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How to Hire the Right Candidate, Right Away

You need to make a new hire – and fast.  It’s easy to rush through the decision-making process when you’re under pressure.  But sometimes the candidate that appeared to fit the culture of your company at first glance, doesn’t actually have the work ethic you expected.  Or it could turn out that the candidate who was polished and well-spoken in an initial interview presents completely differently on their first day of work. Avoiding a rash decision and hiring the right candidate the first time around will save you time, energy, and money.  PS&R offers some insight into ways you can find the perfect fit for your job opening.

Ask for several references.  Connecting with potential employee references can be difficult and time consuming.  But don’t settle on just one positive reference.  It’s important to get feedback from both a supervisor and a colleague.  One can tell you how the candidate performed, while the other can give insight into how the candidate interacted with peers. Also consider speaking to references from several different companies. This will help you get a more well-rounded picture of the applicant.

Know the requirements of the role.  It’s easy to hire someone who is generally good at a lot of things. But if the work at hand requires a specific skill, make that clear to applicants.  Keep a check list of skills and experiences someone would need to be successful in this job and use it during your interviews.  You might really like one candidate, but if they fail to check off on a majority of your list, it’s probably time to move on. 

Set a process and stick with it.  Will the position be posted internally first?  How many candidates will you see before narrowing down for second interviews? If you don’t find any qualified candidates the first time around, how long are you willing to extend the search?  Without a clear idea of the process, it’s easy to make a “gut decision” and hire quickly without following through with other candidates.  Make an outline of the steps you need to take to fill the position and confirm that everyone involved in the hiring process is onboard.  This will lead to a more deliberate and thoughtful hire.

Partnering with a seasoned recruitment specialist like Preferred Staffing & Recruiting takes the burden of this process off of your plate.  We’ll make sure you find the best fit the first time around!

 

 

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Ask Kathy – Tips for Your First Interview

Kathy Orcutt is the founder and president of Preferred Staffing & Recruiting. She has twenty years of experience in the recruiting industry in the great Boston area. As a woman-owned and DBE business, Kathy and her PS&R team provide permanent and temporary workforce solutions for a broad range of businesses.

We asked Kathy what advice she would give a candidate who is trying to make the best possible impression at a job interview. Here are her thoughts:

Dress professionally and be punctual. 

Even if the company comes across as casual, you will make a better impression if you are overdressed rather than underdressed.  Also, make sure you are on-time for your scheduled interview.  It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by how often candidates arrive late without any communication.

Be a good listener and ask thoughtful questions.

Your interview is an opportunity for the hiring manager to learn about you, but you don’t want to drone on endlessly about your background and skills.  Make sure not to talk over the interviewer and give them a chance to ask follow-up questions. When it’s your turn to ask questions, go beyond the basics.  Inquire about the culture of the company and how the position fits and interacts with the broader organization.  These types of questions show that you are interested in learning more about their business and the opportunity at hand.

Watch your body language.

Again, it might seem like a no brainer, but often when we’re nervous we lose sight of our body language.  Make sure to smile and make eye contact.  Try not to slouch or fidget while answering questions.  As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

 

 

Understanding the New Massachusetts Equal Pay Law

Our home state of Massachusetts is on the forefront of the movement for equal pay and rights for employees.  Last month the equal pay law was updated to provide clarity on what constitutes unlawful wage discrimination. A key piece of the July 1st update made it unlawful for employers to ask candidates for salary history information.  Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states that have adopted this kind of law.

To help you understand this new law, PS&R has gathered some questions that employers are able to ask, and some you need to avoid.

Employers CANNOT ask:

  • What is your current salary?
  • How much did you make in your last job?
  • How much of your compensation is base salary versus commission?
  • Why do you think this salary is appropriate for you?

Employers CAN ask:

  • What is your salary requirement or expectation?
  • What value would you bring to this job?
  • Did you meet your sales goals in your last position? (but don’t ask about earnings through sales)
  • Is there a type of pay structure you would be most comfortable with?

Remember that job candidates can volunteer pay history information on their own, it just can’t be actively solicited by a recruiter or human resources manager. Don’t forget to eliminate pay history questions from paper or online documents, such as employment applications.

Working with a Massachusetts recruiter like PS&R is an easy way to navigate this new law effectively.