Hiring 101: What Does a Recruiter Do?
If your business has hiring needs of any sort, using the services of a recruiter can fast track the sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding processes, making a typically tedious experience a relatively stress-free and enjoyable one, both for the hiring manager and candidate. From a business’s perspective, recruiters play an equally important role. Executives and HR departments often lack the time, resources, and expertise to commit to the hiring process. By assigning these duties to a recruiter—whether internally or externally—the company can often save money and make a better hire. The roles and responsibilities of a recruiter Put simply, a recruiter works for a company or recruiting agency to match viable candidates with open positions. Depending on the type of recruiter, these duties can range from filling a couple of job openings to working more than 40 positions at a time. However, strong recruiters take on many additional responsibilities as part of their role in talent acquisition. Relationship-building and networking The relationships in a recruiter’s network are critical to finding the right candidate at the right time, so they work to develop trusted relationships with candidates, hiring managers and their peers. When a recruiter cultivates trusted relationships with potential candidates, those candidates are more likely to be interested in a position when it becomes available. Recruiters meet candidates by networking, attending recruitment events and staying in touch with candidates they’ve worked with in the past. Recruiters also rely on relationships to secure referrals. When hiring for a hard-to-fill position, asking for referrals from their own professional network or an established expert network, can be the difference in landing the perfect candidate. Sourcing and screening talent When a recruiter receives a new job requisition, he or she uses a wide range of recruitment methods to identify top talent who could be a fit for the role. Sourcing is the process of searching for and contacting candidates who may fulfill the qualifications for the open position. To source candidates, the recruiter will: Post the role on the company career site and online job boards Search for talent with the right skills on LinkedIn Explore their company’s internal candidate database Reach out to their network and current employees for referrals After identifying a pool of potentially qualified candidates through these methods, recruiters contact the top candidates and learn more about them through an initial phone or video call. During this initial recruiter screen, the recruiter seeks to understand the candidate’s background, experience and skills, and gauge their interest in the role. A recruiter may also ask the candidate about compensation expectations and discuss any relocation that may be necessary for the position. Preparing for and conducting interviews Following sourcing and screening, a recruiter identifies a smaller pool of top candidates and coordinates with the hiring manager, candidate and interview team to settle on dates and times for interviews. Many recruiters employ scheduling software to streamline the interview scheduling process. In addition to coordinating interview times, recruiters also work closely with candidates and hiring managers to prepare each for the interview. Prior to the interview, recruiters partner with the hiring team to: Ensure each member of the team understands the role, the need for the position and the skills needed to succeed in the job. Present each candidate and walk through the qualifications the recruiter has identified that makes them a potential fit. The recruiter may also share their notes from the screening call to provide the hiring manager a deeper understanding of the candidate. Help prepare candidate interview questions that will inform the hiring team’s decision of whether or not to advance the candidate. When multiple people are interviewing a candidate, a recruiter works with the hiring team to ensure each person is prepared to ask unique questions. Recruiters also work with candidates to ensure they have all the information they need for their interview, including: Date, time and location of the interview Attire A list of interview team members Any requirements to prepare before the interview, such as a presentation or technical test Extending and negotiating job offers The recruiter often hosts a debrief meeting following candidate interviews to understand the hiring team’s evaluation of each potential employee and qualifications for the role. During this meeting, they discuss each candidate’s experience and decide who will be the best fit for the position. When a candidate is selected to move forward and receive an offer, the recruiter reaches out to share the exciting news and extend an offer. The recruiter negotiates salary expectations and shares company benefit information, and ultimately, secures an accepted offer! Keeping in touch between offer and onboarding When an offer is accepted, the recruiter works closely with HR to ensure a seamless onboarding experience for the candidate. A strong recruiter maintains close contact with the candidate until his or her first day, acting as the candidate’s point-person for any questions and ensuring the candidate is excited and prepared to join the company. Prioritizing the candidate experience Throughout every step of the hiring process, top recruiters never lose sight of the candidate experience. More than 80% of candidates say that a negative interviewing experience directly impacts their decision to accept a role, so recruiters take steps to ensure the best experience for every candidate. Offering a positive candidate experience may include: Being transparent about next steps and the timeline for the interview process Following up with candidates in a timely manner Offering constructive feedback even if a candidate is not the right fit for the current role. This can make that individual four times more likely to consider applying again in the future. Staying up-to-date on market trends On top of sourcing, interviewing and building relationships, recruiters must also be experts on the industry for which they recruit. They need to understand market compensation rates, skills needed for specific roles and the best places to find top candidates in the industry. The best recruiters are also data-driven, examining the success of sourcing channels, tracking time-to-fill and testing candidate outreach messages to continue to refine their recruitment methods and hire the best talent, faster. Types of recruiters Hiring needs vary from business to business, as do the resources that can be allocated to filling open roles. It’s important for businesses to be familiar with different types of recruiters so that they can hire one who can help the company attract and acquire the best talent available. Internal recruiters As keeping internal recruiters on staff can be expensive for a company without significant hiring needs, they are typically only used by larger companies that have a constant need for new hires. These in-house recruiters are considered to be on par with other employees, receiving a salary accompanied by benefits. Staffing agency or contract recruiters Contract recruiters are used by small and large companies alike and are beneficial for companies that are looking for a temporary employee. The hired employee works for the contracting agency directly, and his or her main point of contact is the recruiter. Contingency recruiters Contingency recruiters are the solution for companies that are looking for a contract to hire an employee before making a commitment. Like contract recruiters, contingency recruiters will handle the interviewing and onboarding processes. Retained search firms A retained recruiter is usually a part of a retaining agency, in which the client company will pay an initial sum before the recruiter or headhunter begins his or her search. The final sum is paid after a candidate is hired. Ready for a white-glove recruiting experience?
May 20, 2020
Recruitment Methods: 8 Tactics to Find the Perfect Hire
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s estimated that over 36 million Americans are now unemployed, turning many Americans into active job seekers. If you’re looking to fill positions at your company, now is the perfect time to start the search for your new hires; and in utilizing a wide range of recruitment methods, you’re more likely to find the right talent eager to take on an open opportunity. Here are eight recruitment methods you or your recruiter should consider when searching for your next new employee. 8 recruitment methods to find the right candidates 1. Promote Internally When looking to find the right employee, it’s good practice to tap into both internal and external networks. Internally, this includes posting your job opening to your company website and leaning on your own HR department, but it also includes looking for potential transfers and promotions within your organization or among recently retired employees. The reality is that the perfect fit for your job opening might already exist within your four walls. Promoting a current or recent employee can open up another position that is much easier to fill. This type of move can also save your company money that would otherwise be spent onboarding and training a brand new employee. The Saratoga Institute reports that an external hire costs 1.7 times more than an internal hire. These internal hires often have higher success rates as well. Research by the University of Pennsylvania suggests that internal hires display higher performance during their first two years. 2. Post on Career Sites and Job Boards There is no shortage of career sites and job boards that can be used for your job posting—Monster, Career Builder, and Indeed, to name only a few. In using these platforms, you or your recruiter will get access to a pool of both passive and active job seekers. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of using various job boards for your talent search is that you’re able to see a variety of skill sets available through Boolean search techniques—which will help you find what is often referred to as the “purple squirrel” of candidates needed for the position. 3. Attend Networking Events One recruitment method that is less pursued but often very effective is attending local networking events. Not only does attending networking events increase awareness of your brand and build your company’s local presence, but it can also help you spot passive talent. Keep in mind that this type of interaction could be your first and last chance to make an impression on certain candidates, so you’ll want to be well prepared before a networking event. 4. Engage Employee and Industry Referrals If you need a hire who is the perfect fit for your company culture, consider leaning on referrals from employees and industry colleagues. Not only can your current employees be powerful ambassadors for your organization but they can often be more effective in identifying strong candidates, as they are more familiar with the everyday needs of the team. In fact, employee referrals are the top source of quality hires, according to 48% of companies. Hiring a prospective candidate who already has a relationship with one of your employees is likely to make the onboarding process much easier and help develop a sense of camaraderie from the get-go. You can also partner with recruiting agencies who can provide referrals from industry leaders and experts. Hunt Club has an expert network of senior leaders, founders and VPs who refer top candidates for open positions. Leaning on the expertise and network of a recruitment agency or headhunter will give you access to a larger pool of talent, and increase the likelihood that a candidate is interested in your role. 5. Explore Artificial Intelligence AI is increasingly used to filter through applications and resumes quickly, narrowing down the pool of qualified candidates. On a much deeper level, however, AI can even be used throughout the screening and interview processes. Rather than interviewing directly with a recruiter or business executive, a chatbot can facilitate an interview, asking candidates questions, and using their answers to qualify or disqualify candidates in real-time. This method has paved the way for companies to perform high-volume hiring in industries that have high turnover rates and a constant need for new hires. At the very least, it allows recruiters and businesses to sift through large pools of applicants, leaving only a few top candidates for final interviews with businesses. 6. Use Social Media to Source Over 84% of companies use social media for recruiting, making it an extremely popular recruitment method. Besides reaching your own personal network right off the bat, you can also use your job posting to evangelize and gain referrals from family, friends, and acquaintances. Whenever you use LinkedIn to recruit talent, make sure the job posting is specific, concise, and direct, and unmissable. As users scroll their timelines quickly, it’s more difficult for your post to be seen than you might assume. Be sure to not only post your opening to your own timeline and your company’s page but also in relevant networking groups on the platform. This will open up even more opportunities for prospects to find your opening. 7. Passive Recruitment It’s possible that you might never land the ideal candidate for your job opening, and this is often because most top talent aren’t active job seekers. Outsourcing your recruitment needs to professional recruiting companies or a headhunter is perhaps the best way to track down the top talent available. While you may not have the time to seek out exactly what your business needs in a new hire, having a trusted recruiter dedicate time to identifying top talent in your industry, building connections, and pitching your employment opportunity can be highly effective. 8. Leverage Video Interviews There are times when schedules simply don’t line up, particularly if you’ve been headhunting top talent that is currently employed or when candidates are relocating. Utilizing video interviewing as a recruitment technique can be highly effective in pre-screening. These automated pre-screening interviews allow candidates to perform interviews on their own time before finally moving on to either in-person interviews or video interviews with management. Ready for a better way to hire?
May 19, 2020
How to Find a Headhunter: 5 Tips to Choose a Recruiter for Your Company
Like any company, you want the best talent within your four walls. Acquiring top talent is no easy feat, though. In a survey of global CEOs, “failure to attract and retain top talent” was the leading issue for organizations. You may not always know where to look, let alone how to persuade highly qualified candidates to join your organization and buy into your vision. This is when you may need to lean on the expertise, experience, and resources of those who are hiring experts. If you really want to identify the top talent—the crème de la crème—in your industry and lure them to your company, you’re going to need the help of a headhunter. Recruiters vs. headhunters: what’s the difference? It’s important to note that, while the terms recruiter and headhunter are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences between the two. It’s true that both have similar roles, yet each has a different focus. A traditional recruiter works for either the company itself or a recruitment agency, and this individual’s goal is to fill open job positions quickly—preferably by the most qualified candidates who are available and are seeking employment opportunities. A headhunter, on the other hand, is a third-party talent-finder who largely performs the same job, but with emphasis on identifying the best possible talent—whether or not that prospect is actively searching for a new job. Passive talent makes up 70% of the global workforce, yet an overwhelming 74% of employees are open to new job opportunities. The headhunter will very strategically initiate a connection or relationship with that prospect, position your company as a potential employment opportunity, and then make an enticing pitch to lure that prospect to your company. Typically, headhunters are deployed to go after one top manager or executive at a time, whereas recruiters are typically hired to fill any positions where there is a need. In other words, every headhunter is a recruiter, but not every recruiter is a headhunter. 5 tips to select a headhunter for your company A great headhunter can be hard to come by. It’s important to look for a few specific attributes and skills before handing the reins over to anyone who is going to represent your company in the job market. 1. Look for experience in your industry. Recruiters are either generalists or specialists. It’s all too common for headhunters and recruiters alike to work with any company, regardless of industry or niche. While your headhunter may have all of the skills needed to attract top talent, a deep understanding of your industry plays an important role. How can your headhunter know exactly what to look for in a potential hire if he or she doesn’t have an understanding of the qualifications and attributes that are most needed for the job? Unlike general recruiters, niche headhunters specialize in a certain field—an industry where they have the experience, as well as access to networks, connections, and resources. You’ll also find that many headhunters even have past career experience in a specific industry, which can often be the difference in whether a candidate considers an opportunity. 2. Look for experience in landing the “big fish.” Today, recruiting talent is harder than ever and it’s critical that you consider your headhunter’s experience and track record in attracting and engaging top talent. If he or she has never successfully landed a big name for another company in your industry, it’s probably best to look elsewhere; when presented with the opportunity to make the pitch to your prospect, your headhunter may not have the skills to bring the opportunity to the finish line. And there’s more at stake here than merely missing out on a new hire. Your business’s reputation and image are on the line, and companies with poor reputations lose 69% of job seekers. A headhunter who uses the spray-and-pray approach to pitching positions can cause you to overexpose your company to the market, leaving a sour taste in prospects’ mouths. Don’t be afraid to ask important questions when discerning whether the headhunter is qualified for the job: What is your successful completion rate? What is your process for attracting top talent? How would you pitch our company to a top-level executive? What is your timeline for getting it done? What is your current workload? Do you have a guarantee period? 3. Look for someone who understands your company’s needs. Even though you may be looking to attract the best possible talent and add them to your team, the most talented executive isn’t always the best fit for your company. There are not only qualifications and skills, but other attributes and intangibles that should be considered when searching for your next hire. 93% of employers regard soft skills as “essential” or “very important” in hiring. It’s up to your headhunter to develop a keen understanding of your company, your values, your culture, hiring timeline and team dynamic, which will allow him or her to discern the perfect fit from a good fit. Keep in mind that the onus is on you to communicate these expectations clearly to your headhunter so that you’re both on the same page and working towards the same outcome. 4. Look for someone with exceptional communication skills. Communication is the key to successfully attracting qualified executives to your company. Without exceptional communication skills, your headhunter will be ineffective. Because the headhunter is the middleman between your company and your prospect, there needs to be seamless communication flowing both ways—to you and your team, as well as to your prospect. Consider a headhunter who is committed to communicating with your candidate throughout the entire hiring process, including onboarding—a stage during which 40% of candidates experience a breakdown in communication. You’ll also want to make sure you communicate clearly with your headhunter. This will have a direct impact on your headhunter’s ability to represent your company fairly and convey your vision effectively. 5. Consider a network-based recruiting agency. When in doubt, consider going with a reputable network-based recruiting company in lieu of an independent headhunter. Particularly in the U.S., which is the largest market for executive search services, recruiting agencies have a balanced mix of recruiters and headhunters on board at their organizations. Choosing a network-based recruiting agency, which taps the networks of hundreds of executives to find your next hire, will help you reach the most qualified candidates and most compatible matches for your company.
May 15, 2020
How Do Recruitment Agencies Work? A Step-by-Step Overview
Hiring is hard work, and for many businesses, it’s becoming increasingly difficult. In early 2020, 54% of businesses reported a lack of unqualified candidates and it’s estimated that the number of unfilled jobs worldwide will reach more than 85 million by 2030. Fortunately, recruiting agencies have the ability to step in and make the entire hiring process significantly easier for businesses of all sizes. What is a recruitment agency? Traditionally, the role of hiring is the employer's responsibility. But hiring is expensive and time-consuming when left in the hands of employers. On average, U.S. employers spend roughly $4,000 and take around 24 days to close out a new hire. Enter the recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies act as the bridge between employers and employees, handling the tasks of identifying top talent, vetting candidates, and presenting the top candidates to clients. Although there are all types of employment agencies that share similarities with recruitment agencies, they are not one and the same. Recruitment agencies place an emphasis on finding talent for permanent positions, including upper-management and executive roles. How a recruitment agency works While services may vary slightly from one agency to the next, most recruiting companies use a similar process. 1. Agreement When your company has decided to work with a particular recruitment agency, you’ll first need to come to an agreement. Of course, you’ll need to agree to payment terms—generally, a retained fee or contingency fee structure. However, you’ll also need to reach terms regarding your expectations for the work. Some recruitment agencies, for example, offer a guarantee period. This all but ensures that you receive a great hire. If your latest hire doesn’t work out during the period set forth, the agency will go back to the drawing board and continue the search for your next hire. 2. Profiling Next, your recruitment agency will meet with you to discuss your hiring needs. Maybe your company needs multiple positions filled. Perhaps you have one critical executive position open. The agency’s goal is to gather as much information as possible so they can identify and attract the best possible candidates for the job. Typically, you’ll provide your agency with a clear job description, a list of requirements, a list of important skills and attributes, as well as any other key criteria. 3. Sourcing The agency will then scour their own database and networks for qualified candidates, and mobilize influencers to reach candidates within their own unique networks and circles. These recruiters are able to work swiftly, taking an average of six seconds to scan a resume. With a list of potential candidates, the agency will then screen these individuals and set up interviews. On average, only 2% of applicants reach interviews. 4. Interviewing The interview process is two-fold. First, the agency will arrange candidate interviews with their agency. This will allow the agency to get a better feel for the candidates and whether they might be good matches for your company (as well as good reflections of the agency). It’s during this process that the agency will brief candidates on your company’s needs, culture, and long-term vision. After using these interviews to narrow the pool of candidates further, your company will be briefed on each candidate and the agency will assist you in arranging final interviews. 51% of recruiters report that three interviews are needed before extending an offer to a candidate. 5. Offer Extension and Negotiation When you identify a candidate you’d like to hire, the recruitment agency can work with you to handle offer and compensation negotiations with the candidate. By taking offer negotiations off your plate, the recruiting agency will save you time and ensure the candidate has a primary point-of-contact throughout their experience. 6. Onboarding Once an offer has been accepted, the agency may assist your company with employee onboarding—an area where only 12% of employees are satisfied with their employers’ efforts. Beyond helping both parties complete the necessary paperwork for employment, the agency will continue to make sure your new hire feels comfortable and excited to join your team! Why should you work with a recruitment agency? There are a host of reasons your company should turn to a recruitment agency for your hiring efforts, but there are three specific areas that stand out. 1. Access to better talent Recruitment agencies have access to larger talent networks. Unlike most employers who only have access to LinkedIn, recruiting agencies lean on multiple sources—including their own platforms, in many cases—to glean as much of the top talent as possible. Not to mention, they are able to mobilize industry connections to get referrals, which are considered to be five times more effective than other sources of hiring. Recruitment agencies aren’t afraid to headhunt for the best candidates either. It’s not uncommon for them to successfully woo top passive talent from other companies. Many of these candidates aren’t found in the average search, as only 30% of the global workforce are active job seekers. 2. Better final candidates and hires Unfortunately, when you pursue the wrong candidate through the hiring process, the perfect candidate you passed up earlier in the process may already be onboarding with your competitor. Worse yet—you might actually go as far as to hire a dishonest candidate without knowing. In a CareerBuilder survey, employers reported that 33% of bad hires were due to candidates lying about their qualifications. Recruiting agencies are hiring experts. Not only do they have more time to vet candidates thoroughly—they also have the experience to better identify red flags. As a result, when a recruitment agency hands over their top finds, you can be certain that you’ll receive properly vetted candidates who meet the criteria you set forth. 3. Save time and money When you handle hiring internally, you can lose time and money on multiple fronts. First, there’s the time spent searching and vetting candidates. A single opening attracts 250 resumes on average. As a business owner or executive, it’s likely that you’re juggling more pressing day-to-day responsibilities and that your time is better spent elsewhere. Even when you hand off hiring duties to another employee, you’re now paying that employee top dollar to find your next hire. You also lose time and money when you make a bad hire. Even putting the lack of productivity aside, there’s the time spent trying to retrain or rehabilitate a bad hire before ultimately parting ways. Not to mention, turnover is costly as well. Data shows that losing a senior or executive level employee costs approximately 213% of that individual’s salary. When you work with a recruitment agency, these concerns become nonissues. It’s incumbent on the agency to find your next great hire—that’s their area of expertise and why you count on them to hire your next top employee. Want hundreds of chief marketing officers to recommend your next marketing hire?
May 14, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Recruiting Agencies
Internal hiring is expensive, labor-intensive, and there's no guarantee that your new employee will succeed. For many businesses, hiring firms are a cost-effective solution to this problem. Recruiting agencies can help minimize your employee's workload and expedite the hiring process. Read on to learn how recruiting agencies work and why choosing one may be the best decision you can make for your company. Why companies partner with recruiting agencies Currently, the average time it takes a company to fill a position is roughly 24 days, 12% longer than the average hiring process time in 2014. Though it isn't exactly clear why it's taking employers longer to hire new staff, we do know that employee turnover is on the rise as well. A study by the research firm LeadershipIQ found that 46% of new employees either quit or are fired within the first year-and-a-half of employment. So why does it take so long to fill these positions and why are companies finding it so hard to keep new hires? Hiring in-house is challenging. Hiring in-house is tremendously time-consuming. You have to draft a job posting, sift through resumes, check references, interview applicants—sometimes 2-3 different times per person—then once you've found a qualified candidate, you can finally proceed with on-boarding. It's difficult to spot the candidate "x-factor" on paper. Finding a competent candidate can be a challenge when the job requires a very specialized skill set. These candidates may have a remarkable resume, but their assets might not align with the position or the company culture. Traits like ambition, teachability, integrity, and dedication aren’t discernible from an application or interview. Accounting for employee turnover. Worker retention is often an issue, especially for start-up companies and small businesses that may experience growing pains. Roughly three million people quit their jobs every month—that’s 2% of the entire workforce. Economic cycles impact hiring needs. Economic cycles play a huge role in a company's staffing needs. Naturally, when production is high, the size of your workforce will need to reflect the demand. In a recession, rates of layoffs and furloughs rise. When the economy takes an upswing, we typically see a sharp increase in the employment rate due to the uptick in supply and demand. Applicants may be untruthful. Unfortunately, applicants aren't always truthful on their resumes. While background and employment history checks are excellent screening tools, you should also be concerned with dishonesty in parts of the resume that you can't fact-check. For instance, a candidate mentions on their resume that they're well-acquainted with a certain software program, but when it's time to use it in the work setting, they're clueless. Training your new hire on prerequisite skills isn’t only aggravating—it’s also time-consuming and costly. Hiring is competitive. Entrepreneurs and small businesses have to compete with larger-scale operations, who often get to cherry-pick top talent. Acquiring an employee from a direct-hire firm comes with its own set of unique challenges. These candidates are in high demand, which means you may have to incentivize the pay to compete with larger corporations. In the US, recruiting agencies fill an average of 16 million positions every year; the majority of these are jobs with large companies. Bad hires happen. Choosing the wrong employee can be detrimental for a company. Studies show that bad hires lower productivity, increase workplace tension, and may even harm the company’s reputation. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, hiring the wrong employee can cost a company upwards of $240,000, plus countless wasted hours screening, hiring, and training that employee and their replacement. It takes companies an average of 17 weeks to recover from a bad hire, between decreased production and finding a replacement. The most common needs for companies hiring new employees are: Experienced and qualified professionals with expertise in that particular field The ability and willingness to commit to a new position Someone who will represent their company in a positive manner Team players Self-motivation A strong cultural fit Drive and ambition Dedication to the mission Stability and longevity The ability to accept and apply constructive criticism Enter the recruiting agency Each day over two million people worldwide are put to work by a recruiting agency. Recruiting agencies can function in many ways; the common denominator being they locate prospective employees, so the employers don't have to invest time and money doing it internally. Besides freeing up time and reducing labor costs, hiring firms allow your business to focus on productivity and let HR to concentrate on core business rather than becoming over-encumbered by candidate screening. Statistics show that hiring firms decrease the likelihood of new hires quitting or being fired, which is why many business owners choose to partner with them. According to the employment research firm LeadershipIQ, there are three main reasons employees don't work out: difficulty accepting constructive criticism, inability to handle emotional stressors, and lack of motivation. An excellent recruiting agency can help your business avoid these liabilities by pre-screening candidates and recommending those with high success rates. Some companies opt for hiring agencies to handle recruitment since they can give them a competitive edge against larger corporations. Recruitment agencies are also a favorite for companies that are experiencing rapid growth or need seasonal or temporary workers since hiring firms can assist in filling many positions quickly or building a pipeline of future talent. Using a recruiting agency vs. hiring in-house Businesses that outsource hiring generally need to find top tier talent fast, something that's tough to do when you're vetting recruits yourself. The interview process alone can take weeks or even months in-house, especially if you're looking to fill specialized positions. Hiring in-house is a significant time investment, requiring a dedicated team with the time and capability to write job descriptions, source, screen, and hire. Internal hiring can create more problems than it solves if hiring managers don't have the skills to source and interview talent successfully . Partnering with an agency creates an extension of your team, without the time investment or overhead costs of internal recruiters. Agencies do all the heavy lifting and have extensive networks they can tap to hire your candidate faster. Some agencies give you the option to be more involved or handle the entire process independently. As an employer, a recruiting firm can help you narrow the candidate pool and allow you to pick recruits from their short-list. Businesses concerned with a high turnover rate often turn to recruiting agencies to help improve their employee retention. Contingency recruiters can be especially helpful in these scenarios since they don't accept payment until the candidate is successfully placed and employed for a specific amount of time. How do recruitment agencies work? A benefit of working with recruitment agencies is that they have an established recruitment process they use for each open position. How do recruitment agencies work? Here's an overview: first, the recruiter will begin by inquiring about the hiring company and the position that needs filling. This will give the agency a clear picture of what the business is looking for in an employee. The recruiter will then discuss the services they offer and explain the fees. After both parties have established their conditions and signed any paperwork, the recruiter will begin searching for your new hire. Through networks and external sources, the recruiter will find job-seekers who fit the build for your position and engage them to see if they are interested in an interview. The interview process varies depending on the agency, but it usually falls into this timeline: Phase 1: The recruiter will engage with the prospective candidate and request a phone interview. Phase 2: If all goes well over the phone, the applicant may proceed to a video interview. Phase 3: The most impressive candidates will be presented to the hiring company who will select candidates for one-on-one meetings with the interview team Phase 4: The hiring company decides on their top picks, and the recruiting agency begins job offer negotiations. What makes a recruiting agency good? There are many recruiting agencies. How do you choose the right one? The top recruiting agencies have the following in common. They take an interest in your company's business goals and culture in order to find the perfect fit for your company. They offer to help you plan for your future hiring needs. They allow you to be as involved in the hiring process as you want to be. They're able to handle your staffing needs independently if you prefer a "hands-off" approach. They carefully screen applicants. They take your concerns and feedback seriously They’re willing to spend as much time as it takes to find a good fit for your business. They use a variety of sources to find and engage top candidates. They can support diversity recruitment initiatives, which are scientifically proven to improve creativity and innovation in the workplace. They find well-matched and highly-qualified candidates. They decrease the odds of ending up with a “bad hire.” They negotiate terms of employment in accordance with your pre-established conditions. They allow your business to use resources more effectively. What can a good recruiting agency do for your business? Recruiting agencies can help businesses of any size maintain productivity and broaden their reach. Small businesses Most small businesses don’t have the people resources to devote to finding, interviewing, and hiring quality candidates. Recruiting agencies fill this gap, working as an extension of the company and operating as the organization’s on-demand recruiting team. Hiring firms can also help small businesses operate according to the equal opportunity guidelines, which eliminates the challenge of staffing a diversified workforce from a limited local recruiting pool. Third-party staffing agencies can give new companies a "leg-up" on finding top tier talent by broadening the companies' outreach. Mid-size businesses A great recruiting agency will create a long-term strategy for your staffing needs and implement this plan as your company grows. For mid-size companies, recruiting agencies are critical to building talent pipelines the company can tap when their next job opens, whether it’s a new position or a result of turnover. Long-term planning and pipelining ensure that mid-size businesses keep their momentum and meet demands. Enterprise businesses Enterprises have a turnover rate of about 10%, meaning a company of 2,000 employees must fill 200 or more positions every year; statistically, this breaks down to over 16 new employees each month. Keeping up with the staffing demand brought about by turnover, while simultaneously hiring for new positions or departments, requires significant investment. Recruiting agencies relieve this strain off of managers and the talent acquisition department. Finding the right recruiting agency for your industry Not sure where to start to engage the right recruiting agency for your business? Try interviewing recruiting agencies just like you would a job applicant. Question the agent about their recruiting tactics and policies. Ask questions such as: What tools and websites do you use to find candidates? How many candidates do you currently have in the agency database? What's the average amount of time it takes to place a candidate? What do you look for in a candidate? Do you have experience recruiting for companies like mine, or in a similar industry? If so, how were you able to meet their particular staffing needs? How much do you involve business owners throughout the hiring process? What are the terms and conditions for the service? How do you calculate fees for your services? When is payment due? Does your agency assist with the on-boarding process? An integral part of finding the right agency for your company is being clear about your expectations. Talk to prospective recruiters about what you expect of them and what they expect of you—this will help you gain a realistic idea of whether that firm can provide the services you need. How do recruiting agencies charge Rather than receiving hourly pay or a salary, companies pay recruiting firms a placement fee when they successfully place a candidate for their business. The cost varies depending on the agency, but generally, placement fees are calculated using a percentage of the candidate's compensation. In many cases, the full fee is only paid if the company hires a candidate the agency identified. The typical percentage range for staffing median salary jobs is between 15% and 25%. An average of 20% may sound like a lot, but a great recruiting agency can save your company money long-term. Recruiting agencies reduce costs by freeing up internal teams to focus on business priorities, placing candidates quickly and matching companies with quality candidates that fit the company culture. Types of recruiting agencies There are several different types of recruitment agencies to meet the needs of hiring companies. Contingency recruiters Contingency recruitment agencies don’t get paid if a company is unable to select a candidate from their pool. Contingency firms have the highest prices among recruiting agencies, mostly because hiring companies are paying for this placement "guarantee." Since contingency firms are often in competition with other recruiters to fill the same job, they try to find a high-quality candidate as fast as possible. Retained recruiters Retained recruiters because they’re paid a retainer, which may be a flat fee or a percentage of the new hire’s salary. Retained recruiters are paid on an ongoing basis throughout the talent search, much like "retainer fees" paid to lawyers. Most retainer firms will ask the hiring company to sign an exclusivity contract, meaning they cannot seek out help from other firms. This type of agency is well-suited for locating talent with a specific skill set and helping fast-growing companies meet ongoing hiring needs. Container recruiters A container firm's policy is similar to that of retained and contingency recruiters, they ask for a portion of their fee at the time of service (the engagement fee), and the rest once they see their placement is successful. This type of service is generally more financially manageable. Staffing agencies Staffing agencies are a popular choice to hire employees for factories and manufacturing plants because they typically offer temporary employment and handle payroll until the candidate receives a permanent position. These agencies usually work with less specialized candidates who are on an hourly, rather than salaried pay. Executive recruiting firms Executive recruiting firms are exclusively used to fill leadership or other high-ranking roles in a company. These positions are difficult to fill for internal hiring teams; it requires a very specific skill set to acquire this type of top-tier talent. Headhunters Typically, headhunters are deployed to go after one top manager or executive at a time, whereas recruiters are typically hired to fill any positions where there is a need. Headhunters very strategically initiate a connection or relationship with a prospect and then make an enticing pitch to lure that prospect to your company. Recruitment methods used by recruiting agencies Recruitment agencies implement many different recruitment methods to locate new talent; below are the most commonly used. Internal candidate databases Recruitment agencies use candidate relationship management systems and internal databases to quickly search hundreds or even thousands of candidate profiles at one time. Hunt Club, for example, has built a candidate database of more than five million candidates, and each candidate profile is enriched with relevant data. Recruiters can specific keywords to pinpoint which candidates will likely be a good match for the job criteria. LinkedIn Recruitment agents spend hours of their workday scouring job postings and professional networking sites for suitable candidates. LinkedIn is a favorite amongst these sites since it allows recruiters to quickly identify and message candidates with the proper background and experience requirements. Professional referrals Recruiters will often reach out to their networks for candidate recommendations. While most recruiters are limited to their personal networks to secure referrals, Hunt Club has an expert network of thousands of business leaders willing to refer top talent. This expert network connects companies to top talent who they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Networking events Recruiters attend networking events like conferences and job fairs to meet top talent in person. Networking can be especially useful for tapping into the passive candidate pool. How to get the most out of your recruiting agency Unlocking the full potential of a recruiting agency will require some effort on your company’s behalf. Below are some tips to help your company fully capitalize on external hiring. Familiarize yourself with the recruiting agency’s services and policies. Make sure you understand all the processes and fees before moving forward. Research several different agencies before committing to a single one. Ask for agency suggestions from fellow business owners. Give feedback—if you don't like how the firm is handling the recruitment process, let them know. They can't resolve an issue they don't know exists. Be clear about your needs. Discuss your company culture and your idea of an ideal employee. List the expertise and qualifications needed for the job. Stick with a single firm. While it might seem like a bright idea to cast a wide net, it may actually work against you, since this can confuse applicants and cause them to turn away. Work in partnership with the recruiting company. Ask lots of questions. Ready to hire the best people for your business?
May 11, 2020
Hunt Club Named to Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2020
For the second consecutive year, we’re honored to share that Hunt Club has been named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the Best Workplaces for 2020. The Inc. Best Workplaces list is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of private American companies that have created exceptional workplaces through vibrant cultures, deep employee engagement, and stellar benefits. Collecting data from more than 3,000 submissions, Inc. singled out 395 finalists for this year’s list. Inc. Best Workplaces “We’re privileged to again be recognized among the nation’s leading companies for our efforts to cultivate an exceptional workplace,” said Nick Cromydas, co-founder and CEO of Hunt Club. “This award is a powerful endorsement of every member of the Hunt Club team—it represents their tireless drive to deliver a remarkable experience for their co-workers, customers and candidates.” Each nominated company took part in an employee survey, on topics including trust, management effectiveness, perks, and confidence in the future. Inc. gathered, analyzed, and audited the data. Then they ranked all the employers using a composite score of survey results. “One of our core values is ‘always care’ and we apply that outlook to everything we do, including how we care for our team,” said Cromydas. “I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a group of more caring, compassionate people under one roof, and it’s an honor to work alongside this team each day.” Hunt Club was founded in 2014 as a new category of search firm, leveraging the professional networks of 10,000 industry leaders to connect companies with highly sought-after talent. Hunt Club has partnered with more than 500 high-growth companies to build their teams. Recently, Hunt Club has also been the recipient of Crain’s Best Places to Work, Crain’s Notable Leaders in HR and Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire. G2 grew their marketing team from 5 to 50 people in a single year.
May 5, 2020
Remote Selling: How to Pivot Sales and Marketing During COVID-19
Face-to-face meetings are no longer an option during the global coronavirus pandemic, which means sales leaders must revamp their tactics for everything from strategy to messaging to the products and services they sell. Now is the time to adapt fast and sales leaders are being pushed to re-think priorities. So, how can you sell in the current uncertain environment? Hunt Club sat down with Aaron Ross, former sales leader at Salesforce, current CEO and founder of Predictable Revenue and best-selling author of Predictable Revenue and From Impossible To Inevitable to learn: Why the current environment pushes us to redefine selling The reason nailing your niche is more important than ever How to find your voice and craft an email prospects will read—even during a pandemic Many sales teams are struggling right now. What creative approaches do you recommend to help these teams survive, if not thrive? Companies need to be prepared to reinvent themselves in small or large ways. For many, this process has already started. Employees are creating new team processes as they work remotely, and businesses are changing how they approach customers. Restaurants, for example, are turning to delivery instead of dine-in. For SaaS businesses, this is a time to go back to the drawing board, and reevaluate all assumptions and goals—including sales quotas. There has been discussion cautioning companies against selling in the current climate. What are your thoughts? This depends on how you define the word sell. Many companies are trying to get their footing in this new environment, and they aren’t going to purchase right now. If budgets are paused, there’s nothing a salesperson can do. Instead, we must redefine selling by devising other ways to help. Sales leaders need to shift and come to the table with a mindset of helpfulness. How can we provide value? Maybe that’s offering a product for free or providing education. Selling right now means helping in anyway you can—whether you get paid or not. What sales tactics do you recommend sales teams leverage in this environment? This is the time to find your voice in a way that stands out. Sales people often sound like every other sales person, which becomes noise that gains no traction. Sales teams can use the following email writing tactics to stand out: Keep emails short and sweet (300-500 characters) Pick one person to write for, even if the email will be sent to multiple people. Writing for a single person helps you focus on writing with your unique voice. After writing, read the email out loud to catch strange phrases or wording. Send the email to yourself to ensure it’s easy to read on your phone. Practice communicating in your own style. You may find that you don’t want to write anymore, and prefer to send videos. Many organizations have large sales teams. How can they pivot the responsibilities of team members during these times? If prospects aren’t buying now, it’s an opportunity to educate this audience for later. During this uncertainty, enable sales people to be educational and relationship-building forces. For example, sales teams can organize meetings with a small group of clients to provide them the opportunity to learn from each other. Sales leaders can also shift to evaluate deeper focus areas, such as examining specific verticals or industries in order to nail a niche. It is critical that sales teams identify the type of company that needs them the most and the problems they can solve. Importantly, this may have changed in recent weeks—whether that’s the type of company that needs you or the services that companies require. Nailing a niche helps cut through the anxiety and fear of the present climate to connect with customers. And whether or not they buy from you, they will learn who you are and what you can offer. What is your advice for sales leaders who have to revamp quotas and plans? The fact is, you can’t forecast anymore. You have to scenario-plan. Sales leaders should look at results over the last week or two weeks. They should ask themselves what they learned and what they can accomplish in the next week. What’s more, things can always change. Even when stability returns, sales leaders shouldn’t assume the worst is over. Be vigilant, keep monitoring and consider how you will pivot if needed. What’s most important is that you have the confidence to endure and a team you can trust—then you can make it through anything. Struggling to sell remotely? About Aaron Ross Aaron Ross, of the award-winning, bestselling book Predictable Revenue, has been teaching companies how to double or triple (or more) new sales since he helped Salesforce add an extra $100M+. Connect with Aaron on LinkedIn.
April 15, 2020
8 Tactics to Find the Right Employees
Employees are the lifeblood of your business, but even in the best of times, it can be a struggle to find the right employees for your workforce. Whether you’re scaling up your company or trying to reduce turnover, finding new employees often means an ongoing hiring process, and it can take months to fill a single open position. Just when you think you’ve filled all of your open roles, you might find that one of your employees isn’t meeting your standards after all. In this post, we’ll show you 8 ways to find good employees that can reduce your rate of turnover and help you choose the right candidates from the start. There’s a difference between finding employees and finding good employees. But first, why is it that some new employees don’t work out? How can you recognize the difference between suitable employees and good employees before you hire them? And is it always the employee’s fault? Or are there things that you could be doing better? There are several reasons why you might be struggling to find good employees: First, you never fire anyone. If the employees you hire sound great on paper, ace their job interviews, and turn up on time for their first day, then maybe the problem isn’t them. It could be your other employees. After all, if you’re hiring someone new to make up for the slack in your workforce, but you don’t let your weak links go, then they’ll pass their bad habits on to your new hires. Retaining under-performing employees sends a signal to your new hires that it’s ok to slack off, show up late, or use poor time management or organizational methods. Next, you aren’t looking for the right skills. While job qualifications are often in the eye of the beholder, there are objective ways to make sure you’re marketing your jobs to the right people. This includes writing accurate job descriptions, being clear on the minimum requirements for the role, and offering appropriate pay and benefits. But it also means letting go of some of your expectations, and trusting new employees to do the job they were hired for. Mismanagement and over-management can happen when you expect your employees to do the job exactly how you would do it. And third, you don’t have a solid network. There’s nothing wrong with hiring people whom you don’t have any mutual connections with, but the power of a referral network can’t be overstated. Candidates with a connection to one of your existing employees take less time to hire and stay in the position longer. Likewise, brands without a website or social media presence can struggle to convey their company’s identity and what it’s really like to work for them. This increases the likelihood of a mismatched fit when you hire new employees. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can overcome these challenges and find employees who aren’t just capable of doing the job -- they excel at it. Here are the eight best ways to find good employees: 1) Use a recruiting service or network One of the best ways to find new employees for your company is by using a recruiting service. Whether you’re trying to fill a highly-specialized role, or a number of mid-level positions all at once, a professional recruiting team can do the work for you. Recruiting services allow you to reach a wider network of candidates, including passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for work but are open to new opportunities. For example, with Hunt Club, you’ll have access to a network of over 1 million qualified candidates vouched for by over 10,000 experts. You’ll be able to tap into a bigger talent pool than you could access through your own professional network. With the Executive search, the team at Hunt Club will pre-screen and narrow down your list of candidates to 5-7, so you’ll only have to interview the most qualified applicants. With the Pipeline service, you can get a head-start on future hires as you scale up your team, no matter how many new employees you need to add. 2) Spread the word on social media Social media isn’t a quick fix, but it can play a big part in your ongoing hiring process. If you build up a social media presence before you need to hire, it’ll be easier to get your job postings seen by the right people. That’s because the shareable nature of social media posts makes it easy for employees and fans of your brand to share them with each other. Using social media can also help you build a workplace culture and show prospective employees what it’s really like to work at your company. In the Internet age, companies without a social media presence can come across as sketchy and secretive, and less pleasant to work for. But posts that feature happy employees and comfortable workspaces offer social proof that your company takes care of its employees. Additionally, social media followers who read your blog and engage with your posts are likely to be well-informed about your product or service. They often make a great fit for sales and customer support roles that require in-depth product knowledge. 3) Post your openings on the right job boards Finding good employees means getting your posts seen by the right people, and relying on your social media followers and employees to get the word out isn’t always enough. In that case, you can turn to specialized job boards that get your posts seen by the right audience, rather than the largest possible audience. For example, you can find job boards related to specific industries, such as health care or engineering, as well as job boards for temporary, seasonal, or remote workers. Many of these sites send out recommended job openings to newsletter subscribers, helping you reach passive candidates who aren’t actively browsing. If you do post on more generic job boards like Indeed, write accurate descriptions with industry-specific job titles that will show up properly in job searches. Often, unqualified applicants will apply for a job simply because they don’t realize that a specific job title refers to an advanced role in your industry. Descriptive posts with detailed job descriptions reduce the confusion, and cut down on the number of applicants who apply on a whim. 4) Create a “Careers” page on your website One of the most important tools in your search for new employees is your own company website. A “Jobs” or “Careers” page is the first place that anyone who wants to work for you will look to find out about upcoming job openings. Use search-friendly keywords that make it easy for jobseekers to find you, and create a newsletter that fans of your company can sign up for to receive updates. Don’t underestimate how proactive job seekers can be when your company has built up a reputation as being a good place to work for. If you don’t post job listings on your website, then these jobseekers may still email you anyway to inquire about any openings. Cut down on unsolicited messages by ensuring they know what jobs are available before they reach out to you. In addition, you can create an internal “Careers” page that’s accessible only to existing employees to give them the first chance at applying to new positions. 5) Tap into unconventional workforces Many hiring managers have a very narrow idea of what counts as a qualified candidate. In some cases, these concerns might be sexist or ageist, but in other cases they come down to genuine concerns, such as that a candidate has gaps in their resume because they took time off of work for personal reasons or switched careers. These unconventional applicants may in fact have underappreciated skills that would be a benefit to your company. Solopreneurs may have less workplace experience, but they know how to adapt to a changing industry and be their own boss. Along the same lines, stay-at-home parents returning to the workforce or middle-aged workers changing career paths can make great employees if you’re willing to accept a reference from many years ago or from their boss in another industry. GenX women, for example, often have advanced degrees, and can adapt to new roles in industries where qualified millennial workers are in short supply. 6) Turn to your existing networks When it comes to spreading the word about new job openings, you can create a referral program that goes beyond your existing employees. Your program can include external partners, such as alumni, vendors, and even customers. This is sometimes referred to as an external referral program or a non-employee referral program (NERP). As with an internal program, you can use an online tool to track applicants and keep the person who referred them updated on the status of the candidate. You can provide a reward for a successful hire that’s proportional to the job. Since the pool is larger, you’re likely to receive referrals for a diverse set of applicants, and can tap into the networks that former employees have at their new jobs. 7) Focus on perks and benefits Workplace benefits have changed a lot over the past few decades, and it can be hard to keep pace with what kinds of benefits today’s jobseekers expect from their employers. While health insurance and paid time off are still standard offerings, you can get creative with your benefits to appeal to a particular workforce. For example, up to 45% of employees report that student loan repayment programs are one of their most-wanted benefits. Go beyond free lunches and gym memberships by providing benefits that really make your company stand out. Companies that offer unique benefits and a positive work environment are referred to as “employers of choice,” and have an easier time attracting good employees. 8) Recruit at in-person (and virtual) events Finally, use in-person events to build on your existing networks and create new ones. If your company hosts any meetups or social events, use them as an opportunity to meet potential employees in-person even before the hiring process begins. Keep an eye out for talented participants who understand how to use your product and can easily converse about your product or industry. Other opportunities for in-person networking events are at conferences, job fairs, and student groups at universities. You can also host an open house, in which prospective hires visit your workplace in person and meet with your current employees. These ideas offer low-pressure ways for you to get a feel for the candidate pool in your area, and find out what job seekers are looking for in a workplace. If in-person events aren’t an option -- for example, your team works remotely -- host a virtual event online, such as a Q&A session or webinar. How Hunt Club Can Help These are just a few ways to find good employees that can complement more traditional methods, such as paid job ads and internal referral networks. But there’s no replacement for the expanded networks and expertise that a professional recruiter can bring to the hiring process. If you’re still looking for ways to increase your candidate pool or improve the quality of your applicants, reach out to Hunt Club to find out how we can help today!
April 14, 2020
Best Practices to Virtually Onboard New Employees
One of the primary goals of employee onboarding is to help new hires acclimate to the social and professional work environment so that they can quickly feel comfortable in their role and as part of the company’s culture. However, in a virtual setting, how can HR and hiring teams ensure they are delivering exceptional employee and candidate experiences throughout the hiring and onboarding process? According to Talent Management & HR the reality is the first day on the job is the start of a relationship. If this was the first date, there would be planning, primping, and efforts to put your best foot forward. First impressions matter: welcoming your new employees in-person makes it easy to answer questions, meet team members, and get a sense of how they’ll all interact with each other. But leaders, and the new faces they bring in, have a new normal as COVID-19 has forced many employees to work at home. As more companies are forced to turn to remote work, they face the uncharted challenge of creating an employee onboarding process that accomplishes this goal, but now, virtually. If you’re still hiring in the midst of the pandemic, which many companies are, you will need a new strategy–from recruiting in a virtual environment to where you are looking and finding talent, to the screening and interview process and most importantly, onboarding. Key insights in the post include: What is a virtual employee onboarding process Challenges with onboarding new hires, virtually Best practices to lead a successful remote onboarding experience Onboarding new employees virtually? Let Hunt Club help you setup your processes. What is a virtual employee onboarding process As mentioned, employee onboarding all about helping your new hires acclimate to the social and professional work environment so that they can quickly feel comfortable in their role and as part of the company’s culture. It’s also a process to help engage and retain new faces of your workforce. Culture, processes, traditions, and just how things get done is different across all companies and industries. When everyone is working together in-office, it might be easier for new faces to feel or sense this. But, virtually, it’s easy to think this might get lost. It isn’t a one-day or one-week affair either. It’s ongoing, often for weeks and months after an employee starts. Today, with both federal and state-wide “shelter-in-place” mandates in full effect, this leaves businesses with no other choice than to help their new hires ramp up, virtually. For many businesses that haven’t previously embraced remote work, this can be a challenge. Challenges with onboarding new hires, virtually Luckily, technology has made this pivot a lot easier than ever to stay connected with your team and provides infinite access to information and a lot of what’s needed to get your job done. There are still significant challenges that might occur: Challenge 1: Your virtual onboarding processes might not exist As much as we’d like to believe, not every company is equipped to enable their employees to work in remote settings, let alone, hire them in the environment. Everything from sourcing talent to vetting to onboarding, a very crucial thing to get right, is difficult when there aren’t set processes in place. Challenge 2: You’re not doing anything in-person or face-to-face. With recruiting candidates still very much high on the agenda in several industries, it’s not a far-fetched idea to wonder how hiring teams can conduct business as usual when everyone is forced to work six feet away from each other, or in a virtual setting. Be mindful that it can be difficult for remote workers to adjust to the company’s culture and environment and gain the knowledge and tools needed in order to get things done at the company, when they don’t have colleagues within arms-reach to talk with. Challenge 3: Might not have the right technology or be tech-savvy. Your teams require different options for communication and have varying collaboration needs when working remotely. You’ll have to consider using video conferencing for stand-ups, one-on-one meetings, client and customer interactions, and anything else where it might be important to be face-to-face and have the ability to be present and close in proximity. The good news is there are a lot of teams feeling more engaged with this type of setup. While much of the hiring process is now changed for the unforseeable future, fortunately, much of the recruitment process has already been virtual for some time. When it comes to recruiting strategies, most aspects of the process can be done virtual - from sourcing and screening candidates, video interviews and follow-ups via call or text. But, what do you do now when you’re ready to onboard new employees. Is this the end of face to face onboarding? No, however as we navigate this new environment we need to be prepared to have the entire recruitment process in a virtual setting including onboarding your new hires. According to Fast Company onboarding is about bonding and managing emotions day- to-day, and when you're dealing with working remotely, it creates a challenge. Fast Company goes on to share that helping someone feel part of the team comes down to clear information, clear directives, and strong leadership. How do you help new employees feel immersed with the business and culture and feel like they are immediately part of the team? How do you rework your onboarding and training process? How do you keep new employees engaged and focused during this period? What tools should you be using to delegate and manage tasks across teams? Onboarding new employees virtually? Find out how Hunt Club can help. Four best practices to lead a successful remote onboarding experience There are several ways to make this a positive experience and to get your employees acclimated fast to a remote working environment, even your new employees who started their first day on the job remotely. Increase Face-to-Face Connections & Interactions. Due to COVID-19 you likely can’t bring your new employees to the office for the first week or orientation and onboarding. But there are several tools to use to stay engaged and connected during this time. Video conferencing and internal messaging software are great to use as you introduce your new hires to coworkers and to stay engaged throughout the onboarding process. This allows new hires to feel more comfortable and engaged with their coworkers. Set a schedule and expectations early. Outline a firm process and schedule for onboarding and stick with it. Set proper expectations from the beginning so new hires will have a clear picture and understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and what success in your company looks like. Also, make sure your new hires understand the tasks, systems, and software they will be using. Make sure training is in place for these systems and share all resources that are needed for their job, such as upcoming projects, organizational leaders and access to shared resources. Be transparent and communicate as often as needed in the beginning. Foster culture and go the extra mile. Fostering a strong sense of culture and communicating it is critical in virtual settings. Go the extra mile when onboarding new employees - emerge them into your company environment and culture right away. Working remotely can be a challenge right now, so you need to go out of your way to make sure your new hires feel comfortable and engaged. It’s important that new hires feel a part of the team from the very beginning and can start contributing right away. Keep refining the onboarding process. Now is the time to continue to refine and evolve your onboarding process, especially if your teams will be remote for some time. Learn from these experiences and continue to make it better and better. Find out what is working well for onboarding remote workers by consulting those who have had similar experiences. Ask your new employees what they thought of your virtual onboarding process, the value they got from it, and what could you do to make it better. There are great resources out there on virtual onboarding for new hires and checklists for planning their first week. You'll need to work with your managers to hyper-plan their first 5 days as they won't have colleagues around to point them in the right direction. Onboarding new employees is always important but remote hires have some challenges and require more to get the same result. Use video conferencing as much as you can, schedule frequent 1:1s, and stay engaged with your new remote hires as much as possible. Making these hires feel welcome, engaged, and part of the team is critical in this environment. At Hunt Club, we have a dedicated team to help teams navigate the process, and we are here to help you through it. You can find more in-depth resources on best practices around virtual recruiting, onboarding, and how to plan for the next quarter from a talent perspective, with our dedicated resource center: huntclub.com/blog/covid-19. Or, contact us here so we can assist you in all the ambiguity happening in the environment today.
April 2, 2020
Checklist: Empower Your Team to Master Remote Work
With an enforced shelter in place through April, many companies have required employees to work from their homes. Pre-coronavirus, close to a quarter of the U.S. workforce had already worked from home. However, for the remaining, new policies have separated employees and managers from each other for the first time. In times of crisis and changing circumstances, it’s not always feasible to have clear remote-work policies and training in advance. With all the other things going on, it’s just not feasible. Even when there’s little to no time to prepare, there are fortunately, specific steps leaders and managers can take to improve productivity, collaboration, and culture of remote workers. As companies move away from embracing work face-to-face, it’s also time to help strengthen the skills necessary for working remotely. Key insights in this checklist include: Challenges of working remotely Skills to help your team master and the positives of remote work Tools to be successful Download the "How to Help Your Team Develop the Essential Skills to Work Remotely" Checklist
April 1, 2020
Adam Weber on Adapting and Working in a Remote Environment
This week, we had the opportunity to present a webinar episode titled Varsity Tutors’ CMO Adam Weber Shares How to React During A Crisis. This episode is part two of our ongoing series, Changing the Game: Talent, Tech and Growth. Our Co-founder & CEO, Nick Cromydas talked with Adam Weber, CMO of Varsity Tutors, covering business leader’s reactions in a crisis, connectivity, and remote work’s massive upgrade and finally how to navigate the new work-from-home reality and parenting in the age of COVID-19. In short, this webinar covered fundamentals for every startup and business leader to learn from. To give you a glimpse, here are the key takeaways from the webinar. Click here to view the webinar recording 1. What was your favorite part of the hiring journey at Dollar Shave Club? I was at Dollar Shave Club for five years. When I left we had 30-40 folks on our marketing team, and our focus spanned from customer acquisition to performance. We even had our own creative agency in house and launched over 40 products in the time I was there. My favorite part of the journey was getting to do a little bit of everything and building the team across different verticals. I believe in the power of “left and right brain marketing” and the team allowed me to do both and float in between. 2. At Dollar Shave Club, what were some of the mistakes you made with your team and what did you get right? We made a lot of mistakes. When you’re growing a business model that hasn’t existed, there isn’t a playbook and you can’t look at an org chart for answers. When you’re moving fast there isn’t time to strategically think. The biggest mistake we made was with figuring out how to organize our teammates, how to hire them in the right order, and how to empower them and fuel their passion. But the best decision we made when building our team was taking someone who’s been with us for a while, groom, and promote them from within or some times coupled them with outsiders. Missed the webinar? Click here to view the recording 3. Let’s talk about the world of work right now. Coronavirus has obviously drastically changed how businesses and teams work–potentially forever. We’re understanding how to react to a crisis, when to do it, and how to pivot. What’s your biggest piece of advice for business leaders who are in a position to take action? Storms are inevitable. Sometimes, as a business, you have to get your hands dirty, get in there and fight it out. It also means sometimes you have to be aggressive with your strategy and should never need to apologize to your customers or the industry for taking action. Weather the storm with the right foundation and the right team, and you’ll come out stronger at the end of it. 4. What are your thoughts on remote work now and for the future? Remote work just got a massive upgrade. Many businesses have dipped a toe in the remote work waters–allowing employees to work one or two days a week from home. Now everyone has been forced in at once. Pre-coronavirus, you realize how impersonal it is to have a video connection when everyone else is in the office, but when everyone’s working virtual, you realize it’s actually better. The conversations with your teams are better. We’ll see it transition this way for a lot of companies who choose to go remote or partial remote. This is great because, for the future of work, it unlocks human capital resources. You also realize that culture can be built digitally and you don’t need to cram people in a small office to do great work. 5. What are your tips for balancing work and parenting? The Coronavirus is creating a massive and stressful experiment in working from home, and American parents now have the most distracting coworkers (their kids). With the sudden shift into work from home and at-home education, and as schools around the country prepare for the possibility that they will be closed into 2021, many parents and families are left with many important questions and a lack of resources. Parents are struggling right now. For businesses, it’s imperative to be flexible and be open to fluctuating work hours. Realize that your employees who are parents need to work from 10 am and 7 pm because they are being asked to parent and teach their kids for the next few months. Missed our webinar? Click here to see the recording Wrap up This was a great webinar that offered a generous amount of information for business leaders, workers and parents to navigate the new normal of business. If you weren’t able to attend but would like to see the recording, sign up to see the video here. About Adam Weber Best known for his time at Dollar Shave Club, the first disruptor to the men’s shaving industry, former Chief Marketing Officer, Adam Weber helped lead the company to a $1 billion exit to Unilever. He is the king of disruption. He has a habit of proving that digital strategy and agility can provide an exceptional experience in traditional industries who may now be facing incredible disruption without a plan. For over ten years, Varsity Tutors has been the leader in supplemental education. Today, Adam and his team are helping hundreds of thousands of students achieve their learning goals, and have facilitated over 4.5 million hours of live instruction. About Nick Cromydas Nick Cromydas is co-founder and CEO of Hunt Club, a referral-based technology talent company, founded in 2014 and based in Chicago. Nick has spent the last five years running Hunt Club, primarily focused on the development of the company leadership team, strategic selling and business development, public relations, and the overall strategy and vision for the company. He’s also the founder of New Coast Ventures, a Chicago-based digital innovation agency focused on a combination of creative and venture capital funds and has made over 40+ startup investments. In 2020, Nick was ranked on Crain’s Most Innovative Leaders in HR. In 2016, Nick was ranked on the Forbes 30 under 30 Marketing & Advertising list. Prior to this, Nick was an investor and advisor to multiple companies at various stages.
March 31, 2020
How to Help Employees Navigate Uncertainty in a Remote Environment
As COVID-19 continues to grip economies across the world, employees are left uncertain to what their near and longterm future holds. As the global spread of the virus continues to keep people in their homes, business leaders are working to help their teams virtually. Learn four best practices to help your employees thrive in this setting, with our free guide. You'll learn how to: Help your teams cope in times of uncertainty Foster open communications in a virtual setting Encourage growth within your teams Download the "How to Help Employees Navigate Uncertainty in a Remote Environment" checklist
March 31, 2020
4 Best Practices for Remote Recruiting
The global spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is keeping people at home. With the federal "shelter-in-place" mandate just extended through the month of April, most businesses are requiring employees to work from home for an indeterminate amount of time. Download the "4 Best Practices for Remote Recruiting" checklist With recruiting, you’re in the business of people. You might be wondering how to conduct business as usual, and recruit when everyone is forced to work in a virtual setting? Fortunately, a lot of the recruitment process is already virtual from phone and video calls to online screens to engaging with candidates via email or text. Download this free checklist and learn: Everyday tips to help adapt to a new work situation How to recruit while working outside of an office Four steps to add to your recruiting processes Download the "4 Best Practices for Remote Recruiting" checklist
March 31, 2020
How to Help Your Team Develop the Essential Skills to Work Remotely
As several states’ governments enforce shelter in place mandates across their states, and in response to the uncertainties presented by COVID-19, many companies have required employees to work from their homes. Pre-pandemic, close to a quarter of the U.S. workforce had already worked from home. However, for the remaining, new policies have separated employees and managers from each other for the first time. In times of crisis and changing circumstances, it’s not always feasible to have clear remote-work policies and training in advance. With all the other things going on, it’s just not feasible. Even when there’s little to no time to prepare, there are fortunately, specific steps leaders and managers can take to improve productivity, collaboration, and culture of remote workers. As companies move away from embracing work face-to-face, it’s also time to help strengthen the skills necessary for working remotely. Key insights in this post include: Challenges of working remotely Skills to help your team master and the positives of remote work Tools to be successful Common challenges of working remotely Work from home opportunities and flex-schedules is a benefit many employees look for. According to research by Buffer, 99% of respondents said they would prefer to telecommute at least some of the time. More and more brands are accepting of a remote lifestyle for their employees, and hiring managers predict that, in the next 10 years, 38% of the U.S. workforce will work from home. More professionals are looking for the flexibility of working from anywhere. With all the technological advances available, fewer people feel the need to confine themselves to a desk in an office. While the flexibility of working from home offers their employees many benefits, leaders and managers should consider the factors that can make working remote challenging for employees–whether they are used to working in the setting or it’s their first time. Here are some common challenges to consider: Lack of supervision. Leaders and managers worry about their employees not working hard enough. Sometimes leadership isn’t familiar with working remotely. How do you ensure teams are being productive without micromanaging? How many meetings are necessary? Some employees thrive without constant supervision and are self-motivated. Others might not feel supported or that they have access to their managers when needed. Distractions at home. With the sudden transition to work from home, parents today are suddenly working, parenting, and teaching. Today parents have the most difficult coworkers: their children. Mental health and self-isolation. Loneliness is a top concern for employees and when working alone for long periods of time can cause employees to lose their sense of belonging. Access to information. Even with today’s top collaboration tools like Google Docs, Zoom, Slack, it’s easy to feel like you’re not giving employees access to information and employees feel like they aren’t getting it when it’s needed. Sometimes getting answers to questions in a timely manner feels like a huge obstacle when working remotely. How to help your teams develop the skills to work remotely As much as working offsite can have its challenges, it also presents incredible opportunities for growth and professional development, thereby, helping to contribute to your organization’s success. And, as a leader or manager, there are critical steps you can take to help smooth over a transition in organizations that aren’t familiar with working remotely. You can also help guide your employees to take the right steps to develop better phone skills, web skills, and using digital tools for collaboration, interviewing and more. In other words, you can help them develop the essential skills needed to do it successfully. Help your employees foster the right mindset and environment It might sound surprising but it’s easy to overlook the importance of developing the right frame of mind to work in a home setting. And, with many new “shelters-in-place” mandates sweeping across cities, employees are also adapting to working from home for undetermined amounts of time. Leaders can help their employees find that sweet spot where they are putting in enough hours doing work and staying away from it. This balance is essential because it can become very easy to work all the time when there isn’t work and office separation. As a leader, holding a quick one-on-one check-in when the beginning of the work from home requirement goes into effect, to clearly communicate what you expect during this time, will help your employee out. Be clear what work or updates can be conducted via email or outline for urgent requests, you prefer they use Slack or a Skype message. This removes any ambiguity that they need to be working with one tool and that everything is urgent because they’re offsite. Provide different tool options for open communication and collaboration Establishing a routine or a structured set of daily check-ins will help your employees feel connected and in-tune with you, the team, and in the greater organization. Second, give your team options for different communication and collaboration needs. Consider using video conferencing for stand-ups, one-on-one meetings, client and customer interaction, or anything where it might be important to be able to read someone’s facial cues. Tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts are great for this. For the times where quicker collaboration is necessary–think sales decks, marketing collateral production, or code development–text-based, mobile tools are great for moving projects along, and there’s a nice digital paper trail to reference as needed. Slack, JIRA or Trello are excellent tools to accomplish this. Encourage additional learning and professional development Along with sudden changes in how we work, it’s likely your employees may not be doing the exact role as before. Whether it’s due to temporary personnel cuts or pivots in your business, remote working allows for space to learn new skills. Fortunately, several universities and business groups are offering courses either for free or at reduced pricing, all that weren’t available pre-Coronavirus. Everything from Photoshop to Sprout Social and HubSpot, there are endless courses on Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, or General Assembly for your employees to consider. Encourage your team to carve out time for learning throughout the day. Identify their professional interests and align them with new gaps in your team or business. Productivity is important but so is social interaction Lastly, and importantly, create space for interaction outside of work. In a recent study by Stanford University, researchers found that when employees worked from home, their productivity dramatically increased. The time they usually spent chatting with co-workers, commuting to and from work, and taking breaks was now used to complete full workdays. However, without a line between office and home, it’s easy to dedicate all of your time to work. For some people, working from home can put their mental health at risk, causing feelings of isolation and disconnection. When you don’t have an office to show up to, you miss out on opportunities for regular social interaction and connection with co-workers. In meetings, dedicate the first five or 10 minutes to connect socially with your team. It might seem elementary but asking how they’re doing or what they’re looking forward to once the pandemic is over, goes a long way. For teams, consider hosting weekly virtual happy hours, game nights or dinners until the Coronavirus crisis subsides. Or schedule a night to take an online workout class together. Coming up with activities help foster inclusiveness and belonging within your teams, and help fight isolating feelings. In the end Research from Wharton School of Business shows that “Employees are not emotional islands. Rather, they continuously spread their own moods and receive and are influenced by others' moods.” In times of sudden changes in work and in situations that have the potential to cause emotional distress, employees look to their leaders for guidance. Showing support for their emotions while providing reassurance in the form of “togetherness” is key to keep morale up, productivity churning, and keep the business on the upswing. If you need help building and how you think about your team in the next quarter, we have a dedicated team who can assist. Get in touch here and be sure to check out of our other resources on COVID-19 at huntclub.com/resources/covid-19.
March 23, 2020
Helping Employees Navigate Career Growth During a Pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic might just be the biggest threat to employees, businesses, and the global economy. Nearly 80 million jobs in the U.S. economy are at high or moderate risk today, according to the latest analysis by Moody's Analytics. That is more than half of the 153 million jobs in the economy. As the pandemic continues to grip economies across the world, businesses and their employees are left uncertain what their near and long-term future holds. In tandem, the pandemic is spurring positive opportunities across several industries and has also forever changed how we think and operate in a remote setting. As a business owner, helping out your existing team and new employees who are onboarding in the near-term, doing it in a virtual setting is now the norm. Ensuring that you are delivering an exceptional candidate experience throughout every step is more critical than ever, and as you may be called on to help employees navigate their (likely) altered career paths in the Coronavirus era. At Hunt Club, we have a dedicated team to help navigate the process, and we understand you might not be too familiar with how to handle this while working outside of an office. We’re offering recruiting and hiring teams a set of comprehensive guides and resources to help you work through this time of uncertainty and deliver an exceptional experience throughout your newly reshaped hiring process. Key insights of this first blog post in our “Navigating Virtual Recruitment Series” include: What is the Coronavirus’s impact on hiring? What are some virtual recruiting and hiring best practices for businesses? What opportunities can come out of this situation? How can you help employees and candidates navigate career growth What is the Coronavirus’s impact on hiring? Economists, critics and advisors state the Coronavirus pandemic might just be the biggest threat to employees, businesses and the global economy. Nearly 80 million jobs in the U.S. economy are at high or moderate risk today, according to the latest analysis by Moody's Analytics. That is more than half of the 153 million jobs in the economy that are at risk for layoffs, furloughs, fewer hours or wage cuts. As the pandemic continues to grip economies across the world, it leaves a few industries untouched by the fallout and is creating massive shifts not only for the workforce but also for how leaders conduct their hiring and recruitment processes. On one side, companies in retail, education, and financial industries have been hit the hardest, moving to freeze hiring altogether until the economic impact of the virus is certain. On the flip side, there are positive opportunities emerging for companies in healthcare, food services, and fulfillment who are hiring by the hundreds of thousands and who continue to recruit in a bid to prevent a business slowdown. For instance, the virus pandemic is also sparking demand for many new professions–from the executive to ground-floor levels–around or related to infectious diseases, according to jobs site Glassdoor, which has recorded a more than doubling of job postings with keywords related to coronavirus this month, particularly within the government, healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceuticals. Glassdoor goes on to share that “despite the economic uncertainty that the pandemic has ushered in for some types of jobs, the medical field is experiencing high volume hiring . . . as the number of people working from home mounts in the coming days, you may also find open roles like caregiver to seniors or children; likewise, food or grocery delivery services stand to experience growth.” And, today’s situation has almost all businesses figuring out how to adjust to a new virtual work situation with their peers, colleagues and new recruits. So, how do you navigate a work from home strategy and process overnight? Let’s dig in. Remote recruiting and best practices for virtual interviews The most unprecedented shift in how we think about conducting business moving forward is in remote or virtual work. Seemingly overnight, we’ve managed to turn the idea of remote work on its head, reshaping how we put it into practice. When it comes to recruiting and hiring, virtual transformation is a hot topic in the recruitment and HR landscape, with video at the forefront. Video is driving most processes now– from running virtual interviews, to “meeting” teams, to onboarding new employees. Virtual recruiting While much of the hiring process is now changed for the unforeseeable future, fortunately, much of the recruitment process has already been virtual for some time–from phone and video calls to online screens to engaging with candidates via email or text. With recruiting candidates still very much high on the agenda in several industries, it’s not a far-fetched idea to wonder how hiring teams can conduct business as usual when everyone is forced to work six feet away from each other, or in a virtual setting. Recruitment has already been set up to be virtual. The biggest piece to recruiting remotely is video interviewing. It is now a critical skill to master and companies are adopting it fast. For instance, just this week, we’ve seen Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others who are among the global companies announcing they will move to online or digital interview tactics are part of their recruitment strategies for at least the near-term future. According to CNBC, “the move is not unprecedented. In addition to a general uptick in video interviews over recent years, thanks to advances in technology, previous periods of economic and social duress have prompted a spike in remote hiring, for instance during the 2008 global financial crisis.” They go on to say that “Many who are used to in-person interviews will have to switch to virtual screening processes for the first time and figure out new ways to best convey themselves and their companies online.” And, it’s true. Video interviews help foster faster-recruiting processes; you can stagger them throughout the day, and with most of the population working away from the office, consider that video interviews can happen at any time of day when it’s convenient for all parties. When it comes to video interviewing candidates, here are a few questions to ask to set your team up for success: Are you creating a comfortable environment for yourself and for the candidate you’re interviewing? Will your backdrop and setting make it easy for the candidate to present their best self? Are you representing your business in the best light while on camera? Virtual collaboration Virtual collaboration is working together as a team using digital tools to accomplish tasks and solve problems. In virtual collaboration, think about how you can leverage the power of video technology to stay connected with your team. To keep team morale and productivity up, businesses need to use tools to band together. If you aren’t using them already, tools like Slack, Zoom, Discord or Microsoft Teams will keep you plugged in with your teams and help keep your business organized when hiring. But successful virtual collaboration is also about the team itself. With today’s uncertainty, your team could be feeling more pressure, fear and stress. Some best practices might be: Assigning manager or peer 1-1 sessions weekly or daily? Is your team’s new workplaces set up for success? If needed, have you provided tools like keyboards, mice, laptops, monitors for your employees to do their work remotely? Are there go-to guides or downloadable resources for how to collaborate virtually? Two examples why that matters: Teamwork. When not working face-to-face, it’s easier for actions, words and ideas to be taken the wrong way. It’s even more so important to be sensitive and mindful about this in a virtual setting. While kindness and civility seem like givens, it should be clearly communicated. Productivity. In meetings, is everyone clear how to assign and follow up on tasks? If not, nothing will kill your team’s productivity and output faster in a virtual setting. Making sure you have clear guidelines on how to conduct meetings, and assign action items, will help ensure your virtual collaboration meetings are productive and have a plan. Virtual onboarding And now, perhaps the biggest shift in how businesses manage people and guide employees is when it comes to onboarding. In a virtual setting, how can HR and hiring teams ensure they are, one, delivering exceptional employee and candidate experiences throughout the recruiting and hiring processes? And, two, how can businesses help navigate career paths and conceptualize growth for their existing teams in the Coronavirus era? First impressions matter and when virtually onboarding new employees, it’s critical to ensure you can deliver an exceptional candidate experience every step of the way. A good process includes these steps: Understanding your employee. Know your audience, and understand what they need as they get started. Then determine how to deliver on that by setting them up with all the digital tools (Google Drive links, Dropbox, links to who the other person on the hangout or phone is. LinkedIn makes this seamless. Setting a schedule and expectations. Outline a firm process and schedule for onboarding, and stick with it. Set expectations–whether it’s setting a communication cadence or frequency–state that upfront. Transparency in all communication is key as is ensuring you do your part to follow up when you say you will. Foster culture. Fostering a strong sense of culture and communicating it is critical in virtual settings. Consider revamping your onboarding package to include livestream welcome videos, GIFs–anything that adds a human or personal connection. Build relationships. Most importantly, however, with the tools available to help with several aspects of recruiting, focusing on building relationships is still very much a critical thing to get right–even more so when you aren’t working face-to-face with candidates. Consider how you can be there for your team and position yourself as a true resource when working away from one another. How to help employees and candidates navigate career growth As the global spread of the virus continues to keep people in their homes., when it comes to a business and its employees, what does career growth look like now in our new economy? Helping your teams cope with the uncertainty ahead makes an already challenging time more stressful–whether you’ve had to cut staff, put hiring or employee hours on hold or are now thinking of how to integrate new employees to your team. While there is an economic slowdown, you can help your employees through this by being open and transparent in all your communication, and be sure to encourage open dialogue within your teams. If work is slow, it’s a great opportunity to dive into new skills sets, take online courses, or help out other departments and teams that may need it. And, if you have to let employees go, this Forbes piece outlines four key areas you can help guide them on to help them think about navigating their career moving forward: Encourage them to work on their personal brand Reassure them it’s OK to reevaluate their career Provide resources for their job search Give them tools to prepare for virtual interviews and job hunting Our world is changing in a big way At Hunt Club, we have a dedicated team to help teams navigate the process, and we are here to help you through it. You can find more in-depth resources on best practices around virtual recruiting, onboarding, and how to plan for the next quarter from a talent perspective, with our dedicated resource center: huntclub.com/blog/covid-19. Or, contact us here so we can assist you in all the ambiguity happening in the environment today.
March 23, 2020
Navigating Virtual Recruitment Series
Our world is changing in a very big way. It’s overwhelming to keep up with the changes happening on a global scale and in our individual workplaces. As work-from-home flexibility and remote work develops into the new norm for many businesses and in the wake of coronavirus and pandemic concerns, knowing how to drive hiring forward can be confusing. And as the global spread of the virus continues to keep people in their homes, what does recruiting and hiring look like now in our new economy? We’re here to help Hunt Club is experienced working with remote companies and we’ve been doing it ourselves. We’ve accumulated some best practices on how to hire remotely and how to best leverage your remote executives and teams. Here, we have a dedicated team to help teams navigate the process, and we are here to help you through it. Whether it’s sourcing talent, screening, interviewing and onboarding–we can help as your point person. Hunt Club is not your traditional recruitment firm. We know how to scale fast and leverage the best relationships in the industry to find companies the best talent. In our new series, “Navigating Virtual Recruitment”, we’ll cover key topics impacting and shifting the way you recruit, hire and retain talent in this new era. As the days and weeks progress, you can find more in-depth resources on best practices around virtual recruiting, onboarding, and how to plan for the next quarter from a talent perspective, with our dedicated resource center. Get in touch Helping your teams cope with the uncertainty ahead makes an already challenging time more stressful–whether you’ve had to cut staff, put hiring or employee hours on hold or are now thinking of how to integrate new employees to your team. If we can help you with best practices on virtual recruiting, how to build up your talent for the next quarter or help current employees find a great new job, we’re here for you. Contact us here and our dedicated team will do whatever it takes to help.
March 23, 2020
How to Recruit Remotely
The global spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is keeping people at home. Major conferences like Google I/O, SXSW and E3, have been canceled to decrease the spread of infection. Many companies are encouraging or requiring people to work from home for an indeterminate amount of time. With recruiting, you’re in the business of people. You might be wondering how to conduct business as usual, and recruit when everyone is forced to work in a virtual setting? Fortunately, a lot of the recruitment process is already virtual from phone and video calls to online screens to engaging with candidates via email or text. While adapting to a new work situation, and you might not be too familiar with how to recruit while working outside of an office, here’s a guide to help. How to Recruit Remotely Many tools available today are helping recruiters find and source qualified candidates. But there’s not much yet available to help recruiters get through to candidates. Reaching and fostering relationships is still very much a human thing. For many companies, it’s a challenge to actually get through to, reach and retain candidates in the process—especially passive ones. Whether someone is actively or passively looking for a new job, there’s a level of candidate care that job seekers expect from recruiters in order to consider making a move. Here are some tips to keep in mind and their benefits when you’re a remote recruiter: Tip: Take advantage of technology to screen early applications Manually screening resumes is one of the most time-consuming tasks for recruiters, especially if more than half are from unqualified candidates. One way this type of tech can play out in the recruiting space is by having A.I. collect information and do the dirty work to screen candidates or keep in a regular communication cadence. A software tool like Ideal is great for this. Tip: Switch up your job promotion strategy with the help of digital Harness the power of technology and look to leveraging your professional network and social media channels as much as possible when promoting open roles. Collaborate with your colleagues and reach out to them for help, or band together to come up with a digital strategy when recruiting talent for jobs. Tools like Slack, Discord or Google Docs will keep you plugged in with your teams and help keep you organized throughout the process. Tip: Be flexible when interviewing candidates (and gain a wide range of talent) Video interviewing is a critical skill to master when recruiting remotely. Not only do video interviews in recruiting give you access to a wide range of talent, but you’ll also find you won’t spend as much time trying to schedule with the help of video tools like Spark Hire (a popular video interviewing software) or ConveyIQ. Video interviews help foster faster-recruiting processes; you can stagger them throughout the day, and with most of the population working away from the office, consider that video interviews can happen at any time of day when it’s convenient for all parties. Lastly, video interviews can also give you access to a wide range of talent, and help diverse talent gain access to more jobs. Tip: Always provide an exceptional candidate experience There are many tools available to stay connected with candidates and keep them engaged. Maya is a software tool that helps ask candidates questions immediately after they've applied for an open role and gives you the information directly to assess. Slack keeps workspaces internally and externally connected. With it, you can coordinate interview logistics and keep candidates in the loop in realtime. With remote recruiting, you can still very easily match skills, discover a candidate’s aptitude and personality, and connect with candidates at the same rate, or even more. Most importantly, however, with the tools available to help with several aspects of recruiting, leveraging and developing relationships is still very much a critical thing to get right–even more so when you aren’t working face-to-face with candidates. When recruiting remote, ensure you can deliver an exceptional candidate experience that includes: Getting smart on talent. Understand who the other person on the hangout or phone is. LinkedIn makes this seamless. Setting a schedule — and sticking with it. Outline a firm process at the beginning of a search and stick with it. Let the talent know what part of the process they’re in at each touchpoint. Importantly: follow up when you say you will. Being transparent in all communication. Communicate with candidates about where they stand in the process. Positioning yourself as a true resource for candidates. Talent makes career decisions based on information, interest, and excitement. Your top job is to provide them with as much of that information as humanly possible. At Hunt Club, we’ve significantly invested in advancing our tech network utilization and developing algorithms to assess the relative strength of every single connection. With our improved workflow and processes, our talent strategists are able to work on and offsite, while remaining committed to developing relationships and building trust with all candidates at a much higher rate than the industry. Let Hunt Club help with your virtual recruiting needs The rapid speed of tech advancements means people can connect and work with most anyone, anywhere, and still feel like they’re talking to their coworker across the room. Recruiting from home and need help? Get in touch and learn how we can help.
March 13, 2020
4 Mistakes Managers Make When Building Sales Teams
Growing a sales team isn’t about hiring a few high-achievers and having them sell your product or service. Will they be able to make deals happen? Sure. Secure some partnerships? Probably. This approach doesn’t have the legs to sustain a business over time. It also doesn’t create sales teams with longevity, and without proper vetting or recruiting practices, can increase the odds of hiring the wrong type of salesperson for your team. Why does this matter? Well, 74% of companies today, who admit they've selected the wrong person for a position, confess to losing an average of $14,900 for each bad hire. And in the world of enterprise sales, where turnover is rampant—34 percent is the annual average—sales teams are constantly backfilling which leads to rushed hiring processes. Sales teams can be filled with incredibly talented, skilled, and ambitious professionals. No matter the size or stage of a business, the result of a bad hire is costly, but it doesn’t just skew your budgets and ROI. There's a ripple effect; it goes deeper by affecting employee productivity, morale, engagement—all compromising an organization’s success. By incorporating proper vetting and recruiting practices, you can avoid the top mistakes most businesses make, and build a sales team with intention. Key insights in this post include: Why the wrong salespeople hurts your business and your team 4 mistakes founders make when hiring Keys to building out sales teams Let Hunt Club help you build out your sales teams with qualified talent Why hiring the wrong salespeople hurts your business and your team Hiring great sales reps is without a doubt one of the most critical aspects of running a sales department. While no one wants to make a hiring mistake, the reality is that it happens. After investing time and money to hire and retain the sales talent, it can be detrimental but the wrong hire doesn’t just throw budgets and ROI out of sorts, either. There's a ripple effect; it goes deeper by affecting employee productivity, morale, engagement—all compromising an organization’s success. Here’s how: The new sales hire is disengaged with their work. 70% of U.S. workers say they are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” with their work. Sales reps — the people who represent your business with its customers — are not an exception. Disengaged sales reps can cause all sorts of problems. They start missing targets on qualifying prospects, completing sales calls, or closing business. They underperform and can be a source of friction for other high-performers. While there are several causes over time, for new hires, an immediate tell that the work is wrong fit is seeing an increase in apathy. Low productivity. Because the new sales hire is tuned out and disconnected, their output decreases. They start missing their quotas, activity decreases or they offer excuses about why they can’t work. Longer times to coach. When new sales reps aren’t producing work or performing as expected, the best leaders will step in and offer guidance to try and fix the situation. Yet, this takes time away from a leader’s own priorities and running a team. They poison the work culture. Sales reps who are unhappy threaten workplace culture. The wrong hire creates bottlenecks, forcing other reps on the team to pick up the slack. Turnover. Finally, sales reps who are a wrong hire will leave in one way or another. When you’ve invested time and money to hire and retain the right sales talent, and it doesn’t work out, you’re left with starting the hiring process all over again from scratch. 4 mistakes managers make when building sales teams (+how to avoid them) Sales team building has changed, and today, businesses need to think about how they are growing and empowering this next generation of leaders. As LB Harvey, VP of Sales at Intercom, puts it: “Today, businesses need to create a sales culture that’s more than quota.” In sports, having a team of all-star players isn’t a guarantee you'll win a championship. In sales, hiring a team of people with stellar track records doesn't mean success for your business. You need to make sure you stack your team with the right talent for your stage of business or size of company. LB Harvey goes on to say, “Successful sales people care deeply about reaching and exceeding their own personal quota goals, but they care about the company too. How can you tell? They go out of their way to deliver customer feedback to product teams. They’re dedicated to protecting your non-negotiables. They’re fired up to help the team create best practices and scalable processes. They raise up fellow sales people along the way and instinctively understand that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. While it’s hard to directly attribute those things to helping hit quota goals, they’ll lead to a better customer experience and a better product – which, ultimately, are easier to sell. It’s a win-win.” (Above is an excerpt from “Hiring for sales in a product-led world.") With that in mind, here are four mistakes most businesses make when building sales teams today and some tips to consider when recruiting talent: Mistake #1: Hiring the wrong salesperson at the wrong time According to an HR Daily Advisor article, the stakes are very high when it comes to hiring salespeople. Aside from salary and training—it can mean an average of $2 million in lost sales when the wrong person joins the team. It’s also surprising how many organizations don't take the time to truly understand what sales leader they need. There are three key questions to ask will help provide clarity on why you're hiring a salesperson: What does my business need at this stage? What are our projections and revenue goals in the next 6, 12, 24 months Who are we selling to? Is the infrastructure and sales process in place? From there you can map out what you need. It’s critical to consider the type of person who will thrive in the kind of pace and environment your business is in, and get to this very early in the hiring process. Is your sales process in exploration mode, like in earlier stages of a business? If your business is in the early stages of growth, you need to hire someone who will experiment and learn: Do they like to figure things out and improvise? Are they good at hitting quota with limited resources?? Can they efficiently utilize existing resources? If you try and bring on someone who isn’t able to do these things, and prefers working in an established environment, then they’ll likely become frustrated in a short amount of time. Conversely, if your business is established, it might be best to look for a salesperson who will take your playbook and run with it. They'll be able to improve upon your process, increase revenue targets, lead velocity, and eventually help you scale the team. If you try to bring someone with a more experiment-minded flair, then the odds of them becoming bored or frustrated very quickly is high. Key takeaway: There are two distinct profiles of salespeople and it’s key to map out the type of person you need on your team early on in the hiring process. Hunt Club can help you build a better candidate profile for your next sales hire. Get in touch to learn more. Mistake #2: Not learning enough about a candidate It’s critical to properly backchannel every candidate and do your due diligence in vetting the person you’re considering to hire for your sales team. Even if you believe you have a good eye and read on someone and they have the right experience, getting the insight from an outsider will help identify any blind spots. When hiring, it’s easy to overlook references and referrals. But, these are instrumental tools when judging someone's character because you are getting an outside opinion on that candidate. Most companies fail to utilize them well. This also gives time for you to build real relationships with candidates. Take them to coffee, to lunch, bring them in and have them meet with five to 10 people in your organization. Ask a ton of questions so you can get a good read on what the person is interested in, what they like doing, where they want to go in their professional journey. On the flipside, be transparent with what you share. Be transparent about the team’s struggles, challenges, financials and opportunities. You want potential candidates to feel wanted and to start imagining what it would be like working there, and how joining your team could change their life short-term and longer, before you’ve even assessed if they’re wanted. Key takeaway: Don't offer a job to someone before probing to see if they check the boxes your business needs. Mistake #3: Lingering on a decision–from both sides of the table The “waiting game” is the worst feeling in the world for candidates and the quickest way for a business to lose their interest. After vetting a candidate and getting to know them, you should have a great read on someone to either move them along in the hiring process or tell them it’s not a fit. On the opposite end, if you have a candidate in mind and they are unsure, consider getting help from outsiders. Today’s talent likes to make their own decisions and form their own interests on their own terms. It’s important to give potential candidates a chance to learn about your business over days, weeks and months. But, you can still keep the process moving forward, and get to a decision, by leveraging the relationships you have from people in your network to help speed this process along. Consider asking if they’re comfortable taking them to lunch or coffee and talking to them about what they're looking for, what they want to pursue, and what they aren’t getting from their current role. You’d be surprised at how often this step is missed but always include a reason for making the ask and show value for the prospect and to protect your contact’s relationship with the person you want to get in touch with. Key takeaway: Use the relationships you have in your network to help you hire faster. Try our expert-driven recruiting model and get help hiring your first sales leader Mistake #4: Not having a flexible onboarding process in place Most sales teams make the mistake of training new salespeople in the way they were taught–and in ways that meet their specific learning style and with the expectation the new rep will understand the material deeply and fast. But, people have different learning styles and preferences. Understanding this is critical to onboard new sales professionals and working with them in their own individual ways of learning will help them retain new information and your business in the long-run. Tonni Bennett, VP of Sales at Terminus has this to say about onboarding sales professionals: “Taking into account different learning styles and preferences is incredibly important in helping sales professionals to retain the information long term.” Consider all the different learning styles you can fit into your team’s onboarding. Start by asking your reps how they prefer to process new information. Does role-play help them take-in concepts or do they process better while reading material? Tonni goes on to share, “Every time we onboard, we adjust parts of the onboarding based on feedback from our new hires about how they best retain information, giving them space to absorb the material and to practice in their own way. On top of that, we slowed down our onboarding program, stretching it across a longer period of time to make sure that at least the biggest topics and talk tracks are not taught once, but repeated or recapped several times. Hearing, seeing and taking action on a concept over several days improves new hires’ retention and long term understanding of the material, instead of simply facilitating regurgitation of the concept.” Key takeaway: Be flexible, rather than strict, in your onboarding processes, to help your new salespeople learn and retain information faster. (Section excerpt from"How to build, manage and scale a sales team – 12 strategies from the experts") Hire your next sales rep with Hunt Club Hunt Club can help you find and hire an early-stage sales leader who's qualified for your stage of business. Get in touch to learn more and see how we can help you find the right candidate faster. What if you had a faster way to build your sales team? Let's help you get there.
March 11, 2020
Top 20 Data Modeling Interview Questions
Sitting down for an interview is always intimidating, especially if you’re applying for a job in a highly technical field like data modeling. Fortunately, you won’t be the first person to go through this process. We’ve come up with this list of 20 interview questions that you might be asked when you apply for a data modeling job. While the exact questions you’ll be asked are dependent on the specific role and hiring manager, studying the answers to the questions should help you be prepared. Are you an employer looking to hire a data modeler? Find out how Hunt Club can help with your hiring needs. What is data modeling? First, how do you define a data modeling job? Essentially, it’s a component of software engineering in which specific methods are applied to process and analyze data. Data modeling is used in a variety of industries to understand data related to business operations, supply chains, vendor and partner relationships, and more. Typically, a data modeler will perform some business analysis to understand how the different components of a business are related, with the goal of developing a software representation of this real-world business logic. This may require several iterations to iron out discrepancies or inefficiencies, or may subsequently require additional updates to reflect newly created business logic. Here are 20 data modeling interview questions you should know: 1) What are the three levels of data modeling? A: Data modeling includes three main levels: conceptual, physical, and logical. Physical models are those that describe the physical structure of a data set. For example, it may display the data tables, data columns, and the relationships between them. Conceptual models are the “high-level” models that are used to communicate with the stakeholder about the concepts that the completed model will display. They can be used as a stepping stone to the development of a physical model. Finally, logical models are representations of the specific requirements of a business, either in whole or in part. 2) What is metadata in a data model? A: Reports can be based on the complete data model or on parts of it. Data that relates to an object in the model is referred to as metadata. 3) How does reverse engineering work in data modeling? A: Reverse engineering takes place when you build a model from an existing script or database. If a company has an existing but outdated software solution that was built to represent their business model, it might be more efficient for a data modeler to attempt to reconstruct business logic from the existing solution, workshop this with the company, and make tweaks that can be applied to the current solution, rather than to develop a new solution from scratch. Many data modeling programs have tools you can use to reverse engineer a database into a model in cases like this. 4) What are the two types of schemas and do they differ? A: The two schemas are star schema and snowflake schema. A star schema looks like a star, with a fact table in the middle and dimension tables radiating out of it. The snowflake schema looks similar, but some of the dimensions are normalized, which means it can use space more efficiently than a star schema. For example, an entity that contains fields for postal addresses (street address, city, region, state, country), might choose to switch from a star schema to a snowflake by breaking out the state and country into separate entities, so that each country is only explicitly declared once, and is then indirectly referenced in all appropriate places. 5) What are the three main tenets of a data model? A: The three tenants of a data model are: entity, attribution, and relationship. Entity refers to a physical entity (such as a customer or product) Attribute refers to the qualities or characteristics of an entity (such as the name and price of a product) Relationship refers to the connection between two entities (such as a sale) 6) What are the five dimensions in data modeling? A: The five dimensions in data modeling are: conformed dimension, junk dimension, role playing dimension, slowly changing dimension, and degenerated dimension. Conformed dimensions are those that are used across multiple areas, for example, with several tables in a database. Junk dimensions are those that aren’t otherwise found in a fact table or dimension table, such as Y or N flags or other indicators. Role playing dimensions are those that are used in a single database, but that have more than one role, such as a date that is linked to more than one key in the table. Slowly changing dimensions are those in which the attributes change over time, and include dimensions where data is replaced, preserved, or preserved separately. These include Type-0 through Type-4. Degenerated dimensions are those that don’t have their own dimension tables, but are depicted as a primary key in the fact table. 7) Can you give an example of different types of slowly changing dimension? A: A Type-0 dimension is one in which an attribute doesn’t change over time, such as a customer’s date of birth. A Type-1 dimension is one in which the attribute’s value is completely replaced, such as updating a customer’s mailing address without saving the previous one. A Type-2 dimension is one in which the prior value is saved, such as when a company keeps both a customer’s current and former addresses in a table. A Type-3 dimension is one in which a limited history is saved, such as a company that keeps only one prior address, instead of storing all of them. A Type-4 dimension is one in which the data is preserved, but stored separately, and is not displayed in the main table. 8) What is the purpose of third normal form and how is it met? A: Third normal form (3NF) is used to, among other things, prevent data duplication and abnormalities. Third normal form is met when all of the attributes in a database table are dependent only on the primary key. For example, a database in which a patient’s entry in a table contains their doctor’s phone number does not meet 3NF standards. This is because the doctor’s number should be contained in a table for doctors, rather than patients, to prevent duplication if more than one patient appears in the database. 9) What is the risk of using a recursive relationship? Recursive relationships are those in which an entity has a relationship with itself. As an example, an employee at a company may act as both a subordinate and a supervisor in relation to other employees at the same company. Therefore, a table of employees may include a recursive relationship, since it includes both subordinates and supervisors. Recursive relationships are more complicated than other relationships and may need to be handled differently when displaying them in a schema. 10) What does OLTP data modeling refer to? A: OLTP refers to online transaction processing and is used to create data models that include bank transactions, online purchases, trading transactions, and more. Hiring qualified data modelers can be difficult. Learn how Hunt Club can help. 11) What is normalization and denormalization? A: Normalization refers to putting data into first, second, or third normal form, which are used to reduce redundancy in a database. Sometimes, however, redundancy is needed in order to access certain information more quickly. Denormalization is the practice by which you add redundant data back into the dataset for speedier access. 12) What is the purpose of a primary key constraint? A primary key is the smallest and most discrete piece of information that’s required to uniquely identify a row within an entity. This sort of constraint is placed on a particular attribute of an entity to mandate that this attribute be populated, and that it be unique within the entity. Some examples of a primary key might be an employee number, a bank account number, or a drivers’ license number. 13) What is a foreign key? When two entities are related to each other, the primary key of one is usually referenced in the attribute of another to enforce this relationship. As an example, you might have a table of employees that contains their contact details, and with their employee number as the primary key. If you had also had a table that describes when employees were going on leave, these employees would be referred to by their employee number, but that wouldn’t be the primary key for that table. It would be the foreign key used to get additional information from the employee table if necessary. 14) What is a composite primary or foreign key constraint? Like a single-attribute primary key, a composite primary key is the smallest and most discrete information required to uniquely identify a row in an entity. A composite key is different in that it consists of multiple attributes within that entity. For example, an entity that contained people’s first names and last names might require a composite primary key consisting of both first name and last name, as each of these attributes alone may be insufficient to disambiguate two rows. Like a regular foreign key, a composite foreign key is used to refer from one entity to another. In the case of a composite foreign key, however, it consists of multiple columns or attributes, rather than just one. 15) What are subtype and supertype entities, including examples? It might be possible to break certain entities into different types or categories. An entity that contains vehicles might be considered a super-type entity that can be broken into subtype entities such as car, bike, boat, etc. Alternatively, an employee entity might have subtypes divided into full-time or casual employees. 16) What is a surrogate key? Sometimes, if a data model doesn’t have a suitable candidate for a primary key, then a surrogate key is chosen as a substitute. A surrogate key is an artificial key created by the database modelers to ensure that rows within an entity can be uniquely queried efficiently and effectively within SQL queries. If a business needed an entity that listed employees, but didn’t already have employee numbers, a database modeler might create an automatically generated “employee ID” column within the entity to use as the primary key. This column is a surrogate key. 17) What is cardinality? Relational databases can have several different types of relationships between entities. These relationships can be one to one, one to many, or many to many. A database that has high cardinality has a large percentage of unique values within its entities, while a low cardinality indicates there is more duplicated information within the database. 18) What is a unique constraint? A unique constraint is a limitation imposed upon the attribute of an entity to ensure there are no duplicates values within that attribute across all rows within the entity. However, an attribute with a unique constraint is not necessarily prohibited from being NULL. 19) What is a sequence? A sequence is a database object used to uniquely generate a number. Sequences are often used to generate values for surrogate keys within an entity. 20) What are identifying and non-identifying relationships? Most data models include parent tables and child tables that are linked by relationship lines. A row or column in the parent table might be part of the child table’s primary key, and so it would be an identifying relationship and shown by a thick connecting line. If the row or column in the parent table is not found in the child table’s primary key, it is considered a non-identifying relationship and shown by a dotted line instead. Find the data modeler you’ve been hoping for. Experienced data modelers can be hard to come by, especially since the most talented ones may already have a job and aren’t actively looking for a new one. That’s where Hunt Club comes in. With a network of over five million passive candidates vouched for by over 10,000 experts, we can help you find the perfect data modeler for your company. We use proprietary technology to narrow down the candidate pool to a shortlist of five to seven top candidates for you to interview. Whether you’re looking to hire a single candidate, or want to fill your candidate pipeline for the long-term, reach out to Hunt Club today to start your search!
March 11, 2020
How to Hire the First Sales Leader for Your Startup
You've had a successful launch, your product or service is taking off, and now it's time to shift focus to acquiring new customers. This accelerating momentum is usually a good indication that it's time to hire your first full-time sales leader, now the hardest role to hire for. According to First Round Capital, "In 2015 and 2016, engineering leaders were far and away the hardest executive hires to make but. . . [now] sales leaders became the most coveted and difficult hires (with 26% saying sales was the hardest vs. 24% saying engineering). This looks like the start of a sea change as more enterprise companies enter the fray, compete for talent, and see firsthand how costly a bad VP of Sales hire can be." Today, 74% of companies who admit they've selected the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each wrong hire–not the amount of money a startup can afford to lose. Defining the right sales leader profile is critical for your startup's growth and crucial to get right the first time around. This post will guide you toward doing it. Key insights include: Why hire an early-stage sales leader Mistakes founders make when hiring 5 keys to hiring an early-stage sales leader Let Hunt Club help you hire your first sales leader. Why hire an early-stage sales leader? Selling is, of course, necessary for any business, but it is especially the case for startups. Founders organically adorn the sales cap, assuming the role to take an off-beat idea or vision, bring it to light, and sell it to investors, employees, friends, and families. After some time, when you have a viable product and seed capital, you need someone to find five to ten customers who are willing to take a chance on a brand they've never heard of or a product without a track record of success. This is one of the hardest tests a startup faces because there's a certain intensity, speed, and flexibility needed to sell startups successfully–and it's often underestimated. Currently, Salesforce research shows that the average time for conversion from lead to opportunity is 84 days, with an average conversion rate of 13%. Out of that 13%, less than 1% of leads end up as real customers. For early-stage founders, the big question becomes: how can you find a fit with your first few customers before burning through your cash? What to look for in an early-stage sales leader In the early stages, the right profile of a sales leader must be able to convince people to take a chance on something that might not be proven to work. There are a few essential characteristics to look for when hiring: Charisma. Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Steve Jobs–some of history's most effective leaders share a dynamic, inspirational, and charismatic personality. They have extraordinary communication skills and command attention wherever they go. Passion. Hiring people who aren't invested will end up costing your business an excessive amount of money and time. Having a sales leader who's passionate about client experience and satisfaction, establishing rapport and relationships, and believes in your mission is critical. Digitally-savvy strategists. Digital (and spending) is changing the world, fast. Hiring a sales leader who can keep up and can clearly demonstrate strategic thinking that is backed by data and technology will launch your business farther in the future. Analytical. Startups live and die by numbers. Numbers are needed to analyze employee productivity and hiring forecast, to plan operational expenses, sales pipelines, and marketing investments. Every decision that a leader takes needs to be based on one or more of these numbers. Persistent go-getter. Upsell, down-sell, cross-sell, you name it, they can sell it. Your sales leader will be selling in an alien landscape. Are they willing to do what it takes to find opportunities? They need to be able to penetrate any account and build long-lasting relationships with clients, all while representing a visionary product. This trait will also help them create immediate value. Try our expert-driven recruiting model and get help hiring your first sales leader. Common mistakes founders make when hiring their first sales leader 70% of SaaS's first VP Sales don't make it to 12 months. It's one of the most common and also the most devastating mis-hire in startups. There are six mistakes most founders make when hiring: 1. Hiring for pedigree over culture fit The best of the best sales leader needed doesn’t only mean someone with an impressive resume, but most founders are too quick to assume it is. However, a sales leader who comes from a successful sales tenure at a Fortune 500 company in your industry might not be able to reach the same level of success in an environment that requires them to be nimble and experiment. 2. Failing to accurately assess candidates Just because someone sold creative software doesn't mean they can sell all creative software. One product might focus on helping content creators create, whereas another might focus on assisting them in distributing it. Understand a candidate's core strengths, map them back to your business needs, and then assess them for fit. 3. Jumping to an offer too soon As a founder of a young company, it's easy to get really excited over someone you've met. You want to bring in a sales leader with the expertise your business lacks, and you're under a good deal of pressure to get it done. Yet, offering up a chance to work by your side before a candidate has even had a chance to fully understand or comprehend your business or role is an easy way to create more stress. Plus, people lose interest in opportunities because they don't know enough. 4. Lingering on hiring decisions Delaying and all the things that come with it–tapering off communications, starts, and stops in the hiring process–will help your candidates lose interest fast. 5. Not seeing there are multiple ways to solve functional hiring problems Don't expect your sales leader to be a magician. Consider your current team's strengths and weaknesses and identify the gaps to fill. More on this down below. 6. Stop educating candidates At every candidate touchpoint, you should be teaching them about the benefits of joining your company. How will your business help them further their professional development, even when they leave? What experiences will they gain? Always align the benefits to what they're passionate about. If you can avoid these common mistakes, you'll have a much better chance of finding the right leader for your stage of business. 5 keys to hiring an early-stage sales leader 1. Get a clear understanding of the role You'd be surprised at how many founders don't take the time to truly understand what sales leader they need. Three key questions to ask will help provide clarity on why you're hiring a sales leader: What does my business need at this stage? What are our projections and business goals in the next 6, 12, 24 months Who are we selling to? You can use two frameworks to help map this out further and determine the type of candidate needed: The leverage-based approach works best at the seed, and Series-A stage. You can use it to buy-back time (identify and chart your monthly lowest output work to determine the resources you need to find/outsource in your sales leader.) Or, you can use it to determine your company's highest priorities, map to existing strengths, and then overpay for great talent to balance the weaknesses. The second framework is the needs-based approach, which helps you identify gaps in your business (and then hire to fill them.) This approach is excellent at any stage and includes: Reviewing similar companies in similar industries one step ahead. Mapping organizational charts and defining gaps. Charting your company to define strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Meeting with leaders who have scaled these types of companies to further assess mistakes/pitfalls. Defining and prioritizing business objectives/needs to hit the next fundraising cycle. 2. Build a robust pipeline With a clear read on the role, it's time to turn to your network and open up talent pools to build your pipeline of candidates. Most people are willing to help, sometimes you just need to ask. The "ask" is an incredibly powerful thing, and when you have someone in mind for a role and don't have a direct relationship, try leveraging your first-degree connections to make connections. To start, leverage one of your most significant assets: your investors. They're well-connected, influential, and successful, and have been down the road you're on before. Help them understand what you really need because the more engaged your investors are, the more active they will be to help you out. Or, when you're raising your next round of capital, hand-select 4-5 angels who are in markets outside of your business. Get them involved in your next round and target people who don't work or live within a 50-mile radius of your business. You want to open network effects that you don't already have and with people who you don't know. When approaching candidates: This is one of the many excellent benefits of network effects. Have someone foster the introduction and be strategic when wanting to connect with candidates. You'd be surprised at how often this step is missed but always include a reason for the introduction and show value for the prospect and to protect your contact's relationship with the person you want to get in touch with. When you have that coffee meeting, or when you're waiting at the gate in the airport, be on the lookout for smart and capable people. Building relationships is something you always have to be doing and not something you start when you need to make a hire. You never know when a coffee meeting can become an executive hire in one or two years. This is the future of talent. Hunt Club leverages the networks of over 10,000 experts and business leaders to help you hire the right sales leader for your stage of business. Get in touch to learn more. 3. Do put a sales leader candidate's passion over pedigree Keep in mind that someone's passion and ability can throw pedigree or experience out of the water in your growth-stage environment. As a cash-strapped, growing business in the tech space, for example, it's hard to compete with Facebook to hire sales leaders for your team since you likely can't offer the same compensation or benefits packages. Instead, place your business where it can stand out from the crowd. Think about networking with peers and colleagues, local college alums, and even family members of spouses in highly-dense startup areas who may want to move back at some point. Hiring your first sales leader careful consideration. Just don't dismiss or overlook talent just because it's not where you'd expect to find it. 4. Get them interested, first Once you've found the people you want to speak with, how do you get them involved in what you're building? The trick is that most people won't turn down something they thoroughly understand, and they're interested. The challenge is you get so excited about the person potentially joining that you make an offer way before the person really understands your company's growth plan, traction in the market, the role, hiring goals, product road map, and future financing plans. It's the founder's nature to move and build quickly, but don't be too quick to offer a job to someone you've only just met. Most people will be intrigued, attracted to, and curious about something only once they have the most information possible. If you find someone you would like to recruit for a job with your company, think about asking them for a coffee, then lunch or something outside of where you work, first. Establish a rapport with them and use the time to educate them about how you are building something that one day will change an entire category. Share the details about who you work with, your business projections, financial models, and plans to raise capital. This fosters trust and real relationships with every candidate and keeps your business on their radar. 5. Never stop educating candidates on your business Think of all the ways you can inform candidates so much that in the chance they join your business, it's a seamless transition. Find out as much as you can about the candidates you're speaking with. Most importantly, ask your potential candidates a ton of questions so you can get a good read on what the person is interested in, what they like doing, where they want to go in their professional journey. Then take what excites them and align those things with what you're building and always show how your business can offer them a path to growth and their professional development. Hire with precision and do it faster with Hunt Club Hunt Club can help you find and hire an early-stage sales leader who's qualified for your stage of business. Get in touch to learn more and see how we can help you find the right candidate faster. What if you had a faster way to find your first sales leader? Let's help you get there.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
March 11, 2020
Full-Cycle Recruiting: A Quick Guide
Many small businesses make the mistake of considering the hiring process only when they create a new position or need to replace a departing employee. They may end up with different teams handling the recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding processes -- even though those steps are all part of the same cycle. While this strategy may work while your team is small, the more your company grows, the more important it is to take a big-picture approach to the hiring process. What is full-cycle recruiting? Full-cycle recruiting encompasses the entire hiring process, from start to finish. Instead of a haphazard approach distributed among multiple departments, full service recruiting puts everything into the hands of a single recruiter or recruitment agency. This can include everything from writing job descriptions to onboarding a new hire, so it requires a diverse set of skills and a holistic approach to the hiring process. While it may seem inefficient to put a single person in charge of hiring, it’s actually more efficient than outsourcing recruiting activities to multiple members of your team. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that the hiring process can take up to 42 days and cost up to $4,129 to fill a single position. With full-cycle recruiting, that process is streamlined, reducing the time and money that it takes to find a new hire. Additionally, because one person is responsible for the entire process, there’s less confusion over who needs to do what, and less risk of the perfect candidate falling through the cracks in the recruiting cycle. Your recruiter won’t be distracted by other responsibilities, which can happen when you ask an employee to take on recruitment duties in addition to their day job. Get access to qualified talent and hire faster with Hunt Club. Who is in charge of instituting full-cycle recruiting? So, who should you designate to spearhead the hiring process? That depends on the size of your company. If you’re a startup or small business, then you might choose to hire a full-time recruiter or outsource the job to a full-cycle recruitment service. As your company grows, you might need to hire an HR team or retain the services of a recruitment agency year-round. One of the benefits to having a dedicated HR team or recruitment service is that you can develop a long-term recruitment strategy. Instead of starting from zero every time you have an open position, you can plan ahead and anticipate when you’ll have another opening. You can keep in touch with promising candidates and keep them in the pipeline for future job openings. By providing a single point of contact for candidates, you’ll be able to give them a more consistent and personalized hiring experience. Plus, when you scale up your team, you’ll be able to use the same job descriptions and interview questions, refining the process as you go. Hiring a recruiter doesn’t mean that they’ll have final say over who you hire. Your hiring manager and executives will still be in charge. But your recruiter should have quite a bit of autonomy and have enough experience in the industry that you can trust them to do most of the work themselves. Let’s go through the stages of the full life cycle recruiting process: Preparation First, your recruiter should do a significant amount of research into the role -- ideally, in the window of time before you urgently need to hire a new candidate. Instead of leaving it to the last minute, start the process well in advance to avoid having to rush it. If your recruiter is an employee at your company, then they may already know some of the qualities you’re looking for in a candidate, particularly in terms of culture fit. But they should still sit down with the department in question to make sure that they fully understand the specific skills and qualifications required for the role. Simply knowing the employee that they’re trying to replace personally isn’t enough. If you’re working with an outside recruitment service, they may have experience finding candidates for that particular role, but make sure they take the time to get to know your company directly, including visits to your office. If you haven’t already, assemble your tools and establish your recruitment metrics. Your recruitment tools may include an applicant tracking system, video chat capabilities, and even AI technologies to help you sort through and filter resumes. Recruitment metrics are the numbers you’ll use to determine if the process has been a success. These might include: Cost-per-hire Time-to-hire Applicants per opening Application completion rate Offer acceptance rate And more By establishing your metrics up front, you’ll be able to track the impact of your recruiting strategies over time, and work toward reducing your time and cost per hire. Sourcing candidates The next stage is to source the right candidates for your open position. For most roles, more applications aren't necessarily better, so you’ll want to advertise strategically. Ideally, all of the resumes that cross your desk will come from candidates who are fully qualified for the role -- and those that aren’t can be screened out quickly. This is where your recruiter’s expertise comes into play. They should know how to write a good job description, which sites to advertise on, and which networks to tap into. If you work with a recruitment service like Hunt Club, they’ll be able to use proprietary technology to search through their network of passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job or browsing job boards. As sites like LinkedIn become overrun with spam, it’s more important than ever to have a recruiter who can earn the trust of candidates, especially passive ones. Experienced recruiters know how to use social media, in-person networking, and other techniques to find candidates who wouldn’t otherwise come across your radar. They may also institute an employee referral program to encourage existing employees to recommend candidates from their social and professional networks. This can reduce hiring time and increase retention significantly, so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Screening candidates Once you’ve begun receiving applications or expressions of interests from candidates, it’s the recruiter’s job to screen candidates and come up with a shortlist. According to Forbes, this step can take up to 13 hours per week for a single open position. There are several ways to narrow down the list, depending on how many resumes you have to begin with. If there are too many applications to sort manually, consider using an AI tool that can sort them by multiple data points. There are even AI chatbots that can help you respond to questions from candidates to keep them engaged in the process while waiting to hear back from you! Of course, you don’t have to automate everything, and ideally your recruiter will be able to provide a personal touch throughout the process. After reviewing applications, they’ll narrow down the list to a pool of five or ten promising candidates. Then, they can schedule a phone or video screening to confirm that the candidates are still interested in the role, and that they come across as personable and professional. Candidates who pass the screening round should be invited to an in-person interview, which is typically led by the hiring manager or another relevant participant. Picking the right candidate The interview is the hiring manager’s chance to put the candidate to the test, and see if they display the same qualities that stood out to the recruiter on paper. Recruiters don’t always attend the in-person interview, but they’re usually responsible for scheduling it, and for coordinating with the candidate beforehand. They should ensure that interviews for highly technical roles have a department head present who can ask in-depth questions and assess the candidate’s qualifications. Some interviews may incorporate a written skills assessment, programming tests, or situational or behavioral questions. Whether or not the recruiter attends the interview, they should debrief with the hiring manager immediately afterwards to find out how it went. Work together to decide on the best candidate based on the requirements outlined in the job description and feedback from anyone who attended the interview. Once you’ve identified the most promising candidate, the recruiter should check their references, perform a background check, and prepare to extend a job offer. They should also get back to any candidates who didn’t make the cut, and if possible, give them constructive feedback or point them toward a more suitable position. Remember, a big part of full-service recruiting is providing a positive experience for all candidates, even those you don’t hire. This helps you boost your company’s reputation, and also builds up a roster of “runner-up” candidates to reach out to in the future. Hiring Now, it’s time to call up the selected candidate and make a job offer. In some cases, the hiring manager may prefer to do it themselves, but it’s usually best if the recruiter does it, both in order to provide consistency, and to streamline the negotiation process. Your recruiter should have an idea of what kind of salary your candidate is expecting, based on previous discussions and average salary ranges for similar positions. But if your company can’t match their previous salary, you may have to come up with other ways to make a compelling job offer. This could include additional benefits, more vacation days, or the opportunity to work from home several days per week. Your job offer should include a phone call followed by a written letter that outlines the proposed terms and compensation. If all goes well, your candidate will accept the offer as is, but your recruiter may have to negotiate some of the finer details. This is why it’s important for them to sit down with the hiring manager first, so they know what’s on the table and are empowered to negotiate with the candidate. After you’ve reached a deal, all that’s left is confirming the start date, and making plans for the new hire to attend their first day at the office. Onboarding Less committed recruiters may stop the process here and pass their responsibilities on to someone else at your company. After all, they’ve found your new employee, right? Not when it comes to full-cycle recruiting. You can expect your recruiter to stay involved throughout the “pre-boarding” and onboarding process. This might include creating new user accounts on the company’s IT platforms, to setting them up with a mentor or trainer for their first few weeks at the company. After all, your recruiter has been the point person for the candidate throughout the hiring process, so they may not even know who to turn to for questions. At worst, they might lose their enthusiasm for the job altogether if they’re suddenly met with radio silence. It’s your recruiter’s job to introduce them to their team and to check in with them during their first few months of work to make sure it’s going smoothly. Keeping the recruiter involved in this stage is key to ensuring successful onboarding and retention. Find the right tools for full-cycle recruiting full-cycle recruiting doesn’t just happen without some advance planning. While creating a hiring strategy may take some effort, the return on investment will be worth it. For the most successful recruiting strategy, you’ll need to have the right tools, which can range from applicant tracking software to AI chatbots and video conferencing software. If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out to the team at Hunt Club. Our network of over five million passive candidates, combined with our proprietary technology, can provide you with a shortlist of five to seven promising candidates for your role. And of course, we offer full-cycle recruiting services so you’ll know that the process will be taken care of from start to finish. Contact us to begin the hiring process today!
March 9, 2020
5 Attributes of Great Sales Leaders (+How to Hire Them)
Sales leaders are the vanguards of an organization’s bottom line, generating predictable and repeatable revenue to help grow the business. Whether you’re a founder looking to make your first sales hire or an established business needing to disrupt your processes to stay ahead of the competition, there are a handful of attributes that distinguish your average sales leader from the exceptional performers. When it comes to hiring a sales leader for your organization, this post will help you assess high-performing candidates. You’ll find out what makes them successful as individual performers and respected by their team, and in driving revenue for a business. Key insights in this post include: What is a sales leader? What are the attributes that make an effective sales leader? Why the attributes matter How to choose the right sales leader for your business and questions to ask when hiring Get help hiring a sales leader for your business with Hunt Club What is a sales leader? Sales leaders are the vanguards of an organization’s bottom line, generating predictable and repeatable revenue to help grow a business. Whether you’re a founder launching a new venture or a profitable organization, selling your idea, product or service, and yourself, is the heart of any business. In the most rudimentary sense, the person driving the direction, the strategy, and the approach in how to accomplish selling, is the sales leader. A difference is that a great sales leader is someone who takes all of that and instills an array of visionary ideas with the know-how to leverage innovative processes to make it happen. At early-stage or hyper-growth companies, this is usually the founder. There’s usually very little direction or even a fully-formed and established sales team in place. Here, it’s typically the founder (or the founding team) who are “doing sales.” In established companies, where departments and roles are more defined, a sales leader builds out teams with clear direction and then assigns a few managers to lead the day-to-day operations of the department. In the different environments, sales leaders also face contrasting challenges: Common challenges for sales leaders in startup environments: Resource allocation. Leaders in startups have to do it all but have limited resources and lack the human capital to do it. Figuring out where and when to allocate your limited resources is a big part of the job for sales leaders. In this stage, a sales leader’s time is spent selling the brand–from speaking on panel discussions at events, hosting dinners with other groups of business leaders, doing more in-person relationship-building meetings and less demos, and they’re leaning in on personal and professional networks for opportunities. Lack of on-the-job training. Hiring sales people who can pull it off in a startup environment is tough. When asked, 25% of founders say sales leaders are the hardest people to hire for at a startup. A sales leader in a startup environment is like being in the wild wild west. They usually operate without a sales playbook, zero to limited sales training, and have to be incredibly proactive to make things happen. Common challenges for sales leaders in established company environments: Process changes. It’s much harder to build cases for change in processes, and in their own team’s behavior, in bigger and more established companies. A sales leader who may want to pivot approaches in team management, sales strategy, or training, will usually have to face more uphill battles to institute changes. Economic uncertainty. Also in times where there’s a good deal of economic uncertainty, knowing how to retain and motivate the sales team during times of extreme competition and lower demand is a significant challenge for larger businesses. Why hiring a great sales leader is important With all that, when it comes time to adding a sales leader to your organization, you want someone who can navigate the challenges specific to your business, and not only do the job but do it exceptionally well. Hiring the wrong sales leader can be demoralizing to sales teams and the overall business. Let’s say you’re a founder of a rapidly growing technology startup who hires an experienced leader as their VP of Sales. While this person came from a large Fortune 500 firm, has extensive market knowledge and an admirable track record with customers, they couldn’t find success in such a high-growth environment that required experimentation and agility. The mismatch between the startup’s need and the leader’s capabilities prevented the startup from meeting revenue targets so they could get an increase in capital, and eventually had to close shop. Or, say you run an established pharmaceutical company and hire a new Head of Sales with an aggressive management style. He ruled the sales department with a tyrant attitude. Meeting revenue targets was the only thing he cared about. While the team consistently hit their numbers you later discovered it was because the team was fearful if they didn’t, and they were treated disrespectfully. Everything in the department became a terrible competition, and the average salesperson tenure dropped to six months because the culture was awful. The damage to the company, culture, and its reputation was long-lasting. Hiring the right sales leaders matters because a great leader will: Give their team and other employees clear direction and a strong understanding of the business Pick, groom, and keep the right people for the team Execute; good processes will be in place for customers experience Instill appropriate values which add to the core of a business For employers and team members, the benefits of having a great sales leader include: An increase in employee tenure An increase in employee motivation More revenue Accelerated ramp-up of new employees More growth across sales reps and managers Improvement of selling skills of every team member Deeper relationships with customers Let’s take a look at what qualities to assess during the hiring process so you can be sure you not only land qualified talent but a great sales leader who can excel in the right areas for your business. Get help hiring a sales leader for your business with Hunt Club How to hire a great sales leader Great sales leaders will be proficient in several areas but when you distill it down to the five most common ones, they are: Target fixation Strategic thinking Culture carrier Data driven Coaching ability Let’s take a closer look at each of those traits and why they matter. 1. Great sales leaders set realistic targets All sales teams share the same goal: Win clients by providing solutions to their problem and generate revenue for a business. A sales target is the number of sales (and resulting revenue) a leader decides the team should hit in a specific time frame. It’s how much money you want your team to bring in this month, quarter or year, for the business. Sales targets are necessary as your business scales to, well, grow and forecast what your team needs to hit–or the minimum amount of money the sales team needs to generate to meet company budget or quota. 99.9% of sales leaders are target and deadline-driven, but most fail at setting appropriate sales targets. This is what sets great sales leaders apart. Sales leaders have a deadline-driven mindset. But great sales leaders know there’s a fine line between being ambitious and unrealistic. They have the natural disposition to fixate their team on achieving their revenue goals and know how to find balance between a challenge in meeting numbers and being realistic. When assessing sales leaders, you need a clear understanding of their target fixation process and how they set quantifiable goals. Some questions to consider asking during the interview process is to have them walk you through what they’ve used in the past. Do they use a simple formula to determine the best sales targets? How do they adjust their formula? How do they know when to pivot a strategy? 2. Great leaders strategically maximize (unseen) opportunities In sales and in business as a whole, numbers mean everything and figuring out how to reach them requires a very specialized type of thinking. Great sales leaders are always evaluating and looking to maximize opportunities that others might not see. Take for example, Napoleon Barragan, the founder of 1-800-Mattress. He was a genius at using technology to open new sales channels for his Simmons and Sealys. He was one of the first and most successful adopters of the 1-800 number, correctly predicting that consumers would be perfectly willing to have mattresses delivered to their homes sight unseen. The greatest sales leaders out there are constantly thinking of new and different approaches to solve a problem. They question obstacles and try to find new ways around them. They think about how they can grow faster. When hiring, ask them to demonstrate this: How have they increased revenue at other companies using unconventional approaches? How would they propose making your business more profitable, from an outsider’s eye? 3. Great sales leaders are true culture carriers All salespeople know the incredible impact an exceptional sales manager will have on their short-term career and in the long term. A recent Harvard Business Review study reports, “69% percent of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales manager as being excellent or above average.” Great sales leaders build people up and create a stronger team, which is a win-win for everyone. They can do this because they pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the team and individuals. They communicate honestly and with transparency which builds trust and relationships within their team, and in turn, they create a greater level of productivity. Questions to ask when hiring: How do you create a winning environment? Please share examples of strategies you’ve used. When you’re not at work, what do you do to enjoy yourself? 4. Great sales leaders embrace digital Great sales leaders are “using data and analytics to improve sales strategy and resource deployment, talent management, sales team motivation, and customer engagement.” Today, businesses and consumers look to technology to explore options and get information about a product, service, or before making a purchase. They form opinions and look to their in-person colleagues and online friends for insight. The greatest sales leaders today understand this. Great sales leaders focus on discovering what customers have learned through their pre-buying research, and look for ways to identify opportunities to add value for customers. They’re proficient with digital tools like LinkedIn to connect with customers. Questions to ask when hiring: What was your best decision and worst decision with your sales approach within the last 12 months, and what did you base that off of? How would you involve marketing, operations and customer success teams in your sales efforts at our stage of business? What tools do you use and why? 5. Great leaders have impeccable coaching and mentorship abilities Great sales leaders understand that there is a diversity of selling styles by which salespeople can achieve success. This means great sales leaders are more like coaches and find ways to develop the people on their team, helping them reach their fullest potential. The best sales leaders also have the ability to be coached and coach others. They take input and feedback, and put those into practice to become better. When hiring, some questions to ask: How would you describe your leadership style? What do you look for in your sales reps when building your team? How have you built high-performing sales teams in the past? How do you prefer to give and receive feedback? In closing, For businesses, it’s becoming more and more competitive to attract great sales leaders every year and it can be challenging to stand out with today’s generation of talent. In today’s evolving talent market, it takes a new approach to sales leadership style to train and grow today’s talent and new generation of sales reps, and leaders. The pressure is on for businesses to bring a streamlined recruiting experience to the table. When hiring a sales leader, if there’s misalignment in any area, it causes a wave of problems for the organization, and missed revenue targets. Leverage a network of professionals to help you hire your organization's next great sales leader. Leverage Hunt Club’s sourcing and network of experts with backgrounds in C-level, VP and director of sales, to hire your next generation sales leaders.
March 5, 2020
Recruiting Resources for Job Seekers
We know the job-hunting process can be complex. Unfortunately, Hunt Club does not accept candidate profiles at this time. However, we would like to help you with some resources that might help you in your job search. Some recruiting resources for job seekers: Here are some of our favorite quick reads: Google Gets 3 Million Resumes a Year. How to Make Yours Stand Out, According to a Google Recruiter Traits To Look For In Hiring How To Manage Your Career For The Next Decade—Three Career Trends To Watch In 2020 And Beyond How Can I Ace my Interview? Ask HR I’ve Been Interviewing for 20 Years—And These Are the 3 Best Resume Examples, Based on Experience Level If you are interested in a specific job opportunity with one of our partners Send an email to email@example.com and we can help you out from there. If your business does have a use case for Hunt Club as a recruiting partner Click here. What is Hunt Club? We are a new category of search firm. We leverage the power of relationships and referrals to help find companies the best talent. Hunt Club started out with the idea that the best recruiters in the world have amazing networks they’ve built, curated and nurtured for years. Contrary to many traditional recruiting firm models, we use our own technology to harness the connections in those amazing networks at scale. As a result, we’re building the largest talent network and helping businesses land the best talent through the power of relationships.
February 27, 2020
6 Strategies to Narrow Down Your Candidate Pool
There’s a fine line between having too few candidates to choose from and too many. On one hand, your search isn’t broad enough to reach the right candidates. On the other, your ideal candidate is in the pool somewhere - you just have to sort through hundreds or thousands of other candidates in order to find them. The second scenario is becoming increasingly common in today’s job market, with internet job boards and one-click applications making it easy for candidates to blast their resume out to hiring managers all over the country. It isn’t great for job seekers -- generic applications are unlikely to stand out -- but it isn’t great for hiring managers either. Having too many candidates can make your work even harder, and make it less likely that you’ll find your ideal applicant. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some ways to narrow down your candidate pool -- without losing sight of the perfect hire. Ways to narrow down your candidate pool and find the right hire Essentially, narrowing down your candidate pool comes down to two things: attracting the right candidates, and weeding out those who don’t make the cut. Some of the best hires are passive candidates, who aren’t actively looking for work. If they do start looking, they won’t be on the market long before they’re hired. Your job is to get their attention and guide them through the hiring process before they move on to something else. Here are six effective ways to do it. Use recruiting networks to build a solid candidate pool First, turn to a recruiting network to build a pool of quality candidates from the start. Job boards can be suitable for situations when you need to hire a lot of candidates at once, but they’re unlikely to be much use if you’re searching for a very specific skill set. Why? Because the most qualified candidates, particularly passive candidates, won’t be looking there. Even major networking sites like LinkedIn have lost some of their cachets, now that they’ve been overrun with junk mail and unsolicited messages. With a recruiting network, you’ll have access to a more reliable pool of candidates. For example, Hunt Club has a network of over 5 million candidates, referred by over 10,000 experts. They can even do the work of shortlisting and vetting candidates for you. Hunt Club’s proprietary technology ensures that your job opening is seen by the right people, including passive candidates who aren’t looking at mainstream job boards. Whether you’re searching for your next executive hire or getting ready to scale up with dozens of new roles at once, a recruiting network makes it easy to develop a long-term strategy and get in touch with top talent before your competitors do. Build a candidate profile and establish your network before you’re ready to hire, so you won’t be in such a rush when it comes time to fill the role. In addition to providing you with access to a handpicked candidate pool, you can also use a recruiting network to narrow down your options even further. Hunt Club starts by choosing the best 80 to 100 candidates from the pool, screening 25 to 40 of them, and providing you with a shortlist of five to seven candidates to interview. That way, you know that every candidate who walks in your door is a good fit for the role and is seriously interested in the position. Keep the job description clear The next strategy for narrowing down your pool of candidates is to make sure that your job listing is clear and accurate. Why is this important? After all, if you’re looking to hire a “unicorn ninja rockstar,” shouldn’t you say so? The first reason is that your job listing needs to make it through the right filters. Unless you’re advertising on a niche job board, your listing will be one of the thousands, and your ideal candidates aren’t likely to sort through every post manually. By using common job titles -- such as “Salesforce admin” or “product manager” -- you’ll ensure that your post is seen by people who are a good fit for the role. Most recruiting software won’t recognize unfamiliar job titles, so getting a direct match is important. That said, don’t be vague, either. The responsibilities at your company may differ from other positions with similar titles, so use the rest of your post to elaborate on the role. Be specific about what qualifications or credentials you require, what level of previous experience you’re looking for, and what it’s like to work at your company. Candidates who don’t match the profile can self-select out. Be mindful, though, that it’s possible to take this too far. Searching for a candidate who “lives and breathes data 24/7” might scare away even a qualified applicant. And the Harvard Business Review reports that women don’t apply for a role unless they meet 100% of the qualifications, while men apply when they meet 60%. So it’s important to make a distinction between your minimum requirements and your preferences. If a college degree is required, say so; if not, highlight other skills or metrics by which you can assess a candidate’s qualifications. Have candidates answer questions in their initial application Since a candidate’s self-assessment can be unreliable, there are further steps you can take to weed out under qualified candidates early on in the application process. One simple method is to ask questions as part of the application. This can take the form of a brief skills assessment or even simple yes/no questions. Some online job boards allow you to include screener questions when you post a job, and to filter the applications you receive based on these responses. This ensures that every candidate who applies has put at least some time and thought into their application, and hasn’t just sent you a cookie-cutter resume. This isn’t the place to go into too much detail, though. Asking every applicant to write an essay or take a 100-question test before they’ve even heard back from an HR manager is a surefire way to discourage people from applying. Remember, the best candidates are in demand and may even have a job already. Don’t ask candidates to repeat information that’s already included on their resume, or to jump through too many hoops just to get past the first stage of the application. Make it easy for them to provide the information you need upfront, and follow up with further questions if they seem like a promising candidate. Know their salary requirements sooner rather than later Next, get clear about salary expectations. Some HR managers provide a salary range in their job description or ask the candidate to state their desired salary upfront. Other companies are going even further by sharing their salary information publicly and using formulas to ensure fair pay based on an employee’s role and seniority. While this leaves less room for mismatched expectations, discussing pay can always be a touchy subject, especially once you’ve devoted time to an in-person interview. Be upfront about salary expectations to ensure that you don’t waste time interviewing candidates who have unrealistic expectations, or who receive a level of compensation at their current job that you just can’t afford to match. Do a phone screening Before you go any further in the hiring process, schedule a phone screening to follow up with any candidates who stand out based on their resume and application. There are two main reasons for this. The first is to make sure that the job seeker is still interested in the position, especially if a lot of time has passed since they applied. You can use the phone screening to double-check basic details, such as when they’re available to start working for you or to discuss their desired hours or salary range. The second is to get a sense of their personality. A candidate who submits a stand-out online application may turn out to be rude or argumentative on the phone. Or, they may simply come across as less professional than you expected. Either way, you can narrow down your pool further based on these conversations. A phone screening isn’t meant to replace an interview, and in many cases, it won’t be conducted by the same HR representative who handles in-person interviews. If you’re filling multiple positions at once, you can outsource your phone screenings to a recruiting agency, or ask the candidate to record a video interview instead. The main purpose is to find out how serious the candidate is about working for you, and to confirm that they would be a good culture fit for your company. Be as tactical as possible when interviewing The last way to narrow down your shortlist is to get really good at interviews! This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many teams struggle with this step. Sometimes, a candidate looks so good on paper that you give them the benefit of the doubt and avoid asking difficult questions. Or, you may offer interviews to too many candidates and have trouble distinguishing them afterward. You can avoid these situations by conducting better interviews. Start by assembling a team that can ask the right questions from the start. Instead of restricting the interview to members of the HR team, including someone from the department that your new hire will be joining. Create a worksheet by which the interview team can mark down their reactions to each candidate’s interview to easily compare them later. Be sure to ask behavioral and situational questions to see how they would respond to specific scenarios and get a sense of how they process information. Leave time for the candidate to ask questions too. This can give you some insight into how well they understand the position and how they picture themselves fitting into your company. A candidate who doesn't ask questions may not be serious about the job. Finally, give each candidate a tour of the workplace to assess their soft skills and see how they conduct themselves around people at different seniority levels. Get the right candidate pool with Hunt Club All of these techniques can play a role in helping you find qualified candidates for your open positions. But these strategies will only go so far if you don’t have access to the right pool of candidates, to begin with. Whether you need to fill a single role on your executive team, or you want to create a long-term strategy to fill multiple positions, the recruiters at Hunt Club know what to do. We’ll help you narrow down your search to find the most qualified candidates in your industry, including passive candidates you won’t find in any other network. Join Hunt Club to get access to our network of five million qualified candidates today!
February 24, 2020
Top 20 Salesforce Admin Interview Questions and Answers
February 18, 2020
Recruiting Solutions to Find Great Employees
From corporate boardrooms to sales teams, recruiting the right candidates for a role can be harder than it looks. Two-thirds of recruiters say that it’s gotten harder to fill positions due to changes in the job market over the past five years. Sometimes it’s because of a skills gap: there aren’t enough qualified candidates in your region, and you need to attract people from further afield. But the low unemployment rate is also a factor. Because most qualified candidates have a job already, they’re less likely to be looking for a new job and less open to accepting a job offer unless it comes with an increase in pay or better work-life balance. With that in mind, recruiting top talent doesn’t have to be an impossible task. From new technologies like AI hiring tools to tried and true approaches like employee referral networks, let’s look at a few ways you can attract the right candidates to your team. Recruiting solutions to finding the right hire What does finding the right hire look like for your company? There are several factors to consider when bringing someone new into the workplace. First, you’ll need to make sure that they’re qualified for the position. Even before inviting candidates to an interview, narrow down your candidate pool with a questionnaire or a phone screening to see if they meet the minimum requirements for the role. That said, don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. Ask your colleagues to list which skills are must-haves, and which can be picked up on the job. Sometimes, slightly under-qualified candidates can adapt to a new role with a little training. Second, check for a good culture fit. In addition to an interview, give each candidate a tour of the office, introduce them to other employees, or invite them to lunch. Culture fit doesn’t mean everyone on your team has to have the same degree or have gone to the same alma mater. But at the very least, your new hire should reflect your company’s values, communication style, and work ethic. Third, hire for the long-term. There’s no point in waiting for the perfect candidate for a role only for them to move on to a new job in a few months time. Reduce turnover by hiring candidates who are dedicated to their career path, and make it worthwhile for them to stick around by offering a competitive salary and benefits. Five solid recruiting solutions for your business These are a few of the most important things to keep in mind when making a new hire. However, where do all of these candidates come from in the first place? If you’re like many industries these days, then your prospective hires won’t be coming from mainstream job boards, or even from postings on LinkedIn. Instead, let’s look at five robust recruiting solutions for your business that take today’s new hiring landscape into account. Recruitment networks Recruiting networks help to reduce the amount of effort that your team has to spend on searching for and vetting new hires. Instead of recruiting candidates through an internal HR team, a recruiting service can do most of the work for you. Not all recruiters are the same, though, so it’s crucial to find one that can handle the needs of your business. Some recruiters only come on board when you need to make a single hire, while others can help you create a long-term hiring strategy. The best recruitment networks leverage modern technology to help you make the right hiring decisions. For example, Hunt Club uses its own proprietary technology to search its network of over 5,000,000 passive candidates to find the best match. Since passive candidates are included in the search, you’ll be able to reach candidates who aren’t actively looking for a job but are open to new opportunities. Plus, Hunt Club has over 10,000 experts on hand to make a professional referral. The team at Hunt Club will use these resources to narrow down the pool of candidates and provide you with a shortlist of five to seven prescreened, and handpicked selections. Because Hunt Club does all of this vetting upfront, you can be sure that each candidate is qualified for the role before they even sit down for an interview. And by tapping into a pre-existing network, you’ll reduce the time you spend posting ads on job boards and waiting for resumes to trickle in. Online recruitment CRM platforms Another option is to use an online recruitment platform, which is essentially a CRM for prospective hires. These kinds of tools can be useful if you hire frequently and need to keep track of a large number of applicants. This won’t necessarily solve your sourcing problem, though, unless you pair it with an online recruiting tool such as LinkedIn Recruiter. Why use an online recruitment platform? For one, it can automate some of the steps in the employee vetting process. For example, you can use AI technology to sort resumes and screen applicants, and even use intelligent chatbots to schedule interviews. Just as with a customer-oriented CRM, you can use an online recruitment platform to build up a profile of your prospective candidates. Even if you aren’t able to hire them immediately, you can save their information for future job openings. Additionally, you can use recruiting software to reduce bias in the hiring process. While there are still questions about how useful these tools are at increasing diversity, some tools allow you to address gender imbalances in your candidate pool. Recruitment CRMs and applicant tracking systems can’t replace the hands-on support of a recruiting service. Still, they can make it easier for your HR team to track promising candidates and automate some of the steps in the screening process. Employee incentive programs One tried and accurate method for boosting your recruiting efforts is with a referral program that incentivizes your employees to recommend candidates from their networks. Why do employee referral programs work? Mostly, because they include your existing employees in the hiring process -- and reward them for it. New hires who join your team through a referral program require a shorter hiring and onboarding process and stay in their job longer. You’ll also spend less money on job ads and outreach, although, depending on the role, you should plan to reward the employee who made the referral with a bonus. These programs are successful because referred candidates are more likely to be a good culture fit and have the required qualifications for the role. They may have the same technical background or social connections as your current employees. And, because someone in their network has recommended the role to them, they’re more likely to take the job offer seriously. Employee referral programs can be incorporated into your recruitment CRM or other recruiting strategies and can increase the candidate pool for any given role. However, if more than 50% of your new hires come through a referral program, you might find yourself with a less diverse and more insular workforce. Balancing your team with new hires from outside of your network and from a recruitment service or job board is essential Niche job boards While many hiring managers turn to Monster or Indeed, the minute they have to hire someone new, these aren’t necessarily the best places to find candidates. For one, mainstream job boards get so many new posts every day that it can be like finding a needle in a haystack -- for both the recruiter and the jobseeker. Unless you use precisely the right job description in your post, your ideal candidates may never even see it. One solution is to turn to niche job boards instead. Passive candidates are more likely to frequent industry-specific websites, so you’ll increase your chances of getting your job ad seen by the relevant candidates in your industry. How niche should you go? Good.co has a list of The Top 100 Niche Job Boards on the Internet, and they cover everything from Science Careers to Math Classifieds, as well as remote job boards like WeWorkRemotely, and nonprofit job boards like Idealist. If you’re struggling to find candidates in your region, consider posting on job boards in other cities or countries to reach candidates who can work remotely or relocate. Posting on multiple job boards may incur more fees, but if you do it strategically, you’ll reach a more relevant talent pool and have fewer unwanted resumes to sort through. Social media recruiting Finally, don’t overlook the benefits of recruiting on social media platforms. As more and more job seekers -- particularly millennials and Generation Z -- spend their downtime on social media, this can be the quickest way to get your job posts in their inbox. Using social media for recruiting is especially important for SaaS companies and online businesses that rely on social media for inbound marketing and customer support. After all, your ideal candidate is someone who knows these platforms inside and out. How can you leverage social media in your recruitment process? Start by building up a company brand on multiple social media channels -- not just Facebook and LinkedIn. Candidates who know about your company and trust your brand are more likely to be interested when you post about a job opening. For example, Buffer received twice as many job applications the month after they began publicly sharing their salary formula on their blog and on social media. You can also combine social media with your employee referral program by asking your employees to share job posts on their social networks. Posts shared by employees are more likely to be seen and engaged with than posts from corporate accounts. Most importantly, find out what hashtags job seekers in your industry are using to look for work. Share job posts using the most relevant hashtags, including location-based hashtags and hashtags for industry conferences, such as #SXSW2020. Social media recruitment isn’t a quick fix to fill your open positions. If you don’t have a trusted online presence, it can take time to build one. But for companies that do, there’s nothing more rewarding than hiring a candidate who believes in your brand and already follows you on social media. If someone has a particularly impressive social media presence, you can even take the initiative and reach out to them. Which strategy should you choose? As we’ve seen, each of these strategies can address different problems that may come up during the recruitment process. If you have too many resumes, use a recruitment service or a recruitment CRM to help you sort through them all and pick out qualified applicants. Don’t have enough? Target your search using a niche job board or social media outreach instead. No matter where you are in the process, a recruitment service like Hunt Club can help you come up with a recruitment strategy and expand your candidate network. Reach out to the team to find out how you can get access to our network of over five million qualified candidates today.
February 13, 2020
3 Strategies to Hire Your Next Marketing Leader
Companies that start with a great idea but end up failing is often because they lack a go-to-market strategy. Or they don't have a marketing leader who can execute. Without the right marketer or team in place to respond to changes in the market or enact effective strategies to compete, it puts good businesses at risk of going bad. Today, hiring marketing leaders to drive this has become increasingly difficult. Growing businesses need experienced marketing direction. Established companies need to keep up with the latest changes and trends without putting their brand at risk. As digital continues to evolve at break-neck speed and reshape the pathway to consumers, marketing leaders have it tough. In fact, according to VentureBeat, no other C-suite member gets fired faster than the chief marketing officer. Why hiring a marketing leader is difficult Digital is taking over and changing how people live, work, and consume. In business, the number of more nuanced and specialty marketing roles is growing, and by 2022, the BLS predicts the number of new available marketing jobs in the U.S. will reach over 224,000. In parallel, the marketing world doesn't come with set guidelines or formal resources on how to hire a marketer. Or how to evaluate candidates during the hiring process. For any business, it's hard to know where to begin. As Viviana Faga, operating partner at Emergence Capital, writes in her Inc. article, "I advise executives to identify their company's big goals, prioritize them, and then map out the marketing expertise they most need to support them." It's an essential step because marketing is a broad discipline — it's not a one-size-fits-all field. In most cases, a marketing professional's expertise usually focuses on one of four areas: performance and revenue, corporate, product, and brand/creative marketing. It's critical to ensure the type of marketer you hire has the skill set and the superpower that best aligns with your organization and can help you reach your business goals. Let's first look at what defines a marketing leader, the roles and responsibilities, and if you're considering a marketing leader for your business, three strategies to help you evaluate candidates in the hiring process. Hunt Club leverages referrals from our network of subject matter experts to source, qualify, and hire talent for you. Let us find your next marketing leader. What is a marketing leader Marketers–they come a dime a dozen, and in all shapes and forms. At the core, a marketing leader is different than a marketing doer. Doing marketing is different than leading marketing. Doing marketing is all about enacting the "four P's": price, product, promotion, and place. This marketer will get their hands dirty and use critical tools to master a plan and execute a go-to-market strategy. A marketing leader will know how to synthesize this data while dedicating the time to learn their customers' needs. Marketing leaders engage with their customers to promote and sell products and services by providing the right features and data. A marketing leader needs to build the strategy and messaging behind why they are the best, and above all competitors. Since customers' needs change all the time, marketing leaders need to be on top of the fluctuations at all times. Marketing leaders have a deep understanding of their business's needs, and creating exceptional customer experiences is on the top of their minds, day in and out. They know their customers, and they know the other leaders (e.g., CEO, VP of Sales) in their business and know how to arm their teams with the right information to mobilize them in the market. A marketing leader can also mean very different things across different-sized businesses. A marketing leader at an early-stage startup compared to one at well-established companies has different roles and goals, and this means there isn't a one-size-fits-all hiring approach. Regardless of size, if you're looking to hire a marketing leader, the first step is knowing what will significantly move the needle for your business and drive results. Then find a marketing leader who can build a strategy and process that aligns with this information. Common types of marketing leaders Marketing leaders look different at various stages of a business. Keep in mind, someone can be a fantastic marketer but won't drive the right impact or strategy for your business if it's the wrong type of hire for the stage of your business. Here are two distinct ones we'll use to compare and contrast the differences: Founder-led marketing leaders At the beginning of a venture, it's often up to the founder or founding team to pile on the hats and become the sales/dev/ops/comms/person for their product or service. At some point, customer acquisition becomes a key initiative for the business and can leave founders desperate and reactive in looking for someone to take this over. "Perhaps the biggest difference between most first-time founders and most second-time founders is how long they try to do it all themselves." –Jason Lemkin, When to Stop Doing it All Yourself There will always come the point in your business where you can't do it all anymore, and you need to bring someone who can step in, specifically for the customer acquisition need. Mid to senior-level marketing leaders Hiring a mid-level or senior-level marketer is a great option, but they need to have the skills and tools to drive revenue and keep the company alive. An interesting point, millennials makeup over half of today's workforce and have different values than of the generations before. In marketing, they want to move forward in their careers. They want constructive and direct feedback and to develop their strengths. It isn't enough to sit in on marketing meetings–they want the chair at the head of the table. In business, this is excellent news because this generation of marketing leaders is hungry to learn and succeed. When to hire a marketing leader and what to look for in candidates There are three key questions to consider when hiring a marketing leader. It's essential to ask: What does the business need at this stage? What are the projections and business goals in the next 6, 12, 24 months? Who are our buyer personas? Once you've figured that out, there are a few critical characteristics to consider in your marketing leader candidates and improve your recruiting results. Here are the advanced leadership skills to asses at-a-glance: Initiative Creativity Data-driven & results-oriented Strategist Team-player Superpower strength How do they show initiative? You want to be able to give your marketing leader the room to spread their wings. It's fine to work together and figure out what needs to happen. What's even better is if the person can anticipate this and do it on their own. You can assess how they show initiative by looking if they share their ideas freely. Whether it's in interviews or as you get to know them, find out how they've contributed their thoughts in their previous roles at other companies. Is it clear that they share their ideas and have looked for ways to contribute while in their previous roles? What were those ideas, and how did they help the business? Dig in. What is their level of creativity? Not every marketing leader needs to be fully proficient in design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. They do need to know how to build a company's brand as well as address challenges coming from competitors or customers in new and different ways–and it requires creative strategy. Are they more of a grab a napkin and draw stick figures to get their point across, or can they story-tell on stage and command an audience? Creativity comes in all forms. Importantly, can they inspire others to pull creativity out of their team? Do they get data? Google Analytics, PPC campaigns, email metrics, Salesforce, and HubSpot–the list doesn't stop there. Today's standard marketing tools require the person using it to be able to identify, manipulate, and understand data. There is no way around it. Find out how they take data in, interpret it, and use it to make informed decisions about marketing campaigns. What successes have they had, and how did they use data to influence any decisions coming out of it? Conversely, how have they used data to course-correct when needed? Are they real strategists? And, do they have the grit to be tactical–and do both? As an example, for young or high-growth companies, the ideal marketing leader is someone who can: Develop a high-level strategy while also execute Build rapport with department leaders and tactically prove the value of marketing Experiment and iterate quickly Delegate work, hire and manage people, and effectively scale marketing for the company's growth. Are they team-oriented? If you're looking at hiring a team leader, be transparent upfront on when you might start to build out their team and what milestones the company would need to hit to expand the team. Ask them what roles they think their first two hires would be—marketing designer, marketing ops analyst, content writer, etc.—and why. You want to get an idea for where they see their expertise, where they would want to double-down, and where they would like or need to augment their capabilities. Finally, what is their "superpower"? As Tim Kopp puts it in The 7 Personas of the Modern CMO: "Unlike other company functions, marketing has grown to encompass multiple specialties, touching everything internal and external, from prospects and customers to employees and investors. While this diversity of responsibility gives marketing a seat at several different tables around the company, it also makes it extremely difficult to find leaders who can "do it all." Today's CMOs must be both a brand pioneer, analytics warrior, and an operator. They must be both right-brained and left-brained. Plus, because they are usually the face of the brand, they must also have strong presentation skills and be exceptional at building teams. It's overwhelming clear the CMO [or marketing leader] is no longer a one-size-fits-all hire. It's critical for CEOs to determine the real imperatives of the role as well as the areas they're willing to sacrifice. It's also essential to match the needs of the business to the skillset of the CMO." It's very rare for one person to "have it all," and for your business, it's vital to uncover their superpower upfront and early in the hiring process to make sure it aligns with what your business needs. Let us manage the whole recruiting process for you. Hunt Club becomes an extension of your team to help you grow your organization. Click here to learn more. How to hire your next marketing leader and three strategies to use: Now that you've decided it's time to hire a marketing leader and you know what to look for, here are three timeless strategies to help ensure that you attract the right level candidate, get them interested, and close them. Deliver an exceptional candidate experience It comes down to treating others as you want to be treated. When you put in the effort to make sure all candidates are valued and rewarded, it is empowering, whether someone is hired on or not. It leaves a lasting impression on anyone who interviews and speaks volumes about your brand to people outside the company. When you bring the person in for an interview, have the person meet several people from your company, not just an immediate supervisor or team members. Ensure that they know they have full support in their role, and they know what success is. Show them you care more about their needs The number one reason people change jobs is an opportunity, and the factors that influence this are compensation, work-life balance, and professional development. Spend your first interactions with a candidate by getting to know them. Ask them questions to understand what they want, what they need, and where they are in their job search. In these early conversations, clearly communicate why it would be beneficial for them to join your business and how your organization can help their long-term professional goals. Knowing this right from the start can help them realize all the things they are probably missing. Seeing an upward path and career development, and having the information upfront, can also speed up their decision to accept a role once offered. Always provide value Talent makes their decisions based on information, interest, and excitement. As a business owner or founder, your job is to give the candidates as much information as humanly possible. When you approach any conversation, take a 360-degree view of the role, so when the time is right, you can communicate everything as possible about the position. Have a great read on what this person will be doing day-to-day and what it will take to be successful. Then take what you know and match the needs of the role to the candidate's skill set and interests. Getting this right will ensure the person feels understood and will be more receptive to talking with you to learn more a role. Reach more marketing leaders today If you need access to better candidates, or simply want a professional recruiting team to guide you through the process, let Hunt Club help. With our pool of over five million candidates and proprietary recruiting technology, we can help introduce you to your next marketing hire.
February 13, 2020
How Dave Knox Built Teams for 100+ Startups: 4 Key Takeaways
This week, we had the opportunity to present a webinar episode titled How Dave Knox Built Teams for 100+ Startups. This episode is part one of our ongoing series, Changing the Game: Talent, Tech and Growth. Our Co-founder & CEO, Nick Cromydas talked with Dave Knox, venture investor, brand builder, and digital innovator, and talked through three sections, covering what’s happening in the world the of startups and big companies, then what founders can do to build their teams and create success, and finally, a 5-step plan to future-proof their startups. In short, this webinar covered hiring fundamentals for every startup to learn from. To give you a glimpse, here are the key takeaways from the webinar. Click below to watch the on-demand webinar recording: 1. What’s happening in the world of startups and big businesses? “Between 2013 and 2017, some $17 billion in sales shifted from big consumer brands to small brands. In 2018, small and medium-size companies sold $160 billion in goods on Amazon."–Dave Knox Founders are building their businesses in special times. Big companies like the Unilevers, P&Gs, and Walmarts are realizing the need to shift from using digital as a marketing tool so they can keep pace with some of the most disruptive companies. Meanwhile, startups, have been looking at digital differently–as a business model–giving them an unfair advantage and realizing they don’t need big budgets to compete with the big fish in the pond. In parallel, more money is being poured into venture capital, fueling innovation. As a result, big companies are now looking for ways to engage with innovative companies so they can try to predict the future of their industry. 2. Knowing Dave’s worked with over 100 startups, why should founders care about big company innovation? How can they position themselves to create success? Startups are the future of innovation. It’s important for founders to consider the mindset of what the bigger companies are doing to determine two things: one–how they can compete and two–what they can learn from them. Great startups take unconventional approaches that most big companies won’t even consider. "There's a reason big co’s have to behave the way they do.”–Dave Knox When big companies see what startups are doing–and they usually realize it too late–those emerging startups have taken over their entire market. This presents a great opportunity for founders. Whether it’s having a conversation with a big company or exploring a strategic partnership, founders should go into those meetings with a discovery mindset. It’s an incredible opportunity to grow your network horizontally. “The partnership game is like being a serial entrepreneur. It gets easier the second, third or fourth time around.”–Dave Knox Click below to view the on-demand webinar recording: 3. How to think about early-stage team building as a founder In hyper-growth companies, some of your earliest employees– the ones who’ve done great things to get your business to where it’s at today–are not the right fit for the next stage. It’s important to reframe the idea of natural loyalty. Many founders are reluctant to let those employees go because of this idea and feel they would be doing them a disservice. Sometimes the real disservice is not having an honest conversation, helping them find out what they really want to do, and then not preparing a plan to get them there. "Whether it’s 12 months, 1 year, 2 years or 5 years, a job well done is a job well done.”–Nick Cromydas 4. A 5-step plan to future-proof your startup Get the right talent in place that knows how to keep up with the pace of change in today’s world. This is the most important asset in the future. Leverage existing relationships with other founders and VCs to access talent. You don’t need to have big budgets to roll out the red carpet and deliver an exceptional candidate experience for talent. Have the right tools in place to scale to be creative and innovative. Build an advisory board filled with people who know the industry, inside and out. Bonus: Consider building an HQ2 or an HQ3 early on as you build teams in other markets in order to focus on getting the real game-changers. Wrap up This was a great webinar that offered a generous amount of information for any startup getting started building their teams or taking the next step to level-up their business. If you weren’t able to attend but would like to see the recording, sign up to see the video here. Let us find your next hire. Learn more about Hunt Club About Dave Knox Dave Knox is a venture investor, brand builder, digital innovator, and author of Predicting the Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips. He’s a co-founder of The Brandery, a nationally ranked accelerator that invests in high-growth startups. Previously, he was the Chief Marketing Officer of Rockfish/WPP Ventures. About Nick Cromydas Nick Cromydas is co-founder and CEO of Hunt Club, a referral-based technology talent company, founded in 2014 and based in Chicago. Nick has spent the last five years running Hunt Club, primarily focused on the development of the company leadership team, strategic selling and business development, public relations, and the overall strategy and vision for the company. He’s also the founder of New Coast Ventures, a Chicago-based digital innovation agency focused on a combination of creative and venture capital funds and has made over 40+ startup investments. In 2020, Nick was ranked on Crain’s Most Innovative Leaders in HR. In 2016, Nick was ranked on the Forbes 30 under 30 Marketing & Advertising list. Prior to this, Nick was an investor and advisor to multiple companies at various stages.
[Hiring, Startups, Webinar]
February 12, 2020
Navigating the roads of digitally-banded communities can be messy. Particularly when it comes to professional networking. We live in a world where the power of relationships is what ignites the path for job opportunities. Why aren't more communities working to elevate this fundamental idea? Instead, the traditional recruiting world makes this complicated. These approaches inhibit our friends, colleagues, and mentors from landing transformative careers. There's no room to spread their wings and grow. It's a problem plaguing the industry far and wide and is why we’ve built and launched a new way to fix it. Meet Hunt Club's candidate referral platform We got laser-focused as a team to figure out a new way to help professionals achieve a better hiring experience. First, we turned to our roots: fellow entrepreneurs, go-getters, industry leaders, and leap-takers who live out their professional ambitions with integrity. They gave us critical feedback and insight into what’s wrong with many hiring processes today, allowing us to create moments where things could go right. They guided us through processes and what a "no-headhunting" approach should feel like. They shared ideas on how they want to refer talent to some of the most coveted roles across the country. Creating meaningful career advancements for them and their networks became our priority. Second, we overhauled our technology to streamline the experience, optimize search, and secure data. Our Experts now see relevant referral opportunities in-line with their expertise and location. How it works Sign up and take thirty seconds to identify your expertise. Review the tailored positions we're hiring for our partners. See a job on the screen that could be a fit for someone you know? Tap it to learn more. Name of someone you know popping up as you read? Refer them directly like this: That's it. Less banter and less fuss. What happens next? If we believe the person you referred might be a fit for our client, we'll reach out to the candidate about the position. When your referral speaks with our client or is placed in the role, you're rewarded up to $2,000. Why join the Hunt Club Expert network? You want to help excel someone's career. Our client's story forever changes with the hire. No better way to champion the magic moment between. For Hunt Club, this is a win-win-win. And, there's one more reason, we’re adding one more “win” to the equation. In celebration, we've teamed up with Cara, a Chicago non-profit organization creating a pathway out of poverty since 1991. This is monumental. It will unlock power and purpose within our communities to create opportunities and lasting success for thousands of people and organizations. As part of the partnership, Hunt Club will donate $50 to Cara for every Expert that makes a referral between February 3 and March 2, 2020. It's one of Hunt Club's first of many impact initiatives. Here's where you can read more about them here.
February 11, 2020
Top 25 Excel Interview Questions: A Guide
Many of us have used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to keep track of household expenses, create personal budgets, and handle simple business tasks. But Excel is capable of far more complex formulas and functions than most people give it credit for. When you’re applying for a new professional role, you may be expected to understand Excel to an entirely different level. While design and creative roles likely wouldn’t require these kinds of questions, those looking for administrative and clerical roles should expect to demonstrate at least an intermediate understanding of the software. Don’t be surprised if your hiring manager tests your proficiency by asking questions about how the software works. Here, we’ll take a look at 25 questions about Excel that you should be able to answer when you sit down for an interview. What You Need to Know About Microsoft Excel First, what exactly is Excel? Let’s zoom out from the rows and columns for a big-picture view of this world-famous Microsoft application. Excel was first released by Microsoft in 1985 as a follow-up to its previous spreadsheet program, Multiplan. The first edition was only available on Apple Macintosh computers, with a Windows version coming out two years later, in 1987. Excel really took off with the release of version 5.0 in 1993, which included Visual Basic for Applications, a macro programming language that expanded its functionality. These days, Excel still has the largest market share for spreadsheet software, although Google Sheets is becoming increasingly popular with younger users. Excel is the preferred spreadsheet for professional users, in part due to the advanced data modeling capabilities of the PowerPivot add-in. 25 Excel Interview Questions You Should Be Able to Answer Excel interview questions are designed to test your understanding of the software, as well as how it is used in specific industries. Your interviewer won’t ask you all of these questions, but they may pick and choose the most relevant ones. Some questions may have a single correct answer, while others call for more personal answers, such as how you would use the software in practice. As you prepare for your interview, be sure to consider which questions are relevant to your particular industry. From IT to accounting, you should be prepared to impress the HR team with your knowledge of the software based on your own experience. Here are 25 of the most common Excel interview questions: 1) What are some of the data types used in Excel and how are they displayed? Numbers are one of the basic data types used in Excel. You can format numbers with or without commas, and to a set number of decimal places. Percentages are another way to format numbers. For example, .05 could also be displayed as 5%. Dates can be formatted to regional specifications, such as the standard MM/DD/YYYY format used in the U.S. Dates are stored as numbers, counting up from the number of days that have passed since January 1, 1900. Strings are lines of text that can be made up of numbers, letters, and punctuation. 2) What is the ($) symbol used for? The ($) symbol, or dollar sign, has two uses in Excel. It can be used to denote currency within a cell, in either the Currency or Accounting format. It can also be used as an absolute cell reference within a formula. For example, $B$2 will always refer to B2, even if you move the formula. 3) What are absolute, relative, and mixed cell references? An absolute cell reference means that the cell in question stays consistent, even if the formula is moved. The ($) symbol is used to denote an absolute cell reference. A relative reference means that when the formula is moved, the reference is changed based on the number of rows and columns by which it is moved. A mixed reference is one in which either the row or column is absolute, and the other one is relative. For example, B$2 means that when the formula is moved, the column will change, but the row will not, as opposed to $B2, which does the opposite. 4) What order of operations does Excel use? Excel formulas follow the standard PEMDAS order of operations. Following the (=) sign, Excel works from left to right, starting with Parentheses, then Exponents. Next comes Multiplication and Division, followed by Addition and Subtraction. 5) What is the VLOOKUP function and how is it used? The VLOOKUP function allows you to find specific data within a given range. You could look up a part number to find a price, or an employee ID to find a name. The value that you want to find should be to the right of the value that you use to look it up. Use TRUE to find an exact match, and FALSE to find an approximate match. 6) What is the maximum number of rows and columns Excel can support? MS Excel 2007 and all later versions support a maximum of 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns for a total cell count of 17,179,869,184 per worksheet. If you import a source file with more rows or columns than is allowed, you may get an error message saying “File not loaded completely.” 7) How can you find out the number of rows and columns in your worksheet? Put your cursor in an empty column and press Ctrl + Down Arrow to go to the last row. Put your cursor in an empty row and press Ctrl + Right Arrow to go to the last column. 8) How can you count the number of cells that contain data? You can count the number of rows and columns that contain data by clicking on the row selector or column header, or by using the COUNTA function. 9) What is the difference between the COUNT and COUNTA functions? The COUNT function counts all cells that contain numbers, while the COUNTA function counts all cells that contain data. This means that COUNTA counts all cells that aren’t blank, including those that include non-numerical data. 10) What is a pivot table and what kind of reports do they display? A pivot table is used to show statistics, such as sums or averages, that are drawn from a larger table. Reports can be displayed in Compact, Outline, and Tabular forms. 11) What are the six options for formatting a cell? Number, Alignment, Font, Border, Patterns, and Protection 12) What are the six types of data that Excel formats automatically? Currency, Percentage, Date, Time, Fraction, Scientific 13) What does a red triangle in the upper right corner of a cell mean? A red triangle is an indicator that there is a note or comment attached to that cell. You can hover your cursor over the cell to view it. 14) What is the difference between a note and a comment? Notes don’t have a “reply” function, and are used for single annotations and reminders. Comments do have a “reply” function and can be used for threaded conversations. 15) What is the Ribbon and what does it contain? The Ribbon refers to the row of buttons and icons at the top of your worksheet. These include common tabs like Home, Insert, Page Layout, and Data. You can customize the Ribbon and collapse or expand it using CTRL+F1. Some tabs only appear when you select a relevant item, such as a chart or table. 16) How can you keep the data in your worksheet safe? Select Review > Protect Sheet > Password to create a password and lock your sheet. Users cannot copy and paste data from a password protected sheet. If you only want to lock some of the cells, you can select those cells rather than lock the entire sheet. 17) What is the difference between SUBSTITUTE and REPLACE? Both functions are used to replace part of the text in a string. The main difference is that REPLACE is based on the position of the text you want to replace, while SUBSTITUTE is based on the content of the text and is case-sensitive. For example, you would use SUBSTITUTE to replace a given string located anywhere in your worksheet. REPLACE, on the other hand, can be used to replace strings located in specific positions, such as to redact the digits in a bank account number with ****. 18) How does the IF function work? The IF function checks to see whether a given statement is true or false. For example, it can determine whether a sum is greater or lesser than x, and show the result. 19) What are the WEEKDAY and WORKDAY functions used for? The WEEKDAY function displays a number from 1-7 based on the day of the week for a given date. For example, it would return 01/01/2020 as a 4 for Wednesday. The default setting is to count from 1, starting on Sunday, but this can be customized to suit your counting scheme. The WORKDAY function can be used to count the number of workdays from a start date, excluding weekends and holidays. 20) What is an Excel macro? A macro is a piece of programming code that can be used to automate actions that you do repeatedly. You can record a macro using the Record Macro tool in the Developer tab. Simply perform the tasks that you want to record, then run back the macro. Use the Visual Basic Editor to make changes to the code. You can direct Excel when to run the macro automatically, such as every time you open a workbook. 21) What are some of the chart types you can use in Excel? Excel offers standard charts, such as pie charts, line charts, and column charts. It also has more complex charts such as XY (scatter) charts and map charts. 22) What is a volatile function and what are its risks? A volatile function is one that is recalculated every time a change is made, even if none of the cells in question have been updated. Volatile functions can slow down processing time, especially if they’re used in a worksheet with a large data set. 23) What are some ways to reduce the size of an Excel file? Save it as an Excel Binary Workbook (XLSB) file Compress images using the Picture Tools Format tab Clear the Pivot Cache and remove unused Pivot Tables Remove data formatting and delete unused data 24) How can you avoid running malicious macros in Excel files? Microsoft Word and Excel files can be used to hide malicious malware. By default, Excel disables all macros when opening a file unless you choose to run them. You can change your security settings in the Trust Center to allow trusted macros. 25) What are the three wildcard characters in Excel searches? A question mark (?) replaces a single character. For example, “Jo?n” returns “John” and “Joan.” An asterisk (*) replaces multiple characters. For example, “J*n” will return''John `` and''Joan,” as well as “Jon.” A tilde (~) before a wildcard character is used to search for that character. For example, to find “*” you would search for “~*.” Your interviewer may ask you more subjective questions, such as what kinds of Excel spreadsheets you’ve made, or best practices for designing a dashboard. Remember, your task isn’t to simply recite functions you’ve memorized, but to show that you have a working knowledge of how they’re applied. Use these questions as a starting point to brush up on your knowledge of Excel, and be prepared to share your personal experience with the program. Let Your Next Job Opportunity Come to You Who has time to search for a job -- especially if your current job isn’t half-bad? Don’t let your workload distract you from bigger and better opportunities. With Hunt Club, you can let your next job offer come to you, without even having to leave your desk. Not only are you more appealing to employers as a passive candidate, but you’ll only receive messages about jobs that you’re a match for. With a network of 10,000 experts on hand to recommend and vet passive candidates, Hunt Club can get your resume in front of the right hiring manager today.
February 6, 2020
How to Use LinkedIn to Recruit Talent
LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for professionals, with over half a billion members and 2 new signups every second. With 165+ million members in the United States, it’s a must-use tool for small and large businesses when recruiting new talent in the workplace. The sheer size of LinkedIn’s community can make it overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. In this article, we’ll help you navigate LinkedIn as a recruiter so you’ll have the best chances of finding the right talent for your business. How does LinkedIn work? LinkedIn is a social network for business professionals. Similar to Facebook or Twitter, it uses profiles and a news feed to connect you with other users on the platform. Anyone can sign up to use LinkedIn either as an individual or as a business. Once you’ve created an account, you can add people you know to grow your professional network. Finding people to connect with is easy; you can either add people from your email contacts (which will send them an invitation to connect with you) or search for them manually. As you add people LinkedIn will ask how you know the person you’re trying to connect with and through which business, school, or organization you met. This is to ensure that LinkedIn networks are as authentic as possible and to help reduce the amount of spam. You can only contact your direct connections, or anyone two degrees away from you on LinkedIn, by email. To contact anyone outside of your extended network, friends of friends or third-degree connections, you’ll need to use special tools such as LinkedIn’s InMail, OpenMail or “introductions,” which are not freely available to all users. If you’ve set up a personal account, you’ll be able to share articles and blog posts, and read posts from your network on your news feed. Content on LinkedIn tends to be more professional in nature than other social networks. Think of it as more of an extended resume than a personal blog or photo album. LinkedIn uses algorithms to show you the most relevant content and even recommends jobs you may be interested in. Still, you can use LinkedIn to grow your influence by writing about any topics related to your industry. If you’re a business, you can use LinkedIn for marketing and branding by sharing useful posts from other users or creating content of your own. Lastly, if you are a talent professional, you can create a recruiter account usingLinkedIn Recruiter, which allows you to view more candidates and send mass InMail messages, helping you find and reach more professionals and potential job seekers The biggest challenges to recruiting on LinkedIn While LinkedIn is full of talent, it can be tough to find and recruit the right candidates if you start the process without a plan. Even if you do find quality candidates, they may not all want to hear from you. Just like any other social media platform, LinkedIn can attract its fair share of spam and phishing attempts, so recipients may be skeptical of unsolicited messages. LinkedIn takes a strong stance against unwanted messages, so be sure to look at their recruiter policies before reaching out to candidates. For example, if you send more than 100 InMail messages in two weeks, you’ll need to get a response rate of at least 13% to avoid being penalized. This means it’s important to have a strategy when recruiting on LinkedIn, not just a bulk messaging plan. Fortunately, there are several other ways for you to recruit on LinkedIn, from posting a paid job listing, to sharing your posting with the appropriate users and job boards. Let’s take a look at nine tips for recruiting on LinkedIn to incorporate into your hiring strategy and help you succeed in reaching the right talent for your business. 9 tips to recruit on LinkedIn The strategies that you use to recruit on LinkedIn will depend on what type of account you create. For example, when you use a paid Recruiter account you can view any LinkedIn profile, not just those in your personal network. This is something not available in free individual or Business accounts. Regardless of which option you choose, use these tips to increase your likelihood of finding and hiring the right candidates. 1. Use LinkedIn alongside a recruiting service Some hiring managers make the mistake of putting all of their efforts into one recruiting platform. While it’s true that most of the candidates you want to hire will be on LinkedIn, sorting through them all can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. A recruiting service like Hunt Club can take a more targeted approach and help you turn out better results, faster. What’s the difference? HuntClub has a network of over five million passive candidates who have been vetted by over 10,000 experts, giving you access to top talent right from the start. Plus, the recruiters at HuntClub will narrow down your prospects, presenting you with a shortlist of 5 to 7 handpicked candidates. Instead of taking a gamble by recruiting on LinkedIn yourself, put your candidate search in the hands of an experienced recruiting service like HuntClub for the best results. 2 Create an engaging company profile Would you be likely to pursue a candidate who doesn’t have a resume or headshot on their profile? Probably not; chances are the person won’t be interested in applying for a job at a company that doesn’t have a clearly filled out profile, either. If you are recruiting for your business, here’s where the Company page comes in. It’s free to create one and it’s a great way to make your business stand out, especially if you aren’t a well-known brand. Additionally, have your colleagues create LinkedIn profiles and ensure they connect with your Company page. This way, anyone interested in your business or any job openings you post can easily see who else works at your company and what their roles are. Your business will get extra visibility and legitimacy by showing up in the networks of your current employees. 3 Use the right advertising tools There are several ways to publicize open jobs on LinkedIn, so be sure to pick the option that is best suited to the role. One idea is to use pay-per-click job ads, which are shared on LinkedIn and by email to reach candidates in the relevant industry and location for the role. This is a great tool if you only hire once in a while and want to reach a larger audience, while still having control over the daily ad spending on your job listing. Another option is to use Job Slots. These are dedicated job posts reserved for your company that you can use for multiple positions over a certain timeframe. For example, you could post several 30-day ads throughout the year with a single Job Slot, which is cheaper than buying a pay-per-click ad for each position. 4. Consider passive candidates According to LinkedIn’s Talent Trends report, 90% of employed professionals are open to hearing from recruiters about a new job opportunity, and just 37% expect to stay at their current job for more than 3 years. Some of these are passive candidates, who aren’t actively looking for a new job at all, while others may be “tiptoers”: happy enough to stay at their current job (for now), but always on the lookout for a better opportunity. The important thing to remember is that passive candidates aren’t going to change jobs on a whim. You’ll need to convince them that it’s worth it, whether it’s better perks or more prospects for career advancement than they have at their current job. When you make the first contact, be sure to explain to them why their profile stood out, and what your company can offer them. Not sure who to reach out to? LinkedIn has an Open Candidates feature that allows candidates who are on the fence to signal to recruiters that they’re open to being contacted -- without their current employer finding out. This is a great way for those tiptoeing candidates to make the first move, and discreetly indicate what kinds of jobs they’d be interested in. Use LinkedIn to find candidates who are in similar jobs at other companies, whether or not they are actively looking for new work. 5. Join LinkedIn Groups LinkedIn Groups are another great way to reach candidates where they’re at, without having to spend money on advertising. Search for relevant groups in your industry and join them using your personal profile, or create a LinkedIn Group for industry professionals run by your business or brand. The point isn’t to join dozens of groups and spam them with posts, but many Groups do have a section to share job listings with other members. If the rules of the group allow it, you can spread the word about open positions at your company, while building up a reputation as a trusted recruiter or hiring manager. 6. Screen your candidates Even if your candidates apply for your job through another job platform, it’s worth taking some time to look at their LinkedIn profile to verify the information on their resume. While it’s true that candidates can fake a LinkedIn profile, you can still find out valuable information from it. Have they joined relevant groups in their industry? How big is their social network? Do they share useful posts on their blog or news feed? Regardless, always do your diligence and back-fill candidates by reaching out to colleagues and previous employers to qualify a candidate’s background and verify any information that doesn’t sound accurate. Did they bother investing in professional headshots, or have they just posted a selfie? You can also view recommendations written by other members, which is essentially a short testimonial vouching for a candidate. 7. Let candidates apply via LinkedIn Unless you have a strong reason for using another platform, allow candidates to apply for jobs directly on LinkedIn to save them the trouble of filling out more forms. Since their education and employment history should already be available on LinkedIn, there’s no reason to make them input it again elsewhere. LinkedIn makes it easy for candidates to apply for jobs without ever leaving the website. They can even apply from the LinkedIn app on iPhones and Android devices. Plus, you’ll get an easy-to-view snapshot of your candidate, complete with their resume, LinkedIn connections, and contact details. 8. Use LinkedIn voice messaging for phone screening Are you interested in a candidate, but not sure whether to move them further along in the recruiting process? Consider doing a quick phone screening. LinkedIn recently rolled out a voice messaging tool that’s intended to make it easy to carry on conversations while on-the-go. Currently, you can only record messages using the smartphone app, they can only be one minute long, and you can only send them to direct connections. So while they aren’t suitable for a full-fledged interview, they can work great for a quick phone screening to follow-up with a candidate you’re on the fence about. Just ask the candidate to record a voice message introducing themselves to your team or answering a few basic questions to get to know them better. 9. Keep track of all of your applicants As you start getting responses to your job postings, you may hear from candidates who aren’t the right fit for one role, but who could be worth considering for something else at a later time. Whether you use a built-in tool like LinkedIn Recruiter, or your own talent acquisition software, have a system in place for organizing your applicants. Not only will that make it easier to sort and vet your candidates for a position, it could save you money the next time around -- since you’ll already have a pool of candidates to draw from. How Hunt Club can help Remember, if you’re hiring for a major position or you have lots of open roles to fill, then advertising the role on LinkedIn alone may not cut it. If you need access to better candidates, or simply want a professional recruiting team to guide you through the process, reach out to Hunt Club today. With our pool of over five million candidates and proprietary recruiting technology, we can have you well on your way to an interview with the top talent in your industry!
January 16, 2020
Working with Recruiting Companies
Recruitment is the process by which companies attract, screen, interview and hire new employees for a position. While the rise of online job boards has changed the recruiting process -- making it easier for companies to do some things themselves -- there are still roles that require a more hands-on touch. From filling highly-specialized roles to hiring many new employees back-to-back, your company may not have the time or network to find the right candidates. You may want to reach passive candidates who aren’t currently browsing job boards at all. That’s where recruiting companies come in. You can hire an outside company to recruit for a specific role or to handle all of your new hirings. But what do recruiting companies actually do, and what are the pros and cons of working with them? Types of Recruiting Companies There are several different types of recruiting companies out there, so let’s start off by getting clear on our definitions. First, is there a difference between the terms of recruitment and talent acquisition? There is, although the two terms are related. Essentially, it’s the difference between short-term and long-term planning. Recruitment is focused on filling the role that’s immediately in front of you, while talent acquisition refers to having a big-picture strategy focusing on your overall HR needs. You should have a talent acquisition strategy, especially if you have highly-specialized roles opening up (which can take months to fill) or experience faster than usual growth. Now, what types of recruiters are you likely to encounter? Agency recruiters Agency or contract recruiters are the most flexible kind of recruiter. They’re sometimes referred to as temp agencies, staffing agencies or recruiting agencies. Their job is to fill positions as quickly as possible for a large number of clients in a variety of industries. Think of them as one step up from a job board. They aren’t great for talent acquisition, but they can fill short-term or seasonal roles more quickly than you can independently. In many cases, they’ll have a pool of candidates who have already been interviewed and vetted, so they can send someone to fill your position the very next day. They typically handle payroll and insurance as well, acting as the contract worker’s legal employer. The catch is that you’ll pay a markup on top of your employee’s hourly wage. Contingency recruiters The next type of recruiter is a contingency recruiter. These recruiters can help you find more highly-skilled candidates, but they only get paid if they’re successful. This means they have an incentive to work quickly because there’s nothing stopping you from using multiple recruiters or hiring someone from a job board instead. While they can take a lot of the busywork out of the hiring process -- from scheduling interviews to negotiating with the candidate -- they aren’t likely to spend much time on the bigger picture, so are less useful for developing a talent acquisition strategy. Still, contingency recruiters are more specialized than agency recruiters. You can expect to pay them the equivalent of 20-30% of your candidate’s starting salary as a fee. Recruitment firms Recruitment firms are best suited for talent acquisition and hiring for highly-skilled roles. They’re referred to as retained recruiters because they’re paid a retainer, which may be a flat fee or a percentage of the new hire’s salary. Because they’re paid regardless of how quickly they place a candidate, they can spend more time getting to understand your business and finding the right fit for a position. Recruiting firms have a database of candidates they can draw from, as well as experts in your industry to screen them and vet them. They may use a variety of strategies to find candidates, including seeking out passive candidates who are already employed but open to receive new offers. Internal or on-demand recruiter Finally, if you want to be more directly involved in the recruiting process yourself, you have the option of hiring an internal or on-demand recruiter. An internal recruiter is usually a full-time, salaried employee who is hired to manage your recruiting process in-house. An on-demand recruiter is an individual or agency to whom you can outsource your recruiting tasks on a contract or hourly basis. These options are best for when you plan to focus on employee referrals, or when you have a very specific company culture and want your recruiter to have an insider’s perspective on what to look out for in a candidate. How Do Recruiting Companies Help You Hire? We’ve looked at some of the differences between each type of recruiter , but what specifically do recruiting companies do? Which tasks can you expect them to take care of for you, and what will you still have to do yourself? Tailor your job description First, a good recruiter will know exactly how to market your job to the right candidates. If you’ve been having trouble attracting qualified applicants, then you may be posting your job ads in the wrong place or failing to properly communicate your expectations. From writing a good job description, to ensure that your salary and benefits are in line with industry standards, your recruiter will help you craft an effective job listing. Publicize the position Next, your recruiter will get your job listing in front of the right candidates. Depending on the position, they may advertise it on Internet job boards, distribute it via email lists and social media, or run it through their own internal networks. Specialized recruitment companies may even have their own proprietary algorithms designed to narrow down the candidate pool and match jobs to candidates. They can get your job in front of passive candidates who are already in their database, and individuals reach out to selected candidates to invite them to apply. They may also try to sell the candidate on the role, and persuade them why they should consider leaving their current job to apply for this position. Pre-screen and vet candidates One of the key roles of a recruiter is to pre-screen candidates and reduce the number of underqualified applications that come across your desk. For some roles, you may have a hard time finding qualified applicants, while for others, you may get more inquiries than you can realistically handle on your own. Your recruiter can sort through resumes for you, filtering out those that don’t meet your requirements and politely turning them down. Then, they can follow up with promising applicants for a pre-screening or telephone interview. While this doesn’t replace the need for an in-person interview for a full-time position, it can be sufficient for a temporary or seasonal job opening. Depending on the job, they may also run a background check or drug test at this point or at a later stage. Present a shortlist for interviews If you’ll be interviewing candidates yourself, then a recruiter will present you with a list of applicants for you to choose from. They’ll narrow it down to just a handful of candidates so you don’t have to spend more time on the interview process than you need to. Then, they’ll schedule an interview, and handle any communications with the candidate before and after. This includes offering them the position, letting them know that you’ve found someone else to fill the role, or arranging for any additional interviews. You may be tempted to make the job offer to them yourself, but it’s a good idea to have the recruiter do it if they’ve been the one communicating with the candidate. Assist with negotiations and onboarding Finally, the recruiter should be involved throughout the negotiation process. Remember, this isn’t a done deal, and if you’re recruiting a passive candidate, you may have to keep the negotiation confidential while they decide whether to leave their current position. Your recruiter can streamline that process and smooth over any issues that come up. A good recruiter will even help with the onboarding process, handing them over to the HR team and checking in with them after their first day to see how things are going. The Disadvantages of Working With Recruiting Companies We’ve looked at some of the pros and cons of working with different types of recruiting companies already, so now let’s take a closer look at some potential downsides. The cost First, there’s no arguing that using an outside recruiter can come with a hefty price tag. A contingency recruiter and recruiting company can cost you as much as a third of your new hire’s salary, while a staffing agency will mark up your employee’s hourly wage. That said, doing your own recruiting isn’t cost-free either. Even if you don’t pay anyone an additional fee to handle your recruitment tasks, you’ll be spending time and energy that you could be putting toward other parts of your business. Mis-matched incentives This disadvantage applies mostly to contingency agencies, who only get paid a fee if they successfully place a candidate. This means their incentives may be at odds with what’s best for your company. For example, a shady recruiter could save their top-tier candidates for companies who pay a higher fee, giving you their second-best candidates. Also, since they aren’t on a retained fee, there’s no guarantee they’ll come through with a qualified candidate at all. If so, you won’t be out any money, but you’ll have wasted valuable time that hasn’t gotten you any further along in the process. A rushed fit Another disadvantage to using a recruiter is that they don’t know your company as well as you do, and may recommend candidates who aren’t the right cultural fit. This is less of a risk if you use a recruitment company or internal recruiter who develops a relationship with your company, but it’s still a possibility in any recruitment process. Since the process is being mediated through a third party, you’ll have fewer opportunities to interact with your candidate directly, and less control over how things play out. Still, if you can avoid these pitfalls of using a recruiter, then they can provide invaluable expertise and time-saving techniques to streamline your hiring process. Enter Hunt Club Hunt Club offers three different levels of service to address some of the challenges that you might face when working with a traditional recruiter. First, you can use the Pipeline Search service to scale your team and add dozens or hundreds of new hires at once. This helps you build your pipeline in advance so that you know exactly what you’re looking for, and aren’t caught off-guard when it comes time to grow your team. Second, you can use the Executive Search service to find top talent recommended by leaders in your field. Hunt Club uses proprietary technology and referrals from industry leaders to find the right fit every time - with the majority of the fee paid upon delivery. Finally, you can use Hunt Club’s Alliance Search service to prioritize internal hiring and referral recruiting, helping you find the best cultural fit for every role. With a network of over 10,000 experts and five million passive candidates, Hunt Club uses the latest hybrid recruiting techniques to give you the widest reach possible. Fill out our contact form to get started with HuntClub today!
January 14, 2020
Employee Vetting: The Official Guide
While an interview is one way to assess whether a candidate is a good fit for a position, a thorough vetting process should extend far beyond that. Even candidates who ace an interview may have hidden character or experience flaws that you should be aware of. Whether they’ve exaggerated on their resume, or have a criminal history that they didn’t disclose, a thorough screening and background check can provide some clarity. The vetting process may reveal something that disqualifies them from joining your team, or it may show that your concerns were nothing to worry about after all. Now, let’s take a look at some things you might encounter during the employee vetting process and how to make it work for you. Why it’s important to vet employee candidates Hiring a new candidate isn’t something to be taken lightly. Unless your contract has a trial period, taking on the wrong candidate can cost you time and money. Glassdoor reports that it takes an average of $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new employee. Your cost-per-hire may vary depending on how much you spend on job listing, the seniority of the job, and on whether or not you have to pay to train new employees. But making a poor hiring decision leads to inefficiencies, and can increase employee turnover. Worst of all, your new hire could be a bad culture fit, and the rest of your team suffers as a result. The sooner you can weed out unqualified candidates, the better. If you ask the right questions in your application or a phone screening, you’ll be able to save time and energy by not inviting the wrong candidates to an interview in the first place. The issue of acceptability At the heart of the vetting process is the issue of acceptability - what level of skills, work experience, or personality traits are acceptable in a given candidate? While you may have ideas of what you want your dream candidate to bring to the table, at the end of the day, what would you consider an acceptable hire? This isn’t just a theoretical concept: you can ask the members of your team to weigh in on what they consider the minimum requirements for a given role. Whether it’s experience using a particular piece of software, or soft skills like customer service, make a list of the must-have attributes you’ll require of a candidate. You can list these requirements in your job description, or keep them in the back of your mind to refer to when looking at resumes or interviewing candidates. Depending on the industry, you may also have legal requirements to meet. Does your candidate have the appropriate certifications or licenses for your workplace? Or are they subject to a non-disclosure agreement with a previous employer that would prevent them from signing a new contract? Some of these requirements may have more flexibility than others. But if you know your standards and requirements, then you’ll know what to look out for in the vetting process. A guide to employee vetting If you’re clear on what your requirements are, and if you create a system that you can follow for each new hire, you’ll be able to take care of it quickly and easily. Let’s take a look at how to vet candidates at each stage of the hiring process: Application The main components of the vetting process take place further down the road, but you can start vetting candidates even before you receive their application. The places where you choose to post your job, the language you include in your job description, and the application process itself all influence who applies for the position. Harvard Business Review reports that “men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.” Potential applicants were more likely to pass on a job ad because they “didn’t meet the qualifications” than because they “didn’t think they could do the job well.” Ideally, the hiring process will encourage the right candidate to self-select for the role, while illuminating any qualities that you do or don’t want to see in an applicant. One way to do this is by including a skills assessment with the application. For example, for a creative role, you can ask applicants to submit a written paragraph or creative brief, or include samples from their portfolio. For a technical role, you can include a short quiz. If you want to assess an applicant’s soft skills, ask them to submit a video introduction, which will give you some clues as to their personality and body language. At a minimum, ask them to address their cover letter to a particular individual or include a word or phrase in the subject line. You can also request links to their LinkedIn profile or other social media accounts that are relevant to their profession. Finally, consider using recruiting software to scan and sort resumes automatically, to avoid any bias in this stage of your vetting process. Interview Once you’ve come up with a shortlist of potential hires, it’s time to move some of them on to the interview process. At this point, you might start with a basic phone screening to narrow down your candidates and go over a few critical questions. These can include some of the same questions you’d ask at an in-person interview but is mostly intended to make sure you’re on the same page about what the job requires. With so much of the application process happening online, there’s no guarantee that a candidate has the conversational skills you need until you speak with them. You should also confirm the logistical requirements of the job: Are they local, or are they expecting to work remotely? Can they commit to the start date and time frame of the position? What kind of training or equipment will they need? Some candidates may have been offered another position by now, or are having second thoughts about the role. Phone screenings and video interviews are especially helpful for high-volume positions. If you’re looking to fill many roles at once, then it’s a great way to make sure that every applicant you offer an interview to is a truly promising candidate. At the in-person interview, you can ask more in-depth questions and make sure that the candidate presented on paper is the candidate who walks in the room. You’ll know pretty easily if a candidate inflated their resume if they can’t confidently answer questions about their industry and prior work experience. For highly technical roles, have an experienced developer or IT consultant in the room who can ask questions that someone in Human Resources or even the hiring manager may not think of. Finally, consider other aspects of the interview, from their timing to their appearance. Did they show up on time? Have they dressed appropriately for the workplace? Don’t be afraid to crowdsource opinions from colleagues to see whether or not they have a good feeling about the candidate. This is the part of the vetting process that relies on intuition and being a good judge of character. New hires This is the stage when you’re ready to move forward with a candidate and want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an offer. But what can and can’t you (legally) include as part of a background check? First, you’ll need to get written permission from the applicant to run a background check if you’re using a third party service. You don’t need their permission if you plan to call up their previous employer or research publicly-available records yourself. As part of the background check, you may choose to inquire about a candidate’s credit history, driving records, drug tests, and other records that are relevant to the job. However, some records are off-limits. You’ll need consent for any school or military records to be released, and medical records are out of bounds. You can only require a medical exam if it’s related to the duties of the position. Additionally, there are some records, such as bankruptcy records, that you aren’t legally allowed to use when making your hiring decision. That’s why it’s best for your background check to be specifically focused on actionable information. Focus on verifying the details that your candidate provided on their resume, and making sure there are no major red flags in their education or employment history. Since privacy laws vary so much from state-to-state, consider using a screening service or consulting with a lawyer before performing a background check on your own. Get a reliable recruiting service to vet for you Don’t want to deal with the hassle of creating your own vetting process? That’s where a reliable recruiting service like Hunt Club comes in. We can take the complexity out of the recruiting process and help you every step of the way. Whether you need help vetting applications or navigating the pre-employment screening, we can do the heavy lifting for you. With access to our network of over five million qualified candidates, you’ll be able to skip right to the interview process with five to seven handpicked and pre-screened applicants. Jumpstart the hiring process today with help from Hunt Club’s team of expert recruiters!
[Hiring, Interviewing, Recruiting]
January 7, 2020
3 Reflections on Hunt Club's Difference and Evolution
Building a team is one of the most important and one of the hardest things for growing an early-stage company, and for keeping big businesses relevant in the future. At Hunt Club, we believe there's a distinct combination of factors that will bring about significant change in how companies approach building their best teams in the next decade. What is Hunt Club? Building successful teams today means being an active participant in your on/offline communities and in your customers' lives. As the venture capital market surges on and as more executives adopt digital transformation in their industries, this shift is evident. Operational efficiencies are improving (40%), there's a faster time to market (36%), and an increase in the ability to meet customer expectations (35%), according to Forbes. As a business, you're now sharing compelling content that supports your products or services to build relationships. You're responding to emails, social media DMs, and Intercom messages to solidify those connections and create loyal ambassadors for your company. As your business evolves, so should your talent strategy. Hunt Club is a new category of search firm helping companies leverage the power of relationships and referrals to achieve a better hiring experience. Our proprietary technology transforms thousands of subject matter experts into the world’s most powerful network. We understand that when the right person introduces the right opportunity, at the right time, it’s the most powerful form of connection in business. Want to learn more? Click here to talk to our partnerships team > Why is Hunt Club different? There are three things that make us different than other recruiters. We’ll get into each of these three differentiators in more detail down below, but here’s a quick look: The reach of our network. The process for almost all the firms out there usually means relying on one recruiter’s network. We firmly believe the best way to hire for your business is with a search powered by people who live and breathe the roles you are looking to hire for. We call them experts and we have over 10,000 of them in our network helping us identify the functional, industry and candidate expertise to drive the best referrals to over 5M passive candidates. Our technology. Let’s face it the recruiting industry is behind the times when it comes to technology, so we built our own. Our technology powers every part of the search process from sourcing the best candidates to finding the strongest relationships for credible referrals, faster than anything out there. Best-in-class service. We have a team of 50+ talent strategists working to get you the best talent possible. When you work with us, you’ll get a dedicated team of three on every role, ensuring reach, quality and efficiency throughout the process. "Hunt Club helped me scale my entire team faster than I've been able to do before. Growing from a team of 5 to 50 marketers in a year is a crazy amount of growth and I wouldn't have been able to do that if it weren't for Hunt Club." –Ryan Bonnici, CMO Hire smarter in 2020 See how we can help. Get access to better talent. We also live and breathe our values every day, in every search, every interaction with a client or candidates. Here’s what they are: We elevate others. We push each other forward. We challenge each other to be the best versions of ourselves, give credit where it's due and check our ego at the door. We take pride in our work. We strive for excellence in everything we do. We take ownership of our work, hold ourselves accountable and produce quality daily. We do what's right. We operate with integrity even if it means making tough decisions. We are honest and sincere and are genuine in our interactions. We value reputation over revenue. We figure it out together. We explore all possibilities together. We are proactive and collaborative. We take intelligent risks to solve problems, welcome a challenge, and win as a team. We ask "why?" We seek to understand. We are intellectually curious, and value understanding over impressing. We always push for progress. Our leaders, in turn, empower everyone by crafting the employee experience to carry out their cultural vision and values. At the end of the day, Hunt Club gets the best work out of its people because of its culture of putting people first. How to work with Hunt Club in 2020 For growing companies, it's critical to attract talent that can keep up with the demands of the digital age to take your business to the next stage. For established brands, you need people who can keep pace with the changes in your business to stay relevant. With these thoughts, we're publicly launching a new brand in 2020 and it brings us to five business services: Executive, Pipeline, Alliance, and Knowledge. It also brings us to one new product: Experts. This is a monumental step. Just last year, we went from a company of 20 people with three service tiers (and a half-baked product) to having four fully built service tiers, a new product, and a headcount of over 60. In this time, we've completely rebuilt our Expert product and refreshed the branding for the Hunt Club website. We've released several new features in each service tier to continue to help our customers build their teams and grow, better and faster. Our vision was a big bet and investment. We've shifted resources, and the pay-off is clear. We have new, incredible partnerships with category leaders like Techstars. We've worked with over 500 of the fastest-growing companies across the nation, and 85% of them return to us to help build out their teams. What makes Hunt Club different? We're back from the break and recharged for the new year. To mark the occasion, we're reflecting on the three distinguishing features that make Hunt Club different than most external firms. "We went through all the different channels like LinkedIn and our personal networks, which are massive, but it wasn't enough. I was on the search for five months when I connected with Hunt Club." –Karina Martins da Costa, president and COO, LynQ #1: Reach of the network We believe the best way to hire for your business is with a search powered by 10,000+ experts. This will be a critical piece to building successful teams in the coming decade. What does this mean exactly? Hunt Club's Expert network leverages the power of relationships and referrals to achieve a better hiring experience. We've built the largest incentivized network of business leaders, founders, and highly-connected people: Experts. These people have the functional, industry, and candidate/role-expertise to drive the best referrals straight to your business. Experts in our network are people we have direct relationships with, and we can call on any one of them, at any time, to help you hire. These people have hired for the positions you're looking to fill, they've done the job, or they know someone who can. Think of it like 10,000 chief marketing officers, executives, VPs, directors, helping to bring the perfect candidate to you. And, all 10,000 of our Experts have chosen to partner with Hunt Club to do it. #2: Technology "We're moving fast, growing big and shaking up an industry. Hunt Club is willing to partner deeper, care more and deliver. We trust them to deliver our most valuable asset–our people." –Yakir Gola, founder, goPuff We built our own technology that powers every part of the search process, from sourcing the best candidates to finding the most influential relationships for credible referrals. Our proprietary technology and user data automate the process of identifying the best referral. In roughly 48 hours, we can screen 25 to 40 of the best candidates with the power of our network and platform. #3: Best-in-class service "Oak Street Health is going through tremendous growth and we needed to scale quickly. We’re constantly looking for a better avenue to talent and we found Hunt Club." –Mike Pykosz, CEO, Oak Street Health Probably the most exciting thing about Hunt Club, and something we hear from our clients all the time, is about our team and service. You might be surprised to know that 99% of us here don't have the typical recruiter background. Instead, we have 50+ talent strategists who have been the VP of marketing, the chief revenue officer or operations strategy leads in their previous lives. Our broad functional expertise and experiences ensure you work with a partner who truly gets your hiring needs. Plus, you get a dedicated team of three team members on every role, ensuring reach, quality, and efficiency throughout the process. We pride ourselves on being a new category of talent company. We also prioritize creating an exceptional culture that attracts and keeps the best talent so we can deliver that same experience for our customers. It's also why everyone here has an always-care mentality–we treat others as we want to be treated. This mentality is ingrained into the Hunt Club DNA and extends outside the office walls. We are active in our communities, we collaborate, have fun together, and work to leave a positive impact on each client, candidate, and network interaction. This carries out into every single search we’re assigned to for our clients. How to use Hunt Club to hire smarter in 2020 With all of this, we're working hard to build the smartest and most intuitive hiring experience for our customers, which also strengthens relationships. Streamline your searches For you, we’re helping you better streamline your hiring process this year so you don’t have to spend as much time qualifying candidates. Our pool of over five million passive candidates who come vetted and vouched for by a team of over 10,000 subject matter experts is growing exponentially every day. This also means our proprietary technology is getting more agile, narrowing down the pools of talent down to 80-100 of the most qualified candidates for our team of talent strategists to screen, and ultimately, present you with only five to seven of the most promising hires. In 2020, you’ll know every resume that comes across your desk belongs to a qualified applicant who is a great fit for the role. Talk with passive candidates Secondly, we can help you target passive candidates or those who are not actively seeking out work. Some of the best candidates aren’t looking for jobs because they’re happily employed but reaching them takes a fresh approach. Including passive candidates in your hiring process can help you reach a broader range of qualified candidates. Plus, they’re less likely to be engaged in negotiations with other employers and can give you their full attention during the hiring process. Scale your team faster We’ll help you set up a consistent process to hire dozens or hundreds of candidates over the course of several months. Not only does this make it easy to scale your team on a tight timeframe, but you’ll have a process in place to recruit and hire for similar roles when you need it. What's next Are we set up for a sixth product? Time will tell. One thing we know for sure is that we've built a strong foundation for ourselves to make it happen. We're primed to keep an eye on the technology and other factors that will influence how our target partners and customers hire. This shift has turned Hunt Club into a category leader with viable products and revenue streams, so we can continue to exist for our customers. It also allows us to make bets on what will be most valuable to them. "It's our business to place incredible people in great companies. Our goal has always been to build the best workplaces in the process." –Nick Cromydas, CEO and co-founder, Hunt Club. Gain a competitive edge in your 2020 hiring strategy. Working with a partner like Hunt Club enables you to deliver an exceptional candidate experience and access to real relationships built on trust so that you can land top talent over your competition every time. Hiring? See how we can help.
[Insider, Hiring, Recruiting]
January 6, 2020
How to Hire Your Next Marketers
The next-generation marketing job market Forty years ago, most people set out to live the American dream of graduating college, owning a home, working a steady job, and climbing the corporate ladder. There also wasn't a little thing called the internet. The business world was also predictable. For workers, the job they were doing in year 10 was the same as in year one. Having this experience was usually a good indication of their capabilities. Fast forward to today; the business and talent landscape is amazingly different. Businesses are adopting technology faster, and digital is transforming how work gets done. The internet, for one, puts unlimited information into the hands of workers across the globe, enabling people to move faster than ever. Venture capital investment is surging, reaching over $130.9 billion to date, surpassing the dot-com era. This continues to fuel disruption across all industries. There's now a new population of workers, Millennials, who dominate today’s workforce. In the job market, Millennials make up over half of the U.S. workforce today, and projections show they'll make up 75% of it by 2030. The on-the-job component is also impressive: they've helped reshape businesses by creating more unthought-of marketing jobs and organizational changes than generations before. They've also created a new profile of talent. Today's disruptive startups are empowering workers with the right tools and hands-on learning to accelerate their careers that otherwise would take decades to get at big companies. Millennials are also the first generation of workers to grow with the pace of digital technology. Today's job seekers feel at home with technology and the internet. They've also moved from using computers, tablets, and laptops to doing business and living much of their lives on their mobile phones. When it comes to their employers, Millennial workers value things differently than the generations before. Most notable: they are not afraid to leave their current jobs for better opportunities at other companies. This presents a challenge for most organizations and keeps employers on the edge of their hiring seats. Often, scrambling or preemptively filling open roles. Marketing jobs, in particular, have been feeling this wave of change more than most other functions. According to LinkedIn's latest analysis, marketing jobs currently have the highest turnover rate of any job function today—an impressive 17%. With churn, today, many new marketing jobs are emerging. Awareness around the next-generation marketing jobs The exponential rise in technology has caused a drastic shift in how consumers and businesses think about products and services and make purchases. We've gone from flipping through catalogs to swiping to pay on our mobile phones. In marketing, 2019 has been a significant year for artificial intelligence (AI). In everyday life, AI dominates much of what people do. From using Google Maps to find out where to go to adopting Amazon's recommendations on what to buy to the group of 29.9 million people who are using voice assistants at least once a month to run their lives. There is no getting away from AI, and for businesses marketing jobs in this space are anticipated to grow. By the year 2020, 60 percent of companies will be using AI-powered to drive digital revenue. Out of these changes, the people who use technology and create these digital disruptions have given rise to new kinds of marketing jobs that didn't exist 10, 20, or 30 years ago. For businesses, you might have seen or not know yet of these roles: AI-focused marketers AI-focused marketers will be able to harness the technology to map out or predict customer behavior patterns. They will also identify strategies based on data to map out consumer experiences across different stages of a funnel. They'll also use the information to optimize marketing campaigns to tell data-driven yet meaningful stories that resonate with customers and online communities. Marketing data scientists By next year, data scientists will disrupt the world of marketing, serving as the go-to resource for enhancing critical areas of digital campaigns. More than 71% of B2B marketers are interested in using AI for personalization in their marketing campaigns. Marketing experience officers Marketing scientists are people who understand how to harness the power of machine learning and predictive marketing and have the insight to analyze SEO, real-time marketing campaigns, and customer engagement. Understanding how to hire for next-generation marketing jobs When you have a terrible experience at a restaurant, you don't go back, and you might tell your friends and family not to eat there. The same thing happens when candidates have a bad experience with your company. Companies need to understand that unless they adapt to the changing worker and rethink their approach to getting talent, their business is at risk of not staying relevant for the next forty years. It's a crucial step, and creating a modern hiring approach to talent is a strategy that truly works. You can generate more qualified candidates who have the expertise and advanced knowledge to keep your brand relevant and fresh. You'll update your employer brand, which creates more leads for your business. Finally, you'll attract more of the right candidates for your business through this process. But to hire today's candidates well, you need more than an overarching approach. You need a comprehensive system that you can practice on a daily basis to help you build up your employer brand, reach your target candidates and build your business. Improving the candidate experience is tough if you're dealing with minimal resources and a high number of candidates. In this in-depth guide, we'll show you the step-by-step process we use here at Hunt Club to attract today's candidates for some of the really cool marketing jobs that are emerging. The approach includes similar elements for most jobs we recruit for, although you’ll want to tailor the tips to fit your business. First, here are three essential elements from the Hunt Club hiring playbook to help you hire for a new generation of marketing jobs. Focus on developing a strong candidate experience. Candidate experience is the hot buzzword for the talent industry. In the war for talent, your brand is represented by your external communication patterns. Your thoughtfulness in each and every interaction is critical. If you're in the business of talent, you must be mindful of how you communicate with potential teammates. Think about leveraging relationships and referrals from your network. Internal referrals are a great place to begin when sourcing or trying to define the types of marketing jobs you might be looking to fill. Your employees are bright, shining, A-players and they most likely know some exceptional candidates or can introduce you to people to help provide guidance on how to hire for them. Adopt technology to reach and attract candidates. The best marketers aren’t looking for jobs on job boards or Craigslist. They’re active in social media groups or broadcasting their own thought-leadership on Facebook live or LinkedIn. How to define your approach Once you have the elements in place, when you go to recruit marketers, there are three critical elements to include any time you are hiring which will set you apart from many of your competitors when it comes to keeping the eyes and ears of today’s marketers: Drop the ego. Humility is the key to landing amazing people. When it comes to expectations candidates have about future employers courting them, you’ll need to roll out the red carpet and let them know you care more about them than yourself. Every interaction is an opportunity to create an ambassador, whether they will work for your company or not. Understand the role. It’s shocking how many recruiters don’t take the time to truly understand the position they're filling. As someone hiring, you’re the first line of defense and you first and foremost need to be able to communicate intelligently about the position. Get smart on talent/the type of candidates you want. Know the person you are speaking with, every time. Take ten minutes and understand who you are talking to on a Google Hangout or the phone. LinkedIn makes this seamless. How to improve your strategy As marketing and the pace of business shifts, so should your talent strategy. Once you have the key elements in place and you’ve defined your approach, here are six ideas to practice daily when it comes to hiring marketers which will set your hiring game ahead of your competition. Tip #1 - Be real with people Being honest and friendly with candidates has helped companies like Sherwin-Williams, Cisco, and Marriott attract and connect with job seekers across sales, marketing, and finance roles. It's landed them on the list of some of the best companies with the best hiring processes. Why? Compared to the work-generations before, today's marketers value things beyond a consistent paycheck, job security, and commitment from their employer. Today it's becoming increasingly evident, candidates want full transparency from hiring managers, recruiters, and their future bosses. Candidates want to know how they're doing, what is needed from them if there have been changes in the role requirements, or whatever the case. Since they seek knowledge– upfront and timely communication with candidates should be the golden rule. Hunt Club keeps it real is by practicing active listening (taking a real interest in every candidate, whether they are hired by our clients or not.) Secondly, we set up and stick with a search process (that includes transparent communication.) To gain a candidate's trust and to keep their interest, there are two critical pieces to this: responsiveness and diligent follow up. Once you get the low-down on the role, spend a few hours, and outline your process. Be sure to include a cadence on how you will follow-up when candidates can expect to hear from you, and find natural ways to check-in without being pushy or overbearing. Tip #2 - Grow your connections It's time to think outside of your usual networks and professional organizations to find a broader range of talent. One of the easiest ways to do this is to consider joining conversations that are happening throughout various online communities. If you prefer to meet people virtually, hit up LinkedIn Groups, Facebook communities, and Twitter chats to start connecting with like-minded people. One of the ways Hunt Club grows its connections is by treating every person we meet as a potential brand ambassador or candidate for our company. This is for an in-person event, webinar, or social media interaction. With this approach, we've been able to grow our network of Experts to over 10,000 business leaders and professionals who are all-in to help our clients hire. Tip #3 - Get to know your candidates (all of them) When you ask someone to join a startup or early venture, you're also asking the person to join an unpredictable company. Expect to do a lot of courting and always understand what the candidate's needs are, and give back, first. Whether it's being generous with your time, energy, effort, information, or opportunities. One way we get to know candidates at a deeper level is by putting people first, being generous with our time, energy, effort, information, or opportunities. Put in the effort to make sure all candidates are valued and rewarded. It's empowering -- whether someone is hired or not–and it leaves a lasting impression on anyone who interviews and speaks volumes about your brand to people outside the company. When you bring the person in for an interview, have them meet the team and anyone they will be working with. Ensure that they know they have full support in their role, and they know what success could look like. Have the person meet several people from your company, not just an immediate supervisor or team members. Tip #4 - Let candidates know you support them Find ways to be very supportive and engaging throughout the entire process. One way we show our support is by continually keeping in touch and giving candidates as much preparation to consider when shaping what they're looking for in a future role. Always be clear to communicate how your business can launch certain aspects of their career to new levels, and even beyond at the company. Clearly seeing an upward path and career development, and having the information upfront, 100% speeds up their decision to accept the role once it was offered. Recruiting can quickly become transactional. Take the time to know what the candidate's needs are, and give back, first. Whether it's being generous with your time, energy, effort, information, or opportunities. Tip #5 - Get help or advice on the role Good hiring is the product of knowing what you're hiring for. It starts with digging in and getting to know your business inside-out. If you can't articulate the details about an open role (or know more than what's written on a job description), it hurts your ability to close candidates. It can even ruin your organization's reputation. If you're unfamiliar with the marketing role, find someone who is and grab some coffee. Or, take 30 minutes and run a few Google searches on the position. You can also take a different approach and tap into a few subject matter experts' minds. One of the ways we get help or training on roles we don't know at Hunt Club is by tapping into our Expert network of business leaders. Reach out to people you know who are in those roles, or ask for introductions if they are second or third connections, and explain you need 10 minutes from them. The power of the network is real. Most people are willing to help if your request is exact and doesn't require much time. Tip #6 - Get referrals The best thing you can do for your business and hiring process is to look for referral candidates. You're on the hunt for people who have been pre-vetted by people you have trusted relationships with. An excellent place to start is by asking your employees for recommendations. They most likely know of qualified candidates from their social circle or alumni. Secondly, you can turn to a recruiting service like Hunt Club. There are several advantages to this strategy, and the most important being that you don't have to spend as much time qualifying candidates. For instance, Hunt Club draws from a pool of over five million passive candidates who come vetted and vouched for by a team of over 10,000 subject matter experts. Using our proprietary technology to narrow down the pool of talent to 80 to 100 candidates, our team of talent strategists screens 25 to 40 of the most qualified candidates. Then they present you with five to seven of the most promising hires. When the chief revenue officer sends a sales leader candidate your way, with an enthusiastic recommendation, you can trust that the candidate has the right credentials and integrity necessary for the job. Hiring resources Keeping up with trends around hiring for marketing jobs is almost a daily practice, and if you need more inspiration, this Forbes article has great questions to ask candidates so you can get a better read on their qualifications. Whether you're an employer or a candidate, everyone respects the potential of a good hiring process. If you're not building airtight processes around interviewing, hiring processes, communication, and feedback, you're missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach a higher caliber of talent. Come check out what we're doing differently at Hunt Club: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 30, 2019
How to Elevate Your Talent Strategy
How many 100+-year-old companies do you know still exist today? Probably not very many; keeping a legacy business fresh and exciting for another 100+ years takes a lot of work and effort. As Marc Andreessen of Andreessen-Horowitz puts in: "Software is eating the world," – and there are no signs of slowing down. It’s one reason why digital transformation spending in business will approach $2 trillion by 2022. In this era of digital disruption, getting the right talent that knows how to keep pace with the changes in today's world should be top of mind for companies of all sizes. Understanding why established industry leaders need to adapt to disruption Once upon a time, or roughly forty years ago, most people set out to live the American dream: graduate college, own a home, work a steady job, and climb the corporate ladder. There also wasn't a little thing called the internet. The business world was also pretty predictable. Fortune 500 companies often stayed put on the list for 20 or 30 years. For workers, the job you were doing in year 10 was the same as in year one, and having this experience was usually a good indication of someone's capabilities. Fast forward to 2019, and the business and talent landscape has changed dramatically. The internet has given people access to more information, enabling us to work faster than ever: we send 269 billion emails every day and 627,000 businesses open each year. According to PitchBook, venture capital investment has reached an all-time high of $130.9 billion, surpassing the dot-com era, and fuels disruption across all industries. The Fortune 500 list of companies has dwindled. Startups like Uber, Airbnb, and Dollar Shave Club have all become the new taxis, hotels, and Procter & Gamble companies. Startups empower their employees with the right tools and hands-on learning to accelerate their careers that otherwise would take decades to get at big companies. In the hiring environment, these disruptive startups can–and do–poach top talent from more prominent companies. These components have massive implications for companies who are slow to make the digital jump. How to get the talent behind today's disruptive startups Today, one-third of the U.S. workforce–53 million Americans–work as freelancers or hold gig jobs. Millennials are now the most significant demographic age group and have reshaped the talent profile. Most change jobs four times before the age of 32. They have pioneered their career paths, are utility-players, and are comfortable with volatile compensation or working with constrained resources. In the startup ecosystem, the best venture firms offer their portfolio companies more than just capital. They provide access to services, administration and operation resources, technology–all to create the best chance for success. It also includes access to talent. While legacy companies have access to capital, the operational infrastructure, finance, and legal support, most firms struggle when it comes to recruiting the entrepreneurial talent needed to drive real innovation so that they can stay relevant. The takeaway? Getting the right talent that knows how to keep pace with the changes in today's world should be top of mind for businesses. When it comes to recruiting, most companies know how to deal with candidates who have a defined career path, stable income, functional expertise and understand how to work with a breadth of resources to do their job. However, finding, vetting, pipelining, and hiring people with entrepreneurial DNA requires a different approach and methodology. Most large companies have yet to implement or adopt. Corporations need to rethink their approach in order to stay competitive in today's landscape because the way large companies hire is not conducive to landing entrepreneurial talent. Three ideas on how to get talent Like the best venture firms, big companies need to find and develop relationships and recruit serial entrepreneurs for real innovation. Then arm those entrepreneurs with a team of others, like them, that know how to handle a hyper-growth environment. 1. Lean in and build relationships within the entrepreneurial market Understanding the people within the entrepreneurial ecosystem is key. Tap into their expertise and leverage corporate resources to fuel startup innovation. Many large companies are doing this, and establishing incubators or funds aimed at startups: For example, Nike teamed up with Techstars for a three-month program that mentored ten startups to help build technologies for Nike's activity-tracking devices, like the FuelBand. Each startup received a $20,000 investment from Techstars, and the chance to pitch investors and Nike at the season's end. Microsoft also joined forces with Techstars to create a three-month incubator in Seattle for companies focused on designing products for Microsoft Kinect and Windows Azure. The startups received mentorship, technical training and support, and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program. 2. Rethink the candidate experience Entrepreneurs are often engaging people who are interested in making money and building a business into something that will make them proud. They want to know the long-term success and opportunities at your big company. This needs to be built into every piece of the hiring process. 3. Build a relationship-driven talent ecosystem Relationships are the future of talent, but hiring from internal referrals alone won’t cut it. Think outside of your usual networks and professional organizations to find a broader range of talent. One thing that Hunt Club does is to create automatic referrals for you from the best leaders in entrepreneurship. As a true talent partner, we can help your corporate innovation goals because the five million candidates in our talent pool are all referred and pre-vetted by over 10,000 industry leaders and executives across all industries. In the end Adapting to the digital transformation will help more prominent companies gain an edge over their competitors, particularly those disrupting the industries they’re in. For these companies, working with a partner like Hunt Club enables you to deliver an exceptional candidate experience and access to real relationships built on trust so that you can land top talent over your competition every time. Hiring? We can get you to where you want to go faster.
December 12, 2019
How to Recruit New Employees
Finding the right candidate to fill an open role is an opportunity to bring new ideas and energy to your company. It can also be a drain on time and resources if you don’t go about it the right way. Your goal is to communicate the job requirements accurately and get candidates excited about joining your business. If you’re struggling to attract the right talent to your company, try some of these strategies to improve the quality of your talent pool and recruit better candidates. Use a reliable recruiter service One of the best ways to streamline your hiring process is to use a recruiting service like Hunt Club. There are several advantages to this strategy, the most important being that you don’t have to spend as much time qualifying candidates. Hunt Club draws from a pool of over five million passive candidates who come vetted and vouched for by a team of over 10,000 subject matter experts. Using its proprietary technology to narrow down the pool of talent to 80-100 candidates, Hunt Club’s team of talent strategists screen the 25-40 of the most qualified candidates and presents you with five to seven of the most promising hires. This way, you know that every resume that comes across your desk belongs to a qualified applicant who is a good fit for the role. Secondly, an external recruiting service can help you target passive candidates, or those who are not actively seeking out work. Some of the best candidates aren’t looking for jobs because they’re happily employed– but they may be ready to interview if a better opportunity comes along. Including passive candidates in your hiring process can help you reach a broader range of qualified candidates. Plus, they’re less likely to be engaged in negotiations with other employers and can give you their full attention during the hiring process. Finally, an external recruiting service is especially useful when you’re hiring for multiple roles at once. With a service like Hunt Club’s Pipeline, you can set up a consistent recruitment process to hire dozens or hundreds of candidates over the course of several months. Not only does this make it easy to scale your team on a tight timeframe, but you’ll have a process in place to recruit and hire for similar roles any time you have a vacancy. Treat your candidates like customers It’s important to treat your candidates well and give them a positive candidate experience -- even if you don’t end up hiring them. Why does this matter? For one, it makes it more likely that they’ll have good things to say about your company to other prospective candidates. No one wants to go through an onerous hiring process with a team that doesn’t respect their existing commitments and work schedules. By treating your candidates like customers, they’ll walk away with a positive assessment of your company and are more likely to refer other candidates. Especially if you’re recruiting passive candidates, remember that they may already have a day job, and your hiring process should make each interaction as easy and efficient for them as possible. They may not have time to put together a resume or application. Even simple things, like poor UX design on your application form, can turn qualified clients away. As Samuel Harper asks at UX Collective, “Why is it that companies spend so much time focusing on building a fantastic user experience in their product facing side, and yet they put seemingly no effort into the most vital pipeline for where they recruit new talent?” Avoid requiring your applicants to create a user account or manually input their resume into a clunky database. You wouldn’t make a customer jump through hoops in order to buy a product, or take a week to send them a receipt for their purchase. The same goes for candidates. Many companies still have a drawn-out hiring process and still expect to attract top talent. The process is changing and you need to move quick if you’re really interested in a candidate Transparency is key. Keep your candidates informed every step of the way, from the moment you receive their application to your very last interview. Remember, in a robust job market, you’ll be competing with other employers to persuade candidates that they should work for you over similar job opportunities. Perfect your job description For a while, it seemed as though you couldn’t browse an online job board without finding a company looking for a “rockstar” or “ninja” to join their company. If you happen to “live and breathe data,” that’s a plus too. Recently, there’s been some pushback against these kinds of off-beat job descriptions. For one, unconventional job titles are less likely to show up in job searches. If you want candidates to be able to find your job posting, they need to know what to look for. Not only that, but your job description should make it clear what their responsibilities will be and where the role fits into the company structure. Otherwise, candidates won’t know whether the salary is reasonable and what their options are for promotions. This doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. The Buffer customer support team has a Chief Happiness Officer and other “happiness”-related roles. But their job descriptions make it clear what’s expected of candidates who apply for the position. Also, young employees are waking up to the reality of millennial burnout and don’t want to jump into roles that require them to “live and breathe” their job description. Avoid asking for unreasonable amounts of experience for entry- or mid-level positions, or expecting new hires to work nights and weekends without compensation. Choose terms that reflect a healthy respect for work/life balance. Finally, you might be reducing your pool of qualified applicants if you use gendered job descriptions that discourage female applicants. Even unintentionally masculine terms can give off a “brogrammer” vibe and lead to 42% fewer applicants. If your company is trying to develop a more diverse workforce, then using gender-neutral terms is an easy way to make your job descriptions welcoming and inclusive. Seemingly simple changes, like using the word “community” instead of “team,” can make a big difference in whether or not certain candidates choose to apply for a position. Allow for employee referrals One of the best ways to spread the word about an open position is to have your current employees do it. Not only can it be cheaper and more efficient than paying for a job ad, but it can ensure that anyone you hire will be a good fit for the company. Odds are, your employees went to college or university with people who have a similar degree or qualifications. Or, they may know qualified candidates from their social circle or alumni and professional networks. Encourage referrals by setting up an employee referral program that provides them with a bonus, extra vacation days, or some other incentive for successful hires. Make it easy to refer candidates by hosting a recruitment happy hour when prospective candidates can drop by the office for a casual introduction. However, while you should allow for employee referrals, don’t depend on them entirely. Hiring only from existing networks can lead to an insular workforce, as well as charges of “corporate nepotism” and sexism. A well-run employee referral program can account for 50% of hires, with a significantly shorter onboarding process than for hires from job boards. Go to job fairs Another way to recruit new employees is to get out and meet them in person at a job fair or another networking event. Job fairs are usually industry-specific, so you can focus on attending events that your preferred candidates are likely to come to. Invest some time and money into creating a booth that truly represents your workplace culture. Have business cards, brochures, and a recruitment video available, and attract candidates to your table by running a contest and offering food or swag. Decide whether or not you’ll be accepting paper resumes at the job fair. If not, consider having a tablet handy to collect digital resumes, and let candidates know where they can complete the job application online. Remember: meeting candidates in person is a great opportunity to pre-screen and save yourself the trouble of interviewing candidates who aren’t a good fit. Even if you aren’t accepting resumes, consider asking some basic questions to find out whether they meet your minimum qualifications for the role. Take notes so your hiring team will remember who’s who later. Also, you don’t have to stick to traditional job fairs. Get creative by hosting your own job fair, or by attending or sponsoring an industry-specific Meetup or networking event. If all else fails, go in-house External recruiting isn’t your only option when it comes to finding the right person to hire. Sometimes, the most qualified candidates are in-house. Whether you haven’t found any suitable candidates yet, or you want to save money by considering in-house candidates first, hiring internally can be an efficient shortcut to a lengthy recruitment process. Start by posting any open positions on your internal email list or message board. Take the time to interview any candidates who apply. Even if they aren’t the right fit, it could be a chance to offer them a promotion or a lateral career move, which could open up entry-level roles that are easier to fill externally. Sometimes the roles you need filled are too in-depth to bring a new hire up-to-speed in a timely manner. When all else fails, there’s no harm in hiring someone from within your company and saving the recruitment process for a later date. Treat your existing employees well Finally, one of the most important things to keep in mind during the recruitment process is to make sure you treat your current employees well. After all, maintaining your existing workforce is more cost-effective than having frequent turnover and having to constantly hire new employees. But not only that: happy employees are more likely to leave a good impression on any candidates who come into the workplace for an interview, and they won’t leave nasty reviews of your company on sites like Glassdoor. New hires can tell when there’s something wrong with a company’s culture, and word will spread if you don’t treat your employees well. Avoid speaking badly of existing or former employees in front of new hires, even if they’re coming in to replace someone who wasn’t meeting your standards. If you treat your employees well, you’ll build a reputation as being a good company to work for, and you won’t have any trouble recruiting new candidates. How Hunt Club can help Remember, if you need help navigating the recruitment process -- or you don’t want to deal with finding and vetting candidates yourself -- the team at Hunt Club can help you narrow down your search by drawing from our pool of qualified candidates. With over five million candidates to draw from, there’s no better way to kick start your search than by partnering with them today.
December 9, 2019
Marketing Skills You Need to Hire for
December 6, 2019
How to Rescind an Offer
Rescinding a job offer to a candidate isn’t just awkward: it can expose your company to legal liability if you’re found to have withdrawn your offer for discriminatory reasons. But sometimes, moving forward with your prospective new hire just isn’t an option. Whether it’s because of a change in circumstances, or because of new information that’s turned up about the candidate, you may have no alternative except to take back the offer. Still, withdrawing a job offer should never be done lightly. It’s essential to be thoughtful and professional about it to avoid damaging your company’s reputation. The candidate may have already made significant life changes based on your job offer. With that in mind, there are reasons why you might decide to rescind a job offer -- as well as several situations in which it might be better not to. Then, we help you figure out how to recruit the right hire in the first place. It’s Time to Restart the Hiring Process So you’ve rescinded a job offer for a prospective candidate and are left to start the process over. Where do you go from there? Review your hiring processes. Depending on what went wrong with the candidate, you may need to revise your existing hiring practices. Ensure that your hiring staff is exercising good judgment and properly vetting candidates before bringing them to the hiring stage. Take a look at how long it takes you to hire someone. If you’re taking too long, you might need to broaden your job search. If you’re rushing through the process, it’s possible imperfect candidates can slip through the cracks. That leads to either rescinded offers or poor performance after they’re hired. Get outside expertise to aid you in recruiting. While your own internal processes may be strong, it’s hard to argue against the strength and reliability of a strong external recruiting firm. Technology companies can often struggle with the complexities of recruiting, relying too much on software or algorithms to do the majority of the work. When looking for recruiting companies, find firms that strike a balance between reliable software and platforms and a robust human component. The best hires often come from strong networking-- when consulting outside services for your hiring needs, make sure they have strong hiring practices both on and offline. There Are Valid Reasons to Rescind a Job Offer. First of all, keep in mind that in most cases, a job offer is not a binding contract. Until a prospective new hire accepts it, you are free to modify or withdraw it at any time. Still, it’s a good idea to be clear about any circumstances that might void the job offer or lead to a reassessment of the candidate. For example, you could state that the job offer is dependent on the candidate completing a successful drug test or credit check and that it’s only valid for a limited amount of time. If a prospective hire comes back with a counteroffer, then they are considered to have turned down the original offer, and you can decide whether or not to offer a new one. So, why might you decide to rescind a job offer from a candidate? Here are five of the most common reasons to withdraw an offer: The structure of your business has changed. One of the most straightforward reasons for withdrawing a job offer is that your business has experienced a change in circumstances. This could be from a sudden economic downturn in your region or your industry to budget cuts or a restructuring of the company. The longer it takes for a candidate to accept your job offer, the more time there is for you to reconsider. Maybe you’ve decided not to fill the vacancy after all, or wait until a later date to find a new candidate for the position. While this will still be disappointing news for your candidate to hear, they can at least be reassured that the decision wasn’t personal and that there may be opportunities for them to work with you in the future. The candidate misrepresented their credentials One of the more difficult reasons for rescinding a new job offer is that the candidate lied during their interview or misrepresented themselves on their application. You might only find this out after you’ve already offered them the job or when you receive a callback from a reference or receive the results of their credit or background check. This is why it’s crucial to verify the information before making an offer. While you might be in a hurry and think this process is just a formality, be sure to find out as much as you can about the candidate before putting anything in writing. Start by doing an online search of their previous employer and university to make sure the information is genuine. If the information only comes to light after the offer has been made, then you’ll have no choice but to withdraw the offer -- and you’ll be on sound legal ground to do so. The candidate failed a drug test. In another scenario, your prospective new hire fails a drug test after you’ve already made them a job offer. Depending on your industry, this may be grounds for rescinding an offer. Some states, however, have protections for medical marijuana users, so it’s necessary to get good legal advice before rescinding an offer on these grounds. If your job offer is dependent on the candidate passing a drug test, then make sure the candidate is aware of this requirement. In most cases, it’s easier to withdraw a job offer for failing a drug test than it is to fire an employee for failing one. So, get the tests out of the way as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary complications later. The candidate doesn’t follow up (or show up). Once you’ve made a job offer, it’s reasonable for you to expect a prospective employee to get back to you promptly. While they may need some time to consider the offer, there’s no excuse for dropping off all contact or sitting on the offer indefinitely. Unless your new hire has already communicated with you that they’ll be away on a trip or otherwise unreachable, they should at least acknowledge that they’ve received your offer and let you know how long they’ll need to make a decision. If the candidate doesn’t return your calls, misses the first day of training or orientation, or otherwise behaves unprofessionally, then it may be time to rethink your job offer. Maybe they had a genuine emergency, or perhaps they just aren’t cut out for the job. You’ll need to use your best judgment here to decide whether to move ahead with the process. The candidate has signed a non-compete agreement. Finally, one more reason to rescind a job offer is that the prospective candidate turns out to have signed a non-compete agreement with another employer. For whatever reason, they haven’t mentioned it in the interview, but it came to light after you already made a job offer. They may have signed it years ago and don’t even remember it. Maybe your HR team discovered it while calling references or doing a background check. In this case, they haven’t deliberately lied or misrepresented themselves, but moving forward with the hire could open you up to legal action from their former employer, and you’d be well within your rights to withdraw the job offer. There Are Times It’s Best NOT to Rescind a Job Offer Above are five common situations in which you might want to rescind a job offer. Now, we’ll look at two cases in which it would be a bad idea. Withdrawing an offer for the wrong reasons can open you up to legal liability and reputational damage. You may want to reconsider before withdrawing an offer in any of the following scenarios. Discriminatory reasons First, it’s illegal to rescind an offer for discriminatory reasons, including discrimination based on a person’s race, gender, religion, or country of origin. You could be sued for rescinding an offer after finding out that a potential employee: has a disability is pregnant wears a hijab or other religious items The candidate made major life changes Another reason you might not want to rescind a job offer is that your candidate has quit their previous job or moved based on your offer of employment. They could sue you for loss of income or other damages if they believe that you misrepresented the situation and made a promise that you didn’t keep. This is why it’s important to avoid using any language in your job offer that could be construed as a binding contract. If your hiring process involved months of discussion in which your candidate agreed to move their family across the country, they might very well have their life upturned if you suddenly rescind the offer. On the other hand, if they’ve impulsively quit their job and bought a new car based on a casual job offer, that’s not your responsibility. You’ll need to assess the situation and decide whether it’s worth upsetting a candidate who was counting on this job offer. Even if they don’t have grounds to sue you, the word might spread, and you may develop a reputation for being a flaky employer. Future candidates may be discouraged from pursuing jobs within your company. How to Rescind the Offer Gracefully If you decide to rescind an offer, it’s imperative to do it gracefully and professionally. Even if you’re angry or annoyed with a candidate, stay calm, and avoid personal insults. Keep your explanation direct and to-the-point, and avoid going into detail about any internal discussions that went into the decision. Depending on the situation, you might choose to break the news over the phone rather than in a letter, but you should still follow it up with a written notification. Make sure you communicate that the decision has already been made and that this isn’t the time and place to revisit the issue. If the candidate believes the decision has been made in error, point them in the direction of your company policies, and let them know what course of action they have to dispute the results of their background check or drug test. Above all, assure them that the withdrawal of the offer is confidential and will not be shared with third parties, except as required by law. Examples of Employment Withdrawal Letters Here are two examples of a letter withdrawing an offer of employment that explains the situation gracefully and tactfully: Example 1: Candidate misrepresentation Dear [Name]: It is with regret that we must inform you of our intent to rescind the offer of employment sent you to you on [date] for the job of [position] at [Company X]. As noted in our letter of offer and per our discussion during your interview, our standard hiring process includes a background check and verification of prior education and employment. During this process, we were unable to verify the BA degree from [University name] that you claimed on your application. Also, your previous employer, [Company name], could only verify a record of part-time, temporary employment, not the full-time salaried role that was listed on your resume and described in the interview. While we welcome any information that would clear up this discrepancy, the job offer sent to you on [date] is no longer valid at this time. Sincerely, [HR Manager] Example 2: Internal budget cuts Dear [Name]: We’re writing to follow up upon our offer of employment, sent to you by email and phone call on [date]. Unfortunately, recent budget cuts have made it so that the advertised role for which you applied is no longer available to be filled. Everyone on our team enjoyed getting to know you over the past few weeks. We want to stress that this is not a reflection of your skills or your suitability for this position. In fact, we encourage you to reapply if future positions open up. We know this must be a disappointment and are genuinely sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Sincerely, [HR Manager] Hunt Club Can Help Rescinding a job offer is one of the most challenging tasks for hiring teams. Not only is it stressful, but it sets you back in the hiring process, and you may have to start the interview process all over. While employee referrals can often bear fruit, it’s hard to beat effective, dedicated recruiters who are an extension of your team for help finding the most qualified candidates for that much-vaunted position. At Hunt Club, you’ll never have to rescind a job offer again because we help you find and hire the best candidates from the start. Our talent pool of 3 million candidates are all referred and pre-vetted by over 10,000 industry leaders and executives across all industries. Our technology powers every part of the search process, accelerating the vetting process and our best-in-class service team members are subject matter experts with functional expertise who work with you to get the best talent possible. Join us today and get help hiring for 2020.
December 6, 2019
Where to Find Early-Stage Talent
Growth in the tech and innovation-driven startup ecosystem has accelerated to over 47% in the last decade. While the community is thriving, there hasn’t been a tougher time for early-stage founders to hire great people. One reason it’s so difficult to attract incredible people to venture-backed companies is because more than $130 billion dollars have been put into venture-backed companies since the end of last year, according to Pitchbook. For founders, this means your company isn’t special anymore. There aren't one or two shiny objects in a city -- there are now hundreds of startups popping up and more opportunities for candidates to consider. When your business changes every six to 12 months, and you are ramping up your venture, how do you start attracting the right people you need to elevate your business? With startups, it's a game of momentum and one bad hire has the potential to ruin the trajectory of a business. We've put together three ideas to help get you started: 1. Team up with 4-5 angel investors The best people aren’t always in your backyard. In the beginning, it’s common for founders to take on many roles and wear several hats. But as time goes on you need to let go of the reigns and start hiring people who are better equipped, smarter and able to take your business to the next level. When you’re raising your next round of capital, go hand-select 4-5 angels in markets you are not currently in and get access to networks you’re not active in. Get them involved in your next round and target people who don’t work or live within a 50-mile radius of your business. Why? You need to open network effects that you don’t already have, and from people, you don’t know. Key takeaway: Raise capital from people you have relationships with but who sit more than 25 miles from your business. Here at Hunt Club, we love doing this. We opened network effects and introductions to the right talent we never could have imagined and it’s what helped us scale from a team of 15 to 50 in a year. Think of what it can do for your business. 2. Build essential relationships Think of it as every interaction is a potential hire in one to two years. Recruiting talent is an always-on activity for founders. When you have that coffee meeting, when you’re sitting at the table at a business dinner, or when you’re waiting at the gate in the airport, be on the lookout for smart and effective people. Building relationships is something you always have to be doing and not something you start when you need to make a hire. You never know when a coffee meeting can become an executive hire in one or two years. This is the future of talent. Key takeaway: Find a way to stay in touch. When you do have someone you’re interested in and want to keep the relationship going, even if your timeline to hire is uncertain, the easiest thing you can do is (and it doesn’t require much of your time,) is to create a newsletter and add them to the distribution list. 3. Communicate to your investors Make a plan to send weekly or bi-weekly updates. You would be shocked at how many founders fail at this. Make the updates comprehensive and make them interesting. And, really speak to the people on the other end. Help them understand what you really need because the more engaged your investors are, the more active they will be to help you out. Remember, the more you share, the more you get. How do you know how much to share and what to write? It’s up to you; it’s different for every business. Investors come in many different shapes and flavors. Some need more information, others are fine with a few lines and bullets. The number one thing you can do is get to know your investors. Once you know that, you’ll know what information to share, in what way and how much is needed. In terms of what to write, for the most part, share any and all good news and your recent wins. One thing you can do differently than most other founders is to be very clear about the challenges and obstacles you are facing as a founder and as a business. Be honest and open here because bringing investors up to speed on your challenges gets them actively involved with your company and it makes them think of ways they can be helpful. Your investors want to see that you are performing, but they want to be sure you have enough cash to create the runway needed to build your product and build the team you need to do it. Key takeaway: Don’t take your investors for granted. They’re well-connected, influential, and successful, and have been down the road you’re on before. Two things to keep in mind as you hire: The best people aren’t applying online. They aren’t taking career advice from people they don’t know. Working with Hunt Club helps you deliver an exceptional candidate experience and access to real relationships built on trust, so you can land top talent over your competition every time. Find out how we can get you to where you want to go, faster. Contact us at email@example.com
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups, Founder series]
November 25, 2019
How to Hire Early Employees
In one short year, Hunt Club has grown from 15 employees to over 50 and, it's no surprise, the team is full of creative and bright professionals. What is surprising, however, is finding out we're kind of a mixed bag. We have people who've left aspiring roles at some of the fastest-growing companies and category innovators, like Facebook and Trunk Club. Others came from big blue-chip brands, some who’ve founded their own companies or who have rejoined the workforce after taking some time away to raise their families. When it comes to growth and success around hiring and retaining employees, our secret is simple: We bring in exceptional "doers" with the right entrepreneurial skills, who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and work together, to build something great. Said a different way, we all have the right skill sets and qualifications but may not all have earned them in traditional ways. In today’s founders series we’ll cover off on why you want to look beyond someone’s pedigree when hiring and how to do it. Let's dig in. Why you want to look beyond someone's pedigree Pedigree is determined by where someone went to school or what job titles they have held, and oftentimes, what companies they have listed on their resumes. When looking at today's workers and the world of employment in the startup space right now, it's heavily skewed on what a person did before, where they went to school, and who they know, rather than about the qualities necessary for the role. However, when we dig into the data on Hunt Club’s candidate pool, including our own employees, we begin to see some interesting points. The first is if you look at the executive layer of candidates hired across our early-growth stage customer base, almost 30% of people hired have atypical backgrounds. This means they either: Never graduated from college Earned a college degree that is not from a top-100 university (i.e., Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Harvard, USC) Have non-traditional work experience (e.g., contractors, self-employed consultants) Traditional hiring practices have focused on a candidate’s background and experience rather than talent and potential. While it might seem like a leap of faith, nine times out of ten, a person's passion and abilities can throw pedigree out of the water. How to hire the brightest, most talented people without massive budgets or huge brand recognition. While most startups haven’t transformed their hiring processes and are competing with big-name players for top talent, you might think that unless you have massive pocketbooks, you won’t be able to compete with Google to hire that exceptional engineer. Or you can’t get that CMO from Cisco. With a little additional work and willingness to embrace the following ideas, you can get the talent you want while operating within the constraints of a growing business. So how can you build a robust pipeline of candidates, actually get them to listen and take a look at what you're making and then seal the deal with your perfect hire? Let's take a look at three key ideas to get you there. 1. Build a pipeline This one seems obvious, but you'd be surprised at how often this is missed. There are few things more valuable to founders than someone who can take the initiative to try new things, learn a new skill, or do what it takes to fill a business need. Make sure you're always networking to find these people and build your pipeline of candidates. Sometimes it means looking where no one else is looking. As a cash-strapped, growing business in the tech space, for example, it’s hard to compete with Facebook to hire developers for your team since you likely can’t offer the same compensation or benefits packages. Instead, look in pools of talent outside of your usual channels. Places where your business can stand out from the crowd. Think about networking with peers and colleagues, local college alums, and even family members of spouses in highly-dense startup areas who may want to move back at some point. At Hunt Club, one of our star software engineers started working in a creative field (after pursuing a political science degree) before expressing an interest in software development and enrolling in an engineering boot camp. One of our talent strategists was a full-time tennis coach before making moves into the recruiting world. We would probably not found them otherwise. Key takeaway: Don’t dismiss or overlook talent just because it’s not where you’d expect to find it. 2. Avoid quick transactions Startup hiring requires careful consideration. Take the time to build real relationships with potential candidates coming externally or internally. It probably has something to do with a founder's nature (they're working fast to create something incredible and quickly), but many founders are quick to offer a job to someone they've only just met. Keep in mind that most people will be intrigued, attracted to, and curious about something only once they have the most information possible. If you find someone you would like to recruit for a job with your company, think about asking them for a coffee, then lunch or something outside of where you work, first. Establish a rapport with them and use the time to educate them about how you are building something that one day will change an entire category. Share the details about who you work with, your business projections, financial models, and plans to raise capital. Most importantly, ask your potential candidates a lot of questions so you can get a good read on what the person is interested in, what they like doing, where they want to go in their professional journey. At Hunt Club, we put a lot of care into the end-to-end candidate experience, and it pays off (see our crazy growth numbers above.) This is built on three straightforward things: fostering trust and real relationships with every candidate, asking pointed questions to get an insanely good read on their interests and potential, and we listen and honestly care about what they want to pursue. Do all of this before you even think about extending an offer. Key takeaway: This should also be a core competency for everyone you hire - not just marketing, not sales, or just the founding team. Everyone should be asking lots of questions, helping to cultivate a culture of transparency and communication. 3. Incentivize your team Given the nature of the environment, the employees who thrive and move your business forward are so often the people who do things "outside of the job description" day in and out. At Hunt Club, like to think of it as unbridled energy and scrappiness. Odds are, your teammates know some really great people, and, let's face it, we all want to work with someone we want to grab beers with and hang out with outside of working hours. From the earliest days, turn your staff into your greatest weapon by empowering and incentivizing them to bring relationships to the table. Key takeaway: The best talent comes from trusted referrals and while referrals only represent 7% of all interviews, they represent 40% of all new hires. Find ways to get everyone involved, from referring talent to screening candidates to interviewing, hiring, and beyond. In the end Strong recruiting is tough for early ventures. There isn't a playbook on hiring, but when it comes to your business, find curious people, who have the drive, and the confidence and a willingness to tackle new and unfamiliar challenges. Your early hires set the tone for the next phase of the business. They need to be people who can grow with you, step into uncharted territory, and encounter things outside their current capacities. "In tomorrow's world, people are going to want the job they love. One that betters their career, betters their perspective on life, and working with people they admire and respect, all while doing something that they're passionate about." Nick Cromydas, CEO & co-founder, Hunt Club Two other things to keep in mind as you hire: The best people aren't applying online. They aren't taking career advice from people they don't know. Working with Hunt Club helps you deliver an exceptional candidate experience and access to real relationships built on trust, so you can land top talent over your competition every time. Find out how we can get you to where you want to go faster. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups, Founder series]
November 25, 2019
Educating Potential Candidates Before Making an Offer
A seed round or an early-stage raise is a significant moment. It means two things: you have the cash flow needed to pursue your growth plan and you’re under pressure from your investors to grow faster. This usually means hitting your numbers and projections within six to 12 months. When your company is sitting under the sand of time, it will change the way you hire and leads to one of the most common mistakes: offering a job to someone too soon. As a founder of a young company, it’s easy to get really excited over someone you’ve met. You want to bring in people who have the expertise your business lacks and you’re under a good deal of pressure to get it done. Yet, offering up a chance to work by your side before a candidate has even had a chance to fully understand or comprehend your business, the role or functions or financial model, is an easy way to create more stress for your business. Plus, people lose interest in opportunities because they don’t know enough. So when you have someone you’re excited about, place more focus on educating the candidate, first. Here are three ideas to do it right: 1. Get the person interested first. Once you’ve found people you want to speak with (see our other post in the founder series here) how do you get them interested in what you’re building? The trick is that most people won’t turn down something they thoroughly understand and they’re interested. The challenge is you get so excited about the person potentially joining that you make an offer way before the person really understands your company’s growth plan, traction in the market, the role, hiring goals, product road map, and future financing plans. At Hunt Club, we coach our customers (and follow the process ourselves) to educate candidates to death so, in the chance they join, it’s a really smooth transition. The first thing to do is find out as much as you can about the potential candidate. Get to know them by asking questions about what they do, what they are interested in, what is important to them. Then take what excites them and align those things with what you’re building and always show how your business can offer them a path to growth and their professional development. Key takeaway: Put the person first. Get to know them before you even get into the minutia about your business and what you are hiring for. 2. Don’t go to them directly with an opportunity Startup hiring requires careful consideration and from the potential candidate as well. From metrics and runway to equity, there’s a lot for someone to think about. Talent, especially passive candidates, aren’t interested in direct outreach and aren’t taking career advice from people they don’t know. They like to make their own decisions and form their own interests on their own terms. This is why it’s so important to give potential candidates a chance to learn about your business over days, weeks and months. Key takeaway: Think about leveraging essential relationships form people in your network to make this happen. 3. Ask for an introduction Most people are willing to help, sometimes you just need to ask. The “ask” is an incredibly powerful thing and when you have someone in mind for a role and don’t have a direct relationship, try leveraging your first-degree connections to make connections. This is one of the many beautiful benefits of network effects. Have someone foster the introduction and be strategic when wanting to connect with candidates. In your email or phone conversation, instead of making your business the priority, make the request for an introduction about the third-party. You’d be surprised at how often this step is missed but always include a reason for the introduction and show value for the prospect and to protect your contact’s relationship with the person you want to get in touch with. Key takeaway: Ask for coffee, don’t offer a job. Startups are complex and move fast, growing at a rate that’s unorthodox. Taking the time to educate candidates will not only help you hire the talent you need but ensure it’s the right talent to move your business forward. Two things to keep in mind as you hire: The best people aren’t applying online. They aren’t taking career advice from people they don’t know. Working with Hunt Club helps you deliver an exceptional candidate experience and access to real relationships built on trust, so you can land top talent over your competition every time. Find out how we can get you to where you want to go, faster. Contact us at email@example.com
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups, Founder series]
November 25, 2019
ShipBob's Casey Armstrong on Reaching Game-Changing Talent as You Scale
Hunt Club client testimonial: ShipBob Spending too much time with the wrong candidates drains resources and, ultimately, budgets. What if you had a faster way to prioritize your hiring needs? Tune in as Casey Armstrong, CMO for ShipBob, weighs in on his experience working with Hunt Club to reach higher-quality talent in less time. Editor's note: This video was originally published in 2018 and we've updated the post for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Testimonial]
November 13, 2019
How to Attract the Right Startup Talent
With jobless rates at multi-year lows in the U.S., reaching top talent is becoming a daunting task for growing companies. Here are some reasons why you probably aren’t getting the best talent in your door. 1.You haven’t changed where you source from You only reach out to the usual networks (with the same candidates) to try and find people with the skill set and background you want. The best people aren’t looking for jobs on job boards, and they they aren’t taking career advice from people they don’t know. 2. You don’t know what help you really need This is especially true for startups. Replacing an employee today can cost more than 200 percent of their salary – not the kind of money most companies can spare. When forming a job description or thinking about the role, it’s incredibly easy companies to slip into wanting ten or twenty “must-haves” because there is often so much to do. 3. You have a long time-to-hire process You don't have the right things in place to ensure you weed out talking to candidates who are an ill-fit for the role, early on in the hiring process. 4. You’re lacking a strong employer brand Candidates don’t know who you are. Unless you’re a big-name company (or a hot startup coming off a decently sized raise) it’s more than likely the average person won't know much about what you do. Eve for more established companies, it can also be that the people you really need still think of you in one way. To help, here are three things you can try to improve your hiring processes and candidate quality. 1.Build your employer brand in all phases of the hiring process. The challenge for hiring managers and internal recruiters is that things have become a bit transactional, and most people just want to understand how a candidate stacks up. A big part of the recruiting process is to talk about what makes your company a great place to work and grow – from initial contact (i.e., website, social media, partner events, sponsorships) in interviews and hiring, and beyond. 2. Deliver a white-glove candidate experience. Expect to do a lot of courting and always understand what the candidate's needs are, and give back, first. Whether it’s being generous with your time, energy, effort, information or opportunities. We've actually written a lot about how to do this here and (if you're more of a visual leaner,) here. 3. Tap into referrals to reach outside networks. Don’t just hire based on internal referrals alone. Think outside of your usual networks and professional organizations to find a broader range of talent. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look into on and/or off-campus college recruiting. In-person events are great but can eat up your staff’s limited time to physically travel from school to school. Instead, maybe consider online events as a way to reach more schools and encourage students to join wherever they are. Also, consider joining conversations that are happening throughout various social media communities. Tap into those LinkedIn Groups or Facebook communities with topics related to your business, and then strike up conversations with other members. 4. Partner with an external firm. An external firm is like having your own PR firm. The best talent is passive and they aren’t out there looking for their next move, and an outsider can help with perspective, and build real relationships with trust. Without that, it's hard to get somebody to actually listen to what you’re working on and what the opportunity might be. Today's labor market is tough and crowded with marketing messaging. Get through to the people you want to reach by developing real relationships built on trust. Here are three things to keep in mind in the process. Visit www.huntclub.com to find out how we can help. Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2018 and we've updated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
November 13, 2019
How to Hire Correctly
Hiring is easy. Most people can do it. If you’re reading this and you run a business, you can hire someone. But can you hire well? And, hire the right people? Does your hiring process connect with people? Does it excite candidates, compelling them to want to join your company? If so, you have a leg-up on your competition: you can command attention. It’s a valuable commodity. Common hiring challenges Too many startups and growing companies today are finding it difficult to attract and reach high-quality candidates. Most haven't transformed their hiring processes and are competing with big brands for A-list talent, finding themselves at a disadvantage. Here are some of the more common flaws in current hiring processes: Choose pedigree over aptitude. Looking at workers -- and the world of employment right now -- it's very much based on what you can do, versus where you went to school, and who you know, rather than about the qualities necessary for the role. Tune out digital transformation. Technology is changing the way companies operate, but not how they hire. With technology and digital transforming changing everything in the world, old talent strategies don't really make sense. Without updated their processes, companies actually create windows of opportunities for candidates to accept other jobs in organizations that are quicker to adapt. Overlook references and referrals. These are instrumental tools when judging someone's character because you are getting an outside opinion on that candidate. Most companies fail to utilize them well. Let's take a look at five timeless rules (with some modern context) that anyone can apply to make their hiring processes better. “In the world before, everyone was happy just to have a job. In tomorrow's world, people will want a job they love. They will want a job that betters their career and perspective on life, with people they admire and respect, all while doing something that they're passionate about.” - Nick Cromydas, CEO and co-founder at Hunt Club. 1. Drop the ego Full disclosure: It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve raised, how innovative your company is, what your market reputation is or what your market cap has grown by year over year. Humility is the key to landing amazing people. “By no means does that mean you shouldn’t be excited about the trajectory of your company. Sing it from the rooftops. But when it comes to expectations for courting talent, roll out the red carpet and let them know you care more about them than yourself." TAKEAWAY: Remind yourself over and over that every interaction is an opportunity to create a brand ambassador, whether they ultimately work for your company or not, will keep the ego in check. How to drop it: Put candidates first and embody a “give first” mentality in your conversations, and always consider how you can be a resource for anyone who walks through your doors. Potential candidates should feel wanted and begin to imagine what it would be like working at your company. This means getting to know their professional goals, interests, and priorities. Find out what they want and if they’re getting what they need at their current gig. Make it very clear about why it would be beneficial for them to join the team. Talk about how your business can help their long-term professional goals (knowing this right from the start can make candidates realize all the things they’re missing!) When they have the information upfront, it can 100 percent speed up their decision to accept a role once it's offered. 2. Transparency > exclusivity You don’t have to show all your cards as you work with talent from start to finish, but certainly let them know what phase of the process they’re in, how many people there are, and the expectations and timeline for a decision. Talk about any macro-issues impacting the business and let them know the risks of the decision. The more you give candidates, it will also give you more insight into their interests and what they’re looking for, ultimately, getting you closer to candidates who may or may not be a fit, faster. TAKEAWAY: Everyone wins with open communication. How to practice transparent communication: It starts with creating a firm process at the start of any search and a commitment to stick with it. Spend a few hours and develop a rhythm of touch points for your candidates. Call when you say you will. Find natural ways to check in without being pushy or overbearing. Keep people updated on when they can expect to hear back and where they stand in the process. Everyone may have their own way of doing things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set a structure from the beginning. 3. Always care about others, first When you ask someone to join a startup, you’re also asking the person to join an unpredictable company and trade long hours for some form of a pay cut. Give them a reason to counter that. Putting people first is something that should be ingrained in your company's DNA. Whether it’s being generous with your time, energy, effort, information or opportunities. TAKEAWAY: Treat others as you want to be treated. How to care about others: When you put in the effort to make sure all candidates are valued and rewarded it is empowering -- whether someone is hired on or not. It leaves a lasting impression on anyone who interviews and speaks volumes about your brand to people outside the company. When you bring the person in for an interview, have them meet the team and anyone they will be working with. Ensure that they know they have full support in their role and they know what success could look like. Have the person meet a number of people from your company, not just an immediate supervisor or team members. 4. Follow up It happens to everyone. Someone says they’ll call when they will, and it doesn’t happen. When you’re on the receiving end, it feels terrible. 92 percent of people struggle with the act of following up, in business and in life. It’s a bad habit that doesn’t help anyone -- especially your brand as an employer. TAKEAWAY: “Diligent follow-up and follow through will set you apart from the crowd and communicate excellence.” - John C. Maxwell How to follow up: Cut your risk with a few easy habits. Hiring departments are overworked, doing more with less time. A few easy ways to do this: Set reminders on your calendar to check in with candidates within 48 hours of your last conversation. This can be a quick email to send additional materials about a role. Or a phone call to ask how an interview went. Give yourself deadlines and break down the tasks needed to complete something bigger. Find an accountability buddy -- either a colleague or a friend -- to help you stay on track and motivated. 5. Know the role Consultants and even internal recruiters shouldn’t expect a 360-degree view on a role -- it’s not realistic -- but you’re first in line when it comes to candidates. “This one seems obvious but you’d be shocked at how many recruiters (both internal and external) don’t take the time to truly understand the position they’re working on.” If you can’t articulate the details about an open role (or know more than what’s written on a job description,) it hurts your ability to close candidates and can even ruin your organization’s reputation. TAKEAWAY: Good hiring is the product of knowing what you’re hiring for. It starts with digging in. How to know the role: If you’re unfamiliar with the positions you need to hire for -- or even the industries -- grab some coffee, take 30 minutes and run a few Google searches. You’ll learn a decent amount about what a person in that role does, the qualifications needed, and where the role fits into the overall organization. You can also take a different approach and tap into a few subject matter experts’ minds. Reach out to people you know who are in those roles, or ask for introductions if they are second or third connections, and explain you just need 10 minutes from them. The power of the network is real. Most people are willing to help if your request is exact and doesn’t require much time. In the end Whether you're an employer or a candidate, everyone respects the potential of a good hiring process. If you’re not building airtight processes around interviewing, hiring processes, communication, and feedback, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach a higher caliber of talent. Need some more inspiration? We share a few frameworks you can use to help define the role and drill down on the qualities needed. Or, come check out what we're doing differently at Hunt Club. Drop us a line. Editor's note: We originally published this post last year, and have updated the content for comprehensiveness and accuracy. We should also add that the quotes in this piece are from Nick Cromydas, our CEO and co-founder. Thanks for reading!
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
What Hunt Club Does for Their Employees That You Won't Find at Other Talent Companies
Let's face it. The recruiting space hasn't changed with the times and isn't exactly praised for treating clients, candidates or their own people very well. Many people get into recruiting because they want to help people find jobs and change their lives. But whether it's someone deciding recruitment is ‘not for them’ there's a lack of resources to perform well, recruiters are leaving in droves for significant reasons. Here at Hunt Club we pride ourselves on being a new category of talent company, and we prioritize creating an exceptional culture that attracts and keeps the best talent so we can deliver that same experience for our customers. Our leadership team sets the stage for the values we want to see instilled in the company and everyone follows suit. In the end, we all benefit. Recently, we were awarded Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces for 2019, proof of how employees feel about Hunt Club. There are also certain distinguishing features that would make other companies envious. Here are three key areas: 1.An AlwaysCare™️ mentality Drawing inspiration from the old adage, "treat others as you want to be treated," our leadership team makes sure that this mentality was built in the company's foundation from inception in 2015. Coined, AlwaysCare™️ (we've even - jokingly - internally copyrighted the phrase,) this is ingrained in the Hunt Club DNA and extends outside the office walls. We collaborate, have fun together, and work to leave a positive impact with each client, candidate and network interaction. 2.A pay-it-forward approach In 2014, Nick would constantly refer people he knew for open jobs. Headhunters would contact him asking if he knew anyone qualified for this job or that, and he'd recommend someone in his network each time. The headhunter would get paid for facilitating the new hire, the candidate would get a signing bonus for taking on the new role, and he would be left with a simple thank you (and once a bottle of wine.) It didn’t really make sense. After all, it was his connection and introduction that made other people a significant amount of cash. Hunt Club was born out of the idea that the best recruiters really kind of activate talent through subject matter experts, vetting and introducing people through their networks. There wasn't a platform to do that at scale, so Nick set out to build it using the power of an incentivized network – a collection of business leaders, executives, startup founders and other highly connected people, with the best relationships, all to deliver high-quality, high-volume talent to our partners and help them build their best teams, faster. With this, we're all working together to build the smartest and most intuitive platform for our experts, clients and candidates, that also strengthens relationships. 3.The Hunt Club culture Hunt Club is committed to the philosophy of treating all employees fairly and puts a lot of effort into making sure all employees are valued and rewarded. To that end, we have a clear vision for the Hunt Club culture on that basis, which all leaders and employees carry forward. It's every employee's personal responsibility to live out and uphold the company values of: We elevate others. We push each other forward. We challenge each other to be the best versions of ourselves, give credit where it's due and check our ego at the door. We take pride in our work. We strive for excellence in everything we do. We take ownership of our work, hold ourselves accountable and produce quality daily. We do what's right. We operate with integrity even if it means making tough decisions. We are honest and sincere, and are genuine in our interactions. We value reputation over revenue. We figure it out together. We explore all possibilities together. We are proactive and collaborative. We take intelligent risks to solve problems, welcome a challenge, and win as a team. We ask "why?" We seek to understand. We are intellectually curious, and value understanding over impressing. We always push for progress. Our leaders in turn, empower everyone by crafting the employee experience to carry out their cultural vision and values. At the end of the day, Hunt Club gets the best work out of its people because of its culture of putting people first. Want to be part of an amazing organization? Good news: We're growing! #JointheHunt and become an expert today to see what roles have open or drop us a line here.
November 13, 2019
Hunt Club Named to Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces for 2019
"It's our business to place incredible people in great companies. Our goal has always been to build the best workplaces in the process." - Nick Cromydas, CEO and co-founder, Hunt Club. We're delighted to announce that Hunt Club has been named to Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces for 2019! The list is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of private American companies that have created exceptional workplaces through vibrant cultures, deep employee engagement, and stellar benefits. Collecting data on nearly 2,000 submissions, Inc. singled out 346 finalists. For the 2019 list, 74.2 percent of surveyed employees were engaged by their work—besting last year’s 72.1 percent. To identify the businesses across the country with strong cultures of employee engagement, employees at each nominated company had to complete a unique, 30-question survey, which measured key criteria including trust, management effectiveness, perks, and confidence in the future. While analyzing the survey results, Inc. and partner Quantum Workforce saw several distinct commonalities across top workplaces such as: highly engaged employees, flexible work hours and paid time off, commuter benefits, and high levels of transparency. We place a high value on its company culture and employee engagement at Hunt Club – centered around the creation of authentic and intentional core values. Our company culture has contributed to strong business growth – in 2018, we expanded the Hunt Club team by 2.5x (2017 - 2018) and we're on track to reach growth of 3.2x by the end of 2019. We also invest in employees’ health and happiness with a comprehensive benefits package including unlimited paid time off, company-sponsored health plans, retirement planning with match, and personal development and learning stipends. To see the list of winners, pick up a copy of the June 2019 issue of Inc. Magazine or online here. Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2018 and we've updated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
[Recruiting, Startups, Jobs]
November 13, 2019
How to Make Sure Your New Hires Feel Special
For startups, time is money and it's important for new hires to hit the ground running as quickly as possible. We all know acquiring new team members is hard. It's especially tough for early-stage and growing startups concerned with their speed to hire (many worry it's not fast enough) and not being able to attract and keep top talent to elevate a business to its highest potential. So when you do land the right candidate (and they pass the interview and accept the job,) it's critical to reassure them of their decision and make them feel welcome within the first few days. Onboarding in early-stage environments Onboarding into a new job is actually one of the toughest job transitions, and it can take anywhere from three to six months (sometimes longer in more complex roles) to adjust.[^1] Even the most experienced professional will have a few hiccups when learning a new business and adapting to a new culture. Formal employee onboarding has traditonally been practiced in larger companies -- not so much in growing businesses. But, implementing a systematic approach in these environments can help bring new employees up to speed 50 percent faster [^2], which means they’re more quickly and efficiently able to contribute to achieving the desired goals of your growing business. If you're looking for a little help when it comes to your own onboarding strategy, here's a 3-step approach that is easy and repeatable. Step 1. What to do before a new person begins There's a lot to learn and strong feelings of vulnerability in the early days. One of the first – and most important – things to do is to get current employees hyped and excited for their new teammate. "After a candidate accepts an offer, I like to email everyone involved in the hiring process and make the introduction," said Jeff Dulmage, director of talent strategy, Hunt Club. "I reach out to executives and teammates, announcing the new hire, their name, the start date, contact details, and I always copy the candidate on the email so they immediately feel like part of the team." You can also send over new-hire forms, any thought-leadership content like blog posts or press coverage, competitive research and any business playbooks for the new employees to review, helping them ramp up and get acclimated faster in their first few weeks. Step 2. What to do when a new person starts? Deliver an amazing first day experience by helping new hires get settled in. Assign a new-hire buddy You can also assign a coworker they can shadow and have that person be the "go-to" for things like showing the person to their workspace, walking them around and making intros, connecting to the WiFi, touring the office, making sure they have functioning key cards, and answering all the "silly questions" about the office (e.g., "where's the bathroom?") Schedule a first-day lunch Make sure to take the new person to lunch with the entire team to help break the ice. Setup initial and reoccurring meetings If you want your new hires to feel productive, develop a week-long meeting schedule so they can meet relevant people within the company and get to know them on a one-on-one basis. Managers should meet with their subordinates for a quick welcome check in, mid-week/ongoing training sessions, and a check in at the end of the first week, to ask how things went, what help they need, etc. (and get feedback on the onboarding process). Step 3. What to do after a new employee starts (first 30 days) Continue with trainings The training doesn't stop on their day or first week. If it's helpful, pull the new hires into different teams to learn about other components of the business (i.e., have your marketing hire drop in on a product development meeting). Assign them their first big project Be clear on the objectives of the project, the scope of work, the allotted timeframe, the expected deliverables, and the criteria by which the success of the project will be measured. Ask for and give feedback Find out what's working well and what isn't, and also give them a snapshot of how they're doing in their first 30 days. Feedback often and early is key to keeping new employees engaged, motivated and on track. At the end of the day The decision to join a startup isn't easy, and not all startups have have the resources to devote someone full-time to onboarding activities. To scale and grow, however, it's important to help setup new hires for success and reassure them of their decision to join your company. Need help hiring or implementing a robust onboarding process? Get in touch and see how we can help.
November 13, 2019
Attract the Right Talent for Your Company
With jobless rates at multi-year lows in the U.S., reaching top talent is becoming a bigger task for talent teams. On top of that, employment is expected to grow at the fastest rate ever [^1] in the coming decade meaning companies (big and small) need to get a little more creative at sourcing talent now. To help, we’ve put together four pain points that impact hiring and candidate quality and what you can do differently to stand out from the competition. Here are the reasons why you probably aren’t getting the best talent in your door: You haven’t changed where you source from and only reach out to the usual networks (with the same candidates) to try and find people with the skill set and background you want. The best people aren’t looking for jobs on job boards, and they they aren’t taking career advice from people they don’t know. You don’t know what help you really need, and this is especially true for startups. Replacing an employee today can cost more than 200 percent of their salary – not the kind of money most companies can spare. When forming a job description or thinking about the role, it’s incredibly easy companies to slip into wanting ten or twenty “must-haves” because there is often so much to do. You have a long time-to-hire process and don't have the right things in place to ensure you weed out talking to candidates who are an ill-fit for the role, early on in the hiring process. You’re lacking a strong employer brand and candidates don’t know who you are. Unless you’re a big-name company (or a hot startup coming off a decently sized raise) it’s more than likely the average person won't know much about what you do. Eve for more established companies, it can also be that the people you really need still think of you in one way. Here’s how you can stand out: Build your employer brand in all phases of the hiring process. The challenge for hiring managers and internal recruiters is that things have become a bit transactional, and most people just want to understand how a candidate stacks up. A big part of the recruiting process is to talk about what makes your company a great place to work and grow – from initial contact (i.e., website, social media, partner events, sponsorships) in interviews and hiring, and beyond. Deliver a white-glove candidate experience. Expect to do a lot of courting and always understand what the candidate's needs are, and give back, first. Whether it’s being generous with your time, energy, effort, information or opportunities. We've actually written a lot about how to do this here. Tap into referrals to reach outside networks. Don’t just hire based on internal referrals alone. Think outside of your usual networks and professional organizations to find a broader range of talent. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look into on and/or off-campus college recruiting. In-person events are great but can eat up your staff’s limited time to physically travel from school to school. Instead, maybe consider online events as a way to reach more schools and encourage students to join wherever they are. Also, consider joining conversations that are happening throughout various social media communities. Tap into those LinkedIn Groups or Facebook communities with topics related to your business, and then strike up conversations with other members. Partner with an external firm. An external firm is like having your own PR firm. The best talent is passive and they aren’t out there looking for their next move, and an outsider can help with perspective, and build real relationships with trust. Without that, it's hard to get somebody to actually listen to what you’re working on and what the opportunity might be. In the end We’re in a tight labor market, probably the tightest ever we’ve seen for top talent. When you cast a wide net, develop real relationships and use all channels available to you, the odds of landing the top people over your competition, will be in your favor. If you need a guide on your hiring journey, find out how we can get you to where you want to go, faster.
November 13, 2019
Hiring Criteria: How to prepare the right strategy.
For a startup, hiring is like having a bottle of champagne without a corkscrew. Sometimes you have to make do with whatever you got -- especially in the early days of the business. The wrong tool, however, can break bottles and pocketbooks. In business, the wrong hire can hurt your business and bottom line. Replacing an employee today can cost more than 200 percent of their salary – not the kind of money most startups can spare. It’s why in hiring, we talk a lot about how critical it is to know what you need to get the right people in the door, but we don't typically think how revisiting job descriptions and hiring criteria mid-search can help avoid this. Nor is it something we have to actively make time for when everyone is so busy. This is why we’ve put together a strategy for hiring teams to help figure out what's really needed in their hires. Need inspiration for your own approach? Check out the ideas below. How to figure out and prioritize what you really need in your hires A challenge for most early companies is that they don’t know what help they really need. “Sometimes, you think you know what you want and then you go after it,” says Jeff Dulmage, director of talent strategy, Hunt Club. “Once you get involved, or too far down in the search, you might discover what you’re looking for isn’t a fit for what you actually need.” When forming a job description or thinking about the role they want, it’s incredibly easy to want ten or twenty “must-haves” because there is so much to do. Often, startup employees are doing the work of two or three people, so the environment and the budget dictate what’s needed. “There’s just more work, functions, and responsibilities needed than these companies have the headcount for and the number of resources available,” says Jeff. “Other times the person you’re going after doesn’t align with what’s needed for the stage of the business. And, usually what’s on paper is what the client actually wants because those are the needs they have to fill. . . eventually. But I think what is so important is to always ask ‘What do we need right now?’ This is helpful in deciding whether or not your criteria has too many things in it for one person in a single role." Here are three strategies to help prioritize what to hire for when you have so many needs: 1.Ben Franklin method (+a new step) The simplest approach to sort out what's important, is to just take a sheet of paper and cut it in half. Then list out what you need and what you can live without for now. Take it a step further and assign a points value for each of those needs, usually giving them a point between 1-10. Then you rank the needs based on the highest points and what’s needed immediately. Example: Pros and cons plus points value for each item 2. Eisenhower Box method Another idea to use to help prioritize what you need is the Eisenhower Box approach. Using this framework, you can categorize each of your traits/characteristics/job functions/responsibilities into one of these four quadrants within a few minutes to help you figure out what needs are more pressing in your hires. Example: Eisenhower Box method 3. The Bullseye method This is how we do it at Hunt Club, and it's a precise methodology to figure out what to look for in hires, and then clearly see what they have and they don’t. When we talk to candidates we rank them most to least and the more they have gets them closer to the center of the bullseye. “As an external -- and outside -- talent partner, we help our clients prioritize what’s most important by asking things like ‘What do you need to hire for today?’ and ‘What can you get by without?’” says Jeff. “Then we dig into the tangible and intangible skills from there, but asking those upfront questions is important because it takes a lot of awareness and collaboration to figure out.” Example: Hunt Club Bullseye methodology But, Jeff says, the Bullseye candidate profile is just the first part. It’s important to take a step back, mid-process, and even consider recalibrating what you’re going after. Checking in mid-process, after the first set of interview rounds, is an ideal time to reassess your hiring needs. You have a good amount of data based on the people you screened and interviewed, that you can quickly do an assessment to see that you’re on the right track. “There’s a reason certain types of professionals don’t have the sales skills as a salesperson,” says Jeff. “We’ve found it incredibly helpful here at Hunt Club to check-in halfway through any search to make sure everything lines up.” If you’re feeling frustrated or feel like you’re running into a brick wall, then it might be a good idea to stop and reassess what you’re going after. Here are some tell-tale signs you might need to recalibrate your criteria: When your needs are too great When the compensation isn’t aligned with the market When someone’s location is an issue When you uncover a new skills-gap When you discover there’s no room for growth in the role In the end If you can help weigh the risks of what your candidates have versus what they don’t, be flexible in your hiring criteria and set up a tight hiring process that includes revisiting your needs, you will be on your way to hiring great people for your team in no time. Need help hiring talent? Drop us a note and find out how we can help.
November 13, 2019
How to Make Your Company Stand out to Candidates
For as long as business competition has existed, image and reputation have drawn in potential customers. When it comes to attracting and keeping talent, an employer’s brand also plays a significant role. In today’s super competitive market, companies can no longer afford to only focus on how good their product or service is. It’s also important to ask ‘how good of a company are we to work for?’ The challenge for hiring managers and internal recruiters is that things have become a bit transactional, and most people just want to understand how a candidate stacks up. They forget they also need to be selling. “Most of the time hiring managers are also very focused in on what they want for a certain role because if it doesn’t get it filled in a certain about of time, it’s a loss in revenue,” says Jeff Dulmage, director of talent strategy, Hunt Club. As a hiring manager or internal recruiter, when you only have 30 minutes to interview someone, here’s a simple framework to communicate your employee brand when interacting with candidates and ensure they would be excited to come onboard. 1. Always understand what does the candidate need, first. “When you do start working with a candidate -- for no matter the role -- don’t lose the sense of what the value proposition is for the candidate,” Jeff says. Know your organization’s history, brand, and align that information to what candidates need. If it’s career mobility they want, talk to them about career progression so they know upfront about there is a clear process for them to advance -- and that you’re invested in their growth and their future. 2. Be open and transparent with candidates about the brand from the start. People appreciate honesty and directness from organizations. This means sharing the good and the not so good, and sharing solutions for that. Maybe you had some major PR challenges last year or you have a few Glassdoor reviews that aren’t favorable. If your company is navigating tricky waters, you don’t need to go into a lot of detail, but you definitely shouldn’t try and hide it. “Candidates may not always like what you are sharing, but at least they will know about it and they can use the information in their decision process down the line,” says Jeff. 3. Really understand why people come work for you. Everyone is working for money so they can make a living, but there are also a lot of other important things. What in-demand benefits do you offer over your competitors (gourmet snacks, gym memberships or pet-policies)? Make sure you speak to all the little extras that make people feel appreciated and special. 4. An external firm is like having your own PR firm. Especially if you’re a legacy brand looking to reach a new demographic of candidates, partnering with an external firm can help get your messages out there and talked about in new ways. “A lot of times, we are the client’s only window into candidates,” says Jeff. “In order for me to best match candidates and our clients, we have to learn as much as we can about their business. Then we figure out how to get that information out in front of whoever we talk to. A lot of times, we can help establish trust with candidates that their best interests are at heart [which helps improve the overall candidate experience on behalf of our clients,]” he says. “The bottom line is if we haven’t sold the candidate enough on how great a company really is -- and understand the client’s culture -- we’re not doing our jobs,” he says. In the end A big part of the recruitment process is to talk about what makes your company a great place to work and grow. Selling your employee brand when speaking with candidates will help you hire smarter, faster. To see how we can help, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or drop us a line here.
November 13, 2019
Candidate Ghosting: What is it and how to prevent it.
Dating and recruiting have a lot of things in common. In both, you get to meet new people, share new experiences and when it's time to make it official, you develop a relationship where two parties spend a significant part of their lives together. But with all the good stuff, there are also some downsides. The new forms of "ghosting" In business, there are awkward interviews or the ones that don't happen at all because the other person doesn't show up. Just as people today are often more comfortable with texting and interacting through social media and “ghosting” someone they no longer wish to date, the same is applies in business. In today's strong candidate job market, a growing number of workers are "ghosting" interviews, blowing off work, or accepting offers but not showing up the first day and even vanishing from existing positions – all without giving notice.[^1] While this behavior isn't something new, it's actually taken on new forms. Let's take a look: 1. Kondo-ing The Marie Kondo method for ditching your clothes, kitchen appliances, cars as soon as they don't spark joy anymore also applies to relationships and careers. 2. You-Turning In dating, some people may be too good to be true. You-turning refers to falling head-over-heels for someone, but you discovered something completely off-putting about them, like poor oral hygiene or a recent criminal record. In the hiring process, maybe the candidate discovered something about a business that is unappealing and doesn't align with their values. 3. Cloaking Let's say you were all excited about your date but when you got to the bar, your match never even showed up. So, you nervously open the dating app and that's when you notice, you two are no longer matches. There's no way to ask, "Are you coming?" or contact them at all. They've just disappeared. There’s a name for what just happened to you: "cloaking." It's worse than ghosting. It's like your match never even happened. In recruiting, this appears when candidates disconnect hiring managers and recruiters from LinkedIn, Messenger, email, or any other app used during the connection phase. 4. Cookie-Jarring The term refers to treating someone as a back-up option while you’re dating other people. You may not be that serious about your date, but you sporadically dip your hand in the cookie jar if you don’t have any better snacks in front of you. When it comes to talent, candidates will pursue opportunities with you while at the same time, talk to other businesses just to see what's out there. Best practices to manage this in the workplace If you're a hiring manager and think you're getting stood up, fear not. With a tight process and personal communication strategy, you can lessen the odds that this will happen to you or your client. 1. Give them space You want to give candidates enough space to first assess if they're even into an opportunity. 2. Make it about them Especially for passive candidates you don't want to come on so strong that you scare them away. Get to know them first—what they want, need, where they are in the process. 3. Set the tone you're interested Encourage open communication from the start. Be honest about the role and where a candidate stands throughout the process. Text or call when you say you will. 4. Think about the future Always set a date to reconnect after a phone call, an interview, or any touch point to set expectations and timelines, and keep the conversation going. In the end Just like in dating, it's frustrating when someone stands you up. In business, while you can't prevent it from happening, when you run a tight candidate process and deliver an amazing candidate experience, you can decrease the odds that candidates will just leave you behind in the dust without explanation. Get in touch and learn how we can help you run a better process and deliver a white-glove candidate experience.
November 13, 2019
How to Avoid Employee Burnout
For many startup employees, doing the job of at least two people is very common. Marketers are creating data-driven social media campaigns and shooting videos. Developers are building new app UX/UI designs and creating API endpoints. While this process works, it's rarely sustainable in the long term. Today, there are an infinite number of things to work on and a finite amount of time to do it in. Given the startup mentality at most VC-backed companies, entire teams—from sales to marketing to tech—take incredible ownership in their work. With increased ownership comes a greater sense of accomplishment, but also higher stakes (and sometimes more stress) given the rest of the company's dependability on those sales/marketing/tech resources. Some workers will try to add-on more hours to their days: 6pm becomes 7pm. 7pm turns into 8pm, and so on. It's an easy trap to fall into, and when this goes on for days, weeks and months, no matter how much you love what you do, it's a quick ride to burnout. "You suddenly realize that you've been eating ice cream for three meals every day for years on end. You're tired of it; you don't want to see ice cream any more. People who eat ice cream occasionally won't understand this; how could you possibly want less ice cream?!" – Gary Bernhardt The high price of burnout The psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees costs an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the U.S., and new research shows that 95 percent of HR leaders think "employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention." Recognizing or monitoring for the early signs is the first step to avoiding burnout, and one of biggest signs to watch out for is input (time) vs. output (productivity) ratio. "If a developer has an increase in time spent and a decrease in quality of work delivered, it could very well be a sign of burnout. Our entire team is encouraged to ask each other for help as often as possible to find early symptoms of burnout before it becomes a larger issue." - Zain Jeddy, head of product management, New Coast Ventures. We all know bringing in the best talent is expensive and time consuming, and high turnover is an even bigger pain point for growing companies who are focused on moving fast and scaling up. But an all too common mistake founders and managers make is assuming that all employees are the same. Your team experiences and handles growth in their own ways. Different marketers/salespeople/developers can burnout for different reasons, and monitoring for burnout independently versus the entire group can be beneficial. Your marketers may love to be creative. Your salespeople may live for closing deals. Your developers LOVE to code. But sometimes too much of the same good thing can be a bad thing. So, we've rounded up five reliable strategies from growing companies that will help you manage or monitor for burnout and find ways to avoid and/or alleviate it with your teams. 1."Focus on the long term" – Adam D'Angelo, co-founder/CEO, Quora 2. "Balance growth with the health of the team" – Zain Jeddy, head of product management, New Coast Ventures 3. "The first hour a day of exercise gives you back more than an hour of productivity." – Tim Berry, founder, Palo Alto Software 4. "We take the time to connect" – Eva Vaughn, Loom 5. "Open communication" – Bryan Payne, founder and CEO, Skout Deals
November 13, 2019
How to Set a Startup Compensation Plan
Most people who join a startup are the type of people who will put in 80 hours a week to avoid a 40-hour work week. They’re in for a penny, in for a pound -- they're physiologically and emotionally committed to a venture. Before the companies in Silicon Valley (the HP’s, eBay’s and Cisco’s) began the practice of granting stock options to regular employees as a way to reward people for their loyalty and efforts, it wasn’t something most companies practiced. Today, the equity culture among growing companies -- particularly those in the technology space -- is now universal. When it’s done right, it can do a few things, like: Cover any downside of the opportunity costs taken by employees Align the risk and reward of employees betting on an unproven company Reward long-term value creation and thinking by employees Even though the practice is so widespread, many startups still fail to put in place an equity compensation plan that adequately rewards its employees over time. Some even put it off until it’s too late, and for David Willbrand, this move is concerning. As a seasoned VC and emerging company attorney, David has seen this mistake rear its head time and time again. Based on his observations, this hesitation to face an uncomfortable issue early on tends to cause problems down the line as startups grow. Here’s a quick start guide to the number one mistake most founders make, and some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to building compensation benefits. Waiting to begin is the #1 mistake many founders make. We all know time is a precious commodity in early-stage companies. In the day-to-day at a startup, waiting – on any account – can come back to bite founders in the behind. When it comes to compensation packages, it can be very irritating to people (employees) to not get the full economic value of what they bargained for. Unfortunately, this happens routinely. A founder hires someone and they wait days, weeks and months before addressing compensation plans. “There are lots of legal issues to kind of ‘punt-on’. Internally, there are lots of [legal] things that can be fixed . . . there are lots of things aren’t so urgent they have to be dealt with right away. You [as a founder] have to make the hard choices because there are only 24 hours in a day," said Willbrand. “But, when it comes to equity, you have got to do it immediately. Whether they’re getting restricted stock or stock options, it is calibrated against the fair market value of the company today,” says Willbrand. “If you wait -- and companies do this all the time -- it's costly. I’m not going to say you can’t fix it, but it’s going to cost you 10 times as much and it’s going to be a hack, not a good fix.” Fair market value and figuring it out Generally speaking, stock options are treated as non-qualified deferred compensation if the stock options have an exercise price that is less than the fair market value on the date of the grant. With that come several rules, including but not limited to : The exercise price must be at least equal to or above the fair market value (FMV) of the underlying shares as of the grant date; The number of shares subject to the option must be fixed on the grant date of the option; and The option may not include any additional feature such as an exchange for other deferred compensation or material modifications for the deferral of compensation. The danger in waiting on putting this to paper, is "you have to price the options at that new value," says Willbrand. Where you see things truly become horrific is in the context of an IPO. "In that process, you hire people more quickly and the value of a company races up real fast. Companies going through this are required to complete a 409a evaluation every month. And the value goes way up," stated Willbrand. “It’s really bad and it’s very hard to unwind that and get back to where it was. You’ll have to spend some serious money on compensation lawyers in the process. It can become a financial and legal nightmare—one involving very expensive lawyers to fix.” The best advice for any founder is “the minute you have a handshake on a new hire, call your lawyer and get the option papers papered ASAP," he says. Best practices when calculating early-stage benefits “If your early hires don’t have to take a paycheck for a while, they’re not going to take one for a while. They will make all the sacrifices you make as a founder and that’s what the equity is about,” he says. David always suggests starting any conversation by asking yourself or your founders “Are you hiring someone who will be a co-founder, an executive or a key contributor?” “Founder” has no legal meaning, it’s an existential concept -- it’s not a role. “When someone says they’re a founder you don’t know what they do but if someone is a CTO, CFO, the answer is usually more clear,” David says. “If the answer is “I’m hiring a co-founder” then the conversation to have with them is that this person is going get at least 20 percent of the company and what comes with that are realistic and measurable expectations." Most companies put considerable effort into the size of their equity grants for new hires, and there are several tools out there to help calculate this, but when you build out the equity distribution for your hires these are the common things to consider: How attractive your company is What role you’re hiring for How difficult it will be to hire and retain someone Domain expertise in your new hire Their connections Experience with related ventures Ability to make significant contributions Replaceable - are there lots of other people out there who can do the same thing. Part-time vs. Full-time - doing something on the side is less valuable Pre-Series A: David's Notes If you tell your employees to think like a founder, then you need to consistently align equity with their contribution to the success of the company. "I see gamesmanship come into play in this stage," Willbrand says. "A CEO will usually come in at 3 percent instead of 1.5 percent. The notion here is that the person isn’t a co-founder, but it's pre-series A, so it’s still a very fragile enterprise. As a consequence, they take a lot of risk getting into it and they should probably should get a little more equity." Series A+: David's Notes "I see the percentages stay pretty steady after Series A, B, C, etc. and you'd usually offer a CEO 6 percent here," says Willbrand. "Those stages band somewhat close together and you won't see a CEO come in at Series B at 15 percent and then 2 percent at a Series D. That’s not the way it’s going to swing." Manage the equity pool like you would a budget. As your company grows, you can figure out who you need to add to the team one or two years down the road. Having an idea of who you need to hire means you can start planning and setting aside a percentage of equity for your first few hires. Ultimately the founding team should retain 50 percent ownership of the company. As you bring people on, you can look to offer options as a percentage of base salary and depending on the job function (marketing, engineering, customer service) and seniority (C-level, director, mid-level, entry-level). Research competitive salaries and industry compensation. With your list of key positions in hand, check out some salaries and what normal equity offerings are for those roles. Check out salary websites with free and low-cost subscription services. Work with a good venture attorney. This isn’t the time to work with your family’s friend’s third cousin who is an IP-law attorney but could possibly figure out how to help you think through your options approach. You want to work with someone who specializes in venture law. When you make any decision involving equity, always run it through a trusted and experienced advisor. Other Benefits to Consider Benefits can become an extension of a startup’s culture and are used in all recruiting efforts—for current and potential employees. While equity should be part of the package, no matter the size of your business, you can also focus on less-pricey and still valuable perks that make your company more attractive. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to offer elaborate company outings (Airbnb offers a $2,000 travel stipend to all employees, for example). This could include things like allowing pets at the office, gym memberships or catered lunches. This also includes benefits that don’t cost anything to you or your business like a 401K, flexible remote-working options, wellness exchanges, and health insurance (HSA). You can even bring in financial advisors to come to talk to your employees about managing funds for free. In the End Early-stage companies don’t usually have compensation packages as lucrative as big companies but can offer flexibility and opportunities that make the difference acceptable. The one thing to keep in mind is that equity is a privilege. “Most people in my experience, in the midwest and east coast, they are paying some version close to market value. The stock you get is there is compensation -- but it’s also an expression that stakeholders want you to stay committed. This isn’t a 401k match. This isn’t a bonus. Those are meaningful but there’s a legacy all for one and one for all. You should treat it seriously. You’re being invited to this club.” said David.
November 13, 2019
How to Reach Diverse Startup Talent and Build a Holistic Team
Editor's note: We published this infographic in 2018, and have updated it for comprehensiveness and accuracy. Thanks for reading!
November 13, 2019
Hiring Head of People: A Hunt Club Guide
Today, we're speaking with Lauren Zaleski who heads up the search operations team here at Hunt Club. Lauren recently placed an amazing candidate for Cargo's new Head of People. She shares a few tips for talent professionals when it comes to hiring for this role, including one big key takeaway at the end. Q: Can you tell us about the role you just placed for Cargo? Sure. We recently placed the role for them and it’s a really interesting one, especially for companies who are going through a lot of growth. Cargo came to us – and they’re at a point where they raised about $30 million in capital – and their founder, Jeff Cripe, recognized that they needed a "right hand" in a lot of ways and to really focus on the people side of the business. What makes this interesting is that Jeff recognized this need at such an early stage of the business. I think what we see is a lot of founders tend to wait and put a hire like this one off, but it showed Jeff was ready to invest in his people, his employees, and focus on things like culture, development and career pathing – all things that are super important as you scale an organization. Q: What are the some of the things you look for when hiring for this role? The first thing we looked for in our candidates was experience in a high-growth company. We needed someone who was tuned-in to the changing needs of an organization – going from 50 people to 100 to 200. There are ton of changes that come along with that and we needed someone who had seen that type of scale before. The second thing we looked for is experience putting different processes and policies in place. Things like building out onboarding plans for the first time, training plans, career pathing strategies and being a person who can start this all from scratch. Really someone who can put those different pieces into play when they don't currently exist or in the form Cargo needed. The third piece we looked for was more of a softer skill and it's a high degree of empathy. You think about a high growth organizations and going through all those changes. With change comes fear for a lot of people and so we needed a person who could relate to those employees and help them through a lot of change management as the organization was growing at a super rapid pace. Q: Let's talk about mistakes. What are some mistakes you see when it comes to hiring for a role like this? Mistakes when it comes to hiring for a role like this is that, first, traditional HR can get a bad reputation in some ways. When you think of HR, people tend to think of compliance and enforcing policies. What we are really channeling when we’re thinking of a Head of People role in high-growth companies is really developing employees and empowering managers to have teams that can thrive so they can function at their highest level. The biggest mistake talent professionals can make is not separating those two pieces and being able to think about the people function as nurturing and ensuring the organization can function at its very best. For more hiring tips, watch the video or drop us a note here. Editor's note: We originally published this post in 2018 and updated it for comprehensiveness and accuracy. We appreciate you. Thanks for reading!
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
Working Interview: What it means and how it works.
A resume can tell you many great things about a candidate, but it can’t tell you everything. Beyond the phone and in-person interview, some employers need to see more to figure out whether a person is able to perform the necessary tasks for the role before they make a sound hiring decision. Asking candidates to come in for a "working interview" is an easy way to assess an applicant’s knowledge or skill set. Depending on the role and industry, these interviews can last hours or even days. For businesses, they can see how a candidate performs the job duties as they would in the actual role. For candidates, it might even be a great way for them to assess whether or not they like the work and the position. But according to the Department of Labor, doing the actual work is considered short-term work. Let’s say a restaurant owner asks a chef candidate to prepare a certain dish which took them a full day to prep, cook and then plate. In the eyes of the law, this is considered trial employment and the candidate should be paid at least minimum wage for their time and effort -- regardless of whether they get the job. No such thing as a free lunch The same applies here. When a consultant meets with a prospect, they don't give out free advice. Every candidate who comes in complete new employment paperwork -- the same you’d ask any temporary employee. This doesn't necessarily mean the person has the job; it just means you’re following the letter of the law and adding them to the payroll for the working interview period. Depending on the number of candidates, this can easily eat up significant time and energy to manage the process. If you’re a hiring manager or employer faced with the decision whether or not to do a working interview, here are a couple alternatives consider before doing one or not: Have candidates complete a pre-employment skills test. While you’re not asking them to perform the exact job duty, candidates can prove their competency an assessment and you can understand their knowledge by how they solve problems or answer the questions. Computer or written tests can give you an idea of how much they actually know and how candidates would handle certain situations -- and you don't have to pay them for the time. And, some good rules of thumb: Be certain tests are job-related and are an accurate predictor of performance Administer the same tests under the same conditions for all candidates Be thoughtful about the time commitment you ask for Don’t rely on these tests when making decisions about candidates; use them as one component of your overall candidate selection process Ask to see a portfolio. If you want to see people in action without asking too much of them (particularly at early stages in your process), consider asking for samples of existing work. In some positions, this might be obvious, like looking through a creative director’s portfolio or asking for writing samples from a copywriter. It’s not uncommon these days for a front-end developer to have samples of past projects on-hand. In the end Finding great talent is hard, figuring out who’s the best is harder. While a working interview might seem like a great opportunity to observe candidates’ skills and see if they’re a good fit for the company, hiring teams should tread lightly because they don’t come without big risks for a business.
November 13, 2019
How to Motivate Your Underperforming Employees
Murphy's law tells us that “things will go wrong in any given situation if you give them a chance.” When it comes to talent, you can do everything in your power to choose great people -- and ensure they’re equipped to do the job when hired -- but there will be times when it doesn’t pan out. Even the best employees experience drops in productivity, and it most often happens when they either don’t have a clear direction in their work, the right abilities or resources, or they don’t care about the work anymore.[^1] Finding and hiring great talent is difficult and when someone doesn’t work out, it’s agonizing for business leaders. So whether you commit to regular stand-ups, communicate feedback and track performance, it might seem like you can prevent it from happening, but despite your best efforts, it's just not the case. It can be one of the toughest things for business leaders to confront. At small companies, where everyone often thinks of themselves as a “family” -- the mere thought of letting one of their own go can be gut-wrenching. Many leaders remain content to shuffle along with underperforming employees until drastic steps are needed, creating a hole in the business with no clear succession plan. [^2] Assuming you've had the tough conversations with your employees about their performance and things aren't improving, here some ways to think about how to navigate the process of managing poor performers while they're still in the seat. Make choices about what needs to get done on their plate Distill down what the focus is for the underperforming employee while they are around. Have a conversation about their duties and narrow the scope of the role, pruning the responsibility of their efforts. This way you can help them be good at one or two things rather than mediocre at many. Backfill the role Backfilling helps you cope with the uncertainties and help minimize or avoid disruptions to current workflows and processes. Depending on the size of your team, you can introduce or cross-train other employees so you will have someone that can either do the job right away or hold down the fort until you can find a replacement for an underperforming employee. Prepare for the worst-case scenario Involve yourself as much as possible with the underperforming employee, and get a good understanding of what the critical pieces are in the role. Once you have that understanding, come up with a three-month contingency plan and take inventory of what resources you have available now -- and what you need down the road -- if that person isn’t around. Even if the plan doesn't play out, it's better to be prepared than not at all. Be covert about any sourcing When you do need to source talent, consider partnering with an external talent firm for a wider access to talent and so applications aren't coming to your business. Be transparent about the current situation -- whether someone is still employed or on their way out -- and make sure the firm knows it can't identify your company in any advertising. Tap into your own network to get referrals Pour some rocket fuel on this process and proactively mine your own networks connections or introductions to A-player talent. One caveat, you might just want to turn to your trusted connections when disclosing any organizational gaps and when asking if they know someone who could be a fit down the road. Even without open spots, the best managers and talent professionals are always sourcing for top candidates. In the end Even the best employees will struggle at some point in their career. While keeping these people can be problematic for a business long term, it's the responsibility of leaders to know how to best handle situations with underperforming employees until their time with you ends.
November 13, 2019
How to Assess An Opportunity to Join A Startup
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2018, and we've updated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
November 13, 2019
How to Keep Millennial Employees Happy
Young millennials take a breezy, no-nonsense approach to the American dream. Compared to previous generations, most postpone putting a ring on it, having children or buying homes until later in life. This is largely because 20- to 30-year olds today have expansive to-do lists and want to pay down student loans, gain financial independence, travel and explore different careers before settling down. And, without the heavy weight of traditional responsibilities, they have more freedom to explore all kinds of experiences in life. In business, they move between jobs -- whenever, wherever, and for any length of time -- to seek out work that is meaningful and engaging. While some will say these workers have a serious case of “the grass is greener”, the fact is job hopping has always been a thing -- generations before bounced between jobs in their youth just as much. But what is new, is how this generation developed the ability to seek out new jobs that meet their specific needs and life goals and become comfortable with the process. Let's look at what some advantages are of hiring this new demographic of employees, and four strategies to retain your well-rounded young workers to help keep them with your business for three, four and five years—instead of one or two. Money can’t buy happiness or, it turns out, your employees Baby Boomers and previous generations worked whatever jobs were available, without complaint, because it meant a steady paycheck to pay the bills. Today’s working world is very different. The average worker under the age of forty today will now have about 10 different jobs listed on their resume. This demographic is one that fearlessly moves from job to job usually with some plan to leave their current position within the two-year mark to further their personal aspirations and professional development. It’s a pattern most hiring managers would historically frown upon when evaluating an applicant’s candidacy. But as older millennials take on more senior and executive positions there’s a shift in perspective. Even if they may have bigger life responsibilities, they’ve grown up in an age of instant gratification, communication, and technology. They carry the same youthful enthusiasm and mentality to growth. They aren’t afraid to change a decades-old process or policies they don’t like. A job-hopping employee’s value Unless they weren’t wanted in a role and they left on their own terms, job hoppers can offer employers tremendous value. Because they move around so much, they pick up multiple data points and skills that are useful to their future employers. They’ve mastered the art of stuffing more learning in fewer years so they can adapt to new technology and processes in an instant. They take initiative in new environments, bring rich work experiences and smart problem-solving skills. All skills are applicable and useful whether it’s at a growing company or a Blue Chip organization. How to retain today’s workers By 2020, half of the workforce will be made up of millennials. The greatest challenge for smart leaders will be to harness their enthusiasm for growth and development or risk losing valuable people. With that in mind, here are a few best practices to build into your retention processes to help encourage your employees to stay with you for three, four, five years and beyond. 1. Make your employees’ self-development and upward trajectory very clear It’s important to decipher your employee’s motivations -- past and future -- from the start and on a regular basis. Today’s workers want to be highly engaged by what they do and many want to be at a place where they own their own career trajectory. When interviewing candidates, you should have them describe their perfect work opportunity to help you get a solid read on what they’re looking for from functional company culture and a leadership perspective, and what that means from a lifestyle point of view. When speaking with potential hires, make it clear how your business matches up with their values. You don’t have to necessarily map out a clear path to promotion (which may not exist at smaller growing companies), but you should be upfront from the beginning about your investment in them -- particularly in the critical first 90 days on the job -- and how your business will support their growth inside and outside the organization. 2.Introduce benefits to increase employee loyalty, and keep them engaged with learning opportunities Smart leaders invest in their employee’s professional development. While some companies pay for their employees to attend industry events or provide tuition reimbursement for continuing education training, if you’re with a growing or an early-stage company, there are a couple ways you can show similar commitment in less expensive ways. If it’s not already part of your compensation packages, consider offering online learning programs through Lynda.com or your local chapter of General Assembly to help grow their skill sets. Try and make it easy for your employees to always choose your business over the competition by getting frequent updates on their needs and motivations. It doesn’t need to be a formal Q&A session -- it can be as simple as pulling someone aside for coffee and asking if they have any new goals or things they want to achieve at the company. Find out what’s changed since they began working there are any skills they want to learn or sharpen. Or, if their priorities changed where they need more flexibility. Whatever the case, be sure to close out your conversations and communicate what your business can do to help them. 3.Offer compelling reasons to stay This demographic wants a seat at the table and to feel like they're part of something bigger, so giving regular specific feedback, and celebrating individual contributions are key to keeping these workers engaged and ultimately around. Make it clear how they will contribute and bring in ways they can see their impact on a day-to-day basis. If you can provide a millennial worker with the opportunity to do some or more of the things they want to do (e.g., to contribute to the bottom line) they're more willing to stick around. 4.Be a good manager At the end of the day, this generation wants to work for leaders who can support, position, empower and engage them. Leaders who care about them both as employees and people. Relax the formalities and focus on building real relationships, a culture of transparency and openness, and increasing the volume of two-way feedback with your employees. In the end With the millennial desire to create more value in their work, we’ll see more people opting to get experience in multiple fields to round out their careers. For businesses, it’s possible to create a workplace that focuses on values, growth opportunities and passion for work to give this demographic of employees what they need to be happy, productive and focused -- for the time you have together.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
How to Keep Startup Employees Happy
Startup life is like a roller coaster. It’s varied, novel and a sensationally-intense experience only some people like and choose. When it comes to its employees, most people join to make a tangible impact, learn by doing and stretch their legs with a modicum of autonomy. They don’t want to be a cog in a big machine. But for all the satisfaction and thrill the startup life brings, there comes a point where some people want to get off the ride. When people leave large companies, the recovery isn’t a big deal -- especially if the business has built a brand that talented people want to work for [^1] But when employees leave growing companies, that’s an important part of the workforce gone. In this piece, we’ll uncover why employees depart, three tactics to boost retention and why the best investment founders can make is to create the kind of company culture and roles that are too good to leave behind. When good people leave There’s a popular truism that startup employees will gladly work 80 hours a week to avoid a 40-hour week. When people are working that hard to build something faster, better and more groundbreaking, it can fast-track them to burn out -- a consequence of factors such as unfair compensation (41 percent), unreasonable workload (32 percent), and too much overtime/after-hours work (32 percent).[^2] As much as 50 percent of talented and ambitious people quit jobs because of it [^3] and you see burnout more often in environments that have poor leadership -- cultures that lack effective communication, transparency, and professional development. “This can lead to low morale and fear-based company culture -- people are either bored with little to do, overwhelmed with too much responsibility or simply out of tune with the company’s vision.”* Why build a high-retention culture Employee turnover is a significant pain point for growing startups because those departures can send big shockwaves across the business. “When things at the company seem to be going astray and it looks like the ship might sink, [without communication from the top down] employees panic and start looking for a job before they're actually out of their current one.”* This is a challenge for founders who now have to worry about scaling operations up, replacing departing employees, and managing internal speculation and fears. Keeping a low burn rate means proactively cultivating trust, loyalty and employee happiness well beyond when they were hired. From the minute you consider filling a role, there are some key steps to take to increase the chances of hiring people who’ll be with you for the long ride. Here's how to do it: Give people room for success or new challenges Most people who join a startup are thirsty for success. They’re self-driven, looking for big wins in work and in life -- literal success junkies addicted to the dopamine hits that come with accomplishment. These individuals need stimulating work. One of the best things you can do as a leader is to identify your employee’s strengths and match those to opportunities where they can achieve a lot of work that is meaningful -- outside of things they directly do. There are fewer rules at startups and more space to foster this type of development. Your people may already wear many hats, but consistently find ways to pull them into special projects like marketing planning sessions or product feature sprints. People who are more engaged and feel empowered in their work are more productive and effective -- up to 20 percent more than those who aren’t.[^6] Compensation is more than money -- it’s the training and upward trajectory While the great recession may have flattened out compensation, it’s time to start giving employees an annual salary bump again! In bigger companies, this looks like traditional quarterly or annual bonus periods. Startup employees, however, aren’t just in it for the cash-money. Depending on your business you may be able to offer a bonus at the end of the year. But a more valuable carrot is routinely checking in to see that the opportunities your business offers moves the needle for their careers and aspirations. If your employees are giving up a traditional bonus, the role and overall opportunity should move their career forward in some material way. Invest in them through training, operational resources, and tools that will help them do their jobs well. Also, consider instilling a mentorship program that’s focused on your employees’ interests. Or, introduce them to people in your network (e.g., a CTO at another company for your VP of engineering) -- good mentorship goes a long way to keeping people and making sure they know you’re invested in them for the long-term. You openly show them the future (and they know why they are there) When building something from scratch, often times the ride will be bumpy and stressful. When you’re moving at breakneck speed, you don’t want employees to ever worry or question why they are part of the team. “Startups need funding that comes from VC's and the constant search for investment, [in my experience], is usually a source of stress which can impact the office environment.”* To create a place where your people want to be and everyone is in things together, talk to with your employees about what is going on. Push for open discussions and listen to what feedback your employees have. In a transparent culture, employees never have to guess what’s going on. Even before someone is hired, it’s incredibly important that your brightest and best employees know where they fit into the company’s vision. After they’re brought on, routinely check in on their future plans and goals -- and show how those align with where the business is going. Sometimes pulling your people aside and asking simple questions like “What do you want to achieve at this company?” or “What other skills do you want to learn or sharpen, and what can we do to help you with that?” will reaffirm to your people that are truly part of the team and you are committed to them as well. When people feel like they belong at work, they are more productive, motivated, engaged and 3.5x more likely to contribute to their fullest potential.[^7] In the end If a startup has a difficult time retaining people, they either aren’t providing ways for employees to create real impact and or they aren’t communicating very well. Making sure you give employees new challenges and reiterate their value, will help make sure your people have what they need to be healthy, productive and seated on the ride with you. Find out how we can help you build a high employee retention strategy for your business, drop us a line. * Hunt Club surveyed candidates on February 27, 2019 to understand their reasons for leaving previous startup companies. Sources wanted to remain anonymous.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
Why Emotional Intelligence is Key to Startup Hiring
Working at a startup is like being on a roller coaster ride but for 10-12 hours a day. Sometimes longer. Stress levels are high and fluctuate on a whim so when a challenge comes up, it’s incredibly important for someone to know when (or not) to have conversations when everything is going on. Companies looking for an edge in hiring top performers with high emotional intelligence should take note there are some things to consider. And while it’s not the only trait to look for in potential hires, it’s definitely time to emphasize assessing for it in hiring processes. How Emotional Intelligence Impacts A Workplace Developing the skill of emotional intelligence is receiving a lot of attention right now—for businesses big and small. For good reason, too. In business settings, emotions have a powerful impact on our behavior and professional performance. Harnessed the right way, the power of someone’s emotions can be used to positively enhance thought processes and decision making. Other benefits: [^1] Teamwork improves Customer service improves Change is embraced Feedback is welcomed Tough situations are handled better People connect and support one another better Deadlines and work objectives are seamlessly carried out People are more self-motivated As you may recall, we surveyed our Hunt Club clients to find out what they’re looking for in potential hires this year. It turns out that having high emotional intelligence is critically important for our clients, and one of the most desired qualities for professional development. Adding Emotional Intelligence Assessments Into Your Hiring Process If you're a founder or someone in a position to make hiring decisions, and you'd like to evaluate whether your potential hires have the emotional intelligence you need for top performance, here are a few things to ask your candidates: Tell me about a workplace conflict you were involved in, either with your peers or someone else in the company. How did you manage that conflict, and were you able to resolve it? Describe the most challenging supervisor you've ever worked with. What was the most difficult thing about that relationship from your perspective, and how did you manage it? What would a previous boss say is the area that you need to work on most? Have you taken steps to improve in this area, and if so, what have you tried to change? Tell me about a day when everything went wrong. How did you handle it? What type of working environment brings out your best performance? Your worst? If business priorities change, describe how you would help your team understand and carry out the shifted goals. What to Look for in Your New and Existing Employees Learning to improve emotional intelligence takes time—it isn't a process that happens overnight. An incredible way to develop this skill in a workplace is to create an environment that encourages employees to share perspectives, feedback and collaboration. Keep in mind some key observations: Pay attention to the language employees use to describe their goals and accomplishments. If they focus on failure, does the comment suggest an awareness of some personal responsibility for the episode, or does he or she simply blame others? When it comes to handling criticism, can the person acknowledge shortcomings and keep things in perspective? Or do they become defensive? Does a person’s body language indicate they listen attentively—or are they distracted? How about their ability to learn? Do your employees take initiative? Are they curious? How about the confidence and a willingness to tackle new and unfamiliar challenges? As you look to hire and grow employees with high emotional intelligence, the long-term results will be better for your team members, leaders and business performance. If you can find people who understand and embrace the chaos in life, the right people will be by your side to take your business to greater heights. If you’re looking for the right people to hire with the right startup potential, come check out what we're doing at Hunt Club and see how we can help.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
How to Hire Top Talent by Building Relationships
Only a few years ago, recruiting passive talent wasn’t a high priority for most businesses. Job opportunities were limited, unemployment rates were high—job seekers didn’t have room to be selective. Now, 70 percent of the global workforce are passive candidates which makes acquiring great talent more of an art. There isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to recruiting passive candidates. It should go without saying but knowing how to build and leverage good relationships is the secret sauce to turn a passive candidate into a hire. Without taking careful steps to develop a positive relationship, the candidate is at real risk of disappearing into a black hole or experiencing a poor candidate experience. Yet, across all verticals, those in the business of talent are struggling to connect with candidates. In fact, the average candidate response rate for the industry is just 20 percent. In the war for talent, companies are represented by external communication patterns and thoughtfulness in each and every interaction. With the right approach, you will find you can make more placements, better serve your clients with high-quality talent, and candidates will find the roles that are truly right for them. Here are four tips to create a better candidate-recruiter relationship and deliver a white-glove candidate experience in the process. 1. Prove you want what's best for them than yourself The number one reason people change jobs is opportunity, and the factors that influence this are compensation, work-life balance and professional development. Spend your first interactions with a candidate by getting to know them. Ask them questions to understand what they want, what they need and where they are in the job hunt process. It should seem obvious to many, but it's often overlooked: In the early conversations with a candidate, make it very clear about why it would be beneficial for them to join your business and how your organization can help their long-term professional goals. Specifically, tell them how your company could offer them a way to take their career to new levels, and even beyond the company. Knowing this right from the start can make them realize all the things they are missing. Clearly seeing an upward path and career development, and having the information upfront, can 100 percent speed up their decision to accept a role once it's offered. 2. Communicate, communicate, communicate Encourage open communication and transparency from the start. If you can outline a firm process at the start of a search and stick with it, you will avoid wasting your time, and your client and candidate's time in the long-run. Spend a few hours and develop a rhythm of touch points for all parties. Also, let your candidates know what part of the process they’re in at each touchpoint. Having regular touch-points with candidates also keeps them engaged. So, always call or text when you say you will. Find natural ways to check in without being pushy or overbearing. When someone is interviewing, reach out to the candidate to ensure they got what they needed and keep them updated on when they could expect to hear back. Let them know—and be honest—about where they stand in the process and always ask if there's anything you could be doing for them. With 89 percent of talent say being contacted by their recruiter can make them accept a job offer and faster, it pays off to develop your own communication rhythm and set a structure from the beginning. 3. Provide value Talent makes decisions based on information, interest and excitement. Your job as the gateway for talent at your company or a partner’s company is to provide candidates with as much information as humanly possible. Going into any conversation, always have a 360-degree view of the role so when the time is right you can communicate intelligently about the position you're working on. You should have a great read on what a person will be be doing day-to-day, and what traits/skills are needed to be successful. Take what you know (from point #1) and match the needs of the role to a candidate's skill set and interests. Getting this right will ensure a candidate feels understood, and will be more receptive to talking with you to learn more a role. 4. Always care Last tip on the list, but it should be first and top-of-mind for anyone working in the business of talent. This is an industry that has a high volume of interactions. Figuring out how you can make each and every qualified candidate feel like they’re the most important thing, will serve you and your business, a long way. In the End Whether someone is actively or passively looking for a new job, there’s a level of care that job seekers expect in order to consider making a move. There are many steps to building a white-glove candidate experience that keeps candidates interested and feeling appreciated. By making a few small changes in how you work with candidates, you should begin to see the difference in caliber of talent you land. If you’d like help connecting with great talent, or for more tips on building a white-glove service, give us a shout.
November 13, 2019
6 Business Lessons Startup Entrepreneurs Can Take From Classic Superhero Characters
From caped crusaders to men of steel, superheroes have had a strong draw on people for generations. Not only because they're intriguing and cool, but also because most of them face complicated struggles. Entrepreneurs are much in the same. Many notable founders have gone through arduous experiences to get to where they’re at today. In the way our favorite hero stories inspire us to do and act better, extraordinary entrepreneur stories are equally captivating. Whether someone is just starting or growing a business, here are six timeless business lessons to take from classic superhero characters: 1. Know your weaknesses Superman’s self-awareness saved him countless times against Kryptonite. And while Kryptonite is most well-known, he actually had three additional weaknesses: a red sun, high gravity and magic. In business, it’s not always so obvious to see every weakness that could potentially hold someone back, so it's worth taking inventory early on and asking things like: Are you a leader or a manager? Do you follow your gut or are you process-oriented? Do you like spending time tinkering with tech or diving into creative brainstorms? Prefer creating pitch decks or financial modeling? In the process, you may find that while you might be really great at networking, you're terrible at managing financials. Or, that you’re more comfortable selling than you are building a product. Taking note and understanding these things is a great starting point to help you, as well as help bring on the right people for your team to build your business. 2. With great power comes great responsibility This is 100 percent Spiderman’s credo and it should be at the center of a leader's thinking. Founders make choices between doing what’s right for a business and what’s in their own best interests—day in and out. The greatest leaders know their employees and businesses thrive as a result of this commitment to the responsible use of power. 3. Sometimes you really have to push the envelope for your business The best example of this is none other than Bruce Wayne. Even as his business, Wayne Enterprises, fell into mass corruption after his parents were murdered, Bruce went on to aggressively take back control of the family business, steering it away from its shady dealings and increasing profits. He pushed his forward-thinking plans and went on to build power generators that ran on algae to creating high-spec engines. Above all, he dared to be bold and went to great lengths to advocate his ideas when many others would not. 4. Live and breathe your mission and values Ever since his creation in the 1940s, Captain America has been someone who truly exemplifies what the United States stands for—with traits like individualism, justice and fairness. Entrepreneurs are similar. They don't just write up a mission statement; they hold their employees—and themselves—accountable for putting it into practice. 5. It’s ok to not get things right the first time around Tony Stark was possibly one of the greatest inventor, tinkerers and entrepreneurs of all superhero time. Whether it came to his personal life or his business, he rarely got things right on the first try. In fact, he made three iterations of the Iron Man suit, learning each time from his past mistakes. The net result? He continued to improve until he finally built something better. 6. Know when to pivot Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.[^1] Her origin story is one of the most complicated, and it wasn't until she was mid-fight in one instance when she realized what she’s always known about her birth and parentage was incomplete—and it changes everything for her going forward. While it didn't stop her from fighting mid-battle, the lesson here is that sometimes the original plan won’t work. In business, sometimes you have to rethink your original strategy, on the fly, to win. Pivoting in crucial times and being able to adapt is what will make your business work. In the End We all love an incredible tale of an underdog turned superhero. When it comes to business, a good rule of thumb is understanding that no one needs superhero strength to do superhero things—like being an impactful and inspiring leader. As a founder, look for some of these key attributes in yourself and in the team you build. If you need help assessing candidates or finding the right superhero to add to your growing team, see how we can help.
November 13, 2019
Is Working Remotely More Effective for Growing Your Startup?
For many established companies, remote work is a common practice. The rapid speed of tech advancements means people can connect and work with most anyone, anywhere, and still feel like they’re talking to their coworker across the room. Even while in the office people chat via Slack and email more than they do in person. In the startup space, remote work options are finally catching on. Why Consider Remote Work for Your Startup Everyone working at a startup is mission-focused and strapped in, building something great from the ground up—together. There are periods of long days and even longer nights. There’s an incredible sense of togetherness. But, there’s a complicated and growing issue. More people are finding it difficult to get work done while in the office. In fact, a recent study found that the number of people who say they cannot concentrate at their desk has increased by 16 percent since 2008. Whether it’s a due to a trendy office layout, cool amenities, or the latest in collaboration-focused design, not being able to cut through the distractions and focus on what matters (producing meaningful work and being happy doing it) is detrimental to a startup’s ability to generate revenue and profits. Benefits of Remote Workers There’s a growing acceptance of remote work in the startup industry, today. Companies like Buffer and Zapier have built their teams off of remote workers since day one—noting that the practice has lead to greater productivity, better employee engagement and gives them access to larger pools of talent. If you’re thinking of hiring remote employees for your growing business, here are some things to think about: You can offset or lower business costs If your company operates in a big city, in a loft space downtown, the rent and cost of living expenses will be higher than someone who may be equally—if not, more—talented and living in a smaller location. Tapping into talent outside your city’s doors will help you bring some of those costs down. New people bring in different and new perspectives People who work outside of the office can add different and new perspectives and ideas to the team—decreasing the odds of hive-mind creeping into the business. Remote workers can help overall productivity With no office distractions and greater autonomy, remote workers have the freedom to get more done. In fact, 65 percent of workers said that remote work would give their productivity a boost. Another 86 percent said that working alone allows them to hit maximum productivity. Employees are happier One of the reasons why I think Hunt Club can operate at the level it does is because we have do have the option to work from most anywhere. We can design our workday to meet the crazy demands of our lives. If we need to run an errand, we can handle it quickly without losing a workday. This makes us much more present for our work and business. In the End Startup life is incredibly rewarding. There’s ample opportunity to build something from the ground up and with people who are unequivocally as passionate as you. In the end, maybe it doesn’t where people are getting the work done—so long as everyone is focused and working hard each day. If you need help finding the best remote workers for your team, drop us a line and see how we can help.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
How to Give Yourself a Raise
Between shoveling snow to driving for Uber or turning to GoFundMe to raise money, many furloughed employees are looking to the gig economy to pay their bills as the partial government shutdown carries on. Even if you aren't a government employee, we all could use a little extra dough in our pockets. The challenge with most gig jobs is that many are high effort and low reward. Many either expend more energy than payoff; take weeks to get up and running and some tactics can even land people in jail. Whether it’s through necessity or to supplement main income, there’s a very easy and simple way for you or someone in your network to earn extra cash—in a way that doesn’t disrupt life. And, it’s as simple as responding to an email. Why Hunt Club: Who We Are A few years ago, our founder Nick Cromydas found himself constantly referring people he knew for open positions. Headhunters would contact him to ask if he knew anyone qualified for job X or job Y, and he’d recommend someone in his network. But there were some obvious problems: The headhunter would get paid for facilitating the hire The candidate would get a signing bonus for taking the new gig And, Nick would be left with a bottle of wine and thank you note Nick launched Hunt Club out of this frustration. We're a Chicago-based startup that uses crowdsourcing technology to help companies find qualified candidates, and we reward people for making connections that lead to hires. How You Can Leverage Hunt Club to Earn Side Cash The power of a referral in recruiting is what moves the needle for us here at Hunt Club. When you join our network as an Expert you can start earning cash just for referring your friends and colleagues for a job. That’s it! Ready to Make Some Extra Cash (or Help Others)? Sign up and become an Expert. Upload your LinkedIn connections. Browse our open jobs board. Start referring people you know who might be a great fit for open positions. Also, spread the word. Tell other people in your network about this opportunity they're missing out on. After all, word of mouth is the name of the game.
November 13, 2019
How to Hire Your Early-Stage Startup Superstars
Six years ago I took a big risk professionally. After working a corporate PR job in California, I left for an opportunity to join an early-stage startup and help build an app for whiskey drinkers (it was kind of like Untappd for beer or Vivino for wine, but for scotch, bourbon, and so on.). I was one of the first four employees and was brought on to lead our marketing and PR efforts. Even though we had a wild and successful year, we all went on to pursue other opportunities. That experience led me down a path of working with many other ambitious startups. In each role, I learned a great deal about what it takes to grow a business and the type of people needed in the early phases (more lessons than I can actually share in this one post). At a startup—particularly those in the early-stages—priorities change on the turn of a dime. In the whiskey business, we moved from concept to a working beta in a blink of an eye. One moment it felt like I was sharing feedback on sketches for our mobile app, and not long after, switching gears to create a PR plan for the upcoming soft launch. Oh, and pull together event logistics and plans for an industry event we were suddenly sponsoring the next month. Here at Hunt Club, it's the same. One minute it feels like I’m researching media contacts in the morning and five minutes later digging into website analytics to understand how our email campaigns are impacting website traffic. Before lunch, I'm writing up a content marketing plan for a podcast we're launching. Nothing surprises me anymore. It's just a way of life. Duct Tape and Speed Are Keys to Startup Success The goal for early-stage startups is to develop a product-market fit. To do this, a startup needs people (to build the product) and people (to get the product in front of potential customers). The founders do this at first. At some point they decide they need to hire a team to help. Since the needs of the business can dramatically shift in minutes, early employees should be more like a Swiss Army knife v. a shingle froe (which is a highly-specialized tool specifically for making shingles, I've learned.) It is incredibly important that startups find traction early on. People with a broader array of skill sets are the right people who can help in this phase. These are agile people who can help with everything from operations to product development—developing product and a business in parallel. The more I talk with coworkers, friends and people I meet in the industry, I find most early-stage startup employees have great stories about their earliest roles: Someone assembling IKEA furniture is the same person closing deals with investors The person at an event taking photos for social media is later writing code A person mopping floors and changing toilet paper is also managing Quickbooks In the way duct tape can be used for a fast fix on most anything, employees in this phase are people who can do it all. Identifying Startup DNA Think of someone you know who’s a natural-born athlete. You know people like them. These are people who’ve never played a single game of golf in their life, but they pick up a club and strip it down the fairway (i.e., hit an ideal tee shot). In a business setting, these people are not limited to what they’ve seen or done before. They wear multiple hats. They hustle. They come up with strategy and execute. These people have the skills and mental game to carry out all kinds of day-to-day activities to help grow a startup. I’ve seen it in just about every startup coworker—across all levels from founder to intern. What to Look for in Early-Stage Hires At Hunt Club, we have a clear and targeted process to find the right people who can deal with the ambiguity and the messiness of the start-up lifestyle. From what I've observed and learned over the past few months, there are some key things we look for when we help our early-stage startup clients build their teams or hire internally. Here are three key things: Ability to Learn—Before I was hired, I knew deep down I wanted to be more creative in my work so I took initiative with something totally different for me: a daily haiku writing challenge (the last time I wrote one of those was probably the third grade). I wrote a poem every day for 45-days straight as a way to stretch my creative thinking. When it comes to your business, find people who are curious, who have the drive, and the confidence and a willingness to tackle new and unfamiliar challenges. Your early hires need to be people who can grow with you, step into uncharted territory and encounter things outside their current capacities. Willingness to Try New Things—Given the nature of the environment, startup employees so often do things “outside of the job description” day in and out. There isn’t a playbook when it comes to working in these settings. You have to figure it out on your own most times. Sometimes that means grabbing a Monster energy drink, flipping through YouTube and searching Google for some answers to solve problems unconventionally. There are few things more valuable to founders than someone who can take the initiative to try new things, learn a new skill or do what it takes to fill a business need. Succeeds at New Things—These are environments where you don’t play by the rules to win. You make the rules. Your early employees have to be fabulously resourceful. This means they ask "why?" about current processes and look for ways to do things better—all while generating greater results. Early startup hires have to have the mentality that no one is going to solve the problem for them. In the End It’s no surprise: Startup hiring requires careful consideration. When choosing early hires, if you can find people who understand and embrace the chaos in life, you'll have the right people by your side with the innate passion, grit, excitement, and desire needed to take your business to greater heights. If you’re looking for the right people with the right early hire startup potential, come check out what we're doing at Hunt Club. Or, drop me a comment below and I'd be happy to help.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
How to Hire for the Top In-Demand Soft Skills
Life in the startup world is fascinating. It can also be pretty brutal. Things turn on a dime in hours, even minutes. People are hyper-focused, on edge, working to build something great together. So when the going gets tough (and from time to time it inevitably will) you want to be able to rely on your teammates to see things through. This is where soft skills come in and help. While we all know these skills won’t be listed on a resume, there are few ways to quickly assess whether a candidate has what your business needs. Hiring for Soft Skills Emotional intelligence, teamwork, startup DNA/flexibility, accepts feedback and creativity—these are the top soft skills our clients are seeking in potential candidates when hiring this year. While every business is different, there are a couple key ways to get a good initial read on these skills. Conduct a thoughtful reference and background check. A candidate’s job references provide a very clear picture on the kind of person he or she is at work. Ask that the candidate provide a diverse set of preferences, including at least one from both a past manager and past coworkers. Ask the right questions. Anyone can ask a candidate a set of questions, but asking the right questions for the right role takes a decent amount of planning and insight. You want your questions to elicit an emotional response or a reaction. Let's look into the questions to ask and what to assess when hiring for soft skills. 1.Emotional intelligence Yes, working at a startup is like being on a roller coaster but for 10-12 hours a day. Given the nature of the environment, candidates need to have an appropriate level of emotional intelligence. Knowing when to have conversations (or not) when stress levels are high is incredibly important. Some things to look for when assessing candidates for this skill: If a candidate talks about failure, pay attention to their words. Do they suggest an awareness of some personal responsibility or does the person blame others? When it comes to handling criticism, is the person able to acknowledge any shortcomings and keep things in perspective or do they become defensive? 2.Teamwork Being a team player means someone works confidently in a group setting, contributes ideas, takes ownership, and accepts and learns from others. Knowing how he or she can provide value to your team and a business, is particularly important. Some things to look for when assessing candidates for this skill: How can you tell if someone is really a team player or not? You’ll have to dig in a little. Find out what they enjoy most about working with others. Ask what are important behaviors and how they like to resolve conflicts. Study their mannerisms and pay attention to how they react when you ask these questions. If they freeze, odds are they don’t like working with a team or maybe don’t have experience. 3.Startup DNA/Flexibility You need employees that can move with you when working in a setting where things rapidly change and innovate by the minute. Candidates with a growth-behavior mindset will help. Some things to look for when assessing candidates for this skill: While some people are naturally more growth-oriented, consider trying to find out how much time a candidate spends on personal development. Are they a curious learner? Do they ask questions? Are they active in new social groups and immersed in new surroundings and perspectives? All key things that will give you a good sense of how they will adapt and uphold a high-level of performance given the uncertainty in startup environments. 4.Accepting feedback Feedback can be a hard pill to swallow. Giving and receiving it is an important skill at every level of a business. It’s a key part of lifelong career development. Some things to look for when assessing candidates for this skill: When screening candidates, ask about times they’ve either had to initiate a tough conversation. Have they been asked to provide feedback on a coworker or client? How did they handle it? Do they see the situation from different POVs? If they were on the receiving end, did they show empathy without getting defensive or blaming others? 5.Creativity Creatives types can really thrive in startup environments because these are settings that require employees to come up with out-of-the-box solutions on their own. Creative types are great for this. Some things to look for when assessing candidates for this skill: Every person is creative in their own way and to some degree. Ask about what outside interests they have like painting, music or poetry, and see that they dedicate time to discover and cultivate their creative interests. In the end When considering your new hires, make sure you dig in, think about the role and spend time evaluating what mix of skills it’ll take for someone to succeed in your business. If you find candidates whose soft skills who don't align with your core values— even if they were a superstar—it might not be worth the cultural headache it accrues over time. If you need help on how to identify great talent and company fit, learn how we can help. Send us an email or drop us a line on Twitter or LinkedIn.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
Use AI for Startup Recruiting
Amazon’s machine learning specialists recently uncovered a big problem: its new recruiting engine didn’t like women. [^1] It was an advanced system that could process large amounts of historical data and use algorithms to “learn” about and recommend candidates to their internal recruiting team. Pretty impressive. Even though they scrapped the project last year and the end result was an embarrassing situation for Amazon, the snafu helped shed light on how far A.I. and machine learning have actually come. While a myriad of industries had been using A.I., automation, complex analysis, and big data to improve decision making, tools for a more data-driven approach to recruiting is now here. And, it’s transforming the industry in some key ways. Benefits of A.I. in Recruiting The automation process in recruiting is accelerated by three things: an overall digitalization of modern businesses, advanced software, and a need to improve the efficiency of the hiring process. In fact, Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends report says 38 percent of companies use A.I. and 62 percent expect to do so by the end of this year. Advancements in the space are helping recruiters find passive candidates quicker. Machine learning can help predict whether or not a person is likely to change jobs and filtering out candidates through segmentation models. And, it can even help improve the overall candidate experience early on. Done right, A.I. can integrate seamlessly into current hiring process workflows. But while A.I. is helping recruiters break through to source and find candidates in some important ways, the reality is that it’s very much a competitive market. Let’s go through the four ways automation and machine learning using A.I. are helping recruiters find and screen candidates faster, and talk through the missing piece. Automation for high-volume tasks. Manually screening resumes are one of the most time-consuming tasks for recruiters, especially if more than half are from unqualified candidates. Some companies are already using screening services to find ideal candidates or dismiss unqualified ones and new advancements in A.I. can help by looking for patterns in screening at a faster rate than the human hand. Done right, some can even predict who may or may not be successful in the future. Natural language processing to analyze speech patterns. Advancements in tech are creating A.I.-generated voices that are even almost indistinguishable from human ones (Turing Test, anyone?). While we have some time until we can have a proper conversation with an A.I. we’re pretty close. Similar A.I. can help recruiters learn a lot about a candidate just from the way they talk and more sophisticated software can even help analyze the language competencies (fluency, pronunciation, colloquialism) which can benefit more diverse talent markets. Advances in natural language comprehension have made chatbots capable of taking over many communications tasks, in other markets, like taking orders and answering customer questions. One company here in Chicago, Motion.ai (Chicago) is working to bring chatbots to the masses and enabling businesses to better engage, convert, close customers. One way this type of tech can play out in the recruiting space is by having A.I. collect information and do the dirty work to screen candidates, or keep in a regular communication cadence (i.e., reminding of upcoming appointments or sending notes in between interviews to enhance the candidate experience). Data science to measure and match talent. Traditional video interviews are taken to a whole new level with new facial and speech recognition technology. Recruiters may or may not even need to watch video interviews to learn whether or not someone is suited for the role. Advanced software can analyze the candidate’s body language, the tone of their voice, and measure their stress level via facial and speech recognition. Then make a recommendation on the candidate, saving recruiters time from having to sit through lengthy screening processes. And, companies like Code Pilot are helping match technical talent faster with compatible companies through the use of data science, machine learning, and automation. Programmatic ads will make more job ads way more targeted. In the same way that Instagram suggests clothing brands you might like or Spotify recommends songs, programmatic advertising is the automated buying, selling and placement of ads through software, with minimal human intervention. There’s increased use of super targeted ads thanks to things like your phone’s microphone, web browsing habits, and so on. Traditionally, placing job ads required researching the best places to buy ads, calculating pricing and availability, placing orders, and then uploading ads manually. Now with programmatic recruitment advertising, employers no longer have to follow the 'post and pray' approach. Application Challenges and the Missing Piece A.I. is helping the recruiting industry standardize some processes, helping increase efficiencies and workflows. In other words, these advancements are helping recruiters find and source qualified candidates. But there’s not much yet available to help recruiters get through to candidates. Reaching and fostering relationships is still very much a human thing. For many companies, it’s a challenge to actually get through to, reach and retain candidates in the process—namely passive ones. At Hunt Club, we’ve significantly invested in advancing our tech network utilization and developing algorithms to assess the relative strength of every single connection. This helps improve the upfront workflow and processes, allowing our services team to spend more time developing relationships and building trust with qualified candidates at a much higher rate than the industry: Hunt Club has a 70 percent success rate compared to the industry’s 20 percent. Whether someone is actively or passively looking for a new job, there’s a level of candidate care that job seekers expect from recruiters in order to consider making a move. In the End It’s exciting that we’re collectively getting smarter about how to identify great talent and company fit, but if you don’t have the team and budget to invest accordingly, you may find yourself at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to finding talent. Need help? Let us help. Send us an email or drop us a line on Twitter or LinkedIn. Over to You Are you in HR and already using A.I. in your business? Where do you see automation helping the industry? We'd love to know more about your story.
November 13, 2019
How to Hire for Top In-Demand Hard Skills
January is one of the best months of the year for hiring. Budgets are set and after some post-holiday reflection (and possibly some year-end bonuses in back pockets), people are ready to make moves when it comes to their career. Right before the new year, we shared a few data points and tips for candidates to help them improve on the hard and soft skills a few of our startup clients are hiring for in 2019. Today we're launching a two-part post and talking about how you can assess and hire against those skills. Whether you’re looking to bring on a savvy data analyst, a writer, or a marketing person who can do it all, with the right strategy and assessment tactics, you'll be able to find and hire your best startup employees this year. How to Hire For the Top In-Demand Hard Skills Last year, we polled our clients and dug into the Hunt Club data to find what skills would be most important for their respective businesses going into 2019. While every business has its own unique needs we found 10 skills that were essential to each. Here are the hard skills our tech clients are seeking in candidates: data/analytics, full-stack marketing capabilities, writing, coding and public speaking. 1. Data/Analytics Modern marketers are people on your team who can deliver creative work and possess the right data and/or analytics chops to measure output, test, and learn the results your company needs to grow. What to look for when hiring: Given the nature of most early-stage companies, it's important to remove ambiguity upfront when hiring for this role. There are many moving pieces to hiring someone with this skillset and a key first step is to determine things like if you need someone who can collect and mine information, or someone more versed in capturing and storing information. Or, maybe you need a person who can analyze and use the data to make key business decisions. Once you've locked the responsibilities down you can look for candidates with the right certification or experience to drive your business forward in the way you need it. Here are two examples of what you could look for: If you need a marketing data analyst, look for candidates with the essential skills in SQL, statistical and modeling tools like SAS and SPSS or programming abilities in Python. If you’re looking for someone to transform your data to change the business, you're (i.e., data scientist) seek out candidates who have a solid foundation in technology and a deep understanding of the business side of the company. This person will know how to use data to shape the future and keep your organization modern and innovative. These candidates will bring the most value if they can tell a story with data or clearly communicate what the information is saying to investors, customers and even employees. 2. Full-Stack Marketer Capabilities Whereas you’re looking for specific nuances and knowledge in the data/analytics marketing roles above, full-stack marketers are your all-stars who have the right mix of creative skills, tech skills, and embody marketing and sales best practices. This person touches almost every area of marketing. These are the people out there obsessively reading everything they can get their hands on from other growth marketers plus exhibiting good old-fashioned grit. What to look for when hiring: While this person will be able to function in a variety of areas, it also means he or she doesn’t carry equal skill in every area. The real benefit to your business is the breadth of skill and versatility this person offers. For companies that don’t have the resources to hire a slew of niche marketers early on, when cash (or a lack thereof) drives most of the decisions and hiring, having someone who isn’t afraid of trying to do it all is essential. Before diving into a search, evaluate your business needs, and match and prioritize the skills to find the person with the right blend of skills. For example, is it more important to redesign your website and increase search rankings or build up a bigger social media presence? Then you likely need someone who’s well-versed in SEO and social media. Is the time right for your business to garner press in tech publications and increase visibility with journalists? Someone who first and foremost has a strong background in public relations will likely serve your business needs well. Keep in mind that while this person is great for high-growth companies and small businesses when hiring, consider that as your business grows, it will be ideal for this individual to move into a leadership position where they can develop your A-team to include specialists with more targeted skill sets. 3. Writing Establishing subject matter expertise is incredibly important in the startup journey and it is an effort that can begin even before the initial product launch. Effective writing can increase the chances for success. With so much of today's startup marketing being web and media-based, articulating what your brand offers is incredibly important as is delivering it in a way that engages your readers. Creating valuable, smartly-written content will help gain the trust of your customers and potential investors. What to look for when hiring: In the startup space, you might be dealing with candidates who don’t have traditional backgrounds in writing (i.e., schooling, publishing or possibly even teaching) but don’t rule these people out. Start by writing a great job description that appeals to creative minds and include a writing prompt on a topic related to your business. In addition to asking for writing samples, you'll get an early look at the candidate's writing style and if he or she has can grasp your business' subject matter. Also be sure to review their online presence. Check out their social media. Do they have a blog? Are they guest posting anywhere? Do they have fun creative projects in the works? In the interview process, you can also ask the candidate to submit a piece (and pay them for it) and give them a deadline to see how they perform under pressure.Whether or not someone has formal writing credentials or schooling, the brain is a muscle and it's important to look holistically to see how candidates are flexing it. 4. Coding This isn’t just for hiring developers. When it comes to marketers and sales professionals, coding skills help a person think in a very logical way to solve problems, as it teaches a person to be more self-sufficient and provide systematic approaches for building marketing email campaigns to paid media to content strategy. What to look for when hiring: As a whole, marketing is grounded in rich data leaving many with a need to understand the full customer journey. Even if someone isn’t skilled in technology languages, he or she should have a decent working knowledge so they can ask the right questions of any tech or digital partners. Again, consider which area this person will work in and match up their skills to the role to find the right fit for your business. Common programming languages to see on resumes or that candidates are pursuing include: Data analysis: SQL (best for accessing in-depth user data from your company’s database; running advanced queries on Google Analytics data, etc.) Scripting: Python (great for running advanced analytical methods on datasets; making predictions to guide future planning) or Bash (for automating reporting needs). HTML: It's essential for marketers, particularly content marketers, to understand how to find and edit meta descriptions, title tags and keywords. 5. Public speaking Storytelling is the job for the CEO, but in this day and age, with shorter attention spans and the depth and breadth of content, we all yearn for old-fashioned public speaking. For marketing and sales roles at a startup, it’s so important to connect with the audience, and speaking without a visual aid is the way to go. What to look for when hiring: Look for someone who isn’t a stranger when it comes to speaking engagements (i.e., industry panel participation, lunch-and-learn speaking sessions, webinars or Podcasts). Bonus is if the candidate participates in social groups like Toastmasters or The Moth’s speaking events. Over to you What are your tips or tricks for hiring against these hard skills? Are there any specific ones you're hiring for in your business this year? We'd like to know. And, later this week, we'll round out this topic by covering off on the top soft skills and what to look for when evaluating those skills in candidates.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
Instantly Make the New Year Shine Brighter With These 5 Recruiting Resolutions
Hi everyone and happy 2019. Love or hate it, resolutions for the new year are in full force this week. Whether you’ve decided to exercise more, spend a little less or learn a new hobby, you’re not alone if you’re committed to changing something this year. For businesses, the new year is also the perfect time to reflect and set goals for the months ahead. If you're looking to grow and scale your organization, consider making some new changes to the way you approach recruiting and your hiring strategy this year—all to help make 2019 a prosperous one. 5 Recruiting Resolutions for 2019 1. Increase Your Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Hiring for diversity isn’t a buzzword—it’s about making a real effort to build teams that represent a wide range of perspectives and ideas. The more diverse a team, the more likely they’ll be able to make better business decisions, and connect and empathize with a broad range of customers. Consider these statistics: [^1] Inclusive teams (or teams with high levels of cohesion and empathy for one another) make better business decisions up to 87% of the time Teams that follow an inclusive process make decisions 2X faster with half the meetings Decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results Tech companies like Twitch and Pinterest are paying close attention to this issue. Both companies have committed to increasing their diversity efforts with each hiring their first head of diversity leaders to drive strategy and programs, that will enhance their respective workplace cultures. As you approach hiring this year, try thinking outside of your usual networks and professional organizations to find a broader range of talent. Or evolve your recruiting process by making all of your employees recruiters. (If you're interested in reading more about it, we have a great post that talks more about how to ramp up diversity in hiring efforts and why it matters: https://blog.huntclub.com/crosscheck-startup-hiring-process/) 2. Discover Social Recruiting Tactics Social recruiting was a hiring hot potato last year. With today's candidates tapping into LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and even Snapchat to find their future employers, it's a trend that's not slowing down. Especially with the current tight talent market, companies—big or small—can't afford to have a laissez-faire attitude toward social recruiting. Whether it's with a 30-second Instagram Story post or a Twitter video, social media offers businesses a really cool opportunity to show off culture to prospective candidates. For some inspiration, check out how these bigger brands have nailed the social recruiting game[^2] This year, consider shaking up your social recruiting efforts and create quick, low-risk social media campaigns can hook potential modern candidates. A simple way to ease into this is to try regularly posting or updating job openings to your Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Or highlight employee accomplishments across your social media channels. 3. Refresh the Candidate Experience 2019 continues to be a job seeker’s market and candidates have the upper hand. If there was any time to clean up revisit the candidate experience in your hiring process, it's now. Take a look at your current process, starting with how candidates are able to apply for your jobs online. Is the application process friendly? Does it reflect how you really talk and connect with candidates? Always remember that there’s a person on the other side of the application, and treat others as you’d like to be treated—call when you say you will, provide timely and specific feedback to candidates and never, ever leave candidates guessing. The key takeaway: make it easy for candidates to apply and move through your hiring process, and regardless if someone gets the job or not, leave them with an incredibly positive experience. 4. Commit to Copywriting to Source and Attract Top Talent You're invested in connecting prospects with something you have to offer—a great job and a great company. With so many companies competing to attract top talent, an immediate way to help stand out is revisiting how you communicate your business to prospective candidates. It’s all too easy to communicate with candidates from a "we" mentality—especially with smaller companies and startups (i.e., "Here’s what we can offer you”, “Here’s what we do”, and so on.) If you really want to persuade top candidates, it needs to be all about them. Whether it's how you write your job descriptions, website material or social media copy, try letting candidates know what's different enough about what you can offer them. If you can let candidates know right away the impact your business can have for their lifelong professional goals, and communicate the opportunities your company offers, you'll draw in qualified candidates eager to talk. 5. Be Open-Minded with Machine Learning and Automation If rapid advances in machine intelligence spring up fearful thoughts, let’s dial it back and focus on how it can help improve recruiting efforts. With the changing expectations of the modern workforce, business can’t expect to build successful teams with the same antiquated recruiting processes. We're heading to a new era of recruiting that focuses on the more gratifying parts of the job—the human part, the strategic part! Automation in hiring is here and can help reduce many of the repetitive parts of the hiring process (think candidate searches, scheduling and even screening). This year, focus on efforts that are more effective and streamlined, and explore how you might be able to automate some administrative tasks to help you work smarter. Ultimately, this helps provide a better experience for everyone from recruiters to hiring teams and candidates. Resolve to Evolve Among the overwhelming glut of recruiters straining for candidate’s attention, consider adding in some of these tricks to differentiate your hiring approach this year. Resolve to make this year one for the books that your recruiting practices stand out. You might just see the level of qualified candidates increase and more eyeballs coming at you than ever before.
November 13, 2019
How to Build a Diverse and Inclusive Startup
In today’s hot market, the competition for attracting top talent is more fierce than ever. Just as we’ve seen with large tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Uber, hiring for diversity and inclusion in the tech startup space is receiving a lot of attention right now. All of the added scrutinies should be giving us the push to make our companies better. Research shows that diverse teams create more innovative products, make better decisions and the companies in the top quartile for diversity can grow an organization’s bottom line by as much as 35 percent above the national industry average.[^1] Hiring For a Different Fit In the early stages of a startup, the focus for founders is on establishing product-market fit. For most, expending time and energy on the absolute perfect hires are a luxury displaced by a need for speed and driving market validation. Often times, this means founders turn to hire friends or people closely associated with them to build their teams—usually people who look similar and with similar life experiences. While there are always exceptions, this lack of diversity leads more groupthink and less room for new ideas and perspectives which can ultimately spell disaster for an early-growth company. Consider these statistics: [^2] Inclusive teams (or teams with high levels of cohesion and empathy for one another) make better business decisions up to 87% of the time Teams that follow an inclusive process make decisions 2X faster with half the meetings Decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results You might be thinking, “I get it, diversity is important, but what does that have to do with culture fit?” Finding the Startup DNA When recruiting talent, it’s important to hire people who reflect and/or can adapt to an organization’s core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, but it’s imperative to think more about whether the person has the right startup DNA: the broad experience that will likely project to succeed in the role at a company. The best startup teams support each other and embrace a common purpose. For job seekers, there’s an allure of a high-energy environment, opportunities to make big strides in their career and the possibility of a substantial reward if all goes well. But it takes a certain amount of grit, tolerance for change and ambiguity, and the ability to dive into all kinds of tasks to succeed at a startup. When thinking about these “must-haves” for hiring talent in these high-stake and fast-paced roles, you need to be able to first assess people who can add value. You really want to bring in people who embody the values (i.e.; how you behave, how you treat each other and how you make decisions) and uphold what’s important to your business, so it’s important to evaluate candidates along those lines. Put another way, you want to look for and hire people who are culture contributors. When you bring on these people, you’re finding those new hires who can add a little something to your culture that’s already there—you’ll uncover the gaps, identify what is missing, and extend and reinforce your culture. Here’s how you can actually do this: 4 Tips to Prioritize Hiring Culture Contributors 1. Extend Your Talent Pool Don’t just hire based on internal referrals alone. Think outside of your usual networks and professional organizations to find a broader range of talent. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look into on and/or off-campus college recruiting. In-person events are great but can eat up your staff’s limited time to physically travel from school to school. Instead, maybe consider online events as a way to reach more schools and encourage students to join wherever they are. Also, consider joining conversations that are happening throughout various social media communities. Tap into those LinkedIn Groups or Facebook communities with topics related to your business, and then strike up conversations with other members. 2. Foster Diversity and Inclusion From the Top Down Make your commitment to diversity and inclusion known and show your sincerity by taking this step beyond putting a few paragraphs together on your company website, materials or in job descriptions. Consider holding regular face-to-face town hall-style meetings and offer anonymous employee feedback surveys. You can uncover employee sentiment towards their leadership style across all demographic groups. Perform health checks by regularly and effectively communicating that diversity and inclusion is top of mind. Communicate diversity and inclusion policies, promote any initiatives that are coming up and share social and personal successes which result from these. All of this activity will help increase confidence that your leadership team understands the importance of diversity and inclusion to individuals and the business as a whole. 3. Evolve your Hiring Process A great way to get an understanding of whether someone shares the company’s core values (even if they possess the desired skills, knowledge, and achievements) is by paying attention to their behavior and communication patterns. A fantastic example is Southwest Airlines. The company hires for three specific attributes: a warrior’s spirit (a desire to excel in all things), a servant’s heart (the ability to put other’s needs first and treat people with respect) and a fun-loving attitude (has passion and doesn’t take his/herself too seriously).[^3] While these are listed on every single job description, they’ve developed a culture of continual learning and creative methods for interviewing and onboarding new hires. They do this by making all of its employees recruiters. Southwest employees are continually "interviewing" applicants for jobs at the company. They notice how candidates greet the receptionist, how they respond to people in the hallway, etc. If you’re a startup founder, consider taking a page from the Southwest Airlines hiring handbook. Find people who love your company’s culture and be determined to hire only those who will contribute to it. 4. Partner With an External Recruiting Firm Between building their team and juggling many other duties (managing board of directors, investors, KPIs, fundraising, and so on), startup founders should consider enlisting the help of an external recruiter. These firms have additional resources and fundamental techniques that can help startups with their diverse hiring needs. Diverse Hiring: The Final Approach When it comes to hiring, diverse candidates offer insight and perspective based on their own unique set of experiences. As you look to build your team, think about what is really needed in your company’s culture and then where you need to broaden your perspective. You don’t need to throw out the “Would I want to sit next to this person on a cross-country flight?” litmus test but maybe strive to find someone who can teach you something new on that flight.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
2019 Top 10 In-Demand Job Skills
When hiring for a startup, which is more important: hard or soft skills? Seems like there are conversations left and right about the relative importance of each that imply a competition between the two. But, both are needed and complementary to one another. The hard truth about soft skills is that while they aren’t explicitly tested in interviews, they play a huge part in a hiring decision and what are a good indicator of what makes an employee successful in a high-growth environment. As this year comes to a close, we’ve dug into the Hunt Club data and looked at industry figures to come up with a list of the top 10 hard and soft skills we’re hiring for marketing and sales roles in 2019 (and sharing some tips anyone can use to improve). Whether you’re a startup job seeker or looking to add great talent, but aren’t sure which skills to hone, settle in. Hard skills are teachable and most often skills such as analysis, strategic planning or design. For marketing and sales roles we’re looking to fill for the coming year, the top skills our clients are asking for are data-driven/analytics, full-stack marketing capabilities, writing, coding, and public speaking. Hard Skills: The hard skills companies are seeking in candidates for 2019. #1. Data/Analytics. Marketers used to be the business students who didn’t like working with numbers. For a modern marketer, it’s nearly impossible to express creativity without knowing how to use tools to help measure your efforts. The really cool thing is this generation—from mid-level to CMO’s—are more creative and more analytically-minded than ever. If you aspire to work at a high-growth company, know that having the right mix of skills to deliver creative work and measure your output will help you test and learn your way to the results your business needs. Hunt Club Tip: The more comfortable you can get bouncing between Tableau to Google Analytics or Sheets to SQL, the better. These tools will help give you definitive statistics about how well your posts are performing so you can track your KPIs and grow your business. Check out some of the courses offered through the General Assembly program which can help bring you up to speed in a shorter amount of time. #2. Full-Stack Marketer Capabilities. A full-stack marketer has a working knowledge of all of the modern marketing tactics and can work across a range of disciplines from SEO to UX to social media and even PR. At a small company or startup, it’s common to flip between several different projects with ease. I still remember when Mike’s (my boss) ears perked up when he found out I know a little bit of HTML and that I enjoy diving into our email code from time to time. An example of what day-to-day looks like for this person: Promote and push product features Track and analyze inbound leads Measure marketing objectives and ROI Design social media ads in Canva Write and test email marketing copy More than just a term, though, it applies to a certain mindset or working philosophy. These are the people out there obsessively reading everything they can get their hands on from other growth marketers plus exhibiting good old-fashioned grit. For companies that don’t have the resources to hire a slew of niche marketers early on, when cash (or a lack thereof) drives most of the decisions and hiring, having someone who isn’t afraid of trying to do it all is essential. Hunt Club Tip: The real benefit to you is the breadth of skill and versatility you can develop. You can do this by signing up for professional development courses or download books on your e-reader. Here are a few to get you started: Don’t Make Me Think (UX/product design) Lean Branding: Creating Dynamic Brands to Generate Conversion (Brand) You Should Test That: Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit or The Art and Science of Optimized Marketing (A/B Test) CopyHackers eBooks (copywriting) #3. Writing. Establishing subject matter expertise is incredibly important in the startup journey and it is an effort that can begin even before the initial product launch. Effective writing can increase the chances for success. Today, so much startup marketing is web and media-based. Articulating what your brand offers is incredibly important as is delivering it in a way that engages your readers. Creating valuable, smartly-written content will help gain the trust of your customers and potential investors. Hunt Club Tip: Better writing comes with practice. Whether that means you enroll in writing development courses or set a daily goal to write for 30-minutes each day. Every little bit adds up and you’ll see improvements. #4. Coding. This isn’t just for hiring developers. Learning to code can be a very helpful skill that will allow you to open up more opportunities and possibly give you a new career perspective. Coding requires you to think in a very logical way to solve problems, teaching you to be more self-sufficient. You can apply the same systematic approach when building marketing email campaigns to your paid media and content strategy. Having a little understanding will also help improve your communication and time management skills because you’ll be able to break down and provide well thought-out feedback. Hunt Club Tip: Get ahead of the curve and start coding before it's as common as knowing how to type (and your grandkids start rolling their eyes at your lack of CSS know-how). A really good place to start is to sign up and take Microsoft certification courses on Azure and SQL Server. #5. Public speaking. Storytelling is the job for the CEO, but in this day and age, with shorter attention spans and the depth and breadth of content, we all yearn for old-fashioned public speaking. No matter what role at a startup you’re going for, from developer to marketing, it’s never been more important to connect with your audience, and speaking without a visual aid is the way to go. Part of the job at a startup is no matter the role is to be an advocate and you never know when the opportunity will arise. Hunt Club Tip: Toastmasters is so early-2000s, instead try creative storytelling outlets like the Moth’s live storytelling events or participate in your local improv groups to foster on-the-spot thinking. Soft Skills: Soft skills companies are seeking in candidates for 2019. Soft skills fall in the interpersonal realm (e.g., listening, team-building) and aren’t taught so much as cultivated. We’re all predisposed to being stronger in some areas than others, but these can be nurtured and worked on over time. Our Hunt Club data tells us the top soft skills we’re looking for in candidates are: Emotional intelligence, teamwork, startup DNA/flexibility and creativity. #6. Emotional intelligence. Working at a startup is like being on a roller coaster but for 10-12 hours a day. Sometimes longer. Stress levels are high and regularly fluctuate in this type of environment so when a challenge comes up, having the emotional intelligence and knowing when to have conversations (or not) when everything is going on around you is super important. Hunt Club Tip: Learning to improve your emotional intelligence isn't a process that happens overnight which is why an incredible way to develop this skill is to always ask for perspective, feedback and implement a 5-second “pause” before speaking will help tremendously. #7. Teamwork. Teamwork really does make the dream work. At the core, a being a team player means you work confidently in a group setting, contribute ideas, take ownership, and accept and learn from others. Knowing how you will provide value to your team and a business, are particularly important in startup environments. Hunt Club Tip: Think about your unique traits or offerings that maybe others don’t have. What will help allow you to fill in any blanks where a team might be lacking? Are you reliable? Are you good at coming up with ideas? Are you level-headed? Pick one (or maybe two) that’s unique to you and focus on developing it. #8. Startup DNA/Flexibility. Tech startups are known for rapid change and innovation, and they need employees that can move with them. Having a growth behavior mindset will prepare you for when scope or deliverables of a project significantly change. Knowing how and when to adapt will enable you to uphold a high-level of performance given the uncertainty in these environments. Hunt Club Tip: While some people are naturally more growth-oriented, spending a little time on your own personal development is key. Become a curious learner and ask questions. Learn to see opportunities in challenging times. Get active in new social groups and immerse yourself in new surroundings and perspectives. #9. Accepting feedback. Giving and receiving feedback is an important skill at every level of a business. Practicing how to deliver feedback with empathy while receiving it without getting defensive or blaming others is a key part of lifelong career development. Hunt Club Tip: This starts with approaching any conversation without being on the defensive and if you’re on the receiving end, starts with asking the person delivering, what type of feedback are you getting (coaching, for example). Distinguishing the type will help as you understand the other person’s POV lessens the chance your defense mechanism going into overdrive because you’ll see where that person is coming from. There’s an incredible book I think everyone should read called Thanks for the Feedback (buy it: https://www.amazon.com/Thanks-Feedback-Science-Receiving-Well-ebook/dp/B00DMCV0XE) #10. Creativity. Creatives types can do really well in startup environments. Startups require employees to come up with out-of-the-box solutions on their own. Creative types are great for this. They’re often risk-takers and learn from failure, making whatever they’re working on better than the last time. They also have a willingness to try new things without fear of failing. Hunt Club Tip: Every person is creative in their own way and to some degree. Whether it’s through painting, music or poetry, dedicate time to discover and cultivate your creative interests. Like anything, developing hard and soft skills takes practice and patience. For candidates seeking roles in marketing and/or sales, consider the skills on the list you already have and take note on where you can improve for the coming year. For hiring managers, don’t forget about these attributes as you consider your new hires. Think about the role and spend time considering what mix of hard and soft skills it’ll take for someone to succeed.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
Why Startups Are the New College Degree
I started my professional career as a volunteer tennis coach at Northwestern University, with 12-hour days teaching lessons, working with the women’s team, and running clinics at night. To this day, it was one of the most fulfilling professional experiences of my career. We won an indoor national title, the program’s 14th straight Big Ten championship title and spent a good part of the year ranked first in the country. (Go, #B1GCATS!) With that said, college coaching wasn’t on my mind when I graduated in 2009. I wanted to jump into strategy consulting, but the economic crash put top-tier jobs out of reach, especially for a guy whose strongest bullet point on his resume was a good forehand. I’ll never forget an interview I had with one firm. I was up against an investment banker with three years of experience; a candidate with a Ph.D. in Economics; and two analysts/associate consultants with three years of experience at boutique firms. Let’s just say I didn’t get the job. If Opportunity Doesn’t Knock, Build a Door I had spent so much time pursuing and building a skill set in a sport that I didn’t really have the level of experience or insight into how to score a business job after college. So I hit the networking trail hard, starting with people that I thought would understand my background, other former Vanderbilt tennis athletes in Chicagoland. I quickly found out if I put “Vanderbilt Tennis” in the subject line of my emails, I could get CEO’s of public companies, leaders at local banks, presidents of large family businesses and others to sit down with me. I was shocked. Was the power of that particular network so strong that’s all it took? With as much loyalty to the former student-athletes who played my sport, I questioned why there wasn't something out there to help us connect alums and to answer "what's next?" After bribing my former teammate and still today my business partner, with endless pizza, we set out to build the answer to that question. Five months later Athliance.com was born. I’ll spare the gory details of why it ultimately didn’t work out (LinkedIn Groups did the same exact thing...) but I ended up leveraging the experience, building a software platform, getting thousands of users, and selling small monthly subscriptions to a few Universities. My new resume read “Founder and CEO.” I hustled to build something real, created value for thousands of people, and earned enough revenue to buy a few pizzas a month. I then leveraged this newly-found, real business experience to help land my dream job at KPMG as a consultant in their strategy and technology group. The “American Dream” Isn’t Dying of Natural Causes, Our Education System is Slaughtering it The American dream of graduating college, owning a home, working a steady job and climbing the corporate ladder is fading fast. College tuition is more expensive than ever and doesn’t provide the opportunities it once had. Most of corporate America is built off of “middle management"; an infrastructure layer within an organization that manages people, and creates status reports, and builds and oversees projects. What happens when functions are automated though? What happens when machine learning offers reports in real-time? With millions of graduates soon entering the workforce, I'm not surprised many are questioning the value of a four-year degree. Think about these statistics for a second: 54% of new graduates working for major companies consider themselves underemployed. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. Graduates with a bachelor's degree can expect to earn an average of $50,390 annually in their first jobs. Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Last year, there were 2.8 million postings for tech-related jobs, with more than 200,000 postings occurring in emerging tech areas. Tech ranks 6th in job creation over the past five years among the rankings of 22 top level occupation categories. Given these numbers, it could take 15 years before you're debt free—and for what? A job that may not exist in 15 years? Entrepreneurship as the Cure? Entrepreneurship has become more desirable and even more accessible, empowering employees from all backgrounds with the right tools and hands-on learning to accelerate their careers. One of the biggest catalysts of these trends is the amount of private capital funding technology/venture-backed businesses. At a startup or venture-backed company, you’re a fundamental piece of what makes the company thrive, taking on tremendous responsibility and ownership. The glass ceiling doesn’t exist at a startup either. Through Hunt Club, our venture-backed technology-enabled recruiting company, we are fortunate to partner with some of the most innovative companies in the world. When we dig into the data we see some interesting points. One is if you look at the executive layer across our customer base, 28% of them have atypical backgrounds. This means they either have: No college degree A degree from that’s not from a Top-100 University Non-traditional work experience (e.g., contractors, self-employed consultants) The median salary for an executive at a Series B startup (depending on function and location) sits somewhere between $175,000-$300,000. Not to mention the possibility of millions of dollars upon acquisition or exit event. And, the median age of this person is 34. To put this another way, you can be under 35-years old, make a great salary and have the responsibility of helping run a division of a company, with the upside of equity or ownership in the event the company gets acquired. If it works, you could be set for life. Startups welcome and reward people with opportunities that would otherwise take decades to get at a larger company, with the potential financial upside of a company getting acquired. Said differently—tech startups are attacking the safety net from the outside in. Many new grads realize that there are better paying and exciting jobs available out there, outside of big companies, where skills matter more than the credentials. The skills-gap reflects a failure to prepare our workforce with the skills they need to thrive in a digital economy. The power of tech entrepreneurship is changing this and bridging the skills-gap. We are living in more complex, uncertain times, in an age where humans and tech are learning how to interact with each other. We need to adopt new perspectives and ways of developing skills at scale—and most of them can be learned with YouTube, a Google query and a ton of caffeine. With the rise of machines and automation, we need to empower our workforces with 21st-century skills to help them remain employable. How do we empower billions of people who may have never set foot inside a classroom and give them universal access to education and enable them to be future-ready? — World Economic Forum I’d argue joining an early-stage company may be the best way to manage the skill balance caused by today’s gap in the education system. The Ubers, AirBnBs and Dollar Shave Clubs of tomorrow will become the taxis, Hilton and P&G companies of today. Grab a seat and get on the bus! The days of waiting it out 30 years, getting a gold watch and a pension are over. Editor's note: We originally published this post (authored by Nick Cromydas, CEO and co-founder of Hunt Club,) in 2018. We've updated it for comprehensiveness and accuracy. See the original post here.
November 13, 2019
How to Build a Holistic Team with Diverse Talent
Hiring for diversity and inclusion in the startup world has received a lot of attention lately — more founders and CEOs are seeking to find ways to improve the hiring experience because data is in. Diverse teams surpass homogeneous teams by just about every metric that matters to a startup. I flashed back to a recent conversation I had with a client about the current state of their team and their goals for the coming year. It was so obvious that for them to innovate, test and launch their products and services faster, they didn’t just need the best talent — they need the best team. Hiring for the team, not the individual Too often when recruiting talent, we turn to a checklist of status-based measurements of success. We think about who the best person is for a job and typically start out asking things like "What college did this person go to?" or "How many years of experience do they have?" And when someone doesn't have the "right" degree or experience, we disqualify the individual. We don’t think about what value they can bring to a team, collectively. The problem with this is that we gloss over candidates who, because of their unique perspectives and life experiences, can help companies break down boundaries and truly innovate. There are so many new ideas and developments stored in the brains of candidates who have not been given a chance to act on them. It’s an outdated approach deep-rooted in the industry. It hurts our abilities as recruiters to really help push our clients forward. Turning a high-growth company into a successful business is a race against the clock. In the conversation with my client we talked about the milestones they set for the coming year, and what it will take to meet their goals and make their investors and customers happy. In high-growth environments, executing this greatly depends on the creativity, grit and the experience of a team. A more diverse operation can offer new and different perspectives, helping bring in bigger profits, strengthen processes, and cultivate innovative thinking. The startups that grow faster are the ones that have made getting diverse voices to the table a priority. As a recruiter, my primary responsibility is to help my clients build the best team and the best products possible, and I firmly believe that such a team is made up of a variety of people and perspectives. Here are three tips to help move the needle faster on diverse hiring: Think about your talent brand. Make sure your social and totally public version of your company encapsulates what your talent thinks, feels and shares about your company as a place to work. When it comes to your website, sales materials or social media profiles, it should be clear to anyone reading that your organization insists on diversity and that it's imperative for success. Gain a broader perspective. Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 30% more likely to perform above the mean in their industry. When recruiting, think about how a person’s life experience can contribute to a more global perspective for your business. We all know that when startups initially hit the ground running, their customer focus is narrow. When they scale, they expand the target customer base. If you have someone on your team with the first-hand experience, it'll be much easier to reach, market and sell to your future customers. Leverage an external recruiting team . In the early stages of a business, it’s hard to justify paying for talent and naturally resort to hiring your friends (or friends of friends). While it’s a short-term solution it, unfortunately, leads to a homogenous knowledge base. Consider gaining an outside perspective from the start as external firms have sourcing methods that contain more diverse candidate pipelines. The third-party lens can help your business solve the challenges about how to hire great business leaders who are a fit for your team, and who represents the world in which you and your customers operate. It’s critical to have people of diverse backgrounds at every stage of a business, and it’s crucial for founders of companies to be self-aware and conscious about diversity and inclusion. As someone responsible for infusing your company with great talent, fostering diverse hiring practices early-on will help address any talent challenges now and potential ones in the future.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Startups]
November 13, 2019
How to Wine and Dine Candidates to Create an Excellent Startup Interview Experience
Attracting top-notch talent is paramount to a startup’s likelihood of success. Most venture capitalists will tell you that the CEO of an early-stage startup has to do two things effectively to have a chance to success: recruit amazing people for their company and raise money. Venture-backed CEOs are running full speed to attract talent and raise the capital needed to lure people away from their current jobs. The time and monetary costs of making the wrong hire can be crippling for a startup. It isn’t about putting someone in the seat just to fill it. And, it isn’t just about finding the candidate with the skill set you’re looking for and aligning on compensation. Winning someone over before they’re even considering the role is key. In the haste to build a team of rock stars, a CEO may forget that a potential candidate hasn’t gotten drunk off on the Kool-aid yet—they may not yet see the opportunity the same way as a founder. Winning candidates over isn’t done transactionally either. Here are some Hunt Club tips on how to court active or passive candidates for your startup from start to finish. 1. Expect to do a lot of courting All too often the objectives for a role are loosely defined. Founders tend to start their research with a specific function in mind: “I’m looking for a CFO.” “I need a CTO.” “We need a digital marketing manager.” However, those titles can mean very different things to every company. A CFO at a 50 or 100 person company will be doing very different things than someone with that title at a three-person startup. A better approach is to start your hiring process not with a function in mind, but with a set of tasks that need to be done: “It’s important that we create better budgets, understand cost-benefit analysis and forecast for next year." “We need to ensure our technologies are used efficiently and securely, generating profitably so we can raise a Series B.” “We need to enhance our brand awareness within the digital space as well as drive website traffic and acquire leads before CES 2019.” Initially, depending on the size and state of your business, the inbound flow of candidates is going to be very small. You may have to ruthlessly tap into your own network, put yourself out there and tell people you are hiring. As you grow or participate in new networks to widen your talent funnel, your pool of candidates will expand. Once you have a shortlist of talented people you would want one day working for you, cultivate a steady cadence to make sure you constantly interact and routinely keep in touch with those people. Think about how you can stay top of mind with them. Call when you say you will. Find natural ways to check in without being pushing or obnoxious. Communicate frequently so you are also up to date on if the person is looking, what their current needs are and how it fits with the state of your business. 2. Get to know your candidates by “giving first” Whether it’s being generous with your time, energy, effort, information or opportunities, you’re giving back first. Once you have a candidate on deck or cultivated a pool of talent, it'll go a long way if you embody a “give first” mentality in all of your conversations. Don't sell the company and job opportunity before probing to see if they check all the boxes. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and take a broader approach. Consider how you can be a resource for your candidates. Really get to know their professional goals, interests, and priorities. Find out what they want and if they’re getting what they need in their current gig. You want potential candidates to feel wanted and to start imagining what it would be like working there, and how joining your team could change their life short-term and longer, before you’ve even assessed if they’re wanted. This creates stronger relationships. You will provide incredible value, build trust and be surprised at how your relationship evolves (for more inspiration check out this blog post on how we hire amazing people in less time). 3. Create a true experience and remove the transaction When you ask someone to join a startup, you’re also asking the person to join an unpredictable company and trade long hours for some form of a pay cut. Give them enough data points and information to counter that. When you bring the person in for an interview, have them meet the team and anyone they will be working with. Ensure that they know they have full support in their role and they know what success could look like. Have the person meet a number of people from your company, not just an immediate supervisor or team members. In this phase, be really clear about why it would be beneficial for them to join the team, and how your company can match their needs and long-term professional goals. Tell them how you can help them thrive and survive. How their gifts match your company environment. Explain the benefits. Talk to them first about opportunities for growth, followed by things like PTO and flex-schedules to reframe their perception of benefits. Knowing this right from the start can help them see all the things they may be missing. It also helps them see an upward path and career development helping speed up their decision to accept a role once offered. This elicits emotion and feelings, and anything you want your candidate to walk away with. 4. Manage a breakup Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Let’s say you brought the person in to meet the team. Whether it’s not a fit culturally or you both just want something different. Your goal should be to leave any unsuccessful candidate with a great interview experience. You want them to walk away saying great things about the experience. So be generous with feedback. If the person interviewed, or if the person turns out to be a better fit for another role at a different company, offer them an introduction. Tell them honestly what you liked about them and what skills they might want to develop further. Don’t just send a canned breakup email without sharing any perspective. This person spent hours with you and your team. They deserve respectful and meaningful feedback. Things like “Through the course of the search, we realized we needed someone with more PR expertise,” or “We need an operations leader who can see around the corner and who helped a company in our stage double in revenue.” Hiring and Beyond. The wining and dining doesn’t end once someone is hired. After the person is off and running, be sure to check in with them regularly to make sure they’re getting what they need or find out what they need to succeed, and as important, that their enthusiasm and eagerness to build something great together continues to grow. Hiring is hard enough even at the best of times. The key for startups is to offer a white-glove service of communication and coaching to candidates that large firms can’t match. This means getting your hands dirty to source candidates, giving your time, foster communication, you’ll be well on your way to getting the qualified candidates you need, where you need them and when.
November 13, 2019
How to Hire Amazing Talent Fast
Sometimes what you are looking for comes when you are not looking at all. The day Hunt Club found me is one I’ll never forget. I was in California healing from some personal trauma, and as one usually does in those times, taking inventory of everything in my life. Out of the blue, a friend (and recruiter) texted with a job opportunity and the words: You are perfect for this. It seemed like a really cool gig but I brushed it off. I was dealing with an already emotional situation and making a career move sounded unappealing. My friend followed up and I ignored him until he asked a really simple (three-part) question: What makes you happy, are you getting that right now, and what could you be doing differently? I’d love to know. I liked this approach and it got me thinking about the work I was doing on a daily basis and whether I could be doing more, something more aligned with my values. So I answered and we had a conversation. What happened next is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in any job search. The very next day I had a phone interview with my now manager followed by an in-person interview the day after I got back to Chicago and within five days had a job offer in hand for a dream role and with a company that aligned with my core personal values. How did that happen and so fast? The Hunt Club Way My hiring is the result of an amazingly efficient, targeted recruiting strategy that has not only led to me joining the team, but to six others at the same time. Now, I’ve worked with recruiters before and haven’t had great experiences with them in the past. I’ve either had little communication, zero transparency about where I stood in the hiring process or felt forgotten about. There were three things my friend did differently that stood out when he approached me. He: Built trust and fostered a real relationship with me Asked pointed questions to get an insanely good read on my interests and my potential Listened; he honestly cared about me and what I want to pursue The thing that stuck out the most was that he always cared and at every step of the way. Out of all of the Hunt Club values, “always care” is at the top, and it’s probably the thing that defines us all the most. We put a great deal of thought into the end-to-end candidate experience, treating others as we would want to be treated. A great example of this caring mentality is when a new hire signs an offer letter. The minute it happens is the best part of our day. Slack goes crazy. Everyone cheers. The high-fives fly from pod to pod. I really don’t think I’ve ever met a group of people who share the same hell-bent passion for making sure every single person sees the enthusiasm they felt during the hiring process. If it ain’t broke, don’t—actually, no, you have to fix it. As I shared, I haven’t had great experiences working with recruiters in the past and I think most candidates feel the process is annoying, outdated, bureaucratic and actually kind of soul-crushing. Having just gone through the different Hunt Club hiring experience, I thought it would be the perfect time to share a few pages of the Hunt Club playbook you can use to help you run an efficient end-to-end search process to land great candidates. Here’s our simple formula for delivering excellent candidate care and finding the right hire. #1: Really know what it’ll take to be successful. This one seems obvious, but you’d be shocked at how many recruiters don’t take the time to truly understand the position they’re working on. Maybe it’s because someone recently left a role or a new position opened up, but recruiters can feel pressured to find someone to fill a role as quickly as possible without any dedicating time to understand who they need. I’ve definitely been approached for roles in past that were not a fit or even remotely related to anything I do. It not only wastes my time and the recruiter’s time, but it also leaves a bad impression for the recruiter and even the company. This isn’t the case with Hunt Club. Once our services team gets the green light on a new role, we immediately hold an internal sync with leadership and dive in to uncover everything (needs, must-haves and pain points included) possible about the role. Before kicking off a search, we get a complete 360-degree view so we can communicate intelligently about the position we’re working on. Some questions we usually ask (keep these handy for point #3 below). What will this person be doing day-to-day? What are the traits and specific skills this person will have? How can we make sure we set this person up for success? What do we think this person will accomplish in the first 30 days? We also use the answers to write a clear-cut job description (here are 50+ job descriptions to attract top talent and a free downloadable template if you need some inspiration). Only until we have the information, the search begins. In my recent experience, it was obvious my friend did his homework. He matched the needs of the role to my skill set, and because he got it right, I was more open to talking with him to learn more. I felt like he understood what I needed and that he wasn’t just trying to get me to leave my current gig so he could fill the role. #2: Establish a communication cadence and abide by it. If you can outline a firm process at the start of search and stick with it, you will avoid wasting your time, and your client and candidate's time in the long-run. Spend a few hours and develop a rhythm of touch points for all parties. Also, let your candidates know what part of the process they’re in at each touchpoint. My friend is a shining example of this. He called when he said he would. He found natural ways to check in without being pushy or overbearing, and when I was interviewing, he texted me to ensure I was getting what I needed, and kept me updated on when I could expect to hear back and where I stood in the process. He would always ask if there was anything else he could do for me, keeping up with the “always care” mentality Hunt Club was known for. Every company and hiring manager may have their own way of doing things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set a structure from the beginning! #3: Create and refer to your own scoring system and checklist. Based on understanding the role and knowing the needs, must-haves and pain points, we create a ranking system for our ideal candidate. What we do is take the questions we asked early on and create a scoring system to evaluate all candidates we talk to (here they are again, taken from point #1 above): What will this person be doing day-to-day? What are the traits and specific skills this person will have? How can we make sure we set this person up for success? What do we think this person will accomplish in the first 30 days? Having this in front of us lets us easily see how he/she fits the bill, and the closer they are to the center point or point value ensures we recommend and land the perfect fit. This keeps us running in the right direction, moving closer to our ideal matches, and creates a level of service of speed with quality. This also offers flexibility to adapt so if we get new feedback from our clients or uncover a new trait or experience, we can move things around in the checklist in real time. This stage builds credibility and makes sure we’re all aligned, from client to company to candidate. I can tell you that from a candidate’s POV, I appreciated the honesty and transparency of my friend. In hindsight, I got the impression that he was truly looking for the right person for the role. #4: Sell candidates upfront about the benefits. In our first conversation, my friend made it very clear about why it would be beneficial for me to join the team, and how Hunt Club could help my long-term professional goals. Knowing this right from the start made me realize all the things I was missing! He also shared press mentions and general company information for me to look at. This part is really a no-brainer but I feel like many hiring managers miss out on the opportunity to state the information upfront. In previous experiences, I would typically receive a quick rundown of the basic benefits a job offered (e.g; work remote, PTO). That was it. This time around I was specifically told how Hunt Club could offer me a way to launch certain aspects of my career to new levels, and even beyond at the company. Clearly seeing an upward path and career development, and having the information upfront, 100% sped up my decision to accept the role once it was offered. Finally, It’s really hard to find and hire great talent today. Whether someone is actively or passively looking for a new job, there’s a level of candidate care that job seekers expect from recruiters in order to consider making a move. Adding these components into your hiring process can help you see the difference in caliber of talent you land, faster, and ensure you’re delivering a white-glove service that keeps candidates interested and feeling appreciated. P.S. We're HIRING right now! Tweet at us or join our network to apply or even refer someone you know.
November 13, 2019
How to Prevent a Bad Hire
We've all experienced working with someone who turned out to be wrong for the job. Consider the situations you've been in. What behavior have you observed from a coworker that in your eyes made them a bad fit? Were they always late to work? Maybe they were hypercritical of your work (and your lunch choices). Hiring great people is without a doubt one of the most critical aspects of running a company. For almost all hiring managers, sourcing candidates has always been a challenge, and in today's current hiring climate, the competition for recruiting top candidates is fiercer than ever. We're all aware hiring mistakes are costly to a business, but did you know that by some estimates, a wrong hire can cost the company as much as a quarter million dollars? The wrong hire doesn’t just throw budgets and ROI out of whack either. There's a ripple effect; it goes deeper by affecting employee productivity, morale, engagement—all compromising an organization’s success. As someone responsible for infusing your company with great talent, how can you ensure your time, resources and energy aren't wasted with the wrong candidates? In a tight market, what can you do to ensure you get the right candidate onboard the first time around to avoid costly mistakes? Download your free copy of our whitepaper and uncover ways to strengthen your hiring processes to improve new-hire retention, helping you prevent costly repercussions associated with hiring the wrong person.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Jobs]
November 13, 2019
8 Terror-iffic Tricks to Hire Great Talent
Every HR manager has a trick or two up their sleeve when it comes to recruiting and hiring. Here are 8 bite-sized morsels of knowledge sourced from top business leaders and HR experts, that extend well beyond when Halloween ends. #HappyHalloween #🎃 8 Terror-iffic Tricks to Hire Great Talent from vfhuntclub
November 13, 2019
How to Aquire Talent with These 4 Tactics
In today’s tight labor market, traditional ways of getting the right talent to the table are proving difficult. 73 percent of hiring managers today are struggling to find qualified candidates. Whether it’s due to complex internal processes or slow technology that complicate the already saturated and noisy recruiting space, finding and landing great talent is hard. But getting the right people on your team is critical for an organization’s success. Recruiters are under more pressure to think outside the box. This has led to unconventional ways of reaching candidates. Here are four new tactics you can try to help recruit top talent for your business: Bring on the Royal Treatment Most people today who want a job, have a job. This makes it so important to engage with them early on, and it starts with creating a meaningful application process. 95 percent of job seekers think the early stages reflect on how a company would treat them as an employee. Take a look at how much attention you give candidates in the beginning. Do you see ways to improve? Do you have a robust hiring portal? Is it easy to navigate? Can a candidate apply to an actual person; not a contact form? Consider making sure some of this information is also available: Is there transparency about culture? Can potential candidates find employee testimonials? Are the company values listed anywhere? How about benefits and compensation? If you need to build out a landing page or website, you can easily create them using sites like Squarespace or Wix, both help to minimize manual work and create an optimal candidate experience from the start. Text to Connect The tight labor market is speeding up time-to-hire, impacting how organizations and hiring teams communicate. After the initial introduction, be prepared to say adios to snail mail and be open to texting and video conferencing with candidates. Communicating through text messages offers the opportunity to respond to every application and to the availability of suitable resources, almost instantly. Job-seekers appreciate transparency and texting is an easy way to offer this up to them without it taking up much of your time. SMS chatbots can also help. Consider using a service like Amazon’s Lex or Dialogflow which let you build a conversational interface that is customizable, engaging and keeps a natural language process. Accept "Snapplications" Companies big and small are looking for more innovative ways to reach more candidates. Social media growth is surging across all channels; Snapchat currently has more than 158 million people using the platform and has several hiring-friendly features like Stories or video ads. McDonald's recently tested out a new campaign idea to entice potential candidates. The brand’s hiring team used Snapchat's Stories feature to run 10-second videos of their employees, offering an intimate look into the McDonald’s culture. They even experimented with a custom QR code that applicants could scan to instantly apply for jobs. For a quick, low-risk way to hook potential candidates, try regularly posting or updating job openings to your Facebook page. Or, create 60 second Instagram videos to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your organization's culture. Video and Virtual Reality (VR) Are First-Line Candidate Filters More companies today are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to handle technical, mundane tasks. This shift is creating a need for more human-facing jobs and skills. To gauge a candidate's soft skills, some organization's are now requesting videos with applications and it's becoming one of the first filters for hiring. When it comes to remote opportunities, you can leverage videos to screen candidates in lieu of in-person interviews. Companies are also adopting VR to assess skills in a simulated work environment. Rather than asking a candidate how they would handle a work situation, you can plug them in, give them the video goggles and have them perform the task by way of VR. All of these, with the exception of VR (we’re not there -- yet), are tactics our Hunt Club services team uses to successfully reach, grow and foster relationships with candidates throughout the entire process. Try and experiment with what works for your business. You could be surprised to find that one solution to help you reach qualified candidates faster, keeping your organization ahead of the rest.
November 13, 2019
How to Improve Recruiting with These Lessons
Hollywood seems to kind of have a thing for recruiting. Sure there’s the romantic comedy, drama, action, adventure, and horror flicks, but if you take away that outer layer of genre, hidden beneath the surface sits the topic of recruiting. From the chick flick Mean Girls, where Regina and her posse seek out Cady to be a part of their exclusive group to the drama Braveheart where William Wallace builds and leads a group of Scots to war against King Edward the I of England, these movies — while wholly different — have the same underlying theme: attracting and retaining individuals to be a part of a community or group. Wait…hold up? Are we saying William Wallace was a kilt wearing recruiter? Yeah, pretty much. So, we decided to put on our cinephile caps (which was a blast FYI), and come up with six movies that when watched may not seem like they are about recruiting, but when you dig a bit deeper — it’s really the heart of the whole darn thing. Old School — Age is only a number This classic Ferrell-fueled comedy jokes on college humor and fraternity culture, but it also teaches a few things about recruiting. While taking into account a candidate’s years of experience as well as their salary and benefits requirements are important, a good recruiter knows not to write someone off because they don’t fit in with a young company. This comedy shows that there is common ground to be found between twenty-year-olds and forty-year-olds. Maybe not ninety-year-olds though (You’re my boy, Blue). Moneyball — Sometimes the Scrappy Hire is the Best Hire Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane goes a bit rogue in this Michael Lewis bestseller turned blockbuster. Beane, working with a limited player payroll and a lot of internal pressure, must put together a great team for the 2002 season. By looking to Peter Brand, a young Yale graduate and die hard follower of Bill James’ sabermetrics approach, Beane realizes sabermetrics’ focus on On Base Percentage is the key to scouting players. So, we’re not talking about home run hitters or big name ball players, but guys who play lean, mean, and, at times, unorthodox baseball. With this approach, Beane and Brand are able to bring players to the A’s who not only are affordable, but also win games — like a lot of them. Lesson learned: Don’t get starry-eyed over the big hitters. You don’t need to recruit a team of All Stars to have a winning formula — because even though we all like the huge winning numbers, small individual gains can make a BIG difference over time. The Sandlot — Bring the New Hire into the Infield This one is more of a post-placement tip, an area of recruiting that is often overlooked. Smalls, the little guy who can’t catch (or throw), apprehensively joins the local kids on the diamond, only to be ignored by most of them. Smalls ends up standing in the outfield with no training, and it doesn’t take long for him to miss the ball, heading home with a black eye. If you bring your new hire into the workplace and throw them into a corner without training or resources, they’re more likely to drop the ball and leave. Be sure to take care of your candidate even after they sign onto the job, as they won’t have a mom to coax them into returning to the diamond. Reservoir Dogs — Screening a Candidate’s Background Helps *Spoiler Alert Quentin Tarantino’s classic heist film featuring the guys in matching suits with colors for their names, teaches us the limits to trusting candidates. Obviously, don’t go around assuming your candidates have something to hide, but don’t forget to do a little due diligence. In this movie, one of the crew members is actually a cop, and naturally chaos ensues when he starts to undermine the plans of the criminals (not to compare your business to that of jewel thieves of course). Things get stickier when one of the criminals vouches for the undercover cop, pulling the team further apart. The crew didn’t do themselves any favors either by using anonymous code names with each other. The recruiting moral here is: Do your homework on candidates, and know your people. Anchorman — Prepare Your Team for a New Hire In Anchorman, the Channel 5 news team needed some diversity training before Veronica Corningstone was brought aboard. Obviously, we hope that your team would not be quite as unprepared for a new hire as they were, but you still may need to prep your team in similar (but not as drastic) ways. In the film, the anchors are threatened by the new hire because she’s a woman, and in your circumstances similar friction could occur around a new hire for different reasons. It is not uncommon for employees to be threatened by a new hire or threatened by the search for new candidates, so it is crucial for you to prepare your team to react positively to your growth. Ocean’s 11 — Great Talent Comes in All Sizes, Dress, and Attitude The Frank Sinatra / Rat Pack Classic got a reboot in 2001, as George Clooney’s Danny Ocean and his partner-in-crime Rusty Ryan recruit eight former colleagues, sleuths, and criminal specialists, including a pick pocketer, two troublemaker mechanics, a con man, and an acrobat, to pull off one of the greatest heists Las Vegas has ever seen: rob the Bellagio vault of nearly $150 million. The team, while eclectic, mildly neurotic, and, at times, immature and brash, are great — well, actually, the best at what they do. We’re not saying to hire con artists at your company, but Ocean’s 11message is simple: Recruiting for talent and skill can only make your team that much stronger and better. Build an awesome team like Danny Ocean did, and, someday, instead of robbing $150 million from the Bellagio, you might just get bought for that same amount.
[Hiring, Recruiting, Jobs]
November 13, 2019