Recent Blog Posts

Inside The Interview

Kelly Daniels, a Recruitment Specialist from our Chicago office, shares some of her own interesting interview tactics after watching an episode of “The Job Interview.”

While flipping through channels, I discovered a TV show called “The Job Interview.”  This show helps companies to identify qualified candidates and showcases the interview process for various positions. I was quite impressed that CNBC aired a program so real and related to what I do as a recruiter.

“The Job Interview” offers a great way to learn how organizations interact with job seekers and examines the process a company may use.  It also illustrates which industries are hiring talent, and provides insights into pay rates offered.

Some hiring managers’ ideas were very creative.  For instance, one had each candidate walk into a room in which no chair was provided for them. The idea was to observe how candidates responded to an uncomfortable situation.  Did they find a chair for themselves?  Stand?  Circle uncomfortably?  It provided insight into candidate reactions, problem solving, and the ways individual responses may influence an ability to succeed in specific positions.

This reminded me of interesting interview tactics my colleagues and I have adopted or witnessed on-the-job:

Honesty is the best policy. To get at just how genuine and self-reflective a candidate is, a simple question can help:  “Think back to a situation that, after reflection, you realize you could have handled things better.  What was that time, and how would you change things?”  Watch to see how much the candidate struggles with the response, and is the response heart-felt?  Does it feel like a real ‘lesson-learned’ moment from which the candidate learned?  Or does that candidate give a non-response, e.g., “I went through this project and realized that my perfectionism really cost me a lot of time in my personal life, but it helped get the job done.”  If you get one of these lazy non-responses, don’t be afraid to professionally call the candidate on it:  “I can see how that would have been a challenge, but could we dig a bit deeper and talk about a time that you now feel you made a genuine mistake in a decision you made or the way you addressed a team member?”  Hopefully you get a meaningful response, and it sheds light on personal values and character.

The barrage. Posing questions  in rapid succession helps you to observe how a candidate’s mind works under pressure.  For example, “out of your previous jobs, which was your favorite?  Do you like working in teams or individually?  If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?  If there was one thing you could change about your current job that would make you want to stay, what would it be?”  Moving quickly between questions helps to map a candidate’s comfort with change.

The secret interview. Who else interacts with a candidate during the interview process?  Perhaps the receptionist has some insight!  A receptionist’s observations of the candidate while he or she waited can be quite telling. How did the candidate treat the receptionist and those with whom they sat?  How did that behavior correlate to the experience you observed in the interview?

Discovering and finalizing the best candidate is a challenge.  A recruiter should always think outside of the box to discover new and interesting ways of discovering what each candidate brings to the table.


Want a new job? Position for success.

Alison Lewis, a Recruitment Specialist out of our Buffalo branch, shares her tips on how to position yourself for success if you are hoping to land a new job in 2018.

The third month of 2018 has begun—that makes it a great time to check your progress against your 2018 resolutions and goals! Is one of your goals landing a new position? If so, make sure that you do everything you can to cast yourself and your credentials in a positive light.

That means staying away from the following:

Rude and Negative Behavior – How you behave at social events or over the phone reflects on you. You alone control your behavior and reactions, and there is always a chance you may interact again with a specific person. How you treat a recruiter is how you will be imagined interacting with teammates. If you treat the person who has power to get you in front of an employer poorly, a recruiter will question how you would treat coworkers or a manager.

Beware of gossip.  It is negative behavior!  Good rule of thumb: someone quick to lend a listening ear is also often a running mouth.

Outdated Skills and Materials – When actively seeking a job, prepare by reading articles, practicing interview questions/answers, researching companies, attending networking events, providing correct contact information, and updating your resume. It confuses a recruiter when people submit an out-of-date resume or provide incorrect information. If you describe yourself as detail-oriented, reliable, and successful, be sure that your resume and cover letter reinforce that.

Passivity – Growth opportunities are born of hard work, productivity, results, and a positive reputation. Answering questions without specifics or descriptive examples will not help a recruiter or interviewer understand how you will perform in a position or contribute to a company.

Also, be precise and know what you want. Applying for a job is a big deal and a reflection of yourself. Do not apply to every job under the sun—that makes it difficult for a recruiter or employer to take you seriously.

Ghosting – This one should go without saying, but you’d be surprised. When a potential employer reaches out to you, respond. When you set up an interview, show up. Recruiters know other recruiters; don’t get yourself blacklisted.

Full Voicemail – It is amazing how many people who apply for positions don’t set up voicemails or have mailboxes that are always full. How will a recruiter feel comfortable believing that you are detail-oriented and organized if you cannot maintain your voicemails? Also, your voicemail greeting—just like your email address—should be simple, identifiable, and professional.

The future of your career is in your hands.  Be mindful about always representing yourself as a detail-oriented, courteous, and conscientious candidate, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving those 2018 goals.


For a Great Team, Focus on the Roots

Jason Hatch, an Account Executive from our Minneapolis office, shares his thoughts on how to lead a team to success.

Many articles explain the duties of an efficient manager, but do not shed light on what specific personality traits a true leader exhibits, and in what ways he or she goes beyond the ordinary steps.

Imagine that your employees are trees. Most sales managers focus on what that tree is producing, i.e., the fruit, representing sales/results. They focus so much on the fruit that they fail to notice the branches, trunk, or—most importantly—the roots. If you ignore the roots for too long, the tree will die and yield no more fruit.

In this analogy, the roots of the tree are the motivators for each team member. Each is unique. It is the manager/leader’s job to focus on and nurture these roots.

One method is to simply take the time to learn about the members of your team as people and discover what motivates them. If asked, most people will cite “money” as a main motivator. That may be true, but what we do with our money is the true motivator. For example, the money I earn goes towards taking care of my wife, daughter, and daughter-on-the-way. It also enables me to play golf, which is my greatest passion outside of my faith, family, and friends. Learn these details about your team members and you will better understand how to engage and motivate them.

Doling out blanket rewards is NOT a good motivator. There is nothing worse than exceeding goals and receiving an irrelevant or generic reward in return. As a manager, you may love free lunch or happy hours, but what if your team member packs a lunch and has a family to get home to after work? Personally, I’m happy to pay for my own food and, at day’s end, I want to be with my family.  But if you were to offer a half day on Friday to play golf?—I’d be all in!

Many great workers fail to realize their full potential, because their managers never invested in learning about them as people. I have been blessed with a company who exhibits a warm and invested leadership team. What can you do to create or encourage this type of team? If you are a manager, focus on the roots. It will bring not only a harmonious, professional environment, but also a tree with stronger productivity.


6 Tips for Landing a Dream Job

Scott Fiege, a recruiting manager out of our Buffalo branch office, shares his tips on how to land the dream job you are after.

You catch wind of the perfect job. Whether you are underpaid, underappreciated, would prefer a shorter drive to work, desire an elevated job title, or are soon to be relocating, this job could be a great fit for your needs.

You should know, for every position we post, we receive anywhere from 25 to 50 applications through sources like Indeed, Zip Recruiter, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc.  We identify another 50 to 75 from our pipelines, and from job boards and LinkedIn. With all sources combined, there’s over 100 people interested in one job.

Considering these numbers, the odds of being granted an interview are not high. Even if you meet the required skills/education, hard skills alone won’t secure you the position. In most searches, the manager reviews at least 10 profiles to select for interviews, with a subsequent three to five candidates scheduled for appointments. And finally, only one receives the offer.

  • What qualities set a preferred candidate apart?
  • How do you increase your chances for an interview?
  • What is the best way to secure a job offer?

My ten years spent in recruiting have taught me some tips of the trade that may help better your experience and move you toward your goals.

Be interesting!

I’ve seen a lot of resumes and cover letters, and have sat through many interviews and phone screens. If you—as the applicant—cannot gather enthusiasm for your background, neither will I or another hiring manager. Is your resume up to date? It should reflect not only your experience, but your personality.

Motivation and excitement for the job challenge will set you apart during conversations with a recruiter. Keep ego firmly in check, but do illustrate your accomplishments with a friendly smile and attitude. Keep answers to no more than a minute in length and try your best to not interrupt the interviewer. Exhibit enthusiasm and mention the ways in which you are a team player with a broad interest in helping a department.


Are you aware of the most common interview questions and techniques used by hiring managers? Have you given thought to the financial compensation you would need in order to leave your current position? Are you confident of your market value? Are you clear on the manner in which you would decline a counter offer at your current employer? Have you familiarized yourself with the company websites and/or researched the background of the hiring managers prior to the interview?

This is where an applicant exceeds his/her competition. You should know, for example, that the company name is Sealing Devices, rather than Hearing Devices. Investigate the background of the hiring managers in case there is a friendly and common connection to mention during the interview. Dress for success in your most flattering and recently dry cleaned outfit. Practice answering questions in front of a mirror and role play with a helpful friend.

Use your connections or find common ground

Companies and hiring managers feel at ease hiring someone they know or referred over to them. They hire candidates with whom they share an alma mater, sorority, volunteer/community group, or other common connections. Some call it politics. I call it “well played.” Check out LinkedIn, or touch base with your network to determine whether you already have a valuable connection at the company for which you’d like to work.

Remember, interviewers are often nervous

Their job during the interview is to be tough, yet fair. Parts of the interview may feel disappointing or nerve-racking. True story: interviewers are sometimes as anxious as you are. They may not know the best questions to ask or feel they have an adequate handle on the type of candidate a department is hoping for. Your game plan may not go as expected. Roll with the punches, remain confident, and focus on what qualities paint you the best candidate for the job.

Become the solution

The most attractive candidates bring solutions to a void a company hopes to fill. Keep this in mind during the interview. Bring polished examples of your work and share wins from the past that could add to the organization’s productivity and contribute to a positive office culture.

Keep emotions in check

Interviewing can become emotional. You’ve spent money adding to your education, and time and effort in building your network and resume. I’ve heard many stories that inspired me to write up an offer that very second. We appreciate emotion—it illustrates to the hiring managers that you’re passionate about what you do. However, stay calm and present in the moment. Keep in mind that they are investing in you, and will prefer to move forward with a candidate driven not only by passion, but also by a calm and mature rationale.

There is a lot of talent out in the world, and we hope this helps you position yourself as a top candidate for your dream job.



Eight Is Enough

Is the traditional 9 to 5 work day back in style? Carl Camardo, Talent Development Manager for Superior Group, reflects on the new work day–does it need to be longer? Or just more efficient?

As I write this article, I’m reminded of the film Jerry Maguire.  The part where Jerry writes a pamphlet calling for fewer clients, not wanting to go after the big fish, and actually gets the character fired from his position.  I write this, not to upset my senior management, but to remind everyone of the truly important aspects of our lives.

Some say the 9 to 5 regular work day is dead.  As an HR professional I can accept when a model is outdated. However, what does constitute the new work day?  Do we come in early or stay late to get work done?  To impress our boss? At a previous job, it was common for me to return to work some nights after dinner.  One night, I returned to find my VP there as well and envisioned how impressed he would be with my dedicated presence.  He approached me, asking, “What are you doing here at this time?”  I told him that there were just some things I needed to finish up.  My expected response of “Great job” was not the response I received.  Instead, he asked why I could not get my work done during normal work hours, assuming it was a time management issue.  As I thought of how to respond, he ushered me to his office, opened a time management presentation and proceeded to email it to me.

We must put forth our greatest effort to get the job duties done during the work day.  Eight to eight and a half hours a day is a very long time.  There is nothing else we typically spend that many hours of the day on.  We don’t sleep over eight hours a day and we certainly don’t relax, spend time with family and friends, or take part in a hobby for that long a time.

Companies such as PepsiCo are encouraging employees to leave the work day comfortably.  This means not having to sneak out or feeling guilty for leaving at the end of each day.  For example, if you occasionally leave at four to pick up your daughter, make sure to notify the people in your surrounding workspace.  If it’s okay with your boss, it should be okay with co-workers.

If we have reached that level of professionalism in business, we should be mature with the new rules and not abuse them.  Don’t take advantage of the freedoms we now have in the workplace.  If you leave early or come in late, make sure it’s not every day.  Don’t make a pattern of it, especially if it relates to fantastic weather conditions or around holidays.  If everyone behaves in a mature and friendly manner, productivity is maintained.  You need to trust co-workers and earn their trust as well.

Flexible work day arrangements can go hand in hand with success.  If we achieve our goals during the eight hours, we can avoid after-hours work emails and phone calls. We shouldn’t need to dread hearing our phones ring once we are home.  Senior management respects the fact that people have lives outside of work.

I know people who do this successfully each and every day.  Many people work a full day, but still find time to coach their kids’ sports teams or attend school events.

Life needs a healthy mix of work and home. There is no real secret to productivity.  You have goals to accomplish each day – strive to accomplish these within 8 hours utilizing the right effort and attitude.  Too many life experiences are often missed or regretted. Days, weeks, months, and years go by quickly so try to enjoy your entire life, not just your work life.  As the saying goes: “Work to live, don’t live to work.”


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?



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!


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 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.