Corporate Blog

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.


Sonoco Awards Superior With Sustainable Achievement Award

Superior Workforce Solutions Recognized by Sonoco for Achievement in Sustainable Business Practices

Sonoco has presented Superior Workforce Solutions, Inc., a Superior Group company, with its 2017 Sustainability Award for achievements in sustainable business practices. Superior Workforce Solutions (Superior) makes a concerted effort to innovate in a manner that both reduces its environmental footprint and enhances its social and community activism.

Today, Superior focuses on generating the highest levels of sustainability by reducing energy usage and resource waste, and by refining facility management practices on an ongoing basis. Since 2010, Superior has reduced its electrical usage by nearly 20%.

To learn more, see the full press release.


4 Keys to Building an Employer Brand

In today’s competitive talent landscape, companies of all shapes and sizes are trying to develop new strategies to recruit and retain top talent. Even companies with dedicated recruitment teams know that getting the best talent in the door is a difficult task, which makes it imperative that companies use the best strategies to differentiate their brand. One of the best ways to do that? A strong employer brand.

To put it simply, the best way to recruit, is to not have to. According to new LinkedIn research, 83% of talent leaders believe that employer brands are crucial to hiring top talent. When employer brands are strong, and potential employees are seeking you out rather than vice versa, your company’s talent pipeline will be flush with fantastic résumés and candidates. But, with so many different brands out there competing for attention, it can be difficult to break through the noise.

To get you started, below are some very simple, and low-cost strategies that companies like Zappos, Netflix, Google, and Virgin America use to help create and drive their employer brand.

Harness What Makes Your Company Unique

Brands are a lot more than a logo and a great website. What a brand really is, is what people feel and think when they see that logo, website, or social media pages. What can a candidate really sense when they see your page? Is the company centered around work-life balance? The culture? The physical office space? The benefits? This employee value proposition is what potential employees are looking for. Remember, job candidates are looking for the best fit for them, and their number one question is: “What can I expect to receive while working here?”

Your company isn’t the same as every other company out there. Tout your unique qualities—it’s what differentiates you from the pack. The best way to do so is your brand.

Your Employees are a Referral Machine

One of the best ways to create a positive brand is empowering your current employees. Employees can be the biggest boosters to your business, as they share their experiences with friends and family who also repeat those stories to others.

By building and promoting a winning workplace culture, and marketing that culture to your employees, they will provide companies with a compounding PR investment. Oftentimes your employees will become your best recruiters or sales people by simply enjoying what they do, and telling people about it. One great social media post by a happy employee can be spread to thousands of people in just a few clicks.

Use Social Media

This has been touched on already, but the power of social media is something that organizations of all shapes and sizes need to tap into. Take Southwest Airlines for example, they launched their blog Nuts About Southwest in 2006 to show candidates what life was like in the day-to-day operations of the company. To date, they are one of the most active brands on Facebook, and their employees regularly share posts and real-life scenarios of how the company is run. It not only engages current employees, but gives prospects a unique view into the life of what it is like to be a Southwest employee.

Use Marketing

Use your company’s marketing and design teams to proactively reach wider audiences on digital media. Through a myriad of marketing tools, organizations of all sizes can target their audience by geography and interests. Not only can they help with paid media, but marketing can also write and craft free content for audiences to consume while they are on their employment search.

In today’s candidate-driven market, attracting top talent can be a challenge, but you can get ahead of the curve by getting proactive with your company’s brand.




Superior Group Takes Home Baker’s Dozen

Last week, our team attended the 2017 HRO Today Forum in Chicago, Illinois where they learned about the latest industry developments, heard from inspiring speakers and celebrated the top talent acquisition leaders. While we were there, we were very excited to learn that we were recognized by the HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen list for the fifth consecutive time! 

The MSP Baker’s Dozen list is a ranking of the top Managed Service Program providers in the HR industry and is determined by feedback from customer satisfaction surveys that evaluate three key areas: breadth of service, size of deals, and quality of service. The results are then calculated based on an algorithm that weighs questions and categories in relation to levels of importance.

“We are honored to be recognized by HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen list for the fifth time,” said Lynne Marie Finn, President and CEO of Superior Workforce Solutions, a member of Superior Group.  “Ensuring that our customers see real results from our Managed Service Programs is of utmost importance to us and this recognition reflects the team’s commitment to finding the best solutions for our customers’ needs.”

See the full press release here: