Salary Histories Obscure While Salary Transparency Increases

by Dave Nerz

While questions about salary history are top of mind for recruiters and candidates looking to be considered for jobs, employers are struggling with salary transparency issues every day. Pay has long been a confidential topic in the workplace. In fact, most conversations about pay are limited to review time or when an employee is being given a raise or adjustment. With some employers, salary transparency is beginning to change.

Current studies show that in the US only about 27% of employers share salary information with employees and early-stage candidates. Another 22% indicate they are likely to start sharing this information with both employees and candidates. So, the workplace is very evenly split on this topic of salary transparency, or will be, as those planning to share actually start doing so. A full 51% do not share salary info and do not intend to do so.

So, what are the advantages to greater salary transparency? Those that currently share details, they find it speeds the hiring process, streamlines the negotiation process, ensures fair pay, filters out and saves time spent with those that would likely decline and offer, and creates an environment where more interview time is spent on other topics.

The future is sometimes driven by the market and other times government intervenes. Governments worldwide are interested in fair pay and are busy pushing forward transparency laws. Even from an employer perspective, the goal is not really about transparency. The ultimate goal is fair pay; transparency forces that faster than good intentions alone. Fair pay then instills trust in the company and the process. Lack of transparency creates lack of trust and can create pay inequity that is systemic. Leaving employees in the dark can create candidates that are suspicious and employees that are distrustful. It has been found that many employees incorrectly assume they are being underpaid relative to market conditions. PayScale, LinkedIn and Salary.com are driving market transparency that will require employers to share more if they do not want to be compared solely against generic industry/marketing data. A clear picture of rates and ranges will give employees an awareness of standing within their current job and what upside exists. This can all be used to retain and motivate when used appropriately.

Transparency comes with both risk and complications. Each employer needs to make fully informed choices that have been strategically thought through and implications considered. No doubt recruiters will save considerable time on candidates that may be a mismatch on salary where employers are fully transparent on salaries.

It is certainly an interesting trend that while employers are in the process of becoming more transparent about salaries, recruiters and employers on the other side of the equation are becoming limited in what they can ask employees. Salaries are trending toward transparency while salary histories are trending toward completely obscurity.

How Promoting Company Culture Can Help You Find More Candidates

by Veronica Blatt

casual office company cultureHave you ever wondered how to get more candidates for job openings, or candidates more suited to the needs of your clients? It can be tough, especially in a market with very high employment, such as the one we’re currently in.

Ah, but there’s a secret weapon. It’s the company culture. Culture is what determines whether a workplace is friendly and open or a place where everyone minds their own business. It can determine the degree of flexibility in a workday. It’s reflected in whether people would rather hike on the weekends or binge-watch television. If you create a “cool” culture in the working environment, you’re way ahead of the game! Read the rest of this entry »

How to Prep Your Client for an Interview

by Liz Carey

Recruiters know to prep their candidates for an interview – a great resume only gets you so far. Sometimes, the best person for a job isn’t the best interviewee. Similarly, hiring managers aren’t always the best interviewers, and may not leave the best impression on the potential hire they interview.

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager often asks “so, do you have any questions for me today?”, and many recruiters take this opportunity to arm their candidates with penetrating questions in order to make a lasting impression. So if you have a hiring manager who isn’t prepared to answer these questions, the candidate might doubt the leadership at this company and lose interest in the role. It’s a candidate’s market, and in today’s fierce recruiting environment, you have to make sure your client sells not only the role, but themselves, to the candidate.

Here are some tips to give your client regarding the interview process:

  1. First, is making sure everyone is on the same page by using a calendar invite or similar software to get the interview on both your candidate’s and client’s calendars. Trying to coordinate calendars by calling or emailing back and forth with available times is a big hassle and time-waster. Get interview scheduling under control with something like Calendly or SimplyBook.me to find times that work for everyone and reduce cancelled or missed interviews. With scheduling software, your client can set their availability preference, share the link with you and the candidate(s) they want to interview, and let them pick a time, which is automatically added to you and the candidate’s calendar. It’s efficient and simple.
  2. Second, the interview itself. Sometimes recruiters are so good at prepping candidates that the interviewer isn’t prepared for the interviewee’s questions! A corporate headhunter told me a story of a time the hiring manager was at a loss for words when a interviewee asked about potential financial risks of the company’s that they garnered from the company’s public financial statements. Be prepared to answer questions about the company, its culture, career development, reductions in force, ethics, etc.
  3. You want every interview to be a dialogue, not just bombarding the candidate with questions. You want the candidate to feel comfortable opening up to you. Build in time during each interview for candidates to ask questions, and for the interviewers to thoughtfully respond to them.
  4. If you don’t know the answer to a question, tell the candidate that you will get back to them. …And make sure you actually do follow-up within 24 hours.
  5. Many candidates do not want to waste time waiting, as they may have other interviews/offers on the table, so be prepared for direct questions like “When may I expect an offer?” or “When will you decide on filling this position?”

And importantly, if a candidate doesn’t ask questions, that is a huge red flag. It shows they didn’t take the time to research the company and shows a lack of interest. You want candidates who ask questions because that shows they have a genuine interest in your client and its success.


Recruiters and Employers: How Will You Attract and Retain Millennials?

by Dave Nerz

Get ready! By 2025, Millennials will be almost 75% of the workforce. That is just 6 years away.

The good news is that this demographic will infuse the workplace with a fresh perspective and new ways of thinking. The challenge is that Millennials have expectations that differ from the generations that preceded them. This will create significant organizational change and many new challenges to be addressed. Older generations label Millennials as entitled, self-absorbed, and even unreliable. As with most stereotypes, these perceptions will be only partially accurate for some of the many workers in this generational category. Regardless, organizations and the leaders setting direction will need to respond and change. Methods and practices for employee attraction and retention will need to be examined. Read the rest of this entry »

Is working as we know it unhealthy?

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is John Francis, info@theonera.com, president and senior managing partner of Theonera, Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario (Canada). Theonera is a boutique recruitment firm specializing in engineering and software professionals and sought-after senior managers. Theonera has been a member of NPAworldwide since 2011. John shares his thoughts on a flexible work schedule below.

More CEOs need to look at introducing a 4-day work week

Throughout my 25-year career as a recruitment and retention professional I have known people who are constantly stressed at work. The stress they feel filters down through their life and embeds itself into every aspect of it. There are many stressors today — information overload, work demands, family care, finances, fear of missing out, career stagnation — each one piles unto the other to cause excess stress. Read the rest of this entry »

Searches for Purple Squirrels Should Die

by Dave Nerz

image of a purple squirrelRecruitment and search have become increasingly more difficult for independent recruiters. Independents are the NPAworldwide constituency; that is my motivation for examining this subject. Let’s take a look…

Employers have taken back the massive quantities of simple-to-fill positions that they shared with recruiters in the early 2000s. These have gone in-house or they have gone to online and AI-based services that can bang out the 15 new sales reps needed in every city across North America or wherever they are needed worldwide. Client companies have taken to job boards (their own and industry applications), low-cost agencies, hourly recruitment, list builders, employee referrals and even off-shore RPO to fill other slightly more difficult roles. What that leaves is the truly unique and especially difficult roles to be shared with independent search consultants. Headhunters are called in to fill these challenging and specialize positions. Read the rest of this entry »

Clients Tell Us What They Look for in Agency Partners

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Alex Fraser, Marketing Director at London based recruitment software supplier Engage Technology Partners. Engage provides a cloud-based platform that allows collaboration of clients, recruitment agencies and contractors throughout the recruitment supply chain process.

Recruiters are always looking for better ways to serve their clients. But sometimes it’s important to step back and look at the big picture: how are clients using recruitment agencies and what really matters to them?

To get a sense of how UK businesses really perceive the recruitment industry, we questioned 100 medium-to-large employers across a range of industry sectors. Read the rest of this entry »

Here Is How An External Recruiter Rates Against Your Current Hiring Process

by Sarah Freiburger

Their Expertise

An external recruitment agency is a specialists in their industry, who has placed that exact candidate role time and time again. Their background and knowledge gives them the edge when learning and  understanding your company’s unique requirements and enables them to match the right specialist with your distinctive needs. External recruiters work many sub–specialties within each specific niche, so they know the entire candidate life cycle for the team 

A Strong Approach

External agencies are committed to a strong relationship-driven approach that takes best-in-class recruiting practices and specialized training to provide an exceptional level of service to every client. They should invest the time to understand your values, your philosophy, and your requirements. They should ask questions. They should advise you as to how to make the relationship even more efficient. As an independent agency, their goal is to treat both candidates and clients with the same level of respect and knowledge to achieve long–term successful hires.

Targeted Solutions For All Clients

External recruiters usually work with clients from start–ups to the Fortune 100. They are as custom as you can find for handling local placements or for multiple hires across divisions and geographies utilizing their network of other independent specialized firms as well as vast databases of candidates. Many times these recruiters can complete searches within retained, engaged, and contingency relationships to fit your budget as well. Allowing the same firm repeat business also allows them to understand the entire scope of your hiring needs.

A locally based external recruitment firm helps you handle the intricacies of international business. Their recruiters not only source and recruit the right talent, but provide you with insight to the local culture to build the appropriate compensation packages to retain the talent. Having an international recruiter with a network of international partners allows them to leverage those partners so that they can learn and understand the relevant information you need to complete the project, and you will still receive one response from the recruiter you have built a trusted relationship with.

For instance, working with an NPAworldwide firm gives you access to local talent in the following countries:







Czech Republic




Hong Kong








New Zealand




Puerto Rico




South Africa

South Korea







United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

U.S. Skills Gap Challenging for Employers

by Veronica Blatt

A new report from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that there were 7 million job openings in the U.S. in December, but only 6.3 million unemployed people looking for work. A full three-fourths of human resource professionals indicate there is a significant skills gap between what employers want versus what job seekers currently have. As the labor market remains tight, this gap is predicted to get worse with many job seekers lacking necessary technical or soft skills. What can employers do to address these challenges?

  • Look at alternate candidate pools … this could be retirees, foreign workers, or those with a nontraditional academic background. For example, can you consider candidates who have the right skills, but do not have a university degree? How about a two-year degree or vocational certificate instead of a four-year degree?
  • Invest in the employees you already have … how can you provide additional training to your existing employees? Is there a way to enhance their skill sets? Do you offer tuition reimbursement or other incentives for them to further their development?
  • Consider alternate work relationships and environments … Can a contractor or remote worker fill the gaps in your workforce? Would a flexible working arrangement make it easier to find or retain the right person?
  • Partner with local educators to develop co-op or internship programs … And these do not need to be limited to those who are currently in school! How can you work with local institutions to upskill or retrain workers who are already on the job? What skills are most in need in your workforce? How can you ensure those skills are being taught to students (both traditional and nontraditional)?
  • Is your job attractive? There are roles that do not suffer from a lack of qualified applicants, but the jobs themselves may currently offer low pay or benefits that are out of alignment with the current market. If you’re having trouble attracting people to your open jobs, do some research to make sure you are offering competitive pay and benefits. It’s possible that a skills gap isn’t the primary stumbling block to your hiring efforts.
  • Is your brand attractive? Over and above pay and benefits, is your company a place where the best and brightest want to work? Are you effectively selling your brand in the marketplace? Perhaps you need to invest in repositioning your brand or the types of roles you offer. For example, there is a perception that manufacturing jobs are “dirty” or unskilled … but this is patently false in many environments.

Whether it’s a direct skills gap or simply a shortage of people, labor conditions are expected to be difficult for a number of years. Employers that are creative and forward-looking will be in the best position to attract and retain the best available talent.

How Utilizing a Well Networked Recruiter Helps Your Company

by Sarah Freiburger

image to represent an international recruitment agencyFor the past few years, the recruiting landscape is more competitive than we have seen it in years, so if you’re an employer you are already restructuring to make recruiting one of the top priorities this year. This can be your year for change and growth, and a well networked recruitment agency can make this happen while saving you both time and money.

A recruitment agency is in the business of getting people employed, that is what they do. A well connected recruiter can offer your business a much wider range of connections in the industry you are looking to recruit in due to their network of recruitment partners as well as candidate databases among those recruiters. Many firms are specialized in their respective niche and location, and have a network of other firms that are specialists in other industries so working with one firm as your single point of contact allows you to skip your research to find recruiters that align with each individual need, they have it covered. These recruiters are experienced working in the industry, and have recruited candidates similar to who you are looking to hire, so they understand the skills needed to be leveraged to secure the top candidate.

They know how to maintain relationships. Getting to know your company, culture and structure is a critical piece in how a recruitment firm will represent you to a candidate. It is important that both client and candidate needs are understood to make a placement that truly fits the organization and will be beneficial to both the culture and growth. Continuing to use them for your hiring needs save you time as they can continue to build your departments out according to this knowledge to create the most stable teams.

Rest assured that if your growth leads to multi national or international expansion, a well networked recruiter with international reach will still be your single point of contact. For instance, members of our organization cover all six continents with a local presence to deliver global top talent for your hiring needs.