How to Make a Tight Labor Market Work For You

How to Make a Tight Labor Market Work For You

It’s an employee’s market – at least when it comes to jobs. Unemployment is at its lowest in seven years and many companies are scrambling to fill positions for skilled workers.

According to a recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), 35 percent of the economists surveyed reported their firms had seen shortages of skilled labor during the quarter ending in July. And earlier that month, the National Federation of Independent Business said that 44 percent of small businesses looking to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for positions they were trying to fill.

With so many Americans still struggling to find well-paying jobs, what’s going on here?

One factor fueling the tight labor market is a shortage in actual skilled laborers. As more and more work becomes entwined with computers and other technology, jobs that once required little or no training now call for workers with technological skills or other specialized training.

The recovery has also been stalled by a lackluster growth in wages. The NABE survey found that only a 49 percent share of companies were anticipating wage increases in the next three months, up a meager three percent from the April poll. This might suggest that companies aren’t offering the right incentives to lure workers.

But even though employers may not voluntarily be offering desirable salaries or perks, this doesn’t mean they aren’t available. In some ways, skilled workers are in an enviable position. With fewer competitors, they have more leverage to negotiate a better salary.

Of course, not all industries are facing shortages, so it’s important to do your homework beforehand. As long as you’re well informed about the position and can make a convincing case for your value, you should definitely try to get as much as you think you’re worth.

But pay is only part of it. A little imagination can yield perks and benefits as attractive as a high salary – things such as flextime, job sharing, or opportunities for career advancement down the road. Maybe the company has offices in a different city where you’d love to work eventually. Maybe they can offer a pay increase after a six-month period or tuition reimbursement.

Sometimes a tight labor market can put a coveted job at a company of your dreams within reach. In this case, it’s not the high salary, so much as your foot in the door that counts. The key is to look for solutions and alternatives without being pushy, greedy or unrealistic.

As always, don’t discount things such as work place culture and the personality and working style of your supervisor. No matter how prestigious or lucrative a job is, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not happy. Use this opportunity to find a job that fits all of your requirements – personally, financially and professionally.

Benefits of Using Recruiters

Here are the TOP 10 Reasons you should use a Recruiter / Headhunter in your job search:

  • You will be in a smaller select pool when you work with a Recruiter. If you match the qualifications of a job the recruiter is working on, you are automatically in a smaller pool of candidates, therefore raising your chances of being the chosen one vs. being 1 of 200 resumes.
  • Headhunters are involved in about half of all senior-level job changes, according to a study by the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruitment. Your recruiter will likely know the human resources manager or hiring manager directly, so instead of being another faceless resume in a stack of eager applicants, let the recruiter do the leg work for you and become your cheerleader.
  • Recruiters only get paid when you get hired. A recruiter’s number one goal is to get you hired and until that happens they will do their best to educate you, prepare you, and coach you through all aspects of the interview and hiring process.  A headhunter’s services are free to job seekers, and the placement fees are paid to the recruiter by the company who hires you.
  • Recruiters provide no-cost advantages such as strategic career guidance, history on the company and the job you are interviewing for, detailed resume analysis, and suggestions on navigating the interview process.
  • You will have a “promoter” by working with a Recruiter who specializes in your industry. In presenting your resume to a potential company, the recruiter promotes your strengths and assets to the employer. The recruiter will also help the person meeting you to connect the dots between your work experience and the open job.
  • A Recruiter can help improve your interview skills. Job seekers who use the services of a recruitment firm are better prepared for job interviews and have the inside scoop about the company, as well as the expected skills and the intangibles that the hiring manager desires in a candidate.  Because your recruiter has probably worked with the hiring manager and the company on prior placements, your recruiter will very likely know specific questions and/or topics your interviewers will ask once you speak with them.  Think of it like knowing the exam questions prior to taking the test.
  • Headhunters have access to unpublished or hidden jobs not yet advertised or posted on the Internet.  There are a few companies – particularly in Technology – who prefer to keep some of their prized job openings out of view to the general public.  They do this for various reasons, but if you don’t have access to these jobs or know they exist, you certainly can’t interview for them.
  • Good Recruiters have a ton of industry contacts.  If you work with a seasoned Recruiter, they will know dozens (hopefully hundreds) of hiring managers who work within your field.  If you don’t get the first position you are interviewed for, your recruiter will likely have a few more in mind or know of several more that will open up in the future.
  • You can get great information through your Recruiter. A savvy recruiter can provide great insights about trends in your field and in your market, as well as provide a barometer of how much you should/could be earning and other compensation criteria, professional must-have skills, and pass along background on a company’s culture.
  • Confidentiality can be crucial.  In the new world of social media, it’s not a far-fetched possibility that your current employer could discover you are actively looking if you’ve posted your resume to every job board on the web.  In a perfect world, your employer wouldn’t take it as a negative, but it would certainly lead to some awkward moments in the office.

The Right Recruiter can Kick your Job Search into High Gear.


By: Corporate Dynamix

Prepare yourself… For your next interview!

STAR Interview

STAR Interviewing Response Technique for Success in Behavioral Job Interviews

One strategy for preparing for behavioral interviews is to use the STAR Technique, as outlined below. (This technique is often referred to as the SAR and PAR techniques as well.)

Situation or


Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.
Action you took Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.
Results you achieved What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?


Types of Interviews

All job interviews have the same objective, but employers reach that objective in a variety of ways. You might enter the room expecting to tell stories about your professional successes and instead find yourself selling the interviewer a bridge or editing code at a computer. One strategy for performing your best during an interview is to know the rules of the particular game you are playing when you walk through the door.

  1. Screening
  2. Informational
  3. Directive
  4. Meandering
  5. Stress
  6. Behavioral
  7. Audition
  8. Group
  9. Tag-Team
  10. Mealtime
  11. Follow-up

The Screening Interview

Companies use screening tools to ensure that candidates meet minimum qualification requirements. Computer programs are among the tools used to weed out unqualified candidates. (This is why you need a digital resume that is screening-friendly. See our resume center for help.) Sometimes human professionals are the gatekeepers. Screening interviewers often have honed skills to determine whether there is anything that might disqualify you for the position. Remember-they do not need to know whether you are the best fit for the position, only whether you are not a match. For this reason, screeners tend to dig for dirt. Screeners will hone in on gaps in your employment history or pieces of information that look inconsistent. They also will want to know from the outset whether you will be too expensive for the company.

Some tips for maintaining confidence during screening interviews:

� Highlight your accomplishments and qualifications.

� Get into the straightforward groove. Personality is not as important to the screener as verifying your qualifications. Answer questions directly and succinctly. Save your winning personality for the person making hiring decisions!

� Be tactful about addressing income requirements. Give a range, and try to avoid giving specifics by replying, “I would be willing to consider your best offer.”

� If the interview is conducted by phone, it is helpful to have note cards with your vital information sitting next to the phone. That way, whether the interviewer catches you sleeping or vacuuming the floor, you will be able to switch gears quickly.

The Informational Interview

On the opposite end of the stress spectrum from screening interviews is the informational interview. A meeting that you initiate, the informational interview is underutilized by job-seekers who might otherwise consider themselves savvy to the merits of networking. Job seekers ostensibly secure informational meetings in order to seek the advice of someone in their current or desired field as well as to gain further references to people who can lend insight. Employers that like to stay apprised of available talent even when they do not have current job openings, are often open to informational interviews, especially if they like to share their knowledge, feel flattered by your interest, or esteem the mutual friend that connected you to them. During an informational interview, the jobseeker and employer exchange information and get to know one another better without reference to a specific job opening.

This takes off some of the performance pressure, but be intentional nonetheless:

� Come prepared with thoughtful questions about the field and the company.

� Gain references to other people and make sure that the interviewer would be comfortable if you contact other people and use his or her name.

� Give the interviewer your card, contact information and resume.

� Write a thank you note to the interviewer.

The Directive Style

In this style of interview, the interviewer has a clear agenda that he or she follows unflinchingly. Sometimes companies use this rigid format to ensure parity between interviews; when interviewers ask each candidate the same series of questions, they can more readily compare the results. Directive interviewers rely upon their own questions and methods to tease from you what they wish to know. You might feel like you are being steam-rolled, or you might find the conversation develops naturally. Their style does not necessarily mean that they have dominance issues, although you should keep an eye open for these if the interviewer would be your supervisor.

Either way, remember:

� Flex with the interviewer, following his or her lead.

� Do not relinquish complete control of the interview. If the interviewer does not ask you for information that you think is important to proving your superiority as a candidate, politely interject it.

The Meandering Style

This interview type, usually used by inexperienced interviewers, relies on you to lead the discussion. It might begin with a statement like “tell me about yourself,” which you can use to your advantage. The interviewer might ask you another broad, open-ended question before falling into silence. This interview style allows you tactfully to guide the discussion in a way that best serves you.

The following strategies, which are helpful for any interview, are particularly important when interviewers use a non-directive approach:

� Come to the interview prepared with highlights and anecdotes of your skills, qualities and experiences. Do not rely on the interviewer to spark your memory-jot down some notes that you can reference throughout the interview.

� Remain alert to the interviewer. Even if you feel like you can take the driver’s seat and go in any direction you wish, remain respectful of the interviewer’s role. If he or she becomes more directive during the interview, adjust.

� Ask well-placed questions. Although the open format allows you significantly to shape the interview, running with your own agenda and dominating the conversation means that you run the risk of missing important information about the company and its needs.

The Stress Interview

Astounding as this is, the Greek hazing system has made its way into professional interviews. Either employers view the stress interview as a legitimate way of determining candidates’ aptness for a position or someone has latent maniacal tendencies. You might be held in the waiting room for an hour before the interviewer greets you. You might face long silences or cold stares. The interviewer might openly challenge your believes or judgment. You might be called upon to perform an impossible task on the fly-like convincing the interviewer to exchange shoes with you. Insults and miscommunication are common. All this is designed to see whether you have the mettle to withstand the company culture, the clients or other potential stress.

Besides wearing a strong anti-perspirant, you will do well to:

� Remember that this is a game. It is not personal. View it as the surreal interaction that it is.

� Prepare and memorize your main message before walking through the door. If you are flustered, you will better maintain clarity of mind if you do not have to wing your responses.

� Even if the interviewer is rude, remain calm and tactful.

� Go into the interview relaxed and rested. If you go into it feeling stressed, you will have a more difficult time keeping a cool perspective.

The Behavioral Interview

Many companies increasingly rely on behavior interviews since they use your previous behavior to indicate your future performance. In these interviews, employers use standardized methods to mine information relevant to your competency in a particular area or position. Depending upon the responsibilities of the job and the working environment, you might be asked to describe a time that required problem-solving skills, adaptability, leadership, conflict resolution, multi-tasking, initiative or stress management. You will be asked how you dealt with the situations.

Your responses require not only reflection, but also organization. To maximize your responses in the behavioral format:

� Anticipate the transferable skills and personal qualities that are required for the job.

� Review your resume. Any of the qualities and skills you have included in your resume are fair game for an interviewer to press.

� Reflect on your own professional, volunteer, educational and personal experience to develop brief stories that highlight these skills and qualities in you. You should have a story for each of the competencies on your resume as well as those you anticipate the job requires.

� Prepare stories by identifying the context, logically highlighting your actions in the situation, and identifying the results of your actions. Keep your responses concise and present them in less than two minutes.

The Audition

For some positions, such as computer programmers or trainers, companies want to see you in action before they make their decision. For this reason, they might take you through a simulation or brief exercise in order to evaluate your skills. An audition can be enormously useful to you as well, since it allows you to demonstrate your abilities in interactive ways that are likely familiar to you. The simulations and exercises should also give you a simplified sense of what the job would be like. If you sense that other candidates have an edge on you in terms of experience or other qualifications, requesting an audition can help level the playing field.

To maximize on auditions, remember to:

� Clearly understand the instructions and expectations for the exercise. Communication is half the battle in real life, and you should demonstrate to the prospective employer that you make the effort to do things right the first time by minimizing confusion.

� Treat the situation as if you are a professional with responsibility for the task laid before you. Take ownership of your work.

� Brush up on your skills before an interview if you think they might be tested.

The Group Interview

Interviewing simultaneously with other candidates can be disconcerting, but it provides the company with a sense of your leadership potential and style. The group interview helps the company get a glimpse of how you interact with peers-are you timid or bossy, are you attentive or do you seek attention, do others turn to you instinctively, or do you compete for authority? The interviewer also wants to view what your tools of persuasion are: do you use argumentation and careful reasoning to gain support or do you divide and conquer? The interviewer might call on you to discuss an issue with the other candidates, solve a problem collectively, or discuss your peculiar qualifications in front of the other candidates.

This environment might seem overwhelming or hard to control, but there are a few tips that will help you navigate the group interview successfully:

� Observe to determine the dynamics the interviewer establishes and try to discern the rules of the game. If you are unsure of what is expected from you, ask for clarification from the interviewer.

� Treat others with respect while exerting influence over others.

� Avoid overt power conflicts, which will make you look uncooperative and immature.

� Keep an eye on the interviewer throughout the process so that you do not miss important cues.

The Tag-Team Interview

Expecting to meet with Ms. Glenn, you might find yourself in a room with four other people: Ms. Glenn, two of her staff, and the Sales Director. Companies often want to gain the insights of various people when interviewing candidates. This method of interviewing is often attractive for companies that rely heavily on team cooperation. Not only does the company want to know whether your skills balance that of the company, but also whether you can get along with the other workers. In some companies, multiple people will interview you simultaneously. In other companies, you will proceed through a series of one-on-one interviews.

Some helpful tips for maximizing on this interview format:

� Treat each person as an important individual. Gain each person’s business card at the beginning of the meeting, if possible, and refer to each person by name. If there are several people in the room at once, you might wish to scribble down their names on a sheet of paper according to where each is sitting. Make eye contact with each person and speak directly to the person asking each question.

� Use the opportunity to gain as much information about the company as you can. Just as each interviewer has a different function in the company, they each have a unique perspective. When asking questions, be sensitive not to place anyone in a position that invites him to compromise confidentiality or loyalty.

� Bring at least double the anecdotes and sound-bites to the interview as you would for a traditional one-on-one interview. Be ready to illustrate your main message in a variety of ways to a variety of people.

� Prepare psychologically to expend more energy and be more alert than you would in a one-on-one interview. Stay focused and adjustable.

The Mealtime Interview

For many, interviewing over a meal sounds like a professional and digestive catastrophe in the making. If you have difficulty chewing gum while walking, this could be a challenge. With some preparation and psychological readjustment, you can enjoy the process. Meals often have a cementing social effect-breaking bread together tends to facilitate deals, marriages, friendships, and religious communion. Mealtime interviews rely on this logic, and expand it.

Particularly when your job requires interpersonal acuity, companies want to know what you are like in a social setting. Are you relaxed and charming or awkward and evasive? Companies want to observe not only how you handle a fork, but also how you treat your host, any other guests, and the serving staff.

Some basic social tips help ease the complexity of mixing food with business:

� Take cues from your interviewer, remembering that you are the guest. Do not sit down until your host does. Order something slightly less extravagant than your interviewer. If he badly wants you to try a particular dish, oblige him. If he recommends an appetizer to you, he likely intends to order one himself. Do not begin eating until he does. If he orders coffee and dessert, do not leave him eating alone.

� If your interviewer wants to talk business, do so. If she and the other guests discuss their upcoming travel plans or their families, do not launch into business.

� Try to set aside dietary restrictions and preferences. Remember, the interviewer is your host. It is rude to be finicky unless you absolutely must. If you must, be as tactful as you can. Avoid phrases like: “I do not eat mammals,” or “Shrimp makes my eyes swell and water.”

� Choose manageable food items, if possible. Avoid barbeque ribs and spaghetti.

� Find a discrete way to check your teeth after eating. Excuse yourself from the table for a moment.

� Practice eating and discussing something important simultaneously.

� Thank your interviewer for the meal.

The Follow-up Interview

Companies bring candidates back for second and sometimes third or fourth interviews for a number of reasons. Sometimes they just want to confirm that you are the amazing worker they first thought you to be. Sometimes they are having difficulty deciding between a short-list of candidates. Other times, the interviewer’s supervisor or other decision makers in the company want to gain a sense of you before signing a hiring decision.

The second interview could go in a variety of directions, and you must prepare for each of them. When meeting with the same person again, you do not need to be as assertive in your communication of your skills. You can focus on cementing rapport, understanding where the company is going and how your skills mesh with the company vision and culture. Still, the interviewer should view you as the answer to their needs. You might find yourself negotiating a compensation package. Alternatively, you might find that you are starting from the beginning with a new person.

Some tips for managing second interviews:

� Be confident. Accentuate what you have to offer and your interest in the position.

� Probe tactfully to discover more information about the internal company dynamics and culture.

� Walk through the front door with a plan for negotiating a salary.

� Be prepared for anything: to relax with an employer or to address the company’s qualms about you.


7 Steps for an Effective Recruiting Process

7 Steps for an Effective Recruiting Process 
BY: Cindy Boisvert
In a world where everything happens very quickly and where we relentlessly try to save time, it may be tempting to try to eliminate what we consider to be less important.When it comes to effectively recruiting new resources for a position with an established job description, there are steps that should not be neglected, even if some of them may seem unnecessary at first glance.Here are seven essential steps in an all-inclusive selection process to be as successful as possible in your hiring efforts!

1- Job posting: choosing the right platforms

Word of mouth is an effective way to communicate the benefits of your company and its culture, but is it the most appropriate way to find a suitable candidate? Maybe not.

Post the job position on the right platforms and ask yourself who will be receiving and/or transmitting your message. Consider social networking, job search sites, professional orders, bulletin boards, universities, newspapers, SEO on your website, etc. The possibilities are endless!

2- Curriculum Vitae analysis: adequacy with experiences

The initial step that eliminates the most applications is the analysis of all curriculum vitae. In addition to identifying candidates who have the required professional experience, you are capable of identifying the next generation of workers, by giving those who have acquired their knowledge through school a chance as well.

Take time to read every CV and keep the interesting applications at your fingertips. You may find a certain CV to be better suited for a future job posting.

3- Psychometric testing: better plan the next steps


Before undertaking the first human contact with the candidate, require him/her to complete a psychometric test. The information revealed in a scientifically validated test will identify aspects of their personality and situations with which your candidates will be more comfortable.

This step is not intended to be an imperative eliminator of applications, quite the contrary! It is rather to better identify strengths and elements to work on and/or monitor in your next steps. Think beyond the interview; if the candidate is selected, this tool will be as valid in a context of organizational development and will accompany him/her in their new challenges within your organization.

And, as you are certainly always trying to find ways to make the most of your time, you can integrate this step directly onto your website. Take, for example, DFSIN – Partner of Desjardins Financial Security, who includes a psychometric test directly on their recruitment website.

Also, if you have pre-determined standard job norms for a given position, the chances of success increase further by comparing the profiles of individuals to the corporate norms (job standards) that you have determined. The norms specify the behaviors, personality traits, and skills that are ideal to maximize the performance of the individual in a given position.

4- Telephone interview: the very first “first impression”

Take the time to question your candidate by asking some general questions (related to their availability, the desired salary, etc.) and take the opportunity to ask a question or two about what has emerged from their test with regards to the position’s requirements.

Since there is no second chance to make a good first impression, you will be one step closer to hiring your right candidate.

5- The in-person interview: to validate and predict

After gathering the required information about your candidate, asking about specific aspects of his personality, and having confirmed their expectations for the position, a meeting is required!

If you have a general interview protocol, adapt it depending on the position, but also according to the candidate. For example, if information on the candidate’s level of organization emerged from the previous steps, ask a question that will involve his skills when faced with more spontaneous situations.

6- The second interview: to clarify the skills

For very specific positions, a second interview is sometimes appropriate, whether for a technical position, for an interview with one of your partners, or a supervisor.

Make sure to review the information and answers gathered in the previous steps; they will probably be useful in this second meeting!

7- Checking references: another check-up

Validate the references provided; previous jobs, academic training, etc. For more extensive job positions, you may want to validate criminal records or credit histories.

Several companies offer turnkey services to audit candidates for you; do not hesitate to entrust them with this task if you think this will positively affect your ROI.

Obviously, depending on the position sought, there are steps you might want to forgo (example: the second interview). Ask yourself which stages are really essential to meeting your needs. The important thing is to try to learn as much as possible about the candidate, while still meeting expected deadlines. Validate their experiences to get familiar with their past, but also confirm their natural behaviors. This will accompany you both in the future.

That’s it, you are now ready to make your offer! If you have eliminated candidates at any stage of this process, take the time to inform and thank them. You never know who you might meet again on your professional path.

How To Write The Perfect Resume

“Despite the rise of social media and online job applications, the cover letter and resume combination is still the cornerstone of a successful job search. Because of that, one of the questions we hear most often from job seekers is “What should I put on my resume?” In fact, we hear it so often that we decided to look at our data to help job seekers create the perfect cover letter and resume.

To determine which resume strategies were the most effective, we looked at our resume database, where hiring managers can rate candidates on a scale of 1 to 5 Stars. We analyzed our database of over 3,000,000 resumes to see why some got the highest rating – and a chance at landing the candidate a new job – and why some got the lowest rating, and ended up in the virtual trash.

By looking at keywords, length, and sections, we were able to create a profile of the perfect cover letter and resume: what you should include, what you shouldn’t include, and plenty of tips to help your resume and cover letter stand out from the crowd.

The Perfect Cover Letter

First, let’s answer a question that we hear all the time: Should you use a cover letter?

Yes! Cover letters increase a resume’s chance of receiving a Five Star rating by 29%.

Our findings also give clues as to what you should include in a cover letter:

Your Mother Was Right… Politeness Matters

A cover letter is the first chance you have to impress an employer – or to turn them off permanently. Wondering how to impress? We found that the phrase “Thank you for your consideration” was included in 10% more Five Star resumes than One Star, which means that your mother was right: politeness is important. Definitely thank the reader for taking the time to read your cover letter.

Display Confidence That You’ll Get The Job Done

Also, be aware that an employer has posted the job you’re applying for because they have a problem. Whether a long-time employee recently retired, or the company is growing quickly because of strong sales, the employer has a need that must be filled. We found that it’s important to present yourself as a solution to that problem, and not as work in progress focused only on your own career trajectory. Words like “learning”, “develop”, and “myself” have a strong correlation with One Star resumes, meaning that employers want a team player who is ready to start contributing to the business on Day One.

The Perfect Resume

Keep it Relevant

When you sit down to write your resume, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what to sections to include. We found that resumes containing the following sections are 1.7 times more likely to receive a Five Star rating:

Work History
Which makes sense – employers want to know everything about you that may be relevant to your ability to perform the job they’ve posted.

What Not to Include on Your Resume

Sections that employers find irrelevant are Languages (somewhat surprisingly) and Personal Interests and Accomplishments (not surprisingly):

Languages Spoken: Mention any additional languages spoken if the job calls for bilingual candidates, but otherwise save space and leave it out.
Personal Interests and Accomplishments: Leave out your hobbies and keep the fact that you won a spelling bee in 5th grade to yourself – employers don’t care.
Including these sections can make it 24% less likely for a resume to receive a Five Star rating.

Use Power Keywords

When we looked at how certain keywords affect the Star Rating of resumes, we found that words that implied management skills (not necessarily as a manager: time management is an example of a management skill everyone needs to have), a proactive stance towards working (“responsible”, “support”, and “client” speak to that) and problem solving skills (“data”, “analysis”, and “operation”) were the most highly rated.

Additionally, using these Power Keywords in your resume can increase your chance of a Five Star rating by up to 70%:

Remember, though, that keyword stuffing will more than likely lead to your resume being discarded. Make sure you only include words that are relevant to your skills.

Keywords to Absolutely, In All Cases, Avoid

You’ll also want to avoid keywords which may give employers the impression that you’re inexperienced, require a great deal of training, or are put off by hard work. These negative keywords have a strong correlation with One Star reviews, with up to a 79% greater likelihood of receiving the lowest rating:

Find the Goldilocks Length

Resumes between 600 and 700 words in length were rated much higher than resumes that were less that 500 words long, and anything over 700 words began to trend towards lower Star Ratings. Keep your resume in the 600-700 word Goldilocks length (not too long, not too short).

Our data also shows that your Summary should be between 90 and 100 words in length, and that your Objective should be approximately 30 words long. Following these length guidelines results in a 30% boost in the chances of receiving a Five Star rating.”


By Scott Garner 

Re-Blog: Use Your Inside Voice by Drew McLellan

When people think about marketing, they typically think about external marketing – marketing tactics aimed at potential customers. But no business can afford to forget to actively and regularly market to their employees.  In fact, your employees should be your #1 audience.

I’m not sure why business owners and leaders don’t see the importance of targeting their employee base, but it’s often either completely forgotten or it’s one of the smallest line items in the budget.

Why is marketing to your own employees so important? Who usually interacts with your clients?   It’s not you. It’s not the CEO.  It’s the front line employees. Typically, the employees who are paid the least and told the least – interact with your customers the most.

So, to your customers – those employees embody your brand. How confident are you that those employees even know what your brand is, let alone how they should deliver it?

There are some ways you can consistently market your core messages to your internal team.

Mission, Vision, and Values:  95% of companies use these tools incorrectly. They’re either too long, too full of jargon or so full of clichéd words that they are absolutely ineffective. If every employee can’t understand and recite them from memory — they aren’t going to do the job.

Just as a reminder – Your values are the guiding principles or beliefs that set the tone and boundaries for the work you do.

Employee handbook/orientation:  What you deem important enough to include in your handbook and your orientation speaks volumes. Don’t just talk about the functional aspects of the job. Talk about their role in the company and how they influence and communicate the brand. Also take the time to tell them how the brand came to be and give them some tangible examples so they can begin to connect in a real way to the ideals of the brand.

Employee recognition and reviews: If it matters enough to you to make it a part of an employee’s review or in the way you reward employees – they’ll understand that it must be pretty important. When you recognize an employee for something specific in front of the entire team – believe me, they take notice.

They should see everything first:  Most employees see their company’s new brochure, TV spot or website the same time the general public first views it. I’ve seen many a retail employee get blindsided by a coupon, special offer or sale that they didn’t know anything about. Make a commitment that you’ll find a way to give your employees first viewing rights to all your marketing materials.  Otherwise, they rightfully feel like an after thought.

Tell them the whole story in real time: Usually employees hear about a great marketing initiative after the fact. They hear about the record sales or huge product demand once the consumer has reacted.  Instead – unfold the story as it is happening. Tell your employees about the research and development discoveries. Show them the early comps of the packaging.  Depending on what you sell – let them be beta testers. You get the idea – bring them along on the journey so they’re better equipped to talk to your customers about the new offering.

Not keeping your employees in the loop is a little like buying an ad in the local paper or trade publication – and then not filling the space with anything. Your employees are going to interact with your best customers and most promising prospects. Do you want them to be full of accurate information or a blank slate?

It’s your call.

McLellan Marketing Group is an advertising | marketing agency based in Des Moines, IA, and serving clients all over the US.

Benefits to using Recruiters

“Why Use a Recruiter or Recruiting Firm?

Work with recruiting professionals that have the expertise…an effective recruiter will:

  • Spend time understanding the client’s job description, culture and organization to insure they have the right candidate.
  • Focus their attention and direct their efforts to your job openings, generating qualified candidates more efficiently.
  • Find the “needle in the haystack” by networking into organizations to find the “passive candidate” market.
  • Go far beyond the customary process of finding candidates through job boards or advertising; cold call recruiting and networking is what they do best.
  • Pre-qualify candidates, saving you time and increasing the effectiveness of your hiring process.
  • Typically present 3-5 qualified candidates saving you the time of filtering through a pile of resumes especially in today’s economic market.
  • Insure a fast, efficient and effective process to get you the right hires.
  • Market the sizzle of your company while networking with prospective candidates.
  • Keep you up to date on the recruitment process and give you feedback from the marketplace on issues arising during the search.
  • Provide a confidential search if the company does not want to “go public” with the position.
  • With the high demands of the HR departments, HR professionals do not always have the time to maintain an external professional network that can often result in qualified candidates; this is just one of the benefits of an HR department using a recruiter. Networking is an expertise that recruiters perform on a daily basis!

Why use a headhunter? Recruiters are there to assist you with all phases of the job search and will:

  • Take a complete job order and perform an in-depth interview with you and/or the hiring managers regarding the position, current team and ideal candidate.
  • Source (both active and passive) candidates.
  • Screen and present qualified candidates for interviews.
  • Prepare you for the interview and provide information on the candidate in addition to their resume (current salary, vacation, benefits, etc.).
  • Prepare the candidate for the interview with information on the position and your company.
  • Follow up with both parties and provide feedback.
  • Check references.
  • Negotiate an offer and act as a liaison to answer difficult/uncomfortable questions (e.g. previous vacation time planned, financial package, relocation package, multiple offers, resignation, counteroffers, etc.).
  • Work hard to insure that the offer will result in an acceptance!
  • Providing your HR department or business with information on how to use a recruiter or headhunter more effectively is one of the goals of Recruiters Connection.”

Best Foot Forward

In today’s job market, applying for a position is just a click away…for pretty much everyone. On average hiring managers eliminate 50% of applicants within the first 20-30 seconds of reviewing a resume. So the question is, how do you stay above the elimination line? A smartly chosen email address, a personalized cover letter, and a sound resume will help get you one step closer to the face to face interview.

Your Email Address
While declaring your loyalty to the greatest team to ever grace the field care of or your undying love for sky high heels via is great for trading memes with your peers, it isn’t exactly a confidence instilling introduction. A simple, well chosen version of your name, and a few numbers if needed is the best possible route to avoid the immediate axe.

Your Personalized Cover Letter
Everyone loves the sound of their own name; this bares repeating; EVERYONE loves the sound of their own name. Search engines are a beautiful thing; utilize them. Better yet, this is where a recruiter can be a fantastic asset for you. We already know the hiring manager, chances are we helped place someone in their last available position, and we know exactly what gets them excited about a potential candidate.
The content of your cover letter should be specific examples of how you have excelled in regard to the qualifications and skill set they are looking for in a new employee.

Your Resume
It helps to do something that makes your resume stand out, like misspelling everything and attaching a picture of yourself. …or whatever you’re most comfortable with. On a serious note, Hiring Managers have a few standard elements they look for when initially scanning a resume; location, industry, function, level, experience, education, certification, turnover and resume function. More specifically they will be looking for keywords associated with position they want to fill. Just as with the cover letter, this is where a recruiter can play a crucial role in helping you land your dream job. We know the intricacies of the company as well as the people and can assist with aligning your resume to best reflect your skills and qualifications in regard to the position.