Corporate Blog

Candidate Experience Isn’t Just About Your Career Site

Frank Gullo, Director of Digital and Mobile Strategy for Superior Group, writes about areas to focus on for the best candidate experience.

“The last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experiences they want everywhere.” You’ll often hear this at marketing and employee experience conferences, and though it’s unclear who said it first, what is certain is that experience matters, and when it comes to technology, it’s always changing.

Discussion about candidate experience often turns to a company’s career site, and rightly so, as the career site is a key destination for candidates considering employment. Are the job descriptions compelling or flat? Is the application process easy or cumbersome? Is the site mobile optimized or still using a legacy desktop design? However, while it’s important to optimize career sites for candidate experience, with today’s mobile and social web, candidate experience interactions are increasingly taking place beyond the career site.

According to a 2017 Talent Board survey of over 180,000 job seekers, candidates typically check a variety of sources when they research jobs, and 42% say that a source other than the company career site was their most valuable resource when evaluating opportunities. Below are the top six sources:

  1. Company career site, 58.07%
  2. Employee, candidate or customer referral, 35.71%
  3. LinkedIn career page(s), 33.69%
  4. Job boards, 30.64%
  5. Employer review sites, 29.18%
  6. Job notification/agents, 28.11%

With so much of the candidate experience taking place beyond the career site, it’s important to ensure those experiences are on brand, seamless, technically smooth, and positive for the candidate. Here are five key candidate experience areas to focus on other than your career site.

  1. Job boards – Millions of candidates use job boards and aggregators to locate job opportunities every day. In some cases, candidates find and apply to jobs on those sites without ever visiting a company’s career site. Today’s job boards range from standard job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, to aggregators like Indeed, to online classifieds, like Craigslist. Whatever the platform, it’s important to understand the candidate experience on those job boards and do all you can to ensure it’s positive and integrated with your talent acquisition goals.
  2. Search – Online search comes in many flavors that impact the candidate job search experience, and there are corresponding search tactics available to improve it. Career site content and organic SEO helps influence search engine result rankings for key terms, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can drive traffic and experience, and alert tools, like Google Alerts, assist in monitoring what’s showing up in search. In addition, the new Google for Jobs indexes and displays current and relevant job posts right in search engine results.
  1. Review sites – Based on research, negative reviews impact reputation and customer/candidate acquisition. In addition, companies typically only hear from a small percentage of detractors. Fortunately, review sites like GlassDoor and Vault provide organizations with opportunities to respond to reviews, locate patterns, turn negative experiences into positive ones, and let candidates know that their experience and voice matters.
  1. Maps and locations – Mobile is critical today, and more and more candidate experiences take place on mobile devices. This is especially true if your company has physical locations. In these cases, part of the candidate experience involves looking up your address in map applications, which increasingly are tied to business pages, like Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. A simple address lookup will show not only the physical location, but also contact and overview information, photos, and reviews. It’s important to know the experience these location-based applications surface and use the management tools available to ensure all the information is accurate and helpful.
  1. Social media – The use of social media to find jobs continues to grow. According to recent Pew research, of the nearly two-thirds of Americans who use social media, 35% of social media users have used social media to look for or research jobs, and 21% have applied for a job they first found out about through social media. With so much job-related activity occurring now on social, seamless social candidate experience aligns best with a strong, consistent employer brand and useful social jobs content appropriate per network and demographic.

Candidate experience is more important than ever. With low unemployment, a skills gap, and fierce competition for talent, having a great candidate experience is critical. The above are just a few of the key areas to focus. What are yours?



Superior Group Appears in Two of Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2017 Lists of Largest Global Staffing Firms

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) released its 2017 List of Largest Global Staffing Firms, wherein Superior Group ranked under “Largest Global Staffing Firms” and “Largest Global Engineering Firms.”

Superior climbed five spots to #85 on the List of Largest Global Staffing Firms.

The 100 organizations on the list of the world’s largest Staffing & Recruitment Firms have a combined revenue of $190 billion, based on sales generated in 2016.

SIA defines “staffing” revenue as revenue generated from the provision of temporary workers to business clients, as well as from “place & search” services (direct hire/permanent placement and retained search).

Superior also finished 20th on the Largest Global Engineering Firms list. This list estimates the global engineering temporary staffing revenue market in 2016 to be worth $28.3 billion. Added together, the top 20 firms generated $9.9 billion in revenue, accounting for 35% of the market.

SIA defines “engineering” temporary staffing as the furnishing of temporary workers in engineering occupations. Examples include mechanical, civil, electrical, industrial, petroleum, environmental, process and other engineers (but not software engineers which fall into what we define as our information technology IT segment).

Overall, both of SIA’s lists can be used to get a “big picture” reading of both the global staffing and global engineering temporary staffing industry landscape.


Thankful For… Work

Christopher Beckage, Senior Vice President at Superior Group, shares his thankful thoughts on work this season. 

As Thanksgiving approaches us in the U.S., we often recognize how thankful we are for our family and friends; however, we often do not recognize the things that we can be thankful for at work.  While most everyone finds their jobs stressful or challenging at times, Thanksgiving offers a great opportunity to step back from the day-to-day and reflect on the things we appreciate at work.

Still stumped? Here are five things that I—myself—am thankful for at Superior Group:

  1. Job Purpose – Sometimes, it’s important to simply remind ourselves why our jobs exist in the first place. We work to solve problems. If there are no problems, then the job disappears or is greatly reduced (The Maytag repairman is a famous example of this, around which an entire ad campaign was formed!).  Create a list of the problems you solve throughout your day, and be thankful for each!
  1. Colleagues – There have been countless articles stating that we spend more time with our work colleagues than we do our friends and families. And when you do the math, it’s true! The average American worker spends 47.5 hours in the office each week, typically exceeding our time at home. According to Virgin Pulse’s new Labor of Love Report, nearly 40 percent of survey respondents named their co-workers as the top reason they love working for their companies. In fact—with all of this data on the importance of our coworkers—let’s take a moment this Thanksgiving to be thankful for the colleagues that keep us honest, accountable, satisfied, and passionate.  Don’t assume they know this already.  Go tell them!
  1. Competition – Surprised by this one? Don’t be! Competition, whether it be with another business or on a more personal level, pushes and challenges us every day. It forces us to be creative, innovative and, most importantly, it creates new problems or opportunities for us to solve.
  1. Leadership – The leaders of your organization contribute quite a lot to your employment. They work to guide your company in the best direction for the greater good and are solving many of their own challenges behind the scenes! All of this ensures the happiness and success of their employees—definitely another thing to be grateful for!
  1. Work/life Balance – This can be a struggle for employees in all industries and businesses. Being in the recruitment business, it is common for jobseekers at all levels to take new positions, because they are burned out and feel they are missing out on life. More and more companies are striving to do better here, providing more flexibility and moving to results-based work environments. If you have such, be thankful for how you and your employer have been able to accomplish this! Not all business are there yet.

We hope you find many things—beyond the holiday feast!—both at and outside of work to be thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving!


Picking up the Phone—Simple Action, Big Impact

Theresa Lowe, a recruitment specialist out of our Chicago branch, shared her thoughts on how a simple action has enhanced her career. We have a feeling this advice doesn’t only apply to recruiting!

When I first got into recruiting, my sole focus was on building relationships with candidates that I was looking to place in their ideal jobs.  Once I had gotten my candidates their desired positions, they would refer me to their friends and family, and “my brand” would grow.  And, it did; however, not as quickly as I wanted it to.

I wondered what I was missing—what could help me get to the next level?

After a couple of months of black hole submittals, it came to me.  Most of the time, I would submit my candidates into a vendor management system (VMS) and then I would never hear back. Important questions went unanswered…Was I on the right track?  Was the candidate too highly priced?  Why didn’t they like my candidate?  Sure, I would email the hiring manager requesting information as to why they passed on my candidate, but I would rarely get a response.

A couple months and many black hole submittals later, I finally had my “Ah-ha!” moment.  While a majority of the candidates I placed had to be submitted within a VMS tool, others were sent directly via email to the hiring manager.  I began to see that these direct submittals to managers offered direct interaction opportunities that helped to develop relationships with decision-makers. I mention that the submittals were in email format, because—in this day in age—we primarily email and text.  Rarely do we pick up the phone and introduce ourselves.  Who has time for that? Right?  Wrong.  Picking up the phone, as simple as it may seem, was one of the best things I have done for my career as a recruiter.

Luckily, when most hiring managers replied to my emails, they included email signatures with their contact information (one of my biggest pet peeves is a missing email signature).  After a few email exchanges with one client in particular, I picked up the phone to personally introduce myself.  To my shock, he—let’s call him Bob—actually answered his phone!  I believe Bob was shocked to actually hear my voice.  It wasn’t an emotionless email or a text message, but a real-life person taking the time to call him personally to see how he was liking or not liking the candidates I had sent him.  Unfortunately, I was off the mark a bit, but he hadn’t had the time to email me back with those details, since he was so busy. But…he was very happy that I had taken the time to call him and have a conversation. We spoke in detail about the role for twenty minutes.  I learned exactly what he was looking for and he learned what I was currently seeing in the marketplace.

After we hung, up I sent him three additional submittals that week with most of the requirements he was looking for.  He interviewed all three and one of those candidates got the job.  Bob was impressed with my attentiveness.  I called him again about a week later to see how my candidate was doing on the job.  But, to be fair, I also had another motive: asking if there were any additional positions he needed help filling.  I knew that he used at least one other agency and if you Google “recruiting firms in Chicago,” at least 60 different agencies come up.  There are so many different companies to choose from, and I wanted him to come back to me.

So, I took a deep breath and simply asked the question, “can I fill another position for you?” Yes, he replied enthusiastically.  That was over a year ago.  Bob doesn’t email the other agency anymore; he picks up the phone and calls me.  I have his cell phone number and he has mine.  I later learned that Bob previously used four other agencies, but has only used ours recently because of the relationship he and I share.  Success!

Over the years, I have done this with other clients and I have been successful being the go-to.  Mostly gone are the black hole submittals, unanswered emails, and lost text messages.  Don’t get me wrong, I still employ all of these communication channels, since that’s the way the world works.

For me, though, picking up the phone and simply asking the question has made my recruiting career a whole lot sweeter.



5 Steps That Take The Scare Out Of Hiring

Michael LoPresti, Regional Business Development Manager out of our Chicago branch, writes about how to take the scare out of hiring this Halloween!

Hiring great talent can be a daunting—and sometimes haunting—task, but it doesn’t need to be.  Putting the right strategies into place will help you get more treats than tricks.

Trick or treat?  No one wants to be tricked.  Instead, we work to treat our companies to excellent staff, and that works best when we plan:

  1. First, evaluate the real hiring need
  2. Echo your company’s employee value proposition
  3. Align a thoughtful recruiting strategy
  4. Reign in decision-making times
  5. Streamline onboarding

Do we need Frankenstein or Frankenstein’s monster?—evaluate your hiring need

If we do nothing else, this one thing should not be sidestepped:  all stakeholders (what an appropriate term for Halloween!) involved with sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and ultimately managing the resource should sit down to discuss the role.  Miscommunication is a monster of its own, sucking the life out of even those most well-intentioned recruiting campaigns.  Urgency diminishes.  Expectations change.  Candidates become disenfranchised.  Productivity—like a child receiving a toothbrush at a trick-or-treat stop—suffers.

Get on the same page by asking some simple questions:

  • What output from this role will be critical to our business success?
  • If this is a backfill, what characteristics from the last employee would we like to improve or remove?—cultural fit matters!
  • What are the must-haves, nice-to-haves, and deal breakers?
  • What should we pay the resource based on the market?
  • How much time do we have?

Jekyll, meet Hyde—sync up your employee and company value propositions

This is where we need to be honest with ourselves.  Many organizations have gaps between internal vs. external perceptions.  If you are not the next Uber or Facebook that pays above market and holds ping pong tournaments in your lobby, that’s okay.  Make sure you have a great handle on what makes your company great, and then share that during the recruiting process.  We don’t want to surprise candidates with bat-to-vampire transformations after hiring.  That only increases turnover.

How do we strengthen our value propositions?

  • Consider the classics: base pay, commissions, paid time off, flexible work schedules, etc.—what mix makes sense for this position?
  • How is the work meaningful to the company and how can the right resource really OWN his career journey with your company?
  • Are there training opportunities, and team-building activities? What’s the team culture like?
  • What is the corporate culture like?

Even pumpkin carving needs a plan of action—develop your recruiting strategy

Now that your team agrees on the needs and you know what you have to offer your new hire, develop a strategy for finding, screening, and engaging the right candidates!  Consider all of the technologies you have available to you.  These may include social media outreach and advertising.  Always consider where your target candidates spend most of their time and put that knowledge to use!  After all, to catch the right fly, a spider must know how to build his web.

Ask yourself:

  • What companies hire for the same type of candidate and can I target them?
  • What schools offer related programs or degrees?
  • Do I have appropriate screening questions ready to go that will help weed out those who do not meet the real hiring need?
  • Have I considered the STAR behavioral interview?
  • Do we have skills tests in place?

Until the position is filled, productivity is a ghost—making the hiring decision

Here are the most common reasons we hear for why companies won’t make the final decision on a candidate:

  • “I don’t know if they have the technical or industry knowledge we need”
  • “I don’t know if they are the right cultural fit”
  • “I need to see more candidates to which to compare”
  • “I was frightened when the candidate suspended him/herself from the ceiling like a bat mid-interview and explained that if we didn’t commit to employing them until the end of time, they would haunt our organization relentlessly” (you’d be shocked how often we hear this one)

Hopefully, though, by getting on the same page with all stakeholders, validating the company/employee value proposition, and employing a well-honed recruiting strategy, we’ve refined our screening process and delivered the right candidate.  Hiring is not a scary thing when you have a plan in place and came prepared.

You’ve done all the right things.  You’ve sped the process by scheduling multiple interviews on single days.  Testing provided quantitative results on technical aptitudes.  Prudent interview questions shed light on value and culture matches.  Now, coach decision-makers toward the right decision.  That is a huge part of our success as recruiters.  Arm the decision-makers with all of the information they need based on the previous process steps, and urge them—constructively—to make a selection based not on candidate comparisons, but on confidence that the candidate can and will do the job.

We all fear the ghoulish unknown—onboard well

Finally, now that a candidate selection has been made, how do you integrate this employee into your organization and position them for success?  By planning, of course.  Joining an organization is scary-stressful for anyone and you can help build your company’s value proposition by easing the process!

  • Who is responsible for greeting the person the first day?
  • Is their desk and hardware ready to go?
  • Who is taking them to lunch during the first week to help build rapport and comradery?
  • How will expectations be communicated for the first 30, 60, and 90 days?

Recapping the Skeleton Key to the Recruiting Kingdom

Regardless of the season, take the fear out of hiring processes by always refining after each successful—or unsuccessful­—hire!  After all, our recruitment fears are only as powerful as we allow them to be…

Also, don’t fall for the major pitfalls that land recruitment efforts in the graveyard:

  • Changing requirements from candidate-to-candidate or search-to-search.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations.
  • Forgetting about the candidate experience.

With the exception of Beetlejuice, great talent doesn’t appear simply by calling out for it three times.  You’ll need to work hard to align the right resources and keep productivity alive. You’ll need to evaluate the real hiring need.  You’ll need to echo your company’s employee value proposition.  Aligning a thoughtful recruiting strategy will be vital.  Doing all of this will help to reign in decision-making times.  And, finally, streamlined onboarding will close the loop.

So…trick or treat?


Superior Tees It Up for STEM

Superior Group Sponsoring 2nd Annual Tee It Up For STEM Event

Superior Group is excited to announce that it will be the presenting sponsor for Empire Genomics’ second annual Tee It Up For STEM golf tournament and dinner coming up on Monday, September 25th. This will be the first year Superior Group is sponsoring the event, and we’re looking forward to participating in such a great cause benefitting students and our local economy.

Tee It Up For STEM was created to help benefit local students who one day wish to work in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) fields. As job markets like manufacturing, life sciences, and healthcare continue to grow in both demand and importance, Superior finds it critical to support these initiatives and do everything we can to help young, aspiring students accomplish their goals.

In the inaugural event last year, several students were awarded scholarships enabling them to participate in the Harvard HMX Fundamentals course. HMX certificate courses provide students with a foundational basis needed to hit the ground running in the next stage of their education and career.


Superior Group makes SIA’s 2017 list of largest US IT staffing firms

For the second year in a row, Superior Group has been ranked the 38th largest IT staffing firm by Staffing Industry Analysts on their list of 2017 Largest IT Staffing Firms, with revenues over $100 million in the United States.

The report defines “IT” temporary staffing as the furnishing of temporary workers with IT skills. Examples of IT occupations include software engineers, computer systems analysts, database administrators and information security analysts.

The SIA’s 2017 report estimates that 43 firms generated at least $100 million in U.S. information technology temporary staffing revenue in 2016. Added together, these firms generated $18 billion in such revenue, accounting for 63% of the market.

Overall, the SIA believes this list helps companies get a “big picture” reading of the United States’ IT staffing industry landscape.


Superior Group Visits Hope Lodge

In an effort to assist cancer, trauma and transplant patients receiving active treatment, several members of our Superior Group staff offered their support at the American Cancer Society’s B. Thomas Galisano Hope Lodge located in Rochester, NY.

The Hope Lodge Hospitality House offers free or low-cost lodging for cancer, trauma and organ transplant patients and their caregivers, who travel upwards of an hour to receive necessary treatment. Throughout the stay, the Hope Lodge attempts to aid in the guests healing process through a variety of wellness and support programs, all while lowering the financial burden brought by mounting medical bills.

During their visit, staff members purchased, prepared, and served meals to guests and their families currently staying in rooms provided by the Hope Lodge. They also took the time to sit and chat with some of the patients to provide some additional words of encouragement.

“It was an amazing experience getting to sit and talk with the residents and patients. They are very thankful that people take the time to come and cook for them. The patients and their families come from all over the United States to stay at a Hope Lodge (there are others located nationally) while they receive treatment,” said Senior Recruitment Specialist, Sonia Caraveo.



Superior Group makes SIA’s 2017 list of largest US staffing firms

Moving up two spots from last year, Superior Group has been named the 33rd largest staffing firm by Staffing Industry Analysts on their list of 2017 Largest Staffing Firms with revenues over $100 million in the United States.

The 2017 report states that revenue estimates reflect revenue generated and related to temporary staffing, direct hire, retained search, and temp-to-hire conversion fees.

“This report showcases those companies that have grown their business to the top of the industry in terms of revenue and growth,” Staffing Industry Analysts President Barry Asin said. “The 144 companies comprising the list generated a combined revenue of $80.0 billion in 2016 and their success illustrates the continued growth and adoption of staffing in the US.”

This list can be used to gain a “big picture” reading of the U.S. staffing industry landscape. Notably, industrial and IT skill segments continue to represent the largest temporary staffing categories by revenue for the majority of the companies.


2017 Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo

Five startups will be competing for a $20,000 grand prize at the 2017 Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo, taking place today at Hotel Henry in Buffalo, NY.

The event features live pitches, both for the $20,000 grand prize and a $5,000 People’s Choice Award, a trade show providing the participating companies the opportunity to showcase their ideas and meet with potential mentors and investors, and keynote speaker Frans Johansson, renowned innovator and diversity expert.

Superior Group is proud to be a supporter of entrepreneurship in Western New York and is looking forward to participating in today’s event.