Meaningful Connection During Interviews Do Matter
Join me for and amazing conversation with William Vanderbloemen We discuss the importance of being able to articulate yourself during an interview. It's not about just saying what you think the interviewer wants to hear; it's about being genuine and demonstrating how your unique experiences and qualities align with the position and company culture. Having a level of self-awareness can set you apart from other candidates and help you make a meaningful connection with the interviewer.
Contact – William
Website - https://www.vanderbloemen.com/
Amazon – Be The Unicorn – By Wiliam Vanderbloemen
Leighann Lovely 00:20
HR professionals, business owners and operations at all levels are struggling to figure out what needs to change. Our system has been shocked practices have been questioned, and conversations are finally happening. We all know there has been a huge shift in what people want. inclusion and diversity are common phrases. But often misunderstood generations are coming together more than ever on what's important. Mental health has been brought to the forefront of everyone's mind. Let's humanize these conversations. Let's talk about what's important for employees to be successful in life and at their job and how companies can create an environment to allow them to do both because successful people will make up a successful workforce. I'm Leighann Lovely.
Leighann Lovely 01:07
Let's get this conversation started. I'm very excited to speak with William Vanderbloemen, CEO and founder of Vanderbloemen search group, a top executive search firm. In his upcoming book be the unicorn 12 data driven habits that separate the best leaders from the rest. William reveals how job seekers, employees, hiring managers and company leaders everywhere can stand out from their peers and become irreplaceable. Building the careers they've always wanted. William, thank you for joining me. I am very excited to have you here today.
William Vanderbloemen 01:48
Leighann it's, it's it's a fun thing to get to be with you. I appreciate you taking time and go packers. Yeah,
Leighann Lovely 01:56
Go Packers. So William, why don't you start off by telling me a little bit about yourself.
William Vanderbloemen 02:02
Oh, this sounds like a job interview, Leighann
Leighann Lovely 02:06
I know, I know people are I actually had one of my guests say you can't ask me that question. And I'm like, well, then how do I start? Like, do I introduce you, do you? And I'm like, Fine. I won't. We'll we'll just jump into the first question. But I'm sorry, you gotta answer. Let
William Vanderbloemen 02:22
Let me give you let me give you the Podcast Answer. And then if you want, I can give you the oh, if I get asked that in a job interview. Here's how i How's that? Yep. Okay. So I have the privilege of serving a company that I started. We're an executive search firm, we help teams that are values driven, find their top talent. So it started as an idea of helping churches find their pastor, I think you're in Milwaukee. So like, Elmbrook Church, which would be a church that is fairly well known in town, that'd be but then also grew to schools. What's the charter school, they're in Milwaukee. That's so good. St. Augustine Academy, okay, we so we help them. And that's, you know, not necessarily faith based, but it's values driven nonprofits that are trying to find their C suite. And then to some extent, I don't know how to say this. But like, the Chick fil A is of the world, the companies that are small businesses, large businesses that are family run, and they have a very particular set of values that drive that family. And they want a search firm that's going to hire based on value and cultural fit as much as competency. Does that make sense?
Leighann Lovely 03:34
Yes and finding cultural fit, you know, saying it like, and again, I work in this space, saying, hey, I really like to find somebody who's a cultural fit. It's one thing to say it, it's another thing to do it correct. Because to try to explain, Well, what is your culture, you can't just sit and have a conversation and be like, Oh, here's what my culture is. You have to actually dig in and get to know the people to figure it out
William Vanderbloemen 04:02
And it's an archeological dig, not a correct backhoe, done in 30 minutes kind of thing. It's slow study of the organization. I tell people when we do a search, it's kind of like an organ transplant, you're hiring us to go find someone outside your body and bring them in and run a major system of the body. Right? And so we live right by that Medical Center here in Houston. We have a ton of Doc's in our neighborhood, and I was talking to transplant dog and I said, What's the difference between the good transplant doc and the best? And he said, that's easy. The, you know, donor lists are a big part of the equation, who can we go find that has a kidney or he said, you know, but honestly, that's not as hard as it used to be. What separates the best transplant dogs from the rest is their ability to do a tissue match? Oh, and I thought about what I do. And he said, Well, I said and he said, Well, you can take a hell If the heart and put it in a healthy body, and if the tissues don't match, it's a bad ending for everyone. And I just thought about HR and staff and like, adding to the team. So we really focus on the tissue match, which requires a deep study of each as if it's the only client we've ever had. So that's,
Leighann Lovely 05:18
that's a really great analogy, because I mean, you're right. And if that tissue doesn't match, eventually everything around the heart is going to Yeah, it's gonna die. It's and you
William Vanderbloemen 05:29
know, the whole search world, people don't want to have to pay to help find stuff. I think they feel like there. Am I the admitting some level of incompetence, by hiring someone to help me find this person? And it's just like, you know, man, it's all right. And then if they say, well, I'll get some help that it's like, I don't want to spend a ton of it. And I've kind of gotten to the place Leann where I look at people and say, if you needed a kidney transplant, would you Google discount transplant doctors? Right.
Leighann Lovely 06:01
But here's, here's something that I grew up in a in a sales, or, you know, sales, entrepreneur, spirited type family, and I grew up with the understanding that if you are not the expert at what you're doing, then go hire the expert at what you're doing, because it makes you that much smarter. I'm not, I'm not the smartest person in the room. But here's where I stand out, among other people, I am smart enough to know it. I don't know how to do accounting, I run my own business. Okay? Do I want to do my own books and screw up and in the end, have to pay the government that much more money? Or do I want to admit that I am not smart enough to do it, and then go hire the person that is smart enough so that at the end of the day, I don't end up having to pay 50? Grand to the government because I screwed up my books.
William Vanderbloemen 06:52
That's this is so we have more in common than I realized, tell me about yourself actually starts with I will, I'll keep it short. I am a recovering preacher. So I go on and on and on. But a lifetime ago, I was a pastor, it senior pastor, lead pastor, the head guy, whatever you want to call it at all, mostly large churches. The last church I served was First Presbyterian, Houston, which is where Sam Houston went to church. So like it's fairly established and ensconced, great place, they shouldn't have a hard time hiring. They took three years to find me, I stayed six years, it took almost three years to find the next guy. And I went from there to we don't have time for all the details. But I went from there into the corporate world, worked for a fortune 200 size company oil and gas here in Houston, the CEO had been there nine and a half years, which is a lifetime for a company that size, and said time to find my successor and they hired this thing called a search firm. Never heard of such thing. I just, you know, Wake Forest, undergrad, Princeton seminary, straight into church. And 90 days after they started, they had a new CEO. And I'm like, wow, you know, first person in Houston, they get 12 years, half the time they're in for somebody half the time. They're not mean oil and gas company like the Deathstar of the universe right now. And 90 days, they've got their person. So I set out to try. It's funny, I came home, Adrienne, and I just gotten married, we blended our families, six kids just bought a house and I said, Baby, I think I think I'm supposed to quit my job and start something new for churches. And she just looked at me totally deadpan and said, That's because churches love new ideas, right? Said no one ever. You know, she, she should have said I love you go back to work. We have mouths to feed and she didn't. So honestly, she gets credit for starting the company. Oh, and LeighAnn it was the fall of 2008, which was a brilliant time to quit your job. So oh my gosh, but it's been a fun ride. 15 years later, we've kind of it's branched out from just helping churches to although we do the church and the pastor thing a lot more than anybody in the world because we weren't the first do it. But it's branched out beyond that. We've gotten to meet a lot of great small business owners gotten to help a lot of companies, right.
Leighann Lovely 09:18
It's the idea that you started and in churches, which and I in my career have helped. I've gone into churches and helped implement processes and they're slow to move on anything. I mean, it is it is
William Vanderbloemen 09:35
there are glaciers that move faster. So
Leighann Lovely 09:39
the idea that you started there, my my goodness gracious it That is That is crazy.
William Vanderbloemen 09:48
I didn't bring that up to tell funny stories much to say. If you look back on my wall you'll see an undergraduate degree with religion and philosophy Exactly business. You know, you know what people with a philosophy major do with their career? They spend the day saying, Would you like fries with that? Like, that's my business training and then a seminary degree from Princeton like, so I've had to learn it as I go and hire accountants, so we don't pay extra money and just hiring experts around me. So sorry for the long story. No,
Leighann Lovely 10:22
but I love it. I absolutely love it. Because I don't I don't know that there is anybody who is wildly successful that had a straight path. No. And people, you know, there's so many people who will look at you and go, Well, I can't, you know, he's, he's so brilliant and so successful. I don't want to approach him and, and, you know, sound stupid? Well, wait a second, let's back up. That is the person that you should approach and and talk to, because if you're open and willing to accept some of that knowledge, well, and obviously the person you approach has to be willing to, you know, to be open. But for the most part, the people I talked to are so open to saying, yeah, let me tell you my story. Let me tell, you know, tell you a little bit about what I went through. And then it may it humanizes. First of all, let's talk HR humanizing. It humanizes those people. And it allows other people to realize, wow, I can do brilliant things. If only I start asking the questions, and I allow myself to be open to new ideas. I mean, I never, I never would have, I never would have started with trying to help churches. Because no one. But that's the
William Vanderbloemen 11:39
very hardest group to a tough to do it. You
Leighann Lovely 11:43
knew them, you understood them and you understood their their inner workings because well
William Vanderbloemen 11:48
in for me, for me, just to be clearly and and not to sound, you know, melodrama. This was not about what's the best business sector to start in. This was about a cause that I deeply care about being so sadly inefficient at their HR, that I'm like, I don't care if it's me chasing windmills with Don Quixote. I'll try. Right? Well, and that really ended up at a business decision,
Leighann Lovely 12:11
it was your passion, it was a passion project that has now turned into a successful business where you can still keep your passion, you know, close to your heart. That's right. And if we could all if we could all do something that we're passionate about and enjoy doing, and being able to still help that, you know, we would, we would find our success, right? Because
William Vanderbloemen 12:32
we have seven kids. And so we're the career we're in the career advice stage, we get some out of college, something and they all come to me and say, you know, what do you think we should do with our career? This is what you do all day, what you know, give me some advice. And I think they all think I want to, I'm gonna say well come work at the company, the family business, and I haven't said that yet. But what I have said is, listen, it doesn't matter, Lincoln Do two sets of questions to ask, as you're looking for your career. The first set is, you know, what kind of job? Do I want, you find something the world needs, okay. And that's a little trickier right now, because AI is going to change what the world needs from humans. So think about that. Is this something the world needs? And is going to need for a while? Is this something I'm good at? Is this something that I can actually feed my family with? Like, there are a lot of people who take on passion projects, and then realize they're bankrupt? Right? And is this something that makes my heart go? Yes. And then finally, is it something that leaves the world better than you found it, you do those five things, you'll have more job satisfaction than probably 90% of the population, right. And the second thing is, once you find the job, if you do what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it, at the costs that you promised, you'll be in the top 5% of whatever you go into. Find
Leighann Lovely 13:53
something that you are extremely passionate about and love to do that are helping others and you'll never work a day in your life. And SAS is not measured by the amount of money that you make, but rather the I mean, not to say that you can't work for free, you still need to be able to put food on the table, but it's measured by you know, what you choose, you want to have out of that at the end of the day, and it's different for everybody and that's absolutely beautiful. So, so now you you, you have been able to gather invaluable insight, you know, over the years through the research, the interview process that that you go through in you know, in helping people find these jobs, helping these companies find these people so you've you know, really have kind of, you know, a process down and I asked you, you tell me about yourself and you laughed Is this an interview tell me you know, how you help your clients, the candidates navigate the hole, finding jobs finding people and what is the magic sauce what is the because every But he dreads that. Yeah. Candidates sit down and tell me about yourself. Right? Yeah,
William Vanderbloemen 15:04
I so I think whether you're hiring or interviewing, the cardinal rule is long hellos, short goodbyes, you can say a little more bluntly, hire slowly fire quickly, right. But long hollows and short goodbyes take your time, make sure it's right. If you're miserable in your job, it's not going to help you, it's not going to help the company and then you're going to be job hopping on your resume. And that is not insurmountable, but it's, it's not desirable. Right. So, to me, you know, hiring and interviewing, both sides of that equation are oftentimes like, like bad High School dating from back. I mean, I'm, I'm 53. So I'm ancient, but like, back when we were in school, when we walked up hill to school in the snow both ways. You know, dating was, um, you never saw the real person, right? Like, you know, if it was me, waxing my car to some ridiculous shine, it never has, I'm lifting weights 10 minutes before I pick her up. So I look a little bigger than I am. And, you know, she spent the day getting ready at a level that would never happen, probably wearing something she doesn't want to wear. And, you know, it's just that's the way interviewing feels like to me, and maybe that's not the way everybody understands it. But there's a there's a story not to get all biblical, but there's a great story in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jacob is getting married, and and he wants to marry Rachel, the love of his life. And he's worked seven years to get the Father's blessing. And the father is a bit of a trickster. And so it goes down the aisle and does the ceremony. But But in that day, the wedding was really when the consummation happened. And the father swapped out Rachel for Leah, the younger sister, and it just says, and so they got married, and then Jacob woke up, and it was Leah. And so like, that's what interviewing feels like. It's like, I thought I walked down the aisle with one person, then in the morning, right? So how do you make it work? What's the genius if you can find a way to get honest answers from candidates about themselves and honest answers from employers about themselves? And that's kind of honestly, it's a lot of what we do is sort of provide this Switzerland, where each side can ask the awkward question, and we can say, here's the what's what and find that tissue match so that everybody walks away going, this works well. And off we go.
Leighann Lovely 17:43
And do you feel that? It's, I mean, you're you're almost the mediator, right? That's right. So do you you think that because you have that you're the the mediator or the buffer in between? Because, you know, again, I could put two people in a room and be like, okay, guys be be honest with each other. Let's know. Exactly.
William Vanderbloemen 18:04
And they're nervous. That's the main thing is not they're deceptive. It's nervous. When you're hiring, you're adding an unknown into your staff culture, right? You're so and like, and people, like, I don't know how many primal fears we have. But we're afraid of the unknown, right? Like, I still got a teenager that prefers a nightlight, you know, so we don't like the unknown. And that's why I see so many people. Well, I'm gonna hire this guy, because Leanne told me, he was great. Well, that's pretty thorough. What happened? I mean, I lovely and but like, what happened was, I'm afraid the unknown now I feel like I know something because me and told me about a note. So I'm gonna go with the known or I'm gonna go with the internal heart. Or if you're a small business owner, well, let's say, let's say this way, if you have a friend who owns a small business, have you ever seen a friend with their small businesses, hand the keys to one of their kids that's not qualified. Hmm. And sometimes it's out of pride or a blind spot, but sometimes it's because I know my kid. I don't know what's unknown.
Leighann Lovely 19:07
Right? Right. No, absolutely. You see that all the time, where you've got a family member of some kind in the business that shouldn't be in the business. But the alternative is what I'm going to turn over my business to somebody who I don't know it all. But the person who is running the business is making mistakes, and because they're just not qualified. You're right. We are all afraid of the unknown. It's that you know, walking in the dark, walking in the dark when it's, you know, really dark and in my neighborhood, I don't have a whole ton of streetlights and you always get the pricks in the back of your neck when you can hear something above you or in front of you. And you're like, what is that? Like? Is there something up? Is there something in front of me? You know, I'm a 42 year old woman that really is not scared of anything, but you still have that, that you know, the goose ball seems that you're like, Ooh, yes, I don't know. And especially when it's your own business, or it's something that you're extremely passionate about. So how do you help? I mean, are you are you putting two people in a room? How do you help with that interview? Oh, yeah.
William Vanderbloemen 20:17
So So I think we and the image that I'm currently most drawn to, for us, I love the transplant surgeon thing. But but the reality is, we're not the only ones guiding the hiring process. And we're certainly not telling you who to hire. It's more like, you know, when we when we have a new client, will this never used this will take a survey, what are you expecting out of this? Right? And then after the search, we do another survey, say, what was the highest value? It's interesting. What are you expecting? This always leads to? The lead answer is always you're going to introduce me to people that wouldn't otherwise know. Well, that's very, that's flattering, because everyone knows everyone. It's called LinkedIn. But, you know, on the backside, well, what was the biggest value you got out of this? And the answer is almost always it was the process. You guided us through things, you mediated things. So I'm seeing us now as more of a Sherpa. You know, like, this is your mountain to climb. You're the one that's going to summit Everest. I'm the little guy that's gone up and down the hill a bunch of times, and I can help you see where to step and not step. So it's not just putting two people in a room. It's it's sourcing down to a shortlist, and then from the shortlist, helping them figure out which one on the shortlist is. Right, right.
Leighann Lovely 21:34
So let's talk about how you assist the candidates with you know, some of the questions. How do you how you know, they, I'm a candidate. So, William, I'm coming to you asking your advice, William, you know, I can't stand when somebody, you know, asks me to tell me what my greatest weakness is? You don't like that question. I actually, I love every interview question because I'm a geek. And I just I'm, I'm also excute streamwerks, the right answer
William Vanderbloemen 22:05
to that question again, what's the right answer to what's my great I mean, it's not, I never asked for a raise, I work too many hours, these are my weaknesses.
Leighann Lovely 22:12
For me, my greatest weakness is also my greatest strength. I have had employers, I also, however, improbably not employable at this point, because I've owned my own business. And I've gotten a taste of that. And I probably would be the worst employee ever to sue. And I have known this actually, way before I own my own business, I knew that I was a very hard person to manage. And I have told my managers like, I'm not the easiest person to manage, because I get wild ideas in my head. And I think that I know, like, how to do my, you know, my job, and I'm going to come to you at times, and you're going to have to look me square in the face and say, no, and no means no. But my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness. Might, I think?
William Vanderbloemen 23:03
Yep. It Yeah, it's true of everybody. Your greatest strength unguarded is your shadow side? And that's a great way to answer that question. You know, we've done so when we do a search, we'll have you hire me to find your CEO of your whatever the thing is, and we'll have maybe 1000 people that are on radar, and then you get serious about it, like, where is it located? I mean, you rule out all the Bears fans, if I'm hiring for you, like they can't come work for you. No padding? No, it's all. So you whittle it down. And maybe you got 150 people you're really dealing with and you do your initial phone screens and all that. And you whittle down to a zoom interview and a second zoom interview, you get down to the very last the the face to face interview with people that are getting to maybe make the shortlist. That's a long format interview. And we've now done 30,000 of those and tracked all the data, like, where do they end up how they do what they say to these questions. And it's not a totally scripted interview, but it's a fairly similar format, so we can see some patterns. And in the telling me about yourself sort of thing. If you're interviewing right now, or what's your greatest weakness? Like, do you mind if I just give you like a quick here's what the best of the best have done? Yeah, please. Yeah. So so the very, in fact, we did a study in 2020. If you remember, we had a pandemic sin. Oh,
Leighann Lovely 24:30
yeah, that weird, that weird thing that happened during that time in the world shutdown?
William Vanderbloemen 24:34
Yeah, where every one of my clients closed indefinitely. churches, schools, I mean, business lesson, if all of your clients is closed indefinitely, it will affect your p&l.
Leighann Lovely 24:47
So it really does.
William Vanderbloemen 24:50
Things they teach you with a religion and philosophy degree. So we did a study. We had extra time in it. That's a whole nother podcast, but we asked the question, so we got 30,000 somebody's face to face. Could we identify who the best of those 30,000 are? Based on job placement, retention, success at work? And we did. And then we said, well, do they have anything in common? And they do. And we would never have time to do all this research without the pandemic, because we're growing and you know, going too fast. And so it's led to some really interesting insights about what really are the best habits of the best of the best candidates? And what are the best answers and one of those habits that I think works with the tell me about yourself, and what's your greatest weakness? We distilled it to 12 habits of the best of the best. And one of them is self awareness. We said What does that mean? Well, so Leanne's got this rockin and rollin company that's growing super fast. And I'm interviewing with her. And Leanne says, Tell me about yourself. So well, I won't bore you with all the details, my wife would get seven kids. But what what I want you to hear is I'm really interested in this interview. And I don't know where it'll go. But I'm really energized. Let me tell you why. What you need matches a whole lot of who I am. Now, what does that mean? Well, you're growing like a hockey stick. You know, it's, I can see that. So I'm guessing that every single job description in your company Leann has a little thing at the bottom that says, and other duties as necessary. Right. And it's probably got another bullet point, this is ability to learn on the job. Well, let me tell you, my last company, I started with a startup, they had no idea what to do with their mail list. They didn't even have an email distribution list thing. I got a philosophy degree. So I had to go figure that out. I got on constant contact until we could figure it out. Like HubSpot, it's the best thing to do for content based marketing, we started a blog, we upped our traffic, we grew our, our website, we grew our contact list by 3,000% in the first two years, and in the middle of all that, I also had to learn how to do a commercial real estate lease, which I've never done. But it was just a lot of fun. I really thrived in that. I had a job in high school, where it was house painting, and it was the same motion on the same job all day long. And the guy next to me, loved it. He was wired for it. I did not love it, I was ready to quit. I am not that guy. If you want me to come in and do like being counting, if you're gonna fire me, I'm not good. If if you want me to come in and say we were you know what we're jumping out of the plane. And we're going to build a parachute on the way down. I'm in my zone. And that's why I'm excited about this interview. And I'm excited to see where it goes. So you see what happens is their self awareness, right. And I backed it up with, look how that self awareness is proved out by what I've done in my previous jobs. And that self awareness is also tied to that's why I'm interested in your job. Now this won't work. If you don't do the homework and only intermarry jobs, or shin. But then you've also kind of headed off with the past. Tell me about your greatest weakness, because you've already said, you know, there are fabulous people in the world that are compliance officers, I would get fired from that in about three days, you know, so, does it make sense? Probably more than you wanted to hear?
Leighann Lovely 28:15
No, no, it absolutely makes sense. And when people are self aware, you're right. Absolutely. Right. Because and I'm trying to think of the proper way. When when people are self aware, they're able to adjust and, you know, be able to take on those difficult and again, I'm not picking on the the person who loves the painting job that's repetitive. That's that's the same thing. But the more self aware you are, the more you're able to shift and move and adjust to different situations, which makes sense why those would be the highest ranked with interview candidates. And when we talk about that, in emotional intelligence, we talk about that in self awareness. It will emotional intelligence very much is together with self awareness. So it makes sense why those would be the traits when
William Vanderbloemen 29:06
I was younger. You know, I came to First Presbyterian, Houston, I was head of this church with about 5000 adults couple 1000 kids at school. I've never been a member of a large church. I don't know what they were thinking they should have hired a search firm to help them but there wasn't one back then. So I go their way in over my head, but because I was 31 I knew everything. So you know, classic mistake, I did not have self awareness. And I just hired people exactly like me because I like me. You know, I think as I've grown in self awareness, it's given me the capacity to appreciate people that are not like me, that can complement the team in a way that we would never have been able to do research on 30,000 interviews if it was just people like me, because we would have thrown the interview notes away or they'd have been on the back of a paper bag or no, I've got all All these people on our team that are completely OCD with our data. I mean, like, honestly, they probably get mad when I say that because they're like, No, we're C, D, oh, that's alphabetical. So
Leighann Lovely 30:17
Right. And, again, you're talking about, you know, hiring people who are great at doing something that you are not are not not good at, right. And, and require self awareness. And that requires self awareness. And, you know, I tell, I'll tell people, like, stay in your lane, do find your superpower. And then stay in your lane. If you need to veer for a second, you know, occasionally I need to update my my accounting books so that my accountant can take care of it. But everybody has a superpower. And it may, it may not be self awareness, it may be painting the walls. If that's your superpower, you're happy with that, then go do that, then go be happy in with your superpower. And that absolutely. I you know, and I've talked to them numerous times about every single human and every single job needs to be recognized for the great job that they do in the job that they do.
William Vanderbloemen 31:16
So good. It was so good. It doesn't matter what we
Leighann Lovely 31:21
William Vanderbloemen 31:29
That's good. But I
Leighann Lovely 31:31
preach about this too. If you're not happy in what you do, then go I mean, the world since the pandemic, it has drastically changed. There are hundreds of 1000s of jobs open all over the place. Even when we're hearing about mass layoffs. There are still hundreds of 1000s of jobs all over the place. That's exactly right. So yeah, now, I wanted to bring this one up, bringing up salary. Now, for me, I've never had a problem with again, I am a wildly extroverted person. I don't I don't know, William, I don't think I brought this up to you. I have bipolar disorder, years and years of being stable. That is part of my superpower. I don't think of it. I don't consider it to be a disability or a hinderance anymore, because I've been stable for as long as I have. It's part of my superpower, it makes me as much of an extrovert I've I have owned that I have. I talk about it a lot. It is part of who I am proud of who I am, I go out and I talk to people about you know that I'm a huge supporter of mental health. So I've never had a problem with being a chatty Cathy, right? It's just part of my, my personality. So when it comes to, you know, going into an interview, I've never had a problem with just being myself being completely comfortable with myself. But there are those who, and I experienced this to where I'll talk to the the company that interviewed a candidate, and they'll say, This person was just really closed off. I'm like, really? What, what do you I didn't get that. But you and I are very comfortable talking with people. And I have a tendency to be able to break down those walls with people very quickly. When they go into a structured interview, those individuals all of the sudden get real Oh, God, I don't know what to say. I don't know how to say it. So there's those questions like, when do I bring up salary? How do I bring up and discuss what my salary expectations are? At what point? Do you recommend that those discussions come up?
William Vanderbloemen 33:45
Well, with with, with all 12 of the habits we found in what we call the unicorns, you know, the in all 12 of them, developing skills around them has not ever been easier, because the Internet helps so much. So with salary, the help it is you should have an idea what the ballpark of the salary is, before you ever walk in there. And if you don't, I don't know what kind of job you're interviewing for. But, man, you gotta have a little bit of anticipation of the interview. You know, whether you go on Google reviews, you go on Glassdoor, I think 18 states now require that some salary range be posted. Now, if they're posting accurately, that's different, but there are ways to get an idea of both what the company is paying and what the market demands. Right? So you shouldn't walk in there ignorant. It's a lot different than 3040 50 years ago, frankly, where companies could take advantage of women and say this is what salary is when if it were man, it'd be totally different. You know, thankfully, those things have changed some, but I'm kind of an old curmudgeon here, really, and I think I see More people make the mistake of bringing up salary too soon than waiting too long, especially given that you should have some information going in. Now, if you've got, I mean, I've got seven kids, I that's a lot of people to feed. So I got, I'm the first to say you need to know what you're getting into. And don't come home with a job that won't feed anybody. But you should be able to figure most of it out. And one other place, I'll just go ahead and be curmudgeon, and I would say the earlier you are in your career, the longer you can wait to bring up salary, okay. And the earlier you wait, and you're the earlier you are on your career, the less you should counter the offer. If you're early in your career, and you find a job you're excited about, and they offer you a salary, and it's within what the market bears or what you know, you figure to be. I have seen a trend in in my own kids and in millennials, we as the backbone of our offices, millennials love them to death. I'm very bullish on the generation in general. But I will say you guys need to quit countering for no reason other than countering if it comes off as arrogant and entitled, it comes off as you're so lucky to interview me. And I don't even want to talk to you. We we have walked away from people that do the whole counter game just because that's like, to me call me old school curmudgeon, but on a job right out of college, that is just not the right posture to have. So that's now you can cancel me and not ever invited me back to the podcast that was
Leighann Lovely 36:28
so well sad. Because I, again, I'm always for people. I'm countering for their worth. If I have a company who comes in and offers them something that I don't feel they're, they're worth it, you know, is low balling them just for the sake of trying to get them at a really low rate. And I'm like, I am 100% in their corner of yes, let's let's go back and ask for that additional 5k. Or let's see if they'll do a sign on bonus, or whatever it might be. But, but for the millennials who are for the younger generation, when they come in, and they're like, oh, yeah, I'm making this much. And just recently, all of the sudden, they're like, Well, I want 10,000 more than what I'm making. I'll go. What's why? Why, like, seriously, why? What, what, what makes you think that
William Vanderbloemen 37:23
because it's in vogue? You're not? You're not telling your truth? If you don't, right, which, like, Guys, come on, don't blow the job, right or something doesn't matter, right.
Leighann Lovely 37:39
And it insults on, there's that. And I've had it both ways where I've had an employer insult a candidate, and I've had candidates insult employers, by going and you as much as you tried to do the mediation of I can't go back to the employer and ask them for that. Or I can't go to the employee and offer them that they're going to be insulted by you. And they're like, well just do it. Okay, well, as the mediator. I cannot, as the representative to both parties, I have to do what's being asked. And it's embarrassing sometimes that I've had embarrassing moments where I'm like, Oh, I got to offer this to you. I've also had it i Sorry, I've also had it where I've had a candidate accepted job. And then and negotiation negotiation, the company finally went, Yes, we'll offer that accept it. And the day later come back and go, Oh, I'm sorry. But I think that, you know, I going to ask for this much more. And I went, I'm sorry, but negotiations are closed. And I literally said, I am withdrawing you from this opportunity at this point. Because negotiations closed, you accepted the position. And unfortunately, I can't represent you anymore. Like we've gone through two days of negotiation. And I as your representative in I'm withdrawing you from, you know, from this position, like, because I knew that the company would be like, Absolutely not. It would have been embarrassing as a representative of the client to even go back or have the candidate to even go back to the client and say, yeah, she wants more now, now that she's accepted the position like so there's, there's don't get me started on on that. I'm 100%.
William Vanderbloemen 39:22
You know, what's interesting in these 12 habits, of the unicorns are one of them is anticipation. And so like, a perfect example of that is arming yourself with some information before you ever get to the salary negotiations. The best of the best are thinking a step or two ahead, and they develop that as a habit. It's not a hard habit to develop. It's just intentionally try those, you know, all 12 of those habits were super common among unicorns, and not common at all among everybody else and they're not on it. trainable, it was not, oh, they're all six foot five, or they don't have 175 IQ, or they all have fabulous hair and teeth. It wasn't anything. So it was, you know, simple interpersonal habits, that they showed that very few people do anticipations one, self awareness is one, it's it is a fascinating study.
Leighann Lovely 40:23
That's I would love to see the full study and like, really understand, because, again, you know, in HR, in sales in everything that I do, it's the study of humans and why they make the decisions they make, why they make the buying decisions, why they make the HR decisions, why they what, what is it in them, and I know, a lot of it is a great deal of it has to do with self awareness. And but the decision making process and how people's brains work and making a simple decision of why am I buying what I'm buying? Why am I not? What what is it that's triggering each decision that somebody made on a daily basis?
William Vanderbloemen 41:04
Fascinating, it is fascinating. And, you know, we got the whole research project, other than a pandemic, we were sitting around stuff, you know, time to spend, was kicked off by like, I've always wondered, like, you ever meet somebody, and within five minutes, you're like, winter?
Leighann Lovely 41:21
Oh, yeah. And meet somebody in it. You know, within five minutes. I'm like, trying to figure out how do I get out of this? Yeah.
William Vanderbloemen 41:31
It's not even like do I like him is just like, they're magnetic. Five minutes into the interview, I've learned not to say I should hire him because they might not be right for us. Tissue match? Right? But they are super hireable. And I've always wondered what makes them like that, why? I'm not dumb. Why within five minutes my in their camp. And that sort of kicked off the study, like, alright, of the best interviews we have, most of the time, when you sit down within five minutes, you're like, I'm interviewing a fantastic person right now. Whether or not they fit, and it just made us say Do they what they have in common. And it was stunning, how it's just simple interpersonal habits. We did the research for our own purposes, and then kept getting told you've got to crank this out for the public. And frankly, for people who want to get ahead. So we did write a book about it. And it does have the all the results. It's all awesome. What is your book? It's called be the unicorn. All right, perfect. And you can get that unicorn. Let's see if I can do the whole thing. Be the unicorn 12 data driven habits that separate the best leaders from the rest.
Leighann Lovely 42:38
And you can get that I'm assuming on Amazon, and you get it anyway. It's,
William Vanderbloemen 42:43
I don't know when you're airing this. You know, sometimes airing and recording are different. But the official on sale dates November 14, and pre sales are open right now. Awesome. Yeah, I think it'll be helpful to people, we're gonna put a workbook out afterwards, we've got some bonus content for people that pre order. But basically just want to try and help people get better. I really think as AI emerges, and it will replace a lot of our jobs, it's also going to create some jobs that we didn't know were there. That's what always happens. We've seen engines and computers and internet's it takes some jobs away to create some new ones. But I do think the of the gold standard in the job market over the next 10 years, is humans being able to interact with humans on a human level at an at an excellence that they haven't before. And all 12 of these habits are basic human interpersonal skills that anyone can do is just like, lots of people buy a treadmill and never use it. No, you got to apply. But but we have the data shows these are the things to work on, and then you'll just be irreplaceable. I think it's gonna help. I have a treadmill.
Leighann Lovely 43:53
It was a great idea when I decided to get a treadmill and now it's just a, you know, big piece of equipment that sits in my flippin spare bedroom. Okay, I will definitely be getting your book. I'm excited to read that. But we are coming to time I want to get the question of the season, answered by you and then get your contact information. So what do you think will go down in the history books from what the world has experienced over the last three plus years?
William Vanderbloemen 44:24
Yeah. So I think that, you know, how cool would have been to live during the Renaissance?
Leighann Lovely 44:35
I'd love to, there wasn't enough
William Vanderbloemen 44:37
communication to know, hey, over in Portugal, they just did this. And over in Italy, Leonardo did that. And, you know, but there was so much going on at the same time. And that's pretty amazing. Or at the dawn of the Roman Empire, right? There's so much changing and happening. So like there, there are only a few times when that's happening. As you know, Alexander takes over the world. And instead of having 85 different Greek languages, he didn't one and things are unified. And there's all kinds of shifts or changes. Those are really like seismic shifts that as I look at world history, you know, they're really only ever three, four or 500 years. I think we're living right in the middle of one of those. And I don't just say that willy nilly, or to be melodrama, what I've studied it, I almost did a PhD in the history of doctrine, which is like, do you want curly fries with that, but studying the patterns, here's the here's the pattern. I see. Here's the key. There's enormous innovation breakthrough. But always before enormous innovation, breakthrough and disruption. There's a communication breakthrough. Every time Rome built roads, things changed. Alexander got one Greek things changed. There's a printing press, things change. There's, you know, you can see it, we've had the internet for a while. People think breakthroughs, communication breakthroughs happen in one day, or one year, they don't, they have to be adapted and adopted. One of the silver linings of the pandemic is people are now totally cool with technology. Like my mother's Church, which is slightly older than George Washington, is live streaming their services, they would never have done that before. So I think what's the world going to remember, this was a season of enormous, you could say disruption and chaos, or you could say, opportunity and new birth. And I think it's going to be both ghostly. But I think we're living in a renaissance. And I think history will prove this is one of the cooler times to be alive.
Leighann Lovely 46:44
I agree. And I don't think I mean, it's, it's, and I was just talking about this, I think that we are at the threshold of a of the beginning of the reset, where we're going to see with all of the inflation of of jobs going up and pricing going up, I think we're going to finally see a balance. And it's going to take another two or three years where we start to see things balance back out, where pricing is going to start to balance and level off. And we're not going to continue to see all of these rises, because I think we're already seeing companies start to go, Okay, we can't sustain these high inflated salaries in numbers. And we're already starting to see it here where companies are starting to come down and go, yep, our wages are no longer starting at this, we're, we're leveling that out. And if we can get those numbers back down, we'll start to see other things start to to level out as well. I just I agree, there's so many amazing things that have happened. I mean, obviously not the pandemic, but amazing things that happen because of what we all experience together. There's some beautiful things that came out of that. And now we're, we're struggling to, you know, get a hold of all the weird things that got off balance. But I've been saying it for now, over a year that there has to be a reset, to bring things back to a stable balance. And I think that we're at the threshold of that beginning. And I just Yeah, I agree. That was a great answer. Now, if somebody wanted to reach out to you, how would they go about doing that?
William Vanderbloemen 48:24
Simple. Go to Google, spell Vanderbloemen any way you want, it will drive right back to our site. And our site also can drive you to be a unicorn. It also can drag you if you'll see when you get there. We've actually built an index around these 12 habits. And we've surveyed a quarter million people. So we have a nice baseline you can see how do I measure up against the general population? And how do I measure up against the unicorns? And what do I need to work on. So go to spell Vanderbloemen However you want in Google, you can also go to Amazon and spell Vanderbloemen however you want, it'll the name is so messed up. It'll lead right back to this
Leighann Lovely 49:05
and your name your it'll be on the show notes, you'll be able to find it. I'll have you know, your website, all that fun stuff so that you can you can
William Vanderbloemen 49:14
no kidding. Go type and spell it however you want. That's why we named the company what we did because it's really messed up and there's not another
Leighann Lovely 49:23
so people will be able to reach out to you, William, this has been such an amazing conversation. I really appreciate you coming on and I had so much fun talking with you today.
William Vanderbloemen 49:31
Thanks so much Leighann I appreciate you having me.
Leighann Lovely 49:35
Thank you again for listening to Let's Talk HR. I appreciate your time and support. Without you the audience this would not be possible. So don't forget that if you enjoyed this episode to follow us like us or share us. Have a wonderful day.
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