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Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 9.58.26 AMThe theory that recruiting great employees is highly difficult is true, but what if your firm was making the recruitment process more complex than it had to be?

Almost one out of every four decisions that a small to mid-size company will make during a recruitment process will hinder their chances at staffing competitive talent. The consequences of these actions can result in a myriad of ill-fated outcomes, ranging from higher salary costs and wasted time to losing competitive applicants altogether.

Firms that are unable to streamline the staffing process on a regular basis are probably prone to committing one or more of the following seven deadly sins of recruiting:  (more…)

Emotional hiringHiring is like meeting a new guy or girl you like for the first time. This wonderful person walks into your office and the two of you make a perfect connection right off the bat. You like the other person’s vibe, how the person looks, and he or she seems to fit all your necessary requirements. You know how many business owners and hiring managers say, “I just really like the candidate, I think he (or she) will do great!” (I am pretty sure you have all either said or heard someone say something exactly like this before.)

In relationships, it’s called the infatuation stage; in hiring, I call it the hiring by gut stage. (more…)

Recruiting is full of practices that seem to last forever. Unfortunately, many practices endure for years despite the fact that they add no value to the hiring process. I call these well-established practices “sacred cows” because many lon-gtime recruiters and hiring managers vigorously defend them even though both company and academic data shows that they should be discarded.

The need to identify and then kill these sacred cows was reinforced recently by some compelling research data revealed by Google’s head of HR, Laszlo Bock. For example, extensive data from Google demonstrated that five extremely common recruiting practices (brainteaser interview questions, unstructured interviews, student GPAs or test scores, and conducting more than four interviews) all had zero or minimal value for successfully predicting the on-the-job performance of candidates. But despite this hard data, practices like brainteaser interview questions will likely continue for years.

Recruiting Has a Long, Checkered History of Silliness (more…)

Consider this scenario: A talent acquisition director makes a seemingly great hire for a specialized manufacturing role. However, several weeks after the new employee starts the job, another, better — actually, amazing — candidate is referred by a colleague.

The HR professional decided to bring in the late-coming candidate for an informal interview even though a true “job opening” no longer exists. After the decision makers interview the late-coming candidate, they acknowledged that he’s a perfect fit for the culture, qualified for several potential future opportunities in the firm, and a prime candidate for leadership grooming.

The talent acquisition director considers two options: (more…)

q5_logoThe cost of hiring someone bad is so much greater than missing out on someone good. — Joe Kraus, partner, Google Ventures

Each company for which we recruit has a special set of circumstances and a unique story to tell. Large organizations like Raytheon sit and sell differently then giant fast-food places like McDonald’s. Google had its own special place and unique environment in terms of hiring, and hot Cambridge-based SasS startups like Quant5 also have their own set of challenges that require thoughtful navigation if hiring is to be successful. (Define successful as hiring the people you need, when you need them, and they do the job for which they have been hired.)

Like myself, those of you out there who have hired for startups know that even though a candidate might fit the bill in terms of qualifications, they still might not be the right DNA to be the right fit.

With this in mind, lets look at 12 factors that will address the people part of the equation in terms of the recruiting: (more…)

After closing 2007, at Veterans United Home Loans, the leading dedicated provider of VA Loans, we employed a 109-person workforce, all within our centralized Columbia, Missouri location. We will will advance into 2013 with more than 1,200 employees and a 22-office nationwide presence.

As the human resources director for one of the country’s fastest-growing private companies, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the highs and lows, the meltdowns and meaningful moments, and seen the best and worst in people, along with the downright bizarre.

While the previous list would make a great piece in itself, that’s not what I am most passionate about. What drives me is the opportunity I’ve been given, which has been hiring more than 1,000 extraordinary employees in the past five years, leading to recognition from Inc. Magazine as the nation’s No. 29 job creator — No. 1 in the financial and banking industry — and being listed on Fortune Magazine’s Great Place to Work list as the No. 21 best medium workplace.

Results like this are not the production of a boilerplate hiring method or template that fits every company, but the collective achievement of a unit that believes in working as a team to produce a superior end result for the user.

To understand what it takes to assemble a successful entity like Veterans United, read on before you hire your next applicant. (more…)

The hiring process is tough on everyone, especially the job seeker. It’s even a little bit harder on them actually, since while talent acquisition and management pros are used to dealing with the complicated ins and outs of applicant tracking systems, assessment programs, video and mobile technology and much, much, more — job seekers only have to deal with the front end of those systems when they’re looking, which is not “quite” every day.

And when they do go through your hiring process, they hate it. Here are the top reasons why: (more…)

Retained and contingent search recruiters can expect to see about the same level of business in 2013 as they have in the last half of this year, according to a Dice Holdings survey.

Only about 20 percent of corporate hiring managers expect to use external recruiters to fill jobs. But 28 percent will turn to retained and contingent recruiters to fill tech positions. Those results are virtually unchanged from a similar Dice survey in May, and have remained about the same for the last two years.

The difference in tech vs. all other types of searches can be chalked up to the tightness of the tech market and corporate hiring plans. While hiring by all employers is likely to be lackluster in the first part of next year, the intense competition for tech workers that has marked the last two years will continue in 2013.

Dice Holdings, parent company of the IT specialty job site Dice.com, and others in the financial service and energy sectors, says its most recent survey of tech recruiters and hiring managers found 64 percent of them will add new tech workers next year. Compare that to a second survey of all hiring professionals, which found only 46 percent expecting to add new hires. (more…)

About the author: John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.

While hiring by all employers is likely to be lackluster in the first part of next year, the intense competition for tech workers that has marked the last two years will continue in 2013.

Dice Holdings, parent company of the IT specialty job site Dice.com, and others in the financial service and energy sectors, says its most recent survey of tech recruiters and hiring managers found that 64 percent of them will add new tech workers next year. Compare that to a second survey of hiring professionals in all sectors, which found only 46 percent expecting to add new hires.

The results of the tech-only survey does show some softening of the market. In the spring, when Dice asked this same question, 73 percent of the respondents expected to make tech hires in the last half of 2012. That tracks with the general job survey in the spring when 51 percent of hiring managers planned second-half hiring. (more…)

All of us have heard about messy terminations, and some of us have witnessed them firsthand. The most memorable are the employee who is escorted from the building, scowling at managers on the way out, or the guy who punches a hole in the conference room drywall in a fit of frustration. There’s also the person who quits without confrontation or communication, packing up their things when nobody’s watching, and leaving an “I Quit!” note for their supervisor.

The circumstances around other terminations are just plain awkward, and when you see the ex-employee in the grocery store, you unknowingly head to the Tampax aisle (even though you’re a single guy) just to avoid the conversation.

How can you avoid ugly terminations? Here are four suggestions for building the right culture: (more…)