Recruiting Experiences

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:

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

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

The Blueprint to Building Stunning Recruitment Structure

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

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

You’re Only As Good As Your Word:

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

Process mitigates risk

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

Process Improvement Starts With A Process:

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

Process Allows Growth Potential

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

Processes = Shared workload = Work-Life Balance:

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

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

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