President of Legacy Search, James Aiken has been dynamically involved in recruiting the elite candidates within the building materials industry for many years. With strength in sales and operations, James has built out multiple sales teams for manufacturers and distributors alike. Email him at email@example.com
You find the perfect candidate and your reach out to them, the phones ringing, and they pick up, Oh, you’re excited. You’re ready. Cause you think, Hey, this is going to be a perfect person…
You explain who you are, where you’re from and what you’re calling for and they say, ” sorry, I’m not interested in changing jobs…”
What do you say? What do you do? The best way to handle this is with honesty because you want to build a network either way.
Think Long Term
You explain to them, “I’m not here to get you to change jobs. I’m just calling you to learn more about how you want to develop your career long term and see if we can help you in that process”
Hiring somebody is a symbiotic relationship anyway. So don’t go into it making them think you’re immediately trying to get them to make a move and say, ” I just want to have a conversation. I just want to learn more about you”
Value the Relationship Over the Hire
That’s all it is. Don’t put the pressure on them. Don’t take third base before you rounded the first. Develop the relationship so you can have it long term.
Just got out of a meeting, yes, a real human to human meeting in the COVID era.
I wanted to give you a secret, I want to show you exactly how to dramatically increase your results from recruiting with one little trick.
The trick is. . . talk to more qualified candidates.
Make More Freakin’ Phone Calls!
Easier said than done though. Right?
If you talk to more candidates, you’re going to be able to get more leads. You’re going to be able to get more access to the network that’s important to you.
But most importantly, they’re going to be able to take a lot of risk out of the hiring process because you’re going to understand what the market looks like. And you’re going to have a plan B, a plan C. You’re going to be in a perfect situation to grow your firm.
“But How Do I Make More Freakin’ Phone Calls?”
So you can do this one or two ways… one, you can do it yourself and make the phone calls yourself or, get somebody else to do it.
Whether you need a salesperson (or any person) now, or if you need them in three months, six months, or you might hire one again, naturally you have got to be adept at sourcing.
Whether it’s a plant manager or an operations manager, an engineer, it doesn’t matter the role. It really applies to any kind of talent that you’re consistently bringing into your company.
Your Candidates Aren’t MIA!
Just know that they are out there, your talent is out there. They’re not always on the job boards, though. So it really becomes a struggle for a lot of companies when their only method of getting out into the market is to use job boards, job postings, and, and advertising. It doesn’t always work because candidates aren’t always applying for jobs.
In the traditional methods, you have the job boards or where you were basically just putting up an ad at indeed on ZipRecruiter, on LinkedIn and, and hoping that the right person applies. And it does work a lot of the time.
But, if you really want to make a informed decision, if you want to take a lot of risk out of the process, if you want to have multiple options on the table, you need to make sure that you’re seeing as much of the market as possible, so you have as many opportunities as possible.
Not everybody’s applying on job boards. The same goes for the resume databases that are under the exact same science. Not everybody is putting their resume on LinkedIn or Indeed or ZipRecruiter.
Other traditional methods are the corporate postings. you put them on your corporate website. You could ask for referrals from your employees. Some companies work with the chamber of commerce or local newspapers and magazines to advertise their position.
Modern Sourcing Methods
More modern methods are going to be focused around effectively marketing. We want to not only use lead databases to create directories for the employees that you’re recruiting. You want to make sure that you know who all is in that local market. You want to get their email and contact information.
You also want to consider setting up what is considered an omnipresent digital marketing strategy where not only are you continually staying in front of the candidate list you do have, but also getting in front of prospective candidates or people that have not yet displayed an interest. You need to make sure that you’re giving them an opportunity to learn more about your company and what the benefits of joining it would be for their career.
Tracking Info is Key
Naturally, you’re going to want to track everything. So if you don’t have an applicant tracking system, the easiest way to do this is just an Excel workbook. Set up a different sheet for each role, each location, and build that out over time. You want to make sure that you’re keeping accurate information in there, not only the contact information, the, where they are, what their title is, but also notes from each conversation.
If you’ve had full on screens, you want to include a lot of critical information for that candidate to make sure that you take it away later on you should consistently be expanding the list.
Learn About the Market
You want to know if company A has five salespeople that are working over there that are selling to your exact customers. You want to know all five of those people. You don’t want to just give up after meeting one or two. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t meet the other people, they’re there. They’re interacting with your customers. They’re using your products. You want to make sure that you hit least have some type of communication lane with this.
How to Properly Interview Salespeople in the First Round
Information is Currency
Now, when you’re doing an initial interview with candidates and it’s kind of in that overlapping, attracting and screening phase. once you have peaked their interest and you’re having a longer conversation with them on the phones, there’s some key data points you’re going to want to take away from the conversation.
So in the case of salespeople you want to objectively be able to measure…
What territory are they covering?
What customers are they focused on?
What products are they dealing with?
What is their revenue?
How many different customers do they have?
This is all very important macro information that you can take away from the conversation and have on your candidate directory or your short list.
Prioritize their Aspirations
You want to learn about their priorities in their career. Figure out, what are their aspirations? What, what, what change are they looking for or what could help them in their career? That way we can effectively trade value with them as you’re recruiting them to your team.
Don’t be Shy About Money, Honey
A critical mistake is to not cover compensation early in this period. You want to make sure that, you know, you’re not hard balling them. You’re not asking for a W2 necessarily, but you’re wanting to know.
What general range of compensation would you be looking in to make a change? You don’t have to get their, their exact numbers. You can, if they’re comfortable with it, but really just see what’s realistic for this person to be able to make a move. So there aren’t any surprises late in the recruiting process.
And then at this point, you’re setting expectations for future conversations. Again, we’re not hard selling the opportunity. We’re not trying to force a quick recruiting process because you want to make sure that you’re talking with a lot of different candidates that are meeting your criteria.
Make sure that they know what your timeline looks like, make sure that they know where you are in your process. And then that way you won’t end up having a candidate that feels like they don’t know what’s going on. That they’re just waiting to hear back. Nobody likes just waiting to hear back. It doesn’t give them any warm, fuzzy feelings at all. So make sure that you’re showing them the attention and giving them the information that they deserve as a candidate.
Get More Information About Your Market
And you can also make sure to ask for referrals with other candidates, other, other people that are just like the person you’re speaking with. It’s not always that bad of an idea to ask. Okay. Who do you know reason being, if you’re upfront with them that maybe it’s they’re too high on compensation, maybe you’re looking for something else in their functional background.
It’s okay. If you’ve been honest with them the entire time on what you’re looking for, that you asked them at the end, Hey, if it’s not a fit, you know, who else do you know? Who should I talk with? You know, you seem like a great candidate. You know, you seem like a great sales person who else would really fit the bill, not just for the role, but for our company.
If you do end up screening a few candidates effectively, make sure to avoid the Top Five Recruiting Pitfalls along your interviewing process.
So that’s really how you do like a deeper screen whenever you’re facing the candidates background. if you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to getting introduced. .
How to Avoid the Five Most Common Pitfalls in Recruiting
The Big Five: Common Recruiting Mistakes
Here are a few of the most common pitfalls when you’re interviewing and making your next hire. . .
Lower Your Risk by Analyzing the Market Effectively
Number one is not researching and seeing enough of the market when you make a decision. Don’t always fall in love. Don’t go having one-itis. Whenever you’re making a hire, you want to have multiple options. You want to have multiple avenues that you can go down in case something happens Regardless of that, you still want to see as much of the market as possible because you’re going to be perpetually recruiting. You want to know who all is out there. You’re going to have an advantage over your competitors if you understand the talent market.
Keep the Process Hot (Like Poppa Bear’s Porridge)
Number two pitfall is having a time polarized process. So that means if you’re offering after the very first interview, you’re probably going to scare them off. It’s not a good look. It’s not a smart idea. It’s too fast. You know, you, you need to make sure that the candidate can walk away, digesting the opportunity, thinking about it with their family, talking about it, reflecting what their life would be like to join your company.
They can’t be pushed through this process , especially the higher you go, the less likely they’re going to successfully move after a single interview, you need to get that sweet spot within, usually three interviews is the perfect process length.
And on the, and then on a flip side, if you’re having an interview process, it’s five, six, seven rounds. You’ve got all kinds of different stakeholders going in. You’ve got all kinds of people going in and out and you have to change schedules. And the whole hiring process ends up lasting two or three months.
That’s a mess. You’re losing the candidate inertia there. they’re getting excited and then they have to wait and then they get excited and then they have to wait and then they get excited and then they have to wait until eventually, you know, they kind of just fade away. You know, they’re tired of going through the process.
They’re worn out, they’re there at a certain point and they start almost resenting the process and that’s the last thing you want with a candidate. You know, you want to make them feel good. You want to make them feel special you want to be attentive with them and having a multi month hiring process, doesn’t make anyone happy.
Number three kind of ties into number one a little bit, but it’s not having enough options. Okay, make sure that you have a legitimate shortlist worked up, make sure that you have multiple different avenues. You can go down, you want to see as much of the market as possible, and you want to know as many people as possible, and you want to have a lot of people interested in joining your company.
Remember – You’re Trying to Hire, Not Just Interview
Number four is over screening. obviously we want to make sure they’re functionally appropriate. We want to make sure they’re a culture fit. But once we get into taking multiple persons personality, test intellectual test, functional test, doing all kinds of assessments.
You don’t want that to end up being a reason why somebody pulls him up. So out of the process candidate, it’s do get a little bit offended when they’re beat over the head with more and more assessments, they feel like you’re just. Trying to find a reason to screen them out. And so you really want to make sure that you’re effectively using these.
There’s nothing wrong with using them, but take them with a grain of salt. A lot of them shouldn’t necessarily be pass, fail, unless, it’s a functional test if it’s, you know, an engineer and they, they can’t, uh, they can’t, uh, you know, use AutoCAD at all and that’s what you use, that’s kind of a sad story, right. So make sure you’re just not overdoing the assessments.
Sell Your Company, Your Team, and Yourself!
And then the number five recruiting pitfall is not providing enough information up front. You want to have a lot of information about your company, about its people, about its products, about its strategy, about its success, about its achievements, and about its awards. I mean, you want to make sure that they see you great light and an accurate light.
You want to really attract them to your firms, show them exactly why your company would ultimately be a huge boost to their careers. If all they’ve seen is your website and they’ve talked with a couple of people, maybe they have a business card. You could do better. Let’s, let’s put it that way.
You could do better, you know, show them exactly what the environment’s like, you know, show them what the people are like , make them feel like they’ve already been working at the company almost on day one that they start
And as an absolutely free bonus, I’ll give you the honorable mention pitfall. . . It’s when companies and hiring managers completely ignore the possibility of a counter-offer! More details on how to prepare yourself and your candidate can be seen here, “Managing a Counter Offer”
So those are the top five recruiting pitfalls, at least for 2020, right?. So if you have any questions, Email me James@legacysearch.net. I look forward to hearing from you. .
How to Manage Your First Conversation With a Candidate
Recruiting the Non-Sleazy Way
So once you have your list, once you have your roster of candidates, some people wonder, what exactly do I say? The traditional method is okay, you throw out there, Hey, I’m hiring salespeople. Do you want to work for me? I mean, that is. Just a bit too brash, especially given the current times we have to lead with value.
We have to lead with what we’re doing and more importantly, how we can add to their career by them joining our firm.
Show Them the Light
And so you want to think in funnels, you don’t want to force anybody through this funnel, but you do want to incentivize them to take the next step. So if they’re a responsive , you want to be able to get on the phone with them. If they’re opening your emails, you want to try to get a reply. You want to give them the information and show them the value necessary in order to pique their interest and want to learn more about your company.
Initial Communication is About Them Not You
The focus here is really on them and not you. You want to make sure that you’re taking the time to understand how they’re wanting to grow their career. You know, the current gripes they may have with their current employer, opportunities for improvement, and really understand them as a person and how they see their career trajectory going over the next five years. So you can ultimately make a good decision when it comes to long term, retention.
Aim for the “Richest” Form of Communication
Now, whenever you’re communicating with these folks, getting on the phone is going to be better than , just getting an email out to them or getting an email back from them. if you’re getting emails back from, you want to make sure that they’re seeing some of the landing pages, or maybe watching some of the videos or articles about your company, you want to make sure that you’re getting that interaction.
You’re driving it up as much as possible in order to make that phone call easier to get to. Don’t be too on the nose with everything you don’t want to aggressively sell the opportunity. You don’t want to make a candidate feel like they aren’t in control. you want it to be a partnership, right?
Especially if you want to retain them longterm, they need to feel as if you know, this is a decision that they’re not being pushed into. You’re just showing them exactly how you can accelerate their career or improve their work life balance or improve their career all around and letting them make the decision
Learn More about Your Market from Those in the Market
And so here is another great opportunity to enrich your, your macro data. So as you’re talking with somebody at company, a figure out how many other, if you’re recruiting salespeople, figure out how many other salespeople are on the team. Uh, you know, if there’s five on company, a, whenever you talk to company B, figure out who, how many are at company B, figure out exactly what the, the, the entire roster of the local market looks like. So you can effectively fill it out and know exactly who all is dealing with your customers. Your products and operating in your territories.
How to Navigate the Counter-Offer as a Hiring Manager
The Candidates Employer’s Retaliation: The Counteroffer
So you’ve got a candidate all the way through the process. You’ve gone through all the hoops and hurdles. You’ve done all the interviews . All the stakeholders have signed off and you finally get to the point where you make that offer. . . Don’t be so fast to pat yourself on the back.
Don’t set off the the balloons and the streamers, in the headquarters quite yet, because there’s always what hiring companies hate and they dread; its the counter offer. So here’s exactly how you prep the candidate for that situation.
The age old wisdom is that no candidates should accept a counteroffer, but that trend might be changing as shown in this article from HBR, “Consider Your Counteroffer”
How Will the Candidate Manage Their Resignation?
First off, whenever you make an offer and they accept. You want to know , what is the candidate strategy for resigning and making that transition? Are they, are they doing a one week, a two week? Is it a situation where often when someone quits, you know, they’ll give them two days, are there special projects that they’re working on? Maybe it’s a month notice, you just need to know their timeline.
Provide Support and Direction for the Candidate
So you understand the transitional period there. So next , you can always give them a template, a resignation letter that sometimes helps folks whenever they go to resign. If you’ve never done it before, or, they’re a little nervous. Give them something to work with so they can go in, have the meeting, leave the letter and everything is pretty much well understood.
Consult the Candidate to Understand Their Mindset
You also need to talk with them about the possibility of the counteroffer directly. Do you think your employer is going to counter? If they counter, are they going to offer you 50% more than we offered you? Where are they going to come in at? would you stay if they offered you 50% more than we’re offering? If they offered 25%, more, 10% more, if they matched, would you stay. . aside from money. you need to focus on, the value that you bring. That’s why you talked with them earlier about their career aspirations and you talk with them about the gripes they have with their current company.
You have to learn that in order to. To make up for a gap that might show up reason being , people are money interested, but it’s not always all about the money. If you’re helping their work life balance. If you’re helping them accelerate their career, if you’re getting them in a better environment, you need to make sure that they’re aware of that during the process.
Make Sure You Have a Seat at the Negotiation Table
If the only person that is fighting for them at that point is their current employer. And they’re throwing that money in their face and you don’t get an argument , it’s, it’s not a good spot to be in. You want to be able to be a part of that negotiation as well. If that happens.
So that’s what you should do whenever you make an offer and they’ve got to resign. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com. I look forward to getting introduced.
When interviewing as a candidate it’s best to avoid asking. . .
When people are doing their first or second or even third round interviews, they don’t want to make a mistake that’s going to have them stand out in a bad way. So often they’re thinking, okay, well, what are the taboos? What are the questions that I can’t ask? What are the topics that I should not talk about? And really this is more more focused on that first interview than later in the rounds, because whenever you’re getting closer to the offer stage, really everything should be crystal clear. You should be able to ask anything that you want. Early on you don’t want to make a bad impression.
Questions You Shouldn’t Ask in an Interview:
“So How Many Vacation Days Do I Get?”
So the first biggest one is usually if you ask how many vacation days you get on the very first interview. Probably not the best strategy. You’re thinking a little bit too far ahead. Interviewers don’t really want to think about you taking time off when they have decided to hire you yet. So a way around, this aside from waiting till later rounds, is to just ask for the benefits package. As for the information, a lot of larger companies have a standard PDF packet that they can send you and that will include the information that you’re asking for.
“So When Can I Start?”
Another question to not ask or, an assumption to make, sometimes people will feel very confident in their interview and at the end of the interview, they’ll say, “so when can I start?” That is not the best way to approach your interview process, interviewers need to take the time to decompress from the interview. They need to talk with other stakeholders. Even if you were mentioning this as a joke, You don’t want to mention it as a joke.
“So. . . You Got Any Kids?”
Lastly, you don’t want to ask anything too personal about the interviewer always let them kind of lead whenever it comes to personal information. You can certainly make a comment on something that they have on their wall or on their shelf or if you noticed that they went to a certain college, but you shouldn’t necessarily be asking them about religion or orientation or their children, or any extra curricular topics that don’t really apply to the job that you’re interviewing for.
NOT Taboo: Compensation
However, one question that many say you should not bring up that I believe you should bring up on the first interview is, you want to make sure that their compensation range is aligning with what your expectations are. It doesn’t help anybody on either side of the equation to get late in an interview process and there ends up being an issue when it comes to compensation. Get that knocked out of the way early on in the process, so that as you’re investing this time and they’re investing their time, there is a high percentage chance this deal end up working out. But if the money’s off, if this is something where you would end up taking a big step down in compensation, you need to know that early on and be transparent with what your expectations on compensation would be.
Take it Easy, and Be Socially Aware
Asking the wrong questions as a candidate in interviews is more about being socially aware and not asking things that are going to make your interviewer feel uncomfortable whether it be personal or professional. Don’t make assumptions on where you are in the process or where you might be, its a slow moving train. Hiring managers don’t want to make a mistake on hiring and when they feel uncomfortable, they can’t feel confident. You’re interviewing to make them feel confident that you’re the right person.
How to answer the question; “What is your biggest weakness?”
So everybody kind of worries about this question. It’s the most stereotypical question that they have on the list of HR and interview questions. What you really need to think about is. How do I turn a weakness into a strength? How do I recognize my weakness or how do I turn a strength into a weakness?
Why do interviewers ask this?
When someone is asking you this question, it’s not about why they shouldn’t hire you. It’s about getting you to recognize your weak points in order for them to better coach you or to help you with that weakness. For example, what you’ll do is if they ask you, what is your biggest weakness, you can say, traditionally sales people have a harder time logging all their information, being detail oriented or worrying about the small details. So what you can do is say;
“You know, I understand that sometimes I am not the most meticulous note taker. In order to alleviate that I had been focusing on taking all the notes in the CRM and making sure that everyone else in my projects understands the project fully.”
As another example, let’s say one of your weaknesses is patience when working with a team. Reason being, you want everything to work out well, you want everything to run smoothly. And then sometimes when someone makes a mistake, it kinda feels like a prick in your side. And so what you can say there is:
“Sometimes I’m impatient with working with a team, but it’s because I want to make sure that the project is seen all the way through seamlessly. I want to make sure that the customer is happy and that nothing gets dropped along the way. So when I see repetitive mistakes, it starts to get under my skin a little bit. However, I’ve learned that I need to take the time to really focus on why something happened and. Work to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
What you should achieve in your answer:
Really the main focus here is whenever you’re answering “what is your greatest weakness” you want to choose a weakness that’s not going to end up making you look like you can’t succeed in the role. You want to be honest and choose a real weakness. Something that is actually true about your background, because again, they’re asking you in order to really help you in your career and help you be successful in the role.
You want to make sure to provide an example for how you have worked to improve the area of weakness or learned a new skill to combat the issue. You want to demonstrate self-awareness and the ability to see your actions from a third party’s view. You don’t want to be arrogant, so you don’t say I have no weakness. But you also don’t want to say that you’ve got a million weaknesses.
Don’t overthink this question. It’s really just about getting a better look at. A realistic work environment with you in it. and learning how to coach and mentor you as an associate of their team.
How to Build a Content Strategy That Helps You Recruit High-End Candidates
Building a content strategy that focuses on marketing to your candidates as opposed to your customers is a new concept. Progressive firms are making sure that key associates in their markets are seeing their firm as the #1 employer in the market.
If market leaders ever have a single doubt in their mind about their current role – you want to be the first company they contact.
But its about so much more than that. You have the opportunity to attract the best associates in the market without making cold phone calls directly to your competitors. You can build a system that attracts candidates over time, so you never have to pay for a job ad or sift through hundreds of ineligible resumes ever again.
Use real life experiences as a content strategy to attract candidates in the building materials industry
A lot of people ask me about strategy on our takeoff calls, I always suggest us creating some custom content for their company. I always get asked what’s the best, video content for us to make. Folks think, we don’t even know where to start. What should we do here? And so here’s four quick ideas on the types of content you should make.
NUMBER ONE – You should have on-site videos if you’re in the building materials industry.
Go out to a local project. If you’re not too shy about people knowing who’s on the job, go out do a walkthrough. Keeping it short, preferably under a minute is going to be the hardest part was once you start going out there and talking with people, everybody’s going to want to be involved.
Talk about the project itself. Talk about the people that are working on it. Talk about how you got there, how long you’ve been partnered with this company, just generally give them an idea on the kind of work that you do. You should be showing people exactly what the work environment’s like, the kinds of people that are working for you and just generally your partnership with those clients.
SECOND SUGGESTION – An office video. So I saw somebody do an incredible job on this recently. But what would you say is just doing a, an uncut, just walk through of your office, go from department to department or make it department specific.
We can actually chop those up for each, career opportunity or each funnel you’re setting up for each department when it comes to recruiting longterm. But what we’re doing is go through a couple of introductions with some star associates. get people understanding what your work environment’s like.
Is it a high energy hustle and bustle? Is there a lot going on? Is it more focused and quiet is everyone just diligently working? Is it essentially — And I don’t want to stereotype here, but is it a telesales call floor where everyones got so much energy or is it like an engineering and accounting, you know, very quiet, Everyone’s got their blinders on. They’re working hard. On their Excel spreadsheets. I don’t know. Don’t get on me about the Excel spreadsheet thing, but we’re saying, we want to show people exactly what the environment’s like.
NUMBER THREE – Do an introduction with one of the leaders.
If you can do the president, the CEO, whoever it is, you want to be able to talk with them about, okay, what are our core values? What do we value most? What are we looking for when it comes to recruiting? What do we need most, how can somebody add the most value for our company? What can we add to the candidates career longterm, if they were to come to our company and this can be anything across the board, really?
I mean, We have people that appeal to a continuing education. We have people that appeal to a growing a territory. We have people that appeal to moving into sales management, a lot of different ways that you can go on this one. It’s really just based on what value propositions you’re offering for the types of candidates that you’re targeting.
THE FOURTH VIDEO – A look inside some kind of engagement or some type of event that you’re hosting or you’re at as a team and showing people in more of a casual environment, showing people more in a social environment, I’ve seen barbecues I’ve seen when people will go out to certain speaking events or charity events.
Really, we just want to see everyone at a different angle and you want to show people, you know, in the case of charity, what your philanthropy is focused at, what again, what are the core values of your company and how are you representing them in multiple different angles?
Don’t overthink it. Okay. I think that’s the biggest thing. Just don’t overthink it. you don’t necessarily have to get a professional videographer out there, even if you’re just doing it from your phone.
it’s going to be fine because we’re worried more about transferring and communicating and displaying that knowledge more than we are looking to have a professionally done commercial that has great edits and all this. We want to get straight to the soul of your company. We want to show them in plain, English is upfront as possible.
This is what we’re like. This is what we’re looking for. This is how we can make you better. And this is what we’re all hoping to achieve. So, if you can display that, well, you’re going to have a lot more candidates interested in your company. You’re going to take people that aren’t looking for jobs anywhere, and you’re going to grow a company bond with them over time.
And then whenever you do need to make a hire, those people are already going to be warmed up. They’re going to be ready to talk, even if they’re not sending their resumes out left and right. If they are interested in your brand and your company, then they’re going to make an exception.
If you have any questions feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org