Need Talent? Prioritize This!
You need talent. And you need commitment. But above all, as you launch your candidate search for a critical open position, you need a clear and reliable match between the needs of the position and the candidate’s personality, abilities, and plans. Far too often, staffing managers focus exclusively on job specific skills, or ineffable personality traits (what exactly is a “hard worker”?), and as they pursue this area of single-minded focus, they target candidates who just won’t stay with the company, no matter how talented they may be.
To avoid this problem, open a wide and honest communication channel between the company and the candidate. Don’t be blinded by his or her programming or leadership abilities; keep personality and plans in the picture, no matter how tempting it may be to push them aside. Consider the guidelines below.
Just because they can doesn’t mean they will.
You need a candidate who speaks five specific languages, and lo and behold, you found your needle in the haystack and a brilliant linguist is sitting across from you at the interview table. Your first instinct may be to spin the nature of the job in a way that she might find appealing. You may feel the urge to blur the truth, hide the gritty daily realities, or make her role seem more prestigious than it is. Ignore this temptation. Why? Because if you bring her aboard on misleading pretenses, they’ll leave within a year and you’ll be restarting the search from square one — at great cost and expense. If their core skill set is rare, it’s even more important to stay honest and open from the first interaction to the last.
Signal honesty at every turn.
It’s great if you ARE honest and your statements are all perfectly above board and accurate. But you also need to SEEM honest from the start. Candidate interactions can be brief and fleeting, and just as you may make decisions based on quick impressions, your candidates are doing the same. An unreturned phone call, a long awkward pause before answering a question, or even a fleeting hint of rudeness during the session can send an oversized message.
Deal in good faith.
Of course, your offer and the salary you present will be based on your own needs and your own budget, not the candidate’s. You hope to gain maximum returns on your investment, and you’re paying the employee for their productivity, not for their dismal commute or their steep student loan payments. But at the same time, you’ll be more likely to attract and retain top candidates if you factor these things into the equation and treat the candidate like a human being with needs and requirements of her own. Listen closely to discern what they’re looking for (Flexible hours? A strong mentor?) and do what you can to offer these things. Seek common ground during the negation process; don’t just focus on your own interests.
Work with a top management recruiter in Scottsdale.
Are you looking for talented candidates to bring on board? Contact the ACCENT Hiring Group today and work with a top management recruiter in Scottsdale!
Don’t Overlook Your Female Leaders
No responsible manager overlooks a female candidate for overtly sexist reasons. In a well-run company, you’re unlikely to find a manager who confesses to passing over a qualified candidate for a promotion simply because the candidate identifies as female. These kinds of unabashed sexist decisions and actions are holdovers from another era, and even if motivations are rooted in subtle sexist assumptions, most managerial training programs, and HR directives are designed to root out ingrained forms of bias that can undermine the workforce and harm the company. But despite surface-level societal changes, these forms of bias can be stubborn, and women are still not promoted at a rate that reflects their contributions to the workforce.
So in order to advance your own success and that of your organization, shine a light into your own deeply held, unexamined beliefs the next time you’re called upon to make a promotion decision. Keep these thoughts in mind.
If not, why not?
If you’re not inclined to promote a female candidate, ask yourself hard questions, and don’t seek escape in easy answers. Your first thought may be something like “Well, she just doesn’t have the numbers,” or “She doesn’t strike me as a leader.” Double check these numbers, and if you’re wrong, have the courage to admit it and change course. If she doesn’t strike you as a leader, ask yourself why not. Maybe you aren’t actually watching her or taking her actions and decisions at face value. Assume your decisions are motivated by ingrained bias and see if your perspective shifts.
“Her voice is too high.”
Write down your criticisms. Generate a list of statements that you assume preclude your candidate from a leadership role. Then go down the list and cross off every metric or assessment that you wouldn’t or haven’t applied to your male candidates. Chances are, her mistakes are similar to — not greater than — those of her male counterparts. And her voice, mannerisms, clothing, gestures, or shoe style are holding far more influence over your decision than they should.
Factor in every detail.
Recognize that fairness doesn’t come naturally to most of us; our fairest assessments of others are still influenced by unrecognized racial, gender, and other biases that we can’t root out of ourselves via a simple act of will. If you recognize a natural deficit within yourself (we all have them), and recalibrate to compensate for it, where does that leave you? And where does it leave your female candidate? You aren’t doing her a favor by making this internal adjustment; she’s earned the right to a fair and honest evaluation. And you owe it to your company to appropriately leverage her talents and leadership skills. If you overlook or disregard them, she’s likely to redirect her energies and search for opportunity elsewhere.
Work with a top recruiter in Scottsdale
Are you looking for the best employees to bring to your team, contact the ACCENT Hiring Group and work with a top management recruiter in Scottsdale.
Workers Want Better Communication: Four Ways to Make It Happen
According to a recent study conducted by Survata, seven out of ten workers are interested in more frequent and meaningful communication from their employers, and it’s not hard to see why; these are complicated times for both employers and employees, and concerns about healthcare options and long term financial plans are taking center stage. Workers want to know what the future holds for their insurance, their pensions, their workplace benefits, and the growth of their careers. And they appreciate and respect employers who can provide clear answers. Here are four ways to build loyalty and improve retention by communicating more effectively with your teams.
Don’t drop news bombs on them.
When you have an unexpected announcement to make regarding, for example, the surprise departure of a respected company leader or a downward swerve in the company’s financial prospects, make the announcement quickly. Don’t sit with the information and let it stew while you spend days crafting the perfect message. This only feeds the rumor mill, which can undermine the strength of your message once it’s released. Make your announcements with strategy and diplomacy in mind, but make them quickly.
Know what “need to know” means.
If you have a message to release, but you’d like to keep it among insiders and essential personnel until you’re ready, do these “essential personnel” know who they are? If you rely on an information hierarchy, make sure the structure of this hierarchy is clear and consistent. Everyone in your inner circle should know where they stand. And everyone who radiates out from this inner circle should recognize and respect the way the lines are drawn.
Skip the long emails.
Don’t send out long emails laden with impenetrable blocks of text when you need to announce a change to the company health plan or business structure. Most employees don’t read long emails from HR, no matter how important the content may be. In fact, most employees won’t even read short emails, and they tend to get their information from other employees during face-to-face conversations. Engage your information hierarchy and make sure each person receives the message by word of mouth from a manager, HR pro, or trusted source.
Don’t just accept feedback; solicit it.
Request feedback from both employees and senior managers, and make sure every person in the company knows where to go and who to speak to make their voice heard. Make sure everyone feels comfortable airing greivances, reporting problems, requesting additional information, and registering opinions.
Work With a Top Recruiter in Scottsdale
Are you looking to hire the right employees to enter your workplace? Contact the ACCENT Hiring Group today to get started on working with a top management recruiter in Scottsdale.
Measuring Potential: Approaches that Work
When you sit down with a prospective candidate to assess their fitness for the job, you have a few useful tools at your immediate disposal. For example, you can simply explain the nature of the job to the candidate and ask how well your description aligns with her career goals. If you need very specific technical skills, you can ask the candidate to describe his or her experience in these areas. Most candidates won’t blatantly claim expertise on a software platform they barely recognize. And of course, you can compare your hard requirements (like a non-negotiable college degree) with the information you find on the candidate’s resume. But these assessments are not easy to quantify. A college degree may not actually translate into applicable knowledge, and a candidate’s claims may have a different meaning to them than to you. So how can you attach some numbers to an inherently subjective process? Consider the benefits of testing and measured assessments.
Potential is the new performance.
Over the past several years, many management experts have been obsessed with the search for measurable, reliable metrics that can help them put a number on employee performance. But now the tide is shifting toward potential, specifically, the potential of prospective candidates. Employers now know that the best way to fix staffing problems to avoid them by hiring the right people in the first place.
Rely on targeted skills tests.
Test candidates using assessment models that target very specific skill sets, the ones that best reveal daily success in the position. Don’t waste your time and burden your applicants by assigning the same panel of tests to all potential hires across the board. For example, not all “writing”, “basic math” or “database management” skills are the same; measure only the specific ones that matter most.
Test attitude as well as aptitude.
Cultural alignment can also serve as a profound predictor of success, but fortunately, there are a few ways to attach numbers to this quality. Choose a personality indicator or assessment model that reveals character traits you’d like to measure, such as leadership skills, team skills, flexibility, extroversion, or assertiveness. Don’t rely on a single personality assessment model (like the Meyers-Briggs Assessment) to outweigh a long list of other qualities that predict a positive match. Instead, take a balanced approach.
For more on how to determine a given candidate’s potential contributions and chances of success, turn to the management recruiters at ACCENT Hiring Group and work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale!
Your Slow Hiring Process Is Costing You the Talent You Need
There’s not greater threat to your hiring process than foot-dragging, bureaucratic hold-ups, and a general lack of speed. With every passing hour, your candidates are receiving and reviewing offers from competing employers. And unfortunately, your most talented candidates are being drawn away from your pool at a faster rate than the rest. So every day and hour that you can shave from the process can increase your access to highly skilled applicants. Here are a few ways to streamline your efforts and make this happen.
Tighten your job titles.
You may not recognize the distinct connection between your position titles and your hiring success. You may think titles don’t matter, or that “associate editor” and “account manager” can mean whatever you want them to mean. This isn’t the case. Your job title should perfectly reflect both the level and responsibilities of the role, and titles should be common, sober, and searchable. Remove words like “guru”, “wizard” and “artist” from roles that don’t technically involve these actions.
Reduce your interviews.
Keep your entire interview process limited to three rounds at the most, including initial phone screenings. Candidates don’t appreciate being made to jump through hoops, and a long process can seem both disrespectful and wasteful. Interviews are expensive in terms of time and travel, both for the candidate and for you.
Ask your team for input.
Find out where your bottlenecks and hold-ups are occurring and get them sorted out. In the meantime, ask your teams what you can do to make the hiring process faster and leaner. Do they need more data? Better interview questions? More freedom from other responsibilities? Find out how you can remove some of the investment, time and risk from their shoulders.
Keep in mind that the interview moves both ways.
In our current competitive job market, candidates are actually interviewing you, not the other way around. Candidates want to learn as much as they can about the responsibilities, compensation, and opportunities that come with a given position. And they also want to learn something about the company’s culture and its mission. Don’t just grill your candidates and subject them to the third degree; use every interaction as an opportunity to pitch your organization and showcase what you have to offer.
Work With a Top Recruiter in Scottsdale
Rely on the help of an established staffing team to source and vet your candidates, and you’ll move quickly through the process and attract the most talented applicants in the marketplace. Contact the ACCENT Hiring Group today to get started on working with a top recruiter in Scottsdale.
Is Blind Hiring Right for Your Company?
“Blind hiring” is a process by which candidates are reviewed based on their measurable or documentable credentials only; not based on a personal face-to-face interview. In theory, this process can eliminate the non-qualifiable (what some would call “messy”) aspects of the hiring process. Interviewers often feel a connection with candidates that can’t be defined or measured and may be based on nothing more than their mood, their own likes and dislikes, clothing, vocal styles or even the weather on the day the interview takes place.
Unfortunately, this list includes subtle preferences that go beyond personal associations and extend into the realm of cultural baggage like sexism, racism, and deeply rooted, toxic hiring biases that most companies would rather eliminate. Since deeply ingrained biases can’t be surmounted by a simple act of will on the part of the interviewer, some companies are looking for more reliable methods. Could these methods be right for you?
Set your candidates up with tests that can be digitally accessed from any location. This will eliminate toxic bias, subtle preferential treatment, and even the influence of the kinds of credentials that appear on a resume. Less educated or inexperienced employees may perform far better on certain skill tests than their degree-holding counterparts, but of course your hiring success will depend on your ability to align the tested skill set with the actual daily requirements of the job.
During a blind hiring process, you’ll still need to assess the candidate’s adaptability to your company culture. Since “culture” is a non-quantifiable amalgam of intangible qualities, reduce your focus to just two or three. For example, how long do your teams typically stay in the office on a normal day? Do they leave at midnight or go home comfortably at five? Find the answer, then simplify the question for your employee. Try: “What do you consider a long workday?” In another example, if your workers are solitary and don’t interact socially, ask: “Do you thrive in a solitary environment or do you prefer socialization and teamwork?”
Balance and Prioritize
Since no hiring process can be truly blind, organize your priorities. For example, if employee X performs well during skills testing but lacks a formal education, and employee Y is highly educated but performs poorly, which will you choose? Which do you value more: the commitment and focus suggested by a college degree, or the raw skill suggested by test performance? Choose your answer before you choose your candidate.
Work With a Top Recruiter in Scottsdale
For more on how to find the candidates that can handle the unique challenges of your industry and your workplace, contact the recruiters at the ACCENT Hiring Group.
Your Top Hire Is Failing: Coaching Tips
You chose your top candidate because he or she seemed well poised for success in your available position. When you laid the candidate’s credentials down side-by-side with the requirements and demands of the job, the two appeared to be well-aligned. You had no way of knowing that things wouldn’t go very well; you used your best judgment and all the information available to you at the time, and you made the decision you believed to be correct.
But at this point, some cracks are starting to appear. Your new employee is struggling with some key aspects of the role, and you aren’t sure what the future holds. What should you do next? Here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind.
Don’t let the employee go into hiding.
It’s perfectly natural for an employee to respond to this conundrum by retreating and reducing his or her profile. In this situation, most of us would likely step out of the spotlight and regroup while we figure out what to do next. But don’t let this happen. Make time each day — even for just five minutes — to talk to the employee in a face-to-face capacity. It doesn’t matter what you talk about, but don’t allow them to scuttle in and out of the office like a ghost.
Don’t let them run away.
The employee may be contemplating an exit or searching for a new job, but if they walk out immediately after walking in, you’re the one who stands to lose. Replacing a new employee can be difficult and more expensive than you think. So instead, encourage them to channel their efforts into turning things around. You chose them for a reason, so focus on the talents, accomplishments or skills that attracted you in the first place. Work together with the employee and try to leverage those skills.
It doesn’t matter whose fault this is, and blaming the employee for misrepresentation is both unhelpful and probably unjustified. Blaming yourself is also not a valuable exercise. Instead, turn your attention to next steps. If you genuinely like this employee and believe you see potential in him or her, consider other options, including a transfer, a shift in the nature of the job, a coaching plan, or a training session. You have plenty of options at your disposal. Chose one—or several.
Assign a mentor.
Can you identify someone in the workplace who can set an example for the new employee and light the path? If possible, connect the two in a mentor/mentee relationship. At the very least, encourage your new employee to model the person and follow her example and her lead. Sometimes struggling employees simply need a way to visualize success.
Work with a Top Management Recruiter in Scottsdale
Rebuild the employee’s confidence and do what you can to help them get back on track. Stay positive! Turn to the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group and work with the best management recruiters in Scottsdale to find the best talent to bring to your organization.
The Candidate Accepted Your Offer, Then Turned You Down. What Now?
You’re on track to landing an excellent hire. You’re proud of this candidate, and you’re pretty proud of yourself (you must admit) for finding her and negotiating the terms of her employment with style and savoir-faire. You always say “We’re excited to have you onboard!” when you hire a new employee, but this time you really mean it. You’re genuinely looking forward to welcoming her to the workplace and witnessing the positive change that she’s likely to bring.
And then the worst happens. She calls one week before her start date to tell you that she isn’t planning on showing up. You’re disappointed, annoyed, and discouraged. How should you respond? Keep these tips in mind.
Prepare for this beforehand.
As you move through the selection process, don’t slam the door on your second and third place contenders. Let them know you’ve staffed the position and the process is complete, but leave room for possibility. You can tell them directly that they’re runners up (which is always nice to hear), or you can simply tell them that you’ll contact them if your chosen hire falls through. That way they’ll know not to wait by the phone, but if the phone rings, maybe they’ll be willing to take the call.
Share your feelings carefully.
Show your disappointment, but not your annoyance. Explain that you really like the candidate and were looking forward to working together, but stay positive. If you alienate them or respond rudely to their change of plans, you end the relationship forever. If you stay polite and diplomatic, you keep the door open.
Find out why.
The candidate may or may not provide details, but you can feel free to ask. Sometimes the problem is insurmountable (For example: “I received a far better offer elsewhere.”) But sometimes the issue can be sorted out (example: “I never received the promised reimbursement for my travel costs to the interview, which seemed like a pretty big red flag.”) Communication is key. Keep all channels open between the candidate, the recruiter, and the company.
Let them know what you plan to do.
Feel free to leave the candidate with a clear statement like, “We’ll reopen the position” or “We’ll hire someone else.” That way the candidate will know that you’re moving on. Of course, if her change of plans will somehow violate the contractual terms of her employment, let her know what kind of action you plan to take next and what her options are. Again, stay polite.
If you are looking for experts in recruiting to help you with the hiring process of your top candidates, contact the top recruiters in Scottsdale and reach out to the ACCENT Hiring Group.
What Are Best Practices to Implement a New Policy?
The new year has arrived, and as the numbers on the calendar turn over, you’d also like to turn over a few of the standard practices and policies that keep your company in motion. Specifically, you’d like to add a new policy as a result of data analysis you’ve conducted during the last few months. How should you move forward? Here are a few tips that can help you smoothly implement your new policy and have all the gears in place by the arrival of spring.
First, clarify your goals and your language.
Why are you choosing to implement this policy? Will the policy, as it’s currently worded, help you achieve those goals? Make sure your intentions and your new rules are actionable and realistic. If you’ll be asking employees to discontinue a practice they’ve engaged in for a long time, give them an alternative that achieves the same ends. If you’re mandating a new action, make sure your new requirement is possible. Some rules are easier made than followed. Provide a pathway to compliance, or expect your policy to be ignored.
Gain employee input.
You don’t have to let your employees dictate all the terms, but ask them for their input as you shape the language of the policy. Target those who the policy will impact the most. Ask them to participate in meetings or contribute written feedback via email or surveys. Make sure all affected employees are kept in the loop, as far as possible.
Gain buy-in from senior managers and HR teams.
After you’ve ironed out the kinks and made adjustments that reflect the legitimate concerns of employees and those who will be directly affected by the new policy, take the next step. Submit your new policy proposal to the review of senior managers and HR experts who may spot legal problems you haven’t seen until this stage. This process may require a few rounds of editing, since your reviewers may hand the policy back to you with suggested or required revisions.
Announce the new policy at an appropriate time.
Either gather all your employees together to make a formal announcement, or break this population into smaller groups who can meet at roughly the same time period. Make your announcement in a way and in a venue that respects all members of your target audience (don’t leave anyone out). And make sure you allow time for questions or direct questions to a person or resource that can answer them. Follow up your announcement with written messages (via email) and make arrangements to insert a new page or otherwise alter your employee handbook.
Part 1: Hiring Tips for Small Businesses
Your small business is growing, and it’s growing fast. When you first opened your doors, you could comfortably handle everything on your own. You served your customers, chose your vendors, kept your books, did your own marketing, and filed your own taxes. But in time you needed an extra pair of hands, and then another. At this point, you’ve reached a crucial stage of your development and it’s time to create an official staffing strategy. Here are a few moves that can help you develop a program that works.
Communicate your needs and expectations, and send clear messages to everyone you interact with during the staffing process. When you speak to your applicants, your existing teams, your staffing agency partner, or your in-house recruiters, choose your words carefully. Describe your open positions accurately, and when you sit down with candidates during interviews, put your cards on the table.
When you need help, get help
Sometimes your best staffing partners will be your existing teams. If they’d like to see certain traits and qualifications in a new team member, they may not share this information unless you ask. Enlist their opinions and advice, and as you do so, seek help from other sources as well, including your mentors and friends in the industry.
Identify realistic timelines
You don’t know exactly how long the staffing process will take, and you don’t know how long your key positions may stand empty until you find and hire the right candidate. But you can guess. Make your estimate based on all the data available, and if you’re wrong, learn from the experience and adjust your expectations the next time.
Promote from within if you can
As a small business owner, your risk tolerance may be low. So if you can mitigate hiring risk by promoting a current employee who you already trust, do so. Internal staffing cultivates employee loyalty and reduces your chances of a hiring mistake. If none of your current employees are able or willing to step into the new role, then you can turn your attention outside of the company.
Expect a learning curve
New employees make mistakes, and until they find their footing and learn the ropes, they may make so many mistakes that their salaries mark them as a liability rather than an asset. But be patient and keep your training program steady and efficient. The faster the process, the sooner your new employee can start making meaningful contributions.
Be ready to learn from your errors
Staffing is an art and a science, and you won’t get everything right the first time around. Each time you make a false assumption or ignore a red flag, learn from the experience and bounce back quickly.
For more on how to find, select, and hire the right employees for your small business, turn to some of the top management recruiters in Scottsdale by reaching out to the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group.