If you have bilingual skills, we've got several clients hiring now for career opportunities in CUSTOMER SERVICE! … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | September 22, 2015
0 Blog, Flexible Staffing Strategies Employment Agency Bellevue, Flexible WorkForce, hiring, PACE Staffing Network, Recruiting, strategic staffing, Temporary Staffing, Temporary Staffing In Seattle, workforce solutions
Call Them Temps. Call Them Contractors. Call Them Consultants. Whatever You Call Them – You Need Them! Employers who have mastered the management of large and strategically focused flexible workforce's, and have learned to embrace this workforce rather than see it as a necessary evil, know that the workforce strategies represented by these workers are anything but temporary. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | September 1, 2015
What we often find is that the interview questions that are the most clever or engaging for both interviewer and interviewee, simply don’t provide the information about candidates that the decision makers need and actually matter to placement success. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | April 23, 2014
“The single biggest problem in communication is the mistaken notion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw How we communicate, the conversations we have with others, is a key factor in our successes (or failures) as leaders—particularly when it's time to promote, lead, or influence change. Conversations that create misunderstandings or hurt feelings will inevitably create mistakes, lower productivity, and damage team morale. In fact, miscommunications are one of the leading causes of “stress” amongst both employees and their leaders. It's often not the change itself that is the challenge—it's all the failed conversations that go on around and about the change that are most impactful to a leader's effectiveness. Here are FIVE THINGS leaders can do to make the conversations we have with others, particularly during times of change, will produce the results we intend. 1. Be Concise. Think about what you want to say and say it clearly and directly—with ordinary language, not big words or long sentences. If something is hard to communicate, it's probably equally hard to hear. Take the time to make your message simple. And don’t beat around the bush! Focus on a handful of key points and state them clearly. If you use examples, make sure they are relevant to your message. Communicate to learn something about people and situations; to clarify and inform—not to impress. 2. Be Redundant. Start and end your message with the most important thing you want others to hear: “I am concerned about __________________ and want to make sure we think of all angles." “While I'm still concerned about __________________, I think we have done a good job of exploring all angles for addressing this issue." In this particular case, your message is about your concerns and your need to invite and reinforce the team getting involved in finding a solution. At the end of the conversation, you still have concerns, but you also want to reinforce the team's engagement. Make sure they know what they accomplished! Frame your communications with conversational book ends. Open your message with an announcement of what you will be talking about. Close your conversation with what you did talk about. "What I want to talk about today is your role on the team and how it's changing." "What we talked about today is your role on the team and all the ways it has changed." 3. Listen More. Tell Less. To engage people in the work it takes to change, it is never enough just to tell people what you want them to do or know and then give feedback when they don't do as you say, or know what you taught. (Sound familiar?) To be an influential agent for change, the first step is to see the situation through the eyes of others, not just your own. Telling others what they should do (or worse yet "should have done") is a tactic that while quick and easy to execute, doesn't reliably get you the results you need. A frequent outcome is misunderstandings, hurt feelings and confusion. Telling assumes your listeners see the same things you do, which is never the case! Entering into genuine conversations about what others are thinking or feeling about the change, allows for learning—all parties. “I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this situation. I have been going over what happened and think I have some ideas, but don’t want to get stuck behind some information that you might have that I don’t.” And when it's time for feedback, make it quick and to the point. Long lectures about the what's and whys of "doing it right" are more likely to annoy than inform. 4. Clarify. Clarify. Clarify. Expecting others to “get the message, or make quick and lasting changes" after one message, is a huge mistake and leads to many dysfunctions not only in our communications with others, but ultimately your relationships as well. Replace “I thought we had already discussed that," with "my bad, I wasn't as clear as I could have been." When it comes to communications, lower your expectations of what's possible. Keep communicating. Observe behavior to see just how much of your message has been turned into action, and what of your message needs more work. Confront those who are openly ignoring what you have to say. Gently guide those who you know are trying, but aren't quite where you are—yet. When time is short, and you need to change behavior quickly, follow up your conversations with the request that they summarize what they just heard and the 3-4 things they want to do differently on the go forward. Discuss their plan until you reach agreement, and then follow up to ensure it is executed. While it is possible for ONE GREAT conversation to produce significant change, in most cases, one conversation lays the groundwork for better, easier conversations to follow! The best communicators are often people with simple messages, repeated often. 5. Check Your Filters... those nasty assumptions about the motives and beliefs of others that keep you from hearing what they have to say or discounting what you are hearing because it doesn't align with your beliefs and assumptions. If you have a filter about others that just won’t go, away address it openly and always with a willingness to learn and/or “be wrong.” “It feels like we are seeing this situation from two very different perspectives. Let's spend a little time talking about what we are each experiencing." The best relationships often grow out of situations where there is conflict between very different points of view; where two people genuinely see and/or believe something very different about a particular situation or event. Digging deep to find those places of agreement—either on facts or goals—can become a powerful base for shared respect and understandings. As leaders, taking the time to improve the quality of conversations we have with our key stakeholders—our boss, our team, our peers and coworkers, will have direct impact on our results—particularly during periods where our real job is to help others change, either their behavior or their perspective.
by Jeanne Knutzen | April 10, 2014
The following article is an edited version of an article written by Dr. John Sullivan for the ERE Daily on Monday, April 7th, 2014. Those who follow my articles know that I frequently write on the positive trends and big ideas that I think recruiting leaders need to be aware of. I don’t often write about challenges or problems believing that most of us don’t want to dwell on the negative. Since I am predicting that during the next few years we will encounter a completely transformed world of recruiting, it only makes sense to shift our conversation and focus on our upcoming challenges. If recruiters aren’t prepared to mitigate these challenges, they may grow out of control, causing exponential damage to your company and its performance. The Top 10 – in order of priority: 1. Not being prepared for the return of intense recruiting competition. With so many jobless individuals applying for every open position, it has been easy for recruiters and hiring managers to pick and choose from numerous applicants. Recruiting was a relatively easy process. As the economy improves, the power in the recruiting relationship will inevitably shift away from the corporation to the job seeker – changing the “ease” with which the recruiting function can be executed. Most corporate recruiting functions simply aren’t ready for a return to intense competition for candidates. The primarily “active” recruiting approaches that have worked and dominated over the last handful of years will simply fail when the focus shifts to fighting over prospects and candidates. And the “war for talent” will be even more challenging if recruiting resources are short. 2. The increased volume of open positions will overload the recruiting system. In addition to having to fight for individual talent, an increase in the volume of hiring will further stress most existing recruiting systems to the limit. Obviously as corporate growth increases, so will the hiring volume. Challenges retaining talent will further increase that hiring volume. Last year alone, corporate turnover increased by 45% and I am predicting a similar increase for this year and next. Turnover will increase because as the job market opens up in specific industries, regions, and technical jobs, many employees who have been focusing on job security will begin to realize that it’s time to move on. Because most corporate retention teams have been completely decimated and retention approaches not updated, corporate efforts to prevent this increased turnover will have little impact. For recruiting leaders this means that the combination of new corporate growth and high employee turnover will dramatically increase the volume of open positions beyond their capacity to produce the results needed. 3. Rusty hiring managers and underdeveloped recruiters have diminished capabilities. A low volume of hiring and the lack of competition may have caused the capabilities of your hiring managers and recruiters to degrade significantly. Adding to that condition the fact that there has been little money for development or training for either recruiters or managers will mean that in growth mode both are likely to initially stumble under this new environment. 4. A lack of speed will restrict your results. The business world moves much faster today than it did during the last recruiting boom. Unfortunately, recruiting hasn’t maintained its speed capability due to fewer resources, a lack of competition, and less focus on “time to hire” statistics. When top candidates have multiple offers, they simply won’t be around when indecisive managers finally make their hiring decision. In a newly competitive and faster moving world, delays in hiring will be costly, and unfortunately, reducing time to hire is one of the most difficult objectives to achieve within recruiting. 5. Long Ignored employer brands will begin to negatively impact recruiting effectiveness. In a down economy, with applicant surpluses, recruiting leaders did not pay much attention to their external employer brand image. Few have taken the time to measure their employer brands, and as a result, recruiting leaders often don’t realize how their “talent failures” (including layoffs, pay cuts, promotional freezes, etc.) have hurt their employer brand image. Once competition for top talent becomes intense, leaders will realize that a weak Internet or social media employer brand will prevent top talent and innovators from even considering applying at your firm. Unfortunately, most recruiting leaders define employer branding incorrectly and rebuilding an employer brand is both time consuming and expensive. 6. Your current recruiting process may not have the capability of recruiting innovators. One of the things that executives have learned from the success of firms like Google and Apple is the value of innovation and innovative employees. Unfortunately, most recruiting processes are not designed to effectively identify or recruit innovators who expect to see innovation and technology as an integral part of the hiring process. Without a strong employer brand and a separate sub-process designed specifically for recruiting innovators, the chance of recruiting a top industry innovator to your firm may approach zero. 7. Your recruiting strategy may be years out of date. Obviously without the direction provided by a strategic plan, your firm may suffer several years of weak results. Surprisingly, most recruiting functions actually operate without any written and distributed recruiting strategy. But even if you have a strategy, it is rarely updated to meet the needs of a new and much more intense global recruiting market. The strategy must also include a competitive analysis of your recruiting competitors to ensure that your firm’s strategy and approach produces superior results and a measurable competitive advantage. 8. Antiquated recruiting metrics lower your credibility with executives. Whether you have a seat at the table or not, recruiting leaders simply will not be listened to and funded unless they have the right metrics to quantify the dollar impact that high-performing new hires have on corporate revenue. And of course the biggest corporate metric omission is the failure of the majority of firms to accurately measure the quality of hire. As a result, few corporate recruiting functions can convincingly prove that they hire top performers and innovators with advanced skills and high retention rates. Only a handful of functions have predictive metrics that are necessary in order to alert recruiters and hiring managers about upcoming recruiting issues and opportunities. 9. A shortage of effective recruiters is on the horizon. Everyone knows that this long period with a down economy has decimated the ranks of corporate recruiters. Many of those who were laid off have left the profession. And the bad taste that it left in their mouths may cause most never to return. Since there are no college programs that turnout recruiters, recruiting leaders need to prepare for the time when competition for top recruiters will become intense. Existing employed recruiters will be in such a demand that they will be “bid on” by other firms, and finding effective replacement recruiters on the open market will be extremely difficult and expensive. Training new recruiters themselves may be the only effective option available to many firms. 10. The lack of recruiting resources. Unless you work at Google, the odds are that your function has already suffered numerous dramatic budget cuts over the last several years. You’re going to need a significantly higher budget if you expect to have a reasonable chance to increase your employer brand, recruiting volume, recruiting speed, and quality of hire. Unfortunately, most recruiting leaders simply don’t have the capability of building a strong business case that quantifies the tremendous dollar impact that recruiting has on corporate revenue and results. Additional Challenges There are several additional strategic problems that didn’t make the list, because I determined that even though they are important, they had a lower impact. But since every industry and company faces unique problems, add your unique problems to your “keep an eye on list.”
by Jeanne Knutzen | March 11, 2014
When recruiters think about improving their effectiveness as recruiters or as a recruiting team, they often think in terms of what changes in technology or recruiting content might do for them. We could be so much more effective if we had a new ATS? More access to (expensive) job boards? A better social media strategy? A more attractive compensation or benefit package? Because of the many things in the recruiting process recruiters can’t control, they often overlook the things they can. Here are five things that come to mind for recruiters who want to make a difference: 1. Know Your Recruiting Story – Tell It Often and Well A good recruiter knows that at some point in the recruiting process, the mechanics of a particular ATS system or their skills to find the hard-to-find no longer matter. Their ability to tell the story of “why this job, this company, should be the job or company for you" is what makes the difference. “Why do I want to work here?” is the fundamental question candidates are asking as they start an application process or accept a job offer. Effective recruiters have a range of stories to answer that question. And for different candidates, a different job, the story needs to be told differently, depending on the candidate’s individual needs and preferences.
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This article was written by Jeanne Knutzen, Founder of PACE Staffing Network, an award winning recruiting and temporary staffing agency headquartered in Bellevue Washington.
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This article was written by Nicholas Black, Candidate Services Manager for the PACE Staffing Network, an award winning recruiting and temporary staffing agency headquartered in Bellevue Washington. If you are interested in finding out how PACE can “make a difference” in your job search, contact Nick at candidateservices@