Human Resources

How to Source Candidates

How to Source Candidates in  Building Materials

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 fact, WorkItDaily writes, “Job boards have a 2-4% effectiveness rate, whereas networking has over a 50% effectiveness rate.”

Traditional Sourcing Methods

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.

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.

When you’re ready to contact your key associates directly, check out our article on Managing Initial Communication

So that’s a standard sourcing strategy for you. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at I look forward to getting introduced.

Human Resources

Navigating the Counteroffer as a Hiring Manager

How to Navigate the Counter-Offer as a Hiring Manager

The Candidates Employer’s Retaliation: The Counteroffer

You’ve got a candidate all the way through the process. You’ve gone through all the hoops and hurdles and 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; the counter offer.

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.”  So here’s exactly how you prep the candidate for that situation.

How Will the Candidate Manage Their Resignation?

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 they’ll give them two days to pack their stuff and get out? 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. You can always give them a template, a resignation letter that sometimes helps folks whenever they go to resign. If they’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

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 make up for a gap that might show up. 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 even get an argument – 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.

Remember to use the tactics cited in “How to Manage a First Interview” in order to have all of the necessary information BEFORE the counteroffer is a possibility…

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 I look forward to getting introduced.

Human Resources

The Recruiting Industry’s Top-Secret Results Tactic

The Secret Recruiters Don’t Want You To Know

Dramatically Increase Your Recruiting Results

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!

As one of the greats in the recruiting agency world, Jordan Rayboy said, [if you want to be successful] “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.

The more talent leads, the more access to the network that’s important to you.

Most importantly, they’re going to be able to take a lot of risk out of the hiring process.

You’ll have a great understanding of what the market as a whole looks like.

Not to mention you’ll have multiple options on the table in case a surprise shows up late in the interview process.

The whole process really puts you in the most ideal position to effectively grow your team and firm altogether.

“But How Do I Make More Freakin’ Phone Calls?”

So you can do this one or two ways…

#1. You can do it yourself

#2. Get someone else to do it

If you want us to be that special someone – check out our Black Book concept here –

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. .

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 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!

Human Resources Uncategorized

Hiring Like-Minded Employees

Hiring Like-Minded Employees

Culture is Forever

If you’re concerned with hiring like minded employees, congratulations, you are among a very large group of friends.

Naturally, businesses want to build a strong culture of like-minded people that can all be moving in the same direction.

Nowadays, many firms are actually putting more focus on the culture fit versus a functional fit. As they say, you can teach a job, you can’t teach a personality. That’s why making like-minded hires can have such a huge impact on business.

Define Your Culture

In order to find someone like-minded, you have to define what you’re like!

Seems simple enough, but really get into the core of your people and how you operate as a business. There is no good or bad answer, there is only the right answer.

There is a huge difference in culture between a high activity sales and close-driven culture and a laid back family environment where custom care is the primary focus.

Figure out how you define yourself first.

Design the Questionnaire

Once you’ve figured out your core culture, begin to ask candidates behavioral questions focused on uncovering specific scenarios that they have (or have not) displayed the traits you find most important.

A few behavioral questions would include:

  1. Tell me about a time you followed your bosses orders even when you didn’t believe them to be correct
  2. What is a time where you disagreed with a coworker on how a situation should be handled, and how did you alleviate the disagreement and solve the problem?
  3. Tell me about a time where things just slipped through the cracks and a customer got upset. How did you fix things?
  4. Tell me about a time you had to directly help a teammate in order for them to be successful

Trust the Gut

Now, nobody is saying that you should jump to conclusions after the first couple minutes of meeting someone.

What you should do is trust your social abilities after having long conversations with the candidates. Yes, this is a completely subjective way of addressing things, but we are dealing with humans – not robots. We cannot always be 100% objective.

If you’d like to learn more on hiring the right cultural fit, please reach out to us at

Human Resources

The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting

Are you committing any of the Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting?

I’ve seen the same mistakes day in and day out when it comes to evaluating a recruiting process and it really seems to come down to seven deadly sins…

1) Lack of Process

When hiring managers don’t have a standardized process, its a messy and thrown together schedule that doesn’t provide objective takeaway information. You need to be consistent in all interviews and have detailed information regarding each interview.

2) “Spraying and Praying”

Hiring managers will post the job on multiple different sites then sit back and pray that the right candidate sees it (and applies for it). This is a huge mistake because it only allows you to see one group of candidates in the market – the active ones. And they’re all active for a reason.

3) Using Poor Predictors of Success

This doesn’t happen too often in the sales side of things, but educational requirements or polarized interviews can often filter out the wrong candidates. In sales, we have all seen candidates who are “all hat and no cattle”.

4) Skipping Steps

Sometimes hiring managers will skip certain crucial steps due to an amazing interview, or a strong personal connection. You’re creating a process for a reason, all candidates need to have references and assessments completed. All candidates will go through the same process

5) Losing “Hiring Intertia”

Hiring managers can sometimes get caught up in their own day to day responsibilities (rightfully so) which can lead to slow scheduling. If a candidate is in process for too long, the interest may start to fade. The candidate may also believe that the process is slow because the company is not interested and lose faith in themselves. Make sure to keep a constant line of communication, with action items moving things forward regularly.

6) Checking References Too Late

Since the process is time consuming, many hiring managers will flirt with the idea of doing a weak reference or skipping the reference altogether which is a terrible idea. If you are hiring a superstar – they will be able to provide you with solid references that will hands down recommend the candidate. They know their references will be enthusiastic. If they’re previous managers, what more can you ask for? The only addition on top is to do what is called a “backdoor reference” – where you contact someone that was not listed as a reference, but did previously manage or work with the candidate.

7) Lacking Structured Onboarding

You can’t just drop a superstar into the pool and hope they sink or swim. Onboarding should be a structured 30-60 day process where there are objective goals and metrics established for getting ‘up and running’.

If you can manage to avoid these seven deadly sins, you can easily improve your hiring process and retain better grade employees.

If you’re looking to see what positive steps you can take. . . view Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link).

Human Resources

Old School Recruiting Won’t Move the Needle

Hard Knocks in the Recruiting Universe

It was about seven years ago when I started my career in recruiting. . .

It was a land of smiling and dialing, posting job ads, and filtering (ahem, reviewing) infinite resumes. I managed a large local automotive manufacturing client at the time, staffing its machining and assembly lines. Very high volume.

Look at this recruiter, bright and full of life!


A Tale as Old as Time

If you’ve been in HR or been the primary recruiter on roles like this, tell me if this sounds familiar. . .

  • You post the job on CareerBuilder and LinkedIn. . .
  • Hundreds of resumes come in over a week or two
  • A small group are worth calling, and only a handful will answer.

With the role being public and the client being high-profile, my phone was ringing off the hook non-stop from all types of candidates beating down the door for an interview. . .

“Did you get my resume?”

“What’s the status of my application?”

“Why doesn’t your client want to interview me?”

I was drained from bottle-necked activity, upset, and thinking “this can’t be the smartest way to do this

Years later, I was recruited for a higher-responsibility position with a more traditional headhunting firm.

“If we do twice as much of what we used to – we will have twice as many results!”


Same Tactics, Same Results

Sadly, as time passed, I found out they generally had the same process, just for higher level roles…

“Email the job description to all of the sales reps in Atlanta and then screen the people that respond!”

This agency would use huge purchased B2B lists to mass email out on their job searches. . . Thousands and thousands of emails at a time… With all of those emails likely being the first time they had ever seen our name. The problem remained – tons of people who weren’t fits from the get-go, demanding a slice of time…

And that’s not their fault – we contacted them!

Not to mention the consequences of the flip-side – we had no way of focusing more energy on recruiting people showing interest and had no way of demonstrating value to harder-to-recruit (and typically more successful) associates in the market. I won’t repeat the Einstein quote on insanity, because we’ve all heard it a million times. . .

But I did feel like Macho Man Randy Savage:

Even World Champion Wrestlers have Doubts. . .


The Catalyst’s Aftermath

…and it was time to take things into my own hands

With my experience running e-commerce businesses in college and high school, I knew there was a better way to target candidates, the best candidates, and perpetually build interest in firms and opportunities.

The mass-blast job description email just wasn’t going to cut it for companies that needed specific high-grade talent.

It wasn’t going to cut it for the candidates that are having their doors beaten down every day by recruiters and firms alike.

After working with the digital marketing wizards and warlocks of the internet – my firm Legacy Search has put together a complete recruiting strategy for all organizations in the building materials industry.

We designed a process for the Digital Age 2.0…

SmarterChild is here to help


Scale With the Human Touch

Not the pre-historic digital age of mass-email blasts, job postings, pay per clicks ads, and pointless (and non-converting) social media updates.

The second generation of the internet – This generation we are adding the human touch to the scaling power of the internet.

  • We’re forgetting about passive job posting (fishing) and focusing on active candidate hunting
  • We’re spending time sourcing precise audiences instead of mass markets
  • We’re skipping the mindless email blasts for personalized job invitations
  • We’re making job descriptions secondary in place of employer value propositions
  • We’re abolishing (most) cold calling for long-term relationship building

By getting laser-focused on who (and how) we contact FIRST, we can cut down immensely on the time we are spending with candidates who aren’t a fit to begin with.

More importantly, we can spend more time converting the best candidates in the market, teaching them more intimately about the value of the opportunity you propose and the firm you’re representing.

What should you do for the top 10% of your identified audience?

Follow this link to request a copy of Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link) and learn the secrets of attracting the candidates that won’t answer calls or emails from recruiters…

Human Resources

Where’s Waldo: A Candidate Search Story


Have you assessed that there are no candidates in the market?

Have you already worked with contingency recruiters?

Have you posted the job yourself and only seen below-average talent?

Does sourcing feel like you’re playing “Where’s Waldo?”


Things can seem frustrating. Especially if you’re managing a territory that’s missing representation. You don’t have a whole lot of time to sink into recruiting and sourcing on your own and everything you’ve seen so far has been depressing!

Look, it’s time to take a deeper dive into your search. Don’t run away, run towards it. If you aren’t personally doing the recruiting – start looking at getting dedicated resources, time, and processes into your recruiting pipeline.

When you’ve worked with recruiters in the past – have you seen timely updates with obvious progression in the search? Are they correctly identifying your competitors in the market? Are you seeing names you already know exist in the market from a competitive standpoint?

When you have nonperforming contingency recruiters, it can seem like all hope is lost.

In reality, the search just needs to have more activity on it.


Do you believe your recruiters have followed up with candidates they’re targeting two, three, four times? Are they finding their phone numbers and directly dialing them?

Or are they going for the low hanging fruit?

Don’t fall into the myth that your candidate isn’t out there.

The reality is, you have to have a dedicated search run on the need.

The last time you hired a recruiter, did they show you a list of the people they spoke on the phone with – with eight hours of talk time? Or did they just send you an email that said “no new candidates” and an excuse?


You don’t find Waldo with a quick 3rd party scan.

It takes time, effort, and a custom process to correctly identify your Waldo.

Attracting them to your role is the next (bigger) step…

Follow this link to request a copy of Elite LBM Talent: The Blueprint (link) that will show you exactly how to get rid of all of the smoke in a candidate search and focus on attracting the very best candidates in the industry.