5 Strategies to Recruit Passive Candidates

With the US unemployment rate at 3.9%, employers continue to experience difficulty in filling open positions. Because of this, many recruiters are increasing their efforts to identify and engage passive candidates in addition to active job seekers. According to a 2017 ADP Research Institute survey, 42% of currently employed workers who said they were not actively looking for a new job were nonetheless “open to the idea.” Their receptiveness to relevant openings creates a vast opportunity for companies seeking top talent.

However, recruiting passive candidates for a job requires a more strategic approach. Employers must go beyond traditional job boards and other active talent strategies and instead take a proactive candidate sourcing approach. Here are some strategies.

Get out there. Passive candidates are relatively content in their current positions. Unlike active jobseekers who purposefully look for open positions, in order to reach passive candidates, companies need to consider how to get their attention in their everyday activities. Consider where they network, what they read and whom they trust.

Use employee referrals. Your current employees can be your best source of word-of-mouth referrals. Especially if any employees were recruited from a large company, or a declining industry, there could be many more qualified workers receptive to hearing about new opportunities. Make sure current employees know when and what positions you’re recruiting for to leverage this group for sourcing candidates.

Make your pitch outstanding. One of the most important steps in attracting top talent is having a clear pitch, or employee value proposition (EVP), explaining the benefits of your position to all candidates. Unlike active job seekers who are innately motivated to see your job in the best possible light, employed workers will compare it to their current situation, and you need to make sure your opportunity is best positioned. Consider how you would describe the company culture, what matters to employees, why would someone want to work for the company as well as the benefits that the company offers.

Promote your EVP. Recruiting passive candidates means that you need to create the environment where they’ll be more receptive to hearing about an open position or having a conversation with you. Be sure to share the EVP in your job postings, on your website, on your social channels, in your outreach messages and with your current employees — the most important brand ambassadors.

PREMIUM CONTENT: North America Staffing Company Survey 2018: Training options offered to temporary workers

Be efficient. Avoid lengthy or repetitive steps in your recruitment process to ensure that the process isn’t discouraging to potential candidates. Consider how to streamline the application and interview process. For example, try to consolidate multiple interviews if possible, and be flexible with the time of day.

Today’s talent-driven job market means that passive candidates are more valuable than ever. Make sure you’re spending time to develop a specific sourcing strategy that takes into account the different motivations of this key population and tailors the marketing and messaging to accommodate.


The Gig-E Collective: Tapping the ecosystem’s wisdom

News flash: The gig economy is not Uber alone

I admit, the flamboyant ride-share company does seem to grab the headlines — and it’s not always inspirational or seemingly relevant to what staffing is doing. But here’s the thing: Labor is at the essence of the term gig. And staffing firms as well as MSPs and RPOs need to understand the motivations of today’s talent regardless of what worker classification they prefer. After all, as SIA said a couple of years ago, Gig=Contingent.

A Gig Primer

Despite record-low unemployment rates, the 2018 MBO Partners’ 8th Annual State of Independence report finds that the total number independent workers in the US has risen 2.2 percent to 41.8 million, up from 40.9 million in 2017. New ways of working continue to shape the labor market and with low unemployment, companies are finding it hard to fill positions and get projects done timely. At the same time, technology is evolving at a breakneck speed.

The continuous change is affecting the ecosystem profoundly, and that includes MSP and VMS providers. So what is their responsibility given the evolution? MSPs, for instance, already bearing much responsibility for contingent workforce programs, are increasingly asked to provide even more strategic sourcing strategies. To provide that value, they need to know how to work with staffing firms to leverage different talent pools.

And vendor management systems have already been supporting the sourcing of workers through vendors and those sourced through services contracts — statement of work and outsourced services. Direct sourcing is now a trend and VMSs are helping clients do that directly or via freelancer marketplaces.  AS such, they also have to continue to stay up to date.

The SIA Benefit

And that’s where SIA comes in. We’ve been studying this rapidly growing area since 1989, charting the evolution of the world of work. SIA President Barry Asin is poised to discuss the company’s latest research on what’s driving the change, what it means for your business and how to cooperate with other players, so you can surf the gig wave in his keynote presentation for our Collaboration in the Gig Economy Conference in Dallas on Oct 4-5.

It’s not just about growing your business. It’s not even about the human cloud or gig lingo. It’s about educating your clients and getting educated yourself. It’s about optimizing your talent supply chain in a world where there’s a war for candidates.

The conference will bring together more than 600 professionals in the talent supply chain to discuss the critical issues and opportunities in today’s environment.  Learn about the next-generation trends: How AI is putting people to work,  bringing our laws into the 21st century,  the future of sourcing models, how integrated talent strategies will alter the ecosystem, and much more.

We wish you much success in this new world of work. I would love to get your take on it and introduce you to the SIA experts. Come find me at the conference.

5 Avoidable Interviewing Mistakes

The best way to solve a problem is to keep it from happening. By avoiding common mistakes, we can avert all kinds of problems, including those of the hiring variety. Interviews are a frequent part of the hiring process where people make avoidable mistakes.

How most of us were taught to interview is inherently flawed. During a typical interview, job candidates are on their best behavior. They tell you the right things and share only the best parts of their background. We get a mere glimpse of the real person. This is top reason why so many hires fail. The conversations that take place during an interview fall short of determining, with certainty, if the candidate will succeed or fail at the job.

Here are five common interviewing mistakes and how you can avoid them when filling internal roles in your staffing firms. You’ll also want to share these tips with hiring managers to help them make better choices when interviewing the talent your firm provides them.

Mistake #1. Picking the wrong people to interview. Some interviews shouldn’t have happened in the first place. When they do, there’s a common cause: the resume. Resumes reduce a person to a piece of paper, giving you but a peek of their true potential. Some candidates make matters worse by creating their own version of fake news when they lie or exaggerate details. Resumes are an incomplete tool for deciding whom to invite for an interview.

Don’t rely solely on resumes when determining which candidates to include in your first round of interviews. In addition to having candidates submit their resume, ask them to follow simple directions and answer a few questions.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to do this.

When submitting your resume, answer the following questions. Keep each response to no more than 3 or 4 sentences.

  • Why does this job interest you?
  • Why are you looking for a job right now?

The responses can be insightful. You begin to see his knowledge of the company and the industry. You discover some of the motives driving his job search. You may learn he is happy and open to being happier. Or you may determine that he is desperate and throwing out lots of resumes so he can pay his bills. By including simple directions, you will also begin to assess his ability to follow directions.

Your questions and directions allow you to start comparing how his motives match your needs and culture. If he’s dishonest in his response, it’s likely that he’ll contradict himself later in the process. Plus, if he doesn’t follow the directions when answering your questions that’s a red flag. Following directions doesn’t get better after you hire someone.

Mistake #2. Expecting too much from a phone interview. Phone interviews are a conversation. Nothing more. During a conversation, candidates do what I call the tell, sell and swell. They tell you what they think you want to hear. They sell you on the best parts of their background. They try to swell your ego. Does this mean all of them are being dishonest? Of course not. It’s natural for candidates to position themselves in the best light. The problem with this very human behavior is that it interferes with determining if someone is worth bringing in for a face-to-face interview.

Given the limitations of conversations, phone interviews are best used only as a confirmation tool — you’re confirming they have abilities you can’t teach. These typically include effective verbal and aural communication, personality, and rapport. By focusing phone interviews on these important attributes, you’ll have short and powerful conversations that make it clear who’s worth bringing in and who’s not.

Mistake #3. Asking lots of questions during a face-to-face interview. Talking about doing work during a face-to-face interview is a waste of time. The candidate, given the opportunity, will continue to tell, sell, and swell. This creates a conceptual experience instead of providing you with an accurate reflection of whether or not they can perform well in the job.

Do this instead—have the candidates perform sample work. Work that enables you to see, hear, and experience them in action. You’ll see if they have the requisite skills, hear if they will fit in, and experience the quality of their work.

How do you set up sample work? Have candidates for sales jobs show how they sell. Let people interviewing for a supervisor role conduct a mock employee meeting. Have marketing candidates create a sample campaign. Direct accounting candidates to audit sanitized financials. By creating scenarios based upon past situations, you can let candidates try on the role while you try out their skills.

Mistake #4. Conducting face-to-face interviews alone. There’s too much for one person to see, hear, and experience during an interview. Plus, according to researchers Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, there are limits to our perception. A team approach to face-to-face interviews counters these problems.

A hiring team should have four people with complementary hiring styles (you can learn more about hiring styles in this post). All four people are present in the interview, giving you a complete picture from their unique perspectives.

Mistake #5. Overlooking a prime opportunity during a face-to-face interview. Success in most jobs happens because the employee improves over time. Improvement is initiated from feedback and coaching given by the manager. Not all hires are coachable, yet, most interviewers neglect to assess this trait.

You can assess the candidate’s coachability during a face-to-face interview. Have the candidate perform sample work. Then, provide feedback and coaching. Follow that with a second opportunity to do the sample work, watching if they apply your feedback. If they don’t, their coachability won’t improve once hired.

Mistake-free interviews are possible when you avoid these common errors. Instead of relying on the candidate’s tell, sell, and swell, you’ll see, hear, and experience your way to making fast and accurate hires.

Trust in a So-Called ‘Post-Truth’ Era

Trust can be a tricky thing to find and most would agree it is certainly fragile. We only need to watch an online news bulletin to see someone’s trust being smashed into a million pieces – from political wrangling to gossip about a celebrity from a “close source.” Could intra-organizational trust, trust levels within your business, be the very thing affecting growth, collaboration, repeat custom from clients as well as challenges attracting the talent you both want and need within your business?

Businesses are facing change at a rapid rate as we see the world of work changing, the gig economy becoming more and more evident, robots being welcomed as colleagues and the decimation of some stalwart names in retail and the high street. From narrating the fast-paced presence of workplace AI and robotics to organizational reshuffles, trust can really ease these pathways.

Let’s look at what intra-organizational trust looks like. While there has been a resurgence in the interest around researching trust it is specifically the phenomenon or trust between employees and managers or between co-workers that I’d like us to consider today.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Directory of suppliers to staffing firms

I read and hear so much on networking sites about leadership and the workplace of the future but how much do organizations understand about the perceptions and attitudes of their people? Consider these questions:

  1. Do you trust your organization’s senior management?
  2. Do you trust your colleagues?
  3. Is collaboration an easy, free-flowing activity within your organization?
  4. Do you do things to “cover yourself” during your working day (like saving or sending specific emails etc)?

Intra-organizational trust is much more than the overused and, in my opinion, flawed and over-hyped “engagement” concept, it is generally a belief that there will be a positive outcome to an interaction – it’s a risk assessment, a weights and measures game – if we enter this interaction, are we likely to have a positive experience? When I mention the word trust to people, they often closely associate it with honesty, authenticity and communication, so we need to consider these aspects as we build trust.

At this juncture, it is really important that we recognize that investigating intra-organisational trust is not a finger pointing or blame exercise. It is absolutely feasible that people join organizations having had negative experiences before, we are humans, we take our experiences and expectations along with us. Trust deficits may not necessarily point to an organizational failure but knowing they exist and where they are will help you redress the balance.

As the foundation of many positive workplace activities and it is reasonable to assume that employee and worker trust is significant to sustainability, retention, brand protection, employer of choice labels and wellbeing. Take mental wellbeing as an example and the suggested annual cost of worker mental illness to UK businesses of 26 billion GBP. If your workers have a low level of trust, how likely are they to approach their manager with a mental ill health concern?

All in all, trust is fundamental to us as tribal humans, it is where we feel safe and protected as well as where we will go the extra mile for our fellow tribe members. If your business has people at its heart, serving customers, representing your brand or operating the robotics and technology which you and your clients have invested in for the future, trust needs to be yours and your clients’ foundational focus.


‘Post and Pray’ Doesn’t Work. Try Programmatic Advertising Instead

It’s no secret that unemployment numbers stand at the lowest percentages in nearly 20 years. That makes talent acquisition extremely challenging — not only for staffing and recruiting firms, but for any company across the country.

In a challenging recruitment market, it’s important to look at your strategy for job advertising and its distribution. Now, you can’t expect applications to stream in after posting to a job board.

How can recruiters and staffing agencies gain an edge in their job distribution? It comes down to two big words that sound scarier than they actually are: programmatic advertising.

What is programmatic advertising – and why does your agency need it? 

In the talent acquisition industry, programmatic advertising focuses on using data and rules to optimize recruitment spend by making automated decisions faster than humans can even think.

While that definition is important, recruiters and executives want to know the real outcomes. How is this going to help my business?

Here are the three reasons your staffing or recruiting firm needs to implement programmatic advertising in its recruitment spend.

1. Your total spend won’t increase. A common misconception for any new technology or services is a bigger price tag. With a programmatic advertising strategy, the opposite is true.

The technology allows your jobs to appear on dozens, hundreds or even thousands of websites all through a couple clicks. By not having to manually post jobs across those websites, your efficiency increases dramatically.

Actually, the total spend should decrease when implementing rules for your jobs. Let’s use a quick example of two jobs:

  • Job A is an easier-to-fill position and when traditionally posted, it delivers 100 applications. That is wasted recruitment spend since your team of recruiters doesn’t need 100 resumes to fill one position.
  • Job B is a hard-to-fill position and after a couple of weeks, a few applications trickle in and no one is qualified. We are spending money and not getting what we want.

With programmatic advertising, we can set a limit of applications on that first job (let’s say 20) since your recruiters know they need 20 job candidates to find one qualified applicant. No more wasting your budget on 80 applications you don’t need!

In the second example, we know the competition for this job is higher and we can bid higher to draw applications from better candidates. That might seem like we are increasing our spend, but instead of aimlessly keeping that job open for 6-8 weeks, we quickly know we need to bid higher in a shorter time-frame to find the candidates we need.

2. Your ROI will. A common expectation in the talent acquisition industry when using programmatic advertising is a 20-30 percent decrease in your cost per application. (You do know your cost per application, don’t you?)

Why does it decrease?

The machine learning of programmatic technology uses its artificial intelligence to place the right jobs on the right websites at the right time.

The programmatic technology realizes applications for, say, nursing positions cost less on Job Board A when compared to Job Board B. So, it instantly pushes more nursing positions to Job Board A. Without programmatic, it’s extremely challenging to compare results across different job boards since the data isn’t centralized. That extends the decision-making process, and we are falling farther behind.

Better decisions in a shorter period of time results in better return on investment for your staffing agency.

3. Your competitors are already using it. In a challenging recruiting environment, getting your jobs in front of the active job candidate is imperative. Battling your competitors for a small pool of candidates means each advantage becomes magnified.

If your competitors are already using programmatic advertising (and an estimated 20-30 percent of digital recruitment spend in the talent acquisition industry is programmatic right now), then you are losing candidates to them.

Start with a portion of your recruitment budget. There is no need to recklessly jump right in and make a wholesale change.

Look at the results. (I bet you like them.) Utilize the data. Adjust.

And get to your ideal candidates before your competitors do.

Why Your Physicians Burnout — and How Locum Tenens can help

In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) reported that nearly 50% of emergency medicine physicians said they felt burned out. By 2017, this rate had jumped to 60%.

It’s a problem — and one that can easily lead to more problems. In addition to primary areas of concern like patient safety and positive outcome measures, burnout can increase the risk of issues like malpractice, clinician safety, and even mortality rates.

Suffice it to say: this burnout thing really needs to be addressed. It’s not just going to go away. So let’s talk about it — what causes burnout for physicians, and how we can fight it.

Medicine is Intense. If you’re in a position in which lives literally depend upon your ability to do your job well, burnout will be high. This applies whether you’re a cardiologist, air traffic controller, or firefighter. There’s a reason that burnout rates are much higher for ER physicians than they are for plastic surgeons. It makes sense.

Physicians who’ve dealt with burnout in the past agree that one way to reduce symptoms can be found in the acronym ESS: regular exercise; sharing feelings and being transparent with loved ones; and getting enough quality sleep.

That’s solid advice, and it’s helped many stave off burnout, but sometimes a more drastic response may be appropriate. Many doctors have started using locum tenens opportunities as a way to temporarily step away from their current, high-pressure situation in exchange for a slower pace, a working vacation where the stress is greatly reduced. Especially since rural areas often have greater needs for locum tenens medical professionals, it can be an opportunity to still help and still practice medicine, but at a different tempo.

PREMIUM CONTENT: US Healthcare Staffing Recruitment Strategies

When Life Piles On. In the medical profession, having the ability to recharge at home when you’re actually off the clock is essential. How great that life is so accommodating, then, and always goes the way we expect it to. Now that we’ve all stopped laughing, we can acknowledge that stress at home can drive a physician to burnout even when they’re handling pressure at work. Maybe it’s a teen who’s been getting into drugs or having trouble in school, or something less dramatic — whatever the root cause, when home stops being a refuge, pressure from work feels more insurmountable.

Again, a change of scenery may be the solution. Some physicians bring their families with them on locum tenens assignments. Depending on the situation, getting away from “real life” for a while may be beneficial for everybody — and, if medicine is your calling, locum tenens work fulfills a very real need.

The Leadership Skills of Immediate Superiors. Some bosses decrease stress on their employees; some increase it. This is true in any profession, and medical fields are certainly not immune. The medical profession has quite enough burnout without increasing factors from incompetent, lazy, or angry supervisors making things worse. That being said, there are clear steps that skilled administrators can take to relieve pressure from their staff as well.

Short-term locum tenens professionals can be hired through staffing firms and can be monumentally beneficial when it comes to decreasing burnout among physicians. Not only does the pay and salary of locum tenens often benefit the medical organization as a whole, but by having short-term professionals on-hand, physicians can be encouraged to take much-needed time off without worrying about the negative repercussions their absence might have. Additionally, workloads don’t have to be absorbed by a single physician. Locum tenens professionals brought in can provide needed, expert support.

Burnout is a real issue and deserves real solutions. Fortunately, whether through well-worn solutions like exercise and rest, or through the help of locum tenens opportunities on either side, burnout doesn’t have to win. There are ways to fight it.

MORE: Tips for recruiting millennial physicians


It’s back to school for leaders too!

It’s September and the kids have gone back to school. Classes, extracurricular activities and sports have started for the fall season. As a leader, it is the perfect time to consider what you are going to commit to, in order to flex your learning agility muscles.

Throughout my career, I’ve been very fortunate to work for organizations that were committed to leadership development and I have personally benefited by participating in many first-class learning opportunities all over the world. These courses and experiences challenged me both personally and professionally and helped to make me a better leader. If your organization offers you a leadership learning opportunity, say yes and leave your inhibitions at the door. Remember, you get out what you put in so jump into the deep end and take full advantage of each work sponsored learning experience.

There is more you can do though to advance your learning objectives than solely participate in work assigned professional development.  Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own development and needs to champion our own learning path. In my case, I augmented my internal leadership development with external educational opportunities such as; post-graduate studies and certifications, individual leadership coaching, and, a membership in the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).  I must admit, as my career developed it became harder to commit the time required and I had to fight myself to stay in the moment and fully participate because my other responsibilities were demanding. Despite the distractions, I hung in there and ended up getting a lot out of each program.

PREMIUM CONTENT: US Staffing Industry Forecast

It’s also important for leaders to recognize that leadership is never static. Leaders need to ensure they are keeping up to date with changes in expectations from stakeholders, the market, legislation and evolving business technologies. There are many opportunities for continuous learning to stay on top of your game.

While I fully believe in a combination of both work sponsored and individually driven learning, there is another insight I would like to share that has helped me continue to grow.

I’ve long made a habit of scheduling time just to think and strategize. It sounds a bit silly really – putting time in your calendar just to think – but I will share a little secret with you: it works! Most days, we are so busy doing, we don’t have time to reflect, strategize or explore new ideas. Sometimes, the only way to achieve this is to actually schedule time and stick to it. By making time for reflection equally as important as other key items on our agenda – we create the space for new ideas to flourish and allow ourselves time to grow and evolve as a leader.

I frequently share this technique with leaders I am coaching. At first there can be some resistance to this idea, however, in almost all cases, once the leader begins this discipline, results start to manifest and leaders become committed to this practice.

I’ve shared what works for me. Now it’s your turn.  It’s back to school time – what are you going to commit to this fall to support yourself on your leadership journey?

Find more of my thoughts on leadership here, or reach out to me to get some support on your leadership journey!

UK IR35: How Your Enterprise Can Prepare

Off payroll IR35 legislation, a UK tax law that affects independent contractors, coming into the private sector is generally considered a matter of when, not if. The legislation has incurred significant negative press and has caused much public confusion since its introduction into the public sector last year. Despite that, HMRC shows no sign of faltering on its implementation in the private sector also.

HMRC estimates the cost of non-compliance will reach £1.2 billion by 2022-23. This is huge sum HMRC will certainly want to pursue.

The thing is, the tightening up of legislation is not specific to the UK. It is global. In the US and Europe, the liability of contractor misclassification often sits with the end client. While the UK is in a very uncertain time with the forthcoming Brexit and is heading into a time where an agile workforce will be even more vital in enabling businesses to navigate these changes, we still believe it is likely that the IR35 changes will be brought into the private sector in 2019.

How will your business prepare? We offer five tangible ways to get ready:

1. Conduct an Internal Audit. Carrying out an initial audit will allow you to delve into your current guidelines, policies and procedures on how you engage your independent contractors and identify any potential areas of risk well in advance of the legislation changing.

Auditing your current independent contractor population will allow you to understand the roles they are delivering, the areas/projects within the business that they are working on and the highest departmental users within this list. Depending on the maturity of your contingent workforce program, this itself can often be an interesting exercise.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Concerns about current and upcoming legislation

2. Create New Guidelines for Engaging Independent Contractors. The audit will allow you to start considering how to develop the guidelines, write policy changes and update any procedures based on the forthcoming.

Your business may already have some basic outlines on who can and cannot be engaged as Limited Companies.

Your CWP Programme Manager or designated person will have to liaise with numerous stakeholders in your business, from Legal to Tax to HR and the Hiring Managers themselves, to help develop and refine and enforce the policies that go into these guidelines.

3. Make Sure Independent Contractors are Properly Classified. Most of the comments on HMRC’s CEST tool suggest that it is not fit for purpose (a statement that HMRC disputes vigorously). Some recent court cases that have not gone their way and have contributed to more confusion and substantial bad press for them at what would be considered a “bad time” for negative PR.

Further adding to businesses confusion is that the more traditional IR35 assessments being offered usually only consist of a contract assessment, which in my opinion is insufficient and far from best practice. As supported in recent employment-related court cases is that if the courts feel that the operational activities of the day to day workings don’t match the contract, the former will take precedence.

4. Have a Written Contract for All Independent Contractors. Having said all of that, a well-constructed contract is vital in engaging any independent contractor, as it outlines your working relationship and is the key element in the performance of best practice.

5. Form a Team to Handle Issues. Depending on the maturity of your CWP, constructing a cross-functional programme team will be vital in assessing and managing the forthcoming IR35 changes and risks. Generally, we see our clients include team members from the likes of HR, legal, compliance, tax and procurement as well as members of their MSP provider to give a wide breadth of knowledge and input.

Engaging independent contractors can be a confusing business.  The more traditional compliance strategy of passing the liability down the supply chain is unlikely to stand up in the new world and, with the uncertainty around IR35, it will be even trickier for businesses to navigate.

Best Recruiting Practices Tips – 2018

Staffing and recruitment have evolved drastically in the last few years, with myriad advancements in technology and an increasingly global marketplace of people, products and services. The tried-and-true methods, including people skills and relationship-building, are as valuable today as they ever were, remaining key tools in the staffing/recruitment toolbox. Here are few tips which will enable you to marry these techniques and stay ahead of the game in the competitive recruitment market in 2018.

Filter Out the Fake Resumes: Whenever we poorly match a candidate to a job and it doesn’t work out, we tend to view the outcome as a personal failure; not only did the candidate not work out, but the employer might now view us as an unreliable option going forward. No one is perfect, and occasionally – whether the fault of the recruiter, the candidate, the employer, or the alignment of the stars – bad matches happen.

However, it’s still our job to minimize that possibility as best we can, and one powerful way to do that is to filter out fake resumes. Fake resume creation agencies have become smarter and more adept at sneaking unqualified candidates past recruiters; even background and referral checks can’t always prevent this from happening. One way to fight this is with a verification tool that ties into your ATS or VMS. And that’s a problem we set out to address by developing VeriKlick, which weeds out those fake resumes before they reach the hiring manager’s desk by enabling users to perform biometrics tests on their candidates. What are biometrics tests? Voice recognition and facial recognition to prevent proxy interviews; and even driver’s license authentication! You can use VeriKlick to perform these tests throughout the staffing process, to provide a cost-efficient way to prevent scammers from placing us in awkward situations with valued clients.

Stay organized with your ATS: Relying upon job boards alone to secure good candidates won’t give you the edge over your competition; growing and cultivating a database skilled professionals is, and has always been, an important process for every good recruiter. ATS (applicant tracking systems) assist you in maintaining a healthy pipeline of candidates, and keeping you organized by tracking both the candidates and job activities. Today there are a number of competitive and cutting-edge ATS which offer similar features and functions, and are generally user-friendly. The more organized you are, the better you have your finger on the pulse of your business, and less stress you experience day-to-day.

PREMIUM CONTENT: The Geographic Opportunity Atlas 

Pay Attention to Your Priorities: Generally, we set priorities for jobs by taking three major factors into consideration: a) The urgency and the deadline; b) the hiring manager’s expectations, based on their personality and their corporate philosophy; c) The available pipeline for each job. Sometimes these priorities shift, and we must be mindful every day to reset those priorities and stay focused as needed, based on all available information. Staying engaged with hiring managers and keeping them apprised of any news regarding their requirements is important; it’s part of relationship-building and will garner you both respect and future business if you gain and retain their trust. No one ever wants to feel as though they are not your priority, and remaining in simple contact takes little effort, but can reap great rewards.

Know Your Candidate: There are always reasons behind a candidate’s decision to pursue jobs, and it’s up to you to understand them. For some candidates, a larger paycheck is of utmost importance, where for another candidate, a shorter commute means more. In order to properly place a candidate in the right position to meet their needs, you must first elicit those needs – and pay attention to them. An ill-advised match between the right candidate and the wrong job can result in an offer rejection, which will guarantee a poor experience from both the hiring manager and the candidate. Understand what the candidate needs from their next role, and work to pair them properly to the best of your ability.

Work Quickly: Both fortunately and unfortunately, the job market in 2018 has really picked up steam, and candidates are getting multiple offers all over the place. The old adage, “If you snooze, you lose!” has taken on more meaning, because you absolutely cannot take your time placing candidates today. The longer you wait, the better the chance that the candidate will accept a competing offer and be placed by someone else. Stay engaged with hiring managers, make sure that you have set proper expectations, and be ready to move as quickly as possible to secure the best match possible between candidate and job.

Always Use Technology to Your Advantage: Social recruiting goes beyond posting current vacant jobs ads on your company’s social network accounts. You can use social media networks to proactively search for potential candidates, build relationships with them, and encourage them to apply for your vacant job positions. Use LinkedIn groups and other free social media groups to market your niche positions and your urgent jobs. Publish your postings right before you head out on the weekend, so candidates can see them and apply while they are enjoying their time off, too. Set search engines on your job boards for creating and maintaining a pipeline of the most-common skills for positions that you place. Do these things consistently in order to build your own inbound recruiting channel, where qualified candidates actively seek you out in order to work with you.

Use Attractive Job Titles and Succinct Descriptions: When you post a position, you don’t want a zillion applicants to contact you! You want the RIGHT applicants, people who closely match the requirements, people on whom you can spend your time productively trying to place them. When you use a job title which is too general (i.e., “Software Developer”), you attract everyone! Use a title more specific (i.e., “C# Developer”) to garner the attention of people with skills applicable to the particular job you’re filling. The job description, too, should contain specific information as best as you are able and allowed to provide: The precise skills required, the amount of travel the job entails, the duration of the position, and any information concerning exact application versions (i.e., “Windows experience” is wholly different than “Windows Server Administration 2016 R2”). You often don’t get to use a thousand words for a job description, so it’s a best practice to be as detailed AND as concise as possible. The more precise and detailed the job description, the better quality of candidate you will attract.

Remember: The best applicants usually have lots of choices, and they respond best to those recruitment professionals and companies who communicate most effectively.

Balancing Competing Interests

It is difficult to balance competing interests, yet business leaders must do so at various times. We need to maximize profits, yet stay within the law and ethical bounds to do so, or appeal to different groups of people or groups with a consistent message.  Those who cannot handle this well, risk being thought of as dishonest, unprincipled or untrustworthy. The question is how to handle these situations in the most appropriate way. Usually, the answer lies in approaching the people involved with honesty and a well-thought-out solution.

Let’s consider a couple of typical business situations.

  • As the CEO, you promised bonuses to your staff if they met their objectives. Unfortunately, you did not include the caveat that this was also dependent on the company’s profit, and now, you have little profit but staff who met their personal objectives. Your choices are to admit you forgot to clarify those bonuses were dependent on being profitable and that you can’t pay out the bonuses. Or pay the bonuses at the risk of being unprofitable and violating commitments to the bank and its shareholders.
  • As a sales rep, you promised your client a certain price and service date, which cannot be kept do circumstances beyond your control.

How do you find balance between your initial promises and your new reality?

In the first scenario, you could offer to make up for this when the company regains profitability, hoping this would be accepted by most of the staff. Sometimes, an honest mea culpa goes a long way. And in the meantime, you could look into no- or low-cost moral-boosting options to keep your staff in the game.

For the second scenario, you could lose the order if you were seen as duplicitous. But providing your client with an honest explanation of how this occurred, along with a reasonable incentive on their next order, might save the day and even put you in good stead for future business.