Posts Tagged: jobs

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.

Placers Announces ‘Agent to the Workforce’ Service

June 24th, 2013

Agent to the WorkforceMembers of the Placers team now provide an added advantage in this tight job market: an Agent to the Workforce.

Placers is the contingent workforce solutions company that in the 1990s was one of Delaware’s largest employers.  Headquartered in Newark, Placers returned to the job scene in 2011 as an Outside-In® partner of CBI Group.

Currently, Placers employs contractors in a variety of positions including manufacturing, healthcare, banking and information technology in positions ranging from support to management.  After being part of Placers, each employee now has the option of working with a job/career coach with Barton Career Advisors (BCA), another Outside-In® partner.

“We believe strongly in supporting and empowering our people,” says Placers and CBI Group Founder and President Chris Burkhard.  “And that includes offering career coaching and support which we think has a lot of value in any economic climate, boom or bust. As our partnership with Barton Career Advisors deepens, we think this is a lasting benefit in support of our people,” Burkhard adds.

Once a Placers employee expresses interest, he/she gets access to a BCA coach for three half-hour sessions usually by telephone, explains Greg Moore, the BCA coach leading Agent to the Workforce. “Then we hook them into our online portal and its modules for career change, resume writing and job searches. And from that one they can just apply online for positions that interest them.”

While this is great for the worker, might it narrow the pool of Placers people making the transition from temp jobs to full-time? “That certainly could happen but we still feel this is an important service to offer,” Burkhard says. “The way to success for a workforce management organization is to have positive, productive people and we see Agent to the Workforce as playing a positive role.”

Placers team member Ginola Johnson says she finds the program very informative and the online components, especially the job search tools, “much easier to use than having to sift through a lot of emails.”  Each participant has access through Barton Career Advisors to a one-source job lead program that issues a daily job lead e-mail message including multiple leads in the person’s field, eliminating many potential messages.

So does she feel a sense of support when it comes time to look for her next opportunity?  “I sure do!” Ginola says.

To learn more about Agent to the Workforce service feature visit the Placers website for more information.

CBI Way: The Candidate/Applicant Experience

June 19th, 2013

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

There is a lot out there today on improving the candidate or applicant experience, speeding up the time it takes for applying on-line, integrating systems so candidates (as they journey from applicant to employee) only need to type their name and address 3 times not 8, and (the one that makes HR and Recruiting professionals cringe) – the dreaded auto-response telling the candidate that just spent 45 minutes applying on line “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

So yes, automation and system improvements do help, but here’s how I try and think about the treatment of candidates:

1. Candidates you hire evolve into employees who often rise to management – keep in mind that this person could be your boss someday.

2. Candidates you don’t hire will have something to say to their friends in the same candidate pool. think of the best experience you have had when you didn’t get the job, that is most likely how you want someone to talk about their experience with your company.

3. Candidates with multiple job offers do consider the company where they had the best experience – where they were greeted on-time, got a bathroom break, had an agenda ready, didn’t get asked the same questions over and over again by each interviewer, ya’ll know the drill.

4. You were a candidate once, too! (And that auto-response letter really sucks.)

So be sure to remember the human aspect of Human Resources and the talent aspect of Talent Acquisition. If we only serve to drive the resources and acquisition components of our industry, instead of the people needed to fill the positions, we are not fulfilling the needs of our customers.  Automation and systemic tools serve to expedite the hiring process but at the end of the day our candidates are people with their own feelings, needs, and ambitions. Be Outside-In®, put yourself in the candidate’s shoes, and take into account all that’s involved in the candidate/applicant experience!

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 Group Recruiter Sees Networking as Path to Your Next ‘Great Adventure’

May 10th, 2013

One of the most influential ways to approach a job search is through networking.  But how and why invest your time in networking?

“In 2012, networking accounted for more than one in four hires at major companies, the most of any strategy used in job hunting,” says David Vander Does, President of the National Search Advisory and a Recruitment Consultant with Gore Medical Products and CBI Group.  “And if a candidate has a referral from inside a company, he/she is 70 times more likely to be hired than a candidate without this connection,” Dave adds, referring to a finding published by Career Xroads.

So how do you network?  Where do you start and what are the tools to help you?

“Networking is all about relationship-building.  It’s who you know and who they know that can really make the difference in your search” Dave says.

The first step is to make a list of current and prospective contacts.  “Think about the relationships that you already have (family, friends, previous co-workers, etc…) and add them to your list.  Then do your research and identify others that you need to know (company contacts, business leaders, others in your profession) and add them to your list.   Think beyond the obvious, be strategic,” Dave advises.

There are lots of tools to use in building your network with as one of the best places to start.  “If you don’t already have a LinkedIn presence, establish one,” Dave says.  “This serves as your professional profile for recruiters, hiring managers and all the current and potential people in your network.  Think of it this way: if you don’t have a presence on LinkedIn, you don’t exist.”

Once you’re on LinkedIn, you can conduct searches by company name, industry, through current and former co-workers and through your network of LinkedIn contacts that you should be continuously growing.  Similarly, using search engines like Google can provide great insight into your field, and help you identify prospective companies and professional associations.

Dave says your next step is to divide your list of contacts into three groups: warm (people who know who you are and can give you a good reference), casual (people you may need to reconnect with) and cold contacts (people you haven’t met yet, but you need to meet). “This will help you prioritize and maximize your efforts as you begin to work your network”

Develop a database or a spreadsheet with of course names, titles, e-mail addresses, etc. but then leave a column for “Notes” where you can track of your progress with each networking target.

Now you’re ready to get out there and network. Dave says to practice these four steps with each person you meet:

1.  Make them aware that you are looking for your next “adventure”

2.  Guide their thinking about what that “adventure” could be

3.  Be confident and specific

4.  Give them permission to share your name or resume as they see fit

Dave also encourages job hunters and net-workers to develop a script and practice in your home or office.  “For most, networking can be overwhelming and frightening.  But remember, it’s really nothing more then the act of building relationships one contact at a time.  The more you do it; the easier it becomes.”  Keep these elements in mind:

1.  Intro- who am I and why am I calling or e-mailing?

2.  Your mission- I’m pursuing my next best adventure and thought you could help…

3.  Give them permission to say “no.”

4.  Provide something of value in return.

5.  The sensational close- share your plans for follow-up and ask if you can keep in touch.

“Most people will encourage you to stay in touch… do-so, you’d be surprised at how many people never get in touch with these prospects again,” Dave says.

When reaching out to a networking prospect you haven’t met, start with an e-mail introducing yourself and making a connection (Our mutual friend Sam Jones suggested I contact you; we attended xx college at the same time, I’m also a member of your professional association…). Then state your purpose and tell them when you’ll follow-up.  Then when you call, say “I’m following up on the e-mail I sent you on…this process helps to eliminate the “cold call””

Remember to say thank you. “People in jobs today are busier than ever and even if they only give you five minutes, it’s important that you acknowledge their time,” Dave points out.  “And if they help you make a good connection, let them know how grateful you are.”

And remember; always try to provide value in return.“Good relationships are not one sided; do what you can to help others in your network in return for the help they provided to you. It makes all the difference and will help to strengthen your network for the future.”

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: Managing the Nightmare Candidate

February 27th, 2013

CBI Way blog spot by Glenn Koetz, Search Practice Lead and Lisa Van Ess, Outside-In® Group Lead

We have all had those days when we are sitting with our trusted colleagues talking about the nightmare candidate who came to the interview with a bulls-eye tattooed on his forehead, or the one whose answer to “Why would you like to work for us?” is “I am eating dog food at this point and will have to change to cat food if I don’t get a job”, or the one whose interview turns into a disaster right from the start. We all chuckle and agree that if we wrote a book on what we have seen throughout the candidate management process, we would make millions and could all retire… Yet sometimes in that same conversation we actually get to the, “Well, how did you handle that?”, and the wisdom shared at that point is a rare gift.

One of my favorite sayings is “You can’t manage crazy.” Unfortunately, if you have chosen a career in HR or recruiting you are called upon to do just that. Here are some proven tactics I have found helpful in managing Candidate Crazy.

Remember, as a recruiting professional you have the ability to say No.

This means you can tell the person who comes in for the interview with the bulls-eye on their forehead, “No, you are not meeting with the hiring manager.” It is up to you to screen out candidates and not waste your hiring manager’s time. In this case, I took the time to meet with this individual and tell him that the position required the quick building of face-to-face relationships in a very conventional firm and that he would be better suited to work in a more casual environment; mentioning both he and the company would be happier. The candidate thanked me, we parted ways and all lived happily ever after…

Educate, coach, and use a personalized No Thank You letter if needed.

For my dog food gal…she was a really talented, experienced candidate who made it beautifully through the phone and in-person recruiting interviews. When she got in front of the decision makers – the dog food versus cat food answer was the one she gave when asked why she wanted to work for the company. I called her to let her know she did not get the job and specifically why. I will tell you that I was very sympathetic and agreed to present her to another hiring manager with the coaching, even direction that she answer the question with why working that job for that company was important to her – we even rehearsed her answers. (File this under no good deed goes unpunished).

Fast forward to interview number two: Interviewer: “Why do you want this job at our company?” Dog food Gal: “To keep me and my kids from living in a refrigerator box in an alley.” This is when the call explaining to the candidate she did not get the job (and why) is followed by the specific No Thank You Letter to ensure that they understand they will not be coached any further and that the official rejection is required.

Maintain control when an interview starts to unravel.

And then, there are always those interviews that are complete disasters right from the start. The candidate comes in an hour and a half after the scheduled time and fails to communicate that they’re running late…or the candidate becomes emotionally unstable halfway through the interview because they realize they are not going to make it through to the next round…or maybe, the candidate becomes desperate and starts to beg you to review their resume credentials when both parties know the damage has already been done.

In these situations, it’s important to communicate to this person that the mistakes they’ve made, can be used as lessons learned or motivation for their next job interview. If they’re going to be late, they ought to communicate it! There’s nothing worse than a no-show, without any reason for it, right? When emotions get out of hand, its important to remind them that this interview is not the end-all be-all, and that the reason they are not moving forward is not because of something they lack. And finally, when it comes to credentials, (this scenario is often found most with recent college grads or young professionals), tell them that its about their potential value and capacity to grow within an organization that’s important, not always what they’ve already accomplished. Reinforcement is key to managing this type of nightmare candidate.

I am sure we have all been on either or both sides of this, the moral to the story is to take a proactive, openly communicative position with all your candidates to ensure the very best time, energy and matches among hiring managers and hire-ees!

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.

Introducing Your Culture to New Employees

December 12th, 2012

What do you say to new employees about your culture?

I hope it involves stories, fables, and anecdotes.  Stories stay in the mind long after the first day on the job. After all the introductions, product overviews, and orientation meetings, people remember the stories in the end. What’s more, the messages in the stories are what really stick. I have some favorite stories that I use to bring our cultural values to life. I’ll share one powerful story with you today.

I often start by saying that there will be No Strings here.  I am not a Puppet Master, and you are not a puppet. The strings are a metaphor for tangible tools that managers use to yank us around as employee puppets.  Strings are threats, one-time contests, or traditional leader behaviors that create the typical reward for the right kind of behavior.  This management style is not evil or wrong. This style is just not our culture. No Strings describes freedom of expression. No Strings  means that your motivation is within.  You’re responsible for your own career and development. You’re driven by our set of 20 Outside-In® values.  Your actions and behaviors are congruent with who you want to be and how you want to live your life.

All in all, No Strings is the difference between internal or intrinsic motivation (things like learning, challenging work, respect, fun, growth) and alignment or extrinsic motivation (money, title, power, benefits, company perks, or fancy trips).  Don’t get me wrong,  all of us are motivated to some degree by financial needs.  But, all things considered, they don’t stay that way for long . Given the choice, most of us will choose the learning and fun over some short term performance based threat or bonus to hit a production number.

So, if you’re a leader are you a Puppet Master? If you’re an employee, are you a puppet with strings?

What stories do you tell your employees in their first week? Share them, I dare you! I have told this story three times this week, and hundreds of times in my leadership career. I know that No Strings empowers and creates equality in our flat, ever evolving set of companies.

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.

Recruiters Attend RAPS Virtual Career Fair (Interview)

August 30th, 2012

By Kelly Murray

When Linkedin arrived on the social media scene in 2003, many of those in the recruiting and staffing industry did not anticipate how much it would impact the way they recruited. A whole new way of networking had been introduced and candidates could quickly be found literally at one’s fingertips. Nearly a decade later, recruiters are taking advantage of another medium to meet job seekers and network with them: the virtual career fair.

Just last week, CBI Group’s team of recruiters attended a virtual career fair sponsored by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). I sat down with CBI Group’s Recruiting Guru Dave VanderDoes to discuss his experience with the recent fair and get some insight on what he foresees in the recruiting industry’s future.

Kelly: Thanks for sitting down to talk with me, Dave. Can you tell me a little bit about CBI Group’s experience with virtual career fairs?

Dave: Sure, no problem. This is the second career fair sponsored by RAPS, and the third virtual career fair overall for the team.

K: Tell me about this one in particular – the RAPS Virtual Career Fair.

D: Six other companies were in attendance including some healthcare and manufacturing companies. The fair lasted from 10am to 6pm. Three recruiters from our team, Colleen, Karesa, and myself, attended through out the day.

K: How many people came into your booth?

D: There were 800 people registered to attend the fair. Two-hundred people stopped by our booth. Attendees had the option to not go into the booth, but were able to just look at the jobs posted and could submit their resume if they were interested. Last time, they could “drive through” the booth without submitting any information – not the best feature. But this time we had the option of getting their information.

K: Wow, that’s a ton of people. Any luck with the resumes you received?

D: We already have one candidate submitted for Regulatory Affairs that [our client] is interested in speaking with. From the last Fair, we had a candidate hired within three weeks of contacting them at the fair for a position that had been open for a few months.

K: Any likes or dislikes?

D: Yea, the first thing I liked about the fair is that it allows you to brand the company by building an actual [virtual] booth. Attendees can come into the booth, see our logo, see videos, company literature, employee testimonials, look at all our openings, and apply directly through the fair. It’s a great way to see the company.

Because it is virtual, it allows individuals to come in from all over the country, and its something they can do from their desk at work, or their Iphone/Ipad. It’s a much easier way to get in. I had the ability to initiate some chat conversations, gauge interest, and schedule follow-up conversations.

K: How do you feel about this type of recruiting – the virtual aspect – do you embrace it?

D: This type of recruiting is good. In a chat session its hard to get a lot of depth but its a good way to make initial contact. Overall, its a great way to recruit.

K: How do you feel recruiting will change in the future?

D: I think there will be more recruiting events like this in the future. It’s another tool for recruiters and it will probably catch on quickly. The key is, if its sponsored by an association [such as RAPS], it will likely be more successful.

For more information on the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society and their upcoming events please visit

“Fancy Meeting You Here!” Discovering Unexpected Talent

August 15th, 2012

Guest blog by Lisa Van Ess, CBI Group team member

Hi Everyone! It’s me again, still hanging on to the catch phrase Talent Acquisition. Most of us, whether we are corporate or agent recruiting professionals, spend the vast majority of our time practicing “Fill-the-Open-Job” recruiting and often, in doing so, stumble across some really great talent.

Hmmm…so you stumble across a Wildly Talented Individual and don’t have the open requisition. What to do?

Those of you in the retained, engaged, and contingent search space may dust off your “Most Place-able Candidate” hats and begin to market this person to your favorite partner clients, and/or start researching companies who just might have the opportunities for this unearthed treasure. On the corporate recruiting side, do we do the same?

Many of us are still realistically dealing with an economic and employment market where approved requisitions are carefully managed, perhaps resulting in an avoidance or difficulty in marketing talent to internal or external clients when there is not a direct fit to that super-duper, triple confirmed, approved headcount detailing the exact requirements of the recruited talent.

I’ll offer some thoughts and techniques to use in any market under any hiring condition:

1. My last blog focused on determining whether or not a person can and will do an open job, so the first item of business is to offer to your hiring management how wonderfully this talented candidate will culturally and behaviorally fit with the team, company, or client.

2. Have your homework done on what exactly they can do! Can they perform a ‘hard to fill’ job that, when open, takes forever to fill but just isn’t open right at this moment? Can they do two different jobs or portions of responsibilities needed to ’round out a team’? Do they possess the specialized industry, competitive, or technical experience needed?

With these thoughts in mind, don’t pass up on the pleasant surprise of finding ‘Will Do Talent’ – in fact, plan for it! Engage, market, and explore the opportunity to make your clients and candidates even happier and even more effective!


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