Category Archives: Recruitment

Recruitment: When A Candidates Can’t Say “Yes”

Post by By Rick Dacri, Dacri & Associates, LLC; initially published in the July 2016 MTCMA newsletter


Finding the perfect candidate to fill the critical position in your municipality is never easy. Search, interviewing, and reference checking can be draining to you and your staff or board. And once you find the “right” one, you’d like to believe your job is over, but it is not. Getting the candidate to say “yes” is the most important part of the entire recruitment process. Without a “yes” everything else you have done is simply practice.

When a candidate cannot say “yes” to your job offer, you have a problem. Be clear to candidates that they have no more than one week, 10 days at most, to render you an answer. Baring extenuating circumstances, without an affirmative, withdraw the offer and move on. Otherwise, you’ll be left dangling and the candidate will likely reject your offer. In my 30 years of executive recruitment, never have I seen a candidates take an extended time to contemplate an offer and eventually accept it—even during periods of tough negotiations. If they can’t (or won’t) make a decision about a job offer, how can you expect them to make a decision about other aspects of the job? Remember, they either never wanted the job or can’t make up their minds—not very good traits for a new employee.

The Board of a large public organization extended a generous job offer to a highly qualified CEO candidate. The candidate was both surprised and hesitant by the offer (red flags). After one week of negotiations, the candidate asked for additional time to think about it (another red flag). Over the next five weeks, the candidate sought multiple clarifications to the terms of the offer and a delayed starting date before the board ultimately pulled the plug. Even though the board’s executive recruiter recommended withdrawing the offer after 10 days, the board continued the process and was shocked that it came to his point.

What went wrong? Here are 12 tell tale signs that your job offer will likely be rejected:
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Filed under executive recruitment, municipalities, municipality, Recruitment, Uncategorized

When Competitive Pay is Not Enough


images(Post written by Rick Dacri, March 28, 2016)

There are times when paying competitive wages is not enough. The General Manager of a public power utility called me recently. He was having difficulty in both recruiting and retaining electrical engineers and experienced line workers. The feedback he was receiving was that his pay program was out of line with other electrical utilities. I was ultimately engaged to conduct a market analysis of their wages. The results were startling to him and his board—their wages were competitive with other public utilities within their market. How could this be? They found this incredulous.

A new reality has entered the marketplace. In some situations, paying the market rate is insufficient. The unemployment rate is plummeting. It is Continue reading

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Municipalities: The Magnet That Draws Candidates to You Creating a Positive Recruitment Brand



(This article was written by Rick Dacri and published in the March 2016 MTCMA Newsletter)

Why is it that some towns have a steady stream of quality individuals who want to work for them? In large part, these towns have created and fostered a positive brand. When communities find it impossible to fill open positions or get volunteers to step forward, it is likely a result of having a negative brand.

So what is a recruitment brand? Quite simply, it is the magnet that draws candidates to you. It’s the message you convey about what it is like to work for your town. Every organization has a brand, whether you know it or not. You communicate it every day to and through your employees, the actions you and they take or don’t take, the words spoken or the silence delivered, and even through your physical appearance. Your brand is communicated through your values, beliefs, and your core mission and ideally, from a recruitment standpoint, your brand sends a strong and loud message out to the community that “you’re a great place to work.” Continue reading

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Filed under city manager, Recruitment, Uncategorized

7 Ways to Measure Your Recruitment Brand

Unknown(Post by Rick Dacri, November 5, 2015)

I recently spoke at a conference on the topic of Recruitment Strategies. I spent considerable time on showing the participants how to develop a recruitment brand for their company. After the session, one of the executives in the session asked how do you measure the effectiveness of your brand. He noted, correctly, that all good management practices must be measurable.

As I had explained to the group, the purpose of a recruitment brand was to attract quality candidates to your company from a target group –those individuals who share the values of your company and who come from your industry segment. For example, LL Bean is likely to attract applicants who enjoy all things outdoors (skiing, fishing, hiking, hunting—you get the picture).

To attract the right candidates to your company, there must be three things in place: 1) awareness, 2) differentiation and 3) recognition that you are a good place to work. Without awareness, you’ll be a well-kept secret, so measuring applicant flow is critical. Potential candidates will compare you to other companies. There must be something positive about you that distinguish you from others. Part of the differentiation is demonstrating that you’re among the best places to work—and here is where your employees can be the best recruitment ambassadors.

So how do you measure this? Here are 7 ways:

  1. Applicant flow: look at the quality, quantity and diversity of your labor pool, applicants and hires.
  2. Conversion rate: measure the number of applicants that accept your job offer.
  3. Cost and time to hire: are your cost per hire and time to hire increasing or decreasing?
  4. Existing employees: are your employee engagement surveys tracking positive or negative? Is retention up or down?
  5. Performance: which way are existing employee performance and productivity tracking?
  6. Referrals: are your current employees and even your customers referring applicants to you?
  7. (add your method to measure branding below).

These are just some of the ways to measure effectiveness of your brand. There are more that I could have listed.

Measuring the effectiveness of your recruitment brand is an important component of the process. Obviously the most difficult part is understanding and developing your brand. If you are unable to effectively attract, hire and retain quality candidates, then your brand is not working. If you need assistance understanding and developing a recruitment strategy and brand, give me a call. I can help.

Other posts you may like:

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How Job Candidates Should Position Themselves

(Post by Rick Dacri, November 28, 2014)

Jake wowed me. As an executive recruiter with years of experience, I’m not easily impressed. But everything pointed to him as the one. He did everything right to get himself hired.internet_recruitment_job_interview_362210302

I was engaged to recruit a new Executive Vice President. When I search for executive level individuals, my success in finding candidates comes from networking. And that’s how I found Jake. Yes, I placed ads, but individuals not looking for a job never see them and passive candidates are often the best.

So let me tell you about Jake, how he positioned himself as the perfect candidate, and what everyone looking for a job can learn from him.

To begin, Jake never applied for the job. He didn’t know the position was open and frankly, I didn’t even know Jake existed. But others did. As I networked, individual after individual recommended I contact him. He was considered a rising star among managers in his industry. I knew I had to meet him. And, when I finally found him, I had to convince him to apply and sell him on the job. Jake, simply by developing a reputation as a mover and shaker, had taken control of the recruitment process. It’s a bit counter-intuitive to understand, but his strength was that he didn’t apply for the job, that he was doing an outstanding job in his current position, which made him ideal for a new job that he never sought. As the executive recruiter, I had to convince him to even listen…and he did. But I had to convince Jake, not the other way around. He was in control and that’s critical in a job search.

It gets better and from the perspective of the recruiter who only wants to present solid candidates to the client, Jake continued to do everything right. When I Googled his name, there were countless articles about him and the work he had done. No tarnish here. His resume highlighted accomplishments, not task performed. But, it did reveal one red flag. There was a two year unexplained gap in his employment—never a good sign. I asked him about it and was taken back by his response. He was wounded in Iraq, came home with a disability, and recognized he needed time off to get well. He used that time to rehabilitate, think about what was important in his life and return to school. He took a potential negative from an employment perspective, maybe a knockout of his candidacy, and turned it into a plus.

Jake interviewed well, was prepared and asked probing, insightful questions. He did his homework on the company, the current management team and even me. He visited the company and researched their plans. And he did this without ever being asked to do so. He was a model candidate.

So what can others learn from Jake that they can apply to their job search? Here are seven differentiators: Continue reading

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Filed under Help Wanted, Job Search, Recruitment

Recruitment: Finding Perfect Candidates

(Post by Rick Dacri, November 7, 2014)hiring

When recruiting a new executive, it is important to know where to find the best candidates. In previous newsletters and in my book Uncomplicating Management, I have covered the recruitment process in detail, but this month I want to discuss where to source great candidates.his month I want to discuss where to source great candidates.

Just today, a Trustee of a utility board I know called me about her frustration in generating good quality candidates for her open General Manager position. She had placed ads on association websites, Indeed and Monster expecting to be overwhelmed with super resumes. It didn’t happen. While her efforts were good first steps, particularly advertising on professional sites, her focus had excluded a huge population of excellent candidates-those individuals who are not looking for a job but who might make ideal candidates. Only those who are looking for a job read these ads.

I recently completed an executive search for a General Manager of a public utility and I am currently recruiting a City Manager for a medium size community. While I too placed some very targeted ads on industry specific sites, I focused primarily on a vast network of managers who are currently doing a similar job, and who may either know of managers who would fit this open position or who may be interested in learning more about it for themselves. These managers would never have seen these recruitment ads, but might be interested in making a move for the right opportunity. By networking with literally hundreds of managers (yes, hundreds), I was able to identify several well-qualified candidates who could make an immediate contribution upon hire. While this process requires having an existing network to tap and the time required to speak to these people (emails do not work), the benefits of this approach make it a must strategy.

Adding this crucial networking piece ensures you get better candidates and a better hire. Remember, successful fishermen know where the fish are biting. Successful recruiters do the same.

If you need help with your recruitment needs, give me a call at 207-967-0837.

Other Posts You Might Like:

  1. Recruitment: Why Job Searches Fail
  2. Recruitment: The 5 Pillars of a Strong Brand
  3. Recruitment: Getting a “Yes” to Every Job Offer


Filed under Help Wanted, Job Search, Recruitment

Why Cleavage Should Not Be A Job Requirement

(This article, written by Rick Dacri, was originally published in the York County Coast Star on May 22, 2014)

You can only make one first impression, so you want to make it a good one. You’ve heard this a million times. Yet, so many companies ignore this advice. In this competitive world, the impression we convey can either open or close a door.

We form quick opinions about people we meet. Same for a company. Walking into their facility, meeting their employees, reading their annual report or reviewing their website—all convey a certain message about them. Most recently I learned a lot about a company through a recruitment ad they placed on Craigslist seeking an assistant to the president called a “Director of First Impressions.” Yes, that’s the real position title.

A little background: One of my clients spotted this company’s ad and forwarded it to me seeking my first impression. Well, I formed one quickly and it wasn’t all that good. This small, but busy office, was seeking “a mature, think outside the box, open minded, assistant to the president.” So far so good–this should draw people I thought. The ad went on to state they wanted someone who “wants to prove themselves, make themselves invaluable, and if selected, retire from here in 30 years!” While I applaud their desire for a stable person who isn’t into job hopping, I would advise they be careful with their wording. “Retire from here in 30 years” could be code for “we want someone young” and that would be discriminatory. It gets worse. In describing their ideal candidate, they noted that they wanted someone with a sense of humor because “we are definitely not always politically correct.” Well, OK, but what does that mean? Here it comes: “the successful candidate should be aware that naughty words are spoken frequently and it is a male dominated culture…think cleavage.” What? Did they really mean to put that in writing? What kind of impression do they expect their Director of First Impressions to present? Is a certain dress expected? Are they suggesting only women should apply? Continue reading

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