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How to Find Top Talent

Posted by | January 22, 2016 | How to ..., Recruiting

recruiterIt’s the dilemma each employer faces with each hire. How do I find the right fit for this position? Where do I look? Should I post my job online? Where?

So many questions, so little time. Considering how much the wrong hire would cost your small business, you’ll want to focus on these tips before you post your job ad. Hiring the right people, will contribute to the overall success of your business.

1. Calculate your hires and the cost of your mis-hires. Business owners need to be as careful and calculating with candidates and hires as they are with their equipment and business technology. “When a piece of equipment costs $500,000, we are accustomed to calculating a ROI. Including doing comparisos and planning the installation. So, companies should only move forward and hire with the same type of caution.

To assist business principals in measuring the ROI for employees, You can check these four online calculators: the hiring success calculator (calculates percentage of high performers hired and promoted), the talent projection calculator (calculates the number of people you’ll have to hire and fire in order to achieve a 90 percent success rate), the mis-hires calculator (calculates your typical cost of mis-hires, and your typical number of hours sweeping up after mis-hire) and the organizational cost of mis-hires (calculates how much it will cost you to replace underperformers with your current methods versus Top grading methods).

2. Create a detailed and intriguing job description. Your job description in an ad will determine what types of people will be attracted to it. Write a good ad to get top results. Post a vague job ad and you will get more unqualified applicants. All hiring managers should be careful to put in the extra time required to make the job description as detailed and appealing as possible.

When job descriptions are vague, hiring managers who will are affected have not been clear about what they’re hiring someone to do. Conversely, candidates are also confused. They might apply, only hoping that they figure it out once they start the job. What you get are completely avoidable and costly mis-hires.

3. Recruit from your network and use your connections. “There are a slew of advantages of recruiting from within your own networks. It’s much faster (dial the phone, send some e-mails, scour social media), better (maybe you know someone and they are known to be a high performer) and cheaper than posting expensive job ads or using third party recruiters.

You should be forming a network of A-players you’ve worked with, JobShouts recommends having a separate network of people called connectors. “Connectors are people who know the people you want to reach and they can often refer that top talent right to your inbox.

JobShouts recommends that every hiring manager build and maintain a list those A-players and ten or more connectors—people who are not suitable for your business, but who know a lot of high-performers you might hire. This connector group can include former employees who stay in touch with their peers, also a lot of talented people. Even vendors with an eye for great talent can often point you to talent or other connectors. Also, your professional associates and former peers who know lots of potential talent.

4. Avoid those generic competency questions.  The face-to-face interview is the weakest step in the hiring process. Why? Competency interviews often fail because a typical competency question is, ‘John, Please provide me with an example of when you felt a lot of passion for your job?’ Seriously, anyone can come up with some examples of this and anyone can claim more passion than ultimately exists.”

We’ve seen senior managers at a recruiting firms who spent a lot of time coaching their candidate on how to successfully sell themselves and even tell outright lies during the interview process. Shocking to say the least.

5. Push a candidate to set up a reference call. Of all the methods we have seen, this one we like the bet. It is done using a TORC (threat of reference call). This involves asking the potential candidate to schedule the reference call. A call between the hiring manager and the candidates former employer or referral.

Often this ‘threat of reference check’ will scare off those unqualified players.  Less than stellar players will have difficulty getting their former bosses one the phone with you and most likely would not want them to talk to you anyway. Decades of real world experience confirms that top performers will get their bosses to talk and are quite happy to schedule the call. JobShouts advises recruiters to remind each candidate through each step of the hiring process that reference calls and checks will be setup by them.

6. Use We work really well, your first ad is free and we think outside the box. Job ads do not have to cost $200 each. We deliver the same results for a fraction of the cost.

Guest Post from an HR Analyst. About the Author: Kyle is the HR Analyst at Software Advice – a company that reviews human resources and applicant tracking software.

Social media can be a great tool for sourcing, screening and recruiting candidates. For a number of reasons, though, many recruiters sometimes find themselves crossing the line as their quest to find quality candidates. Many are asking, “How far is too far?”

Beyond learning the hard way, there are some best practices emerging to help recruiters know when they’ve pushed the envelope too far. And hiring professionals are discovering a new line of recruiting applications and tools built into applicant tracking software to help them rise above the same old hashtag to better identify, connect with and place viable candidates.

Many folks using social media in their recruiting efforts are running into the same issues. Regardless of how good your intentions, these issues can tarnish your reputation and cause you to miss out on golden opportunities. Here are the top three:

  • Spamming job posts. Want to render your social recruiting efforts ineffective? Spamming people with your job opportunities is a surefire way to do just that. The key to social recruiting is to be social and engaging. Share industry news and articles of interest, exchange personal messages, etc.
  • Prying rather than researching. Some positions require a flawless social media presence. For the rest, you shouldn’t be digging too deeply into their profiles. Screening should be focused on general impressions of candidates to see if they would fit within your company culture.
  • Penalizing candidates for level of access. It’s not unusual for candidates to deny recruiters access to their Facebook profile, inviting them to connect via LinkedIn instead. Many people use Facebook for personal, rather than professional networking – especially in Generation Y. Don’t write off candidates for showing a bit of backbone and managing their public image – it’s hardly something to penalize.

Lessons Learned from the Trenches

Carolyn Betts, CEO of Betts Recruiting, is one person experiencing more success in social recruiting than others. She was recently featured in a New York Times article, for leveraging social media to grow her recruiting success.  She’s picked up a few tricks worth sharing:

  • Focus on strategy. You won’t be able to make the most of social media if you’re going into it blindly. You need to have a plan for how you want to accomplish your goals. Betts suggests starting with one social media site, familiarizing yourself with it, then growing your presence gradually.
  • Have realistic expectations. When you consider the industry you’re in and the position you’re hiring for, are your deal-breakers realistic? You need to determine upfront how much weight you are giving a candidate’s social media presence.
  • Leverage the right apps and tools. Many successful social recruiters know that in order to make the most of your social recruiting efforts, you need to leverage the right tools. Why go it alone when there are applications with built-in best practices for recruiting more effectively?

Expanding Your Reach with Software

According to a recent study, approximately 85 percent of U.S. companies used LinkedIn for recruiting last year, though only 30 percent of active job seekers are on LinkedIn. As such, many recruiters are finding LinkedIn a bit overcrowded. Where are the candidates? The large majority of them are on Facebook.

Because the data recruiters are looking for is a little harder to find on Facebook, however, many miss the sourcing opportunity this vast network provides. Fortunately, there are third-party software developers devising methods to put actionable candidate information into the hands of recruiters quickly and efficiently. Some of these recruiting solutions are standalone applications that leverage recruiters’ networks. Others – like Bullhorn Reach – are applications designed specifically for automating social recruiting.

For further reading, check out Kyle’s HR blog at:


Our topic for this article is one that is becoming more and more popular with hiring authorities. Employment background screening is gaining traction in many corporate and professional work environments. Far too many companies do not want to risk corporate assets to just anyone they might hire. In today’s climate, knowing who you hire is critical to the success of your organization.

Many companies offer this type of service to employers and depending on the position that is being filled, there are several checks that can be completed prior to hiring an individual.

Criminal History – this is probably the most common type of employment background screening. When an applicant has their criminal history examined a screening agency will check specific regions to determine if the applicant has a history of felony or misdemeanor charges on their record. Screening agencies will request where to search for criminal records as all felony and misdemeanor records are recorded with clerks of courts in the counties where the crime took place.

Driver’s License History – Also known as a Motor Vehicle report (MVR). This type of search is common for employees that will be driving either company vehicles or their own personal vehicle. This type of check is done at a state level and will reveal moving violations, suspensions and revocations, DUI or DWI arrests. This check will also reveal what class of license the applicant possesses in addition to any endorsements or restrictions that may be placed on a driver. Such as motorcycles, hazardous materials or large OTR truck classifications. This check will also verify date of birth and verify if any aliases exist for the applicant in question.

Credit History – These types of checks are often recommended for those applying for financial positions. Typically this type of check occurs when an applicant will be handing cash, such as a retail store clerk, or when an applicant will have access to bank accounts. A credit history check will help an employer determine exactly how responsible an applicant is. Most employers do not want to hire someone that has credit problems as this is an indication that the applicant is irresponsible and not trustworthy. All pre employment credit checks should be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Employment Verification – Employment verification is one of the most common types of background screening conducted today. Often times applicants will exaggerate or falsify their employment and salary information in order to help their chances at being hired. This type of screening will often require direct communication with an applicant’s former employer. Questions asked will be of the verification type; typically dates of employment, position held, salary and whether or not the applicant is eligible to be re-hired. Sometimes a performance evaluation can be requested, however many companies have policies that prohibit comments on a former employess job performance..

Keep this in mind when searching for your next opportunity.

As a job seeker, how can you protect yourself from job scams that are posted right alongside legitimate jobs? There are still job scams being posted every single day on sites like Monster, CareerBuilder and especially Craigslist. Why are these people preying on job seekers through job ads? Because they want your personal information. They want your name, your address, your phone number, your email address and your place of employment (or last employment). They compile the information from the resumes they receive from the fake job ads. It’s all part of an elaborate scheme to collect and sell personal information for the purposes of identity theft.

Don’t become a victim! Protect yourself by recognizing the 2 main indicators of a scam job:

1. The job title is basic. Administrative Assistant, Intern, Customer Service, etc. By using very generic job titles they are casting a wide net hoping to catch as many job seekers as possible.

2. The description is basic or seems too good to be true. Everything about their job ads screams “easy”. Again, they are casting the widest net possible.

Here is an actual scam job posting we encountered recently: “This company is seeking an experienced administrative assistant for an immediate opening. You must have direct experience with invoicing, accounts receivable, payroll and general clerical responsibilities. You must be proficient with computer applications including Excel, Word, Outlook and Quickbooks, or similar accounting platform. You must have an outgoing personality, strong attention to details, excellent organization skills, reliable accuracy and be capable of working with minimal direction. We provide a competitive hourly wage that is commensurate with experience. This position is for full time employment. Compensation includes wages, healthcare benefits package, 401K, etc.  Applicants must be over 18 yrs old and able to pass both background check and drug screening. You must be free and clear from any existing non-compete agreements.”

It sounds like a legitimate job, right? That’s part of the trick. They want you to have a hard time recognizing it’s a scam. The ad above was for “Stanley Furniture” in Springfield, VA. According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Stanley furniture cut 530 jobs in the last year.  That’s a red flag.

The bottom line? Don’t send your resume anywhere without researching the company first. If you can’t identify the name of the company from the job ad, and you value your personal information, we’d advise against sending your resume. This is obviously a personal choice to make/chance to take but the surest way to protect your information is to know who you’re sending it to.

Most recruiters use job postings as a means to an end. They use them as extra hands when they have a full desk, to develop pipelines or for brand representation/perpetuation. Whether you’re posting jobs for any or all of these reasons, it is important to recognize the impact (or lack thereof) that job postings can create.

When I worked in agency recruiting, I frequently used documentation from clients to post jobs. It was easy to copy and paste what they had already put together and get it “out there”. I failed to realize that in doing that, I wasn’t creating much desire for job seekers to reply to my post. I started looking at my job postings more closely and noticed that if I rewrote the posting in my own words, I got much better responses. I would include information about my client that I knew would entice the applicant, without revealing who the client was. After all, I knew from my relationship with my client what they were really looking for – not just skills but candidate personality. I wrote the job postings to attract that type of personality. Sure, re-writing the job posting took more time but it paid off. I got more responses. I got better responses. I got hires. Even if you’re in HR and you’re posting on behalf of a hiring manager, you can still add verbiage to the specs you’re given to attract the right candidate.

Photo courtesy of

The emergence of job search engines has directly impacted the importance of good verbiage in job postings.  Most recruiters don’t know that cross-posting the exact same job to multiple job boards doesn’t increase the chances of finding a candidate match, nor does it increase the number of postings that show up on the search engines. Indeed and SimplyHired filter out duplicate listings and only list the posting that they indexed first.  Accordingly, if you copy and paste the client requisition word for word – and 5 other companies have done the same – there is a big chance that your posting might not even get seen on the job search engines. Write your job specifically for your audience. Are you hiring for a Telephone Answering Service? Then say so.


This means knowing what part of a client requisition is important and what part isn’t. It means including relevant key words that your candidate audience is searching for. It means including information about the environment, the benefits, the hiring process and so on.  Many candidates are apprehensive to respond to vague job postings. They fear it’s just another “black hole”, a potential scam job, or in some cases, that it might be their current (or former) employer.

Confidential postings really turn job seekers off. If you want to remain confidential about the search, then hire a headhunter – don’t post the job on the internet. Don’t expect a job posting to be a silver platter, either. If you have a hard to fill position, a job posting is just another vehicle to perpetuate the message that you’re looking for that person. It still doesn’t mean that person is looking for your job. In other words, you’re still going to have to work on it. In some cases though, using appropriate key words to attract passive candidates can work. For instance, your job posting could turn up in a Google search when they are searching for other things pertaining to their industry or career. Pick your key words carefully! Don’t just dump them all into a meaningless paragraph at the bottom of your job posting.

The information you include in your job postings speaks volumes about your company, your recruiting practices and your professionalism. The bottom line is – job postings are advertisements for your company; represent yourself well.

Hiring methods have forever changed. In the past 10 years, the internet has revolutionized the way we look for jobs as well as the way employers go about hiring. This became even more evident to me recently when I took on a new job seeker client; she’d had zero experience in using the Internet to find work.  She had been in her previous position for the last 13 years and suddenly was out of a job because the small company she worked for was going under. She didn’t have an electronic version of her resume; only a paper one. She had never used a job board or even craigslist, let alone built a LinkedIn profile. She felt like a fish out of water.


It’s an all too familiar story, really. Many casualties of this recession have been long term employees of small businesses who suddenly find themselves without a job and without a clue about how to find a new one. Does this sound like you? You might be wondering, “where do I begin?” You might also be surprised when I tell you that job boards should not be your focus. Of course, they should be included in your job search efforts but they should not be the only sites you rely upon nor should they be where you spend most of your job search efforts.

First, let me tell you about 3 things that you MUST do/have before you start your job search:

  1. You MUST have a resume. If you can afford to pay a professional, then I’d advise you to do so. If you cannot, then there are a plethora of available resources to help you but you have to invest the time in getting it done or you are simply extending your unemployment. Make sure you have it stored on someplace other than just on your home computer. A CD is great but you should also keep a copy in gmail, yahoo or other free email account so that you can pull it up from anywhere. You never know when you might need it!
  2. Get a LinkedIn profile. This is just as important as having a resume. LinkedIn is the number one “go to” site for recruiters when they are looking for potential candidates. Not to mention, it’s a great place to make connections and network with other professionals in your line of work. Building your profile should be fairly self explanatory, as LinkedIn does a great job indicating how complete your profile is and what needs a finishing touch. If you aren’t sure how one should look, search profiles of other professionals in your industry. Find one that is complete and review it carefully. There are a lot of things you can include on your LinkedIn profile now such as blogs and tweets.
  3. Get a Twitter profile. Stop saying, “I don’t Twitter.” Stop saying, “I don’t get Twitter.” If you want to be noticed, this is a MUST HAVE tool.  If you don’t get it, then read Twitter Tips. Then go build your profile and don’t flake out. Santa is watching and so is God. They will know if you skip this step.

Now that you have a resume, a LinkedIn and a Twitter profile, you’re ready to start! Here’s what to do next:

  1. ENGAGE. Here is the hard part. Most are afraid to jump in and start networking but you can’t be. Start with friends and family if that helps – connect with them on these platforms and let them know that you are actively job searching. Ask for leads. Don’t be afraid to tell anyone that you are out of work – this is NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. Not telling people isn’t going to help you and they will still know you are unemployed eventually.
  2. Get INVOLVED! LinkedIn has thousands of groups and you should be a part of them! Search the groups on LinkedIn for keywords in your industry. These groups will lead you to others in your line of work that you can network with. In addition, there are job search groups that can help with additional tips and guidance. Make sure you continue to stay involved once you start! If you want people to take you seriously, this is the key. Besides, if you aren’t involved you won’t be on top of your game. Consistently staying involved is more likely to net more leads and connections.
  3. Get out from behind the computer. Yes, you read that correctly. This was the advice that worked like a charm for my most recent client. Visit every temp and employment agency that you can.  Don’t rule out temporary work because full time work can often be found through them. That doesn’t mean send them all your resume by email. I mean shower, get dressed like you’re going to interview, get in your car (or on the subway, bus, train, whatever!) and beat feet. People don’t generally ignore you in person like they might be tempted to do through email. Make sure you bring paper copies of your resume as well as a CD with a Word Doc version of your resume on it.
  4. Review these tips as often as necessary and ask yourself, “Am I doing what it takes to get noticed?”

The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. Job searching is a tough task for anyone and it can wear you down. Try to follow as normal a routine as you can. Maintain your Monday through Friday schedule; get up early and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Although your job search should be a full time job, you should still be taking time off. Weekends are a great time to recharge and doing so will help you remain sharp.

Do you have additional tips to share on how to get noticed in today’s work force? Please feel free to share them with us!

Most people that are familiar with JobShouts know about our job postings and that we’re integrated with social media – but some may not know about or have yet to try our Social Search feature.

So, what is JobShouts Social Search? How can it help my recruiting/sourcing process?

If you’re an employer or recruiter who regularly uses resume databases to source your candidates, pay attention.

Social Search was developed from a sourcing technique that I personally used very successfully in my days as a recruiter. I specialized in recruiting a lot of hard to find candidates and clients were often amazed at my pinpointed accuracy. My secret? Social media, networking sites and search engines. I used a variety of sites to source from where I could make real connections with people based on a specific opportunity uniquely matched to them. Some might call this cold call sourcing or passive candidate sourcing. This method for me was very successful – so successful in fact, that I was able to stop relying upon resume databases full of outdated content.

The only trouble with this method was, it was very time consuming. Going to each site, figuring out what search criteria worked best, sifting through results for good quality, etc. Each site search could take from 5 minutes to 2 hours depending on the number of results that I got.

The premise behind Social Search was to streamline this process. Social Search allows you to search up to 8 different sites all at one time: LinkedIn, MySpace, Spoke, ZoomInfo, VisualCV, Twitter, Facebook AND – the best part of Social Search – the resume search feature. Social Search finds “hidden” resumes of potential candidates wherever they might be posted publicly, such as on their webpage or blog. Best of all, the results are sorted and labeled according to the network on which they were located.

Here’s an example. Using Social Search, I searched for “business analyst” in Miami:

You can see it pulled up a number of profiles on various sites; from there you can click on a profile to see if it’s a match.

So now let’s say you’ve located a great potential candidate on MySpace (“Suga Cane” listed above) but you don’t know her real name or how to reach her. Well, you can message her through MySpace and hope she responds OR, you can use the information you find on her MySpace profile to help locate her real identity.

This is what we know from her MySpace profile:

So now we know who she currently works for. Using “Gemaire” and “Inventory Control Analyst”  I searched LinkedIn and found out that her name is Marisa Howell. Now, she’s a viable and potential candidate! Connect with her through a shared group on LinkedIn or use her name to search for contact information. It’s as simple as that.

Let’s face it – in the world of social media and online networking  – far more people are keeping up with their social profiles more often than their resumes. Using this search will net specifically targeted candidates through publicly available information and eliminate the need for using a resume database. Recruit smarter, deliver better results to your clients and stop wading through the same candidate pool as everyone else.

Questions? I’m all ears. 🙂

imagefetchashxA lot of focus is on the job market these days. Much is being said about how to search for a job. What sites to visit, where to look, how to network. What is missing from this? How to input the correct search strings into the search boxes of Google, Twitter, or any job search engine you might encounter during your job search.

That’s just about as important as where to look. If your search phrases are not specific enough, you’ll be wasting your time sifting through jobs that are not relevant to your skills or profession. If you’re too tight on your search specifics your results will be too small to work with.

Each person will go about this in a slightly different way. Dependent on your skill sets your search phrases will vary. However, the logic behind search queries will be fairly consistent across almost any profession.

Boolean Search operators are very useful when conducting a search on google. Setting up google alerts to do this for you should be a integral part of your job search arsenal.

Before you begin your search, first make a list of keywords related to your chosen industry. Also make a list of cities, or geographical locations that you will be searching for jobs in.

When you enter your keywords into search fields, you can search for either a specific word or string of words. This can prove useful when you wish to enter multiple criteria e.g. software developer Tampa Florida. If your job requires a particular skill or qualification you may also wish to include this e.g. C#, PHP, Java, SQL etc.

Do not enter words that are not keywords, a, an, the, at, on etc. There is no need for them and they could throw your results off. You might just end up with movie titles for results. Not what you are looking for.

Use the Boolean operators  AND, OR, and NOT.

You can also combine words using AND, OR, and NOT. For example, network AND engineer will search for jobs which contains both the words network and engineer, although not necessarily next to each other.

Sales OR manager will search for jobs which contain either the word sales or manager.

Sales NOT manager will search for jobs which contain the word sales but not manager.

You can also search for a phrase by typing it exactly as you wish it to appear. E.g. typing “Quantity Surveyor” would return jobs containing the phrase ‘quantity surveyor’. placing your search phrase inside of quotes will return result that only match what was put into the quotes.

Try this search string (without the quotes) in Google and see what you get.  “(job, tampa, fl) network OR engineer -Novell”.

Parentheses ( )If you are sure about one search term, but not so sure about the others, you can group them together with parentheses. For example, I know for sure I want to search jobs in Tampa, fl. I also told Google to narrow my results to postings that contain network OR engineer but not Novell. Since I don’t know squat about Novell, why would I need to see search results that need filtering further?

Just try to keep in mind that Google automatically inserts the AND statement automatically anytime you enter multiple keywords. Most job search engines do as well, but if your not getting results use the AND statement. See if it helps; each person should get comfortable using operators, and search phrases that are relevant to their own careers, and goals.

Searching for jobs on twitter.

This is where your search takes on a different spin. Twitter and job authorities on twitter make use of what is known as hashtags. Hashtags are preceded by the ‘#’ symbol. e.g. #jobs or #seojobs, or #prjobs.

Here is an example search phrase to put into a search window in tweetdeck or twhirl. #jobs tampa .net developer. Not using a 3rd party client like tweetdeck of twhirl? Well if you’re serious about your job search you should be.

Using a tool to manage your search on twitter, such as Tweetdeck or Twhirl will put your search on autopilot. You wont have to sit in front of your computer waiting for the perfect job to come along. Leave your client running in the system tray and check it periodically.

Good Luck with your job search I hope this helps. If you would like to contribute more information to this article feel free to contact me @tall_geek on twitter.

Using RSS Feeds

Posted by | January 21, 2009 | How to ...

By now, every internet savvy job-seeker has heard about Blogs. These are typically websites that take the  form of  an online journal. But what you may not know about blogs and job boards is that there’s a great way to stay current with your favorites: you can subscribe to them!

Most boards & blogs have what’s called an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) which makes it easy to stay current. In fact, these feeds have become so popular, that even large organizations like the NY Times has their own feeds.

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How To Write a Cover Letter

Posted by | January 9, 2009 | How to ...

One of the most prevalent questions among job seekers is “How do I write a cover letter?”  Most wonder what content to include, what format to follow and how long a cover letter should be. Here I will address these often asked questions to help job seekers perfect their cover letters.

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