Category Archives: Executive Recruiting

Preparation Keys to Nail the Interview

It is essential that you prepare well for your interview; whether it is a phone, video, or in-person interview.  Companies continue to look for top candidates.  Strong preparation ahead of the interview will put in you in the position to jump ahead of the competition and nail the interview.

Here are some key points to focus on with your preparation:

Preparation Prior to the Interview

  • Do an in-depth analysis of the company’s web site, including detailed analysis of the product/services, press releases, management structure, company history, etc.
  • If the company’s website has a section on its culture or guiding principles, make sure that you review and understand all this as these points will probably come up in the interviews
  • Review the LinkedIn profiles of any individuals that you know will be interviewers.
  • Prepare a list of questions on the company’s structure, culture, and products/services that you will ask each interviewer


During the Interview

  • Show strong engagement with each Interviewer(s)-Ask Questions!!  Make the interview a two way conversation!
  • During an in-person interview, look the interviewer in the eyes when talking, be confident!
  • Show a sense of curiosity about both the company and the role and show an eagerness to learn
  • Be prepared to answer in-depth technical questions; including brain storming and role playing type questions
  • Please take notes in all interview sessions; including on-site
  • Be confident; it will make the conversations flow better
  • Be prepared to share information about yourself to the interviewers including hobbies and interests outside of work as cultural fit is very big with most companies.
  • Make sure to ask for business cards or get the email addresses of each interviewer


Post interview

  • Firm handshake at the end of each interview and show enthusiasm for the role and the company
  • Send a thank you email to each interviewer which highlights specific parts of your conversation as well as show enthusiasm for the role and the company

 
Following the above steps may not get you the job, but it certainly will put you in top consideration for the role and make it a tough choice for the company to make.

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
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Blockchain-Will It Revolutionize the Recruiting Industry?

Blockchain
I am always on the lookout for new technologies that will help to transform the Recruiting industry.  Back in the 90’s, it was Monster and CareerBuilder.  LinkedIn started in 2004  and has help to usher in a new platform  that changes the way  recruiting is conducted.  What future technologies will help transform what is a very fragmented industry?  From what I can see, Blockchain offers an even greater ability to transform and streamline not only recruiting,  but the entire HR process as well.

What is Blockchain?  According to Wikipedia, a blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.  Each block typically contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.

The main area in recruiting  that will be aided by blockchain technology is in the verification of candidate’s  resumes (or CVs) including the verification of work history plus educational schooling and training.  Currently, the process is very time consuming for companies to do references checks as well as potentially contact universities to verify a degree.    If companies don’t do the work themselves, they generally outsource to a firm that does background checks-an added recruiting cost.   Blockchain technology will cut out the middlemen, eliminate costs, but most importantly, will add verified trust to a system that is somewhat lacking in verification.

While blockchain use in the recruiting industry is in the very, very early implementation stages, my research have uncovered three companies that seem to have a jumpstart in the market:

APPII-The APPII platform allows individuals to create dynamic career profiles which are verified using blockchain technology. These ‘Intelligent Profiles’ represent the first time in the global recruitment industry that candidates can use blockchain technology to verify qualifications, career history, and other career achievements.

For recruiters, this collaboration not only provides the reassurance that all information on a candidates’ application is accurate, but also significantly reduces the cost and time to hire – a major benefit to employers, particularly in the public sector and financial services, where extensive personal background checks take place.

For candidates, the blockchain-based Intelligent Profiles act as an assurance that they will be measured on their achievements, rather than the format of their CV.

Individuals can add their education, professional training, and work experience to their Intelligent Profile, and use QR codes to record continuing professional development and course attendance. Every assertion added to the platform can be verified by the relevant institution or employer and stored securely and permanently, completely free of charge.

The platform uses biometric identification to ensure the validity of candidates. Going far beyond basic identity verification, APPII’s technology uses biometric scanning to compare a selfie taken on its mobile application with official photographic identification.

Vertalo-Vertalo is, at its most basic level, an incentive-driven platform that enables the verification of work and academic history. They will be rolling out many applications to enhance this basic function of the network. The end goal with Vertalo is to provide a way for people to leverage their work experience (because it is authenticated in the blockchain) to gain access to more opportunities, for employment, for education and more.

With Vertalo, individuals will have authentication of their credentials and work stints, whereas organizations will have a holistic census of verified freelancers, contractors, employees and future employees and individuals.

By joining Vertalo’s network, individuals will be able to prove their histories to a hiring company, a background checker, or a credit bureau, based on certification of their history by employers or universities. Organizations on the other hand will be able to produce a census of all their associates without reliance on siloed HR platforms, and all parties will be able to provide neutral and passive references via standardized certifications.

HireMatch-HireMatch.io is a Decentralized Application (DApp) that will eliminate the friction and costs of third party intermediaries like expensive recruiters, when firms are searching for talent. HireMatch will reduce the cost to find, interview and acquire new employees by removing unnecessary friction and creating a more efficient marketplace.

I am sure that there are other companies in the marketplace who are working on and rolling out disruptive blockchain technology that will help transform the recruiting industry in the very near future.  It should be very interesting to see what the recruiting market looks like in the next 2-5 years.

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

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

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.

 

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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