Tag Archives: Job Seekers

How Staffing Firms Promote Candidate-Company Connections

How Staffing Firms Promote Candidate-Company Connections

Even in an employer-driven landscape with shortages across the job market, facilitating the right match between candidates and a company can still pose challenges. What inspires workers to buy into a company’s purpose? Where do opportunities exist to build more understanding on both sides?
Below, we outline the main gaps with traditional hiring and how staffing agencies help make better talent matches.

Overcoming Communication Gaps

Traditional hiring processes often have room for improvement when it comes to communication between talent and employers. Job descriptions often present an idealized version of a role that does not typically align with reality, while candidates market themselves on their resume bullets alone.
To overcome these shortfalls, recruiters have more open discussions with candidates to confirm competencies and advocate for them. They work closely with hiring managers to discern key company details, such as culture, and help candidates better understand the role they would be taking on. Such transparent conversations spark more significant mutual investment compared to limiting job specifications.

Setting Realistic Previews to Align Expectations

Another issue is that candidates may enter new roles with misaligned expectations, which can lead to suboptimal job fits and performance challenges. Recruiters address this by providing a balanced, realistic preview of the role’s responsibilities and expected team dynamics.

This transparency helps prevent regretted resignations or terminations from unforeseen challenges that surface after a candidate’s start date. This, in turn, allows for better-aligned expectations and an improved retention rate.

Emphasizing Alignment with Company Mission

While day-to-day responsibilities deserve clear communication, a larger question looms for talent: does this company’s mission resonate with my values?

Staffing professionals play a pivotal role in answering this. They convey the priorities guiding an organization beyond profit incentives. This includes subjects like community engagement, sustainability, DEI commitments, and other defining principles.

Ensuring one’s values align with a company’s mission is crucial for making candidates feel an intrinsic connection to purposeful work that resonates with them. When roles become more than just jobs and provide opportunities for employees to express their values, this connects with them on a deeper level that goes beyond what resumes can convey. Communicating this big-picture vision helps forge strong bonds between employees and the company.

Conveying Future Growth & Leadership Paths

Oftentimes, candidates are looking for opportunities that offer the most potential for growth. Recruiters assist in this process by conveying realistic long-term growth trajectories, not just immediate role responsibilities. Highlighting future training programs, cross-disciplinary projects, and leadership opportunities shows high-performing candidates the career potential of a particular role.


While today’s talent market favors organizations looking to hire, companies that attempt to overlook strategic talent investments will inevitably encounter challenges in the form of turnover and stagnation.

Organizations that leverage staffing partners can build bridges where impersonal hiring processes fall short. By refreshing recruitment approaches to refocus on compatibility, mutual priorities, and future potential, companies can broker lasting bonds between top talent and its organization’s priorities.

Looking to hire? Get connected with one of our career experts.

Candidate Experience

Should Companies Still Care About Candidate Experience?

With talent shortages causing headaches for talent acquisition leaders across many industries, some companies are tempted to deprioritize aspects like the candidate experience. Some may argue that with applicant pools shrinking and bargaining power shifting towards job seekers, investing extra effort into perfecting the candidate journey seems superfluous. Why devote resources there when it’s hard enough to secure talent in the first place?

While those questions may be understandable, our position is still an emphatic “yes!” Here’s why companies absolutely should still care about crafting a thoughtful, positive candidate experience:

Candidate Experience

It’s Key for Conveying Company Culture

Experiencing what a company is like directly influences whether sought-after candidates will accept offers. If the recruiting process itself seems disorganized or indifferent, it starts applicants questioning if that reflects the broader culture. Even small signals influence perceptions.

It Discourages Ghosting

Job seekers today, especially those in high-demand roles, have options and little hesitation in walking away from bad application experiences. This leads to ignored messages or mid-interview ghosting. While frustrating, it’s often because they feel deprioritized versus other opportunities showing more care.

It Builds Goodwill Value

Perhaps a candidate was not the right fit today, but had a positive enough experience to consider applying again down the road or recommend others do the same. Word-of-mouth referrals remain hugely valuable. Leaving talent satisfied rather than soured preserves future goodwill.

It’s Simply the Right Thing To Do

Respecting those willing to devote time, emotional, and intellectual energy into potentially joining your company by making the evaluation experience thoughtful shows character. Candidates are more than just means to overworked, understaffed ends today. Honoring that is the path forward.


The recruiting landscape continues evolving quickly, so we understand the temptation to cut certain corners. However, preserving or elevating candidate experience efforts needs to remain non-negotiable. At best, it sets companies apart. At a minimum, it’s both the smart and principled path in an ever-competitive talent marketplace.

Looking to fill a role? Get connected with one of our staffing experts.

Hiring Managers

What Do Hiring Managers Look For?

In a competitive job market, standing out to hiring decision-makers is vital. But pinpointing exactly what traits and factors talent acquisition staff screen for when filling roles can sometimes seem nebulous.

Understanding core areas that influence hiring manager assessments can help job seekers emphasize the most impactful strengths during interviews. Here are pivotal candidate attributes and abilities hiring staff evaluate:

Hiring Managers

1. Cultural Fit

Hiring managers weigh soft skills and interpersonal qualities indicative of seamless assimilation into company culture. Signs you’ll collaborate smoothly on a team and mesh well personality-wise matter hugely. Bringing a positive presence matters.

2. Relevant Knowledge and Experience

While transferable skills have merits in many cases, depth and breadth in the precise critical capabilities the open role requires remains crucial to demonstrate. Highlight key career milestones, achievements and proficiencies that make you ready from day one.

3. Communication Skills

How gracefully and clearly you convey your background, talents, and ambitions influences impressions significantly. Communication style and approach while answering screening questions can solidify (or diminish) leadership potential perceptions. Hiring managers oftentimes scrutinize presentation specifics.

4. Critical Thinking Skills

Employers want candidates who can analyze issues objectively from multiple angles, interpret complex data sets accurately, and then generate creative solutions independently using sound judgment. Demonstrating both rational and innovative thinking is key.

5. Work Ethic and Values

Hiring managers look for signs that candidates have tenacity, determination, integrity and accountability. Possessing these traits signals someone who will take initiative without needing excessive oversight, lead by positive example among peers, and follow through on deliverables. These intangible strengths around personal values and work ethic also factor heavily into hiring assessments.

6. Professionalism & Polish

From punctuality to politeness, interview attire to email etiquette, polished conduct provides small signals that one respects others’ time and standards.  Hiring managers notice these formalities in vetting whether colleagues will reflect positively on the organization.

Standing Out to Hiring Managers: Key Takeaways

The exact assessment formula varies across seniority tiers, industries, company cultures and specific position requirements. But highlighting the intersection of specialized competencies and universal social attributes goes far in catching a hiring manager’s attention and securing offers. Present an authentic, accurate picture of both your hard and soft skills, and chances soar for hiring success.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

Will I Get a Job Offer

Will I Get a Job Offer? 5 Hints Your Chances Are Strong

That stretch between a job interview and getting an offer – or rejection – often feels like perpetual limbo. However, certain signals during interviews and in those post-conversation contacts provide clues on how strong your candidacy stands.

Though the ultimate decision lies with the employer, below are some hints that your chances look favorable.

1. The Conversation Flows Smoothly

Interviews that feel more like natural, engaging dialogue than rigid inquisitions are a great sign. If you and the interviewer seem to ‘click’ and they’re actively listening and responding positively as you talk, it’s likely a good fit personality-wise.

2. Logistics Discussions Creep In

Talk of official paperwork, start dates, salaries, and onboarding often emerges with very well-received candidates. If not, inquiries about availability indicate they see you in the role. Either way, logistical discussions signal serious consideration.

3. Interviewer Body Language Cues Interest

Pay attention to the interviewer’s body language for cues that indicate interest and engagement. An open posture, steady eye contact, smiles, nods, and leaning in during the conversation can all be positive signs that you are making a favorable impression.

4. Contact Continues After the Interview Concludes

Sometimes interest is directly expressed through effusive compliments, job offer hints, or follow-ups requesting references or more interview availabilities if the hiring process involves multiple discussions.

5. The Hiring Manager Actively Sells You on The Role

Enthusiastic hiring managers also ‘close’ interviews by spotlighting attractive aspects of the company culture, career development opportunities, and specific perks of the open position. This added pitch hints you’re a preferred option worth wooing.

The key is looking and listening for signals you’re among the top candidate circle under current review. No guarantees exist until an official job offer comes through, but these clues help indicate where you likely stand.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

The Benefits of Contract Employment

The Benefits of Contract Employment

The business landscape continues to evolve, with contract and project-based work becoming much more prevalent across sectors. Should one consider pursuing contract roles instead of traditional permanent employment for one’s next move? There are some notable advantages to this path worth exploring.

Read on to explore the benefits of this field of work.

More Freedom and Flexibility

Contractors typically enjoy greater flexibility over their schedules and workloads compared to full-time staffers. Contractors may have more leeway over when and how much they work, with control to accept or decline assignments based on their capacity and interests at any given point. The mobility of contract work also makes it simpler to change focus and try out new companies once projects wrap up. This freedom over time is a major perk for many.

Opportunities to Expand Your Experience

Contract roles allow professionals to amass more well-rounded experience faster than corporate employment could provide. Contract work exposes professionals to more diverse business operations and lets them build skill sets across multiple companies simultaneously. This can expand one’s knowledge on a wider scale, which pays off handsomely when seeking that next opportunity.

Greater Earnings Potential

For in-demand skill sets, contractors often realize higher income potential than their permanent counterparts. Motivated professionals who excel as self-directed workers can earn impressive wages. Specialized independent contractors are able to request premium rates in the current hiring landscape.

Vast Networking Connections

In my cases, independent contractors work with a vast array of colleagues and leaders across the many projects and companies that they are employed for. This gives them access to broad professional networks and insider contacts that one likely wouldn’t establish in a single permanent role. These connections oftentimes prove invaluable for discovering future opportunities.

Staying Relevant and In Demand

Contract work keeps your individual skills relevant and cutting-edge. As contractors flow from project to project, they consistently absorb new information and have to apply expertise in innovative ways. This breeds professionals who can thrive in fluid environments, an increasingly prized attribute employers seek.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

Strategies to Tailor Yourself to Employers’ Needs

Strategies to Tailor Yourself to Employers’ Needs

Landing the right job may seem a difficult feat given such extensive qualifications in many listings today. However, a careful analysis of these listings can unlock key insights. Savvy job seekers can leverage these details to tailor their experience and present themselves as ideal candidates. By decoding employers’ needs and showcasing a fit, applicants can transform the job search process into a strategic endeavor.

Below, we offer useful tactics to interpret and respond to employers’ needs rather than become intimidated.

Strategies to Tailor Yourself to Employers’ Needs

Company Culture and Values

Look for repeated language across listings emphasizing certain work styles, mindsets, and capabilities. Regular mention of traits like “innovative” or “data-driven” offers clues into expected temperaments that sync with company culture. Incorporating such phrasing and attributes into a resume or cover letter sets up the job seeker for potential opportunities to progress forward during the interview process.

Identify the Gap

Hiring managers cannot always crisply stipulate what missing component the team currently lacks. But there may be odd consistencies or new requirements across related roles exposing underlying unmet needs. Flag these trends and attempt to read between the lines about appetites not directly expressed. Proactively calling out such gaps in interviews can strengthen positioning.

Adaptability as Key

Job seekers may not always match every desired qualification from an employer’s wish list. Rather than overinflating competencies, focus on baseline strengths that align with the must-have capabilities. Then emphasize adaptability, growth potential, and eagerness to build any missing skills. Framing one’s candidacy around the upside through learning and development, instead of claiming to meet every stipulated competence, conveys stronger self-awareness.

Showcase a Cultural Add

Along with aligning capabilities, apply a similar lens to workplace culture compatibility. Look for clues into motivating perks or values beyond posted job responsibilities. Highlight in your application ancillary team contributions you could make through unique hobbies, leadership activities, or community involvement.

Convey Shared Values

Equally important is determining compatibility with company values and priorities. Evaluate what motivations are most emphasized across the careers section and culture code. Identify ways you authentically align not just with required tasks but also with the deeper “why” behind their work. What drives your passion and sense of purpose? Conveying these insights provides a critical layer beyond stated skills to underscore fit.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

5 Red Flags to Avoid on Your Resume

5 Red Flags to Avoid on Your Resume

Your resume is often the first impression a hiring manager has of you. While a strong, well-crafted resume can pique interest in bringing you in for an interview, even seemingly minor mistakes can lead your application to getting dismissed.

To help candidates put their best foot forward, we’ve pinpointed five of the top resume red flags that can hinder your chances of progressing to the next step. Heed this advice to avoid easily correctible pitfalls as you aim to land job interviews in the competitive hiring environment.

1. Spelling or Grammar Errors

In the digital age, there’s no excuse for basic typos and grammar mistakes on your resume. Before submitting any applications, thoroughly proofread to eliminate problems or have a trusted second pair of eyes review. Employers may interpret errors as carelessness or lack of effort. You want your capabilities shining through.

2. Failure to Quantify Accomplishments

While concise descriptions of responsibilities are important, hiring managers prioritize resumes spotlighting measurable achievements, impact, and specific examples driving business results. Quantifying accomplishments packs a persuasive punch.

3. Outdated Contact Information

You can’t receive an interview invite without providing current, working contact details. Yet expired phone numbers, non-functional hyperlinks, and misdirected email addresses still appear on many submitted resumes. Verify all your listed contact information is totally correct before applying. Inaccuracies are highly concerning to recruiters.

4. Template Copy-and-Pasting

Applying for diverse roles? While custom tailoring your resume to each job description requires more effort, it pays off exponentially, compared to sending a generic off-the-shelf resume. Hiring managers recognize when candidates haven’t aligned skills to their needs. Prioritize and edit content accordingly.

5. Visually Unappealing Formatting

First impressions matter enormously, so avoid instantly putting off reviewers with unpolished, cluttered, or oddly structured resume layouts. Carefully organize attractive, readable resumes enhanced by white space and consistent visual elements. It directly signals your professionalism when resumes effectively showcase information.

The bottom line is that every detail of your resume affects whether you get reached out for interviews. Avoiding common mistakes and red flags puts you in the best position to showcase your qualifications to hiring managers.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

Explain Leaving a Job when Fired

How to Explain Leaving a Job When Fired

We’ve all been there – sitting in a job interview, feeling like things are going well when the interviewer asks a question that makes your stomach drop. “Why did you leave your last job?” As innocent as it may sound, this question is a minefield, especially if you were fired from your last job. One wrong move can blow up your chances in seconds.

Below, we’ll break down this question, why it’s so tricky, and how to tactfully handle it without damaging your candidacy if you have a termination in your past.

Why It’s Asked

Interviewers ask this for two main reasons:

  1. To assess potential red flags. Were you fired or let go? Did you have conflicts with management? They want to uncover any skeletons hiding in your work history closet.
  • To evaluate your judgment and self-awareness. How tactfully and honestly can you discuss sensitive topics? Do you take ownership of failures or blame others? They want insights into your critical thinking and maturity.

In essence, it reveals your professional judgment and integrity, which are hugely important if they’re considering you for an open position.

Why a Termination Answer Can Tank Your Chances

If you were fired or let go, answering this question wrong can immediately eliminate you from the hiring process. Here are some dangerous approaches that you should avoid while interviewing:

  • Lying or majorly twisting the truth. Few things disturb interviewers more than catching a candidate in a clear fabrication. It exposes terrible judgment and erodes all trust.
  • Bad-mouthing previous employers. Even if your termination was unfair or harsh, provocative boasts towards past bosses cast you in an extremely negative light. They’ll worry you’ll later attack them, too, if hired.
  • Not taking any ownership. Passing full blame onto others signals immaturity and a lack of accountability for your career. It’s a giant red flag that something similar could repeat.

Essentially, anything dishonest, bitter, or evasive destroys your credibility almost instantly. Interviews seek the truth – the good and the bad.

How to Tactfully Discuss a Termination

  • Don’t volunteer unprompted details. If not asked specifically if you were fired, don’t offer that info where avoidable. But if asked directly, respond honestly.
  • Remain calm and neutral in tone. Discuss factually without emotions clouding your judgment. Don’t sound defensive, angry, or resentful.
  • Take ownership where reasonable. Explain your contributions to the situation humbly and maturely. But don’t fall on your sword, claiming all blame is unfair.
  • Speak respectfully about past employers. Even if the firing was unjustified, avoid disparaging leaders or companies. Be the bigger person.
  • Pivot to the positive. After briefly explaining the termination, redirect the conversation to what you learned and how you’ve grown. Interviewers care more about the future outlook than past issues.

It comes down to being transparent but also discreet – leveraging emotional intelligence to navigate tricky situations. Demonstrate you can handle sensitive topics with grace and wisdom. That ability speaks volumes about your leadership abilities.

In Closing

The “Why did you leave your last job?” question can be a pivotal moment in an interview. If you have a thoughtful response prepared that focuses on moving forward in a positive way, it can help demonstrate your maturity and professionalism. But if you become defensive or emotional, it may hurt your chances. Try to take accountability for any legitimate issues while also being fair to yourself. An honest, level-headed answer shows the poise and self-awareness that employers look for in strong candidates. With practice and preparation, you can handle this question in a way that represents you at your best.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

Ways You Can Stand Out in Your Job Search

5 Ways You Can Stand Out in Your Job Search

Landing a job in a competitive market takes more than submitting a pile of generic applications and hoping something sticks. You need to get noticed and stand out in your job search by showcasing your fit and dedication through each step in the process.

Follow these five proven strategies to help ensure you stand out in your job search and rise above other applicants.

Ways You Can Stand Out in Your Job Search

1. Customize Your Application Materials

Far too many candidates take shortcuts in submitting essentially the same resume and cover letter to every application. To stand out, you should customize these files to align with each company’s unique needs, priorities, and language.

Carefully review the job descriptions highlighting key requirements and responsibilities for which you’ll want to showcase matching experience. Research the company culture and strategic goals to incorporate relevant language in your materials as well. Personalizing shows extra effort to fit their needs.

2. Ask Thoughtful and Strategic Questions

In interviews, most candidates stick to basic questions about the job scope or company overview that could easily be answered by visiting the website. Push your inquiries to demonstrate a genuine interest in understanding their distinct challenges and objectives.

Ask smart questions that show your ability to think critically about how to achieve success in that unique role. Pose questions on goals the hiring manager hopes this role will accomplish.

3. Follow Up After the Interview

After the interview, send thank you notes to everyone you met with, reflecting on specific discussion topics that resonated with you. Share any additional insights, ideas, or qualifications you didn’t get a chance to mention that reinforce your interest and fit.

Set a reminder to check in a week later to show your eagerness to begin without being pushy if you haven’t heard back. This extra outreach leaves a lasting impression.

4. Immerse Yourself in Their Work

If possible, depending on the type of organization, gain exposure to the company’s work, whether software tools, media publications, consumer products, or other relevant offerings. The more context you have, the more thoughtful conversations and interview examples you can pull from.

Follow their thought leaders and innovators in social channels. Subscribe to key products and reports. This immersion allows you to link your experience to tangible examples of work they prioritize versus speaking generically.

5. Review All Interview Feedback

Even if you don’t get an offer after several rounds of interviews, be sure to request as much feedback as possible on assessment results and perceived areas of weakness compared to selected candidates. Study this closely to adapt your positioning, polish your skills, and refine talking points to become an even stronger contender the next go around.

Standing out doesn’t require gimmicks if you work hard on the right activities – customizing materials for fit, showing genuine interest with smart inquiries, diligently following up, immersing in their offerings and leveraging feedback. Employ these five strategies with every application and interview to ensure you shine brighter than the competition each step of the way.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

Best Practices for Crafting an Elevator Pitch for Interviews

Best Practices for Crafting an Elevator Pitch for Interviews

If asked to sum up your best qualities and motivations in just a minute or two, could you pull together an elevator pitch that feels authentic and natural? Many job seekers struggle with this. Generic or overly practiced pitches fail to showcase what makes you unique.

So how do you develop an elevator pitch that impresses, while feeling honest versus rehearsed? Below, we unpack the top tips for crafting pitches that stand out to employers.

Best Practices for Crafting an Elevator Pitch for Interviews

Know Your True Motivations

First, do some self-reflection to identify what truly drives you in your career. Get clear on questions like:

  • What makes you excited to come to work and tackle the day’s challenges?
  • What past projects or accomplishments brought you the greatest sense of purpose and pride?
  • What larger visions or innovations do you want to work towards in the coming years?

With your motivations clearly defined, it becomes much easier to identify roles and companies that align with your passions.

Inventory Your Relevant Strengths

Once you have a job description in mind, carefully inventory your skills, talents, and experiences that directly connect with the prioritized wish list for the role. See beyond just formal qualifications to showcase the full picture.

For example, if the role requires leading projects from start to finish, reflect on examples from past positions, volunteer work, or side businesses that showcase those end-to-end leadership capabilities.

Weave in Your Unique Value

While matching your capabilities to the role is important, you also want to differentiate what makes you uniquely valuable. What niche skills, unusual backgrounds, special certifications, or creative talents make you a one-of-a-kind fit?

For example, maybe you bridge across multiple disciplines like marketing and data science. Or have innovated processes blending online and offline campaigns. Or have certifications in emergent areas like VR applications.

These unique elements help hiring managers see you as the ideal talent – someone who brings innovative perspectives and next-generation capabilities before competitors catch on.

Put Your Pitch into Practice

When it comes time to deliver your elevator pitch, start by expressing genuine enthusiasm for the company and how the open role connects to your larger passions and career aspirations. Quickly summarize your background, incorporating those unique differentiators.

Then, share real examples of how your experience equips you to excel in the role’s top priorities that you identified earlier from the job description. This supports your match claims with actual evidence versus just stating that you meet the requirements generically.

Close your pitch by summarizing why making this move at this point in your career would be so exciting and aligned with your personal growth. Use authentic statements specific to this company and position rather than generic phrases that could apply to any job.

Elevator pitches don’t have to feel forced or come off as bragging if you have the right elements. With core motivations clarified, plus examples showing how you uniquely meet the needs employers care most about, you can ace interviews through authenticity.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.