Archives For Recruiting Best Practices

Hiring & recruiting best practices for small and mid-sized businesses.

“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

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

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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. 

Today’s Wall Street Journal lead editorial focuses on “America’s Growing Labor Shortage.” The text is 14 paragraphs long, 13 of which detail the problems – construction and farm labor shortages – and one paragraph recommending somebody do something about it.

Every word of the editorial is true, yet stunningly insufficient. The recommendation? “… the U.S. will need to improve education and skills in manufacturing and IT.” The “U.S.” doesn’t “do” anything! Business leaders, state and federal leaders, academic leaders all need to “do” a number of specific actions to start to solve these shortages.

For instance, Hands-On CNC Training, a program in northern Illinois run by the TMA (Tooling and Manufacturing Association) is matching entry level candidates to CNC manufacturing jobs, providing an hourly wage, on-the-job and classroom training and the promise of a full time job on graduation. Funding comes from multiple sources (including the businesses that will benefit most from the investment).

Labor shortageI know that “union” is a dirty word for the WSJ. However, looking backward, it seems obvious today that union busting has had the negative consequence of reducing the pool of trained construction (and other) workers. Yes, unions may create additional expense for employers, but at least some of that expense paid for unions to train new members. This ensured the perpetuation of union and the availability of skilled workers to business. No institution has stepped forward to replace this training function, hence a shortage of workers. Companies that work collaboratively with unions to ensure a trained workforce suffer fewer labor shortages.

Another type of failure we see is a failure of imagination. Whether the open positions are in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, high-tech, or healthcare, employers do a poor job of helping potential employees picture what a career in their industry will be like. When employers spend time and money looking for “experienced” workers in fields that have shortages, they waste effort. Spend time and money educating future employees on the benefits of a career in their field. Spend effort identifying the work behaviors, motivations and skills required for the jobs and then find matching people regardless of experience. Then hire, train, and help new employees grow. Waiting for others to train your workers is a recipe for shortages.

And finally, in agreement with the WSJ editorial, bring in more, not fewer foreign workers for skilled and unskilled positions. Don’t restrict work visas.

At NewHire we believe “Every Job Deserves the Right Person,” and we work hard every day with employers all over the U.S. to help them hire better!

As a kid, the phrase “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!” always stood out to me as kind of silly. The idealist in me said, “But if they’re all in one basket, then I can carry them all at once.” And, yesterday, as I stood looking at a dozen shattered eggs sprawled out over my kitchen floor, the idealist in me was very, very silent.

I don’t know if I’ll start  keeping my eggs in more than one carton, but at least now the essence of the adage is not so lost on me. Especially when it comes to your business, employees, or products, having a back-up plan is essential for those things in life that are difficult to replace. As careful as you are in everything you do, at some point, you’re bound to drop a carton of eggs on the kitchen floor.

Step 6 - Sean's Blog Copy

The place in the recruiting process where most employers forget to diversify is during the final offer – Step 6 in our 6 step recruiting process. A business has done all the up-front work necessary. That includes developing a compelling Employee Value Proposition, writing a great recruitment ad, and assessing the candidate pool adequately. They bring in some fantastic candidates, interviewed them, and found a few that fit the position and company culture. Finally, they choose one. What now? The business sends an offer letter to the top candidate, and when that candidate accepts, the business forgets about the other great talent they just spent months trying to find. Or maybe if the HR Manager is feeling polite, he or she sends the top few candidates an email that says, “Thanks but no thanks, we’ve filled the position.”

Perhaps you see where this is going. Top Candidate starts on day one, picks things up pretty quickly and is enjoying the company after a few weeks of working there. But then Top Candidate gets a call from her last employer. After some groveling, and a tremendous salary increase, Top Candidate goes back to her old company, and we are left standing in a pile of egg yolks.

In sales, a company would never let a qualified prospect off the hook because they found another qualified prospect to sell to. So why do we throw away good talent so quickly? Especially given the understanding that retaining great employees is so difficult, why throw all of our eggs in one basket?

That moment when your top candidate accepts an employment offer is a wonderful moment. Especially for a business that’s been searching to fill this position for a few months, or even a few years, it can be liberating. But it is also a crucial moment in the hiring process, and one that most small businesses can’t afford to get wrong.

Keep a clear head and check your optimism. Take the good talent you found during the first 5 steps in the hiring process, and just like you would in sales, continue to engage with them. When good talent comes around, remember that “not now” is always better than “no.” A great way to express this to a candidate is as follows:

“We hired a person for this role, but we are always looking to add great people to our team, and throughout the interview process we recognized that you are immensely talented. We would love to add you to our team once we have the capacity to bring on more people. Would you mind if we stayed in touch over the next few months to see if we can do that?”

Imagine hearing that kind of a “no” as a job candidate. The worst the candidate could say is that he or she does not want to hear from you, in which case you are no worse off than you were before. A recruitment process that works like a sales process ensures that once you’ve found good talent, you don’t let them off the hook until they give you an absolute, definite, no. This way, you’ll never be left standing in a pile of cracked eggs with a recruiting emergency on your hands, and your company will continue to add great talent with every hire.

Hire better salespeople NewHireLooking to hire your own sales superstar? Check out our Roadmap on How to Hire Better Salespeople. You’ll learn the 3 job boards you have to be on to engage with sales talent, the assessment strategy you’ll never hire another sales rep without, and the best interview tips for hiring sales reps. Get it here…

Here at NewHire we work in a collaborative work environment with an open office space. Naturally, ideas come to life as we chat and learn more about co-workers by sitting right next to them with no barriers! One of the great things about working this way is that you can find exciting things to do weekly that are fun that most people will participate in as they are always nearby. All of us at NewHire have found that exciting thing to be food! Who doesn’t love a snack shared by the group?

We set out on a journey to find the “best of” in Chicago. We couldn’t randomly choose foods every week, we wanted it to have a solid end result. So, we focused in on a favorite breakfast treat: DONUTS!

Each Friday, either a co-worker volunteered to bring donuts from a different place, or the office collected donations and one person volunteered to pick them up. Depending on the cost, we purchased an assortment of 6-12 donuts per Friday. But how could you share just a few donuts among a big group of people? Well, we figured out pretty quickly that the best way to share and judge was by sampling each donut. So we cut all the donuts in small pieces, tasted, and then, yes, we rated each donut individually on a shared spreadsheet. We enjoyed eating donuts for 8 weeks!

Check out our rankings for the best donuts below!

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What’s next for NewHire? Pizza! We enjoyed the weekly treats so much that we decided to continue with an improved plan. Now we are setting out to find the tastiest pizza in Chicago! What are you doing that’s fun for your office? Please comment and let us know what you think makes your business a great place to work!

Recruiting Q&A

During a conversation in May with some of the top executives at small and mid-sized businesses nationwide, NewHire asked them to write down what questions they had about recruiting. Many of the questions we received in response fell into categories that we define in our 6 Step Recruiting Process.

Below is part two of a two part blog series outlining answers to those pressing questions. To see Part One of this blog, and the first three steps to the recruiting process, click here.

Step 4: Interviewing

Q: How do I interview to know if someone will fit in sales?

A: The recruiting process for sales reps should mirror the selling process for your sales reps as closely as possible. Be polite during an initial phone screen, but don’t be afraid to tell a candidate, “I’m not so sure this is going to work.” Their answer to that comment will give you an idea of how good they will be at handling objections.

Also, if you think you have the right candidate, give them a chance to close. Forget about the candidate for a day or two and see if they call you to follow up.

Finally, there are a variety of sales assessments available on the market that can pre-screen candidates for you so that you’re only talking to people who will fit in sales. Do some research, think critically, and decide if you want to invest in one that will help you find the right people.

Q: How can you match personality to company culture – during an interview, when people often don’t show their true personality?

A: We try to gauge “personality” or work behaviors, motivations, and personal drive in every step of the hiring process. From the initial application to the phone screen to the in-person interview, collect as many data points as you can about a candidate. If you still think they’re not showing their true colors, be up front with them. Ask them if you can expect to see the person they are presenting once they start with your company. Make it clear that if they’re not, both parties will be negatively affected. Being up front, even this late in the process, can definitely save you some headaches (and money) a few months down the road.

Step 5: Assessing

Q: When hiring for outside sales, how much weight do you give to sales assessments like Sandler?

A: This is very dependent on the job you’re advertising. If it’s a really good job in a talent-rich market, you’ll have enough candidates where you can afford to only talk to the candidates who pass the sales assessment that you subscribe to.
If it’s a really competitive market and you don’t have a wealth of candidates, it’s possible that you’ll have to make some exceptions or extend your search in order to find the right person. If you are having a difficult time getting enough recommended candidates from your assessment, look more carefully at the rejected candidates. Are there some that are close to right and have weaknesses that you can work with?

Q: How can we really find out how they performed in previous jobs?

A: Reference checks are good. But the word “really” in this question makes me think that person who asked might have been burned in the past. Sometimes, a bad reference check just serves as a peace-of-mind facilitator for the hiring manager.

Asking a candidate for proof of success can work. How many times has a sales candidate told you they were leading their previous company in sales and exceeding margins by 40%? A good response to this would be, “Hey, I’ve heard this from candidates in the past and ended up getting burned. I’d like to believe you, but I’d be more comfortable if you provided proof of your success. Can you?” They don’t necessarily have to, but their answer to this question can be a valuable indicator of success.

Step 6: Making an Offer

There were no questions about extending an offer to a candidate. However, things can definitely go awry if you’re not thinking this step through. Making a good offer that reflects the nature of the conversation you’ve been having with your top candidate is important. Be prepared to negotiate, though, especially with top talent.

Other

Q: What’s the path of least resistance in recruiting, no matter the position?

A: I’m tempted to say, “Call NewHire!” Look, recruiting is not easy. It takes planning and execution, just like everything else in business. Easy processes with bad tools yield less than desirable results. You’ll pay for those results down the line.

Doing some work up front to define your target candidate and employee value proposition, write a killer job advertisement, and advertise it widely will get you good results when it comes time to narrow the candidate pool, interview the top 10% and finally make an offer.

The path of least resistance is still going to be difficult, but it will also be worth it. Great companies big and small have one thing in common: they put a great deal of energy into hiring well. They understand that in order to get the bus going in the right direction, you have to have the right people on that bus. That means hiring well should be hard. But it will be worth it.

Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago

NewHire spent half of the day Monday, January 19 at the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago.

NewHire is a recruiting software company. When you think “software company”, you think “computers”, not people. Computers are great. But, when is the last time you saw a computer do THIS?

Bob Framarin dog kiss

Bob, a NewHire account manager, and Seymour, a Chihuahua, hanging out at the Anti-Cruelty Society.

Eddie accountant puppies

Eddie, a numbers guy, is also a puppies guy. Who knew?

Awww.

That’s right. At NewHire, we do things a little bit differently. We’re not just a few lines of code that make life a little easier. We are also real, reliable people. When you call us, a human answers the phone. Unless, of course, we’re at the Anti-Cruelty Society spreading the love with these adorable little furballs.

dog behind bars smile

Eagle Eye is an adult Saint Bernard. He was so happy to see us that he smiled for a photo!

mad cat stare

Pandora, a calm and cool female adult Shorthair mix, was less impressed.

cute Chihuahua wink

Seymour, a 2 month old and part of a set of triplets (aptly named Phillip, Seymour, and Hoffman,) joined us for arts and crafts time!

Conor Roach puppies

Here’s Conor, a staffing coordinator at NewHire, with Phillip and Hoffman.

The Anti-Cruelty Society welcomed NewHire with open arms, not just to play with the pets they have up for adoption, but to help provide them with easy-to-make beds, tug-toys, cat-scratchers, and various other play-things.

Chihuahua homemade dog toy

Seymour even made off with one of his own…

dog covered in fabric

…and he got a little tied up in the fun.

As happy as we were to give back, we couldn’t have done it without the kindness and welcoming help of our friends at The Anti Cruelty Society.

NewHire anti-cruelty society team

The afternoon group (left to right) Bob, Alicia and Sean, with some of the supplies we helped make.

If you wish to visit the Anti-Cruelty Society to adopt a new pet, help care for the facility, or donate, visit them online at http://anticruelty.org/

Anti-Cruelty society dog paw

See you soon!

If you’ve been to a café, bike shop or microbrewery recently, you were probably struck by the thought that the young folk sure love their tattoos and piercings. And you’d be right. One in five Americans has a tattoo, up from 14% in 2008. So how does all of the ink and jewelry affect your recruiting process, and where should you draw the line? And if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo or piercing yourself, how can you do so without limiting your career choices?

On the hiring side, Karla Dobbeck, President of Human Resources Techniques, Inc., says there are no known HR policies that forbid tattoos or piercings in the workplace. However, often times something considered to be “distracting” to clients or coworkers will be recommended to be covered or removed. Which brings up the question: Who defines “distracting?”

How Do Tattoos and Body Piercing Affect Your Career

Unfortunately, for candidates or employees with tattoos, “distracting” body modifications will inevitably be defined by your employer and your clients. Highly visible and customer facing roles, such as Sales Representatives and Account Managers, are roles where your employees will be speaking with clients that don’t necessarily share your views or the views of your company when it comes to tattoos and piercings.  These roles often come along with a need to have any polarizing body modifications covered.

Policy aside, not all body modifications are created equal when it comes to the stigma they carry in the workplace. Jeffrey Paetzold, renowned and award winning tattoo artist and Reconstructive Areola Tattoo Professional with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, believes that the stigma around tattoos in particular has changed due to options.  When Jeff started his work 14 years ago, “you were limited to what you could find on a wall or from a book, whereas now tattoos are completely customized…. A beautiful custom piece with meaning is something that is or can often be regarded as an impressive piece of artwork.”

When it comes to piercings however, Jeff says, “You don’t see many eyebrow piercings anymore.” While stigma over alternative styles of ear piercings has dwindled, the remaining discomfort some people feel when looking at facial piercings has limited some employment opportunities for piercing junkies.

So how does all of this change recruitment efforts?  Most companies, culturally speaking, will have a fairly clear and open idea of what their clients would accept and what candidate would be a good cultural fit.  For candidates and employees, University of California Psychology professor Ross Avilla says “if a person really wants to get body art, they likely will, even if it makes them a bit of an outcast…the easiest trade-off is probably to get a tattoo that isn’t normally visible, or can be easily covered up at work.”

This is a trend that Jeff has also noticed, and he says that tattoos are no longer just an indicator of an “alternative” lifestyle – in fact, he has many clients that suit up for work, covering their full sleeves and back pieces for the navy or black of a business suit.