All posts by Mike Sweeny

As a Philadelphia area based boutique retained recruiting search firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger retained recruiting firms. We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging-growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong experience in retained search within a multitude of industry verticals including: Advanced Materials Searches involve clients who develop advanced materials in the area of inorganic optoelectronics, transparent conductive electrodes, nanotechnology, nanomaterials (nanowires, nanotubes, nanocomposites), conductive coatings, polymers, biofilms, organic chemistry, synthetic chemistry, OLEDs Cleantech Searches involve clients in green energy such as solar energy, wind energy, ocean wave energy, power systems, smartgrid, battery technology, algae-to-biofuel Financial Services/Payments Searches involve clients who develop platforms for online billing and payment services (EBPP/EIPP) as well as mobile banking and payments Software Searches involve companies who develop business process software, communications software, network software, healthcare software, mobility software, telecom software Technology Searches involve companies who develop technology in cable, communications, imaging, media, RF/RFID, robotics, security, VOIP, wireless, semiconductors Web/E-Commerce Searches involve companies who develop web-based software platforms (.Net, Ruby, Java) used in recruiting, online videos, social media, e-retailing, e-commerce We have placed candidates at all levels in the client companies up to and including CEO. Specialties: Retained Executive Search Retained Technical Recruiting

Having Trouble Filling Key Roles? Review Your Selection Process

Hiring

If you are having trouble filling key roles at your company, maybe the reason is not a shortage of talent in the marketplace, but that your selection process is too rigid.  While you should always strive to hire the most technically qualified person for each job opening, today’s tight job market makes it tough to find suitable candidates who “check all the boxes” on your job specifications.

Despite these challenges, many companies are still filling jobs.  The common theme with these companies is that these companies have done a review of their hiring selection process and found ways to fill roles without sacrificing the quality of the hires.  How are they doing this?  Here are some key points:

Do We Require All The “Must Have” Skills In The Job Description?

Most job postings are developed by the hiring manager.  Generally, he or she puts together a “wish list” of the skills and qualifications required to successfully do the job.  In an ideal world (i.e. softer job market), this is all well and good, however, it is not very practical to recruit to these specifications in a tight employment market.  Many companies have undertaken a comprehensive review of the job postings to determine which skills are truly “must have” and which ones can be changed to “nice-to-have”.  With a certain amount of training and time on the job, a new hire could be brought up to speed on any of those skills that are somewhat lacking.

Can The Years Of Experience Requirement For The Role Be Reduced?

If you are not able to find a candidate with the number of years experience that you seek in the role, can your company scale back on the amount of years of experience and eventually bring this person up to speed in the role?  This may be a viable option given that the senior level talent is not found locally and/or even the offer of relocation is not helping produce senior level candidates.

Can The Job Be Done Remotely Rather Than Onsite?

For certain key technical skills, the pool of qualified candidates may be very lacking in your geographical area.  While it is always ideal to have each employee located in the main office, today’s technologies (Internet, video conferencing, etc.) ease the need to have the person located onsite all the time.  Potentially, combining the use of video technology as well as occasional onsite visits may be fine.  The alternatives are trying to relocate the talent (expensive and not always practical as your geographical location may not appealing to this type of talent) or continue to recruit locally and takes months to fill the role (what is the cost to your company of a job being unfilled for months?)

Reduce The Steps In Your Interview Process

An ideal interview process should initially start with a phone interview.  If the phone interview proves successful, then the candidate should be brought onsite for a face-to-face interview.  Many companies still insist on bringing candidates back for second or even third interviews.  Is this really necessary?  Candidates with great skills are in high demand and probably are interviewing with other companies besides your opportunity.  If your competition has streamlined their hiring process to make a quick decision (one phone interview and one onsite interview), chances are you will lose this candidate if your hiring process is very prolonged.

Reduce The Number Of Interviewers In The Onsite Interview

Many companies run the candidates through a gauntlet of interviews and interviewers when onsite.  In addition, many companies will not hire a candidate unless there is 100% consensus from the interview team.  Is this really necessary?  An ideal onsite interview should consist of interviews with the hiring manager and a few select peers.  Too long and grueling an interview process is a sure turn-off for those candidates who skills are very much in demand.

Streamlining and improving your hiring process should allow your company to fill your key roles both effectively and quickly.  In today’s very competitive job market, it is a sure way to get a leg up on your competition for talent.

Author
Mike Sweeny
Principal & Founder

MAS Recruiting
As a Philadelphia area based Executive Search and Recruiting firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger firms.
We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong recruiting experience in a multitude of industry verticals including:
  • Advanced Materials
  • Business Consulting
  • Clean-Tech & Energy
  • e-Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Technology
Advertisements

Winning Strategies to Ace An Onsite Interview

InterviewingCongratulations!  A potential employer has reviewed your resume and likes it.  You have successfully completed your phone interview and now have been invited in for a face-to-face onsite interview.  What do you need to do to ace the onsite interview and get an offer?  I have laid out some strategies below which should increase your odds of receiving an offer and, hopefully, it is a job that you will really like.

Interview Preparation

You probably have done a lot of this before you had your phone interview, but you must make sure that you thoroughly review the company’s website.  This review should include detailed research into the company’s products/services as well as review of the website’s News and Press Release sections.

In addition, please try to obtain from the company a list of who you will be meeting at the interview.  If you can get this list, then review each of the interviewers’ LinkedIn profiles (if each interviewer has one).  You want to make sure that you review each interviewers’ job title, duties, previous experience, and education.  Also, look to see if you have any common connections with each interviewer.  All this serves as an “ice breaker” to open up the conversation.  Also, you never know that a common connection may be able to serve as a strong reference for you.  Any edge in the interview is a help!

You also may be asked by the company to complete an online application prior to your onsite interview.  Make sure that you do this.

Interview Attire

Prior to going for the interview, make sure that you discuss with your recruiting contact what is the best attire to wear for the interview.  My advice is always over-dress for the interview even if the company’s work place is business casual.  However, it is best to check first with your recruiting contact just to make sure.

Interview Directions/Timing

It may seem simple, but you need to make sure that you know the directions to the interview; especially if you have never been to the company or area before.  You may be leaving your current job to go the onsite interview, so things may be a bit frantic.  Also, make sure to leave in plenty of time in case traffic is a problem.  If you do begin to run late, make sure that you call ahead to inform your recruiting contact.  If you call ahead and inform that person that you are running late, you will not be penalized.  Try to arrive about 15 minutes ahead of your interview, so you can “freshen up” before the interview.

Actual Interview

Most companies will want you to meet a number of people in your onsite interview.  The list may range from management to peers.  The interview may last all day or part of one day (depending of the level of the role).  Most companies have a “cut-off” in the interview.  For example, if the interview is not going well, the company may let the person go before lunch (if the interview started in the morning).  If an interview is going well, a lunch meeting may be included along with more interviews in the afternoon.  The process may be grueling, but it is a great sign if you are kept a long time!  Companies will want you to meet as many people as possible, because most companies value the feedback that they receive from both management and peers.

Just remember, a lot of the interviewers may not be all that experienced in interviewing candidates, so make sure that you are engaging in the interview.  Ask them questions about their job, how they came to work at the company, what keeps them at the company, etc.  Turn the tables and interview them!  At the same time that they are interviewing you to be a great fit, so should you be interviewing them to see if the company is a great fit for you.

Make sure to get business cards from everyone and send a quick thank you interview to each interviewers.  It does not hurt to do this and certainly may be the difference to being hired or not being hired.

Interview Follow-up

If you have not heard from your recruiting contact within 48 hours regarding feedback from your interview, don’t hesitate to reach out.  A delay in receiving feedback may not necessarily be a bad thing as hiring managers do travel or the company may not have finished the interview process.  You should have had some sense of the timing of the decision after you interviewed onsite.

I believe that by following these practices, you should greatly improve the likelihood of receiving offers.  Best of luck in that next interview!

Author
Mike Sweeny
Principal & Founder

MAS Recruiting
As a Philadelphia area based Executive Search and Recruiting firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger firms.
We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong recruiting experience in a multitude of industry verticals including:
  • Advanced Materials
  • Business Consulting
  • Clean-Tech & Energy
  • e-Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Technology

The Value of Creating A Partnership with A Recruitment Firm

There is so much value in building a strong recruiting relationship between your company and a recruiting agency. In a true partnership arrangement, an agency will become an extension of your internal recruiting function and help to make recruiting process and results more seamless and efficient.

Partnership-740x459

 

Too often, companies feel that it is necessary to utilize multiple agencies to source the same positions. The companies’ rationale is that the more recruiting agencies involved in the searches, the better. In actuality, it creates worse service because it becomes a race for those agencies to submit candidates first. Many of the candidates will not be properly screened, and the recruiting results are probably going to be disappointing. In addition, your company will have to spend extra time at the front end of each search to explain to each agency about the duties of each role. From a candidate standpoint, this arrangement also probably means the same candidates will be contacted multiple times by different agencies for the same role. This process will not represent your company’s recruiting brand in the best light.

Establishing a strong partnership with one recruiting agency is the best arrangement for sourcing top talent for your company. The best recruiting firms will have their finger on the pulse in their specialty markets and can give your hiring team insight into what is happening in these markets. Your recruiting partner will know the best available talent, where this talent is located, how to reach out to that talent, salary rates, available skill-sets, and current hiring challenges. If other businesses are struggling to find the same people as you, your recruiting partner should be able to advise your company on alternative recruiting solutions.

Your recruiting partner can specifically target “passive” candidates for all roles. This frees your internal recruiting team to focused on “active” candidates which are being generated through applications via your company’s job postings or your internal employee referrals. Your recruiting partner should have good access to your hiring managers as well as your internal recruiting team. This access will permit the recruiting partner to develop a strong understanding of your company’s culture and organization as well as benefits and career progressions.

From a cost standpoint, it is most likely cheaper for your company to set up a partner relationship with an agency. Most agencies will reduce their overall fees or even go to a flat fee arrangement if they knew that they had a strong recruiting partnership arrangement.

In short, there is real value in setting up a partner relationship with a recruiting agency. Don’t hesitate to try it out!

Author
Mike Sweeny
Principal & Founder

MAS Recruiting
As a Philadelphia area based Executive Search and Recruiting firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger firms.
We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong recruiting experience in a multitude of industry verticals including:
  • Advanced Materials
  • Business Consulting
  • Clean-Tech & Energy
  • e-Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Technology

Candidates: Be Aggressive in Your Job Search

I speak with many candidates each day, and I am surprised how passive that the candidates are in the job search. When looking for a new job, most of them think only to contact a recruiter or search various job posting sites. While I recommend all of these steps, I also mention to the candidates that they need to take a more aggressive stance to their search. One cannot just follow these passive steps, then sit back and expect to get job screening calls from the recruiter or a company.

 

2099151

 

My recommendation to candidates is to treat your job search just like a sale person would treat sales prospecting. Here are a few recommendations:

1. Develop a list of your “target” companies; either local or nationwide. These companies may be competitors to your current or past companies or companies that you feel could use someone with your skills and experience.
2. Once you compile your target list, then search LinkedIn and look at profiles of people who could be potential hiring managers for someone with your skills and experience.
3. Craft a cover letter that is fairly specific for each company and potential hiring manager and send the letter in a LinkedIn Inmail. You should also attach your resume in LinkedIn Inmail.

My thought is that any potential hiring manager who receives such an Inmail would be very flattered and, in more cases than not, reach out to have an initial conversation. Worst case if there is no current opening, this overture will result in a good future contact and potential networking source.

In short, I feel that candidates would be pleasantly surprised to see how much more traction that they get on their searches.

Author
Mike Sweeny
Principal & Founder

MAS Recruiting
As a Philadelphia area based Executive Search and Recruiting firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger firms.
We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong recruiting experience in a multitude of industry verticals including:
  • Advanced Materials
  • Business Consulting
  • Clean-Tech & Energy
  • e-Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Technology

 

 

Engaging Applicants in Your Company’s Resume Database

A company generally receives many resumes (both solicited and unsolicited) from applicants who want to work for that company. In many cases, the applicants’ resumes are stored in the company’s applicant tracking system. Hopefully, the company’s internal recruiters are continually mining the ATS database as they receive openings to fill. Maybe your applicant tracking system has a search agent function that automatically attaches potential applicants’ resumes in the database to open requisitions.

Another great way to engage your applicants as well as build your company’s employment brand is through the use of an e-newsletter. The content of the e-newsletter should contain stories of new product or service releases, real-life stories of what life is like at your company told by your employees (both new hires as well as long-term), as well as a link that directs the e-newsletter readers to current job openings at your company. The e-newsletter should be sent out on a monthly basis; at a minimum, once a quarter.

The e-newsletter should be send via a system that permits you to track statistics such as any bounces (because of bad email addresses) tracks if the e-newsletter was opened and what stories or links were read. This data will help you to refine your content for future newsletters. Each e-newsletter should be archived so it can be accessed via your company’s main web site (preferably in your Careers section).

The use of an e-newsletter should not only improve the quantity but also the quality of resumes that your company receives. It is certainly well-worth the effort.

Author
Mike Sweeny
Principal & Founder

MAS Recruiting
As a Philadelphia area based Executive Search and Recruiting firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger firms.
We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong recruiting experience in a multitude of industry verticals including:
  • Advanced Materials
  • Business Consulting
  • Clean-Tech & Energy
  • e-Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Technology

Negotiating An Offer Of Employment

The process of negotiating a job offer between the candidate and client can be one of the toughest tasks that a recruiter will face. One must balance what the candidate feels that they are worth in the market with the client’s budget and concern for internal equity. In many cases, both sides are fairly close, so the offer process goes pretty well and you have both a happy candidate and client. However, in some cases, the candidate may have an unrealistic impression of their worth in the marketplace or the client may not have a realistic idea of what the particular role should pay. In these cases, it is the role of an experienced recruiter to bring both parties to an agreement.

The job of an experienced recruiter is to help educate the candidate by speaking to actual marketplace knowledge of similar searches that you have done in that geographic region. In addition, the client may also offer a strong bonus and benefits package that may offset a base salary that may not meet expectations. The recruiter may also point out that the client offers a stronger career path than the current company does. The job of an experienced recruiter is to get the candidate to focus on the entire package that the client is offering.

At the same time that the recruiter is working to educate the candidate, a similar process may have to be done with the client. In many cases, the company is very concerned about internal equity and base their understanding of what to offer a candidate based on what employees are making in a similar role. However, if they have not hired for this particular role in awhile, the recruiter will need to educate them on the going market rate and what other clients are paying for similar roles. In the case of a client that has never hired a certain position in the past, the client needs to rely of the recruiter to guide them as to what the market is paying.

In the end, if both the candidate and client want the situation to work, an experienced recruiter can be the bridge to make the negotiation of the job offer successful for both parties.

Author
Mike Sweeny
Principal & Founder

MAS Recruiting
As a Philadelphia area based Executive Search and Recruiting firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger firms.
We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong recruiting experience in a multitude of industry verticals including:
  • Advanced Materials
  • Business Consulting
  • Clean-Tech & Energy
  • e-Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Technology

The Value of a Robust LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has been a tremendous step forward in the evolution of recruiting. From the days of snail-mailed resumes to job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder to LinkedIn, we have seen ability of job seekers to get their background in front of recruiters greatly enhanced. This is especially true for “passive jobseekers” who are generally willing to listen to a targeted job opportunity that seems appealing. The best way to do this is to make sure you have your LinkedIn profile up to date and completely filled out.

Before LinkedIn was developed (and even today), anyone who posted their resume on a job board risked someone at their current company finding out. With a robust LinkedIn profile, you have the opportunity of being approached about a tremendous job opportunity without it being apparent to your company that you would consider other options.

LinkedIn makes it very easy to develop your profile everything from your experience, education, skills & endorsements, publications, and recommendations. You can also attach documents such as your resume.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, develop one as soon as you can. If you have an existing profile, take the time to update it.

Author
Mike Sweeny
Principal & Founder

MAS Recruiting
As a Philadelphia area based Executive Search and Recruiting firm, MAS Recruiting offers clients a strong level of recruiting expertise and an unprecedented level of service not received from larger firms.
We have a national list of clients. Our client list includes emerging growth up to Fortune 500 companies. We have strong recruiting experience in a multitude of industry verticals including:
  • Advanced Materials
  • Business Consulting
  • Clean-Tech & Energy
  • e-Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Technology