Which Factors are Most Important to Candidates?

by Amy Teske

Qualigence International surveyed nearly 1,000 professionals across all industries to find out what they value most in an employer when looking for a new role.   In other words, business leaders will need to do more than offer a higher salary to make people attracted to their organization.  There are several factors that attract candidates.
#1- Work Life Balance- This is important to know that they will not be spending every waking hour working.  Candidates want time for family, hobbies and activities.  It has been classified as the most important detail, even over salary!
#2- Culture- Candidates want to know what it’s like to work for an organization before starting.  It is a valuable asset to have a client who devotes time and resources to an evolving and positive culture.  Culture is extremely valuable, especially to new employees.
#3- Salary- This is one we hear every day.  The salary attracts candidates, but falls 3rd in line from Culture and Work Life Balance.  This data shows the evolution from what recruitment was in the past.
#4- Management- Does the organization have competent and experienced managers?  This is critical to a new hire as they want to be challenged and have a member of the company that they can learn from and trust.
#5- Benefits- This does not only encompass health benefits.  There are many unique job benefits to attract quality candidates.  Health insurance, retirement benefits and paid time off are some of the typical benefits.  Some of the creative benefits now being offered are: wellness perks, flexible vacation policies, floating holidays, and paid time off to volunteer.



image of explore membership button

Why Using More than One Recruiter is a Bad Idea

by Veronica Blatt

portrait-woman-black-jacketToday’s guest blogger is Jason Elias with Elias Recruitment, specializing in placing lawyers throughout Australia. Jason is a longtime member of NPAworldwide, a previous director, and recipient of the 2014 NPAworldwide Chairman’s Award.

Many employers believe they’ll get a better result and widen the pool of candidates by briefing more than one recruiter. But that’s simply not true for so many reasons.

I know what you’re thinking, of course he’d say that. He wants the commission all to himself!

But forget about trying to find any ulterior motive: using an exclusive recruiter is better for businesses. Here’s why.

5 reasons using multiple recruiters is bad for businesses

  1. Your recruiters will do less work. Recruiters usually get paid on commissions. On contingent assignments, if they don’t make a placement they’re paid nothing. They’re also usually very busy – at least if they’re any good. Put these two factors together and you can be sure that when you brief multiple recruiters each will spend less time and effort – not more – on filling your position than if they get the job exclusively. After all, no one likes wasting time on work they’re unlikely to be paid for. Many recruiters also end up tripping over candidates who have already been interviewed for other roles so it wastes the candidate’s and the recruiter’s time and reflects poorly on the hiring company.
  2. You won’t see the best candidates. If a recruiter has “rockstar” candidates they will reserve them as a reward for their loyal clients who have engaged them exclusively in order to cement the relationship and get ongoing exclusive briefs. Furthermore, if a candidate is uncovered during an exclusive brief, the recruiter will hold them for that client whereas for non-exclusive briefs, the candidate may be “shopped around” to several firms so bidding wars and delays become inevitable.
  3. The focus will shift from quality to speed. While we’re still on the subject, a non-exclusive recruiter’s focus generally shifts from submitting quality candidates to getting things done fast. Many will aim to get their candidates’ CVs registered first so they can lock it in, irrespective of whether their candidates are suitable. This results in more CVs for the hiring manager to review and undermines the value of the recruitment process itself, which is to screen the candidates first. In fact, some less scrupulous recruiters even send CVs without even having interviewed or spoken to the candidate – just so they can log their name first.
  4. It’s bad for your reputation. Using multiple recruiters can also be bad for an employer’s brand reputation. If candidates hear of the same job from multiple sources it reflects badly on the business, making them seem disorganised or, worse still, desperate and no one wants to work for an employer like that. In the current market, where there is a shift of bargaining power in favour of the good candidates, employers can shoot themselves in the foot and miss out on the top talent.
  5. You’ll eat up a lot more time in admin. There’s a lot of double handling involved when employers brief multiple recruiters for the same job vacancy. You are better investing time in one recruiter who understands your firm, the culture and what makes a successful candidate. Who needs more paperwork, which just adds time and costs? You will also invariably be dragged in to adjudicate over multiple recruiters claiming to represent the same candidate. This never ends well, with double invoices or, worse still, litigation. The easiest solution can be to pass over the candidate altogether and choose someone else.

Better ways to fill vacancies…

To use an analogy from the legal world, using multiple recruiters is the equivalent of going to five lawyers to draft a shareholders’ agreement and only paying the one you like first.

If you do want the expertise and reach of more than one recruiter on a job there is a solution…

Many recruiters are members of a network where they share their listings with other recruiters. (Elias Recruitment is part of NPAworldwide). In effect, this widens the net for employers without requiring any extra effort on their part. And recruiters with these kinds of arrangements in place are prepared to share their fee to make sure the client gets the best match for their job.

And the best advice is to build a relationship with an exclusive recruiter who is well connected and who has been in the local market recruiting relevant staff for a long time. Also, to protect yourself, select a recruiter who is a  member of a peak industry body like the RCSA and must abide by a strict code of conduct to protect both employers and candidates.

image of button for free checklist to evaluate split placement networks

Top 10 Reasons to Call a Professional Recruiter

by Dave Nerz

number-10I am a pretty independent and resourceful person. I like a good challenge. I am willing to try almost anything once. Maybe you are the same?

So when something breaks in my house, I will give it go and try to fix it myself. The air conditioner went out last week and I gave it a try. Flipping breakers, replacing filters, oiling fans, etc. No success. The feedback was pretty immediate; no cold air meant sleeping in a house that was near 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so fairly hot and uncomfortable for Michigan. Time to call a professional. Next day, the HVAC professional got us back on the path to cool air and comfortable sleeping.

When tax time comes around, I could do it myself for home, but the business is too important to mess with the do-it-yourself models. We are in business for reasons other than doing the taxes…that is something a professional needs to do. If I get a letter that requires legal review and attention, a professional is called in to help. Professionals serve a purpose and frequently do things better, more effectively and with less negative consequence than going it alone.

So what does this have to do with recruitment? These are tough times to find and attract qualified talent. So why are so many employers using homegrown, do-it-yourself, and internal methods? Maybe independent recruiters need to better explain the value they deliver. Or perhaps being a professional recruiter is so easy anyone can do it?

Here are some reasons I think using a professional recruiter makes more sense than homegrown methods of recruiting:

Top 10 Reasons to Call a Professional Recruiter

10. Hiring a recruiter keeps you focused on your core business.

9. Recruiters know employment law. One false move on your own could cost you way more than what you might save on a fee.

8. Recruiters can engage candidates that you cannot. For example, the best talent at a competitive business.

7. Your time is worth money. Your time and your staff time is not free.

6. Missing opportunities to get the right candidate can be very costly.

5. Recruiters will make you define the job requirements in a clear and accurate way. This gives you a higher likelihood of retaining top talent. People leave because the job was not what they were told it was.

4. Recruiters will find talent for you for years into the future once you have them on your radar. They may locate a talented candidate that is a super fit in your organization two years after a targeted search is completed.

3. Recruiters will help reduce the time to hire. Open positions are costing you money. Filling openings quicker saves you money.

2. Recruiters can negotiate salary, benefits and details less emotionally and with greater likelihood of success than you can directly.

And the number one reason you should hire a professional recruiter is:

1. A recruiter can make you money – if a professional recruiter finds even one significant candidate you might have missed on your own, or better yet, brings you a talented candidate long after a specific search is done, that candidate can drive thousands of dollars of profit to your bottom line over a 10-, 20- or 30-year career.

When it comes to attracting and retaining key talent, can you afford the homegrown, in-house method versus the use of a professional recruiter?

Independent Recruiter Blog

How Long is Too Long to Hire?

by Veronica Blatt

tortoiseA recent Glassdoor study found that the average hiring process in the U.S. took 23 days in 2014, jumping from 13 days in 2010—the upward trend is also seen in Europe, Canada and Australia.

As many of you know, time can kill a deal for a recruiter. So where is the line drawn between being thorough and taking too much time to fill a position?

There are a number of reasons that cause filling a job order to be prolonged, from a lengthy interview process to the economy.

Hiring the wrong person can cost dearly, so some companies have become so selective with their requirements that it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And yes, it’s important to thoroughly vet candidates for not only critical competencies, but also the cultural fit – possessing soft skills and growth potential. But subjecting candidates to interview after interview can cause a candidate to lose interest.

When and if a client finally finds that perfect candidate, they may be so frustrated at the process that they back out — in this market where opportunities are plentiful and they can take their time and pick and choose the best, and more decisive companies.

When a job order is open for too long, it can actually damage your client’s image – from frustrated candidates sharing negative experiences, to a perception that the company is disorganized or indecisive.

So what can you do? Let your client know that you’re the one to do the heavy lifting – identifying quality candidates, vetting their skills, and conducting their references.

Help your client nail down exactly what they’re looking for, because not having a clear idea will lead to a lot of lost time.

Just as bad as an ambiguous order is an unrealistic wish list – this is where your expertise as a recruiter comes in; Let them know what is available in the market and the going salaries for those candidates.

In addition, it’s important to constantly communicate with your candidates – give feedback after interviews. Quality candidates will likely get many offers, so it’s important to make them feel valued.

Does your client take too long to hire? Give him this blog to read, which outlines four of the most damaging results from a slow hiring process, with links to even more resources.

button to subscribe to NPA blog

Using Benefits to Recruit Top Talent

by Veronica Blatt

signing-a-contractRecruiting top talent is becoming more difficult. One recruitment tool being leveraged to recruit top talent is benefits. A March 2015 SHRM survey reports that employers are tuned into benefits as a recruitment tool. More frequently employers are using their benefits packages as the reason for someone to change jobs.

Employers realize that as basic needs are met in the area of salary expectations, one of the key differentiators available is the completeness and generosity of benefits. Top talent may need more than just the next good job to leave the current situation and move to a new employer. The recruitment of top talent requires some creativity and since most are well compensated from a base pay perspective, the benefits become the draw that will allow them to improve total compensation when moving to a new employer.

Employers report that they will be leveraging a collection of employee benefits more significantly in the years ahead. This continues the trend reported in the survey of using benefits to recruit in recent years. Some of the benefits seen as most important to recruitment efforts are:

  • Performance and career development benefits
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Wellness and preventative benefits
  • Flexible work arrangements benefits
  • Family-friendly benefits
  • Leave benefits

It is obvious that strong knowledge of market compensation is a first step in successful recruitment of talent. That knowledge is more easily gained by salary surveys and the use of effective independent recruiting resources. A good independent recruiter is often able to get accurate details on current compensation as well as desired salary and bonus to attract top talent. Recruiters with industry specialization can offer details on similar placements in recent months. Benefits are a bit more elusive and may require benchmarking to understand the competitiveness of an employer’s complete offering. Adding to the complexity of using benefits to recruit is that not all candidates value all benefits equally. Depending on age, career stage, family situations, the importance of each benefit could vary. In pre-employment situations it is difficult to gauge the relative importance of each benefit without approaching dangerous discriminatory questions. In many cases employers must work with generalizations about the importance of benefits to provide a great package for the candidate to evaluate based on his or her situation. So, there is cost and time invested in benefits that have limited value to the candidates being recruited.

For results from this survey or more SHRM surveys go to SHRM SURVEYS. There are many great insights there that employers can consider for their campaigns to recruit top talent.

When do you think benefits enter into a candidates evaluation process for a job? Is it early on or only after then are ready to make the change of employers?

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


How to Make Sure You’re Hiring the Right People for Your Startup

by Veronica Blatt

male-entrepreneur-laptopOur blog today comes from Nick Bowditch who has recently joined Forsythes Recruitment. Nick has come to Forsythes from Facebook where he was their Regional SME Manager (AUS/NZ). He has re-launched Forsythes’ IT/Tech/Startup recruitment division out of his home office on the Central Coast. He is currently managing recruitment assignments for Instagram, Twitter and Telstra just to name a few. Nick works with innovative startups and small businesses in Australia and internationally, presenting at conferences and inspiring others to take the leap into their own startups, as well as working with big brands helping them connect to small businesses and their communities better – both offline and online.

So your recruitment company has given you a shortlist of candidates to chat to about the vacant position with your startup. So how do you know you are hiring the right person? Think about these 4 things:

Are they doing something that you can’t?

Often in the startup phase you are bootstrapping the business or under some financial pressure. I am a big believer in hiring what you need rather than what you would ideally like. So the first hire – after you and the other co-founder(s) – is often the most important one. Will this next hire mean you can get some money in to then recruit further? Is the role that they will fill something that you and people already in the business could do if you were really pushed? I think hiring for skill gaps in your business is the way to think about it.

Do they share your vision?

Let’s face it, nobody is really going to share your vision, not the way you do. But you can reasonably expect them to be on board at least with what you are trying to do and what you think their role is in that. Unfortunately a lot of startups find out their new employee doesn’t share their vision for the business until they have sapped a lot of your resources and finances and it’s too late.

Do they need structure and a hiding place?

Startups are scrappy. Sometimes you are doing your job and sometimes you are doing stuff you never would have dreamed doing. The scrappiness of startups both attracts and frustrates people who work in that space but it can be a very rude shock if you are not prepared for it. If you work out that someone is used to working in a big corporate space where they can hide all day without it being obvious then you are probably not hiring the right person for your startup.

Understand what motivates them.

What do they want to achieve? What’s going to get the best out of them? What will totally frustrate them? Most importantly, are both you and they aligned on these things? You don’t have to know everything about them but understanding what motivates them is the number one way to ensure you are getting optimal performance from your new startup employee.

What’s been your experience with hiring the right – or wrong – people? What would you change next time?

button to subscribe to NPA blog

The 3 F’s of Employee Retention

by Veronica Blatt

employees-teamToday’s post is courtesy of Joshua Ro with People Consulting Group in Seoul, Korea. People Consulting Group places senior executives in manufacturing, information technology, consumer products, banking and finance, telecommunications, logistics and distribution, professional services, entertainment, and fashion. Joshua serves as a member of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

Recently, I attended a human resources seminar where most of the attendees were foreign companies doing business in Korea. There I had an opportunity to speak with a HR Director of McDonald’s Korea and she mentioned that they have a high rate of employee retention. The reason is 3 keywords their employees have identified: Family & Friends, Flexibility and Future. McDonald’s Korea’s staff members and employees feel they belong to a Family & Friends, enjoy Flexibility at work which drives better performances, and see a vision for the Future in getting promotion and opportunities.

Then I came to think about the implications of these three key factors in successful employee retention in our own field. The recruitment industry is somewhat notorious for having a high turnover rate.

I understand making staff members and employees feel they belong to a family and/or group of friends is a key factor in retaining them. Amongst any group, there must be some who are doing better than others, yet others who are struggling. Surely it would be your desire to have all of your family members perform well. Thus, investing your time to make them feel they are a member of the family may encourage that high performance and ultimately help you to retain your staff and employees.

Another key to employee retention is providing flexibility at work. We are so used to working from 9:00AM to 6:00PM, but it is important to recognize the different situations of each staff member and employee. Offering flexibility at work, such as giving different options in working schedules, will certainly lift their burdens off from their shoulders and lead to higher performance.

Lastly, envisioning a realistic and tangible future (not a transient one) at work helps retain staff members and employees. Setting goals and making them see what is achievable triggers their sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. This means employees have to see the benefits and rewards generated from both their work and your organization.

Retaining staff members and employees, especially the high performers in the recruitment industry, is challenging. Addressing the “3 F’s” of Family/Friends, Flexibility, and Future improves employee retention and may also increases their job performance and overall satisfaction.

image of explore membership button

A little competition goes a long way… or, why the best candidates aren’t getting seen anymore

by Veronica Blatt

image of woman representing in-house recruitingToday’s guest blogger is James Seidel with James Seidel & Associates located in Kelowna, BC, Canada. JSA is an owner-operated firm with clients across western Canada. The firm primarily places candidates in I/T, engineering, and sales. James is a former I/T Trading Group Chair and is currently serving on NPA’s Board of Directors .

There we have it. A shiny new job description is drawn up by the department head and handed to the HR manager. This one is pretty straightforward, lots of keywords and technical jargon to make the internet searching a breeze. It is confidently handed to the in-house recruiting staff (all experts on the latest social media search tools), complete with a guarantee of three or four candidates within a couple of weeks. After all, with four recruiters and a manager, we’ve got our own in-house search firm – with no fees to pay any more!! Gosh, this has become easy and cheap…

But wait. Do we really have an in-house search firm? What exactly does an agency have that we don’t and how could they possibly still be thriving in these days of easy searching?

Competition. The best agencies and recruiters have been doing this a long time – against all the other best recruiters. They remember when Monster and its dozens of imitators were deemed to level the playing field and the death knell was rang for the recruiters. Good recruiters adapted, adopted, and continued to thrive. Now we have Linked In and the other social media tools. Do agencies use them? Of course. These tools have been brought into the process since the very beginning (remember, when cash money is at stake there is innovation and hard work grinding ferociously in the background in any open market). Running an ad and sending in-mails will get you some candidates…or at least it should. But does it get you the top 2 or 3 people in the market, interested  in your job, at your salary level, and ready to go…that happens to coincide with when you need them? Probably not. Are your internal recruiters on the phone a MINIMUM of five hours a day, talking with candidates at your competitors and getting referrals to the ones you really need…or are they sending in-mails and managing ad responses? Do they have a database of thousands of interviewed candidates in your space that they start with…BEFORE they begin the hit-and-miss process of social media networking?

Competition. When you ask that recruiting team if they are certain these candidates are the best out there, how do you know? What happens if you ask if you can call a contingency search firm – just to check. After all, it costs nothing unless you hire someone. Finding a candidate to fill a vacancy is often not that hard. Finding a candidate that someone is willing to pay money upfront for is a completely different thing (ask anyone in the search business). Does your team welcome the competition? Agencies sure do – a good recruiter will often suggest a client feel free to call another agency; it reassures the client that the market has been properly scoured. An agency should be eager to show that the candidates from the competition don’t cut it. What happens when you ask your in-house agency if they would mind a little competition??

image of explore membership button