Archives : Recruiting

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    Recruiting Issues-Double Checking It All.

    Most human resource managers today are limited to providing only the basics for employment verification. Fear of litigation nullifies anything that may be deemed subjective or, more considerably, litigious. Conducting the formal employment verification will typically return little more than the date your candidate started employment, the date he left, and the position he held. You will often find yourself lacking the input needed to make an informed hiring decision. Once in awhileIn fact, at the writing of this article, there was a radio program where the show’s commentator reinforced this principle. The commentator admonished Human Resources Personnel that there is as much a danger in providing a positive reference as there is in providing one that is negative. He went on to say it is important to keep all employment verifications as uniform as possible. He suggested providing only the start date, completion date and the position held.

    Is this bare bones information enough to make an informed decision on an employment candidate? Sometimes. When the job is simple enough and no special skills are required… yes. Then all you need to know is whether or not your candidate actually worked at his previous place of employment. You may need to know more about an IT candidate’s technical skills, but whether or not your candidate’s last job as a pizza boy can shed any real light on his abilities is open to debate.

    Because the typical employment verification yields such sparse information, more and more businesses are turning to the reference verification in order to find out more about their candidates and their respective skills. While the reference verification can have its pros and cons, for a fair number of hiring situations it’s a smart way to go.

    Reference verifications can be best used to discern the skill sets of your job candidate. Recruiters will employ the reference check to determine if their candidates are qualified in special skills and experience. You may call upon references to define a job candidate’s level of IT skills, or his fluency with general and industry specific software programs. You may wish to better understand his abilities in graphic and web design, which can provide essential considerations.

    As a recruiter, you may want to know more about your candidate’s networking capabilities, who he knows in his industrial sector. If he is a sales person, you may know just how well connected he is in, say, licensing product in certain geographic regions. For international candidates, when language capability is a concern, you can use the reference verification to help assess these abilities.

    Of course, there are other questions you may ask in your reference verification process. You may want to know more about your candidate’s management skills or style. You need to determine if he works well with others, if he is a team player or the sort that works better off by himself. Does he show up on time? Is he absent frequently? What are the areas where he can improve?

    At Corra, as part of the verification process, we ask the reference to rate the employment candidate using a scale of one to ten. Ten is the highest score. Usually, to be considered a viable employment candidate, our clients would like to see at least a seven rating. Seven and up is considered pretty solid.

    Sometimes the reference gets carried away and barks out a ten. Most employers will look at this as boosterish. But there are the exceptions. If the reference is an upper level executive and qualifies his or her statement with such phrases as “I’ve been around for umpteen years and rarely have I seen someone work as well as So and So,” the employer will take it more at face value.

    In most cases, the higher level ratings are a nine or nine plus. The reference will often qualify his rating with “Everyone has room to improve…”

    Always bear in mind the reference that your job candidate supplies you, will be a favorable reference. No candidate in his right mind would give you references that would go out of their way to sink his ship. Sometimes the reference may not find the candidate as favorable as the candidate would like to believe. While the reference wants to be a good person, they may also want to divulge the more negative aspects as well. There is any number of reasons for doing so. Sometimes they wish to give you a heads up. Sometimes there are personal issues. Sometimes they are just covering their butts.

    The reference may not tell you directly that the candidate is tough to deal with or is someone who they would never hire again. Yet they would like to. So it is not the answer itself, but the way they answer that serves as the indicator. It’s what they don’t say or their hesitation that provides the tipoff they were less than thrilled with your candidate.

    Listen for the speech inflection, the hesitation, or the reference’s struggle to find the right word or term. Sometimes they are working so hard at being diplomatic you can glean a more negative appraisal. Sometimes, if prodded, they will tell you a little more about the downside of your candidate. Sometimes that won’t veer from the positive appraisal, but while they don’t say it outright, there is something in the way they answer that can tell you more than they had wished. Or, they told you exactly what they wanted to say, but with plausible deniability.

    It should be noted for the rare but embarrassing occasion that when you get a reference contact information, make sure they are a legitimate source. Either insist on the business phone number as well as their cell number, or find some way to substantiate that the reference isn’t your candidate’s cousin Larry pretending he is the former CEO of Nonexistent Enterprises ready to give your candidate a really great review.

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    Talent Spotting in 2018 and Beyond

    Claudio Fernández-Aráoz –a regulatory recruiter with more than 30 years of experience tells a story about looking for a CEO for a small company. While working with the outgoing  CEO he learned a great deal and believed that the man he had helped to hire had all the right stuff.

     

    He was a well thought of professional with the right schools and the right background. What’s more, he had worked for all the right companies. He’d scored remarkably well in every avenue. In spite of all of those things, he simply did not adjust well to the massive changes going on in regulatory and after three years of sub-par performance, he was asked to leave the company.

     

    Why did he do so poorly?  He lacked one thing that simply couldn’t be tested—the ability to adapt to new and changing situations. He did not have that ability and as such was unable to fulfill the role for which the company had hired him and for which they needed him so badly.

     

    The recruiters who have spent the most time tracking and finding the best executives in marketing, in regulatory and in food manufacturing agree on one thing—nothing is quite as important today as the potential and adaptability of the candidate. It is the harbinger of success at nearly every level, from the most junior executive to the C-suite and beyond.

     

    Learning how to identify that potential and use it to find the right person for the job is imperative to your success as a recruiter. It is a new era of talent spotting. Intelligence, experience and performance in the past are only a part of the equation.

     

    Potential is a fair amount of it but it’s also the part that may be the most difficult to ascertain and to discern than how competent they are. Not only is it hard to find but you’re looking for it in a marketplace that is the most difficult in the past ten years.

     

    Senior talent is scarcer than ever before due to the vast changes in the marketplace in the past few years. Due to globalization, to age demographics and to the companies who are not properly developing a pipeline of future company leaders, it is more difficult than ever before for companies to have the leadership they need when they need it.

     

    This problem is not confined to small companies or to large ones but seems to be universal. In 2014, Price Waterhouse did a survey of CEOs. The survey encompassed more than 65 countries and over 60 percent of those companies said that they were “concerned about the future availability of key skills at all levels.” In addition, The Boston Consulting Group cited research that showed that more than 56% of executives can see where they have critical problems in their ability to fill senior roles in the years ahead.

     

    That makes recognizing potential more important than ever before. How then, do you accomplish that?  What is the best way to recognize the potential for a given job and to take the new method of talent spotting into account when you evaluate candidates?

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  • What the low unemployment rate and high growth means to your talent strategy?:

    With unemployment rates lower than they have been in years, there are some real down sides for employers. Notably the pool of available talent is smaller than it has been in nearly a decade.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “In January, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the fourth consecutive month. The number of unemployed persons, at 6.7 million, changed little over the month.”

    By way of comparison, in 2014, more than 1.5 million jobs were created, the largest gain to be seen in the past 8 years. With so many new jobs and far fewer people scrambling to take the small menial jobs, there are plenty of people looking for a step up. Fast forward 3 years and in 2017 the number of jobs created was even higher, and with far fewer people being displaced than have been in the past 5 years.

    What that boils down to is that far fewer people are losing their jobs. Too, far fewer people are seeking new jobs. Many are happy and staying in their jobs and since tney are not being displaced, that means recruiting talent is a whole lot harder than ever before.

    How can we attract and engage the people that we’d like to add to our pool of talent? It’s going to take a bit more than just adding that extra 20 cents an hour at this point. It is, as the recruiters say, a candidates market and they are taking advantage of it to ask for the things that they want.

    Employers now have to take a hard look at adding things like relocation package for the employee who has a special skill set that could be useful anywhere. Getting them on board will be rough enough on a regular day but if you are talking about having them relocate in order to get them into the new job, then funding that move may be necessary in this market place.

    Paying on a scale that is commensurate with their skills and experience is going to be an absolute necessity. If you don’t they will find someone who will and that leaves your company behind the 8 ball.

    Pay is not the only the factor as on boarding has to be on point too.  It will be imperative to not only make the role well compensated but a situation and an environment in which people want to work.

    In addition, find engagement tactics that will compel your talent and keep them on board as well as engaged until you are able to negotiate a good package deal for them all. The advantage of having your preferred recruiter involved is that they can do the heavy lifting and get the dirty work done so that you can keep clean, so to speak.

    Hiring the right people is imperative in this day and age. Get creative &  make it happen more easily by adding some perks to the package.

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