Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, and the search for professional support

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Person Holding Hire Me Sign in Crowd


It is an exciting time in the office because we are preparing to select a co-op student.  We tend to get excited at the idea of having someone new around to be part of our team.  But for our department it is more than just help with the workload.  We are looking forward to mentoring an aspiring PR practitioner as they prepare for their career and we also look forward to learning from them and what they are learning and doing in their academic life.

This is a two way street of learning and motivating.  The student motivates us to stay current and on trend with both the industry and the public.  And hopefully we will motivate them to strive for excellence in their work and never settle for “just ok”.

Selection of this co-op student can be broken down into three parts.

  1. Drawing the top cadidates out from a heap of personality-less paper.

The process of choosing a student is daunting.  A large pile of resumes plops on your desk.  As you mow throw the pile, peeling away the obvious no’s, YOU might start to realize that YOU need an evaluation tool to help YOU get through all the rest.

As a former teacher, I am well versed in the role of the rubric. A rubric is an evaluation tool.  It breaks up the evaluation into sections and weighs them depending on their importance. For example we wanted a writing sample submitted with our resumes.  That writing sample would be worth 30% to 40%.  We also felt it important that the applicant demonstrate event planning experience.  That experience would also be weighed about 40% to 30%.  And so on and so forth until all criteria are weighted and YOU have an evaluation tool that is less reliant on subjectivity.  Though, as the Director of Fund Development, Sarah Lyon, just finished telling me as I lamented over a few of the resumes, “When interviewing, sometimes YOU just have to go with your instinct.”

  1. Researching the candidates on Social Media.

This process is two-fold. First we want to see if they are active on social media, as that is an important part of the job and second, I want to see how well the candidates represent themselves. This is a difficult one for me as I struggle with a person’s right to privacy and a personal life.  At the same time, I want to make sure the person we pick is appropriate for the job.  Social media is a great way to see a glimpse into the character of a candidate. I am not one to judge based on a few photos from a good night out at the pub with friends (some of us were lucky to escape facebook when we went to university).

  1. Interviewing the candidates

Some people are fantastic at interviews and some people struggle.  In the past I have hired people who were amazing in the interview, but when hired to do the job, were extremely disappointing.  I have had people who have bombed their interview but were hired based on other merits, and it was quickly revealed that their performance in the interview by no way represented their talents.  It takes time to develop the instinct to tell if some one is just nervous or unqualified.  But what also helps in an interview are well thought out questions that when answered can reveal a lot about both the skill of the interviewee and their personality.  If you need creativity in your job, make sure you ask them something that makes them think outside the box and is not easy to prepare for in advance.

It is important to take your time with this process and source out the right person, with the right fit for YOU.

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