Monthly Archives: September 2015

6 Mistakes That Could Be Preventing You From Finding Qualified Candidates

Preventing You From Finding Qualified CandidatesTime and time again, we hear that there’s a lack of qualified candidates on the job market. Despite record amounts of candidates entering the job market, this has been repeated by recruiters for months. In fact, recent studies have shown that recruiters feel it’s harder to hire qualified candidates now than it was only 6 months ago. But with an availability of so much talent in the marketplace, it should be relatively easy to find candidates. Even passive candidates (approximately 75% of the workforce) are becoming interested in making moves. It’s time to audit your hiring process. It could be that you’re not finding qualified candidates because of the systems you’ve put in place.

If you believe some recruiters, qualified candidates are a bit of an endangered species these days. Colleges didn’t suddenly stop teaching critical thinking skills, reading, or math. And candidates didn’t suddenly stop becoming interested in finding a job to support themselves. So what could really be at play here?  Let’s examine how your hiring process could be preventing you from finding qualified candidates:

  1. You have no employer brand. There are way too many anonymous Craigslist job postings that say something along the lines of “Top employer seeks top candidate for xyz role.” When you dig into the job posting, candidates come away confused. When an employer doesn’t stand behind their brand, it is a red flag to candidates. These days, transparency is prized among candidates. They want to be able to search the business online, read reviews, and come away with a sense of what it might like to work for that employer. They don’t want to be in the dark about a new job.
  2. The job description is generic. Ideally, all candidates will be great communicators who play well with others. But often times, the job description is so bland and generic that a candidate can’t seem to get a sense for what they would actually be doing on a day to day basis. Yes, you’re seeking a Product Evangelist, but what does that mean? How would they be spending their time? Candidates want to be able to envision whether they would really be successful or satisfied in the role prior to applying.
  3. You place cultural fit above ability. Often times, when there’s a problem with a workplace’s culture, they shift gears in recruiting. You start to see the hiring managers looking for someone with the right attitude to fit in. However, attitude doesn’t always equate with a candidate’s aptitude to perform the job. You can hire the nicest person in the world to do your payroll, but if they don’t know the basics of the job, they could be doing more harm than good in their position. It’s important that the recruiting team focus on finding a candidate that has a high aptitude to do the job first and then assess whether the candidate could conceivably fit into the team without disruption.
  4. You hire in your own image. Many hiring managers are guilty of hiring someone they see as a reflection of themselves.  It’s human nature to want to relate to someone, but it doesn’t predict that the person will be a qualified candidate. Yes, they may be from a similar background, but does that background include the most important skills required for the job?
  5. Soft skills aren’t prioritized. Soft skills can be critical to a candidate’s success in a new position. But they are often way down the list of characteristics a qualified candidate would possess. Skills like critical thinking should be considered critical to professional jobs. You can teach an employee to do a job, but it’s his or her critical thinking skills that will determine the positive or poor choices they make towards success in the role.
  6. Only exact matches in years of experience are considered. There really is very little difference between an employee with 9 years of experience and 10 years. But many recruiters make these arbitrary decisions that lead to qualified candidates being rejected. Is an employee with 9 years on the job and advanced skills truly less desirable than someone who has 10 years of experience and no crossover skills?

Qualified candidates are out there and they’re active in the job market right now. But it may be that your hiring process is preventing your recruiting team from recognizing their value. It’s time to take a look at revamping the process from recruitment to hire. Don’t let qualified candidates slip through your fingers because you’ve set up the recruiting process to exclude them for some arbitrary reason.

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…

Recruiting for Employee Engagement

Employee EngagementEmployee engagement is a topic that comes up regularly and many companies conduct surveys in an attempt to measure employ engagement.

Unfortunately, it is reported to be low. Per Gallup, the majority of U.S. employees are not engaged despite… They measured employee engagement at 31.5%. Supposedly, this is the highest it has been since 2000.  Per “The Employee Engagement Mindset” by Timothy Clark, only 25% of employees are highly engaged.

We know that highly engaged employees have more productivity, lower turnover, more innovation, etc., and so many companies survey internally to measure their employee engagement and take steps to improve it. Yet, it has not been enough to increase the numbers within our companies.

Part of the problem may be that we are not hiring employees within our organizations prone to engagement or who understand employee engagement.

Huh?  What do you mean? (you may ask.)

“The Employee Engagement Mindset” said it best…the primary responsibility for employee engagement lies with the employee. Secondary responsibility is with the company.  Basically, you could give an employee everything and they still might be disengaged or at least not highly engaged (just moderately engaged).  Fundamentally, employee engagement starts with the employee.

Many employees are waiting for their companies to engage them, waiting for their managers to provide feedback, waiting for to be recognized to do something new in their jobs, etc. These employees do not know that employee engagement starts with themselves.

So, how do we identify potential employees who are tend to be engaged?

A recruiter might ask applicants the following questions:

What is your view or understanding of employee engagement?

Do you want to be a highly engaged employee? Yes / No

What does being a highly engaged employee mean to you and how does it happen?

Where does the primary responsibility lie for employee engagement?

A. With executives

B. With managers

C. With the employee

I see from your resume that you have been doing X for a long time. Why do you do X?  Why do you get up every day and continue to do X?

Not only do highly engaged employees typically care about what they do, but you also might want to delve into the applicant’s background to see if you can identify some or all of the six drivers of high engagement (per Timothy Clark):

  • Connect – Have they had many great relationships and/or deeper connections with others at the companies they have worked for?
  • Shape – Have they shaped their jobs and customized them a bit in the past to fit their own interests and passions?
  • Learn – Are they always learning and gaining new skills?
  • Stretch – Have they left their comfort zone to push the limits in their skills?
  • Achieve – Do they have achievements that they are proud of?
  • Contribute – Have they impacted other people’s lives and given of themselves to help others?

The more of these drivers you can identify, the more prone the candidate is for high employee engagement. Typically highly engaged employees will usually know it starts with them. But some employees are just not aware where employee engagement starts and they need to be coached.

Many people simply exist in organizations, but we should be looking to hire the people who have engaged in the past. Those are the people we need to recruit in order to raise our own employee engagement. Perhaps their current companies are messing up and not taking on the secondary responsibility of employee engagement, because it does take the company’s efforts as well.

With no support from their current employer, people prone to high employee engagement will leave that employer for a company that understands the company has to work towards employee engagement as well.

As recruiters, we should watch out for the applicants who in their pasts seem to have been chronically disengaged and who don’t seem to care about it (or what they do) and are pretty much un-coachable in taking an active role in their employee engagement. Hiring those applicants will only lower our companies’ employee engagement and nothing a company does will make them highly engaged (they just are not prone to high employee engagement and don’t realize it starts with themselves).

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…

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…

Top Tips for Choosing an Online Recruitment Provider

Choosing an Online Recruitment ProviderYou no longer need to spend a fortune with recruitment agencies, newspapers or job boards as online recruitment service providers can provide a great alternative. But it is important to avoid costly mistakes with whom you choose.

Personnel Today revealed 86% of employers think online recruitment is more cost effective than other methods. Job seekers feel exactly the same as other sources show that 91% prefer online job boards.

But online advertising costs can be prohibitively expensive and the choice bewildering. That is why the low cost online recruitment service delivered by flat fee recruiters is a natural way for companies to reduce their cost per hire.

But before you dive straight in be careful of flat-fee providers who could be flat-out frauds. Here are a few things to check before you choose an online recruitment service provider.

Beware fixed fee providers who don’t charge a fixed fee

Seemingly lower prices can quickly add up with hidden costs. Even worse are suppliers who suggest you don’t pay anything until the job is filled but have is a sting in the tail (read the small print). Finally be careful of ‘guarantees’, which are often about a minimum number of CVs and have nothing to do with quality.

Avoid expensive employer branding

Some companies will recommend (sell) employer branding on your adverts to earn themselves extra commission. Ask for the evidence proving it generates a better response (we’ve never found any). If you’re willing to pay a premium for employer branding, then expect frustrating calls from applicants and sales people throughout your day – it’s like having a target painted on your back.

Ensure your adverts have the best coverage and duration

Some providers say they have a ‘relationship’ with a job site, but this does not necessarily mean your job will be shown on that site. Therefore check they are bona-fide. Also, don’t be duped by a 28-day campaign, which could mean seven days advertising on four different sites, totaling 28 days). Instead choose a company that gives 28 days on every site if you want to get the best response.

Be certain you receive every job application

Some suppliers only show you the applicants they want you to see, possibly so they can promote some of your applicants to other clients. Equally you could be wasting your time with another company’s applications.

Let technology take the strain

Choose suppliers that can intelligently filter applications and use automated telephone and video screening tools to keep your shortlists short. This will avoid your inbox being inundated and reduce the burden of recruitment.

 Overall, be sure to ask lots of questions and take the time to seek out a reputable online recruiting company advertise your vacancy.

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…

Do You Know the Difference Between Ineffective and Effective Onboarding?

Ineffective vs. Effective OnboardingEveryone gets a case of tunnel vision occasionally. Stuck heads-down in our own work, we forget how valuable an outside perspective can be. We need other people to help us find the mistakes we miss, whether you’re writing an article or employing more effective onboarding at your company. Below are some guidelines about the differences between effective and ineffective onboarding when it comes to some of the most important aspects of hiring new employees.

When It Comes to Timeframes

Ineffective Onboarding: You want everything done on the first day. You can’t afford to have your new hire stuck in the drudgery of getting to know the workplace, their coworkers, or what their role at the company will be outside the job description. Companies with bad onboarding tend to have a very narrow view of the roles they’re hiring for and won’t implement onboarding that allows the new hire to see themselves as someone performing a job for the company. It’s part of why 60% of companies don’t set onboarding milestones for their employees. They don’t think it will matter as long as the candidate can do the job.

Effective Onboarding: You know getting an employee up to speed takes time, and what you do as you’re teaching a new employee the ropes of the job does matters. The first few months of an employee’s time at a company are crucial, and guiding new hires on a high-performance path is a leading sign of effective onboarding. The biggest thing 53% of people who left their job within six months of getting hired cited as a problem? “Review and feedback of early contributions.” You can’t give an employee a set of instructions and leave them alone because good employees can and will do more than follow them.

When It Comes to Paperwork

Ineffective Onboarding: You hand an employee their W4s, i-9s or 1099s on their first day and leave them to it. This is isn’t a terrible idea, per se (you should always make sure your employee has their paperwork done). It’s just ineffective. There are much better ways of handling compliance, and the faster you finish new hire paperwork, the more time you have to get through that new employee onboarding checklist (you have one of those, right?).

Effective Onboarding: You make sure paperwork is never a concern, for both the company and the employee. The candidate fills out the paperwork before the first day, which many companies advise their employees to do. Because all of the paperwork is online, candidates have access to automatic form-filling; for example, they entered their name, birthdate and SSN on the first page, so they don’t have to fill it in again – the platform automates it for them. This reduces the amount of time employees spend on forms, then you can focus on the other parts of your new hire’s introduction to the workplace.

When It Comes to Cost

Ineffective Onboarding: You take the easy route. You don’t want to spend on any sort of onboarding because it’s not worth it. “We’re a great company,” you might think, “we don’t need to jump through all the hoops others do. We’ll hire so well everyone will be productive!” That’s a nice dream to have, but the reality is that those companies are going to suffer the costs later in a form of increased turnover and lower employee morale.

Effective Onboarding: You make all of the appropriate stops. The best things in life are free, but there are plenty of good things worth paying for, including effective onboarding. When you pay for onboarding, you leave a good first impression on your new employees, and this is crucial to developing the kinds of relationships that build loyal employees. Spending on onboarding now will develop your employees faster, make them more productive, and pave the way for longevity. In essence, effective onboarding pays for itself.

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…

Are You Losing Good Candidates to These Recruiting Mistakes?

Recruiting BiasAs the economy continues to improve, one thing is becoming quite clear: it’s a candidate’s market. Career Network Beyond recently released a study that cited it’s harder to find qualified candidates than it was six months ago. But with the number of available candidates on the job market, is this really true? Or, might employers be missing out on qualified candidates because of recruiting biases and mistakes?

Don’t Lose Good Candidates to Recruiting Bias

When it was an employer’s market, recruiting departments were often so flush with resumes that they had to find any reason to disqualify one good candidate versus another. This could be any minor infraction from a single punctuation error on their resume to a lack of a timely follow up email. Recruiters were fast to chuck the candidate’s resume in the bin and move onto the next. But increasingly, recruiting teams are having difficulty hiring good candidates. Maybe it’s time to look at the recruiting biases and mistakes that may be getting in your way. Before dismissing great candidates for these reasons, let’s dig a little deeper to see if they are still relevant:

      • Lack of a Follow Up Email. It seems like just good manners to follow up with a thank you email after coming in for an interview. But there may be a number of reasons why this isn’t a good way to judge candidate interest. What if the candidate’s email provider was experiencing problems? What if your email service marked it as spam? A dismissal for a technical issue could cause your team to miss out on a great candidate. What if the problem is deeper than technology? Today’s employers are learning to accommodate an entire spectrum of anxiety and autism disorders. Your candidate may not have followed up with a thank you email because of anxiety and fear. This is a common trait among people with these kinds of disorders, but this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t make great employees. In this market, instead of jumping to conclusions about interest, try reaching out to the candidate to see if they want to proceed to the next round. You may find they’re interested but they simply spilled coffee on their laptop.
  • Spelling Errors. Let’s face it, sometimes spellcheck doesn’t pick up on everything. Spellcheck may not know some of the technical words that are increasingly used on resumes. Their suggestion for a replacement may not be appropriate. And a candidate could easily miss this prior to sending their resume. If you’re searching for someone in the STEM industry where good candidates are hard to find, do you really want to pass on a systems engineer who codes in 4 languages because they spelled something incorrectly?
  • Job Titles that Don’t Match Exactly. This is a tricky one. It can be hard for a recruiter to identify whether a candidate would be a good fit from some of the titles that companies dream up. Would a product evangelist be able to do marketing? Or would they be more suited to sales? Is an account manager customer service or is it public relations? Wading through the titles on a resume, recruiters should keep an open mind. These positions may relate more closely than you think. And if it’s a career change altogether, there might be some transferable skills that lead you to believe they’d be a good fit. Think of how paralegals might thrive in HR or teachers might thrive in nonprofits. Keep an open mind when the package doesn’t seem to match exactly.
  • Nerves. Not everyone is great at interviewing. Candidates are often a bundle of nerves when they get on their live video interview. An interview is a big deal that may cause some people to feel more nervous than others. There is a segment of the population who feel physically ill when they are in a testing or interview environment. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t make great employees. Once past that initial test, many of these individuals are confident and capable employees. If nerves are the only thing standing in the way of hiring a candidate, take a chance and you might be surprised at how well they work out!
  • A Lack of Keywords in Your Job Description. Some recruiters are looking for an exact match to their laundry list of requirements. You want a marketing pro who can do email marketing? Did you notice they mention advanced email marketing technology? If the candidate isn’t a perfect match to your job description’s keywords, you may miss someone whose skills match or even exceed your expectations. This is why it’s important to ask deeper questions of your candidate. You may find your candidate has more nuanced skills than you imagined.

If your hiring team is having trouble hiring good candidates, it may be worth a review of your recruiting biases. Don’t make a mistake that can cost you a good candidate. It’s a candidate’s market so keep an open mind to remain competitive.

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…