This is the 2nd posting in our series on background checks, reference checks, and recommendations. Do reference checks really work? That is an excellent question, and a hotly debated topic. If done correctly you can gleam some great information from a reference check. You can tell, how good a candidate was at their job, how well they got along with others, how well they handles stress and more. However to do so, you need to do more than just ask a reference what they think. You need to treat a reference like a candidate and utilize BTOS (see past blog posting on the subject), Looklisology (see past blog posting on the subject), and other skills to not only ask the right questions, but listen to the answers. Listen to not only what they say, but what they do not say and the words they choose in doing so, and how they say it. Examples of some questions and things to ask are:
What duties did the candidate perform?
Ask the reference about the candidates strengths and weaknesses.
Describe your vacant position and ask the reference how he or she feels the candidate would fit into the position.
Ask if the reference would hire or work with the candidate again.
Now of course you can ask more or less questions, the ones above were only examples.
The key is to ask open ended questions and as stated above listen. Above all else ensure you check more than one reference.
Next we will discuss recommendations
So there seems to be 2 lines of thinking with regards to what to look for when reviewing a resume.
Some recruiters, staffing professionals, and hiring managers look for a nodoubt, sure things, guarantee hire when they review a resume anything less gets pushed aside.
Others look for the HMM, the maybe, the worth talking to.
So which approach is the best?
For me this is simple, a resume was never designed to guarantee a hire, or to be a nodoubt. They were designed to say talk with me, see what I can do. No resume, at least no resume we will
read, can encompass everything a person can do. They are designed to say I have skills, skills you are looking for talk to me.
If you wait for the nodoubt, for the sure thing, you will take a long time and overlook allot of great people.
Over the next several posts we are going to discuss Background checks, Reference checks, and Recommendations. Do they really work, how best to do them, and what to do with the results. First we will look at the definition of all three.
Reference Check: Contacting previous employers of a job applicant to determine his or her job history. Reference check may also include checking with school(s) or college(s).
Background Check: The act of reviewing both confidential and public information to investigate a person or entity's history. Background checks are commonly performed by employers to ensure that: (1) an employee is who he or she says they are, (2) to determine that the individual does not have a damaging history (such as criminal activity) that may reflect poorly on the company, (3) to confirm information that an applicant included on their application for employment.
Recommendations: endorsement, an expression of praise, approval, or support for somebody or something
So as we can see each means something a little different but in the end they all provide pieces to the puzzle that is our candidate, and provide extra information to validate a hiring decision.
But again the key as with anything, they provide a PIECE, to the puzzle. Any questionable (negative) information found as a result of any of these checks, should be taken in context, and be validated before any final decision is made. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for some of the things these checks come up with, both good and bad. Sometimes there is more to the story or things are not what they appear to be. So be sure if using anything you gleam from these checks that you have the whole story, you talk it over with HR and your legal department. Otherwise, you could do more harm than good.
Next, we will talk specifically about Reference checks.
When reviewing a resume or writing a job description there is always thought given to years of experience. But the question is, is it really years of experience that is most important or the
quality of what was done that is the most important.
Let’s say you need a recruiter, but the emphasis is on sourcing. 90% of the job is going to be sourcing and you want 8 years of experience as a recruiter. Which then is better a person with 6
years as a recruiter with all 6 years being 90% sourcing, or a person with 10 years but only 50% being sourcing? Answer, given what you are looking for the person with 6 years and 90% sourcing is the better choice. Of course you need to talk with them to be sure, but on paper they are better. However if all you are focused on is years of experience and not on the quality of what they have
done you will overlook some really great people.
The point of this is not get to locked into years of experience, take into account the quality of what was done. Quality trumps years every time.
In this, the last of the four part series on metrics' and goals, we will discuss a little know, but important metric. The metrics' by which we measure our hiring managers. That is right; your hiring manager should be goaled on staffing orientated metrics also. After all, they play a very important part in hiring and in the end, it is for them.
In one of my previous blog entries, I mentioned the team "hiring team". This group of people that included the staffing professional, screaners, HM, and interviewers. Well if you really want the HM to be part of the team and do what they should to help staffing, you make sure they have goals around hiring.
Below are the simple and easy goals or metrics' for your HMs.
Partner Sat- This is the Sat rating given by the staffing professionals who work with the HM to determine how good of a partner they are.
Candidate Sat- The HM plays a huge part into this rating so they should share the good, bad and ugly.
Hires- of course
External Hires- Now this is huge, if you are in a big company were there is allot of internal movement and hiring, this metrics' will help you ensure the HM are looking at and hiring external candidates as well.
Well there you have it, the quick and simple HM metrics for goal setting. Of course there are others, but why complicate things
What kind of vision do you use when reviewing resumes or looking at profiles? Do you focus only at the very first few lines? Do you perhaps read the whole thing, only read each section, or read each line as an individual entity? If you do that, it is called Funnel vision. Think of a funnel; think you are looking through the big end out of the little end. This allows you to only see a little bit at a time of what is there, it only allows you to take each little piece separately, and individually, because you cannot see the rest.
Now imagine you are looking at the resume or profile through big wide screen lenses, lenses that let you see the whole world. You can now see not just the line you are reading but the whole resume or profile. You can see how each piece fits, how each skills and job builds on another. You now get a true holistic view of that persons resume or profile.
Now the reason for bringing this up is because in talking with allot of candidates, and allot of staffing professionals, it has become obvious that while one would think the “World Vision” approach is used the most, in reality it is not. The “Funnel Vision” is used the most. This worries me because we as staffing professional should keep an open mind, should see the whole picture, we should consider all the pieces of the puzzle when considering a candidate.
If you are not using “world vision” then you a missing out on some great candidates and in the end we are not really doing our jobs.
So this is the third installment of our Metrics' series. This is the simple metrics' you can use to determine your ROI (return on Investment) in staffing. Of course there will be some redundancy here and as always you need more than just the numbers to understand what is happening.
Hire Cost: This is the total cost per hire. This will include: staffing professional time(hourly rate times average hours spent per candidate), interviewer time (hourly rate times average hours spent per candidate), Hr/Relo/immigration/etc time (hourly rate times average hours spent per candidate), sign on bonus, relocation, advertising, etc.
Time to Fill: This is the time to fill an opening from when it is opened to when it is filled. This is important because it allows us to take into account how long it might take to fill a position. This is good for budgeting, project scope etc..
Hire Source: This will show us where we are getting our hires from. This will help you plan where to spend our money as far as sourcing goes. IT also shows you were you are getting the most bang for your buck.
False Starts: How many candidates accept our offer, have a start date but then fail to start.
Hire still with company after 1 and 5 years and what level: This goes to how good was the hire, and turnover. Also what level are they at now. This goes for upward mobility. Shows that candidate was a high ROI.
Hire per staffing resource: How many hires are you getting per staffing resource. Tells you if you have to many or not enough people. You can use historical data for a baseline.
Again of course there are more. But these are the simple, down and dirty ones that will give you a good over view
As some of you read in my post on research, using that research to improve your
search strings and sourcing is very important. You will lock yourself into a very small pool of candidates if you do not use the variables.
variables = changeable-for purposes of sourcing it means another word or set of words that will garner the same type of candidates ex “HP Asset Manager” AND “Peregrine Asset Manager”. These two terms essential are the same since HP bought Peregrine and as a result it became “HP Asset Manager” instead of “Peregrine Asset Manager”. However some candidates will still list it as Peregrine instead of HP.
Peregrine is the variable when sourcing for “HP Asset Manager” as our research showed us that HP bought Peregrine and renamed its asset management product.
Almost every skill that you might look for has a variable or different name or phrase that can and will be used by candidates. If you do not search under these variables you will lose out on some great candidates.
Helping people connect with their Destiny”