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Happy 2018!

It’s hard to believe it’s already the middle of January 2018! Hopefully you’re still feeling the excitement of what the New Year will bring – new talent, what your new hires will add to your growing organization and how your existing team will progress. Just like bringing home a new puppy, hiring managers are bursting with excitement about the potential of their new employees and the contribution they will make to their teams. Reggie is full of potential and, in the right environment, he will thrive and become a valued member of your team.

Don’t forget to acknowledge your existing staff as well. Keep your current employees engaged, meet with them one on one, and provide avenues for advancement. Know that candidates have their own expectations as well. They are doing their homework on your company, as well as the competition. Although you likely have a strong online presence, be sure to position your company as a transparent employer with a desirable company culture. And, if you plan to have new roles filled by the end of Q1, you need to be in the process of evaluating candidates now. Don’t wait…keep the excitement of the New Year going!


Choosing a Recruiting Firm

Treat the choice of a recruiter like any other major purchase or choice of vendor.  It’s important that the client-recruiter relationship is a good fit for your organization, just like choosing the right dog for your family.  Right, Stevie?  Like many relationships, shared perspectives and values will provide a good foundation for growth and success.

Find out who specifically will be corresponding with candidates and screening them. Will it be a senior partner? A junior associate? A recent college grad?  Seek out firms with experience in your industry, an in-depth knowledge of your business, and a thorough understanding of your company culture. Have realistic expectations of the type of candidates you want to attract. Keep in mind that the more unique the skills are, the smaller the talent pool will be, and the harder it will be to find the right candidate.

Communication is key.  Poor communication is one of the most common obstacles to effective recruiter-client relationships. From the client side, taking the time to articulate clearly the type of candidate you are seeking and the details of the position will make the search more efficient. If hiring managers spend a little extra time up front, it will  avoid wasted time and effort down the road.

Staying responsive to emails from recruiters, candidates and clients goes a long way toward a successful search, building strong partnerships and ensuring positive candidate experiences.   The more feedback that the client can provide to the recruiter, in a timely manner, the closer the match will be.

Work with one or two firms.  Hiring multiple agencies to fill the same role often yields sub-par results and redundancies. Invest in a good firm and reduce the number of recruiters on your searches.  Allocate extra time and resources to helping the recruiter better understand your needs – it will go a lot further to meeting your goals than a room full of recruiters with a vague understanding.  Spend the extra money where it’s needed, on difficult-to-fill positions.  Stevie says it’s worth it!

Recruiting for Salespeople

Meet Wyatt.  His expression looks like the hiring manager who waited too long to start recruiting to fill their open sales positions.  If you’re waiting for the New Year to hit to start looking for new sales talent, you’re too late.  One of the trickiest positions to recruit for is sales, so when is the best time to recruit salespeople?  The time is right now!

While most companies are in headcount planning and budgeting mode in October, November and December, many salespeople are looking for a fresh start in the New Year.  That means they’re exploring opportunities while you’re in 2018 planning meetings.  Having a vacancy on your sales team for even one-day can have a negative impact on your organization.

Wyatt The industry average time-to- hire has increased to an average of over 65 days so keeping your candidate pipeline filled at all times is critical. Top salespeople only spend an average of ten days on the market before being recruited for their next role.  Building a pipeline of passive candidates takes a strong sourcing engine, so engage with a firm who can work with your in-house recruiting team to help you fill your open positions more efficiently.  We don’t like to see Wyatt looking  disappointed.

Planning for the New Year

Is your company planning to grow next year? This means that you’ll need to hire more people and you’re likely in headcount planning meetings for 2018 right now.  And…you probably feel a little bit like Bruiser.

There is a lot of pressure for organizations that are expanding in various locations and job functions so now is the time to also plan for successful recruiting partnerships so that you can find the right talent for the year ahead.  While most companies have in-house recruiting capabilities, many find they don’t have the bandwidth to handle multiple job requisitions in a timely manner.  Other companies very limited internal resources or none at all.

Doesn’t stress like Bruiser… find a strategic partner to help you build a pipeline of qualified, passive candidates who are a good cultural fit for your organization.

Welcome to Our Updated Site!

Please bear with me as this is my first blog…ever.  The task initially seemed a bit daunting, but then I thought ‘this is the perfect place to tell our story’.  I could go and on, but I promise to keep it brief.  We’ve been around for 25 years – myself for 15 of those years – and it’s been a great ride so far.

The ZA team has gone from a traditional research organization to a full-service recruiting firm.  In the early days (waaay back when…), we produced our work with pencil and paper, landline phones, fax machines and of course, snail mail.  Though I’ll never give up my pen and yellow notepad, the fax is covered with dust and my iPhone is working overtime.  I think the reason we’ve been a bit behind – ok, way behind – in making our website more interactive or utilizing our company page on LinkedIn and being active on other social media is because we still believe in the old fashioned way of connecting with people…by talking to them.   Whether you’re a client or candidate, or soon to be one of those, we want to communicate with you directly and often.  Your voice is important to us and we want to hear it.  When people ask us “what area do you specialize in?” or “what is your sweet spot?” our response is not industry specific.

What we specialize in is building partnerships – strong partnerships that last years.  Though we don’t have just one niche market that we consider our specialty, nor are we  a ‘jack of all trades’, we do have a big net that can be cast wide.  Over the years – all 25 of them – we have worked with a such a broad range of clients and have placed so many talented individuals across a variety of disciplines that we likely know your industry well and have contacts in your network.  What we’re really good at, and what we absolutely love doing, is making our clients and candidates happy.  We know how to listen, we know how to ask questions, we know how to build solid relationships, we know how to help you do your job better, and we are passionate about doing it.

We have doubled the size of engineering teams at start-ups, we have ramped inside and outside sales organizations, we have supported internal recruiting teams of global organizations that have limited bandwidth and hard-to-fill roles, and have hired candidates for individual contributor roles through VPs of new business units who have been instrumental in the growth of their companies.   We’ve been pretty busy making people happy, so ya, we have some catching up to do on the web.  Our clients and candidates will always take priority over writing a blog, but we are ready to do both.  We promise to continue providing everyone with the quality of service that you deserve and expect.  If you’re happy, we’re happy!  Thanks for reading!