April 24th, 2013
Nowadays, the number of companies hiring contract workers and temporary employees is skyrocketing.
Geoff is featured once again on Biz TV’s Guru Gab segment this week unraveling misconceptions and providing helpful pointers for hiring temporary staff.
Please take a moment to watch the segment right here and keep these tips in mind when hiring your next temporary worker.
April 17th, 2013
We live in a world where expert marketers can convince us of just about anything. Whether it’s a new phone, a new toothpaste, or a new job – using just the right words can make us believe it’s a must-have we don’t want to live without.
Getting people enthused about any proposition is part art, and part science. Earlier this year, Yale University psychology researchers released the top ten most powerful words that marketers use to influence people.
The most powerful one of all is, not surprisingly, “You”.
The next most powerful word: Results. The study found people like reason to believe.
“Love” makes the list, as does “discover” and “new” since people crave a sense of excitement and adventure. Yet the study shows we also need reassurance which explains why “proven”, “guarantee” and “safety” are included in the top ten. Finally, “save” and “health” appeal as these words connect with our desire to have money and be healthy.
Still, even though we know how to talk a good story, the recruitment experts at The Bagg Group urge their clients to never “sell” a candidate on a job. Instead, simply keep to the facts, and tell it like it is.
We have both the “results” and “proof” that this works. And that’s not marketing gab. At The Bagg Group, we’re renowned for our 98% stick rate for candidates. A big reason for this is because we never spin anything. We ensure our candidates and our client make informed decisions based on facts – not fantasy.
Now, a new study confirms candidates who don’t get a true depiction of a job feel misled and resentful almost as soon as they start work.
A recent survey of 2,300 workers and 250 staffing directors in 28 countries who were hired in 2012 found the majority were disillusioned.
Their number one complaint: “The hiring process failed to paint a realistic or accurate picture of this job.” It just wasn’t what they thought they’d signed up for.
Here are two key findings of the study by US HR consulting firm, Development Dimensions International that quantify how it backfires to embellish a posting:
- 51% of respondents had “buyer’s remorse” after accepting a position.
- 88% of the recent hires said they are already looking to make a change.
But there is good news. The study confirms what our follow-up with candidates and clients shows: People who accept jobs based on an accurate picture of it are more confident in their decision, more highly engaged, and more committed to staying long term.
We passionately advocate for straightforward no-fluff honesty in the interview room. At The Bagg Group we make a point of discussing with our clients the challenges, as well as the advantages, of a position and the company culture. That’s how we can source the right fit. It’s how we’ve managed to place almost 60,000 happy people in full-time, contract and temporary positions over 40 years.
When push comes to shove, hype can get us only so far – it may get us into the office, but only the truth will keep us there.
April 16th, 2013
With workforces facing tighter staffing budgets, resulting in a skyrocketing demand for contract and temporary workers, recruitment companies have to re-think the scope of their services. Enter Bagg Professional, the first in a new era in recruitment with a service specifically designed to meet these changing trends in hiring.
Launched today, Bagg Professional offers an innovative, holistic, approach to recruiting by providing temporary specialists-on-demand and hard-to-find high-achievers to maximize every staffing dollar.
“There’s no turning back time to pre-2008,” says Jackie Chua, head of Bagg Professional. “The new business reality is lean and focused. Canadian companies today are looking for experienced, hit-the-ground running professionals who can jump in and fill multiple short-term roles as needed to suit limited staffing budgets. Similarly, full-time candidates need to show more flexibility and initiative than ever before.”
Bagg Professional answers today’s realities with an exacting recruitment process that matches candidates with the company’s overarching needs and culture.
“We don’t just think about how to fill an empty chair, we think about how that particular chair fits into the bigger picture. That’s the starting point for our match-making, whether it’s for a full-time, contract or temporary placement,” explains Ms. Chua.
Bagg Professional takes the unprecedented step of quarterbacking all full-time, contract and temporary placements within a company for across-the-board consistency. For this new approach, which requires close relationships with both clients and candidates, Bagg Professional has implemented a low client to recruiter ratio.
“We’re all about quality over quantity,” says Ms. Chua. “It’s not about numbers at Bagg Professional. We’re operating in a new era where the emphasis must be on maximizing the impact one person can make on a company—and that applies to us as recruiters, as well as to our candidates.”
Bagg Professional falls under the auspices of multiple-award winning The Bagg Group, a recognized leader in recruitment for 40+plus years, having placed almost 60,000 people in full-time, contract and temporary positions over its history.
Bagg Group CEO, Geoff Bagg, notes, “We’ve maintained our leadership position by continually evolving to stay in sync with trends fuelled by changes in the economy. Bagg Professional is one more example of how success doesn’t happen by looking at what was, but by looking differently at what is.”
Jackie Chua has been General Manager of The Bagg Group since 2000. Currently The Bagg Group operates Bagg Professional, Bagg Technology Resources, Turn Key Staffing and Bagg Managed Resources.
Superior Matches, Superior Problem-Solving, Superior Reliability
March 11th, 2013
Pity the Harvard Business School managing director of admissions for the MBA program. Dee Leopold has the overwhelming task of sorting through a mountain of fantastic applications to identify the stellar among the great.
If that sounds like a problem you’d love to have, consider that Ms. Leopold is in the unenviable position of second-guessing herself at times. After all, it’s easier to separate the wheat from the chaff than to separate wheat from … more wheat.
Harvard Business School gets about 9,000 applications yearly. The toughest challenge for the admissions committee is tackling a shortlist of about 1,800 to accept around 900.
“This process isn’t perfect,” Ms. Leopold says in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. But this being Harvard, the push never stops to improve it.
The admissions committee does this in part by rethinking, and finessing, its questions.
Here are two of their newest questions — one for applicants and one for references — that staffing experts at The Bagg Group recommend when interviewing candidates for jobs.
1. What have you done well? What do you wish you’d done better?
This is an essay question for Harvard MBA candidates. At The Bagg Group, where we interview hundreds and hundreds every year to identify the very best applicants for full-time positions, contract work, and part-time placement, we believe this question also works well in a face-to-face.
All of us have things we could have done better. This question reveals whether the candidate is able to admit room for improvement — and learn from experience.
The Harvard admissions committee uses this question to help screen out arrogance, among other things. “We’re looking for confidence, with humility,” says Ms. Leopold. So are we all.
2. Harvard asks references, “Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant.”
At The Bagg Group, we like how this question prompts the reference to provide a well-rounded perspective of the candidate.
It also reveals how well the reference actually knows the candidate. As Ms. Leopold puts it, “We don’t run around giving constructive criticism to virtual strangers.”
Staffing experts at The Bagg Group also concur with Ms. Leopold that the best recommendations use lots of verbs. You get a more in-depth picture of a person when you hear that “she/he did this…and did… ” instead of just being given a list of adjectives that describes them.
Ms. Leopold estimates she spends at least 30 minutes on every one of the 1,800-plus applications that make the shortlist. That adds up to more than 75 days, working 12 hours non-stop, just reading applications.
It’s not surprising to us. Sourcing great talent takes an enormous amount of time. That’s why HR departments rely on dedicated teams of staffing experts like us to help – if they didn’t, they would hardly have time to breathe, let alone get through the myriad of other activities they need to do.
As for Ms. Leopold, she adds, “I kind of go into hibernation after interviews. By the end of that period, I need a chiropractor.” That too is a good strategy.
January 16th, 2013
Every now and then it can happen that you speak to someone about a particular job, and instead of sensing their excitement, you sense their reservations — and it has nothing to do with the position.
When that happens, it may be because there’s misinformation being spread that is prompting negative impressions about a person, a team, or even an entire organization.
In the age of social media, it’s easy for rumours and gripes to catch on fast. An employee or client with a grudge can quickly Twitter and Facebook their discontent. And sadly, mud can stick.
The result may be that good talent can be scared off a possibly terrific opportunity because they got the wrong end of the stick.
At The Bagg Group, we make a point of urging our candidates to be wary of those who don’t have one good thing to say about a person or place. As the saying goes, there are always two sides to every story, or three, “yours, mine and the truth.”
Still, it can take some work to change people’s thinking when it’s been infected with negativity. But there’s a great deal of research on how do this. One of the leaders in this area is Professor Stephan Lewandowsky from the University of Western Australia.
The experts at The Bagg Group particularly recommend his four key findings.
Having interviewed over 100,000 people over 40 years to place more than 58,000 successfully in permanent, part-time and contract positions, we can confirm that his tips are tried-and-true.
Don’t just deny, explain: If someone tells you of misinformation, it’s tempting to just shrug it off. But dismissing it doesn’t necessarily convince the person that it’s not true. It’s best to try and explain reasons for why that negative view may be in circulation.
Keep your explanation brief: A few fast facts is all people need, or want, to understand. If your explanation is complicated, or lengthy, people will turn off. Besides, you don’t want to come off as defensive, simply factual.
People remember negatives easily. Try not to repeat the offensive misinformation more than once. According to research, people’s belief in ideas strengthen after they’ve heard the idea three to five times. So reiterate the positives a few times, not the negatives.
Ask people to consider the source of the negative info before making up their minds: You wouldn’t want to come off as attacking the source because you don’t want to deal with the personal, just the factual. Still, it can be helpful to ask someone to recognize the possibility that the source of the information may be misinformed or simply biased for reasons of their own.
At The Bagg Group, we have found that enthusiastic high-achievers, who are the kind of people you want to employ, are more than willing to give up negative impressions if you give them good reason to see the positive.
October 24th, 2012
Several of the assumptions people make about cloud servers are simply not true, and some are actually being actively denied by cloud vendors.
Find out if your assumptions about the cloud are true in TechRepublic‘s recent article: Will the cloud be the end of the IT department?
September 25th, 2012
The L-factor –it may be the key to who will run the biggest economy in the world, or who you will choose to join your organization.
In the US election campaign, likeability has become a buzz word. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll captured headlines across the States with its announcement that “Obama gets high marks on likeability.”
In voting booths, people typically choose likeability over other criteria, according to the experts. Kathleen Parker, a syndicated newspaper columnist, defines likeability as finding someone to be “like me.” She writes, “But being ‘like me’ or ‘like you’ qualifies us only as good dinner partners.”
When you are face-to-face with a candidate with great qualifications who, for whatever reason, you don’t particularly like, is likeability something worth considering or not?
After all, it was largely suspected that in the 1980s, the board of Apple fired Steve Jobs mainly because they didn’t like him — and that didn’t go well. It’s gone down in history as one of the dumbest firings ever. And when you think of it, you don’t have to go dinner with every person you hire.
Still, we’re social animals and there’s no doubt that people who are likeable are, in a word, preferred. That’s because they have all important social skills.
Interestingly, the New York Times reported on a study that links earnings to likeability. According to University of Chicago research, if five people listed you as one of their closest pals when you were in school, you can expect to make 10% more than others who were not as popular.
In other words, if you could get people to like you as a kid, you’re likely to get people to like you, and reward you, in the workplace.
At The Bagg Group, we put “fit” high on our list of must-haves when we consider a candidate for a full-time position, contract work, or temporary placement on behalf of our clients. We have developed an uncanny sense for making good matches over our more than 40+ years of experience. And certainly, personality is a factor.
Yet, we have found that sometimes first impressions just aren’t fair. Excellent candidates can come off as aloof but they’re re simply nervous or shy. As soon as they feel more confident, they often become more personable.
The hardest sell is to sell yourself. We’ve seen people do powerful, persuasive pitches for just about anything on behalf of their organization, but become tongue-tied when it comes to pitching themselves to a hiring manager.
The experts at The Bagg Group suggest asking yourself a few key questions when interviewing a less affable candidate to determine whether a person’s likeability factor is simply hiding behind a bad case of the nerves.
- Does the candidate have a positive attitude? Do they speak of challenges with understanding or with bitterness?
- Are they non-judgmental? Do they criticize or blame, or do they simply tell the facts as they are.
- When they talk about their achievements, do they speak with contempt of others as they detail their own accomplishments?
- Do they acknowledge you? Do they listen and show curiosity?
- Do you sense what they are saying is honest and trustworthy?
When you interview a candidate with these questions in mind — depending on your answers — you may be surprised to find that the person you didn’t take to might not be so bad after all. You may even find them … likeable.
September 11th, 2012
When Bono of U2 was asked if he would ever run for president, he replied, “ No, I wouldn’t want to move to a smaller house.”
We‘ve all, on occasion, made a glib remark in answer to a question which we consider somewhat silly. When candidates do that during job interviews, they later worry if being flippant could have cost them.
We tell them to give hiring managers more credit.
At The Bagg Group, we’re experts in the art and science of asking questions. We interview dozens of candidates for every one we refer to our clients for a full-time position, contract work, or a temp placement.
Since we’re in the business of asking and listening to ensure a great match between a candidate and a position, we can confirm that while some questions may seem odd, there’s no such thing as a stupid one.
Whatever the query, the answer can shed some light. Even Bono’s glib retort in the example above reveals a quick wit.
Still, while every question has value, not all interview questions are created equal. Some questions typically will net you polite, appropriate responses. Others give you a better understanding of a candidate’s interests and aspirations.
Take the case of the standard question, “Why do you want to work here?”
It’s a fair query, but it may be that the candidate will simply try to answer what they think you want to hear. Plus, it’s safe to assume they believe it’s an interesting opportunity, or they wouldn’t be interviewing for it.
In any event, if you meet someone who wants the job only for the money, or because your workplace is five minutes from their home, they probably would know better than to admit that.
A different question to give you a greater sense of what motivates the candidate could be:
- What do you think you will like most about this job? or
- What do you think you will learn working here that interests you?
Both these question force some personal reflection. They allow you insight to see if your objectives, and the candidate’s interests, are aligned.
If the candidate answers they believe they will especially enjoy an activity which, in fact, they won’t be doing much of, it’s good for you to know. This way, you can clarify the job description a bit more so you can both make an informed choice.
A good way to know if you’re asking an insightful question is to ask it of yourself first. If you were being interviewed, what would you answer. The questions that make you stop and think are the ones that will give you the most bang for your query.
August 21st, 2012
With 40 + years in the business of placing top talent with the best companies in the GTA, all of us at The Bagg Group know that in life, stuff happens. Businesses close, departments merge, the needs of companies change and even the best employees, with stellar track records, can find themselves out of work.
It can happen to anyone. And in a slow-growth economy, we all know of admirable people, with much to offer, who are looking for work.
But despite this fact, a University of California study has found that in the US, hiring managers are prejudiced against job applicants who aren’t holding a current position.
In one experiment, human resource specialists appraised resumes that, unbeknownst to them, were made up. The resumes that belonged to recently unemployed candidates received lower scores for competence and hireability than virtually the same resumes of people said to be still employed.
“We were surprised to find that, all things being equal, unemployed applicants were viewed as less competent, warm and hireable than employed individuals,” said lead researcher Geoffrey Ho.
In another experiment HR specialists were told the reasons for a candidate’s job loss, but this didn’t seem to have an effect on their scoring. “Job candidates who said they voluntarily left a position faced the same stigma as job candidates who said they had been laid off or terminated.”
The study found that only when the job loss was known to be in no way attributable to the individual — such as bankruptcy on the part of the employer — did the disadvantage of being unemployed disappear.
Over the course of the history of The Bagg Group, staffing experts have placed almost 60,000 candidates successfully in full-time positions, contract work and temporary placements. Our screening process is extremely rigorous, but if we had ever let bias influence us, we would have lost out on thousands of fantastic candidates who have gone on to be tremendous assets to their employers.
The bottom line: What matters is proven, up-to-date relevant skills, appropriate experience, and an attitude and vision that dovetails with the company’s needs and objectives.
High-achievers with talent to spare don’t want to be unemployed. But if life throws them a curve ball, they typically come back to the workplace more enthusiastic, committed and determined than ever.
Hopefully, one day, there’ll be a study that confirms the powerful effect of the comeback.
August 9th, 2012
It’s no secret that IT organizations look to hire people with various types of technical skills, but what else will make you stand out as an IT professional?
TechRepublic recently shared 10 core soft skills that IT organizations seek when hiring; click here to read more about them.