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  • Recruiting: What Works and What Doesn't

    The success of a recruiting strategy might seem easy to measure — find the right talent that a company needs, and then just sit back and watch both hire and company succeed — but how you get there is not always so clear. Without the right plan of action, the hiring process can drag on forever, or, worse, you could end up hiring the wrong person for the job.

    As a recruiter I’ve benefited from the wisdom and advice of experts in the field (and learned a few things the hard way). Here are ten helpful tips I’ve learned for successful recruiting, plus a few practices to avoid. These lessons apply whether you’re a professional recruiter or an internal hiring manager looking to fill a role. That said, if you are looking to hire someone for your own company, or especially for your own department, I encourage you to consider them carefully. After all, you’ll be working closely with the person you end up hiring.   

    1. Assume that everyone you interview you will want to hire.
      The reason you decided to interview that person in the first place was — hopefully — to hire them. Have the right mindset heading into an interview. Even if the candidate is a long shot, you may be surprised by what an interview reveals.  
    2. Momentum is everything.
      Act quickly and talk often to the person you want to hire. Don’t leave them in the dark or they may accept another offer instead of waiting. Out of sight is out of mind!
    3. Resumes are only an interview tool.
      They’ve never actually done the job. A resume is only there to help you get to know the candidate, and the interview is your opportunity to get past the resume and learn about the person behind it.
    4. Hire people you actually like.
      You’re going to be working with them and communicating with them every day, so choose someone you can get along with. If you don’t like them as a person, you’ll lose your motivation to manage them accordingly.
    5. Know WHY you want to hire someone.
      Don’t fill headcount just for the sake of desk occupancy. Figure out what the need is that you are trying to fill, then determine what skills that person needs to do the job. Try not to do it the other way around, or you risk hiring someone with skills you don’t need, and without skills you do.   
    6. The job description is not a skill set. The job requires certain skills.
      You’re not trying to build up a repository of skills to keep in a vacuum. What you need are people with skills to apply in service of your company’s goals. Look for people that have those skills. Everything else is just nice to have.
    7. Sell them the job and let them know why you work there.
      It’s called “recruiting” for a reason. Recruit them. Don’t forget – they’re also interviewing you. Help influence them in explaining that this is the place they want to work. If you’re waiting for someone that is “perfect,” get used to having open roles for a long time. Chances are that out of the candidates who’ve applied or who you’ve discovered through your network, there’s someone who can fill your needs, and maybe even thrive. Don’t lose the whole haystack trying to find the needle in it.
    8. Nobody's perfect.
      If you’re waiting for someone that is “perfect,” get used to having open roles for a long time. Chances are that out of the candidates who’ve applied or who you’ve discovered through your network, there’s someone who can fill your needs, and maybe even thrive. Don’t lose the whole haystack trying to find the needle in it.
    9. There are many paths to success.
      There’s something to be said for people that come from “the school of hard knocks.” Don’t turn your nose up at someone because they didn’t go to an Ivy League. Street smarts can go a long way.
    10. Network.
      It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Sooner or later, you’ll be happy you know that person.

     

    At Averity, we know how complex the recruiting process can be for employers. It’s one thing to know what you’re looking for, and another to find it. Our Human Platform helps companies connect with the right employees. It’s an easy-to-use platform that gives accurate, accredited information about actual candidates on the market, beyond buzzwords and acronyms, giving you not just their backgrounds but what they actually want to do. Simply choose who you like, request an interview, and an Averity Talent Advocate will take care of the rest.

    At the end of the day, no two job openings, and no two candidates, are exactly alike, so you’ll need to rely on your own judgment when making the final decision on who to hire. Keep these points in mind and it may help you avoid some of the most common hiring mistakes. Trust your instincts, but always be prepared. Happy hiring!

    02 Mar 2021 Read more
  • The Future of Hiring

    Times are changing. The nature of how we work looks nothing like it did even just twelve months ago. As a result, hiring methods that have been in place for decades are changing too. You could even say hiring is undergoing a revolution. In my years as a recruiter, I’ve seen these changes coming. In fact, it’s the reason I founded Averity: to help companies hire the right people for the future.

    Some of these changes come with the territory of recent shifts to remote working, but others are more fundamental. They reflect the need for both hard and soft skills in top-notch candidates. To keep up, we are going to see changes in who we hire, how we hire, and what we hire for. 

    Who: Increases in technical specialization and the growth of remote work means the pool for talent is no longer geographically limited, but more importantly, the candidates who stand out from this pack are the ones who can demonstrate collaboration and communication skills in addition to hard skills and certifications.

    Here are the skills of the future to look for in the hiring process:

    Time management skills: Can this candidate meet deadlines while working independently, without a manager there to look over their shoulder? And are they able to do it while maintaining a healthy work-life balance?  

    Teamwork and collaborative skills: Your organization is a team. The most talented candidate is not going to succeed if they have a go-it-alone attitude or have trouble sharing credit or taking direction from their peers. During the recruiting process I like to ask candidates to share moments when they’ve accomplished something as a team that they wouldn’t have been able to do alone.  

    Open communication skills: Teamwork doesn’t go very far if you don’t know what your teammates are up to. That’s why communication is critical. Even as software like Zoom and Slack have seemingly made communication easier, both in the office and for remote workers, they also create new opportunities for miscommunication.

    Initiative: Is the candidate a “self-starter”? Can they get a project up off the ground? Have they ever turned a passion or dream project into reality? Look for a candidate who doesn’t need a push to get things done, but knows how to push themselves.

    Positive attitude: You want a team member who is supportive and respectful of others. This is more than just having a smiling face. It also means someone who can accurately diagnose and address problems that arise without casting blame or pointing fingers. A supportive, respectful candidate helps others do their jobs better.

    Of course, these skills have been important since the beginning of time. But because they can be hard to pin down during the recruiting process, they don’t always get the emphasis they require. In the future, identifying candidates who show these skills will make the difference between a “minimum viable candidate” and an outstanding one.

    How: Even if you know who you’re looking for, you still have to find them.Finding the right candidate is getting more complex, and more companies are discovering the value of talent experts and technology. A good recruiter is not just focused on the transaction of hiring; they are dedicated to finding the right person for the job, the quality hire that will make a difference for your business.

    Since founding Averity, I have been focused on helping companies do just that. It’s why we have in place a 5 point process to help secure not just the first qualified candidate, but the best candidate for the job—one who’s not just a good fit for your company, but who wants and is thrilled to accept the position:

    Step 1: Identify

    Finding candidates is the necessary first step. We build specific marketing campaigns for each organization, then with the help of proprietary technology reach out through multiple channels to find potential fits.

    Step 2: Qualify

    We screen potential candidates not only for their skills and expertise, but to gauge their motivations and level of interest in the new position. Why are they interested in leaving their current position, and what are they looking for?

    Step 3: Interview Coordination

    Preparation is the key to a successful interview process, and that works both ways. We take the time to prepare both the candidate and the organization, so both sides can learn the most about each other and take away what they need to make a decision.

    Step 4: Transparency

    Open communication is an asset even before the new hire starts. Today, it’s critical to gather honest feedback from both company and candidate, to understand the interest on both sides and to keep everyone up to date. It’s a better approach than keeping either party in the dark, or worse, rushing to close the (wrong) deal.

    Step 5: Oversee Closure, Start, and On-Boarding

    Having open and transparent communication raises the chances that an offer will be accepted. (That’s why Averity’s acceptance rate is double the industry average.) And we stay in contact through onboarding and after to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

    What: We can’t know what the future will bring, or what challenges and demands it will present to your company. That’s why it’s so critical to hire with more than just narrow qualifications, but the skills and attitude to take on the unexpected as part of a team. As I like to say, no matter what a resume says, you’re working with people. You aren’t hiring buzzwords, you’re hiring people.

    23 Feb 2021 Read more
  • What Makes A Quality Hire?

    Many of us have had the opportunity to hire and manage countless people during our tenure in personnel management. But the hard truth is that many of us can count on two hands how many true “quality hires” we’ve made. Some of us can name them off the top of our head.

    A quality hire is an intangible asset. The underlying question is: “How do we know who a quality hire is until we start working with them?” What is the true value of “intellectual curiosity”? This is the true measuring stick of risk versus reward.

    There is no real matrix in place for measuring this intangible trait. There are, however, common denominators in what we’ve seen and how we recognize these diamonds in the rough. The Averity leadership team reached out to over twenty executives in various industries and got their version of what a “quality hire” really means for them. Here are the findings, and they won’t surprise you. People hire people, not acronyms, buzzwords, or resumes. 

    Communication skills:

    • Quality hires are well-spoken and clear communicators. They listen, then answer. They don’t just wait to talk and interrupt other people.
    • They know how to communicate to the team what and why they're doing certain things. Even the best rock stars will alienate their team if they have the attitude of “just accept it, I'm the best.”
    • Do they ask a lot of questions about culture and work environment?
    • They not only have communication skills, but are active collaborators who can gel with the existing engineering team.

     

    Attitude:

    • Quality hires are open-minded, communicate clearly, and can express complex matters in easy-to-understand language.
    • They have humility. They are excellent at what they do, but they “know what they don't know.” They're okay with saying, “I don't know, but I'll find out.” They're open to coaching and actively solicit feedback to help improve their performance.  
    • They have a clear explanation for why they are looking for a new position and what they are currently dissatisfied within their current situation.
    • Demonstrated curiosity: Are they curious as to how things can be done differently and better?  They must be willing and able to dig into the why behind things.
    • They are dynamic, passionate people with initiative and creativity who are also cool with a “go-along-get-along” work culture. 
    • They remember that they're here to make technology serve the business, not just indulge in technology for its own sake.
    • They can face the unknown and uncertainties and tackle them head-on. They don’t point fingers.

     

    Personality:

    • A quality hire is all about personality, how well the candidate will work with the rest of the team. The skillset is needed, of course, but skills can be taught.
    • They demonstrate ambition, an excitement for learning, and understanding.
    • They bring a positive attitude and get along well with co-workers—both on the tech team and in the rest of the business.
    • Generally being a good human—it's a factor that is often sacrificed for other attributes. 
    • They have leadership ability/capability while also being a cultural fit for the organization.
    • They are not only good at their job, but they’re someone I would want to grab a beer with after work.

     

    Experience and skillset:

    • Look for an example where they spearheaded something in the office. This could be anything technical-related, but it could also be organizing happy hours or the monthly potluck.
    • Get the candidate to highlight the achievements they've made in each relevant area and to share "proof points" of those achievements. That means they should be telling you stories about situations they've worked through to successful outcomes. All resumes list job responsibilities, but it's the achievements that are most important for you to evaluate. Ask yourself, "Is this 'story' the candidate is telling relevant to their success at my company?" You won't get to hear the candidate's story if you don't dig in and ask. These questions are definitely softballs, but you absolutely should not skimp on throwing them. 
    • Find out what they are most proud of in their career.
    • Quality hires are those who respect the roles of their supervisors and leadership in the company, but don’t shy away from offering their opinion and expertise when needed. Just because someone carries a VP or CTO title doesn't mean they’re right all the time.
    • They have a history of stability and tenure. Will they stay with you long enough for you to recoup the risk you are taking and the investment you are making in them, or do they run for the hills when they don’t get their way and the going gets tough?
    • It used to be that I looked strictly for subject matter expertise, for someone who could advise on a subject and tactically execute. This is no longer the case. Lately I’ve found that most of the candidates have strong expertise in their subject matter, but the best ones are also well-rounded and well-versed.
    • They are good writers. Good writing means structured thoughts and plans, the discipline needed to get those thoughts into a format that is complete and self-contained, and ideally the understanding and capacity to tailor their message to the audience.

     

    What they are NOT:

    • They’re not resistant to alternative ideas and feedback or rigid in their approach.
    • They don’t badmouth the code, the product, or the team without offering alternative approaches.
    • They're not impatient with their colleagues or the company.
    • If they’re only interested in money and compensation then it's a complete turnoff. 
    • The one big negative qualifier I learned a while ago is that no matter how good on paper the candidate is—and even if they are smart and say all the right technical things—I always pass if I feel like something is off.  It's important to trust my gut.

     

    Soft skills are the most important dimension in a quality hire. The few people who have had most or all of these characteristics typically get things done, work well with others, make smart decisions, are willing and able to change and get better at whatever they do.  At the end of it all, you won’t know the ultimate quality of the candidate until they’ve been hired, but people hire people; skills can be taught. You didn’t hire the resume, you hired the PERSON!

    16 Feb 2021 Read more

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I just had an extremely positive experience working with the DevOps placement team Alex, Daniel, and Chad. They were all consummate professionals who kept my schedule full with relevant interviews. They also helped prep me and were constantly checking in to make sure we were doing everything we could to find the next opportunity. There is potentially a lot of stress that comes with a career transition, but the folks at Averity really know how to help you focus on next steps and moving forward one day at a time. I couldn't recommend them any higher.

Brendan Hasemeier

 

Nothing but a positive experience working with Averity and Samantha Hoffenberg in particular. Professional, attentive and extremely supportive every step of the way. Samantha actually took the time to really understand my background - no cut and paste here. Shortly thereafter I was matched with three opportunities that really fit my skillset and where I was at in my career. Prepping for interviews was concise and relevant and I was kept informed every step of the way. No guessing where I was at in the interview process. No waste-of-time body count interviews. It was obvious Samantha had solid, long-lasting relationships with the firms I interviewed with as the feedback was always informative. This is one recruiter I can and do actually recommend and the first person I will be calling if the need ever arises again.

Vincent Melia

I worked with Chris De Crescenzo from Averity, he reached out to me with a role that was right in line with my skills at the time. The role was a great fit for me with an awesome company, and he kept me up-to-date and informed at each turn of the interview process. In almost no time I was at the final interview step and Chris walked me through the on-boarding process and how to go from there. He was a pleasure to work with and professional, ensuring I was prepared at each step of the way so that I was primed for success. It was great working with Averity and especially him!

Christopher Jativa

Chris Descrescenzo and the team at Averity are phenomenal. 5 stars are simply not enough! I've worked with quite a few recruiters in the past but Chris Descrescenzo and the Averity team are exceptional. I just landed an incredible job opportunity after a single interview. Especially in this tenuous economic climate, I truly appreciated the steps and care Chris took. He was incredibly generous with his time, and made sure the position was a good match. Then, he sent me incredible prep notes which were invaluable. He followed up with me every step of the way and was always there to talk through every possible question. I have never had a more successful interview process. Hands down. I could write a novella about his knowledge, kindness and professionalism. But simply put: He is the best. Thank you!

Amy Morrison

I had a great experience working with Averity. The team was continually attentive, and very effective at presenting me with the right opportunities and advocating for me throughout the offer stage. I'd highly recommend them!

Matt Kravetz

I had a stellar experience working with Stephanie Grosso at Averity. She's got this great combo of positivity and efficiency, and she helped me land a job less than a month after we first spoke. I felt super supported at every step of the multi-stage interview process, and she's always been available with great advice whenever I needed it. Definitely a high-quality recruitment experience.

Jenny Wong

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