7 Questions You Should be Asking Your Candidate’s References

By David Peterson, Managing Partner of Plastics and Flexible Packaging

You spent time and energy to post the ad, sort through resumes, interview, and run a background check. Before making your final hiring decision, contact your candidate’s references to ask a series of qualifying questions.

 A job applicant will cast themself in the best possible light to a potential employer. As a result, resumes and interviews can lack the details employers need to make their final decision. Most candidates are simply wanting to look good rather than concealing information. But reference checks help recruiters ensure they have the most accurate and complete picture of the candidate.

 Speaking with a reference helps you confirm the accuracy of your investigation and fill any gaps in the information you’ve collected during the interview process. Here are a few questions you should consider asking your candidate’s references to help you know whether he or she will be a good fit for your organization.

 1. What is your relation to the candidate?

This may seem like an obvious first question. But it’s important to know because a reference’s relationship to the candidate will impact the way they respond.

 2. Why did he or she leave your company?

This fact-checking question will help you uncover the true nature of your candidate’s departure. Applicants have a tendency to embellish or remove details surrounding the reason they left their previous employer.

 3. Can you provide an example of a time the candidate went above the call of duty?

Specific examples are often more informative than a reference’s personal opinion. The answer to this question will reveal what circumstances motivate your potential new employee.

 4. How does the candidate work in a team?

Almost every position will involve at least some amount of teamwork. Whether it’s working on a group project or general social situations, it’s good to know how the candidate relates to others.

 5. How would you feel working for the candidate?

This question will cause the reference to consider their relationship to the candidate and forces them to provide an unbiased answer. Be sure to phrase the question so that it requires an open-ended response.

 6. Would you rehire this candidate?

If the reference is willing to answer this question honestly, it can be very revealing as explained by Entrepreneur. If the response is no, ask why. It may not necessarily be for negative reasons.

 7. What areas did the candidate need to improve? And how did they respond to criticism?

You want to know both their strengths and weaknesses. Most applicants won’t voluntarily provide areas they still need improvement during the interview process. This two-part question not only makes you aware of the candidate’s weaknesses but also lets you know how they’ll handle future criticism.

 Finish the conversation by asking if there’s anything else you should know before hiring this candidate. This final open-ended question gives the reference a chance to explain anything they may have not thought of before.

 When talking with the reference, avoid rushing through the conversation. Give them ample time to respond so they have a chance to recall details and provide accurate information. And be aware of any nonverbal gestures. A reference may avoid giving a negative review of the candidate, but you can gain valuable feedback by paying attention to their gestures and voice inflections.

 Asking these questions when speaking to your candidate’s job references will provide insights you may not have discovered otherwise.

Common Traits of Successful People

Success doesn't rely on luck. Success begins when developing a successful mindset. This mindset, in turn, builds character and ultimately creates success.

There are 7 things that successful people have in common.  Not to worry if you don’t have all seven. They can be learned from mentors or positive role models who can share tips on their habits and behaviors that brought them success.

  1. They are dreamers. Successful people dream big and don’t put boundaries on how far they can reach. They will do one thing each day that puts them closer to reaching their goals. However, they dream with a plan because without a plan, a dream is just a wish.
  2. They are willing to fail. Success doesn’t come easy and professionals are bound to fail along the way. Rather than staying down, Successful people pick themselves back up and learn from their failures and use them as stepping stones to success.
  3. They invest in themselves. Successful people invest their time and money towards bettering themselves. They strive to learn a new skill or improve their current ones. They realize that without knowledge, they don’t have power and without power, they cannot reach the next level.
  4. They network and connect with others. Successful people network with like-minded individuals. They seek out people with similar goals and who bring out the very best in them. They will join associations and attend events to stay connected.
  5. They take action. Successful people take immediate action and have excellent decision-making skills. They don’t wait for things to happen but make things happen and do it without looking back or having regrets.
  6. They embrace change. Successful people don’t fear or resist change, they embrace it. With the world moving at warp speed and technology rapidly changing, they adapt and realize that change is inevitable.
  7. They see the bigger picture. Successful people never stop moving forward. They knock down any brick walls in their way. They also know that the problems they are facing today probably won’t matter next week or in the long run. They are unstoppable.

The Case for Unlimited PTO by Matthew Cohen

October 25, 2017

By Matthew Cohen, Practice Leader - Energy & Sustainability and HVAC/R

As a recruiter, I routinely manage the expectations candidates during the offer stage of their interview process. Recently, the most negotiated piece of the offers I see besides salary is paid vacation time.  For decades, the standard for vacation time in most industries was a small amount of PTO accrued over time and the additional PTO was tied to the amount of years someone was employed.  We are seeing a fundamental shift in the importance of PTO.  The advances in our understanding of mental and physical health has caused candidates to value PTO as a key factor in their decision-making process when deciding on a career change.  This shift begs the question: why not have unlimited PTO for your employees?  Below are three reasons unlimited PTO should be considered:

  1. Healthier, Happier Employees: There are a multitude of studies that show the negative effects sitting in an office can do someone both mentally and physically. Having unlimited PTO can give an employee an opportunity to decompress and recharge whenever they feel the need.  Employees who come to work with a positive attitude more often can create a better work environment and decrease stress and employee burnout which will in turn, increase employee retention.
  2. More productivity: It sounds odd, but there is a case to be made that the more PTO employees are given, the greater their productivity. If employees can come to work with less mental or physical stress, they are more likely to produce results at a higher rate. If employees are counting the months until their next few days of PTO, that distraction can limit their productivity.  In addition, having unlimited PTO can create a greater relationship between employees and employers which also can lead to an increase in productivity.
  3. Greater Accountability: One of the biproducts of allowing unlimited PTO is greater accountability between employers and employers. Employees are more likely to be more transparent and honest about their work if they have the freedom to take PTO when they need to.  Those who abuse unlimited PTO and who are not productive when back at work, can be dealt with swiftly with a shared understanding that unlimited PTO means more accountability when at work.

While not all industries and jobs can support unlimited PTO, the importance of vacation is growing at a rate where we all need to understand and take notice.  We are seeing unlimited PTO polices work in many industries and we see this as a continued trend in the future.  Next time you hear someone say, “I need a vacation” you might just want to give it to them.

Contact Matthew:
440-996-0860
mcohen@directrecruiters.com
Matthew's LinkedIn

7 Things Successful People Have in Common

Success has nothing to do with luck. Success begins when developing a successful mindset. This mindset in turn builds character and ultimately creates success.

There are 7 things that all successful people have in common.  Not to worry if you don’t have all seven. They can be learned. Find a role model and emulate their habits and behaviors that brought them success. Also, ask them to be your coach in order to help you learn and grow.

1)      They are dreamers. Successful people dream big and don’t put boundaries on how far they can reach. They will do one thing each day that puts them closer to reaching their goals. However, they dream with a plan because without a plan, a dream is just a wish.

2)      They are willing to fail.  Success doesn’t come easy and people are bound to fail along the way. Rather than staying down, Successful people pick themselves back up and learn from their failures and use them as stepping stones to success.

3)      They invest in themselves. Successful people invest their time and money towards bettering themselves.  They strive to learn a new skill or improve their current ones. They realize that without knowledge, they don’t have power and without power, they cannot reach the next level.

4)      They network and connect with others. Successful people network with like-minded individuals. They seek out people with similar goals and who bring out the very best in them. They will join associations and attend events to stay connected.

5)      They take action. Successful people take immediate action and have excellent decision making skills.  They don’t wait for things to happen but make things happen and do it without looking back or having regrets.

6)      They embrace change.  Successful people don’t fear or resist change, they embrace it. With the world moving at warp speed and technology rapidly changing, they adapt and realize that change is inevitable.

7)      They see the bigger picture. Successful people never stop moving forward. They knock down any brick walls in their way. They also know that the problems they are facing today probably won’t matter next week or in the long run. They are unstoppable.

What other traits do you think successful people have in common? Please post below!

Direct Recruiters Celebrates 30 Years of Success!

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inc-500-direct-recruitersDRI-Weatherhead

Direct Recruiters, Inc. is proud to announce that we have achieved a significant milestone by reaching our 30th Anniversary in the Executive Search Industry.

Reflecting on the past 30 years, Shel Myeroff, CEO, President and Founder commented, “It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed since we first opened our doors in 1983. Over these last 30 years, we have seen so many changes in the recruiting industry and we not only managed to keep pace but continue to have record sales each year. In addition, our continued growth has created many jobs for top talent in the Cleveland area.”

According to Dan Charney, Managing Partner, “We have so much to be thankful for and our success can be attributed to our loyal clients, trusted partners and our awesome DRI team. I can’t say enough about our people who strive to give their best every day and in return, we have created a positive work environment motivating them to stay. We also encourage our team to refer their professional peers our way. DRI is a great place to work.”

DRI has grown from a start-up firm to a company recognized as an INC. 5000 Honoree, Weatherhead 100 Company, NorthCoast 99 Company and NEO Success Award winner.

For more information, contact Dan Charney, Managing Partner, 440-996-0589 / dcharney@directrecruiters.com or Barb Miller, Marketing Manager, 440-248-3370 x101 / bmiller@directrecruiters.com.