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Staffing Advisors Blog

Do Job Descriptions Grow Around People, or Do People Grow Around Job Descriptions?

Posted by Bob Corlett on August 24, 2016

The Problem

Far too many employers get tangled up in defining their job descriptions. In particular, one common mistake is the belief that if one person had a particular set of skills, more people like them must exist. In other words, your star employee Karen had a particular set of skills, so there must be "another Karen" out there in the market---someone that could perfectly fit the Karen-shaped hole she left behind.

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Is that Rock Star Employee Getting Credit for Other People's Work?

Posted by Bob Corlett on July 28, 2016

Hiring requires you to make decisions about people you don’t know particularly well. But people-evaluation is prone to pitfalls. Although most people trust their own assessments of candidates, extensive research shows that we’re just not that good at it. We give too much credit to the individual and not enough credit to the work environment. (Pro tip: If you want to get better at hiring, you need to learn from your mistakes and stop blaming the candidate. Most people don’t understand all the factors that led to their success. Every time you hire someone and they disappoint you later, you just might have missed something in the hiring process.)

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5 Simple Ways to Lower Hiring Risk and Hire Better People

Posted by Bob Corlett on June 21, 2016


The hiring process seems familiar to most managers. Everyone has been through the process. It seems like hiring should be simple---everyone involved wants the same thing. Executives want to hire the best people. Candidates want a job where they can be successful. Everyone wants a recruiting process that accurately predicts performance on the job...and yet hiring is often disappointing.

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4 Hiring Process Questions That Improve Employee Retention

Posted by Bob Corlett on June 16, 2016

HR professionals often treat recruiting separately from employee engagement and retention, but recruiting and retention are two sides of the same coin, with the same basic ingredients. The right recruiting practices can also "bake in" long term employee engagement and retention.

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Ten Warning Signs of a Broken Hiring Process

Posted by Bob Corlett on June 7, 2016

A hiring process does not fail suddenly and for completely mysterious reasons. Most searches fail for fairly predictable reasons, with quite a few warning signs along the way. Or, as Ernest Hemingway put it in The Sun Also Rises:

"How did you go bankrupt?" Bill asked.

"Two ways," Mike said. "Gradually and then suddenly."

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Make "Time to Fill" A More Useful Recruiting Metric

Posted by Bob Corlett on February 19, 2016

This article originally appeared in The HR Examiner, you can read it here.

HR professionals often disagree about the value of "Time to Fill (TTF)" as recruiting metric. The debate is largely pointless -- like TTF or not, it’s here to stay. TTF endures because for executives outside of HR, it measures outcomes in a readily understandable way. But measuring your recruiting performance by TTF is like measuring your marketing department by the time from wanting a sale until making a sale.
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Recruiters Are Roadies. The Hiring Decision is the Main Event.

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 31, 2014

Recruiters are drawn to the challenge of the recruiting effort. Like Dug, the talking dog from Up, we’re wired to chase purple squirrels. We enjoy the thrill of the hunt. We train to learn new ways to unearth candidates made of unobtanium. We measure our worth by who we can find — the more rare and unusual, the better.

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Do You Really Need to Interview a Slate of Candidates? Or Just One?

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 11, 2014

When hiring, it's tempting to rush into interviewing, rather than waiting to develop a full slate of candidates. Hiring managers are often eager to interview as soon as they approve a job description. It's a request most HR folks try to oblige. And it's often a mistake.

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Recruiters: When Do You Trust Your Hiring Intuition?

Posted by Bob Corlett on October 21, 2013

On a typical search, we’ll review over 600 candidate profiles to put forward 6 candidates for an interview with the client. But even after we've ruled out 99% of the potential candidates, some of our clients will take out a pocket knife to further whittle down the interview list because some of the resumes don’t fit their pre-existing mental picture of "the ideal candidate." (Unlike insurance companies, recruiters cannot just exclude pre-existing mental conditions.) So we usually hear some variation of, "Hmm, Larry seems a little junior, and Susan comes from a background that just doesn't seem like it would fit in here, so let’s just schedule the other 4 people." But despite their objections, we encourage our clients to go ahead and interview the outlier candidates.

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Determining Salary for a New Hire? Think Like a Compensation Pro

Posted by Bob Corlett on October 21, 2013

Salary negotiations with top performers are a pivotal time in the hiring process. As an employer, it’s easy to forget that the candidate is not yet one of your employees. You can create or destroy trust, and set the tone for your entire employment relationship by how skillfully you negotiate salary. Sadly, salary negotiations are also where hiring managers risk snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Job seekers now have access to credible salary information, so you need to assume they know the market for their skills as well, or better than the hiring manager.

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