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hiring process

The 2020 Hiring Process Revolution

This year has forced many, if not all, employers to think outside of the box with their hiring efforts. Over the past six months, I have been extremely impressed with companies rapidly adjusting their interviewing practices to adhere to social distancing and safety protocols. As a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial industry, I have witnessed my clients create creative new interviewing and onboarding tactics to fill their critical positions. Some companies are more resistant to change than others, but I think the following hiring process innovations will forever change how companies operate.

Phone interviews are no longer an initial screening

While the phone interview has always been an initial screening of candidates, they have become a much more integral part of the hiring process. Phone interviews are essential to determine if the candidate has the skill set needed to be efficient in the role. Gone are the days when a hiring manager or HR professional calls you up to ask you a few basic questions. Phone interviews are now typically the first round of interviews and should be taken as seriously as an in-person interview. Here are a few pointers on how to prepare for these interviews.

Many of my clients that traditionally do onsite interviews at the mining facility or job site have now switched over to phone interviews. My clients and I are even working together to make job offers to candidates over the phone instead of flying them in to tour the facilities. However, for some of the more technical or collaborative team-focused positions, the video or Skype interview can give you a better understanding of the candidate and how they may fit in with the team.

Video interviewing is the new norm

Video interviews have skyrocketed this year. Zoom Meetings, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and even Face Time interviews have become a mainstay in the hiring process. I have found these tools excellent for employers that want to see how a candidate interacts with the team. I still believe the face to face interview is ideal for both candidates and employers, but when circumstances make these interviews difficult, I found these video interviews to be the next best thing.

Onsite interviews during the pandemic

Nothing compares to the good old fashion in-person interview. But getting into the facility has proven more difficult due to health and safety concerns. If you have an onsite interview, you can almost guarantee someone will check your temperature at the door. Also, you will be asked a series of health questions to ensure you are feeling well. Most importantly, don’t forget to wear your mask! When going to a facility to interview, my advice is to follow the company’s safety guidelines. Resistance to safety guidelines can most certainly affect the company’s decision to hire you no matter your qualifications.

Need help navigating this hiring process revolution?

My biggest take away from this year regarding interviews is that clients are still hiring. While processes may have changed, companies are actively interviewing and onboarding qualified candidates. If your company is currently struggling to find candidates to fill your roles, reach out to me. We can work together to streamline your hiring process and get the talent you need today. Or, if you are a job seeker, I have dozens of opportunities that might be a great fit for you!

Candidate Red Flags

Identifying Candidate Red Flags During the Hiring Process

So, you think you found the perfect candidate for your critical position? Great! As a recruiter, it’s easy to get excited about the “perfect” resume for a position that’s challenging to fill. Like any other candidate, you need to be aware of candidate red flags during the interview process to avoid an offer turndown, or even worse, a bad hire that you’ll have to replace some point down the line.

It’s essential to have an extensive vetting process as you try to fit candidates into a vacant position. These initial conversations you have with the candidate can reveal a lot about a candidate. Here are some candidate red flags that hiring managers or recruiters should look for during the hiring process.

When they’re all about the money

During the initial conversations I have with candidates, it is essential to identify why they are looking to leave their current employer. If it’s all about money and they’re just looking for the next best thing, chances are, if they get a better offer while they’re employed at your company, they’ll leave in a heartbeat. Candidates who are all about money tend to lack loyalty. Discovering a candidates’ true motives will help your team make a better hiring decision.

Communication seems to be spotty

If a candidate I am representing starts out with excellent communication, I expect that through the whole process. I like to set the expectation early on that I would like them to call me after interviews to debrief, communicate their availability as I am scheduling interviews, and the negotiation of their offer, if it gets to that point. There are times that communication starts strongly and suddenly drops off halfway through the process. That is an immediate red flag to me because something on their end has changed. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. However, when this happens, they are either no longer interested in this position or are entertaining other offers.

Changing their story

At Johnson Search Group, we perform at least two vets on every candidate before they can move forward. This process helps us identify potential red flags or situations when a candidate is not the right fit. Initially, when I have a conversation with a candidate, I try to answer the following questions:

  • Does their experience match the job requirements?
  • Why are they looking to make a career move?
  • Are they within my client’s compensation range?
  • Are they willing to make a move within a reasonable amount of time?

Once I identify that they fit what my client is looking for, I’ll schedule a second call with one of my colleagues. During that second conversation, I am actively listening to ensure their story stays consistent and, more importantly, get feedback from someone else on my team to ensure they are an excellent fit.

We always ask similar questions on both vetting calls to really dive in deep to find out why the candidate is looking for a new job, as well as understand their qualifications, compensation, etc. Red flags arise when they change their story about why they are looking for a new opportunity or when their compensation requirements drastically change. Asking these questions a second time usually weeds out the candidates who are just out there kicking tires and help identify any other red flags or inconsistencies in their story.

Need some help vetting candidates?

These are just a few red flags you can uncover while vetting and communicating with candidates during the hiring process. If your organization is having trouble identifying qualified candidates that aren’t just looking for the next best thing, give me a call. Our team at Johnson Search Group will help you source the best candidates on the market and ensure a smooth hiring process. Reach out to us today!

Hiring Freeze

The Potential Harm of A Hiring Freeze

As a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial sectors, there are two words I’ve heard all too frequently during these uncertain times: hiring freeze. And trust me, I understand it; nobody woke up in the morning excited about it, things had just changed seemingly overnight. Company goals changed from “grow the company by x%,” to simply survive one day at a time. That meant leaders had difficult decisions to make to stay afloat and reduce costs, often implementing a hiring freeze. In this article, I want to talk about the potential harm it could be doing to your company.

Higher Turnover

A freeze on hiring will often put an additional workload on your employees, especially in situations where there are also furloughs, maternity leaves, or retirements, resulting in a much smaller workforce. The same amount of work still needs to be done, and your current employees absorb additional responsibilities. Job satisfaction can suffer, performance may be affected, and even your best employees may start looking for other opportunities outside your company.

Fewer Employee Referrals

Studies show the employees that make the most significant impact on a company come from employee referrals. When you stall hiring, employee confidence can drop, causing them to be more hesitant to recommend your company to their friends. Therefore, some of the best talent in the industry are the ones your current employees refer to. Don’t miss out on them by implementing a hiring freeze!

Slower Rebound

Your internal recruiters are either laid off or unable to do their job successfully when your hiring is paused. It’s essential for good recruiters to be in the market every day to remain “in touch” with top candidates. Situations change daily, and being out of the action can stunt your hiring once your freeze is over; we all know that A-level talent will not be on the market for long.

How has a hiring freeze affected your company?

So, business leaders, I’m curious to hear your take on the experiences you’ve had with hiring freezes. Agree or disagree with any of these potential dangers? If your hiring is currently on hold, or fear one might be on the horizon, give me a call, and let’s talk about your options. Our team is helping companies during this crisis and is here to help you, as well.

simplify your hiring process

How to Simplify Your Hiring Process in Today’s Market

Today’s labor market is unlike any market we have witnessed before. The unemployment rate is currently sitting at 11.1%, and the employment-population ratio is 54.6%, meaning nearly half of the U.S. adult population is without work. If your team is hiring right now, there are a ton of stellar candidates on the market looking for new opportunities. However, the best candidates won’t last long and will likely find new employment quickly as more companies continue to restart their hiring efforts. If you want to secure top talent in today’s market, here are a few tips to simplify your hiring process.

Consider contract staffing solutions

Thousands of companies across the country have urgent staffing needs but are skeptical about pulling the trigger. If this is the position your organization is, have you thought about utilizing contractors to supplement these vacant positions? Contract workers are an excellent solution for bringing in talented workers to complete a project or fill an employment gap.

Contractors are flexible – you can hire them for a select time that fits your budget and timeline. So whether that’s three months, six months, or a year, you can hire professionals NOW and keep production moving along. And if you’re happy with their work, you can convert them to a full-time staff member! It’s a win-win.

Don’t be afraid to hire over video calls

If you want to simplify your hiring process, you must be ready to extend a candidate an offer over a video call. Long gone are the days of flying in a candidate for a “final interview” or to “meet the team.” With everything going on in the world, it just isn’t financially feasible or safe. Why spend weeks trying to coordinate a candidate for an on-site interview, clear everyone’s schedules, and put on a big show? Instead, all you have to do is get people to commit to a few minutes for a brief video “meet and greet.” It is much more efficient to coordinate a video interview than a physical in-person meeting.

Many employers out there are hesitant to make this change. However, if you don’t, one of your competitors will. And in the process, they’ll scoop up the talent your team needs just as badly. So, shift your hiring process to make offers over video calls to save both time and money.

Work with a recruiter

The easiest way to simplify your hiring process is to partner with a recruiting firm. You undoubtedly have a lot going on. You are making changes daily to keep up with what’s going on in the labor market and economy. Partner with a recruiter specializing in your industry to streamline your hiring process and attract the best talent. To learn more about how a professional, award-winning recruiting firm can impact your hiring process, reach out to us today.

Hiring insights from industry experts

Hiring Insights From Industry Experts

Interested in more insights on today’s labor market? Hear from some of our industry experts at Johnson Search Group! Hear from two of our best recruiters on how you can take advantage of today’s market.

candidate bench

How’s Your Candidate Bench Looking?

One thing we can all agree on: the last few months have had no script to follow. With all of the uncertainty, we cannot run our businesses without critical staff members. Although some positions may be on hold, this does not mean you have to wait. Now is the time to dig in and have your candidate bench filled with top talent that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I’ve had these tough conversations with candidates 

I have a critical position ready to go, submit a qualified candidate to the client, and then the job goes on hold. Two steps forward and three steps back? None of us like being put on hold, but if you are upfront and honest with people, somehow, we will get through this together; new relationships are built, and old ones are stronger than before.

Now that we see businesses getting back into the office and back to work, we also see a lot of empty critical roles that need to be filled immediately. But wait… you are in a hiring freeze!? So, is now the time to panic? Absolutely not!

With so many companies going through layoffs, furloughs, or even tenured people taking a step away from work, guess what? Many of them are not coming back to work!

There is absolutely no reason you cannot pull the details required for the critical positions and start to look for the perfect candidate NOW. Partnering with a recruiter takes some of this stress off your shoulders. Give us the opportunity, and we will do a confidential search for you.  

This strategy has many advantages:

  • This gives us the time (even if it’s a day or two) we need to find the perfect candidate versus waiting possibly another 3-4 weeks before you even start the search. This instant jump will increase your success, not to mention beating out your competition for these great candidates.
  • With the right recruiter on your side, we can have difficult conversations with the candidate and advise them that their perfect career path is right around the corner.
  • The talent is out there; you just have to go after it! 

Having your candidate bench full is so much easier than not being adequately prepared for when your leadership teams give you the “thumbs up.” How great will it be when you get the approval to start filling these critical roles, and can you immediately have the perfect candidates that are already pre-screened, prepped, and ready to go?

Partner with a recruiter

This will make you the hero! Being prepared now will eliminate the panic later down the road. Reach out to our team at Johnson Search Group today, and let’s get that candidate bench stock up for you.

Start Building Your Customized Staffing Strategy

Start Building Your Customized Staffing Strategy Today

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and continuing as we adjust to a new normal, companies are finding themselves unsure of how to proceed with hiring. Some teams are still working from home and may continue to be remote for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, others had to trim their workforce and are now finding remaining employees feeling stressed and overworked. And in some cases, companies have had to totally rethink existing structures to meet increasing demand (we’re talking about you, Amazon!). Now more than ever is a perfect time to have a customized staffing strategy in place.

So how do you go about crafting a hiring plan that will meet current demands, account for uncertain futures, and provide a safety net for critical openings? We’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide to creating a staffing strategy perfectly customized to meet your specific hiring needs.

Hire Contract Workers

In uncertain economic times, contractors will be essential to your team makeup. Contractor workers help your bottom line by reducing fixed personnel costs and paying strictly for time worked. Hiring temporary workers allows your department to weather economic rollercoasters with little to no effect as you are able to adjust your workforce accordingly.

Prioritize Critical Searches

If you are one of the many hiring managers ramping up your hiring, you may find yourself faced with some fierce competition for both top candidates and for your recruiting team’s time. As your internal recruiting team balances hiring for the entire company, make sure you communicate your priority roles, preferred strategy, and a strict deadline for when you need the position filled.

Streamline Your Hiring Process

Speaking of hiring deadlines, it’s essential to have a streamlined hiring process. There may be a lot of candidates on the job market currently; however, a smaller percentage are highly qualified for your specific position. Additionally, many of your competitors are going to take advantage of that. Once you find a candidate you like, interview them, and present an offer as soon as possible; even if that means conducting a virtual interview!

Partner With A Recruiting Firm

Does all of that sound a little overwhelming on top of your essential day-to-day duties? That’s what we’re here for. At Johnson Search Group, we work together with you to build a customized staffing solution that will fit your needs when you need them. Whether that’s a combination of direct hire and contract, a mass hiring event, or even just establishing a relationship with a recruiter so you have a professional at the ready when you need them. Get started today!

post-covid-19 job interview

The Post-COVID-19 Job Interview

The coronavirus is undoubtedly having a significant impact on the workplace. Millions of Americans are currently working from home and trying to adapt to their new working environment. And while some of these changes are only temporary, this worldwide pandemic is establishing a permanent impact on the interviewing and hiring processes of employers. Here are a few ways the post-COVID-19 job interview will change in the future.

More remote opportunities

Millions of us have been working from home over the last few weeks. Some of us might even continue to work remotely after the virus is no longer a concern. In fact, remote job postings are surging across the country. According to Indeed, searches for remote jobs have over doubled since February. LinkedIn job postings are also seeing this influx in remote opportunities and searches. This trend illustrates that people are currently searching for work from home options, and even after “stay at home” orders conclude, workers will continue to search for opportunities to work remotely. Therefore, if you’re a hiring manager and the position you’re hiring for can be done in a flexible environment, it’s time to start advertising that in your job descriptions.

More video interviews

And while we’re all getting used to hiring for more remote positions, video interviews will increase in popularity post-COVID-19 as well. It’s challenging to schedule group interviews with everyone, especially during the summer months, when many people are out on vacation. Well, now, with technologies like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, it’s no longer necessary to push interviews out weeks at a time to get everyone in the office. And for interviewees, you no longer have to take personal time or leave the office early to rush and make it to an onsite interview. Now, you can quickly jump on a video interview outside of work, or even on your lunch break. Video interviewing will allow companies to conduct interviews in a much more efficient manner.

The end of the handshake?

Handshakes have been a sign of respect and friendly greeting for centuries. But with people across the world being more conscious about their personal space, this customary greeting may be dead. In other words, when you walk into a job interview, the shaking of hands may no longer be the proper and respectful way to introduce yourself. Forgoing a handshake will make other non-verbal cues even more important when going in for an interview in the future.

Faster hiring decisions

Since we can facilitate interviews more efficiently now, hiring decisions will be much more effective. Instead of taking weeks or even months, hiring managers will be able to make decisions quickly because much of the slack will be removed from the hiring process. As an employer, this saves you tons of time and money because your department won’t have to worry as much about the cost of vacancies and loss in production while you wait to onboard new staff members. And as a job seeker, you’ll have the opportunity to start your new job quickly, which makes every worker happy! It’s a win-win situation.

There is no doubt that the post-COVID-19 job interview will look different than a typical interview in the past. But as you can see, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! For more resources on how COVID-19 is shaping the workspace, check out our blog here.

hiring during the COVID-19

How Employers Are Hiring During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Over the last three weeks, I have had hundreds of conversations with some of my clients and hiring managers. We have discussed their strategy for hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are weathering this unprecedented storm. Although the impact varies for each company based on their industry and location, they’re falling into one of two camps: it’s either business as usual or they’re pumping the brakes.

Keep the pipeline moving

These companies have quickly adapted to this fast-changing landscape. They are relying heavily on industry-specific recruiters (like our team at Johnson Search Group) to help them source the talent they need now. These employers are also starting to utilize technology such as FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype to keep their hiring process moving along. These employers understand that if they want to land A+ talent, they must make a move before their competition can. Plus, many of my clients, such as those in the Pulp & Paper industry, are up and running because they are considered essential. Therefore, it’s business as usual for a lot of companies out there.

Pipeline building

These companies understand their hiring needs but have chosen to build their pipeline of candidates for a time that best fits their hiring strategy. They are engaging industry-specific recruiters to identify the top talent. They are also searching for a recruiting partner that can keep the candidates engaged throughout the process. However, if you wait to make a move, they may be gone when you’re ready to hire. We can help you build this pipeline, but the best candidates will only stick around for so long.

How We Can Help

Regardless of which boat you’re in, I hear a lot of optimism out there. And that optimism feels great for those hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our incredible and resilient country will weather the storm, come out stronger than ever, and get back to business. So, whether your strategy is to continue your hiring process and grab the talent now, or build your pipeline for later on down the road, partner with an industry-specific recruiter at Johnson Search Group because we can make a difference. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

improve your hiring process

Improve Your Hiring Process: Time Comes with A Price Tag

I couldn’t even imagine sitting in an office trying to juggle a million other tasks as a human resource manager or hiring manager, all while recruiting on critical roles at the same time. Recruiting takes time, lots of time, and pockets full of patience. It is certainly not an easy job, nor for those of the ‘faint of heart.’ The resumes, the people, the falling, and most of all, the getting back up.

Here at Johnson Search Group, we care about both our clients and candidates. Finding that perfect fit for you and your team is at the forefront of our mind as many of the positions we fill are critical to our clients. These roles, if left unfilled, often cost our clients a great deal of money. And besides the cost of vacancies, your current employees are probably working longer hours during the holiday season, and thus, are spending valuable time away from their loved ones.

Cost of vacancies can start to add up

This is why partnering with a recruiter makes sense. In the long run, it’s actually easier on the pocketbook, and I feel confident in saying that it’s better for your brain too. Let us handle the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on your normal day-to-day job responsibilities. We understand that you’re busy, so let’s team up to find the right people for your open positions. The sooner we get those vacant positions filled, the faster you can get your production back on track.

Let us save you time, money, and provide you with peace of mind. However, be aware that when we submit a candidate that is actively on the job market, you must quickly engage before some else does, and you miss out on a stellar candidate.

You have to improve your hiring process

Qualified candidates know their value. I was recently working with a candidate with a strong background in professional facilities management. I submitted them to one of my clients for a Facilities Director position, but he was also interviewing with several other organizations. My client took their time (a couple of weeks) to extend an invitation for an interview. Once they finally decided to pull the trigger and bring them onsite, my candidate declined because they already accepted another position. They even told me, “I had to move forward. I knew it wouldn’t take long for me to land something, and you have to admit, they didn’t move very fast for someone with my background.”

This is a very true statement. We have a saying in our industry: “time kills all deals.” So, for the sake of your team and budget, act fast before someone else picks up your perfect fit!

Partner with a recruiter

So please give me, Stephanie Brown a call to fill your critical roles by the end of the year. At Johnson Search Group, we pride ourselves on our clear, efficient communication with both our clients and candidates. We can partner together to get the people you and your team need so you can move into 2020 with a peace of mind. We’ll even help you find ways to help improve your hiring process. Even if you are working with a few different agencies, add Johnson Search Group to your list and watch as the qualified candidates flow into your organization. Let’s have a conversation today!

Candidate-Driven Market

A Survival Kit for Hiring in this Candidate-Driven Market

Yes, by all measurements, it’s a candidate-driven market. With 7.1 million job openings and 3.5 million voluntary quits, candidates know they can be more selective than ever deciding where they want to work. As a result, hiring managers out there are feeling the pain. It can be challenging enough just to find the right person with the required skill set that will fit in well with the team, but then to lose out to a competitor’s offer or counter offer is extremely frustrating! But not all hope is lost. Whereas you can’t change the market, you absolutely can increase your chances of landing the top talent.

Tighten up your hiring process

Remember that time kills all deals, so if you’re looking to hire, get serious about it. If you see a candidate you’re interested in, take action immediately. Make sure everybody that needs to be involved fully understands the importance of moving swiftly and make the initial contact asap. Simplify your interviewing process and use technologies like Skype and FaceTime to eliminate delays due to availability.

Ask the right questions

In addition to skillsets, education, and experience, knowing what the candidate is looking for in their next career move is equally important. Thus, take the time in your initial conversation to find out what they’re looking for. It could be something related to the company, the position in question, or the community. Whatever it is, if your company can offer those things, make sure to take the opportunity to sell it.

Work with an industry-specific recruiter

Traditional recruiting methods will net you the same candidates every other company has access to. Expand your net and tap into a pool of candidates you didn’t even know were out there. We’re in the market every day, talking with candidates, getting referrals, building relationships, and promoting opportunities with great companies. We have a large number of passively looking candidates that are not visiting websites looking for opportunities and not on LinkedIn. Instead, they trust us exclusively to find them an incredible opportunity with a fabulous company. Reach out to us today to better navigate this candidate-driven market.