Category Archives: Jeremy Eskenazi

How to Simplify and Maximize Your Video Interviews

By Jeremy Eskenazi

Jeremy Eskenazi-video interview

Interview practices have come a long way over the last few years. With it has come to some huge benefits like video interviews! It has saved candidates hours in anxious commuting time as one standout benefit. The flip side is that video interviews that are not well set up can create even more anxiety and a poor candidate experience.

A simple way to mitigate this risk is to put some guard-rails around your video (and phone) interviewing practices. This will improve the experience and make sure you’re not missing out on great talent for your organization. Many of the higher cost platforms now include some of these practices, but it doesn’t mean you can’t build your own success practices with a lower cost option. The key is keeping the candidate experience front and center.

Most people now carry a mobile phone with a decent camera. Many will also have access to a laptop or tablet with a camera embedded, so this takes care of the hardware portion of the equation. When approaching video interviews, there are two main methods, and both require the proper set up and expectation setting for the candidate. One way to maximize what you’ll get out of both approaches is to share a checklist to help candidates prepare and know exactly what to expect. It could include the following:

  1. The type of questions you’ll ask 
  2. The process they can expect as they move through the questions
  3. The follow-up practices they can expect after the interview

With these expectations set, candidates will not be surprised, and this helps most people prepare to focus on the questions, not the medium of the interview. The two methods to consider as you think about video interviewing are:

Regardless of which type of video interview you choose, remember that you have a have a responsibility to respond after the interview! Click To Tweet

The two-way live video interview

This method is more approachable and more accepted by most people. It involves the recruiter or hiring manager joining a live video session at the same time as the candidate. The interaction is in real-time making it feel very similar to an in-person interview. Some tips that help set candidates up for success for this specific type of interview include:

  • Make sure you’re in spot with good lighting and minimal background noise
  • Test your audio and video before the interview
  • Coach the candidate to think about their answers, even if it creates a pause. Let them know it will not be awkward at all! 
  • Let the candidate know if you have multiple people joining the call (yes, you can do online panel-style interviews!)

We’ve all been on personal and professional video calls that waste the first few minutes with “I can’t hear you”, “What is that in the background?”, and “Are you wearing pants?” With proper expectation setting, your video interviews can be very productive, and quite smooth. Having someone to interact with live allows non-verbal communication to take place. Real-time feedback and the opportunity to ask questions have been staples of interviews for a long time and it is a comfortable approach for most candidates, even if they are not used to being on video. 

Using this type of video interview is helpful as an initial screen to get a better sense of a candidate or through first-round interviews. 

The second more common type of video interviews can produce a very polarizing reaction for candidates. 

Pre-recorded video interviews

This type of interview is newer and rapidly growing in popularity. There are many vendors to choose from at various price points and tiered offerings worth exploring. This type of interview is not as popular with candidates because you are not offering an engaging conversation, but rather the candidate sees a question within the portal and then their responses are recorded (and sometimes timed!). The video is then sent back to the recruiter for review and assessment. While the tips offered above to set up for two-way live interviews still apply, there are some additional tips and expectations that should be set with candidates in advance of you sharing this pre-recorded video interview style. 

  • Set the stage to make it clear that there is no live interaction and that the questions will be provided during the interview and cannot be re-recorded
  • Keep the questions specific so clarification is not likely needed 
  • Be clear about the timelines and don’t expect candidates to record in the same day you reach out to them, nor should they expect your follow up the day they submit their video 
  • Send your own video message to kick things off so there is a real person explaining that the recording is timed, but is not a test

This type of video interview is helpful for a role that produces a lot of candidates, for example, hiring for a call center role or home-based roles. It will give you a faster way to select the candidates you want to move ahead because you don’t need to watch all the questions. 

Regardless of which type of video interview you choose, remember that you have a responsibility to respond after the interview! A personalized email, phone call, or video message sent via weblink are all ways to accomplish this. You appreciate their effort and interest in your company and don’t want them walking away feeling that they jumped through hoops and got no response. This can impact your employer brand that is so important to your ability to attract top talent.

Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm. Jeremy is not a headhunter, but a specialized training and consulting professional, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent at some of the world’s most recognized companies. For more information on Jeremy Eskenazi, please visit: www.RivieraAdvisors.com.

6 Low Cost/ No Cost Recruiting Efforts

Attracting the Best on a Budget

By Jeremy Eskenazi

Jeremy Eskenazi

Recruiting can be challenging in any economy. When times are good, top candidates have many options, and when times are bad, employed people don’t want to make a move. As with any challenge, it’s important to tackle it strategically, and your recruiting professionals are no different. When it comes to acquiring talent, having your sourcing strategy and process in place should happen before you even need to hire someone.

You may be wondering why you would need to know your search strategy before you need candidates. With the market quickly fluctuating, it’s important to know where to look, and what type of talent you will be looking for because as much as you want to snap your fingers and have amazing candidates appear, it often takes a lot longer than that.

Once your talent acquisition strategy is in place overall, you can start to think about where you would find the kind of talent you and your recruiting team determined your business needs to continue to be successful. To help you get started, here are some low-cost/no-cost sourcing channels that could be considered as part of a recruiting strategy:

Think about where you would find the kind of talent you and your recruiting team determined your business needs to continue to be successful. Click To Tweet

Referrals

Employee referrals (ER) are the number one source of candidates by far—and usually rated the best quality source. ER programs don’t always have to have a monetary reward, though many do, and the best focus on recognition and simplicity.

Recognizing employees for their referral quickly is the key. Instead of monetary rewards, think about other less costly rewards that focus on the recognition. Try not to put too many rules or barriers to participate in the process and be sure to have a process to recognize referrals immediately and follow up with them to ensure success. If you pay a reward, consider paying it immediately upon hire and consider alternative ways to pay including branded debit cards or check ceremonies.

Job Boards

Job boards are great for attracting active candidates. Ensure that your team’s postings are well written from a candidate’s “What’s in it for me” perspective. Don’t use company acronyms and slang. Check out and “borrow” great postings using the job board’s search system. Make sure your posting is easily findable and is refreshed regularly. Resume databases are quite expensive, and because of this, they aren’t suggested if you are focusing on low-cost resources. However, there are some other alternatives to this option including the use of free or “niche” job boards.

Social Networking

Social networks provide a great opportunity to find more passive candidates who may not be applying to your open job postings. Using social networks only help your recruiters find possible targets to contact—you still have to call or contact these people! Keep this in mind when you are planning your recruitment strategy. Since time is limited, focus on the best resources:

LinkedIn: First, make sure your team members are easily found. Their profiles should be complete and “public.” Change the settings in LinkedIn to ensure that they are searchable in Google. There are places on profiles to include links to websites for your company and other information. Your team should thoughtfully ask and answer questions in LinkedIn answers to be more findable.

Use LinkedIn Groups to join and start groups, and you can post jobs here for free! Invite people who can expand your network to find the type of people you want (like your hiring managers). You can use these LinkedIn sources to build a call list to actually call or e-mail them directly (outside of LinkedIn). LinkedIn “InMail” is limited and more expensive.

Facebook: Facebook is still targeted at a slightly younger audience. It’s harder to find sources on Facebook, but your team can use regular searches to find their co-workers, classmates, and others to get beyond their own network. Search for Friends on Facebook or leverage it to find candidates to join Facebook pages that are appropriate to you and your jobs. Facebook company pages are also great ways to attract candidates.

Twitter and Instagram: It is even harder to find people on these platforms, but a lot of posts are public and searchable. Use these sites to broadcast your jobs (video job descriptions starring current employees or your CEO are a popular low-cost option) to relevant people or talk about your company’s culture.

Blogs

Search relevant online blogs for subject matter experts and sources of candidate referrals. Find blogs by using Google Blog search and review the “About me” section. Look at their blogroll to find others who share the same interest. Discussion groups are great places to search too—you can simply review their content and decide if you want to pursue.

Google

Googling for candidates is an even more specialized skill, one that is free, provided the recruiter has the skill to do it well. There are great resources out there to learn how to do this even more effectively. Remember, the lowest cost solution may not always be the best resource to actually save money if it ends up taking an unskilled person triple the time to complete the task!

Resume Mining Services

Instead of buying expensive resume database access, consider using a “Resume Mining Service.” These services offer a low-cost solution on a per-job basis or in packages of jobs. The work they do is simple: they source and scour internet online resume databases for actual resumes and provide those resumes to you, usually overnight. Most services can offer an additional resource to do quick telephone screens on the resumes submitted.

Sourcing can be stressful, but with a game plan, and a little creativity, you can find the best talent with little, or even no budget. Good luck with your sourcing efforts!

Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm. Jeremy is not a headhunter, but specialized training and consulting professional, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent at some of the world’s most recognized companies. For more information on Jeremy Eskenazi, please visit www.RivieraAdvisors.com.

Hiring is an Emotional Exercise: 4 Tips for Selecting the Best Candidate

By Jeremy Eskenazi

your team

Have you ever looked at a set of resumes and felt totally overwhelmed? When you read a cover letter, do you find you get caught up in their personal story more than what they might be able to do for your company? When searching for new people to bring into your organization, some days you have to dig deeper for the inspiration, but it’s well worth it. Interviewing people can be tireless and a thankless job; but remember, when you walk through the halls of your office, that those interviews and all the emotional energy you spent went into getting the best talent for your team.

Why is hiring emotional? Well, the stakes are high for everyone involved. For the candidate, it’s their livelihood and a big sense of themselves that they risk for a new job. For the hiring manager, it’s the responsibility of making the right decision for the team. For the senior level people, it’s the accountability for the cost spent on each hire as payroll is the biggest ticket item for most organizations.

There is no doubt about it, and hiring people is the most important decision in building a successful team. If you make a mistake, it’s very visible that you made one. It can follow you for a while. There is a lot of passion and emotion around the organization when you fill a role. Many people on your team may want to contribute opinions about candidates, and you will, of course, have your own wish list in mind. You’ll never take all of the emotion away—you can’t. Thankfully, there are four surefire ways to minimize the emotion in hiring through to help you get to the best candidates to build your team.

1. Step Away

As a business leader, you must be able to separate yourself from the emotion. As you meet candidates and either evaluate them yourself, or have an HR team help you, there must be separation from all the feedback that comes in.  You don’t want your office to become the complaint department through the process, so you cannot be seen to react to all the feedback that comes in.

Some of it you’ll have to take on the chin. Perhaps your team doesn’t like your top choice of candidate, or they really want you to consider someone you feel is unsuitable. Don’t manage and investigate every comment that comes in. Some of them you shouldn’t investigate at all. Which leads to the next suggestion.

2. Bucket it

You may have learned the hard way that following up on everything is a lose-lose situation for all. You can’t be available to validate every comment that comes in. What you can do is bucket the types of feedback or complaints you receive, then work with your team to address them. This way, you don’t get caught up in the same challenge every time you’re looking to hire someone.

3. Follow the Law

There are cases when things will be emotional, but they must be addressed. If someone tells you something went terribly wrong, for example, someone reported discrimination, or there is a legal risk— you have to act. Whether it is unintentional or a gap in process, these are the ones you have to manage specifically, and as they come in—and doing it quickly also saves damage to your employer brand.

4. Set and Manage Expectations

If you have been promising your team a new role to help with an area, it’s important to be open about the progress with your candidate search. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit, sometimes an offer falls through or the candidate takes a counter offer. It’s in your best interest to be transparent about the process and help get the team to the result of a great new team member.

If you’re generally not an emotional person, know that hiring is not just about you! It’s emotional for everyone involved on some level; from your colleagues, to the candidates themselves. Understanding your strengths and weakness will help you through this process and help you remain positive as you get to your end goal.

If you’re clear on the end goal, you’ll know that part of that is about finding harmony and fit for your work culture. As you go through the process of meeting candidates, think about whether you are you connecting, and how the conversation flows between those who are interviewing and your potential candidate. This process is emotional because at the end of the day, people want to work for people they like, admire, and respect. You are evaluating if a stranger will fit in with the network you’ve built in your workplace, and they too, are evaluating if you are someone they want to interact with every day.

It’s good to remember that emotion can affect the energy that is put into a conversation or interview. From the beginning of each hire, make sure you are separating yourself if there is a possibility that your influence will cause a significant shift in positive or negative energy. Use this influence to your advantage to get the right people on your team engaged in interviewing and assessing candidates. So don’t let emotion get the best of you when looking for your next great hire—there is comfort in knowing that everyone can get caught up in their feelings during the search!

Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm. Jeremy is not a headhunter, but a specialized training and consulting professional, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent at some of the world’s most recognized companies. For more information on Jeremy Eskenazi, please visit: www.RivieraAdvisors.com.

Four Ways to Effectively Attract a Diverse Workforce

Having a Variety of Diversity at Your Company Can Have a Big Impact on Your Success

By Jeremy Eskenazi

Jeremy EskenaziIs your team diverse?

Do you invest to ensure your team reflects the needs and attitudes of your customers and clients? They need to reflect the communities your employees live, work in, and provide services to.

When a lot of people think about diversity, they focus on gender, ethnicity, and age. These are important to keep focus on, for sure, but there is another kind of diversity that is often overlooked. This is diversity of thoughts, background, and experiences. If elements of the latter are missing in your organization, it’s likely that everyone thinks the same way; and new ideas, new ways to problem solve, and innovation may be stunted. When you have employees who only follow the boss, the only ideas you have are from that one boss. Your organization should invest in diversity because it’s not only the right thing to do, but you will get much better business results! Click To Tweet

While there is no “one size fits all” playbook for attracting diversity, you will want to make your organization attractive for diverse talent. In order to effectively attract diverse candidates, here are four success practices that have been effective:

1. Referral programs

If you have great talent on your team who are highly engaged and doing a great job, they likely have similar friends. Consider offering incentives with shorter payout times and getting immediate impact to ensure your team is helping to attract people who are a good fit. You can also have them act as ambassadors in alumni groups, associations or clubs they are a part of.

2. Early Careers/University strategy

Attracting talent right out of school is often a strategy for helping shape the career of generally younger people, but is also a great place to find diversity. A strong university recruiting strategy is a terrific way to help create a diverse team because you can more easily target diversity on a university campus through student clubs and organizations. Setting up early career development programs and considering those in majors that are not what you’d traditionally look for are also good for your employer brand, and ensures your talent can develop with your business.

3. Cultural awareness training for Hiring Managers

We know that this group often needs help to build relationships. While it’s unwise to force training on managers (and often backfires), integrating training that helps them identify unconscious bias is an area of learning and development that has taken off in recent years and has been effective in many organizations.

4. Workplace preparedness

It is one thing to say you want diversity—setting up your physical space and your benefits program to accommodate it is another. Does your office have things like nursing stations? Do you offer extended Maternity/Paternity Leave, and are your Human Resources policies inclusive for Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, etc. individuals? Do you have prayer rooms facing the correct direction; do your gyms have areas that are exclusive for women? How is your pay equity based on gender? These are things that can help attract top talent and show you will welcome them as equal employees without singling them out, or making them feel that they won’t find a sense of belonging at your company.

In addition to finding the right candidates, diversity brings several important things to your organization. Imagine if the people who applied for your job postings came in for an interview and didn’t see anyone who looked like them, or if all the people who interviewed them asked the same questions in the same way. They would likely not be very interested in continuing the discussion. Your employer brand is only as good as what employees and candidates will say about you when you’re not in the room. Taking the opportunity to show you are a progressive company that is investing visibly in many areas of diversity will be obvious from their first encounter with you.

While it is generally true that almost everyone values diversity, you may have noticed that many in younger generations are very vocal about their values. Moreover, many of them expect diversity and can be very outspoken about how much it matters to them in a workplace. By bringing in a diverse group of people to your organization, you will have access to broader networks which will spur further diversity opportunities and all the benefits it brings. Think of how much more likely it is that diverse people who enjoy working at your company will introduce you and advocate for you in their circles.

While the business reasons for diversity are compelling on their own, many jurisdictions also have regulatory requirements that you have to consider as well. It’s not just laws for the jurisdiction you operate in; it could be laws necessary to sell to your customers. For example, if you sell to the United States government, it requires you to submit an affirmative action plan to improve diversity at the organization and provide updates during the term of the contract. There is also an audit process that ensures that organizations are keeping to their plans.

Most importantly, your organization should invest in diversity because it’s not only the right thing to do, but you will get much better business results! Don’t let regulations drive your diversity efforts. The best way to improve diversity is to be truthful. No matter how many smiling, ethnically diverse models you may hire to represent your brand, or false testimonials you may really want to post—it is so easy to spot a workplace that does not value diversity. The truth always comes out. Give your organization the best competitive advantage you can by welcoming diversity into your team, and celebrating it in real ways. All types of diversity bring something new to the table, and who doesn’t need fresh ideas?

Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm. Jeremy is not a headhunter, but a specialized training and consulting professional, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent at some of the world’s most recognized companies. For more information on Jeremy Eskenazi, please visit: www.RivieraAdvisors.com.

Five Ways to Leverage Your Talent Brand to Attract Great Candidates

How your company can leverage what employees and candidates say about you to attract top talent

By Jeremy Eskenazi

Have you ever struggled to hire the right people? Do most of the people you interview seem like a questionable fit at your company? It might be a symptom of not using your employer brand to your best advantage. An employer brand is what employees and candidates say about your company and the work experience when you’re not in the room. It’s not something you can go out and buy, or have a fancy branding exercise to develop and replace if you don’t like the one you have. Much like branding a product, your employer brand takes on elevated meaning and a predisposition to buy or join. In what is currently a competitive talent market, effective branding creates a sustainable competitive advantage and can make a huge difference in who is interested in working for you.Your employer brand takes on elevated meaning and a predisposition to buy or join. Click To Tweet

If you’re not sure what your employer brand is today, think about employer review websites online that are popular in North America and many parts of Europe. If you’re not familiar with the concept of these sites, they’re user-driven platforms that encourage people to anonymously record their experiences with a company as a candidate or employee. They can write whatever they want, even if it’s negative, and they can encourage people to run in the opposite direction. The flip side is that reviewers can also sing your praises and wax lyrical about you. Unfortunately, much like any user-driven site, anonymous contributors are usually either delighted with something, or were very upset; so you tend to see wild swings of positive or negative comments.

An employer brand is not necessarily changed overnight, but every time you interact with a candidate, you create an impression. Now multiply these impressions dozens or even hundreds of times. This is a powerful force. This is your professional brand and your opportunity to create (or start to re-create!) the first experience.

The people, symbols, and meaning we try to attribute to the company can be a powerful tool in communicating where the organization is headed. The brand management process helps you to unearth the organizations’ brand expression in the marketplace. The five ways to leverage your employer brand are:

1. Asset Assessment. Be honest: what are your strengths and weaknesses? How large is your company¾do you need people who thrive in an intense corporate environment or do you want people who are happy to have a more stable career? What benefits do you offer? Is there opportunity for advancement? Knowing this and being able to clearly articulate it is so important.

2. Employee Involvement. What is your organizational culture? Is it vertical, with top-down direction and little front-line input, or are decisions made on a broad collaborative basis? Is there opportunity for creative thinking? Knowing how your employees interact today and empowering them to tell the story of how they contribute is powerful.

3. Competitive Assessment. What other organizations can your candidates work for? You need to know who your competitors are and what they offer. If another company offers higher wages, can you compensate with profit sharing or better benefits? Are there opportunities for you to be creative about your offering based on what your competitors are packaging for candidates?

4. Brand Positioning. You need to know where your organization fits in the overall market. Does your company compete on price, or are you targeting the upscale market? Are you known for promoting from within? Does your company have a reputation for treating women and minorities fairly? The comments left online are a good starting point for this, as are any internal surveys you run.

5. Brand Expression. This is the combined result of all of the ‘brand signals’ that are present in the marketplace and are picked up by consumers and candidates. Every element of your employer brand needs to be in alignment. For example, if you claim to care about the environment and candidates are offered Styrofoam cups when they come in for an interview, you’d be surprised how much that can alter perceptions of your company and what you stand for.

In today’s competitive global economy, these five steps can help you find the candidates you need. Remember that candidates can be both internal and external. If you bring the right talent into your team, they may be interested and have versatile skills that could allow them to try new jobs at your company. They may be ready to take on a new role and be promoted, or they may be excellent at their current job. The point being: there is active work required to engage your current employees as brand ambassadors as well—they too represent and can carry your employer brand far and wide.

Remember, you can’t “make” an employer brand. An advertising agency can’t help you create a brand. They can help create a brand message. Whether or not you know what your brand is isn’t the issue. It’s knowing the what the themes are that people use to talk about your organization. Then you can manage the expression of the brand—and how people receive it—as part of your brand as an employer. You can do this through your goals, vision, and values, and the taglines that best explain what your company is about.

It’s easy for someone to throw out “we aspire to be the best place to work”. Your employer brand cannot be solely aspirational—it has to be accurate for where your organization is today. When your position is too aspirational, people will likely be unhappy when they encounter you—both candidates and employees. If you were in their position, don’t you think you’d feel let down too?

Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and Optimization Consulting Firm. Jeremy is not a headhunter, but a specialized training and consulting professional, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent at some of the world’s most recognized companies. For more information on Jeremy Eskenazi, please visit: www.RivieraAdvisors.com.