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With a market flooded with applicants, evaluating candidates is more challenging now than ever. Placement specialists from Sage Consulting Associates, one of Inc’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, will help you effectively screen, interview, and evaluate your candidate pool. From understanding how to successfully review resumes, to conducting “smart” phones screens, to approaching in-person interviews, this session will give you the know-how to ensure you select the best person for the job.

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  1. 1. Intuit Community How to Select the Best Employees Presenter: Cara France, CEO, Sage Consulting Associates Thurs, 11/19/09 11:00am Sage Consulting Associates, 601 Fourth Street, Suite 312, San Francisco, CA 94107 415.512.8200 p • 866.382.3938 f •
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Job Description 2. Screening Resumes 3. Interviewing Etiquette 4. Phone Interview 5. In Person Interview 6. Illegal Interview Questions 7. Interview Red Flags 8. Rejecting Candidates 9. Professional References 10. Making the Job Offer 11. Conclusion 12. Q&A 415.512.8200 • Page 2
  3. 3. 1. Job Description: Overview • Be thoughtful about your job description • A job description is a sales AND recruiting tool • Determine salary/hourly info, but don’t post • Look at examples of other job descriptions –,,,, • Any references to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin or nationality, or physical or mental disability are illegal. 415.512.8200 • Page 3
  4. 4. 1. Job Description: Best Practices • List position title • Limit to 1 page Overall • Check spelling and grammar • List company name • Write a brief and compelling description of your company Company • Sell your company through this description • 5-8 bullet points Job • Be specific, capture what this person will actually do Responsibilities • List in priority of most important to least important • 3-8 qualifications • Include skills, attributes, or credentials a person needs to perform each task Qualifications • Separate by skills required and skills preferred • List company website, if applicable Contact • Decide if you want to list your e-mail address, or anonymous Information e-mail address for applicant submissions 415.512.8200 • Page 4
  5. 5. 1. Job Description: Be specific Too General Specific Proficient with Microsoft Computer literate Word, Excel, and QuickBooks Good communication Answer phone calls in a pleasant, skills helpful, and professional manner Handles administrative Open and distribute daily incoming chores mail, packages and other deliveries 415.512.8200 • Page 5
  6. 6. 1. Job Description: Sample 1 Sage Consulting Associates is a fast-paced, boutique agency that expertly places business, marketing and strategy contractors and consultants into short-term assignments at companies in the Bay Area. We create trust and partnership with our clients and consultants by providing exemplary service and acting with integrity and authenticity. We are looking for an extraordinary individual who encompasses resourcefulness, strong ethics, professionalism, high energy, and tremendous drive. Title of Position Recruiter Responsibilities Include: • Manage full cycle recruitment process including: develop position descriptions, post ads, source candidates, review resumes, conduct phone screens and reference checks. • Create and implement new and unique candidate generation strategies for both passive and active candidates. • Utilize current and innovative sourcing methods within and outside our private network. • Partner with internal resources to build candidate profiles and targeted sourcing strategies. • Schedule interviews and update resumes. Skills Required: • 5+ years experience in full-cycle recruiting. • Excellent communication skills, professional demeanor, strong customer service and networking skills. • Ability to generate a high volume/high quality pipeline of candidates under very tight timelines. • Ability to exercise judgment and discretion with a high level of integrity. • Pleasant, energetic, positive attitude, eager to learn. Skills Preferred: • Bachelors degree. • Experience in financial services and/or high tech sector. Terms of Employment Full-time 415.512.8200 • Page 6
  7. 7. 1. Job Description: Sample 2 ABC Bank is a regional bank focused on high net worth clients. We are known for our high-touch banking approach, providing a full-range of services geared toward the needs of clients. By assigning a team of experts, our clients have come to depend on ABC to support their deposit, lending, cash management, trust and retirement goals. We are seeking a Marketing Project Coordinator who brings banking knowledge and high integrity to join our team. Title of Position Marketing Project Coordinator Responsibilities Include • Work with production manager, studio and designers to provide direction and feedback on printed materials. • Write sales communications and sales support materials to support quarterly retirement campaigns. • Edit documents and manage client facing collateral projects through the design and production area. • Update presentations, client letters, and other sales collateral materials. Skills Required • 3+ years of marketing project coordination and marcom experience within the investments industry. • Demonstrated success working with production managers; must have a thorough understanding of the design and production process. • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. • Strong attention to detail. • College degree. Skills Preferred • Retirement experience. • Experience working on field communications. Terms of Employment Full-time 415.512.8200 • Page 7
  8. 8. 2. Screening Resumes: Initial Evaluation • Read the cover letter and resume of each applicant • Compare the applicant’s work experience to the job description and separate into 3 separate piles – Meets requirements (Pile A) – Meets some requirements (Pile B) – Does not meet requirements (Pile C) • Research companies listed on resumes 415.512.8200 • Page 8
  9. 9. 2. Screening Resumes: Pile A & B Review Positive Potential Red Flags Unexplained gaps in employment, overlaps in employment dates, inconsistencies in education or Clear chronology of work history experience Stable and consistent employment Job hopping, employment trends and history, longevity at each job patterns Decreased responsibilities and job titles Career progression over work history Spelling and grammatical errors, Professional, organized, well incorrect dates listed, inappropriate written resume personal information 415.512.8200 • Page 9
  10. 10. 3. Interviewing Etiquette • You are representing your company • Be on time • Offer the candidate water • Be attentive and focused on the candidate • Provide a brief overview about the company and job • Talk 25% / listen 75% • Gracefully end the interview 415.512.8200 • Page 10
  11. 11. 4. Phone Interview: Overview • Ideally, conduct 5-10 phone screens from piles A & B • Approximately 15-30 minutes in length • When scheduling, make clear the date, time, and instructions on who is calling at that time • Structure of the phone interview – 2-5 minutes: overview – 15-20 minutes: general open-ended questions – 2-5 minutes: collect salary/hourly expectations – 5 minutes: answer candidate questions – 1 minute: set expectations for next steps 415.512.8200 • Page 11
  12. 12. 4. Phone Interview: Sample Questions • What do you think about the opportunity as I described it? • Why are you looking to leave your current employer? / Why did you leave your last job? • What are you looking for in your next opportunity? • What are your main strengths? • What are your main weaknesses? • What was your last salary / hourly rate? • What are your salary / hourly rate expectations? • When are you available? • Are you authorized to work in the US? 415.512.8200 • Page 12
  13. 13. 5. In Person Interview: Overview • Bring 3-5 candidates for in person interviews • Assume 30-60 minutes per person • Candidate should have two interviews if possible • Interviewers should know company well • In-depth interview should cover – Skills/Experience – Aptitude/Ability – Temperament/Fit • Always meet a candidate in person before hiring • Talk 20% / listen 80% 415.512.8200 • Page 13
  14. 14. 5. In Person Interview: Sample Questions • Skills / Experience – What are your main strengths/weaknesses? – What job responsibilities do you enjoy most/least? – What is the biggest mistake you have made in your career? • Aptitude / Ability – What motivates you? – What challenges you? – What would be your ideal job? • Temperament / Fit – Why did you leave your last job? – What would your last manager say about you? – What management style do you work well with/not so well with? 415.512.8200 • Page 14
  15. 15. 6. Illegal Interview Questions: Overview Employers cannot ask questions or make hiring decisions based off any of the following: – Race – Color – Sex – Religion – National origin – Birthplace – Age – Disability – Marital/family status 415.512.8200 • Page 15
  16. 16. 6. Illegal Interview Questions: Questions Illegal Legal Are you a US citizen? Where were your parents born? What is your native tongue? Are you authorized to work in the US? How old are you? What year did you graduate from high school? What is your birthday? Are you over the age of 18? What is your marital status? Do you plan to have a family? How many kids do you have? Would you be able and willing to work overtime as What are your child care arrangements? necessary? Are you able to lift a 50 pound weight and carry it How tall are you? How much do you weigh? 100 yards, as that is part of the job? Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, other than a conviction for use or Have you ever been arrested? possession of marijuana that is more than 2 yrs old? What do your parents do for a living? How did you become interested in X industry? In the past, have you been disciplined for violating company policies forbidding the use of alcohol or Do you smoke or drink? Do you take drugs? tobacco products? Do you use illegal drugs? This information is provided for general information purposes. You should consult with an employment lawyer if you have questions. 415.512.8200 • Page 16
  17. 17. 7. Interview Red Flags “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” • Lack of interest / enthusiasm • Highly critical of a previous boss or company • First questions are about salary or vacation days • Lack of eye contact • Canceling/rescheduling interviews 415.512.8200 • Page 17
  18. 18. 8. Rejecting Candidates • Follow up within 7 days • Contact via telephone • Voicemail message is okay • Be cautious about how much information you share • Sample rejection: Hi Joe. This is Cara from Sage Consulting Associates. I just wanted to let you know that we have decided to move forward with another candidate for the Marketing Communications role. I really enjoyed speaking with you, and wish you the best of luck in your job search. 415.512.8200 • Page 18
  19. 19. 9. Professional References • Always check professional references • Best timing is after hiring decision, but before offer • Speak with at least 2 references, including at least 1 former manager • Provide a quick overview of the job • Talk 10%/listen 90% • Look for subtle queues: – How quickly does the reference return your call? – How enthusiastic are they? 415.512.8200 • Page 19
  20. 20. 9. Professional References Sample questions: – In what capacity did you work with X? – What are X’s main strengths? – What are X’s main weaknesses? – Would you hire X again? – How would you describe X’s style of work and personality? – Anything else you think would be valuable for us to know? NOTE: If they state their company’s policy is to not provide references, ask if they can provide a personal reference instead. 415.512.8200 • Page 20
  21. 21. 10. Making the Job Offer: Overview • When presenting the offer via telephone, sound excited, upbeat and positive • Make sure to explain all components of the offer: – Job title and responsibilities – Salary/hourly rate – Work hours – Benefits (medical, dental, vision, PTO, 401k) – Telecommuting options – Offer is predicated on background check coming back clear • Give a clear deadline for the job offer – 3-5 business days is reasonable – Mail or e-mail the offer letter 415.512.8200 • Page 21
  22. 22. 10. Making the Job Offer: Sample Offer Letter Date Candidate Full Name Address City, State Zip Dear <Candidate First Name>: I am pleased to confirm our offer of employment with <Company Name> as <Position Title>. I look forward to the possibility of working with you. We are committed to providing an opportunity with significant growth potential for those willing to work hard to keep <Company Name> prospering with its vision, values, and growth. This letter is intended to set forth our understanding with respect to the terms of your employment with us. Please review it carefully and then indicate your acceptance of these terms by signing this letter and returning it to me. Start date: January 2, 2010 Salary: $X annually which equates to $X on a bi-weekly basis, less withholding required by law. You will receive pay every two weeks, on the Wednesday following the end of each pay period. Pay periods run from Monday through Sunday. Your first pay period will be <month><dates>, <year> with your first paycheck on <day>, <month><date>, <year>. Paid Time Off: You will be eligible to accrue up to <#> days of Paid Time Off annually, which may be used in accordance with our generally applicable PTO policy. Holidays: You will be eligible for 6 holidays, specifically: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 415.512.8200 • Page 22
  23. 23. 10. Making the Job Offer: Sample Offer Letter (cont’d) Benefits: You will be eligible to participate in our general employee benefit plans or programs, including health insurance, the first of the month after you complete one month of employment. Enclosed is a brief summary of our benefits. We will provide you with more detailed information shortly so that you may enroll before <month> 1, <year>. This offer letter, including the attached conditions of employment, constitutes the entire agreement between you and <company name>, and supersedes any and all prior discussions or agreements with respect to your employment. No other guarantees or promises of any kind have been made concerning the terms of your employment. <Candidate first name>, I hope you will consider the above as my sincere desire to have you as a member of our team. I am convinced that as a team we can accomplish this and have fun doing it. Again, as an indication of your acceptance of our offer, please sign this letter and return to me by end of day<month><day>, <year>. Please contact me at <company phone number> should you have any questions. Sincerely, <your name> <Job Title> Enclosures: Benefits Summary I-9 W-4 415.512.8200 • Page 23
  24. 24. 11. Conclusion • It is better to wait for the “right” employee than to hire “right” now • Be mindful of the candidate’s skills, experience and temperament • Trust your gut 415.512.8200 • Page 24
  25. 25. 12. Q & A Q&A 415.512.8200 • Page 25