Category Archives: Candidate Selection

How To Hire For Emotional Intelligence

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Modern office environments revolve around adaptability, communication, collaboration and the ability to learn new skills quickly. These are difficult requirements for candidates to fulfill, which is why it can be tough to find the right team members, even if your organization is willing to invest in training. When hiring, instead of focusing too much on factors like education and experience, it can be beneficial to your organization to hire new employees with high emotional intelligence. It’s a strategy tech companies like Google are beginning to use to help avoid bad hiring decisions, which can be costly for businesses.


Emotional intelligence was originally introduced by psychologist Daniel Goleman, who described a number of qualities that make up this trait in an individual. Emotional intelligence is generally seen in individuals who have self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Broken down, this means that emotionally intelligent people have the awareness and motivation to regulate their responses and actions, while being empathetic toward others and able to excel in social situations.  Emotionally intelligent people have natural curiosity and know their strengths and weaknesses, which allows them to harness their abilities to help themselves and others grow and thrive.


At first glance, emotional intelligence may sound like a soft skill that’s not all that useful to your business. But the truth is that people with high emotional intelligence relate well to others and have intangible qualities that help them excel in a team environment and often helping to avoid and resolve conflict—something almost every company needs.

Travis Bradberry of Forbes outlines the reasons that hiring emotionally intelligent people gives companies a competitive edge:

“Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence.”

Every company wants these star performers, but not all recruiters and hiring managers know what to look for. If you’re feeling lost on how to evaluate emotional intelligence, you’re not alone. To help you get started, here are some tips for detecting emotional intelligence in candidates.

1. Use emotional intelligence in your job descriptions to attract the right candidates

You can’t hire the right people if they don’t apply, of course. Companies like Adobe and Zappos have designed their onboarding materials very carefully to appeal to the candidates they’re looking for, using techniques like a relational process and adding emotional intelligence to employment materials.

2. Use initial screenings to your advantage

There’s no reason to bring in a candidate who obviously does not have some of the qualities you’re looking for. During the phone interview, look for indications of emotional intelligence, such as positivity, grace under pressure, and looking at success from a team perspective, rather than individual achievements.

3. Tailor your interview questions

You know by now that there’s no reason to use the same, worn out interview questions used at every company—it’s better to tailor your questions so they make sense for detecting the skills you’re looking for. Carolyn Sun at Entrepreneur has come up with a list of interview questions designed to separate emotional intelligence out of the pack that could be very useful in assessing candidates.

4. Use references for clues

Forming lasting friendships in the workplace is a common behavior of emotionally intelligent people, and speaking to references can give you insights about how they fit into teams at their previous companies. You’ll get insights not just from references in management roles, but from peer level colleagues who worked closely with your applicant.

5. Create a culture that is appealing to emotionally-intelligent people

Once you’ve found the right emotionally-intelligent candidates, you’ll need to offer them more than a salary and benefits. These top performers will expect a lot from their employer in exchange for their skills, and you’ll need to provide an engaging environment that is transparent and respectful to employees. Clear growth paths, opportunities for learning and collaboration are all helpful in promoting engagement and long-term retention of emotionally intelligent employees.


If you find the right fit for your company—someone who is emotionally intelligent and engaged with your business’s goals and values, there is immense long-term benefit in hiring for this trait. Emotionally intelligent people help businesses grow, promote team unity and can be great choices for leading the company down the road. All you have to do is find them, engage them and respect them.

Passive Candidates – The Holy Grail?

Passive vs. ActiveWe’ve all seen some hilarious job board applications with completely irrelevant experience to what we’re looking for. Funnily enough, a few months spent working in your dad’s mechanics probably won’t see you getting interviewed for a senior technical role with an $115K base salary. There are of course some great candidates on job boards but a lot of the time it’s easy to see that some people use job boards to ‘spam out’ their information to any job that’s on screen.

Would it be that surprising then that the most sought after candidates are passive? They have evidence of their competency, with proven experience. They are not just applying on job boards in their free time.

But if they are The Holy Grail, how you get hold of them? The passive candidate takes a bit of convincing… they don’t NEED to move. So how do you go about attracting them?

  • Proactively seeking passive candidates – Having a presence at trade fairs, being active on social media, interacting with your market.
  • The better the candidate is the pickier they can be with their next job – the proposition needs to be more than just a pay raise; it needs to offer something different.
  • Presentation is everything – A well-presented and modern company brand also helps make your proposition appealing to passive candidates.
  • An exciting and modern company culture, or a lucrative benefits package would help set an employer apart from the rest.
  • Little things that set you apart – employee perks & performance-based incentives are a good image-booster, or a solid company car scheme.

The recruiters that act smart, represent employer brands excellently, and manage key relationships thoroughly will always win the attention of the passive candidate.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Are Overqualified Candidates Just a Myth?

Overqualified CandidatesThe idea that overqualified candidates make terrible employees has been around as long as the coffee break. The idea of not hiring overqualified candidates is not without merit, as the Harvard Business Review indicates that a study by Israeli scientists found that overqualified workers do tend to be more miserable with their jobs and quit more often than people who are considered a perfect fit for their tasks. But as the job market continues to shift, the idea of hiring overqualified workers is suddenly becoming something that employers are adopting more and more.

Overqualified Workers Have An Infectious Enthusiasm

According to Fortune Magazine, overqualified workers tend to have a higher level of enthusiasm for their work, and that affects the rest of their team. When two overqualified workers are put together in the same work group, their synergy and enthusiasm become infectious for the rest of the group and productivity goes up. In this way, overqualified workers actually help to reduce turnover and increase productivity.

Opportunity Is A Good Draw

Overqualified workers enjoy the luxury of feeling completely comfortable in their new job from the very first day of work. The learning curve is short, so the ability to get up to speed and be productive is very strong. As long as the company offers a career path of some sort, overqualified workers will find that being able to learn the company culture while not being overwhelmed by their jobs can be an excellent way to advance their careers.

The Chance To Get Involved

In some cases, overqualified employees find that they are able to branch out into other parts of corporate life to help them feel like their talents are being utilized. Companies should reach out to overqualified employees and encourage them to join the committees that plan social gatherings, and get involved in employee work groups that make suggestions on how to improve corporate productivity. An overqualified employee can feel very satisfied with their work if they feel like they are making a difference in the company’s future.

Promoted To A Level Of Incompetence

Sometimes overqualified employees are only overqualified on paper. If someone managed to rise to a position where they felt unqualified, then they would not be averse to dropping back into something that makes them feel comfortable. Employers should not assume that an overqualified employee is always looking for advancement, because that may not be the case.

With the labor market in a dynamic state of change, the convenient labels that used to be put on candidates no longer apply. An employee that used to be overqualified just a few years ago may now become one of the most valuable employees your company has ever hired. A company that has a lot to offer can take the risk of bringing on an employee who has an extensive background.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

9 Employee Retention Statistics That Will Make You Sit Up and Pay Attention

Employee Retention StatisticsRetention in the workplace is in a predicament — the revolving door is circulating faster, and the organizations struggling with this are on the lookout for a solution.

They want to keep employees long after they’ve been hired and maintain high levels of productivity, but to do so, they need to examine some of the causes of poor retention.

Insights into the state of retention today

Let’s look at some statistics to keep in mind as you look to solve your retention concerns.

1. Some 73% of organizations revamp their on-boarding to improve their employee retention. It’s not the only reason companies update onboarding, but it’s an important one that should clue you into how important retention is at most companies. This is the time in which new hires connect with the company, so improving the correlation between their work and the organizational values will help boost employee longevity.

2. One third of new hires quit their job after about six (6) months. During the early stages of your employees’ careers, it’s critical to outline milestones for your new hires to accomplish. Without these goals to help attentively cultivate new employees, it’s easy for them to become under-challenged or overwhelmed. Both situations create an unnecessarily heavy burden on your recruiters and your employees.

3. Referred employees have a 45% retention rate after two years. As it turns out, most referred employees are more likely to stay in their new role. That 45% number is much lower than the average employee sourced from, say, a job board (80%), possibly because they’re working with people they already know in a position they’re more likely to functionally fit. Your referral program is invaluable to the success and tenure of your new employees, and like your on-boarding process, reassess it as needed to improve retention.

4. Nearly four out of five (78%) of business leaders rank employee retention as important or urgent. With the cost of employee turnover and the benefits of having retaining well-trained employees versed in company policies and procedures, making sure new hires don’t leave for avoidable reasons is one of leaders’ top concerns, and should be one of yours, too.

5. Remote workers are 50% less likely to quit. Employees who telecommute to work are typically more satisfied with their jobs, so it makes sense they’d be less likely to quit – they’re able to work at their own pace, in an environment they’re comfortable in. This makes remote work options a powerful way for companies to retain employees.

6. One third (33%) of employees knew whether they would stay with their company long-term after their first week. Only one-third of employees … that’s a pretty small number in terms of retention. Your company’s first impression is incredibly important. You simply can’t afford to let your new employees figure out their place in your company; you need to engage them early and often with a specific strategy and goal in mind.

7. Some 35% of employees will start looking for a job if they don’t receive a pay raise in the next 12 months. They may not be some of the most loyal employees, but you can expect to see some possible retention problems if the company can’t provide the team with raises. No matter how long your employees have been with your company, they expect a raise every year. But if you’ve on-boarded new hires well, created a connection between their role in the company and the overall values, this might not be as much of a problem as you’d expect.

8. One third (33%) of leaders at companies with 100 plus employees are currently looking for jobs. Even those in senior leadership roles aren’t immune to leaving. Don’t let your leadership fall prey to feeling undervalued at your organization; give them the reassurance they need to stay. Otherwise, they’ll likely head for greener pastures.

9. 32% of employers say they expect employees to job-hop. With the increasing number of employees who stay at a company no longer than three years, some companies have begun making it part of their hiring plan. It’s smart to keep trends like this in mind when building a hiring plan, but it’s also smart to figure out their root cause, and see if your company can’t do something to stop job-hopping from happening in the first place.

These statistics don’t paint a pretty picture about the state of employee retention. The good news is that you can use these statistics as a way to develop new strategies to retain employees for the long haul, and hopefully develop a new hiring process along the way.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Could Job Hoppers Actually Be Good for a Company?

Job HoppersAccording to CNN Money, last year over 2.8 million employees quit their job in search of better salaries. While that is often a great signal of the impending wage hikes and a strengthening economy, this can feel like a sudden brain drain for companies. The healthy economy has drawn many employees out of their comfy positions and into the job market. HR departments are left trying to figure out how to increase employee retention rates and hiring managers are left wondering if job hoppers are suitable candidates for open positions. The answer is job hoppers can be excellent employees for a variety of reasons.

Job Hoppers Bring a Wealth of Experience

Many job hoppers gain more experience in various companies than they ever did at one company alone. In every position, they learn something new. Many times, companies are in dire need of change but they don’t know it. In many organizations with long-term employees, a noticeable trend starts to emerge. People start saying things like “we’ve always done it this way”. Innovation starts to feel like a dirty word. It’s only when new blood comes in that this viewpoint gets shaken up. Job hoppers are excellent agents for change in these kinds of companies because they’ve experienced a variety of different ways of doing things.

Job Hoppers Are Team Players

It seems counter intuitive to suggest someone who puts their career first is a team player, but think about how a job hopper survives; they hop from position to position, ingratiating themselves into new teams with different personalities. In order to survive, a job hopper needs to be the consummate team player. This can come in handy at an organization seeking to establish a sense of team spirit and cooperation. Being able to work with many different kinds of personalities and break into established teams and cliques can be beneficial to a company. Knowing how to break in is even more of a prize.

Job Hoppers are Strategic Thinkers

Job hoppers aren’t all about luck, but rather strategy. Recent reports cite that the longer employees stay in a company, the less they get paid in comparison to their counterparts.  Employees who stay at a job longer than 2 years may earn as little as 50% less than their peers during the course of their career.  A job hopper isn’t content to simply make a 3% raise every year, but instead wants a bigger salary increase in a shorter amount of time. With this knowledge in mind, a job hopper actually seems the smarter candidate because of their strategic thinking.  Imagine how your company could harness this strategic mind!

They key to hiring a job hopper is to manage expectations.  A company should be aware up front that this is going to likely be a high performing employee who seeks top pay and increased responsibility in return.  This presents a unique opportunity for an employer to increase cross- training, to develop talent development programs and re-imagine opportunities for advancement that are more in line with today’s changing workforce.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Recruiters, Stop Stalking Your Candidates

Stop Stalking CandidatesSome recruiters call it ‘social media profiling’. Others call it ‘social screening.’ In certain cases, a more appropriate term would be ‘stalking’.

1984 in 2015

Want to know some alarming statistics? According to a study by social media monitoring service Reppler, over 90% of recruiters visit a candidate’s profile on a social network as part of the screening process. A further 69% have rejected a candidate based purely on their social media content. Those figures paint an almost Orwellian picture, with candidates across the globe being scrutinized based on statuses, snapshots and associations.

We live in a world where everything you post online – whether that be an angry rant about pet peeves or a picture of a pet pooch – can be (and often is) found online by recruiters and hiring managers. And that’s an eerie thought.

The Obvious Exceptions

To clarify before continuing, using LinkedIn to check out a candidate’s professional credentials is perfectly fine – it’s more or less what LinkedIn was built for. Candidates have created those LinkedIn accounts to see and be seen. It’s their platform to showcase their skills and experience, and they’ve put their profile together in full knowledge that it will be assessed by recruiters during the hiring process.

Nope…LinkedIn isn’t the problem. Nor are social accounts which are clearly and unmistakably connected to the candidate’s professional career. Many people working in digital marketing jobs, for example, create specific work Twitter accounts and blogs to advance their careers. You’ll also have candidates in developer jobs who have created their own websites to showcase their range of technical skills.

These professional channels are all A-okay to investigate. Nobody’s privacy is being invaded, nothing questionable is going on and nobody is acting in an unethical way.

It’s when recruiters are thirty clicks deep into a candidate’s holiday photos that social media screening becomes an issue.

Recruiters Are Looking

They’re looking, and they’re looking further than you might think. Recent research from Jobvite has found that recruiters don’t just stop at LinkedIn. 66% screen via Facebook, 52% via Twitter, 21% via Google+, 20% via RSS and 15% via Youtube. With platforms such as Instagram, Whatsapp and Snapchat also increasingly being used for recruitment purposes, this list will only continue to expand.

Like it or not, we’re all being watched and assessed online as part of the standard recruitment process. So, where should the line be drawn? There definitely comes a point where social screening oversteps the mark. With social media profiling statistics on the rise, it’s high time to face the unpleasant reality of screening evolving into stalking.

Getting Up Close and Personal

There’s a huge and identifiable difference between a personal social account and a professional one.  Looking at the latter is valuable, as well as being fully anticipated. Dissecting the former is akin to eavesdropping on a candidate’s conversation with their close friends or observing their behavior on a night out. It’s not relevant to the role in question and it’s also creepy. Yes, creepy.

Recruiters don’t need to be thumbing through a candidate’s Instagram account to assess whether their skills are a strong fit for the job, nor do they need to see their mundane social updates on the night’s TV to gauge their cultural fit. Those posts weren’t created for your eyes and they aren’t applicable to the candidate’s application.

Crossing the Line

Let’s look at the example in which job seekers for Bozeman city posts were asked for their Facebook logins as part of the screening process. Really, that happened. As well as standard criminal record checks and past employment reviews, candidates were required to provide their details and/or passwords to:

“Any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.”

Does anybody else have the screeching violin music from the Psycho shower scene playing in their head right now?

The Pitfalls of Privacy Invasion

Now, it’s understandable why checking out personal social accounts is tempting. Professional accounts are highly selective in the information they share, and you don’t exactly get a sense of whether your candidates are racist Neo-Nazis or sadistic sociopaths from their LinkedIn profiles. Plus, it’s not likely that a candidate is just going to come out and tell you that they swear like a sailor and have daily inclinations to rant about the world and all of its inhabitants.

But you can’t poke and pry into their personal lives.

Why? Well, firstly, we all have a right to privacy. Things that candidates post on their non-professional social channels were intended for their friends and family – they don’t pertain to things that you have any right to research. So what if the candidate has ten cats as their cover picture? And what’s it got to do with potential employers if they wrote an embarrassing status while drunk on a night out one time? (Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it!)  If it’s not information specific to that job, it’s not a recruiter’s business.

Secondly, it’s potentially illegal. From looking at personal accounts, you could learn about the candidate’s age, religion, ethnicity, marriage status, etc., etc., etc. In short, you could be learning about things that could accelerate into discrimination lawsuits. Taking screening too far could get very messy indeed.

And lastly (although this list could be extended), let’s not forget that personal social media posts can very easily be taken out of context. If you don’t know the candidate, you don’t know whether the controversial update they’ve written is dripping in irony or if it’s meant in full seriousness. You don’t know whether they were just having a horrifically bad day when they wrote that raging rant or whether their inappropriate comment was in fact a ‘frape’ by a friend playing a prank. You can’t make hiring decisions based on invasive social media assumptions.

Talk, Don’t Stalk

It’s natural that you want to find out as much about your candidate as possible. And that’s why you Stopshould stop stalking and start talking.

Distinguish between private and professional social media platforms. Stop using social media to stalk candidates and search for their personal information. Seek out information about the specific job instead. Speak to the candidate, ask behavioral interview questions and get digging deeper. You can only find out the candidate’s suitability for the role by having those all-important conversations, not by clicking through their selfies.

Hey, your candidate might turn out to be a raging lunatic. But at least find that out directly rather than through guesswork from their personal social media updates.

After all, we all know that one person who’s an annoying idiot on Facebook but a great (and successful) person in real life. Think of that person the next time you’re tempted to do some personal social stalking and resist the urge.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Recruiters Are Using ‘Algorithmic Hiring’ to Solve One of the Workplace’s Biggest Problems

Algorithmic HiringHumans are biased decision makers. One well-known and troubling example of this is the tendency for interviewers to hire candidates who remind them of themselves, resulting in workplace homogeneity. In the tech sector, this homogeneity has been particularly extreme: Google’s first ever diversity report, released last year, reported only 2% of its staff are black, and 3% Hispanic, for example.

Facebook recently announced that it’s going to try the NFL’s “Rooney Rule”—which requires that NFL teams interview minority candidates for coaching positions—in order to expand its staff beyond white and Asian men.

One proposed solution is to try to remove some of those biases with systematic analysis of data—or in other words: Use an algorithm. Companies administer personality tests to candidates during screening, and then use data analysis to determine its ideal hires. While the algorithm depends on what a company is looking for, common variables include using the data from personality tests to predict whether a candidate will quit or steal on the job.

Algorithmic hiring has been on the rise in recent years. Google used an algorithm to staff up quickly, employing an elaborate survey to zone in on candidates who will fit into the company’s culture. One study of algorithmic hiring found that a simple equation was significantly better than humans at identifying high-performing employees. The result held across different industries and levels of employment, and the researchers attributed the result to humans paying too much attention to inconsequential details and using information about candidates inconsistently.

Now, one company is reporting that algorithmic hiring can also improve diversity. Infor Talent Science provides software that helps companies hire by collecting behavioral information using a survey, then making a predictive model based on top performers. They then hire based on how candidates match up with those top performers. The company dug into data on 50,000 hires for their clients and found an average increase of 26% in African Americans and Hispanics hires across a variety of industries and jobs after deploying Infor’s software.

“What we’ve found is regardless of [the industry], whether it’s restaurants, retail, call centers—it actually increases the diversity of the population,” says Jason Taylor, Infor’s chief scientist for human capital management. In Infor’s forthcoming report, they found that using an algorithm to help with hiring increased their wholesale clients’ Hispanic hires by 31%. For their restaurant clients, African American hires increased by 60%.

“What a systematic process does is it knows no color, no race, no ethnicity,” says Taylor. “When [a hiring manager] doesn’t know a person and they don’t know what to look for, they basically hire people like themselves. It’s ‘We have something in common,’ or ‘Oh, I like you,’ then it’s ‘Okay you’re hired.’ What this does is provides them with an objective piece of information that shows the probability that they’re going to be successful in the role. So it helps to qualify that pool.”

One of the caveats of Infor’s study is that their data is only based on hires that disclosed ethnic background. As with most surveys, checking the racial box is voluntary. Collecting racial data has long been tricky as candidates often worry that that it will result in discrimination. (The Census Bureau too suffers from this problem, and it is experimenting with new ways to collecting data about race and origin.) But it’s not clear that, in the end, minority candidates are undercounted: Others might believe that disclosing race will attract diversity-minded employers.

So will algorithms rid the hiring process of bias? Scholars warn that big data’s supposed objectivity can mask other biases built into the algorithms. Chelsea Barabas, a researcher at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, writes:

Decisions based on algorithms, are becoming “used for everything from predicting behavior to denying opportunity” in a way that “can mask prejudices while maintaining a patina of scientific objectivity.” These concerns are echoed by other scholars such as Kate Crawford, who has made incisive arguments against the claim that big data doesn’t discriminate against social groups … The peril of these algorithms is that they mask deep seated biases behind the promise that the numbers “speak for themselves.”

There’s plenty of research on the reasons that diversity is good for the workplace: It increases productivity; it enhances problem solving; it’s even been shown to increase sales and improve profits. The question of whether workplace diversity is good seems to have been answered, but the question of how to attain such diversity seems to be the more baffling one.

At least the early results seem to indicate that algorithmic hiring can help reduce biases, but an employer has to care about doing so. In other words, though Infor’s results are encouraging, what matters most is that companies are genuinely interested in increasing diversity in the workplace.

Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

How to Effectively Manage Your Recruitment Process

Manage Your Recruitment ProcessSomething that doesn’t get enough attention when thinking about recruitment is that, for the majority of people who attend an interview with your business, it will be their only direct interaction with your company.

How they are treated throughout that process, good or bad, will form not only their view of your business but indirectly your ability to attract good people in the future.

The most common complaints candidates make about a recruitment process are:

  • They didn’t receive any feedback from the interview
  • The process dragged on
  • If they had known more about the role, they wouldn’t have attended the interview and the interview was a waste of time

All of which are very avoidable if you take some time to effectively plan the recruitment process.

The key areas you need to think about when planning your recruitment include:

  • Time frame
  • Job description
  • Interview process & feedback
  • Offer, contracts and induction period

Time Frame

Setting a time frame is important because it gives everyone a deadline to work towards and it will help you:

  • Differentiate between what is desirable criteria and what is essential criteria
  • Determine what kind of process you need to run, and
  • Create a sense of urgency

A simple start point is:

  • Start date – X
  • Offer accepted, and resignation – Allow for 28 days (in most cases for permanent positions)
  • Offer made and contract out to candidate – Allow for 2 days
  • Final Interview – Allow for 1 day
  • Each interview prior to that – Allow for up to a week
  • Short list – Allow for up to a week between short list and first interview
  • Search stage – Allow for 2 weeks
  • Brief agency / internal recruitment team

Job Description

Despite having the ability to add a significant amount of value to the recruitment process, job descriptions are often at worst neglected and at best generic.

While it is probably the last thing you want to allocate time to, especially if someone has just resigned, taking the time to prepare a detailed job description will allow you to effectively:

  • Evaluate what is absolutely essential criteria for a position and what is desirable
  • Help differentiate your job from the 100’s of similar positions on the market
  • Minimize the risk someone will either interview for, or worse, accept a position with your business that they otherwise wouldn’t have had they known more
  • Give candidates and the recruiter reference material to work off when preparing for an interview or submitting candidates on a short list

As part of the process of putting together a job description, if you do decide to use a recruiter, it is a good idea to sit down with them to get a feel for:

  • What talent is currently available in the market and how realistic your expectations are with respect to time frame and salary
  • What compromises on the job description and desirable experience you can make to make to secure someone in a shorter amount of time or for lower salary
  • Options regarding temporary and contract staff to afford you more time to find the perfect candidate

Interview Process & Feedback

Regardless of if you want 1 interview or 10 interviews the key points you need to address to run a successful interview process include:

  • Setting clear expectations of exactly what each candidate will need to complete prior to receiving an offer and in what order, i.e. X amount of interviews, technical test, references offer, etc.
  • When and where each stage will take place
  • What information you want to get out of each candidate at each stage, as well as what information you want to give each candidate and at each stage
  • When feedback will be given to candidates either directly, via a recruiter or HR

Candidates set aside a considerable amount of time to both prepare for and attend an interview, not to mention often arranging time off work to do so.  For that reason it is no surprise that the most common complaint recruiters will get from candidates who attend an interview is that they didn’t receive feedback.

Providing constructive feedback to candidates (as well as recruiters) will ensure:

  • Regardless of the outcome candidates will, including unsuccessful ones, exit the process with a positive impression of the business
  • Candidates that are progressing are able to address any areas of concern in future interviews, giving you more information to make a decision
  • Provide the recruiter with valuable feedback on the candidates they have presented to the business improving their performance on the current and future roles they recruit for you

Offer, Contracts and Induction Period

The most common mistakes that lead to candidates turning down an offer:

  • Salary is less than what they wanted
  • Candidate’s personal situation changes, including being offered a job they are more interested in
  • Business takes too long to either offer the position or get a contract out to the candidate

If you confirm a candidate’s salary expectations and interest in a position, either directly or through the recruiter, at each stage of the recruitment process the first two mistakes are easily avoidable.

If you are in a situation where circumstances have changed and you are simply unable to offer the salary a candidate wants, they are going to feel shortchanged. Some options to help in this situation include:

  • Agreeing to a salary review after 6 months
  • Bringing forward participation in bonus pool to first year of employment
  • Signing bonus

Once you have got the candidate’s verbal acceptance on the offer, you really need to get the contract out to them as quickly as possible.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • A candidate will not resign until they have received a written contract, delaying the start date
  • Until a candidate has a written contract, the offer is just a promise and you leave the door open for other businesses to swoop in
  • Every day that passes candidates will start questioning if the offer is actually coming

Candidates can do funny things at offer if they don’t receive a contract quickly, so if you know it is going to take longer than 24 hours, you need to contact the candidate directly and explain the situation. It is one thing to hear it from a recruiter, but it is another to hear it from a hiring manager.

Once the offer is accepted, the candidate has resigned the only other tasks remaining to be done are:

  • Call the candidate, let them know you are excited that they are going to be starting with the business
  • Make sure they have a computer, logins etc. ready for day one
  • Set clear expectations for the probation period
  • Provide feedback throughout the probation period, even if it is as simple as, “I think you are doing a good job, we will catch up in more detail at the end of the month”

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Your Guide to Employee Assessment – Driving Team Performance

Basic CMYKEvery company has its own needs and requirements when it comes to their employees. Teams have their own chemistry with each other and individuals can react very differently in any given situation. Therefore digging deep down, getting under the skin of people is so important but can prove difficult.

Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself prior to carrying out employee or candidate assessments to get the best from this highly valuable process.


There are always areas to improve within a company or team, the trick is to put all your efforts into the specific area that will deliver the best results, or address the area suffering most.

Team performance – Perhaps your team isn’t integrating well with each other. This could be affecting their overall performance and morale, creating a less than efficient working environment.

Leadership – Management may be an area you are looking to improve. With better management and more focused leadership your team could be more productive. Management has the ability to offer motivation and encouragement to the entire team, improving performance.

Company growth – A lack of growth could also be holding your team back.  Identifying skills gaps, bringing in new skills, experience and talents can drive an entire business forward.


Whether you are looking to improve team performance, identify leadership potential, reduce employee turnover or manage a period of change within your business you’ll need to react differently. Are you looking to appoint new people and want the best possible hires or just reorganizing the team and want to discover how to get the most from your people?

Perhaps your entire company is changing, merging with another or you’re introducing new goals that you’re working towards? If so, you’ll want to ensure your team embrace and align with the company’s aspirations.

The employment lifecycle consists of the following areas, which one are you at?

• Talent Identification and Engagement
• Selection and Appointment
• On-boarding and Induction
• Managing and Appraising
• Learning and Development
• Succession Planning


Team and employee assessments can measure a range of different things. The most desired information is around knowledge, skills, aptitude, attitude and potential of employees.

Information such as personality traits, working styles and working values help an employer gain an insight into potential new appointments or current employees and measure how closely aligned they are with the company’s vision, values and overall mission. If overall satisfaction is something you want to improve, this can be measured, weaknesses discovered and solutions found.


The results may surprise you, but good or bad, you will have a much clearer assessment of your employees, your team and the leadership ability of your managers.  This is useful information that could help improve a number of areas.

Future recruitment strategies can be guided by the identification of skills gaps, the need for succession planning and cultural alignment. Assessments take away the ‘gut feel’ element from senior level recruitment, saving on the cost of a bad hire.

Benchmarking strong performers and understanding the behaviors and attitude that make these employees stand out can help you identify learning, development and training programs to help others.  This in turn can help in establishing you as a company with a reputation for career progression – great for employee retention and your employee brand.

For team improvements you may want to see clear ways in which you can improve employee engagement, you may even discover hidden talents within your team that can be better utilized.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

5 Ways To Make Sure You Know Exactly Who You’re Hiring

UntitledAs the ousted former CEO of Yahoo!, the disgraced Dean at MIT, the publically shamed past President of IBM or the would-be head football coach at Notre Dame can tell you, lying on your resume never really pays off in the long run.

That these extremely public, extremely prestigious posts were each obtained by candidates later found to be lying on their resumes suggest, it’s a problem that’s a pervasive and increasingly prevalent problem for employers everywhere.

Even though background and reference checks have emerged as more or less an inevitable component of almost every employer’s pre-screening process, a surprising percentage of candidates are willing to risk getting caught in exchange for the rewards of getting an offer.

According to a recent Harris Poll survey on behalf of CareerBuilder, in fact, fully 58% of hiring managers reported to having previously discovering a candidate misrepresenting, hyperbolizing or downright lying on their resumes during the hiring process.

This epidemic seems endemic across functions, with financial services (73%) hospitality (71%), tech (63%) and healthcare (63%) ranking among the industries most likely to have encountered someone lying on their resume. The recruiters responding to the survey indicated the most common resume lies included embellishing skill set (57%), embellishing previous responsibilities (55%) and falsifying dates of prior employment (42%).

While these white lies are most common recruiting red flags most often raised by candidates lying on their resumes, some go so far as to throw some blatantly fake – but kind of funny – fabrications into the mix. Take the guy who claimed his prior experience was serving as the Prime Minister for a completely fictional country. Or the candidate who felt lucky that no one would Google him to find out that he was not in fact, an Olympic Gold medalist in rollerblading (which, coincidentally, is also not really an Olympic sport).

Even these tall tales can’t stretch the truth that background screening service EmployeeScreenIQ found in a recent survey that an overwhelming majority of employers are more likely to hire a candidate whose background check reveals a criminal record than one whose background check raises resume red flags. In fact, 55% of recruiters responding to the survey said they’d still consider a candidate with a prior conviction, compared with only 10% who report they’d give the similar benefit of the doubt to someone who they discovered had intentionally lied on their resume.

This offense, it seems, is the one crime that’s simply unforgivable, at least as far as recruiters and employers are concerned.

Of course, these numbers don’t speak to the candidates who successfully slip through the screening safeguards in place during the pre-employment process designed to preempt these practices; in fact, NBC News recently estimated that over 250,000 professionals are found out and fired for resume lies by their current employers well after onboarding.

The high costs of a bad hire can be steep, with the price tag for backfilling a bad hire estimated to cost employers an average of $50,000 for exempt workers, according to recent BLS data.

No recruiter can risk paying the heavy price tag associated with failing to find out a resume-related fabrication or falsehood before it’s too late; while lying, cheating and stretching the truth might be pretty much inescapable parts of pretty much every recruiting process, getting burned by resume lies shouldn’t have to be.

Here are 5 things every good recruiter should do make sure they know exactly who they’re hiring:

1. Go Beyond the Background Check.

Sure, chances are good you’re already running at least a basic background check, which still serve as valuable tools for researching candidates’ criminal records, credit histories or previous employment history. There are, however, many things that the majority of background checks fail to flag, such as inflated claims of their current salary, true skill set or personality alignment with company culture.

This is why it’s essential to utilize other reliable pre-employment screening tools and techniques in combination with basic background checks.

Leveraging proven pre-screen methodologies like mandatory skills testing or even basic behavioral or personality assessments can offer a much more balanced and clear representation of who a candidate really is and whether or not they’re able to deliver as promised than a simple background check and basic reference process.

Even though the most rudimentary background check will likely uncover a relatively minor arrest from 20 years ago on a prospective new hire’s record, using this tool in tandem with another testing methodology can be critical in offering employers the information and insights they need to determine whether or not a respective red flag might be worth overlooking or if they’re indicative of bigger issues that might make them unemployable. After all, when you’re judging the content of someone’s character, context counts.

2. Ask References The Right Questions.

Yeah, reference checking can be a major pain in the process ass – sure, anyone can come up with a few names and numbers of people willing to put in a good word, whether or not they actually deserve it. Likewise, any employer can contact a listed reference, ask a few asinine and practically pointless (but polite) questions and do nothing more than that requisite box before extending an offer.

But doing more than just finding out if a candidate didn’t totally suck to work with or whether or not their resume accurately reflects the responsibilities listed for a previous role can offer employers a broader picture of a potential hire, and a much more accurate predictor of whether or not a candidate will deliver as promised and that their experience or expertise actually align with your open position.

Rather than ask a few standard yes/no or close-ended questions, consider leaving some room for references to speak freely and openly about their previous experience with a potential hire – it’s imperative to let them guide the conversation and listen closely enough to follow up appropriately with enough questions to make sure that you understand not only if a candidate meets the requirements of your open position, but also the intangibles no job description or resume could capture, like culture fit or career aspirations.

These soft skills are every bit as imperative when determining whether or not it’s worth moving ahead with making an offer, and reference checking represents an ideal opportunity to do the due diligence worth doing to make the right decision and preempt bad hires before they happen.

3. Stop Going Through the Motions.

People who lie on their resumes or during the interviewing process generally know that they’re taking a risk by misrepresenting themselves to a potential employer, and as a result, are likely well prepared with their own scripted responses for the most commonplace and cliché questions (like “what is your greatest strength?” or “why do you think you’d be a good fit for the position?”); instead requiring specific examples from their previous work experiences (“tell me about a time when…”) or similar behavioral based questions that answer not just how to answer a question about how to do a job.

Every good recruiter knows there’s a huge difference – and that asking pointed questions is a far better way to poke holes in past experiences or perceived expertise than simply sticking to the same old script that everyone expects when going through the interview process.

Of course, for this to work, you’ve got to know more about the job than just what’s on the description – recruiters aren’t the only ones who can convincingly sting together keywords and fake their way through a role they don’t really understand.

The base assumption that recruiters don’t really know the roles they’re recruiting for is one of the primary reasons so many candidates risk resume lies – because you don’t know what you don’t know, you know.

4. Trust, But Verify.

The easiest way to preempt making a bad hire is by requiring candidates to perform a small task or simple project as part of the recruiting process; many companies make this a mandatory step for every job seeker. Many expect even the best candidates to be willing to do this sort of extra work for free as a means of proving not only their skills, but also their motivation and whether or not they really want the job.

This is, in theory, a good idea, but make sure that if you require candidates to do extra work and do not plan on providing any sort of additional compensation for adding this additional step (and often, a ton of time) to the hiring process, make sure that you’ll not only gain insight into the employee’s work, but that they’ll have a chance to preview the kinds of assignments and projects the successful candidate can expect on the job.

Be aware that the more involved or intense these assignments are, however, the more likely candidates will be to drop out or decline to move ahead in the process, so it’s always a good idea to make sure to compensate candidates for work related tasks or projects at comparable to what you’d pay any other freelancer.

That way, not only are you able to get real examples of real work from real candidates, but by really paying them for the extra sweat equity, you’re going to see whether or not a candidate’s resume is really representative of their expertise or experience – and know that you’re going to get what you pay for before actually making an offer.

5. Never Stop Recruiting.

The easiest way to know who you’re hiring, of course, is to know who you’re hiring – this is why employee referrals are such an effective source of hire, and why it’s imperative for every recruiter to focus less on filling reqs and more on developing lasting relationships, driving referrals and building a pipeline of prospects, instead.

When you know a potential hire before ever seeing their resume, chances are you’ll know what they’re about – and know that when the time comes to convert connections into candidates, you know what you’re getting when you successfully transform passive prospects into actual active applicants.

If you don’t know exactly who you’re hiring, chances are you’re not hiring the right person in the first place – no matter what their resume says.

And that’s one mistake that no recruiter or employer can afford to make. No lie.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…