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The SMR Group Blog

Are You Interviewing Too Many “Applicants”?

June 30th, 2014

Interviewing offers your company a chance to get to know a people one on one and discover their value proposition for the job. Typically this interview is the only chance hiring managers get to evaluate people before a crucial hiring decision is made.

Consequently, many hiring managers seek to fit in as many interviews as time will allow, assuming that the more candidates they can interview, the better their chances of finding the right fit. Many hiring managers who go this route are disappointed when none of the candidates seem like “the one” or when they cannot come to an agreement on which candidate they should choose.

The solution is to focus on spending time with a sufficient number of qualified “top quality candidates”, rather than a high quantity of “ill-qualified applicants”.

How do you avoid overwhelming your company with interviewees? Consider the following tips:

  1. Focus on the job description. Many hiring managers fall into the trap of interviewing too many candidates when they find that their top applicants all have vastly different skill sets. When this happens, hiring managers often feel pressured to interview each candidate in order to decide which skill set best fits the open position.
    You can avoid this pressure by crafting a job description that concisely and accurately explains exactly what skills and qualities are essential for success in the position, which are preferred, and which are “nice extras.” Work with the position’s supervisors and co-workers to make sure the job description matches as closely as possible with what the candidate will need to do – and screen only for candidates with that skill set.
  1. Do more screening before the interviews. The type of screening you need before the interview stage will depend on the position and the number of people who apply. Options for screening candidates pre-interview include the standard resume and reference checks, but also include phone interviews, assessments, a call for portfolios, and other options. The goal is to narrow down the candidate pool to no more than five interviews for the first round and three for the second – without sacrificing quality.
  2. Work with a recruiting firm. Recruiting firms specialize in handling much of the pre-screening, so that their clients can focus on interviewing only qualified candidates with the right skill set whose personalities and work style are likely to be a good “fit” with the organization’s culture. The more information you provide your recruiting partner about what your company needs, the more likely it is that the recruiter can find the people you need – without adding time and expense to your interview process.
  3. Pick a recruiting firm with deep talent pools. Because recruiting firms are constantly building their networks, their connections extend beyond those who are actively seeking new jobs. Recruiting firms stay in contact with “passive” job seekers as well, those candidates who are already excelling at other companies but who will accept a new position under the right circumstances. Recruiting firms work to find the right circumstances and match both active and passive job-seekers with companies who need their skills, creating an environment in which both professionals and their employers can thrive.

At SMR Group, our experienced recruiters can help you streamline your hiring process, so you can recruit better sales and marketing candidates with less effort. Contact us today to learn more!

Resume Red Flags

June 13th, 2014

Resumes do a lot of heavy lifting. They introduce a candidate, provide an “elevator pitch,” and sum up the candidate’s match with the job description – all in one page or less. With so much information packed into a small space, resumes give employers a quick but concentrated view of an applicant’s offerings, helping hiring managers decide whether to call the applicant for an interview or to resign the resume to the circular file.

With so much riding on one piece of paper, how can hiring managers improve their ability to make more accurate decisions based on resumes? Keep an eye out for these major resume red flags: Read the rest of this entry »

Finding The Perfect Candidate – When You Aren’t Looking

May 16th, 2014

Kids aren’t the only ones who love a treasure hunt. When a hiring manager spots the perfect candidate, the same excitement surrounds the find. Unlike kids, however, a hiring manager’s joy doesn’t end with finding the “treasured” candidate – they still have to match that candidate with the right job. And when the perfect opening simply isn’t available, excitement can quickly turn to frustration.

What’s a hiring manager to do when the perfect candidate appears, but the perfect opening doesn’t exist? Luckily, there are options, like: Read the rest of this entry »

The Price is Right!

April 29th, 2014

It’s the moment of truth. You’ve found the stellar sales and marketing candidate you’re looking for, and your company is ready to extend a job offer. You need to offer a competitive salary, but you also need to encourage the candidate to sign on with your company – not with a competitor.

How can hiring managers approach salary negotiations in a tasteful yet effective manner? Consider the following tips:

Top candidates can weather any storm.

Companies that lack experience in hiring top talent often mistakenly believe that during or immediately after an economic downturn, salary offers can be reduced when hiring new talent – even for top candidates. In fact, the best sales and marketing professionals know they’ll find a home in any company. Consequently, many of them will be looking for a competitive salary that represents their true worth, regardless of the state of the economy.

Often, the best sales and marketing professionals are on the job market only as “passive” candidates. In other words, they’re not actively looking for a new job, but they’ll take the right offer if it becomes available. This is why companies seeking to make offers to top candidates must make solid, competitive offers. Read the rest of this entry »

Indentifying Job-Hoppers

April 22nd, 2014

How can you tell if a sales or marketing candidate is using your position as a stepping stone or if he is in it for the long-haul? Here are some tips to make it easier to decide which candidates are worth your investment.

  • Look for employment gaps. Are there unexplained gaps in the candidate’s resume or a series of positions listed with date ranges shorter than a year?
  • Discuss long-range plans. Can the candidate articulate an ideal career path or share any long term goals?
  • Check references. Always check references before extending an offer. You need to know whether the candidate is reaching for more challenging opportunities or just can’t hold a job.

Is Job Hopping Always a Bad Thing?

It depends. Ask yourself these questions to help you identify if job hopping is a factor: Read the rest of this entry »

How to Recruit and Retain Marketing and Sales Superstars

March 28th, 2014

Every business wants to keep its “best and brightest” employees, as well as attract new talent to fill openings that develop as the business grows. These two goals are often compatible: when a business supports its established superstars, it creates a “brand” recognized for identifying and developing top talent, making it more likely to attract outstanding candidates when it announces a job opening.

To recruit and retain marketing and sales superstars, consider the following tips: Read the rest of this entry »

Effective Team Bonding Strategies to Build a Stronger Sales and Marketing Team

March 7th, 2014

Putting together a top-quality sales and marketing team can feel like building a professional sports team. Each member should be encouraged to strive for his or her best, but within the context both of the individual’s key roles and objectives and the goals of the team as a whole.

When sales and marketing professionals work together, the whole team benefits. Encourage your team to achieve higher-quality work by instituting these team-building tools:

Lunch Discussions and Team-Building Groups

Encourage sales and marketing staff to “put their heads together” during lunch by holding regular lunchtime discussions and team-building groups. Ask employees to contribute ideas for these meetings or even to lead them. Alternate between more structured team-building activities and looser, less-structured discussions to draw out the participants and encourage innovation as well as friendly competition.

Company-Sponsored Charity Events

Sales and marketing staff can put their formidable talents toward a common goal by playing key roles in a company-sponsored charity event. These events also improve the organization’s standing in the community and demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of its neighbors. Ask employees for recommendations for charity events and encourage them to take on jobs like organizing and planning charity events. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to Start Talking! Why You Need to be More Open with Your Recruiting Firm

February 7th, 2014

Many managers deal with their recruiting firms in a perfunctory fashion. They provide a job description and a short description of the candidate they’re looking for, and then leave the recruiter to find the right people. Because their search firm has the expertise, these managers assume their help is neither necessary nor wanted.

In fact, recruiting partners want to know everything they can about your needs. Think of your recruiting relationship like a relationship with your physician. The more your doctor knows about your current needs, your future plans, and your overall health, the better he or she can take care of you in the long run. The same is true of your staffing partner. The more you tell your recruitment firm about your current needs, your long-term staffing plans, and the company’s overall goals, the better your recruiting firm can match you with candidates who help you meet and exceed those metrics.

How can you improve communication with your talent provider to get you the people you need? Consider the following tips:

  • Share freely. When you first begin working with your recruiting partner, talk at length with them about the types of candidates you’re looking for – not only temporary or long-term staff, but also the types of candidates you want in terms of skills, experience, interpersonal abilities, work ethic, and work style. The more your recruiter knows about your company’s culture and the people you’re looking for, the better they can find you the star candidates you seek.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Communicating with your recruiting partner should be an ongoing process. “Touch base” with your firm on a regular basis and after any significant change occurs that might affect your staffing needs.
  • Think long-term. Your search firm specializes not only in finding candidates to meet your immediate needs, but also in helping you create and execute a strategic staffing plan that uses both the people you have and the people you plan to hire to your company’s best advantage. Make time to sit down and talk about strategy with your recruiting partner.
  • Give feedback. Are the people your recruiting firm recruits as candidates working for your organization? If not, what qualities are they missing? The next time you “touch base” with your recruiter, comment on the candidates they’re offering. Your feedback helps your recruiter find exactly the people you’re looking for.

At SMR Group Ltd., our experienced recruiters work hard to connect sales and marketing departments with the top talent they need to thrive. Contact us today to learn more!