7 Questions to Help You Recruit For a Team Fit

When you have notions of the ideal candidate for a job, it can be hard to sway your thoughts from finding the “perfect” person. Hiring managers can sometimes get stuck in a “I’ll know him/her when I see him/her” mentality during the recruiting process. Or worse, some recruiters focus on one specific skill set or qualification, eliminating potential superstars until someone with a precise background comes along. A lack of clearly defined needs can add costly time to the hiring process and can ultimately cost you access to top talent.september-blog-2

Recruiting for a team fit can boost your organization

Taking a “big picture” approach toward recruiting for your business can help you identify and attract top talent. Research shows that terminating an employee due to poor culture fit can cost up to 2.5 times that person’s base salary. That’s an added expense most organizations cannot afford. Add in productivity and morale losses due to increased turnover and the cost of aiming for the “perfect” candidate instead of one who fits into your team adds up quickly.

How to focus your hiring process on team fit

Shifting your mindset and approach during the hiring process to recruit for team fit doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul. Asking these 7 questions during your next interview can help >>

  1. What’s your perfect take on work/life balance? If your team thrives while burning the midnight oil to finish the big project, someone who enjoys leaving work at the same time every day might not be a fit.
  2. What does your ideal workplace look and feel like? Directly asking about the type of workplace preferred by candidates can present insight into whether they will be a good fit (and can help you determine whether some internal changes should be considered).
  3. What has been the greatest work day of your life? Why? If there isn’t a match between someone’s best work day ever and what your organization aims to deliver for its employees, there might not be a fit.
  4. When have you been in a position and didn’t know what to do? Learning new things happens in most jobs. Some organizations encourage a more open, “learn as you go” system than others. Asking an open ended question here gains extra insight into whether candidates could struggle without specific direction at every turn.
  5. What does “teamwork” mean to you? From weekly meetings to daily rundowns and multiple, coordinated projects, the definition of “teamwork” can shift widely from organization to organization. Aiming for nuts and bolts-type responses here instead of theory can really help you zero in on a candidate’s potential fit.
  6. When have you been forced to adapt to change in the workplace? What happened? Some candidates prefer to have extreme consistency from day to day. If your business is gearing up for a big acquisition, is experiencing immense growth or is going through any significant organizational changes, the answer to this question could serve as a red flag.
  7. When has an employer NOT been a great fit for you? Why not? By their nature, candidates don’t prefer to speak negatively during an interview. But constructive input and thorough responses to this question can provide an excellent standard to use for comparison.

Recruiting for a strong team fit can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. We’ll help you find exactly the talent you need to get to the next level. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

How to Reject Candidates Without Burning Bridges

It happens – for every job. Someone’s going to get the job, and some people (sometimes many) won’t receive an offer. But while your organization is excited to make a new hire, rejecting candidates can be nearly as critical.

Build strong candidate relationships — even when they don’t get the job.Helpmates June Blog 1

That’s right, every candidate rejection offers an opportunity to build stronger relationships and to also strengthen
your candidate pipeline. Depending on your industry, every candidate who submits a resume could also be a customer. That means treating candidates poorly can directly impact your revenue.

But poor treatment of rejected candidates can affect your organization in other ways. Perhaps someone isn’t the right fit for this specific role, but is a team player with great credentials. Could they be a fit for another opening down the line? Imagine how much time and cost you could save by bringing that person back in to ensure a fit, rather than sift through hundreds (or thousands) of resumes and going through the entire process again!

Negative treatment of candidates can also make a permanent mark on your business through negative reviews – take a look at some reviews of your competition on Glassdoor. Some of the feedback is brutal – but that’s just what you’re seeing online. Even more conversations are sharing feedback in email, in person or on other review sites. It’s hard to erase a negative impression, and treating candidates poorly can impact your ability to consistently recruit top talent.

Does your rejection process burn bridges? These tips can help you maintain a strong relationships with the candidates in your pipeline and build a positive reputation:

  1. Actually reject them. This one sounds strange, but it is essential. There are few things that can hurt your impression with candidates more than never letting them know whether they have received the job. Candidates have sent their resumes and cover letters and endured interviews (which could include phone, video and/or multiple in-person interviews). Simply letting rejected candidates know that you’ve gone with another candidate is a matter of courtesy — one that is often neglected. Whether it’s via email or traditional mail, contacting all candidates to let them know of your decision is a matter of respect.
  2. Let them know as soon as possible. We all seek closure in various aspects of life. Finding closure during your job search can be especially challenging. If you’ve made up your mind that a candidate isn’t the right choice, let him or her know as soon as you can. Not only does this help candidates move on, it can help them pursue other opportunities that may be the right fit since they won’t be waiting on a response from you.
  3. Be personal. Templates can be a helpful way to save time – using a basic templated email or letter is perfectly acceptable. But, avoid a “Dear Sir/Madam” generic communication. Including the person’s name and the position they applied for is a good start, but depending on where the candidate landed in the process, you may want to include something more specific. A compliment or specific highlight of something discussed during the interview can be a nice way to show that you are talking to a person and not just a “candidate.”
  4. Don’t dwell on it. Short and sweet is essential here – it’s like ripping off a Band-Aid. Sharing some information about why the candidate wasn’t chosen is helpful, but avoid going into a highly detailed description of why the chosen candidate was the better fit. A few sentences explaining the decision are all that’s needed.
  5. Be honest. Some candidates may be a great fit for your company culture, but just aren’t the right fit for specific openings. If that’s the case, be honest and let them know that they could be a fit down the road. Conversely, don’t offer hope where none exists. Only share the notion of a potential match down the road when you sincerely believe candidates would be solid additions to your company. Never offer hope of a potential match as a consolation prize — it will only result in frustrated or angry candidates when they don’t hear back in the future.

Searching for talent to help your organization achieve its goals? Here at Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office today to learn more about our staffing and recruiting solutions.

Is Your Employer Brand Sending the Right Message?

With competition for top talent becoming stiffer by the day, focusing on a strong employer brand is critical to helping your business stand out from the pack. While you don’t have to be named a “Top Place to Work” in order to attract and retain top talent, a strong employer brand helps you build trust and engagement with candidates. In the past, we’ve shared tips to help you differentiate your employer brand from the competition, and have highlighted some ways to attract and retain top talent.

Have you followed our advice? Great, then you’re on the right track!Helpmates April 2

Now it’s time to take your employer brand to the next level.

While many employers have great intentions in developing their employer brand, many make some considerable mistakes that end up costing them access to talent. Avoid these mistakes to prevent an uphill battle in your quest to land top talent:

  1. Underestimating candidates. In their most recent candidate behavior survey, Jobvite found that 18% of all job seekers are using Facebook to research your company’s culture. Today’s job seekers are more savvy than ever. They know what they’re looking for in an employer, and they want to find a match between their needs and your company. Specifically, they want to know what it’s really like to work for your business. And with tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Glassdoor and Google at their fingertips, it’s easier than ever to get this information. To ensure that candidates are finding a message that truly represents your brand, a strong social media presence is essential. We recently posted a blog offering advice for employers looking to engage candidates on social media. This is a good place to start. Showcase your employer brand, expect and understand that candidates are doing their research and that they value honesty and a strong message from your company
  2. Not “walking your talk.” Creating a strong employer brand involves more than messaging.  A strong employer brand engages candidates while accurately depicting your company’s values and the experience of working for your organization. Now “walking the talk” here isn’t just overtly misleading candidates (which most employers wouldn’t do deliberately). Many employers have the best of intentions, but don’t actually understand what day-to-day life is like in their workplaces for most employees. Before embarking on an employer branding initiative, an informal, anonymous survey of your current employees can help you pinpoint the true benefits and experience of working for your company. Bonus: It can also help illuminate areas where you could be doing better. Take this information and use it to create a better experience for your employees!
  3. Thinking your employer brand is “one and done.” Embarking on an employer branding initiative like the one mentioned in #2 is a great way to start your employer branding efforts. Notice the emphasis on “start.” Understanding your employer brand and crafting your message is just the beginning. A strong employer brand is constantly built and honed – it takes a long-term commitment from your organization. Ensure that your mission, vision and company goals are properly communicated to prospective employees by investing time and resources into a strong social media strategy so that when candidates research your company, they’re finding recent, relevant content that engages. Work on improving areas that underperformed in the survey you conducted as part of #2, then promote those advances across the board. Refresh your employer branding materials as needed to ensure the messaging is the most current, up to date and engaging. Ensure that your organization is committed to building and leveraging its employer brand. This may require someone within your organization “taking ownership” of employer branding. Designating a dedicated resource toward your employer brand can be a great way to ensure this important area doesn’t fall by the wayside.

Landing top talent doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Follow this advice, and call your local Helpmates office. Our network of top talent across Southern California is ready to jump in and make an immediate impact on your business.

4 Ways Your Company is Turning Off Top Talent

Bloggers and the Internet spend a great deal of time sharing suggestions for attracting top talent (we posted some tips for attracting millennials this summer, actually). But while attracting top talent is critical, there is another recruiting key that is often forgotten.

Turning OFF top talent!

While you’re thinking of ways to attract talent, you could be simultaneously sending a subliminal message that you’re not the best place to work. And that message could be costly. Here are four common mistakes companies make that can turn off top talent:Untitled

  1. Boring job descriptions. Job descriptions are much more than a way to weed out unqualified candidates – they’re your first (and sometimes only) way of selling both the job and your company to talent. If your job descriptions offer little more than a bullet list of “musts” and “would like to haves,” you’re missing out. We share some keys for writing effective job descriptions in this blog post – print it out and hang it by your computer for some inspiration when creating your next job description.
  2. A drawn out hiring process. It’s a candidate’s market right now, with some industries fighting tooth and nail for top talent. You can’t afford to drag out the hiring process unnecessarily – when you do, your competitors are snatching up top talent. Take a realistic look at your hiring process and see where you can “cut the fat.” Do you really need four people in an interview (which can add days or weeks to coordinate schedules)? Could you conduct several interviews in one day to avoid bringing candidates in on multiple days? You’d be surprised how often one or two extra days in a few places can result in loss of your top candidates.
  3. Disconnected messaging and reality. This one can be a bit tricky. Building a strong employer brand is a critical part of the recruitment strategy for many organizations, and rightfully so. But spending hours and dollars on a strong employer branding message could end up a colossal waste if the reality of life within your organization doesn’t mesh with the reality you’re pushing in your messaging. Be honest about your company culture and identify its true strengths, not what you wish they were. Craft messaging that helps convey that message, so that when candidates meet with your team, that message is reinforced. Taking these steps can save you considerable recruiting costs down the line (and should also help your retention rate).
  4. Too much formality.  By all accounts, if your corporate culture is more formal, be sure to present yourself formally in all communications. But formality doesn’t mean a lack of humanity. Generic messages like “Your resume has been received” help you blend right in with every other competitor using an ATS (applicant tracking system). Are you excited that incredible candidates are applying to your company? You should be! Let them know about it so that when someone from your office does call or email them, they’re excited to hear from you. A shift from “Your resume has been received” to “We are so excited you chose to apply with us – we’re reviewing resumes for the next few days and will be in touch soon” could be a simple change that makes a massive difference.

Turning off top talent can cost you, but a sound recruiting strategy is also essential. That’s where Helpmates comes in. Our extensive network of talented professionals across Southern California trusts us to find them incredible jobs. We’d love to connect them with yours! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find top talent.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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