Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

Junior or Senior candidates: I’ll take senior…

Posted by sweens on June 3, 2009

When it comes to recruiting a role, most clients are dividing the level of experience they are looking for into three categories:

  1. Junior
  2. Intermediate
  3. Senior

When it comes to recruiting roles of different experience levels, a different challenge presents itself with each level you are searching for.  Me personally, I would rather take on the senior role over the junior role.  I would prefer the most difficult position a client is trying to fill over an entry level position any day.

The reason for this is not that there is a higher commission on the senior role, but rather that I find it extremely difficult to search and evaluate resumes for junior level candidates.  I do not know how many times a client has said “find me someone right out of school and I will take them”, but if I had a nickel for every time I heard that – I would probably have enough to make a quick run to Starbucks.

While the idea of finding someone right out or school seems easy, I have found it to be rather difficult for a few reasons.  Firstly, someone fresh out of school likely does not have a lot of technologies listed on their resume so they are less likely to turn up in searches.  Secondly, I do not think they have gotten used to the process of finding a job – posting CVs, using search firms, etc – so any online profile they may have is minimal and not easy to find.  Lastly, it is hard to evaluate their skill set when they are coming directly from school and to weigh them against other candidates usually becomes a personality fit rather then a focus on their technical skills.

Perhaps this is only my view, but this type of search takes me out of my ‘comfort zone’ and leaves trying to find different ways to track down these people.  Usually my greatest success has come from posting the position on job boards that new grads pay attention to like:

–         Facebook
–         Kijiji
–         CraigsList 

Does anyone else have this problem, or am I in my own world?

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Updates needed….

Posted by sweens on April 22, 2009

My personal opinion is that every day should include a trip to your local coffee shop.  Some like Tim Hortons while others visit Second Cup.  Perhaps office brewed coffee is your choice.  Mine, is Starbucks – I know I know, I have said it before.  It gives you and your co-workers a chance to step back for 10 minutes; clear your mind; and enjoy a hot cup of coffee, tea or some form of drink that I can not say.


But lately, my trips to Starbucks have not been as enjoyable as usual.  This stems for the lack of variety that exists on their cups in their ever-so-popular tales of ‘The Way I See It”.  I have blogged before about my intrigue in this coffee cup promotion but since I last blogged about it; I have not seen one new story on the back of my cup.  Only the same two – repeated over and over again.


As such, I hope someone from Starbucks reads this and makes sure that the Ottawa based Starbucks shops receive new cups with new stories on the back of them.  I heard McDonalds is giving away free coffee this week – maybe I will go check that out.

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Starbucks VS Moxies: Unique Applicant Interviews?

Posted by sweens on March 12, 2009

As a technical recruiter I have been able to conduct a large amount of interviews with candidates during my time in the industry.  While interviewing candidates for technical roles can require a different style of interview then say interviewing at a grocery store, I think the basic principals are the same.


Get the candidate to talk about their past work experience.  Talk about some challenges they have faced in previous positions.  What type of opportunity they are looking for in a new challenge?  You are trying to draw out how their experience will help you fill your current requirement as well as how their personality will fit with the team, allow them to handle corporate challenges and ultimately some personal traits about the person.


This fundamental challenge should be drawn out in every interview for any kind of position.  That being said, I personally would like to take part in two interviews to see how they are conducted.  And these interviews would be for two unique organizations. They would be: Moxies Bar and Grill; and Starbucks. 




I would pick those two corporations for different reasons.  First of all, Moxies is well known for hiring some of the most gorgeous women in the city (Moxies has locations in numerous cities).  Walk into any Moxies on a Friday afternoon and you will see numerous gorgeous girls in tall boots and short skirts serving a sea of men looking to get a jump start on the weekend.  What are the interview questions that take place when someone interviews for a job there?  What do they try to draw out of each interview?  These are questions I would love to get the answers to.


Secondly, I would pick Starbucks.  And I would pick Starbucks for the simple reason that I have never been to a Starbucks (and I go a lot) and met an employee who seemed to be in a bad mood or who was not ‘chipper’.  Everyone who works at Starbucks is always friendly and ready to serve.  I know that personally if it was 8:30am and I had to make 10 double pump non-fat vanilla lattes, that I would be a little beside myself.


I have heard that Starbucks does a really good job of training and motivating their employees.  It fosters a positive and healthy work environment that people want to be in.  I would like to learn how to draw that out in an interview.  Do they write a personality test and have to score a certain percentage?  Maybe it is like applying to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and you have to take a psych test and score high enough.


These are just personal thoughts of mine running through my head today, but drawing out ‘happy’ and ‘attractive’ people is a tool I am sure every technical recruiter would be happy to learn.

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