Recruiting Techniques to Increase Team Performance

April 21st, 2017 Comments off
team performance

When you are hiring someone, you are probably mostly focusing on how well they are likely to perform on the job. However, if you are hiring people who will be working in teams (i.e., most people!), you should also consider how much they will contribute to team performance.

In a prior blog post using the NBA as a case study, I have shown that good team players are under-compensated. Here, I want to discuss how team performance influences individual employees: Ultimately, what is the value of a high-performing team?

Performance of New Recruits Increases
If you have put together a high-performing team, will that stimulate new team members to perform better? Will peer effects work to improve performance? A study published in the prestigious journal Science that examined over 34 distinct studies of peer effects found that on average, when peers are 10 percent more productive, each worker is about 1 percent more productive. It is worthwhile to create highly productive teams because this productivity will spill over to new recruits. Over time, recruiting high-performing people will increase the performance of the whole team.

Cooperative Teams Perform Better
The study also found that the positive effect of peers on performance is diminished by competition. In teams where there is a lot of rivalry, the positive effect of team performance on each worker is diminished. When people see each other as rivals, they are less likely to learn from each other or cooperate. On the other hand, in the presence of group pay incentives, positive peer effects were even larger. When the whole team stands to gain from individual efforts, workers are more likely to increase each other’s performance.

Increased Compensation Keeps Teams Together
A high-performing team is not just the sum of individual performance. Instead, employees stimulate each other to perform better. Therefore, in order to keep the team together and avoid employee attrition, it can make sense to increase everyone’s pay. Many employers pay an employee more when they are part of a high-performing team – especially in workplaces where employees can easily observe each other’s performance. So, to continue reaping the benefits of a high performing team, consider increasing compensation. This will both attract better employees and keep the high-performing team together.

Find Out How to Source Candidates with Salary and Skills Data

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor in economics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on understanding labor markets. She has been collaborating on data and research projects with CareerBuilder and she is especially interested in how to get the right people to work in the right jobs. You can follow her on twitter @mioana and check out her research on her website, marinescu.eu.

How Small Businesses Can Recruit and Hire Like Facebook

January 18th, 2017 Comments off
Kiev, Ukraine - August 10, 2015: Facebook like logos for e-business, web sites, mobile applications, banners, printed on paper and placed in the sand against the sea Social network facebook sign.

You may not employ 15,000+ workers, but the people you bring aboard are just as critical to your small business’s success as those professionals are to Facebook’s future. Take cues from the social media giant by making these strategies part of your recruiting and hiring strategy:

Build an employment brand

Facebook has become synonymous with “great place to work.” With sky-high employee satisfaction ratings and an abundance of perks (including an impressive array of free food), unsolicited applications regularly pour into the company. Such interest cuts down on recruitment costs and enables quicker filling as positions become available. Following Facebook’s lead may yield the same situation for your small business. Get your name and mission out there, emphasize your company’s corporate culture (a strong Careers page with worker testimonials is a great start), and certainly treat your current employees right so they’ll sing your praises.

Involve your team

Speaking of your workers, remember that employee referrals consistently rank among the most valuable leads. One of Facebook’s tactics for building a database of potential talent is called “Ninja Hunts.” These informal meetings gather a group of employees together to examine their contacts and point out highly-qualified individuals who may make good future employees. Consider conducting similar sessions from time to time at your small business (and maybe even offering a monetary incentive if a recommended candidate gets hired).

Look beyond the resume

Perhaps because CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t hold a college degree, Facebook tends to place less stock in educational degrees and professional backgrounds and more on proof of ability. Internet-based technical contests such as The Facebook Hacker Cup allow hidden gems the opportunity to shine. Look for similar ways candidates can demonstrate their potential worth to your small business. Ask applicants to submit work samples or solve a relevant problem. Create realistic sample tests in line with skills needed for the position at hand. Such actions help remove hiring bias and allow the cream to rise to the top.

Seek team players

Group dynamics are important at any company, but they can make or break a small business where quarters are tight and dependence on one another is high. Ask candidates to talk about their experiences on teams. Look for responses where “we” is used instead of just “I.” Inquire about contributions to the team when talking to references. Bring in a few current employees during the interview process for a mock project or problem-solving session. Facebook oftentimes does this when hiring designers to gauge how a candidate interacts and communicates.

Prioritize onboarding

Finally, don’t let your recruiting efforts go for naught. Positive experiences early on increase the likelihood of new hires sticking around. Facebook’s six-week boot camp gets newcomers jazzed about the company’s vision and operations as well as their own ability to contribute. Implement similar measures at your small business to build competency and foster connections. A welcome lunch, an assigned mentor, a ready-to-go workstation, and activities beyond filling out paperwork can make a strong initial impression.

Want more small business advice? Find the answers you’re looking for at CareerBuilder’s small business resource page.


Recruiting via Text Message: The Future of Candidate Communication

November 23rd, 2016 Comments off

In an increasingly competitive market for talent, recruiters are always looking for new ways to stand out and connect with the candidates. With TextRecruit, a mobile recruiting platform that helps recruiters connect with candidates via text message, CEO Erik Kostelnik hopes to offer just that. In addition to getting high open and response rates, TextRecruit offers real-time analytics and ensures compliance and security in all interactions. Industry leaders like Cracker Barrel, VMware and Liberty Mutual have already made TextRecruit a part of their recruitment strategies, and earlier this year, the company was named “B2B Startup of the Year” at the American Business Awards. Kostelnik recently sat down with CareerBuilder to discuss how the idea for TextRecruit came about, how candidate communication is evolving and how a partnership with CareerBuilder’s Talentstream Engage product came to be.

What drove you to found TextRecruit?
I had a hypothesis in 2013 that all professional profiles and data were going to become commoditized, and that the most valuable assets to companies would be communication, data intelligence and predictive analytics. Texting was the only form of business communication the recruiter was using that was not centralized and owned by the company. The recruiters were using their personal phones, which is a big compliance and security issues for enterprise organizations. So we found five customers who were using texting to recruit, and we knew they needed a system of record and structure. We approached them, pre-sold them on this idea and build the product from there.

A few recruitment industry experts have called texting “the next big thing in recruiting.” Would you agree with that assessment?
I would say communication is changing. There are more text messages being sent on a daily basis than calls and emails combined. Texting will be the preferred communication tool for certain points of the hiring and onboarding process. While there are some things you just can’t do with text – such as sending interview materials or onboarding info – any communication tool that gets you 100 percent open rate and 37 percent response rate (in 12 minutes on average) is going to be exciting for any business process. We have the largest data source of two-way communication for recruiting and HR functions in less than 160 characters, so we believe the next big thing is adding intelligence to our system and having conversations with millions of candidates at the same time via the TextRecruit platform.

We’ve seen that candidates are responsive to receiving text messages from recruiters – with a rate of 37 percent What needs to be done to make that response rate higher?
We need to continue educating the market on the best practices and helping with templating and policies on how to best use texting.

What are some common misconceptions or concerns around texting to recruit – from both recruiters and job seekers?
I think there is a misconception that texting is not professional. The fact that we have an unsubscribe rate in our platform of less than .01 percent disproves that notion. The message simply needs to be personalized and correctly targeted in order for you to get the most out of the message. Using TextRecruit’s best practices and templates is going to make your organization more effective when leveraging this new communication strategy. There are also misconceptions that only millennials and Gen Z are texting. Texting has been around for over 30 years, however, and there are more texts sent out daily than calls and emails combined. Also, now that millennials are in their 30’s, people should be interested in how the new generations are communicating and using that to their advantage.

Do you have any success stories from customers you would like to share? Once customer, Liberty Mutual, has seen an enormous impact from using TextRecruit. At least 20 percent of the candidates they source today come from their texting campaigns.  As of today, we’ve identified over 20,000 customers that are in our target, and we attracted about 200 of them in the last 14 months.

How did the partnership with CB’s Talentstream Engage product come about?
I started my career in HR technology with Careerbuilder, and owe a lot to my managers there for teaching me the industry and how to manage people. I know the CareerBuilder world well and Talentstream Engage is a perfect fit for engagement via text message.  With the integration, shared clients will be able to engage their potential candidates and talent network members via TextRecruit in their ATS, members in their Talentstream Engage and their HCM. It’s going to be an exciting opportunity.

Learn more about TextRecruit and its integration with Talentstream Engage.

About Erik: Erik Kostelnik is the CEO and Founder of TextRecruit. Erik is a proven technology entrepreneur, advisor and sales leader who has built and managed multiple technology companies that have led to hyper revenue growth, major capital investments and acquisition.

Pro Tips For Hiring in the Senior Care Space

July 27th, 2016 Comments off
Tips For Hiring in the Senior Care Space

There has been a lot of chatter about the nursing shortage and other issues faced by the health care recruitment community, but the opportunities and challenges of hiring in the senior care space are a bit unique. We wanted to know what it takes to work in this niche space and how to successfully identify and recruit individuals who will excel in this unique environment.

So we sat down with Sheryl Messenger — HR director at Sedgebrook Retirement Community in the Lincolnshire, IL location — and LauraAshley Parrish — director of HR at The Cypress of Charlotte, a retirement community in Charlotte, NC — to discuss their recruitment insights.

Here’s what they shared:

What are some of your top challenges recruiting within the senior care space?

Sheryl: One thing that differentiates us from other medical and health care fields is that we deal with seniors and, even for those who are in the non-direct care area, we need to have people who are comfortable working with the elderly and also being in a position of having relationships with people who when they leave our community, it is a permanent leave. The issue of dealing with death and being able to handle and cope with that as well as getting the right staff to be able to care for those who are very fragile. You can be a CNA in a hospital or a tech who does tests. [But] when you’re in the senior care field, [there needs to be a lot of] relationship building.

That’s one of the differences between dealing with most recruiting and having people who can handle that kind of emotional stress and still be able to go on and do their jobs every day.

Do you have personality tests to determine the type of individuals who can handle that?

LauraAshley: Our population here [at The Cypress of Charlotte] is very high with dementia and Alzheimer’s; we don’t [deal] as much with employees being able to handle the hospice piece and the lives [like Sheryl and her team] — it’s more about being able to handle the daily interactions with members due to things they say or do or repetition that can become very frustrating when you’re dealing with it for eight hours a day.

We have a few things in place regarding how we recruit: We have two heavily-populated hospitals here in Charlotte and so we don’t have a lot of people we select who have that background because they haven’t dealt with [the population we have to tend to] in a hospital [setting]. They’re typically in a little more fast-paced [environment], whereas we’re a little slower-paced and it’s an 8-hour versus 12-hour shift. So we tend to stay away from individuals who only have a hospital background and are looking [instead] for somebody who’s a newer grad and hasn’t developed what we call “bad habits,” as well as individuals who have worked in a home-care setting, long-term care that’s a little more similar to us.

We have an extensive behavioral interview process that goes through those situations and we throw out scenarios [such as]: “How would you handle it if someone one minute asks you this question and five minutes later you’re getting the same question?”

And we, on purpose, ask them the same question multiple times throughout the interview to see if they are going to get frustrated with that and to see how they handle it. We have a good measuring tool right then to see if they’re getting frustrated or staying relaxed because what they deal with on a daily basis with the members is going to be far worse than me asking the same question three times in an interview.

What are the key types of positions you’re hiring for? Within senior care space, are there any roles on the patient care side where you’re seeing shortages or have a hard time hiring for?

Sheryl: We hire everything from housekeepers and cooks to managers, maintenance, finance people, [etc.]. In our area, we’re having difficulty hiring CNAs primarily because in our immediate area we have probably 12 new communities that are going up — primarily rental and assisted living and dementia — and that workload is much lighter in terms of the physical workload compared to skilled nursing, so we lose some of our people to the lighter workload; and also there just aren’t enough to go around.

Have you found any good places to source CNAs?

Sheryl: We partner with College of Lake county and their CNA training program – their classes do clinicals in our community so that we actually have a chance to see them work and can pick the cream of the crop as they graduate. We’d like to have people with a little more experience, but if we can get them on the front-end and train them the way we want them to be trained, that’s a good thing, too.

LauraAshley: We have the opposite problem here. We can find CNAs all day long but finding RNs is hard.

[We find that] the new graduates who come in don’t want to work here because they hear long-term care or assisted living or skilled nursing and think it’s not going to be a skill set they’re going to want to work with. But once they come on board and see what we do and can [understand] the relationship they build with the members — versus in a hospital setting where, best case scenario, you have them for 21 days — the ones who are in it for the right reasons really want to have that relationship with the patients and see that this is a better opportunity for them than one of our hospital systems.

We’re doing the same thing as Sheryl [in terms of] partnering with the colleges and educating [them] on what we do versus what they think we do.

Talking about employer branding, what are some ways you try to attract new grads?

LauraAshley: We’ve taken the approach of a country club — instead of focusing on the fact that we are skilled nursing or home care, we focus more on the hospitality piece, the atmosphere, the environment. We have a gorgeous property here, so we’ve really played that up and tied it into the environment they’ll be working in. We started doing that about six months ago and we’ve seen some success with that.

Can you think of anything you did five years ago that wouldn’t work now to attract the right candidates?

Sheryl: We used to be able to do recruiting on a more personal level — we used to be able to post flyers in local grocery stores and in church bulletins [etc.]. We had a lot of ways to get to a person on a more direct level — those things have disappeared.

Our best source of recruiting are our current employees. From time to time, we run a special on referral bonuses because we need their help. We have longevity in terms of our employees [and] if they love working here and they’re doing a good job, then they’re our best source of the next good employee. Most CNAs and most nurses have more than one job in long-term care, so they’re working somewhere else [too] and they’ll [tell people there that they] should come work at Sedgebrook.

LauraAshley: I agree with everything Cheryl just said and will also add too that social media [is a] huge factor for us. We’ve gone from where I used to see people would apply to a job based on job title, [but it] has now gone to catchphrases — what is catching their attention either in a picture or the first three words and they don’t care about job title anymore. So it’s a marketing creativity session to see what we can put out there that will grab [their attention and draw] them to our website and get them to apply.

Want more health care insights? Put insight into action: Learn more about how you can find nurses right now to fill your open positions now.

3 Things the Best Staffing Firms Do Differently

March 8th, 2016 Comments off
3 Things the Best Staffing Firms Do Differently

Hollywood’s awards season may have officially come to an end, but awards in the staffing industry are heating up with Inavero’s 2016 Best of Staffing Awards, sponsored by CareerBuilder.

After looking at the data and comments from real-life clients, Inavero compiled a list of the top three things that make Inavero’s 2016 Best of Staffing Award winners stand out from the crowd.

1. Winners save their clients’ time and act quickly.

Reliability and timeliness is of the utmost importance for staffing clients. They need to be confident that they can count on you to deliver what they need when they need it — even if it’s a tight turnaround. Then they will gain your trust and turn to you for their staffing needs.

Our staffing firm found candidates for our position within 24 hours and kept me in the loop throughout the process. My e-mails and phone calls were always taken or responded to very quickly. They also did a great job of checking in with me to make sure the candidate was meeting our needs.


They met our needs quickly and provided a perfect candidate without overloading me with candidates to interview.


I rely on them because I know they can meet my needs and do it quickly.

2. Winners hire proactive, engaged and empathetic recruiters.

It’s not enough to have just any recruiter work with clients — you need to hire recruiters who not only get the job done efficiently, but who also act as a client’s trusted partner. You should be confident that everything they do and every decision they make is in the client’s best interest and in alignment with the client’s goals.

Their recruiter and sales rep worked very closely with me, and I felt like the recruiter was a member of my own team, not someone working with an outside agency. He made me feel like my open positions were a priority.


They were proactive in meeting with me when we had an opening that they could help us fill, and they shared salary info for the industry with us. They were very eager to please, and I am confident their candidates would have been a good fit for us.

3. Winners ignite rapid referrals.

Would your clients be ready and willing to refer your firm to others who are looking for help? Just as restaurants and hair salons rely on customers to promote their business, staffing firms rely on clients. Clients have the power to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to any recruiting firm they have worked with, so pay attention to what they’re saying about your firm —  it will affect not only your reputation, but also your future business.

When I have a good experience with a recruiting firm, I have no problem recommending them to someone who asks me for a referral.


If a friend or colleague was looking for a job, I would be very willing to give them names of recruiters I felt were better than others.

Learn more about the latest staffing trends and how they affect you! Download CareerBuilder’s Q1 2016 Staffing & Recruiting Guidebook for exclusive industry research and expert recommendations for overcoming your biggest staffing challenges.

4 Key Takeaways From TechServe Alliance 2015

November 24th, 2015 Comments off
4 Key Takeaways From TechServe Alliance 2015

While the sun was shining in Palm Springs, executives and sales and recruiting teams also basked in the spotlight at the annual TechServe Alliance conference. The 2015 TechServe Alliance IT and Engineering Staffing Conference and Tradeshow provided many great takeaways, and our team was there to cover it.

Here, in random order, are four key takeaways we walked away with:

1. Don’t share data — share a story.

During his keynote, Paul DePodesta — vice president of player development for the New York Mets — talked about the true story behind “Moneyball,” the best-selling book that was turned into a major motion picture. And while a data-driven management approach has the power to transform businesses, DePodesta says it’s crucial to remember to tell stories when communicating with both clients and candidates. So do yourself a favor and take a page out of his playbook:

We didn’t walk around with reports and ask players to take a look. We told them a story and gave them an example they could connect with and spoke in their language. We rarely, if ever, talked about the data in front of them. We used stories instead. This is how you can change the story in terms of using data with your clients and candidates.

2. Learn the secrets to an exceptional client and candidate experience.

 Eric Gregg, CEO of Inavero, discussed how  some of the top IT and engineering staffing firms are winning the war for talent. Citing findings from the 10th annual Opportunities in Staffing research study as well as anecdotes from some top staffing firms, Gregg explained that the war for IT and engineering talent doesn’t stop once a placement has been made; in fact, it is just beginning.

These are the three tests of a remarkable client and candidate experience:
1. Was it unexpected?
2. Was it sincere?
3. Did it show empathy?

Don’t confuse your brand with your marketing; your brand is the aggregate of your customer experiences, Gregg explained. Think of your brand as the culmination of millions of little wins. “Our brand is the stories that people are telling about us,” he said.  So how can you differentiate your firm? Ensure something in your process is surprising and unexpected — but in a good way. A remarkable experience comes from those who care more and try harder, and it shows.

3. Educate your clients on current market realities.

 More than 4 in 5 (86 percent) staffing employees use data to help recruit top talent, but 1 in 3 staffing employees are not comfortable using recruitment technology, according to the 2015 Opportunities in Staffing study. However, adapting to new technology is a key factor that sets the best staffing firms apart.

As a staffing firm, you should make sure your sales team is comfortable and equipped to use data to help clients make better decisions, says Chris Skerrett, director of sales at CareerBuilder. The study also shows that clients are most satisfied when they select a firm that helps them improve their own recruiting.

These are the key types of data that clients want:

  • Industry data and trends
  • Data that save their recruiters time
  • Compensation and competitive data

4. Look to top recruiters for new and innovative tactics in order to thrive.

Here are some tips from the top if you are looking for innovative recruiting tactics for a talent-driven market.

According to Priya Sunil, senior recruiting lead for Denver & Houston at Harvey Nash:

If you’re looking for the right resume, you’ve passed up the best candidate. When you present an opportunity to a candidate, act as their advocate, be honest, let them know if a role is not a good fit for them, stay with them through the process, give them options, keep following up with any new information you have about the client. Work on resume prep, especially technical candidates — sometimes you need to help them reform their resume into a more rounded version that your clients would like to see.

According to Chris Thrall, director of recruiting at Swoon Technology Resources:

Happy placed candidates give referrals — get good at consultant/contractor care. Continue to follow up with them while on the job. Remember that they are your future managers that could be working with you down the road. Also, go on site and meet or visit your candidates.

According to Janet Chung, recruiting manager at Outsource Technical LLC:

Remember to take a long term approach. The most successful recruiters are networkers; they don’t treat candidates as a commodity. They set up happy hours, foster relationships and keep open dialogues with their candidates.

For more tips and strategies to take your staffing firm to the next level, don’t miss the 2015 Opportunities in Staffing study, which will help you move the needle with your clients, candidates and internal staff.

What Is a Pre-Hire Platform — And Why Do You Need One?

April 7th, 2015 Comments off
What Is a Pre-Hire Platform — And Why Do You Need One?

The race to compete for qualified talent isn’t dying down any time soon, and you need to stay a step ahead of the competition to move your business forward. One of your biggest challenges is that you already have a full plate, so how can you add time back to your day to focus on the things that really matter? You can start by figuring out how you can streamline your recruitment activities. A pre-hire platform can get the job done — quickly and effectively.

Here are five reasons why you need a pre-hire platform to solve your most pressing recruitment needs.

1. You need to align your candidate experience with the way job seekers are looking today.

Did you know that as many as 65 percent of job seekers said they would rarely return to a job on their desktop after trying to apply via mobile? And 29 percent said they only sometimes do, which means a mere 5 percent of all potential candidates always consider it worthwhile to re-visit a job on their desktop.

Meanwhile, only 38 percent of employers say their company offers the ability for candidates to apply using a mobile device.

Interestingly, employers don’t seem to be aware of just how many potential applicants they may be missing out on by failing to offer a mobile experience. When employers were asked if they believe they are losing out on potential applicants because they don’t have a mobile process, only 10 percent said “yes” while 90 percent said “no”.

Today’s job seekers are searching via their mobile devices, and assume they can apply to your open position at any time and from any device — phone, tablet, laptop or desktop — so you need to be where the candidates are.

2. You must think long-term and create a strong talent pipeline that you can tap into down the road.

Not every job seeker is looking to apply right away; some want the power to apply on their own time. In fact, nearly 2 in 5 job seekers say it’s important to be able to come back at a later time to apply to a job. But unfortunately, not many organizations offer the ability to do so.

Today fewer than 1 in 4 (23 percent of) employers use a shortened lead form or application that enable job seekers to do this.

Consider the fact that as many as 85 percent of candidates would be willing to join a talent network even if they weren’t ready to apply. That’s huge! Think of all the potential A-players you might be missing out on without this capability. You need automated candidate remarketing to keep candidates engaged and informed so that when the right roles pop up in the future, you can easily re-engage them.

3. You will to be able to source and manage your entire candidate pool from ONE database.

Nearly a third of employers say they do not re-engage candidates who have not been offered a job — because they don’t have the time to do so, plus they have already moved on to the most current applicants.

But imagine if you could manage all of your candidates from a single dashboard. That’s what many of your peers are looking for. Most (69 percent of) employers say they need to able to quickly find and rearrange current applicants in their system.

Now, candidate management has never been easier. With intuitive search, you can quickly and easily search the databases you already have, and leverage all of your existing candidate pools to make your next great hire.

4. You will have the power to post to all of your recruitment advertising channels in a few clicks.

Nearly 4 in 5 (78 percent of) employers say they prefer to have one overall platform solution from one HR software systems vendor because it’s more convenient.

Save time and keep your workflow simple by posting to more than 6,000 job boards around the world in just a few clicks. Now you can finally have everything you need in one place — so you can post, source, manage and onboard from ONE platform.

5. You can build a requisition strategy in seconds and measure the ROI of your recruiting efforts.

Only a quarter of employers say they use external labor market data to inform their recruitment decisions, while 18 percent admit they don’t use any data to inform their recruitment strategy. As many as 21 percent of employers don’t even know what their average cost per hire is, and only three-fourths currently track the source of hire.

Still, nearly 2 in 3 (64 percent of) employers agreed that they need to have accurate source of hire data to do their job most effectively.

You need one dashboard to see how all of your sources are performing. Get access to a robust suite of real-time data and analytics so you can evaluate the effectiveness of your talent strategy and sources as well as the efficiency of your recruiters.

From Acquire to Hire — All in ONE Platform

CareerBuilder is making recruitment easier and more efficient to enable you to hire more candidates faster … with CareerBuilder1.

CareerBuilder1 is an HR software solution that brings advertising, data and technology into one pre-hire platform.

It delivers candidate experience, recruiter efficiency, and intuitive data and analytics in a single platform. Now you can maximize your sourcing investment with a premier mobile, career site and reengagement tool that retains more talent than any other in the industry.


Webinar Recap: Recruiting Silver Bullets for 2015

January 27th, 2015 Comments off
Webinar Recap: Recruiting Silver Bullets for 2015

How can you use technology to solve today’s biggest HR and recruiting problems and debunk myths? HR and recruiting pro and noted influencer Tim Sackett hosted a webinar last Thursday to help talent acquisition professionals understand which tools to embrace and how to stay ahead of the competition by getting in front of the latest recruitment trends — from predictive analytics to employment branding, and everything in between.

Get your hands on CareerBuilder’s Talent Advisor webinar with Tim Sackett now.

Here are a few highlights from the webinar:

Metrics: If you’re still making recruitment decisions based on gut feelings, Sackett says you’re missing out. His advice? Get away from subjective metrics and work with hard metrics by measuring talent acquisition in 2015.

HR influencer and talent advisor Laurie Ruettimann, who hosted the webinar, cautioned:

Employer branding: According to Sackett, you will *always* have people who love your work environment and those who hate it, but the key is to just be you! The key to employment branding, he says, is not to mimic other brands. Be transparent, embrace your own brand and find others who will embrace your brand.

Candidate experience: How many of you have applied to your own company within the last six or 12 months? Sackett says it’s important to test your own process from time to time to see what it’s like.

Another recruiting silver bullet is to use mobile recruitment. Sackett mentioned the fact that 65 percent of candidates say they’ll rarely return to a job after failing to apply to a job via mobile.

Want to learn more?

Take a look at the webinar slides and keep them handy.

Accountability in Recruiting (a DIY Guide for Candidates)

December 12th, 2013 1 comment

Recruiting can be an ugly process. It can be rife with dishonesty, passive/aggressive behavior, and self-absorbed attitudes from all parties. Not that it’s always this way, but I think most IT professionals and technical recruiters have plenty of stories they can and do tell about individuals acting in unprofessional ways. Sometimes candidates attempt to mislead recruiters and/or prospective employers, and sometimes it is the other way around. Recruiters will overstate an opportunity and candidates will exaggerate a skill set. Salary ranges are fudged, individuals fail to respond to requests in a timely fashion, and so on. And of course, there is the ubiquitous problem of “going dark”, ending the process by simply not responding to the other party’s attempts at communication.


It’s easy to preach about this kind of thing in a blog, but trying to change behavior on a large scale isn’t really the most practical tactic. Instead, I think that the best way for individuals to handle these problems, whether recruiters or candidates, is to employ techniques that incorporate accountability into the recruiting process.


When I say accountability, what I really mean is doing what you say that you are going to do, and holding the other party accountable for their promises as well. This means different things for candidates than recruiters, but the core idea is pretty much the same.


If you are an IT professional working with a recruiter, incorporating accountability into the process can take several forms. I have some suggestions below, but keep in mind that this sort of thing usually boils down to using your best judgment in particular situations.


  • Give the recruiter tasks, such as:
    • Ask for more information about a job, and see if they follow through. Here you would want to ask them to dig deeper than what was covered in the initial conversation. Force them to go back to the client/hiring manager and answer a legitimate question (don’t just make this busy work). A good conversation with a recruiter often leads to more questions about a job. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing if a recruiter doesn’t know every detail, but it is often a bad sign if they do not follow through and answer questions you have.
    • Ask them to follow up by a particular time, regardless of whether they have feedback or what the feedback is. Good recruiters have solid organizational skills, and usually have an applicant tracking system that allows them to set follow up reminders, just like a CRM. Be specific in your request. Tell them that you have a goal/timeline for your job search, and that you need to have some kind of update by a certain time. Understand that recruiters cannot control when their clients or hiring managers provide feedback, but they should at least make an attempt to maintain regular communication.
    • Make a mental note of how quickly the recruiter gets back to you. This has to be put in context of course since many recruiters are genuinely busy people, but generally you shouldn’t have to wait more than a day or so for an initial response to an emailed question or a voicemail.
  • Information about the job shouldn’t change too much. There should be some allowance here since things can be fluid in recruiting; but a major change in a role’s responsibilities or salary range should be a red flag.
  • Does the recruiter set expectations for the interviewing process, without being solicited to do so? A good recruiter should give you some kind of heads up on how quickly feedback will be provided, how the interview process is structured, and what to expect in interviews. They will not always have precise information because client processes tend to vary, but he or she should at least make an effort to give you a sense of what to expect. If a recruiter does not, ask for the information. Of course if they don’t deliver, this can be another red flag.
  • Remember that accountability works both ways. A good recruiter will routinely make attempts at incorporating accountability from their end as well. He or she will more than likely ask and/or expect you to be timely in your communication, and complete any tasks/paper work in a timely fashion as well. If you fail to maintain accountability on your end, you may notice a change in the recruiter’s behavior.


The takeaway is that we should get into the habit of incorporating accountability into the process, and go with our guts. There are no hard and fast rules about what is typical in recruiting and what a genuinely good or bad sign is. Requirements change, budgets disappear, and so on. But if you learn to think and interact in terms of accountability and your gut is telling you something is wrong, then you should seriously consider removing yourself from consideration.

That last point may seem a little harsh, but everyone’s time is important, and so is finding a good match between personnel and jobs. If the initial part of that process isn’t executed professionally, then that does not bode well for the rest of it.