Time to avoid stringing out your searches

Define position tangible and intangible requirements.

Making sure you have team agreement on your target candidate will save you valuable work time. Gather the interview team together to simulate “what if” scenarios of different backgrounds. You may include past companies, previous titles, levels of responsibilities, years of experience, education, etc. We have found that this practice gets people to think about their potential candidates before the resumes start coming and the interviews are scheduled. Document your tangible and intangible requirements that can be used later to communicate the job to potential candidates.

2. Reduce the interviewing team to only decision makers.

Often times it is acceptable to have everyone interview each candidate. This clearly delays the search process and increases the loss of candidates. Identify key decision makers and allow them to make the selection. As a Manager it is their decision on who to hire and not hire.

3. Identify a week to interview and block off the whole interview team’s schedule in advance.

As a team, determine what week will work for the whole team to interview candidates. Performing interviews that week will be the interviewers top work priority. Get approval from everyone that there is limited scheduling conflicts.

4. Schedule candidate evaluation meetings within team within 24 hours after the interview.

Everything is fresh in the minds of the interviewers to make decisions on each candidate. It is important to have quantifiable measurements for the positions tangible and intangible qualifications. Use a grid to determine candidate scoring. Discuss qualifications and make final candidate selections.

5. Pre-qualify the candidate's salary expectation and have that compensation pre-approved by management.

This is called getting “your ducks in a row”. The search process doesn’t have to be linear. Do things in parallel to move the process along. Get this critical information early and ask the candidate their salary expectations several time during the process to verify the information. When you are ready to make an offer, you will limit the opportunity for fall out.

6. Capture all background check information during final candidate interviews.

This is another activity that delays your process for a few days. Gather this information in advance. Know where you are in the search and process background checks once a final candidates has been selected.


  • Limit candidate fall out of the search.

  • Avoid the probability of counter offers.

  • Decrease waste of company and candidate time.

  • Decrease the chance of a search restart.

Implementing these ideas will significantly reduce your time to fill. Please contact Dave Zimmel for more ways in improving your search process. Sign up for additional ideas about your search process at: www.inpursuitsearch.com.

David Zimmel, President of InPursuit Search


These days, recruiters are worth the money

My company, Metal Mafia, has an excellent candidate screening process, a super training program, and a very successful team of employees to show for it.

But hiring has always been a difficult task for me because each time I get ready to hire, it takes me forever to find the right type of candidates to even get the screening process started.

Despite the fact that I carefully consider where to advertise for candidates--I try to maximize the search dollars and get a good mix of potential applicants--it always takes me a long time to find people suited well to the company, and therefore, even worth interviewing.

I've tried everything from placing ads on large job boards like Monster.com, to smaller specialized job boards that cater to sales hires or fashion jobs, to local university boards where I can post for free (or close to it). Each time, I experience the same slow crawl toward finally finding the right person. It has taken me up to five months to find the right kind of hire in the past. So in November when I decided I needed to think about hiring for the new year, I was not optimistic.

For me, recruiters have traditionally been out of the question because I figured they would be a waste of time and never be as good at sending me the right people for the job as I would be in reviewing resumes myself. They're also too expensive for my small budget. But as I got ready to place my job ads again, one of my senior staff members came to me and offered me the name of a fashion recruiter she knew and thought could help. I was skeptical, but I called her anyway, figuring listening would cost me nothing.

The recruiter convinced me she would do a thorough job, but I still hesitated because of the price. I do not have large sums of money to devote to the hiring process, and by my calculations, when all was said and done, using the recruiter was going to cost me three times as much as my usual techniques. On the other hand, the recruiter would only charge me if she found someone I decided to hire, which meant I was risking nothing, and could always come back to my original methods. I bit the bullet and signed up, reminding myself "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

The recruiter sent me the resumes of 10 entry-level candidates. I screened six by phone, met three in person, and found the right hire--all in a month. The cost suddenly became much less, because I saved so much time in the process, and because I got a pool of applicants who were decidedly better to choose from than in the past. Even more interesting, perhaps, was an insight the right candidate shared with me during the interview process. When I asked why she had chosen to work with a recruiter rather than post on job boards, she said "because recruiters make sure your resume gets seen, while submitting via the Internet is like sending your resume into oblivion."

Source: http://bit.ly/Ysuc3E

External vs. Internal Recruiting: Who does it better?

It has been debated many times, but the question of whether recruitment is best done with internal or external resources can only be answered at an organizational level, based upon a cost-benefit analysis.

When doing this analysis, consider which method of recruitment scores higher on the following metrics:

  1. Quality of hire

  2. Time to fill/p>

  3. Culture fit

  4. Candidate experience/impact on EVP

  5. Cost

It’s time to take a close inspection of each of these areas.

Quality of Hire

Most internal recruiters, at least in medium- to large-sized companies, rely on Web-based systems to do the initial screening and culling of applicants. They lack incentives, and also lack penalties, for how well they recruit. With external recruiters, there are often no metrics in place at all, other than time to fill. If metrics for quality of hire are clearly tracked and compared between internal and external recruiters, it can help identify the best recruitment model for your business because you will be able to tell who is providing the highest-quality candidates.

Linking recruiter pay to quality of hire is a critical step in ensuring that recruiters make solid recommendations to line managers, who ultimately make the hiring decision. Agency recruiters can be measured based on client feedback and the number of times roles have to be re-filled at no charge to the client, which can happen if the wrong hire is made and if the client organization does not have a formal way to measure its recruitment suppliers on this metric.

If you use a hybrid model, consider measuring and comparing both your internal and external recruiters on the quality of new hires. After implementing such a metric, measure them upon their first placement, at six and 12 weeks, again at six months, and then at regular intervals.

Time to Fill

Jobs can often be filled faster by using agencies (particularly within specialized industries) because they have large applicant pools. Good recruiters will always have warm candidates they keep in touch with.

Often, when external recruiters are pre-screening and presenting candidates, it’s internal recruiting teams that hold the process up. It’s not necessarily their fault, as priorities sometimes change, putting recruitment on hold, or as role requirements are revised, but it speaks to a core challenge facing the recruitment community today.

One key reason recruitment is delayed is that budget for a role has not been approved prior to beginning the search process. As everyone knows, you shouldn’t go to market until you’re certain you need to fill a role and that money is available to do so. It seems that many companies still retain search firms, spend money on advertising positions, and start seeing candidates without a confirmed internal agreement. This has a decidedly negative impact on both the brand and the relationship with any candidates you have engaged if you withdraw from the process.

A second reason for delaying the process often has to do with how companies operate internally. While a new role may be budgeted, conflicting schedules, agendas, or priorities can mean delays in seeing candidates, or extending the number of interviews or assessments beyond what was originally planned.

Not only does this increase cost and time to fill the role, it also antagonizes candidates and may mean you secure the runner-up instead of your preferred applicant, or worse, you’re left with no suitable candidate at all, forcing you to begin the process anew.

If you’re using agencies that have pre-screened candidates for you, move those candidates through the internal process, make decisions about individual applicants, and follow up quickly. Given the shortage of candidates in the market, this should be a given.

The need for speed in recruitment, to manage costs and to fill roles, especially empty ones, must be balanced with the need to find the best candidate for the role, considering all aspects, including culture fit.

Culture Fit

Internal recruiters will be able to articulate and respond to questions about what it’s really like to work in your company in a way that external parties won’t. External recruiters will never know your business as well as your own staff, try as they may, because they don’t work in the organization on a day-to-day basis, experiencing all its nuances and political challenges. As a result, many organizations think that recruitment can be done better by an in-house team who know and live the corporate culture and understand stakeholders best.

In the model where external recruiters are placed on-site, they work with your teams every day, but they are still removed from the employee experience to a large degree. For them to hire for culture fit is a particularly difficult task.

One way to track success in this area is to measure culture fit, and there are a number of ways to do that. Compare success rates between your internal and external recruiters to see who is making better assessments of culture fit.

Candidate Experience/Impact on EVP

Every time you go to market under your own brand or someone else’s, you send messages about your organization to potential candidates. How you do this could impact the way your firm is perceived by candidates, so understanding the impact of what you do is important.

If you use blind ads through a recruitment firm, you won’t build or add to your own brand recognition. Any external agency efforts to co-brand or represent your business must be handled correctly or the brand can be damaged. For example, if external recruiters don’t respond to candidates, or not quickly enough, people will forever tie that response to your brand, leaving a negative image in their minds about your company.

Pointing would-be employees to agencies through your careers website makes an impression on candidates about your organization, good or bad. Investments in a career website are better realized if you make the effort to engage with candidates directly at some level. This direct communication puts you in control of your candidate pool and is particularly helpful when there are jobs in the pipeline that haven’t been advertised yet.


An important cost consideration is related to the number of recruits. If you don’t hire a lot of people each year, it’s probably not worth having in-house recruitment staff. If you do, it’s worth measuring the cost effectiveness of outsourcing against the cost of having an in-house team and a well-developed career site with a front- and back-end recruitment system.

Using external recruiters can be expensive if you are a small company and do a large number of hires per year. Invest in some sort of recruitment technology, as well as a good recruiter or two on site who know your business, your brand, and your culture.

Whichever method you choose, or if you use both internal and external recruiters, the most important things to remember are that you need great people for your company, you need them now, and you want to spend as little as possible to get them.

Great candidates don’t need your job. Making the process as smooth as possible will go a long way to building relationships with candidates for the long term. Star candidates often have multiple offers, and will move on if you can’t make decisions quickly enough, even if they would rather have worked for your firm.

By delaying the process, cancelling searches, and not replying at all, you are sure to damage your employer brand and your reputation in the market.

Source: http://bit.ly/WLF54

Qualifications Matrix – Sample

Several purposes of the Qualification Matrix:

  1. Clarify the position with Management, Manager, Team, Recruiter on the target

  2. Communicate position requirements externally - Vendor, Referral Sources, Postings, etc.

  3. Define position for applicants/potential candidates


Required Qualifications:

  • BS manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Technology

  • Minimum of 3 years directly related experience (welding, fabrication)

  • Experience with ERP systems

  • Autocad, CAM works and SolidWorks (or ProE) experience

  • Physical ability to do the job (50lbs occasional lifting)

  • Prior experience in working with floor, quality, sales, cost reduction

  • R & D experience

  • Project management skills

  • Cross functional work and team experience

  • Design, 3D drawing ability

  • Microsoft office experience/p>

Other Qualifications:

  • Strong oral and written communication skills; can adapt message and style to meet the audience

  • Team player and ability to build teams; "on the floor mentality"

  • Well organized; ability to prioritize; flexibility

  • Handles multi-tasking and fast paced environment; willing to work the hours necessary to get the job done

  • Excellent problem solving skills

  • Assertive; get it done approach; goal oriented; responsive; hands on; willing to get hands dirty

  • Quick study, digs in, self sufficient and investigative; a go-getter

  • Personable; likable to wide range of people; approachable; not arrogant; sense of humility

  • Smart enough; blue collar engineer

Job Search Traffic

What site do Americans frequent the most to search for a job? Turns out it’s a job aggregator named Indeed.

Last month, says comScore, the web traffic measurement company, 17.3 million different visitors from the U.S. clicked into Indeed to look for a job. That translates into a 29% increase over December’s job search count.

Overall, January saw a 24% increase in the job search category, ranking comScore’s broader Career Services category among the fastest growing of all website groupings.

Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore, noted that in addition to big jumps in tax and travel sites, “We also saw a very seasonal spike in the Career Services category, including Job Search, Training and Education, and Career Resource sites, as Americans looked for ways to grow their careers and expand their skill sets in 2013.”

CareerBuilder, Monster and SimplyHired also saw big increases in their job search traffic. CareerBuilder was up 20% to 9.6 million visitors; Monster grew 32% to 9.1 million, and; SimplyHired was up 40% to 4.7 million.

Source: http://bit.ly/12IW2A0

Find the right person in 6 steps

1. Define the requirements carefully. This sounds ridiculously easy, but it's amazing how many business owners will embark on a search without determining exactly whom they want to hire. It's important to detail the specific job requirements and desired personal characteristics, creating a "hiring scorecard" that can be used in screenings and interviews to determine if a candidate can fulfill the requirements of the job. Needless to say, it's also critical to determine if the candidate will be a cultural fit as well.

2. Look for repeated patterns of success. Don't just look for tactical job responsibilities and skills--find the applicants who have repeatedly made a mark and exceeded expectations, time and time again. Drill down in the interview to ask those questions; find out how they measure their own success and whether their employment history tells a story of a superstar.

3. It's the network. With so many resumes flooding in for each open position, you should rely on inbound candidates even less than you ever have. Your friends and their friends know the fantastic players who are searching for their next opportunity; tap into them and save yourself a lot of paper time.

4. Find a recruiting platform that allows for pre-screening. When you do need to wade through resumes, use a recruiting system with pre-screening questions and candidate rating capabilities. This allows you to focus on the exact capabilities you need and only review the candidates who have passed the initial screening, saving yourself massive amounts of time.

5. It's still about the passive seekers. I personally recently hired a VP of Marketing for my company, but when I first came across him, he was already installed at another company. I courted him for months, persuaded him and eventually he came to work for me. In essence, I treated this executive search as though it was occurring during a gangbusters economy where talent is scarce. The reality is, the truly premium talent is still scarce, and always will be. If your bar for talent is as obscenely high as mine, passive seekers can make or break your search.

6. Don't settle. Almost every tip I've provided works in both a good and lousy economy. But let's be honest: When the good times roll, it's easier to find someone and say "good enough." But in a down economy, you should never do this. Take the time you need to find the right candidate, either active or passive, and make the right hire.

Source: http://bit.ly/pkbpwX

Is “Made in the USA” making a comeback?

In the last few months we have heard about companies moving some production back into the US.  You can find examples of this with Apple bringing production of portions of the new iMac back to the US to be produced by an unnamed partner, and the new Gorilla Glass on the front of the iPhone 5 is being produced in Kentucky. In addition, both GE and Google have also been forerunners of the trend of bringing production back to the US.

The primary motivations for this increased US production are shipping costs, lead times, difficulties with managing distant manufacturing, and issues with quality.  In addition, labor costs of manual labor are skyrocketing, with costs of professional and management staffs rising to be comparable with those in the US.

On the other hand, the examples above are large public companies with deep pockets and investors demanding higher profitability. However, a small bicycle factory in Portland, Oregon has seen an increase in demand for US produced products. Chris King’s bicycle factory has seen an increase demand for bicycles produced in the US from an unlikely source. Annual sales for Chris King bikes are around $10 million. Half of these sales come from orders from abroad, including Europe and Asia. This small 100 employee company has been flourishing in manufacturing its products in the US. This can be primarily attributed to exporting their products abroad. The founder and owner have been in contact with the Obama administration on how to boost more American exports abroad. These types of exports are easier for more premium brands. People are willing to pay a higher price for a superior product. However, their marketing plays to customers’ willingness to pay a little more for a product that will last years, rather than pay less and get a piece of junk. Mr. King’s bicycle manufacturing in the US is a very small example of how a company is taking to heart the production of quality American made products. This company is a good role model for other companies that are similar in size.

At InPursuit we help companies from a small “ma and pa” shop to large publicly held companies. When working with clients, our focus is on us meeting with them individually to exactly define needs.   We personalize our search model for each client and each individual job, and present excellent candidates who will make long term contributions to our client.  Our primary industry is manufacturing, and we are pleased to see the trend for manufacturing and production making its way back into the US. In order to increase production in the US, companies need to have top notch employees. We are here to help. We can help boost your sales team or find you top notch engineers.

We hope everyone has a prosperous New Year!

Source: http://buswk.co/VxzNqQ Chris King bikes: http://chrisking.com/