Category: Hiring and Recruiting


4 Things The Avengers Taught Me About Talent Acquisition

April 9th, 2014

By Outside-In® Team Member Caitlin Olszewski

TAMarvel2Anyone and everyone in the industry knows that finding superhero talent is rare and extremely hard to do. When looking for new talent you need to ensure that their skillset can coincide with the team and work together to fulfill the purpose of the business. Each member of your team must bring a unique expertise that ultimately strives for the success of the organization and the growth of the company.

Here are some things to remember when looking beyond masks and capes:

1. Superhero powers are rendered useless if not harnessed and executed properly. Nobody wants a hulk candidate smashing everything in sight, or an archer that cannot master the skill to hit a target. It’s important to look for talent that not only meets the skill requirement, but also has the proven ability to use said skills in action. Screen for specifics and ask for examples of a time your candidate used these skills to overcome common obstacles in your industry.

2. Resumes can be deceiving. Sure, they graduated top of their class from MIT and have two master’s degrees under their armor prior to the age of 19. That doesn’t mean the man behind the iron is the right person for your team or a cultural fit for your company. Face to face interviews with the entire staff are crucial. Bring them into your office and see how they interact with every single person in the company and try to weed out any signs of evil.

3. Candidates must be up to date on all technology and facets of your industry. Although your super serum-enhanced candidate can wield a shield and have an unprecedented patriotism toward your company, they may have been asleep for the last 70 years when it comes to current technology and practices. Whatever your industry, it’s important to troll for candidates that are ahead of the game and know “the next best thing.” If your stellar candidate is slightly lacking in this category, make sure that they have the willingness and drive to learn quickly.

4. Always be comfortable with being in BETA. A company’s work is never “finished”. Look for candidates who can wear multiple suits and focus towards creating a 2.0 improved version. Businesses boom when employees are superhuman and innovative. Troll for candidates with diverse backgrounds within your industry and you can bet on an unstoppable force of business growth and development.

You don’t need Charles Xavier or Cerebro to locate your next talent. At Outside-In® Companies, we offer Blank Sheet of Paper Recruitment Solutions that are completely customizable for your needs! We can help you.

Boiling Down the State of People in the Clinical/Scientific Industry

February 24th, 2014

Jobs and People by the Numbers

BioScience-Job-GrowthBased on the numbers in our infographic below (scroll down to take a look!), we know that number of jobs in the Clinical/Scientific Industry have been increasing, predicted to be at 97% of peak levels in 2014, and also anticipated to continue to grow through to 2022 by 10%. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) occupations will continue to remain center stage, with more than one in four employers (26%) planning to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months.

We also know that clinical/scientific jobs are at the top of the list of skillsets for which employers need help finding qualified potentials. And that 60% of CFO’s say it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions today.

Finally, when it comes to workers, we know that more professionals are seeking new jobs in 2014 than they have been in prior years since the recession. While various sources present drastically different percentages of workers that will look for a new job this year, they report that in 2014 the percentage is greater than it has been since the recession. Our sources also note that workers are more optimistic about the outlook of the coming year.

CareerBuilder states that, “A drop in job satisfaction may account for the expected rise in turnover.” The percentage of workers that are satisfied with their jobs dropped from 66% in 2013 to 59% this year; and those that are dissatisfied rose from 15% last year to 18% in 2014. The top reasons cited for dissatisfaction are salary (66%) and not feeling valued (65%).

So, how can we boil all this down?

At the Outside-In® Companies, we see these numbers in action daily while serving our customers in the pharmaceutical and bioscience industries. More companies are hiring for positions so demand is high, which makes recruiting quality candidates more difficult. With this shortage of people, companies have to be creative in their recruiting. So taking advantage of the positive outlook both c-suite executives AND workers have for the coming year, how can employers identify and win over great candidates?

Here are five tips for your company to consider:

Marketing Your Company: Workers may feel optimistic about the coming year, however they won’t take the decision to jump jobs lightly. Your company needs to market itself to potential candidates so they become aware of who you are and what makes you so great. Understand that this is a long-term investment, that changing the market’s perception of you will take time and you won’t see the pay off immediately. In many cases, the market doesn’t know about you, doesn’t know much about you, or they think negative things about you – so focus on increasing your brand’s awareness and generating a positive impression on people so they want to work for you.

Beef-up Your Employee Referral Program: Your employees already work for you for one reason or another, which makes them some of your best assets! Encourage your people to bring their friends on board – they are likely to have similar interests and similar values that will fit in with your culture. You can encourage employees by simply asking them to refer people they know for current openings, but also consider how you can “pay” people for their efforts. Many companies offer bonuses when employees’ referrals are hired, or when the person sticks around for 6 months. Good employee referral programs are often the top source of hiring!

Perk Up Your Benefits: Sure, people may be considering switching jobs this year, but with salary and “feeling valued” at the top of the list for dissatisfaction, they need to know that they will be getting better benefits in a new job. How does your compensation compare to your competition? How does your culture recognize its people? “Offering frequent recognition, merit bonuses, training programs and clearly defined career paths are important ways to show workers what they mean to the company,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. In this market, the candidates are calling the shots – so what do you have to offer them that is shinier than what they currently have?

Consider Temps and Independent Contractors: The Bureau of Labor Statistics released on February 7th that there were 2.78 million contract and temp workers in the temporary help services industry in the U.S. 2.78 million is the largest number of temps in the workforce ever. More workers are pursuing contract work or being independent consultants, so consider bringing quality candidates in as independent contractors. The world is going temp, so this is likely a good option for bringing in the best people for the job.

Location, Location, RELOCATION:
With a shortage of quality applicants and trouble finding the right people, your company might want to consider relocation. By expanding your search outside your geographic region, you can easily increase your candidate pool. You’ll want to look back at tip #3 to help convince people to make such a move to work for you, but it’s probably worth it so you don’t have to keep scratching your head looking at the same resumes again and again.

Infographic – Presenting the Numbers

CBI Way: 6 Career Fair Tips for The Recruiter

January 22nd, 2014

By Outside-In® Team Member Caitlin Olszewski

It’s that time of year again! As job seekers and students alike suit up and polish those resumes, recruiters have a chance to find all-star candidates and fill some open positions. Having been on both sides of the table within the past three years, I can tell you that there are some common mistakes recruiters make that deter quality candidates and even misrepresent their company. Here are six tips for ensuring that your next career fair is a success and that you are utilizing the candidate pool to its full potential.

1. Put your name tag on the RIGHT way. I once handed out nametags for an event only to be shocked at how many people didn’t know that there is actually a right (and wrong) placement for a name tag. Placing your name tag on the right side of your chest visually directs the candidate’s eyes up your arm while shaking hands. This not only makes your name more visible, but also aids the person in associating your name with your face.

2. Get out of that chair and get in front of the table! So many times I see recruiters sitting and hiding behind their table of pamphlets and business cards, and sometimes, even on their phone! What kind of message is that sending about your company? And they wonder why candidates don’t approach them!

businessmen-153438_6403. Have a strategy—a good one! Be prepared. Have the recruiters representing your company know what they are talking about and have them make sure all paperwork is ready beforehand. Decide how many positions you need to fill and make sure you know exactly what kind of candidates for which you are canvassing. An easy practice is to write a letter grade on the back of each candidate’s resume. Touch base with “A” candidates within 24 hours, and save “B” candidates for upcoming positions.

4. Be the face of the company. You’re there to represent your company and to be a brand ambassador. A lot of recruiters look bored or like they don’t want to be there. Make sure you are energized and interacting with everyone. Initiate conversations. Give candidates what we like to call “The Outside-In® Experience”. Treat them like you wish to be treated—and then some.

5. Don’t worry about marketing collateral. Giving out pens isn’t going to reel in quality candidates. Instead, focus on captivating your audience and engaging them in various activities and games. Know your audience and make your booth awesome—utilize bright colors and multimedia. A memorable experience is worth a lot more than a pen lost in a sea of different branded materials.

6. Know your audience. This one’s pretty standard. Do your homework and know who you are selling your company to. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, “Seventy-eight percent of younger workers in their 20s are interested in changing careers, compared with 64 percent of working adults in their 30s, 54 percent in their 40s, 51 percent in their 50s and 26 percent who are 60 years or older.”

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

What if Santa Decided to Use a Few Temporary Elves?

December 18th, 2013

elf2We have all seen the holiday movies that suggest that perhaps it is time for Santa to modernize the factory, get some of his lead elves certified in Six Sigma, or to employ lean manufacturing in his workshop. Gone should be the days of elves singing Christmas carols, eating cookies, and making toys from scratch. The days of that sort of craftsmanship and artisan work are long gone as the nice list runs into the millions.

I am a contingent workforce expert. My Outside-In® Companies help leaders like Santa make sense of the realities of today’s workforce and workplace. And well, Santa does things the old fashioned way with his people, I mean elves. Today’s toy workshops have challenges in staffing and productivity during the busy season. Imagine Santa’s workshop in the weeks and months leading up to the big day! More importantly, what does he do with all of those elves in January?

I propose that Santa would benefit from a temporary elf workforce. Santa could bring in new skill sets and the workshop would flourish with new ideas and concepts. Those hard to fill roles might get the attention they deserve during the busiest of times.

lisaelfjNow, Santa would have to consider today’s laws and hiring standards. No longer can he claim that the measured height of his workshop is a legitimate bona fide job requirement. OSHA made him change that in the winter of ‘82. It just might be a good thing to see a few more guys and gals that look like Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel on the Big Man’s campus. A little diversity is important. Santa needs to keep up with his Affirmative Action Plan as people now live at the North Pole, too.

Most importantly? Santa can staff up and professionally work with the Outside-In® Companies to wind down post-holiday season. Rather than having elves paint the workshop and sweep the floor each and every day, Santa can feel confident that his staffing partner is redeploying his elfen talent that was there for the “busy season.” When one Holiday ends, another begins. Perhaps we can skill-market that talent to the Easter Bunny and have a temporary workforce plant hidden eggs around the globe?

CBI Way: 5 Strategic Reasons to Use a Contract Recruiter

December 4th, 2013

A Contract Recruiter is not a new concept. Companies work with contract recruiters for many tactical reasons. Extended leave, summer vacation and maternity leave are all tactical reasons to hire a contract recruiter for a short period of time. But there are also many strategic reasons to use a Recruiter On-Demand service model. At CBI Group, we help customers view their talent acquisition departments and hiring plans strategically. Here are five ways customers use contract recruiters strategically.

  1. Product Launch: If your company is launching a new product or service, you may need the assistance of a contract recruiter to augment your existing recruiting team. Likely you’ll need to bring on the right technical skill sets to build your product or service, and once the new product is ready, you will need a sales force expansion program.
  2. Opening New Location: Is your company growing and expanding to new locations? If you are opening up a new location, businessmen-152572_640whether it’s in the same city or town, or somewhere else in North America – you’ll have an increase in requisitions until you fill the jobs for that location. This is a great opportunity to bring on a contract recruiter for your specific hiring goals.
  3. Hiring Peaks, Rapid Growth: Some companies don’t need a new product or location to experience rapid growth. All businesses experience ups and downs in hiring and a contract recruiter is a flexible option that is the best way to smooth out the peaks and valleys of workforce demand.
  4. Hiring for a Specific Business Unit: Many times, corporate HR teams feel confident in their recruiting ability for the most part, but sometimes struggle with hiring for a specific business unit. Companies can bring on a contract recruiter with specialty or niche experience to recruit just for that unit, and still keep the rest of the TA internal. Whether IT recruiting, Sales hiring, or Finance is your sore spot, contract recruiters provide you with expertise and results while keeping headcount and budget in line.
  5. An Acquisition or Divestiture: Organizing, merging, and restructuring HR departments can be confusing and difficult during an acquisition or divestiture. CBI Group contract recruiters can handle the HR side of things for a short-term or long-term period of change.

Connect with CBI Group to learn more about our Recruiter On-Demand service.

CBI Way: How to Handle Hiring Bias

April 17th, 2013

CBI Way blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, Recruiter On-Demand and Managed Staffing Practice Leader

So as a recruiter your #1 goal is to find the best fit for a position. You assess the position requirements, responsibilities, team and company cultural fit and interpersonal interactions with the manager and the team, you begin recruiting against all these hard and soft responsibilities, and find the perfect person. How’s that for a happily ever after?

So what happens when this top candidate gets in front of the hiring manager and the message back to you is: I want someone younger/older/male/female? We all have or will have to face this at some point. Below are three suggestions on what to do when the inevitable occurs:

1.      Ask why - There are sometimes valid (and lawful) reasons to ask for an otherwise protected characteristic. For example, if the job requirement is to model women’s dresses, the most ideal candidate may very well be a woman, or if a job is to design apps targeted for the under 30 market’s use, a Millennial may be the most qualified candidate. It never hurts to ask questions to gain clarity.

2.      Educate – In the absence of a valid reason, it is always recommended you educate (teach don’t preach!) your hiring management about non-discriminate hiring and most importantly the value to the organization of having diverse teams. (Start by reminding them their clients are diverse!)

3.      State your purpose and get back to the first sentence – your job is to find the best fit for the position — to enable the new hire’s, team’s and company’s success! If the first two suggestions don’t yield any traction from your hiring manager, it might just be best to go back to the drawing board and find the best fit!

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

CBI Way: Planning Your Sourcing Strategy

January 23rd, 2013

CBI Way blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, Outside-In® Group Lead

Plan the work then work the plan.

It is a simple formula, but funny how we often forget the first part. As recruiting professionals, we are really good at “doing the work”. We get a job order, one of the dozen or more on our desk, and it is a position we have filled somewhere before, so we hit LinkedIn and are off to the races! Yes, I admit doing this from time to time.

As it is the time of year that all of us set goals and resolutions for improvement, how about this simple one – “I will have a sourcing strategy for each position or type of position I recruit for in 2013.” It is amazing how beneficial it is when you slow down to move fast, and how appreciative our clients are when they really know the effort put in to finding the right fit – that it wasn’t simply posted on the company website and you waited for that right candidate to fall out of the sky.

So what makes a great sourcing strategy? Some things to keep in mind when you’re laying out your plan:

  • The history of where a similar or the same position was successfully sourced and later retained from in the past.
  • A list of competitors or companies that employ the right pool of candidates.
  • User groups, university alumni, veteran groups may also result in previously untapped talent.
  • The right internet sources for the position, a big general job board vs. a small specific group.

Long ago, in a conference room far, far away, many of us in the talent acquisition field probably gave an answer in an interview that sounded like this: “I love that hard-to-fill position. I love the digging, detective work, the hunt!” Really, we all do. There is a great satisfaction in finding the right talent for the right role after having to put some creativity into it… and I promise you, some planning and creativity will go a long way. Try it with your next opening!

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

CBI Way: Enhance the Interview Experience

December 5th, 2012

CBI Way blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, Outside-In® Group Lead

Have you ever interviewed for a job, met with five people (four are late), one reads your resume in front of you, and – get this – all five ask the same exact questions circa the 1990’s? Wow! Everyone already knows your strengths and weaknesses! They even know why there is a three year break in work on your resume! You leave thinking, “Why did I bother coming in at all?!

Yes, I have had that interview, too.

One of the great things about CBI Group is that we view our candidates and our applicants as our customers. Therefore, we work to make sure the type of interview experience mentioned above does not happen within our conference room walls. So let me ask you this, as a recruiting professional, how often do you think of the hiring manager as the client? Candidates are probably viewed as inventory, right? Well, if they are, they shouldn’t be….

There is a lot of hype in the ATS community about the Applicant Experience. The movement considers everything from the time it takes to apply online for a position, to the number of times duplicate data entry is performed, to those horrible “Thanks but no thanks. Your resume is on file.” automated responses. So what if you are not the CTO and are dealing with some restrictions on the automated front? Let’s not forget good, old fashioned human touch. Let’s look at planning the interview process.

Here’s a simple and effective way to enhance your client’s and candidates’ interview experiences:

  1. Have an agenda. Make sure each interviewer has a subject to cover with the applicant.
  2. Provide sample questions to each interviewer. These sample questions should be different and unique. This ensures that the hiring decision is made from a fully informed, and well-rounded collection of  perspectives, covering all aspects of the job and cultural requirements.
  3. Leave time for questions.  Give the applicant time to ask questions and/or to wrap-up.
  4. Enclose a rating form for the interviewers. This will accelerate the speed of decision making. Speedy decision making makes applicants happy!
  5. Enclose an Interview Experience Form for the applicant to share with the interview team. (Uh oh! Peer pressure and a little friendly competition to consider!)

Taking one (or all) of these steps will markedly improve the applicant experience. While an interview does not guarantee that the applicant will get the offer – it may mean that they are not the “right person, right now”.  However, your candidate may very well become a paying customer, vendor, partner, or competitor in the future, so be sure to leave every applicant with a great experience.

The CBI Way blog series explores the technology tools used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

Hiring Under Duress: How to Avoid Making a Bad Hire

September 12th, 2012

Guess blog post by Lisa Van Ess, CBI Group team member

OK, we’ve all done this. Admit it, we all have this story. Sometimes it stays hidden away, locked in the closet: the embarrassing ’lesson learned’ that we diligently strive to never, ever repeat again. Other times, we share the story with others to try and save them from making the same mistake, but shockingly, history does sometimes repeat itself! Some of us, when we share the various responsibilities of HR, Recruiting, and Team Leadership, may still be painstakingly unraveling all the fun that comes in the aftermath of making the bad hire, the gift that may keep on giving for weeks and months to come…

Most commonly, the reasons I have seen or (gasp!) participated in making a bad hire under duress, fall into the following categories:

  • Time -”We must fill this job yesterday!” Whether or not someone vacated the position suddenly or a promise was made to a client for an immediate start, one of the primary root causes really, simply is time.
  • Energy -The hiring manager is also doing the job responsibilities of the ‘vacant’ position and is burned out, stick a fork in him, he is done and will settle for anyone who fogs up a mirror when you hold it in front of their face just to get the work off his plate.
  • Relationships -”The potential hire worked for me or for someone I really respect back in the early 80′s and they were totally, totally awesome 20 years ago!”

Recognize any or all of the above? Yeah, me, too!

So, what can we do as recruiting leaders? The solutions really are simple:

1) Slow down. Slow your client down and reset time-to-fill expectations. This means not settling, this can also mean making the call to say, “I need another two weeks to do this right. I don’t want to do it fast and risk presenting or making a bad or inferior hire.” It is important to get in front of this one early, don’t miss a delivery deadline THEN tell your hiring manager or client it will take longer. Engage in the conversation as soon as you see the issue arise. We often agree to challenging, even impossible deadlines (as recruiters we are a competitive, fast-paced bunch) with the intent to quickly help our clients and solve problems. Being candid and informative with your clients to allow the time to hire the right talent goes a much, much longer way than the I-beat-the-impossible-time-to-fill-deadline by 5 hours! Ever start someone pending the last 24 hours of a background check being complete? (C’mon, admit it, we all know that story – classic example of do it right vs. do it fast.)

2) Offer a contractor or consultant. Help this poor hiring manager manage their work and life with an interim solution while the search for full time talent continues! Oh, and if you negotiate a nice ‘contract-to-hire’ deal, the contractor just may be your hire.

3) People change. Really, they do. Sometimes they change for the better, sometimes for worse, sometimes they’re just different. Even if the potential candidate used to work for you, you worked for them and they taught you everything you know, was at your wedding or college graduation party and is a wonderful person (and they still are). Interview them anyway. Not only is it a great opportunity to catch-up, but you need to take the time to make sure the journey they have been on since you last worked with/for/near them is a match for the next stop on their journey: your current opening. Don’t deviate from your proven successful, consistent recruiting and hiring practices no matter who the candidate might be, and last (but not least) do make sure to complete your background check process and check current references.

Talent Acquisition – What’s in a Name?

July 11th, 2012

Guest blog spot by Lisa Van Ess, CBI Group team member

Those of us in the recruiting and HR business have used a lot of terminology over the years to describe what can simply be defined as an employee service. Clear communication (even to the point of corporate jargon interpretation), match-making, coaching, and advisory business are all components of this service. The newest descriptive term happens to be Talent Acquisition. Perhaps it is my years in financial services, but this one has the same ring to it as Human Capital.

Both terms seem to monetize people; which, while I have built and sustained a career in the solid belief that people are any organization’s greatest asset, looking at them as purely dollars and cents feels like they are just numbers. Companies, leaders, and recruiters don’t really get and keep talented people through acquisition (unless your organization merges with or takes over another firm), or the occasional bidding war for talent that may feel like a hostile takeover, especially when you lose this compensation-based battle.

Recruiting is really all about identifying, attracting, and retaining the talented individuals that fit the culture and values of your organization and who can take your team to the next level. A really simple process for this is:

  1. Know your client, company, or team’s business and culture; and know the job you are seeking to fill really, REALLY well.
  2. Identify and reach out to networks of talent whose experiences and values are a fit for open opportunities and genuinely tell your client’s or company’s story with detailed information about the job.
  3. Those who respond to your story will be potential ‘fits’ for your opportunities, follow-up and don’t let a talented person slip into that legendary recruiting/HR Black Hole!
  4. Thoroughly screen and get to know your candidates – A very wise recruiter once told me that there are only two questions you need answered in determining if a candidate is a fit for a job: “Can this person do the job? Will this person do the job?” I focus on the ‘Will’. Will they do it? Will they be happy doing it in the long run? Will the team/organization be happy with them? I have learned along the way that someone who ‘Almost Can’ but ‘Definitely Will’ can be taught the necessary skills while a ‘borderline willing person’ may never fit.
  5. Set clear expectations about the job, culture, company, career and compensation advancement – the good , bad, and the ugly. Let people be fully knowledgeable about signing up for something, eliminate surprises!
  6. As a leader, HR, or recruitment practitioner deliver on the expectations you set and invest in your newly acquired, talented employee! Lead, coach, tour-guide and mentor – acclimating to a new job is never easy. Remember why you selected this talented person and support them, you won’t be sorry.

So, whatever we call it next year, the constant practice of finding, attracting, relating as a human and collaborating honestly through the recruiting and on-boarding process, investing in and supporting people will always result in the building and retention of talented teams!

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