Talent Lab – Candidate Experience Matters

Last month I went to a “Talent Lab” event (my first HR/recruiting event in an eternity) and was beyond impressed by the commentary and the crowd. The group was honest, refreshing and most of all, REAL.

Last week, the founders of Talent Lab, Tess Sloane and Alisha Adams asked me to write a post (#flattered!) and today it’s live!

Give it a read: Candidate Experience Matters

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Expand Your Mind – Best Reads of 2013

Last week I was giving myself a hard time because I hadn’t finished a single book in 2013. Gah. I have been given books. I have been lent books. I have bought books. YET, NONE READ. {None finished would actually be more accurate. Been working on Steve Jobs’ biography for like 10 months}. I am the kind of person who gets super caught up in a book. I love reading and once I get started, I usually can’t put the book down. I’m often hesitant to start a book during the work week as I always have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to affect how much sleep I get. And hell, I’ve needed all the sleep I can get this past year.

A few days after I was getting all mental on myself for not reading, I arrived back on planet earth. It only took a quick browse through my Evernote and Twitter favourites to remember that I read ALL THE TIME — just not books. :) Articles, posts and random doses of inspirations fly through my social media feeds every moment of every day {often in a somewhat overwhelming way}. Every now and again, I’ll click a link and be swept away. Whether it be a post that completely resonates with where I’m at today {or where I want to be tomorrow} or a big reality check in the face or something that gets my creative juices flowing… I read, re-read and share it with anyone I think might love it.

While I’ve been reflecting on 2013, some of my favourite posts of the year have come top of mind {in no particular order}:

If you’re keen on being a better human, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, thinking outside the box and drilling down on what’s most important, than you’ll likely enjoy some of these reads.

“A good book is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility what human nature is of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.” — Susan Sontag

Do you have a favourite post {or book} from last year? Spread the love. Share it with me.

PS – Since last week I’ve finished 2 books — “Doppler” by Erlend Loe and “Start” by Jon Acuff. Hurrah! Books {and sleeping} will be a part of my 2014. Setting that intention right now.

Dreaming Big – Part 1: Vision Boards

A few nights ago I started thinking about goals. It was random and motivating and ended up turning  into one long, very nerdtastic, project.

In 2010, I created my first vision board! I closed out 2009 with some very big goals for the upcoming year. I was entering into my final year of university and I had a number of intentions: get my degree, complete my designation, keep on track for 5 years of well-rounded HR experience and begin creating my personal brand. 2010 was the year I got involved in social media {really learned and understood why Twitter is rad!}. It was also probably my most successful year of my career.  I figured out what I was good at. I interviewed with executives across the country. I had job offer after job offer. I was recognized for my contributions to the community and my industry. I had opportunity after opportunity presented to me. And, I was happy. Pretty sure I was sleeping 8 hours a night back then too. ;)

I account a lot of my successes that year to dreaming big and staying focused. I had a personal board of directors who kept me in check, a mentor to push me into the uncomfortable and goals that aligned with my personal and professional growth. The year was by no means perfect — Exhibit A, Exhibit B — but did I learn a hell of a lot and did it contribute to who I am today? You bet.

I have no idea where I first learned about vision boards, maybe elementary school. :) I am a visual learner and liked the idea because I thought it would help my dreams come to life. In 2010, I wrote all my goals and then transformed it into a visual. Pretty straightforward.

This year, I approached things a little bit different. 

I’m 100% not ready to write my goals for 2014. I’m still focused on getting through this year and doing a lot of reflection on what worked and didn’t work. I’m very committed to reflection, learning from the past and moving forward with intentions. I feel like I gotta get to the end of the year, get on a plane to the UK, sleep a bit,  figure out what I’ve learned  this year and then write about it. Writing has always helped me move forward. 

I decided I would create a vision board based on my gut. What’s important to me right now, in this very instant? What am I not focusing on, that I really should be focusing on? Who do I want to be? What do I want to achieve in 2014?

A couple of hours later, I ended up with this:


Whoa, eh.

You know when something — just works? I put the finishing touches on my vision board and knew I’d hit the mark. It gave me clarity, inspiration and showed me what I’m working towards: strength, vulnerability, stillness, gratitude and embracing me for me. 

Next up, I plan to write my goals {and make them public!}, find a mentor and re-jig my personal board of directors. All good problems to have.

Interested in making your own vision board? Sweet!

A little advice from me to you:

  1. Brainstorm, dream and dig deep. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What gets you jazzed up and talking with your hands? What could you talk about with a stranger till the sun comes up? What is eating away at your brain and something you know you need to focus on?
  2. Do a sanity check with yourself. Did your “dreaming” land you on a tropical island with your mega babe husband, with wads of cash tucked into your bikini, a bling of a ring on your finger and a butler waiting for you with your glass of champagne? Similar to writing goals, you’re not going to want to create a “yeah-freaking-right-this-is-unachieveable-in-one-year board.” ;) Think about what REALLY matters to you — to your core. Start there. Be honest with yourself about what you want. There is no right or wrong. Just remember that you’re human.
  3. Find pictures — whether it be words or images. Pinterest and Google are both great starting places. Drop in keywords {could be related to your career, relationships, health or any items on your bucket list} and scroll through images. This process in itself will get you thinking even more outside the box about what you’re looking for.  When you find images you like, save them all to your desktop.
  4. Send Oprah some gratitude. In my opinion, Oprah has got the best tool on the internet for creating a vision board. Check it out and if it works for you, use it! I always loved Oprah’s web application because it allowed you to export it as .jpg, send to your mentors, save it in your Dropbox, etc.  You can also do an old-school vision board with magazines, scissors, glue, etc! 
  5. Get clear on what you want. When you start uploading pictures to your board, you’ll realize that you don’t love some or they weren’t what you originally intended. My best advice? Go with the flow. Find your focus. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your vision board will be a work in progress and it’ll take a bit for you to be like — whoa, that’s it. 
  6. Keep it top of mind. Make your desktop background your vision board. How’s that for staying present on your goals? Alternatively, you could print it out and pin it up at work or on the fridge at home.
  7. Share it. I’m a big believer in sharing goals. Personally, it keeps me in check with myself and holds me accountable. Whether you want to blog about it, share it with your sister, brother or best friend, or send your mentor a note with your game plan… I’d encourage you to get comfortable with involving others in your journey.
  8. Take action. What’s stopping you? Like Amber Rae says — nothing. Get moving. Hustle. Figure out what you want and GET AFTER IT.
  9. Go with the flow. You may achieve a few things on your vision board — or you may achieve all of it. You will grow over the course of the coming year and your intentions may change. Be flexible and adapt as you evolve.

Dreaming big in 2014? Excited to head down this little journey? Keen on making a vision board or stoked on setting goals? Let me know what you’re working towards, I’d love to be a part of your journey.

PS – I turn 30 in 6 months. Like exactly, 6 months today. Eep. If anyone knows how to process that, please let me know. xo

Culture, Collaboration & Nerd Confessions

Long before I was outspoken, assertive, and extroverted… I was academic and introverted. I’m pretty positive that’s still my comfort zone (and to my core, I’m a total nerd).

I would rather listen to a TED talk than watch a movie. I would rather read a business or leadership book, than read chick lit. I really like school… like *really* like school. Although I absolutely hated Greek & Roman Studies, I enjoyed most classes in university. ;) When people ask me what I do for fun, I usually say volunteer, read, speak and write… whaaaaa? The keener strikes again.

When I’m not working or running or cooking up something magical, I often devour myself in the internet. There is so much to read (!!!), so much to learn (!!!).

I could easily spend hours upon hours reading about change management on Harvard Business Review, leadership on Dan Pontefract’s blog, high growth companies in Inc Magazine and community do-gooding on Mashable’s Social Good. Lots and lots of what I read is the same old. People recycling content and stories that we’ve all learned about over the last 10, 20, 50, 100 years. With that said, every day I read something where I’m like whoa — that’s good.

I randomly came across a recent presentation by TELUS International and Google on customer service, culture and collaboration — and boy oh boy, I thought it was a winner.

If you are remotely interested in building your business, empowering your team or thinking outside of the box, you’ll enjoy these takeaways:

  • Build a community, not just a company
  • Empower employees to make decisions and tackle big problems
  • Work socially to collaborate and connect
  • Invest in personal and professional development
  • Create time and space to innovate

I know it’s not rocket science… but seriously, not often do you see senior leaders getting on stage and talking proactively about THEIR PEOPLE. I love what TELUS has done to engage their call center crew — it’s totally rad. I love that the President of TELUS International has stood up on stage and said — yo, we’re going to be different. TELUS and Google are creating cultures where employees make an impact.

That is why employees are committing to them.

That is why employees wake up excited to go to work.

That is why employees are coming up with awesome new ideas and solving real world problems.

“… it’s important to go back and examine your own corporate culture – to make sure that your culture is well aligned to your strategy. And to define those key principles that your own people can embody in everything that they do. Your cultural values, and knowing how to reinforce those values, will be critical to your success.

And don’t think culture matters only within your corporate walls. Your cultural values should extend well beyond that to the partners you choose and the relationships you build with them. What we’ve shared today doesn’t mean that you have to aspire to have a culture like Google or TELUS International. These are just two examples. It’s about finding what works for your organization and the partners you choose to work with.” – Peter “Scotch” Scocimara, Director, Global Enterprise Support, Google

If your inner biz nerd would like to learn more, check out the slide deck, read the transcript (lots of GOLD!) or listen to a few excerpts from the presentation:


Click Happy on LinkedIn

At the end of September, LinkedIn introduced Endorsements:

They were rolled out with the intention of one-click feedback — quick and dirty one might say. The addition of Endorsements was a positive to the LinkedIn platform. Before the only way you could verify or validate a colleague was by writing a LinkedIn Recommendation. The problem with the Recommendations tool is that people are intimidated by it and it’s definitely not easy to use. The process is time-consuming and people don’t want to opt in {no different than how it’s hard to get someone to write you a recommendation letter!!}. The positive is that people generally have to take some time to write them — so if you do get one, it’s a huge win and you need to give yourself a pat on the back.

Over the last month, I have been endorsed by all sorts of colleagues {thank you, thank you!}.

So what’s the problem?

Some {some some some, not all!} of my colleagues have “endorsed” skills and expertise they have never seen me demonstrate. In regards to HR, many people endorsed me in Human Resources because I currently work in the field. Not because I am any good at it, nor because we worked alongside each other doing a compensation review.

From a personal point of view, LinkedIn Endorsements build credibility. Most people will look at endorsements and go whoaaaa — must mean you have your shit together. Hooray…! :/ Just remember that’s not really the case… you could be a deadbeat and have your 10 deadbeat friends endorse you. You’re really no further ahead in life. Focus on quality over quantity — and don’t get your panties all bundled up in excitement because you have 7 notifications that you’ve been endorsed. Results will always be gold.

From a Recruiter’s perspective — remember that Endorsements don’t mean shit all. LinkedIn Endorsements are honestly no different than +K — same beast, different platform. Take online recommendations with a grain of salt. Don’t assume skills endorsements equal credibility.

If you’re going to endorse others / give out recommendations (or anything to that like) — make sure they are thoughtful and relevant. Avoid getting click happy. Give a shout out to your colleagues because you know they are totally all star at their expertise area. And hell… if you’re already their #1 fan, why not just spend the time to drop them a love note in the mail or write them a full-on recommendation on LinkedIn.

Youth Unemployment

Every so often an educational campaign blows me away…

Provocative — and moving. Absolutely love it.

United Colors of Benetton has rolled out a campaign addressing youth unemployment. They’re on a mission to bring awareness to the amount of jobless youth in the world and show the talent of the younger generation.

Within the campaign is a contest called “Unemployee of the Year.” It is open to unemployed youth, ages 18 to 30, from around the world. They are being challenged to submit ideas for projects that will improve lives in their communities — a surefire way to creating positive change!!  The 100 projects with the most votes will be given € 5000 each from the UNHATE Foundation.

The campaign is bound to create awareness on youth unemployment in our community, get people talking and get young people taking action.

Youth Unemployment Crisis

“In 2011, 74.8 million youth aged 15–24 were unemployed, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007. The global youth unemployment rate, at 12.7 per cent, remains a full percentage point higher than the pre-crisis level. Globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. In addition, an estimated 6.4 million young people have given up hope of finding a job and have dropped out of the labour market altogether. Even those young people who are employed are increasingly likely to find themselves in part-time employment and often on temporary contracts. As the number and share of unemployed youth is projected to remain essentially unchanged in 2012, and as the share of young people withdrawing from the labour market altogether continues to rise, on the present course there is little hope for a substantial improvement in near-term employment prospects for young people.” – International Labour Organization


The amount of young people I know in our local community that are unemployed or under-employed is huge. In Vancouver, youth unemployment is at 14.3% {and that number has increased throughout the year}. Students and new graduates are encouraged to volunteer, take unpaid internships and work for minimum wage. Gaining experience is one thing — but I believe that many are forgetting about the generation gap and the huge problem our economy is going to have as the older generation retires.

Research shows that the world will need to create over 600 million more jobs in the next 10 years. 600 million. That’s a boat load.

Soon enough we’re going to have to forget about the education experience we ‘require’… and start training in-house, taking a leap and setting young people up for success. There is a lot to be said for drive, ambition and commitment — none of which are taking into consideration in typical recruiting processes.

Here’s what I know:

We need more young people in the workforce.

We need to believe in them.

We need to give them opportunities to develop their skill set — and shine.

High five to United Colors of Benetton for giving jobless youth a voice.

PS – If you want to learn more about the global employment crisis, check out this report from the International Labour Organization. Great read.

The Hunt

All the time Business Owners, Managers and HR colleagues ask me where I advertise jobs. To some degree, it’s an easy answer — where they need to be …to …be …seen.

In my opinion the amount of applicants you get is directly related to the depth and breadth of your employer brand. Google? Apple? Facebook? They all get boat loads of job applications. Why? They’re global brands and everyday topics of discussion in our homes. People know them, want to work for them and continually hit refresh on their jobs page. Refresh refresh refresh!

So what do you do if you don’t have a big badass brand?

You have two options. You either grow your brand or you advertise your job postings. And actually maybe #3 is working with a Recruitment Agency – but I think the strong majority are absolutely terrible… so moving on. I could talk for days about employer branding — but I won’t.

Instead let’s talk job postings!

First things first, you’ve absolutely must post the job opening on your company website. Seems simple enough but you won’t believe the amount of people who advertise it everywhere and never post it on their site. Fun fact: Job candidates go to your website to 1) see if you’re company is any fun, and 2) verify that you’re legit. If you’ve posted the ad on Craigslist and haven’t posted it on your company website — it looks like a scam. And you might have lost a candidate — or a hundred!!

Next up, post it on anything free! Some of the best admin’s I’ve hired in my life have come from Craigslist. Post every job on the free and easy sites… Craigslist, Kijiji and Service Canada {there are a bunch of other ones but they have super low traffic…}. You might get fab job applications, you might not. Regardless free is free, it’ll only take you a few minutes to upload a posting and it very well could increase your exposure in the market.

With ‘free’ advertising comes the wonderful world of social media. If you’re hip, happenin’ and/or operate a business in 2012, you likely have a Facebook or Twitter account. :) Well get the word out there. The world is a small town and who knows who could be the right fit for your role! The more people that know about it the better. Post the opportunity n your social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, whatever!

A few ideas:

  • Take a picture of your next new hire’s empty desk and post it on Facebook with a “This could be yours! 5 ft by 2 ft white desk with ergonomic chair, opportunity for growth and the best team you could ask for in 1 click. We’re on the hunt for a Business Analyst at our Vancouver office. Will you be our next hire?”
  • Grab an iPhone and film the supervisor explaining ‘a day in the life…’ of this new role! No need for it to be complicated – just keep it professional. Post it to YouTube and ta da, you’ll reach a new market!
  • Instead of spamming your LinkedIn contacts with the posting, reach out to specific contacts who are connected in the same realm as the opening. Remember your friend Joe, who used to work at Accenture, who probably has Business Analyst friends? Yeah, send him the posting. And tell him what he’s getting out of it too.

The point: think outside the box!

Example of a great tweet:

We’re on the search for the best + brightest Biz Analyst in this beautiful city! Spread the word! #Jobs #YVR #Tech

Example of a bad tweet:

Our Biz Analyst just quit because he hated his boss. Desperate. Apply today. #Jobs #HelpUs #FreakingOut



{Examples like these happen all the time. Horrific.}

Make sure your presence on social networks oozes with heart.

The online community wants to build a relationship with you, all you gotta do is embrace it with open arms.

If you have a company blog — use it. Write about what you’re looking for — not in a job description kind of way, but in a trait / skillset / personality kind of way, get people learning about your company. At the same time, send the posting out to your entire company and let them know you’re hiring. You know how many people forget to do that! It’s as easy as:

Just wanted to let everyone know that we’re currently on the search for a Business Analyst. We expect the new hire will begin November 1st and she/he will support Joe’s team. We’re offering relocation across Canada. If you know of anyone who might be interested in learning more about the role, feel free to forward this email and/or let me know. The job posting is up on our career board at: http://ihearthr.com/careers

If an employee refers the successful candidate, you’ll get a reward. An iPad and Lunch with me! Oooo yahhhh.

Bob, CEO

Now you need to think about where your potential candidates are hanging out. If you’re looking for an Engineer, Accountant, HR or other professional career, post on the industry website (ie. APEGGA, CMA, CGA, BC HRMA etc). It’s worth the $200 as you have a direct point of contact with the exact group you want to hire. I have found that generally people opt-in to professional association communications, even if they’re not technically looking for a job. The more eyeballs on your job posting, the more candidates you’ll have — well assuming you’re not a terrible, unethical company. ;)

If you’re looking for students or interns, post on the college/university careers portal that has related programs. For science or technical positions, post on UBC or BCIT. For business or arts, post on SFU or Langara. Check out progressive programs like Talent Egg, that cater to graduate student openings too!

Next up… LinkedIn. This network can truly be good at finding business-related {and often web-related} candidates. Postings cost $200-300 but they’ll show up on your company page, look super legit and you can share them on the job pages of other groups. Postings always go up for a month, but make sure to check your traffic on week 1 to see how it’s doing. If you join relevant groups to the role, you will be able to post your opportunity onto specific job boards within the groups as well. Spread the ad within your network. One thing I know about people is that they’re usually willing to help out. All you’ve gotta do is ask!

So, what other options do you have?

In my opinion, Monster and Workopolis searches have gone way down hill in the past few years. I haven’t posted on either in absolute ages. The cost is high and you don’t get high quality candidates. A good site to be on is Indeed. Fun fact: “Indeed is the #1 job site worldwide, with over 70 million unique visitors and 1.5 billion job searches per month.” Like whoa. Indeed is also hugely global — 50 countries, 26 languages. Indeed has a whole bunch of rules to post a job on their site (ie. each job needs to have its own URL, no PDF’s, no teleworking jobs, etc etc). If you already use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), many of them syndicate your job ads to job boards across the web. So tell me, if you can get your job ad on Indeed, why on earth would you pay $500+ to post on Monster or Workopolis? I think there is only one negative to Indeed — and similar to the state of the internet today, it’s full of noise. There is a lot of crap  that candidates have to sift through. My tip to you would be to ensure your job title and keywords are legit.

A note on Career Builder… totally not a big deal in Canada, totally A BIG DEAL in the United States. Fun fact: you can’t advertise on the American job board with a Canadian credit card. Lordy loo. Many US Recruiters have told me that candidates in certain professions only search on Career Builder. A good way to tell if your job posting is going to be successful on a job board is to search to see if other people are posting the type of role on the site {make sure to do this on ANY site that you’re going to drop cold hard cash on advertising}. Easy enough, eh?

Eluta.ca has always been my secret little gem. Why? You can search jobs specifically from companies who have been named ‘Canada’s Top 100 Employers.’ Whether they deserved that title or not is a whole different blog post… :)  They also have company portals where you can learn about employers, what they offer, etc. Fun fact: Eluta indexes straight from employers career pages and you have to be added to their database to show up in search. There isn’t a lot of garbage on the site, no agency jobs and it’s the most accurate {and current} site in the Canadian job market. To add your company to their database, click here.

Still not getting the right applicant? Or any applicants?

Houston we have a problem.

Look internal. Does the one job you posted actually describe 6 jobs? Are you trying to find the perfect person with every skillset? If you didn’t know already, that person doesn’t actually exist. :)

When writing a job posting, ALWAYS brainstorm to determine your deal breakers. What does the candidate HAVE TO HAVE? What are your NICE TO HAVES? Evaluating candidates is much easier when you figure those two things out.

Before posing the job, figure out the 5 tasks the candidate has to be able to complete. Then when you interview determine if the candidate’s background / education / experience  will set them up for success in completing those tasks. It’s fine to have a gap, the gap just shouldn’t be large enough that you’re setting them up to fail.

A final piece of advice…

Don’t hold off on making a decision solely so you can compare an applicant against another.

When you find ‘the one’ — hire them.

That was 1690 more words than I was planning on writing tonight. HR Lady peacing out. 

Podcasting with Jeph Maystruck

Live on Jeph Maystruck‘s blog… everything you ever wanted to know about talking too much, change in organizations, making your mark, why HR sucks, short pants, Real Housewives of Vancouver + more. Shout outs to COAST by GlowbalKPMGJCI VancouverKendal HaraznyGraeme DuckettSam Thiara and more.

Brace yourself.

46 mins via Podcast with Jeph.


And Jeph wrote a lovely little post to go with the Podcast:

Did you listen?


Now my voice is burned in your brain…!

You should probably listen again. :D

My first podcast experience was great! I was worried about what Jeph might ask, how I might sound, etc. Jeph calmed my fears and said he would edit anything out that sounded like crap. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t edit out all the swears. ;)

Anyways to learn more about Jeph, check out his blog, stalk him on LinkedIn or give him a follow on Twitter!

PS – Everyone forgets about LinkedIn recommendations. Recruiters look at (or for) them and quality ones are totally win! Wrote Jeph a recommendation… hopefully he doesn’t think it’s terrible.

“Jeph is the leading man behind the Marketing Revolution podcast. He asked me to participate in an upcoming episode and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Jeph is a breath of fresh air. He’s committed to changing the world of marketing and making the community think outside the box. He is  a relationship guy; working with clients to truly make a difference and have a positive impact on their bottom line. My experience with Jeph was professional, fun and easygoing. He was easy to relate to and go with the flow. I have no doubt that Jeph will be the #1 podcast in Regina.”

PPS – As much as I love Jeph, I also love a mover and shaker in Australia named Pete Williams. He has an awesome Podcast: PreneurCast — entrepreneurship meets marketing, business and productivity. A weekly dose of an Australian accent and brilliance most of the time too. ;)

Labelling Generations

Every so often I write a post on the Elevated HR blog that I think relates to my personal blog followers. This is one of them.

Random Gen Y Thoughts II

By Jillian Walker, Vice President, Client Experience of Elevated HR Solutions

Labeling employees in the workplace… we all do it, yet we all hate it. Take the title of this post for example. Branding myself as a Gen Y makes it easier to differentiate Michelle and my thoughts.

Late last week I was asked to write an article on “Gen Y” for an online HR publication. I was immediately unsure how I would write it and asked for clarification on the topic. Nope, no help, just write something on Gen Y.

I often refer to myself as Gen Y, because I am so close to fitting the description. But others who are exactly the same generation as me, and even the same birth year, do not fit it. It’s to the detriment of leaders in the workforce to ‘brand’ their staff as any generation.

People are different — and that is what we should love about them.

Check out the article here.

Register for TheHRNetwork.com here.

Do you refer to yourself as Gen Y, Gen X, Boomer etc?

I’d love to know your thoughts!

recruiting done differently

I wrote this for Elevated HR’s blog but thought some of my job searching and HR readers might enjoy this too!

Recruiting Done Differently

By Jillian Walker, Vice President Client Experience, Elevated HR Solutions

In my past life, recruiting meant activating a job posting on recruitment software, filtering through applicants based on points, looking at 10 resumes out of 200-500, formal phone screening, structured competency based interviews, ranking employees against each other with points and putting out a formal offer about 8 weeks later. It was fairly mindless and no stress. We often hired multiple applicants for the same job and if someone didn’t last – oh well!

Nowadays I’m leading a recruitment process that is highly personable and culture-driven.

The goal is always to find a rockstar candidate for one of our exceptional clients. It’s about finding the right fit for the candidate AND the right fit for the company — not one or the other.

The process begins with writing a job description that is actually interesting and reflective of the company’s culture. In my words, we write them straight up. Here is what you need, here is what we would love and here is the nitty gritty. They are written in a way that intrigues a candidate — but would also scare off the wrong candidate.

As the candidates come in, we review each and every application. We respond back to candidates with questions about their education and experience. We pull out applications that may not be a right fit for this company, but could be a right fit for another one. After a quick phone screen, we ask each short-listed candidate to complete a culture-fit questionnaire. It further determines if the candidate and the company are a match.

Throughout this experience, we continually learn about the candidate and the company. The focus is on building relationships, while achieving results. Sometimes the candidate opts out of the process, sometimes the company changes the title or job duties. We adapt as we go along.

Once the candidate has passed all the paper work and brief phone calls — we meet them either in person or via Skype video [we are recruiting for multiple cities these days!]. Candidates have an opportunity to showcase their personality and explain their passions.

Eventually we make it to the point where the candidate gets to meet the client in person. By this time, they know the company inside and out and we have worked with them to shine on their resume and questionnaire. We provide them tips on how to be successful and do our best to ensure minimal surprises!

We usually hear back from the candidate immediately after the interview. They provide feedback on the company and the process — and it’s in their court to send thank you’s to those involved! The company gets in touch with us to discuss the final candidates and determine if an offer will be made. Often last minute questions come up and we go back to the candidates if needed. If the company decides to do a second round of interviews with a different level of management, we book them. It’s important to keep momentum in the process [A-player candidates are often interviewing at multiple companies!].

Lastly we check references, complete skills testing if required (computer skills etc) and ask the candidate to complete Strengths Finder 2.0. We utilize Strengths Finder with of our clients. Why? Because we totally believe in it and think that it is an effective way to assess employees. Strengths Finder showcases an employees strengths and further determines if they are the right fit for the role and the company. It is a reflective exercise for the candidate and a refreshing perspective for the company.

This type of recruiting isn’t necessarily a long process – it’s just thorough. Our process creates so many touch points with the candidate that you truly start to understand who they are — strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. We invest a lot of time in the process to ensure we have truly found the right fit.

Does it backfire? Sometimes. People change, plans change… but we wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t work the strong majority of the time.

All the time we place candidates at our clients and they say things like “I’ve never been happier. This is the perfect job for me.” Would I have heard that in my last life? Absolutely not. Perhaps once in a blue moon if a candidate got lucky.

The candidates that I’ve had the opportunity to meet have truly been a breath of fresh air. I’m impressed by their honesty, drive and commitment. When I give a candidate a call, they are expecting me to be a no personality Recruiter wanting them to enter into a structured archaic process. Instead, I explain how we do things differently at Elevated HR and look for them to be adaptable. Sometimes they’re caught off guard, but often they laugh and immediately turn casual. When people interact with each other casually, you generally see true colors. Matching for fit just got easier. :)

All the time people ask me “What is your favourite HR function?”  I used to say Organizational Development and Effectiveness. Now though? Recruitment is growing on me. Matchmaking A-players with fabulous companies makes my heart smile.