hiring process

Take the Luck Out of Your Hiring Process

hiring process
Over the last three months, the U.S. has averaged job gains of 186,000. The unemployment rate also ticked down to 3.8% and the average hourly wages increased 11 cents, a 10-year high. Simply put, the job market is hot.

If you don’t have a streamlined hiring process, you and your team may be stuck looking for that lucky four-leaf clover of a candidate. However, with St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, we thought we’d help you take the luck out of your hiring process. Here are three steps to improve your process to find the candidates your team needs.

Time is of the essence

If you’re a hiring manager or HR professional in this labor market, you don’t have time to drag your feet. When you have a critical role that needs to be filled, you must act quickly! It’s a candidate-driven market. Do you know what that means? Candidates have options (and lots of them!).

The longer you take to move candidates through the hiring process, the greater the chance of you being ghosted by a candidate. Since candidates are entertaining multiple job opportunities, you have to move quickly. If you have steps in your process that eat up too much time, you may be missing out on stellar candidates. And if you extend an offer to a candidate, don’t make them wait two months for their start date. It doesn’t take much time for a candidate, even if they have accepted your offer, to find a better (and more time sensitive) down the road.

Stop waiting to find that “leprechaun”

If you find yourself being picky over candidates, you need to cut that out right now. If this is truly a critical role for you, you can’t sit there and wait for the magical leprechaun (or perfect candidate, in the recruiting world) to show up on your desk.

When you find someone who is qualified for the position, give them a callback. They may not have every single criterion on the job description. But if they can do the job, have a great attitude, and have the soft skills necessary to learn the ins and outs of the role, at least have a conversation with them. You may even be surprised! They may end up being that lucky charm you’ve been dreaming of!

Team up with a recruiter

If you’re still struggling to identify areas in your hiring process that need improvement, don’t panic. Trying to change your hiring process can seem daunting and it varies from company to company. But that doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone!

At Johnson Search Group, we’ll help find areas in your hiring process that could use some changes. We can suggest ways to speed up your process so you can avoid the unfortunate event of yet another candidate ghosting you at the last minute. We know you’re busy, so let us do the legwork. Partner with a recruiter and let’s work together to find that pot of gold on the other end of the rainbow.

HR Department

Is Your HR Department at Odds With Your Expectations?

HR Department

I recently had a conversation with a healthcare organization looking to fill a critical role. We were talking about the needs of the organization and what the impact would be if the position isn’t filled. The conversation was going along just fine until I asked how long it would take to make an offer after a successful interview.

The hiring manager stated that their Human Resource Department’s policy is that once the hiring manager interviews candidates and identifies a talent pool of three or four finalists, the HR Director would generate an offer to the most qualified. I had to tell them that this is likely why they continue to have so many open roles; this cannot be the reality in today’s current labor market. I ended the conversation with, “I am sorry, but I am not the recruiter for you.”

It’s a race to the finish line

The above example is an all too common story, especially for organizations that have a plethora of job openings. Today’s job market is the tightest it has been in over 50 years and is shaping up to get worse (or better if you are looking for a new job). As 2019 progresses, I believe it will literally seem like a race to get qualified candidates to sign on the dotted offer line.

We continue to hear hiring managers mention their crazy workload and that they just can’t seem to fill their roles. They repeatedly say that they have exhausted all their options, and just can’t figure out why. In most cases, like the first example, the reasons are internal.

The conundrum of HR

One common theme for many hiring managers is that their hands are tied in pulling the trigger on a hire due to the authority that many HR Departments wield. They often have to wait endlessly for offer letters or compensation calculations to come back. And during the wait, their candidate takes a job elsewhere or just bows out in frustration.

Another challenge is the assumption from many hiring managers that the primary function of HR is to find them talent. So, they assume their roles are being actively recruited on internally, and just can’t figure out why they haven’t seen any resumes. And as you can guess, the common theme here is simply lack of communication and a process that isn’t working.

Better understanding your HR Department

So, what is the solution? While I don’t profess to have all the answers, there are some basic thought processes that could help. First, find out what the responsibilities are of your Human Resource team. Recognizing that they are continually working on onboarding, schedules for new staff, background checks, scheduling drug screens, calling references, tracking changes in compensation, writing job descriptions, keeping track of job boards, website postings… well, you get the idea. Do their other responsibilities allow for the time necessary to get your candidates hired?

How effective is the recruiting and onboarding functionality of the department? Especially, when this one role that you’re trying to get filled is in competition with every other job opening and a full schedule for your HR staff to boot? Given this thought process, ask yourself and teams the following questions to analyze whether your process needs to be revised:

  • Do you know how your HR department functions?
  • Are they doing the best job they can?
  • What incentives does your HR department or internal recruiter have to fill your open roles?
  • And a two-part question: what are their priorities, and are they achieving the results they are primarily tasked with?

However, you cannot answer these questions without also asking the following questions:

  • What are the desired and expected outcomes of your HR department?
  • And more importantly, if you were to compare notes with your HR team, do you both have the same playbook?

Get help meeting those expectations

If you would like a review of your process, feel free to reach out to one of the experienced recruiters at Johnson Search Group. After all, we live by the motto ‘your success is our success.’

social media

To Post or Not to Post? That is the Question!

social media

I have heard the argument on both sides about social media. On one side are those who support that social media is a personal, and therefore, private expression. It’s an online journal of sorts or a way for the timid to share their opinions without judgment; in a sense, letting everyone be able to just let it all hang out. And if you don’t like what you see, then don’t look.

And on the side, the internet is public, not unlike Grand Central Station, where all can come to congregate, share ideas, and as an all-age audience, should be toned down and posts should always be polite and acceptable with the utmost respect.

There is some merit to both sides of the equation. After all, if you’re an employer and don’t like what you see from a prospective candidate, you could opt not to look, and on the other side…. Yeah, not going to happen. Novel concept, but shock and awe will usually trump civility. Especially when over 70 percent of employers now use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.

Put yourself in the employer’s shoes

Now let’s look at the subject logically. No matter how much you want it to be considered private, the internet is a public forum and therefore any privacy is removed the second you hit send, post, or tweet. With that in mind, take a look at the image that you are portraying online.

As a recruiter, the thought process I always have is, if a future employer were to look you up on social media platforms, what message would you be sending? Would they be turned off by what they see and read? Now I am not suggesting that you can’t be yourself, or share your opinions, but my recommendation is to take a look at yourself through a prospective employer’s eyes. Would you hire you? If the answer is no, then make some adjustments…. Your future (employed) self will thank you.

Basketball Isn’t the Only Thing Mad This March

March Madness

Whether you’re a candidate or client, you can relate the job search to the exciting 18-day roller coaster ride of March Madness. It’s inevitable that when you’re applying for a job, you’re trying to win each step or “game” of getting that offer letter.

The more games/steps in the job process you win, the closer you get to the championship round bracket! Companies and candidates are hoping they both can win in the end. And lucky for you, the only difference between March Madness and the craziness of this candidate-driven market is both parties can win at the end of the day! A candidate finds a job and a company finds a great employee. The main thing is though, you want to effectively navigate the madness of this job market so you can reach the championship round! And whether you’re a candidate or an employer, here’s how you can do it.

Make Job Descriptions Concise and Clear

As a company looking to hire a great new employee, one of the most important things you need to do is find them. The way you can do this is by making your job descriptions concise and clear. It will help you find those winning candidates through the madness of this job market. Make sure to focus on what they will do, the fun things about your company, and of course, the experience and skills they need to have.

Only apply for a job you really want

Being a candidate in this market can be overwhelming. Even though it’s good to see what other opportunities are out there, it’s stressful. There are so many jobs to choose from and it can be hard to narrow down what you’re truly looking for when you’re ready to move. But the first step is knowing what you’re looking for in a new job.

Are you wanting more freedom or maybe a company that has an amazing culture? Are you looking for more money or a different location? These all are questions you need to answer before applying. It will help you weed out the jobs you may like but wouldn’t be a great fit for you. Because let’s be honest, you’re moving because you want bigger and better. Don’t bog yourself down by applying for jobs you wouldn’t absolutely love!

And if you’re having a difficult time finding a job that’s a good fit, that’s where a recruiter, like one from JSG, comes into play. We’ll help you match your skills to a position that you will be successful in!

Make your hiring process quick

When it comes to this tight job market, you have to have a quick process! There are tons of different ways you can do that and sometimes relying on a recruiting firm, like Johnson Search Group, can be the biggest money saver and helping hand you could ask for. An efficient process will prevent your bracket of good candidates from busting and not leave them vulnerable to receiving other offers.

Prepare for interviews

As a candidate, you have to be prepared. Just because you may have a lot of job options, it doesn’t mean you want to slack on being ready for an interview. A company doesn’t have to hire you, even if they may need to. They still have a choice but so do you! So take this time to find out information about the company.

What are their reviews like? Do they have cool accolades? Are they involved in community service? All of these things will help you understand a little bit more about what this company does and how they treat their employees. And remember, in an interview, they aren’t just interviewing you, you’re interviewing them as well.

Find the Best Candidate

After you’ve gone through the madness of resume reviews, interviews, and on-site tours, you’ve probably had the opportunity to find a great candidate; the one you want to extend an offer to because you know they will truly be a great fit and add a great amount of value to your organization. This is the fun part; you’ve made it to the championship!

Find the Best Company

After going through the wringer, you’ve made it! You’re now onto the championship with a company you’ve found passion in. The ball is now in your court and if you say yes, you’re ending this game with a slam dunk!

Today’s job market is overwhelming not only for companies but also for candidates. If you’re struggling to find the right people or the right job opportunity, Johnson Search Group would love to give you an assist in hopes of finding you your perfect matchup!

Get an assist from JSG to help you navigate this crazy job market.


What Kind of Help Do You Need


You’ve decided to hire a recruiting firm that can get it done for your organization. However, when do you pull the trigger to seek assistance from a professional? Do you try for months to fill the roles yourself, and eventually, call a recruiter only after you’ve exhausted all your efforts? Are you going to wait until you see the strain taking effect on the rest of your staff and now you have multiple positions open? Do you think that candidates just haven’t seen the posting?

They do and have seen the posting for months. It sends them red flags as to why the position is still open. The reality is most of the candidates you’d want to hire are never going to be hitting the job boards. From past experiences, they believe their resume will just sit on someone’s desk in HR. Maybe the resume gets stuck in a keyword checking system, or candidates are worried that HR will call their current employer for a reference. And the best candidates for your open positions are not even actively looking for a new position. These are the type of candidates a great recruiting firm, like Johnson Search Group, has in their network.

You get what you pay for

Obviously, the fee using a recruiter is an important part of the equation. If your organization has service agreements with recruiting firms for a lower fee percentage, or you require a vendor’s list for recruiters, but they are not filling your critical roles, why would you expect to get better service for the same price? The reason the other firms are likely not filling your position or presenting resumes may be that they are just incapable, or they are filling your competitor’s roles instead, as they have a better agreement with them.

Ever heard the expression “you get what you pay for?” And isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? I am not saying go crazy, and there are things like budgets to consider, but have you considered the cost of vacancy for each day an open role remains unfilled?

The strain on your staff

Are you relying on someone else in your organization who has their own desk to run, to get your needs met? I can’t tell you how many hiring managers I’ve talked to that tell me to call HR when I have the perfect candidate they’re looking for.

Why would I want to do that? HR will just assume it’s a salesperson the hiring manager wants to pass off. If you want to see a candidate, let your HR department know that you want to work with a professional that can bring you the candidates you need.

You need a specialist who knows the criticality of your unfilled positions; a recruiter that specializes in your industry. Plus, one that has a great process, and can bring you qualified, pre-screened candidates who will actually start. Acceptance ratios, fill rates, references from candidates about their experiences… these are all things to focus on, not just the fee.

Think about it like going to prom. Would you go to an assembly line haircut company to get a memorable hairstyle? Just like with a critical role, wouldn’t you want to go to a specialist who will give you exactly what you want?

If you want to work with a recruiter that specializes in your industry, let’s have a conversation.

hiring process

Your Hiring Process is Everything

hiring process

I recently had a conversation with a healthcare organization who is looking to fill a critical role. We were talking about the needs of the organization and what the impact would be if the position isn’t filled. The conversation was going along just fine until I asked how long it would take to make an offer after a successful interview. The hiring manager stated that once they were to identify a talent pool of four or five finalists, they would make an offer to the most qualified.

While this may sound like an ideal option for hiring the best candidate, it is not a reality in the current labor market. Basically, I ended the conversation with, I am not the recruiter for you.

A winning hiring process

In the world of attempting to secure top talent, your hiring process is literally everything. A winning process consists of the following:

Reviewing and responding to a resume within 48 business hours. This is vital, as the race to the finish line of getting a candidate to sign on the dotted line of an offer is very competitive.

Secondly, the response if you like the candidate’s background, is to schedule an interview, with the first phone interview taking place in the next few days. If that is not possible, I highly recommend finding a way to make it possible!

After a successful phone interview, schedule the next interview. If it’s a second phone interview, the same maximum of two or three days applies. Whatever the next interview step is, making those arrangements within the next 24 business hours is critical. It shows the candidate you are excited about them and gets time removed from their calendars when they could be interviewing elsewhere.

The final interview should be scheduled immediately and should take place no later than one to two weeks out, depending on travel. However, if it’s a local candidate, schedule it no later than one week out. If you can, schedule a Skype interview and if it is mutually agreeable with the candidate, make your offer! Essentially, the more efficient your hiring process is, the easier it will be for you to attract great candidates.

Urgency is essential

Make your offer within 48 business hours of the interview. If you need to do background, reference checks, etc. make the offer subject to successful background, references, etc. I cannot stress strongly enough, if you like the candidate, do not wait. If they would be a good fit for your team and the skill set you are looking for, don’t wait!

Do not wait to see if there is possibly a better candidate out there; do not wait for a few days or weeks in case you get lucky and someone applies directly so you don’t have to pay a recruiting fee; and the numerous other reasons and excuses that are possible. And for heaven’s sake, the excuse that HR is too busy to complete the compensation and offer letter just does not fly.

Your Human Resources department wants this role filled as well, as it takes one more thing off their plate. It just takes a bit of communication to your HR department that this is a candidate they need to expedite.

The final step in selecting the best recruiting firm. And here’s some things to consider when seeking the help of a professional.

hiring process

You Must Improve Your Hiring Process in This Tight Market

hiring process

At the halfway point in 2018, I have noticed several reoccurring themes, some spilling over from 2016 and 2017. The most glaring trend my team and I have noticed is the urgent need for permanent maintenance and reliability personnel. It’s safe to say every company I am working with has had a need for an I&C, reliability, or maintenance professionals throughout the first half of the year.

This is becoming more important as candidates with this skillset are in high demand and are earning larger salaries. Here are a couple situations that illustrate how you must improve your hiring process in this tight job market.

It’s a candidate-driven market

The first situation I want to share involves a mining organization that specializes in industrial minerals in a very remote area. After a week of searching, I found an outstanding Reliability Engineer who met every qualification and was excited about the opportunity. I knew the candidate was entertaining several different job opportunities and wouldn’t be on the market long.

I encouraged the hiring manager to move quickly as they arranged interviews and onsite visits. After three interviews in a four-week span, he has presented a generous offer. One day after the offer was received, my candidate received another job offer with a total compensation of about $40k more from a competitor. I have seen companies engage in a bidding war over a candidate before but never anything of this magnitude! The market for skilled technical leaders appears to be at an all-time high.

You must speed up your hiring process

In another instance, a different organization I work with reached out to me in critical need of an I&E Manager. I knew this position was of great importance after discussing it with the hiring managers. As I began my search, most candidates I spoke with were being heavily recruited by multiple organizations and asking for base salaries well over the current “market average.”

I submitted three candidates for the role I&E Manager position. They interviewed two of the candidates I submitted and selected one for an onsite visit. The candidate I presented made an outstanding impression on the hiring managers; he received a verbal offer directly after the interview and a written offer later for $13k higher than expected. The whole process took a total of two weeks from submittal to offer. As you can image, both the candidate and company are ecstatic with the result!

Let’s work together

This year I have noticed companies raising their salary ranges and speeding up their hiring process as the market for top-talent tightens. With an unemployment rate of 3.8%, this trend isn’t ending anytime soon. If you are a mining professional, whether in maintenance or not, I would love to have a conversation with you. And if you’re a hiring manager who understands the market and has a need for talent, let’s connect and discuss how I can bring professions to your organization.



recruiting trends

Recruiting Trends to Watch for in 2018

recruiting trends

For the first time since 2000, there are more job openings than available workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were just under 6.7 million job openings available in April but only 6.35 million eligible candidates for jobs. The market for top-talent is tight and organizations must move fast to secure the best candidates.

If your hiring process is not efficient, you will find yourself missing out on the best candidates. The best prospective candidates are entertaining multiple offers and are sometimes not even actively on the job market.

Is your hiring process hurting you?

According to a report conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), it takes an average of 36 days to fill a position. That’s 36 days from the decision to open the position to the acceptance of an offer. That’s a long time!

If you want to ensure your team doesn’t miss out on the best candidates, you must streamline your hiring process. If you are taking 36 days or longer to extend an offer to a candidate, you will likely lose out on first-rate talent. With our candidate-driven market, interviewees have options (and plenty of them!). If your hiring process forces the candidate to jump through hoops to get an offer, they’ll likely move on.

How to improve your hiring process

If you are wondering where in your hiring process you can make improvements, here’s some food for thought:

As you can see, there’s room to improve your hiring process. Depending on your industry and the type of job opening, these impediments may obviously change. However, for most job openings, your organization can speed up things up. Even if you speed up your interview process by just a few days, you will have top candidates in the running for your company!

And by having better candidates, you will likely experience better retention. The average number of separations within the first three months of employment is 16%. And with the average cost-per-hire hovering around $4,425, your organization will save money AND increase retention by being able to hire elite candidates available.

Partner with a recruiter

The easiest possible way to improve your hiring process is to work with a professional. Your team has enough to worry about. Let JSG help you quickly hire the top candidates on the market that will stick around and make an immediate impact.

Is Technology Destroying Customer Service?

Is Technology Destroying Customer Service?

Is Technology Destroying Customer Service?

I recently had the experience of taking my car to my local dealership for a problem with the transmission. Of course, when the technician drove it, the transmission worked fine. They also told me that there was no code read outs on the electronic gizmo they use, so they did not know what to do. I asked if they had looked at the transmission fluid to see if there were any shavings, and the service guy looked at me like I had two heads. The answer was no, they had not but suggested that instead, I should keep driving the car until the check engine light comes on so it will be easier for them to diagnose. The dealership has gotten so used to a machine providing the diagnosis for them, that a simple manual inspection is out of the question. The result in this scenario is that they just lost a customer.

How about your organization? Is the customer service in your hiring processes so automated with keyword checkers, HR Departments that only look for attractive resumes, or an online application portal that is such a pain that the good candidates seek employment elsewhere? I currently work with one organization that has a 42-page hiring packet, and will not allow an electronic signature. Every hire must print, sign, and scan or fax all 42-pages and when discussing it with HR, they seem oblivious to the inconvenience as well as the challenge for many who do not own a scanner. And when was the last time you used a fax machine?

I had a candidate recently tell me that she had gotten hired by a hospital and while she was in new employee orientation, she got a call from HR telling her that they were sorry, but the position had been filled. She said she laughed out loud at the absurdity. Unfortunately, these stories are very common in today’s market. First, the department that is tasked with talent acquisition is also responsible for scheduling interviews, new employee orientation, updates to policies and HR procedures, human capital comparison, annual salary reviews, and the list goes on. Suffice it to say, they don’t have any skin in the game to fill the critical needs of any organization. And in fact, every time someone gets hired, it adds to the other responsibilities on their plate; it an interesting dichotomy.

What does this have anything to do with customer service? Everything! If a candidate is treated as a customer and provided a great experience through the hiring process, you begin the employee/employer relationship with someone who is impressed with your company and therefore the first impression is a great one. If your process does not start with excellent customer service, there is frustration, irritation, and a big fat question mark as to whether they are making the right decision to take the job. This can tank a new employee’s attitude from day one.

Basically, there are three choices:

1) You can attempt to emphasize customer service in your HR department, which of course will require a lot of time to ensure compliance

2) You can take over the responsibility of talent acquisition and recruiting for your own department’s open positions and not get your regular job done


3) You can choose to work with a recruiting firm that specializes in customer service which will take a ton of work off your plate.

As the market tightens for qualified ‘A’ candidates and you want to compete for that top talent, I recommend that you make one the above choices. Technology is great, but when you are seeking the ‘fit factor’ for a new staff member, a computer cannot identify the soft skills you are looking for or the personality that you want.

This Is The Number One Reason Your Company Can't Hire The Best Talent

This Is The Number One Reason Your Company Can’t Hire The Best Talent

This Is The Number One Reason Your Company Can't Hire The Best Talent

“Time kills all deals.” This statement seems to float around many industries, but in the world of recruiting it rings particularly true. Finding qualified candidates is not as easy as it may seem, even as the number of Americans quitting their jobs surges to a 16 year high. A large pool of talent means more to sift through, as often times hiring managers just don’t have the time to talk with every interested candidate, let alone reach out to recruit industry leaders. Or many hiring managers set such a high standard, they overlook many great candidates in hope to find that “mystical unicorn.”

As a result of these recruiting strategies (or lack thereof), the budget tends to go out the window. Not because the hiring manager cannot pay the candidate’s demanded salary, but because the organization has failed to also consider the vacancy cost of having the position open for the extra time to find the perfect candidate. And all of a sudden the pressure is on your department as you scramble to fill a position and end up hiring someone who just feels a little lackluster.

The worst part? This is probably happening at your organization, and you don’t even realize it! Here’s how this plays out in a “real-world” scenario:

Leo at ABC Bank needs to hire a Project Manager with a particular set of skills.

40 candidates apply and 2 candidates make the cut: Dick and Jane.

Dick has everything that Leo needs, except he is about 2 years shy in product development experience.

Jane has plenty of product development but doesn’t have the management experience, and really doesn’t fit the culture as well as Dick.

Leo stews over it for a week and decides that even though he has two great candidates in the mix, he should look for another candidate. 

In this second round of recruiting, Leo discovers Suzie. She interviews well but has a different set of skills. In the end, she doesn’t compare to Dick, and Jane is still stronger in product development.

3 weeks after the initial interviews, Leo is ready to make his decision. He offers the position to Dick, but Dick has lost his excitement about the opportunity and has taken another offer with DEF Bank. 

So, Leo offers the position to Jane. The offer comes in lower than Jane was expecting, and she decides she is more comfortable staying with her current employer. 

Now, the position has been open for 9 weeks and after two turn downs, Leo is desperate to fill it. Instead of starting the entire process over, he hires Suzie. 

Sound familiar? The moral of the story is that the “perfect candidate” is a myth. Great candidates become the perfect candidate when they are valued and appreciated. Slow decision-making processes cost an organization not only in opportunity cost and lost productivity, but also amazing talent with incredible potential.