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Lower Your Candidate Rejection Rate

April 26th, 2013

There may be nothing more deflating than finally finding your ideal candidate only to have them accept an offer other than yours.  Sometimes you may have just lost out to a better offer.  Other times, though, there may have been something you could have done differently along the way to sway their decision to select your offer instead.  Take a look at these couple of factors and see if you have any opportunities for change in your hiring system.

  • Are you just too slow?  If the time from initial contact to making the offer is too long, your risk of losing the candidate goes up.  They have more time to go on other interviews, do more research on potential openings, and evaluate other offers.   Yes the adage “slow to hire and quick to fire” still applies, but too slow can definitely lose the race.  Communication is essential throughout the hiring process, but it becomes even more so if the process is going to be lengthy.  If you cannot shorten the time frame, make sure your candidate knows you are interested and give them some concrete times for the coming events:  next interviews, tests, possible offer deadline.  Better still, find a way to condense the time between interview to hire by bringing the candidates in one time, and having them interview with all necessary parties in the same day.
  • Is your offer a good one?  Perhaps you are losing these candidates simply because you are not offering a competitive salary.  Do your homework and find out what is currently being offered in your area by your competitors.  If you are too low, present your evidence to whomever is in the position to approve the increase and try very hard to get your offers at least competitive, if not superior.  And if you simply can’t increase the starting salary, make sure that your benefits package is in some way unique and has more to offer in the way of vacation, education, company outings, health insurance, etc. to make candidates think hard about turning you down.
  • Are you building relationships?  You really want to build relationships with your top candidates.  Even if you don’t intend to make more than one offer for this position, maintain contact with several viable choices, because you just never know what will happen.  Perhaps your first choice will not accept.  Perhaps you will end up needing more than one person with this skill set in the near future that you just couldn’t have predicted.  There are a number of circumstances in which keeping your top few candidates close would be beneficial. You also want to help them through this process of changing jobs as much as possible.  They should see you as an ally in this journey.  Ask them how their current employer will react when they resign.  Then offer suggestions for making that transition smooth for them and their employer.  This will help remove some of the stress associated with leaving a position, therefore removing another barrier to accepting your offer.

If you continue to experience a higher than normal rejection rate, call ERG Staffing Services.  We are expert in locating, screening and hiring clerical and light industrial staff for your warehouse business.  We can take some or all of this process over for you, freeing you up to run your business.

Ways to Insure Better Hires

April 5th, 2013

The figures are startling: 70% of managers and HR professionals reported a bad hire in 2012 costing them between $25,000 and $50,000 each!  These figures come from a CareerBuilder study conducted in August and September 2012 among 2,494 individuals across the US.  Seeing these figures really drives home the need for an impeccable hiring process.

Because we are human beings dealing with other human beings, no interview and screening process will ever be flawless.  But there are steps that we can take, and areas upon which we can place more focus that will help us greatly improve our odds at making a good hiring decision mush more frequently.

  • Focus on Fit.  We hear this so often because it is so important.  In the above mentioned study, HR managers cited that 60% of the bad hires didn’t work well with other employees, and 59% had a negative attitude.  Those are large percentages.  The need to seriously consider your company culture becomes tantamount to many other considerations, including skill set.  Of course you cannot completely ignore a candidate’s lack of skill or experience, but do keep in mind that you can teach skills: you cannot teach personality.  You may want to shift the priority of temperament and attitude a bit closer to the top of the “must have” list.
  • Ramp up your employee referral program.  It is proven time and again that new hires found through an existing employee are a better match for your organization and tend to stay with you longer than those found outside your employee network.  Make sure your staff knows what positions you are hiring for, the qualifications required and preferred, and the benefit awarded the employee who refers a successful hire.  This results in minimum output for you with the potential for maximum gain.
  • Hire slow.  Fire Fast.  This old adage is a good one, as it begs us to spend the necessary time on the hiring process.  Many times we feel the pressure to fill the opening yesterday.  This is not to make light of the need for speed, but rather to prioritize a quality hire above a quick hire.  One way to have it both ways is to have a rock solid hiring plan and stick to it.  Make sure you have your “must have” list properly arranged, insure that all pre-screening is done effectively, have all the appropriate managers and peers in the loop where necessary, etc.  Good planning on your part, and effective training of all involved in the hiring process will help to keep the speed up while still finding out what is most important about each candidate.  Hopefully you can eliminate the need for too many fast fires.

ERG Staffing Services is a leader in the light industrial staffing market.  Contact us any time you have a warehouse or clerical position that needs to be filled.  We will deliver the right candidate to you, right away.

How to Find the Perfect Candidate for Your Light Industrial Job Opening

March 22nd, 2013

Every time you endeavor to fill an open position with your company you have a new opportunity to fin just the right person for the job.  Each time you enter into the process, you are seeking that candidate who will glide right in and dazzle everyone with their knowledge, skill, and engaging personality.  That person is assuredly out there every time you are looking for them.  But how do you find them?  You find lots of people who are willing to come on board, but not that perfect person.  Well here are a few ideas to try and draw in the right person each time.

  • Advertise your company culture, not just the job.  There are jobs out there that are just like the one you are offering.  And you want the top candidates to choose you, not the other guys.  This is simple:  just tell them why they should.  Get the word out about why it is so great to work with your organization.  Make sure everyone knows what your company culture is all about.  What makes you interesting, what makes you better, what can they expect to get out of employment with you, what unique opportunities for development and growth do you offer?  This way it isn’t a job they are applying for, it is an entire culture and environment and work experience that they are seeking.  You are already unique, just make sure they know why.
  • Ramp up your screening process.  The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results.  If this feels familiar to you, it is easy to do something immediately to change this pattern.  Examine your screening and interviewing process.  Make sure you are going beyond the basic Q and A session.  Offer candidates the opportunity to actually demonstrate what they can do.  Set up a second interview with those in whom you are interested where they can have a practical experience with your team.  Get them paired up with a peer for an hour or two and observe them in the environment.  If appropriate, give them a real work challenge they will encounter on the job and see how they handle it.  All good candidates will be excited to show you just what they have to offer.  And the insight you will gain into their qualification is priceless.
  • Delve deeper into each candidate.  The more you know about each person the more you can assess their fit with your organization.  Many times, a candidate will have all the right skills, experience and qualifications and the wrong temperament.  They end up being a square peg in a round hole, you spend a lot of time and money getting them up to speed, and they ultimately don’t work out.  But the more you know about a person the better you can assess how well they will fit with your team and your culture.  Check them out on social media.  Find out about their hobbies and interests outside of work.  Anything you can do to get a better understanding of who this individual really is will help you to accurately assess whether you should make them an offer or not.

At ERG Staffing Services, we are highly skilled at filling light industrial posts with qualified individuals who will be a good fit with your company culture.  We get to know you first, so we can appropriately screen candidates for you later.  Contact one of our trained professionals today to find out more.



Employee Resigned? Here’s What to Do to Replace Them

February 1st, 2013

You are faced with filling the hole left by a resignation.  Where do you begin?  This may be something you have to do somewhat frequently, or if you are lucky, it doesn’t happen too often.  But whatever the frequency, you will always have a more successful search if you learn to work smarter, not harder.  Here are a few ideas on how to do just that.

Know exactly who you are looking for.  Spend some quality time thinking about who your ideal candidate will be.  Define his experience, skill set, training and education, leadership abilities and any other traits that will make him ideal for the position.  Fully understand the requirements and day to day operations and demands of the job.  Once you have a crystal clear picture of all this data, then you can effectively search for candidates.

Remember that a resume is just a resume.  Most of the time, the people you are trying to hire are not professional resume writers.  There will be some small flaw in a large percentage of the resumes and cover letters you receive.  But, you shouldn’t really be reading them that closely anyway.  As they come in, quickly scan each one in 10 to 20 seconds.  If you do not uncover any deal breakers in that time, put the resume in the “consider” pile.  Resumes are a flawed way of analyzing talent anyway.  Many times, a candidate will actually have the qualifications for which you were looking, they simply did not represent them in an effective way on paper.  Also remember you are hiring people, not resumes.  It will pay off to consider a wider selection.

Look at resumes even if they are not current.  Whether you are searching LinkedIn or a pile of paper resumes in a folder, don’t overlook ones that are “old”, that is more than a month or two.  By doing so you are making assumptions that these people have been hired, and are happy where they are.  Logic dictates that this is far from the case.  There are myriad reason to call up these candidates, and almost no reasons not to.  They may still be looking for job.  They may have been hired but are dissatisfied.  They may have been hired for a temporary position that will be ending shortly.  Or, they may be in danger of a layoff or downsizing in the near future.  Call them.

Don’t hire too quickly.  Don’t hire the first candidate you find who has the right qualifications.  Do yourself the courtesy of continuing to interview all the individuals in your consider pile.  You never know who you are going to uncover.  If you speak with everyone, and the first one is still the lead candidate, you will rest easy knowing that you thoroughly weighed all your options and have made the best choice.

Explore all your options for sourcing.  Don’t forget your internal referral network.  Make sure all your current employees know you are looking to fill the opening.  Use your own professional and social networks to get leads.  Utilize all the job boards and search engines.  Even candidates who are not the exact right match may know of someone who is.  Cast as wide a net as possible.

Filling these openings is always a time consuming challenge.  That’s why you should call ERG Staffing Services today.  We can help you fill any clerical or light industrial position  efficiently, with the right individual, right away.

Is Negative Better Than Neutral? You Bet!

January 12th, 2013

In the world of fashion, trends change frequently; one year brown is the new black, the next it’s gray, the next it’s black again.  In the world of HR reference checking, some things never change. Neutral is really negative, and negative is really information.

With the threat of lawsuits hanging over HR manager’s heads, many of us will absolutely never give a negative reference when asked.  We will give the basic employment verification information and not a bit more.  This leaves the person on the other end of the phone with no more information than before they picked up the phone.

If what we are seeking is clarity, what can we do to get more information from reference checks?

  • One way is to get more verified information directly from the applicant.  To ensure you are getting correct employment history, ask for a business card from previous positions held.  If you’d like to make sure you get an accurate picture of his job performance claims, ask to see a copy of previous performance reviews.  You can even verify salary claims be asking to see an old pay stub from their last employer.  This is real, verified information about the applicant that can aid in your decision making process.
  • When asking for references, see if you can get his direct supervisor, and perhaps even that person’s manager as well.  If you have more than one superior to speak with, you have a chance of getting real information about the candidate from one of them.
  • If you have the opportunity to leave a message asking for a reference, you can say “Please give me a call back at your convenience if this is someone you would strongly recommend for (position available).”  If you get no return call, it may be an indicator that this applicant does not get the recommendation from his previous employer.  It may also mean that the previous employer does not return reference calls.  Either way, it can serve to possibly confirm suspicions you may already have about the applicant not being a good fit.  Alternatively, you may get a call back right away with a glowing endorsement.  Information achieved.
  • This question may get you some useful data on your applicant too:  “In what position in your company would you absolutely not place this person, and why?”  Listen closely to the answer.  You may have to wait a minute for a response as they may be caught off guard.  That’s a good thing for you, as you might be lucky enough to get an honest answer that will shed some light on your candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

Reference checking can be a long and daunting task.  At ERG Staffing Services, we take care of that, and so much more, to provide you with temporary and temp-to-permanent light industrial staff that fit your needs and culture.  Call one of our representatives today to get started.

Take a Second Look at Those Underemployed Candidates

January 4th, 2013

The turn of a new year usually lends to new beginnings and change.  Change is almost always good, even when on the surface it may not seem so.  One change you may consider making in your hiring strategy for 2013 is to consider more closely the applicant who may be struggling career-wise.

In our current economy and abysmal job market, many, many qualified people have been laid off.  There are so few jobs available that they are forced to take on jobs outside their normal career path, that may not be anywhere near their actual potential.  But people need to work, for financial as well as self-worth reasons, so they will give their all to a job that is less than they are capable of.  Your policy for hiring may summarily reject anyone who is unemployed or not employed at a certain level.  Considering whom these individuals tend to be, a policy revision may be in order.

A flawless screening process is critical for being able to tell who is a star and who isn’t.  You must know exactly what qualities you are looking for in a member of your team, and design your interview questions to get a good sense of whether or not your candidate is in possessions of them.  You must also train your hiring managers to recognize the signs of a great asset.  Many times, if you are considering hiring someone for a job in which they have little direct experience, your instincts will be you guide.  But if you are on the lookout for your key factors, you will have something more concrete to go on.

Attitude is everything.  Many times these underemployed people have suffered a rejection and loss from being laid off from a company at which they worked long and hard.  These candidates are generally highly motivated to get back some of their workplace esteem and former level of achievement.  Motivation to learn is one of the most critical qualities in a successful hire.  Most other things can be taught, but a good attitude has to walk in the door with them.

Fresh eyes with experience in other realms can spot areas for improvements and make suggestions for change.  You and your team have been doing things a certain way, and that’s the way you do them.  A new hire with work experience different from your environment brings to the table their own fresh perspective.  The expression “You can’t see the forest for the trees” exactly describes the phenomena here:  they see the trees and can tell which ones are healthy and which should be kindling.

The growth potential for these candidates is meaningful, for them and for you.  They need to know that they can begin to rebuild toward something higher in the workplace.  They are motivated to achieve more.  You benefit because you are hiring potential.  These employees are ones that can grow with your company professionally, and also build long term relationships within your company creating a stable and welcoming work environment.

You can afford them.  Because they are changing careers, or starting over, or whatever you want to call it, their past experience does not relate exactly to what their new job will be.  Consequently, the salary they can initially draw will many times be less than what they were making at their previous position, at which they had climbed the ladder and made a name and a reputation for themselves.  You as the employer can get a great bargain in hiring an underemployed candidate.

ERG Staffing Services specializes in providing temporary and permanent light industrial staffing solutions to business like yours.  From initial screening to HR support, we are ready to handle the hiring process for you, so you can focus on the rest of your business.  Contact us today.

Avoid Being Duped by Fake Resumes

December 7th, 2012

You would think that in today’s era of unavoidable transparency, with internet searches available at the click of an index finger, that no one in his right mind would fake a resume.  Unfortunately it still happens, even with high profile jobs.  Here are a few simple steps you can take to avoid making a potentially costly hiring mistake.

Even if you need to fill this position yesterday, don’t rush the process.  Every hiring decision has an impact on your business, so every one matters.  Properly vetting applicants takes time if you are being thorough.  If you are in a hurry, you may be tempted to skip a step or two to just get the candidate on board.  The time saved in the screening process will not outweigh the expense of making a bad hiring decision, so don’t give in to that temptation.

Interview, interview, interview.  Much can be learned from the interview process.  And the more times you meet with a candidate, the more you will come to know them as a person, a worker, a leader or a colleague.  Bring promising candidates back in for second and even third interviews, and involve other managers in the process.  Their insight will be valuable as each of us perceives things differently, and when you compare notes afterward, you will be able to uncover potential inconsistencies in the candidate’s story.  Or alternatively, you’ll find out that what they claim is true and you’ll have confidence moving forward with that candidate.

Utilize the tools at your disposal for background checks.  This can be as involved or superficial as you feel necessary and your budget will allow.  Do a Google search and see what comes up.  You can even check our social media outlets for information.  Does what you found agree with their resume?  From there you can delve into background checks, drug tests, criminal records and the like if you need further investigation.  These are widely available through agencies offering packages from roughly $1500 and up, depending on your needs.

They’ve given you references, so check them.  Call each listed person.  Then, reach out to others at their previous employer such as coworkers or direct supervisors.  It is important to seek out character references other than the “gimme’s” listed on a resume.  It may be a bit challenging for you but if you do speak with someone who reveals something that gives you pause about the candidate, the effort will all be worth it.

In this economic environment of high competition for jobs, the occasional applicant will fudge their work history or experience, or try to conceal employment gaps.  It is important for you to have a clear and accurate picture of the candidates so you can make an educated decision.  By doing your own lie-detecting, you will have the confidence that the individual to whom you make an offer is really who he claims to be.

If this process seems daunting to you, you are not alone.  ERG Staffing Services specializes in helping companies like yours by locating, screening and hiring clerical and light industrial staff for you.  We learn your business, your culture and your hiring needs and then take over the process from there, with as much or as little involvement as you’d like.  Contact one of our trained professionals today to find out all we have to offer.

Entry Level Recruiting – How to Interview a Newbie Worker

October 5th, 2012

When hiring for entry level positions, you may very well find yourself with a pile of resumes showing little or no work experience.  This can sometimes present interesting challenges when it comes to interviewing.  You need to understand the same things about them – their past experience, their aptitudes and attitudes, their cultural fit – but you have no past employment record to delve into.  Here are a few ways to get the information you need to make an accurate assessment of those who may have no real world experience.

Determine her communication skills.  This is so critical to every job, and the easiest way to assess communication skills is by asking questions that require explanation.  “Tell me about the class in school you liked the most.  Why did you enjoy it?  What was the work load like?”  Even if this answer has little to do with the job for which she ise applying, you will get to listen to er language skills and speech patterns, and get a sense of her ability to convey information.  You may also learn a bit about work ethic and outside interests with this answer as well.  Essentially, the entire interview should give you this information, but you can start right out with a non-essential question to get her relaxed and talking, so you get to see and hear her best.

Assess time management skills.  Ask targeted questions that can get to the root of how she manages all her responsibilities and obligations on a daily basis.  “Talk to me about how you keep your life organized.  What methods do you employ?  What works best for you?”  This should uncover if she is a procrastinator, a planner, a post-it junkie, uber-organized or uber-relaxed about deadlines.  If you are unsure, ask more probing questions:  “So, how do you decide what to tackle first?”  Keep probing until you have a good sense of her organizational skills.

Analyze problem solving skills.  How does she handle adversity?  Does she think in straight lines, simply, with simple solutions, or is she one to take a circuitous route to the answer?  Since you may have no prior work experience to mine for information, go to her past school experiences.  “Tell me about a time when you were working on a group project that wasn’t going very well.  What role did you play in the group?  What steps did you take to fix the problems?  How did things end up?  What did you learn from that experience?  What would you do differently in the future?”

Take her temperature.   Find out how passionately she wants to work with your company.  Find out why she decided to pursue this opportunity.  What does she already know and what information is she seeking?  “What drew you to our company and this job?  Why do you want to work here?  What questions do you have about the job responsibilities and requirements?”  Listen for key motivators – money, future, security, advancement, experience, personal growth.  If there isn’t much more than a paycheck that has brought her to your door, you may want to keep searching.  You want to invest your time and money into an employee who sees this opportunity as more than a way to pay the bills, more like a stepping stone to a brighter future.

Once you’ve found a candidate for your entry level position, clearly explain the specific job requirements, performance evaluation timing and process before making a formal offer.  You want her to make a thoroughly informed decision as well.

Trust ERG Staffing Services to fill with your next entry level positions.  Our team of experienced professionals is ready to screen and qualify candidates according to your specific requirements, quickly and efficiently, every time.

Lack of Enthusiasm is a Red Flag for Hiring Managers

July 27th, 2012

When considering multiple candidates, you need to compare them across many categories:  skill, experience, drive, etc.  Another important category to consider is enthusiasm.  Is a lack of enthusiasm during the interview process a valid cause for rejection?  The answer is emphatically YES.  Skills can be taught, but it is very hard, if not impossible, to change someone’s attitudes and inner drive to succeed.

A candidate’s enthusiasm indicates that he is interested in working for you and excited about his profession. This enthusiasm usually carries through to his daily work life and personal life as well.  It makes it easier for him to endure discouraging periods on the job and persist in his work until he obtains the desired results.  His enthusiasm will also help promote good morale and productivity in his coworkers.  An enthusiastic man is the kind of guy other people are eager to work with and to work for.

How do you spot this enthusiastic candidate?  He is very inquisitive about the opening and all it entails.  He will want to know what an average day will be like, with whom he will interact during the day, what the big challenges of the position are…he is voracious for details.  He will then be able to tell you what about his skills and experience will make him an excellent fit for this position.

He demonstrates a good understanding of your company and the market in which you operate because he has done his homework and researched all aspects of your business.

Enthusiastic people are usually that way about all aspects of their life, including hobbies and outside interests.  This makes them well rounded individuals with much to offer not only as a worker within your company, but also as a coworker for your other employees.

Can enthusiasm be faked in an interview?  It can, but you can usually tell after some time and observation the genuine article from the false one.  Some things to look for:

  • False enthusiasm is hard to maintain consistently.  If they feel it, it isn’t work, but if it is forced, it can eventually wear them down.   Over a long period of time, you will notice that enthusiasm waning.
  • You can also spot false behavior when the candidate’s guard is down, as it may be during a meal or even a tour of the facility.  They will feel that the focus is not on them at that point, so they may not keep up the enthusiastic front.
  • Ask him about his outside interests and hobbies.  If there is a lack of enthusiasm about anything outside of work, then the work- related enthusiasm may be a myth as well.

Having difficulty finding enthusiastic candidates?  At ERG Staffing we conduct this type of screening and others for you, so you can focus on other more important issues facing you every day.  Contact us today to find out all we can do to fill your staffing needs.

Background Checks – A Hiring Must

July 14th, 2012

You’ve gone through the whole process, from writing the job posts, to interviewing the candidates.  You’ve whittled down the pile of applicants to one or two choices.  Now you need to do a bit more research into these individuals to make sure you are hiring just the right person.  The final phase of screening needs to be background checks.  Some are simple and can be done relatively easily.  Others are trickier and have laws and regulations that vary from state to state to protect the applicant’s privacy.  We’ll start out with the easier one.

Employment verification.  Knowing full well that some applicants will pad their resumes or exaggerate the truth when it comes to experience, it is very important that you do some resume fact checking.  Call past employers and ask the following legal questions:  dates of employment, last position held, salary, and if the applicant is eligible to be rehired.  You may also ask questions pertaining to the applicant’s job performance, but these may not get answered to your satisfaction as some companies have policies against giving any further details.

Criminal History.  The screening agency you hire will search different regions of the country to determine if the applicant has any felony or misdemeanor charges on their record.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a website designed specifically as a Resource for Businesses.  There are legal issues pertaining to what decisions you make based on the results of the report, so make sure you are aware of the requirements in your state.

Motor Vehicle Search.  Also known as a Driver’s License History, this report will tell you any history of moving violations, DUI or DWI, license suspensions or revocations.  It will also reveal any classifications of motor vehicle license such as motorcycle or commercial and any restrictions or endorsements, such as hazardous materials.  Done at the state level, this screen is vital for anyone who will be driving as a part of their job.

Credit History.  If the position requires handling cash, this check is a must.  A good credit history is usually an indication of a fiscally responsible person; a bad report, the opposite.  This process is highly regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), so make sure you are familiar with the legalities of this type of screening process and how you can use the results, which may vary by state as well.  You must obtain the candidate’s written consent before conducting this type of search.

Worker’s Compensation Records Search.  Results from this type of search can be useful in making a hiring decision if the injuries previously sustained will directly affect the applicant’s ability to perform the required duties.

There is a vast amount of information available to you when considering an applicant.  Don’t have time for this process?  Let ERG Staffing help.  Contact us today.