Tag Archives: Candidate

5 Frequent and Costly Hiring Mistakes

internet_recruitment_job_interview_362210302(This article, written by Rick Dacri, was published in the October JobsInTheUS newsletter)

When recruiting, finding the right candidate is always difficult. What makes it harder, are simple and costly mistakes. Here are five frequent faux pas:

1. Looking and Not Knowing

Managers often start the search process without fully understanding what they are looking for in a new hire. Simply replicating the person who previously held the position or blindly following a job description is not sufficient. Circumstances and needs change. Profile your ideal candidate. Factor in what you need today and tomorrow. Understand who will be successful and who will not. Beyond education, training and experience, consider traits and fit.

2. Searching and Not Attracting

Posting a job on a job board or internet site will generate an avalanche of resumes, but will not necessarily land you the ideal candidate. In fact, this approach could eliminate many potentially good candidates who are not actively looking and may not be aware of your search for a new candidate.

Don’t forget about the candidates who are currently working and not looking. With the development of a strong recruitment brand, candidates, active and passive, who share your beliefs and values, will be attracted to your company like a magnet. Rather than you looking for them, they will be seeking you out.

3. Selling and Not Buying

In the job interview, managers are often too quick to sell the job, company and benefits before they know what they are buying. Stop talking. Ask questions, listen and evaluate. See if they are the correct fit  for the job and your company. Once you know you have the right candidate, then you can begin the sell. If the candidate is wrong, there is no need to waste your time or theirs. Thank them and send them off.

4. Giving and Not Negotiating

When it comes time for the offer, owners too often have a one size fits all job offer in their pocket. Candidates expect to negotiate, whether it’s about pay, benefits or time off. Be prepared for the give and take of a real negotiation to ensure getting a “yes” to your offer.

5. Accepting and Not Verifying

“Trust, but verify” should be practiced in all recruitment initiatives. Too often, managers accept what’s on a resume or what a candidate says as fact. Thorough, probing reference and background checks are an essential part of all job searches.

By avoiding these miscues, you are better positioned to land the best candidate for the job.

Need help with developing an effective recruitment program? Contact Dacri & Associates.

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Job Offers Are Never A Sure Thing

images(This article was written by Rick Dacri and was published in JobsInTheUS.com in August 2013)

Dewey Defeats Truman – that famously inaccurate headline on the front of the Chicago Tribune is an apt reminder that there are no sure things in life. Everyone knew that Dewey would win that 1948 Presidential election, everyone but the voters. And Truman was returned to office to the shock of the pundits.

Similarly, “sure things” can ruin many a plan, particularly when it comes to recruitment. Guaranteed hires and placements are never certain.

Too Much Confidence Can Backfire

In a recent executive search that I conducted, I presented three highly-qualified CEO candidates to my client. One of them was absolutely sure that he would be hired. He was very experienced, he had a proven track record and he had impressed the search committee in his initial interview. It was a done deal, but in his mind only.

Though cautioned about being over-confident, he felt it would be a mistake on the client’s part not to hire him. He was wrong. He left his “A” game at home before the final interview, something the other two candidates did not do, and the job was not offered to him. In the job search process, it is all about the interview and if you don’t shine there, even if you are the most qualified for the job, you go home with hat in hand.

At any stage in your career, you must do the hard work and create strategies to “win” the interview.

Two-way Street

On the other side of the coin, employers often feel that if they like a candidate, all they have to do is offer the job and the candidate will give an enthusiastic “yes!” After all, he or she would be a fool to turn them down. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. When hiring stars, employers must also “sell” the candidate on the reasons why they should accept the offer. Recruitment is a two-way street.

Wait for the Close

Confidence is good. But there are no absolutes. As a realtor friend of mine once said: “There are no roses until it closes.” The same advice applies to landing a job. You don’t have it until it is offered and the employer doesn’t have a new employee until you say “yes.”

If you want to know more about how I can help you with your recruitment programs, click Dacri & Associates.

Other posts you might want to read:

  1. Recruitment: The 5 Pillars of a Strong Recruitment Brand
  2. Recruitment: Getting a “Yes” to Every Job Offer
  3. Recruitment: Landing Your Next Manager

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Reference Checking: 5 Tips To Get Great References

imagesI received this question about reference checking from a client who uses my HR HelpLine Service.  The client is the Chair of a human service agency board of directors. Here is the client’s question and my advice:

Client Question: We are preparing to hire a new executive director for our agency. My experience in checking references is that the HR department only verifies employment and nothing more. For this hire, should we even bother trying to do references?

Answer: Absolutely do the references. You would be putting your agency at risk if you failed to do so.

In today’s litigious society, it is often difficult to get employers to provide references. Everyone is afraid they’ll some how be sued for telling the truth about a past candidate. As a result, you get the standard name, rank and serial number response. This won’t do. You need to get solid references so don’t be deterred by these kinds of responses.

To get great references, follow these 5 tips:

  1. Tell the candidate who you want to speak with and have him identify these people. These could include members of his board of directors, current and past managers, staff, customers, etc.
  2. Once you get the names and contact information, tell the candidate to call these people first to tell them that you will be calling. Have them ask the reference to take your call.
  3. Offer to call after hours.  If the reference prefers, call the reference at their home.
  4. Unless your hiring someone for your Human Resources department, by-pass this department. They have been lawyered up and will never give you the straight scoop.
  5. If necessary, utilize a Reference Authorization Form. This is a form, signed by the candidate, authorizing the reference and promising not to sue for providing truthful information.

For an executive level hire, you may also want to go beyond a background check. You may want to do a criminal background check and credit check.

Reference checking is essential to the hiring process. Not doing this exposes the Board and the agency to bad hires and even potential lawsuits.

If you have employee questions, call our HR HelpLine. I provide uncomplicated, operational advice, not legal advice, on how to address difficult employee and organizational issues.

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Recruitment: Getting a “Yes” to Every Job Offer

Getting a “Yes” To Every Job Offer

10 Foolproof Steps

By Rick Dacri, Dacri & Associates, LLC

 This article was originally published in Mainebiz, October 1, 2012

Finding the perfect candidate to fill the critical position in your company is never easy. Search, interviewing, and reference checking can be draining to you and your organization. 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.

After you have completed the interviews and references, ask yourself: Can he do the job? Will she be accepted? Will he fit? Is she interested? What is the likelihood that he will stay? Will outside factors interfere with her performance? Are there any red flags? Am I excited about him? Is my staff? Is she the one?

If you are convinced that the candidate has the right stuff and will add value to your organization, then it is time to prepare the job offer. Don’t underestimate this step. Too often, we assume the candidate will automatically say yes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Unless they are unemployed, there is often a pull to stay in the current job then to accept your position—a “buyer’s remorse.” And, they may be interviewing elsewhere where a “better” offer may already be on the table.

 To begin, let’s look at some of the reasons candidates accept new positions. Continue reading

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Recruit Better Candidates With Social Media

In recruiting, finding your ideal candidate is never easy and it gets a lot harder when the candidates you need are gainfully employed and not looking for a job. They will never see your ad no matter where you place it. So how do you find them?

 In a recent national search that I conducted for a key executive, my ideal candidate was likely employed and therefore not actively in the job market. He or she also needed some industry specific skills and experiences. Ads, even placed in specific trade journals, would likely not generate the right candidates.

 Two recruitment tools I used produced a number of qualified candidates. One was networking. This tried and true method of identifying individuals within the industry, contacting them directly and “networking” amongst them and their contacts, produced several solid leads. The second and newest tool used was social media. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter were both effective and inexpensive in generating several candidates with specific skills and experience.

 LinkedIn has become a powerful recruitment tool that provides you quick and easy access to thousands of potential candidates. It allows you to review individual profiles, network amongst industry group members, and communicate directly with potential candidates and referrers–individuals you may have not known before you began your search.

 In my executive search, I generated many solid candidates through LinkedIn–none of them was aware of my search prior to my contacting them because none of them was actively looking for a new job.

 Add social media to your recruitment toolbox. Combining it with networking and the other traditional recruitment methods, will allow you to conduct a more focused job search.

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Employee Referral Programs Generate Best Candidates

Step back from your recruitment role and ask why are you doing this? Consider this: when it comes to finding technicians, who knows more about where technicians “hang out” than other technicians?  Same for engineers, customer service reps and yes, even company presidents.  Take engineers.  They belong to the same associations, go to the same meetings, read the same professional journals, and probably frequent the same taverns.  So why aren’t you asking your engineer to help recruit engineers for you—engineers that he already knows.

 Your existing people can be your best recruiters In fact, studies show that employee referrals generate the best candidates at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruitment methods.  Your employees will do much of the screening, providing the candidate with the scoop on your organization—both the good and the bad.  Either way, when the candidate becomes an employee, he’ll come in with his eyes wide open, already knowing your people, history and culture, without any surprises.  So, it only makes sense to start an Employee Referral Program today. In a Society For Human Resource Management national study, employee referrals were cited as generating the highest quality candidates with the best return on investment for the organization.

 But many of you may be thinking “we can’t do this.  Our organization has never done this and this will never be allowed.”  Wrong.  More and more recognize that there is a need to do things differently.  They understand that referral programs are an important and effective recruitment toolThey save money; payouts are only made with a guaranteed hire; and they promote good will among your employees and foster employee retention.  You may have to “sell” the concept but when they see the benefits, they are quick to approve.

 Here are four tips to make your referral program a hit:

  1. Promote the program big time: educate your workforce about what you’re looking for.  Build a campaign around your needs.  Make your referral program highly visible and fun.  Use posters, payroll stuffers, fliers, t-shirts, etc. 
  2. Pay out the big bucks: A referral bonus of a couple hundred dollars is not going to turn heads.  When it comes to referrals, money talks.  Consider this: a 2-inch display ad in a major metropolitan newspaper will cost $2,000, and there is no guarantee anyone will see it, never mind send a resume to you. So why not give the same money to your employee when his referral is hired? Remember, you only pay with a guaranteed hire.
  3. Pay all at once: Avoid payouts that are staggered over time. You’ll get more referrals when you pay out all at once—on the day the new referrals comes to work. 
  4. Make it a big deal: never include the payout as part of a regular pay. Cut a separate check and then personally deliver the check to the employee when other people are around to see the payout. You get to be the “good guy” who delivers the big bucks; the employee is recognized and rewarded, while your other employees view this and wonder how they can reap similar rewards. Talk about a win-win-win. And watch the increase in referrals after your first payout. I had a client who got four solid referrals after paying out her first referral check. Everyone wanted a piece of the action.

 Make all your employees recruiters with an Employee Referral Program.  You will get better candidates and more candidates.  Your employees know you best and as such they should be your best ambassadors and therefore your best recruiters. They should be scouring the community for the best people and bringing these candidates to your attention.  The program will also save you money.  And you can finally focus on running your business.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

This blog was excerpted from my book Uncomplicating Management: Focus On Your Stars & Your Company Will Soar

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