you are using social media tools to track them down, they are using the same social media tools to find you?  You are probably passing each other in Cyber Space!  I know for a fact that this is true because Rebecca and I are receiving calls from the people that you are looking for.  While you are searching for them, they are finding us.  

So what is a Recruiter to do when they find themselves in the position of being both the seeker, and the one sought after?  Follow the same advice you provide to your candidates. 

Get yourself out there and start networking.  With all of the social media tools available to everyone today, there is no excuse for anyone not to have a profile in one form or another.  The amount of time it takes to set up an account is minimal, compared to the possible connections and doors it could open for you.  You don’t have to go all out and opt for every platform that is offered however, you should take the time to compare some of the different tools to see which one you can commit to and use with the greatest ease. 

Passive candidates are looking to be represented by you.  They are searching profiles to find the right person, so tailor yours to be a true representation of yourself and while you’re at it, explain why you should be the one chosen over anyone else.  Make sure that your information is current and includes a list of ways to get a hold of you.  It should be easy to locate your contact information so keep it as close to the top of the page as you can.  (RBS places their contact information in the Summary Section on LinkedIn).  Someone passively looking will want your information to jump out at them.  Should they be required to search for it, they may be inclined to simply skip over you and move on to the next Recruiter.  Social Media can be a very powerful tool.  Don’t under utilize it.  Get it working for you!

Also, don’t wait to begin networking.  Start now!  Your network is an invaluable resource and establishing one has never been easier.  The sooner you begin to connect with people, the sooner you begin to build relationships and through those relationships your network will grow.  If you are looking for niche candidates, go where they are.  Join groups that they are members of and participate in discussions.  By establishing a rapport within these groups and offering yourself as a resource, candidates will be drawn to you and want to become a part of your network.  You can also create your own group and only invite or allow specific candidates to join.  In growing your group you are creating a huge pool for you, and you alone, to draw from.  Just remember that you need to interact with the group or you will lose the candidates!

I know that this is said repeatedly but, remember that no matter the social tool you choose to use, EVERYONE can see what and how you are responding.  Be conscious of your behaviour and etiquette. Sure, it seems like common sense but just look at some of the blogs posted regarding people and their misuse of social media.  Avoid the implications and use it accordingly.

These are only a few suggestions to help you get noticed.  What are some of the things you do to earn bragging rights and gain opportunities in the game of Seek and Be Sought?

Lea McKay

Recruiter’s Career Coach

RBS Staffing Consultants


RBS is the Recruiters Career Coach.

What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You   1 comment


Have you ever done a Google Search on yourself?  Any ideas on what you would find?  Imagine you have the perfect candidate or the perfect client.   What are they going to find?

In today’s cyber world, where you are virtually searching for candidates, your candidates are searching for you, as are your clients.  You can never be too careful about what is being posted about you.  Just because you have tools that you use for ‘business’ and those that you have for ‘personal’ use does not mean that they aren’t cross viewed.   There has been a major transformation in the recruiting industry and a higher percentage are turning to social media tools to find the right match, be it a candidate or client.

Like it or not, this is the way of our world now.  Cameras the size of credit cards that can capture photos and video are everywhere and people are uploading the information for all of Cyber Land to view.  Even those X-rated pictures that were taken 10 years ago in university that you thought no one had copies of or even knew about, surprise!  And it isn’t just someone, it is ANYONE.  Once posted, they are now present for everyone’s viewing pleasure and critiquing.

I am pretty lucky.  I haven’t done anything, at least not yet, deemed horrifically exciting enough to deface my name or reputation.   When I Googled myself, I found the usual hits that I would expect to appear.  There are however, numerous stories of people with more common names that have humourous, annoying or less than desired results returned.   Regardless of the reputation you are aiming for, this can affect your identity and/or brand and possibly even your career. 

With all that is out there, what is one supposed to do? 

First, ensure that you are aware of what exactly ‘your name’ is doing on the web.   I would highly recommend that you set up a Google Alert for your name,  This will have an email sent to your attention whenever your name, or whatever you ask to be alerted about, turns up on the internet.   

If this activity surrounding your name is creating a poor reputation for yourself and causing concern, the best strategy is to post new information on the popular sitesThrough the creation of more up to date information you may appear at the top of the search forcing the old information lower on the results page.  (Notice I said may).  Add or create some profiles: Google, My Space, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or even a Blog.  There are lots out of tools out there!

Should you care? 

I guess that is a question that every individual in every type of business would answer differently.    All I can tell you is that if you have a strong web presence, you have more control over how your reputation and you appear on the web.  If my future employer was cruising Cyber Space to find out any extra information on me, I would definitely want to know what they were seeing.  At least then I could be prepared to answer anything that might come up in my interview.  No  matter how horrifying!   

Google your name, take control and be prepared.  What you don’t know, could hurt you.  


(There are other steps but they seemed like A LOT of work with results that took A LONG time to actually take place.  Plus, I am sure that if you were being impacted that negatively, you would look elsewhere besides a blog so I decided not to bore you or insult your intelligence.)

I Know What it is but, How Do I Use it?   Leave a comment


Before you decide to take the plunge and forge ahead with Personal Branding you need know what it entails and how one uses it.  Not looking before you leap, so to speak, can leave your efforts fruitless and result in nothing but a waste of time.  With most of us already feeling like there are not enough hours in the day, do we really need to waste any of them? 

So what does Personal Branding entail and how do you use it?

First and foremost, you need to know that Personal Branding is not for the weak or easily defeated.  The rewards one can reap if done and used properly are infinite however, there is definitely a devotion of time – A LOT of time – required.  Sure, there is the commitment to get out there and be noticed within your target audience but you need to do so regularly.  Taking a break stops all momentum and instead of progressing forward, you will be moving backwards. 

Second, be yourself; promote who you are and what you are trying to accomplish.  Personal Branding consists of authenticity so don’t ‘fake it’.  After all, it should be easy to release your true passion!  Personal Branding should result from genuine efforts.  You want your audience to feel that positive energy you emit.  Let them grab it, consume it and leave them wanting more.  Now that is value!

Next, ensure that what you are offering is, in fact, value.  Whatever it is you share, make sure that it is the best and most current!  Presenting anything else not only wastes your time but your audiences as well. 

When you take the time, are genuine and sharing value you must resist the temptation to constantly re-post.  There are some amazing things out there that need to be shared but, you need to produce your own material as well.  Re-posting doesn’t allow your audience to get to know you or build any type of relationship and in the end, subtracts your value. 

Don’t kid yourself, Personal Branding is not easy.  Most things worth doing aren’t easy though, right?  If you are ready to sweat it out, push yourself ahead of your competition and brand yourself, give me a call.  I am here to assist you and point you towards your path to success.

All Recruiters Are Deceitful, Ill-mannered, Money-Hungry Jerks with Slimy Reputations   1 comment


Okay.  I’m the first to admit it.   I have a love for people.  It’s like I am addicted or something.  Combine this with my love of coaching, my need to do research, add a few social media tools and we are talking about one crazy, ecstatic lady!   

I guess it was something that could have been detected early on.  I have always enjoyed providing service and helping people in any way that I possibly could.  Whether it was solving a problem, offering my assistance or even just creating a smile on someone’s face, they all brought me joy.

Whenever careers were the topic of discussion, everyone always told me I should be a recruiter.  What???  I baulked at the idea and was rather offended.  All recruiters were deceitful, ill-mannered, money-hungry jerks with slimy reputations.  They never cared about anyone but themselves.  I had bigger expectations for my career.  After all, I was into helping people and making them smile so recruiting was not for me.  Or was it?

With one thing leading to another, I soon found myself recruiting.  One moment I was doing research on people and the next I was told to go make friends.  I picked up the phone and started talking to everyone.  It was like I didn’t even notice it happened.  It started so innocently and it appears that I was the only one shocked when it occurred.  I never thought my career path would cross over into the recruitment industry but, it did.  I was so surprised.  Even more surprising though, was that I actually liked it.

I suppose this is quite similar to the feeling people are experiencing when they say, ‘if you love your career, you’ll never work a day in your life’.  I know it is cliché but, it is true.  I get the opportunity to combine all the things I love into my career.  Everyday I do research, coach and use social media tools.  I couldn’t be happier!  The recruiters that I speak with are so warm and friendly and seem to genuinely share the same people-passion as me. 

With a goal of improving the reputation, instilling confidence and building trust and rapport within the industry, I have a lot of work left to do!  So don’t be surprised when you get that call from me and you hear a passionate voice on the other end of the phone.  I mean, you didn’t think that all recruiters were deceitful, ill-mannered, money-hungry jerks with slimy reputations, did you?

Posted July 14, 2010 by Lea McKay in Recruiter

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