Considering An Unsolicited Job Opportunity From A Recruiter

Why should you consider an unsolicited job opportunity from a recruiter?

Most of the candidates that I reached out to for many of my openings are not active job seekers.  If I have done the correct research, my hope is that I am presenting them with an opportunity that is a great match for their background.

Cold Job Search

Candidates should, at least, be willing to speak with the recruiter to learn more about the company,  the specifics of the role, and also the compensation package.  Many times, the best opportunities come up when you are not actively looking to make a job move.  Also, you are in a much better negotiating position as someone who is actively employed versus someone who is losing  their job or has already lost their job.

I have seen too many cases where candidates “pass” on an opportunity because they are “comfortable” in their current job.  Unfortunately, some of the same candidates reach out to me months or even years later in a panic because their job is being eliminated because of downsizing or financial instability.

It never hurts to explore a job opportunity presented to you.  Worse case scenario is that you spend some time exploring the opportunity to find out that the role is not a match.  Best case scenario is that the unsolicited call presents you with a wonderful opportunity to enhance your career.  Time very well spent if this is the case!

What You Need to Know Before Screening a Candidate

Long gone are the days when companies resorted to buying a modest ad in the local Sunday paper to fill a role. With the abundance of job search directories and social media platforms to reach potential job candidates, it can be overwhelming to see just how many responses you receive when you list an opening in your company.

What You Need to Know Before Screening a Candidate
What You Need to Know Before Screening a Candidate

It’s important to expect a high volume of applications if you plan on publicly posting a job opportunity. It’s also important to understand how to begin screening all of your potential candidates.

Did they follow your submission instructions?

Answering this question will allow you to weed out many candidates immediately. Sometimes job seekers are so caught up in trying to land a job that they submit their resumes blindly.

Many companies will include specific instructions in their job posting- such as faxing a cover letter or sending their resume to a specific email address. Some companies will even go as far as embedding “hidden” questions within their job posting, so when a candidate submits their application and answers the question, you will know they read the job description from beginning to end.

If a candidate does not submit their application properly, then move onto the next candidate.

Do they have a well-written cover letter?

Almost every professional job listing will require a cover letter along with an application from the candidate. Cover letters are opportunities for potential job candidates to sell themselves by explaining all the extra details that do not fit into resumes.

A formal cover letter should be written with correct grammar and punctuation and should include the following information:

• Name and contact information
• What position they are applying for
• How they found out about the job
• Why they are interested in your company specifically
• A summary of their relevant work experience

If a candidate submits a cover letter that is extremely brief, non-specific to the job or your company, and contains errors, stop right here and move onto the next candidate.

Does their resume show appropriate qualifications?

Resumes come in all shapes and sizes. You are bound to see a mix, from the beautifully designed to the very bland. While taking the time to focus on visual elements, layout and fonts does show initiative and can grab your attention, remember that it’s easy to shine up a resume with fancy detail but that this cannot override the information it contains.

If you’ve made it this far and you can see relevant qualifications, read through their resume thoroughly.

What It Takes to Have a Successful Staffing Agency

Staffing agencies play the role of the middle-man recruiter for temporary and permanent jobs. The benefit of hiring a staffing agency for companies looking to hire is that they screen potential candidates to weed out those who are unqualified. Staffing agencies also benefit job seekers because they can have insight into job openings that may not have been made public yet and they can help you network with potential employers.

What It Takes to Have a Successful Staffing Agency
What It Takes to Have a Successful Staffing Agency

Operating a successful staffing agency isn’t as easy as it sounds, though. There’s much more to it than matchmaking employers and job candidates. Below is a list of things to keep in mind if you currently own or are thinking about starting a staffing agency of your own.

Know your target market

Don’t start off trying to build your employer or candidate database over a wide variety of industries. Start off with a niche industry based on what you know or people you may know working in that industry like biomedical engineering, financial planning or luxury retail.

Starting small in the beginning not only allows you to have a strong foundation but it also helps you to understand your clients’ needs and how the business works. Once you start seeing success in your niche, you will start to build a reputation for yourself. Eventually, you can branch out into other industry sectors if you choose to.

Market your services the right way

If your budget allows for it, invest on Creating a Company website, purchasing a Recruiting Software and posting job opportunities on job boards like, or niche job boards can be a great way to build up a database of job seekers. With free social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, however, it is easier than ever to find candidates on the hunt for a job.

Research social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, networking events, conferences and professional meet-ups in your area in order to build relationship with prospect clients and market your services. Putting your agency out there is crucial to expanding your client base.

Make sure you have proper funding

Depending on a company’s hiring process, it could potentially take up to 60, even up to 90 days to receive payment for your services. Understand your cash flows and how this will affect your monthly expenses and revenues. You will also need to appreciate that with any business, certain expenses are to be expected, such as office space, insurance, and payroll if you plan on hiring employees.

Take the time to understand your clients

If you do not understand the needs of your clients, your business will go nowhere. Companies hire you to take the work out of hiring a new employee. If you can’t deliver qualified candidates to them, you will be wasting time and money.

When it comes to understanding what your clients need, ask a lot of questions. Find out what it is that they really looking for. Learn about the vacancy details, company policies and what it’s like to work there, it is all about quality over quantity. Never refer potential candidates to a company if they don’t meet their standards or qualifications.

Job Interview Preparation

In today’s highly competitive job seeking market, you need to do detailed preparation prior to any phone and/or onsite interviews with potential new employers. Solid preparation will permit you to stand out from the competition!

Job Prep

Thanks to the internet, you can quickly and easily review the company’s web site for information on the company’s products and services. Make sure to review press releases and news on the company as well. If the company is publicly traded, you should be able to find a wealth of financial data on the company with your internet research.

Use LinkedIn to review the profiles of anyone that you will be speaking or meeting with during the interview. Doing this will give you insight into their current duties and responsibilities but also may provide you with some “ice breakers” to start the interview on a light note.

Speak with any friends who either know first hand information about the company or interviewers to try to gain some insight or a competitive edge.

If you doing a phone interview with the company, make sure to have a pad and pen available in order to jot down your thoughts or to use the pad to solve a technical problem.

Take the time to review the description of the job that you are being interviewed. Write down your key accomplishments in current or past jobs that relate to this position. Make sure to highlight these accomplishments during your interview session. Ask the interviewer, “What are the key problems/issues that this role is looking to solve?” Once you know this information, you are in a great position to relate to the interviewer just how you handled these issues in the past and what solutions that you developed. Companies are looking to hire candidates who are not only sharp technically but who are good problem solvers and creative thinkers.

Detailed preparation to any interview is the key to success.

Steps on Writing a Job Acceptance Letter

On receiving a job offer, you will often receive a document to sign from your potential employer. If not, it is important that you write a letter to accept the offer formally.

Sending a job acceptance letter is the right way to ensure you are all on the same page about the terms of employment.

Steps on Writing a Job Acceptance Letter
Steps on Writing a Job Acceptance Letter

If you have never written one of these letters before, you may not know where to start, but an acceptance letter does not have to be complex.

1. Share Your Gratitude and Enthusiasm
Start your letter with appreciation for being offered the position. This allows you to thank your employer for extending a job opportunity. This starts things out on a positive note and reinforces the good qualities your interviewer previously observed.

2. Confirm Your Acceptance
The next step is to confirm your acceptance of the job, and reiterate the terms to which you have agreed, including your position, when it starts, and your salary, as well as other benefits.

Summarize your understanding of your role and responsibilities. This ensures that the employer has a chance to correct any misunderstandings before the job begins.

3. Conclude With Any Additional Information
You may wish to share your full contact information in the closing lines to make it easy for your employer to contact you. You can also use this space to reiterate your enthusiasm, and ask any questions that have not been addressed.

4. Double Check
Take a minute to double check the letter and ensure there are no mistakes in information, spelling errors, or other issues. Go beyond built in spell checking programs, and actually read the letter word for word to make sure it is error-free before you send it away.

5. Keep Things Brief and Cheerful
Remember that your job acceptance letter does not need to be very long. Keep your letter brief in the interest of clarity and ease of communication. It should retain a cheerful, upbeat tone throughout the document, without going overboard. As always, remain professional in your correspondence with the employer – this is not the time for casual writing!

If you follow these steps, accepting a job offer in writing should be easy. Once your letter is finished, you can email, fax, or mail it to your employer. However you send it, remember to keep a copy for yourself and a record of when you sent it, as these might be useful for future reference.

How to Negotiate Your Compensation Package

Receiving a job offer is exciting, but it is only the beginning!

When you are considering taking a job, the compensation package is important. This informs how your work will be rewarded. If you are a good prospective employee, you deserve fair compensation.

How to Negotiate Your Compensation Package
How to Negotiate Your Compensation Package

Many people shy away from negotiating their compensation package for fear of scaring their possible employer away, but you should know that it is acceptable to negotiate to get the benefits and salary you deserve.

Wait For the Right Time
In your interview, you may have discussed salary expectations. This means that you and your interviewer are aware of your expectations, which opens the door to further negotiation once an offer is extended. You should wait for the offer before you start bargaining, to ensure that the focus is kept on your qualifications, and your questions about the company.

Do Your Research
When it’s time to start talking about compensation, come into the conversation prepared. Research how much people in similar positions make, and use that to your advantage. You should be compensated fairly, so it helps to know what the average range is for that role.

Some companies make their range known during the interview process, so you can use that as a starting point to determine if you should be near the top or bottom of the pay scale to begin.

More Than Just a Salary
Remember that a compensation package involves more than just a salary. Benefits and other job perks are an integral part of negotiation, so even if you have to scale back your salary expectations, you could ask for benefits like increased vacation time, flexible hours, Sign-On Bonus, Profit Sharing or other add-ons that increase the overall value of your compensation package. Employers may be more willing to use their discretion in these areas.

Know Your End Goal
You should go into negotiations with an ideal scenario, and an acceptable scenario. Hopefully, your bargaining will leave you somewhere in the middle or better. You can go back and forth with an employer until you reach that satisfactory level of compensation, but bear in mind that you should not settle for a compensation package that will leave you unhappy. There is nothing wrong with walking away from a position that does not compensate you fairly, so be aware that you could end up having to decline the offer.

Updated Job Market Statistics (June 2016)

I updated the analysis (previously done on January 21, 2016 and March 24, 2016) using jobs posted within 100 miles of Philadelphia PA (MAS Recruiting’s office location) and then broke the jobs down by salary level. I gathered my data from jobs posting on Indeed and LinkedIn; two of the most popular job posting sites. Here is the new June analysis and the comparison to January’s and March’s data:


The comparison data between LinkedIn and Indeed is remarkably similar until you get to the month of June. Up until June, the data showed that between 75% and 80% of all the posted positions are paying 80k or less in salary. The March data also showed that recruiting and hiring has not increased at all since January, and that we remained in a flat job market. However, June’s data from LinkedIn should a large drop in the overall number of jobs, but also showed that total percentage of jobs paying less than 80k dramatically jumped from 77.4% at the end of March to 90% on June 14.

The data from LinkedIn is probably a much better indicator of the health of the overall job market since it cost money to post jobs on the site as compared to Indeed where most of the job postings tend to be free posts. I would imagine that the job totals on Indeed would lag those on LinkedIn.

This data shows that companies continue to be extremely careful with their recruiting and hiring and are willing to add lower salary positions to fill some needs, but will not generally hire higher salaried roles unless absolutely necessary. All of this ties in with what I have seen in my business since Q4 2015. I don’t see the job market getting any better soon since summer tends to be a slower time even in the best of job markets.

How to engage your passive candidates

How can you engage passive candidates, and get them interested about a new position?

When candidates are not actively looking for a new position, and others are idly scrolling through job postings, it can be quite challenging to gain their interest about your job postings, even if the position is great. A lot of candidates may even bypass your job postings, either on purpose or without even knowing they are missing something wonderful.

How to engage your passive candidates
How to engage your passive candidates

Somewhere out there, there is a passive candidate who isn’t looking for a job, but is perfect for your company. It is up to you as a recruiter to tap into these people and motivate them to join your Company!

Write a Great Job Description

One of the main reason Companies are losing out on candidates is through bad job descriptions. If a job sounds boring, stagnant, or like something with few benefits, candidates will not be interested whether they are actively looking, or you are reaching out to them.

Create a dynamic job description that highlights all of the unique and exciting parts of the position and you will see a shift from passive candidates to active candidates!

Do Some Proactive Recruiting

You most likely not going to find the passive candidates by searching the job boards rather you need to do some detective work first in order to find them; using your internal database or social media sites like LinkedIn and/or Facebook find candidates with similar job title and experience, learn about them and their current company.

Try to join their network via your shared contacts or your common interests. Now, put yourself in their shoes, knowing what you know about them ask yourself if you were them what would take to jump ship and be interested on the new position. This should give your enough ammunition to compose an introductory email in order to start the communication about the new position.

Personalize Your Introductory Email

If you send out a generic email or message, people will often ignore it without even really looking at it, especially if they are not jumping for a new job opportunity in the first place. Find out what makes them tick. Then use that information to contact them with a personalized pitch.

For instance, you may find out that a passive candidate is doing research in a specific field — bring that up and tie it into what your position offers, and they will be far more interested in your offer.

Use Your Network

Networking is key for recruiters, especially when it comes to engaging passive candidates. If you can show that you have shared contacts, and use your network to leverage interest from the candidate, they will be far more likely to pay attention to you, and what you have to offer.

Appeal With More Than Just Money

A high-paying job is great, but if candidates are comfortable where they are, it may not be enough to make them jump into a new position. Whether you are writing a job description, or reaching out with a message, talk up benefits, atmosphere, and more.

Is digital profiling becoming the norm for finding potential employees?

The days of the traditional paper resume are mostly over. The majority of recruiters and hiring managers use digital data to understand their potential employees, whether this digital profiling stands alone or is used in combination with more traditional means of recruitment.

Digital profiling involves creating a good picture of a potential hire, based on their online footprint. Nearly everyone in the job-seeking world uses LinkedIn, and of course this is a great tool for recruiters who want to better understand who they are looking at. Sites like LinkedIn offer all of the traditional resume information, along with current research and projects a person is undertaking, their connections and networks within the industry, and other valuable details.

Digital profiling for finding potential employees
Digital profiling for finding potential employees

Using digital profiling, recruiters can get a better idea of what people are truly like, beyond their polished paper resume. A professional, motivated person will use sites like LinkedIn wisely, to create the best image of themselves that is appealing to prospective employers.

When Digital Profiling Goes Beyond LinkedIn

Both job seekers and recruiters/hirers should know that there is often more to a digital profile than what is available on LinkedIn. A quick internet search can reveal a lot about a person, making it worthwhile for hirers to do some easy background research. Job seekers should know this and strive to create a professional online presence across various social media platforms, knowing that some of their words and images may be public.

The Deeper Details of Digital Profiling

Digital profiling isn’t just about what one says and does online — it can also reveal hints about a potential hire’s productivity. If someone is posting on their blog at all hours of the day, it can possibly lead a recruiter to think that this person is not that invested in their job. Or, a recruiter may look at someone’s online activity and see that they are very dedicated to their job, using social media at appropriate times. It is important for both hirers and job seekers to think about what their social media use and digital profile looks like from all angles.

Digital Profiling: A Hiring Consideration

With all of the information one can glean from digital profiles, this practice will surely fit into hiring decisions and recruitment in the future. There is a lot to be learned from a digital profile, for people on both sides of the desk.

Recruiting Automation: How Much Is Enough?

As the owner of a boutique recruiting firm, I am constantly approached by a variety of vendors who tell me that their new product will revolutionize recruiting. Everything from using algorithms to monitor candidates’ social media postings to creative ways of finding and sourcing passive candidates. While all this sounds wonderful, does it really work for all the extra cost?recruit_clip_image002

While I firmly believe that some automation is needed to effectively recruit in today’s world, I also believe that it is impossible to 100% automate recruiting because there are so many moving parts with candidates and clients. In addition, those hard-to-find and highly-sought-after candidates are generally turned off by all this automation as they are constantly bombarded each days with waves and waves of emails and LinkedIn emails from recruiters. In fact, many of these candidates have told me that they don’t check their email and LinkedIn because of the deluge of emails from recruiters.

To me, effective recruiting is still all about building trust and relationships with candidates; ideally over the phone. Many times, the trust and relationship building comes well before they may be ready to make a job move. Recruiting is also a very blue-collar function of hard work and effort. You can’t just post jobs online and sit back and wait for candidates to come to you nor can you expect automation to eliminate the need for this hard work. Effective recruiting is still all about really knowing what the client requires in the job, then researching for and approaching potential candidates.

I feel that the only automation that a good recruiter requires is a good applicant tracking system that has basic capabilities such as resume search, automated job posting to various internet job boards, and the ability to produce reports. Besides the ATS, I really only see the need for a Premium level LinkedIn account. I have been very effective with just these two tools. To me, anything else is overkill and not money well-spent.

For Recruiters

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