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.

7 of the Biggest Hiring Time Wasters and How to Get Rid of Them

February 1st, 2017 Comments off
time waster

When it comes to hiring today, employers need to move quickly. In-demand candidates are not going to stick around before they are snapped up by competitors. So how can you trim the fat and speed up your hiring process without being hasty? Try eliminating these common time wasters from your hiring process.

Time Waster #1: Not Taking Advantage of Social Media

Social media is a fast and easy (and free) way to advertise your job opportunities, communicate with candidates, educate them about your company and build awareness about your corporate culture. The more job seekers understand about your company and what you are looking for, the more likely they are to weed themselves out (if they are not a good match), and the less time you will spend sorting through irrelevant resumes.

There’s also a reason 60 percent of employers now use social media to screen job candidates, according to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey: Social media helps employers gain insight into candidates’ personalities, interests and accomplishments that they might not get from a resume. Oftentimes, they can use social media to verify information job candidates have provided on their resumes, or get a feel for whether or not the candidate is a good match for the position.

Time Waster #2: Crazy Job Titles

Advertising for a “Sales Rock Star” or “Software Ninja” may seem like a way to stand out from other companies, but candidates aren’t searching for these titles. Optimize your job titles for search, and save the fun, creative stuff for the description itself. The right keywords will also serve to optimize your job posting for search engines like Google.

Time Waster #3: Vague Job Descriptions

Writing comprehensive job descriptions can be a bit time-consuming; however, the more time you invest writing out thorough, specific job descriptions, the more time you will save later on. The more specific you are about the scope of the job, the responsibilities and the skills and experience required for it, the more likely candidates are to weed themselves out; thus, you won’t find yourself swimming in a sea of resumes from unqualified applicants.

In addition to specifying the necessary qualifications needed from applicants, try to include keywords to make your job descriptions more SEO-friendly. This will increase the likelihood your job descriptions will show up in organic searches – and in front of the right people.

Time Waster #4: Third-Round Interviews and Beyond

Sure, if you’re hiring for an executive position, it makes sense to do multiple rounds of interviews; however, putting candidates for entry- or mid-level positions through third-, fourth- or even fifth-round interviews is oftentimes just an excuse to delay making a hiring decision. Not only is this a waste of time – both yours and theirs – you may lose the candidate to a competitor in the lengthy process. If, however, you have so many interviews so the candidate can meet different members of the team, consider a well-planned group interview to save time (and unnecessary frustration).

Time Waster #5: Brainteaser Questions

Employers like to ask brainteaser questions to assess candidates’ creativity and ability to think on their feet; however, many companies – including Google – have eliminated this practice in recent years, as they have found they are poor predictors of actual job performance. “Employees don’t experience this particular type of pressure on the job,” writes The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova. Instead, she suggests two research-backed practices:

  1. A standardized interview process, which means asking every candidate the same questions in the same order. “This produces a more objective measure of how each candidate fares, and it can reduce the influence of thin-slice judgment, which can alter the way each interview is conducted.”
  2. Focusing on behavioral interview questions that examine both past and future behaviors. “The ubiquitous interview question ‘Describe a situation where you did well on X or failed on Y’ is an example of a past behavioral measure; asking a programmer to describe how she would solve a particular programming task would be a future measure.”

Time Waster #6: Personal References

While professional references – people who have worked with the candidate previously – can help you gain insight into a candidate’s skills, abilities and work ethic, personal references – friends, family members or acquaintances – won’t provide such insight. Save time by asking specifically for work or (if the candidate is a recent graduate) educational references, and then make sure you ask the right questions to get the most out of reference checks. 

Time Waster #7: Using Outdated Technology (or No Technology At All)

Talent acquisition technology has become a necessity in today’s competitive recruitment landscape – no matter how good your recruiting team may be. After all, “Your recruiters can only do so much – you need technology in place that can automatically facilitate communication with and re-engage candidates when your recruiters aren’t able to,” writes Tim Sackett in “6 Ways to Maximize Your Recruitment Spend.”

The right tools can help you save time on everything from posting and distributing jobs, to searching resumes and managing candidates to re-engaging with candidates. Take some time to evaluate your own recruitment technology. Where is it falling short of meeting your needs? Ask your recruiters what their biggest challenges are and what recruitment tools will help them do their job better? (Not sure where to start? Consider Tim Sackett’s list of must-have talent acquisition technology.)

Don’t just look internally, either. Consider the candidate experience. Is your career site hard to navigate and in need of an update? Is the online application process clunky? The more you streamline the application process and make it easier on candidates, the faster you can bring them into your organization – before you lose them to competitors.

Want more hiring advice? Check out Hiring Tips from Famous CEOs


3 Ways Your Staffing Firm Can Win in 2017

December 21st, 2016 Comments off
staffing firm competition

cj-rodriguez-headshotThe New Year is upon us, and with it come new challenges and opportunities for your staffing firm. To kick the year off right, here are three key takeaways from CareerBuilder’s Staffing Advantage Report to help you beat your staffing firm competition to new business and the best talent.

1. Focus on candidate relationships

Winning new business starts with your candidate relationships. Candidates are the true branding stakeholders for any staffing firm, and the experience you provide them will determine the retention and referral network built by them on your behalf. They will complement your current marketing initiatives and eventually act as your champions in the field. You can’t pay money for this type of marketing. It’s value with a voice – their voice – and it matters.

Firms that work on building stronger candidate relationships will continue to be ahead of the new business development curve without exception. Based on my experience, a firm loses approximately 15 percent of clients every year on average by “natural” attrition. I work with firms across the country and help them strategize ways to overcome this client deficit as they enter each year.

In a recent study our firm conducted, it was revealed that 51 percent of senior executives have never met their clients in person. This is simply not acceptable. You have to get involved, be involved and stay involved. If you don’t, you lose every time.

One of the biggest – but often missed – opportunities a firm has is performing consistent relationship reviews from top down, not just the “account.” This is very different from your typical account review and should be initiated by the firm, not the client. Taking the initiative here will set any firm apart from those who continue to operate based on antiquated processes because that’s the “way they’ve always done it.”

2. Make technology work for you

Technology today has changed the sales landscape with a “no return” concept. Today’s client is savvier than ever. They take time to research, investigate, communicate and make educated decisions based on the intel they gather. It is no longer acceptable for a firm to expect the client or candidate to seek them out based on a few sales slicks or a couple of blog posts.

Having a great website will help but you must give it legs. It has to have strong call-to-actions in the most simplistic format. I always say, “Don’t make the client think if they don’t have to.” Firms today must be willing to deliver quality content and communicate on the platform where their clientele lives – not the other way around.

In most cases, this means the same content delivered across a minimum of three to five platforms. You have to cut through the noise and deliver a solid, meaningful experience for your clients and candidates. Gone are the days of two to three page applications. It’s quick hit information on their platform that keeps your audience moving toward you, not toward your staffing firm competition.

3. Identify connections

I am a big proponent of using heat mapping concepts to assess overlaps where clients and candidates connect. If done correctly, this strategy also shares insight on gaps that exist based on current sales and recruitment efforts. You can ghost in several overlays of information that will tell an exciting story and reveal amazing opportunities for new client development or gaining stronger leverage in relationships.

As mentioned above, clients and candidates are savvier today and more interested in receiving quality content over quantity. A great blog that upholds an interactive community is another good way to engage and help educate the end user of staffing and recruitment services. Also, the use of heat mapping strategies (mentioned above) can help showcase a firm’s position over another in terms of candidate pool, market share and overall footprint.

By focusing on your relationship with candidates and using technology to build new avenues for connection, you can make 2017 the year your business becomes best in class – and beats the staffing firm competition.

CJ Rodriguez is a senior-level executive with over 15 years of entrepreneur and corporate experience. She specializes in building sustainable growth for nationally and globally recognized organizations in the areas of sales, recruiting, training and operations. For more insights from CJ, visit her website: http://www.evolvehealthcaresolutions.com

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6 Ways to Maximize Your Recruitment Spend

December 14th, 2016 Comments off
Portrait thinking woman in glasses looking up with light idea bulb above head isolated on gray wall background

Do you know which recruitment resources are delivering the highest return on your investment? How do you know if you aren’t measuring your efforts? Even if you’re getting a lot of mileage out of your recruitment resources, there’s always room to take it further. Consider these six ways to make your recruitment resources go further and truly maximize your recruitment spend.

  1. Mine your database. Sourcing from your own candidate database or applicant tracking system (ATS) is the No. 1 way to maximize your recruitment spend. After all, the people in your database are candidates who have already expressed an interest in your company. In other words, they are already engaged, so you do not need to waste time “selling” your company to them. So, why aren’t you taking advantage of your ATS and using it all the time? If the answer is because your ATS is awful at search or reconnecting with those in your database, then it’s time to invest in new technology.
  2. Embrace a new form of advertising. Programmatic advertising is changing our world. If you’re not familiar, programmatic ad buying is basically using machines and data to purchase and place ads in real time. The major benefit of programmatic advertising is that it puts an end to “post and pray,” because it enables you to target your audience. And because the technology seeks out candidates and engages them until they apply, it does a lot of the work for you.
  3. Automate your referral program. Employee referral programs are usually a company’s No. 1 source of hire, yet companies barely put any money into their referral programs. If you want to get more referrals, invest more money in your referral program. Make it easy for employees to refer candidates through an online system and give them incentive to do so.
  4. Invest in the right talent acquisition technology. Look at your current talent acquisition technology. Are you getting as much value out of it as you could be? If you aren’t measuring it against your cost per hire, there’s no way to know the answer. Start measuring the results of your technology. Then ask your recruiters what technology they would quit over (if you got rid of it). If they truly need that technology, the numbers should prove this out.
  5. Hire and train “killer” recruiters. Most organizations don’t maximize their recruiting spend because they don’t have recruiters. Unfortunately, most corporate recruiters are “farmers,” when they really need to be “killers.” Meaning, they need to be proactive, act fast and go after their targets. This is another area where measurement is key. You need to measure your recruiters’ activity against results in order to see where their time is best spent. The way you pay will also make a huge difference in quality of work, whether you use an agency or do it in-house.
  6. Invest in CRM technology. Candidate Relationship Marketing (CRM) technology is a must-have in a modern day recruiting shop. Your recruiters can only do so much – you need technology in place that can automatically facilitate communication with and re-engage candidates when your recruiters aren’t able to. CRM technology (such as CareerBuilder’s Talentstream Engage) helps ensure there is always a supply of qualified, engaged candidates in your system – saving you time and helping your recruitment spend go further.


Want more expert advice? Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruitment tips in your inbox

About Tim Sackett: Tim Sackett, SPHR is the President of HRU Technical Resources a leading IT and Engineering Staffing firm headquartered in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of combined Executive HR and Talent Acquisition experience, working for Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, retail, dining and technology. Tim is a highly sought after national speaker on leadership, talent acquisition and HR execution. He also is a prolific writer in the HR and Talent space, writing for Fistful of Talent and his blog The Tim Sackett Project.

About Kyle Cleaver: Kyle Cleaver leads CareerBuilder’s global customer care organization. Focused on building and maintaining mutually beneficial client relationships, Kyle’s teams handles over 60,000 customers per month globally for software, media and data. In his role, he creates the overall vision for the client’s post sale experience including, but not limited to, implementation, account management, technical support and performance analytics.

Make Social Recruiting a Snap With Our New, Free Tool

October 6th, 2016 Comments off
Make social recruiting a snap with our new email program


It’s clear job candidates want more of a personal connection with potential employers. In fact, before they decide whether or not to apply to a job, 72 percent of job seekers say they want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager, according to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

Luckily for you, it’s possible to be an amazing, busy recruiting professional and make personal connections with candidates – with our new social recruiting program, Candidate Connection Builder.

What is it?

Hand-picked, relevant content that’s interesting and informative for job seekers, packaged into weekly emails and delivered to your inbox. You can choose which content you want to share with the job seekers in your social networks – and post it instantly with one click.

  • Post more often on social media to connect with job seekers (without all the effort).
  • Grow your reputation to job seekers as a recruiting expert who’s in the know.
  • Don’t spend a dime (how often can you say that about a super-convenient recruiting tool?).


The alternative, my friends, is bleak: If job seekers can’t find the info they need about a potential employer, 37 percent of all candidates will just move on to the next company or job listing. Your company career site and social presence must be strong.


Sign up now and start building closer connections to potential candidates in your social networks.

#SorryNotSorry: Resume Mistakes Employers Hate

September 22nd, 2016 Comments off
#SorryNotSorry: Resume Mistakes Employers Hate

Making one’s resume stand out in a pile of 250 others can be challenging, but some job applicants stand out for unintended reasons. From innocent typos to downright lies, some resume mistakes have cost candidates the job.

In a new CareerBuilder survey, hiring and HR managers shared some of the most outrageous resume mistakes of the year.

One applicant claimed he/she worked at a federal prison — which sounds noble — until a background check found that he was actually incarcerated at the prison during that time. (Such a minor detail — why bother sharing it?)

Another casually listed “smoking” under hobbies… because why not.

One applicant said he/she had great attention to detail, but “attention” was misspelled.

“I was a prince in another life,” claimed one. Welcome to adulthood as common folk, buddy.

One applicant thought it’d be a good idea to note that he/she would work harder if paid more.

We asked some of our Twitter followers to share their biggest resume turnoffs — here’s what they said:

Lots of text with little substance…


Poor formatting and “interesting” tidbits…

What are your biggest resume turnoffs? Tweet your responses and tag @CBforEmployers.

5 of the Best Recruiting Insights from Marketing Guru Seth Godin

September 13th, 2016 Comments off

There may not be a Michael Jordan of recruiting, but Seth Godin, a bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur, comes pretty close. Though his expertise is in marketing — Godin is a frequent keynote speaker and prolific blogger — much of Godin’s insight and advice apply to the recruiting industry as well. After all, what is recruiting if not another form of marketing? Where marketers work to attract customers and increase brand awareness, recruiters work to attract candidates and increase employment brand awareness.

Given these similarities, employers, recruiters and other talent acquisition professionals could learn a lot from marketers when it comes to creating their talent strategies. To start, consider the following marketing insights and pieces of advice from Godin that speak particularly well to the recruitment industry.

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”

Thanks to social media tools and increasingly sophisticated recruitment technology, there are so many new ways to market your opportunities. Of course, taking advantage of these tools and techniques means change, and change is always either scary or difficult — or both. In an increasingly competitive market for talent, however, sticking with the status quo will no longer suffice. Recruiters and other talent acquisition professionals need to step outside of their comfort zones and ask themselves, “What can we do that’s different?” and be willing to try something new. Because you may not be willing to embrace new technology, but your competitors certainly are.

“Marketing is telling a story about your value that resonates enough with people that they want to give you money.”

What’s your employee value proposition? More importantly, are you communicating this clearly to candidates? While you’re not asking for candidates’ money (hopefully), you are asking them to invest in your company. So what are you offering them? What will they get out of working with your company? The more clearly you are able to communicate your value as an employer — through social media, on your career site, in job postings — the easier it will be to “sell” your story and get candidates excited about working for you.

“It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.”

Treating customers well is the ultimate competitive advantage. Not only are consumers more loyal to brands they feel care about them as people — not just customers — they are more likely to talk about their experiences with friends and on social media. Likewise, candidates who have a positive experience with your company during the recruitment process are more likely to re-apply, do business with that company and tell others about the experience. Simply put: When you treat your candidates well, they tend to return the favor.

“Be in the business not of getting customers, but of writing a novel, telling a story, connecting with people that want to be connected to.”

Be honest about who you are as a company and what your culture is. Survey employees, candidates and key stakeholders to identify your employment brand for what it is, instead of what you think it is. Once you can tell the story of your company in an honest and authentic way, candidates who are a good fit will find their way to you (and those who aren’t will weed themselves out).

“Creating value through interaction is far more important than solving a consumer’s problem in thirty seconds.”

Recruitment isn’t always just about driving applications. It’s about building relationships with candidates. While it’s great if a candidate comes to your career site and applies to a job right away, what about those candidates who are interested in your company, but aren’t the right fit right now? They could be great candidates down the line, so you need to keep them from slipping away by keeping them engaged in the recruitment process. Invite them to join your talent network so you can re-engage them over time. Create a positive candidate experience so they will not only want to apply to future opportunities, but they will also tell others about it, which will strengthen your employment brand.

Want more expert advice? Get CareerBuilder’s recruitment tips and advice delivered to your inbox.

Hijacking the Best Parts of the “Gig Economy” to Attract Candidates

September 8th, 2016 Comments off
Young creative business people working in the office late in the afternoon.

The continued popularity of “gig economy” jobs made possible by apps like Uber and Instacart and websites like TaskRabbit is raising the question of what draws workers to this kind of employment – and how more traditional companies can match that appeal.

Though you may not be able to offer these three key attractions to the extent the gig economy can, consider how you can “hijack” these ideals to attract a new crop of job seekers:

1. Autonomy.

The clearest attraction to gig-centric employment for young workers is the ability to “be your own boss.” The level of autonomy gig workers are able to achieve has historically been reserved for entrepreneurs who put in years of effort building their own business – and taking on all the related risks. Now, workers in the gig economy enjoy that freedom as well.

Hijack it: In order to apply this principle to your own company, highlight employee autonomy and give workers greater control over what projects they work on and how those projects are completed.

2. Flexible hours.

Similarly, many workers are attracted to gig economy jobs because of the highly flexible schedules they offer. Many of the services fueling the gig economy allow workers to completely set their own schedules – no matter how unusual. For example, an off-duty UberX driver may choose, on a whim, to take fares for a couple of hours. If something comes up, they can just as easily switch back to their “inactive” status.

Hijack it: While most employers can’t match this level of flexibility, giving workers more leeway in terms of their work hours can go a long way. Though this trend exists independently of the growth of the gig economy, gig economy-driven jobs have taken it to the next level. The message is clear: Candidates are generally more likely to accept a job offer if it comes with greater control over their schedules.

3. Greater Cause.

A significant number of gig workers view this work as just a phase before they enter their actual career. So what are they waiting for? In many cases, they’re waiting for the right company – or more accurately, the right mission. Younger workers – millennials in particular – are motivated by a set of personal values, and working for an organization that represents the same values is extremely important to them.

Hijack it: While gig work may not directly satisfy that need to be working for a cause, the autonomy and flexibility of the gig economy allow these workers to pursue their passions and ideals in other ways.

To compete with this, employers need to understand the values important to potential candidates and align their corporate mission and culture with those values.


Where Gigs Fall Short

The gig employment may have its own particular charms, but there are things traditional employment can offer that can’t be matched by the gig economy. Benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans are the biggest things full-time employers can offer workers that they can’t often get from working gigs.

While the passage of the Affordable Care Act has made it easier for workers who aren’t full-time employees to secure health insurance, gig-centric jobs aren’t likely to offer the support of HR professionals to help workers understand and manage such plans. This kind of support – not to mention the security of a steady paycheck and a retirement nest egg – are great points to touch on when competing with the gig economy for talent.


Never miss a thing: Get CareerBuilder’s expert recruitment tips in your inbox. 

3 Ways to Attract (and Keep) the Best Candidates

August 25th, 2016 Comments off
How to Attract and Keep the Best Candidates

In June 2016, the unemployment rate fell below 5 percent (4.9 percent). This was the first time we experienced such a low unemployment rate since the beginning of the Great Recession. For recruiters, this means it has become harder to find talent to fill positions. So what can be done to improve yield and productivity? Research suggests some obvious solutions, and some less obvious ones.

Here are three solutions you can start implementing right away:

1. Start with a higher compensation.

My work based on data from CareerBuilder shows that job postings with higher compensation attract more (and better) applicants. A 10 percent increase in compensation is associated with a 7 percent increase in applicants. Furthermore, higher compensation attracts applicants with higher education and longer experience.

2. Offer them frequent pay raises.

You may want to also leave yourself some room to increase compensation in the future. Research suggests that workers who receive an increase in compensation perform better. However, the increase in performance is fairly short lived. It may be smart, then, to give relatively frequent smaller pay increases rather than one big pay raise.

3. Give them a gift: It’s the thought that matters!

Surprisingly, research has shown that giving employees a gift has a higher impact on performance than giving them the same amount in the form of a pay raise. In one experiment by Kube, Marechal and Puppe, a gift of a thermos bottle raised workers’ productivity by 25 percent over the course of one day! The key reason why the gift worked so well? It showed thoughtfulness on the part of the employer.


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12 Recruiting Tweets That Are Just Too Real

August 24th, 2016 Comments off
12 Recruiting Tweets That Are Just Too Real

Being a recruiter can be a rewarding profession, but — let’s be honest — sometimes, you simply do not have time for people’s inefficiencies and downright stupidity.

We gathered these tweets that real-life recruiters posted to Twitter so you can commiserate.

When you just don’t have time for this sort of nonsense…

When you regret offering to do someone a favor…

When. you. just. need. a. job. description…

When you can’t even…

When you realize your entire day is going to be ruined by someone who probably stopped to pick up Starbucks…

When a candidate is desperate…not to mention, super creepy…

When your lips are movin’ and you’re trying to convince the candidate that the comp & ben package is pretty good…

When you think candidates should have *some* form of self-respect…

When you find out that a candidate has, err, “embellished” his resume…

When you acknowledge that there is a sort of organized chaos to what you do…

When you question humanity as a whole…

When you find out that someone like you may have something in common with the goddess of the universe…

Got a joke or a funny meme? Tweet us @CBforEmployers!

7 Recruitment Best Practices From the Trenches

August 16th, 2016 Comments off
7 Recruitment Best Practices From the Trenches

As the competition for talent continues to grow, companies are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to find candidates. Fortunately, there are more resources and technologies available than ever before to attract top talent to your organization — but how do you decide what strategy works best?

Learn what fellow practitioners do to differentiate themselves in a competitive talent market, and discover how you can reinvent recruitment at your own organization.

We sat down with experts who are deep in the talent acquisition trenches — Jenna King, professional recruiter II at Medix; Valerie Davenport, director of talent programs at USAA; and Bryan Rice, director, global talent acquisition at Stryker — to talk about best practices.

Here are some of their top takeaways.

1. Always inquire about new ways to attract talent.

Jenna King: “When on a phone screen, why not ask talent where they’re posting their resume? What is the newest tool they’ve heard of? What are their friends using? Take that information from them and keep tabs for trends. Then go back to your leadership and ask to invest in new trends.”

2. Analyze what IS currently working for you.

Valerie Davenport: “Spend time taking a good look at the talent who did make it through to your organization. Find out what worked, what didn’t work and what about the hiring process they would improve.”

3. Don’t throw out all old-school practices that still work.

Bryan Rice: “Where has cold calling gone? We just don’t do it. We rely heavily on in-mails and emails. That’s something that’s missing from the candidate experience. I’m not saying every candidate and every rec should be called, but if you get to the top five or six candidates, nothing makes you feel good like even a voicemail that says, ‘Hey, I saw your resume, we’d love to talk to you about a job at Stryker.’ They’re more likely to call back rather than delete an email.”

4. Data is great – but make sure you’re using it wisely.

Valerie Davenport: “When someone asks you for data, first ask: ‘What are you trying to solve? What are you looking for with this data?’

We do a lot of data and scorecard tracking. Data can tell any story, so first find out what it is you want that data to tell you. On the sourcing side, you want ROI. What is this costing? Are strategies effective? As a recruiter, that likely doesn’t mean much to you.”

5. Enlist marketing to help you with your employer brand.

Valerie Davenport: “You can’t build an employer brand on your own — you need your company’s marketing team. USAA does a great job advertising to consumers looking for insurance to retired military. But some companies are able to do both in one ad: They tell the story of the company and culture as well as advertise the product or service at the same time. You need to sell your product from the employee’s point of view, which is why you need your CHRO to talk to your marketing team. You can do both and it will cost you nothing extra.”

6. Don’t be afraid to use social media.

Bryan Rice: “About 50 to 60 percent of what Stryker puts on social media is about culture. We also advertise awards, testimonials, etc. but we think first about culture. We want people to know who we are and identify with that.”

Valerie Davenport: “You need folks at the top who understand social strategy. If your company has a social team on the enterprise team, then start with them. What you want to do is arm your team with comfort and confidence to be on social. Tell them what the rules are for your company. Social media is your call center of the future.”

7. Develop your sales and business skills.

Bryan Rice: “Recruiters need to be able to negotiate and sell. We’ve got to be able to sell in a methodical way throughout the process, negotiate, and close. Another important thing is business acumen. We need to know about the business and company we support.”

Want to learn more about what candidates expect from you during their job search? Download CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

The Best College Recruitment Tips You’ve Never Heard

August 2nd, 2016 Comments off
The College Recruiting Tips You Haven't Heard

The college career services office is an underrated resource in the recruiting field. Not only does it serve the student population all the way through school-to-work transition preparation, but it acts as a conduit through which companies can identify the talent they hope to hire. So, what do career services professionals see companies doing wrong (and right) when recruiting at colleges and universities? John P. Nykolaiszyn, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, interim director of career management services at the Florida International University College of Business, and Mary Ellen Olson, director of career and professional development at St. Norbert College, were kind enough to provide their insight and experience in answering this very question.

The 5 Things Companies Must Heed in College Recruiting:

1. The Number of Visits is Crucial.

According to Nykolaiszyn, “The most common mistake is only planning to make one visit, trying to find the best possible talent, and then never coming back to campus. A one-and-done visit. The secret to doing this right is to schedule two visits, one in the fall recruiting season and one in the spring season. Visiting more than once keeps the company name in the students’ minds and shows they care about them.”

2. Culture Matters More Than You Think.

According to Olson, “Companies talk about their culture when recruiting students and use this as a lead into the discussion about the job or internship they have available.” She adds, “Students today are not just looking for a job — they are looking for an employment situation that aligns with their personal values. Discussing culture goes beyond simply saying ‘it’s a nice place to work.'”

Instead, she suggests companies ask themselves, “What does this mean about behaviors and competencies required to be successful in the workplace? Students want to know.”

3. Job Descriptions are Essential.

Olson says “having clear job descriptions and expectations and hiring to the job description is critical.” Just because you are recruiting students doesn’t mean skimping on the effort. Rather, recruiting students should be similar to bringing on full-time employees. Nykolaiszyn says, “Write a good job description and put some marketing muscle behind it. When you write a two-sentence job description for a ‘social media internship’ because you’re convinced that only a young student can tell you how the Snapchats work, it shows that you’re not fully invested in the process.” Students can quickly identify when companies aren’t authentic, and will not pursue working for your organization.

4. Timing is Everything.

The time frame for students may not align with your company’s calendar. As Nykolaiszyn says, “Some colleges and universities have different fiscal and academic calendars. In some cases, recruiting the top undergraduate and graduate students in particular programs may officially start with the fall semester in September — a full eight months before summer starts. By the time the spring semester starts in January, the top students are all set, and firms are playing catch-up. Start early!”

5. It’s Not All About the Job.

Students are looking for a company that allows them to make a larger impact in the world. Olson makes two crucial points: “Many students are not interested in devoting their ‘whole life’ to their job.’ Also, students want companies that give back to the community and provide time off for employees to be involved in community efforts.”

Navigating the academic bureaucracy can be difficult, but the career services office can be your best guide to landing top tier talent.  As Nykolaiszyn suggests, “You want to engage the dedicated career offices and have them help you navigate the landscape. Career offices can be the bridge to particular departments, student groups, and even individual students.”

Find out more about how Emsi Analytics for College Recruiting can set your organization apart when it comes to recruiting college students.

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.

The 5 Golden Rules of College Hiring

July 20th, 2016 Comments off
The 5 Golden Rules of College Hiring

Soon, students will be returning to campus from their summer sojourn. For those facing their final semester or year, one eye will be kept on their studies, while the other will focus on life beyond campus.

Here are five golden rules to follow to get in front of the brightest students:

Choose the Correct Communication Channel.

Companies are consistently looking to go where the talent may be. Snapchat, for example, has been all the rage for the past few months, with even the Society for Human Resource Management emphasizing its use of the app at their Annual Conference in June. While many college students may be using it, they may not want to use it with you. Add a line to your job application or find out upfront what the best way to contact that student may be — and stick to it.

Know Your Audience.

College students are not homogeneous. I repeat: College students are not homogeneous. Approaching colleges with the perspective that you are dealing with 18 to 22-year-old millennials means you will likely be missing the boat with non-traditional students. Further, even within the 18-22 demographic, a classroom of 300 (or even 30) is going to be more diverse than expected. What might be appropriate for one student may agitate another student. One only needs to look at the recent Microsoft “Bae” recruiting email to see how a company can misfire.

Know Where the Talent Is.

You may have have been recruiting at College X or University Y for years and have an excellent relationship with them. However, preferences for certain majors may have shifted, and the yield from the same pool may have declined. Using Emsi Analytics for College Recruiting will help you identify if the same schools are providing the desired results.

Be Honest With Candidates About the Job.

College students want a realistic picture of what the job will entail when they start. If the job in actual practice differs from the description made during the recruiting process, students will not hesitate to look elsewhere, particularly in a low unemployment economy.

Treat Others Like You Want to Be Treated.

The golden rule of recruiting college students is the golden rule itself. Do you want the application process to be smooth and easy? So do college students. Want to be kept apprised of the status of said application? So do college students. Want to be treated with respect and dignity during the interview? So do college students. Want to be offered the job or given the bad news as quickly as possible? So do college students.

Recruiting college students does not have to be a hassle. Their wants, needs, and desire are remarkably similar to what every applicant wants, regardless of age. Capitalizing on these rules as an organization will get you off to a successful start when beginning your search this fall.


Find out more about how Emsi Analytics for College Recruiting can set your organization apart when it comes to recruiting college students.


How to Create Job Descriptions That Don’t Suck

July 13th, 2016 Comments off
How to create a job description that doesn't suck

Job descriptions have seemingly been around forever. Actually, what most companies still use today as a basic job description format has been around for about 85 years. Which, in business terms, is forever!

The same old boring job descriptions. The reality is, even as we add video and links and all the fancy templated designs, it’s still a title, responsibilities, knowledge requirements, EOE message, and so on.  Boring. Maybe a little more pleasing to the eye, but still boring.

That’s the big question. How do we make job descriptions better? How do we make job descriptions, dare I say, sexy?

The first step is to really understand what candidates are looking for. Candidate behavior is the key to writing great job descriptions that are going to engage and attract the talent your organization wants and needs.

CareerBuilder recently released a study that shows candidates are looking for three things:

  1. They want to know how you’re different than everyone else. This means you need to build job descriptions that set you apart from your competition. Seventy-four percent of candidates want to know the salary of the job you have posted, according to the study. “Well, we don’t do that! Our competition doesn’t do that!” Well, maybe you should.
  2. They want the truth. Not the fake brand you want them to think you are, but what you look like in the morning before you put your “game” face on!
  3. They want to feel special. You know what your one process for all job applicants does to candidates? It makes them feel like they’re just like everyone else. Great talent hates to feel like everyone else. So, you need to have a process that treats everyone like the unique snowflakes they are.


Sounds easy, right? It’s not. It’s super difficult to produce great job descriptions with those three things in mind, but here are some tips to help you get there:

  • Use your employees to tell candidates what the job truly entails. Show short, unscripted videos of actual employees, telling everyone what it is they do each and every day. You can help them frame what to say, but let them use their words.
  • Use your hiring managers to tell candidates directly what they like to see from candidates in the position they have open. Again, short video works wonders for this, but you can also use hiring managers’ “quotes” within the job description to highlight important aspects.


  • The biggest frustration of all candidates is a lack of response of any kind from employers. Thirty-eight percent of candidates claim they never receive any type of communication to their resume/application. What should you do? Put your cell phone number in the job description, of course! If you have a hard to fill opening, this is a must. It shows you really care, you’re open to questions, and that if they apply they have a way to get an update. Also, 72 percent of candidates say they want to speak to a recruiter or hiring manager before applying, so give them that access.


  • Have an actual personality! Job descriptions don’t have to be boring. In the HR bible, nowhere does it say, “Job descriptions must be boring or thou shalt be spanked.” NOWHERE. It’s okay to have fun with your job postings, especially if that fits the personality of your organization or even the personality of your hiring manager. Candidates respond to organizations that aren’t afraid to show their personality.


Historically, writing job descriptions has seemed like a punishment for those in HR. No one has really wanted to do it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Find the most creative HR intern you can find — someone with strong writing skills — and let them have at it. Your job postings can be both legally functional and marketing-worthy.

You just need to add a little creativity to the mix.

Get more in-depth insights from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

4 Best Practices From the Talent Acquisition Trenches

June 28th, 2016 Comments off
Reinventing Recruitment: Best Practices From the Talent Acquisition Trenches

Whether you are new to recruitment or a veteran in the industry, it’s interesting to see how your peers are helping to move the industry forward with innovative insights and practical recruitment wisdom. That’s why we got a panel of experts — those deep in the talent acquisition trenches — together at CareerBuilder’s Empower 2016 Roadshow in Philadelphia to talk about best practices.

Here are some of their top takeaways.

1. Step up your talent branding efforts.

People are talking a lot about “talent branding” right now — the who, what, where or how your company is perceived by potential candidates. If your brand doesn’t carry a strong reputation among job seekers, chances are you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to attract and recruit the talent you need.

Branding can either work for or against you, so it’s important to be proactive in terms of aligning your brand messaging with what the perception may be of your brand as an employer.

One way to do so is to equip your employees to become your advocates to the outside world.

Make it the responsibility of all 150,000 employees to tell their story and create their talent brand and what it is like to be an employee,” said Shelly Gross, senior director, talent acquisition at Comcast.

Some companies, however, may not have as much name recognition as Comcast. Take NFI Industries, a third-party supply chain solutions provider, for instance.

“NFI is unique because it has no [formal] brand recognition and only way people know who NFI is through seeing trucks [with the name on it], so people think it’s just a trucking company,” said Leslie Hafter, director of talent acquisition at NFI Industries. “But it is more.”

Hafter worked with CareerBuilder to create a survey on what NFI means to people both internally and externally and then created a career site based on the findings and how the company wanted to showcase their talent brand.

2. Go above and beyond what’s required of you.

Great talent acquisition professionals not only get the job done; they also go the extra mile.

It’s creating a really positive experience for each candidate and making each applicant feel important and that the application process is easy,” said Jamie Bannach, staffing specialist at Contemporary Staffing Solutions. “Or if you can’t help someone, give them the resources or point them in the right direction.”

Bannach said it’s also about building one’s personal reputation.

“As a staffing recruiter, I need to have personal brand as well since, at the end of the day, I am selling myself,” she said. “[It’s about] listening and coaching my candidates in order to help find a good fit for them [and being] genuine and honest. They are representing me, too, so I want to ensure my candidates are well prepared as they are a representation of how I have done my job for my client.”

3. Remember that technology can be a time saver, but it won’t solve all your problems.

Having the tools and technology you need is one thing, but it only does so much.

There needs to be a human element when it comes to implementing the technology.

“Our team has some of the tools that they need, but our ATS is less than ideal and it really eats into their ability to be efficient, so we’ve supplemented with other tools,” Gross said. “But it really comes down to a human factor — the technology is only as good as the person using it. I am a hawk when it comes to time and calendar management and organizational skills. If you aren’t doing a good job in these areas, you are never going to be successful regardless of what tools you have.”

According to Hilary Bailey, talent systems and operations manager at Santander Bank, the company is working to make sure that recruiters have the tools they need to be efficient — but she emphasized that communication is key to making the most of technology.

“When I came in, there were spreadsheets and an ATS, but now we are launching a new ATS and HRIS and taking advantage of the tools that were already in place,” Bailey said. “The biggest struggle we have now is ‘change fatigue’ since we are always changing [the tools we use]. I would encourage recruiters to communicate with the operations/ process person so that the technology and its uses are designed effectively and efficiently.”

4. Don’t ignore candidate experience.

Candidate experience matters! Only 31 percent of employers claim to have tried applying to one of their company’s open jobs to see what the process is like, according to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study. If you don’t already, start testing your own process at regular intervals to pinpoint frustrations and make necessary changes.

“It took me three times to apply to my own job here,” Bailey said. “They would have lost me if I wasn’t as competitive and determined as I am.”

At the same time, keep the line of communication open with job seekers. Nearly half (45 percent) of job seekers say their biggest frustration is when employers don’t respond to them. In fact, job seekers say 4 out of 10 (38 percent) of their applications never receive a response or any type of communication. So if you want to stay a step ahead of your competition, do yourself a favor and avoid that dreaded black hole.

To learn more about what candidates expect from you during their job search, download CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study now.