Overcome Roadblocks to Successful Hiring

August 7th, 2017

If you’re like most managers, you define “successful” hiring in a few key ways: a successful hire steps into the role, picks up the ropes quickly, takes ownership of tasks within a few weeks or months, and stays with the company for at least one calendar year. An unsuccessful hire steps in amid confusion, misunderstandings about the nature of the job, and a slow uptake of responsibility, and then completes a short tenure with the company. If you’re looking for ways to remove obstacles from the path to successful hiring and generate more of the first case and less of the second, keep a few key tips in mind.

Remove your roadblocks with a recruiter

Talk to a professional recruiter who can help you identify the specific challenges that may be holding you back. You’re deeply immersed in your business model, your team, and your company culture, and sometimes a little outside perspective can help you spot problems that might otherwise remain under your radar. If there’s one small misstep or unhealthy habit standing between you and success, recognize that habit and get it cleared away.

Meet reality halfway

Most employers begin a candidate search with sky-high expectations. They want nothing less than the best, which may mean finding a global expert in three or more overlapping skill areas—who just happens to live down the street. Since this isn’t realistic, you’ll win by finding a clear path between your ideal vision and your actual successful candidate. If you can’t find that path, the confusion, disappointment, and frustration that result can cloud the water on both sides of the relationship and make a rough start worse over time. Communication and common sense can help both parties succeed.

Know where to look

The right approach to candidate sourcing can mean the difference between choosing from a stellar pool of nearly-perfect applicants, and settling for the best of a mediocre crop. If you can identify your target audience and publish your job post within easy reach of that audience, you’ll raise your odds of finding the candidate you’re looking for.

Move quickly and you’ll cover more ground

The more laborious and bureaucratic your hiring process, the slower you’ll move. And the slower you move, the more likely you are to let great candidates slip away. Help from a recruiter, a streamlined administrative process, and a rapid-fire interview schedule can help you gather data and make your decision before critical opportunities pass you by.

For more on how to overcome the staffing obstacles that and between you and your goals, contact the Cleveland County staffing experts at PSU.

Think Reference Checks are Overrated? Think Again!

April 17th, 2017

As you source candidates for an open position, review resumes, and conduct interviews, you rarely doubt the value of you endeavors. You feel confident that the time you invest in these activities will pay off as you narrow your options and hone in on the most qualified candidates in the pool. But when it comes to reference checks, you may feel differently.

Too often, HR pros and hiring managers eliminate reference checks altogether, assuming that the payoff just isn’t worth the effort, time, and social awkwardness that reference checks entail. But if you’ve weighed the cost and benefits and decided to skip the reference check process, reconsider. Here are some benefits you may be overlooking.

Reference checks don’t take long if they’re done right.

You don’t have to set aside an hour for a long phone call; just correspond by email. And you don’t have to allow a rambling discussion to consume your afternoon; just ask a quick series of concrete questions with easy answers. If you read between the lines, even a five-minute exchange can provide insight into how others feel about your candidate and the general impression he leaves behind.

References DO provide meaningful information.

Managers often skip reference checks because most references provide bland, non-committal, unassailable answers that won’t get them into trouble. But if you don’t let this happen, it won’t happen. Instead of saying “Did you like the candidate?” (of course the answer will be yes), ask something more pointed. Try: “Was the candidate consistently on time? What did she do best? If you had to provide a coaching tip for me, what would it be?”

References catch red flags.

Just embarking on the process can provide meaningful information. For example, if you reach out to a reference and your call is ignored or avoided, you can consider this a successful data-gathering mission. You never exchanged a word, but this non-responsive reference has shared a data point that you can add to a growing picture of the candidate’s profile.

References might give more than you asked for.

An enthusiastic, full-hearted, hyperbolic testament to the candidate’s abilities can be a powerful statement. If even one of your candidate’s references shouts her praises to the heavens, you can consider this a plus. These enthusiastic supporters can also tell you about accomplishments or proud moments the candidate herself may have omitted due to oversight or modesty.

Reference provide a point of comparison.

You may have two candidates with apparently equal technical abilities, in which case a reference check might provide a quick and immediate tie breaker. Make the calls and see what happens.

For more on how to conduct reference checks in an efficient, appropriate, and meaningful way, reach out to the Cleveland County professional staffing team at PSU.

Find a Candidate Who Fits Well with Your Company Culture

March 10th, 2017

As you search for a candidate who can handle the challenges of your open position, take the culture of your workplace into account as well. “Fitness”, or the level of alignment between the candidate and the role, can be the product of a complex and delicate equation. The right candidate isn’t just ready to handle the daily tasks that come across his or her desk; she’s also ready to handle the kinds of clients your company work with, the coworkers who sit to her left and right, and the unique style adopted by the company’s upper management.

Are these managers hands-on or hands-off? Are these clients easy-going or edgy and demanding? Are these coworkers collaborative or competitive? No matter what the answers may be, here are some tips that can help you spot a promising match.

First, know what you’re working with.

Before you can find a cultural fit, you’ll need to understand the psychological and social fabric of your workplace. Look around, conduct surveys, and gather data points before you begin the sourcing process for an open position. Collect some statements that seem reasonable and plausible, like: “This is a fast-paced environment”, “Employees here are reserved and can seem cold at first”, “Mistakes and risks are not only tolerated here, they’re encouraged.”

Evaluate your candidate sources.

If you’d like to find seasoned employees who are experienced, level-headed and worldy, don’t recruit on a college campus. If you’re looking for young, ambitious dreamers and experience levels don’t matter so much, that’s a different story. Go where your cultural matches live, play, and search for work.

Explain your cultural challenges and watch what happens.

During your interview process, explain some of the challenges your candidate will face here and watch how he or she reacts. You might say, “We prioritize deadlines over everything else”. Or you might say, “Some of our clients can seem rude and unreasonable at times”, or: “We wear multiple hats here, which means you might find yourself sweeping or taking out the trash sometimes,” or “Our culture is demanding and rigid.” Ask how your candidate feels about these things and when as responds, read between the lines.

Rely on behavioral questions.

If your workplace is deadline driven, as your candidate to describe the most difficult deadline challenge she’s ever faced. If your workplace is collaborative, ask your candidate about the last time he had to work together with a team. Again, read between the lines. You’ll learn more if you keep your questions open-ended and encourage your candidates to answer by telling a story.

For more on how to use your screening process to find cultural matches, not just skilled employees, turn to the professional Charlotte recruiting team at PSU.

Is It OK to Leave Without Giving Two Weeks’ Notice?

February 26th, 2016

You finally landing the job you’ve been looking for, and you couldn’t be more excited. Your new employers can offer everything your current company can’t—or won’t. They’re an innovative, functional, respectful organization and you know that once you make this transition, you’re never going to look back. In fact, you can’t get out of here fast enough and you plan to take nothing with you—only fading memories of poor treatment and absurdly low pay.

So if you know that the new job is locked down, and you have no interest in the old job, why not just leave now? Why not walk out into the sun and enjoy some free time before your start date? Or even offer to start tomorrow? You may be tempted to leave your old company without providing two weeks notice, but it’s a good idea to avoid that temptation. Here’s why.

Two weeks notice is a professional courtesy.

No matter how poorly you were treated by your boss or how little you were paid by the company, take the high road. You have nothing to lose by walking out the door with your classy reputation intact and your head held high. And there’s a strong chance that these last two weeks will define how you’re remembered here, no matter what else you’ve done during your entire tenure. If you give notice, you’ll leave a trail of glory behind. If you don’t, you’ll leave bad blood.

This will be part of your file.

Some companies are so serious about this courtesy that they actually keep records that can last for decades. If you ever apply here again or if a future employer calls for a reference, the company will respond by checking the records. If you gave notice, you’ll get a glowing review. If you didn’t, you won’t. And you may be added to a “do not hire” list.

Giving notice means you care.

If you don’t resent your employer—you actually like this place and the people who work here—giving two week’s notice can make their jobs much easier. This allows them the time they need to find and hire your replacement. They might bring this person onboard within your two-week period, which means you can participate in the training process and facilitate a smooth transition for everyone.

Two weeks will cost you nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with spending two more weeks in this place if giving notice can provide a serious boost to your career arc and strengthen your professional network. Plan for the long term. Meanwhile, your professional attitude can help you make a strong impression with your new employer.
For more on how to leave your old company and start your new job in style, reach out to the Forest City staffing and job search experts at PSU.

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