Friday, January 19, 2007

Interviewing Recruiters: Part 3

My second round interviews focus on specific questions regarding the key components of recruiting; negotiating, handling objections, prioritizing, hunting and problem solving. Many of these topics are explored through role playing exercises.

Negotiating is primarily done with the candidates we work with. The goal in this role play is to see how the interviewee positions our company, the opportunity and any intangible benefits to prospective candidates.

Handling Objections is a daily occurrence in our industry. Typically we create a scenario where it is not possible for the interviewee to attain the objective/s given to the them. This no win situation reveals if the interviewee is innovative and has the ability to satisfy candidates or clients.

Prioritizing is an ongoing aspect of our business. The goal in this exercise is to find out if the interviewee has an understanding of our business and how new orders and/or requirement changes can impact daily efforts.

Hunting is not only finding candidates but finding the best in the market. During this exercise we put a scenario on the white board and observe the interviewee's ability to identify creative options to find talent.

Problem Solving is arguably the most important component of a successful recruiter. The goal in this role play is to observe the interviewee to see if they will work at the challenge until it is solved or simply give up.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Interviewing Recruiters: Part 2

After completing the first round of interviews, I typically summarize candidates as Yes, No or Maybe. "Yes" candidates are people that "WOW" me. They are passionate about what they do, have had success in their prior roles, understand client management and are driven to make a difference. These types of candidates are people you can see coming into your office the next day and fitting in. "No" candidates are people that generally know nothing about the position and the company I work for. They are likely in between interviews that day. They are taking the "go wide" approach with attending as many interviews as possible and will take the first job offered to them. "Maybe" candidates for me are usually close to "Yes" but perhaps struggled in one or two areas of the interview. If I see potential I want to bring them back for a second round.

I give a homework assignment to the candidates I want to interview a second time. The assignment is to research the recruiting industry as a whole and then show me where my company fits into the market based on our competition. I also request that they contact a recruiter directly that they know, or cold call one, to learn first hand what a typical day looks like. This assignment forces people to learn what will be expected of them if hired. It actually weeds out some candidates and better prepares those that want to move forward.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Interviewing Recruiters: Part 1

I worked for Volt Information Sciences, a Fortune 1000 recruiting agency, for nearly four years. While I worked for Volt I provided managed service programs to Fortune 500 companies and recruited for various Information Technology positions for my clients. Since I was in a management role, I also hired my own in-house employees which typically were recruiters. I am going to share a three part series on how I interviewed recruiters.

My approach to prepping for first round interviews is to initially reply to all the applicants via email as quickly as possible. The applicant's follow up to my response is of interest to me. 1) If someone is spamming online postings for multiple jobs you will get a reply that is similar to an auto response which tells me the applicant is likely window shopping. 2) If the applicant does not follow the directions I requested in my response that tells me they are not taking their time reading my reply and overlook details. 3) If the applicant takes the initiative to contact me directly from the information in my email signature (especially if they call my mobile phone) that tells me they are either truly interested in my position or they know how to track someone down which is critical in the recruitment business.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Several years ago a friend shared with me his philosophy on working for a company. He suggested you set criteria on what is important to measure your commitment to a company. For me it is the following: 1) A challenging environment with room for advancement, 2) Work with someone I respect and can learn from - a mentor 3) Money. Then ask yourself periodically if your criteria is being met and if the answer is no, you should meet with your manager and discuss your concerns. If your manager can rectify the situation by resolving your concerns, that is ideal. This is ideal because you have likely invested a great deal of time learning about your company and developing relationships within the organization. If you can continue to work in this environment and remain content, you are better off than starting over with a new company. This keeps your manager in sync with what drives you so he can ensure you stick around for the long term. If nothing can be done to rectify the situation, it is time to move on. This approach puts it all on the table and if you decide to leave, your manager knows why and your pending departure is typically on good terms.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Melting Point Blog

Tuesday, October 13, 1998

On October 13, 1998 I attended a full day seminar called "What Matters Most" from Franklin Covey. This seminar changed my life and was the catalyst to developing a personal mission statement for myself. My personal mission statement is "Help those around me reach their fullest potential and thank those who help me along the way". I have tried to follow this in my personal life and my professional career. The reason I created this blog is to share with others what I have learned from my mentors and through my personal experiences.