Archives For Step 1 – Preparing to Recruit

Planning a hire is one of the most important steps of the hiring process. When you recruit and hire with NewHire, you get more than software — we’ll help you through the planning process, too!

As the year rolls on, we are all itching for that holiday cheer. No matter which holiday you celebrate, there’s nothing better than being with friends and family, eating seasonal food, and having less burdens on your plate at work.

For some of you, recruiting has been on the back burner. It’s been on your mind, you have to do it, but you’ve been able to push it back this far. But now is the time to get it off your plate. Here are five reasons why you should recruit before Christmas:

1. Traveling.

The holidays are a popular time for employees and employers to have days off. When you are short staffed, it’s nice to have that peace of mind that someone is still able to work.

2. Low candidate draw.Recruit before Christmas

If you wait until the holidays to advertise, significantly less people will apply. Because everyone is traveling and celebrating, few are applying for jobs. So any money you spend on recruitment advertising is at risk of being wasted. Start now and you will have a larger pool and can make a hire faster!

3. New year, new beginnings!

Start the New Year right with a new person on your team! The beginning of the year is a great way to start fresh with an employee, and you can use any slow time during the holidays to train them.

4. The paperwork.

Get that paperwork completed for your new hire before the holidays. You will have a busy January with taxes, health insurance, and other vendors. You don’t want to have to push it off even more!

5. Worst case scenario you just don’t see it getting done this year.

Then prepare to advertise the day after New Years. Everyone goes back to work, and back to applying. Have your ad written and ready to go, and a budget prepared to advertise with. That way when you come back from the holiday, you will be ready to go!

Feeling overwhelmed? We get it. Let us help you make a hire before the holidays! Check out our diverse set of options here.

You’ll rarely catch me without yarn in my backpack, purse, or pocket. I’ve been crocheting on and off for over 15 years. It calms me, helps me focus, and it’s fun! For a long time, friends and family encouraged me to open my own shop, so I finally took the plunge in late January earlier this year.

When Cozy Corner Crafters was born (I’m a fan of alliterations) I thought “Ok, I can just put a listing out there, and the right person will buy it.” So I typed up a short paragraph, added some photos and waited. And waited. And waited. After a few weeks I thought “Why isn’t this item selling?” I went back to the drawing board, and started reading articles about improving listings. I started to notice that other shops selling similar items had much better images, bonuses for buying, details about their shop story, and more – all of which I had failed to do.

I started to realize that I jumped into opening this listing without much research and development. I had no story up, no shop policies, or why someone should buy from my shop versus a competitor.

As I’ve learned in my time at NewHire thus far, a crocheted bag listing is the same as a job advertisement. You can’t just write a paragraph about needing someone to fill a role at your company, put it online and expect people to apply. You have to develop your ad and decide who your ideal candidate is. There needs to be detailed information about what your company does and how a candidate would fit into the role. Most importantly, figuring out what sets you apart from your competition. Whether you are environmentally friendly, award winning, or everything you make is fully handmade like my shop, this is important to drawing in the right person.


At Cozy Corner Crafters, I believe that “Every handcrafted item made with love and care will be someone else’s treasured flair.” Just as it matters to me that I sell an item, it matters to me that it went to someone who appreciates my workmanship and shop. Similarly, at NewHire, we believe “Every Job Deserves The Right Person.” We achieve this by ensuring that your job advertisement, just like my Etsy listings, are setup to succeed and draw the right candidates.

After researching and improving my listings, I’ve had a lot more sales. It of course depends on the market at the time how well an item will draw. The same goes for getting candidates to apply to your job ad, but the more improved your ad, the better chance you have at recruiting the best candidate for your open role.

Here are a few tips for improving your job advertisement:

  • List compensation information – ask yourself if you are in line with competitors
  • Add your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – what sets you apart from competition?
  • Tell candidates about your company – what do you do?
  • Details about the role – how does a candidate fit into your company?
  • Qualifications and requirements – what do you need from the candidate, are these realistic for the market?
  • Questionnaire – make it easy to fill out, one page, minimal memo style questions

Ask NewHire experts on how to get your job ad to tip top shape so you can hire better, faster and smarter!


I had a great call the other day from a valued business partner who said he had a client who needed recruiting help. He trusts my work (and NewHire’s) and asked me to schedule a call with the client. As usual, I was happy to do so.

So far so good, right?

As the call with this prospect (I’m gonna call him “Doug” for no reason other than that wasn’t his actual name) began, we got to discussing the job he was hiring for. Usually at this stage in one of my phone calls, the person I’m talking to jumps into a list of the things that a person needs to be in order to work for them.

There’s a lot of “My last employee stunk at this…” and “I don’t want to have to teach them that…” This is all to be expected. Employers are wary when it comes to talking to folks like me, because they don’t want to be burned like they have been in the past. (I know, you’ve all been burned.) Anyway, Doug was no exception to this rule. He wanted a sales person who was hungry. He’d been burned before, and he had his checklist ready to roll about all the things his new sales rep had to have.

As I moved Doug away from the conversation about who he wanted and into the conversation about why that person should care that he had an opening, things changed a bit. There was opportunity there, for sure, but Doug was having a heck of a hard time expressing what it was.

  • How much could a successful sales rep earn in a year?
  • Will this person have the resources and autonomy to tackle projects they feel are important?
  • What frustrations might your target candidate have that they won’t have anymore after changing jobs and joining your company?

These are all questions I asked to get Doug to start seeing things from the eyes of the person looking for a job at his company. He had great answers to each question, and I could start to see why this might be an attractive job for the right person, given a great job ad.

It would be a great opportunity for a retail salesperson, or a restaurant worker, or a bartender who was tired of counting crumpled dollars and wanted to use their drive and energy to make some good cash. Or maybe a seasoned sales rep who didn’t want to be a cog in the machine of a larger company. I bounced these ideas off of Doug, and we were both starting to feel like we might have a great partnership. I explained how we could help him better attract sales talent and filter through them in a few clicks without missing any of the good ones. “Everything’s coming up Milhouse!” I thought (…any Simpson’s fans reading?).

And then he asked me about paying his sales reps commission-only.

I explained to him that it was possible, but it would make his job and mine much more difficult. I have helped commission-only sales managers fill jobs before (and I told Doug that), but it’s not something I get out of bed hoping I’ll have to do every morning. Unwillingness to pay someone for their work when they need to pay rent is not a great way to attract people to your jobs. Especially in an economy near full employment, great sales reps have no incentive to change jobs in favor of an employer who won’t pay them anything until they are productive.

This is not to say that all sales reps have to have a base salary. If I’m able to make a ton of money on a higher commission per sale, with no base, I’m a happy camper as long as I know what I’m selling and how to do it. But new sales reps need time to become good sales reps.

So I asked Doug, “How long will it take for this person to become productive?”

He mentioned starting them out with some house accounts and getting them up to speed relatively quickly, but didn’t really answer the question. I asked him about a draw against future commissions or moving them from a small base up to commission-only as soon as they were up and running. To me, this job was going to be impossible to fill if we didn’t get this idea of starting his sales reps at commission-only out of his head! He wasn’t against either idea, but apparently he wasn’t fully on board either, because…

Next he asked me for a reference.

This is not uncommon, I’m in sales after all, and I’m rather young. So people tend to want to be sure they can trust me before they spend more time and/or money on my services.

But if you remember the beginning of the article, a close business partner of his recommended me in the first place, and yet he wanted to hear from a stranger of my own choosing.

So I asked… “Why do you need to hear from another reference?”

And he replied, “Well, you said you can hire for commission-only jobs, and I want to hear from someone who you’ve done that for in the past who confirms for me that you have the secret sauce.”

News flash folks: I don’t have the secret sauce. Nobody has the secret sauce. The secret sauce was just french dressing and mayonnaise with a few spices mixed in anyway…

Hiring great sales reps isn’t about secret sauce. It’s about attracting people by giving them whatever incentives you have to offer (money, impact, autonomy, job training, a kick-ass culture, a great product to sell, etc.) and hoping it’s better than what they have at the moment. If you can’t do that, you can’t hire great sales reps, period.

So, when you think about your target candidate, you have to think about what you have to offer them in order to set your target appropriately. Doug and I weren’t able to accomplish that on our first call, so we’ll have to keep working at it. I suspect that we’re not alone!

Going to add a Sales Rep to your team soon? Be sure to read our guide first.

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!

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.

“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.

Machine learning in recruitingIf you haven’t heard about how machine learning is changing the entire landscape of recruiting, it might be time to call your real estate agent and get them to put “For Sale” sign on the rock you’ve been living under the past three months. Just kidding, but seriously: everyone is talking about it. If you want to do some catching up, here are a few good places to start:

How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Recruiting: “Recruiters can start to recognize pure data points of candidates’ contact information, their profile, their work history, etc. and be able to match those with opportunities. Machine learning does not automatically select the best candidate, instead it narrows the field of search and allows us to focus on analyzing the intangibles.”

What Machine Learning Can Bring to Corporate Recruiting: “So using historical data to predict what a human being will do or like isn’t that new but it is only now that the world’s HR departments are realizing how valuable it can be. Combining employee and candidate data in the right way can help companies get more out of their most important assets: human capital.”

With to all of the hysteria surrounding the topic, I considered titling this blog “This Millennial just used Machine Learning to destroy the Fake News about Recruiting.” I surely would have had more clicks. Machine Learning is the buzzword flying around in the recruiting world today. It’s the mystical, magical solution to all of your problems. The fact of the matter is, like all buzzwords, the idea behind machine learning in recruiting comes from a place of relative truth and good science. Using a computer to analyze the processes and outcomes of recruiting will allow you to make better recruiting decision, given a quality dataset and a well-engineered analysis.

Unfortunately (you knew a “but” was coming), the blog-o-sphere got a hold of this idea, and now you need a facial recognition software, a Google-sized recruiting budget, and an in-depth understanding of quantum mechanics in order to have a shot at hiring the right person for a job. While one of those things was a joke that no blogger has ever recommended for hiring better, all three are equally unnecessary for success in recruiting. Recruiting and hiring is hard, and any blog claiming that a robot is going to make it less hard is peddling you the same rubbish that applicant tracking systems have been pushing for years.

How you can replicate machine learning in your recruiting process

The fundamental idea behind machine learning in recruiting is a rock solid one. Instead of relying on your shortcuts – reading resumes, throwing out the ones with goofy names, throwing out the ones who misspelled something, keeping all of the ones who went to the same college as you – you are forced to rely on a computer’s analysis of a candidate. The computer has a quality dataset with information about the candidates who have already been successful at your company. Essentially, it is benchmarking your set of candidates against the criteria it thinks has led to success in the past.

A computer’s benchmarking, given a quality data set and a complex algorithm, will be better than your resume search. That’s a given. But it will never be without mistakes. If you learn nothing else from this blog post, learn this: recruiting is hard. There is no magic pill.

There is, however, good process. Take anybody at your company who has been in the position you are trying to hire for and had success and ask them as many questions as you can think of. Ask them things you might ask a candidate who is coming to work at your company. How many years of experience did you have when you started? What skills did you come to us with? What work behaviors do you possess that you think lead to successful outcomes for yourself and for our business? What motivates you?

Once you have their answers, figure out which ones you can identify during your recruiting process. If your best sales representatives came into the company with zero sales experience, you’ve just learned something about what makes a person successful at your company. If your best customer service representatives are motivated by the positive feedback they receive from your clients, you know how your best future CSR’s ought to be motivated.

Here’s the important part: once you’ve got some criteria set aside, ask your candidates these questions while they apply. Don’t sort through your candidate pool using their resumes. Don’t sort through them based on who submitted a .pdf resume and who submitted a .doc resume (trust me, it has happened.) Ask them the questions that you asked your current employees and use their answers to decide who to talk to. If all of your best sales reps are motivated by money, you should be molding your recruiting process around hiring candidates who love making money. Ask a multiple choice question about what motivates them to be successful in sales, and interview the ones who chose “Money!”

There! You did it. You’re a recruiting machine. Again, this is not the magic pill. In order to reap the benefits of this system, you have to commit to it. Contact everyone who answered your questions the right way. No shortcuts. By setting up our process this way, you will be eliminating 90% of the fluff – those candidates who answer every employment ad and aren’t qualified for your position; they won’t answer your questions the way you want them to. The rest is up to you. Happy hiring.

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!

I recently sold my home of almost 25 years. It was a heart wrenching, game changing, long time coming event. It also gave me a new perspective on recruiting.  I know that sounds nerdy, but it’s true (it’s also probably why my house has an eclectic, even eccentric, look. Maybe I should be thinking about decorating instead?). Recruiting & hiring a new employee and selling a home have so many similarities – and some HUGE differences.

Recruiting & hiring and selling house

Image credit: Mark Moz

Both recruiting and selling a home are lengthy, multi-step processes that have an uncertain outcome. The impact of this uncertainty should not be underestimated. The uncertain outcome can cause surprising and sometimes disruptive emotions at various stages of the process – from elation and excitement to disappointment and despair – the emotional journey can be a bit of a roller coaster. We might even delay project launch or needlessly draw out some aspects of the project as a result of that roller coaster ride. Additionally, the need for high cost outside expertise can seem like a roadblock. But where there is great risk there is often opportunity for great return. I invite you to come with me on this journey. Continue Reading…

A new “salary estimator” feature Indeed is currently testing and rolling-out for mobile jobseekers may have significant impact on the effectiveness of your Indeed advertising campaigns. For some time, Indeed has listed applications that include compensation information with a brief blurb on how they are displayed. Recently, Indeed expanded that feature to include an estimated compensation for mobile users. This salary estimate is displayed both for positions that list the compensation in the ad and for postings that do not explicitly list a compensation range.

Salary estimator

This is an example of the new feature in action. Notice the grey text indicating “$30,000 – $33,000 a year estimated by Indeed”.

How does it affect applications with no compensation figures listed?

If Indeed’s salary estimation is exactly accurate, the worst that can happen is that candidates find out your role’s compensation earlier in the process than you wanted. More likely, the estimated range will be higher or lower than your actual ideal range. This will be particularly true as they continue to refine their estimates (it’s only in beta and will presumably get more accurate over time) and if your position has a broad title. Each of these bring clear negative ramifications for your recruiting process. If their estimate is lower than your actual range, it’s possible that highly qualified candidates that would seek a higher compensation will be deterred. If Indeed’s estimate is higher than your range you will receive more candidates than you would otherwise, but when it comes to negotiation, candidates may have unrealistic expectations of what your offer will be. It is worth reiterating that this is currently in beta and is only being tested; it will not effect every job or every market.

Why is Indeed doing this?

Based on data Indeed collects, candidates are more likely to engage with job postings when salary figures are available. Ultimately, Indeed’s goal is to increase the likelihood that candidates click postings and to improve the candidate experience when job searching by giving them additional information.

What can you do?

Our best practice continues to be to list compensation figures in your application when you can. This change to Indeed is just one more reason why it is better to list a competitive compensation and to remain in control of how candidates perceive your jobs.