“Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret.” – Zig Ziglar

I have had the fantastic opportunity to work for NewHire formerly known as New Office Temps for over 10 years. In this time I have not only grown immeasurably professionally but personally as well. In my role as Staffing Coordinator, I have been introduced to an enormous variety of industries and business leaders from across the country, and I have learned firsthand what it takes to operate a successful small to mid-size business, from a recruitment perspective. From this standpoint, I have enormous gratitude that I have the great fortune of learning from the expertise of the President of NewHire, Chuck Smith and the Vice President, Leora Baumgarten, along with my wonderful colleagues turned friends.

The foundation of this organization combined with the numerous lessons I have learned as a Staffing Coordinator has contributed to me feeling ready to pursue a different passion, that of a Clinical Mental Health Counselor as my new career. Among many things, working as a Staffing Coordinator as taught me the critical importance of listening, taking a risk, going with your gut, and being prepared for the unexpected. With that in mind, I am aware that making any change can be scary but not doing so due to fear of it not working out is much worse. Many companies that I have worked with have been afraid to take a chance on candidates for a variety of reasons, and I am grateful that was not the case for me. NewHire has invested in me all of these years and in turn, I have invested in NewHire and in myself. I know that it will continue to be revealed to me the many ways that I have been influenced by the many impactful experiences had as a result.

I thank-you all for working with me all of these years. We are very excited to reintroduce you to Stephanie Lewandowski as a Lead Staffing Coordinator in the coming days by phone or by email.  Best wishes.

Alicia Hall

help hiring

I write and talk a lot about all the ways recruiting can go wrong. When we understand why or how recruiting is going wrong, we are more willing to take action.  And action implies change. Until today I hadn’t considered that you want to hire the right person –  and making a change probably wasn’t on your radar at all – even if you’re having trouble hiring and you reached out for assistance.

Today I read the first chapter of the book Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith. As I read the first chapter I had a realization about our customers – about you.  And I had a realization about us – the people at NewHire.

Here is the quote from page 10 that really got me thinking: “…adult behavioral change [is] hard. If you want to be a better partner at home or a better manager at work, you not only have to change your ways, you have to get some buy-in from your partner or co-workers. Everyone around you has to recognize that you’re changing. Relying on other people increases the degree of difficulty exponentially.”

Getting buy-in from partners and coworkers is important in making changes. Recognizing the change is needed, requested or is happening is important too. AND adding more people makes it more difficult. Wow. This is good stuff. But what does it have to do with you and me and recruiting?

When recruiting isn’t yielding the expected (or desired) result and you engage with an outside service, like NewHire, to solve the problem, you were probably not thinking about changing. You were thinking about solving a hiring problem. But sometimes solving a problem comes with a healthy does of change.

Here are four behaviors we will be asking you to change as you recruit with us:

1. We will ask you to change HOW you evaluate talent, both the criteria and the tools.

Plan to experience some discomfort as we coach you through this change. The feelings we have when we start doing things differently is kind of like feeling an itch we can’t quite reach. Sometimes that’s really frustrating and makes us angry. Be open minded and try the new way.

Practice thinking out of the box about talent when we review candidates together. Remember that we are on your team! We share the same goal – to hire efficiently and effectively every time.

2. Respond quickly and honestly when we ask for your feedback. We depend on your timely, realistic input. (And we know you depend on ours too.)

We are glad when you like our work. We are also glad when the interview goes well. And we’re as disappointed as you are to hear that an interview didn’t go so well.

We want to hear from you if the news is good AND if the news you’re sharing isn’t so good. We promise to share good new and not-so-good news too.

When it comes time to share feedback about candidates and interviews we want detailed  information – so we know what to do next on your behalf. When we ask you for feedback about the candidate interview, we are trying to answer these key questions: Should we schedule a second interview for this person? Or should we modify the type of candidate we recommend next? Tell us!

Be realistic in your evaluation. None of the candidates (or staff at NewHire) have superhuman powers, be realistic in your expectations.  Be specific with your feedback in three key areas: the candidate’s skills, experience, and demonstrated work behaviors. Don’t be shy to deliver bad news (or better yet – good news) quickly. It will speed up the entire process if we know right away.

If you need something from us, and you haven’t heard yet, please please let us know. Remember we are on the same team and we share the same goal – to hire efficiently and effectively every time.

3. Don’t freak out when we Fail Fast.

Fail Fast in an idea that comes from Kanban, lean engineering / manufacturing  and inquiry based science. It is be a misleading term for a positive outcome. Let me repeat that: Failing Fast is a positive outcome.

Of course the goal isn’t to fail, the goal is to learn from the failure. The faster we get you to interview candidates who are not-quite-right, the faster we can make adjustments and get to the people who are just-right. We are tough and want to know what you thought (see #2 above), which will help us move the needle together on your recruiting.

When you feel like we’ve failed you might find that you have an emotional response – like anger or frustration. It’s ok and it’s normal. Remember that we are failing fast – not failing flat on our faces. We want to fail fast and we want get your feedback on that failure – so we can make the appropriate adjustments that will lead to success. And that leads me to the last and most important behavior change we will ask of you.

4. Collaborate with us. You’re the inside expert and we are the recruiting experts. Together we can be awesome.

Building trust is a two way street. We work hard to keep you up to date. But we don’t want to overwhelm you either. We can’t read your mind, but we can read your email. Engage with us by asking questions and sharing your preferences.

We want you to understand the Why, the How and the When of our tried and true 6 step hiring process. If you don’t understand or don’t remember or just want clarification – let us know. Be open minded about trying something a little bit different and new.

We want to move your recruiting project forward quickly, but not at the expense of the end goal.  We believe that every job deserves the right person, and we are working hard to get the person to you!

Some of the NewHire team took the opportunity last week to join in watching the solar eclipse. Chicago didn’t have a total eclipse, we had about 87%. It was a little cloudy, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time in Millennium Park.

NewHire Eclipse

NewHire Eclipse

NewHire Eclipse

NewHire Eclipse NewHire Eclipse

 

 

 

 

Putting the best people in the right seats is the biggest problem identified by most business owners, especially as it applies to critical sales roles. Here are the 5 most common reasons most companies struggle with hiring quality salespeople.

#1 Companies outsource their recruiting and the responsibility.

Recruiting is something that a company Hiring Quality Salespeoplehas to own. They can no longer outsource the work and the responsibility. That makes it too easy for people internally to throw up their hands and transfer failures associated within the hiring process to the outsourced firm. If companies are going to improve the quality of their hires, they have to own the process.

#2 There is a lack of a consistent process for constantly searching.

Most, if not all, companies make the mistake of looking for candidates only when they have an opening. This leads to many problems:

  • Being held hostage by salespeople with “large books”. Companies feel they cannot do anything about them for fear of losing the “books” since there aren’t any replacements.
  • Feeling desperate to fill a chair with a warm bottom when there is a vacancy. A body,
    anybody, is better than no one sitting in the chair (branch).
  • Not replacing underperformers because there isn’t a pipeline of candidates to choose from. The underperformers stay around too long; others know it and realize that they don’t have to perform to keep their job, so overall team production continues to decline.

#3 Companies are not getting quality candidates entering the process.

The traditional model of recruiting today is one where the placement firm tries to convince their client why a candidate should be hired. Companies should, on the other hand, work extremely hard to disqualify candidates because there are specific skills that apply for that sales job and many/most candidates do not have those skills. Bottom line, the company has to assess at least two things: 1) Do they have enough of the right strengths to be successful? 2) Will they sell versus can they sell?

#4 There is poor communication about the specific role and expectations of this new hire.

Too often, everyone is so excited about putting the deal together (getting the seat filled) that no one takes the time to get into the details of the day-to-day requirements of the job. This leads to early misunderstandings about the role and eventually, failure on the part of the new hire to meet the expectations of the company. Failure to “negotiate on the 1st tee” leads to misunderstanding and failure to execute on the sales goals.

#5 The on-boarding process is inadequate.

Most companies are ill-equipped to effectively on-board new sales people. They spend time introducing them to the “culture” of the operation, the mechanics of the job and how to get things done. They introduce them to HR, their support team, marketing and their partners. And, yes, there is discussion about goals, sales activities and how to enter data into CRM. And then… the new hires are on their own.

Companies think that they have hired their next sales superstar and then, 12 months later, they cannot figure out what went wrong. They look at the numbers and discover that the new hires are producing “just like everyone else in the middle of the pack.” The process most companies have in place currently to recruit and hire salespeople perpetuates this problem. This is what makes the Hire Better Salespeople process so compelling. Our program works to eliminate “middle of the pack” performers by screening for sales talent upfront. From the application, to the assessment, to the interview, the main objective is to identify those that can and will sell. Partnering closely with our clients ensures that responsibility cannot be transferred, consistent candidate pipeline work occurs and new hires are set up for success upon starting.

Hire Better Salespeople was developed to eliminate the frustration and guess work when sourcing and hiring quality sales talent. Stop hiring mediocre performers today and start seeing success with Hire Better Salespeople and NewHire.


 

Alex Cole

Alex Cole is the Managing Director & Recruitment Specialist for Anthony Cole Training Group. She attended the University of Dayton and holds a double major in Marketing and Sales, with minors in Theater and Psychology. She is specifically focused on Anthony Cole’s latest venture Hire Better Salespeople. She helps companies recruit, assess and develop the right salesperson for their team.

As readers enjoy the tail-end of summer, we hope you enjoy this popular blog from Leora reposted from a few years back.

The other day my mom sent me an email that didn’t include a family photo. Instead she asked this question:

What is the difference between phone interview (also called “phone screening”) questions and interview questions?

Here is the email I sent to her:

“Hi Mom:

It’s so cool that you asked! Here is how I think about it. The goal of the phone interview is to identify a few people who you would like to invite for a face-to-face interview. The goal of the face-to-face interview is to identify one or two candidates you’d like to hire. The different goals should drive the kinds of questions you ask in each setting.

About 10% of the total candidate pool (all the people who apply) will meet your minimum qualifications. Use the phone interview to identify the best available talent from that 10%. Don’t expect to learn everything about every candidate, but, find out enough information to decide whether or not to invite them for a face-to-face interview.”

This is a question we hear often at NewHire and here is how to handle phone and in-person interviewing process:

  • Start by emailing an invitation to schedule a phone appointment. You might not realize it but this is already part of the interview. Your goal is to confirm that the candidate can follow up professionally. It may sound silly, but setting and keeping appointments is a work skill for lots of job titles.
  • Limit your phone conversation to 30 minutes. I like to start by asking about the most recent position and the duties and responsibilities. Find out why they are looking for a new job. Confirm that they can speak appropriately and professionally. Listen for negative language about past employers, duties, or coworkers. Listen for language that suggests the candidate felt a sense of commitment and belonging in their last job. Using words like “us” and “we” instead of “they” is one way a candidate might express this sense of belonging and ownership.  End the phone interview with clear information about follow-up and decision making schedule.
  • Use face-to-face interviews to decide whether or not the candidate should be hired. Confirm that they have the right set of soft skills, the right experience and the right work behaviors and attitudes to be successful in the job. Learn about their work history (ask about every job they’ve had), education, hobbies, and volunteer work. Decide if they will be an asset to the organization. Ask tough technical questions. Don’t be afraid of silence in the interview; give the candidate time to answer.
  • Expect to spend at least an hour with the candidate. Use the opportunity to gather a variety of information to make a smart hiring choice for your organization. Find out if you like the person and would enjoy having them as a team member.

Most importantly, be patient. Hiring takes time and effort. Look for the right person. Happy interviewing!

 

“Hire the right people by making your job enticing” was originally published for the OKSPA. See the full blog at the link below:

My company is based on this premise: Every job deserves the right person. We help businesses improve their chances of making good hires.

The first thing we discover with most of our clients is that they need help getting ready to hire, which I believe is the most important part of the hiring process. If you don’t do it well, you’re going to end up hiring somebody, but it’s not likely to be the right person.

I’m going to focus on what I consider the two most important parts of getting ready to hire—the employee value proposition and the job description.

Read more about those two most important parts here.

You’ve probably heard something lately about Google and the job search market. I don’t know what passes for excitement in your world. In ours, Google for Jobs is all the rage.  Here’s what we know so far:

  • Google has launched a job-specific search engine. Jobseekers search for jobs on Google just as anyone would do any search, directly from the search bar
  • Jobs advertised through NewHire are already available in to this new search engine (through our partnerships with Glassdoor and Ziprecruiter)
  • NewHire is actively working on a direct integration

Google has applied its latest in Artificial Intelligence technology to do a better job matching people to jobs… we will see. Early results are promising. Google’s move into job search will have a huge impact on the job search and job board market:

  • Players including LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Ziprecruiter, Monster and Careerbuilder are aligning with and sharing jobs with Google
  • Many other jobsites will follow
  • We believe that Google and all of these other players are looking to compete against Indeed, which for the moment does not appear to be participating
  • Google has not, to date, offered a paid advertising model to advertise jobs directly on Google

At NewHire, we consider it our responsibility to you to stay up-to-date and keep you informed of changes in the candidate sourcing marketplace. We remain committed to our core principle of source independence when it comes to attracting candidates and building your candidate pool. This means that we will continue seek out and use multiple sourcing strategies to attract the best available talent for your open positions.

Please reach out to us with your questions, thoughts and suggestions!

Here are a few links for further reading:

Millennials are the conundrum of the employment market today. The US economy spends millions researching, reporting, and trying to solve the puzzle of the millennial worker. How do we attract and retain the precious millennial, who will be over half of the workforce very soon? It’s a question that’s on everyone’s mind.

The problem? Millennials aren’t any different than any generation before them (and here’s the IBM study to prove it.) The players haven’t changed. It’s the game that has changed.

Think back to 25 years ago. You might have gotten a job by walking into a building with a “Help Wanted” sign in the front of it. If you happened to catch the boss after lunch, you were hired. Or maybe you typed out your resume on a typewriter and responded to classified ads in the newspaper. Regardless, there was very little information in the marketplace about the experience of working at a given company. Workers were just happy to have a job that paid well and was relatively steady.

What has changed since those days? Everything.

The way we find jobs has changed.

If you thought your job was kind of boring, and maybe it’s not going anywhere, what would you do? Well, you might look around and see what else is out there. And now, in the new age of employment, you would find a ton of options. You could type in your job title online and find 500 listings within 100 miles of you looking for someone like you.

Data from Indeed says that 58% of adults in or looking to enter the labor force are looking at online job listings monthly. Not only are there more options available to the workforce, but the workforce is increasingly aware of those options.

The way we change jobs has changed.

What’s more? The internet tells you what it’s like to work at any company you’re interested in. From former employees to on-demand Q&A’s with employers, there are tons of places to find out how green that grass is on the other side of the fence. The players haven’t changed, but the game has. People don’t want to leave jobs any more or less than they used to. But other companies certainly want your most talented employees to leave their jobs in search of greener pastures. And the competition for talent gives companies incentives to employ more creative tools to get people interested in working for them. From dedicated candidate webpages to video content, changing jobs has never looked more enticing.

The way we create jobs has changed.

Alongside the internet and all the advances in the way we communicate with people has come more opportunity for entrepreneurs. According to the US Small Business Administration, the number of small businesses has increased by almost 50% in the United States since the 1980s. If you walked out of an advertising agency 50 years ago, it would be career suicide to start your own agency with no other employees. Today, that type of “I’ll do it myself” attitude is commonplace, because resources are available for any person to start their own business with a cell phone and an internet connection. It’s much easier to get your name out there, market and advertise products or services, and start making money on your own than it once was. Again, the players haven’t changed. The game has.

The way we do jobs has changed.

Cold calling, door-to-door sales, even print-mail marketing all had their chance in the sun for decades. The way people bought and sold has changed a little bit over time, but employees could pretty much rely on the company’s plan to attack the market. Since the rise of the internet, we have gone through pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, blog marketing, and social media marketing in pretty short order. Where once a boss could compel her sales representative to just make more phone calls in order to get more sales, today’s world requires a company to be more nimble and willing to embark on different methods for acquiring business.

With that comes a different kind of stress. Where before employees might complain that they were being forced to hit their head against the wall with little to no result, now they might complain because they are being forced to hit their head against the wall AND the company won’t let them finish their ladder.

The market for ideas is competitive one, and often represents a more equal playing field than the market for experience. A company that doesn’t keep it’s eyes and ears open, especially when it’s their own employees shouting and waving their arms, runs the risk of losing business and talent in one fell swoop.

millennial game changer

So what can we do?

You know now that it’s not the people who have changed. It’s the market around them that has changed. The first thing you can do to improve the way you attract talent, retain talent, and improve your business is to stop trying to change those things about people that can’t be changed.

You can’t hire someone who just doesn’t like leaving.

If you can’t get employees to stop leaving after 5 years, then build a recruiting process that allows you to replace the ones who leave with other employees who have the same training and skills. Become consistent in your recruiting and hiring efforts. Make the process by which you find people repeatable. That magic headhunter might get you the person with 10 years of experience once, but it will be less expensive and more reliable for you to build a business that doesn’t have to rely on that magic.

The players haven’t changed, but the game has. Now is the time to start reacting to those changes in the game. Look at the way people find jobs, and make the path to your company the easiest and most promising one. Look at the way people change jobs, and make your company the hardest one to leave. Look at the way we create jobs, and find a way to profit off all of you old employees who will leave and start their own thing. It will take time. It will be difficult. But it will be a heck of a lot more effective than complaining about the next generation of employees and how different they are.

 

broadcastWith all of those potential employees out there looking at job ads every month, an attractive job advertisement just might be your ticket to hiring the next superstar employee at your company. Request our Crafting Effective Recruitment Advertising Guide to learn more about how to get ahead of your competition for talent. 

A solid interview plan is one crucial step in hiring. Sometimes even with the best planning, interviews can cause hiring headaches! Sure, we worry about and guard against the big issues – like someone asking illegal questions. And sure, we are disappointed by poor interviews with candidates who seemed well qualified on paper. I want to share another scenario that can cause internal conflict: derailing, delaying or scuttling a hire entirely.

Consider this story, maybe it sounds familiar? After a full day of interviews, conducted by three teams, it’s time for us to compare notes and decide whether or not to hire the candidate. As the debriefing conversation proceeds it seems like we didn’t interview the same person! Each person presents a unique perspective on the candidate, and has a different take on their ability to bring value to the company as a new employee. Wait, wait, how can that be? I’m quite sure we all met with the same applicant.

My recent visit to The Heard Museum in Phoenix AZ provided me with a new understanding of this challenging phenomena. The special exhibit featuring works of the famous artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo (on exhibit through August 20, 2017) seems like a surprising place to find inspiration for understanding the challenges of interviews.

Check out these paintings (click for a full-size image). Three portraits, three artists, one model. The woman in each (think of her as the candidate you just interviewed) is Natasha Gelman. She and her husband Jacques were famous collectors of 20th century art. The Gelman’s were also friends with Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo.

Natasha Gelman by Diego Rivera

Natasha Gelman, by Diego Rivera, 1942

Natasha Gelman by Frida Kahlo

Natasha Gelman, by Frida Kahlo, 1943

 

 

 

 

 

Natasha Gelman by Ángel Zárraga

Natasha Gelman by Ángel Zárraga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow. It doesn’t take a an art critic or rocket scientist to see that there is something going on here. Three interviews, three perspectives, three opinions, and no consensus.

If we asked each  artist (interviewer) for their input on hiring this candidate you would NOT be surprised if they were unable to come to consensus. Each artist (interviewer) clearly has a unique point of view.  Maybe they aren’t even interviewing her with the same job description in mind!

Diego is portraying a gorgeous woman in a most flattering light – perhaps influenced by his benefactor, Natasha’s husband, who commissioned the work. In contrast, Frida’s portrait makes Natasha seem severe, distant, demanding and a bit sad. (Could Frida be expressing her own worries about all that time Diego and Natasha have been spending together?). And Ángel Zárraga’s Natasha, seems to be waiting, lacking motivation or self-determination. In the Zárraga portrait Natasha appears almost cherubic. It is impossible to tell if his description of Natasha is a reflection of his lesser artistic skill or his impression of the woman.

Are these portraits the result of personal perspective or is this implicit (unconscious) bias* at work? Or maybe both? When we are talking about a work of art, we typically expect to see the subject through the artist’s eyes, bias and all.  But when we are interviewing, and a candidate’s career, and the company’s ability to thrive, all hang in the balance, we might be more concerned about being inappropriately influenced by one interviewer’s point of view, or bias, whether it is implicit or explicit.

When it comes to hiring, we start worrying that implicit bias might lead us astray, causing us to miss an opportunity for a great hire. It can also lead to bitter arguments and political wrangling among team members about the appropriateness of one candidate over another. However, when we are talking about art we might call this bias artistic license, and enjoy the result.

We can protect ourselves and our company from hiring mistakes caused by bias during interviews by collecting and considering a variety of non-subjective information about the candidate. It is imperative to get a multi-faceted picture of the candidate, before we make a hiring decision. Effective hiring starts long before the interview and requires a thoughtful, well executed, multi-step process.

It’s safe to say that we’ve learned about interviewing from two famous artist Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo!

Notes and Links:

  1. *Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
  2. For more reading on implicit or unconscious bias: http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/ai-reduce-unconscious-bias/
  3. Frida Kahlo web site
  4. Diego Rivera web site
  5. Ángel Zárraga on Wikipedia

 

“Back In My Day – I put an ad in the paper and someone came and applied to my job!”
Advertising was simpler back then – you paid some money, usually a flat fee, and ran an ad for a week or two in your newspaper.  And resumes came pouring in.

Now – clicks are king, the internet has taken over as the new source for news and jobs, and figuring out where and how to post your job has become much more complicated and costly.

When people began transitioning to internet advertising, they left the old business model in place.  You paid a flat rate for the ad (usually charged by the word), and you job ad ran for a set amount of time. a As new markets were opened up by the internet, people started bidding and paying for clicks, or views to their ad.

Now, there’s an even newer model for advertising your job. Bidding and paying for Applicants directly.  This new market is the newest model  and is proving volatile to say the least.

The upside of using a Cost Per Applicant is  that you only pay when someone actually applies for the job.   The downside, though, is that it will probably take longer and overall be more expensive per applicant, as the marketplace is still small for CPA and the number of sites offering this option is still limited.

At NewHire, we keep an eye on the job board market so our clients get their best candidates, and we’ve been looking at CPA data for the last year to see how to make use of this.  We’ve found a few distinct tiers of  Applicant cost.  Jobs that have a large number of applicants, like Administrative and Food Services jobs, have a relatively low CPA (under $20 per applicant), Jobs in Sales and Management have a higher CPA (between $20 and $40 per applicant), perhaps because they need more seasoned or specialized applicants.  Jobs in the Insurance and Medical industries, and Engineers of all sorts, have the highest CPA (Over $40 per applicant).  This is probably due to the small supply of qualified applicants vs. the demand.

Here is a graph of CPA by Job Category:CPA By Job Category 2015-2016We also analyzed the Cost Per Applicant by job board. We wanted to know if there is a noticeable difference in the cost of acquiring candidates from various job boards that charge on a pay per click basis.

We estimated this by taking the number of applicants we received from each job board (based on Google Analytics) and comparing that number with the spend on the job board for last year.   In the graph below, you can see that the more general job boards, Indeed, Careerbuilder, and Craigslist. have a lower CPA.  Specialty job boards like Bevforce and CPA exclusive boards like AppCast are more expensive, as they are targeting a smaller set of possible applicants and therefore generating less overall traffic.  At the highest end, our Passive candidate search is the most expensive, and coincidentally the most specialized and targeted.2016 CPA By Source EstimatedLike the stock market, CPA costs are constantly changing, as job boards enter and leave the marketplace. Additionally,fluctuations occur in what’s considered a hot job, or a desired location. We keep our eyes on the market to help our clients get the best candidates for their jobs, whatever the source!