recruitment mistakes

What are the Top 5 Recruitment Mistakes?

recruitment mistakesRecruitment mistakes can be costly; not only for the recruiter but for the candidate and the hiring company.

Whether you are a contingent recruiter or work on retainer there is a right and wrong way to do things. Recruitment mistakes will vary but there are 5 that consistently make an appearance.

  1. Don’t make assumptions based on resumes alone. It is of the upmost importance to remember that resumes and LinkedIn profiles are not always something to use to disqualify a candidate. Resumes don’t always tell the whole story. Maybe that job jumping was due to some temp work the person had done to get by until they landed a permanent position. The average recruiter will spend 8 seconds reviewing a resume or profile. If more time than that is spent then it is worth sending that message to inquire.
  2. Make real connections. Genuine online connections are not easy to make so the approach in the initial message needs to be strategic. The goal is to connect in a way that engages the candidate and leaves them wanting more information. Just saying, “I have a job for you,” might not be the right amount of caress that a passive candidate needs to interact with the message. The original message should grab the reader and leave them seeking answers. Try connecting with their background. Maybe the person went to OSU and you lead with, “how about that Buckeye win this weekend?” It’s all about connecting on a personal level. After you have grabbed them with the intro follow by telling them briefly about the position and then how they connect to the opportunity. It could be that they would be a great connection to meet others who will be a fit and sometimes suggesting just that can lead to heightened interest for themselves.
  3. Ask better questions. Basic questions such as, “what’s your greatest weakness?” or “tell me about a challenge you faced and how you overcame it,” lead to the same boring conversation and answers that you have heard a thousand times. You want to throw some curve balls and  really get to know who the candidate is. Try asking, “what is one thing you like most about your current manager and what is one thing you would change?” or “how would your coworkers describe you and how would your best friend describe you?” Opening up the questions allows the candidate to reflect on who they are and what their view in the workplace is so that you can get a deeper understanding of the candidate.
  4. Maintain consistent contact. The first interaction between a candidate and a recruiter is usually a phone call and the recruiter tries to “hook” the candidate onto the opportunity. After the candidate is sold on the prospect, a few weeks pass before a recruiter will reach back out with more insight into the opportunity and the client needs. It’s not always an intentional thing to forget candidates but it’s a big recruitment mistake and will leave a bad taste in their mouth for all future recruiters. It is important to keep the candidate warm throughout the entire process. Calendar reminders to make steady contacts can keep you on track. Providing candidates with an update, even if it is that you have no update, will make them feel thought of and when you keep them engaged it aids the movement of the process.
  5. Be honest. 61% of employees report that what they were told about the position differs greatly from the job reality. So how do we avoid an unhappy hire? Most people like to know exactly what they are getting themselves into, so tell the truth. Establishing trust with the candidate will only allow more networking in the future.

The recruiting process isn’t only for companies. It’s for recruiters to expand their network while making real connections and for candidates to find a job and a company they fit with. Avoiding these recruitment mistakes will ensure future opportunities for the recruiter, company and candidate satisfaction and the optimum experience for all parties involved.
flexible work

What are the Benefits of a Flexible Work Schedule?

flexible work scheduleAccording to a Harvard Business Review 1 study completed by Fractl, a flexible work schedule is a very close 2nd to better health care benefits when job candidates are considering potential offers from an employer.  In fact, 88% of all job prospects would consider the opportunity to have some form of a flexible work schedule a strong part of their decision process in selecting a job offer.

According to that same study, team members who are provided flexible work style options are happier, more productive and highly engaged.  Flexibility is one of the top three culture attributes team members value the most, following ethics and inclusion. Giving team members the independence to work remotely can lead to productivity gains — 86% of remote work program participants believe they are as or even more productive working remotely compared to those who are in the office full-time.

93% of team members feel remote work makes them a better team member and the company a better employer.

A Forbes article assessment by Dell of a Flexible Work Initiative Program implemented in 2009, resulted in the following impact and benefits. 2

Reduce the barriers to attracting top talent: Work-life balance ranks as the number one career goal for all three major generations — baby boomers, Generation X and millennials — according to research with Intel.

Benefit the planet: Flexible work practices also help businesses to conserve natural resources and energy. With fewer people in the office and on the road, you’re helping reduce transportation-related pollution and can maximize office space usage. An internal Dell study in 2015 revealed that its Connected Workplace program in the United States alone helped reduce an estimate 25 million kWh of energy. Gallup data suggests that the U.S. workforce avoids 2.7 billion round-trips per year by telecommuting — a reduction of 30 million metric tons CO2e per year.

Responding to the Changing Workplace: A principal driver of this cultural shift is the innovative technology that is now capable of enabling productivity without trade-offs. But providing the latest technology isn’t enough — a company’s HR and IT efforts also need to align closely with the operation management teams.

Flexible work is the new norm in the workplace and it’s not going away anytime soon. By providing your teams with flexible work options that encourage collaboration, optimize productivity and allow them to follow their preferred work style, your organization will boost its competitive edge and position itself to become an employer-of-choice for the world’s best talent.


recruitment metrics

Are Recruitment Metrics Useful?

recruitment metricsEstablishing recruitment metrics is crucial when evaluating your recruitment team’s performance and creating effective sourcing strategies. There are countless metrics one could consider so it is important to focus on those that align with your organization, recruitment team and client needs.

The data derived from recruitment metrics provide insight into the successes and challenges of your current recruiting process. This will allow one to identify bottlenecks and efficiencies in the process and provide insight into possible solutions. There are 3 popular metrics for external recruiters working with small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

Time to Fill

This metric is important for all recruiters to measure, regardless of internal or external. A candidate can become disengaged when in the middle of a lengthy hiring process.

Companies also run the risk of losing the candidate to a competitor with a faster hiring process.

Statistics show that 50% of companies’ average time to hire is 1-2 months. If your process is much longer than your competitors, it may be worth examining the most time-consuming aspects of the process and finding ways to improve overall time to fill. If you’re having a hard time identifying the specific bottlenecks, consider implementing a funnel conversion rate metric.

Funnel Conversion Rate

This metric focuses on candidate workflow progression and activity. An example of a workflow could be: added to job; phone screened; HR interview; hiring manager interview; final interview; offer. To understand potential hold ups in the process, take a look at the conversion rate from phone screen to HR interview or HR Interview to hiring manager interview, etc. It will become clear which stages of the funnel are slowing down the process. For instance, if there is a low conversion rate from phone screen to HR interview, that could be an indication that the current sourcing strategy isn’t producing viable candidates, ultimately creating a longer time to hire. Another example could be a high conversion rate from HR interview to hiring manager interview followed by a low conversion rate from hiring manger interview to final interview. This could be an indicator of a disconnect between the HR and recruitment team and the hiring manager’s expectations. The data alone won’t provide the exact answer to the problems, but it will allow you insight to begin to create potential solutions.

Candidate Response Rate

This metric measures the success of the team’s sourcing and messaging to candidates. If you are finding that only 5% of candidates are responding to your emails, LinkedIn InMails, and phone calls, that should raise a red flag. An example of a potential reason behind low candidate responses could be poor messaging techniques. Candidates want to feel as though you have taken the time to understand their background and potential job fit, which translates into personalized messaging. If you are sending a generic email blast, chances are you are not seeing high response rates. A better approach is to find something in their profile that is unique to them and include that in your initial message. Knowing that you took the time to read their profile in detail will go along way with the passive candidate.


The first step is creating a candidate pool starts with a strong sourcing and messaging strategy.

If your candidate response rate is at least 30%, you’re off to a good start! Track the candidates throughout the pipeline to gain greater insight into the process with the funnel conversion rate. Both the candidate response rate and funnel conversion rate will play a big factor in your time to fill. Remember, these three recruitment metrics are just a few among countless others. If your data is lacking, consider additional metrics that align with your recruitment team’s goals and objectives.



employees engaged

How Do I Keep My Employees Engaged?

employee engagementToday, employees have the freedom to choose the work they do and most are drawn to environments that keep them engaged. The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, which equals to about 1/3 of their life. Engaging employees in their work allows for astounding results. Pushing your business forward with a shared drive amongst staff is where the ultimate growth will happen.

Are your employees engaged? Do you see individuals who are confident and energized? What are some ways to keep your employees engaged?

Start with giving them what they need and don’t assume you know what that is, ask them.

Most employees simply want to feel valued. Meaningfulness becomes the condition of the workplace when it enables workers to feel worthwhile and valued. This happens when workers have the autonomy to tackle complex problems and when procedures and goals are clear. It gives them a secure environment to venture out of the box and to “show and employ one’s self” without the fear of being shot down.

A favorite way to keep employees engaged is to add a level of humor to the workplace. When people laugh, it promotes wellness and legitimately becomes a therapeutic ally for the establishment. It diffuses stress and enhances problem solving skills. Showing a human side will break the barrier between management and employees that sometimes exists. This will allow new ideas to flow more freely, ultimately producing more.

Finally, set attainable short-term goals and make sure long-term goals are clearly defined.

When goals are attainable, it opens the door for employees to feel like they accomplish more and feel truly successful. Sharp focus can be maintained when an employee feels like they are contributing to the whole. A universal mission should be clearly defined so that everyone can see the singular purpose, permitting people to be fully immersed in the vision. Be available for conversations and give good feedback because communication is the common key in all of this for keeping your employees engaged.
effective feedback

How Do I Provide Effective Feedback to my Employees?

effective feedbackIn a recent study by Officevibe on the  “Statistics On The Importance Of Employee Feedback” it was reported that 65% of employees wanted more feedback and that 14.9% lower turnover rates can be experienced in companies that implement regular feedback activities.

So, if feedback is truly that important how can you be sure that you are giving effective feedback to your employees that with motivate and engage them?

I’m sure you have either heard or uttered the following when giving feedback, we all have:

“If you don’t hear from me, then you are doing just fine.”

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

“A self-motivated employee really does not need any feedback.”

“If I provide any positive feedback, my employees will just slack off.”

You certainly are not alone. But here’s some feedback for you: you could be creating an environment that will demoralize and demotivate your employees.

For a person to grow they need feedback; positive feedback to reinforce all the beneficial contributions and impact they have had as an employee and constructive feedback to redirect what is not working well.  If someone is working in a vacuum of “feedbacklessness” it is likely their flame of productivity will simply extinguish and any poor behaviors or sub-par performance habits will continue.

Providing effective feedback is critical for each employee’s personal growth and the success of your team. 

As a leader, the growth and development of the people on your team is one of the most important roles you have and real growth can only happen if you are providing appropriate reinforcement and effective feedback.

Effective feedback should be:

  1. Intentional: You should be aware of the actions and behaviors of your employees to reinforce or redirect as needed.
  2. Specific: Specify the actions, behaviors and results you want to reinforce or redirect.
  3. Proactive: Schedule regular discussions to check in on issues and provide positive reinforcement. Also, provide on-the-job feedback to immediately resolve an issue or provide well-deserved praise.
  4. Sincere: Sincerity will build the trust that is required for feedback to be meaningful to an employee.

Effective Feedback should not be:

  • Vague: Being too general about what is being reinforce or redirected can only cause confusion and may make the issue worse.
  • Emotional: Maintain professionalism and don’t let emotions get involved otherwise the employee may feel personally attacked.
  • Reactive: Providing feedback only when and because it is required (i.e. only during the annual review HR requires you to complete) is ineffective and will not provide benefits for anyone involved.
  • Artificial: Feigning sincerity inhibits any real intention to truly benefit the employee.

The following is an example of sincere, proactive, effective feedback from a manager:

“I regularly hear from your employees that they truly believe you always have their best interest in mind by regularly showing them genuine appreciation for their successes and contributions, but you are also willing to provide them “tough love” if they need to hear something they could improve on or should change.  Your team is consistently out performing others and I would like for you to help our company create and reinforce a similar culture with other teams. As a result I would to offer you a position of…”

As a manager and leader, establishing a culture of consistent reinforcement and constructive feedback in an honest, sincere and supportive manner is a gift that will significantly increase the development of your team members, along with their ability to positively impact the achievement of your organizational goals and objectives.

ROI of training

How Do I Measure the ROI of Training?

New research from UK-based recruitment firm, Total Jobs, has revealed that 2 in 3 workers have changed jobs at some point in their career due to a lack of learning and development opportunities. So, with training and development so important to the employees of today, how do you measure the ROI of training your staff?

68% of employees have changed jobs because of a lack of learning and development opportunities.

In order to calculate monetary ROI of training and development you need to identify if the benefits of your planned training will ultimately outweigh the costs and this can be done using a very simple calculation:

((Monetary benefit – Monetary Cost)/Monetary Costs) x 100 = ROI (%)

First lets take a look at the monetary costs which come in 3 forms:

Planning costs

This covers all the prework of sourcing and preparing for a specific training program, e.g. hours dedicated to evaluating staffing needs, researching providers, pre-work required to complete the course or even designing an internal course from scratch. Be thorough.

Delivery costs

This can cover all costs experienced by the company at the time of delivery, e.g. room hires, refreshments, consultant hire, hourly rate of all staff participating in the session, resources required, travel for each individual.

Evaluation costs

This includes any time or resources after the training program used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training, e.g. surveys, focus group time, post-work time dedicated to effective implementation of training.

9 in 10 employees want their employer to offer more training courses to develop new skills.

Once you have a clear idea of the costs involved in training you then need to focus on the benefits of completing specific training from a monetary standpoint. This can be where you may find some challenges as it can be difficult to put a monetary value on certain benefits for example, how do you put a monetary value on a middle manager being a better leader after participating in leadership training? Try as best you can to approximate potential impact, but be conservative if you need to.

Direct benefits

In manufacturing, construction and other production industries there can be some thought given to monetary benefits for example increase production numbers, increased quality, time dedicated to projects, reduced errors etc. Try listing these out in another column.

Indirect benefit

This is the more challenging piece, but can be achieved on approximations. For example is you were to put on safety training how much would you expect your safety incidents to reduce? 50%? If so, what costs incur due to safety claims? Insurance? Workers compensation? This reduction can then be used as an indirect benefit. What other ones can you think of?

2 in 3 employees believe training is more important today than it was two years ago.

Now that you are familiar with the costs and benefits, let’s work an example of the ROI of training.

Planning Costs
30 minutes of leadership’s time to identify safety training need $250
4 hours administrative time @ $25 p/h to research and confirm potential training $100
Initial survey required as prework for course for 10 participant taking 30 minutes to complete @ $50 p/h $250
Subtotal = $750
Delivery Costs
6 hour training course price $5,000
Refreshments and room hire for the day $1,000



Staff time @ $75 p/h per staff member (10) $4,500
Subtotal $10,500
Evaluation Costs
10 participants taking 15 minutes to complete evaluation survey @ $50 p/h $125
Subtotal $125
Direct benefits
Subtotal $0
Indirect benefits
Subtotal reduced workers compensation claims by one per year $40,000
Engaged workforce reducing turnover $10,000
Subtotal $50,000

 ((Monetary benefit – Monetary Cost)/Monetary Costs) x 100 = ROI (%)

(($50,000 – $11,375)/$11,375 x 100 = 340%

This means that you could potentially see a return of $3.40 for every $1 dedicated to the training…let’s do it!

So, while some of these numbers may be hypotheticals and approximations, you will gain a balanced understanding of whether a ROI could be seen from specific training and can be another tool in your leadership toolbox to use when you ask yourself the question: how do I measure the ROI of training?



best managers

What Qualities Do the Best Managers Possess?

best managersWho is the best manager you have ever worked for? And, what sets this person apart from other managers?

These are the first two questions of a Personal Best exercise that we facilitate at the beginning of every leadership workshop we hold for managers.

What we are told is encouraging.  Why? Because the best managers seem to possess seven qualities that we all are capable of emulating.  These qualities include:

Being Knowledgeable

The best managers are smart, but not always the smartest person in the room.  They are, however, always well-informed and have a clear grasp of reality. They understand the work, the challenges that their people face and the key issues affecting individual and team success. They know the system, where to find answers to the most pressing problems and how to make good decisions.

Being Principled   

The best managers operate from a set of beliefs that are non-negotiable.  The most common of which are integrity, honesty, fairness and respect. They can be counted on to do what’s right – even when it’s not convenient or no one is looking. They are straight with people and they don’t dance around the truth.  Their treatment of people is appropriate for the situation and considers the person’s needs.  And, they remain respectful, regardless of the circumstances or a person’s status.

Being Supportive

The best managers take the time to understand the needs of others and the support they require.  Be it resources, training, removing obstacles or having their backs, they do everything within their power to support their people and set them up for success.

Being Relatable

The best managers know how to bridge differences in backgrounds, education and experience so they can connect with others in a meaningful way. 

They are equally at ease with field operators as they are with senior leaders.  They are authentic and without pretense.

Being Accessible

The best managers are there when their people need them.  They take the time to answer questions, clarify expectations, serve as sounding board. They’re accessible because they feel responsible for their peoples’ welfare and believe they have an obligation to provide others with the benefit of their experience.

Developing people

The best managers invest the time to develop their people in ways that go beyond providing prerequisite job training.  They are intentional about providing opportunities that force people to get out their comfort zones.  They appropriately stretch peoples’ limits and allow them to safely fail. Most importantly, they ensure the person applies what they’ve learned from the experience moving forward.

Inspiring Confidence

The best managers are not always inspirational. They do, however, always inspire confidence.  Their team places their trust in them because they are competent, situationally consistent and have a track record of making sound decisions that lead to the right outcomes.


The above is not an exhaustive list of leadership traits, but a solid foundation that every leader could emulate to be a his or her personal best.  How do you stack up?


How Do I Attract Recruiters on LinkedIn?

LinkedInIn a competitive job market, it is essential to know how and where to market your personal brand. Hundreds of applicants are applying to jobs on a weekly basis, making it is easy to get lost in the mix. We’ve found the best ways to give you a unique edge when applying for jobs and how to have the jobs come to you using LinkedIn.

Start with your resume. The goal of a resume is to get an interview.

A lot of resumes read as a long list of job responsibilities but an employer wants to know how well you perform those responsibilities.

Include statistics and data that highlight how you have specifically impacted your position, teams and overall organization. Your resume is part of your personal brand — use it to tell a story about why you’re the top candidate for the job.

Customization is key. When proactively applying to job openings, read the job description in detail. What words are repeated throughout the job description? What certain skills are emphasized? Use those keywords and skills when customizing your resume. Resumes should showcase the most relevant work experience related to the role and responsibilities listed in the job description. That means you may have to tweak your resume each time you apply to a new job. Many employers use an ATS, Applicant Tracking System, which determines if a candidate is qualified for the position. The ATS searches for keywords associated with the position. The more keywords listed in your resume, the better chance you have of beating the system and moving on to an interview.

Why LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a common go-to when sourcing for candidates.

Chances are if you aren’t on LinkedIn, no one will be reaching out to you with a new opportunity.

There are several ways to optimize your profile to attract recruiters and employers. If you are just getting started, mirror your profile to your customized resume. Employers don’t like to see inconsistencies when it comes to timelines and milestones between your LinkedIn profile and resume. Keep that in mind and make sure both marketing platforms create a consistent personal brand.

Let recruiters know where you stand. Turn on the “let recruiters know you’re open”option under Career Interests. Although LinkedIn cannot guarantee complete privacy, they take steps to keep this private to your current employer. This information should only be visible to individuals with a Recruiter account. Identify your specific career interests to attract recruiters focused on your industry.

Help recruiters find you. Now that you’ve indicated you’re open, you’ll need to strengthen your profile so recruiters can find you. Similar to an ATS, recruiters source candidates through keyword search strings. The most popular searches include job titles, keywords, skills, industry and location. Think of your ideal position and include as many keywords associated with that job in your LinkedIn profile. Also, choose a profile picture that is current and professional. In making sure your profile is complete , you help recruiters to bring your dream job to you.

Grow your connections. You will need to expand your network to increase visibility to recruiters. Send a connection request to your friends, family and professional networks. More connections will increase your profile views and lead to recruiter reach outs. If you have a well-developed LinkedIn network, consider writing appropriate contacts a recommendation or endorse one of their skill sets. They will appreciate the gesture and this gives you an opportunity to ask for one in return. Validation from individuals in your network goes a long way and will make your profile standout among the rest.

If you can focus on customization of your resume and invest time in your LinkedIn profile, your job search will be off to a great start. Employers and recruiters will scan LinkedIn for your profile, even if you applied directly to a job on their company website.

Take control of your brand by curating your profile with a consistent message of your experience, skills, achievements and uniqueness.

Once your resume and profile are top-notch, check out how to prepare for an interview to stay ahead of the game. 
social media

How Do I Use Social Media as Recruiting Tool?

social mediaDid you know that the average internet user has more than 5 social media accounts?1 The passive candidate is typically not online looking on Indeed and LinkedIn for a job, but they are updating their Facebook status. Social media sites are a focus for online interaction, so why not use them to find your next superstar candidate?

People are using social media to be impressed, not only by others’ lives but by the way companies present their culture.

59% of employees say the social media presence of a company was one of the reasons they chose that company.2

Social media accounts act as unofficial portfolios for individuals and companies. It is important for companies seeking to expand and people job hunting to create an overall brand with a distinct voice.

First, cut through the noise and find the right people by staying active. Know your source and be on it often. This allows you to know what hashtags are working and what hot topics are streaming so you can gear your postings to what’s popular. Find niche networks based on the position you are looking to fill. For example, if you are trying to find a developer, post and stay active where those types of people are sharing their knowledge; i.e. GitHub or StackOverflow.

You will also want to make sure the job post is not only on your company page but that your employees are posting it on their own accounts. This works best on LinkedIn because it is the “World’s Largest Professional Network.” Each employee that shares the post should relate it to themselves, personalizing it to make it more attractive to the passive candidate.

The benefits to using social media as a recruiting tool:

  • Reach the elusive passive candidate. Social media is the best way to find and connect with passive candidates. LinkedIn is essentially a directory of professionals organized by industry, company, job title and a number of other categories.
  • See talent and passion firsthand. Many people use social media to make it known they love their career. You can find passionate people and learn what amazing work they’ve done and creative ideas they have.
  • Get resume details without a resume. On LinkedIn, and to some extent Facebook, you can view a person’s complete work and education history. You’ll know if a candidate has the experience the role calls for before you reach out to them.
  • Find a great culture fit. Social media allows you to learn what a person’s hobbies are and even allude to what sort of personality they have. You can find candidates who are skilled and will also be a good fit for your workplace.
  • Filter out bad candidates. Some people behave poorly on social media. You can determine if a potential candidate has a bad attitude by seeing what they share online.
  • Save money. Unless you promote job openings through paid campaigns, social media recruiting is completely free.3

These tips will help you to navigate the social media world to find candidates that better align with the open position and your company.

If you invest the time you could end up with the next top performer of your company.


1 – GlobalWedIndex – 
2 – GlobalWedIndex – 
3 –