Strategic Staffing

Are you posting job ads and disappointed with the results? Job boards, such as Monster, offer the ability to post an ad, however, they typically generate significant responses but not any desirable candidates. Recently, we designed a targeted sourcing program for a client and we were provided a free job posting. We quickly received over 20 responses. None, however, had the experience required or even business-to-business sales experience. In short, they were not viable candidates and wouldn’t benefit our client. A targeted sourcing campaign, using Social Media and innovation, can create and uncover the candidates needed to fill the key slots in your organization to accomplish your strategic plan.

Our previous article discussed the many (legal) ways you can utilize Social Media in vetting your top candidates. Now we would like to address using the Internet to assist you in your “hunt” for these challenging positions. According to a recent survey on Careerbuilder, 75% of currently working people are open to a new opportunity but only 18% of them are actively seeking other employment.
Where do active job-seekers go to find opportunities? Most people would think that company Job boards are the obvious response, but that is incorrect. A large number of active job-seekers are going to Google and using an easy Boolean search (their zip code and job title). Within the Google search results, (62%) direct candidates to the job board, Indeed. Indeed is a great tool that works for you continuously at no cost.

Can Indeed Help You?
Yes! For best results, all you need is an Applicant Tracking Systemand a Career Page and Indeed will do the rest. This easy 3 step process will cut down the time needed to find Top Performers:

1. Create new post via your Applicant Tracking system

2. A lot of Applicant Tracking Systems will automatically post the new position to your company job board

3. Indeed then “harvests” your career site looking for new jobs and then posts them on their job board for free
By simply creating a new job opening on your Applicant Tracking System you can easily reach 100,000,000users a month! A recent study showed that more companies obtained hires from Indeed than from all other job boards combined.

LinkedIN is the“Facebook” in the business world and a great resource for finding Top Performers. The 3 major perks to using LinkedIN for talent acquisition are:

1. LinkedIN was created with static fields so searching LinkedIN’s interface using a Boolean search is more exact than an Internet search engine.

2. LinkedIN has also made it extremely simple to join, or create, industry-specific groups. This allows for easy posting of new positions directly to those in your industry.

3. LinkedIN has created their own job board where you can post available positions. While this route does have a fee, you can:

a. Target candidates with specific years of industry or product experience, education, or even previous companies a candidate has worked for.

b. Set up targeted search alerts which are emailed you when a new profile matches your criteria

c. Contact a candidate from within the system
The Internet has created a revolution in the recruiting industry. To be successful in today’s competitive, demanding document imaging world, we need more than just talented, willing, and motivated employees. They have to have the attributes that match the position with the skills and knowledge necessary to take the organization to the next level. A targeted approach of finding, acquiring and retraining the talent needed is one of the critical factors to your future success.

We touched on 2 different, but the most heavily used, sources of recruiting Top Performers on the Internet. Each one can streamline your recruiting/sourcing practices while also saving time, money, and effectiveness. For additional information on how to increase revenue through people’s performance, a list of low-cost applicant tracking systems, or other sourcing concerns, contact us at or by calling 843.884.9361.

Social or Anti-Social: How Do You Hire?

The top priority for your business should be filling your company with Top Performers and with the broad range of tools available hiring top performers should be easier than decades before.  One tool that 91% of recruiters are using in recruiting and vetting candidates is social media.   Since it is so readily available, and people naturally gravitate to it, it is wise to consider how to use Social Media well and within the law. 

Recruiting the Easy Way!

Social Media sites can now be a part of your Human Resources department.  The most popular, and widely used, Social Media sites realize how their sites can easily be used by recruiters.

·        LinkedIN offers job ad placement possibilities, as well as, LinkedIn Recruiter which allows you to search their site by keywords for skills you are seeking in a candidate.  By joining, or creating, an industry-specific group on LinkedIN you can also find potential candidates with industry experience.

·        Twitter:  With 140 characters you can “tweet” your latest job. Prefixing your Tweet with a # and it is searchable on Twitter. For example, #Looking for a Sales Rep in SC, Ocean-side, Good Salary, apply at

·         Facebook: Set up a company page and update it often!  Besides posting job ads on your page, have current employees “like” your page and send out job postings with links to your job page. Offer information about your company (benefits, events, etc.)  Invite people to “like” your page via email or social media marketing.

·        Google+ allows you to post jobs and ask for recommendations.  You can also use a Boolean search to analyze the profiles of Google+ members.

·        Pinterest allows your company to tell your story, share who you are, gain “followers”/potential candidates who are interested in you already.  Once you post a job opportunity it can easily be re-pinned to multiple different Pinterest boards, thus, freely and easily touching a broad audience.  

With all of these readily available sources, your next Top Performer is just a few keyboard clicks away.  

Anti-Vegas Vetting

Unlike Vegas, what happens on the Internet doesn’t stay on the Internet.  What candidates post can be an indication of their thought-processes or values. A little easy “digging” can make the difference between hiring a Top Performer or what looks like a top performer but is a problem employee. 

What Information Found On Social Media Can Be Useful?

Any information that could negatively affect the candidate’s work performance, such as areas of concern like:           

            Have poor communication skills

Candidate has lied about qualifications or past employment

Excessively negative comments about a previous employer

Divulged confidential information

Drug use or excessive alcohol usage

            Indications of Violent tendencies

            Affiliation with extremist groups           

Or Positive information:

            Creativeness of candidate

            Solid communication skills

            Has skills or talents not listed on resume (especially on LinkedIn)

            Is well thought of by peers (via recommendations on LinkedIn)

            Examples that show responsibility and positive values 

But, is it legal? 

Since you are looking for information that is job relevant and you must not use information from the intent that you would ask about in an interview, you must be prudent and follow the EEOC guidelines in what information to consider in your hiring decisions.

Is it legal, the answer is YES…if done in an informed and attentive manner. 

This includes:

1.     Consulting legal counsel to implement a standard written search policy that covers what information will be considered.

2.     Having a signed release from the candidate to perform a thorough background investigation- including social media search.

3.     Avoid Discrimination:  Social media can provide information that you may not otherwise obtain until you perform an interview.  That is why it is suggested that you not initiate a Social Media search until after you have had your initial interview with the candidate. 

4.     Someone other than the final decision-maker (or a third-party business) should be sourced to perform the Social Media screening. This provides a wall of protection between this person (or business) and the final decision-maker.

5.     Maintain uniform records of what disqualifying information was found via Social Media sites, including site names.

6.     Never use Social Media research as the only vetting tool.  We also recommend the following to complete your candidate analysis:

                                                              i.      Pre-employment Assessments, such as Job Fit Assessments

                                                            ii.      Criminal background checks

                                                          iii.      In-depth Supervisor/co-worker reference checks

                                                         iv.      Skills assessment

                                                           v.      Several in-depth, in-person interviews 

Now that you have the tools and information, vetting a candidate for your next open position can be easier, more effective, and more reliable. For additional information, please contact us at or 843.884-9361. 

Fact or Fiction: How to Easily Verify a Candidate's Education

Just over a week ago, Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson resigned his position after the news broke of his resume being “padded.”  Thompson claimed that he had degrees in accounting and computer science, when, in fact, he had never been awarded the latter degree. 
During the 1988 Presidential campaign, it was discovered that current Vice President Joe Biden falsely claimed that he had graduated at the top of his law-school class (he was 76 out of 85). 
What do these two scenarios, and based on recent studies, 20-40% of all resumes have in common? 
They represent the ever-increasing problem of resume padding- a nice way of saying a candidate has lied.   
The recent recession has dumped a large number of potential candidates into the pool, and some, to stand out, are attempting to separate themselves from the rest of the group by glorifying their academic credentials.  For an employer, this misrepresentation by a candidate is just one sign of potential issues.
Falsified resumes, whether education or experience, costs your company in many ways- from recruiting and replacement costs, increased turnover, the negative impact to your company’s reputation, lost customers and revenue, and the possibility of civil or criminal liability, should you hire them.
Misrepresentation on a resume tells us a lot about the candidate.  If they would lie about their education, what else are they lying about? Are they lying about their work experience?  Are they lying about commissions?  One thing is true- They are obviously not trust-worthy.
Instead of wasting time and money on fraudulent resumes, there are a couple of ways you can verify this information.
The most efficient way is to visit the National Student Clearinghouse. Their online system offers access to a nationwide coverage of postsecondary enrollment and degree records. This is an excellent source to verify the education of your candidate.  Rates vary from $4.50-$9.95 based on the number ordered annually.
The second way, and least efficient, is to have a member of your HR staff call to verify degrees.  This option is time consuming and less accurate due to the restrictions most institutions have regarding the release of information. 
Because of the increase of misrepresentation on resumes we recommend, at a minimum, you perform the following pre-employment screenings:
1.       Education Verification
2.       Employment Verification
3.       Job Fit Assessments
4.       Integrity Assessments
5.       Criminal Background checks 
These simple pre-hire steps will save your company up to 3 times the annual salary of one bad hire.  Isn’t that money well spent? 
Contact us for a complimentary white page, "10 Steps to Retaining Staff".

Analysis of Staffing Improvement in Customer-Driven Company

Recently, we were contacted by a medium-sized company who serves customers with locations in 5 states and over 300 employees.  They realized that hiring good quality employees was essential to the success of their business but their current hiring process was not sufficient in making informed and effective hiring decisions. 
Concern:  Turnover rate was negatively affecting their operations and slowing corporate success.
Solution: By analyzing their hiring process, and using  tools to measure reliability, work ethic, integrity and substance abuse, as well as, job fit estimates, they were able to reduce their turnover by 45.9% within the first year of utilization. Hiring more productive employees  resulted in reducing cost and turmoil of constantly replacing store staff which significantly improved their ability to continue their growth trend. 
If you would like to find out how we can assist your company , click here.


Because of price pressure, office technology organizations and salespeople are grappling with how to sell against a cheaper price. There is always someone with a cheaper machine and people are even will to sell what appears to be the same thing for a ridiculously low price. Unfortunately, most focus on the wrong strategy to defeat price competition. When faced with, "I can get it somewhere else cheaper" or "Your price is too high," the most common response is to try to find a way to lower your price reducing your margins and income. A better strategy against price pressure is to increase the customer's perception of value from the beginning of the sales process.

History is full of industries, companies, and even individuals who have tried to win by discounting and lowering their price. Unless you are the lowest cost provider, you can not win the discount game. Being able to sell against a cheaper price is essential to survival for all companies and salespeople.


To sell your value, begin by understanding what customers "perceive" as valuable. Research indicates in products customers value quality, capability, reliability, and productivity. In services they value confidence, trust, reputation, resources behind the organization, and reduced risk. Make your job of selling value easier by building these into your products, services, and marketing material.

To win the value battle, you must take a proactive approach to creating, communicating, and delivering value to your customers. This approach will build long-term customer relationships, improve loyalty, and increase results. It is a much better strategy to build value than discount price because both you and the customer win.

The first step in creating and communicating value is to understand who your customers are and, most importantly, what their needs are. Only when you understand different categories or types of customers can you know how they are different, how they are similar, what they value, and, most importantly, what they will pay for.

This examination of customers and potential customers will help determine the price level or premium they are willing to pay for products and services. For example, a customer may pay more for an innovative capability that other options do not provide. Some customers, no matter how high they perceive your value, have little ability to pay the price premium. Many others have the ability to pay if they feel your premium is justified. We have found this group is larger than most people think.


Knowing the types of customers you serve is not enough. You must know individual customers and their specific needs. By understanding each customer's situation and the problems they want to solve by using your products or service, you will be able to determine their real need. Most importantly, when you know the results the customer wants or gets from using your products and services, you'll then be able to determine your product or service's true benefit or value.

It is critical to examine your company to determine the “real” value your products or services deliver to customers. Our experience in workshops and seminars indicates that, while some understand their customers, few do a good job of self-analysis. Top management must understand the real value they provide and, if not known, needs to conduct an analysis to carefully examine the organization, its products, and its services from the customer's point-of-view.

Self-knowledge is power. To understand your organization, ask questions such as these: "What do you do so well that you far exceed a competitor?", "Why have current customers chosen you?", "What is truly unique and valuable about your products and services?", "In what ways are you vulnerable?", "In the past, why have you lost business or customers?", and "Why would someone not buy from you?" The answers to these questions will provide the self-knowledge and increase awareness of your value.


Once you know your customers and know yourselves, it is imperative that you develop a perception or an awareness of your value. The first step after knowing your value is that you must know and clearly communicate it to your employees. If top management perceives the value being delivered but employees who deal with customers everyday do not, it will not be communicated to the customer. The employee at the customer’s location is your most effective messenger. Make sure they know and, every importantly, believe the message.


A company can increase its perceived value and make selling easier by creating "value-based" service and products. These products are helpful because they allow the customer to easily make a commitment or buying decision. The industry has long since learned that service based products are a key to profit. Adding a value quotient or element only makes sense. They not only formalize the relationship and commitment the customer has to the company, but they also provide a structure that makes customers feel more comfortable with the relationship. Few customers like open-ended type relationships where conditions, cost, and value are unspecified. An hourly rate does not define cost, only the method of determining cost. An example of a “service-based” product is one that combines specific services to meet the customer needs into a package for a specific price. A value-based service moves beyond a fixed number of time units and is based on the value to the customer.


Once you have created a perception of value within the organization, it must be communicated to the customer. Many times you hear, "We are much better than the competition, but our customers just don't seem to understand." This classic communication problem occurs because a customer's actions and decisions are not based on facts, but their perception of facts. If a company or system has a strength or value that is not fully communicated to and accepted by the customer, it has no effect on the customer’s buying decision.

Many people think about mailings, press releases, and other public relation devices as communication. These are important; however, you must not forget to simply pick up the phone and periodically call your valuable customers. Use old-fashioned, proven methods to keep them informed and stay connected.

A very simple way to ensure this happens is to divide your customer list or rolodex into sections by alphabet and call them at preset intervals. For example, by dividing the customer list and calling seven letters per week, you can ensure that you talk to all customers within a month. You may determine frequency by account size, market type, or any other method and use your sales contact management software to schedule it. It doesn’t matter whether it is high tech or low tech scheduling, it just must be “high touch” in staying connected. Try calling your customers to check on them, not just to handle a problem or to sell something and see if the results don't soon appear. Provide more value than other organizations by going above and beyond.

It is easy to get in a hurry and not take time to communicate well. You must also take the time to let customers know what you have done for them. If you have gone the "extra mile" and corrected a problem, the customer must be told this or it will have little value because on the surface it may have appeared routine.

Another simple but powerful technique that many people forget or don’t do well in large organizations is to take the time at the end of each service or support visit to explain what has been done, answer any questions, thank them for their business, and tell them to call if they have any difficulty. Many times we tell the employees who work with a system or at a remote location and rely on them to tell the decision maker and the communication doesn’t get through. This simple but often overlooked communication technique not only builds relationships, but it also builds the perception of value.


The best products and services in the world will not be effective in producing sales unless the salesperson selling them has both the skills and the confidence to sell against a lower price. Many times people rely on product or service superiority to sell itself. As competition gets greater, the difference between winning and losing a sale, many times, is a salesperson. It is essential to have a good product—that is competition, but most times customer perception and sales effectiveness are what determine sales results.

A salesperson's results can be boiled down to the interaction of the two primary factors of sales skill level and sales activity level. Our High Performance Formula of "Skills x Activity Re$ult$" predicts success. Even if significant numbers of prospects are generated by advertising and the company’s reputation, unless the salesperson has a high level of sales skills and confidence, the results will be lost sales. Even a highly skilled salesperson cannot be successful unless he or she has a sufficient activity level and generate ample prospects. If you would like to know whether increasing sales skills or activity levels pays greater dividends, e-mail and request the Sales Productivity Report.


Today, in everything you do, you must serve the customer very well. It is your primary determinant of success. First, you must determine what is customer service? Many times in a high-tech or service company, it is easy to loose sight of what service really is. It is not a service call or even fixing a problem, it is everything the customer experiences about your company. Even if the problem is resolved, the perception of good service will not be there unless everything else is perceived as top-notch.

You cannot successfully compete on price unless you have the most efficient, lowest cost operation. Even when you are the most efficient, someone else can become more efficient; or worse is willing to sell at a loss. Selling on price may be like a gunfighter in the old west. If you live by the gun; you will die by the gun. There was always a faster gun and today’s corollary is that there is always someone willing to sell at a lower price. This may be why few gunfighters or companies that sell on price survive long.
Research has even indicated that very few people buy the cheapest price. For you to get out of the “lower price trap” and be successful now and in the future, you must continually increase the customer's perceived value.