Why You Should Always Be Recruiting

Here’s what we don’t mean by “always be recruiting.”

We are not advocating recruiting and hiring without regard for your business’s budget. While we believe strongly that excellent employees make an excellent business, we aren’t trying to convince you to tank your business by ignoring wise financial practices.

We are also not talking about dishonest business practices, like keeping candidates holding on with empty promises of possible positions that are always just around the corner. Teasing candidates with less-than-upfront communication will only earn your company a bad reputation.

Here’s what we do mean.

You should always be making the most of your recruiting efforts by creating an environment in which employees can do great work, by letting potential candidates know that you have created an environment in which employees can do great work, and by networking effectively with potential candidates – active and passive.

These efforts speed along the hiring process and ensure that your company doesn’t have to start cold with any hire. Companies with big-picture recruitment goals can avoid the panic of needing new employees immediately but being unable to take the time to recruit, train, and maintain employees once they arrive. No panic means no compromise, no last-minute hiring that forces a company to disregard its standards due to time constraints.

Create an employee-friendly environment.

This does three big things for you. It promotes employee satisfaction, leading to better employee performance, decreased employee turnover, and increased employee referrals and other informal advertising by current employees within their social circles.

This can have a powerful influence on your hiring efforts, even increasing your attraction over passive candidates who may have work but would move for a company who placed more value on their employees’ well-being.

Making big changes in a work environment doesn’t happen overnight. This is a big-picture goal, a topic to discuss with your leadership and implement more and more as time goes on.

Maybe you need to improve communication between levels of employees, maybe you need to consider an updated benefits package, maybe you need to discuss private versus collaborative workspaces, maybe your company needs to work on its policies concerning internal promotions and employee-growth incentives; this is an area to regularly evaluate.

Market your employee-friendly environment.

Once you’ve put in the effort to improve the culture within your company, encourage your current employees to spread the word. Make time to follow up, responding to their suggestions for improvement and candidate referrals. This advertising is not only free, but potent, as the word of a current employee can either fortify or dismantle a business’s marketing efforts.

Promote your excellent work environment, including it in social media campaigning and job advertisements. New research on the Millennial and Gen Z generations in the workplace almost always includes some mention of work environment and its importance. Potential employees want a taste of what it would be like to work for a company, and companies have more creative marketing tools than ever before at their disposal.

Follow up with potential candidates – active and passive.

“Talent pipelining” can be misunderstood. Some think of it negatively, associating pipelining with either copious amounts of work (babysitting potential candidates with endless phone calls and coffee dates) or dishonest candidate communication (keeping candidates available by making disingenuous promises about opportunities you have for them).

When used in a positive light, pipelining is one facet of great networking. Networking takes time, but does not have to be all-consuming or dishonest. It’s often as simple as keeping track of names and numbers for new business acquaintances, taking a few minutes each week to call and check in with active or passive candidates, and returning phone calls and emails in a timely fashion. It’s good business practice and another great way to ensure that your company is not left high and dry when a position opens up. Chances are, if you are networking well, you will often have a list of leads to follow when a need arises.

Recruitment agencies are networking experts and can be called upon to consult on hiring and networking practices or to provide candidates if you need networking with an extended reach.
You should always be recruiting, strengthening your business by preparing for inevitable personnel changes. Proactive recruiting prevents job openings from throwing a company into crisis mode, allowing you to keep your business functioning at a consistently high standard, no matter the hiring circumstances.  

4 Myths About Recruiting

 

We’ve heard some tall tales about recruiting over the years. Here are four we’d like to clear up for you today.

  1. Companies should begin the recruiting process when they have a job opening.

 

The practice of reactive hiring can place a company in the uncomfortable position of being forced to compromise. Having to start from scratch with every job opening, the hiring process can become a lengthy ordeal. The longer a position is open, the more pressure a company feels to fill it.  Managers begin considering candidates who aren’t qualified or start asking current employees to fill roles outside of their job descriptions.

Alternatively, companies can save themselves the headache by proactively working to promote a consistently hiring-friendly environment. Contributing to this would be discussions of company culture and branding and whether or not current employees are satisfied with their positions. Quality candidates are attracted to businesses who treat their employees well. This expands into marketing and networking plans that prioritize regular and effective communication with quality candidates.

Recruitment agencies are great at filling positions quickly, and we are often asked to step into hiring-crisis situations. But professional recruiting agencies can also be a great help to businesses wanting to change the way they view hiring, incorporating more long-term solutions into their business plan and building up quality practices so that no job opening has to begin at square one.

  1. Candidates will find us on their own; extra money for outside recruitment is a waste.

As a recruitment agency, we hear the money question often; “Is it really worth it to spend money hiring outside recruiting help? Surely, candidates will come to us.” Recruiters do come with a cost – but an experienced recruiter will be worth every penny.

Sometimes, talent will find you, and you will not need recruiting help. However, every business encounters difficulties at some point. Maybe a company is looking to hire a very specific skillset, or needing a position filled immediately, or struggling with high employee turnover rates, or getting little to no response from job postings, or a whole host of other hiring-related issues. It is at these times the value of a recruiter is unquestionable.

Hiring issues can take you by surprise. Even large, well-known companies do not get to put their feet up when it comes to acquiring new talent. If a prestigious, highly-regarded business is not successfully marketing open positions, they too will struggle to find the right candidates.

Don’t overlook recruiters as a problem-solving option. Investing in quality employees will only benefit your company.

  1. Recruiting can’t work for my company.

Maybe you’ve heard that recruiting is only for big companies, only for small companies, only for upper-level positions, only for lower-level positions, or only for a few particular industries. Skilled, experiences recruiters work with companies of any size, entry-level to C-suite positions, and across a broad range of industries.

Recruitment agencies and consultants have well-honed hiring skills: communicating well with businesses and candidates, researching new hiring practices and technologies, delving into specific industries and fields to understand specific needs, selling a position  or a company to a qualified candidate, etc. Additionally, professional recruiters have years of hiring experience, allowing them to diagnose all kinds of hiring problems and present workable solutions. These skills and experience can benefit any business.

A quality recruiter will be honest with you about how they are or are not able to help your company.  Often, with their vast connections and research capabilities, recruiters are able to provide valuable services even in fields with which they have limited initial familiarity. However, if there is a situation in which a recruiter feels your company would be better served by another agency, he or she can provide quality recommendations.

  1. Technology has made the role of recruiter obsolete.

Technology has changed industry worldwide, not just recruitment.  And while it has altered our job description – sometimes expanding, sometimes condensing – the heart of recruiting is still the same. Recruiters are professional communicators and professional deal closers. Tech improvements have yet to replicate the effectiveness of a skilled, experienced recruiter selling a candidate on a company. Technology is tool; it cannot supplant personal recruitment.

Great recruiters harness, rather than fear, new technology and will be able to put tech to good use as they work for your company. Recruiters can also be valuable consulting resources to companies wondering which new products are worth the investment.

Companies looking to improve recruitment practices should not hesitate to seek out recruiting experts. If you’ve been discouraged by these or other myths in the past, find an experienced recruiter who can answer your questions and help you make a plan to optimize your hiring.

In a Virtual World, You Need Virtual Recruiters

Marketing expectations have changed dramatically in recent years. Phone books and their yellow pages are obsolete, while Facebook pages are essential.

A 2014 study by G/O Digital found that 80% of consumers polled said that they would be more likely to purchase a product if they saw positive user reviews on the company’s Facebook page. Most respondents also told G/O that they check a company’s social media site multiple times a week (30% even 2-3 times a day) before ever walking into a local business.

Online presence isn’t only about product review and purchasing information; it’s how candidates are expecting to begin interactions with potential employers.

Glassdoor’s 2014 study reported that the majority of job seekers use social media at least once a month to learn more about potential employers. 76% want details on what makes the company an attractive place to work. Millions of applications are submitted online each year.

So while candidate recruitment may have been primarily a game of in-person communication years ago, technological savviness is definitely a requirement for success today.

How do professional recruiters make the most of hiring practices in the virtual world? What makes a tech-knowledgeable recruiter particularly valuable to today’s businesses?

  1. We can make the most of global applicant pools.

When one share of a link can send a job-opening advertisement from one side of the world to the other, screening large and diverse pools of applicants is a necessary skill for a modern recruiter. Whether your business is looking for insight into the best use of screening software, wanting assistance further narrowing down candidate lists from those who have already been through basic online screening, or wanting an expert to deal with the hiring from start to finish, a virtually-clever recruiter can help.

  1. We can show you how to make your hiring process more efficient.

Just because you can conduct business virtually doesn’t always mean you should, though there are portions of the hiring process that are clearly improved by the latest-and-greatest tech inventions. Recruiters familiar with hiring in the virtual world are able to help businesses decide where to focus their time and money, understanding which tech improvements carry the biggest bang for your buck and which are less-efficient, distracting, or merely peripheral.  

  1. We can help you ensure quality, personal hires, even long-distance.

Because a recruiter working virtually conducts such a large percentage of his or her business remotely, he or she is an expert at quality communication even when in-person meetings are not a possibility. A business can and should still value personal communication, rather than hiding behind programs and systems; but it isn’t always easy to tell where the hiring and onboarding process has become too detached.

Recruiters involved in a company’s hiring process know how to push past the difficulties of distance, establishing and maintaining relationships with candidates and selling those candidates on a business when the time comes to make an offer. Recruiters consulting for businesses can help their internal hiring teams understand how to pair quality tech infrastructure and time-tested business practices to make the most of every hiring opportunity.

  1. We can help you improve your company branding to make the most of online advertising.

Is your social media presence helping or hurting your business? How is your company perceived by potential applicants? How is your hiring process promoting or hindering your company’s reputation?  A tech-savvy recruiter can help you answer these questions.

Stepping back and looking at a company’s place within its industry is a good place to begin. How are social media platforms being used most effectively by similar businesses? How do a company’s current advertisements compare to those of competitors, and how is this influencing their branding as a whole? How is a business’s branding being promoted passively, such as through its dealings with candidates who are not offered a job?

Seasoned recruiters can help businesses set realistic goals for growth that coincide with a larger business plan.

Looking to a “virtual recruiter” doesn’t mean handing hiring over to the computer, it means seeking out a recruiter who is able to make the most of every resource – tech-related and not – to ensure that your company is thriving in today’s virtual world.

 

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Working with Recruiters

Candidates contacted by recruitment agencies often have questions about the nature of that particular business relationship.  We’d like to help by offering some advice.

  1. Make sure you are working with a skilled, experienced recruiter.

If a recruiter is dishonest, manipulative, or desperate, do not partner with him or her. This also includes recruiters who will not communicate professionally or who seem to know very little of your industry. These are red flags, not marks of a skilled and experienced recruiter.

  1. Understand that recruiters are usually hired by companies.

When you are contacted by a recruiting consultant or if you are considering inquiring with a recruitment agency, keep in mind that recruiters are hired by companies. Recruiters search for quality candidates who are the best fit for their clients, the businesses who hired them.

Quality recruiters will be honest and upfront about the opportunities and timelines in which they would like to involve you, but it’s important to remember that they are not under contract to match you to a job, but rather to match a candidate to a company.

  1. Go back to the basics.

Basic business courtesies may seem obvious, but they should not be ignored if you want to make the most of your recruiter-candidate relationship.  Being on-time, prepared, and professional is important, whether you’re preparing for a preliminary phone or video meeting or at a final in-person interview. Meeting with a recruiter could be your first interview with your future employer (should you progress through the hiring process), so take the time to ensure a good first impression.

  1. Recruiters can help with networking.

Recruiters can be valuable assets to candidates currently job searching (or who will be job searching in the future), even if candidates are not a strong match for companies currently employing a recruiter. Maintaining a good relationship with a recruitment consultant can keep you in the running for future open positions.

Networking in this way will only prove profitable to candidates who are honest and professional in their dealings with recruiters. Be open with recruiters about your interest level in a position; don’t oversell your willingness to change jobs or move if you aren’t ready to follow through. Lying to recruiters about your qualifications will only hurt you in the long run, so be honest. Recruiters are unlikely to recommend candidates who have misled them in the past.

  1. Recruiters can help with job hunting, even if they don’t have a position open for you.

Recruiters can also be a great source of information, whether it’s a simple tip on updating your résumé or insight into what experience is most sought-after in a current field, advice from a seasoned recruiter is worthwhile. Without being obnoxious, it’s okay to check in with a recruiter from time to time, as they will be aware of any changes in the job market and could have suggestions for your search.

The Importance of Referrals (And How to Do Them)

 

As professional recruiters, we sometimes get called in by businesses to consult on their marketing and hiring practices. Getting the big-picture perspective allows us to spot gaps or inefficiencies that could be lurking in a company’s plan, one of which is neglecting to hire through referrals.

 

Not all hiring can be done through referrals. Bigger applicant pools are usually necessary for the bulk of hiring, especially for positions requiring highly specific skills or experience. But referrals prove to be some of the best low-cost, long-term hires; to not utilize them at all is missed opportunity.

 

Why is hiring by referral useful?

 

Hiring by referrals can speed up a company’s hiring process, simplify onboarding, and increase the likelihood of hired candidates being a match with a company’s culture.

 

A referred candidate can often bypass some of the more time-consuming aspects of hiring, jumping right into interviews. Having a current employee who is able to vouch for a candidate’s qualifications and work ethic decreases the need for extensive screening.

 

Once a candidate is hired, onboarding is a much smoother process.  New candidates have an immediate connection to the company; they are not left to wade through the initial phase of perceived isolation and awkwardness. Having a contact in the business makes asking questions and building relationships easier.

 

Current employees are familiar with company culture and know which of their personal and business contacts are likely to be the best fit. Employees who feel they are a good fit in a company are more content to remain in the company long-term and with reportedly greater levels of satisfaction from both business and employee.

 

Hiring through referrals is clearly worth a look.  

 

If you are new to the referral game, or if you’ve not been able to successfully hire by referral in the past, here are a few basic guidelines to get you started.

 

1.Employees won’t refer their contacts to a business for whom they don’t enjoy working.

 

This is great place to begin the discussion of employee referrals. What do your employees really think about their job? It’s impossible to provide for the preferences of every employee, but your team as a whole should be able to connect with their work. Employees who feel appropriately challenged, appreciated, and compensated will be far more likely to pass on the good word to their circle of associates. It’s the best free advertising a company could ask for.

 

  1. Employees won’t bother offering referrals if they don’t feel that they have a voice.

 

Having a strong system of communication allows employees to invest personally in a company’s future. Employees will bring forward ideas they believe will be a real help to a company, including recommendations for quality team members. If employees are never given an opportunity to offer suggestions or contribute to the vision of the company, it is unlikely they will feel comfortable recommending even the most qualified candidates for a company to consider.

 

  1. Employees won’t offer quality referrals if they don’t understand what their company is looking for.

 

Helping employees understand your company goals and expectations – including job openings and specific qualifications – can strengthen your company internally and improve the referral process. Employees will better understand their own position and place within the company as a whole, the vision for the future, and how they can best contribute to growth and development.  Referrals, then, become part of an employee caring about their work enough to want to add other quality employees to the team.
If you are not utilizing referrals, consider the benefits of making all of your employees mini-recruiters in their own circles of influence. If you are still unsure of how to incorporate referrals into your business plan, consider bringing in a professional recruiter to consult on both big-picture goals and company-specific strategies.

Working with a Recruiter – How You Can Ensure it is Successful

 

If you are a company looking to hire a recruitment agency or consultant, you may be wondering how to make this new business relationship as successful as possible.

First and foremost, a clarification; we are talking about dealings with skilled and experienced recruiters, rather than the poorer representatives of the trade. We’ve written previously on warnings signs that you are working with a manipulative or inexperienced recruiter (“Not Everyone is a Recruiter – Skills and Experience are a Must.” and “Does Your Recruiter Need a Recruiter”).  Make sure your recruiter is the real deal.

Once you have made contact with a genuine, experienced recruiter, consider the following advice for making the partnership beneficial for all parties.

Honesty

Recruiters do their job by becoming part of your team, by catching the vision you have for you company and working alongside you to accomplish your goals. This requires reflection, evaluation, and honesty from companies.  

What are you truly looking for in a new hire? Is the job description accurate and complete? How much are you willing to spend to acquire the right fit? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business that have drawn or discouraged past candidates? Where would you like the recruiter’s job to begin and end?

A recruiter needs to know all the facts if he or she is going to be an effective advocate for your business. Be honest about your expectations, available finances, timeline, and the role you’re wanting the recruiter to play.

Communication

In addition to clearly communicating your expectations for the recruiter initially, a successful and profitable business-recruiter relationship requires continued communication throughout the hiring process. This involves regular discussions over any changes in strategy and what is or is not working regarding both process and candidates.

Recruitment agencies are generally brought in by companies to speed along the hiring process. Even the most efficient recruiter will struggle to deliver by the deadline if a business does not respond to phone calls and emails or set up meetings and candidate interviews in a timely fashion.

What if your recruiter isn’t meeting your expectations? What if you aren’t happy with his or her performance? Problems, just like strategies, need to be discussed openly in order to ensure success. Make sure your issues aren’t merely miscommunications before throwing in the towel.

Trust

One of the major money-savers of working with a professional recruiter is a highly-efficient hiring process. But that is only possible if companies allow recruiters to do the job for which they have been hired. If you’ve vetted your recruiter and you know you have acquired a true professional, trust their expertise.

Investing in a recruiter means you should also be willing to hear out his or her ideas and suggestions for improved business practice or efficiency.  This could be as simple as providing required company resources to the recruiter in a timely fashion, or it could involve more complex matters, such as updating a company’s hiring process, trying out a new marketing strategy, or reevaluating company onboarding practices and benefits packages. 

Recruiters are valuable because they have a broad knowledge of industries as a whole as well as current candidate trends. If your recruitment agency recommends updates or changes to your company’s process, it would be wise to take these recommendations under serious consideration.

What a Recruiter REALLY Does

“Recruitment” can sound a bit ambiguous. With the increased availability of technology able to aid in the hiring process, it may be unclear to some what a professional recruiter can bring to the table. What role do recruitment agencies and consultants play in today’s job market?

Research

It is our business to keep up with the industries we serve. This requires a working knowledge of technological advances in the field, changes in standards for compensation, benefits, and job expectations, most effective marketing techniques, and the status of potential candidates – active and passive.

We research on our own behalf, building up knowledge of the field and fostering relationships with candidates and companies. We also research on behalf of businesses looking to better understand the changes in their industry or expand in a new direction.

Company Branding

A professional recruiter’s knowledge of an industry as a whole makes him or her a valuable asset to businesses wanting to embark on big-picture reevaluations. Recruiters can inform you on current marketing strategies across your industry, give insight into potentially misunderstood or outdated branding, and offer assistance in formulating a new company-wide identity that will influence everything from marketing style to job descriptions.

Sourcing and Screening

This is what recruiters are often known for, though it is only a portion of the work we do. We know people, and we know how to know people. We’re not doing basic LinkedIn searches here; we are professionals at keeping track of quality, high-end, and often-passive candidates.

Experienced recruiters can screen for more than just GPA or years of experience; they can filter applicants by cultural fit, ability to communicate, and ability to follow directions, among other things. Cultural fit is especially useful with mid or upper-level hires, as compatibility with a company’s core values is key to a long-term, successful employee-employer relationship.

Candidate Engagement and Sales and Negotiations

Technology has nothing that can compete with an experienced recruiter in this area. People are a recruiter’s speciality; we are professionals at communication and networking. Maybe it’s easy for a business to locate talent, but harder for them to close on quality candidates.

Seasoned recruiters build rapport with candidates, and their trustworthiness allows them to know when a candidate is a genuinely great fit for a position, how serious a candidate is about a position, when a candidate is ready to make a move, and what factors will determine if a candidate will accept a job offer.

Recruiters work for businesses; they seek to fully understand the position a business needs filled and then do the complex sales and negotiating work to make sure their clients acquire high-caliber candidates. They are professional closers.  
Recruiting agencies and consultants are there to help when a business gets stuck – when their current marketing isn’t working, when they aren’t able to close on top candidates, when they are struggling to understand changes within their industry, when the business plan that has been successful for years is suddenly less effective. Recruiters are expert problem solvers.

Innovative Recruiting Tips for 2017

Big data is changing everything.  With more and more business being conducted in the digital arena, it’s easier than ever before to analyze effective business practice by looking at the numbers. Technology now makes it possible to get numerical feedback on virtually every aspect of online commerce, including recruiting practices.

Computers can analyze a company’s marketing effectiveness, source, select top candidates, screen, test, interview, and train.

According to Entelo’s Annual Recruiting Trends Report, 2016 found the recruiting world trying out these new data-driven technologies. Entelo predicts then, that 2017 will “be a year chock full of learnings and course corrections.”

“Learnings” and “course corrections” are indeed necessary, as it would be foolish to presume that technology has simultaneously grown enormously and matured enough to simply be left alone. And it would be equally foolish to assume that technology has made the position of “recruiter” – whether inside or outside a company – obsolete.

Recruitment is still a very human process, but recruiting professionals need to be proactive in their response to the wave of big-data-driven changes.

We offer the following advice to those who want to excel at recruiting efforts in 2017.

Become a Tech Expert

We don’t mean that all HR departments and recruiting consultants should now be technology majors. We mean that the flurry of new digital tools available to businesses has created a huge demand for evaluation. If your business is recruitment, being a reliable source of information on recruiting technology will not only give you a leg up on in the hiring game, but will make you a sought-out source for consulting and training for other companies.

Recruiting tech is both unproven and unfamiliar, creating the need for both assessment and instruction. Have the ability to help with both – wisely recommending or advising against new technology and training others in its proper implementation – and there will be no lack of profitable work laid before you.

Become an Industry Expert

It’s not only technological advances that require expertise; it’s the larger changes in industry as well. Technology, as well as politics, economic changes, new generations of employees, and every other cultural wave, has a unique impact on each specific industry. To continue with our discussion of technology in particular, it is valuable to know not only what new marketing and hiring technology exists, but also how it is being used by other businesses in your industry.

You’ll want to be able to answer questions like: What are my competitors doing with this new technology that is working (making them more efficient, improving their advertising, speeding up the hiring process, etc.)? In what ways has this new technology brought changes to our field (changes in job descriptions, titles, expectations, compensation, etc.)? How is technology being misused and how can we avoid the same pitfalls?

Recruiters who keep a close eye on changes to their industry as a whole can learn from the successes and failures of many, and so guard against becoming either stagnant or reckless. A recruiting team with an ever-evolving understanding of the big picture will be an irreplaceable resource to their company.

Adapt

Finally, businesses who wish to excel in recruiting in 2017 will have to learn to adapt, even if it means big changes. Maybe your company will decide to let computers handle all candidate sourcing; that could mean altered job descriptions for employees. It could mean restructuring, retraining, refocusing. But if, in the end, it means that your hiring team spent more time with quality interviews and employee onboarding, and that led to more efficient and better hires, it will have been worth it.

Glassdoor’s 2016 report shared findings from The Global Social CEO Survey, stating that over half of US respondents reported that they were “more likely to purchase

from a company whose values and leadership are clearly communicated through executive leadership participation on social media.”

75% of respondents “believe that companies whose C-Suite executives and leadership team use social media to communicate about their core mission, brand values and purpose are more trustworthy.”
Essentially, technology isn’t going anywhere. Consumers are increasingly relying on a company’s online proficiency to determine where to take their business.  Passive candidates often begin building their understanding of a company through their experience as consumers. “Adapting” then, in 2017, means embracing the strengths of new technology.

Recruiting Trends for 2017

The dust is still settling on the big moments of 2016, but here’s what we think is in store for recruiting in 2017 – creativity in technology use, hiring practices, and employee compensation.

Creative Technology

This probably sounds like old news since innovations in technology are always making headlines somewhere, but technology continues to bring changes to the recruiting world in a big way.

Candidate journey mapping is a way of illustrating and analyzing the experience of would-be employees as they initially come into contact with a company and eventually progress (or don’t progress) to full employment. This visual mapping tracks every interaction of candidates with the company and then proceeds to weigh the effectiveness of each step in the marketing and hiring process; initial advertising and marketing, job application submittal, phone calls and interviewing process, and onboarding procedures are all evaluated.  

Now imagine the change in mapping since the explosion of technology into the recruiting world – online advertising, mobile marketing, virtual interviews and job training… all of which now fall under the gaze of big data – and you have today’s recruiting environment.

The number of touchpoints candidates have with a company before being fully hired has soared. More data exists than most businesses have time or money to analyze, though the race to come up with new systems for data analysis fosters a perpetual churning out of new product.

Recruitment could become an entirely digital affair, with computers locating candidates, measuring suitability, conducting video interviews and testing, hiring candidates with the highest likelihood of success, and training new employees via virtual reality technology or more basic online onboarding programs.

The real trick continues to be finding the best ways to use technology – ways that most effectively facilitate the human element of recruiting. The human connection is still what builds a business; no computer program can replace the human ability to perceive emotion, understand motivation, or empathize with and respond to struggles and successes. No computer program can give you the information you glean from shaking someone’s hand or conversing with them person-to-person.

2017, we predict, will see more struggle to harness the power of technology, striving for a potent combination of technological leg work and human guiding and deciding. And for businesses who are struggling to pay for this latest-and-greatest technology, looking to bigger corporations to see what works and does not work could be the wisest move.

Creative Hiring & Creative Pay

This change makes a lot of parents nervous. Their college graduate calls home to talk about his or her amazing new job opportunity, and a round of wise-parent questions leaves the parents fearful and the graduate discouraged. The job is only for 18 months, and there is no guarantee or even hint of future employment after that time. There is a benefits package, but it’s not health insurance; it’s a gym membership, complimentary lunchtime catering service, and a Monday-Thursday work week.

And it’s exactly what their son or daughter wants.

With unemployment down and US economy up, analysts are declaring a candidate’s market. Fewer applicants for open positions means that applicants can be choosier. Companies are putting forth greater efforts to appeal to candidates, and what today’s candidates claim to want most, apart from competitive pay, is to fit into the culture of a job.

This movement has far-reaching ramifications and a whole host of new buzzwords. Improving candidate experience, advertising company culture and hiring for cultural fit, and matching candidates with companies who share core values, are all smaller conversations that fit into a larger one.

Companies are working as never before to market their brand – to define themselves in a way that will attract the right candidates. Candidates are looking for insight into what makes companies tick; they want to know what working for a company will look like, and if the core values of the company will match up with their own in a way that allows for long-term happiness.  

But let’s talk about “long-term”. Why are more candidates signing on to the “gig economy”? What is attractive about a short-term commitment?

For one thing, this allows both employee and employer to test drive a relationship before committing for the long haul. It takes time to see what a workplace is really like – what is required to promote, what behaviors are most rewarded, what the attitude of supervisors and coworkers is toward the work, what training looks like. Short-term jobs allow employees to complete the task for which they were hired; they aren’t stuck in a bad relationship with the pressure of poor references if they quit to look for something else.

Also, with technology working to make distance work more and more possible, the work-from-home or flex-scheduling options are looking increasingly attractive to millennial candidates. Why come to the office to work on a computer if you can be just as productive at home in pajamas with a cup of not-Folgers coffee? Advancements in technology also facilitate more freelance work, as the right combination of short-term gigs can build a career that better fits into individual lifestyles.

2017 will see businesses weighing the effects of non-traditional hiring and compensation.  

Are freelance or short-term workers worth the hassle of training and turnover, and can these costs be justified by fewer deadweight hires or long-term insurance plans? What is the real cost of added job perks (like gyms and catering services and flexible scheduling), and how does this fit with less interest in traditional benefits (like health insurance and retirement plans)? Does offering employees a more flexible schedule allow for an increase or decrease in productivity, and how does that balance out with employee satisfaction and decreased turnover rates?
Industry standards are fluctuating, as businesses pick and choose which new trends to try and which to toss. Recruiting departments may need to look to professional recruitment agencies to help them feel out new industry standards for compensation and benefits. Professional recruiters can also offer insight on how businesses can improve their marketing, communicate their culture to potential employees, and understand how the array of recent trends could help or harm their business specifically.

How to Avoid Passing Up on Great Talent

why-recruiting-like-marketing

You have acquired a stack of resumés, and there is an excellent candidate or two hidden in that pile of hopes and dreams. What can you do at this point in the hiring process to ensure that you don’t pass up on great talent?

Experience has taught us a thing or two – we’ve seen great clients signed and great clients missed. Here are six points of advice that we believe can help your company find and sign the best talent.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions from a Resumé

 

Assuming too much or too little will get you into trouble with resumés. It’s impossible to fit an entire person on an 8.5”x11” piece of paper; even the most honest candidate cannot give an all-sufficient portrayal in such a brief space. Assuming, then, is risky business.

Assume too much, and you’ll fail to ask important questions of a candidate. Perhaps it’s tempting to be blinded by a great school or an impressive work history, but you cannot determine character from either of these. A resumé does not include space for things like reasons for leaving past jobs or relationships with supervisors and coworkers. The “why” is often of far more importance than the “what”.

Or perhaps you assume too little, passing over candidates with any gaps in work history or education at state schools. Again, neither of these things is enough to tell you if a candidate is a good fit for your position. You have to be willing to dig deeper.

2. Ask the Right Questions

We’ve given advice on interviews before, and we’ll stress the importance of the interview again here. Following a thoughtful consideration of resumés received, wise employers will give the same careful focus to the interview.

Interview questions should be planned. This is different than being scripted, as a worthwhile interview has to have some flux in order to follow the unique path set by individual candidates. But “just winging it” is a good way to miss out on key questions. Use the resumé as a jumping-off point, delving into education and work history as more than the simple “what” of when and where, but also the “why”.

“Why did you decide to take a year off after your internship before you started at Company A?” can give you important information about a candidate that you might have missed had you simply jumped from one bullet point to the next.

3.  Give Feedback to Engaged Candidates

Searching for a new job can be stressful, and it’s safe to say that most of the candidates you’ve kept thus far have pursued other opportunities along the way. They have no guarantee from you yet, no way of knowing when to quit considering other jobs. While you may not yet be able to make a final offer to a candidate, you should still communicate what you can to those applicants who have remained in your hiring process.

Let candidates know if their resumé is still being considered, if they are still in the running after the last interview, or if they should pursue other opportunities. Waiting for candidates to take initiative here, checking in with you after each step in the process, only works if those candidates don’t have competing offers on the table. Don’t assume that a candidate will wait for you if have given them no feedback.

4. Don’t Take Your Time When You Find the Right One

Don’t drag your feet! When you’ve found a great candidate, contact them right away. If you think a candidate is worth the hire, you can guarantee that other companies think he or she is worth it, too. To put it bluntly, you snooze, you lose.

5. Don’t Overcomplicate the Recruiting Process

No one wants to hire the wrong person. And while we would agree that efforts to avoid this should include a great deal of thought, preparation, and evaluation, the hiring process itself should still be free from over-complication.  If your process is too long, too tedious, or too complex, it can drive away great talent.  Waiting for months is unrealistic for many job seekers, so companies need to prioritize and streamline hiring if they want potential hires to stick with them.

Interviews are an area where companies can tend to get bogged down. Again, we place high value on a quality interview process. However, some companies have taken this to mean that they need to schedule many interviews over many days with a variety of interviewers. Without any guarantee of future employment, it’s difficult for many candidates to follow through on such a complex process.

We aren’t advocating mindless hiring or desperate hiring, just efficient hiring. Analyze your process to see if you are missing out on great talent for preventable reasons.

6. Trust Your Recruiting Partner’s Expertise

If you’ve brought in professionals, let them do their job. We’ve watched businesses struggle with this, dragging their feet and, consequently, losing out on quality candidates.

A skilled, experienced recruiter knows how to locate great talent. So if you are ready to hire and you’ve made the effort to hire a recruiting consultant, don’t miss out on solid candidates by holding your recruiter back.  Trust their expertise, and enjoy the benefits of quality, timely hiring.