Get Inspired: The 5 Biggest Internet Entrepreneurs

Nolan Gray Staffing

Opportunity is exactly what’s great about America.  It’s not exactly what spoon you’re born with, but your ability to strive, struggle and reinvent that brings you success.  To get inspired, we thought we’d look at a few companies that have conquered the entrepreneur sector. What you’ll find interesting is that they are all techy businesses, not (internet) retailers.  The founders …

4 Ways for Recruiters to Get Social Media Savvy

Nolan Gray Staffing

If the numbers are correct, that 89% of companies used social media for recruiting in 2011, then it’s more important than ever that recruiters get on board with social media, isn’t it? From finding the right hard-to-fill position to uncovering fudged skills sets, the reach of social media is far more impressive than network creators ever imagined.  If you aren’t …

The Evolution of the Job Application

Nolan Gray Staffing

If you watch Downton Abbey, you might have noted the very interesting way one of the maids became a secretary.  After taking a mail-away typing course, she found a job ad in the paper, then mailed in a resume.  Then, her references had to mail in their letters of recommendation.  It was the early 1920s.

IT Hiring and Recruitment Trends for 2013 to Watch

Nolan Gray Staffing

What does the year ahead hold in store for the professional recruiting industry in the technology fields? According to the experts, the technology job market is creating many excellent opportunities for recruiters to shine in their careers, due to rapid sector growth. It’s also an opportune time for hiring companies to focus on attracting the best IT candidates for new …

Avoiding Bad Hires with Cultural Fit Assessments

Nolan Gray Staffing

cost of bad hire, recruiting, culture fit

Recruitment is much like speed-dating. You meet someone briefly, try to make small talk over a table, and find what you can about them in a short period of time based on what they tell you about their background. This first impression causes you to either agree to meet with them again or do some more checking before considering the impact they may have as a permanent part of the scenery. The major difference here is that the decision to bring a new person on board as part of a candidate-focused recruitment strategy can be a costly one if the candidate is a poor fit for the company.

Each year, businesses actively seek out highly qualified candidates for a variety of roles, some of which become the foundation for corporate growth and innovation. While the expectation of recruitment is positive, the reality is that things sometimes go wrong. A 2012 CareerBuilder poll revealed that 41 percent of companies had incurred a cost of at least $25,000 for a single bad hire, while another 25 percent had experienced a bad hire that cost $50,000. That is money that most businesses cannot afford to play with.

How can a business avoid bad hires?

culture fit, talent management, recruiting

Obviously, it makes sense for a company to make an effort to more closely match candidates with the goals and culture of the company, to avoid the costs of a bad hire. The above diagram offers more insight into the five elements that go into a candidate being a good fit for both the assignment and the corporate culture. Along with technical and experience, candidates should be able to have chemistry with existing staff members, have the right expectations of their role, and work well within the work culture.

Steps to making better hires

In addition, there are several steps that a recruiting team can take to avoid hiring the wrong employee for an assignment.

  1. Create well-written job descriptions. Stop the confusion for candidates, and end up with those who are more closely matched to the assignments with clear job descriptions.
  2. Advertise on niche job boards. To attract candidates who are more suitable for the open assignments in your organization, post your job adverts on job boards that cater to your industry. This makes less work for you when reviewing resumes.
  3. Screen candidates during the application phase. Use a web-based application system that allows for a series of screening questions relevant to the job, and the workplace culture. Be sure it’s compliant with employment laws. This will weed out any candidates who do not have the right background or fit for your company.
  4. Conduct interviews and background checks. Always conduct interviews, starting with a phone screen, a one-on-one interview, and a peer interview with all candidates. This will help you to better understand if a candidate will be a good fit, or not. Then do criminal and financial tax background checks to avoid a bad hire.
  5. Use cultural fit assessments. A relatively new, but effective way of hiring candidates who will work well within the company culture is by evaluating their personalities based on a cultural fit assessment. This can be done as part of a talent management system or as a stand-alone assessment.

Culture fit means better performance

culture fit, employee performance, recruiting

The best cultural fit assessments consider the four quadrants of a candidate’s personality and skills. The more closely aligned an employee’s skills and values are to the culture of the organization, the more productive he becomes. As you can see, recruiting candidates who fit both performance and culture metrics makes for a more positive hire.


Increase ROI with Cloud Recruiting Technology

Nolan Gray Staffing

Is your business on “the cloud” yet? If you are like the millions of businesses out there that are connecting in real time using social recruitment networks, web-based customer management systems, and online business tools, then chances are you are already part of the cloud technology movement.

What is trending with business cloud computing?

According to the 2012 Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey conducted by Cloud Connect, a virtual event management firm, more than 57 percent of the businesses polled already have a cloud product (also referenced as SaaS) in place, with another 38 percent making adaptations to cloud technology. From application testing environments and disaster recovery storage to business intelligence and workplace collaboration tools, businesses are apt to turn to cloud computing for a variety of reasons – to save costs and become more efficient. This, in turn, enhances the return on investment (ROI) of many functions, including recruitment activities.

How does cloud technology work in business?

The idea of information virtually floating around may concern the average HR practitioner, but the way in which cloud computing works is actually more secure than standard methods of administration. Let’s consider how cloud technology actually works.

  • For the business sector, access to a private and secure API or web-based login is provided by a cloud hosting company. This only allows authorized users to have access to information and resources.
  • A secure channel is set up for the individual company, for scalable information storage and exchange in real time. Data is interchanged using secure encryption and is locked behind a server firewall.
  • Cloud servers manage the data from a virtual server network established for the purpose of the business SaaS actions. This data is distributed only for this network to authorized corporate users.
  • Data can be managed and accessed using a variety of mobile and computing devices, as determined by the company.

How does cloud computing support Human Resources and recruiting?

There are many reasons why a cloud computing business model works well in human resources and recruitment management. First, it’s easy to manage with a central location where all communication, documentation, notes, and files are stored. Second, it’s intuitive, with the ability to integrate into existing systems and get past the learning curve quickly. Third, cloud computing is perfect for the busy human resource team to streamline all processes and increase efficiency. Last but not least, it’s cost effective and in most cases a lot less expensive than building a custom HR product from scratch. This is important for those companies who would like to avoid bankruptcy due to increased debt from product development.

The above graphic explains further how cloud computing technology can support an HR and recruitment department that’s already stretched too thin. With companies cutting back on resources, having access to a central cloud application can have a positive impact on ROI, and provide more for less.

Benefits of cloud technology in recruitment

Having the ability to virtually share candidate information, and manage client tasks as efficiently as possible is key to success in recruitment. A cloud recruitment strategy can provide a cost-effective, fully integrated approach to recruitment across all team members. Cloud technology is “plug and play” meaning it works right out of the box and adds value to existing products used by the recruiters. All of these benefits make cloud technology the perfect fit for the talent management industry.


Branding Your Business to Attract the Best Candidates

Nolan Gray Staffing

What does corporate brand have to do with recruiting talent? It actually has a lot more to do with developing a steady pipeline of great candidates than you can imagine. In fact, this year more employers than ever before are focusing in on their corporate brand strategy to become candidate magnets.

How important is brand in corporate recruitment?

Bernard Hodes Group, a global integrated talent provider, released its 2012 white paper The Growing Value of Employer Brands that indicated just how critical corporate brands are to recruitment efforts. A pool of employers was asked what the status of their branding strategy was, and the responses are above. More than half of the companies indicated they already have a branding strategy in place. 35 percent were either being revised or in various stages of development.

Who should be in charge of development the corporate brand?

Interestingly enough, what the Hodes’ survey shed light on is the fact that the Human Resources holds as much responsibility and stake in the success of a corporate branding policy as the internal marketing and communications teams.

To further back this evidence up, LinkedIn also released a special report in the third-quarter of 2012 called The State of Employer Brand that indicates more employers than ever before are concerned with their employer brand as a way to attract better talent. Some surprising figures resulting from this in-depth study of over 3,000 global employers and their recruitment brand strategy included:

  • 83 percent of employers believe that a good corporate brand can deliver higher quality candidates.
  • Over half of the polled employers are taking active steps to improve their brand for recruitment needs.
  • Talent acquisition is the leading factor in the decision to invest in an updated corporate brand 61 percent of the time.
  • LinkedIn claims that a brand can reduce recruitment costs by as much as 50 percent.

You can review a slideshow of this special report here, for more information about the impact that recruitment goals have on developing corporate brands.



How do I develop a clear corporate brand to attract great candidates?


To create a candidate attracting brand, start with the basic building blocks of business. This graphic from Employer Branding Today (Universum) illustrates your three main focus areas:

Business Plan – Use your business plan to decide where you want to grow your business, and how you want to project your company goals and mission statement.

Workforce Plan – Identify the top skillsets and candidate backgrounds you need to meet critical project goals. This will also help you to develop a brand that appeals to your target candidate market.

Employer Branding Plan – Combine the first two elements to create an employer branding plan that’s worthy of both your marketing and recruitment efforts.

Your first step towards branding your company as an employer of choice is to step into your candidates’ world. Learn what motivates them, what they are interested in, and what types of communication reaches them. Design your company shirt with your logo and give them out to candidates you interview and to your staff members. Combine your corporate brand with social networking and an employee referral program, all tied into your corporate talent management solution. Make sure your brand communicates clearly what your company is about and how you are better than the competition.


Preparing for Impact with Performance-Based Talent Management

Nolan Gray Staffing

Is your organization ready for what experts believe will be the most active hiring season of this decade? If you want to stay on top of your industry, then you need high performing employees to get the job done and lead innovation in the workplace. Investing in talent management solutions can be the single-most important aspect of this process. From creating talent-attracting job descriptions and incentive programs to succession planning activities, a talent management program that’s geared towards employee performance metrics can take your business to the next level of greatness.

As you can see from the above infographic, there are several good reasons why investing in a talent management solution can be a good one for your business, especially when it comes to employee performance. Employees who are top performers tend to produce twice the revenue of low performing employees, they are less likely to quit, and they are more likely to be engaged in the goals of the company as a whole.

Top Performers – When Employees are Engaged

What does a top performance employee look like for your business? There are actually three levels of engagement that performance based talent management produces. Let’s take a look:

Level 1 – Employees Disengaged

For whatever reason, be it lack of incentives or poor management, sometimes employees become so disconnected from their jobs that they end up being counter-productive. If this is the case, you will need to take action fast in order to protect your organizational goals and restore team productivity.

Level 2 – Employees Not Well-Engaged, Yet

Oftentimes, employers believe that if their employees are not complaining or they are meeting basic expectations, they are happy and engaged. However, this is a mistake because employees who are on the fence can turn into disengaged and destructive forces. Make sure you are nurturing your staff with ongoing talent productivity management and employee incentives.

Level 3 – Highly Engaged Employees

This is the place where ideally you’d like to get all your employees. Realistically, you can expect that about two-thirds of your workplace will be highly engaged, and the other part will fall into the previous levels. Highly engaged employees are excited about their work and look forward to sharing their ideas in peer groups. They tend to be innovators and motivators. These are the employees who are the future leaders of your organization, who help your business to thrive.

How to Measure Employee Performance? Use 360 Feedback

A key talent management tool which measures employee performance is that of the 360 degree feedback survey. Overall, performance evaluation is a combination of communication and assessment of employee performance, using a series of questions that are designed to uncover certain levels of employee satisfaction. When used effectively, this employee performance metric can identify problem areas that need correction, and help the HR leadership to design more relevant employee performance enhancement programs and incentives.

In the above graph, you will note that the information gathered in a 360 Feedback survey comes from work-related sources, or those in each employee’s daily work environment, information that is which are then interpreted for the benefit of the executive team (leaders). This is essentially information, guidance, and instruction that come from four sources in the employee experience:

  • Direct – This is the information that arrives directly from the employer, through written and verbal communication. It can come from the CEO or the executive team, or it may just filter through department managers. The key is that you want to control this information so that it is correct.
  • Management – Information and guidance that comes from each employee’s immediate supervisor or department. Whether negative or positive, this has an effect on the performance levels of employees.
  • Peers – When it comes to attitudes and values, the corporate culture has a lot to do with the overall performance of employees. This is especially true during changes in an organization, when employee morale shifts.
  • Others – Whether through local media, social networks or the office gossip shared around the water cooler, employee productivity can be influenced by information heard in other sources. A good talent management system takes this source into consideration, and gives employers tools to control PR.

By using a 360 Feedback at least once per year, an organization can better monitor and deal with the above sources of information that affect performance metrics with a talent management system.


Using Social Recruiting to Attract Passive Talent

Nolan Gray Staffing

Recruiting for Passive Talent

Much discussion has gone into the role of social media in the world of recruiting, particularly when it comes to connecting with passive candidates. Who are passive candidates? These are folks who are highly qualified individuals who aren’t necessarily looking for a new job, but whom would be interested in learning about new opportunities if the right one appears.

The LinkedIn graphic above shed light on what the average passive candidate looks like, which accounts for at least 80 percent of the adult workforce at any given time. While some of these folks are secretly thinking about and maybe even taking steps to find a better job, they are not heavily advertising because they like what they do currently. Yet, recruiters can use this to their advantage by connecting with and engaging with passive candidates using social recruiting tools.

Why is it important to attract candidates who are not actively looking for work?

Passive candidate recruiting offers a unique opportunity to tap into specialized skillsets, and present better candidates overall. This is a major benefit to recruiters, and to the clients they work for. There are several additional reasons that recruiters should focus at least a part of their time trying to engage passive candidates.

  • Excellent credentials, career histories, and advanced degrees in their industries.
  • Perceived as more loyal or reliable because they are not actively looking.
  • Ability to negotiate for higher salaries and benefits, in a win-win scenario.
  • Many are considered to be leaders in their markets, looking for a change.

Currently employed, but looking

The 2012 Candidate Behavior Survey, conducted by CareerBuilder, revealed some interesting, but not entirely surprising results. It found that, out of a huge number of candidates studied:

  • 74 percent of people are actively searching for a new job or they are open to a new opportunity.
  • Around 35 percent of people begin preparing for their next job within weeks of starting a new one.
  • 69 percent of workers say that searching for work is part of their regular routine, even while at work.
  • Most candidates are tapped into 14-15 resources, including social networks, in a job search.

This video explains more.


How does social recruiting help attract passive candidates?

Recruiting, as a whole, is actually a sales process, with elements that are similar to the marketing world. There is a unique recruiting funnel that follows this process from sourcing to hiring. As you can see from this funnel, there are several steps that recruiters must make in their quest for great talent.

With social recruiting however, this funnel can be sped up, as they are able to connect with candidates directly using social messaging and social events online. Instead of waiting for candidates to respond to job advertisements, recruiters can use social searching tools to actively look for these candidates and talk to them in a personal way. The concept of making the recruitment process more personal is what is driving social recruiting in many ways.

A best practice for any recruiter hoping to attract passive candidates is to create social profiles that invite others to connect, and spending time searching through social networks each week, looking for professionals who fit the bill for open orders.

Hiring on the Run – Mobile Apps for Recruiting

Nolan Gray Staffing

What’s your mobile recruiting strategy for 2013? If you are not already using this powerful technology to reach the best candidates, then you should be. With some 77 million people around the world using smart phones to connect with friends, family, and potential employers, it’s surprising that only 20 percent of the world’s top companies actually have a mobile-friendly website.

Surely, this number is growing as more companies realize just how simple it is to convert online content and recruitment tools into mobile applications. As predicted in an article from 2012, “Leading firms will begin to make all internal recruiting software applications accessible to managers and recruiters on the mobile platform.” Mobile recruiting apps will dominate the scene, with tools and resources to help more candidates connect with employers on the go.

Why go Mobile?

If you are seriously looking for ways to integrate mobile recruiting into your current recruiting strategy, then you need to understand the nature of the animal. Mobile recruiting, as a whole, is tied deeply into social networking and the behavior of candidates who are searching for opportunities. A 2012 JobVite Social Job Seeker Survey indicated the following interesting facts.

  • 9 out of 10 job seekers have at least one social media profile in active use.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn claim the highest job seeker activity of all.
  • 1 in 5 job seekers updated their social profiles at least once in the last month.
  • 36 million Americans credit social media with being their source for a new job.

To reach a broader candidate pool, your company needs to establish a branded presence on social networks with a mobile recruitment strategy. This may include participating in current recruitment apps or developing your own branded apps.

What Job Seekers Look for in Mobile Recruiting Apps – Do You Measure Up?

There are several key features of a mobile recruitment app that candidates look for, when conducting serious job searches. Obviously, they want to be able to search for jobs using a simple platform. They also want to benefit from automatic alerts to new jobs that match their skills using either email marketing or SMS technology.

Most importantly, candidates want to have an open door to communication that allows them to connect with recruiters, check on the status of their applications, and find ways of improving the chance they will get hired. These are all careful considerations you should make as you evaluate any mobile recruitment tool, or create your own.

Mobile Recruiting Apps to Start Using Now

Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) – JobScience Mobile

While other CRMs lack the ability to take candidates through the entire recruitment process, JobScience offers an award-winning, robust product that can handle everything from sourcing and pipelining to building social communities and managing candidate relationships all in one mobile app. Powered by (Salesforce’s social enterprise app), JobScience Mobile puts the power of mobile recruiting into the hands of pros.

Job Postings – JobSpeek

Imagine having access to a mobile recruiting app that allows you to post open assignments in seconds, complete with a picture and a 60-second voicemail audio recording? JobSpeek gives recruiters the ability to increase talent relationship management in a simple to use format, all via the convenience of a smartphone app.

Candidate Sourcing – beamMe

Ever try to be in more places than one at the same time, to build your network of candidate and clients? beamMe gives recruiters the ability to send a virtual business contact card out to prospects via a handy mobile app. Linked to any social network you choose, you can chat with your networks, share your information and location, and arrange for meetings using smartphone technology.


Talent Relationship Management and the War for Talent in 2013

Nolan Gray Staffing

Although it’s a little early in the year, the talent experts are already predicting that there will be above average growth in businesses around the nation in 2013.  Last year’s State of Recruiting report advised that over 63 percent of a polled group of companies across several major industries were noticing signs that the Great Recession is slowly, but surely easing up. Even for those who were affected by long term unemployment, the future looks brighter.

A USA Today article points to job growth, and advised that, “The US economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012 for the first time since the recession, but job growth was more robust than initially estimated.” It further went on to say that major recruitment firms are reporting placements of as high as 30 percent, with some projecting this number to grow to 80 percent by year’s end. Those numbers may make some hiring managers panic, wondering how they will manage to stay ahead of the recruitment curve.

Overcoming Challenges in Talent Management 

It’s clear that the war for great talent is about to heat up for thousands of professional recruiters around the USA, particularly those who are tapped into new talent relationship management software and social recruiting networks. Yet, there are still some big hurdles that are making it difficult to hire the best candidates.

The top 3 biggest challenges for recruiters have been outlined as:

  • Finding quality candidates
  • Filling open assignments fast
  • Having dedicated hiring managers

There’s several valid reasons for these issues, some of which have been around for a long time. Given the current state of recruiting and the projected numbers for 2013,especially in high growth industtries such as transportation, health care, and technology, the smartest recruitment pros and Human Capital managers will be looking for ways to reduce this strain on their resources. One solution that often gets overlooked is communication.

Opening Up Talent Management Communication Channels

An interesting graph released as part of the Candidate Experience Awards from Talent Board, a non-profit research organization dedicated to improving candidate experience,  shows that recruiters often don’t have the “big picture” of how to get past these challenges because of the method of communication. Even in the growing small business sector where cloud computing is leading the way.

By merely using some of the resources available around them to connect with talent, hiring managers can greatly enhance their ability to find great talent, and manage them well throughout the entire hiring and onboarding process. As you can see, a vast majority of the recruiters polled were not aware of all the modes of communication they had available to them within the walls of their own corporate space.

How can today’s recruiters tap into modern talent management resources?

There are a few ways any modern recruiter can overcome challenges and become more efficient in this role. First, by learning how to make use of integrative talent management and social media solutions, such as those offered by Jobscience. Second, by asking for feedback from both clients and candidates. Lastly, taking the time to learn as much as possible about each candidate’s profile by using this talent management process.

Hot Social Recruiting Tools You Need to Start Using Now

Nolan Gray Staffing


Social recruiting has become the leading way that today’s recruiters connect with quality candidates. In a 2012 Jobvite Social Job Seeker Survey, it was revealed that 92 percent of employers are using social networking to source candidates. Likewise, high numbers of candidates are looking to social media as a way to land great career opportunities, with 88 percent currently having at least one social media profile.

More than half of all employers surveyed are successfully combining their other recruitment efforts and email marketing to candidates with social networking  to find their best candidates, so this is a growing trend that is expected to continue. While there’s no one right way to use social recruiting, there are a wide array of social media tools that recruiters can turn to make this process more efficient.

Social Media Recruiting Tools – What’s New?

Here are the latest social recruiting tools you should consider using now, in order to get the most out of social media for recruiting.

LinkedIn Company Pages –  Recruiters now have even more options when it comes to posting open assignments and vetting candidates, thanks to enhancements made to LinkedIn. Now, recruiters can facilitate the creation of a full business profile page that allows them to post branded information about the company, including upcoming career opportunities. This free resource can be combined with the popular group job posting feature that LinkedIn provides, for seamless recruiting and candidate management.

Facebook Social Jobs – Quietly rolled out at the end of 2012, the world’s largest social network, Facebook, unveiled a strategic partnership that gives access to millions of job seekers and recruiters alike with their Social Jobs app. Candidates can use a simple interface to search jobs, and recruiters can use one of several social recruiting and communication apps to advertise and promote jobs. This is also linked to the popular Facebook Marketplace, which has been a starting point for many recruiters.

Pinterest – When one thinks of social recruiting, it’s hard to imagine that a social network that was originally designed for women who like to scrapbook would become a growing source of recruiting support. Yet, according to recent statistics provided by the fastest growing social community, the site registered more than 7 million unique visits in just the month of December 2012 alone, up from 1.6 million in the previous quarter. While still predominantly female, users actively use this platform for researching profiles of niche candidates for recruiting reasons.

Open Web ( – Long known for its huge community of information technology professionals, is taking it up a notch with the roll-out of the new Open Web tool. Part of the recruitment package offered in beta for now, Open Web taps not only into an advanced database of Dice’s job seekers, it also combs through all the popular social networks and forums where the best IT professionals are to be found chatting it up about the latest technology updates. This should prove to be an amazing tool in the high growth IT sector where candidates in specialized knowledge areas can be hard to find.

What does the future hold for social recruiting and HR technology?

A 2012 Towers and Watson report shows that companies around the globe are looking to spend approximately $8.1 billion in HR technology and recruitment tools as we approach 2015. Numerous social networking giants and their partners are spending an inordinate amount of time focused on developing more social recruiting and candidate management tools. Smaller companies are being swallowed up by larger technology firms, therefore it’s important to learn as much as you can about using social recruiting as part of your overall business growth strategy.

Be on the lookout for more socially focused recruitment tools that will help you manage the demands of a busy recruiting career.