Wednesday, November 20, 2013

4th Quater E-Newsletter

If you haven't check out our most recent newsletter, see the link below. Find out more about our new team members, information on interviewing, and why this time of year is a good time to make a change.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ERC's Travis Peters offers his advice on job interviews, check it out!

Fall Prime Time to Make a Change

Several people have asked us recently whether fall is a good time to consider a job change. We asked Travis Peters, partner at ERC, that question as well as a number of others regarding the all-important job interview. We’d like to share his answers with you.

Q: Is fall a good time to consider a job change?

A: Fall is a great time to consider a job change. Many companies have plans for growth, new implementations, or new product launches targeted for the first of the year. Frequently, those plans require new staff, and companies want those new people in place before the New Year, and before those new
initiatives begin.

Fall also ushers in a new budget season for most companies. That includes hiring budgets, and often—particularly in the case of larger companies—that budget needs to be used to avoid the risk of losing it next year. This situation can help “A Players” target specific opportunities that might be tailored to their skill set.

Q: What is the single most important thing I can do to prepare for a job interview?

A: The single most important thing? That’s tough! There are so many critical things a person needs to do in preparation for an interview, but I’ll do my best to give a couple of the most important things. First, be sure you have done your research on the company, position, and hiring manager you are interviewing with. Companies gauge interest by how well you have prepared and how much time you have spent researching their organization.

The next thing I would suggest, to keep this simple, would be to be likeable, engaging, and clear in your genuine interest in the position. In the end, hiring managers make offers to candidates they like and candidates that they know want to go to work for them. Be yourself, but be the very best, most prepared version of yourself. When you’re prepared you’ll be confident and relaxed—two traits all hiring managers look for.

Q: How do I determine the proper attire for an interview? Is a suit/formal outfit always the best option if in doubt?

A: I always recommend dressing a step up from what you would wear on a daily basis. Obviously, a business suit is the only choice for any position in an office environment. But for people interviewing for a position where a suit and tie is not required, dress one step up. If normally you will wear blue jeans and a company shirt to work, make sure you are in a nice pair of slacks and collared shirt for the interview.

Q: Companies are interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them. What is important for you, as an interviewee, to find out about the company and the position during an interview?

A: Everyone is unique, so what one person would be after might differ from what is important to another person. The critical thing to remember is, until an offer is extended, the company has the power. If something is said or done in an interview to turn the company off, the candidate never has the chance to even see an offer. Knowing that, it is important to gain the information you need while still asking questions that put the company first. For instance, instead of asking, “If I get promoted, what is the next step in this company?” say, “Ms. Hiring Manager, I understand that progression and promotions are earned over time with exceptional performance. For those employees that have been in this role before and excelled, what has their career track been?”

Get the information that you need to make a decision, but do it in a way that does not come across as shallow or selfish. It is all about presentation and delivery. You can always get the information in a way that makes you look even more professional.

Q: What are the best questions to ask in an interview to show your interest in the company?

A: The questions that you ask in an interview are truly the only way to differentiate yourself from everyone else interviewing for the same position. We can all go online, research interviewing tips and techniques, and access similar information. We know the basic “dos and don’ts” of interviewing. Therefore, questions that are unique are going to separate you from your competition. Remember to put yourself in the interviewer’s chair, anticipate areas of opportunity and risk, and ask about them. Let that interviewer know that you have already put yourself in that position and are anticipating ways to make an impact.

Finally, it is critical that you ask for the job. “Mr. Manager, I want you to know that I am extremely interested in this position. Based on our discussion and what you have told me you need, I’m confident I possess all of the traits you are looking for. However, is there anything that you see in my background, and from what we have discussed today, that would prevent me from being successful?”

Don’t exit the room if there are still doubts in the interviewer’s mind. Get the concerns on the table and give yourself a chance to address and overcome any objections they may have.

Q: What sort of research should you do to prepare for an interview?

A: With the access we have to information today, there is no excuse to not do your research on an organization. Visit the company’s website and the interviewer’s LinkedIn page to learn not only as much as you can about the organization, but also about the person that will be conducting the interview. Look for common ground such as, education, community involvement, sports teams, etc. Don’t be a stalker, but discuss those common interests when the opportunity presents itself.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What To Do When the Boss Begs You to Stay...

Check out the article at the link below on how to handle a counter offer from your current employer.
What To Do When the Boss Begs You to Stay

Friday, August 2, 2013

Successful vs. Poor

20 Things The Successful Do Every Day
Check it out at the link below:

Celebrating Success

Congratulations to our very own Brock Tucker on celebrating 3 years here at ERC! Brock has helped many a job seeker and our clients grow their teams. Way to go Brock! Brock specializes in the Ag market focusing on the states of Iowa and Wisc. You can contact Brock at

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why Some Recruiters Will Almost Always Be a Success

Know the differences between a good and bad recruiter. Allow the top-notch recruiter to be your trusted advisor to take your career to the next level or help build your team of professionals.

Why Some Recruiters Will Almost Always Be a Success
Carol Schultz

There is nothing like a good controversy to stir up one’s feelings and subsequently a fierce debate. One of my favorite things about reading articles on ERE is how some of its contributors have a wonderful ability to write articles that generate comments a mile long because of controversial subjects covered. When Adrian Kinnersley wrote an article entitled, “Why LinkedIn will never kill the professional recruitment industry,” which was very on point.
People are so polarized around this issue, but the comments section was what really made it an interesting read for me. If I didn’t know better I would have expected a fistfight to break out. One commenter even suggested that commission-only salespeople are unable to provide independent advice to candidates, and candidates know this. This inspired me to pick up my pen (figuratively, that is) and write, which I haven’t done lately.


First off, great agency recruiters won’t go away until they want to, even though there has been so much talk about their longevity. It started back in the olden days (the mid 1990s) when the Internet was still in its infancy. Companies like Monster, Career Builder, and Yahoo HotJobs came on the market and tried to convince everyone they were a panacea to recruiting. In my opinion they were and are nothing more than prettied up classified ads. Many people said companies would no longer need to use agency recruiters.
Didn’t happen
Next, companies began ramping up their internal recruiting staffs and it was predicted that companies would no longer need to use agency recruiters.
Didn’t happen
Then LinkedIn became more and more popular, and powerful, and many people said it would put agency recruiters out of business (people are still saying it) because now potential candidates are all over LinkedIn and recruiters would need to have a better value proposition.
Hasn’t happened … and I predict it never will.
Get the picture?

Independent advice: An oxymoron?

The comment about commission-only salespeople and its relationship to independent advice seems to target contingent recruiters since, by and large, they work on commission, but I’m asserting that it is valid for retained and corporate recruiters as well. No recruiter, whether agency or corporate, is able to provide totally independent advice.
Why not?

Contingent recruiters get paid only if they close a deal. Retained recruiters are on commission too even though they are paid part of their commission up front.  This means they have clients to answer to. Corporate recruiters have job openings they are responsible for filling.
Let’s look at the definition of the words “independent” and “advice”:

Independent: not requiring or relying on something

Advice: recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct

When these words are combined, they don’t make much sense. How can a recruiter make a recommendation to a candidate that doesn’t require or rely on something? We all have opinions and ideas that shape us, and consequently the advice we provide, about how things should go; hence, we can’t be completely impartial.
All recruiters have certain pressures to close deals, and these pressures impact how they interact with candidates, clients, and employers; the bottom line is that the best and most successful recruiters work very hard to be impartial.

Qualities of a Successful Recruiter

The most successful recruiters are part salesman, career counselor, consultant, advisor, fact finder, archaeologist, and “shrink.” They are balanced in their advice. They present both sides of the story, ask candidates a multitude of questions geared directly toward their professional needs and wants, and work to build relationships based on trust with candidates. This is something that takes time and commitment.
When I was still in my recruiting practice full time, I got calls all the time from candidates requesting advice. Sometimes I was representing them in one or more of the opportunities they were exploring, and sometimes none of them. They called to discuss all the opportunities with me because they trusted the counsel I provided.
I called an old friend in New Jersey to discuss the idea of recruiters providing independent advice. He does only contingent search, has been in practice since 1985, and is very successful. He has built his practice upon all the items I mention above. Sometimes he wins deals. Sometimes he doesn’t. He is a very trusted source to his candidates. He doesn’t lie about opportunities. He presents both sides of issues.
In speaking with some corporate recruiters and recruiting leaders, they also confirmed my assertions on what makes a successful recruiter. The best corporate recruiters also follow these principles.

The Tasks of a Successful Recruiter

There are a number of regular practices that make recruiters successful. It’s not a mystery. It’s just a matter of following some basic principles and work habits.
Sometimes I’d find myself struggling in my early years in Search. I’d sit down with my boss to get his advice and I’ll never forget his wise words, “Go back to your basics.” It always proved successful.
The basics:
  1. Sourcing: Sourcing is not just trolling LinkedIn and other online sites to find names. It’s picking up the phone and “pirating.” It’s looking online in creative ways. It’s looking through your database. It’s networking.
  2. Turning names into conversations: Once you have names, you must get them to engage in conversation, and you  better know how to speak to them. If you are calling people who get flooded with recruiter calls and emails, you need an effective strategy to get them to return your calls/emails.
  3. Turn conversations into candidates: Now that you have gotten someone on the phone you need to determine if he is a potential fit for the organization and job. Do you want him to interview? Remember the first rule of Sales 101; Ask questions about their needs and wants and show them how you can help. You may be interested in him, but he may not be interested in you.
  4. Interview preparation: Be sure the candidate knows who he is interviewing with, what the job expectations are, how long/how many interviews will be taking place, and what the entire process may look like.  Set proper expectations of the interview process.
  5. Stay in communication: Be sure you provide interview feedback in a timely manner and communicate next steps. Keeping a candidate in the dark will not elicit good will.
  6. Hold their hand: Spending time answering questions and dealing with concerns. Don’t avoid difficult conversations. This “high-touch” interaction will enable a candidate to trust you. Trust is crucial to outcome.
  7. Qualify: Qualify the candidate throughout the process. Is there a possibility of a counteroffer from the current employer? Will any red flags show up in reference or background checks? Ensure the candidate will accept the offer or keep negotiating until you have agreement. If you don’t feel the candidate is going to accept, find out why. Can you or the hiring manager handle the objection? Don’t be caught with your pants down.
  8. Follow up: After the offer is signed, place a call or send a note to the candidate congratulating him on joining the company. Tell him how excited you are to have him joining the team. This little act will go a long way.
  9. Onboarding: Ensure the candidate is onboarded effectively. Walk him through the process and make sure he knows what to expect for the first 30-90 days of employment. Let him know that you are available to answer questions, or refer him to the person who can help if you can’t.

Moral of the Story

Quality recruiters will always have work, whether they work for an agency or inside a company. Why? Because job boards,and online “databases” like LinkedIn are unable to replace them. There are just too many skills required of a quality recruiter, and it’s these skills that take years to develop. Great recruiters don’t take short cuts because short cuts don’t work. They consistently practice the basics that made them successful in the first place.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Hiring Manager's Perspective On What Not To Say In An Interview

What Not To Say In An Interview

Here’s another great question from the community:
Thank you for your show. I have heard you speak a lot in your program about a greater desire to hire a person with hunger, drive, and an itch to learn, over a person that is blasé, experienced, and simply says I can do that.
Two questions:
  • How do I avoid the I can do that statement?
  • How do I convey the idea of my hunger is better than his experience?
Thank you very much!
Thanks Richard! I do say a lot that I will not hire a person who says, “I can do that” when I’m explaining a position. Now, keep in mind that you are reading this, and not hearing the inflection in my voice.
I’m not talking about someone who is excited, I mean someone who says it in a way of, “it’s not my dream job, but I’ll do it for pay.” That’s the person I will not hire.
Instead, I want someone who is sitting on the edge of their seat telling me that they WANT the the job I’m talking about. That they would be excited to be a part of something that I’m doing.
That person has a considerably better chance at getting hired. Why? Because I’ve been doing this too long. And one thing I’ve discovered, you can train skills, but you can’t train passion.
As to your second question, I don’t want someone who is hungry for a J-O-B, I want someone who is hungry for my incredible, amazing, phenomenal opportunity that I am providing, that changes the lives of other people.
I’m not in this for me. I’m in it for the people on the other end of my message. Therefore, I want to surround myself with people who are as well. If all you want is a J-O-B, you’re going to run off the very people I’m trying to help.
Therefore, show me how you have a passion to help my customer, and you have a great shot at it.
Thanks again Richard!