The VGP Blog

Leveraging Technology In Your Hiring Process

Date posted: July 31, 2013

In addition to Automated Resume Screeners, there are a plethora of other tools and software available to help streamline your hiring process. However, a company must first be clear in what type of candidates they’re seeking out and on what scale. No matter how great the tool may be, it is only as effective as its user.

Job posting sites are a great place to start given the rising accessibility of computers and the increasing number of job seekers, but statistically provides better results for corporate companies hiring in bulk compared to smaller businesses and firms looking for specialized character traits and/or trade skills.

When posting jobs online you’re projecting the position’s potential out to thousands of people, most of who aren’t even in your company’s geographic area. However, given that many job seekers are willing to move for the right opportunity, video conferencing can be leveraged as a great tool to pre-screen applicants before flying them in town to interview. Companies can acquire a high quality camera for a small investment and utilize free services such as Skype to conduct professional meetings from virtually anywhere.

Social Media is quickly becoming the recruiting go-to given the vast amount of information available about prospective candidates. After filtering through resumes and finding good fits on paper, a quick Google search can reveal a lot about prospects who have an active Social Media presence. By taking a few minutes to shift through this information during a pre-screening, employers can save hours in valuable time they would have previous invested in interviewing every candidate.

While there are countless benefits to integrating technology into the hiring process, when getting into the realm of pre-screening, those doing the choosing must be careful to not discriminate based on protected class characteristics, which include a candidates age, gender, and race. With so much information instantly available about prospects, pre-screeners can often walk a fine line, and must do their best to remain neutral to these specific characteristics, keeping in mind that at the end of the day their job is to choose the best qualified candidate based on their skill set, not their appearance.

An executive recruiting agency like VGP Recruit can help you leverage technology without wasting time and resources. We filter through the hundreds of sites to help you find the ones that are most important to your business.

Is Your Resume Optimized?

Date posted: July 24, 2013

Technology is rapidly changing many ways of doing business, and the recruiting process is no exception. The online application process has flooded many companies with an unmanageable influx of resumes to be thoroughly screened within a reasonable time by a pair of human eyes. Enter the era of the automated resume scanner.

Multiple companies offer a variety of resume-screening software among other tools to aid the recruiting process, but the functionality of all programs is basically the same. The Applicant Tracking Systems (also called Automated Resume Screeners) search resume documents for keywords and then organizes them based on the parameters set by the software manager.

Keywords are chosen based upon the skill sets the company values, as well as the job position they’re looking to fill. Keywords can relate to years of experience, specialized areas of study, an applicant’s location, and level of education among other things.

 5 quick tips for optimizing your resume to rank among the masses:

  1. When possible, customize your resume based on the job you’re applying for. By incorporating the job title and words from the job description you’re more likely to be on the recruiter’s radar.
  2. Don’t skim on the experience. Many automated systems also measure the depth of your experience and check for repetitive words to indicate higher levels of experience. Be thorough with your experience descriptions when submitting your resume online.
  3. Use bullet points, not paragraphs. Bullets are easier for resume screeners to analyze, as well as human eyes.
  4. Consult with an insider on best practices for getting your resume in the right hands. Especially when looking to break into more competitive work fields.
  5. Be a proactive job seeker on social networking sites like LinkedIn. Actively reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers show persistence and a go-getter attitude; two qualities that many companies look for when interviewing candidates. However be sure your online profile and presence are polished for professionalism and accurately describe your current work situation.

Want a second pair of eyes on your resume.. or are you ready for help finding that dream job? An executive recruiting agency can help you put together the perfect resume, while also helping you to get the job you’ve always wanted. Valor Group Personnel is here ready to help you get the job you want.

3 Tips For Using Social Media To Recruit

Date posted: July 17, 2013

Recently the recruiting process has become less about the cover letter and resume, and moving more towards pre-screening via social media profiles and testing how well applicants perform during behavioral-based interviews. All in the name of bringing together the right fit for both the candidate and the company, as numerous studies have shown the bottom-line benefits of hiring for a good fit.

Where formalized words and listed out experience falls short, social media profiles intact with pictures, interests, and opinions fill in the voids to create a more comprehensive view of applicants before they even walk in the door.

When it comes to recruiting with social media, here are three best practices to be mindful of:

  1. Know what you’re looking for – different candidates are active on different social platforms. To maximize efficiency be sure you’re searching on the appropriate platform for the line of work you’re trying to fill. A 2012 Jobvite study revealed that 92% of US companies were using social recruiting at the time, with LinkedIn as the primary platform, followed by Facebook then Twitter.
  2. Seek out niche groups and communities – posting job openings on social platforms has not shown to be effective when looking for specialized candidates; instead focus efforts on prospecting those who actively engage in niche communities related to their industry. This also demonstrates a prospects passion and enthusiasm for their line of work. Here are some statistics from Jobvite to get you feeling optimistic:
  • More than 7 out of 10 employers have successfully hired a candidate through social media. This is up 63% from 2011.
  • 43% of employers say the quality of applicants has improved
  • 20% reported it takes less time to hire when using social media

        3. Check for recently updated and/or active profiles – an updated or active profile indicates the person is more likely looking for work. According to Jobvite, 2012 studies reveled:

  • 88% of all job seekers have at least one social profile; 64% have two
  • 69% of employed Americans are actively seeking or open to a new job

Take the guesswork out of your hiring process and give the experts a call! Valor Group Personnel actively recruits across multiple social media platforms, seeking out the best fits for your growing business.

Professional Staffing, Ensuring The Best Value For Your Dollars

Date posted: July 10, 2013

With the rising cost of living, President Obama recently acknowledged the need to increase the national minimum wage to keep up with the times during his speech this past January. He also proposed indexing wages to match the rate of inflation, a process which many states have already embraced.

The federal Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would increase wages from their current $7.25 per hour up to $10.10 by 2015, phased in $0.95 increments over the next three years. This rate has been in effect since 2009. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 also includes clauses to raise the minimum wage of employees who work primarily for tips to increase by up to 70% of their current rate at $2.13; a rate which has been in effect for over twenty years, since 1991.

The following 10 states are currently paving the way for the Minimum Wage Act; all of which raised their state minimum wage rate effective as of January 1, 2013:

  • Arizona – $7.80
  • Colorado – $7.78
  • Florida – $7.79
  • Missouri – $7.35
  • Montana – $7.80
  • Ohio – $7.85
  • Oregon – $8.95
  • Rhode Island – $7.75
  • Vermont – $8.60
  • Washington – $9.19

Fortunately for workers in these states, employers are obligated to pay the higher rate regardless of the national standard. To see where your state stands, check out this list of minimum wage rates by state. However, with more money going out, many companies are now forced to reassess their budgets and trim funds from other areas of the business. When applied on a national scale, this could lead to some significant changes in the employment landscape.

In previous posts we’ve discussed how costly the hiring process can be for businesses, in assets of both time and money. With the potential enactment of having to increase your worker’s pay it’s important to ensure you’re getting the best value for your investments.

By utilizing a professional staffing service such as Valor Group Personal, hiring managers and owners can have the peace of mind knowing that applicants are thoroughly pre-screened and only the most highly qualified and personable candidates will be occupying their valuable time. VGP works tirelessly to match candidates based not only on their ability to fulfill the job requirements, but also to fit in with a company’s culture. Give us a call to find out how we can not only help save your company both time and money, but also present you with qualified, handpicked candidates to meet your specific needs.

3 Reasons to Hire a Recruiting Agency

Date posted: June 26, 2013

Think hiring employees on your own is the best idea to growing your company? Think again. Depending on the size of your company, it may be worth the investment to hire an executive recruiting firm to handle your employee hiring process – even if you have a HR professional or department to aid in the process. Executive search firms typically have more resources at hand to find the qualified employee you are looking for.

If you are the one searching for and hiring your company’s employees, what’s more than likely happening is you are costing the company more money, than if you were to hire a professional staffing agency to manage the process and handle the workload for you. Why? Because your time is just as valuable as anyone else’s and the time you spend reading through resumes could be time well spent on the clock for the company crossing off your long to do list of things that must get done before Friday.

Let’s face it, we all to some degree have an issue with control. We think no one can do it like us – and that’s right no one can. But when you have a ‘to do list’ that isn’t getting any shorter and all of your time is dedicated to reading through stacks of papers, it’s time to give it up and let someone help you.

3 Reasons to Hire a Recruiting Agency:

  1. Save Time & Money: Using an executive recruiting firm cuts down on labor costs of you or your team having to sift and cipher through resumes – of which most of the people are unqualified. If you are worth $200 an hour and you’re averaging 10 hours a week on finding the right employee you are actually costing your company money.
  2. Access to People: Recruiting firms have access to people that you don’t have. Typically a company has access to people through online portals such as which are notorious for producing plenty of resumes of unqualified candidates. Recruiting firms have a database of people who come to them looking for career placement – they are also trained on knowing how to place the right people within the right company for their skills, talents and personality traits.
  3. Process for Hire: Starting out, most company’s “hiring process” consists of reading through resumes until they pick one that meets ‘some’ of the attributes they are looking for. A staffing agency has a process that works for finding, screening and interviewing skilled candidates that meet all of the requirements of a job description. Why work overtime and stress about all the paperwork you must go through when someone can do that for you?

Hiring an executive recruitment firm doesn’t mean you are giving up all of the control, it means you will have a team of trained professionals who take the load off. Trained recruiters who sift through the paperwork and do the first round of interviews with candidates until they narrow down the choices. This is where you step back in; once the unqualified applicants have been sifted through, a second round of interviews takes place with you present. From there you chose the candidate that you feel will be a Great fit for your company. A professional recruiting firm is like having a team of individual’s help you get through the mess without having to train them or look at them everyday.

At Valor Group Personnel, we make the process of hiring an employee seamless. The process will be over before you know it, with the right employee for the position. Aren’t you ready to move on and give your tired eyes a break?

The Process of Finding the Right Candidate for the Job

Date posted: June 19, 2013

There’s a surplus of people on the job market currently, however finding the right candidate to fill the position within your company for some seems bleak at best. Most companies are experiencing a surplus in applications, yet a decrease in qualified applicants. In part this is due to the fact that the unemployment rate is so high and there are too many people with their resumes out hoping to find work. In part it may also be due to the process you are using to find employees.

As an employer who is spending their time searching through piles of resumes, you may need to look at the current process you are using and adjust it to fit your needs. The process of finding the right candidate can be easy or it can be difficult. If you are stressed and ready to pull your hair out, consider this:

  1. Redefine Your Job Description: Having a job description is important – having a detailed and thorough job description is even more crucial. Think beyond 2 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree. Be specific as to what skill sets the “perfect” candidate should have and put them in the Job Description.
  2. Hire a Professional: Hiring an executive recruiting firm will save you time, money and stress. Professional recruiters meet with you, understand who you are looking for, then put together a solid strategy to help you find the right candidate. Tired of sifting through the piles and piles of resumes? Executive recruiting agencies do that too! They know what to look for and what to cross out when it comes to hiring. Working with a recruitment firm will save you time by finding the “right” employee faster.
  3. Advanced Targeting of Ads: Be specific in your Ads. This will minimize the number of unqualified applications you receive. Keep your Ad short and to the point of exactly who you are looking for.

As an HR professional you probably have thousands of items on your plate and hunting for a candidate is taking you away from crossing out your to-do-list of those items. It’s important to be involved in the process of hiring, however when it consumes your life it’s time to reach out to a professional.

Executive recruiting firms already has their process in place to find the best candidate for the position in the shortest amount of time possible.


The Cost of a Bad Hire

Date posted: June 12, 2013

The cost of hiring a new employee goes beyond salary and training. It requires an investment of hours that could be used for more productive matters if your new employee ends up not being a good fit for the position within your company.

There have been many studies about how much a new employee ‘really’ costs to a business. Below are some of the statistics that you may want to consider when hiring someone new. Is it worth it to hire someone that you could pay less, but is not really qualified for the job or is it better to pay more and have someone who is trained and skilled for the job?

  • An employee’s salary + plus benefits often equals from 1.25 to 1.4 times their base salary. You want to consider this when employing someone you may have to let go sooner rather than later.
  • Training is one of the most costly investments a company makes. On average each employee costs around $1,200 while in training and 32 hours of the person in charge of training that new employee.
  • A mid-level manager usually takes 6.2 months to break-even.
  • After training, new employees function up to 25% of their capacity, which means that the loss of productivity equals 75% of their salary.
  • For a regular employee, it takes up to 5 months for them to reach their full potential and the break-even point.

Cost of integration should be also considered when adding someone new to an already established team. This goes beyond structure and software needed for the new worker, it is also about how will he/she work with their peers.

There are many costs to consider when firing or hiring someone in your business. During the process you will experience a loss of revenue caused by the empty position and the time/money invested into finding a new candidate to replace them. After the hiring and training process, it is an adjustment of responsibilities that can also be translated into a money loss for the company. Hiring new personnel isn’t something that should be taken lightly and experts agree that in the end it is cheaper to pay more and hire the right fit, rather than paying less and hiring someone that won’t really work for your company.

Working with a professional staffing agency can help reduce the amount of time spent on finding an employee while also ensuring you find the right person for the job, instead of hiring the wrong person which will end up costing your company a lot more money than using an executive search firm, combined with the salary of the right employee.


Interviewing 101 – What You Should Be Asking & Why

Date posted: June 5, 2013

Interviewing prospective employees means a lot more than reviewing a resume and asking about hobbies, or why they want to work with your company, or why they received their degree in liberal arts when they really wanted a finance position.

Any executive recruiting firm or staffing agency will tell you: Asking questions that draw out somebody’s creative and critical thinking thought process can help to assess how that person will handle certain aspects of their job. The following are some key questions to consider:

1. Ask them to relate an experience in which they were required to practice time management and to tell you the outcome. The candidate’s ability to effectively manage time is paramount to how they will ultimately handle specific activities and this, subsequently, will have a critical impact on your bottom line. Did they have a specific project that required finite management of time – processes, tools, techniques, and methods – in order to get all of the aspects of that project completed? What was the experience like? What did they learn from it? This helps the interviewer to judge how well the candidate is at time management – how well they handled the example they gave in interview, and whether that style fits with your organization’s goals.

2. Ask them a strength finding question. This could be as simple as, What do you consider to be your best asset? What are you most proud of? or could strive to delve more deeply into the candidate’s skill set. Give a scenario in which the candidate will have to manage multiple projects while having everything go wrong at once. What would they do if this happened? And what if the deadline on that work was in two hours? An answer to this question will provide you with a glimpse into that candidate’s particular strengths, as well as weaknesses.


Personality Profiling and Hiring Go Hand in Hand

Date posted: May 28, 2013

Your company is growing and in these economic times that wonderful news. You’ve increased your revenues since this time last year and the workload on everyone seems to be getting heavy.

It’s now time to hire a few ‘Key’ people to help take the company to the next level. Once you decide the positions you’d like to fill – the next step is writing out the job descriptions, develop a compensation plan and identifying the type of personality that will be right for your company culture.

  • Analyze the current team: Identify their strengths and weaknesses. Finding a candidate with a different set of skills than what you currently have will make a much more diverse team, and produce better results.
  • Match Personalities: In the workplace it is common for personalities to clash. Thinking about this ahead of time will help make the search easier – for instance do you need people that are strictly task oriented or do they need to have planning and strategic abilities?
  • Company Culture: In addition to asking what experience the candidate has – also ask about their previous work environment. If they are used to working in an environment where everyone collaborates on strategy, will your company culture be a good fit?

Searching for the Right People to hire is no easy task, however thinking through exactly what additional strengths you need on the team, the type of personality you want the person you hire to have and matching experience to your company’s culture will help to prevent from hiring a candidate who will only leave within the first 60 days.

Working with an executive recruiting firm will give you the ability to analyze your team with an unbiased opinion. A recruiting firm will also help you match the candidate’s personality with the position you are filling and will work with you to determine what type of candidate you need to hire to fit in with the culture of your company.

Sifting Through the Resume Clutter

Date posted: May 21, 2013

In a previous post we went over how much hiring a new employee can really cost to a company, how everything from searching to training has a monetary impact and a loss of productivity that will most likely take months before you business breaks even. And even though many companies these days have already set up data bases filled up with resumes the time and effort it will require from you or your employees to search and find the right candidate will mean even more productivity and money loss. In short dealing with a scouting and hiring process on top of trying to make your business work smoothly after an employee leave can be beyond overwhelming.

Recruitment agencies can be the solution your business needs. What they do is that they go through the whole process for you and they come up with the most qualified and perfect fit for the opening. Usually both businesses and professionals looking for jobs have many questions about how these agencies work and the answer is that they each work differently and according to the client they are representing. For example a recruitment agency can provide you with temporary staff or more permanent candidates depending on what you need them for. Usually the compensation negotiation is done between the candidate and the company, not the candidate and the recruiter.

For the company, hiring a recruitment agency is a monetary cost and sometimes filling the job may take time, but you are assured that the candidates you will receive are going to be a good fit for your company because they where truly profiled. Part of the success of working with a recruitment agency lies on the communication developed between you and the recruiters. Skills and education needed for the job is usually important but is not the only thing that guarantees finding a good candidate. Character, values, capacity and compatibility are often as important key elements for your recruiter to find your perfect new employee.