Recruiting Experiences

How I Built My Brand by Building the Brands of Others

A large part of my business at Recruiting Experiences is contract recruiting. We partner with our clients to act as an extension of their brand. This absolutely involves extra work and it also boosts client satisfaction and candidate longevity.

I do it because I believe it’s the right way to do business, but there are also a surprising number of perks that come along with learning the brands of others. Read on to discover how tireless work on the brands of others has made me a better business owner and human:

The Power in Elevating People

There are few things more rewarding than working to elevate people you admire. As a small business owner, I feel a surge of excitement when I see another business owner’s success, particularly within my own community. I know the challenges. I face the same obstacles. I am rooting for them at my core. So, when I can be, even a small part, of that success, it drives me.

Similarly, I have been in recruiting for a very long time – I’ve seen some things! It is an industry with a reputation for being haphazard, harsh, and even cutthroat. I have lived the very best and the very worst of it over the years. So, when a business owner wants to partner with us to build their team & culture with people-first, kinder hiring practices, I am ready to partner and to shout their praises from the rooftops. Every step in the right direction matters.

Objectivity Makes a Valuable Advisor

Having done both, I can attest that representing someone else’s brand can be far easier than building your own. Why? Because you have the power of objectivity. Emotional attachment makes it far more difficult to judge what is or isn’t working and, for business owners, there are few things more personal than the businesses they tirelessly work to build. An outside perspective allows clear-headed execution and makes a valuable advisor. A good consultant brings a viewpoint that mirrors what the general public is seeing and uses the information to work as a champion in your corner. And lessons learned from this objectivity can be translated to your personal brand as well. Which leads me to:

The Value of Free Education

It’s no secret that the most successful people surround themselves with other successful people. Taking the time to learn about and understand the brands of others is a first-rate education in brand building. A contractor who carefully and strategically chooses their partner has opportunities to learn from the best every day.

You Look Good; We Look Good

I built the Recruiting Experiences brand to seamlessly mesh with representation of the brands of others. I chose the brand values of simplicity, excellence, reliability, and kindness because I truly believe that they are the undercurrent of success in recruiting for our client’s brands. I am representing you to candidates and I don’t take it lightly. I use our strengths to elevate your strengths. That’s what contract recruiters do. When we excel at our jobs, your business becomes more efficient at what it does best. Likewise, your business’s success reflects back on our processes.

A cautionary word that all of this only works if you are building the RIGHT partnerships. Here is an experienced word of advice on that:

Be Selective. Don’t fake it.

It can be tempting, especially in the very early stages of business growth to take on any equitable partnership that comes along. Remember that ultimate equity comes from more than just paid invoices. Don’t partner with brands that go against your own values; It’s easier to represent something you believe in. You’ll never walk away feeling you’ve tried to be something you aren’t.

Just remember that believing in someone else’s methods doesn’t have to mean them doing things just the way you would. There are a lot of ways to do things right. Contractors are generally hired to fill a void. The most successful partnerships happen when each party is working within their own sweet spot to achieve a common goal that everyone feels good about.

Build the brands of others and good things will come to you. You can feel good about the outcomes and revel in the perks you may gain along the way. The knowledge, perspective, and value to your own brand are immeasurable. It’s ok to be backstage sometimes. Let your client be front and center.

4 Tips to Drive Retention Through Increased Employee Freedom

I have heard the new workplace landscape, since the pandemic began, described as adapt or die. Truly, in my twenty plus years in the industry, I have never witnessed a recruiting trend like it. A business owner, particularly a small business owner, can quickly become overwhelmed with finding the RIGHT adaptations to retain (and attract) talent amidst this shake-up. Take heart! My ultimate recommendations aren’t earth shattering. Treat your people like people. Address them as holistic beings, rather than roles and you will develop core supporters. Let me share some examples:

Find Your Style of Flexibility:

Take a hard look at what actually matters to you when it comes to environment and flexibility in your workplace. Flag anything you may be doing just because you’ve “always done it that way” and consider ways to shake it up. Ask your existing team what freedoms they would value most. Decide what environment and flexibility your team can realistically support.

Communicate it Clearly:

Communicate clearly and often, preferably through multiple channels. Team members should know the expectations. Leaders should prioritize providing a regular, obvious example. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking; Go for a run in the middle of the day if that’s what keeps you energized. Just don’t forget to put it on your shared calendar. Deliberately broadcast that it’s acceptable to take care of yourself during the traditional workday and your team will feel comfortable doing it too. Create an environment where a team member will come to a manager to collaborate on finding time for a passion. Their passion for your company will grow alongside it.

Support your colleagues through life’s biggest transitions:

Offer generous parental leave. Take care of people during this massive transition and allow them to take care of what matters most to them, and their loyalty will grow. They’ll come back to you with a clearer mind and be able to perform at their best. They’ll feel valued holistically, and not for their work alone.

Update bereavement policies to reflect our current times. Reword your policy to include ‘loved ones’. Nobody should decide on your behalf who is or isn’t important enough to grieve for. Empower managers and employees to work out bereavement needs 1:1. Schedule time near the end of a leave to reach out to the employee and ensure they are ready to return, as planned. A few more days won’t sink your company and will mean the world to someone who needs it.

Embrace Everyday Life Too:

Don’t allow apologies for pets and kids jumping into Zoom calls. Celebrate those most special to your team. Demands for parents don’t stop after parental leave and when we embrace working parents, they’ll continue to CHOOSE to work with us. Their kids will grow up seeing a career and a family as an integrated part of life. I’m not aware of any opportunities that have been lost because someone’s treasured pet barked at the Amazon delivery driver.

Schedule time during 1:1s or group meetings to share personal goals and triumphs, as well as professional ones. The team will get to know each other better and you’ll know how to better facilitate the passions and commitments that will spark loyalty and job satisfaction in your business’s most valuable assets.

These are just a few examples that I use in my own business. The options are endless and should be tailored to your team. The key is finding what works for your people, culture, and business and keeping an open mind and an open door. Want to share what’s worked for you? Need advice on your specific workplace? Message me!

Thoughtful Communication Throughout the Recruiting Funnel

Set The Stage for Success with a Well Thought-Out Communication Strategy

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then talent acquisition professionals may be the windows to your brand. We are often the first people a candidate will speak to and the first impression of the human aspects of a company. Our choices to be kind, empathetic, and compassionate from sourcing to hiring set the stage for a new working relationship. It’s a position that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

 

But, Amy, I have roughly 1.2 billion things on my plate and I am not a marketing professional.

 

I hear you. It’s easy to let the little things slip when moving at warp speed. So, I’ve compiled a list of my recommended methods of communication for each step of the recruitment funnel, executed with kindness and empathy. We are human first and we’ve all been in similarly fitted shoes. Let’s wear them with grace.

 

Sourcing:

It should come as no surprise when you are seeking out candidates and making your first points of contact that you want to meet them where they are. Convenience for the candidate should be the focus. For this reason, emails or phone calls are almost always my go-tos for sourcing. When recruiting at scale, email allows automation but make the ability to personalize automated messages a priority when choosing an ATS. Never lose sight of making the candidate FEEL like your sole focus and maintaining an air of kindness and personality in every interaction. Consider shared connections you may have and use them to…wait for it…CONNECT.

 

Unsuccessful applicants/candidates:

This is a big one. Best choice for response here can vary greatly but should reflect the time the person has put into the process. If an applicant sent an email application and was not considered for the role, an email regret, written from a positive branding perspective and the ability to connect in future, is usually sufficient. If there has been human interaction, like a phone screen or interview, with someone, always show them the respect of a human interaction for your regret. The most viable option is usually a personal phone call. In cases where the candidate has been through several rounds of interviews, an in-person coffee meeting may be appropriate to truly express your appreciation for their time. This can also be an opportunity to provide feedback to the candidate and smooth the waters in hopes of keeping them as a viable future candidate.

 

I know time is a luxury that we don’t often have in the field of talent acquisition, but little bits spent in wowing a candidate during an initial screen can pay off exponentially. A candidate who remembers a positive experience may come to you later when they are looking or refer a friend for a role. More importantly, the way your company treats those they aren’t asking to join their team speaks volumes about your brand.

 

Initial Screen:

Whenever possible, I like to see, or at least hear, a candidate as soon as possible. Making a human connection is priority. I want to properly represent the people behind the job and gauge how a candidate will do the same, if hired. Nuances in mannerisms, tone, facial expression…etc just can’t be recognized without a direct interaction. I like phone or video calls, depending on the role and remote nature. For example, heavy phone jobs like customer support should be done by phone to assess phone presence as part of the criteria. In the case of an all-remote role, a video call can be an initial impression of a candidate’s ability to represent a company appropriately and build a remote relationship.

 

Interview Scheduling:

I like text messages here, for the convenience of all parties. Text initially, then confirm with an emailed calendar invite. I have also found that calling the day before (Yep! Like the doctor’s office) cuts down on dreaded no-shows significantly.

 

Job offers:

I almost always extend a job offer verbally, over the phone. Inviting a candidate to join your team is a very personal thing and should be treated as such. Not to mention that this is often the most rewarding part for me, as the TA professional and I want to enjoy it alongside them! The official offer would then follow in writing. My universal recommendation is to never send a written offer that you aren’t sure will be accepted.

 

Showcasing Your Company:

Don’t get caught up in the chase and forget to communicate the fun stuff! Team culture and company mission often drive a candidate’s decision even more than compensation. Direct candidates to marketing collateral on websites and share pdf flyers that showcase your best attributes. Revisit these in the final interviews by video call or in person too. Don’t let a candidate choose another company because you forgot to share the wow beyond the compensation!

 

Have a different take on communication style? Want to chat more about the details? Leave me a message below or message me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amyoviedo/

 

Why Hire a Contractor?

Choosing the Right Type of Recruiter: Including my universal recommendation & a list of questions to find the best TA partner for you.

I often get questions regarding developing in-house recruiting versus utilizing an outside source. Professionally, I’ve been on both sides. I did a year of agency recruiting early in my career, another year of contract recruiting along the way, and spent much of my career as an in-house recruiter. Then, with sights set on building a kinder, more efficient recruiting utopia, I started my own contract recruiting firm. Altogether, I’ve been in talent acquisition for over 20 years. So I’m in a unique position to provide an insider’s view.

Read on as I cover the options, my most universal recommendation, and the questions to ask to find the right recruiting partner to help build your own recruiting utopia.

In-House (Corporate):

This is just what it sounds like: A talent acquisition professional that is a permanent employee and handles all of the hiring for your company. The true value of in-house is the unique position to have access to every role and every area of the business. Living the business day to day allows understanding of how each role fits into the vision of the organization. An in-house recruiter is a direct ambassador for their employer brand. In short, if you have the resources to justify in-house recruiting, I strongly recommend doing so.

Contingency:

The recruiter handles the sourcing, screening, and initial interviewing and only gets paid if a candidate is hired. It is easy to see why this model would motivate a recruiter to find a candidate quickly. The risk here is that cost is often driven up considerably, due to the risk of not getting paid. It is not uncommon for a contingency recruiter to take more contracts knowing they’ll only fill some of them.

Retained Search:

A retainer fee is paid up front, to the recruiter, for a candidate search. A second fee is paid when a candidate is found. This can be a good option for high level, one-off positions that are difficult to fill. It is also the most costly option and the up-front fee is spent, regardless of the success of the recruitment.

Contract:

Many times, a growing small (or even medium sized) organization doesn’t have enough volume to justify a permanent recruiting resource just yet. Certain types of businesses also have consistent, but seasonal, hiring waves that make year-round in-house difficult to justify. Contract recruiters are a great option to consider in this instance and should act as a temporary extension of your existing team.

The “Sticky Wicket”:

Any size business may have surge needs that arise. These can often be unexpected and extremely time-sensitive. Think: massive bulk hire, a particularly fast turnaround, or an especially difficult and prominent position to fill. Keeping this in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that my ultimate recommendation for most businesses, regardless of size, is to build a relationship with a skilled contract recruiting agency– even when they also have in-house recruiting. Already knowing who to call when your needs exceed your manpower will save a business countless hours (and dollars!)

Whether the relationship is long-term, or as needed, qualified, trained contract recruiters will combine in-house and agency recruiting skills for the best of both worlds. Sadly, there are agencies out there that give talent professionals a bad name so, be selective. To make your job easier, I’ve compiled a list of questions to ask to ensure you are partnering with a firm that will put your business front and center.

Will you care about my business?

There is often a mindset that contract recruiters won’t take the time to truly understand the business and don’t care as much as in-house employees because they are temporary. Please, ask this question before you partner with an agency. It is a realistic concern and there are agencies out there that validate it. But consider this: In many cases, contract recruiters aren’t just representing your business; They are representing their own. They have skin in the game, because the recruiting business is all about referrals and word of mouth. Your chosen agency should want to be the hero: come in, shine bright, leave an impact, represent the client brand, and move on to repeat this process. Quality recruiting isn’t the kind of contract work you can do from the sidelines. The right firm to partner with will sell the company ALL day. The focus should be on helping from within and representing the company brand well.

What happens to candidate data?

The data garnered in sourcing candidates for your business belongs to your business. Be sure to ask about an agency’s method for providing and transferring this goldmine of information. Candidate data is invaluable for re-use for future hiring requirements. I’ve never had a search that didn’t generate candidates on both sides of the experience continuum. Meaning, when you need to fill future, related roles this data buys crucial time eliminating cold sourcing.

Tell me About Your Pricing Structure:

I recommend partnering with an agency that utilizes a project-based or hourly rate rather than a per-hire fee. Personally, I don’t like to sell on price, and I recommend caution with an agency which focuses too heavily here. However, in my experience, project-based costs to hire 2-3 people through a contract model are roughly the equivalent of one traditional per-hire agency fee. Project-based rates also allow for predictable, straightforward monthly budgeting.

The Most Important Question to Ask YOURSELF:

It is crucial to consider how much money your company may be losing by NOT partnering with talent acquisition experts. Having a role sit unfilled, or cycling through a series of unsuccessful candidates can cause financial hemorrhage. This is particularly poignant given the current hiring climate. I often ask my clients if they want the best talent available or the best talent available right now – either way, the right recruiting agency should be able to craft a plan to get there!

Recruiting Experiences will serve as an extension of your brand to ensure your story is front and center. Reach out to amy@recruitingex.com to learn more.

Interested in becoming a Contract Recruiter? I’d love to chat.

Job Fair Advice

-Spoiler Alert- My Most Common Recommendation Is: DON’T GO. Find out why:

While scrolling my Facebook feed, I recently ran across a public poll from a fellow talent acquisition professional asking: What is your recommended giveaway at a job fair?

My response was one word: Jobs?

Let me start by saying, I mean no offense to the asker.

There are a multitude of methods within our profession and, if something is working for you, and can be done with kindness and candidate focus -by all means- keep doing it. Personally, I rank the idea of spending the day at a job fair pretty low on the list of productive ways to recruit candidates. The return on time and preparation invested simply doesn’t track. If you find yourself attending a job fair or are looking for alternative sourcing methods, read on to see my recommendations.

First the Exceptions:

Job fairs sponsored by the military, their outplacement services, or by a specific college can be a reliable source for quality candidates. This assumes, of course, that sourcing college grads and military personnel makes sense for the position(s) you are looking to fill. If you work for a large enough company, the option of hosting your own, industry specific, job fair may also be a fruitful option. A well-executed Open House can be a candidate goldmine, if you have a solid network and referral plan in place for the talent you’re seeking.

Foregoing the Snark to Answer the Original Question: Giveaway Ideas

If you find yourself at a job fair for the day and feel you must have a give-away, noticeable candy like a ring pop or candy necklace works to pull the eye to your table and encourage conversation. If it is within your budget, a better choice is to offer a raffle for a large prize. Ask attendees to enter by submitting a resume or business card.

Or, Instead of a Giveaway:

Ask to be seated next to one of the top-recognized employers (assuming you’re not one of them). Respectfully recruit from their line. Strike up conversation with candidates as they wait. Ask them what is drawing them to this employer. Share what you can offer that may be similar or unique perks that draw candidates to your company. At the very least, get them your business card.

Job Fair Alternatives:

I’m a firm believer in never knocking one strategy without offering an alternative. So here are a few:

    1. Build partnerships with schools or trade associations. nYou’ll find these entities are happy to have a trusted recruiter or employer to which to send top candidates. You can easily tailor your partnership based on your employer or the roles you are looking to fill.
    1. Trade your time at a job fair for time at a trade event. nGet a booth with your sales team. This allows you to hand out business cards to all the people inquiring about your products. Remember to ask for referrals, as well as chatting about their own interest in your company.n
    1. Utilize outbound sourcing. nIf you know your target audience (and, in most cases, you should) DON’T rely on hope that some of them may come to a generally targeted job fair. It is far more fruitful to target them directly. Meet them where they are.

I value and respect differing perspectives. Have strong opinions on job fairs? nLet’s chat on LinkedIn. Message me.

The Blueprint to Building Stunning Recruitment Structure

From the Empire State Building, to Grace Cathedral, to Falling Water: The most beautiful architecture began as blueprints. If Frank Lloyd Wright began by asking his neighbors for spare materials and slapping them together haphazardly, we might remember his beautiful masterpiece as “Falling In The Water.” More likely, we wouldn’t remember it at all. A stunning end-result begins with a solid process. Recruiting is no different.

Read on to learn how creating strong processes gives you control over your commitments, mitigates risk, and leads to work-life-balance.

You’re Only As Good As Your Word:

Simply put, process drives predictability. Having processes in place means you can confidently make and keep commitments. You can predict how long it will take you to move a candidate through your entire recruitment funnel. This means you can keep your word to get back to someone by Friday with promised information or results. Even more importantly, you can accurately project that you can fill role A in X amount of time. With consistent processes, your hiring team will rely on your expertise, with confidence. Your candidate’s initial impression of your company will be one of trust, because you’ve kept your word. In this way, process focus translates directly to elevated brand standards.

Process mitigates risk

Creating an environment of predictability also means risks can be foreseen or entirely prevented. Building and following a process helps ensure compliance with government and industry standards. Following the same procedure each time eliminates decisions based on emotion, which reduces bias. Procedures ensure nothing falls through the cracks, building trust with your candidate, in you, and your brand. Securing that high performing candidate is never a sure thing but, with perfectly tuned processes, you can be sure you will never risk losing them to a silly mistake.

Process Improvement Starts With A Process:

Want to get better at what you do? To do something better, you must know how you’re doing it now. Process creates meaningful data (I will delve more deeply into this in future posts). Consistent process allows data to be accurately collected. Accurate data allows the process to be assessed. Assessment means the process can be improved.

Process Allows Growth Potential

Documented processes can be easily shared. When your killer recruiting leads to massive company growth, you’ll be ready to scale-up. Clear processes mean new acquisitions can be trained quickly to represent your brand with methods consistent with your own.

Processes = Shared workload = Work-Life Balance:

At different points in your recruiting process, you will need to pick-up or hand-off the ball to someone else on the team. Circumstances will be both predictable (your candidate is hired and moves to your onboarding colleagues) and unpredictable (you get the flu). Consistent and documented processes allow for a seamless exchange, regardless of cause. Any recruiter or teammate can step in where you left off and take over with a high likelihood of similar success. Want to enjoy a much-needed vacation? Process is key.

If you don’t have processes in place; It is never too late to start. Create and assess your recruiting process. Get it in writing. Build blueprints that yield stunning architecture that people will remember.

Process Focus is one of 14 key competencies taught in our Recruiting Immersion Training. Ready to delve more deeply into the processes behind kinder recruiting? Reach out to us.

We Need To Talk About Our Relationship(s)…

Building relationships and creating positive candidate experiences are the foundation of your employer brand. They are the reason people come to work for your organization and they guide how people who aren’t selected feel about your brand.

When relationships are strong candidates will remember you. They will tell others about you. They will trust your word. When relationships are strong, your hiring and onboarding teams will trust your professional judgement. When relationships are strong, your competitors become your allies.

Read on to discover how to nurture these relationships throughout the full life cycle recruiting process.

Build a Relationship from Rejection (You)

It can be disappointing to find an incredible candidate and have them tell you they aren’t interested in your role. You can retreat and lick your wounds, or you can focus on the positive. You’ve found a great candidate. This shouldn’t be the end, but rather the beginning, of your long-term relationship. Show them your hand. Tell them what makes them special and ask if they are interested in staying in touch. Show them you value their opinion AND get a potential referral by asking them if they know anyone who might be a good fit for the role. Ask questions about them. What are they looking for? What is their long-term trajectory? What intrinsic factors drew them to this role–to any role?

The best candidates are usually on the market for the shortest amount of time. Experiences like the one above will put you in a position where they think of you when they start looking again. This will give them faith that a friend they refer to you will also be well cared for.

Repeating this process, over time, creates a candidate pipeline. It gives you a pool of quality candidates to draw from when a role becomes available and drastically cuts sourcing and screening time. It also gives you a better understanding of what is drawing candidates to (or away from) your role and your company.

Put in the time up-front to attract better candidates who are a better fit. This, in turn, pays off with employee retention and improved overall company brand. Putting in the work on the front end often means the timeframe is much less crucial, as well. Relationship building can often happen in your spare time, throughout the day and pay off when time is of the essence in crucial sourcing and screening time.

Build a Relationship from Rejection (Them)

Much of the same process can be used when a stellar candidate is interested in your role but gets edged out by another. Don’t let them walk away feeling rejected. Use this opportunity to build a lasting relationship. Give them feedback that can help them with future roles.

I train recruiters to ask for referrals even when they’re not moving a candidate forward – that only works with positive relationship-building. It still surprises me when I turn someone down and they send me a referral; But it is certainly a delight!nnI actually accepted my last role after being initially turned down by the company. I remembered and was impressed by the way I was treated during the interview process and the CEO took steps to build a relationship beyond the hiring stages. I am proof positive that this process works.

Relationships with the competition

Build relationships with others in the industry. Build allies, instead of competitors. Are you consistently losing candidates to a certain recruiter or company? Reach out and ask them what they are doing.

Have a candidate you love that you just don’t have a role for? Consider sending them to another recruiter. Both the candidate and the recruiter will remember it and it will pay off in the form of future referrals and improved company brand.

Nurture the Relationship at Home

Build quality relationships within your company. Your relationship with the hiring manager is crucial to success in filling any role. Focus on ways you can best support them and make their life easier while also providing counsel on your area of expertise. I was once able to negotiate a free pass on a core job requirement (getting a required certification while on the job) by offering creative options to best serve the hiring team and candidate. This only works with trust.

Relationships built with the candidate and team along the way help you stay ahead of (and often prevent) surprises that come up in the final interview and offer negotiation phase. This further strengthens the trust your hiring team and candidate have in you.

Don’t forget to build rapport with the onboarding team. You want them to know you are bringing them good candidates and you want to know your candidate is in good hands as they continue their journey with your company, for many years to come, thanks to the strong brand you are helping to build.

Relationship Building is one of 14 key competencies taught in our Recruiting Immersion Training. Ready to explore the processes behind kinder recruiting? Learn more or sign up for Recruiting Immersion Training.

Mr. Rogers Can Help Train You To Be A Successful Recruiter

There are 3 ways to ultimate success:

The first way is to be kind.

The second way is to be kind.

The third way is to be kind.

-Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers said it 3 times, and I am going to say it again: Recruiters, be kind. As a child, I can vividly recall rushing home from school to catch the beginning of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood at 3:30. As an adult, and a recruiting professional, the timeless lessons have remained with me.

The job search process is work. Even the most qualified candidate applying at the most efficient company is putting themselves out there and investing some serious time seeking a new job. Add in post-application radio silence, inefficient hiring processes, and evergreen job posts and nerves can be more than a little frayed.

You don’t have to live in the Neighborhood of Make Believe to imagine the difference some humanity could make. Opportunities for kindness in recruiting are everywhere. Simple human kindness can set you apart as a recruiting professional and improve your employer brand in significant ways. Let’s look at how we can show kindness to ourselves by being kind to candidates and hiring teams.

Kindness to your candidates. (Yes, all of them.)

Kindness to The One

Kindness to your top candidate can ensure they become your most recent hire. It can also boost productivity and job satisfaction when they do.

Build your interview process on open and prompt communication. Whenever possible, advocate to make salary ranges, benefits, and other perks fully transparent. Don’t make them wait for an offer, unnecessarily. Avoid making them negotiate for the pay their experience deserves (and be honest when it doesn’t).

After hire, spend the extra time for a considerate hand-off to the onboarding team and their new manager. Being the new kid is tough. Share a list of expectations and contacts for different needs to start your candidate off on the right foot. Follow-up with a reminder to the hiring and onboarding team to ensure they are ready to make your candidate feel welcome on Day 1.

Kindness to Everyone Else

Runners up and those never in the running deserve kindness too- and are likely to need it more. Take a minute to share feedback that may make the next experience more successful. Share an alternate job within your company or network that may be a better fit.

Say thank you.

Kindness to The Hiring Manager/Team

It can be extremely frustrating to source and prepare candidates only to lose them after a face-to-face with the hiring manager. Take a deep breath. Remember that YOU are the expert. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to them. Listen openly to their feedback. Educate them on the subject that derailed the interview. Treat them as partners and they’ll treat your candidates with respect.

Kindness to Yourself

This is two-prong:

    • Kindness begets kindness (aka the karma principle)

Recruiting is all about building relationships and people remember a good deed. nTaking an extra three minutes to tell John that his email address said JohnD@gmail.vom probably won’t derail your schedule. But how much more likely does that make John to talk to someone else about your company… or share your LinkedIn post…or grant you a referral? Time spent on acts of kindness will pay off in other ways. nIn other words, kindness to others = kindness to yourself.

  • Giving yourself grace

Have you been here? You invest a great deal of time sourcing, assessing, grooming, and preparing the perceived perfect candidate. In experience, culture, and interest: They fit your role. You’ve sent the appropriate reminders and prepped the hiring team to ensure the ideal candidate experience for them. Interview day comes and you are confident… And then the candidate doesn’t show. Some days the best laid plans can’t alter the chaotic plan of the universe.

Recognize when things are out of your control. Focus on the positive; Candidate number two just got their big break and YOU get to give it to them. Whether to others or to yourself, there are hundreds of opportunities for small acts of humanity throughout a recruiter’s day. These small acts provide the opportunity for massive strides in delivering on the promises of your employer brand. Let’s all button up our cardigans, lace up our sneakers, and show each other a little kindness.

Kindness is one of 14 key competencies taught in our Recruiting Immersion Training. Ready to explore the processes behind kinder recruiting? Curious about the other 13 competencies of successful recruiters? Explore our Recruiting Immersion Training. Or reach out to us!

Running through Imposter Syndrome

I’m a runner.

I’ve been running since 2010 after a lifetime of saying things like, “I’m not an athlete” or “Running is too hard”.

Still, I often find myself clarifying my running achievements to others. I’ve completed 6 half marathons, several shorter races, and tons of Sunday fun runs. Imposter syndrome often sounds like this:

“I ran 6 miles on Sunday. Well, I ran some and walked some. I’m a really slow runner.”

“ I’m looking forward to the mini this year. I mean, I’m looking forward to the margaritas and nachos afterward.

I decided to try running in 2010 when my daughter was 4 and I found myself with no hobbies or non-Mom activities other than Candy Crush. I went to a running class. Yes, I’m that kind of nerd. I couldn’t just lace up and get out there, I needed to research it first.

I’ll never forget that first class. I was terrified and sure I’d be the fattest, slowest, and most hopeless person there. I wasn’t. None of us were. We were taking a step to try something new or to get better at something we loved. The instructor demonstrated a run across a hotel conference room. “Running is nothing more than lifting your feet up one at a time and then repeating the motion.” My running mantra became ‘Left Foot, Right Foot’ and it still gets me through a tough workout or that darn .1 at the end of a 5K.

Every runner I know has some form of this imposter syndrome. I met an 84 year-old man in my first ever 10K. We were within a few paces of each other alternating running and walking for most of the time. I simply had to go find him after the race. He was with his family and introduced me as ‘the girl who kept me going out there’. We never spoke during the race. We were too focused on finishing for small talk. What I learned after the race is that he had been running for over 40 years and while I thought he was my inspiration, he was chasing me!

Now as I begin my entrepreneur journey, I find myself looking for a class to attend, reading another blog, listening to one more podcast, and trying to outrun the feeling that I might not finish the race. I have all the tools and I’m incredibly passionate about building this talent consultancy. I’m building every day to bring my vision to life – training the next generation of in-house talent professionals. As I meet more and more entrepreneurs, I find that we’re not in competition – we’re running the same race. We all have insecurities, good days, bad days, and a touch of imposter syndrome. We choose to show up for ourselves and for our clients and teammates each day.

Imposter syndrome is real. I will continue to face it head on. I’m choosing to push through with positivity and the knowledge that everyone feels it at one time or another. Just when you think you’re leading the race, you’ll see someone ahead. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. That sentiment has never felt more true than at this moment. Every day that I’m given to chase this dream is just a series of steps. Left Foot, Right Foot.

-Amy

Pay it Forward: Candidate Feedback is a Gift

As a recruiting professional, the opportunity to provide feedback will present itself multiple times a day. And, as you grow in your career, you’ll become uniquely qualified to provide meaningful feedback on resumes, interview skills, career tracks, and the overall search process. Many HR programs will discourage real feedback and recommend vague or canned responses. There are options to pay it forward and help someone out without speaking officially for your business or breaking any compliance standards.

Below are some regular feedback opportunities I’ve encountered. While I’m not always able to take the time to address each one, I do work to give feedback directly, especially when the candidate or prospect has been fully engaged in the process.

Resume Feedback:

1. Resume is unreadable after ATS conversion.

If you’re using an ATS and encounter this issue, you owe it to your candidates to make them aware and allow them to re-apply. This can be accomplished with a quick email template to ask for a different version especially if a quick LinkedIN search comes up empty.

2. There’s a glaring and simple mistake on the resume.

This is the resume equivalent of spinach in your teeth. Imagine you’ve been sending in a bunch of resumes and no one is telling you that you mistyped your email as “gnail”. Pay it forward with an email or phone call – it doesn’t mean you are considering them but it is a nice thing to do.

3. Unnecessary info such as personal stats or marital status.

Every recruiter reading this just did a head nod. Everyone who never considered listing their marital status said, ‘huh?’. This is an international difference between many countries’ curriculum vitae and the US resume standard. I’ve often given feedback to a candidate to consider removing that personal info when applying to roles based in the US and I’ve never heard any response except ‘Thank you’.

PS – If you’re not willing to have this conversation – make a note in the ATS of your deletion and then remove the info before forwarding onto a manager.

Interview Feedback:

1. You didn’t get the next interview.

If a candidate has spent time with your company, generally considered after the first in-person screen or after a 2nd phone interview, take the time for a phone call to personally thank the candidate for their time. Give them a meaningful piece of feedback if you have something pertinent from the interviews.

2. Silver medalists.

Being runner-up often feels worse than 3rd or 4th. Take the extra time to provide meaningful feedback and be honest if it’s something uncontrollable like the other candidate had specific experience that wasn’t required but pushed them over the goal line. If your company honestly considers former candidates for future roles, let them know and set a follow-up for yourself. Many ATS systems, like Greenhouse, have a CRM function to help you keep in touch with these valuable silver medalists.

3. Zoom background, sound or connection is distracting.

This was a constant encounter for me in 2020. I had several interviews in which the candidate’s background, camera angle, or sound was very distracting. I also started to hear this in feedback from hiring managers when comparing final candidates. My best advice to candidates and managers is to stop the interview and address the issue so you can fully focus on the candidate’s content rather than something superficial.

I realize that recruiters and hiring managers are very busy and all of these things take time. I also know that a little kindness can go a long way for someone struggling through the job search process.

If you’ve ever been out of work, you know the frustration. The time recruiters spend on these small acts of kindness will pay off in an improved employer brand, word of mouth about you and your company, and often a future referral or reconnection with a great candidate.

Ready to step up your hiring process? Schedule a time to talk with our team– we’d be happy to help.