Human Resources

A Fast and Loose Recruiting Strategy is Worse than Gambling

“Do you feel lucky. . . punk?”

Do you like gambling?

There’s a 50% chance your next hire will be considered a mishire in the first 12-18 months.

. . . And if they last, odds are – they’ll be an average performer at best.

LeadershipIQ studied over 5,000 hiring managers, 312 organizations and 20,000 employees

The results are grim. . .

46% of all hires will fail within 18 months 35% will be considered average performers 19% of those hires would be considered a success in that same time period

It’s our mission to de-risk your next hire.

Our process provides better filtering, reporting, and market penetration than anyone.


Career ladders are an artifact of the Mad Men era.

You sign onto an organization at 21… follow the rules… get promoted… and retire with a shiny gold watch.

Those days are long gone.

The career ladder died 30 years ago, when over 85% of Fortune 1000 companies downsized their white-collar workforce…

Particularly mid-management jobs. As those companies thinned out… Leadership positions disappeared… and will never be seen again.


The career ladder has been replaced with the corporate pyramid.
Most top-performers have a burning desire to expand, develop, and advance both personally and professionally.

If you’re reading this I assume you either are a top-performer or you want to be one. Well, as you move up the food chain in your career. The competition for the top-spots heats up, and the failure rates are staggering.

The Harvard Business Review puts the failure rate among management hires at 60 percent. And the consequences of failure in your current role can derail a once- promising career. And the higher up the food chain you are, the hotter the competition gets…

No matter how good you are, or think you are, if you want to compete and win. . .

You need an edge.

That edge is ELITE TALENT

You can learn all about how to purify your recruiting process in Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link)

Company Spotlight

Andersen’s History

Andersen Corporation is a renowned international door and window manufacturing company. The company employs about 12,000 individuals at over thirty logistic centers. They also operate manufacturing facilities as well as company owned and operated retail locations. Andersen is privately held and has its headquarters in Bayport, Minnesota.

The company’s vision is to make the world a better and more beautiful place. At the same time, they strive to live up to its customers’ expectations.

The notion of caring for the world is part of the company culture. The company encourages all its employees to take part in community activities. Moreover, they provide employees with great opportunities. These initiatives include volunteering for the notable organization Habitat for Humanity.

Hans Jacob Andersen founded the company as Andersen Lumber Company in 1903 in Wisconsin. The company changed its name in 1929 to Andersen Frame Company and Andersen Corporation in 1937. Andersen Lumber Company originally operated from Hudson, Wisconsin.  Logs arrived there through the St. Croix River.

The company originated the famous “two-bundle” method in 1905, which streamlined and improved the window construction process. Hans Andersen sold the lumberyards in 1908 to devote all the company resources and efforts to its window frame business. To expand, Andersen built a brand new factory in South Stillwater in 1913 (now Bayport), Minnesota.

Forbes ranked Andersen Corporation 179 their List of Top Private Companies. The company had sales of $2.5 billion for the year ending December 31, 2016. In addition, Andersen Corporation, along with its affiliates, is the biggest door and window manufacturers in North America.

Andersen deservedly earned the title of the best window products brand of wood as well as wood clad windows. The criteria for the title including brand familiarity and quality rating by the popular Builder magazine back in 2015.

The company’s longstanding practice of manufacturing products that perform year after year allows it to offer the best overall warranties in the whole industry.

Andersen Corporation designs, manufactures, and supplies exterior and interior doors, wood, aluminum, and vinyl windows, and other components, used in the new construction. Andersen makes beautiful awning, casement, gliding and single and double hung windows that will breathe a new life in your home.

The company also makes a slew of high-quality doors, which include entry doors, gliding patio doors, screen doors and storm doors among others. The quality of materials and skillful construction make their products stand out from the competitors. Their doors and windows will add a lot of curb appeal to your home.

The company believes so strongly in its products that it still offers components for doors and windows built several decades ago. In case a problem arises, Andersen has an extensive network of top-notch service providers.

One of the main goals at Andersen is to empower customers so that they can transform their home with stunning doors and windows. Using its unique perspective and superior products, the company helps customers re-imagine how their space can feel, look, and function. With a plethora of collections as well as customization options, the company has reliable products, which create the style and décor you are looking to achieve.


Human Resources

Don’t Hire a Town Crier! (When You’re Recruiting)

Leaders of the building materials industry: When it comes to headhunting – don’t hire the town crier!

“Hello! I am the perfect person for the job!”


There’s plenty of recruiters that can handle getting your job opening out into the global market. They post it on Indeed, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn. They post it on groups, they post it on their Facebook, and they create video updates about the opening.

Then what’s next? Hundreds of people start knocking on their doors. Emails, phone calls, text messages, telegrams, and smoke signals all start pouring notifications onto their to-do list.

You’re looking for a window salesperson.

And now the town crier has the city of Greenville beating down their door…



So they’ve got to screen. Loads of screening. Constant phone calls and emails all day. 95% of the candidates aren’t even close. They’ve got everyone from sandwich technicians to coal miners applying for the job – and they all want responses!

What’s more likely here – the recruiter presenting the first applicable person and shutting down the search, or the recruiter screening everyone?

 Are they defining your market and its competitors?

 Are they reaching outwards to specific associates?

 Are they providing a block of candidates, all well-qualified?

Of course not, they’re trying to deal with the tsunami of people coming in through all of the advertising they’re doing.


The town crier gets everyone’s attention

A headhunter gets the right people’s attention

Attract the right candidates to your role. Think like a salesperson, identify your market, connect with them, and offer something of value or a solution to a problem.

Don’t let your internal HR, hiring manager, or external recruiter get bogged down in the processing of hundreds of resumes. Work with someone who knows how to properly identify and target your ideal candidate market. Bring your search specificity to a whole new level.

 … and most importantly, take some tips from Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link)
Human Resources

Recruiting with Half a Funnel

Don’t Search with a Stubby Funnel!

Some hiring managers in the building materials industry are start their recruiting process in the middle of the funnel by only focusing on candidates that show INTENT. . .

The candidate pool is seen as the candidates they already have a relationship with, candidates applying to jobs online, and candidates that happen to be referred.

If we want control over the search, we should be able to develop intent within a candidate audience.

This is done by adding three stages prior to the Intent step to drive more activity.

Mapped >

Comms >

Interactive >

Intent >

Mapped – An audience that a search team is able to identify independently by name within the market. During the second step of our recruiting process, we begin to scrape data to find out as many applicable candidates in the area as possible. Typically we make two maps, one of a large audience of candidates that are acceptable, then one small audience of candidates that are knockouts. Citing the Pareto rule, we likely want to spend 80% of our time with the knockouts, but we still want to have efforts on that other 20%, those should just be more automated and at a larger scale.

Comms – An audience a search team actually has an ability to communicate with, whether by social media, email, or phone. After mapping the market, we begin using 3rd party sources to find emails and phone numbers in order to make contact. We want to make sure we are getting the opportunity in front of them from as many angles as possible.

Interactive – The group of candidates that are responding to your outreach or opting in through different marketing channels. As candidates are seen as not a fit or not interested, they are moved off of the interactive candidate list and onto an out of process list. An interactive candidate list should be completely filtered out before interviews take place.

Intent/Roster – The candidates that are qualified and show Intent in pursuing the role. Here we are building out a roster irrespective of compensation levels. Using a Roster, we can compare candidates we interview to the entirety of the market and be more confident in how we make our offers. It is easy to believe a role is paying a median wage for the type of candidate that’s being searched for, but it is a much more honest look when you are staring the numbers from a search’s specific market in the face.

If we extend our search funnel and start to drive more and more activity, we will increase our candidate pool without decreasing our average quality of candidate – which leads us with access to not only more candidates but better candidates altogether.

There’s a lot more information on this process in my video series called the Sixty Second Strategy Series – check it out!

Human Resources

FAQ: “What Questions Should I Ask During an Interview?”

Focus on Interview-Specific Questions

It’s more about crafting questions unique to your interview, as any question that can be applied to all interviews is probably not that polarizing (aside from compensation, etc).

When it comes to the role, outside of experience, aspirations, and flexibility, what is functionally or situationally important? Add one or two of these topics to the base focus topics. For a salesperson, this might mean their current network.


Base Focus Topics:

1) Experience
2) Aspirations
3) Flexibility



Questions focused around a candidates technical ability as well as their interactions with coworkers.

– What’s your experience selling windows?
– What territories do you cover?
– When it comes to approaching a cold lead, whats your standard operating procedure?


Questions looking for ideas on how a candidate sees their career developing long term.

– What does a successful career long term look like to you?
– How do you want to see your career develop long term?
– What type of environment would keep you producing at your best?


Questions to gauge overall flexibility of candidate functionally and travel-wise.

– If we were to introduce facing contractors into the mix, would that make you more or less interested in this role?
– How much overnight travel are you comfortable with?
– If there was a chance we needed you to relocate within the first four years, would that make you less interested in this role?


Questions to understand what the candidate’s current influence or reach is in regards to the product they will be selling. Imagine this interview is for a manufacturer and this salesperson is driving specifications with architects.

– How familiar are you with the architect community in the assigned territory?
– What groups or associations are you a member of?
– What do architects like seeing most?

Human Resources

All Hat, No Cattle: Avoiding Hiring Duds


Anyone who handles recruiting has heard all about passive candidates…

It’s the #1 recruiting buzz-word of our time!

Are they actually even any better? How can we avoid hiring someone that’s all hat and no cattle?

Finding the Real Deal. . .

Check it out, LinkedIn did some research on employees in the market and 18% of professional employees are what we call “Active” — they’re out there trying to find a job, actively applying to postings and networking to find opportunities…

LinkedIn also says 20% of employees are “Super Passive” or “Fixed” meaning they’re not interested in talking to anyone about jobs. They’re pretty much giving the finger to recruiters on a weekly basis. They’re in love with their current employer — and props to that employer for having such a great environment that the candidate doesn’t want to be bothered with approaches about other opportunities!

Here’s the real kicker… LinkedIn’s research says 62% of employees are open to considering a new opportunity but they AREN’T actively looking. They’re happy where they are, but they do ultimately want to develop their career long term. At the same time, they aren’t applying to job postings or calling back every copy/paste recruiter sending them crappy emails.

These last two groups are your rockstar candidates. They’re in the zone, they got the blinders on, they’re working hard. They are so bombarded with job postings and crappy recruiting emails that it all becomes static. They’re numb to job descriptions and their resume is out of date. They’re hesitant to deal with the stress of a job search or being in an interview process.

So why are they even valuable?

 They’re certified and accomplished
 They’re highly effective and impactful
 They’re excitable and motivated
 They’re honest and authentic

Simply put… You might just run across a rockstar by chance (but you probably won’t).

Successful Partnerships and Communication

Leaders in the building materials industry have always relied on job postings and contingency recruiters to find their talent.

Many aren’t creating an employer value proposition and most who do aren’t doing it well.

This isn’t their fault, they have active candidates banging on their doors – they don’t have to sell the job when the person applying already wants it!

Passive candidates take more time, they’re harder to reach, they’re harder to sell and they expect much more in the recruiting process.

But they’re worth it…

They deliver. 🚚

Which is exactly why restricting yourself to active candidates is the #1 cause of early turnover also known as the dreaded “coin flip” of hiring…

Look, 46% of all hires turn out to be mis-hires within eighteen months. Then what? You’re back to the drawing board wasting more time finding a replacement.

Do it right the first time

While passive candidates are the perfect target for strong recruiting, don’t let another recruiter speak with one of your possible candidates without first crafting a real compelling reason to attract the best candidates in the market.

If you’re looking to supercharge your recruiting process… check out Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link)

Human Resources

Top Five “Meme” Strategies for Recruiting

Don’t believe the hype!

I’ve seen a lot of different ‘gurus’ on LinkedIn and Facebook pushing random strategies that don’t really seem to move the needle. Given that I need to continue to communicate and share content, I thought I would share a couple of strategies I see over and over that don’t get it done….

1) Write great job descriptions!

 In modern times, reading a job description is like reading IRS paperwork. Many believe if you change the layout, change the verbeage, change the focus – you will have a pretty nice job description that everyones interested in.
The only issue is you don’t want everyone to be interested in it, you only want qualified candidates interested. In our process, we ditch the job description (for the most part) and create a job invitation that doesn’t look anything like a description to filter and entice the right kind of people to opt-in for a conversation.
Wow, look at this inviting and interesting piece of paper!

2) Buy a job posting on LinkedIn/Google/Indeed!

This is a fair strategy if the role itself isn’t of a critical focus. Typically, paying for job postings does not get a good return if you’re looking for someone at the top of their game. Reason being, typically the best candidates aren’t surfing the web for job ads, they’re too busy knocking the cover off of the ball every single day. They may not even be answering emails or calls from recruiters… You won’t typically find your best candidate on a job board.
“You’ll have qualified candidates in 24 hours!”

3)Post status updates on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter that you have an available job!

Now, this is a great action to take, but not what we would call a full strategy. Many gurus are espousing that if you just update your status every day eventually the right person will show up on your doorstep. Wrong. It does move the needle a teeny bit, but a social update action should really be one step in a huge outbound process you’re creating.

4) Host a Periscope/Facebook Live to Recruit Candidates!

This one is actually kind of funny because I can only imagine how a hiring manager would feel after attempting this one if they aren’t from a Fortune 500 (or more likely, 100) company. For those that don’t know, Periscope is a live streaming platform. You can get on and stream a video of yourself and interact with commenters.

This would be great if you are Coca Cola, Gucci, Apple, or gigantic names that would end up driving a lot of traffic by name alone. If you are a local or regional distributor, you will likely spent 15-30 minutes sitting in a room of 5-10 people that have nothing to do with what you’re looking for.

5) Make a Recruiting Video and Post it to LinkedIn/Facebook/Youtube!

 From this list of five, this suggestion is actually very good if you make a high quality video. I have seen companies phone it in with their recruiting video where its either a person talking into a camera for 2-5 minutes, or its a Windows Movie Maker edited introduction of the office that just looks terribly low effort.
If you’re interested in employing this tactic, it’s really all about showing who your company is and why someone would want to work there. This is effective because it gives a direct look at your firm internally and could possibly end up going semi-viral depending on the quality. The issue is, most people phone it in.

If you’re interested in getting some strong recruiting process that will work time and time again on a long-term recruiting horizon. Check out our Recruiting Blueprint located at
Company Spotlight

Pella’s History

Pella Windows and Doors

Pella was started from humble beginnings in the Dutch community of Pella, Iowa. Back in 1925 Pella residents Pete and Lucille Kuyper had the chance to invest in a new product that rolled up and down on home windows and jumped at the chance. This investment, along with a desire to enrich the homes and lives of others, lead the couple to start Pella.
The Pella Corporation is owned by the Kuyper family to this day. The professionally managed company has 10 different manufacturing facilities and more than 200 window and door showrooms. The team has grown to over 6,000 employees since that first investment in 1925.
Ever since the beginning, Pella has been known for its innovative products and cutting edge technology. The company has been awarded over 100 different patents for products and designs. Pella invented the first double hung window that can be washed from inside the home. The innovative window pivots so owners can clean them from the inside.

Environmentally Healthy

Pella has long considered the impact its company has on the environment and wears the badge of being an environmentally friendly company. The company has taken a comprehensive approach to environmental stewardship in a variety of ways. The company maximizes recycling opportunities wherever possible, practices responsible forest management by replacing trees that they cut down, and uses the latest in waste management strategies and makes sure that all Pella products are made to last.
The company has respected the environment since the very beginning not only because it has been good for business but because it is the right thing to do. In 1950, company founder Pete Kuyper said “We recognize our responsibilities as stewards of our natural resources and the environment, and will avoid wasteful or harmful disregard of the environmental effects of our operations.”
This deeply rooted philosophy of environmental stewardship has lead Pella to receive numerous environmental certifications and awards over the century the company has been in business. Some of these are:


Pella is a volunteer partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program and is dedicated to building products with superior energy efficiency. Pella has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year nine times in recognition of our commitment to delivering and promoting the use of energy-efficient products.


As a founding member of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), Pella manufactures and promotes the use of highly energy-efficient products.

U.S. Green Building Council

As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Pella encourages the use of the LEED® certification processes and offers products that can contribute many LEED points to help achieve LEED certification.

Forest Stewardship Council®

Pella has been awarded the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody (CoC) Certification. As an FSC certified company, Pella can offer the option of windows and doors made from wood certified* to have been harvested from well-managed forests.

Governor’s Environmental Award

In 2007, Pella Corporation was awarded the Iowa Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for its leadership in waste management by recycling scrap wood generated in manufacturing Pella wood windows and doors.

EPA Pollution Prevention Award

In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Pella with its Pollution Prevention for Environmental Excellence Program honorable mention award for the company’s efforts in supporting the environment through responsible manufacturing processes.
Those are just to name a few to show the Pella dedication to environmental Stewardship as the list goes on and on.

Pella: Forward Thinking

Pella creates beautiful windows that come in wood, fiberglass, or vinyl frames. Each selection comes with a distinct advantage based on how and where they will be utilized. These advantages can each be weighed in the comprehensive product selection feature on the Pella website.
Pella offers a huge selection of doors including: hinged, bifold and Multi-Slide Patio doors, Garage doors. Entry doors that come in fiberglass, steel, and wood. They also offer storm doors and garage doors that are made with the same high-quality standards as the rest of the Pella product lineup.
Pella has started to look to the future by making many of these products “smart” with their innovative Insynctive Technology.
One example of this is the Motorized Blind and Shades products. Pella’s between-the-glass blinds and shades with Insynctive technology make every day a little easier – you can raise, lower and tilt your blinds and shades from anywhere in the room with the Insynctive remote control. Or for even more convenience, control your shades with your smart device and program them to raise and lower automatically.
The Insynctive technology is also installed in several different window and door products that utilize built-in sensors that are embedded at the manufacturing level to notify owners whether windows and doors are locked and secured electronically. These electronic signals are sent to the “bridge”. The Bridge is the brain of Pella’s Insynctive smart home solutions. It connects Insynctive products to the Status Indicator or a compatible home automation system for more monitoring and control of your windows and doors. There are even smart phone home automation apps that can be utilized to control your homes doors and windows from a smartphone!
The Pella company’s products may have changed a great deal over the last century but the main idea of “enriching the homes and lives of its customers with the best products possible” has not changed since Pete and Lucille Kuyper found the company back in 1925.
Human Resources

Candidate Mapping: Strategies to Consider


Researching recruiting targets to attract

Business is war, and you’ve got to have good intel to win. In this crucial second step of the recruiting process, you need to work on mapping out your territory as densely as possible.


For example, if you are a window distributor, you should define every single other distributor selling windows within a 25-50 mile radius (you may have already done so for a SWOT or something of the like in the past).

Once you have that list, and are confident in it, its all about figuring out /exactly/ who is working for them. It is a bit different approaching someone from the hiring firm itself, but on our end as an agency, we have a couple of tricks to get the exact roster information without tipping anyone off that a certain employer is looking for new salespeople.

This stage is all about setting a plan, setting targets. If you have this in order, it makes your recruiting steps much much easier and clearer.


Create a funnel for each role you are interested in recruiting for and run applicable traffic to it. These should be associates you have identified within your market.

This means creating a strong employer brand and consistently selling your company. Many firms only sell their product, but its just as important to sell your company to the open market. This includes videos, blogs, and automailers.

Consider this more as a marketing campaign that’s focused on establishing and understanding and driving interest behind the company and opportunity.



This applies more for when you have a relationship with a great external recruiting team (ours). However, even internally there should be strong reporting on each individual name and employer that is being targeted as well as the status of each relationship.

That report will keep the hiring manager objective on the status of the search as a whole. This is to make sure the targeted candidates are on the right track instead of waiting to see inapplicable candidates that are pressing for an interview.


Want to learn about the recruiting process as a whole, and how you can implement our system on your own?

Check out Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link)

Human Resources

Candidate Selection: Strategies to Consider


Create the draft, then sign the first pick.

The beautiful part about this stage is that if you have effectively implemented the previous stages, this one will be an absolute breeze. What we’re doing here is tying up some loose ends, finalizing our decision, then making the offer to the candidate of our choice.


In the final stages, it is always smart to get a reference from someone who /has not/ been directly identified by the candidate.

This is to take the conflict of interest out of the process when it comes to getting a reference on a candidates background. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a previous manager as they may be limited, but someone that worked alongside them at bare minimum.



The action that hiring managers fear most is a counter offer from the current employer. This wastes so much time, and if you don’t have a backup candidate – can force you to start all over! Old school recruiting gurus like Bill Radin suggest you should warn the candidate about the possibility of counteroffer, but also figure out at what scenario they would accept a counter offer from their current employer.

Bill says to start high such as “Would you accept a counter offer if they doubled your salary?” He mentions that this also will make the counteroffer seem underwhelming if something does come through.



This is the simplest, yet most delicate stage. When we are working with our clients, we prefer to make the offer and set the start date. However, when it comes to making internal offers, the best idea is to sit down face to face and make the offer. This way, you can get any questions answered, and make sure to have the entire process wrapped up the same day as the offer.

Typically, candidates should almost know the offer is coming and should already be in the ‘yes’ mindset. One of the biggest mistakes that hiring managers can make is making the offer too early. Do not make the offer the same day, or the next day as the first face to face interview. Some hiring managers get over-eager to hire, but this does nothing but scare the candidate. The offer should go out a few days to a week after the final interview. I also suggest not making the offer time sensitive. The candidate should accept in less than a week – but if you give them a time limit, it creates more questions and more uncertainty as they feel like they are being unfairly influenced to make a quick decision.


Didn’t get the opportunity to read about all of the steps before you get into the offer presentation stage? No problem, check out Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link)