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Great Recruiting Rules for Small Businesses

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How does your small business recruit? Recruiting can be filled with endless requirements that can eliminate some of the dynamic potential of the process.

Taking a look at advice from Johnny Laurent, vice president and general manager for the Sage Employer Solutions business unit, there are “six rules of wise recruiting” that can help small businesses manage such an important process:

  1. Look back to go forward: Take a look at how your business used to hire talent. What did and didn’t work? These lessons can help you learn from the past, improve what’s broken, and move away from what needs to be forgotten.
  2. Hire for attitude, train for skills: Laurent advises businesses to observe the dynamic potential of an interested employee. After all, you can always train an employee on the changes in software, but their attitude toward work probably won’t be so amenable.
  3. Past performance does predict future behavior: Take a deep look at the prospect’s background and remember that “unclear answers from former employers shouldn’t be accepted.” Laurent also advises you to ask what the person was like in a particular situation.
  4. Become the employer of choice: The “number one recruiting strategy,” according to Laurent – is a goal that your business should strive to be recognized for in recruitment. When resumes start coming to you, Laurent says, you know you’re on the right track.
  5. Put them in the book – it’s important to keep a reference guide: Pay attention to who’s in your business right now. Keep tabs on your current employees and the directions they’re moving. You can keep tabs on your own organization as well as others.
  6. Hire hard, manage easy: Laurent uses this quote from Alan Davis, chairman and co-founder of Alan Davis Strategic Recruiting. If the right amount of energy is put into the recruitment process, the rest “is a breeze,” in Laurent’s words.

Take these tips from Laurent and use them in your own recruitment process. Blending dynamic potential and conventional wisdom, the advice merges the best of both worlds for organizational success.

Inc. Magazine’s 7 Rules for Recruiting Extraordinary People

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Recruiting those really exceptional, ‘extraordinary’ people won’t ever happen if you stick to legacy notions of simply matching skill levels to the company’s job description.

What’s important is what Geoffrey James, a staff writer for Inc’s SalesForce column, came away with from a leadership conference attended by numerous “CEOs and sales execs.”

“How to Hire Extraordinary Employees: 7 Rules” is not a randomly acquired list; the thoughtful tips go beyond the traditional skill-matching process to incorporate a deeper understanding of the applicant’s desires, wants, and even disappointments.

  1. Define your “Extraordinary Employee” – This step requires you to focus on the successful employees in your organization and understand their “talents and skills.” Interview questions around these traits will bring out any skills and character attributes that look to be “exceptional in your specific organization.”
  2. Always be Interviewing – Instead of waiting for the day you need to fill that opening, always be looking ahead and creating an inventory by “interviewing candidates all the time.” Use this along with your social media channels – and email – as a way to find applicants who look like they have that something “extraordinary” to contribute.
  3. Ask Questions That Reveal Character – Don’t throw them the ‘ol soft-ball question, like “What was your greatest achievement?” Get deep-in-the-weeds with this one and ask them to bring up “achievements from grade school, two from high school, two from college … ” and make sure they can tie-in a business-related achievement as well.
  4. Seek People Who Have Overcome Disappointment – You’re looking for those telling and “defining moments” that show they possess resiliency, which is crucial to assessing how they will cope in your business environment.
  5. Don’t Confuse Success with Motivation – How many times have you heard that almost-cliché-type phrase, “self-starters”? Make sure the “self-starter” mantra is only working when heavily supervised.
  6. Hire for Attitude, Not Experience – Hiring based on the applicant’s past track record is not enough; instead you should decide if they have the right mojo and the right attitude to contribute to the company’s future.
  7. Get a Real Reference – Step away from the candidate’s resume when checking references and do your own sleuthing to find the references you need … ”rather than simply calling the ones on the … resume.”

5 Crazy Policies that Will Set Your Company Apart

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HR departments are historically considered to be boring and conservative, but some of the cutting-edge policies being created in big companies are giving recruiters a new reputation.

It’s hard enough to find – and keep – good employees in today’s world, and having a good recruiting team and good recruiting software ( is no longer enough, so a lot of companies are going above and beyond the ordinary tactics to draw potential candidates. From unlimited vacation to bolder branding ideas, employers are pulling out all the stops to bring new people on board.

Here are five of the craziest policies that are setting some companies apart:

  1. Extraordinary benefits – Most companies offer some form of medical, dental, and vision insurance, but some companies are going way above and beyond to make sure their employees are well taken care of. Take Google for example – if an employee dies, the company’s life insurance policy will pay their spouse or domestic partner 50 percent of that employee’s paycheck for the next 10 years.
  2. Unlimited vacation – Employees of most companies – especially the bigger, more corporate ones – typically only get a couple weeks of vacation each year. However, newer companies like Netflix and Foursquare allow their employees to take an unlimited amount of vacation. These companies realize just how much emphasis the younger generations place on the importance of work-life balance and how much they value their time off.
  3. Better health incentives – A lot more companies are focusing on the skyrocketing cost of healthcare and are finding new and innovative ways to keep their employees healthy. Some of the top companies have employee exercise spaces or group classes on-site, while others offer monetary incentives for employees who improve their health and in turn drive down the company’s overall insurance costs.
  4. Intrinsic benefits – We’re seeing a lot more companies acknowledge the importance of intrinsic benefits and implement new ways to appreciate their employees – including everything from setting up game rooms and snack lounges where employees can take a much-needed break throughout the day to offering telecommuting opportunities so employees can work from the comfort of their own home.
  5. Referral bonuses – Some of the best new hires come from the networks of your existing employees, and companies are beginning to place a higher value on this. It’s not unusual for companies to offer a referral bonus of $100 or so, but some companies are offering bonuses in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

4 Qualities of a Great Recruiter

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It takes a lot of work to find the best employees for your company, but that goal can be met a lot easier if you have a great recruiter on your HR team.

So what makes someone a great recruiter as opposed to a mediocre one? In fact, there are several qualities that set high-performing recruiters above their lesser-performing counterparts.

Here are four essential qualities of a great recruiter:

  1. Good salesperson – Part of your job as a recruiter is to sell your company and your company’s job openings to potential candidates. You have to sell the idea of working for your company in the same manner that you’d sell someone a new product or service, which means you need to have the ability to prove why your company is so great and why someone will want to work there.
  2. People person – As a recruiter, it’s inherent that you’ll be dealing with people on a consistent basis, so you need to be comfortable interacting with all different types of people day in and day out. Since you will most likely be the first point of contact for a potential employee, your attitude and demeanor will essentially provide a first impression of the company, meaning that you need to be able to put on a happy face regardless of what might be going on in your personal life.
  3. Organized – There is a lot going on in the world of recruiting, from writing up job descriptions and reading resumes to calling people for interviews and conducting background checks on potential hires. So as a recruiter, you need to be extremely organized in order to keep track of all of these things, so you can ultimately get the job done.
  4. Technologically inclined – As we mentioned above, there are a lot of tasks that fall at the feet of recruiters, but luckily there are some great technologies out there to help them stay on track. Whether you’re using your company’s applicant tracking system ( to review resumes, scheduling interviews through Google Calendars, or conducting a background check, you need to know how to use the latest technology in order to make your job more efficient.

Keep these important qualities in mind when hiring your company’s next recruiter. With any luck, you’ll snag someone who can entice some of the best employees out there to join your company.

The Recruiting Process: Balance Your Needs with Those of the Job Candidate

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Sometimes employers become overly egocentric when it comes to recruiting, deciding that in a weak economy they have the pick of the litter when it comes to job seekers. However, job seekers are often no better at focusing their resumes around the old-fashioned idea of an objective and expecting employers to meet their personal needs by offering them their dream job.

The fact of the matter is that recruiting needs to be a give-and-take situation. That doesn’t mean one side gives and the other takes. It means there should be a balance on both sides.

In the article, “The Importance of the Give-and-Take Job Interview,” writer and human resources consultant Deborah S. Hildebrand suggests

… job seekers (and employers) should focus on creating the type of give-and-take environment that naturally lends itself to a quality fact-finding session. Because that is what job interviews are supposed to be all about. It’s just business professionals gathering information.

In a truly idyllic job interview, both sides would feel confident in what they bring to the table and be able to discuss openly the benefit of what they each offer. It would be, as Hildebrand suggests, a more level playing field.

For employers, writer and speaker John Picoult sees it this way in his article, “Does your Hiring Process Sentence Applicants to Hard Labor?” Employers need to consider how their company treats customers and apply these same rules to job seekers. After all, customers are just job seekers on their day off.

Consider this: if you make the shopping experience uncomfortable or difficult for customers, they are likely to stop patronizing your business, right?

The same principle applies in the recruiting arena. If it’s unreasonably difficult and onerous for candidates to interact with your firm, they’ll be inclined to look elsewhere for employment. (And no matter what the state of the job market, talented people will always have other alternatives.)

Making the recruiting process as free of stress and friction as possible should be your goal. It’s our goal. That’s why we offer a complete recruiting software solution for your applicant recruiting, sourcing, and tracking needs. Check out PCRecruiter for more.