Can You Be Prepared for Everything a Candidate Could Ask For?
Your candidate selection process is winding down, and you’re on the verge of making an offer to your top applicant. As an experienced manager or HR pro, you know better than to expect an immediate, unqualified “yes” followed by tears of joy. An offer doesn’t seal the deal; sometimes it just opens the floor to negotiation.
Since you have an approved budget in hand, you know how far you’re able to go if the candidate asks for a higher salary. But what if she requests something else? What if her terms are unexpected and you aren’t sure how to say “no” or “maybe” without driving her away? Consider these tips.
What do candidates ask for?
Your candidate may surprise you by requesting
- 1. a preapproved salary boost in a year or six months if certain goals are met.
- 2. Commuter benefits
- 3. Childcare benefits
- 4. A flexible schedule or the opportunity to work remotely full or part-time.
Sometimes candidates request the option to bring a support animal with them to the office, and sometimes candidates simply like to have their pet dogs with them as they work. Some candidates need or prefer to bring children to the workplace periodically, and some request certain accommodations that extend beyond those required by the ADA. (Of course, you’ll need to do everything in your power to provide accommodations to disabled candidates). Any or all of these are likely, and it’s wise to keep in mind that before an agreement is signed, candidates are certainly within their rights to ask for anything they choose.
Don’t express dismay.
The quickest way to alienate a top candidate is to demonstrate judgment or hostility in response to a simple request. If a candidate asks to work from home on a preapproved schedule, listen and consider before reacting. Even a bemused smile can boost the lure of a competing offer. If the answer is no, say no respectfully.
Be ready to gather answers quickly.
You candidate may request a salary increase in one year based on specific performance metrics. If so, know beforehand who you’ll need to turn to with this request and how you might extract a yes from upper managers. Know in advance how you expect to evaluate performance for this specific role.
Expect candidates to ask for flexibility.
In 2018, most candidates place a high premium on time (in some cases, candidates value time as much as money.) So be ready to field requests for more annual PTO days, accommodating daily schedules, and the ability to work from home. Know exactly how far you and the company are willing to go to go on this point. Consider asking the candidate to submit all requests before you make your offer.
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Are you looking for the right candidates? Contact the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group today to get started!
Culture Fit or Culture Adds – What’s Right for Your Team?
We all know that it’s a good idea to consider your company culture as you sift through a field of candidates in search of your new employee. Culture matters! The right pairing between the newbie and your existing workplace population can mean the difference between a successful hire and quick resignation. So, of course, you’ll need to think about culture as you hire, but which option should you pursue: a “fit”, or an “add”? Here are a few factors to consider.
A “culture add” is a fancy buzzword for a simple idea.
When you look for a culture add, you start by examining your workplace and looking for gaps, areas of weakness, or underrepresented demographics. If everyone on your team is an extrovert, look for introverts. If everyone on your team falls between a certain age range, you’ll need to shake that up a bit. If you have a room full of rigid technical types, you’ll need some creative energy to balance things out. And if you have an entire team with loads of personality type X, you’ll need a few with personality types Y, Z, and Q.
Isn’t it a bad idea to look for candidates based on race or gender?
Nope. All other qualifications being equal, you cause much more harm to your company by hiring a monochromatic, single-gender, single-age workforce than you do by actively seeking diversity. Diversity is the key to strength and prosperity. Diversity means better ideas, more perspectives, less opportunity for error, and more room for both personal and company growth. And don’t just allow diversity to happen as it will: Aggressively seek it out. Both your teams and your bottom line will thank you.
What if my teams genuinely prefer being around people like themselves?
It’s natural and comfortable to seek out faces that look just like our own, and we all have a tendency to find people more trustworthy, smart, and attractive if looking at them feels like looking in a mirror. But these assumptions are simply not accurate, no matter how naturally they come to us. Don’t build your company on a foundation of false assumptions and bad ideas. Sweep those away and replace them with reality.
Fit has a place, too.
Say your brand represents a celebration of nature and the outdoors. Your target audience (and many of your workers) are young, in shape, and outdoorsy. Of course, it’s a good idea to aggressively hire across a range of ages and physical abilities, but if you define “outdoorsy” as a state of mind and nothing more, put it in the candidate plus column. Shared faces don’t necessarily lead to harmony and success, but shared sympathies sometimes do.
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Hire new candidates who fit the mold …. but only the parts of the mold that matter. For more hiring guidance, contact the top recruiters in Scottsdale and work with the ACCENT Hiring Group.
An Employee Engagement Calendar to Improve Company Culture
You’ve probably heard plenty of casual advice on how to improve your company culture by making your workplace more fun. “Fun” is a simple concept that can yield big dividends in terms of retention, employee loyalty, team cohesion, and even internal competition and a general boost in innovation. And a little fun goes a long way; just one Saturday mini-golf outing or a few Friday happy hours can generate lasting memories and might give employees a meaningful chance to get to know one another. A few activities now and then can help them form friendships that transcend the bounds of the workplace.
But sometimes fun activities (no matter how easy!) still need to be formalized. Ideas are only ideas until someone decides to create a documented plan for execution. So why not create an Employee Engagement calendar? Here are a few ways this simple move can provide big support to your workplace culture.
A monthly calendar
Start with just the month. Sometimes a plan for a fun activity simply doesn’t take root, for any number of reasons. Instead of attempting to force Saturday mini-golf once a month from now till eternity (your teams might not actually like it), just plan one event. Feel out the reaction. If everyone has a great time, you can try making this a regular affair. A monthly calendar can include one-time trial runs, employee birthdays, social events (like showers, welcome back parties, small employee recognition events, and holiday-themed get-togethers). It can also include items of personal news (new babies, graduations, promotions, or occasions calling for sympathy and support.) Even if an event doesn’t warrant a full-out conference room party with a sheet cake, it might be something that employees care to share and fellow colleagues might like to know about.
Quarterly calendars can include big milestones
If your monthly event calendar seems to work, and employees seem to be tuning in and responding to your announcements and invitations, try going bigger. Plan ahead by a full quarter, and include a host of additional events, like retirement news and announcements of company-wide successes. You can even include employee feedback surveys and invitations to outside events (an employee might be exhibiting his art at a nearby gallery or taking her Schnauzer to Westminster).
If you decide to create an annual calendar, you can include your companies biggest annual events, like the yearly appreciation picnic or a scheduled team-building retreat in the mountains. You can also include charity events, blood drives, health fairs, and anything else you choose. At this level, feel free to involve the CEO of the company and maybe even publish an annual update in her name.
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For more on how to find the best employees who are ready to be a part of your awesome company culture, contact the recruiters at the ACCENT Hiring Group.
Challenging Top Performers to Keep Them – Yes, You Read That Correctly
“Challenging” isn’t usually considered a positive descriptor. When a person, situation, or environment are flagged as challenging, it usually means they’re a problem. They’re an obstacle to be navigated around or an issue that needs to be overcome.
When employees face challenges at work, for example, that usually means one of two things: 1.) they feel enough personal motivation and love for the company that they work to resolve the challenge, or 2.) they don’t. Challenges push engaged employees to excel, but they also push unengaged employees out the door.
So if you have a top performer on your team who seems disengaged, bored, or ready to look for work elsewhere, it may seem counterintuitive to deliberately place obstacles in the person’s path. But think twice. This may be just the thing that he or she needs to buckle down and face the job with fresh eyes. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Challenges help us learn, and learning feels good
Your employee wants to learn new things; she doesn’t just want this because learning feels positive and meaningful. She also wants to build out her resume and achieve her career goals. Difficult projects, new skills, and exposure to new aspects of the industry can all be considered challenges…but facing them can build an employee’s sense of accomplishment and rekindle a fading sense of ambition. Giving a glazed-over employee a difficult project can spark a transformation.
Challenges make us feel alive
We don’t always love adventures while we’re having them. And there are some activities we enjoy having done, even if we really don’t enjoy doing them. There’s something magical about looking back on a harrowing ride after it’s over. And when you offer this feeling to a checked-out employee or disengaged team, there’s a strong chance they’ll want to get back on the ride and go through it again.
Challenges should be appropriate; choose them wisely
Push your employees toward challenges that make use of their rarest and most valuable skills, not toward busy work or manufactured hassles. Just because a task is awkward, miserable or tedious doesn’t mean it will make your employee feel engaged and connected. Before you overextend an employee or push them into the deep end, make sure you’re choosing the right employee, for the right task, for the right reasons.
Again, the wrong task and the wrong reasons may push a detached employee further out the door, so be careful. Before you move forward, sit down for a conversation about what your employee wants to accomplish or learn while they occupy this role.
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Hiring is Hard: Three Areas to Focus on to Improve Retention
As experienced managers eventually learn, hiring is difficult, tedious, expensive and risky. Reviewing resumes and meeting with a long line of candidates can wreak havoc on a manager’s schedule, and it can pull interviewers and other employees away from critical tasks that require focus and attention. And the stakes are high; a poor hiring decision can have lasting consequences for everyone involved.
Fortunately, the best way to get around these hiring obstacles is simple: spend less time hiring.
Once you find and onboard talented candidates, don’t let them get away. Work together with them, help them grow their careers, and keep them stay on the team so you won’t have to face the hassle of saying goodbye and searching for a replacement. Here are three moves that can support your retention efforts.
If you’re like most employers, you probably conduct a formal performance review with each employee about once a year. Performance reviews can help employees stay on track to success, but once a year won’t do the trick. In fact, negative feedback gathered in July and dropped on an employee in January can feel like an awkward ambush, and it can undermine the relationship in ways both subtle and obvious. It’s not pleasant to be criticized, but it’s especially unhelpful to have that criticism delivered six months after the fact. Meet with your team members on a regular and informal basis to check in with them, let them know how they’re doing, and allow them to return the gesture.
Compensate with more than money
Of course, you’ll need to pay your employees a competitive salary in order to keep them on board, but a little extra effort goes a long way. In addition to your base transaction (a week of work for a week of pay), make your office feel like a second home and your teams feel like a second family. Small gestures like free lunches, fun events, softball teams, and Friday happy hours make an employer much harder to walk away from.
Talk about what they’re getting, not just what they give
When you meet with your employee during your regular sessions, don’t just talk about how well she’s performing and what she’s contributing to the company. These things matter, but they only represent half the relationship and half of the equation. Make sure your employee feels satisfied with how this job supports her career plans. Is she receiving the training and exposure she needs to build her resume and carry her to her next destination? If not, how can you help? What resources can you provide? What kinds of projects and challenges will benefit her the most?
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How Do Recruiters Create Candidate Profiles that Attract Top Talent?
Accent recruiters know that the difference between a winning candidate and mismatch can be highly nuanced, and without years of experience, great listening skills, and evidence-based interview strategies, these important details can easily be missed.
With that in mind, we conduct a thorough, multi-stage candidate profiling process with both the client and the candidate in mind at every step. Here are some of the detailed steps that set us apart and help us match the right candidate to the right position.
We start with pre-screening.
The most efficient way to narrow the candidate pool starts with the very first step: pre-screening. When you ask the big questions first, you can get to the truth before either party wastes valuable money and time. Since we recognize the coarse-grain details that can turn candidates away (commuting distance, misaligned industries, misaligned expectations, etc), we ask about these details upfront. Candidate who can handle the biggest initial challenges (such as relocation) stay in the pool and move onto the next stage.
If the candidate shows interest in the role, the next stage involves personal interviews with Accent staff. We’ll invite applicants in for a sit-down meeting in which we discuss aptitude, work history, and goals.
Analysis and number crunching.
At this stage, the in-depth evaluation process begins. We create a data-enhanced resume for each candidate and factor in the details gained through the interview, the candidate’s behavioral profile, and a close examination of skill-work adaptability.
At this stage, if the candidate’s interest levels and the evaluation process reveal a match between company and candidate needs and abilities, we begin verification of key details. We’ll confirm references, education, and publicly available salary information. Then we’ll move on to optional reviews, which may include a criminal background check, drug screening, or handwriting analysis.
The final stage
At this point, after the candidate has passed each of our evidence-based reviews, we’ll double check to make sure the candidate can meet the specific needs requested by the employer during our consultation process. For example, if the employer needs qualified accounting pro, we ensure a skill match. But if they also consider second language fluency a plus, we’ll confirm that detail.
Find the Best Talent to Fill the Best Jobs in Scottsdale
At every stage, our process is tested, proven, and carefully designed to ensure a successful hire. But we know that times change and industry needs fluctuate. So when a certain data marker, skill test, or behavioral interview question no longer brings success, we adjust our process accordingly. At every turn, we apply the evaluation procedures that bring you closer to the talented new hires you’re looking for. To learn more, contact the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group today!
Focus on the Candidate Experience for Applicants You Don’t Ultimately Hire
The candidate experience can have an outsized impact on your bottom line; this isn’t surprising news. When applicants feel respected and their time and talents are valued, they tend to enter the relationship with a higher opinion of the company, and this pays off over time. New employees are happier, more loyal, more deeply invested, and more willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt during future disputes and misunderstandings. First impressions matter, especially when they mark the beginning of a long-term partnership.
But what about the candidates who are NOT ultimately hired? No need to worry about their feelings or their impressions because they aren’t sticking around…right? Wrong. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you interact with all of your candidates: those you hire and those you reject.
Your workplace brand doesn’t stop at the door.
If you treat rejected candidates with disrespect, they walk away with a sour impression of your business. Their feelings are just as meaningful and their voices are just as loud as those of your hired candidates…but unlike your new hires, you won’t be able to make things right or correct course with them in the future. If anyone asks what they think of the company, they’ll answer. And if a negative message takes hold, there will be little you can do to temper or counter it.
Give respect and you’ll get respect.
Your candidates won’t base their opinion of the company solely on the outcome of their applications. You may think that a yes will make them happy and a no will leave them sour…but people are not that simple. If your treat applicants with respect and consideration, they’ll appreciate it, offer or no offer. The reverse is also true.
No outcome is permanent.
You may say no to a candidate today, only to have them successfully reapply to a different department at some point in the future. You may say no today and find yourself asking your rejected candidate for a favor, a grant, a contract, or an opportunity two, five, or ten years from now. Someday you may even find yourself asking them for a job. The world is unpredictable. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
Feedback can’t hurt (usually).
If your rejected candidate is forthright enough to ask why you made your choice, you may assume it’s wiser and more diplomatic to simply say nothing. But this isn’t always true. Again, most people appreciate honesty and recognize respect when they see it. Sharing the (carefully worded) truth may work in your favor. Explain that your chosen candidate just had a little more to offer, or that the company had reservations about a specific skill gap in the rejected candidate’s resume. It’s possible to be diplomatic and honest at the same time. Adapt your decision to the circumstances.
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If you need help on finding the right candidates for your company, contact the ACCENT Hiring Group today to help fill the best jobs in Scottsdale.
Should You Use Video to Recruit Job Candidates?
Videos can send a powerful message that written posts can’t necessarily convey, no matter how impressive the wording or how well-positioned the published post may be. You can write a job description that hits all the marks, and then post it where your ideal candidates can’t possibly miss it, and still not quite gain the attention you’d grab with a short two-minute video.
Videos can be expensive of course — Especially if they come with scripts and scenes and high production values. But pictures send a message that words can’t. And if your video involves just one or two winning elements — like humor or spectacle — there’s a strong chance your audience might share it with others or post/comment on it using various social media platforms. Here are few reasons to consider taking the time and trouble to create a video instead of just a standard post.
Videos are easy to consume.
If you keep your video post shorter than 60 seconds, you can vastly increase the chances that your candidates will hear and absorb your entire message. Sitting through a short, amusing video costs nothing and represents a pleasant diversion, even if your message just involves one person sitting behind a desk and reciting the same words that might appear in a written post. If you post your message on Facebook or Linkedin, active candidates will listen carefully for signs of a well-aligned position. Passive candidates may find the video interesting enough to share.
Videos allow positive aspects of your culture to shine through.
A professional video sends a silent message: you’re a well-established, well-funded organization and you aren’t going anywhere. A funny video also sends a message: Your company has a sense of humor and may be a great match for innovators, creative types, and fearless free spirits. A concise video sends a message as well: You respect your candidate’s time. An information-packed video can send a clear message about the nature of the position and the mission of the company. A video that checks all of these boxes can reach a wide audience and make a powerful impression.
Videos are easier to produce than you might think.
Of course, if you have access to professional scriptwriters, actors, and high-end lighting and recording equipment, your video can be a convincing work of art. But even with a cellphone camera and some inexpensive editing tools, you can assemble a functional video in just a few minutes that can give your other job post platforms and recruiting efforts a boost—at very little cost. Consider adding this element to your recruiting arsenal and measuring your returns. You may discover that a small investment goes a long way.
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For more on how to expand your reach while you search for talented candidates, contact the experts at the ACCENT Hiring Group to work with the top recruiters in Scottsdale.
Improve the Recruiting Process by Setting Priorities
An effective recruiting process involves a combination of speed, efficiency, and accuracy. But as experienced recruiters know, emphasizing one of these can often detract from the others. Speeding up the process and rushing candidates through screening and selection can cause teams to miss red flags or allow great prospects to get away. Slowing everything down and focusing on wise, measured analysis may mean the best candidates are left waiting and liable to be pulled away by other offers.
So what’s the secret? How do effective recruiters move forward at a steady pace without cutting corners or missing important details? The answer: They establish priorities. Here are a few moves that can help you do the same.
Give each task the attention it deserves.
Focus each hour of recruiting time on a specific task throughout the day. Make a schedule, and then follow the schedule from each hour to the next. Start by giving some unrushed thought to the role you’re trying to fill. What does this role entail? What will a given day look like for the employee who steps into this position? What might such a person enjoy doing? At what skills will they excel? What kind of environment will make them feel happy, productive, safe, and engaged? What conditions or benefits will bring them on board, and what conditions will make them stay?
What tasks will help you find your target candidate?
Before you begin moving forward and tracking down your ideal prospect, break this large goal down into smaller goals, and each small goal into actions. What exactly will you need to do to accomplish each task that lies in your path? What obstacles or distractions may stand in your way?
Generate a list of names and contacts.
You’ll need to arrange meetings and conversations with your hiring manager to review the needs of the business—That’s a given. But you’ll also benefit by having conversations with (or about) a list of others who can share their knowledge and contribute to the success of your recruiting efforts. For example, the team who will work with this person. What gaps exist in their shared workflow? Are there team weaknesses that could be shored up, or team strengths that can be leveraged or improved?
Look for alignment between long-term plans on both sides.
The company may need an account manager (for example) who can help launch a new branch in a new city. But what will the future hold for the role after the branch is up and running? Where will this position lead in three, four or five years? Your target candidate may choose to pursue that distant goal or may have other plans altogether. For the match to work, you’ll need to seek an element of compatibility.
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For more on how to map out a clear path to a successful hire, talk to the experts at the ACCENT Hiring Group – a top recruiter in Scottsdale!
How Does a Recruiter Make Sure the Company is the Right Match?
Here at the ACCENT Hiring Group, we understand that recruiting is a multi-layered process, and simply finding a candidate who can handle the skill requirements of an open position won’t do the trick. In order for the match between an employer and a candidate to function, succeed and thrive, the two must be well-matched on several levels—not just one. Candidates have to meet the needs that have been specifically voiced by the company, for starters. They also need to represent a cultural fit, and the goals of each party should align over the coming months and years. So how do we find candidates who fit the mold? Here are a few of our proven approaches.
We start by asking the right questions and listening closely to the answers
Our clients are in the best possible position to tell us what they’re looking for, so we listen carefully and take plenty of notes. We discuss the demands of the position and the structure of the company in detail, and we ask critical questions to make sure we don’t miss a beat. Then the process officially begins.
Visits and more visits
Visiting worksites provides us with essential insight into a company’s culture and atmosphere. Sometimes a verbal description doesn’t provide us with a complete picture, so we schedule sessions in which our recruiters walk around the site, talk to employees and get a feel for the environment.
We create a map based on client goals
Some clients need candidates as fast as possible; some would rather spend more time to find a perfect match. We do our best to map out a plan that can bring the right candidate into the workplace on the right schedule—one that works for both the client and the future employee.
We apply a signature screening process
Our early communications with potential candidates involve a screening process that can help us spot red flags and signs of a match. Some warnings—like a lack of relevant skills or a history of relevant problems—can be recognized early. The same also applies to positive signs—like immediate availability, perfect skill alignment, and an excellent personality fit.
When we see top candidates that meet client requirements, we refer them so the employer can conduct their own analysis using their own metrics. By this point in the process, the least promising candidates (mismatches and those who are unavailable or uninterested) have been removed from consideration.
After the connection has been made, we revisit the site at a later date to ensure a quality hire. If anything isn’t working at this point, we strive to make it right. Otherwise, we make sure both parties are satisfied and on track to success.
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Would you like to know more about our process at the ACCENT Hiring Group? Contact our team to work with the top recruiters in Scottsdale.