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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.



Tips for a Successful Interview with a Recruiter

February 15th, 2013

If you have never interviewed with a staffing company before, you may be tempted to treat the experience with a bit more levity than a “real” job interview.  Don’t do it.  This is as real an opportunity to land a good job as any other interview directly with a company, maybe even more so!  Follow these guidelines for a successful experience.

1)      Dress as you would for any job interview.  The recruiter may seem so warm and friendly on the phone that you may think that your interview is more of a “get to know you better” session, which it is.  But it is also a full on job interview, so dress the part.  Don’t go casual.  You want to seem credible, serious and worth consideration, and your attire should say that about you.

2)      Have your resume ready.  Have a few extra copies available too.  Make sure it is accurate, updated, and addresses any gaps you may have in employment.  Be prepared to answer questions about your time between jobs honestly.  Don’t try to hide these gaps.  If the recruiter later uncovers any inconsistencies with your version of your employment history, it will definitely count against you.  A recruiter’s reputation is on the line every time they send who they believe to be a well-qualified applicant to one of their client companies.  They will not risk sending you if they feel you may have been less than truthful on your resume.

3)      Practice your interview skills before you go.  Again, treat this as you would an interview for your dream job, because it may well turn out to be!  Make good eye contact.  Answer questions thoughtfully.  Prepare some concise questions to ask before you go.  Practice mock interviews with a friend if it’s been a while since you last interviewed.  There is no preparation that is too much.  All this work will make you more relaxed and confident, and better able to represent yourself.

4)      Be a helpful source of information for the recruiter.  The recruiter may not understand the ins and outs of the job they are trying to fill as well as you do.  It is your industry, after all.  You are in a unique position to offer some insight into the job their client needs to fill.  And, your advice will be greatly appreciated because it will allow the recruiter to better perform his job.  By striking this cooperative, mutually beneficial tone with the recruiter, you will help yourself because it is in the recruiter’s best interest to get you placed.

At ERG Staffing Services, our staff of highly trained professionals is here to place you in the job you are seeking.  Contact us today so you can begin the process of landing your next position in a light industrial workplace.

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.

4 Tips To Help Get Your Employee Referral Engine Humming

November 23rd, 2012

Your current employees are there for a reason:  they work hard, fit your culture, are dedicated, loyal and genuinely concerned with success – both their own and the company’s as a whole.  If they weren’t all those things, they wouldn’t be working for you.  They know exactly what it means and what it takes to work there.  So why not harness that powerful engine to help you hire the right people?  Here are 4 tips that can help you start and maintain a successful employee referral program.

  1.  Communicate what you need.  Clearly explain the jobs that you are trying to fill.  List qualification that are required and those that are beneficial.  Employees cannot speak intelligently to others about a job opening they don’t understand fully, so give them the tools for success.
  2. Outline the benefits to them.  You must set parameters for what is expected and what the rewards will be.  Be specific.  For example:  “Any employee who refers a candidate to HR that gets hired and is employed for at least 6 months gets $1,000.”  Obviously that is just an example; your requirements may be very different in scope and reward dollars. You may even set up different parameters for different types of positions; ones harder to fill are of more value to you and may warrant a higher payout. Figure out what works for you and state it very clearly in writing.  Make sure all your employees know about and understand the program.
  3. Market.  It is not enough to set up this program and expect that it will take off.  This needs constant marketing and PR effort by you to your staff.  This is the type of benefit that is exciting at first and then quickly fades to an afterthought, or no thought at all in a month or two.  When you have a successful referral, make sure everyone in the company knows it, and remind them of the benefit the referring employee will enjoy.  Discuss it weekly with your staff.  Post reminders and keep your job opening lists updated.  The more effort you put into marketing this to your staff, the more successful it will be.
  4. Enable social media.  It may be a bit off-putting to think of your staff blasting your job openings to their social media distribution list.  Fear not!  Simply supply them with posts to repost.  This way you will still retain control over the content, and it makes it much more likely that they will actually reach out to their networks if all that is required is a click to “share”.

Employee referral programs may be the best way to find individuals with the best fit for your culture.  Your staff will not refer individuals with whom they would not like to work!  The costs to you are greatly outweighed by the potential savings.  Consider the time and money invested in interviewing candidates who you do not hire.  Also consider the revenue you are losing each day you are without that sales position being filled.  The dollars add up quickly.  Establishing a well thought out employee referral program is worth definitely worth the effort.

For those positions you still need help filling, call ERG Staffing Services.  We are the leading staffing service in the Lehigh Valley and beyond for light industrial and clerical staffing.