Businesses Turning to Search Firms at Record Pace But One Size Does Not Fit All

Companies are twice as likely to use a search firm this year and the numbers will only increase over the next decade. Employers are recognizing that search firms can play a critical role in helping them find talent.

Search firms are comprised of talent acquisition specialists who focus on helping their clients identify, attract, and hire the most qualified individuals for their unique organizational needs. But with so many various types and sizes, which should you choose…small, medium or large?

When it comes to searching for and placing candidates, some recruiting firms do a better job of it than others. The top 5 firms may come to mind. However, the largest search firms may not necessarily be the best. Let’s take a look at their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Large Recruiting Firms:

– Able to take on higher volume of job orders
– Larger database of candidates
– Well-known (brand recognition), work with bigger brands or Fortune 500
– More dollars allocated for marketing, training, and technologies

Disadvantages:

– Could be spread too thin across multiple locations
– Not as niche/can’t always become experts on industry like smaller firms
– Less flexible (example: if you want weekly billing or daily reporting, smaller firms may be able to do that while larger agencies wouldn’t as easily)
– Impersonal process. For example, the recruiter who takes your call is probably not the one who will be actually working on your search. In addition, follow-up calls and regular contact throughout search process may be hard to come by
– Large firms are often generalized firms and do not specialize

When big is too big, clients have turned to smaller boutiques. However, the smaller boutique firms may have some nice advantages but also may have limitations.

Advantages of Small Recruiting Firms:

– Can be highly specialized and be experts in one industry
– Ability to move quickly and expedient
– Most likely offer personalized services

Disadvantages:

– Could be a one or two-person operation of someone’s house
– Process is often outdated or inefficient
– May look for active candidates vs passive candidates
– Only 1 person working on each search
– May be limited when it comes to volume, new geographies, and complex needs

What if you could combine the best of large recruiting firms with the benefits of the small boutique firms? You would get the best of both worlds!

Direct Recruiters, Inc. (DRI) is just that. We’re the mid-sized and right-sized firm serving top tier organizations on a national scale.  We’re small enough that our clients get personal attention from our Managing Partners but large enough to assign a full team to every search assignment. We have the right amount of resources to invest in the latest technology to find passive, hidden talent. Being right-sized also means being flexible and able to adapt quickly to job market trends and changes.  We’re able to listen to our clients’ needs and turn on a dime.

In a time where more and more companies are relying on search firms for their talent, it appears they aren’t always going the traditional route of turning to large search firms or small boutiques.  Instead, the mid-sized option has become a growing and appealing alternative.

Candidates Are Delaying Start Dates

August 23, 2016

By David Peterson, Managing Partner, DRI

Today more than ever, we see candidates accept a new position that really excites them but when their new employer is ready to schedule the start date, the candidate delays it.

In one particular case, our client extended a job offer to their perfect candidate for the job.  After accepting a job offer and being approved to start in two weeks, the candidate did not want to start for another 3 months. Obviously, this didn’t go over well with the hiring manager.  However, they agreed to wait.

In another instance, a candidate wanted to wait 60 days before giving his current employer a two week notice due to a possible bonus.  The bonus wasn’t a sure thing, but he was willing to take the chance.  In this case, the hiring manager moved on to hire someone else who could start right away. Delaying the start date can be very risky. In fact, moving the start date at all is a red flag to employers that you aren’t serious about taking the job.

So why all the delays? Candidates have given a number of reasons such as a planned family vacation, time to decompress from past position, completing a current project, waiting for bonuses and/or commission as in the example above. If you have to delay your start date, there’s a right way to go about.  It may take some negotiating.

Here are a few tips on how to handle negotiating a delayed start date for your new job:

  • If you’re not able to start on the employers preferred start date, be careful how you discuss this. Don’t say you can’t start on that date but instead ask if there is room for negotiation.
  • Be prepared to offer a solid reason as to why you have to postpone the start date. Then, ask if there’s any flexibility.  Chances are that if it’s a valid reason, your new employer will work with you on a new date start.
  • If there’s a previous commitment that you made and it’s on your calendar such as a planned vacation or destination wedding, most employers will understand. However, offer a reasonable start date in return. Sometimes offering your time for some training before the start date may help to bridge the gap and show your excitement about the new opportunity.
  • Be ready for give and take. If your current employer has a policy of a 4 week notice rather than a 2 week notice, try and split the difference and stay 3 weeks.  Your new employer will appreciate that you are trying to honor the requirement and leave on good terms. They will also appreciate the excitement this shows about starting your new job as soon as you tie up loose ends.

Have you ever delayed a start date? Tell us what happened.

Importance of a Vision Board

December 16, 2015

By Danielle Ketterer, Project Manager, DRI’s Healthcare IT Practice 

Our women’s group in the office always tries to come up with a new idea of what to talk about at our monthly meetings. Many different ideas were thrown out and then someone thought of a great idea for our meeting last month to all make vision boards and then talk about it all together. I was skeptical about the idea at first because I thought to myself, “Why would a vision board help me accomplish my goals?” So with that question in my mind, I decided to do some digging into the benefits of a vision board and here is what I found.

Flipping through a health magazine, you could probably find: one hundred different pictures of what you wished you looked like, one hundred more pictures of how you wish you ate, and probably many more materialistic items that you wished you had. But are these realistic goals? How are you going to accomplish these things? How are achieving these goals going to benefit you? These are all questions that come to mind when trying to decide what to put on your vision board. Every person is different in what their ultimate vision is, but putting it down on paper and looking at it every day is important to accomplishing that vision.

Steps to making a vision board:

1. Be realistic: Owning a multi-million dollar home would be amazing and anyone would love to live in one, but making $10 an hour at the coffee shop twenty hours a week is not going to get you to have the resources to own that dream home unless you inherit your great aunts fortune. Think of what it is going to take to get you to have those resources. So maybe it is going to school to get a degree that will help you get on the track to that dream home. Being realistic is going to help you be motivated to do what it is that you would like to accomplish instead of having this large vision in your head, but no idea of how to get there.

2. Be long term thinking, but also think about the short term: Thinking of your ultimate goals in the future is important, but what is more important is how you are going to get there. If you want to lose 100 pounds, that is not just going to happen by pasting a picture of someone with a six-pack on a paper and looking at it every day. You have to have action in order to get where you want to. So maybe you would like to lose 100 pounds, but instead of posting a picture of a half-naked person you post a picture of three new workouts you are going to try this week. That way you know those three workouts are going to help you achieve the ultimate weight loss goal.

3. Quantifiable: “I want to make more money” is something that you hear from everyone. Changing that to a statement like: “I want to make $100,000 this year” makes the goal more attainable. Making the statement quantifiable, makes it better to have a plan on how to get there. As recruiters, we might have to close 25 deals to get to $100,000 so every time you close a deal you know you are one step closer to that yearly earnings goal.

4. Encompassing different facets of your life: Making more money and owning a fancy car are great, but those should not be the only areas on your vision board. Whether it is improving your spiritual life, working on friendships, seeing your family more, or managing your stress these are important parts of your vision boards to not forget.

After doing some research I realized the value and importance of having a vision board and how they can help you to achieve your goals. Our women’s group all put ours at our desk, so having that vision board where we can see it all days helps us to always have those goals on our minds. I suggest to anyone to make a vision board to help give yourself some direction.

What to Consider Before Changing Jobs

By Matthew Cohen, Energy Management Practice Leader

Today’s companies are as aggressive as ever to recruit and retain strong individuals and they are shelling out big bucks and signing bonuses to get the best talent on their teams.  For even a passive candidate, there is certainly a wide range of opportunities to choose from, but what I have seen as a disturbing trend are candidates who take positions that they think will be the right fit and then leave two, three or six months later for a better position.

There is nothing wrong with upward mobility and there are those organizations that don’t put much stock in employee tenure.  However, many candidates who take positions just because it is in front of them may not be fully exploring their options or asking the right questions during the hiring process.  This can lead to poor tenure and a reputation for being a “job hopper” which in most industries is looked upon as a negative when reviewing a resume.

If you are considering a new position or are interested in exploring new opportunities, these are the five questions you must ask yourself before making a decision.

Am I just chasing Money?- In the war for talent, companies are doing what they need to in order to get the best people, which includes pay much high than the market rate.  There is nothing wrong with making more money, but compensation should be only one aspect of considering a position.  If it’s just about the money, it’s possible to simply ask your boss for a raise and if you are a valuable member of the team, you just might get it.  Also, if money is the only factor for changing jobs, the next position that comes along that offers you a higher salary will be very appealing. However, it might not be the best fit.

Have I told my boss I’m unhappy? For some reason, employees have a difficult time discussing their frustrations with their current employer.  In many cases once an employee shares their issues, they can be worked out or solved.  If a boss hears your grievances and does not solve them that would be a good time to start looking.

Am I leaving my job just to leave?  Often times when someone finds a new position that they are interested and they are fed up with their current employer, they will simply take a new position just so they can leave their old one, this can be a recipe for disaster if the new position they took does not fully meet their expectations or a better opportunity comes along.  This can cause your resume to have brief employer history which can have negative long-term effects on your career.

Will I be happy every day to go to work?  It may sound odd but happiness is and should be the determining factor when taking on a new position.  If there is any, even a small amount of hesitation on whether someone will be happy in a position, it may be time re-evaluate.

Have I seen all that is out there?  There are a plethora of different avenues for discovering new opportunities.  LinkedIn, job boards, recruiters, industry events and personal network can all lead to job opportunities.  Before pulling the trigger on a new position, it is important to exhaust all resources.

Before you rush to change jobs and accept a job offer, take some time to really evaluate the situation. You need to determine if leaving your current company is the best decision and if the next role is going to be the right fit for you.

Please post your thoughts and comments below.

5 Reasons Social Media is a Must When Job Hunting

By Matthew Cohen, Energy Management Practice Leader, DRI

Everyone knows the traditional ways of looking for career opportunities including career websites, job boards, job fairs, and cold calling hiring authorities. These have been the accepted practices in job hunting for years.  However, in recent times, social media has become an increasingly valuable tool for candidates looking for new opportunities as well as hiring authorities and companies looking for top talent.

With that in mind, here are 5 big reasons why social media is a must when making a career move:

  1. Creating a Digital Footprint- Just like paying your credit card on time helps you build financial credit, having a track record on social media can be valuable when prospective employers perform due diligence on prospective hires.  Your Facebook and Twitter are not just for vacation pictures, but are areas where you can post content that you are passionate about and can also relate to your chosen profession.  Use LinkedIn to find out information about people before you meet them as well as grow your network.
  1. Companies Respond on Social Media- Organizations that market themselves to the masses are more than ever relying on social media as a marketing and hiring tool. Hiring authorities and corporate recruiters are more likely to respond to direct messages on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn than traditional ways of reaching out to prospective hires.
  1. Job Posts on Social Media- Companies not only use social media to brand themselves, but increasingly use many social media platforms to post in-demand jobs. If you follow organizations that you may be interested in working for, you are more likely to discover open positions and they’re more likely to discover you. Companies have found that social media recruitment allows them to cast a wider net.
  1. Demonstrates Tech Savviness- Employers are putting a greater emphasis on the use of technology. Having experience on social media shows prospective employers a candidate is aware of the latest trends in technology and is tech-savvy. Therefore, you need to stay on top of relevant technology and social media platforms or you will be considered a dinosaur.
  1. Networking Opportunities- Even when not actively looking for a job, networking with professionals on social media can be a valuable investment in your future. Following executives on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can pay dividends when the time comes to discuss your next opportunity. In addition, utilizing social media provides you with the opportunity to stay in touch with colleagues who can lead you to their connections and possible career openings.

I would like to hear from you on how social media played a role in your recent job search. Please post your comments below.

5 Qualities Candidates Look for in a Company

By Sydney Arnett, Marketing Specialist, DRI & DCA

Last month, Glassdoor.com announced its seventh annual Employees’ Choice Awards, honoring the Best Places to Work across the United States. Companies on the list exemplify those with a strong company culture and happy employees, as well as an engaged work.

While these two things are great for improving morale and productivity, they’re also incredibly powerful tools for recruitment marketing and attracting new talent. According to Glassdoor Career Trends Analyst Scott Dobroski, “Company culture is among the top five factors people consider” when weighing a job offer.

To attain the best candidates in today’s rebounding job market you need to be able to market your employer brand and attract job seekers. So what are common traits of companies with an engaged workforce and strong company culture, and how can you make sure your company is a “Best Place to Work?”

  1. Continuous training and professional development – A 2014 Deloitte study found that, in the last year alone, corporate budgets for training and development have risen by 15 percent. To begin, try implementing a weekly training meeting, send some employees to a conference, or organize a mentoring program.
  2. Recognition of personal accomplishments and milestones – Another key component of engagement is employee recognition. Make employees feel valued and appreciated for all of their hard work and contributions to the organization as most employees want to be recognized by their managers for their hard efforts. Companies that fail to implement reward systems do their employees and their culture a disservice.
  3. A fun environment – For many employees, engagement means having a little fun at the office once in a while. Creating a positive work environment that includes fun ways for employees to interact will go a long way in engaging employees. Whether this means having an occasional birthday or holiday celebration in the office, or a more formal annual retreat, employees will have something to look forward to other than the daily grind.
  4. Value employees’ opinions – Employees want to feel valued and respected. Make employees feel involved and empowered to make a difference in the organization.
  5. Offer some flexibility – Employees appreciate having a say over when they work. Allow employees to work from home on an as-needed basis and/or permit flexible work hours for employees to deal with personal matters when they come up.

Post any other qualities you look for in a company when job hunting.