Podcasts Uncategorized

Buying Yourself a Job (PODCAST)

I’ve done it, I’ve officially gone to Recruiting Hell.

Well, at least I was on the podcast 😉

Rob Conlon was nice enough to have me on, and we discussed something that could be seen as a bit untraditional. . .

Buying yourself a job!

Check it out:

Listen to “Episode 31 -Buying Yourself a Job?! – Ft. James Aiken of Legacy Search” on Spreaker.


Human Resources

Top Five Hidden and Paralyzing Recruiting Pitfalls

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. Know who all is out there so you can 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. 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. 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. Get that sweet spot within three interviews as the perfect process length.

Then on the flip side, if you’re having an interview process that’s five, six, seven rounds and all kinds of different stakeholders going in. All kinds of people going in and out and you have to change schedules, 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.

Don’t just take it from me, check out ERE’s famous “Death By Interview” article.

Build a Shortlist (It Could Save Your Hire)

Number three kind of ties into number one a little bit, but it’s not having enough options. Make sure that you have a legitimate shortlist worked up and that you have multiple different avenues.You want to see as much of the market as possible and you want to know as many people as possible. Naturally, 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. However, 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 out.

Sometimes candidate 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. You really want to make sure that you’re effectively using these and not overdoing it.

A lot of them shouldn’t necessarily be pass/fail – unless it’s a functional test. If its a maintenance tech job and they can’t turn a screw – that’s an issue. But just make sure you’re not overdoing the assessments.

Sell Your Company, Your Team, and Yourself!

The number five recruiting pitfall is not providing enough information up front. You want to have a lot of information about your company. Provide insight on its people, its products and its strategies. Talk about its success, about its achievements, and about its awards. You want to make sure that they see you great light and an accurate light.

Directly 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.

Show them exactly what the environment’s like, show them what the people are like and make them feel like they’ve already been working at the company by the time 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 I look forward to hearing from you. .


Deep Hire Show (PODCAST)

In case you didn’t see it, I was featured on the DeepHire Podcast where we talked about recruiting in the building materials industry, job searching, and general interview strategy – enjoy!

Matt McCombs does a great job on this one!

DeepHire Podcast – James Aiken


Five Steps to Finding a New Job (PODCAST)

Yes, we really boiled it down to a step by step process!

Jeff Altman brought me on to his show, Job Search TV, where we discussed the ups and downs of the job search process – but more importantly – how to find your next big job.


Industry News

Lordstown Endurance: The All-Electric Fleet Truck

An All-Electric Fleet… Without the Soft Look

The Lordstown Endurance

This truck is different in every way, and if successful, its going to make a big difference with a lot of dealers and distributors in the building materials industry. Up until now, a truck option hasn’t really been on the market for dealers and distributors when it comes to electric vehicles. The Lordstown Endurance is changing that.

The “Other Guys”

Now – Ford is set to release an all-electric Transit van in 2021. Not to mention Mercedes, whose Sprinter line has had huge growth recently, has debuted an Electric Cargo Hauler called the eSprinter. Neither have announced a price point, but the their website lists a $52,500 initial cost for their release.

Versus an F-150 Lariat 4WD, the Lordstown Endurance has about a third of the fuel cost, a third of the maintenance cost (assisted by its In-Wheel Drive System that only has four moving parts), and comes with a hefty $7,500 federal tax credit.

South Carolina ain’t nice enough to give out a state credit, but if you’re in a state like California, they pay $2,000 for a zero-emission electric battery vehicle.

Sometimes, You Just Need a Truck

The Lordstown Endurance, on the other hand, looks like a real truck. It’s not a teeny electric sedan or a boxy and smooth van, its in a whole different lane.

So what else makes the Endurance different?

Well, how about a motor for each wheel?

That’s right, the Endurance carries a hub motor incorporated into the hub of the wheel (surprise) which ends up being more efficient as there’s less wasted motion. The energy goes directly into the wheels.

Not to mention their software that’s constantly optimizing the vehicle as you drive, not to mention its fleet management system.

Utility, Power, and Presence

I mean come on, the truck makes 5’10” Mike Pence look teeny. 

But why talk about software when you can talk about speed?

I wouldn’t give it to the intern, because the Lordstown Endurance goes from zero to sixty in five and a half seconds and boasts an aggressive 600 horsepower. For those critical of an electric battery, this has a range of 250+ miles. That’s almost how far a tank of gas in my Tundra would take me.

All in all, the truck itself is designed for fleets. When it comes down to month over month costs, all it takes is sitting down and crunching the numbers with your own fleet. Plus, with the federal and state tax credits, it’d be silly to not investigate a bit. And hey, why not use the Endurance as an opportunity to attract better talent to your company.

James Aiken is the President of Legacy Search, a recruiting agency for the building materials industry. If you’d like to get introduced, see his concept offer at


Overcoming “I’m Not Interested in Changing Jobs” While Recruiting

“I’m Not Interested in Changing Jobs”

A True Recruiting Tragedy

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.

If you’re looking for ways to properly conduct the first interaction once you have their consent, check out our article, “Effectively Attracting Candidates

Human Resources

Effectively Attracting Candidates in Building Materials

How to Manage Your First Conversation With a Candidate

Recruiting the Non-Sleazy Way

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?” That is just a bit too brash, especially given the current times – we have to lead with value.

Stereotypically, recruiters get a bad rep because many times they are far too aggressive – RecruitingDaily even did an article on why candidates traditionally “hate” recruiters

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

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. 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. 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. Make sure that you’re taking the time to understand how they’re wanting to grow their career. Understand 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. That way, you can ultimately make a good decision when it comes to long term retention.

Aim for the “Richest” Form of Communication

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, you want to make sure that they’re seeing some of the landing pages, or maybe watching some of the videos or reading articles about your company. Focus on driving a degree of 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.

Especially if you want to retain them long-term, they need to feel as if  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

Here is another great opportunity to enrich your macro data. As you’re talking with somebody at company and you’re recruiting salespeople, figure out how many other salespeople are on the team. If there’s five on company A, whenever you talk to company B, figure out how many are at company B. Figure out what the entire roster of the local market looks like. That way you can effectively fill it out and know exactly who all is dealing with your customers, your products, and operating in your territories.

If the candidates you’re screening seem like winners, make sure to prepare for the first (official) interview – check out some tips here: “How to Properly Interview in the First Round” 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at I look forward to hearing from you. .

Candidate Resources

When Interviewing, It’s Best To Avoid Asking. . .

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.

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?”

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. However, 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?”

The biggest one is usually if you ask how many vacation days you get on the very first interview. That’s just thinking a little bit too far ahead when there are more pressing things to get addressed. This is like asking someone you just met what color flowers they will prefer when the two of you have your wedding.

Not to mention, 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?”

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

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.

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.

Candidate Resources

How To Answer “What is Your Biggest Weakness”

How to answer the question; “What is your biggest weakness?”

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. A stereotypical weakness from salespeople is that they have a harder time logging all their information or being detail oriented. 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. 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:

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.

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. Demonstrate self-awareness and the ability to see your actions from a third party’s view. Don’t look arrogant, don’t say I have no weakness. However, 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.

Candidate Resources Human Resources Uncategorized

Are Hiring Events Worth It?

Are Hiring Events Worth It?

The Illustrious Job Fair

When it comes down to whether or not a hiring event is worth it, we can look at it from two different directions. We can look at it as a hiring company, or we can look at it from the candidate/associate perspective.

Job fairs and hiring events are great concepts, as the organizers pull together a lot of like-minded people in order to provide their attendees with a strong candidate flow. Typically these events are free for the attendees.

Its not necessarily about whether or not they “work” as much as which job fairs work best for you. . .

Job Fairs as an Employer

If you’re looking to make multiple hires in a short amount of time, a job fair might be the best option for you. The main issue to look at is the type of talent you are searching for, as well as your ability to properly screen and retain the talent.

Many job fairs focus on volume. There are many widely publicized job fairs that attract folks in manufacturing, retail, and general operations.

If you are looking for a high-level hire at a job fair, you need to make sure you’re picking the right one and matching up with the proper audience.

Local job fairs are great tools for meeting a lot of talent at once, but the more specialized skillset you’re looking form, the more you need to worry about audience versus volume.

Job Fairs as a Candidate

If you’re a candidate looking to get hired at a job fair, you’re going to have a lot of success when ti comes to networking all around.

Take the time to meet the folks at each company and booth, do not pick and choose what you like or do not like. You do not know enough about their offering to screen out yet. If you talk to the table and it doesn’t make sense or doesn’t vibe, you can move on. But, if you’ve decided to invest the time, its best to create as many connections as possible.

Make sure to bring plenty of resumes for distribution, but most importantly, make sure you are going to the proper job fair. If you are an accountant and you’re going to a job fair for machinists, you will likely not have much success. Although – – the networking aspect here is absolutely key. If you are going to an unspecialized job fair, still take the time to meet the most applicable point of contact possible, and learn who the best person to contact within that firm would be for the role you are searching for.

Make sure you look professional, and put on your networking shoes. Do not leave without having established new relationships. If you are just going to walk around and look at what everyone’s doing, there’s plenty of other places to people-watch!