Tag Archives: interviewing

Winning Recruiting Strategies For A Tight Job Market

For those of you in the “trenches” of daily recruiting, it is pretty obvious that the job market has become very tight for many positions; especially many technical roles. Gone are the days from a couple of years ago when a company could just run an Internet ad for a position and get several great candidates who applied. This was the case, but not in this market. Candidates have or are gaining the advantage in the market.
Continue reading Winning Recruiting Strategies For A Tight Job Market

How To Attract The Best Talent To Your Company

The key to success in attracting top talent is to make your company an employer of choice. A company must set itself up as a solid, well-organized enterprise and create compelling reasons for top-notch professionals to work there. Those reasons can include excellent compensation and benefits, advancement opportunities, regularly scheduled performance reviews, and other popular perks such as flextime.

Finding the top talent is often a difficult task. Most often, these individuals are not actively seeking new employment. That means companies have to dig deeper to find the top 5 percent. Direct hiring from primary competitors is a company’s best strategy. This involves sophisticated networking and sales ability.

One networking tactic is to determine which of your current employees have already come to you from key competitors. Ask them whom they would recommend hiring from those competitors. Even if a top candidate is ultimately not interested in your position, he or she may be able to refer someone else.

Typically, companies don’t part with top talent. This talent is often well compensated, which makes the stakes higher. In addition, a company will fight to keep them. Therefore, you must be able to offer something that their current employer doesn’t satisfy, such as a new technology or–best of all–a compelling company vision.

Advice To Companies Having Problems Filling Certain Positions

I have seen a lot of companies over the last several years struggle to fill certain positions. Most of these positions tend to be either Information Technology or Engineering related.  With the unemployment rate nearing what the government refers to a “full employment”, it is understandable why filling certain jobs has become a real challenge.

Rather than sit back and hope that the perfect candidate falls into your lap, companies need to look at their sourcing and recruiting methods and processes and determine what needs to change.

1. Are we too strict with our job requirements?

I see this as the main culprit to not filling jobs. Many companies have job descriptions that have requirements that are way too restrictive. Rather than have 7 or 8 MUST have requirements that must be satisfied, re-look at the requirements to see if any of the MUST haves can be converted to NICE TO HAVE.  With a certain amount of training, you could get new hires to the level that you seek.

2. Can we be more flexible with the role?

Many companies today still do not offer employees some work from home flexibility or the ability to perform a role remotely. There is very little cost or downside to offering this flexibility and not having it, puts your company at a major disadvantage to those companies who do offer such flexibility.  Offering this option will also great increase the pool of potential candidates for your roles.

3. Are our salaries competitive?

Because of the slow economic conditions over the last 8 or so years, companies have offered current employees very minimal annual raises.  When they get to the point of hiring again, they are quite shocked to see what certain hard-to-fill roles command in today’s market.  These companies struggle to come up with competitive offers because of concerns with internal equity.  In order to attract star candidates, companies are going to have to make very compelling offers or risk losing the candidates to another companies.

4. Are our benefits competitive?

While base salary and bonus potential seem to be the key components in any job offer, having a competitive benefits package is a close second in priority.  Having a benefits package that is both comprehensive and priced well are very important to landing star candidates.  One area where I see companies struggle is offering competitive vacation or PTO levels to experienced candidates.  It is not realistic to expect an experienced candidate to drop from 3 or 4 weeks vacation back to 2 years vacation.  Companies need to make these candidates “whole” in order to be competitive in today’s employment market.

5. Is our interview process too cumbersome?

In a softer job market, companies could take their time with the hiring process.  This would include multiple phone or onsite interviews as well as extended time between these interviews.  Ina a soft job market, candidates do not have many options and, thus, are compelled to wait.  As the job market heats up, the opportunities for candidates increases, and therefore, companies must speed up the timing of their hiring process in order to capture the star candidates.  Remember, everyone is looking to hire stars, and stars don’t stay on the market very long!

Hopefully, these points will help your company make the changes necessary to improve your hiring rate and fill more jobs.

Should I Pay Someone To Help Me Find My Next Job?

I get asked by candidates quite often if they can pay me to help them find their next job.  I tell those candidates that 99% of recruiters (including myself) are paid by the client when we make a placement.  Companies come to a specific recruiter and engage his or her services to recruit specific talent to fill specific roles.  Generally, recruiters do not work as “talent agents” to represent individual candidates to “shop” them around to various companies.  I will never accept money from a candidate in order to help them find a role.  I don’t feel that it is morally right to do this.

However, there are firms out there that will charge candidates really good money to represent them in their job search.  Under the guise of “Career Counseling”,  these firms will help candidates put together a resume, coach them on how to interview, and then tell the candidates that they will market their resume to various companies and recruiters.  There is a substantial fee for all this so-called service.  In addition, these firms generally get the candidates to sign an agreement that the candidate will owe a certain additional fee to the Career Counseling company if the candidate finds a job, whether the Career Counseling firm helps makes the placement or not.

There is something wrong about this business model where you lead the candidate on to think that your firm will open up doors for them and never do.

My advice to candidates is NEVER pay anyone to help you find your next job.  It may be OK to pay someone a small fee to assist you to prepare and/or update your resume, but most recruiters that I know, will give advice to candidates for free.  In addition, there are a lot of free templates online that a candidate can use to prepare their resume.

 

 

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!

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.