6 Traits Recruiters Find Most Desirable in Face-to-Face Job Interviews

6 Traits Recruiters Find Most Desirable in Face-to-Face Job Interviews

In today’s job market, you need to show more than your qualifications to capture a recruiter’s attention to ultimately get hired. So, what are recruiters looking for in candidates? How should you present yourself in an interview, to make a quick and lasting impact?

Questions recruiters will ask themselves are, “Can she do the job?” “Does he want the job?” and “Is she likely to enjoy it and stay?” No matter the job you are interviewing for, there are common universal traits that recruiters look for in evaluating candidates.

Let’s discuss the top five traits below:


Confidence is the first thing a recruiter will look for in an interview. They will notice your body language, whether you are making eye contact and assess your overall demeanor.

They will note whether you are at ease or seem nervous and if you are anxious and speaking fast or at a comfortable pace. Of course, confidence alone will not get you the job, but your presence in an interview will make an immediate impression on recruiters and set the tone for the conversation.


Recruiters want to hire people who are passionate about their work, the company, and the product or service they represent. Passion is the trait that makes the most significant difference in an employee’s output and commitment to their company. Conversely, employees who lack passion for their work are missing the key ingredient for sustained, long-term performance.

So, what makes up passion?

  • A long-term, goal-oriented commitment that is unaffected by short-term disturbance
  • Always pursuing the knowledge and skills that come from new challenges
  • A predisposition to form strong, trust-based, long-term relationships

A passionate employee has more potential to attract customers and do that job well. So, remember, if you are passionate about the job you are applying for, the recruiter will sense it.


Every recruiter wants to hire a candidate dedicated to the job because committed employees tend to deliver better results. But remember, a company does not want to keep looking for new people, investing time in training them to align with the company culture and work environment. Instead, they want committed employees with long-term tenure in mind, who will easily fit into the company culture and work environment.

There are various reasons why commitment is essential in the workplace.

  • It allows a business to meet its goals and stick to its vision and mission. Without motivated employees, a company may lose everything they have gained over the years, be it respect or its brand value and market position.
  • Commitment at work produces better productivity and, therefore, better profits. Unfortunately, employees who are not committed to what they do in business tend to surf the internet for personal pleasure or even look for other job opportunities, resulting in wasted time and resources.

Communication is extremely important in the workplace, and candidates with good communication skills are more likely to be hired by recruiters.
Successful candidates should be savvy and know their way around all types of verbal and nonverbal communication media such as email, social media, phone communication, face-to-face conversations, etc. This vital quality helps employees build good business relationships and deal with other organizational processes.

Even if you are rejected in the interview as a candidate for a particular role, good communication can help you remain connected with the recruiter for future opportunities.

Track Record

Some candidates believe their years of experience is the only thing that matters in attaining a new role. Having 30-plus years of experience in a particular discipline may be great for aerospace engineering but may be inconsequential for a role in eCommerce or digital marketing. Still, having a good track record with long tenure is essential.

An excellent track record where a candidate has positive references from previous employers invariably increases the chances of the best candidates being hired for the best jobs.

Additionally, it would help to highlight relevant work you did in your previous jobs, the obstacles you overcame and the decisions you made to achieve your results. This will show the recruiter your capabilities and credibility.


No business is run by a single person. Teamwork is essential, whether you are starting a new business or working for a multinational corporation. All recruiters and employers like hiring candidates who work well in a team environment as they are more efficient and get faster results. A non-team player is not a desirable employee to most organizations.

Why is teamwork such a critical quality in any candidate?
  • When an individual works in a group rather than alone, they learn more. The constant flow of creative ideas shapes the recruiter’s out-of-the-box creative thinking.
  • Teamwork makes you more accountable because you are responsible for the team while delivering your own work.
  • Being a team player increases a new employee’s work ethic and enhances their knowledge of the company’s culture. In addition, this will help the employee settle in better within the organization.
  • Collaboration most often results in success.
  • Teamwork increases transparency, ensuring less miscommunication among employees and growing trust.
The Bottom Line

All the traits mentioned above will help you make an impression and score more points in an interview. Remember, recruiters want to hire the best candidates in the market for their company. At ALIGN, we have an experienced team who can guide and support you through the interviewing process. So, give us a call to discuss how we can help.

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How To Stay Sane and Organized Working from Home Post-COVID

How To Stay Sane and Organized Working from Home Post-COVID

In March 2020, more people than ever started working from home. It was an abrupt shift that neither organizations nor employees knew how to navigate. With no road map to prepare for the shift, no one knew the best ways to transition teams, processes, and company culture to an online-only environment.

Habits and routines had to change radically and quickly to make the work-from-home lifestyle a success. No matter your job, everyone working remotely had to determine where and when to work and how to create boundaries between their work and personal lives. Remember how important work-life balance is?

So, now that we are well into 2022 and the pandemic has transitioned into an endemic, many people are deciding whether to continue working from home or to return to the office. So, how do you stay sane (and organized) if you choose to work from home moving forward? Here are some tips.

Keep Regular Hours

One of the greatest benefits of remote work is flexibility. Setting clear guidelines for when to work, when to attend to personal tasks and when to call it a day. Setting a schedule and sticking to it is essential!

Set a Morning Routine

Setting a morning routine is not just deciding when to sit down at your desk and start working but also what practices you will adopt in setting the pattern for when work starts every day. For example, it may start with exercising, making a cup of coffee, or walking the dog that signals the kick-off to your workday.

Set Rules with the People in Your Home

The people living in your home must understand that your work time is your work time. Children in the house during your workday need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Likewise, adults who share your space need to respect your need for quiet and understand that when you have online meetings, your workspace cannot be disturbed.

Plan Breaks

Everyone needs a break. That is why if you work in an office, there is usually a policy for break times. If you work from home, you need to walk away from the computer screen, take a break from the phone at least twice a day for 15 minutes. And take at least 30 additional minutes for lunch. It’s not only the law, but it will help you decompress and refocus your mind when you return to your desk!

If You Need Something, Ask!

If you are working remotely for a company that supports your choice, ask for the equipment you need to do your job correctly from home, including a computer, monitor, mouse, keyboard, printer, and anything else you may need. Some companies may even supply you with a desk and an ergonomically suitable chair to ensure that you produce the desired results.

Set up a Dedicated Workspace

Not everyone has a spare room to set up an office space at home. If this is the case, you will have to share the space between your work and personal roles. So, reserve a desk or table space and some accessories you will use only for work. For example, when you connect your laptop to the monitor and external keyboard, it’s work time, but when you use it on your lap, it is your time.

Keep a Separate Phone Number

If your employer doesn’t supply you with a work phone, set up a phone number exclusively used for calls with coworkers and clients. Rather than a landline or a second mobile phone, you could consider a VoIP service like Skype or Google Voice. Having a phone number allocated to your job will help you manage your work-life balance and keep you more organized.

When working from home, the most important thing is to figure out what works best for you. Then, if you need some assistance or inspiration from other people who work remotely, find an online community to interact with for support. You can find them through blogs, Twitter, or your organization’s Slack app. While you need a solid routine, it doesn’t hurt to shake it up occasionally. You may be surprised at how you well you get yourself organized and more productive than ever before!

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How To Look Past The Resume And Pick The Best Job Candidate?

How To Look Past The Resume And Pick The Best Job Candidate?

Hiring an employee is a big deal. Remember, this is your business, an integral part of your life. Hiring the right employee can make your life easier and your business thrive. So how do you pick the best person for the job? Your first exposure to candidates is a resume, which is handy to get a feel for their education and work experience. However, there is much more to a candidate than just that. Therefore, you should not rely only on the resume. Instead, gather relevant details about the person you’re considering, through various means, to determine if the candidate is right for your business. Here are a few tips to make wiser hiring decisions.

Why Not Interview Them Over Coffee?

You are likelier to sense a candidate’s personality in a more relaxed setting over coffee. Propose this early on so that it is not a surprise to the candidate. They will likely feel more comfortable and open up to you better. While you should not be best friends with your staff, your work life will be more pleasant if you have a friendly vibe in your office. You spend a lot of time at work, and chances are you will spend a great deal of time with this person, so getting to know their personality is key.

Check References

Avoid making the common mistake of not checking references because you like the candidate so much. Charismatic people know precisely how to sell themselves and impress an interviewer. So, it is not wise to disregard following up with references. Remember that the gift of the gab doesn’t always translate to reliable, long-term employee potential. Getting previous employers to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate is priceless. Ask them open-ended questions to encourage them to give you vital insight and information.

For example:

  • What skills would take Tina’s productivity to the next level?
  • Can you suggest any training that will help Tina?
  • Do you think there is a typical management style that works best for her?
  • Are you aware of how a manager can inspire Tina to deliver her best work?

Do not underestimate a candidate’s sense of humor or how they interacted with the rest of the staff. Ask if they participated in any external activities, such as lunchtime soccer or volunteering. This is where your company culture comes into play, so think about what matters to you and your company and let that guide the questions you ask. You can build rapport with the reference from the start and have a natural and authentic conversation.

Always Check Out Social Media Accounts

It is common today for employers to glance at a candidate’s social media profile to get a sense of who the person is and if they are a fit for your business. No, it is not unethical to look at their profiles, which are in the public domain. However, job seekers must be aware that they should delete compromising posts and probably set their profiles to private in case potential employers look at them. If they are serious about looking for a decent job, they will know to remove inappropriate settings in preparation for a job search. LinkedIn is an excellent platform with which to start for an outline of their professional persona. Twitter is also suitable for professional purposes.

Get A Feel for Their Goals and Personal Interests

Talking to candidates about their interests in an interview can tell you a lot about a potential candidate. It can help you determine what motivates and inspires them, which will help you manage them once hired.

A few open-ended questions to ask are:

  • How would you spend your time if money wasn’t an issue?
  • Please give me an idea of what an ideal work week looks like for you.
  • I am curious to know what interests you in this field.
  • Do you have any volunteer experience outside of work?

So, in the future, think outside the box when you are considering hiring new candidates. Resumes are excellent for supplying a list of skills and achievements but remember; some may be exaggerated or embellished. Building a great team requires well-rounded employees who are more than just a list of traits on paper. Hire people, not resumes!

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Why is Your Company Not Finding The Right Talent? Is It Your Flawed Job Interviewing Process?

Why is Your Company Not Finding The Right Talent? Is It Your Flawed Job Interviewing Process?

In today’s business landscape, competition for talent has increased globally. As a result, organizations find it extremely difficult to hire exceptional employees with the right skills for various designations and departments.

A Fortune 500 CEO has described the interviewing process as “The most flawed process in American business.” This issue may be because there is a lack of training for interviewing and hiring people.

What Is an Interview?

A job interview is a discussion between a potential employer and an applicant regarding an available position. To gain better insight into the applicant, the interviewer will want to know about their qualifications, among other questions. Job interview processes vary among companies: some may hold one or several preliminary phone interviews before meeting face to face. During the pandemic, video interviews became the norm and continue to make up the bulk of the job application process. The bottom line is that the company representative in discussion with the applicant sets the bar for the interview.

Why Job Interviews Are Ineffective

Employers typically use an unstructured interview format, which doesn’t follow a specific pattern. Questions change depending on the flow of conversation and are usually used to evaluate a candidate’s personality.

It is interesting to note that while every major business school in the US teaches students how to handle being interviewed, not one teaches them how to conduct an interview. Furthermore, neither schools nor organizations provide interview training to their students or employees.

A few companies have formal policies regarding interviewer training. Still, most are way too casual, with candidates frequently being interviewed by a person with virtually no training in this critical area.

Think about this: Each hiring decision can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, how could this be in the company’s or candidate’s best interests? The bottom line is that the untrained interviewer most likely doesn’t even know what to look for in a candidate or how to ask practical questions or drill down for genuine answers.

Unstructured Interviews

The lack of interviewing training is compounded by the fact that Interviewers are rarely critiqued on their performance because most interviews are done in private with no monitoring. So, mistakes will often go unseen, and will happen repeatedly.

Here is an example:
Soon after Jack is hired, his boss Dan hands him a resumé and informs him that he will interview a prospective hire named Sally. Dan casually asks him to talk to Sally and see what he thinks about her. Jack assumes that Dan has confidence in his ability to handle the new task and is reluctant to acknowledge his total lack of interviewing skills. However, because he has been through many interviews, he figures he knows what to do.

His preparation consists of reading Sally’s resumé and writing down simple questions such as, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Or “Give me an example when you showed you were a team player.”

Once Jack gets into the interview, he finds he’s getting short answers and learning nothing that isn’t already on Sally’s resumé. So, he chooses to switch gears. Jack chats about the job and what it’s like to work at the company. He’s now started selling to her, and the selection interview is over. Jack, who enjoys doing all the talking, doesn’t even realize it.

After the interview, Jack’s manager Dan asks him what he thinks of Sally. Unfortunately, Jack has no structured system to provide valuable feedback, so he gets away by replying with a few brief comments. “She looks good; I think we should hire her.” Or “I’m not sure; I wasn’t impressed.” As a result, there is no realistic way to determine what happened during the interview and what mistakes were made.

The Proof is in the Numbers

A small study identified that interviews are only accurate 56 percent of the time, and 81 percent of applicants lie in job interviews, which further contributes to the flawed hiring process.

Why Behavior-Based Interviewing Skills Are Important

Most interviewers do not understand or value the importance of behavior-based interviewing. They tend to focus exclusively on the experience, knowledge and education required for a position and don’t assess important behavioral qualities. As a result, they form an impression of whether they “like” or “could work with” the candidate.

This can be particularly valid when interviewing candidates for technical positions. Because these candidates’ skills are specific and they are being hired to do a particular function, interviewers think they need only probe for the technical competence to do their job.

A candidate’s skills, education, and experience are essential in screening. But interviewing doesn’t stop there. It’s not just a case of whether a particular candidate can do the job but also how and why. Without these facts, you cannot predict on-the-job performance and behavior in the future, which is a critical part of the selection process.

Finally, it’s important to note that untrained or poorly trained interviewers aren’t the only factor affecting the interviewing process. The overall stakes are higher today. A global talent scarcity, growing diversity in the workforce, more savvy candidates, and declining candidate authenticity all impact interviewing.

Job interviews are stressful. People can spend hours reviewing possible questions, rehearsing well-crafted answers, and picking perfect outfits to make a great first impression. But what if all that effort is for naught?

Our expert team at ALIGN can help guide you through the interviewing process. Give us a call. We look forward to chatting.

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5 Tips for Executives to Improve Their Work-Life Balance

5 Tips for Executives to Improve Their Work-Life Balance

Attaining the title of CEO is an outstanding achievement in anyone’s career. However, it often comes with added stress and reduced time for personal activities. Therefore, finding the proper work-life balance for an executive of any sort is an ongoing quest.

Is it even possible for high-level executives to have a work-life balance, or is it a myth? Rest assured, a work-life balance for all levels of executives is entirely possible.

Below, we’ll show you how you can manage your work and personal life as a C-suite executive.

What Do We Mean by Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is a vital part of a healthy work environment. Maintaining an acceptable balance between work and your personal life can help reduce stress and the chance of burnout. Of course, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution, and work-life balance means different things to different people. But the strategies for achieving work-life balance and knowledge about it are constantly changing.

As a result, the key to this puzzle is flexibility. Contrary to common belief, work-life balance is about more than the hours you spend working; a flexible work environment contributes immensely.

A Few Common Myths Regarding Work-Life Balance

Believing some common myths could delay you from reaching your work-life balance goals, causing even more stress. Check out the five most common misconceptions about work-life balance below:

    1) It Is Necessary to Compartmentalize Your Life

Many believe they must equally split their home and work time daily to keep a healthy work-life balance. However, it is not always possible as things often arise unexpectedly. Hence, depending on the situation, you might need to spend more time than usual at work or even stay home that day. As such, you should prioritize where you are needed most and spend the necessary time there.

    2) Your Ultimate Goal Should Be to Achieve Balance

Balance is not always easy to find as there are times when your personal life affects your work life and vice versa. Sometimes you may find it difficult to switch off from work at the end of the day, particularly as a CEO. For example, you could be thinking about an important decision or proposal after leaving the office.

So rather than separating these parts, try to consider them as connected – integrate them. If you are happy in your personal life, you are more likely to be focused and energized at work. At the same time, if you are happy and fulfilled at work, you will likely be satisfied and contented at home. Both parts of your life are equally significant. Therefore, think about them as being interconnected.

    3) You Will Be More Productive If You Start Your Day Earlier

A huge misconception is that you will get more work done if you are up earlier in the morning. This is true for some people if they are, by nature, morning people and are productive at that time of the day. However, starting your day too early can add extra hours to your day that are not productive and, in the long run, unhealthy. Early starts may be necessary for specific reasons and times but need not be the norm. Over time, rising too early can lead to sleep deprivation, more stress and even burnout. Some people are naturally more productive at night, and if this is so, forcing yourself to get up earlier may not be helpful. Instead, you should figure out when your productivity peaks and adjust your days around those times.

    4) It Is Not Always Easily Achievable to Have It All

When it comes to work-life balance, this may be one of the biggest misconceptions. No matter how good your time management schedule is, you will often find that you still need to allocate less time for some things in your life. For example, as a C-level executive, there will be times when you must sacrifice time with family or friends due to commitments at work. By accepting this eventuality early on in your career, you can avoid unrealistic expectations of yourself. And by doing so, feel less discouraged if your time management plan does not always work out as expected.

    5) Scheduling Everything Makes Things Easier

There is no doubt that scheduling your important tasks, appointments, and events is helpful. However, be careful of falling into the trap of believing that you should plan every second of the day. It can often be considered unrealistic, and in the end, may cause more stress. The key is to allow yourself the flexibility and freedom to enjoy spontaneous time and activities like last-minute coffee dates with family and friends.

Our next blog will cover avoiding the pitfalls of perfectionism when working in a C-suite position.

At ALIGN, we are always here to help you succeed and find satisfaction in your chosen career.

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Executive Search or Recruitment Firms: What is the Difference?

Executive Search or Recruitment Firms: What is the Difference?

If you don’t know the difference between executive search and recruitment firms, you are not alone. Both terms are often used, even by people working within the recruitment industry. However, while executive search firms and recruiters share the same goal – finding the right person for a specific role – there are slight differences in their business model and methodology. Businesses should have a strong understanding of these differences to decide which one will provide the best results for their next search. In this blog, we examine those differences.

What Is an Executive Search?

In simple terms, executive search is a specialized recruitment service that focuses on sourcing and onboarding hard-to-find talent (usually more senior appointments from a Director to COOs and VPs) for clients’ companies.

Because the primary task is to find top talent at the leadership level or within a niche sector (those with the credentials and capabilities to drive business growth) where candidates are scarce, executive search is one of the most sought-after recruitment models.

Unlike other forms of recruitment, like a contingency search, executive search teams take a strategic approach and actively seek out senior-level candidates for roles that are usually difficult to fill and strategically important.

How Are Recruitment Firms Different from Executive Search Firms?

Like executive search firms, recruitment firms help find and match candidates for a given role. They also work directly with companies to fill open positions within that company, pre-screen candidates and facilitate the interviewing process. Likewise, they are a third-party agency with no direct connection with any company.

Whereas executive search and recruiting agencies may seem to offer similar services, there are clear differences that you should be aware of. Understanding these differences will help you select the right firm to fill job vacancies.

How To Choose Between a Recruitment Firm and An Executive Search Firm

The differences in the above table can assist you in deciding the best solution for the type of role you need to fill. However, there are no rules as to which is the best way to go as it comes down to what position needs to be filled.

Generally, recruiting agencies fill non-executive roles, typically focusing on quantity of openings. And due to the unspecialized nature of the jobs they fill, they often encourage candidates not selected for one position to apply for another.

Recruiting agencies may also be the right choice to fill junior and non-executive roles as they have a broader reach to find candidates. In addition, they can provide you with an extensive list of potential candidates for the job. However, this can create difficulty in selecting the best candidates.

The onus will lie on the hiring manager, who may need to pick qualified candidates for the post from a pool of potential employees.

Alternately, suppose you need to fill a critical executive position. In that case, the right choice is to work with an executive search agency that offers a limited but highly qualified pool of candidates. There is less risk of choosing the wrong candidate for a specific role when you hire an executive search company. An executive search company is also your best choice if you need a candidate with a precise cultural fit, exact skill set, or outstanding performance history.

Searching for an executive can be resource-intensive, resulting in longer timeframes and higher costs. Typically, the executive searcher will delve into the details of the role, the company culture and the skills needed, which helps them create a candidate persona.

They will use this candidate persona to find and target eligible active and passive candidates. This process could involve extensive online searches, networking, and influence. A passive senior candidate is potentially at the top of their game, and it is not easy to persuade them to change their position, industry, thinking and direction. The process of executive search effectively disrupts plans, and it takes expertise to cultivate a passive candidate through a process from initial curiosity to starting a new role.

As such, an executive search is best suited to senior positions, hard-to-recruit skills, and strategic hires.

Whatever your decision, make sure you understand the differences between the two before choosing one to hire new candidates. Before signing any contracts, you should also be well informed about the procedure and fees.

ALIGN Executive Search is a specialist executive search firm focusing on headhunting for senior, executive and board-level positions across a wide range of industries.

If you’re uncertain which approach is best to fill your next job vacancy, or you would like to know more about the differences between executive search and recruitment, ALIGN Executive Search can help.

Get in touch today to find out more.

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Power of the Executive Search: The Ins and Outs of Executive Recruiting

Power of the Executive Search: The Ins and Outs of Executive Recruiting

Executive-level professionals are a different breed. Their out-of-the-box thinking, decision-making capabilities, as well as their ability to steer a company’s ship during the thick and thin of the economy make them the most valuable resource. As such, recruiting executives is not a process that follows conventional standards.

You won’t find executive professionals by simply posting an ad. Instead, you need to attract them. And like it or not, you probably need them more than they do. This is where you tap into the power of executive recruiting.

Components of Executive Recruiting

Bringing aboard an executive-level professional to your organization requires a multi-tiered approach containing the following components:

Define the Position and Requirements

What do you want your new executive to accomplish? Despite how simple this question seems, a simple “to help us grow the organization” is too vague. Here are some factors you should consider:

  1. What is the nature of executive work?
  2. The current standing of your organization.
  3. Challenges your organization is facing.
  4. The strategic direction that you want to take your organization.

Researchers cite there are seven basic performance imperatives to look for:

  1. Cognitive: How quickly can the executive understand the ecosystem?
  2. Social: How quickly and strongly can the executive maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders of the organization?
  3. Personal: What are the personal attributes of the executive that your firm can leverage?
  4. Political: What is the political standing of the executive, and how can it impact the organization?
  5. Financial: Can the executive alleviate your current financial burdens?
  6. Technological: Can the executive leverage the latest technology to help your firm reach its goal?
  7. Staffing: Does the executive possess the ability to direct the staff toward the organization’s goals?

You need to define the roles and requirements of the executive position from these factors.

Specifying the attributes of the ideal candidate

The second step specifies the attributes of the executive that meet the requirements of the tasks you’ve defined in the previous step. Unfortunately, organizations tend to focus on qualities they already possess and not align them with the current business goals.

Therefore, it’s time to find a new kind of leader that has three central executive skills:

  1. Absorptive Capacity: The ability to observe, recognize, acknowledge, and absorb new information.
  2. Change Capacity: The ability to re-strategize depending upon the organization’s internal factors and the dynamic external conditions.
  3. The Wisdom to Manage: The ability to understand the change in the environment and social relationships and take the right action at the right moment.

An executive with these three attributes will make your organization “future-ready,” helping you reach your goals faster.

Recruiting potential applicants

Now comes the task of recruiting potential applicants: selecting a list of candidates whose attributes match your requirements to the closest degree.

  1. Long Lists: Spend the first week or two searching for desired candidates by creating a long list. Peruse your current professional network, the internal database of your company, and utilize LinkedIn.
  2. Initial Outreach: Your executive recruitment team will reach out to the candidate via phone, email, or LinkedIn.
  3. Screening Candidates by Phone: The team will filter the list based on experience, level of interest in the role, and compensation.
  4. Initial interviews: A quarter to half of the candidates screened by phone will agree to a formal interview.
  5. Shortlists: A shortlist or third list will be created based on your findings of candidates’ performances in the formal interview.
  6. Company Interview: For an executive-level position, multiple rounds of interviews will be necessary.
  7. Offers: After selecting the candidate, reach out to your recruitment team to ensure your proposal matches your selection’s expectations.
Assessment of Candidates

Throughout the recruitment process, you must keep in mind the specifics that form the basis of your assessment strategy. There are three broader categories of assessment strategies:

  1. Strategies provide a peek into how the candidate will lead after entering your organization. They include:
    1. Cognitive ability test
    2. Personality inventories
    3. Leadership potential inventories
  2. Strategies involving asking a candidate about past leadership behavior.
    a) Resumes
    b) Biographical data
    c) Career achievement records
  3. Strategies to demonstrate leadership skills, which generally include testing the candidate in a simulated environment.
The Selection Process

Despite following the above process to a T, companies who take it upon themselves to make the final decision do not take a systematic approach. They rely on instinct, hoping they make the right choice.

Here are effective practices that any organization must follow when choosing the right candidate:

  1. Not relying on one option to review a candidate: Searching for an executive means you’re in search of a leader. Therefore, you can’t put all your efforts into a single test and must take multiple approaches.
  2. Focusing on strong and proven techniques: From work samples to cognitive ability tests to biographical data to multi-rater feedback, none of the methods must be off your table.
  3. Say no to unreliable techniques: Resume scanning, unstructured interviews, and relying on references haven’t always proven fruitful for any organization. These archaic methods don’t provide reliable information about your candidates.

The power of an executive search lies in taking a multi-pronged approach to hiring. Defining roles, specifying the attributes that fit those roles, and then focusing on the recruitment procedure is the way to go. Remember that conventional standards don’t apply here. You need to look deeper and look from various perspectives to assess the candidates who are fit to play an executive role in your company.

Finding such a candidate is not an easy task. The time and resources it takes will divert your attention away from your organization. Best to consult an expert. At ALIGN, we find professionals that meet your organization’s specifications. From engineering to manufacturing to accounting to technology to healthcare. We do the heavy lifting of finding the right candidates for you.

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Should a Recruiter Have Knowledge of Your Industry?

Should a Recruiter Have Knowledge of Your Industry?

When choosing a recruiter to work with, your primary focus is finding someone who understands your industry. Someone who, from the beginning, understands the technology, terms and standards implemented within the niche, as well as the expectations of the market. Would you expect to hire a good candidate if the recruiter you hire doesn’t have knowledge of your industry?

Of course not. So, the obvious answer to the above question is yes.

So, how can you, in this marketing era, find the right recruiter who genuinely knows what your industry is all about?

Let’s discuss.

Importance for the recruiter to have the industry knowledge

An HR professional’s biggest challenge is that many of them don’t always understand the jobs they’re recruiting for. Sourcing top talent entails a deep understanding of a specific industry, the skills of a candidate, and how those candidates’ qualities are the right fit for their role.

Here are two reasons why having industry knowledge should be the number one priority of a recruiter:

Specify industries have specific terms

All industries have their own specialties, terms, and jargon. These nuances carry more weight during recruitment than merely finding one that matches all the requirements on paper. It means that not every industry can hire for all types of niches. Even if the overall hiring procedure is the same, nuances are what differentiate a standard recruiting firm from the ones that know about your niche.

Industry knowledge accelerates the hiring process

“You sent me someone who isn’t even familiar with general ledger,” is something often heard when one is hiring for an accounting firm. Non-specialty recruiters tend to conflate accounting with the use of simple tools. Bearing that belief, these recruiters do only the bare minimum— seeking those who can perform the basics of accounting.

Such debacles end up slowing down the recruitment process, which in the long term, creates more problems. On the other hand, those with industry knowledge will know your requirements right away. Having been constantly updated, they will have a rough but applicable idea of your industry standard, giving them a head start and helping them find the recruits that suit your requirement.

A recruiter who has industry knowledge of your domain is your biggest asset.

Tips for Finding the Right Industry

These tips will help you find a recruiter that has knowledge of your industry:

  1. Explain your hiring needs: Clear communication yields better results. It will help you get a head start on finding the right recruiter. Clearly explain the position that you want to be filled. Everything from the candidate’s attributes to the number of posts available should be communicated to the recruitment agency without the fluff. Now, here comes the tricky part. In a bid to expand their clientele, many new recruitment agencies will likely say yes. That’s when you jump to the second tip.
  2. Interview the recruitment agency like candidates: You should treat the recruitment agency as if they are your candidates. At this step, you discern whether the recruiter possesses industry knowledge. Start with simple questions related to their recruitment record within your niche. When they provide the numbers, get proof of the same. And if you like the numbers, ask them how much time they would take to find the right candidate. Another query you must ask is the quality check they do to find the right candidate.
  3. Choose recruitment agencies per your hiring needs: No two recruitment agencies are the same. Choose a staff recruitment agency if you’re looking for short-term or temporary staff. Conversely, if you’re looking for an agency that delivers you recruits for executive-level positions, an executive recruitment agency is the one you should seek. Executive-level recruitment agencies typically have high-level industry knowledge and can accelerate the hiring process.
  4. Make sure the recruitment agency meets your budget: There is a perception that the best recruiters come with a high price tag. While it has been the case for a long time, it is not necessarily true. Possessing industry knowledge and providing high-level recruitment services have become the industry standards. However, looking for a service provider that delivers you services without asking an outlandish price is still important.
  5. Look into recruiter experience: If you are close to choosing a recruitment agency, find out more about it through testimonials, client feedback, social media, and other sources. Don’t simply rely on what the recruiter’s official website says. Put your trust in what people are saying about them. It will provide you a wider and clearer picture of the agency.

Finding a recruiter that has your industry knowledge is not an easy task, but it is essential. While most industries have static standards that remain constant, they are also affected by ever changing and fluid technologies that impact every industry. A solid recruiter will have expertise in navigating both.

At ALIGN, we provide customized recruitment services for executive and management positions. Our task is simple: we find the best professionals so your organization can benefit from market-ready expertise. If you have any further queries, reach out to our experts.

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Does Your Company’s Branding Affect Recruitment?

Does Your Company’s Branding Affect Recruitment?

Branding is more than just the visual presentation of your company. It is your direct communication line to your customers. Through their words, your brand gains renown or becomes infamous. The infamy or fame impacts more than just revenue, as their effect bleeds into the job-seekers perception of your enterprise.

The term that rises from that effect is called employer brand. When you reach out to prospects, it becomes a critical part of the employee proposition. You must take care of your employer brand, especially when you want to attract candidates for executive positions.

Why is that?

What is the importance of employer branding?

“Why would the top talent of an industry want to work with you?”

Branding is essential in attracting and retaining new customers. If you have a good employer branding strategy in place, it will cut down hiring costs and employee turnover.

What is employer branding about? Obviously, it is not about the product. Your employer brand depends upon your company’s internal aspects, such as values, leadership, culture, and vision.

The better your branding, the closer you get to becoming the employer of choice. It means that prospects will seek to work for your organization. The culture, market position, and authority you foster in the ecosystem turn you into a magnet for good talent.

And it also attracts customers and clients – increasing employee performance and your ROI.

So, what does the power of your employer brand means in terms of statistics?

  1. Less cost per hire: LinkedIn stats say you’d likely spend 43% less on hiring new employees if your brand is strong.
  2. Preferred by candidates: By TalentNow stats, 77% of candidates will be more inclined towards you if you have a good reputation in the market.
  3. Important to applicants: 74% of job seekers are more likely to apply to your company if you’re actively managing your employer brand.
  4. Less employee turnover: Higher employer brand reduces employee turnover by 28%.

Conversely, if you ignore employer branding, you’re likely to:

  1. Pay 10% more to hire good talent
  2. Lose 64% of your customers
  3. Lose the attention of 50% of the candidates actively looking for a job
Now, how do you develop a bulletproof employee branding strategy?
  1. Always be aware of your organization’s internal branding: Your organization’s value, mission, vision, goal, and culture are part of its internal branding. You must be attuned to them and understand the objective of your business. No candidate will work for a company that’s not privy to its values. Therefore, the very first task is to look at your own company’s website and find out if what you’ve written matches your values.
  2. Learn how your employees feel about you: Conduct internal research to learn your employee’s feelings about you and your company. Research Gate published a paper about the impact of bad-mouthing employees on a company’s reputation. Conduct internal research to learn about your employee’s perceptions based on their job satisfaction, treatment, and what they seek from the management and the company’s organizational climate.
  3. Conduct internal research with the target candidate group: Understanding the perceptions of those who’re likely to be your candidate will give a better insight into your company’s reputation.
  4. Check out your competition: Conducting external research will give you a view of your company’s employer brand position concerning your competitors. You can do so using internet search, applicant surveys, or learning what people say about your brand on social media.
  5. Re-develop an employee value proposition: “What value are you willing to give to the person who joins your organization?” The answer is what constitutes an employee value proposition. Cover your brand’s USP and ensure that your brand truly reflects whatever you write in that proposition.
  6. Develop a two-pronged employee branding strategy: The first prong will focus on contacting the applicant group. Focus on your career page, recruitment sites, and social media to make yourself as visible as possible. The second prong should focus on constantly engaging with your customers and employees on the platform. Bolster your employee brand further by posting employee testimonials.
  7. Use a holistic brand approach: “We treat our employees just as we treat our customers: with kindness.” That’s the holistic brand approach combining customer and employer branding. It makes your organization appear natural in front of your audience.
  8. Train your organization to align them with employer branding: Employer branding is not about clever words and keeping up appearances. It is about truly being honest with the talent you want to attract. Therefore, train, coach, or compensate your employees, so your brand truly is what it says.
  9. Keep an eye on the metrics: You cannot improve what you can’t measure. Since employer branding is a process that offers incremental improvements, you must keep an eye on not just your brand awareness, but employee satisfaction, referrals, and the quality of newcomers.

Branding your company in the market will always impact the quality of the workforce you get. Therefore, focus your efforts on fostering good values, culture, and ecosystem within your company. Be always aware of how your employees feel or say about you. And always be mindful about how your customer perceives you.

Use the information to develop better employer branding strategies.

What also helps is getting aid from an executive recruitment agency that can make you look good. ALIGN is a team of executive search consultants assisting companies in acquiring top talent in the current market for their executive positions. We help you find leaders who fit your culture. Our executive search recruiters have nationwide experience in industries like accounting and finance, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, engineering and beyond. Contact us today to get started.

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Are You Changing Jobs For the Money Or Career Advancement?

Are You Changing Jobs For the Money Or Career Advancement?

It has become evident that higher salaries are the driving factor for candidates looking to change jobs in 2022. Even those who had previously not planned to shift to another company wonder whether they should seek out their worth on the open market.

Are you considering changing jobs simply for the money or for career advancement? Let’s discuss the pros and cons below:

Money Talks

There is no question that the lure of higher wages is enticing. Even those who are happy in their jobs, may choose to move on.

Employers aggressively looking for new talent are raising compensation to attract the interest of skilled professionals they want in their organizations. As a result, the current market is rife for job hunters to negotiate higher pay, as employers will be more apt to raise offers simply by being asked.

Last year, millions of workers quit their jobs in what was known as the Great Resignation. In 2022, the trend of those searching for new jobs, even those currently employed, will continue.

However, if you are thinking about moving on, consider these fundamental questions to determine if your reasons are valid and if the move will serve you in the long run.

Are you currently underpaid?
Do you think you are overworked?
Do you like your boss?
Is your company financially sound?
Do you anticipate layoffs in the future?
And most important, are you happy with your present job?

Job Hopping 

Perceptions about job-hopping (defined as staying at a job for only 1 to 2 years before moving on) are changing due to Millennials and Gen-Z, known for their job-hopping tendencies. They are inclined to discard established career paths in search of more fulfilling and exciting opportunities, regardless of the implications.

Not long ago, employers considered job hoppers as a red flag for possible problems, mainly loyalty. So, understanding why you are changing jobs remains relevant in both you and your potential new employers’ minds.

What Employers Like

As people move from job to job, they generally gain valuable new skills that employers often seek out. In today’s work culture, the ability to communicate and have ‘great people skills’ or being highly adaptable to changing work environments are often considered more important than hard skills. These skills can be honed by employees moving to new jobs more frequently.

The Drawbacks 

While you may gain new skills or a higher salary, don’t forget what you might lose if you move without complete understanding and intention.

You will still be ‘starting over’ when you move to a new job, no matter your pay. So, consider benefits like vacation time, insurance plans, and retirement income that you could forfeit by leaving your current employer, to name a few.

Moving to a new job without intention, and without stopping to figure out if the change is right for you in all aspects of your life may be a mistake in the longer term. If you don’t figure out what is most important to you, you risk repeating this mistake in the future.

Mitigate your Risk

Having a clear rationale for changing jobs will serve you in your life and career. Always evaluate the potential gains and losses before you decide to move. Be sure that you are not just doing it for the money but also asking yourself important career questions like, “What do I care about?” or “What problems do I want to solve?”

Moving to a new job for the money without exploring your passions can leave you dissatisfied, and you could eventually hit a plateau where you are overpriced for the market.  

Sometimes, when companies are offering more money, it could be for negative reasons without you knowing. It could be ‘hazard pay,’ so to speak, from a volatile company, so make sure you understand the reason behind the higher salary offer. Moving to such a company could damage your reputation and affect your future marketability.  

So, before you start planning your exit strategy, make sure the job you have your eye on will not only increase your salary but will also feed your career and your soul by providing an environment and culture that you are confident to join.  

Our expert team at ALIGN can help you find and evaluate the best options for your future career. Give us a call to chat.

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