RecFestUSA 2023 – Festival Experiences 

First things first. RecFest is NOT a conference… it’s a Festival. There were reminders all around us, yet I still found myself resetting from “I’m at a conference” mode. As a bona fide introvert, conferences… and festivals, for that matter, are not my favorite thing. After experiencing RecFestUSA though, I’m a convert. RecFest will be on my ‘must go’ list again next year!  

 What makes it a Festival? 

 1. It’s outside! 

Perhaps everyone but me realized this before arriving in Nashville. I’m gonna guess I wasn’t alone though. Suddenly, the night before, it dawned on me based on the pictures and the fact that it was at a park… first clue, right? Good thing I’ve taken to wearing gym shoes everywhere in my 40s! Nashville in September (in the shade) was delightful – 81 degrees for a high and not a raindrop in sight. It was refreshing to “work” outside for two days straight.  

2. No main stage.  

I thought I would miss that at first. What? We’re not all going to pile into one place and watch the same thing, hear the same message, and “Get Inspired”? Nope. We didn’t. Yet, as I sit here after the conference writing this review, I feel pretty damn inspired. I took in the content I wanted to hear, skipped some time slots all together in favor of meeting more peers, and met tons of potential partners while learning about their technology and services for the Talent Acquisition space.  

 3. 3 Stages under the Big Tops surrounded by FUN vendor tents.  

Thank you to the planning team for the giant tents and fans – somehow the lack of AC wasn’t really a big deal. The event had 3 stages – Inspire, Innovate, & Disrupt and a powerhouse lineup of panels and speakers within our industry. Vendors were well prepared with fun activities and the ability to draw us into their space and share their passion for Talent Acquisition. No boring booths and stupid giveaways – Seriously, when do you hear vendors and fun in the same sentence? There were carnival-style games, crafts, services, demos, and plenty of space to spread out and have real conversations. Advice for future sponsors, ask which side of the venue gets better shade… it matters for your traffic patterns!  

 4. Speakers brought it. Big Time.  

Some of my fav sessions included:  

  • Using AI & Automation to Create Stronger Candidate Experiences with Darrian Mikell @ Qualifi (Check out their audio interviewing platform to help remove bias from your process and move WAY faster for high volume hiring) 
  • How to Use TikTok to Build Your Recruitment Brand with Joel Lalgee. You know him as the funny guy from LinkedIN & TikTok. He even convinced me to start making videos! 
  • Insert Complicated Talent Brand DEI Activation Here with Ashten Fizer of Dropbox – Gamer in the House indeed!  
  • What Job Seekers Really Want (And What Recruiters Can Do) with Matt Charney of HR.com; pretty sure his presentation was not “HR approved” and I was 1000% there for it!  
  • When Good Consulting Looks Like Bad Customer Service with The Amy Miller of LinkedIN ranting fame. Oh, and Amazon.  
  • From Basic to Bomb-Diggity: Game-Changing ChatGPT Prompts for Recruiters with Sarah Zapar, The Talent Agency. I learned that my AI game is better than I thought AND that I’m just getting started. Thanks for sharing ALL your tips & prompts with us! 
  • Woman King Panel did NOT disappoint. Thank you to Rocki Howard (The Mom Project), T. Tara Turk-Haynes (Leaf Group), and Rachel Williams (The Motley Fool) for sharing your authentic stories with us and for standing up for underrepresented women in the workplace.

5. Talent Acquisition Pros are weird and kind.  

Conferences are for HR, IT and Finance. I’ve never felt fully at home in a room full of corporate professionals, yet I am one. TA peeps simply feel like my tribe. We get each other. We’re kind of weird, maybe even awkward. We seem to all like dogs, and cursing, and are happy that the bar opened in the middle of the day. Perhaps you have to be a little odd to keep showing up to the roller coaster world we live in and to connect with people from every walk of life across a bunch of different generations, industries, roles, and personas. Sarah Zapar’s silly acronym said it best, “Recruiting Creates Intense Feelings. Crying Expected.” Even through the tough days, Recruiters are some of the kindest people I know. We show up authentically and genuinely enjoy helping others. It’s refreshing!  

The first-ever RecFestUSA was a success and I imagine it will be bigger, better, and even a little more weird and fun in 2024. Sign me up & I’ll see you there!  

Are some jobs unfillable? Why would a Recruiter walk away from a client search request? 

Short answer? Yes. Some jobs are unfillable.  

 Read on for the longer version and some of the reasons that might make a job nearly unfillable. As a life-long Recruiter, I’ve been known to say, “I’ve never met a job I couldn’t fill”. The truth is that I’ve been in situations throughout my career to consult with hiring managers, executives, and leaders to edit roles thus making them fillable. Often, the first draft of a role or the wish list from a hiring manager describes a unicorn riding on the back of a Centaur living at Hogwarts … Good Luck!  

 Leading an agency (Recruiting Experiences) that works on primarily retained work as a Partner alongside our start-up and scale-up clients, it’s important that we are confident the searches we take on will be successful. Not only must we ensure we have the skills and resources to fill the role, but we must also believe the role is realistic in terms of the skillset, location, compensation, and requirements. When it’s not, we negotiate and share data to help the team understand why it may not be feasible to find what they want and need within the constraints offered. We’re not looking to make it easy. We’re looking to make it doable and to guide our client to find the best talent available within their budget, location, and skillset needed.  

 If you think you may have an unfillable job or you’re a Recruiter considering whether you can fill that order you’re about to take… here’s some red flags to watch out for: 

 🚩 Lack of clarity in the role generally identifiable in an unclear job description: If you aren’t sure what you’re reading, or the description doesn’t seem to match the title… ask more questions. As you dig, find out whether there is a clear vision of what this person is going to do within the business. A great clarifying question to try with the leader is: ‘In 6 months, what will this person have accomplished?’ 

 🚩 Unrealistic expectations. Remember that unicorn I mentioned above? When the list of demands becomes too long, really think about whether the talent truly exists and in what volume. If they do exist, would this role/company/leader/comp package be appealing? If there are only 20 people in your State with the skillset, what’s the likelihood of landing one of them into this role? If you don’t hear some wiggle room in the negotiation, move on.  

 🚩 Limited budget. Does the budget match the need? Is the company equipped to pay for the level of talent they want in compensation, benefits, perks, and your fees to find top talent alongside them? Bring data to these conversations. Use tools like PayFactors or Salary.com to review rates for similar roles and geographies. Keep in mind that public databases are generally less accurate (often inflated) than private databases with subscription rates. Most recruiting firms have access to private data and can share market data with their customers to help find the ideal budget to attract top talent across multiple roles and industries. 

 🚩 High Turnover & Poor Reputation. While I am not a fan of the site which shall not be named allowing former employees to list their grievances and rate CEO performance, it is very popular among job seekers. As a Recruiter, I do go and check it out before engaging with a new client so I can determine what job seekers may see and ask me about. I can then address issues directly with leadership and learn the other side of the story. The answers may deter me from wanting to represent a brand or may give me the answers needed to help paint a clearer picture for candidates during interviews. Key question to ask before agreeing to take on a search: Why is this position open? 
Growth? Let’s Go! 
4th time it’s being filled this year? Uh-oh.  

Red flags don’t always indicate a reason to walk away. Often, they are conversation starters and offer an opportunity to consult with the client from your perspective as a Talent expert. Sharing data about compensation, benefits, perks, or other market trends are easy ways to stand out amongst your competitors and show value beyond just presenting resumes. Helping the organization to create compelling job listings which sell the job vs traditional job descriptions which may be more task focused and compliance-driven are another way to open the conversation about how to attract the best talent and sell your role in the marketplace. Additionally, during a hiring intake (the MOST important part of the recruiting process), Recruiters should focus on sorting all of the job criteria into ‘must-have’, ‘nice-to ’have’, and ‘bonus’ qualifications rather than assuming that every possible skill should be present in each candidate. Creating clarity around these selection criteria and ranking the most critical skills is extremely helpful in moving through the interview process effectively if you decide to take on the search.  

 Bottom line. Not all business is created equal and sometimes it is better to walk away than to take on recruiting for roles that may prove to be unfillable. If you can create a partnership and consulting relationship with the potential client and see your impact in shaping the opportunity to the available talent pool, there may be a viable search ready-made for you. In that case, go for it & Happy Hunting!  

Why are more Recruiting Companies starting to ask for money up-front?

There will always be a place for contingency recruiting – the quick fix to your just-in-time staffing needs. A race to fill the job quickly pitting firms against one another and hoping to get the best talent fastest. The model has been around for ages, even before Corporate, in-house Recruiting was a career option. You pay a % of the new hire’s salary and receive a 30-90 day guarantee that they’ll stay before you pay a large fee. On a 100K hire, at an average fee of 20%, you’re looking at a 20K investment if you find the right person.  

When I started my firm and shared with my potential clients that I required a retainer to begin a search, I heard all of the objections you’d expect. Walking through the WHY often slowed them down to consider whether contingency was the best route for this important investment. I should also point out that the Recruiting Experiences’ model of flat-fee, partnership recruiting is incredibly unique in the marketplace (more similar to an RPO) and actually costs less than many retained or contingent models, so I was also selling against a ‘too good to be true’ myth also. Traditional retained models are generally the same cost as contingency models – the results and benefits, however, are vastly different.  

Before we jump into those benefits, let’s take a quick peek at the numbers. Did you know that the staffing industry generates billions of dollars in revenue annually? According to the American Staffing Association, the staffing industry contributed a whopping $122.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2020 alone. 💰 Clients are spending Billions, with a B, on finding the right talent to drive their visions forward. It’s a critical decision to find the best model and the right firm to support such an important part of your business strategy. 

Benefits of Retained Recruiting: 

🎯 Dedicated Time & Focus: 

Retained recruiting is like signing up for an elite personal trainer—it’s an investment in quality. By engaging in a partnership with a retained recruiting firm, you’re essentially saying, “We’re committed to finding the absolute best talent for our team, no compromises.” This dedication often leads to game-changing hires that elevate your business. Retained Recruiters generally carry 6-12 active requisitions for their clients at a time meaning you have more dedicated time spent on your search. Comparatively, contingent recruiters carry 20-40 requisitions at a time. Contingent recruiters follow the money – they will fill the fastest, highest-earning roles first. Difficult searches or those with discounting often get left behind.  

🎯 Recruiter On-Call 

Ever felt like your recruitment process is spread thin across multiple agencies? With retained recruiting, you’re the star client, and the recruiting team is all yours. They dive deep into understanding your company culture, industry nuances, and the precise skills required for each role. Your success becomes their primary goal – you’ve paid up-front for a portion of their time to be dedicated to you. They are contracted to stick with you until the role is successfully filled. 

🎯 Outbound vs Inbound 

Not 100% of the time but generally… because there is a partnership approach to finding specific talent to fill your need, your retained recruiter will focus on an outbound search to go and find the passive talent you want on your team. Contingent recruiters will start with the low-hanging fruit – active candidates or those in their database of past candidates. There are great candidates inbound too. However, if you are filling a niche need requiring the help of an external recruiter, you want to have a combination of inbound and outbound efforts even if it lengthens the search timeline.  

🎯 Consultative Partnership: 

Retained recruiters aren’t just matchmakers; they are strategic advisors. They work closely with you to design tailor-made solutions, offering insights into market trends, compensation benchmarks, and candidate expectations. This collaborative approach ensures your hiring strategy is aligned with your long-term business goals. Additionally, because accepting an upfront payment is a contract to fulfill the need, retained recruiters will tell you when a role is “unfillable” and share how to tweak requirements to find the best talent available in the marketplace to meet the needs of your business.  

🎯 Time Efficiency: 

Time is money. Retained recruiters respect that. With contingency recruiting, you might spend countless hours sifting through resumes and conducting multiple rounds of interviews. Retained recruiting streamlines the process, presenting you with a curated pool of top contenders, saving you both time and energy. I don’t work for free, and you don’t either. With a retained search, both sides have a vested interest in filling the role efficiently.   

If you have been using contingency recruiting exclusively, are you ready to embrace a recruitment approach that doesn’t just fill roles but offers you a partnership approach to securing top talent? It’s a myth that Retained Recruiting costs more – usually, it’s the same. In my firm, it’s generally less.  

If you visit the homepage of the Recruiting Experiences website, you’ll see our tagline – the world doesn’t need another recruiting firm. It’s true – there are plenty – some good and some not so good. We exist to create great experiences and we offer unique pricing models that reflect the dedicated work we do on behalf of our clients. Whether you consider our services or not, I encourage you to consider options outside of traditional contingency especially when you are seeking talent unique to your organization’s needs. The benefits of having dedicated time, focus, outbound search capabilities, efficiency, and a consultative partnership are well worth your initial investment in finding top talent.  

🌟 Top 10 HR Outsourcing Ideas to Boost Q4 this year – Finish 2023 Strong! 💪 

As I’ve been speaking with HR professionals over the past few weeks, I can see the end-of-year eye haze beginning. There’s so much to do as we wind down the year and some of the must-dos and some of the want-to-dos may be at odds with one another. If that sounds like you, it may be time to consider how outsourcing to a fractional HR team (like Recruiting Experiences, wink wink 😉) can level up your team’s productivity. 🚀  

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just dipping your toes into the outsourcing waters, these 10 Talent-focused projects are bound to help you expand your horizons and get more done with that same 24 hours in a day. 🕒 Let’s GO! 

🔎 Goal Planning & Strategy 

Are you ready for SMARTER goals across your organization? Q4 is a great time to gather teams, upskill leadership, planning, and goal setting/management skills. Using a third-party trainer and facilitator can help these sessions run more smoothly and bring new energy to your teams. 🎯 

📊 Recruiting Assessment 

Time to review what’s working and what’s not in filling your candidate funnels and securing the best talent for your organization. This project should ALWAYS be outsourced to gather a new perspective on your recruiting process, tools, and candidate experience. 📈🔍 

💼 Onboarding Odyssey

Welcome new hires with some sizzle! When was the last time you evaluated your onboarding experience? Does it embrace belonging, inclusivity, knowledge-sharing, and success criteria? Is it engaging both onsite and remotely? Assessment of onboarding & recruiting as a bundle are highly impactful… do you have a Recruiting issue or an Onboarding issue? Both, Neither? 🦄 

🕒 Stay Interviews 

Trust a 3rd party to spend 1:1 time with your team and learn what is keeping them engaged in your workplace and in their role. More importantly, learn what is keeping them up at night and what might tempt them to seek greener pastures. Ditch your exit interviews and let’s talk about what’s going on in the organization right now.  

🎯 Performance Management Makeover

Say goodbye to outdated, boring, annual performance reviews. Partner with experts who can design a cutting-edge, employee-friendly performance management system driving real results and growth! And let’s make sure it’s digitized too! 🏆 

📣 Workplace Conduct Training 

It’s that time again! Did you know that organizations with employees in IL, CA, MN, CT, or MN are required to offer harassment training? Each state has their own requirements with many states only ‘highly recommending’ it. Check this site for your state’s info. Best practice is to conduct interactive, annual Workplace Conduct Training for all employees and have onboarding training available within 90 days of hire for all new employees and newly promoted supervisory roles regardless of state. 📅 

🛣 Career Pathing  

Time and again, engagement surveys reveal that employees, especially our Gen Z & Millennial teammates, want to know what their next steps are and how their roles impact the business. Mapping out the roles within your organization along with associated skills, training needed, and success criteria is a great step toward creating your own farm team.  

📣 Employee Handbook Overhaul 

It doesn’t have to be an overhaul – just a quick update will do. Are your policies still relevant in 2023? A new set of eyes on compliance needs and opportunities to make this ‘first impression’ document friendlier and more integrated to your mission and values is time well spent. 📧  

Job Descriptions & Job Listings 

Recruitment advertisements and Job Descriptions are NOT the same thing. Repeat – Not the same thing! You need both and you barely have time to create one. Clean up the legal documents and put a marketing spin on your old descriptions to create compelling advertisements to attract new talent to your team. This is a GREAT intern project if you are bringing in seasonal help.  

🎉 Office Festivity Frenzy

Planning holiday parties can be a hoot, but also a handful. Outsource the event planning and treat your team to an end of year training and/or celebratory shindig they’ll be talking about until next year! Combine training & parties for a double win! 🥳 

What could you do with all that extra time? Oh yeah, all the other things you already have planned like Open Enrollment, Compensation changes, engagement surveys, and annual reporting. Not to mention the pop-up activities that HR manages every day!  

Until cloning is a more viable option, outsourcing is a great alternative to getting more done with less. Embracing outsourcing in Q4 2023 doesn’t just mean crossing off tasks—it means unleashing a tidal wave of creativity, innovation, and productivity. 🌊💡 Which of these 10 projects would most expand your team’s capacity and drive value for your organization? Time to outsource and outshine! 🌟🌟🌟 

HR Indiana 2023 Review

Another HR Indiana Conference is in the rearview mirror! August in Indiana brings HR professionals three days of value-packed content, networking opportunities, and a notebook full of ideas you’ll want to tackle. With about 1500 attendees, HR Indiana is one of the largest Regional SHRM conferences annually. It draws attendees from the Tri-State area as well as national speakers and vendors. Below are some of the highlights of the 2023 conference for me and the Recruiting Experiences team as well as some tips for anyone preparing to attend an upcoming conference or on the fence about attending the HR Indiana 2024 Conference.  

Let me begin by saying, I’m not an HR Indiana veteran like so many of my colleagues here in Indy. There are volunteers and attendees who have MADE this conference over the past 15+ years. This was my 3rd time attending and I’ll highlight some of the positive changes I’ve noted and why it has become a staple of my HR events calendar.  

I first attended in August 2014 as a new Indianapolis HR leader after joining my first local tech company the year prior. I brought 2 team members along and we were so excited to jump in and learn ALL. THE. THINGS. For a non-compliance, Recruiting & Training geek like me, 2014 did not meet my expectations. A full day of legal review in one giant room for the entire day and I was ready to start drinking coffee. If you know me, you know this is a big deal. I do not like coffee. In fact, unpopular opinion, I straight-up hate coffee. I vowed to never attend again.   

Fast forward to 2022. My colleague and friend, Julie Barker of Cultivate Talent (Strategic HR Advisory) called and asked if I’d like to apply to co-present at HR Indiana. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I said ‘Tell me More. I’m not sure it’s my scene.’ She assured me that this particular session was part of a different track of the conference – Collaboration Workshops. This would be a 75-minute workshop facilitated by Julie and me to teach a new skill, share a case study, or demonstrate a practical application of an HR concept. It was designed to help practitioners who wanted more than lecture-style learning. “Sign me up!” I decided if I was going to be there for that day anyway, I would check out the whole conference and invite two of my teammates who were new to HR and excited about growing their careers to join me.  

Aladdin had nothing on my 2022 HR Indiana Conference experience. It was a Whole New World. Instead of a full day of Legal, there was a Legal track so you could spend the whole day if you wanted or needed to or you could skip those and GTS (Google that acronym if you don’t know the term J) like I do every day. Seeing the conference as a speaker also gave me a new perspective. I could pour into new professionals who were thirsty for content they could use in their environments. Indiana is FULL of one-person HR teams, and they needed this conference. Additionally, seeing the conference through the eyes of the young professionals on my own team reminded me how important these networking and learning opportunities had been for me in the early days of my own career. People I met at those conferences are still some of my go-to contacts for questions and networking. HR Indiana had grown, and I was ALL-IN.  

As a new-ish entrepreneur, I also found that I was running into potential customers and many of our referral partners all day long. Then, my 2023 HR Indiana vision was born. I decided to apply to speak in a general breakout session, look into sponsorship opportunities, and ensure that some of my team members would be able to attend. I was elated to be selected to speak in a prime timeslot on Wednesday afternoon – that meant my ticket cost would be granted also. As a breakout room sponsor, we’d have the chance to have two more attendees and introduce speakers throughout the day. It was so fun to be part of the action and to meet new potential customers, partners, and contacts. Our Lego-themed booth brought energy to the conference, and we loved being part of the 2023 success of HR Indiana.  

Now that I’ve turned in my Whova survey, I’ll share some of my personal favorite moments (in no particular order) which I hope inspire you to consider attending the 2024 HR Indiana Conference.  

  • Mascots – I’m a sucker for a mascot; Lego Man, Mario, & the Yeti were favs! 
  • Karaoke – I didn’t know there would be karaoke, but it never disappoints!  
  • Photo Ops – From professional headshots to staged opportunities including an HR-themed Friends couch, they were there for us.  
  • Networking – As a shared in my survey, I’d like to see even more of this but if you take advantage of it, there’s plenty of networking to be accomplished 
  • Smart Stage – 20-min quick hit content sprinkled throughout the day in an informal setting at The Hub. Yes, please!  
  • Informal Meetups made possible by my next fav – anyone could make one and they were a hit! 
  • Whova – Amazing conference app! If you are planning an event and not looking into this, you’re missing out. They are not paying me for this blog, but they should be. Whova people – call my people!  
  • Giveaways – Tons of great prizes all over the place – Legos, Coach purses, Colts tickets, bourbon, wine, and so much chocolate 
  • SPEAKERS – HR Indiana NEVER disappoints with an inspiring list of speakers bringing energy and actionable insights.  

See you all next year! The Recruiting Experiences team will be there. Will you?  

Don’t forget – If you attended HR Indiana 2023, you are eligible to receive a 15% discount for the remainder of this year on any of our Recruiting, HR, or Career Services. Just mention #hrindiana23  

5 Red Flags Recruiters want Interviewing Job Seekers to Avoid

We all know someone who is looking for a position right now. On social media, you may be seeing a ton of content from those outside of the recruiting space talking about what an ideal candidate interview should look like, what you MUST do in your first meeting with a recruiter, how to negotiate, how to put your best foot forward, etc.  

After seeing content that is a mixture of both good and bad advice, our team has pulled together a list of the top red flags that job seekers can do in their interviews with recruiters from our personal experiences.  

Top Red Flags from Our Recruiting Team 

Red Flag #1: Not knowing anything about the company you are interviewing with.  

The worst thing a candidate can do in an interview is to not know about the company. Doing your research before an interview about the company is vital. You should know what they do, what their product is and does, and something about their culture. My best advice is to find out if they have a YouTube channel and watch a video or two about them, and then stalk the companies LinkedIn. You will be surprised what 10-15 minutes of research does for you in an interview! 

Red Flag #2: Poor first impressions are a killer of candidacy. 

One of the biggest things that destroys a candidate’s interview success rate is their ATTITUDE. That’s right- not their lack of expertise, not their lack of credentials, not their small network… their ATTITUDE.

I was once recruiting for an SDR role, and the client was looking for a candidate with extremely specific experience. We, by extreme luck, had a candidate who had applied for the role with said extremely specific experience. We were SO excited to meet this candidate. I got on the interview with them and the best way to describe their attitude was a mix of the professor from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the genius doctor from The Good Doctor. Their attitude was very dry and disinterested, almost a CHORE for them to talk to the recruiter because they just knew they were the right person for this job, so why waste time talking to the recruiter?  

On the flip side- there was a candidate who was extremely qualified for the role and instead of thinking they were hot stuff- they went into the interview a bit underconfident that day. The executive team interviewing them agreed that they had the skillset for the role, but not the presence required to interact with important client stakeholders! 

Always keep in mind that the recruiter is the gateway into further interviews with a company that is hiring. You don’t have to have a crazy amount of energy in the interview, but you should show us in some way that you are genuinely interested in the company and interview whether that is through the questions you ask, how you answer questions, and or your body language/tone.  

Red Flag #3: Not knowing what is on your resume.
A good rule of thumb is if it is on your resume, be ready to talk about it. Your resume should highlight your experience and the candidate should be able to talk about and answer questions about it. As a recruiter, if I ask a candidate about something on their resume and they can’t answer it, it makes me question their experience. 

For example, many sales candidates have information on their quota and their past quota attainment on their resume. I was doing an interview for a sales role for a tech company and the candidate had his quota stats on his resume. I asked him a question about the average deal size and how many deals he closed. What he told me did not line up with what he had listed, and it made me question the accuracy of the things on his resume. 

As a recruiter, asking specific questions about projects or achievements on a candidate’s resume can help you determine the quality of work they have done in their past roles. As a candidate, having stories and talking points about the information on your resume can help highlight your achievements. 

As stated above, you should be able to speak about projects, metrics, achievements, and any experience you have on your resume. If you don’t know how to speak to your resume that you are submitting, practice summarizing each experience into an elevator pitch (about a minute) that hits your responsibilities, metrics, and any other important information. Recruiters will ask more questions about that experience to get the information we need out of the interview, so don’t feel the need to give us everything you have experienced in your career in one go.  

Red Flag #4: Taking the call unprepared. 

Our phones have this great feature called voicemail. You can set up an outgoing message and it takes messages for you! If you are in a job search, voicemail is your best friend. Picture this: You’ve applied to tons of jobs, maybe hundreds. Your phone rings. You are out walking the dog but you’re excited… this could be THE ONE! You pick up. The Recruiter says “This is Amy at ABC Logistics” then asks if you have a few minutes to chat. You’re excited and say, “Of course”. First question, “What made you decide to apply to ABC?”. You are unsure. You’ve applied to so many. Which one was this again?? Ummmmm 

Let’s try this again. You’ve applied to tons of jobs, maybe hundreds. Your phone rings. You are walking the dog. You let it go to voicemail where the Recruiter is greeted by your friendly voice and an empty voicemail box. You return home and listen to the message. You look up the company, check your application log, look up the role and the Recruiter’s LinkedIn before calling back. You approach the call with your best foot forward. THIS is how you want to show up.  

Red Flag #5: What we can see in your background.  

This is on the same line as taking a call unprepared, but sometimes candidates will jump on a Zoom call with me from their phones and carry me around their house while I am chatting with them. By the end of conversation, sometimes I think I have seen most of their home, a pet, and at least one roommate in the background which can be A) super distracting, and B) somewhat unprofessional.  

As a recruiter, I don’t mind if you are not in your best clothes or don’t have a pad of paper in front of you waiting to write notes, but I generally at least want to feel like we are having a focused conversation where both sides are invested. My suggestion would be, no matter what device you are doing an interview on, to sit in one spot in your house, away from most distractions, with the best natural lighting available and to focus on the conversation that you are having. Even if that is not the way that you normally take calls, it may help the person on the other end focus and develop a great first impression of you based on solely the conversation.  

We hope that these pieces of advice will help job seekers understand what red flags turn recruiters off a candidate during hiring processes.  

Please comment below or reach out to our team members with any questions! 

How to Stand Out EVERY TIME in Interviews!

Say this, do that, jump here, run there. You’ve heard it all. You really have. But today I am going to help reshape the way you approach your job search. Guess what? Most of you already do this in the context of your day-to-day jobs. So, buckle up and get ready to take a MIND SHIFT to the next level of your job search and professional acumen!  

When you go to an interview what usually happens? You are greeted with niceties and formalities, then you either sit down or stare at your zoom screen going through a scripted list of interview questions. You are lucky if the interview feels more like a conversation. But the questions are all scripted, designed to not create any unfair bias against you yet, at the same time, those questions are not designed to really let you highlight your unique skills and talents. What if there was a way for you to do that?  

There are MULTIPLE ways for you to stand out (outside of stellar resumes, interview questions, personality, etc.)! Today we are going to focus on ONE of those ways to stand out EVERYTIME: having your own business presentation/pitch deck that shows your business value! Brownie points for using a theme/color coordination representing the company you are interviewing with! Half of you just rolled over and groaned, the other half of you just thought, “tell me more!”. 

You need to consider this simple fact: interviews are long, they are intensive, and require massive amounts of time and energy investment from employers (and employees, love you all!). Imagine you are a hiring manager looking for the next extraordinary talent to join the team, and you sat through hours of interviews asking the same canned questions and hearing the same canned response except for a few? You would be spaced out too. Having an asset like a pitch deck/presentation to present to your interviewer (which they did not ask for, by the way) will help you be memorable, shows you take initiative, and if executed well it will show that you GET IT. Now let us talk about HOW you can piece one of these together.  

Goals 

  • Show your BUSINESS VALUE (not just the tasks you completed!) 
  • Keep it SUCCINCT (no more than 10 slides, really you should only need 5-7 minutes’ worth of content!!) 
  • Templatized for scalability (so you don’t have to spend 3 hours every time creating this!) 

Sample Slide Playbook 

Slide 1- Intro Slide 

  • This slide should include items such as:  
    • a professional headshot 
    • Title of the role you are being considered for 
    • 1-2 sentence overview of your career impact 
      • 6+ years delivering excellence customer service achieving 95% CSAT rating 

Slide 2- VALUES Slide 

  • Ideally you should tie the company values into the presentation, but you can also talk about what YOU value 
    • Pick 3-5 core values that you live by or that resonated with you from the employer 
      • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A STORY PREPARED FOR REACH VALUE AND HOW YOU LIVED THAT OUT, BUT ONLY TELL THEM 1-2 STORIES FOR SAKE OF TIME 

 Slide 3- Experience AKA BUSINESS VALUE SLIDE 

  • This slide is going to be one of the money slides, you need to have at least 3-5 specific experiences on this slide in short form that highlight the business value you brought to your last team/employer (or pick relevant examples from your career that match this new role you are interviewing for) 
    • Examples of Business Value 
      • Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations, Human Resources, Accounting
        • Can be broken down into Net Promoter Score, Revenue Generated, Leads Generated, Investment ROI, System/Process Improvement, Employee Retention Increased, Increased Cashflow, etc.!  

Slide 4- What you can do for EMPLOYER slide 

  • Now that you have walked them through your previous wins, TAKE THEM THROUGH THE JOURNEY OF HOW YOU WILL HELP THEM WIN! 
    • You will find out what the true need of the employer is by conducting research through interviews, case studies, YouTube videos, google articles, and the literal interview process.  
    • I recommend identifying either THE BIGGEST NEED or 2-3 of their most important priorities  
      • Piece together a high-level strategy and execution plan for how you would either lead a team or individually help solve/meet the employer’s needs.  

Slide 5- QUESTIONS SLIDE & SOURCES, IF NEEDED 

  • You must be prepared for the interviewer to poke holes into your strategies and ideas! You also want to open the floor for an engaging discussion as well 
  • CITE YOUR SOURCES FOLKS 

 Key Things to Remember:  

  • Data, DATA, DATA. You must include data that is relevant for any of the talking points that you are sharing, otherwise you WILL be seen as less credible.  
  • Delivery is just as important as having this thing, practice and rehearse with your friends, family, heck do it in front of a mirror. Whatever you do, do not ‘wing it’.  
  • Constantly A/B test what works and what does not work. This is not an end-all-be-all. Some employers will welcome this strategy, others will not! Some will love your ideas; others will say we have already done that.  

 How do I tee-up this type of presentation if I was not asked to do it in the first place?  

You: Mr./Mrs. hiring manager, I have done several hours of research on the company and this role as well as the responsibilities and desired outcomes. I prepared a 5–7-minute presentation to walk through my skills, knowledge, experience, and key strategies for success in this role. Are you open to letting me share this with you today at the beginning or end of our meeting?  

Other Resources to Help:  

Austin Belak’s Value Validation Project Interview- How to Get NOTICED to Get a Job at Google, Airbnb, Microsoft – with Austin Belcak 

Andrew Lacivita’s Valuable Eight for Resumes- Submitting a Resume That Gets Interviews: Checklist Included! 

 

 

 

Preparing to Attend a BIG Conference

Recruiting Experiences is gearing up for the Indy SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Annual Conference in 2023. Personally, this is my first large conference and I have been excited, nervous, and preparing like crazy. Here are my best tips and tricks to start preparing for a conference this size (around 1,000 – 2,000 people). 

  1. Make a list of goals you have for the conference, some ideas might be to make 20 new connections, find a new vendor, or learn about an industry standard by attending events. 
  2. Post about it on LinkedIn. Let people know you are attending. This is a great jump start to networking. You can find other people that are going and plan to meet up with them! 
  3. Follow the sponsored content. You can find out whose speaking, where, and when to make sure you are signed up to learn. This is also a wonderful place to learn from people who have gone before, they always have great advice. 
  4. Stop by all the booths. The conference vendors will want to talk to you about their products, and even if you aren’t interested in what they are selling you might be interested in what they do for work. (Also, I love a good freebie or giveaway/raffle) 
  5. For this conference, they are hosting it on the Whova App, this app helps connect vendors with attendees. There are places on the app to post a topic, share a meetup, post an article, answer polls, learn about the different speakers, you name it – it is there. Find out if the conference you are going to has an app and get connected! 
  6. Plan a dinner with a friend or invite someone to have dinner or a drink with you. These conferences are for learning and networking, take full advantage of the time you are given. 
  7. Dress in layers!! Trust me on this, you do not want to be stuck in a room where the speaker just started and all you can think about is how you are sweating through your blouse or trying to wrap up tight in your dress. 
  8. Wear comfortable shoes. Most of the time conferences that are big are in big venues. Make sure you are prepared to be walking around and standing up for most of the day.  
  9. Do not be scared to talk to anyone! Everyone is there to socialize and have fun, go up and start a conversation, “What do you do for work” is always an easy starter!  

Good luck! Enjoy the time you have away from work. 

I would love to know what other advice you would give to people going to their first big conference.  

Who is going to the Indy SHRM Annual Conference next week?  

Ultimate Job Seeker Playbook

Alright team- it’s time to get this bread. I am certain that if you’re reading this you have tried everything you could to land that next interview and yet, nothing seems to work. Or maybe you got through to the final rounds and no offer has come through. It’s tough out there, and the thing about it is that it always will be tough out there as a job seeker! So, today we will go through a step-by-step process for you to add more FIRE POWA to your job search.  

Resume 
You’re probably tired of hearing differing opinions about one versus two-page resumes, how to format the resume, if you should include graphics, the list goes on and on. The reality is that in most instances, your resume is going to be the FIRST asset that lands you an interview. Your resume is the first highlight reel that your potential employer will see before deciding to speak with you. Now I do not believe in perfect resumes, but I do believe that there is always better so here are a few key resume action items to keep in mind:  

  1. Are at least 50% of your written bullets metric driven/focused?  
  2. Are you using the same verbiage/language from the job posting?  
  3. Do your job titles, responsibilities, function, etc. match the role that you are applying for?  

These days, you could technically use artificial intelligence to write your resume, but I have found that even the AI (Artificial Intelligence) fails to construct metric driven resume bullets- so I encourage everyone not to rely solely on artificial intelligence.  

Need help with your action-verbs: https://www.themuse.com/advice/185-powerful-verbs-that-will-make-your-resume-awesome 

  • Use this to help you construct your action-packed and business professional resume bullets  

Cliff Notes on Resume Writing: Submitting a Resume That Gets Interviews: Checklist Included! 

  • Review this excellent resource from Andrew to learn about the “VALUABLE EIGHT” which will help you to write your stellar resume  

Need help finding the common verbiage/theme: https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/ 

  • Use this to help you to identify the most common key words and phrases that the employer will be targeting  

 

Targeted Job Search
Have you ever applied for hundreds of jobs and still had trouble even landing your next role? Same here. It’s not fun! I have found that a more intentional job search yields better results- use the same time you have with more focus and send me a message with the results you start to see. Here is one strategy that you can use to bolster your chances of landing interviews- using Boolean searching to target specific jobs that you are interested and qualified for! Boolean searching is a method used to find specific information on the internet by using a series of key word combinations and phrases. Go to your google search bar and type in your preferred job title of choice followed by the word and followed by typing out job. What do you see? Great- now let’s get even more specific.  

Try to use quotation marks around your preferred job title (example: “Customer Service”) and the word job (example: “Job”). Together it should look like this in your google search bar: “Custome Service” AND “Job” 

Notice how what appears are job boards with lots of customer service jobs? GREAT! Now let’s get EVEN MORE SPECIFIC 

Use the same search string except replace the word “Job” with the domain name for a common applicant tracking system portal that you are familiar with. For example, you might use the word “jobvite.com” instead of “job.” Below are a list of other popular and frequently used applicant tracking systems 

  • “applytojob.com” (Jazz HR) 
  • “lever.co” (Lever) 
  • “apply.workable.com” (Workable) 
  • “workforcenow.adp.com” (ADP) 
  • “boards.greenhouse.io” (Greenhouse.io) 
  • “recruiting.paylocity.com” (Paylocity)  

Other Search Parameters to Use 

  • “.com/openings” 
  • “.com/careers”  
  • “.com/available-positions/” 
  • “.com/search-jobs”  

Please remember that this is not all-encompassing, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different applicant tracking systems and job boards available for you to research, this playbook simply serves as a kick-start!  

Job Application Volume & Tracking
Okay- so you’ve got your resume ready and now you know how to look for specific jobs, now what? Mass-apply to 500 jobs per week? Sure. Try it out. Tell me how it goes (really, I love talking with you all!). What I recommend is an extremely intentional pace of job applications per day. In your normal job, your boss doesn’t just have you bust out reports left and right, they want you to spend time making sure they are accurate and ensuring that your customers will be satisfied with the final product. We should treat our job search the same. I think a healthy pace/volume of applications per week is between 15-20 per week. This would give you the perfect amount of time to tailor your resume for each role, to research each company that you apply to, and even find out unique ways to help yourself stand out by networking or creating other assets that you can use during job interviews (more on the two topics later).  

It is also important that you track your job application status. You can use simple home-built tools like pen and paper or an excel sheet, or you can use a more sophisticated platform (for free) that helps you to manage oversight of your job search at a larger scale: https://www.tealhq.com/. The remarkable thing about Teal is that you can use other freemium features to help write your resume and set up follow-up tasks as reminders to keep you on top of your job search activities. When you track your job search you are more engaged, and you will accumulate more data that you can use to take your job search to the next level by monitoring what stages of job applications and interview processes you find yourself struggling with the most.  

Networking
We have all heard the adage “your network is your net worth!” 

Do you ever find yourself wondering how true that is? My take is this: your network will not always bring you immediate gain, so if you’re networking expecting a job tomorrow, I’m sorry to say that it will not happen. Networking, to me, is a long-term strategy that you don’t have to do at all, but IF you do it then your chances of being able to move into your next big opportunity will increase. How does that work? Well, you plant seeds in the hopes that one day, they will grow into a nice big oak tree. You will have to accept that some of those seeds will never get past the germination stage, they may even die. That is okay! Not everything in life is supposed to be sunshine and roses, albeit that is a huge plus! I recommend making an intentional effort to connect with at least 2-5 NEW people each day that you are job searching. Use the Boolean search tips from above to target specific profiles like “Hiring Manager” or “Recruiter” or “JOB TITLE.” When you are reaching out to potential new connections you should do so with intention. Have a concrete reason you want to speak with them. For example, you could share with them the job search journey that you are on, you could share with them that you want to learn about what their day-day looks like. There are so many entry points, and each one will work differently for every person because we are all unique humans with different motivations and perspectives on how we want to use our time.  

Creating Assets for Interviews
Okay this action is a fairly long-time investment, most people do not want to have to do this, which is why it’s part of this playbook. When you go to interviews, are you going with just your notebook in hand and your stories about your successes? That’s okay- and will work, but what if there was a better more engaging way to sell yourself and highlight your value? In the world of business, we are inundated with meeting after meeting and report after report. Now throw in having to interview people who want to join the company and you’ve got yourself a lot of mental brain power being used up- so you, as the job seeker, should be doing everything in your power to solidify your opportunity to join their team and be a value add. I think one of the best, and most simple, assets that any job-interviewer can create for themselves is a PowerPoint slide deck that is templatized and highlights 3-5 of their most relevant career successes/projects, personal motivations and values, and a slide covering “why you should hire me”. During your interview, you can ask if you can share a presentation you created to showcase your skills/experience and why you would be a great fit for the team. Brownie points for branding the presentation to the company that you are interviewing with.  

Putting it All Together
This was a LOT of information- I know it. Let’s go through how you can incorporate this into your job search strategy! First thing is first- determine the timeline that you want/need your new role. Realistically you should account for at least 8-10 weeks (about 2 and a half months) minimum dedicated to applying, interviewing, tweaking your process, interviewing more, and finally offer stage. Timelines vary, but I like to be conservative in my estimates. Once I have a timeline in mind then I like to plan out what my weeks look like. For this mock job search project plan, we’ll be jobless, since this is likely when people are in the thick of their job searching efforts. I like to think that if I had a 9-5, I would be working those hours, so I keep those core hours for my job search as well. 

  • 3-5x intentional job applications per day  
    • 30 minutes of research on industry/company 
    • 15-20 minutes on tailoring resume 
    • 5-10 minutes applying for the job 
    • Repeat!  
  • Adding 10-15 new connections per day 
    • LinkedIn maxes you out at 100-150 per week 
    • Use a note in each of your connection requests 
    • Follow up with people who have not replied to you 
      • I like to follow up two additional times before moving on 
    • Be intentional and have a purpose for connecting!  
  • When you start to get interviews line up- prepare your assets for the interviews!  
    • This can be a PowerPoint presentation 
    • This can be a portfolio of case studies you have compiled over your career 
    • This can be a 3–5-minute video that you created to showcase your skills/expertise 
    • There is no limit to what you CAN do but know your audience and preferred delivery method.  
  • Watch this video of the creator of the Flamin’ Hot brand for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iF2M_FtukI&ab_channel=ABCNews 

There you have it folks- another step-by-step action plan for improving your job search strategy. If you feel like you could use some extra guidance for your next steps, please feel free to reach out to Dom (dom@recruitingex.com 

Recruiting Kind is focused on Candidate Communication, here are some tips to get you started!

In this ever-changing job market, one thing remains true; we are all humans. As such, we should be treating each other with kindness. Something that Amy Oviedo told me in one of my first days working at Recruiting Experiences was that a job change is one of the top-rated most stressful things that people go through. So, the question becomes, ‘How do we best support someone during this huge life event?’  

I have some ideas for recruiters. By no means is this list exhaustive or perfect, but it is a good place to start.  

  1. Make templates for rejections, scheduling interview emails, calendar invitations, and everything else that you possibly can. This will make your life easier when you open a new role and get a ton of applications. 
  2. Apply for a role at your company to see the candidates’ experience and if it takes more than a minute or two, change it! You will get more applications if it is easier to apply for the role. 
  3. Make sure you respond to every applicant. This doesn’t mean you have to personally call everyone, but at least send out rejection emails.   
  4. After interviews, even if the candidate doesn’t make it to the next round, call or email the candidate. Don’t let people wait for bad news or no news. 
  5. If you can, make the interview process take as little time as possible. Ideally, 3-5 interviews that are with HR, the hiring manager, and some team members. Pro-tip you can make the team members interviews and make them one-panel interview to make the process quicker.  
  6. Remove all unnecessary tests, coding exercises, and simulations. You could mix things like this in with team interviews by having them work together on a made-up problem to see how the candidate works in a team environment! 
  7. Make job listings short, sweet, and to the point. Don’t have long and drawn-out descriptions for your listings. A great place to start is trying to get the requirements down to the top 5-6 bullet points. Candidates won’t spend a ton of time reading all the requirements.  
  8. Meet the candidate where they are at, meaning if the candidate never answers your emails but always picks up a phone call, then call them. Personally, I will always answer an email, but I miss phone calls all the time. This is a super easy one that most employers miss the mark all the time. 

After that you might be saying, “Well that’s great information but where do I even start?” My answer, start making templates. Once you have a couple of good templates for regrets, emails for scheduling candidates, and calendar invitations you can easily knock through all of those applications. That is the easiest step. Make time to meet with your hiring managers to discuss the job listing and interview process (2 birds, 1 meeting). Typically, you can set up your ATS to have workflows and templates to help you move even quicker while still recruiting kind. And if you need some help with finding an ATS or setting it up, Recruiting Experiences can help you!  

Sales Interviews are just a little bit Different

Just a little bit though. Sales Interviews follow the same pattern as every other interview. The trick though is that Sales Professionals practice for interviews every day of their career. A Discovery Call in a traditional sales process is eerily similar to a traditional job interview.  

The fundamentals are the same, but the roles are reversed. In a Discovery Call, the Sales professional leads the meeting. In a Job Interview, the Sales Manager leads the interview, and the Sales professional is the Interviewee. The trick to a good Sales Interview is to maintain control of the meeting while allowing the Sales professional to share their information. A good Sales professional, however, will work to hijack the meeting. Soon enough, they’ll be interviewing you and, at the end of the meeting, you’ll like them because they’ve been listening to you and have been demonstrating good sales qualities, like asking good questions. But, can they actually do the job? You don’t know because you didn’t actually ask any of your questions.  

If you have found your interview being hijacked, try these conversation interrupts to take control back: 

  1. I really want to answer all of your questions and we’ll have time at the end of our conversation to get to more of them. Right now, though, I want to learn more about your fit within our team.  
  2. I appreciate your excitement about the role and the company but I want to be sure we get through some of the core pieces of the role so I can be fair to all our candidates and ensure we’re finding the right candidate for our team. 
  3. I can see that you are really good in a Sales meeting. If it’s ok though, I have a few questions I want to make sure we get through too.  

Once you have control of the meeting either by taking it back or by gaining it early after setting expectations (just like you do in a Discovery meeting Introduction) the Body of your Interview should really dive into the core selling requirements of your role. You’ll want to dive into the areas that make sense for your particular role but below are some general questions to get you started. Make sure you ask every candidate the same (or very similar) questions so you can compare the Good, Better, and Best candidates rather than just focusing on Qualified or Not Qualified.  

Additionally, watch for bias creeping into your thinking. Did you go to the same college, sell for the same organization in your past, or have kids who play the same sport? None of those things qualify someone for your role. Hard job criteria will. You’ll learn about that by following a script – the same way you qualify a customer in your Discovery call. Prepare and follow the process, even if it seems kinda boring. Those reps pay off!  

Tried & True Sales Interview Questions: 

  • Tell me about your research process for a new prospect before and after an appointment you recently set. 
  • Which CRMs are you most familiar with and how did you use them within your sales process? 
  • What do you do to keep your sales skills sharp? 
  • Describe a situation where you used internal influence to get a win for your customer. 
  • Tell me about a closed opportunity that you were really proud of. Follow-up: Why do you think they bought from you? 
  • What is your favorite/least favorite part about Sales? 
  • What are your compensation expectations for a full year? What about base compensation expectations for this role? 
  • When you think about an amazing earning year, what would that look like for you? 
  • Funnel Breakdown (Use a series of questions to break down a funnel – do more than one role if applicable and time permits & stay curious) 
  • What was your quota in your last role? How were you performing against it? 
  • What was your average sales size? 
  • Was there a split among new and renewal business? What did that look like in terms of your time invested? 
  • How many new deals would you say you were bringing in on a monthly basis? 
  • What was your closing ratio? 
  • So, about how many appointments would it take to get to those closed opportunities? 
  • Did you have activity quotas in addition to your revenue numbers?  
  • If so, what were they & how were you performing against them? 
  • If not, what goals did you set for yourself to ensure you could meet your targets? 

(As you break down the funnel numbers, pay attention to whether the numbers add up. Does the funnel work or are they inflating it? When you ask for specifics, someone who is inflating will often not be able to break down every step of the way without a mistake) 

While Sales Interviews are a bit different, one thing is the same: they are predictable. You can use the same set of questions for most of them with limited variation based on the level of position and candidate experience. Sales candidates LOVE to sell themselves. Let them. Just be sure they are selling themselves on the criteria that you need and want to learn about.  

Kindness is a part of our DNA

At Recruiting Experiences (RecEx) we try to live each day with our core values at the forefront of everything we do. Our core values are Simplicity, Reliability, Excellence and Kindness.  Living our core values makes us a better recruiting and HR (Human Resources) partner for our clients and the candidates we interview. Surely you have seen our signature #recruitkind hashtag attached to our social media posts, but what does that mean to the RecEx team? 

#recruitkind means that we keep our promises. If we tell a hiring manager that they will have some excellent candidate submittals by Friday, that is exactly what we do-submit qualified candidates who meet their criteria on Friday.  If we tell a candidate that we will let them know where they are in the interview process by the end of the week then we will reach out and provide an update.  Sometimes the update is that there is nothing new to report, but we still reach out to let them know. We all know what it feels like to be ghosted and never hear from a recruiter again. That is simply not how we roll at Recruiting Experiences. 

#recruitkind means we put ourselves in the candidates’ shoes. We know how stressful the job search can be and we want to eliminate stress for our candidates. When we are reviewing resumes and LinkedIn profiles, we work hard to be objective and not jump to conclusions based on what we see (or do not see) in a candidate’s history. Sometimes the best thing to do is reach out and allow a candidate to explain a gap in employment or a short stint at their last role. Kindness should mean not allowing your own judgements to cloud your perception of a candidate’s experience. We are continuously evaluating our own unintentional biases and helping to coach our clients to do the same.  

#recruitkind means we assist our clients with HR projects to improve their organizational health and make them a stronger company. We help our partners build strong onboarding programs that quickly establish connections and ramp up new employees leading to contented employees who understand their value-add at the company. We can help our clients establish a constructive employee evaluation program that reduces turnover and helps employees improve their job skills and performance. All of these fractional human resources (hr) tasks lead to more satisfied and engaged teammates. 

#recruitkind means we are champions for diversity in hiring. The team at Recruiting Experiences has been known to push back on a hiring team that believes the only qualified candidates are those with a college degree. Especially in the tech world, we see many roles that can be successfully filled by someone with experience but not a degree. We also push back on the notion that great candidates only come from certain schools or certain companies. Consciously seeking out qualified women and people of color is something else we feel strongly about. Kindness in hiring means smashing the “good ol boy” network that has led to the exclusion of many in the past.  

Finally, #recruitkind means we feel strongly about giving back. Our team members have donated many hours of volunteer time to several charitable and not-for-profit organizations. We often participate in mock interviews and resume writing sessions at local colleges to help future job seekers. We frequently have several interns on staff to help develop the next generation of recruiters and HR professionals who know how to successfully #recruitkind. Kindness and paying it forward is part of our DNA at Recruiting Experiences.  

Reliability as a Core Value

Reliability is one of the most important traits that employers look for in their employees. At Recruiting Experiences, reliability means being trustworthy and consistent, and delivering high-quality work consistently. When employees are reliable, they build trust and credibility with their colleagues, supervisors, and clients. Our employees not only exemplify these traits of reliability, but they also make them a priority. Below are some examples of why our core value of reliability is a major focus, and part of our value add for our clients at Recruiting Experiences (RecEx). 

  

Builds Trust: Reliability is essential to building trust. Our employees consistently deliver high-quality work, meet deadlines, and follow through on commitments. Internally, our colleagues and supervisors know that they can depend on each member of the RecEx team.  For our clients, our team goes the extra mile to support and be the liaison for recruiting and represents the client brand throughout the recruiting process. This builds trust and helps to create a positive work environment where everyone can feel confident in their work and their colleagues. 

  

Improves Teamwork: When everyone on a team is reliable, it makes it easier to work together to achieve common goals. We frequently meet as a team to conduct a focused blitz on a chosen opening and can rely on each other to assist with work and completing goal tasks. By being dependable and following through on commitments, we can help our clients and customers function more successfully and efficiently. 

  

Enhances Professionalism: Reliability is a hallmark of professionalism at Recruiting Experiences. When a person is reliable, they demonstrate that they take their work seriously and that they are committed to achieving the best possible results. We maintain a high standard of quality and performance, even when faced with challenging or demanding tasks. We also approach our work with a positive attitude and a commitment to excellence. This helps us to build a strong professional reputation and open new opportunities for career and company growth, as well as keeping our customers satisfied. 

  

Increases Productivity: When our employees are reliable, it reduces the amount of time and effort that our leaders need to spend monitoring their work. Each of our team members is willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities and remain flexible when changes occur. They approach challenges with a problem-solving mindset and are willing to learn and grow. This allows each team member to focus on other important tasks, which can help to increase overall productivity. 

  

Promotes Customer Satisfaction: When employees are reliable, it leads to increased customer satisfaction. Clients, customers, and prospects want to work with our team because we are dependable and consistently deliver high-quality work. Not only does our team help identify potential candidates, but we accurately and predictably submit the right match for our clients to continue and complete the interview process. We also send clients’ status reports each Friday and continue communication with regular check-ins. By demonstrating reliability, we can help to build strong relationships with our valued clients, which leads to repeat business and referrals. 

  

In conclusion, Recruiting Experience’s core value of reliability is a key attribute that each team member strives to cultivate. It not only builds trust and credibility but also promotes teamwork, enhances professionalism, increases productivity, and promotes customer satisfaction. By being reliable, we create a positive work environment and build a successful career and company! 

Excellence as a Core Value at Recruiting Experiences

Excellence at Recruiting Experiences 

Excellence by definition means the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. For Recruiting Experiences, it is one of our core values that we strive every day to exemplify in the services we provide to our customers.  We define excellence as doing things the right way while also taking pride in our profession and quality of work. Each person is held to the same set of standards around our value of excellence across all our services. I would like to highlight with this blog what that looks like for Recruiting Experiences as a business and what that looks like for our candidates and customers! 

What Do We Do Differently as a Business? 

A well-rounded approach to the recruiting and talent market is how we differentiate our excellence from others in the saturated space of recruiting. As a small, women-owned start-up, we offer a variety of services that not only focus on our clients and candidates but also on the betterment of the job-seeking and recruiting communities. Our Talent Acquisition Professional Certification provides upskilling for the recruiting community at large with the opportunity to learn from our CEO, Amy Oviedo. Another service we promote is our resume writing services to help job seekers present their skills in the best way possible in this tough economic environment.  

For Our Candidates 

Transparency and care are two ways that our team creates a standard of excellence for the candidates that we work with. Transparency to our team means that we tell the candidates everything we can about the positions we work for our clients as extensions for the brand. This ranges from questions about the team, company culture, benefits, and compensation.  

There is never a time that we do not call a candidate back regardless of them moving on in the process or not. As they move through interview processes with our clients, we also follow them through the process, provide feedback, answer questions, and negotiate if needed. Each experience with our team should show that we care about the candidate in the process as much as we do about the clients we are working with.  

For Our Clients 

As our business model includes acting as an extension of our client’s brand, we have multiple ways that we work to create the best representation and processes possible for our clients. We start the relationship with our clients by taking the time to learn as much as we can about their company, mission, team, and culture to become good representatives for their brand.  

There are many ways that we foster excellence through relationships with our clients, most centering around communication. Transparency is one of the driving factors for our team. After getting to know what we can about their organization, we act as consultants to help the hiring team clarify both the types of candidates they are looking for and the hiring processes to positively impact candidate experience.  During the hiring process, we collect data points on all aspects of candidate outreach and communication which will be presented to our client throughout the contract timeline. Any issues we may come across are addressed through regular meetings with the hiring team to keep processes always moving forward. 

 

From our well-rounded services to knowledge of our space, to coaching candidates, our team works to show excellence in every aspect of our work in recruiting. We hope that every person that decides to choose our team as a partner for their organization will recognize this quality as well! 

 

To learn more about the Recruiting Experience team’s core values, read this blog from Dom Vargas about why we value simplicity:  

https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/why-simplicity-is-one-of-our-core-values/ 

Why Simplicity is one of our core values

When originally founded in 2021, our CEO Amy Oviedo defined 4 core values to drive the mission of our business. Recruiting Experiences values Simplicity in process, Excellence in delivery of project work and customer service, delivering Reliability with data, and communicating with Kindness through the recruiting process. For the Recruiting Experiences team, Simplicity can be defined as the ability to create more efficiency through process or finding an easier route to a solution that moves a project forward.  

Read below for examples of how we live out the value of SIMPLICITY daily. 

When we first started creating data-tracking tools, we designed a master requisition excel spreadsheet to keep track of all our current open jobs. Over time, we realized that with our applicant tracking system in use, this was often creating double the work for our recruiters. We got rid of the master requisition list and this allows our team to move faster with a more centralized and sophisticated applicant tracking system.  

Originally, scheduling interviews with our recruiters involved the time and attention of our Recruiting Coordinator. Our Coordinator discovered a more efficient scheduling method by implementing Microsoft Bookings. This tool automates the interview scheduling process and frees up time for our team to do higher value work by eliminating the need to manually coordinate interviews. 

One of our veteran technical recruiters was working with a new software engineering team. They were implementing their first defined interview process. The Recruiter used recruiting expertise to recommend a three-step interview process which delivered more efficiency and improved the candidate experience. This project resulted in their team selecting three software engineering new hires!  

As part of supporting many of our clients’ growing Human Resources needs, we support various ad-hoc onboarding and offboarding HR (Human Resources) projects. We have implemented having a single point of contact with detailed process documentation.  Hiring teams can then use the documentation for each candidate to ensure each step of the onboarding and offboarding process is completed resulting in positive employee experiences.  

We often work with first-time hiring managers who do not know the best interview questions to ask to gauge candidate skillsets while remaining compliant and unbiased. We created an interview question creation model that hiring managers can use to easily produce questions to identify skills and behaviors ideal for the position. The simplicity of equipping a manager for their interviews is another way we bring value to our clients.  

During initial intake calls for new projects, we come prepared with real-time salary insights which help our hiring teams to make faster decisions in identifying the talent clients can bring to their company. Instead of delaying the process while waiting for approval on salary, the client can make an informed budget decision and we can immediately begin the recruiting project.  

Simplicity is one of the pillars of success when involved in a partnership with Recruiting Experiences. This core value allows us to drive more positive candidate experiences while delivering top talent efficiently to our hiring teams.  

If you want to hire and retain top talent in a more efficient way, we’d love to engage with you on a Recruiting assessment.  

If you are interested in our simplified recruiting processes, read this blog to learn more about our purposeful communication with candidates: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/thoughtful-communication-throughout-the-recruiting-funnel/

Navigating the Talent Pool After Technology Layoffs

As if the previous couple of years have not been challenging enough, 2023 has been a difficult year for many companies and their employees in riding the economic turbulence and the ongoing technology sector layoffs.  Many tech companies are trying to right size their organization to navigate the unknown market turbulence going on now and possibly in the near future. Even though companies are not hiring at their earlier paces, they will need to backfill positions where needed and still hire for moderate growth. The question that many companies are facing is: should I try and hire the staff that have been laid off or should I go after passive employees who were not impacted by the recent layoffs? 

Should I Hire Employees who have been Laid Off by other Companies? 

Many employees have been caught up in the massive tech layoffs and it is difficult to navigate the surge in available talent.  You might have the opportunity to add talented individuals that might not be available to your company in the future. Some hiring managers have the belief that if someone was laid-off they must be a lesser value employee or have had some type of issue or deficiency or else why would they have been let go. This is a bias that could be preventing your organization from finding some fantastic talent who are eager to continue their career path. There could be people that are diamonds in the rough that could plug into your company and benefit from their years of experience and their excitement for joining your company. 

Should I Target Passive Candidates who are still employed by other Companies? 

Each company’s hiring strategy should be consistent but not all positions will always require the level of effort to identify and invite passive candidates to apply to open positions.  Passive candidates can be great targets. Keep in mind, once you find them, you still need to convince them to consider a new position. Uncertainty in the economy can create fear among passive talent and may make this a more challenging pitch.  The advantage of multiple layoffs is there are some great candidates in the talent pool.  The key is always in the screening and interview process. How will you find the right skills, experience level, and culture add for your company? 

Some guiding principles for your future hires who may have been laid off: 

  • Check your own personal bias and the bias of your hiring team. Ensure you are creating an equitable evaluation process. 
  • Do your diligence in the screening process to understand the merits of each candidate. 
  • Ask every candidate the same questions and train all hiring team members to do the same. 
  • Show empathy in the hiring process. Being laid off can create lower confidence or accelerate imposter syndrome for candidates.  
  • Give feedback to all candidates even when you do not select them so they can use this information to improve on future interviews. 

Want More Info?   

If you are having difficulties in creating a go-forward plan or are struggling with finding the right talent for your company, please feel free to reach out to us at Recruiting Experiences, and we can set up a time to understand your unique talent and business needs.  

 

Here is a link to one of our previous blog posts with great information on interview questions. 

 

25 Years of Interview Questions

I started Recruiting in 1998 so this year marks 25 years of matching people to roles. For my 25th anniversary, I’m sharing 25 of my favorite interview questions. An average interview will have 8-12 questions. Please don’t try to ask someone all of these. Pick and choose the applicable ones based on the needs for the role. Don’t be afraid to just use similar questions for various skills either. For example, you can simply insert any skill into a question like: Tell me about your experience using _____.  

My best advice: Choose the questions before your 1st interview for a specific role and then ask all the candidates the same questions.  

25 of Amy’s Favorite Questions:  

  1. Why are you interested in this role? 
  2. Which of your past experiences do you feel is most applicable to this role? 
  3. What are your salary expectations for this position? 
  4. Tell me about a goal you’ve set for yourself and how you achieved it? 
  5. What feedback have you received previously that helped you improve? 
  6. How do you like to be managed? 
  7. Tell me about a successful team you’ve been part of. What worked/didn’t? 
  8. What would your teammates tell me about the role you took within the team? 
  9. What would your last manager say stood out about your performance? 
  10. Can you share an example of how you’ve altered your communication style for multiple audiences? 
  11. On a scale of 1-10, rate your skills on X tool? (Follow-up – what keeps you from saying 10?) 
  12. What things do you do to keep up to date within your field? (Follow-up to books, podcasts, websites, email lists – what’s your favorite one?) 
  13. If you were given a new software license to do your role, how would you approach learning it? 
  14. In X role, how was your performance evaluated? 
  15. What type of manager or management style do you work best with? 
  16. How would you describe your leadership style? 
  17. For new grads, What were your favorite courses within your major? 
  18. How do you stay motivated when you have repetitive tasks to complete? 
  19. For remote workers, how do you manage your day in a remote role? 
  20. This role requires that you do xxx regularly, tell me about your experience leading/doing that function? 
  21. How would you manage a situation in which you learned a teammate was sharing confidential information? 
  22. What is your favorite/least favorite part of your current/last role? 
  23. What factors, other than compensation, are important to you in your next position? 
  24. When do you anticipate making an employment decision? 
  25. If your next meeting goes well and the team offered you a position at $xx, would you accept? 

The last question is generally one that a Recruiter would use but a hiring manager could use a similar one to assess someone’s overall interest in the role and ensure alignment on compensation. As a bonus, when you make a verbal offer (which you should always do before sending it over in writing), ask the candidate, “Is there anything that might keep you from accepting our offer?”. In my experience, you’ll know with 95% accuracy whether they’ll sign based on how long of a pause comes next.  

What questions would you add to the list?  

 

 If you enjoyed this blog, here is another about interviewing from the job-seeker’s perspective: STAR interviews (recruitingexperiences.com)

 

Messaging Techniques to Recruit Top Talent

I want to start this blog off with a disclaimer. Messaging can be tricky, what has worked in the past might not work now and what works now might not work in the future. Along with that, what works for one person might not work for the next. Just be yourself and don’t over think it! The most important thing is actually sending the message! Do not be afraid to try different things or ideas and see what works for you!

Let’s get started. Effective messaging can take you a long way in recruiting! It is the first thing candidates see about the position and company. A message can sway the prospect’s opinion positively or negatively. In this blog, I will go over some of the techniques I use to recruit top talent. 

Keep It Short 

No one wants to read a multiple paragraph message that might take up valuable time. I try to keep my messages to 3-4 sentences and get the most important information out there quickly. Getting to the point right away can go a long way. A catchy title is important to ensure that the recipient doesn’t scroll on by. My messages tend to follow a similar outline:  

  • The company and what position they are looking for
  • What the company does
  • Call to action

Throwing too much detail at a person initially can lead to not reading the message at all. 

Don’t Think Too Much

This is a big one! I know it is not as easy as saying “don’t over think it” but try your best not to rack your brain coming up with messages. Chances are some of the people you are messaging won’t even read the message. The most important thing is to get the message out. If it sucks, that’s okay! You can always change it up and try a new message the next time. Play around with it. Be creative, but keep it short and concise… and don’t over think it! Try different messages and track to see what types get the most positive responses. 

Message People with Qualifications That Fit the Job 

This one may fall under sourcing more but it can really improve the effectiveness of your messages. If candidates think the position is a good fit for them as well, they are more likely to agree to a next step.

Taking a little extra time to make sure the people you are messaging fit the role can drastically improve positive response rates. 

Examples 

Below are examples of 2 different messages I use in my day-to-day recruiting. Depending on the position, I will change aspects of the messages to fit my targets better, but these two templates help me on 80% of my roles.  

Hey (Candidate Name),  

(Company Name) is looking for (Position Name). (Quick one liner about what the company does). Are you open to a quick chat?  

So for this template, if I was recruiting for a recruiter here at RecEx, it might look something like this: 

Hey John, 

Recruiting Experiences if looking to bring on a new Recruiter. We create positive experiences for candidates and hiring teams through proper recruiting practices. Are you open to a quick chat? 

 ******************************************************************************************

This next example is a bit longer and it is an older message that has been in use for a while! Our founder Amy Oviedo created this one.  

Dear {firstName}, 

I would take a daring bet and say you’ve never heard of (Company Name) before BUT if can swallow one more recruiter email and read this message all the way through, then consider that your good deed for today! 

(Company Name, followed by quick one liner about the company). We are looking to bring on a (Position Name) to our team. 

Would you be open to a brief call this week to learn more? 

******************************************************************************************

This templated message for a software engineer might look like this: 

Dear {firstName}, 

I would take a daring bet and say you’ve never heard of Engineering Experiences before BUT if you can swallow one more recruiter email and read this message all the way through, then consider that your good deed for the today! 

Engineering Experiences is a software services firm with a proven track record of creating retail solutions for small and scaling local retailers. We are looking to bring on a Lead Software Engineer to our team. 

Would you be open to a brief call this week to learn more? 

******************************************************************************************  

As I said in the beginning, messaging can be tricky. Play around with it and see what works. Just be yourself and send some messages! 

If you enjoyed this blog, you might like another blog we have about the recruiters influence on the hiring process: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/what-is-the-recruiters-influence-on-the-hiring-process/  

What is the role of Client Success in a start up company?

Who is responsible for the success of clients? 

The easiest answer is that the entire team is responsible for the success of our clients.   

The harder question to ask is: who is building the processes of accountability and feedback for the organization to prepare for scaling?   

These past six months, I have been heading the first and second iteration of Recruiting Experiences’ Client Success Journey with a team of five of my colleagues. Our CEO and Founder, Amy, gave me this chance to show off my project management skills only 3 months into my professional career which is a chance that very few have so early on.  This was the perfect opportunity for me to exercise the side of my brain that loves putting order to chaos. This project consists of many moving parts such as problem-solving, innovation, data collection, documentation, and implementation.  

Defining our Goals 

After a long brainstorming session, I identified three categories needing the most attention to build the foundation for our client journey.   

These categories were documentation, data collection, and internal data tracking. Each category was two-sided, spanning both internal and external facing aspects to be created. From there, I broke down what should be created in our first iteration based on the gaps seen by our CEO, our Director of Talent, and various client-facing team members.   

By the end of brainstorming and creation with the rest of our Client Journey team, we had managed to create 10 documents for our expanding internal document library. This consists of 5 surveys for feedback on our services under data collection, 4 new internal data points for internal tracking and business development conversations, and 1 presentation summarizing it all.   

First Results 

Some of the identifiable ways that these new deliverables have changed how we operate as an organization include:   

  • Receiving our first formal client feedback on our various services – feedback which allowed us to pivot for future client work 
  • Documenting processes to change common conversations with clients into an opportunity for growth 
  • Involving all team members in the client success feedback process grew a level of excitement surrounding what comes next 

An example of a piece of feedback we received after the release of our first version was that our last offering of our Talent Acquisition Certification Course lacked information on a specific topic that we covered. Also, other topics were said to give too much information. From there we were able to edit the course materials to focus on topics that customers identified as those that they needed more time on. We also gained time back by decreasing the amount of material on topics where too much time was spent. This will help us improve the next offering of our course starting next month. 

Why focus on Client Success? 

There are many things that can come out of a client success plan depending on what your organization is focusing on at the time. Our plan focused on two key pieces: Feedback and Accountability. Our organization specifically needed to focus here in order to shape our processes as a service partner. Recruiting Experiences works as an extension of our client’s brand to provide great experiences for our candidates, our vision shapes the way we gather data.   

Feedback is necessary for our work to pivot and change as it is a relationship-based service. By asking for a client’s feedback, you are showing them that their voice is valued in deciding your organizational processes. You are also gaining insight into what their needs and expectations may be for future services.   

Accountability is more internal facing. Team accountability to standards for customer interactions is critical to creating manageable milestones for each client and project.  This allows for proper expectation-setting and sets the stage for what our clients can expect during our time working together. Accountability and documentation create the dual effect of solidifying a process for our recruiters to follow as well as creating a process to onboard new team members.   

So, What’s Next? 

As we move forward, we will be editing our processes as we find hiccups and or pivots based on our client’s feedback each quarter. We will also be starting the process of integrating our sales and client success data as each rely on one another as a continuous cycle.   

Want More Info? 

If you are thinking about building a client success program for your start-up, please feel free to reach out to us at Recruiting Experiences, and we can connect you with those that were instrumental in helping us shape our first version!  

If you enjoyed this blog, you might like another blog we have about the recruiters influence on the hiring process : https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/what-is-the-recruiters-influence-on-the-hiring-process/

What is the Recruiter’s Influence on the Hiring Process?

Are you on the job search and looking to gain more job search knowledge to better prepare for your journey? Let’s walk through three key areas where recruiters can best influence the hiring process!   

Interview Timeline and Quantity  

Recruiters are strategizing with the hiring team to determine what the ideal number of interviews will be. The factors that usually go into consideration include job function, technical requirements, hierarchy within the company, if the role is an individual contributor versus a managerial role, is the role remote versus hybrid or on-site, etc. Typically, I encourage hiring teams to use a 2-3 step process depending on the role that includes a 1:1 hiring manager meeting and a team/combination meeting for the candidate to meet their future peers.   

Regarding timeline, I encourage my clients to adhere to a traditional 1.5-to-2-week interviewing schedule which helps candidates make time for the interview process and ultimately make a sound decision. 1 week may be too short of a timeline to make the best choice and anything over 2 weeks we start to see candidates lose interest and the hiring process begins to elongate. In a market where there are many options for candidates, speed kills!   

Between the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022 recruiters were the hottest commodity on the market. We supported a client who listened to our feedback about interview process timelines and implemented a 3-step interview process which they could complete in as short as 3 days, if the candidate had time. This allowed the client to successfully hire 2x recruiters in an ultra-competitive candidate market.   

Compensation 

Let me set the record straight… In MOST instances, recruiters do not have the final say in what the compensation will be for a given opportunity. What recruiters do have is real-time data on market compensation ranges and best practices for total compensation packages. During the first meeting, called an intake meeting, recruiters cover the compensation discussion with hiring teams and provide data from recent projects and compensation reports from sources like PayFactors. This helps the hiring team to set an appropriate budget for the role.    

Recruiters will also provide feedback to hiring teams during the offer stage and strategize with a hiring team what the best possible package will be for a candidate. I recommend setting your expectations early and being clear with the recruiter that you partner with to ensure you are not wasting your time in an interview process.   

I had a client who was hiring for a Senior Android Engineer in San Francisco, California. Originally their ideal base salary was 130K maximum. I provided the feedback that (at the time) the current market rates were between 160-180K base for Senior Android Engineers. They had two finalists who declined the offer because they received higher offers. This led to the client INCREASING their range to 160K and they were able to successfully hire a Senior Android Engineer because of the feedback I provided and their willingness to adjust compensation accordingly.   

Interview Questions  

Believe it or not- it is not uncommon for a hiring manager to not have sufficient training on how to interview a potential candidate. We provide training for hiring managers which helps them remain in compliance with employment law and determine if a candidate is qualified with as much bias removed as possible. During our initial intake meeting with a hiring team, recruiters will likely already have a set list of 7-10 questions that a hiring manager can ask a candidate. This helps to standardize the entire interviewing process and create an equal playing field for each candidate. Typically, the questions will include cultural fit questions, behavioral questions, motivational style questions, and technical questions as well.   

I was partnering with a first-time hiring manager who had never interviewed or hired for their team. I created a document with a list of 10 questions that they could ask to focus on cultural fit, behavioral assessment, and technical skill set of the candidate. The hiring manager used this document to guide interviews with 7 different candidates in our three-month project, and they successfully identified 3x candidates who were qualified offering their top candidate the role!  

Conclusion  

These are three of the main areas that recruiters have influence over during the hiring process. How will this help you as a candidate? This means that when working with a recruiter, you could potentially ask them about these nuances to gain further insight into your interviewing journey and experience. Partnering with a good recruiter who can share these insights will help you prepare to CRUSH your next round of interviews!   

 

If you enjoyed this blog, you might also like a blog we have about what it’s like to be an intern at Recruiting Experiences: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/whats-it-like-to-be-an-intern-at-recruiting-experiences/

 

What’s it like to be an intern at Recruiting Experiences?

At Recruiting Experiences, we want to train the next generation of recruiters and prepare them for the future. We want to leave a legacy of kinder and more efficient recruiting. This is why we offer internships. Our internship program gives people the knowledge they need to thrive in this industry and to ultimately leave their mark.

Here is our approach:

We Choose the Future with Care

When going through the selection process, we search for different things than a typical company might. We don’t look for the “perfect student”, but people who have passion and grit. We look for transferable skills, empathy, along with a desire to learn.

Our interns contribute immediately and are viewed as members of our team. 

Our goal is to take what people have learned in school and apply it in the real world.

Interns complete our Talent Acquisition Professionals Certification Program, which is designed to prepare new recruiters/job changers to recruit successfully. After completing this certificate, interns work as a cohesive recruiting team member.

The rest of this blog was prepared by the interns:

Madyson Faigh Madyson Faigh- Recruiting Intern

I am currently a recruiting intern at Recruiting Experiences this Spring Semester. My internship experience with Recruiting Experiences has been such a fantastic opportunity. I have been very hands-on with everything this company has to offer to help me grow and understand the ropes of being a recruiter. From sourcing through LinkedIn, reaching out to candidates on my own, shadowing interviews/screens, and gaining tips from my peers on the recruiting team. This has been nothing less than an amazing experience.

Even though it has only been a month since I joined this team, I feel that I have learned so much and grown through Recruiting Experiences. My favorite part of this journey so far has been the RecEx team. I have never been apart of a team/company that has been so organized, structured, welcoming, and overall supportive. Grateful in an understatement. I am pushed every day to be better, and without the help of this team I wouldn’t be learning as much as I have been the past month. I have not only gained knowledgeable experience, but great people that help me strive to be a greater recruiter.

 

Isabel Ray Isabel Ray- Sales Intern

My name is Isabel Ray and I am a current senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. I am studying Health Sciences with a minor in Health Administration, and I graduate in May 2023. I chose to pursue Recruiting Experiences’ internship program not only because of my interest in sales, but because they are extremely personable and communicative. They have a clear focus on upward mobility. The environment of the company is innovative and organized, as well as their employees. I was extremely impressed with their core values and transparent culture as well! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working and learning at this welcoming company. The enthusiasm each person at Recruiting Experiences has for their work and for the success of their clients is invaluable in creating a positive work environment. This allows me to focus on personal growth and understanding my experiences. I have been able to support Amy, our CEO, in outreach and business development leads. I have gained experience in prospecting clients and gaining persistence while doing so. Fulfilling tasks created by our CEO is one of the best aspects I have been able to do in order to learn technical skills related to the industry of recruiting and sales as well. The most important soft skill I have learned to develop throughout this role is confidence. I am willing to talk to people with my expanded understanding and knowledge in the field of sales. This has enabled me to make professional connections and to foster a communicative leadership style that allows me and the company to thrive!

If you enjoyed this blog, you might like another blog we have about common skills recruiters look for: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/what-common-skills-do-recruiters-look-for/

What Common Skills Do Recruiters Look For?

Searching for a new job can be stressful. It can be daunting trying to balance multiple companies and keeping track of all of the skills each one is looking for. Each position has its own variation of skill sets that recruiters are looking for. If you feel like you don’t meet those requirements, it may seem like you don’t have a chance of being considered. There are multiple skill sets a candidate brings which may make them more marketable in several industries. These aren’t just job-specific or technical skills either. I will outline some common skills candidates can discuss and grow to stand out among other job seekers for multiple positions.

 

Organization: Organization is a huge aspect of pretty much every role! Being able to organize your tasks and time successfully will help you expand your career. It is also important to be organized when working in groups. I have found that my organization style does not work well for other people all the time and being able to adjust your organization style in groups can be extremely helpful.

 

Work Ethic: Everyone likes a hard worker! Work ethic is more than just working hard, it is being able to push through obstacles and solve problems when they are difficult. Work ethic isn’t necessarily something that can be taught either, it is the willingness to do what you can to help your team succeed.

 

Learning Aptitude: Natural curiosity and learning go hand and hand. Whether it is learning new skills, a new company’s product, or a new way to solve a problem; learning can take you a long way. Also, fail fast. You will not be able to know everything and you will make mistakes, but it’s extremely beneficial to get back up quick, learn from them, and keep moving forward!

 

Leadership: This can look like leading people, projects, or even assignments during your schooling. Bringing multiple people together to complete a common goal is a great skill to have and should be practiced whenever possible!

 

Written Communication: I didn’t think I’d be writing blog posts as part of my role in a Recruiting organization yet here we are! In every role, in every industry, team members need to be able to communicate effectively in emails, chat messages, and other forms of communication such as presentations or written correspondence. The art of writing shouldn’t be left solely to ChatGPT – today’s workers need to be able to communicate clearly to all stakeholders for their assignments and workplaces.

 

While these skills alone won’t fulfill a recipe for finding a job, this list can provide a starting point to highlight some of the soft skills needed in many roles. The key is to never stop practicing them and learning new methods. Always have an open ear and be willing try new things that may seem uncomfortable. Growth comes from uncomfortable situations. Also, be able to speak to examples of these skills in your interviews. Being able to articulate yourself is a skill set in itself!

 

If you liked this blog, you might like another blog we have about the STAR Method and how to use it in an interview: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/what-is-the-star-interview-model-and-how-to-use-it/

Leveraging Mentoring to Grow Your ERG

We are so excited to have a guest blog appearance on our page from Yalonda Brown.

“Yalonda Brown is a seasoned professional whose expertise spans over 20 years in both the private and public sectors. Her drive and self-determination has resulted in a myriad of demonstrable accomplishments as an intuitive leader, thought partner, and high functioning performer. Yalonda serves as the President of Diversity Initiatives for Engage Mentoring where she leads the national expansion of diversity-focused mentoring and leadership programs for companies, universities, and nonprofits.” (Yalonda Brown, 2023).

Below are the first two paragraphs from Yalonda’s blog:

“As companies redefine their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies to better meet the needs of workers and other stakeholders, many have begun reexamining the roles of their employee resource groups (ERGs), which are internal communities of workers with shared identities and interests.

Employee Resource Group (ERG) programs create an open forum for employees who share a common identity to meet and support one another in building their community and sense of belonging. ERG programs empower these groups by offering them financial support, organizational support and access to decision-makers” (Yalonda Brown, 2023).

Here is the link to her full blog below:

Leveraging Mentoring to Grow Your ERG

If you enjoyed this blog, you might also like a blog we have on our website about the STAR Interview method, and how to use it: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/what-is-the-star-interview-model-and-how-to-use-it/

What is the STAR INTERVIEW MODEL and how to use it?

Are you a candidate or job-seeker who is preparing for the next big interview? Today we are going to discuss a simple model to help candidates craft and articulate their skills and experiences. This model will help you to showcase the value that you can bring to your next employer. At Recruiting Experiences we interview roughly 300 candidates per month and the best interviewees have perfected their STAR story-telling abilities, and now you can too!

STAR INTERVIEW MODEL 

Situation- this is the PROBLEM that your team or your company was facing.  

  • The situation sets the stage for your story 
  • It provides relevant background based on the question asked  

Task- this can be one or multiple to-do items that you were responsible for to solve the problem 

  • What was the mission at hand?  

Action- this is the literal execution of the task(s) that you completed to fix the problem 

  • It is okay to highlight teamwork while emphasizing your specific contributions 

Result- this is the OUTCOME of the action that you took, so what happened?  

  • If possible, you want your result to be quantifiable and/or measurable  

What types of questions are the STAR INTERVIEW MODEL used for?  

Typically, the star interview method is used for behavioral based interview questions. These are questions asked to determine your future behavior by looking at your past behavior. Most questions will be framed by starting off with, “Can you tell me about a time when…”, “How would you face…”, “Can you give me an example of…” or “Describe a time/situation when…”.  

Example of STAR INTERVIEW questions

Interviewer: “Can you tell me about a time where you figured out how to interview better?” 

Situation: Certainly! I was on the job market looking for roles when 2 months had gone by with no offers.  

Task: Based on my experience, only making it to the screening stage, and receiving feedback from colleagues, I learned that I needed to improve my interviewing skills.  

Action: I went online and researched how to develop stories to highlight my skills, and that is where I found the STAR method for job interviews.  

Result: After 10 hours of practicing the STAR INTERVIEW method, I have successfully made it through the recruiter’s screenings and am currently meeting with hiring managers for three new job opportunities!”  

This response takes about 20 seconds to share and successfully lays out the situation, task, action and results!  

Key Points to Remember: 

  • Keep answers concise, if the interviewer wants to hear more, they will ask follow-up questions  
  • The purpose of developing STAR INTERVIEW stories is to be prepared to sell your skills and experience  
  • Incorporate the job description’s skills/qualities/requirements into your story  

If you enjoyed this blog, you might like another blog we have about why every company should volunteer and give back: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/5-reasons-your-company-should-give-back/

My Journey as a Marketing Intern

Getting to be a marketing intern at a start-up company is like no other experience. Every day is a new journey and I never really know what to expect in the best way possible. I get the opportunity to not only grow my marketing skills but to also learn about the recruiting industry as well. This is my first internship and I honestly don’t think another internship will top this one, and I’ll explain why.

What I do

Recently I start my work day by creating content for the company’s socials, which is my favorite part of the job! I noticed that I make the best content towards the beginning of the day, so I love doing that first thing in the morning. Then, I move on to planning. I analyze the best time of the day to post content. Then use the results of my study to schedule posts through Hootsuite. Recently, I designed two different types of flyers for the company and I’m working on creating a New Years’ card to celebrate our partners and clients.

I am also basically the designated editor here at Recruiting Experiences for blogs. I love writing and editing, so I was more than happy to fill this role! I get the perks of being the first person to read everyone’s blog and give advice. I thoroughly enjoy being the “owner of the blogs”.

Another task I get to do in this role is observing. I get the chance to shadow recruiters and sourcers and study them in their natural habitat. I have learned about the process everyone goes through to ensure everything goes smoothly. It is fascinating to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

The environment

Every day since I have been here, I can truly say everyone has been so kind and welcoming. The company culture is a really big friend group, some might call it a family. It is rare in the workplace. I am able to grow in an environment that I am comfortable in and know that I am not being judged. We also have fun in the office every day. Whether it is listening to music as we work, or going out bowling and laser tag after work, we find a way to make work enjoyable. I am also the only marketing person here, but I don’t feel alone. I have coworkers asking if there is anything they can do to help me with content, which makes me feel like I have a support system behind me.

What I learned

I have learned that you really only grow if you are willing to get uncomfortable or try something new. I have had to speak up in meetings, which makes me nervous. I do it anyway and have grown because of it. I also learned to create and schedule content, edit blogs, write my own blog, and much more.

Why I love working here

In this role, I get to be hands-on with tasks and make a real impact on the company. Growing up I didn’t always know that I wanted to go into marketing, but I did know that I wanted to do something meaningful and impactful. That is how I feel as a Marketing Intern at Recruiting Experiences. I truly believe I am doing meaningful work by helping the business to grow overall and informing people about this wonderful company. Overall, this internship has helped to reassure me that I have picked the correct career field. I love what I do here and I know that marketing is definitely for me.

How You Can Avoid the Recruiter BurnOut

A major hot topic in today’s job market is burnout. Many talent teams across the country have been working around the clock to find top talent to fill their high number of open job requisitions. The level of stress for recruiting, sourcing, and hiring top talent amidst a global pandemic is high. You can only imagine this is a huge factor of why recruiters are starting to experience the results of burnout.

Let’s get Real. What is burnout? Many people describe burnout as a feeling of exhaustion, boredom, and overall hollowness where one feels they can’t make a difference within their organization. Since the pandemic started, over 61% of recruiters have reported increased amounts of stress at work (Galli, n.d). However, the cause of burnout doesn’t always originate from a heavy workload.

Burnout among recruiters is more often resulting from 2 key factors:

  1. Isolation due to work-from-home/remote work – Many recruiters are still working 100% remotely, which can be difficult to consistently achieve the work-life balance. Being able to leave the office every day and have that commute home can create that forced boundary that helps everyone separate work from their personal life.
  • My Thoughts: As an individual who is on a flexible, hybrid schedule, it has been a long journey of slowly improving my boundaries and finding ways to keep a personally healthy balance. Throughout this journey, some ways that I have found successful in keeping that balance are:
    • Setting a cut off time for when I won’t be working at the end of the workday
    • Creating designated office space at home so I’m not working from my couch or bed
    • Setting a daily routine including breaks (lunch break, coffee break)
  1. Recruitment Process Takes Too Long – Hiring top talent can be challenging and time consuming especially to evaluate and find the best fit for the organization. Research data shows that organizations lose up to 89% of potential candidates due to the long interview processes (Galli, n.d).
  • My Thoughts: As a recruiter, I work with a variety of clients. Each is unique in the hiring needs and what role I play within the process. My overall role is not only recruiting but to also serve as a consultant for my clients within the interview process. Being able to provide feedback to my clients is always super important as I want to ensure that all of my candidates have a positive experience whether it’s the best fit or not. Setting the communication line open with your clients is the best way to ensure a successful working relationship and long-term partnership.

Overcoming recruiter burnout is critical. It starts with being aware of the signs and symptoms and when to chat your concerns with your manager to help come up with a solution. As we start to head closer to 2023, how will you ensure your team is refreshed and ready to face the challenges the new year will bring?

To learn more about this topic, you can click on the links below!

What is Recruiter Burnout and What Can You Do About It? (lever.co)

The 5 causes of recruiter burnout … (and how not to) | HRMorning

Recruiter burnout: Why it’s happening and what you can do – Workable

2022 HR Statistics, Trends & Data: Ultimate List – People Managing People

Talent Sourcer or Junior Recruiter?

A healthy Talent Acquisition or Recruiting organization has various roles contributing to the team and their mission of filling job requisitions with quality talent. We usually first think of the role of Recruiter, but there are other professionals involved in the process of filling roles. Positions such as Recruiting Coordinator, Lead Recruiter, Recruiting Manager and Talent Sourcer can all be part of a successful Recruiting team. A Talent Sourcer can be many things depending on the team. One thing a Talent Sourcer isn’t… is a Junior Recruiter. Let me explain.

In many Talent Acquisition organizations an entry level into the field is the role of Talent Sourcer. The Sourcer is tasked with filling pipelines with qualified candidates. This begins after collaborating with the Recruiter to gain insight into the critical, must-have skills the successful candidate needs. The Sourcer builds the pipeline with candidates and conducts initial outreach to the candidates by various means: email, LinkedIn message, text, even phone calls. As job candidates respond to this outreach, the Sourcer shares a job description or pertinent information about the position in an attempt to build rapport and get the candidate on the Recruiter’s interview or screening schedule.

The Talent Sourcer is usually the first company contact with each candidate. The relationship and communication can set the tone for all interactions with the candidate and should exhibit the company’s core values. In the case of Recruiting Experiences, we always desire to interact with folks and show our values of kindness, excellence, simplicity and reliability. After initial contact is made, the Sourcer will often do a quick phone or video screen to ensure the candidate does not have any “knock-outs” which may make them ineligible for the position. These knock-outs might be things like requiring remote-only work when the position is in-person, being out of salary range, or only being eligible for contract work when the position is full-time. The Sourcer’s primary role is to find and funnel qualified candidates to the Recruiters by casting a wide net and then engaging candidates in conversation by selling the roles they are representing.

A skilled Talent Sourcer can do much more! A skilled Sourcer functions more like a Researcher. Especially when filling requisitions for tech roles, a Sourcer needs to research various programming languages and platforms that the successful candidate needs to be considered proficient. Knowing where these candidates spend their time on the internet is a critical piece to finding the right folks for a position and having the means to reach out to contact them.

Not everyone hangs out on LinkedIn as many of us in the recruiting world do. There are plenty of paid databases to find contact information on candidates, but the real fun is finding the information for free! OSINT, or open-source intelligence sources are plentiful and allow users to search for and scrape information from various sources in order to find candidates’ contact information. Utilizing professional organizations to try to identify their members and reach out to gauge interest can also be effective. Online platforms like Reddit or GitHub are other places to find qualified candidates for highly specialized roles. Effective Talent Sourcers are always trying to build their professional network to help expand their reach to qualified candidates. Attending networking events is an effective way to meet people in your chosen industries and can pay off in the future when trying to source talented job seekers.

When it comes down to it, that’s what Sourcers are trying to do; find great candidates who become exceptional hires for our clients. The chance to search and find buried treasure in the form of qualified candidates makes the process fun! For many, Sourcing can be a career destination itself, not merely as an entry-level way to become a Junior Recruiter.

What is your mental health hygiene?

Every day we brush our teeth to keep from seeing a dentist regularly for extra maintenance, and that is often looked at as good hygiene. But what is mental hygiene, and how does one practice having good mental hygiene?

Your work can play a major role in your overall mental hygiene and overall health. It can add much meaning, structure, and add overall purpose to your life, while also providing a sense of identity, bolster your self-esteem, and offer a positive social outlet (Robinson & Smith, 2021). So, whether you take 15 or 60 minutes a day to maintain your mental health is something everyone can benefit from it! And yes, I promise, you do have 15 minutes!

If you are unsure of some great and easy activities to improve your daily mental health hygiene, check out my personal favorites down below!

 

My favorite activities to practice mental health hygiene:

  1. Pick and read a book that’s easy and fun or listen to a chapter or two from an audiobook
  • Reading has been proven to impact adults and kids’ brains and mental health in big ways. Overall, reading can improve one’s brain health, reduce everyday stress, improve memory, and improve focus.
  1. Listen to your favorite podcast while taking a walk outside
  • My favorite podcasts are Crime Junkie, The Morning Toast, and SHE
  1. Take 30 minutes every morning to start a journal to record your thoughts, experiences, and how you are going to attack your day!
  • Journaling is a great way to set goals to improve overall mental health, it will also help you stay on top of your goal progress and make adjustments that are needed along the way.
  1. Try some adult coloring books as this can serve to help you focus, while improving your mindfulness and spark some new creativity!
  • (So many great and affordable options on Amazon)
  1. Go to your favorite coffee shop! I’m a huge fan of trying new workspaces to allow yourself to not get in a rut working from home.
  • My favorite Indy coffee shops are Java House and Indie Coffee

 

For me personally, I have always used working out as my form of maintaining my mental health hygiene. Being able to work out for 60 minutes a day allows me to de-stress and take a break from what’s going on in the outside world. I am a HUGE fan of Orange Theory Fitness (HIT Group workout), 3 Kings Gym (Cross Fit Gym), and running outside (you’ll probably find me at every local Indy 5k race). Working out pushes me every day to be the best version of myself, inside and out. I always leave these classes feeling happy and ready to take on my day!

Taking time to recharge is important because no one knows you better than yourself. So, listen to your mind and body when you need extra time away to feel refreshed. Because being my best self allows me to serve my clients and candidates in the best way possible.

 

For a deeper dive, read more here: Mental Health in the Workplace (cdc.gov)

275 Self-Care Ideas & Activities to Deal With Life (2022) (developgoodhabits.com)

How Journaling Can Improve our Mental Health | BetterSleep

How reading improves your mental health – Reading Partners | Reading Partners

Diversity Last? Why Equity and Inclusion Matter

In my last entry, I talked about diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruiting. I went about defining what those things meant to me and how I believed they should be practiced throughout the recruiting process.

As with everything in life, there is always much to learn; a recent article by Richard Leong, a DEI consultant based in California, as well as the IndySHRM DEI Conference, has me going through the process of reframing the definitions I established just one blog ago!

It is what it is, and it’s work worth doing.

So, here’s why I’ve come to think, in the grand scheme of things, diversity is the least important thing we should be focused on, and why equity and inclusion need our attention, especially when it comes to recruiting.

 

What is equity again?

Per my previous entry (and from the Urban Strategies Council):Equity is fairness and justice achieved through systematically assessing disparities in opportunities, outcomes, and representation and redressing [those] disparities through targeted actions.

This means we understand why certain people and communities carry privilege and access, while others do not.

 

What about inclusion?

In Forbes’s 2021 article, Paolo Gaudiano’s said: “inclusion is the act of ensuring that people’s experiences within an organization are not impacted negatively as a result of their personal characteristics.”

This is sometimes also (or concurrently?) called belonging, because it is the means with which we make others feel a sense of being included or belonging.

 

So, what’s wrong with diversity?

Great question.

Diversity has been championed as the measure for which a company, school, or organization can claim social capital. Unfortunately, too often is this act of creating “diversity” actually just performance; while places might be hiring people who don’t look the same as the majority of their employee base, their leadership is still all white men or their workplaces are not safe for the people they’ve hired or the turnover rate for folks from marginalized groups remains high.

The list goes on.

At the end of the day, diversity becomes co-opted by those in leadership as a shield, therefore stripping it of its power.

 

Wait, so why is diversity less important than those other two?

It’s quite simple: if equity is at the center of our practices to create inclusive workplaces + cultures, then diversity will naturally occur.

This shifts the focus from “diversity” to “equity and inclusion.” By shifting the focus, we can start to change and/or implement equitable, inclusive procedures and practices. That doesn’t mean diversity isn’t important; it means that by creating equitable access to opportunities and creating inclusive, informed spaces and processes, we will naturally trend towards diversity in who we hire, who we promote, and who leads us.

 

Okay, that makes sense. However, what’s that have to do with Richard’s article?

Well, this is where it all comes together.

In his article, Richard talks about shifting from DEI to EDI. He defines EDI as Equitable Diversity and Inclusion, meaning that by framing, “Diversity and Inclusion as under the overarching adjective of Equitable, it sets us up to think differently.

The hierarchy here places equity above the others, something I agree with. But in truth, if we are focused and practicing equitable inclusion, which would be the understanding that not all employees have the same type of access and privilege and creating a workplace and culture grounded in that, then equitable diversity will come.

 

Okay I get it. If equity is being centered, and equitable inclusion is being embraced, then diversity will come. I get it! What’s that have to do with recruiting?

Everything.

By creating equitable recruiting habits, we are more likely to eliminate bias from our practices. Will we always be perfect and eliminate bias by implementing these things? Of course not.  That’s not possible! But it’s something to strive for. And that’s the thing; so many of us in this space what to recruit “diverse candidates,” but what does that really mean? Are we just filling quotas for the hiring teams? Or are we truly connecting the right people with these opportunities?

Instead of looking for diversity, we should focus on the why and how we do things. By practicing equitable inclusion, by centering equity, we invite diversity: in our candidates, in our employees, and in our companies. When that happens, we grow.

 

To learn more about this topic, you can click on the links below:

The Inescapable Ambiguity of DEI and Why EDI Works Better (substack.com)

HOME | Urban Strategies Council | Bay Area, CA, USA

Future of the workforce for vulnerable populations | Deloitte Insights

Taking a Chance on the Scrapper

Working in the recruiting field as a talent sourcer, I scroll through hundreds of profiles each day searching for all manner of candidates for varying positions for our clients. One repeating theme is hiring managers focusing on an ideal candidate and overlooking candidates with transferrable skills.

For instance, when searching for a salesperson, sometimes hiring managers want candidates that have sold in a specific industry. While that sounds like a great idea, I wonder how many great candidates they pass up, simply based on that industry qualifier. If hiring managers took a chance on the best of those candidates, they could bring great sales experience AND a diverse perspective to the organization.

On a more personal note, I can attest to the life-changing impact a hiring manager can have on a candidate who they take a chance on. You see, I am a recent graduate and a non-traditional student. At 30 years old, you would see that most of my work experience had been in retail management. While I did graduate with a degree in Human Resources Management, I had very little experience in the field outside of school. Nonetheless, I applied for the Talent Sourcer position with Recruiting Experiences. I went through a few interviews before chatting with our CEO, Amy Oviedo, who spoke to me in length about the future of the company and how they might get there.

After having the offer extended, I accepted. A few weeks later, she and I had a check-in, and I asked, “why did you take a chance on me?” The answer? I was a scrapper.

I sat back and thought about what that meant. I worked multiple jobs to get through college and graduated with high marks. It showed that I was adaptable, driven, and worked hard. These skills are important but not easily taught. You see, while on paper I may not have been the perfect candidate for this position, my success in other roles and during school showed that I could learn the technical skills needed for this position.

Some of the key skills I learned over the years that benefit me in my new role as a Talent Sourcer are listening, asking probing questions, and managing high workloads.

As a vet assistant, I had to quickly and accurately gather information form clients about their pets and relay that information to the doctor. In that position, I learned to listen not only to what a client said, but also to what was unspoken. It taught me the importance of asking more questions to find answers to questions. Those questions were often the difference between life and death for a beloved animal. I have used the skills I learned from working at the vet clinic in my recruiting journey to ask better questions and dig further when evaluating candidates or meeting with hiring teams.

Another example of my skill development was my experience working as a shift supervisor and barista trainer at Starbucks. In that role I had to move quickly and efficiently to keep customers happy while also taking the time to train the new baristas. Working as a shift supervisor at Starbucks taught me to juggle various responsibilities and prioritize on the fly. This has helped in my recruiting role as I must work quickly and efficiently to maintain communication and positive experiences for both the clients and the candidates.

While my resume may not have been the “perfect” resume for a Talent Sourcer, my interviewer looked beyond the surface level and saw skills I would bring to the table.

For the hiring managers out there, I have one ask. If you want innovation and drive from new team members, take a chance on the scrapper. You will be pleasantly surprised at what someone from a different background will bring to your team.

For more on this concept, watch this famous Ted Talk by Regina Hartley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5zkY7qjRGo

No Time Wasted: Make the Most of Every Role

Part 1 – Do The Hard Work

My professional journey has not been a straight path.
Whether I loved a job or not, each role helped mold me into who I am today.
One of those jobs was really valuable to me: the old jar factory.

As a junior in high school, I was looking for a job that would allow me to grow more independent from my parents and provide for myself. I was introduced to a position at an old jar factory where we packaged and shipped glass jars. It seemed like a good opportunity for me.

My full-day consisted of packing the jar in a box and setting it on a pallet. We would then wrap those pallets with plastic wrap and load it onto a truck.

That was my entire job.
In a large building with no A/C.
For 8-hours a day.
For 7 years.

I worked at the old jar factory for 7 years while completing high school and my Associate degree.

While this role may not sound like it would shape the professional I am today, it taught me three very important lessons:

  • Resiliency
  • Strengthened Focus
  • Commitment

Resiliency

Working in a jar factory (or any factory for that matter) is not easy. Sure, it is work that is general labor. If you had the ability to lift jars into boxes and package them, you could do well in the role.  However, factory work can definitely wear on you after some time. Putting yourself in a tough situation allows you to humble yourself and gives you the opportunity to grow and become more resilient.

I knew that my time at the jar factory was only temporary which allowed me to focus on the future. My work there gave me the confidence I needed to work toward my future goals.

Strengthened Focus

Even though this position could be considered monotonous work, you do need to have the ability to not let the repetitiveness or tedious process get in the way of doing a good job. If you can get past the same work every hour of every day, you could perform well in a role like this. That ability to strengthen my focus on the job at hand helped me in the future when I joined the military.
I knew I could do the work and do it well. It was the mental toughness that started in the jar factory which carried me through the hardship. Whether it was a physical task or needing to communicate with difficult people, the strength of my mental focus is what led me through those tough times.

Commitment

During my time at the old jar factory, I was able to show my commitment to an organization. Commitment, in my opinion, allows you to build trust with your team and shows that you are
reliable. Even though commitment at work may be slightly different from any other commitment in your life such as commitment to your significant other or commitment to loved ones, there are many similarities. Similarities may include showing your trust in one another or demonstrating that you are there for them all the time. I could have easily given up and walked away from working in the factory, but I knew that I needed the money and I was there for a reason. Although my time at the old jar factory was not the most exciting work I’ve ever done, it helped build me into the worker I am today.

 

The lessons we learn in each role will vary and are difficult to call out in a resume beyond the hard skills like being thorough or paying attention to detail, the ability to work well with others, or patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. These are all  skills I learned at the jar factory. The ability to take the time spent in each role and learn something useful and beneficial for the next step in your career makes the time spent more meaningful. I never plan on going back to working in a factory, but I am thankful for my time spent there. I am grateful for each lesson I learned during that time. In my current role, I rely on and continue to build upon these skills every day: Resiliency, Strengthened Focus, and Commitment.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Recruiting; An Introduction 

You see it everywhere these days: DEI (or one of its numerous cousin acronyms): Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  

What even is that? And what does it have to do with recruiting? 

 If you have found yourselves asking those questions, I am hoping I can help.  

While I am not an expert, I am trying to learn about and understand DEI because, as I explore my own identity as a Korean American adoptee, I have realized just how important it is both professionally and personally.   

Here are some definitions and how they affect recruiting:  

Diversity

Diversity can have many definitions. I like this one from the Greater Good Science Center: “diversity” refers to both an obvious fact of human life—namely, that there are many kinds of people—and the idea that this diversity drives cultural, economic, and social vitality and innovation. 

We, as people, are diverse in so many ways: ethnicity, gender, education, wealth, body type, language, sexual orientation, and more. Much more. Our differences make us who we are as humans. Instead of embracing those differences, we often push back against them. This leads to the spaces we occupy looking terribly similar to ourselves. 

This mindset, our bias, influences everything we do. 

In recruiting, we are told to check our bias at the door when reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, with good reason. By allowing our bias to influence our work, we can overlook candidates who might be the best fit for the job, all because they are too “different.” 

By confronting our biases and checking them as we work, we can start to build pipelines (a pool of candidates recruiters seek out and connect with regarding jobs) with that reflect the world we live in, not our limited perspectives.  

 Equity

Equity can be difficult to define, and just like diversity (as well as inclusion), has been defined in many ways. Per the Urban Strategies Council: Equity is fairness and justice achieved through systematically assessing disparities in opportunities, outcomes, and representation and redressing [those] disparities through targeted actions. 

I originally came across this definition in an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review on centering equity when it comes to social justice work, something I have become intensely passionate about over the past three years as I have worked to reclaim my identity as an Asian American during a period of violence against that very community. 

It means understanding why certain people do not have equal and equitable opportunities, representation, and outcomes and using your privilege and position to change that. 

In recruiting, it can be easy to make assumptions about a candidate, influenced by our biases. Part of our job is trying to find the “right fit” or the “perfect candidate.” On its face, this would seem like the entire point of recruiting.  

However, this mindset can often lead to us subconsciously seeking out candidates of a specific profile, usually white and male (this profile has been established as the “perfect candidate,” due to things like the patriarchy, white domination, etc. – concepts that are important to name here). 

By stopping the hunt for perfection, and by asking ourselves questions via prompts throughout our sourcing and screening process, we can start to build equity into our recruiting systems, by helping to shape and change our culture towards a more equitable and equal one. 

Inclusion

If you were wondering, “Does inclusion have multiple definitions, too?” Congrats! I appreciate you for reading. 

I really resonated with this definition from Paolo Gaudiano in a May 2021 article for Forbes: “inclusion is the act of ensuring that people’s experiences within an organization are not impacted negatively as a result of their personal characteristics.” 

At its core, inclusion is the act of implementing diversity and equity into our practices. It means when we bring people of various identities in and provide them equitable opportunities, representation, and outcomes, we are actively creating and upholding a culture of belonging. 

In recruiting, if we are practicing diversity and equity in our hiring processes then we can feel confident that our process is an inclusive one. It means we are actively evaluating our systems, providing a safe workplace and culture, and hiring talent from all identities and experiences at all levels of the workplace. 

By creating an inclusive recruiting process, we create inclusive workplaces and cultures. 

—————— 

Practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruiting is not just important, it’s necessary. That is why everyone is talking about it. That is why you’re reading this now. 

It is not enough to just build diverse pipelines, we must hire diverse candidates across all levels of our companies. We must create a safe and equitable hiring process. We must always evaluate and re-evaluate the “how” of our recruiting and hiring processes. 

We must also evaluate and re-evaluate our “why.”  

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are necessary, foundational elements that we must practice to create diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. 

I talk about these things and more on LinkedIn – connect with me there! 

Building A Kinder Future; A Day In The Life of An Intern at Recruiting Experiences

If you want to make a difference in your profession, training the next generation who will do it is paramount. We believe that kinder recruiting practices can (and should) be our legacy. So, we started a search for the right interns for the job. After all, interns are literally the future of talent acquisition and should be treated with the respect that this role commands.  

Here is our approach:

 

We Choose the Future with Care  

We select our interns very carefully based, not on grades and majors, but on grit, transferrable skills, empathy, and eagerness to learn. Good people are good in any arena, and good people build good businesses. It’s that simple. 

 

Our interns don’t get coffee; They are immediate, contributing members of our team.  

Our goal is to follow-up each classroom lesson with real-world application and ramp quickly to where interns are indistinguishable from newer members of our team.  

Interns complete our full Talent Acquisition Professionals Certification Program– designed to prepare new recruiters and job changers for the full life cycle of recruiting. Then they function as cohesive recruiting team members—with dedicated mentors– for the entirety of their program. 

 

A Day In the Life of A Recruiting Experiences Intern: 

Wondering what a day in the life of a Recruiting Experiences intern looks like? Nobody can explain it better than those who have been through the program themselves: 

Jack Baradziej

I went from not knowing anything, to sourcing for projects and scheduling screens for one of RecEx’s technical recruiters, to scheduling prescreens for MYSELF– all in such a quick time…  

CEO, Amy Oviedo, is an amazing teacher and trainer and I also had a dedicated mentor, who was always willing to help and never seemed tired of my questions. Every day everyone comes to work happy to be there, and it is such a great thing to be a part of!  

-Jack Baradziej, College Senior 

 

MacKenzie MacAteeMy (time) at Recruiting Experiences has been nothing short of enlightening, motivating, and inspiring.  

One of the many things I love is that they allow their interns to be right in the action. For every hour that we spent (in a classroom) another hour was dedicated to hands-on recruiting, including making mistakes; troubleshooting; and having some awkward conversations. This type of learning is what I looked hard for throughout my internship search.  

The RecEx team continuously motivated me to fail fast, get up, and try again. I am beyond lucky to have been a part of such an amazing team. 

-MacKenzie MacAtee, College Senior 

  

Anne HockersmithI wrapped up a 23 year career as an elementary teacher and started an internship at Recruiting Experiences.   

Have you ever been terrified and excited to start something new? I was the oldest intern but was welcomed into the group wholeheartedly.   

The permanent employees of RecEX are an energetic, friendly, driven group of recruiting professionals. They lead with kindness to clients and candidates, always doing right by everyone. The tone here is one of hard work, results and fun. What I have learned about the job of recruiting and about myself in the last few weeks has been astounding.   

– Anne Hockersmith, Transitioning Teacher 

  

John Lam

The pull (of the recruiting bug) is real, and I have felt it in full force: 

You send out the first mass message to potential candidates and you get a few nos, maybes, and then there is “Hi John, I would like to learn more about this opportunity.”   

-Dopamine begins to release! - 

You continue to chat with the candidate; You get their phone number and email; You get them on your calendar; You do the pre-screen…   

But maybe they turn out not to be a good fit… everything comes to a stop.   

It’s a rollercoaster that you continue to repeat until eventually you find the perfect fit… and celebrate and start all over again. 

 

The knowledge that I have gained cannot be replicated in a classroom…the hands-on experience with sourcing, screening, and follow-ups takes it to the next level.   

-John Lam, College Senior

  

Annelise LefflerWhen hunting for an internship for the summer, my goal was to find something that would provide me with skills that are important for both work and life. This internship has exceeded those goals for me.  

 I have met an incredible group of people and I have stepped completely out of my comfort zone, while receiving nothing but support. The first day of my internship, everyone made me feel like I was already a part of the team. I had never walked into a room and already felt comfortable with so many strangers. And that’s sort of how my entire experience at RecEx has been. Everyone helps make the uncomfortable moments much more comfortable, which I think is essential for growth and rare in a workplace.  

-Annelise Leffler, College Senior 

 

We are beyond proud of our interns and are looking for more all the time. If you have transferrable skills, grit, and empathy and are interested in our program, reach out to info@recruitingex.com. If you know someone who may be interested, please spread the word.  

Together we can pave the way for a kinder future for recruiting. 

 

My Successful Career Shift from Server to Professional Recruiter

When I graduated school, I had no plans to become a recruiter. I’ve learned since, that this is a common occurrence. In fact, despite my network of recruiting professionals, I do not know anyone whose career goal was to become a recruiter. The field is in demand and has significant earning potential, but few are choosing this path. So, how did I end up here? Why would I recommend it as a career choice? Read on, to find out.

Realizing I Needed a Career Shift

I originally went to school for criminal justice. I always wanted to focus on research and get into policy making. I thought I could make my mark on the world by creating policy based on solid, objective research. The reality of this path, however, is that being a researcher takes much more schooling than I was ready to commit to. This left me reconsidering my future. In short, this was the beginning of the story of how I fell into recruiting.

Throughout high school and college I worked in restaurants. I was a dishwasher, busboy, server, and bartender. I pretty much touched every front-of-house position. I fell back on this when my original plans changed but, while working in restaurants has it perks, the shifts did not make sense for my long term plans. Serving helped me realize the power of effort and work ethic. The shifts weren’t always easy, but the people skills serving taught me have been invaluable.

I moved from serving to sales; I was awful at it. It seemed like the harder I tried, the less likely I was to make a sale. My time in the industry was short but it helped me learn quick thinking and conversational skills. It was time to go back to the drawing board.

When My Career Trajectory Started To Change

Through my personal network, I got an opportunity for an internship. Amy Oviedo had just recently started Recruiting Experiences and needed some extra help with the new business. I started by uploading clients and potential leads to our CRM, reviewing and sorting resumes, and scheduling interviews for others. I quickly realized that recruiting fit both my skills and my interests and my career began to take off.

A Role Transitions to a Career

I went through the certified Talent Acquisition Professional Training course at Recruiting Experiences. I came on full time. Almost before I knew it, I was a recruiter! It was official. My first client contract involved sourcing and screening candidates, and then submitting those I thought were viable. This contract gave me valuable sourcing practice and helped me realize the power that quality sourcing has on the recruiting process. Now my client base has grown and my responsibilities to those clients are far more complex. I enjoy my work, continue to grow, and have become a consistent performer in the company. I will be forever thankful for the opportunity I was given to fall into a career I never knew I’d love.

Recruiting is a great career path because of the diverse paths people take to get here. There is no traditional “recruiting” background and the diversity of skills that brings is incredible! Recruiting helped me step into a professional role and fast-forward my career trajectory. I also love the exposure to so many other careers. Whether you are a new grad or a career changer, consider a career in recruiting. I hope my story helps others find the success I’ve been fortunate to have by falling into recruiting.

How To Find A Job Without Actively Searching 

Do you ever wonder how to encourage recruiters to come to you with a new role? Are you in college looking for an internship: an entry level employee looking for their next step: or a seasoned veteran of the workforce who wants to share their wisdom with a new company & team? Keep reading to learn how you can improve your chances of being recruited and let your skills work for you, even when you aren’t working.  

Post Your Stories 

Sharing stories is my favorite way to increase your chance of being recruited. You can select whichever medium you prefer, although I have seen the best results come from LinkedIn. This is probably because of LinkedIn’s popularity for recruiting projects. Sharing your stories about work experiences, lessons learned, projects, or even people that you like to connect with increases the likelihood that your profile will show up in an X-RAY or BOOLEAN search. The key words from your posts or articles may appear in the search as a recruiter sources the talent they are targeting. Additionally, when a recruiter views your page, you can give them a closer look into the skills you have and the way that you communicate through writing (or speaking if you share videos).  

Connect With People Outside of Your Company 

People that are not already in your network or inner circle will be the people most likely to refer you to new information and opportunities. Your coworkers likely know information similar to what you know. If you make an intentional choice to connect with new people outside of your company (or existing network) then you build pathways to the latest information and potential opportunities down the line. One conversation you have may spark a new, non-work-related connection to introduce you to their colleague who has expressed interest in your skillset. One chat can lead to another, and you could very well be in your dream job sooner than you thought.  

Create a Portfolio to Accompany Your Resume 

Graphic Designers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians all have portfolios of work where we can see what skills they have before we even talk to them. Why shouldn’t other professions do the same? If you are not in a creative field and wondering, “Well how would I create a portfolio?” I have one simple solution: Power Point! Recruiters will often click on your LinkedIn page to look for information they can use to present you to hiring teams or determine if you are a fit for a role. Imagine if you had a public portfolio highlighting your projects and key accomplishments, this differs from your resume which is usually more bland. Your portfolio can include photos, light music, and other eye-catching effects to highlight your expertise AND your creativity.  

 Ready to be Recruited? 

Being recruited can feel amazing but remember the burden of being so awesome involves replying to all the recruiters who want to message you! Connecting with new professionals outside of your circle, sharing your stories on platforms like LinkedIn or YouTube, and creating an engaging portfolio to highlight your career accomplishments will help recruiters come to you and share your value proposition on your behalf. Ready to have opportunities knocking on YOUR door?  

Ace The Interview With This Prep Technique

On their journey to find their next opportunity, a jobseeker will answer a multitude of interview questions from a variety of interviewers. These are important conversations that make or break the chance of moving forward for a job opportunity. Read on for tips to ensure success. Often, Recruiters and interviewers ask specific questions with ideal answers in mind from their candidates. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to those preparing to interview is to formulate a handful of ‘STAR’ stories that aid in exemplifying your skillset, contribution, and experience. Candidates sometimes tend to beat around the bush while indirectly answering the interviewer’s questions due to a lack of structure in their answers. However, a Recruiter is your ticket to a next-step meeting with a hiring manager. It is important to be clear in the stories and attributes conveyed during initial interviews. Indirect answers could cause the recruiter’s submittal notes to reflect less than the candidate’s full potential, resulting in the creation of a roadblock to the new job opportunity. So, what are STAR Stories, you say? STAR Stories

Situation: What happened? Set the stage while providing context and background.

Task: What were the challenges or problems faced?

Action: What did you (INDIVIDUALLY) do and how did you react?

Result: To round out your answer, state the benefits, savings, and/or rewards that occurred.

The benefits of STAR stories, and structured interview answers in general, are numerous. Primarily, it sets the interview conversation up to go increasingly smoother for both parties involved. When the interviewer isn’t getting the type of answer they’re looking for, it forces them to get more creative with asking probing follow-up questions, which takes time away from talking more about your accomplishments and the opportunity at hand.

Further, once you’ve prepared that handful of STAR stories to store in your back packet, interview preparation will become much less of a time commitment. Assuming you’re applying and interested in a similar pool of jobs, you’ll be able to recycle those STAR stories in each interview process. Choose and build your stories off your proudest and most representative achievements. When an interviewer asks to provide an example the next time, you’ll be excited to share.

It seems straightforward, but another meaningful tidbit of advice for those interviewing is to ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. Listen to what these interviewers are asking for in their questions so that your responses can be puzzle pieces to their inquiries. I’ve seen many candidates, unfortunately, be rejected based on their conversation topics of choice. These might include negative feelings about past employers or simply indirect answers to questions. Interviews are a candidate’s time to shine; Get out there and sell yourself!

We all go through interview processes. Preparing for interviews through methods such as STAR stories increases the efficiency and effectiveness for both ourselves and the interviewers. An interview should be a conversation for the interviewer to get to know the candidate as much as the candidate to get to know the interviewer. It shouldn’t only be the responsibility of those interviewing to stay on task and be prepared for the interview. As an interviewee, implement efficiency into the process by preparing for your interviews with STAR stories.

Looking for some interview prep or resume writing assistance?

Connect with me or my teammates and explore Recruiting Experiences’ resume writing services!

How I Used Networking to Find A Rewarding Career: And How I Pay It Forward, As a Recruiter

Networking is the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts. We’ve all heard that networking is necessary to a variety of careers, but this is especially true in recruiting. I want to share my personal story of how networking got me to where I am today and the ways I see it impact jobseekers every day in my role as a recruiter.

My Personal Journey Through Networking:
Prior to my current role with Recruiting Experiences, I was deeply soul searching for the right fit for me. I’d tried social media, countless Google searches, and endless (and time-consuming) application completions. There were a few interviews. Some were not what I was looking for. Some didn’t see me as a fit. Others were the right position, but the wrong employer.

Finally, I immediately connected with the Director of Talent for a tech company. The initial conversation went well, but I lacked experience in a few areas that her company really needed. In the end, the recruiter was able to find someone better suited for the role. BUT! She shared that she really enjoyed my personality and experience and wanted to be a mentor and help to guide me through my job search. I was thrilled for the help.

Over the next few weeks, I had received messages and invites to apply to positions that this amazing recruiter had found. I’ll be honest, there were a few more disappointments. One interview did not have an existing position available for another 3 months out. A connection to a Facebook group where recruiters can post jobs, led to a dead end. I was afraid I had reached another stopping point and was beginning to feel desperate.

My Network Leads to a Breakthrough!
Within a few days, the recruiter sent me a message to contact a friend, Amy. She informed me that Amy had been an amazing mentor to her and that she loves the business she is in and has had great success. I reached out, and, within a day, I was scheduled to have a phone call with her. After about 10-15 min of chatting, I realized the skills I had developed in my current role would add great value to this team. Amy invited me to come in. I met and interviewed with the entire team within about 1.5 hours. By that night I had a job offer! Better still, I realized the reasons I was leaving my old job didn’t define recruiting in this new space.

Networking Becomes Part of Every Day:
Now, in my daily life as a recruiter, I see such successful outcomes from networking. Sometimes candidates aren’t the right match for a specific position but might be right for another. Often, I know of other positions that can correlate with a candidate’s experience. I am also able to connect a jobseeker with my team to be considered for similar positions. Even recruiters with other companies can be a helping hand. The candidate gets a role, the recruiter fills a role, and I almost always find they remember to return the favor.

According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. It’s not always about who you know but rather, just getting to know others and their stories. We live in a world where we can connect with someone 5 miles or 5,000 miles away with a keyboard. Choose a social setting, social media, or simply an in-person conversation. By just taking a chance or just giving someone a chance to connect, you can learn about many opportunities or be approached about things you never knew existed. Get out there and connect.

Word of mouth opened a huge door for me. I am now in a workspace where there is professionalism, opportunity, growth, and family. Just think, if I did not keep in touch with a recruiter, who knew someone, I wouldn’t be happy where I am today. I can’t wait to pay it forward to someone else!
Is that someone you? Reach out on LinkedIn!

The Importance of Recruiter-Specific Training: And the Program I Used to Accelerate My Career

Today, recruiters are not just recruiters. On a day-to day basis we change our title from recruiter to human resource coordinator, career coach, scheduler, account manager, and our client’s brand cheerleader. Many of us wear all of these hats with no formal training. Recruiter effectiveness is dependent on a comprehensive skillset. Lack of effective recruiter training can make hard-to-fill and high-volume hiring nearly impossible (hrotoday.com).

Like many recruiters, I didn’t go to school to recruit, I learned my skills on the job. When I joined the Recruiting Experiences team this past January, I came with a solid background in high-volume staffing, but lacked professional and corporate recruiting experience. So, you can imagine, this could have left me feeling vulnerable, as a new hire. But training the next generation is a passion for our CEO, so she designed the onboarding process to include participation in a 5-week training program designed to build corporate recruiting skills. This built my incoming confidence and accelerated my growth in a big way, allowing me to hit the ground running in my new career shift.

Recruiting Experiences’ accredited training programs were created and designed for new grads, human resource professionals, and anyone looking to make a career change. Individuals can learn and practice real-world corporate recruiting skills in a group learning environment while being able to collaborate with other like-minded individuals. It is a crash-course that will prepare even the least-experienced recruiter but also works to fill in the gaps for those working in the profession who may have been thrown into it with no formal training.

During the program, I was able to gain and expand my knowledge of candidate sourcing, screening preparation, knowing how to effectively negotiate offers, and learning to build lasting and positive relationships with not only talent, but also my clients. One of the biggest takeaways of this program for me personally was the negotiating offers section. This is the last step within the interview process, but the hardest, in my opinion. Being your candidate’s advocate while assisting the client with the offer can sometimes be extremely overwhelming. I learned key questions to ask my candidates and client to make sure everyone is on the same page during the closing process, and ways to stay confident to bring the offer over the finish line.

Being able to participate in a program with other fellow recruiters from a wide range of different specified recruiting tracks, like staffing, corporate, internal, and technical recruiting really allowed me to collaborate and grow even more. The program was self-paced, but I was also able to learn with other like-minded individuals who all shared the same goal: to grow as a recruiting professional. The program was designed to drive recruiters with comprehensive, ongoing training around company brand representation, sourcing, and social networking while using the latest tools and technologies that enable recruiters to find qualified candidates more efficiently (hrotoday.com).

If you or someone you know wants to invest in their recruiting career, reach out to training@recruitingex.com to learn more about this full life-cycle training program and other opportunities to grow your skills with Recruiting Experiences.

5 Tips for Successful Virtual Interviews

I started my recruiting journey during the pandemic, so I never got the pleasure of conducting in-person interviews. In a remote heavy, virtual job market successfully navigating virtual interviews can help set you apart from other job seekers. Here are 5 tips to stand out!

1. Whenever possible, enter the meeting room early and familiarize yourself with the platform. Locate the chat, screen share feature, mute, and camera buttons. This will help you share anything you need to and help the interview go smoothly. This will also allow for some buffer time, just in case you have issues logging in. Recently a hiring manager that I work with did an interview with a candidate. The candidate entered the room early and got comfortable with the controls. This allowed for the interview to run smoothly, and the hiring manager was impressed enough to extend an offer. Minimizing communication errors during the interview will lead to a better experience for all.

2. Try your best to create a calm and distraction-free environment where you are going to do the interview. A great option is a quiet room with good lighting and minimal distractions. A strong internet connection will also help the experience run smoothly. Life happens so don’t stress if the dog barks or kid asks a question but do what you can to limit interruptions. If something does happen though, do not be afraid to ask to reschedule. Rescheduling is typically a much better option than muddling through an interview with multiple distractions.

3. For all intents and purposes, treat a virtual interview just like you would an in-person interview. That means do you research but use the virtual environment to your advantage. Consider it an open book test. Virtual interviews allow you to have notes and materials. Write down your important talking points and questions just in case they slip your mind. I was interviewing a candidate for a complicated engineering position. He had his main talking points on a notepad and he shared that it eased nerves and, on my end, there was smooth conversation flow. This helped him stand out compared to other candidates.

4. Choosing what to wear can be confusing for virtual interviews. Consider the environment you’re joining and go one step up from what you’d expect the interviewer to be wearing. That means, if it’s a tech role and you anticipate everyone wears t-shirts, consider a polo or blouse. If you think they are dressing business casual, adding a tie or blazer may be appropriate. You could also ask the Recruiter or Scheduler for their advice on what to wear. You never want to be unprepared so ask for help if you’re unsure about the environment. Check your environment too, a blurred camera can cover a lot of background mess if needed.

5. This last tip might be obvious, but the default should be to have your camera on. If you have to turn it off or keep it off, let the interviewer know. It always impresses me when a candidate makes solid eye contact during the interview. It is the closest you can get to face-to-face conversation during a video interview. The interviewer will also get a better chance to learn more about your personality and character.

These 5 tips are all things candidates have done in the past that have impressed me or hiring managers I’ve worked with during the interview process. Try them out and let me know how they worked on LinkedIn.

How Leaning into Ambiguity Sped My Career Development

I recently took the time to ask myself, “What has helped me to thrive in my role as Tech Recruiter at Recruiting Experiences?”. One word came to mind because of how often my clients say they WANT it, and how often my team members say that I lean into it: AMBIGUITY. I will define what ambiguity means to me first, then lead you through several experiences I have had stepping into ambiguity.

What is Ambiguity?

Am. Bee. Gooey. T. Now say it fast! To me, ambiguity means: a situation or circumstance where you are directly involved in making an impact but have limited direction, guidance, or resources readily available. Notice I said ‘readily’ available because, in my opinion, you can always find or create resources to get the job done.

My First Recruiting Project EVER

It was my first official week working at our office. My supervisor asked me if I wanted to take a phone screen for a field adjuster at 4:30PM. Without thinking twice, I said, “Absolutely!” Let me offer a little background: it was my second week of working, and I still had not gone through our Recruiting Immersion training program, AND I had never spoken to, seen, or heard of a field adjuster in my work life. This was a completely new situation to me.

Although I loved the challenge, I wondered if the candidate would be able to sniff out my lack of understanding of their work. I did not even know what I would ask the candidate at first- but I knew this would help me learn on the fly and expose me to a new industry. I believe this moment and my willingness to jump in led Amy to let me work directly with our client and, over the next 2.5-month period, I would help them to hire 5 field adjusters. I also gained the confidence to recruit for any role that our clients need! It just takes understanding the business and the requirements needed for success in the role, and I can begin my search for talent.

Leading My First 1:1 Client Meetings

I am a talkative guy, but in the business setting there are still many things for me to learn. One time, our CEO had a client meeting scheduled but could not attend, so she asked me to step in for her and lead the meeting. I happily did so, although internally I WAS a bit worried that what I would have to say would not satisfy the client. What if they did not want to talk to me alone? What if they did not trust me? I was getting into my own head.

During the meeting I was able to provide a recruiting update, set expectations, and agree on the next steps. I did not completely botch it, and the client was a happy camper! I did not NEED my awesome leader by my side (although that would have given me a safety net). I believe that moments like these are what built my confidence to comfortably lead client meetings in the future. I realized that I build the trust and confidence in our partnerships by delivering results, having data to share about the market, and driving positive experiences for our clients and candidates.

Behind the Curtain Webinar

With about 2 weeks’ notice, our CEO invited me and our Marketing Manager to brainstorm and execute a webinar. At a glance- two weeks is plenty of time! Now throw in a full-time workload and multiple client priorities. Plus, we were not just putting together slides; We were producing the idea, content, delivery method, and presenting, as well! I was excited for this project but also worried that I would not be able to invest enough time given my other priorities. Some days I had to push my originally scheduled work items so that I could build the draft for our webinar. And yes- I even had to put in extra hard work on the weekends. After working diligently, I am proud to say that we were able to successfully build and launch the webinar ,(click here to watch) with a short 1-week planning period and it was a success!

Final Thoughts

Stepping into ambiguity has afforded me experiences that have helped me to grow my skillset as a Tech Recruiter. It gives me energy to win, and even if things do not go as planned, I am STILL learning. That is the beauty in stepping into ambiguity. These experiences have helped me to jump into new recruiting projects, lead important discussions, and collaborate with my coworkers to bring job seekers value in their career journeys. These experiences are what shape me and the Rec Ex team into the successes that we are and allow us to bring that same open mentality to our partnerships.

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.

7 Simple Tips to Maximize Your Resume’s Impact

In my days spent as a recruiter, I’ve witnessed a number of simple oversights on resumes that have come between a job seeker and a potential job opportunity. From our side to yours, I’m here to spread the word and set you up for success when it comes time to prepare for your next job search.

Tip #1: Less is more! Limit those resumes to one page front and back (MAX)! Highlight your key skills and contributions because that is what a resume reviewer is going to seek out within the first 10 seconds. That first impression is crucial and may make or break your next steps in a hiring process.

Tip #2: Fine tune your resume on LinkedIn – Update it! In this day and age, it’s rare to find a job opportunity without the use of social media. Your LinkedIn profile is the living and breathing version of your resume. It’s also doing work for you around the clock – even when you’re not ‘Open to Work.’

Tip #3: Exact address isn’t necessary but location MATTERS. City and State carry heavy weight for location-based jobs. This doesn’t just mean those that have in-person requirements. In the remote world, many companies are now favoring certain time zones or cities to begin their recruiting searches. A resume with no type of location determiner could be a roadblock to a great opportunity.

Tip #4: Focus on specifics. Highlight Individual actions, metrics, and contributions in the successes of goal completion. Your resume is your opportunity to sell yourself. Focus on only team outcomes or skills can be detrimental. Don’t let a reviewer be left wondering – did they really contribute or make an impact? Also, name drop your platforms and system knowledge – they’re often the keywords that recruiters are searching for.

Tip #5: Address and explain any gaps or jumps in-between jobs, if possible. Many times, there’s a simple explanation; It was on contract or for an internship. Don’t leave room for reviewers of your resume to assume or fill in the blanks.

Tip #6: PDFs are friendly. Recruiters and hiring managers are taking advantage of modern technology in the form of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS- more on these here). However, those systems tend to struggle when pulling the correct formatting and information over (especially form Word docs!). Save yourself some trouble & stick to PDFs when sharing your resume.

Tip #7: Ensure all contact information on the resume is correct and active. This is an extremely easy, but crucial, step. Your resume should be a one-way ticket to contact you, make sure that is true before your next job search. Furthermore, phishing is something we all must endure, but recruiter and hiring manager emails are often lost in the crossfire of avoiding potential spam. If you’re actively job seeking – clarify all modes of communication are prepared, ensure your voicemail box is not full, and CHECK YOUR SPAM!

Overall, the job market today belongs to the candidates. The search for the right role can be a long one, so do what you can to step-up your resume game with these simple tips. As a foundation, think about the types of roles you’re seeking and tailor your resume to amplify the skillset you bring to the table. As someone who works with resumes and hiring managers daily, take it from me – spending a bit of time on these hacks initially, will pay-off in the end. Happy Hunting!

Mastering the Recruiting Pivot: Staying Fluid in the Ever-Changing Recruitment Market

With the pandemic now in its 22nd month and unemployment rates topping in at 4.2%, many companies and organizations are continuing with their recruitment efforts (Impactnews, 2020). For recruiters, the word PIVOT (cue Friends scene visual) has been added to our daily vocabulary, as we try to ride the ever-changing wave of the recruitment market. So, you may ask, how can you pivot strategically to attract your ideal candidate?

Here are some tips that I have learned from my fellow recruiters and added to my daily life in order to pivot with grace…

1. Remember to make relationships with every outreach and applicant you encounter. Every individual you talk to is a potential employee or a referral source. Building genuine connections with your network is important for any talent search. Check out this great message example that can be used when requesting a referral source:

“I’m really glad that we were able to make this networking connection! I’m always looking to help others in seeking their next professional opportunity, would you happen to have anyone in your professional network who might be interested in this role?”

2. Always be creative in your recruitment efforts, and never stay bogged down with one strategy. Every role will require different outreach and sourcing. Utilizing LinkedIn groups and hashtags is a great way to get the word out and to cast a wider net for individuals who have interests matching the role you’re sourcing for.

Great LinkedIn Groups for IT fields: Indy IT Talent Community and Tech Savvy Women (TSW)

Look into these LinkedIn hashtags: #techrecruitment, #techevents, #techcareers, #techhiring

3. You’re not in the ride alone – Always ask your fellow recruiters for feedback on recruitment strategies. Getting a different outlook and approach can allow you to see things through a different lens. You’ll likely end up with a stronger result for your efforts.

Set up a coffee break or brainstorming session with your co-workers to see what their strategies are and why it works for them! I also take full advantage of shadowing my co-workers to see their strategies in action.

In this crazy, ever changing job market, small, creative changes to your recruitment strategy can have a huge impact on your result!

Sources: ,Pivoting Your Recruitment Strategies For the New Normal | impactHR, LLC (impacthrllc.com)

How Recruiting Experiences Won Me Over & The Universal Message I Want to Share

I have been doing regular contract work, alongside full-time gigs off and on for the better part of my career. I am an introvert, a bit of a gypsy, and I love to dabble. The freedom fit me. Then I became a mother. Suddenly the necessary flexibility to be there in all the ways I wanted to be for my children made me choose contract work as my full-time. The addition of Covid only cemented my desire to stay at arm’s length for the safety of our new family. But recently, I signed on as a permanent employee to one of my former contractors: Recruiting Experiences. I wanted to share just a few of the reasons. Because attracting employees in the current hiring environment is no joke. And turning this gypsy into a believer is a testament. Here’s what changed my mind:

Walking the Walk

We gravitate towards blogs and social media posts that emulate our personal values and beliefs. My first impressions of Recruiting Experiences blog and the CEO, Amy’s, Linkedin posts did just that. They told a story of kindness, empathy, and people-first hiring practices. Taking the time to craft and put the right message out in the world is something I value highly. I’m a writer. Words matter to me. But actions matter more. I have had gigs where my communications role involves clean-up and smoke screens for behavior that doesn’t match the message. My work with RecEx has never been that. Here, my copy and strategy has consistently been about communicating the good that is already happening, regardless of whether anyone is watching. I get to be the broadcaster of great work that others are too humble to share. That is a role I want to fill, over and over again.

Extending The Invitation

When the RecEx team had a team event, I got an invitation. I was invited to group development, planning meetings, and celebrations. Seems pretty simple, right? It’s actually fairly uncommon, as a contractor. I was made to feel welcome but never guilted when I was unable to attend. As a result, I saw the inner workings, felt the culture, and knew the goals. It allowed me a holistic view that contractors, and even employees are often denied. It made me better at my job. It built loyalty. Joining this team felt empowering, rather than constricting.

Embracing What Matters

Professionalism has always been a top priority for me. Representing the brands of others, as a contractor, has only increased this focus. But (spoiler alert) I am a human and a mother. In the time of Covid, baby sniffles can shut down daycares and turn kids into pariahs. Painstakingly perfected childcare coverage regularly evaporates into a “roll with it” scenario. Zoom meetings suddenly become anxiety inducing juggling acts. I clearly remember one internal team meeting at RecEx when my kids were unexpectedly home and unabashedly PRESENT. Not only were the joyously loud sounds of nursery songs and toddler wrestling recognized and embraced, but I was also asked if I could share a few screen shots of my OTHER kids: the two lounging potbellied pigs in my kitchen. My life was messy that day. I could have ended that call feeling frazzled or embarrassed. I could have felt less-than, as a parent, and a professional. Instead, I felt valued, appreciated, and closer to the team. MY team. This Stuff MATTERS.

So what is the takeaway? In the simplest terms, think people-first. Be a human before a boss and allow your team to be humans before employees and people will WANT to work for you.

In no way is this an exhaustive list. No company is perfect, but I go into this working relationship with confidence that my imperfect and theirs will mesh. We will make each other better. I won’t be giving up what is important, I will be growing in my pursuit of it. Want to hear more? I’m always happy to share. Message me!

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!

The Evolution of my Outbound Sourcing Strategy

Recruiting sourcing strategies are one of the most important pieces to the entire recruiting process. Without a well-built and thought-out sourcing strategy, recruiters would not be able to generate enough traffic from interested and qualified candidates. Personally, my experience has been that many of the candidates who are actively applying are not as qualified as candidates who I find myself. Read on as I share my methods for creating a successful and personalized sourcing strategy. n

What is a Sourcing Strategy? n A sourcing strategy is how recruiters will contact qualified prospects for open roles and can be inbound or outbound. Outbound sourcing strategies involve a variety of outreach methods, with the most common being the LinkedIn InMail message. Inbound sourcing strategies usually require recruiters to post their jobs to job boards and wait for applicants to apply. Recruiters track data from their sourcing strategies to see what works and refine their process to drive better results: more qualified candidates who are interested!

In the Beginning… Factory Mass MessagingnIn the beginning my outbound sourcing strategy was basic. I would go through and find candidates who met the minimum qualifications and load anywhere from 25-50 people in the project. A project in this case is a central, web-based location, where I can store online candidate profiles. I would then craft a message that sounded just like other recruiting messages. Something like:

“Hello! I am working with ABC company who *insert super long monologue*”.

These messages were not as personalized, and I am certain prospects could sense the factory styled mass message I had sent out to 50 people.

Then I realized… Themed Mass Messaging nAfter not experiencing much success with the factory styled mass messaging, I realized I had to change my approach. I partnered with my coworker Christian to produce a mass message that had flavor. I wanted to create a mass message that entertained people! That way if they read it, at least they got a good smile out of it or internal ‘LOL’. We started with Star Wars because it has mass appeal. I crafted the message to read like the beginning of the Star Wars movies and episodes with the announcer voice. In case you do not know what the voice sounds like: Star Wars Clone Wars Obi Wan and Anakin Get Ambushed on Planet Christophsis HD

Taking it a step further… AKA The Secret SauceThe secret sauce to outbound recruiting strategy is using video messaging! It is inevitable that people WILL ignore your attempts to speak with them about opportunities. People are busy; They are focused on work. The last thing they want to do is let a recruiter add more to their plate. Unless that recruiter sticks out among the crowd with a video message… I started sending video messages to prospective candidates because I realized that people LOVED the hyper personalized approach. My first trial was using videos for networking on LinkedIn.– You heard that correctly: Dom has been sending video messages way before he was a recruiter!– I believe video messages work because they SHOW you are willing to go the extra mile. They can also be viewed when convenient, with no further time commitment. Recipients do not have to face the pressure of interacting with you 1:1 unless they decide they like you and the opportunity.

I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into the sourcing strategy I am constantly refining. Are you a recruiter or job seeker who wants to hear more about the secret ways? Do not worry- we will publish the ‘How to send a video message’ article so you can start using the secret sauce too. Connect with me on LinkedIn!

Communication – The Secret to a Positive Experience

Effective communication has been an extremely popular topic on LinkedIn, recently. Whether it is between a recruiter and candidate, or a recruiter and hiring manager, proper communication is key to building stronger and healthier work relationships in talent acquisition. It feels obvious to say communication is a massive part of any successful relationship, but it is not always easy to communicate effectively. Empathy, transparency, listening and much more make up effective communication. Here are 4 tips to up your communication skills. n

1.Be Prepared & Present

Do your homework! Before every meeting with a hiring manager and/or candidate, you should do your research. For example, before job-intakes with hiring managers, I always read the job descriptions and look at the company’s website in preparation. It also helps to have some questions prepared. For interviews, the process is similar. I re-read the candidate’s resume and have a list of non-biased questions to ask them.

Equally as important as being prepared is being present: not just showing up for the meeting but actively listening and being present in the moment. Job intakes are a great time to practice this skill. At Recruiting Experiences, we act as an extension of our clients recruiting function, so active listening is crucial in the process. Listening is how we learn about our client companies and their culture. We utilize this skill to portray their values and brand the best we can. In meetings like this, when there is a ton of information coming at you, actively listen to absorb as much as possible.n

2.Set Proper Expectations

This one is huge! Setting proper expectations is an excellent way to start a business relationship. People want to know what to expect, so setting proper expectations can be a great way to ease some nerves. For example, when taking on a new position, it is important to let the hiring manager know a rough timeline of your process, to accurately gauge when candidates will begin to flow in. On the candidate side, this might mean giving a timeline on feedback. It is important to let candidates know when to expect a decision and then to uphold that timeline. Reliability is important in all professional relationships. To piggyback off this you should never ghost a client or candidate. Everyone deserves an answer, so they are not left in the dark. n

3. Check In Regularly

Regular check-ins are a great way to uphold the expectations you set. Setting a re-occurring calendar event helps remind me to provide feedback and status reports about my search. Here at Recruiting Experiences, we send status reports with data from our search, to provide context to our results. These check-ins are where we discuss our progress to better our process. During the interview process, if the timeline changes, call and let your candidates know. I also like to ask them how their interview went. Communication with your candidates should not end with your initial screen.n

4.Be Honest & Transparent

Honesty and transparency should be embedded in your entire process from beginning to end. You cannot effectively communicate if you are holding back information. With hiring managers, be upfront and honest about your roadblocks. Talk about them so you can tackle them together as a team! In conversations with candidates, be honest and transparent about the salary expectations for the role. This goes both ways as well. If someone’s experience warrants a higher pay range than the salary for the position, I tell them. (This is a great opportunity to ask for a referral!) As with most situations in life, honesty is key.

In the busy world of talent acquisition, it is not always easy to uphold communication. These tips should provide you with a framework to better your skills!

Interested in chatting more about HR-functions and HRIS systems? Let’s connect! My email is christian@recruitingex.com, and you can find me on LinkedIn here.

HRIS Systems – Why Do Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Need Them?

Hi, everyone! My name is Caly Grogan, and I am a Talent Generalist over at Recruiting Experiences. I am so excited to engage with the blog for the first time!

During my time at Recruiting Experiences, I’ve been able to see that many companies out there are spending more time (and money!) than necessary on HR-related processes that could be streamlined by using updated HRIS systems.

What’s an HRIS system?

A human resources information system (HRIS) is a software solution that maintains, manages, and processes detailed employee information and human resources-related policies and procedures.

The core HRIS features often include:

  • ATS (Applicant Tracking System): Helps to gather and organize information about applicants all in one place. HRIS systems have ATS’s built-in to aid with tracking candidates, evaluating them, and making great hiring decisions.
  • Employee Directory/Database: A main goal of an HRIS is to manage all the sensitive employee information that HR is responsible for. Being able to access this information from anywhere at any time is key to a streamlined process.
  • Onboarding: The onboarding process can be grueling for an employee who has to go through a manual process of hardcopy paperwork. Fortunately, the process does not need to be a time-consuming responsibility of HR because onboarding paperwork can be completed digitally by the new hire before they even come into work on day one.
  • Time and Labor Management: Employees have the independence to enter their own work hours and leave requests as they see fit within an HRIS. Further, the ability to track employee timelines and overall attendance rates can be easily improved.
  • Payroll: An HRIS allows for the number of hours worked to be accurately calculated, so appropriate employee salary amounts and future scheduling can be more simply determined. • Reporting: HR reporting is critical as it provides companies with the ability to forecast future HR events for risk mitigation and effective planning by using predictive analytics. Tracking issues, planning more effectively and strategically, and data-driven decision making are made possible by reports and using them advantageously.
  • Performance Management: Performance evaluations can be designed and customized to fit company needs, so employee objectives can also be planned in alignment with the company’s strategic objectives. The ability to see and evaluate accurate employee performance and effectiveness reports permits the monitoring of goal progress.

Storing employee information, tracking data trends, and doing manual processes such as benefits administration all becomes easier and more efficient using an HRIS system. Some of the most popular companies who implement HRIS systems for small and mid-sized businesses today include BambooHR, Paylocity, and Rippling.

Lack of HR and HRIS

Unfortunately, many small-to-medium businesses do not prioritize a Human Resources function until the company is seemingly drowning without one. It may appear that a manual process with a singular administrative assistant is working for a small firm, but it leads to an overload of work for the acting HR person(s), an absence of processes, and decision-making without data. It is important for Human Resources departments to have a strategic seat at the table as their work ensures that many laws are followed, data is tracked, and employees get the assistance they need. Accordingly, HRIS systems free-up Human Resources employees to do the more strategic and complex work that needs to be done because actions such as typing in individual benefits for each employee are not necessary in today’s technological world.

Why Should your Company Invest in an HRIS?

Human resources, as a business function, is extremely busy with responsibilities including recruiting, time-tracking, benefits, payroll, onboarding & training, legal compliance, and employee relations/engagement. Managing the volume of responsibilities without quality, smart tools is exceedingly time-consuming, confusing, and difficult. That is where an HRIS can help. An HRIS serves as a one-stop-shop for the employee base of a company, ending the need for many vendors. Finding a process that is scalable and repeatable enables employee self-service, centralized employee communication, increased HR automation, and powerful people insights. Through the use of HRIS’s, human resources employees are given time back into their day to manage their people and focus on their teams’ initiatives. Moreover, it allows the team to make more strategic decisions. By storing all company and personnel data in one place, there is an opportunity to see a more holistic view of the company so that areas for improvement can be better identified. Consistent reporting pushes companies to achieve their business goals while also empowering HR to make more informed decisions and prove impact.

Interested in chatting more about HR-functions and HRIS systems? Let’s connect! My email is caly@recruitingex.com, and you can find me on LinkedIn here.

Sources referenced:

1. What is HRIS? | Oracle

2. 4 Ways Your Company Can Benefit From an HRIS (namely.com)

3. Definition & Functions of an HRIS Application (Human Resources Information System) – Dokodemo Blog (dokodemo-kerja.com)

4. What is an HRIS, and Why Do I Need One? | Eddy

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/

 

Resume Writing – It’s All About Experience

This is your friendly neighborhood recruiter, Dom Vargas, and this will be my debut blog post for Recruiting Experiences. Buckle up and enjoy the journey!

Resumes.

Did that word spark your creativity? Make you cower in the corner? Resumes can certainly be polarizing, and they are one of the most difficult job search strategies to master. Trying to put years of experience and knowledge into a 1-2 page summary of ‘what do you do?’ is a daunting task. While research is leaning toward removing resumes from recruiting processes long term, not much has changed in the traditional job search process and resumes are still a key resource for getting in front of hiring teams.

Isn’t it funny that you could have an extremely engaging conversation with your prospective manager in which they boast that you are a great fit for the team, yet still end the conversation with a request to, “Send me your resume!”?

I’m going to share with you one of the best ways to invest in your professional image: hiring a resume writer!

In this fast-paced society, TIME is MONEY.

Now, would you rather:

  1. Spend 10 hours trying to master the art of building your resume because you are not landing interviews? nOR
  2. Leave it to a professional resume writer with decades of experience reviewing, writing, and crafting the perfect resumes that help people land interviews?

The Right Resume = Foot in the Door

Hiring teams review large quantities of resumes. There is no way for the hiring team to speak with every applicant. The right resume format is crucial to getting a ticket to the interview stage. The hiring team will spend only a few minutes looking at resumes to determine who should be called for an initial screening or conversation. With the right resume you will have the opportunity to showcase what really matters: YOU. Remember that networking IS important, but you will ultimately still need a polished, compelling resume.

Resume Writers are Experts

Think of a professional resume writer as the Lebron James of the resume writing world. They know exactly what a company wants to see on your resume: the format, font, data, and verbiage that best showcases your skills. Their expertise is a result of direct involvement with the hiring processes. Professional resume writers truly know the ins and outs for getting your resume to the people that make the decisions because, many times, they have been that person.

Invest in Your Resume AND Skillset

When you engage with a professional resume writer to produce your flawless new resume, you are investing in a new resume and in a future playbook. You won’t have to go back to your old process or spend hours looking up YouTube videos for “How to Write a Resume”. You now have the BLUEPRINT right in front of you to highlight your assets specifically for a hiring team! You can use the same lingo and writing-style, and adjust accordingly for future opportunities or role changes.

If you are not getting the interviews you’d like or are interested in learning more about how resumes impact your career search contact me at dom@recruitingex.com! or explore Recruiting Experiences’ resume writing services.

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:

  • Build partnerships with schools or trade associations. You’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.
  • Trade your time at a job fair for time at a trade event. Get 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
  • Utilize outbound sourcing. If 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? Let’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.

Candidate Goldmine

Imagine there’s a secret goldmine of resumes of qualified candidates who know your brand and want to work for your organization. Can you see it like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Now, imagine that you have an open position and you choose to forego all of those goldmine candidates and go find new ones. Even more concerning, imagine you pay someone to bring you new candidates rather than engaging your company followers. If you have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), this is not a dream. In-house recruiters who are often overburdened with Recruiting activities on top of their Human Resources or Onboarding activities are likely to overlook this goldmine of resume because they feel they don’t have time to tackle a search. Most applicant tracking systems maintain resumes for 3 or more years. Assuming the candidates who apply to you and are not selected continue working and growing their careers, you likely have several applicants who would fit a previously filled role right at your fingertips. I hear you. This won’t apply to every position you need to fill and not every ATS is search-friendly. However, let’s say you had a Customer Service Manager role available last year and you received 100 applications. Probably 50 of those were from people who didn’t meet your qualifications. Another 30 or so likely came in after you were far into the interview process. The remaining 20 were considered and maybe 10 or so went through your phone screen process. Of that 20, let’s say that 19 were disqualified for one reason or another and 1 person was hired. 80% of your applicants may not have been fully considered for this or similar roles and are just sitting in your ATS. Sticking with the above example… Let’s say you now need to open a Customer Service Supervisor requisition due to your company’s growth. You could start from scratch and wait two weeks for another 100 applicants. Rinse. Repeat. Or you could search through the candidates from that past requisition and likely find several within the 80 overflow candidates who didn’t meet your requirements for the Manager role but may be well qualified for a Supervisor position. These are likely passive candidates now who would welcome a call about a new role with an organization they were interested in previously. You could expedite your hiring process and strengthen your employer brand with just a few calls. Wouldn’t that investment of time be worth the upfront effort rather than relying on a posting model? Another potentially positive outcome of spending more time with your database is to fill additional positions from various applicant pools. Often, a well qualified candidate will be viewing more than one position on your site yet only apply to one role. It is the responsibility of the in-house recruiter or sourcer to determine the best fit and reassign that application for consideration under another, better-suited position. Yes, there are compliance needs you’ll need to track but most ATS systems make this an easy change. One phone call to the candidate will confirm whether they’re open to the opportunity. If they’re not, you can disqualify them from the active role and let them know in real-time. Then, it’s on to the next candidate. If they are open to another role, you may have just solved two requisition needs from one active list of candidates. In-house recruiters are in a unique position to have access to all positions and areas of the business. When your organization doesn’t have enough volume to justify a full-time resource, contract recruiters are a great option to consider. These resources will employ these tactics using your own candidate database and you’ll pay a part-time or hourly rate rather than a per-hire fee. Additionally, you’ll continue to own all of the candidate data to re-use for future requirements. Finding gold where it’s been found previously is often easier than looking for a whole new goldmine. Make sure your team is enabled to access the gold you already have. Ready to step up your hiring process? Schedule a time to talk with our team– we’d be happy to help.

Why Your Best Candidates Abandon Your Employment Application

Bottom line up front – your application is too long and you probably don’t need it. Ok – I’ll provide a little more information so you can make some positive changes to drive improvement in your talent acquisition process. Below are some easy steps toward evaluating your talent acquisition process and making your process simpler and barrier-free. Every organization can use a re-check of the current process to optimize their chances of hiring success. Today’s top candidates are busy, likely exploring jobs from a mobile device, and have a lot of other options. Assuming you are relying on primarily inbound applications to fill your roles, you need an application process that is quick, mobile-friendly, and takes less than 3 minutes. CareerBuilder reports annually on employment application abandon rates – generally, abandon rates are about 60% for most employers. Below are a few immediate steps you can take to improve the number of quality applications received. Unfortunately, the most qualified candidates are also the most likely to abandon a lengthy, intrusive, or outdated process.

Step 1 – Pick up your phone and apply for a job. If you haven’t applied for one of your own jobs recently, you might be surprised along the way. Time yourself from both a laptop and a mobile device. Be sure to include a real email address so you can confirm what happens next. Keep track of anytime you’re asked to re-enter the same information – that’s an easy fix in most applicant tracking systems (ATS). Additionally, confirm whether you’re using screen-out questions that truly allow you to make good hiring decisions or are potentially taking more time than the value provided. Collecting superfluous information is a leading cause of high drop-out rates. It’s a good idea to repeat this process for any of your primary talent competitors. Be sure that your process is easier and more friendly.

Step 2 – Open and review an application in your ATS. Take specific note of what information you read and consider. Be honest, you and your recruiting team aren’t reading everything collected. If you have a team of recruiters, ask each recruiter to bring a list to your next meeting. If it’s just you, ask a couple of hiring managers to do the exercise. Once you have a list, consider the following: 1. Can you eliminate some of the info that’s being collected but not reviewed? 2. Is the team reviewing information that could be contributing to implicit bias? 3. Is the collected information relevant to the position itself? Create a list of items to reconsider or just get started and update right away.

Step 3 – Check your compliance needs. The rules have changed and many organizations haven’t updated their processes lately. Many of the old-school recruiter rules imply that you need an online application or capture process and an official employment application on file. That is rarely true and you can likely update your capture process for roles with scarce talent to just a 2-4 question capture process. A strong developer, for example, isn’t likely to jump through any hoops to apply for your job. For top talent and hard-to-fill roles, could you allow just a LinkedIN link or resume, an email address, and a phone number? The simple answer is yes. The harder question is, are you ready for that level of simplicity and do you have the staff to appropriately follow up? If you’re a Federal contractor or receive State/Federal funding, there are more requirements for you to consider so be sure to check with your HR team. If you do need an official employment application, you can reposition it to a later point in your hiring process once the candidate is already engaged with your brand. Busy recruiting teams may feel there isn’t time to go through these steps regularly. If you’re feeling that way right now, consider how investing this time to evaluate and improve your application process could provide a higher volume of qualified applicants. One solution is rarely right for everyone and certainly not for every type of recruit. High volume response roles, like customer service, may benefit by adding a video interview or additional step to help you filter the most qualified and #readytowork candidates more quickly. For lesser known brands or harder-to-fill roles though, it will improve your application rates and lead to a lower need for agency-recruiting or outbound sourcing. Ready to step up your hiring process? Schedule a time to talk with our team– we’d be happy to help.