How to hire a suitable tech recruiter

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You don’t have to be a recruiting expert or a hiring master mind to know there are certain rules and requirements that need to be obeyed and fulfilled in order to have a fully functional and above all motivated team. Welcoming new members aboard can get surprisingly difficult sometimes (even if you followed all the instruction and your instincts too). Recruitment agencies are there to help you avoid these situations, but you should acknowledge the fact they’re not unmistakable either.

 

The good news is that chances of having hiring doubts and problems can certainly be minimized (let’s not be pretentious and speak of completely eliminating these odds, at least for now). Good HR strategy can substitute the usage of crystal ball and help you spot potential problems before they actually occur. 

 

And you’d need the right staff to create a successful staffing strategy. There’s a whole set of rules and distinctions when it comes to recruiters too.

What does it take to succeed as a tech recruiter?

  • Dedication with a dash of gazing 

First indicator of crafty (and hirable) IT recruiter is patience. Recruiting, when being done properly, requires time. If someone’s willing to tiptoe around a LinkedIn profile (and possibly around other social media profiles – no stalking potential intended), plus to be regularly checking out other platforms and sources, he might be a keeper. This patient tech recruiter will look into (almost) everything that can possibly be useful and found online. He’ll track down information about candidates (and clients when needed) and he’ll categorize it carefully and methodically. 

 

Keeping colleagues in loop and keeping files, CVs, documents and information organized will contribute to success of the whole team involved in recruiting and hiring (no matter how big or small the team might be). Even if there’s one single recruiter working for you, his behavior and competence (or the lack of it) might easily effect the entire company. 

 

So – Don’t choose a sloppy recruiter, he’s almost destined to mix up names and available positions and the next thing you know – you’re hiring a Senior Ancient Greek Satyr (priceless for development of 5th century B.C. theater but inexplicably bad if you’re developing a team of IT experts). 

 

And here’s the thing – every recruiter should examine those professional (and/or social) networks. But he has to know about boundaries and make sure never to cross certain lines. 

 

  • The thin line between being thorough and plain scary 

The worst case scenario – a recruiter being desperate and needy. If a recruiter messes up big time and confuses a bunch of stuff, or seriously mispronounces some names and tech terms – there’s still a possibility they’ll miraculously manage to persuade a developer into considering their job offer. However, being winy or tedious will surely get them a one way ticket to “seen”.  

 

If you’re looking to hire a tech recruiter, make sure he knows how to deal with deadlines, stress and ultimately – each recruiter must know how to communicate and distinguish persistence from perpetual, compulsive texting. The kind of individual that’s willing to exchange quality for quantity is very much likely to send texts without true substance (which will lead to extremely poor response rate, and then back to more pointless texting).

 

Yes, recruitment gets difficult sometimes, the market keeps getting more competitive and everyone’s in a hurry to hire. But this is no excuse for anyone to come off as borderline obsessive. Following up every now and then is a must, just make sure they know the frequency limit before they end up characterized as literal head-hunters.

 

(x) Cold-calling is out of the question.

(x) Emailing or texting until you’re blocked, banned, or ostracized are not allowed.

(x) Generic texts and copy-paste messages aren’t welcome.

(x) Irrelevant information and redundancy are inadequate and will most likely be ignored.

 

  • The importance of questions and coffee

Recruiter is indirectly taking part in your employer branding. This is the person that should represent your company with all its’ values. They need to be fully aware of the priorities and they should be asking questions about basically everything. 

 

Be specific about what truly matters so they can spread the word. 

Let’s imagine for a moment you’re contemplating a career change. You’re receiving some offers and this really poetic text hits your mailbox. You’re being informed about some utopia among IT companies, everyone there has some cool Tolkien – like title and they’re all having so much coffee you can’t help but wonder if the job’s actually on a plantation. 

Feeling special because you received an offer like this yet? Of course not, you know better. So does a (potentially) good recruiter.

 

Attention, employers! Do not withhold information from our fellow recruiter.

If the employer (or some other person in charge) doesn’t provide a recruiter with the necessary information, the result might sound like random babbling about unicorns, rock stars, vegan burgers etc. 

 

Recruiter needs to be all about the questions. 

And they need to be well informed and up to date. You should be looking for a tech oriented HR enthusiast who’s asking the right kind of questions and who’s able to correctly rank benefits from “very important” to “wow, look – a doormat that glows in the dark”.

It’s easy to spot a person who’s eager to learn and develop new skills. Successful recruitment has very little to do with seniority itself sometimes. Have this in mind while hiring:

Experience does not necessarily equal the amount of time spent doing something.

They should be asking significant questions, and so should you. 

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5 simple Interview Etiquette Rules

Interviews have become inevitable parts of hiring process in basically every domain nowadays. When it comes to tech oriented companies and IT experts, this whole hiring process usually consists in two separate types of question sections. Recruiting and staffing companies or HR departments and in-house HR managers often represent the initial part of this procedure.

 

There’s more to recruitment than checking out LinkedIn profiles, collecting CV’s and making developers count tennis balls in an imaginary school bus. These interviews should be carefully prepared with the idea to provide and collect all of the relevant information – from and to both ends. Both sides are entitled to be properly introduced to each other and that makes this hiring chapter significant.

 

There are a few pretty simple rules that can be applied to various situations and sections of daily working life, and everyone seems to be forgetting about those rules every now and then. These seemingly small gestures and tiny inadequacies can make a big impact sometimes, especially if they coincide with a job interview.

 

1. First impression – Avoid cases of mistaken identities and typos

Before a candidate officially arrives to the interview, some emailing is unavoidable – there must be at least a brief invite and confirmation involved. Someone might be in a hurry or someone might lack the concentration for only a moment, and it’s when Murphy’s Law kicks in and creates cringe worthy texts.

 

IT recruiters have a lot on their hands and on their minds. It’s easy to make a simple mistake and send out a wrong message.

 
  • One of the most common mistakes is typing in a wrong name. There are numerous reasons for this to happen and it can actually be perfectly understandable in some, if not the majority of cases. But the cold harsh fact is that if a recruiter makes this sort of a mistake, there’s an insanely high percent of chance that a developer will rather change his name than agree to change his job.
 

And yes, this addressing malfunction is usually presumed as a typical copy-paste syndrome and recruiters can be scolded to infinity and beyond when something like this occurs. But it’s a two way street and this goes out for everyone: Dear Recruiters and other tech and non-tech people, double check your texts before sending them. It’s cool to take a moment and make sure you’ve got everything right.

 
  • This double checking also implies typos and similar errors, disastrous products of autocorrect, grammar-nazi-proofing your emails etc. So sit back and take a quick glance at what you wrote.
 

2. Punctuality – First impression, part two

Once you’ve said yes to a meeting, make sure to arrive on time. This might easily seem like the most evident fact ever, but it somehow manages to become an obstacle in the most inconvenient moment. Calculate and recalculate the route you’re planning to use. Be careful when scheduling – think of the first step and double check your calendar, reminder, alarm clock, that one colleague that always remembers stuff, notebooks, agendas, or a fortune teller if necessary.

 

Knowing the value of time should be number one on everyone’s list of priorities. Not being able to achieve a goal or fulfil a task successfully within a previously agreed time frame can be interpreted as disrespect. It’s the same with showing up late at an appointment. And if that appointment happens to be a job interview – you’re a very unlikely candidate to be taken seriously. If you’re the person in charge of conducting the interview, well you’re just about equally doomed. Time quotes are related to way too many clichés, but time does need to be treated as one of the most valuable resources.

 

3. Dressed to recruit!

Another variable you should count in when having an interview (or a business meeting) is the appearance. Many IT and Recruiting companies, typically small businesses and small and/or remote staffing companies are about the laid back approach. It means flexibility in more than one aspect, and it surely means casual slash non existing dress code. But meeting a new client, business partner or employee could entail a new set of the rules.

 

Large IT companies or small IT companies with the tendency to appreciate suits and ties can hire (for example) a remote HR team. They might need sourcing or end-to-end recruiting services. And the team they’re looking to hire must fulfill the certain requirements regarding HR solutions and recruiting skills, but to them it’s also important to maintain the certain image.

 

Make no mistake – dressing for the occasion isn’t about the style itself, it’s about showing interest in a company’s culture. It’s being respectful. It’s also a part of necessary background checking.

 

So if you come from the track suit and yoga pants friendly working environment or from a remote job, take a good look at what’s appreciated in the company you’re paying a visit.

 

4. Did someone say background checking?

Each HR manager and IT recruiter should know the importance of assembling facts and information while doing their sourcing sorcery thing. They do need to keep track of literally everything regarding a hiring process – collecting and saving info, keeping colleagues in loop and sharing data.

 

And every tech recruitment agency must have its own system to preserve information and contacts. Recruiters are ought to use all sorts of tools in order to easily find details they need at any given time – documents, spreadsheets, etc. But it’s equally or more important to gather facts in the first place.

 

An HR must be thoroughly prepared for the interview. It does mean to have a good look at the CV, business and social media network profiles of a candidate etc. But it also requires some extra time to look up the company he’s currently working in or the last job he has had.

 

It would raise the right questions and hence lead to relevant answers – the recruiter will actually get to know about the candidate and his goals and values. This kind of approach might give the interview a much needed friendly factor and it would shift its concept from questionnaire-like form to an actual conversation.

Which leads us to the next subject.

 

5. How many golf balls can fit into an angry developer?

As we just established – inducing the right questions is the proper way to conduct an interview. What really matters is…

Well, it’s personal. It’s individual. It’s changeable. It depends on numerous factors.

And you, fellow recruiters, should hear all about it. Rather than asking textbook questions let the candidates speak their mind. Be genuine and kind of spontaneous.

OK, we need to face one fact – some of those “typical HR questions” are actually a must. No one is particularly impressed by them, but some bits of interviews have their purpose and should be accepted as such – less than fun but more than obligatory.

 

Asking these questions about someone’s actual aspirations and intentions will give a recruiter the insight in what might interest a candidate. And his preferences are mainly not about the new coffee machine or a possibility of beer pong tournament. 

 

Tell them about some truly good, and we’re speaking LONG TERM good stuff your client or employee has to offer.

 

Members of remote HR solutions teams or IT recruiting agencies need to go an extra mile in order to become deeply familiar with all of their clients’ requirements and with their goals and plans. And their clients must be aware of this and keep them posted and well informed.

 

These are some fundamental methods and tricks a successful recruitment strategy should consist of. We’d be happy to hear and/or say more about this subject. Let us know what you find significant and let’s do our best to improve hiring process.

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I researched Applicant Tracking Systems (So you don’t have to)

Are you having hard time handling your talent pool and worried with upcoming GDPR? Then you probably tried to figure out which ATS would suit your needs. ATS stands for applicant tracking system and the idea behind this software is to automate company’s recruiting and staffing efforts, but also to manage candidate’s data. Handy little thing. The bad news for HR and PeopOps teams is there is a bunch of them (more than 300 in the market at the moment to be exact). Our team tends to move fast so we can keep our average time per hire at 2 weeks. From the moment we receive the job description to the moment a stressed manager starts thanking us, we only think about tracking our time and productivity. Staffing agencies use CRM’s and we couldn’t afford the whole team to do the research. The decision was I should do it. I’ve found an article named The top 100 ATS in 2018 . Oh, the excitement. 
 

I wanted to learn which ATS are the biggest sharks out there using.

Well, none of them. Google developed their own ATS product called Hire. The bad news is that this software is available only for companies that use G Suite and are based in US.  Facebook also developed CRM for their needs. This might not be the best solution for every company cause it takes up a lot of planning and resources if you want those cool features like video interviewing or employee referrals. We developed CRM for our needs and it’s far from perfect. It’s also far from cheap and we don’t even have “the cool features”. The truth is, most of the applicant tracking systems are built for small to mid sized businesses. Large organizations usually need more custom features and I figured Breezy has that option. Also comes with a “custom” price.

What happened when I used the ATS

I researched a bunch of them, but decided to write an overall review for just a few of the most popular ones. The most common elements are: career sites, applicant tracking, advanced search options, interviewing tools and analytics. 1. recruitee has career sites with customized application forms, you can even customize hiring workflow for each position. They also have this drag & drop option, which gives the user a nice kanban/trello feeling. Apart from the great UX, it offers a nice set of features for recruiting teams and integration with Slack. They listed pricing, so go check it out. 2. Workable says they are the most popular ATS, yet no pricing. The workflow is quite much the same as previous, it starts with a career site where applicants apply. Once they appear in your pipeline, each candidate will have their own profile. Workable has built in sourcing tool, based on booolean queries. Mobile apps available. 3. SmartRecruiters looks like pobresito comparing to the previous two. You'll find four tabs and for each job you'll have well drew up charts and data about the position. What I hated is how many pages I had to read to figure out what features this ATS has. KISS. 4. Zoho AKA the free one. There are actually two types, one for HR teams and one for staffing agencies. The free package for staffing agencies comes with Candidate Management, Career Website, Client & Contact Management, Email Management, Interview Scheduling and Job Posting Management. It is cloud based, offers integrations with social media, API or email, but it is provided only in Enterprise model. CV parsing also comes with few bugs. Much like others, you can customize ATS to your needs, migrate data etc. Does the trick for small recruitment teams. Bonus warning for recruiters: I noticed there are bunch of these charts, tracking your efforts. There are companies that are not able to meet their hiring needs due to different reasons. Seeing these charts might just motivate you to pursue your dream of being a farmer. I am kidding you not, I'm not even a recruiter and these things seem mean. (under pressure playing in background)

What to focus on when choosing an ATS

Social Media Sourcing

Copy/pasting a job offer to social media, and then adding a pic can be a drag. But, we’ve been used to doing it manually, and it gave results. What we’ve discovered is there are ATSs that allow you to connect your official LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter page to it, and to post your job opening through it. Due to instagram’s policies, we all still dwell in sort of a limbo where we have to manually post. However, three out of four doesn’t sound at all bad. Good example of this is zoho. It may not be included in a free pricing plan, but at the end of the day, the level of optimization is completely up to you, and ATS is there to help you optimize your process.

Posting to External Job Sites

This one is a no brainer. It is necessary for acquiring applicants, and possibly the applicant who will be just perfect for the job opening. Luckily enough, most ATS’s we’ve looked at have this option. This option adds an additional dimension of security and creates more confidence in applicants that you are offering a stable and reliable work. Zoho has a basic function for this in it’s free pricing plan, and recruitee and workable offer this option.

Compliance with local laws

Four letter everyone should pay attention to are GDPR. Fortunately, all ATSs we’ve reviewed disclose where data is stored, and how it is protected. A good example of ATS disclosing this information is recruitee. You might also want to research if and how taxes are applicable.

Mobile Capabilities

If you’re a small agency owner, and you’re on your feet most of your time, it’s very important, as it is to me, to be able to access and see where in the selection process the applicants are, on the move. Workable and SmartRecruiters both have apps that will provide you with necessary insight to see how your candidate is doing in the selection process.

What I learned losing my mind over this ATS madness 

1. It’s an absolute must have if you have a lot of applicants asking for internship opportunities; 2. It can improve candidate experience, you’ll send feedback right on time; 3. Most of this softwares rely on a “post and pray” strategy. Reality is that in IT recruiting - the best talent out there are passive candidates and won’t apply through your career page. You would have to add their info manually or ask them to fill in data. 4. … which also reminded me that if there is a fill out form with more than 3 questions, Seniors just ain’t gonna do it if they are not really into the position; 5. Some of them are really pricey and you will probably have to talk your CEO/CTO/CFO into it; 6. Design sells; 7. It really depends on the size and needs of the organization;

What are your experiences? Hit the comments.

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5 secrets to great management

Being a good manager is not an easy task. You have a lot thing to wrap your mind around, you have a lot of different aspects to think from… and you still need to make sure everyone is feeling good and happy, the work is being done and the company is growing. There is no secret recipe that will help you become a perfect manager over night, but there are some tips that can help you a lot, especially if you’re in the beginning of your career as a leader. It all comes down to trial and error, being adaptive, communicating and always finding a good balance. Here are 5 secrets to great management!

Be both supportive and supported

It’s equally important that you are both supportive and supported. And somehow, during a busy work day or a hectic and stressful period we tend to forget this, especially the second one. Being supportive means that you need to be there for your team, and in a crisis you’re focusing on solutions for the problems, rather than finding who to blame. It means having a mindset where you keep challenging and supporting your colleagues so that they grow both professionally and personally. Being supported means that you also need some help (and it is totally ok). Being supported means passing on some of your activities like doing research, scheduling or attending certain meetings, training other staff members, hiring… and also having a network you can rely on. You cannot be a lone wolf and a good leader at the same time.

Don’t be negative, but be realistic

It is crucial not to have a negative, blaming mindset and perspectives when it comes to work. You should be focused on solutions, rather than blaming someone. Having said that, you also need to be very realistic, set clear goals and KPIs. Even when it comes to firing people, when it’s necessary, you can keep your focus on still be positive while doing the right thing by letting them go.

Good leadership is a good communication

Good communication is one of the most important things for a healthy organisation. You have to make sure that all the information is communicated well, you have to make sure that all that is communicated is understood and you have to also think about communication channels - how can they be improved?

Track, document, evaluate and always be innovative

A lot of managers, and a lot of good managers, often go with the guts. This is sometimes necessary and can be a good quality, but it is also not (always) an ideal solution. Sometimes, your gut feeling can be completely off and it can lead to taking bad decisions. That’s why it is crucial to track and document everything. After it’s documented, you should evaluate, even when, for instance, a project is well done, you should evaluate. Could it be even better? And where is the space for improvement? Try to think out of the box and be as innovative as possible, questioning everything and always trying to find better solutions.

Be adaptive

As a manager, you will need to have to adapt to different challenges in a timely manner. That’s why you need to have an open mind and be as flexible as possible. You will need to adapt the way you communicate with each of your staff members and colleagues. You will need to adapt the way you and your team do the things to the different challenges and daily changes that can occur. A good management is a lot like a dance, you constantly need to find a good rhythm.
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What is Pay per Stay?

Switching jobs or looking for people to join your team takes a significant amount time and even more dedication. The entire hiring process implies a lot of searching and questioning on each end, but it also brings a certain feeling of accomplishment once this difficult task is successfully fulfilled. Our job is to be that link between talents and those who are looking for an opportunity to meet them and invite them to make their team even more exceptional and productive. Knowing we’ve done something good and contributed in someone’s career is what keeps us wanting to improve our ways. And we’re managing to grow by constantly finding solutions for problems our clients and candidates frequently come across. One of the ideas we came up with to make hiring easier and accessible for a variety of companies is called Pay per Stay method, and it’s actually very simple and efficient.

The Rubik’s cube

Each business owner is faced with numerous challenges and often with difficult decision making. The responsibility for maintaining each part of the company highly functional becomes a standard part of the daily routine. To put this simply, here’s what it is like for an entrepreneur: a coffee break followed by a full time contemplating and “what if”-ing section of the day.
Even though there are many amazing people with all the necessary skill sets, knowledge and all kinds of mojo any company would gladly welcome aboard, there are numerous small but inevitable factors one must have in mind when hiring.
Finding “the perfect match” is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube – everything must fall right into place. Only in this case it’s a little less colorful and far more realistic. This Rubik’s cube is about structuring many elements, but these might pop up as the most important ones – the candidate must have certain tech skills required for the certain position, then there’s the part that’s often called “a culture fit” (and we’ll use this term until we come up with a more suitable one), and there is the always tricky question of a budget. Luckily, this is when our Pay per Stay method jumps in and saves the day. Or at least saves you from the notorious so called cash burnout syndrome. Before reviling the actual concept of this payment method let’s take a moment and explain what collaborating with us implies. Our number one priority is to collect all the relevant information about you and your company in order to reach out to the right crowd. Your first step would be to provide us with all the details about your current aspirations and future plans. And we’ll handle the rest – sourcing, screening and interviewing would be our preoccupations. Your next task is to check your inbox regularly and have a look at all the resumes we collected. It’s time for you to get introduced to experts interested in your projects and eager to hear more about what is it that you do.

The What Ifs

After carefully considering resumes and getting properly introduced to the candidates, you chose to hire someone. No matter how thoroughly we searched for suitable candidates, there is always a variety of potential scenarios, and unfortunately there’s always a slim chance something might not turn out as you planned. So, in case you decide that a person you hired does not entirely meet your expectations after all, you would need to do something about it. And that “something” is usually a code word for terminating the contact in majority of cases like this. What comes next? Well, our Pay per Stay method would surely cut your expenses if something like this happens.
And hopefully it will also cut your stress level in half.
The agreement we would offer you consists in dividing your payments for our services into 12 equal monthly fees. Think of it as a sort of insurance that if things go wrong you won’t be losing both – the new employee and the capital you invested in this whole hiring process.

The honest model

If we’re all down on our luck and your collaboration with the employee we introduced you to breaks for whatever reason, we would immediately stop charging you. The next step is entirely your choice – we could look further and find someone to take the first candidate’s place. We would appreciate any feedback from you and it would be more than helpful if you provided us with as many details about what went wrong as possible.  This way we can have all the pieces of this hiring puzzle together while looking for a new member to join your team. If you go for this option and let us keep searching for the person that will fit perfectly into your team, the payment method would remain the same. But the very good news for you is that we wouldn’t start charging you from the very beginning once you hire one of our candidates again. For example, if the first candidate you’ve decided to hire leaves after two months and after a while a new one comes along and you choose to welcome him to your team, we would send out our monthly fees as from the third month. All kinds of expenses on your end would just be paused for a while so that you can retain the necessary resources until we find a definitive match.
This brief introduction is meant to show a little bit of what we stand for.
Pay per Stay method of charging was created with the idea to encourage those who are in charge of smaller teams with the tendency to grow and those who are looking for a way to start their own business. What triggered this idea is the fact we are also a small group of people gathered around a goal to do something big that would hopefully have a positive impact on everyone we work with. Feel free to get touch with us. We would love to hear from you and get to know you. And we’ll gladly tell you more about our approach and our ways of making hiring easier and cost effective.
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2 smart ways to elevate your career

Career is an important part of our lives, not just in context of earning money, but also when it comes to self-realization, confidence, overall satisfaction and our identity. If you wish to elevate your career, there are certain steps you could take and good changes you could make regardless of your industry or seniority.

Underpromise and overdeliver

If you’re excited and enthusiastic about your work, which, of course, is a great thing, it can happen that you exaggerate a bit or overestimate your capabilities at a given time. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic, but if you create expectations you cannot deliver on, you can get in trouble and send a negative message instead. For instance, if you have a project to finish, and you think you will need around a week, it’s always better to give yourself a bit more time when committing to a deadline. Extra day or two will be a great buffer (in case of unexpected situations or challenges), and it will also give you room to over-deliver and delight your coworkers and team leaders/managers. If you commit to finishing the project within a week and deliver as expected, the reaction wouldn’t be as positive as if you finished a bit earlier than expected. Of course, if you deliver even slightly after the deadline, you can’t expect the reaction to be positive at all. That’s why, in the end, being too enthusiastic and overestimating your capabilities can get you in trouble. Remember the three situations we listed, and imagine that you finished project in a week. In reality, it took you the same time, but depending on what you promised, the results would be drastically different. Set realistic expectations and try to over-deliver. It’s always better to show your enthusiasm through work (results), than to show it by words, and then fail to deliver on promises.

Stay up to date and have a learner’s mindset

We live in exciting times with a lot of constant innovation and new discoveries in every field, which is really amazing. On the other hand, it is also challenging, as we always need to adapt to the newest trends and keep up with innovation. If you think of your previous education, and go back a few years in time, the chances are that something you’ve learned back in the days is totally different today. Maybe there are other tools or ways of doing it, or maybe your job as such didn’t even exist at the time. Just think of how many people work with Social Media nowadays, and both Snapchat and Instagram were created less than 10 years ago, while Facebook saw the light of the day in 2004, became open for everyone in 2006 and needed a few year before it really took off. In our environment nowadays, the only constant thing is change. And that’s why you have to stay up to date. Try out new tools, new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking… Get as much knowledge (and contacts) at different seminars, webinars, conferences and events. And remember to have a learner’s mindset: be open to new things, be open to failing and learning from your fails and try to find and use every possibility for improvement. If you work hard and follow these 2 simple rules, we’re sure you can elevate your career and be happier and more satisfied both in professional and personal life.
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