Archives For Chuck Smith

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of participating as a panelist in The Alternative Board’s Prosperity Series, an ongoing series of events aimed at assisting small to mid-size businesses. This panel’s subject focused on what companies can do to find candidates in the digital age.

To see a written summary of the topics covered, please visit here Steve Davies’ blog here. If there is anything that you have questions on or would have interest in speaking to me or anyone at NewHire about, please reach out (877-923-0054). Here are a few photos of the panel and networking event:


The Alternative Board’s Prosperity Series - Finding Candidates

The Alternative Board’s Prosperity Series - Finding Candidates


Kill the Resume

It is our declared intention to change the world of employment recruiting in this way:

  1. Stop using resumes as the primary screening method for choosing which job candidates to pursue
  2. Start choosing candidates based on the answers to questions most important to the hiring manager

It may seem a small change to some, however the implications are huge.

At NewHire, we believe that the resume:

  • hinders the connection between the right candidate and the right job
  • causes employers to overvalue experience at the expense of behaviors, motivations skills and aptitude
  • clogs up talent pipelines and fills inboxes with useless, uninterruptible data
  • creates electronic noise when candidates apply for 10 times the amount of jobs and apply for jobs beyond what they are qualified for in the futile hope that one will get noticed
  • invites intentional and unintentional bias in choosing candidates to pursue
  • invites hiring managers to tell themselves stories about candidates without actually speaking to them, creating a situation where potentially qualified candidates are overlooked

At NewHire we want to “kill the resume” to:

  • improve the connection between the right candidate and the right job
  • help employers choose candidates based on behavior, motivations, skills and aptitude
  • free those responsible for recruiting from the barrage of emails with useless information that comes with resume-focused recruiting
  • reduce the electronic noise associated with unqualified candidates applying for jobs
  • reduce hiring manager bias by providing better information from which to choose candidates
  • cause hiring managers to spend more time getting to know fewer, more qualified candidates

At NewHire, we know that companies make better hires when hiring managers stop reading resumes TwitterLogo_#55acee and start choosing candidates to pursue based on their answers to key questions. Because every recruiting process should be shaped like a funnel, with more candidates starting out at the top of the funnel than come out the bottom of the funnel, the manner by which we narrow that flow matters.

Resumes document a person’s work experience and can say nothing about a person’s character, behaviors, motivations, aptitude and skills (all of which are better predictors than experience of on-the-job success!)

Instead of reading resumes for clues of “who” a person is and not just “what” that person has done, ask job-specific questions related to the:

  • work behaviors required for success
  • motivations the job rewards
  • skills the job requires and/or develops
  • culture of the company, work group or department

The most common hiring mistake is that we hire people for what they can do and we fire them for who they are. Resumes are the single biggest contributor to this common error.

It’s time to Kill the Resume.


hand drawn broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

This article appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Strategize Magazine:

Experience resume

It’s time to kill the resume. Plain and simple… using resumes as the primary tool for screening job applicants is ineffective and outdated. Traditionally, resume content includes a summary of academic history, followed by a timeline of employment and unconfirmed accomplishments, but says nothing about the applicant’s on-the-job behaviors, motivations, or attitudes. As a result, it is not surprising that many new hires fail. In fact, a three-year study of 20,000 new hires conducted by Leadership IQ revealed 46 percent failed within 18 months. Lack of skill accounted for 11 percent of the failed hires, while attitude and behavior were responsible for the remaining 89 percent. These numbers are simply not acceptable. After all, what executive is willing to accept a 46 percent failure rate in a core business process?

Identifying, hiring, and retaining quality people cannot be left to chance. When it comes to hiring well, a revolutionary change is in order. Until businesses leave the resume behind, they will continue to hire based on what candidates say they know, only to turn around and fire the same individuals for who they really are.

Why resumes don’t work

Prior to computers and online access, resumes typically provided the only way for potential candidates to show interest in a position. Fast-forward to today. As technology revolutionizes the hiring process with such time-savers as electronic job posting and online submissions, resumes have transitioned from paper to digital format, but they have not changed in substance or effectiveness.

Technology aside, selecting potential employees with such limited information benefits neither the candidate nor the business seeking to fill the position. From the employer’s standpoint, resumes allow candidates to take control of the hiring conversation by telling the story they want the employer to hear. In fact, a 2012 survey of college students reveals 70 percent would lie on their resume to get a job (Accu-Screen, Inc., ADP and The Society of Human Resource Managers, 2012). At the same time, because no two resumes contain the same information in the same format, assessing and comparing skills or experience among candidates is challenging. It’s the hiring equivalent of giving a different test to every student in a class. Using that approach makes coming up with a grading scale next to impossible.

Additional reasons why resumes fail to lead to successful hires include:

  • They equate previous job experience with future success. Unless job variables, such as the manager, product, selling cycles and buyers remain consistent across the board, this is an unrealistic expectation. More importantly, past experience offers no insight into characteristics that indicate future job success, namely behaviors, attitudes and motivation.
  • They lead to dismissing candidates based upon small details or personal biases that likely are not related to future success on the job. Resumes allow hiring teams to select candidates based on a particular gender, race or age, or reject candidates due to typos, misspellings, incorrect grammar, unusual email addresses and uncommon fonts.
  • They result in faulty assumptions. A prime example is the candidate who lists multiple jobs within a certain time frame. Traditional resume-reading leads employers to suspect lack of success when a job change may be the result of a life situation beyond the candidate’s control, such as a spousal move or a company-wide layoff.
  • They lead hiring managers to talk to the wrong people. Overconfident recruiters and hiring managers often assume they can choose a qualified pool of candidates from resumes alone, and then look for desired motivations and behaviors during the interview process. Approaching the process in this way not only leads to beginning with the wrong candidates, but also results in hiring the wrong person or no one at all.

Better tools, better hires

In a 2013 Careerbuilder survey, 66 percent of the US companies surveyed said their businesses had been negatively affected by a bad hire in the prior year, and 27 percent said that each bad hire cost their company more than $50,000. For companies that want to avoid these costly pitfalls, hiring the right people at the right time will require a revolutionary change in hiring practices and mindsets. Here are four tips to accomplish that goal:

  1. Make sure hiring team members understand the company culture. Successfully targeting the right candidate requires knowledge of not just the position, but also of the company.
  2. Create a profile of the target candidate. Use assessments to help teams construct a consensus of behaviors the job requires and the motivations the job rewards.
  3. Gather a wider range of information about candidates to determine behaviors, motivations and personality. For example, before reading a single resume, use an online form to ask candidates to answer the most important questions. Take advantage of applicant tracking systems that offer this process, or create an auto-respond email to deliver questions to applicants.
  4. Recruit continuously, not just when a position needs to be filled. Approach competitors at conferences; connect with friends and acquaintances at social gatherings and through social media. Leave no stone unturned.

Start the revolution

The numbers tell the story. Today’s hiring process is broken, and nothing short of a radical change will improve the rate of success. It’s time to lay the tired resume to rest and make hiring decisions based on the characteristics that make a candidate successful on the job. Only then will companies hire the exceptional people necessary to compete, grow and succeed.

©Strategize Magazine, published by Avenir Publishing, Inc.

A NewHire Case Study

Imagine the chaos you would encounter if every regional and site manager in your food service management firm could order their own ingredients from any source they chose. Duplicate product, missing product, variable quality and no profit would be the the result, right? Food service providers strive to create, implement and monitor systems to avoid the chaos of everyone “doing their own thing.”

Yet when it comes to hiring staff, many food service management companies force managers to “do their own thing.” This happens when hiring managers are told to run an ad, screen, interview, hire and on-board people without support or structure from the organization.

Quest Food Management Services was faced with similar issues when they turned to NewHire for help. From candidate chaos, Quest organized their recruiting so that 3,336 people applied to 116 jobs titles, ranging from Food Service Worker to Human Resources Director, and Lead Line Cook to Vice President of Operations. Now everyone uses the same system and the same process.

Recruitment ad purchases were streamlined and measured for effectiveness. Managers were the given tools they needed to recruit talent and are now held accountable for the results.

Our Quest Food Management Blog Series:

Part 1: Overview

Part 2: Analytic Results Infographic

See the detailed results of Quest’s recruitment for 116 jobs.

Part 3: A Professional Case Study

To recruit for the essential Vice President of Operations role, Nick Saccaro, Quest’s President, chose NewHire Professional.

Part 4:  NewHire Advantage- Conclusion

For the bulk of the 116 positions, Quest’s managers recruited, screened and hired candidates with NewHire Advantage.

Want to learn more about how NewHire can help your company hire better? Request a demo here, or give us a call at 877-923-0054.

The coming year will be a challenging year for finding the talent you need to grow your business. This is not a prediction. It is the current reality and it is not likely to change in the next 12 months. Employers have had it easy for a few years now, taking advantage of large pools of candidates and little wage growth. New realities require new strategies and tactics. They require smart hiring solutions. Want to know how to be prepared?

Here are four trends and hiring solutions that will help you hire better in 2015. 

1. More jobs available

Look at the most recent chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You don’t have to be a math whiz to see the upward trend in available jobs:

Hiring Trends for 2015: Job availability will increase

Small and mid-sized businesses looking to hire staff face nearly double the competition. Just this week, three candidates (two for a client and one for us) canceled their interviews the morning of, saying that they had taken full-time jobs.

In order to get the talent you need, your recruiting is going to have to be both slower and faster.

By slower I mean: you must plan further in advance, start recruiting well before you need a person to start, and expect the process to take longer than before. By faster I mean: you must review candidates more quickly, move through the interview process with dispatch, and make offers without dilly-dallying. Expect candidates to negotiate for more money, benefits, and flexibility.

2. Increased willingness of your employees to change jobs

For most industries and most geographies, business has been steadily improving since 2012. Employers and employees have taken some time to modify their bunker mentality, but the change has come. Your employees are looking for opportunities to “learn more, earn more and do more.” If they don’t get those opportunities from you, they’ll get them from another employer.

At a minimum, you must complete employee reviews. Think about whom you must retain, who you’d prefer to keep, and who you’re okay with letting go. Spend your time with employees in that order.

If you’re thinking about strategies or tactics to keep employees happy, make sure that what you do aligns with what they want. Knowing your employees’ natural motivations allows you to create rewards customized to their wants. For instance, creating a bonus plan for a person who would prefer to take an enrichment course may be ineffective.

3. Perceived and real skills gaps

My favorite Rolling Stones song says it best:  “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need.”

Manufacturing operations, IT support, software development, Healthcare practitioners and technicians, and almost all kinds of sales representatives… these employment categories have many more openings than they have qualified candidates. Just because you NEED to hire these people doesn’t mean that you can. The chart below compiled by shows the number of available jobs in purple and the potential applicants by generation. Note the gap in technical and healthcare and the over-abundance of administrative candidates.

Job Trends 2015: Skills Gap


Bidding wars are breaking out for the talented and experienced. Signing bonuses are common in IT. SMBs can’t compete on compensation with larger companies. What can your business do to combat this problem?

Make peace with the idea that you will be hiring more junior people and training them. Some will stay and some will move on, but it will work out if you’ve built the idea into a long range plan. Your advantage will be a larger pool of talented candidates who have aptitude and desire without experience. You’ll be able to afford to invest in them.

4. Accelerating Boomer retirements

The retiring Baby Boomer is exacerbating the skill gap trend. According to’s Ben Casselman, “In 2003, 82 percent of boomers were part of the labor force; a decade later, that number has declined to 66 percent, and it will only continue to fall.”  This trend has many far-reaching consequences that we don’t have the space or time to address here.

However, when it comes to employment issues, here’s one important fact:  Skilled Baby Boomers will take an immense body of knowledge with them into retirement. Employers must actively facilitate the knowledge transfer from Boomers to GenXer’s and Millenials.

A large number of our clients are facing the need to replace retiring Boomers. Make sure you allocate enough time to identify, hire and train new people. Wait too long and you may face critical failures in your operation.

The War for Talent is back in full force. What are your predictions for hiring trends for 2015? What hiring solutions will you employ to win the battle?


Recruiting sales people, always be recruiting

Recruiting sales people is hard. It takes time, effort, money, attention, patience, persistence and more. Huh… finding and hiring sales reps takes the same effort and tactics required to sell a product or service. Coincidence or not?

But even if you dedicate yourself to the list above, your chances of making the wrong hiring choice are greatly increased if you fail to follow these 3 keys to recruiting sales people.

  1. Define the role:  which type of sales rep do you want to hire?

Dave Kurlan’s OMG assessment can be configured to screen for 14 different sales roles. Howard Stevens of the Chally Group defines 14 sales specialties. Saying you need to hire a sales rep or account manager is not good enough. Do you mean inside sales of a service? Outside sales of a commodity product? Enterprise sales? Account Management? Each choice has consequences for how you source, screen, assess and hire.

  1. Don’t hire on experience:  favor the right behaviors and motivations over experience

While experience is a good teacher, it is also a poor indicator of future success. When reviewing the experience of candidates for sales jobs, it is rare to find a candidate whose experience is so close to your selling situation that you can use it as an indicator. Almost always, the variables from one company to the next (even when they sell the exact same product or service) are too great to be able to compare apples-to-apples.

The crazy part is that you already know this. When I recently asked 75 business leaders responsible for hiring sales people, how many of their experienced hires were successful, two raised their hands. When I asked how many still included years of experience in their job descriptions, all raised their hands!

  1. Never give up – never give in: Recruit, recruit, recruit and only hire when you find the right person

Question: When’s the right time to hire a great sales rep?

Trick question!

Answer: when you find her.

But… if you are not looking how will find her? You won’t. Great sales companies recruit sales talent continuously. If you use a great multi-step screening process, using a valid assessment, it does not have to take up all your time.

Make sure that you have the tools, time, authority and accountability to ALWAYS BE RECRUITING.

You’ve narrowed your candidate pool down to a chosen few and are ready to check the backgrounds of your top candidates. Criminal background checks are in order. After all, you don’t want to hire a criminal, right? Seems simple, but like most issues in recruiting and hiring, the process can be complex with hidden pitfalls.

conviction records

Lest you think that this problem doesn’t come up very often, take a look at the front page of the Wall Street Journal from August 19, 2014. The article reports that the FBI criminal database contains arrest records for 77.7 million Americans, an astounding 33% of adults.

Perhaps the most common pitfall for employers is not understanding the difference between an arrest and a conviction in making hiring decisions. Here is the difference according the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

Difference Between Arrest Records and Conviction Records

The fact that an individual was arrested is not proof that he engaged in criminal conduct. Therefore, an individual’s arrest record standing alone may not be used by an employer to take a negative employment action (e.g., not hiring, firing or suspending an applicant or employee). However, an arrest may trigger an inquiry into whether the conduct underlying the arrest justifies such action.

In contrast, a conviction record will usually be sufficient to demonstrate that a person engaged in particular criminal conduct. In certain circumstances, however, there may be reasons for an employer not to rely on the conviction record alone when making an employment decision.

Bottom line: You shouldn’t deny employment to a candidate based on an arrest record.

conviction records hiring, employee criminal background check

Even more so, you shouldn’t go Googling around looking at “mug shot sites” to find out if your potential new employee has ever been arrested. Conviction records are another matter. You generally can (whether or not you should is another matter) use criminal conviction records to deny employment. The most common exception to this is if you are engaging in pattern of discrimination against a protected category of people and using criminal conviction records for crimes unrelated to job duties to deny employment.

So what’s an employer to do? Here are some basic rules:

  1. Do NOT use arrest records to make hiring decisions.
  2. Do ask if candidates have been “convicted of a felony.”
  3. Do inform candidates that you will be doing pre-employment backgrounds and obtain the candidates’ written consent.

One thing that you can do to work around this process is ask candidates if there is anything you will find on their background check that they’d like to tell you before you run it. It is much easier to deny employment to someone who has lied in the current recruiting process than for any kind of past action.

The takeaway here is that you cannot use arrest records when hiring. You can use conviction records, but you cannot use them to discriminate. Essentially, if the conviction directly affects the potential hire’s ability to do the job, you can use it. If it is unrelated, you may be at risk.


Follow along as we hire for open positions at NewHire.

We’ve been steadily interviewing for a couple of different positions at NewHire, but now the urgency of the need has increased. We have you, our wonderful clients, to thank for that. So, thank you!

We thought it might be interesting and informative for you to follow along as we hire (and we thought you may know someone who would be a good fit). We are currently in the process of building a candidate pool for several different roles. Here are the jobs we are looking to fill:

Staffing Coordinator:

As you know, Staffing Coordinators deliver the NewHire recruiting process to our clients. We have an internal, written job description which details reason the job exists, the duties, responsibilities and rewards of the job. Actually we have three of those job descriptions, because each Staffing Coordinator wrote their own job description. Now we have a NewHire application here. 

Account Manager:

This is a sales role. The job description focuses on learning NewHire products and services and learning our clients’ needs and wants. Our goal is develop Account Manager into recruiting experts. We distinguish the role from the job title “Sales Representative” because Account Managers don’t cold call. They do go out on sales calls, sell over the phone, network, attend trade shows, do demonstrations, write blog posts and provide post-sales support to clients. We are looking for two people and you can see the NewHire application here.

Administrative Reception:

This is our entry-level position and we have promoted most of our current staff from this role into others in the company. We look for the “best available talent” measured by intelligence, behaviors, motivations and aptitude. If you know a recent college grad interested in a growing web-based software and service company, please send them here.

Building a candidate pool is no easy task. It’s important to advertise to the right people, get a good pool to choose from and then screen them to see who you want to interview.

Each process will rely on NewHire to advertise, source and screen candidates. We’ll phone screen the people who are the closest fits and give assessments to the best of the phone screens.

Follow our blog for more updates on the process. We look forward to introducing you to the newest members of the NewHire team once we have finished building a candidate pool, screened our candidates and selected the best person for the job, because we believe every job deserves the right person.


Having experienced thousands of job openings and millions of candidates at NewHire, one lesson is clear: Every recruiting project moves from the “ideal world of the job description” to “the real world of the people actually interested in your job.”

Perfect candidates are an extremely rare breed. This Harvard Business Review article (link: calls them “purple squirrels.” We tend to call them “flying mermaids.” However you think of them, there’s nothing wrong with finding the perfect candidate — if you can do it in the time frame required to meet your business objectives. When you find a candidate like this, think of it as a happy accident.

As in most of life, timing is everything. The bigger your hurry, the more compromising you must do. The higher the stakes, the more careful you feel you must be. Let’s look at two real-life scenarios to illustrate what we mean:

Scenario 1.

You have an opening for a sales representative (I know… you always do) on your team of five. People are a bit stretched covering the open position, but not impossibly so. Your Sales Manager is spending measurably less time coaching and more time selling, so this hurts the overall sales effort. Given the cost of the hire, the initial training and a significant ramp-up time, you’re looking at an investment of $50,000 to $60,000. You’ve seen six candidates who have been through a multi-step recruiting process, including a positive result on a sales assessment that you believe in. You’ve been at it for 90 days. Each of the candidates has significant pros and cons. Do you pick the best of the bunch or keep looking?

Scenario 2.

You own the business and it has been good, growing, and modestly profitable. You’ve been at it for six years and now you are thinking it’s time to bring in a General Manager or COO who will help you to the next level. You want to add more professional management experience to your organization. You want time to work on new products and spend more time with customers. People tell you that you’ll have to pay $110,000 to $130,000 to get the right person. Having mentioned your interest to a few colleagues, referrals are trickling in and you’ve met with three candidates. You liked one of them a lot, but she’s in demand and likely has other offers. Do you take the plunge and hire her?

Here are our answers:

Scenario 1: Pick the best of the bunch and get a sales rep hired.

Yes, it’s a significant investment and you want to get it right, but the cost of doing nothing exceeds the risk of hiring the wrong person. It’s difficult to calculate lost opportunity, but you know it’s there. Without a fully functioning sales machine it’s difficult to grow. Use 30, 60 and 90 benchmarks to measure whether your new hire is on the path to success. Keep sourcing, screening and interviewing candidates… there’s never a wrong time to hire a purple squirrel sales rep. Build the cost of sales rep turnover into to your annual budget so that you don’t fret every time a sales rep fails… it happens.

Scenario 2: Slow down! Back up and start over.

We are not opposed to “opportunistic hires,” but the business owner in this scenario has not spent any time clearly defining the role and responsibilities, nor have they thought about the behaviors and motivations that the GM or COO job would reward. What is the owner’s behavior profile? Should the new hire have the same kind of profile or should it be different, filling in leadership and management gaps. Would a hire coming from a large organization with a strong history of implementing corporate best practices be a good idea? Is the referral he liked, “the best available talent?” He doesn’t know WHO he doesn’t know, so expand the pool of candidates dramatically. Kiss a lot of frogs. It helps you identify when you’ve found your prince.

How many people do you interview for each position before you hire?

Help Wanted v2

Few things are as frustrating to business leaders as hard-to-fill jobs. These talent bottlenecks slow company growth and cost real money. But the law of supply and demand shows no mercy. If you want to hire any of the following, chances are you’ll find few candidates to choose from:

  • Software Developers
  • Truck Drivers
  • Sales Representatives
  • Engineers (of all kinds!)
  • CNC operators and other manufacturing staff
  • This list could really go on and on… Digital Marketing Experts, IT Technicians, Senior Executives, etc.

With so many people out of work, how can it be so hard to find the people you need? Here are 5 factors that can make a job hard to fill and suggestions that may help:

  • Small pool of trained candidates – you’re buying new machines with new technologies like the latest CNC (you may have to train them yourself)
  • Poor Geography – your business is located in a place that has few trained workers (consider hiring remote staff)
  • Under-market compensation – it’s called the “War for Talent” for a reason and if your comp plan isn’t competitive you should consider paying more (yes, you may have to raise your prices too)
  • Unappealing advertising – the candidates may be out there but you are not appealing to them in a way that moves them to apply (you have to tell them “what’s in it for them”)
  • Challenging company reputation – do you know how prospects (both job candidates and potential clients) feel about your company? (check your online reputation and address any problems you find)

When you need what you need and can’t get it, it’s easy to blame the messenger whether that’s your HR person, Executive Recruiter, or job board. And, sure, if the people you have working on this critical business problem aren’t putting in the effort, following all the leads and trying all available methods, you have a right to be frustrated. But what if they are?

You have two choices:  1) keep doing what you’re doing and wait patiently for the right person to come along, or 2) change something. You can look for less experience, pay more money, cast a wider net with more advertising, promote from within and hire for that easier-to-fill open position.


What’s it going to be?