On Startups: Recruiting, the Forgotten Function

During the initial stages of creating a startup, common sense might lend that establishing or outsourcing a recruiting function early on isn’t a priority.

You’ve got to obtain business loans, meet with investors, build a website, market to your customer base… the list goes on. Until the money starts flowing in, hiring recruiters that’ll search for additional staff is probably the last thing on your mind.

Here’s why it shouldn’t be. 

To quote seasoned entrepreneur Michael Skok, “The best people are almost never on the market, and you are going to have to develop recruiting processes to find and sell passive candidates… closing them takes greater selling efforts than in the past due to the intense competition over the good candidates.”

Your business venture’s growth potential will be severely limited without an effective recruiting process in place, but not only because of the reasons you might think.  

They build your brand.

Attracting choice candidates to work for your startup is no simple feat – your brand is not yet recognized in the marketplace, and the top players in your industry are far more likely to attract the talent you’re pining for. By introducing a recruiting function early on, you’ll have a team of employees dedicated to strengthening your brand’s perception in your industry from the very beginning.

Recruiting today is primarily a marketing and selling function, and you’re going to fall behind in the war for talent if you neglect to develop and advertise your employment brand. A report by LinkedIn revealed that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job; you can imagine the negative impact poor branding has on attracting talented candidates.

A reputable brand gives you an advantage over your competition by influencing prospective employees to apply to your company and your current employees to remain working for you.

They sell your brand.

85% of the global workforce considers themselves passive candidates, not actively looking for a new job but open to the idea of starting one. You won’t find them on Indeed or Monster, but they’re still interested in hearing about the opportunities you have to offer. Outreach and relationship building with potential candidates is unavoidable if you’re looking to hire top talent; consider the fact that almost 1/3 of all hires are proactively sourced, and the importance of an established recruiting function becomes even more apparent. 

However, the type of recruiting solution your team chooses should ultimately be decided by your business needs.

They determine your needs.

If you’re having trouble defining your needs, you’re not alone – many business leaders struggle to align their recruiting strategies with their organizational goals. In fact, Almost half of all employers rate their recruiting process as below average at attaining their desired quality of hire. A substantial 40% of those employers rate quality of hire as their recruiting team’s primary key performance indicator, yet 2/3rds of that group admit they have no metrics in place to measure actual performance.

Unsurprisingly, it’s quite difficult to improve your recruiting process without first analyzing where you’re going wrong. As father of modern business management Peter Drucker said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Equipped with the right technology, your team of recruiters can determine your business strategy’s shortcomings and deploy a solution before it begins to stunt your company’s growth. 

Recruiting efficiently is a scientific process shaped by trial and error, and every business will face it’s own unique challenges. By establishing or outsourcing your recruiting function early on, developing and marketing your employment brand, and intertwining your hiring strategy with your business needs, you’ll avoid many of the pitfalls your competitors face.  

If you could use a hand pinpointing your business needs, contact our team of consultants for a specialized talent acquisition assessment.



The Widely-Accepted Hiring Practice That Kills Your Bottom Line

Many of us have had the pleasure of working under ineffective managers at one point in our professional lives.

Ineffective managers come in many forms, but they usually have the same detrimental effect on the workplace – your staff becomes disengaged and less productive under their leadership, resulting in decreased customer satisfaction and lost profitability for your company.

If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering “How did this person get hired/promoted in the first place?” We have the answers you’re looking for.

Gallup reports that there are two primary reasons people are promoted to managerial positions:

  • They’ve been successful in previous non-managerial roles
  • They have tenure in the company and years of experience in the field

While these practices are widely accepted and determine the majority of hiring decisions, you may realize neither criteria indicate whether a person has the soft skills or talent necessary to effectively manage others.

Conventional hiring methods are unsuccessful because the critical element they look for can’t be found on a resume – talent.

Data shows that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores in a given organization. Chances are, over 2/3rds of your ship is “sinking” when an unqualified captain is at the wheel. Clearly, hiring the right managers is a major factor as to whether or not your company becomes increasingly profitable as time goes on.

Unfortunately for your team, the talent required to be a great manager is rare – only one in ten people have the many skills necessary to make a well-rounded manager. Slim pickings, especially when you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for.

Management advisory company CEB estimated that the average vacancy cost equates to $500 a day per open position. How long can your hiring team afford to search for qualified candidates before your company starts taking a serious financial hit?

White Label Solutions

Sourcing, screening, and interviewing all of the candidates required to find even one effective manager is an overwhelming process, especially when that time and energy can be put to use bettering your brand in other important ways.

Fortunately for your team, ORS knows talent, and we have a demonstrated history of finding it. Take it from the 70% of our clients that end up returning for future engagements or refer our services to other companies.

Many of our clients have had great success adopting our innovative White Label Recruiting Solutions, where ORS becomes your in-house recruiting function. Our consultants work closely with your leadership team and human resources department, crafting a solution that addresses your company’s unique business goals and hiring needs.

Sounds like what every other recruiting firm offers? Not quite.

With ORS’ White Label Solutions, our consultants become your brand ambassadors. They carry your business cards, assimilate with your company culture, and work on-site with your team day in and day out in order to better understand your distinct needs. Every aspect of the talent acquisition process is handled for you, from candidate sourcing to retention management.

Without rigorous screening and hiring processes in place, you’re taking a shot in the dark to fill positions that will make or (more realistically) break your company.

Don’t leave major hiring decisions up to chance – let’s scale together today.

empty table in upscale office

3 Reasons You’re Struggling to Hold On to Your Millennial Talent

In a recent report by Gallup, researchers found that 50% of millennials in the US workforce aren’t planning on working at their current company in a year’s time, and 6 out of 10 say they’re open to new employment opportunities.

You could write this growing trend in behavior off as a lack of employee loyalty or discipline, but that’d be a costly mistake to make – it’s estimated that millennial turnover due to lack of engagement at work costs the US economy $30.5 billion dollars annually, and that number isn’t shrinking.

Identifying and understanding the reasons behind the high turnover rate of this generation (which now makes up the majority of the US workforce, mind you) is of vital importance if you’re looking to retain talent and scale your company in the modern age.

1. They’re Consumers of the Workplace

Given their proclivity for technology, millennials over every other generation are active “consumers of the workplace”. It’s a breeze to shop around for new positions on job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, while Glassdoor provides internal reviews and insights into a company’s culture long before a potential candidate considers sending in their resume.

To be fair, it isn’t always the case that these employees want to leave their companies – they just place a premium on being challenged and valued in their professional lives.  

The employees of today and tomorrow are looking for purposeful, engaging work, and they’re willing to hop from job to job until they find it. Buying a house, getting married, and having children are far-off goals for a majority of this generation, and career ambitions have been pushed to the forefront.

2. Big Boss vs. Coach Styles of Management

Younger employees are looking for jobs where they can develop professionally, and that includes fostering a meaningful relationship with their superiors.

Interestingly enough, 62% of millennial employees who feel they can talk to their boss about their lives outside of work say they plan to remain with their company a year from now – a 12% increase from the baseline statistic. Engaging with your staff on a candid, personal level could boost your retention rates and save your company a significant amount of money in recruiting and training costs over time.

Bosses who successfully retain their talent have adopted tenets of coaching management, which means they place emphasis on providing guidance and building rapport with their staff to help them reach their full potential rather than simply directing them. Most critically, they offer constant feedback and advice to their employees; information is shared rapidly in this digital age, and quarterly and annual reviews aren’t cutting it anymore.

3. Concerns about Artificial Intelligence

It’s well known that no industry is safe from AI integration, and unfortunately for Millennials 37% of their generation is at high risk for having their jobs replaced by automation in the coming decades. If you’re looking to retain your younger employees, it’s of growing importance that you discuss your company’s plans when it comes to AI and the effect it’ll have on daily operations.

Casting apocalyptic visions aside, the most likely course is that AI will not fully automate your workplace, but rather augment it, saving time here and there to increase the efficiency of your employees and satisfaction of your customers.

It may be the elephant in the room, but leaving your staff in the dark about the future of your company will spark anxiety, disengagement, and eventually turnover. Your employees are less likely to look for work elsewhere if their concerns are respectfully acknowledged and a solid plan is put in place surrounding AI integration.


Millennials get a bad rap for being entitled and lazy, but data shows that they’re more than willing to work hard for your company if you create an environment in which they can progress their careers, work to their strengths, and create meaningful connections with their coworkers.

If you’re interested in finding young talented employees but tired of sifting through endless piles of resumes, ORS offers talent acquisition consulting and customizable hiring solutions for companies in a variety of industries.

We’ve got a long track record of getting the job done right – just see for yourself.

Why are Philadelphia companies based in the suburbs and branched in Center City?

When people think of Philadelphia as a place to work and live, they probably don’t put it in the same category as other east coast cities like New York, Atlanta, or Boston, but Philly has the potential to grow. Philly’s growth can be found in its expanding talent pool, healthcare – the current pillar industry and a developing future in technology. Philadelphia is home to numerous universities such as Temple, Drexel, Penn, Villanova and St. Joe’s – all within 30 minutes or less of Center City. These schools are building up the talent pipeline in the area for years to come that will grow into business owners, community contributors, and workers in many industries. One of those industries will most likely be healthcare. Philly is known for its top-quality hospitals and healthcare systems that people travel from all over for, both nationally and internationally. These healthcare resources not only draw people into the area, but they also strengthen the talent pool. When people mention this region’s growth it is often the achievements of our healthcare industry that are celebrated; however, the expanding technology community is also a large contributor. This is evident through city-wide initiatives such as #GrowPA and Philly Tech Week, and don’t forget the Amazon HQ2 Consideration. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Incubator 1776 named Philadelphia 3rd on their list of the country’s top startup cities. When talking about universities, healthcare and technology, we can focus on how it’s more than just the anchors of Center City working toward the success of the region.

When talking about Philadelphia, rarely is it called just that, Philadelphia. Rather, Philadelphia is often referred to as The Greater Philadelphia Area. What exactly does the Greater Philadelphia Area include, and how does the generalization of this area impact our ability to attract and retain top talent?

The Greater Philadelphia Area is made up of eleven counties surrounding Philadelphia with the city at the center. This past year, 14 “Philly” based companies made it on the Fortune 500 list, but only three of those were located in Center City. The rest reside in areas such as King of Prussia, Radnor, Horsham, and even Wilmington, DE.

Talent is a major reason that many “Philadelphia-based” companies are headquartered in the suburbs outside of the city, yet maintain a relationship with Philadelphia’s Center City.  We have witnessed a growing trend in companies opening satellite offices in the city as a way to stay competitive in the Philadelphia talent market. ORS’ client, iPipeline, does just this. With their headquarters, which holds about 200 employees, located in Exton, PA , about an hour outside of the city, iPipeline opened and revamped their Center City office for about 15 employees. Their city office, located above Saxby’s headquarters, gives developers more room with a comfortable work environment. Jornaya, a data tracking platform technology company in Conshohocken, moved their office from Ambler to Conshohocken, to accommodate their growing team, and their ability to attract city talent.  The Malvern, PA-based financial company, Vanguard, added an additional office to be located in Philadelphia. They chose to satellite their office in the same building as Saxby’s headquarters and iPipeline’s office due to the building’s proximity to Center City and the 30th St. train station. Bucks County-based software development and mobile app company, The Meet Group, left their shared Center City office space at WeWork and moved to a larger location near City Hall. This office upgrade makes their Center City office another location along with their New Hope, PA headquarters, and additional offices in San Francisco and Germany.

Not only do companies based in this area see the potential of the suburbs, but so do bicoastal organizations. ShopRunner moved its HQ from California to Chicago and grew its Pennsylvania location in Conshohocken by 70% in 2017. Sypase, a health IT company located in San Francisco, has plans to double its Radnor team of 15 by 2018.

Although there are a multitude of reasons organizations choose to reside in the Greater Philadelphia Area, it is obvious that establishing a headquarters in the suburbs and having an office in Center City allows employers to attract a larger pool of talent.

Are you struggling to find talent due to your office location? Connect with us to learn more about our geographic talent identification strategy, and how we can scale together.

Tips and Tricks for Hiring New Graduates for your Team

Savvy young graduates are moldable, ambitious and make great hires, but how do you find the best new grads for your company?

First, focus on why new grads should want to work for you. Develop your employer brand messaging and employee value propositions with recent graduates in mind.  What are you able to offer a candidate? How are you communicating your mission, vision and values?  Collegefeed found that over 70% of millennials care about the people and the culture fit of a company over career potential and work/life balance. Make sure you’re communicating what your culture is like through your corporate career page, job descriptions and social media. You can read all about that in our recent blog post on optimizing your career page.

After your employer brand has been established and you’ve established your messaging, it’s time to network with prospective candidates and soon to be new grads. Career fairs and university relationships are key to connecting with talented candidates. Even if you have a well known employer brand, being present at career fairs and on university campuses gives you chance to establish in-person relationships with professors, university relations staff and, of course, the talent.

While targeting students through social media and email marketing is an important strategy, word of mouth and in-person events hold their weight in gold. According to Collegefeed, most students hear about companies from their friends and family. You might even consider starting a referral program specific to universities and colleges to boost your recent graduate talent pools.

Another strategy for student recruitment? Internship programs. A well planned and executed program will attract and yield a viable new grad talent pool. While you’re providing a real-world working experience for a student, you’re also vetting them for a potential full time roll upon graduation.

From professor outreach to social media to internship programs, at ORS Partners we work with  our clients to achieve their new grad talent acquisition goals. For one of our niche technology clients, we developed a sourcing strategy that included relationship building with a local university. With the client’s support, we leveraged an existing relationship with an executive connected to the university program and developed a high successful student referral program. Our consultants had a presence at every career fair and networking event at the school and we hired over 5 students in one graduating class as a result. If you’re looking for additional guidance on attracting young professionals and new graduates to your team, please reach out to us here for a consultation.

The Art of Interviewing

About a year and a half ago, HBR published an (ironic) interview with Esquire writer, New York Times bestselling author, world-renowned interviewer, keynote speaker and corporate consultant, Cal Fussman. You might be familiar with his tagline, “Change your questions, change your life.” As self-proclaimed professional interviewers, we recruiters are fascinated by interview styles, questions, and behaviors and regard Cal Fussman as the ultimate interviewer. Even though Cal may be interviewing celebrities, his principles on interviewing to get ahead in your personal and business relationships apply directly to job interviews and talent acquisition best practices. So, here are our top three Cal Fussman tips and the tactical steps that we as recruiters take:

Make the Interviewee Comfortable

We’ve all been there; interviewing is a nerve-wracking process for an interviewee. They get nervous about the questions they’ll be asked,  if the interviewer will be intimidating, or how many people they’ll meet. Anxiety can have profound effects on interviewees – we’re all human after all. So unless you’re interviewing someone for a very high profile job or Navy Seal position, give them some grace and make them feel comfortable.  Break tension and nerves with humor and small talk before diving into your line of questioning. Chances are you’ll uncover something interesting about them and get a better sense of who they are as a professional.

Listen and Probe

If you’ve done your homework as an interviewer, you’ve reviewed their resume and already have a baseline understanding of the interviewee’s qualifications, accomplishments, and work history. The interview itself is your opportunity to learn about their personality and work ethic. Start by asking good open-ended questions, and then listen carefully to their response. Use probing questions (use why and how) to dive into their explanations and reasoning.  The interviewee should be doing most of the talking.

Save the Hard Questions for the End

An interview that begins with a hard question is tough on the interviewee. Why? Because you haven’t established trust and a baseline of communication yet… refer to our first tip and make the interviewee comfortable first. Once trust is established you can come in with the harder questions, and when they trust you, those questions are viewed in a different light typically yielding authentic answers. . 

At ORS we work closely with our partners and hiring managers to find and attract the best candidates. We help coach hiring managers and interviewers on their interview styles and tactics.  We know that great interviewers yield great hires. If you need interviewing advice, reach out to us today to see how we can help

ORS Partners – Market Update

With the market’s constant focus on the technology industry, it is no surprise that technology roles are always in constant need. With an insufficient supply of top technology talent compared to the rising number of technology jobs available, technologists are in high-demand. However, after reviewing 2017 data, the technology industry has taken a back seat to healthcare in terms of job growth and hiring.

Between 2016 and 2026, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that healthcare occupations are projected to grow 18%, whereas computer and information technology occupations are projected to only grow 13% within the same timeframe. Philadelphia’s regional growth already aligns with this trend as we have grown from 606,000 healthcare employments in January 2016 to over 630,000 employments in January 2017 already. While tech job growth is lagging behind, considering we only grew by 5,000 new tech jobs in the state of Pennsylvania in 2016.

Regionally, the growth of healthcare opportunities is magnified due to the Greater Philadelphia Area’s booming healthcare ecosystem. The region is home to 26 hospitals, 6 of which are nationally ranked by the U.S. News and World Report. The expansive hospital landscape is also known for its educational programs for aspiring medical practitioners, which continually replenish the healthcare talent pool. Compared to all industries in the Philadelphia area, healthcare claims the most employed individuals ranging from 646,000+ to 638,000+ in Q2 and Q3. These national and regional growth rates and projections coincide with our internal talent data here at ORS Partners. We have tracked total hires for the second and third quarter of 2017 and their industries across fifty clients, and healthcare ranked as the highest number of hires over technology in both the second and third quarter. Although the technology and healthcare industries are competitive in the race for top growth and hiring rates, these two fields are becoming increasingly fused together and healthcare technology is developed.  With positions and companies focused in healthcare data analytics and biotechnology, both industries are dependent on the other’s continued growth and evolution.

If you are in need of support for your healthcare or technology growth plans or are looking to consult with someone about your hiring needs, reach out to us today.

How To Build Your Employer Brand: Careers Page Recommendations

Building an employer brand takes time, effort and organization, but the first step to creating an employer brand is understanding why it’s important. Glassdoor reported that “69% of Americans would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.” They also found that “84% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent reputation.” Employer brand means building a reputation as a company that prospective candidates feel as though they can trust, identify with, and be proud to work for.

How do you build this reputation online? Start with a ‘careers page.’ Your careers page is an advertisement platform for your employer brand. To connect with your target candidate audience, you need to create a personal connection through messaging that will convey your employee value propositions to appeal to candidates.

It is important that your careers page is easily navigated to from your corporate website. You want candidates to easily find job opportunities, and ideally within 4 clicks or less from the home page. The career page link should also be found in the header and footer of your site so candidates can find it on any page throughout your website. Place a ‘View Job Opportunities’ button that links to a list of your open positions at the top of the careers page.  Accessibility is key to a successful careers page. Ask current employees to test it to find any problems throughout the process.

Next let’s talk about careers page content… In order to paint the full picture of what it is like to work at your company, include information about your team such as team member spotlights or testimonials. Photos, links to team members’ social media profiles and what they have to say about their work environment gives candidates a general idea as to what company culture is like. Including healthcare benefits and office perks like location, food, and collaborative spaces give a better idea of the physical environment as well. Company awards and recognition are also great pieces of content for your page.  We also recommend that you include a section on the talent acquisition process at your company that includes how to apply, how long the process takes, what to expect during the interview phase, and what the candidate should prepare for. Sharing this information helps set expectations with candidates and shows that you are vested in the hiring process.

After you have outlined the content of your career site, you should consider adding social sharing buttons and use social media marketing to push your branded content. 14.4 million people in the United States have used social media to search for a job and 29% of job seekers use social media as their primary use for job searching. Social features help create transparency between you and candidates. Candidates are able to share jobs on social media and interact with you on  your social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook – spreading your social reach and increasing your number of impressions.

Bottom-line: your careers page is your employer advertisement platform – you control the messaging and have an opportunity to showcase your culture and job opportunities.  If utilized correctly, this page builds trust and transparency between you and prospective candidates, boosting your recruitment marketing efforts and brand image.  If you want help evaluating or building your employer brand to attract top talent, reach out to us today for a consultation.

So…you hired all of your friends. Now what?

23% of startups fail because they don’t have the right team. 13% of these new companies fail because there is disharmony between the team or investors. Many entrepreneurs hire their friends and family, and that makes sense. You have an idea, share it with your friend that has similar interests, and before you know it, you’re in business together. In the first phases of company growth you look to hire strategically, but how do you do that without the resources, time, or money? You hire people you already know because they are easy to source, attract, and willing to help you.

But what happens when you exhaust your network connections?  You’re worried about funding and a return on investment in human capital. You know hiring mistakes can be devastating to a young business. What do you do?

Before we tackle hiring, let’s talk about some deep stuff (stay with us)… First, you need to establish your core values. Who are you? What do you stand for? These values will help your current team understand your mission and attract likeminded future employees.  The next step is to create a set of goals for yourself, your employees, and the company’s growth (if you haven’t done so already!). All of your hiring (and firing) decisions should stem from these values and goals. Formulate a strategic intent and stick with it when it comes to hiring decisions.

Okay, so back to hiring… You have exhausted your initial network of friends, so where else do you look to hire the talent you need? You can look on LinkedIn, post on a job board like Indeed, advertise on your website to cobble together some inbound activity. Or you can invest in a recruiting resource – and in-house recruiter or an outsourced consulting firm. Let’s weigh the options… If you hire an in-house recruiter you then have to provide them a salary, benefits, and factor in the cost of on-boarding them. Meanwhile, you’re still behind on your hiring goals. You can compare an in-house recruiter to a contingent staffing agencies, but they’ll give you a huge amount of candidates you have to sort through – not alleviating enough of the work for the cost. You may then consider partnering with an outsourced talent acquisition consulting firm (like ORS). An outsourced consulting firm will embed a talent acquisition function and align with your employer brand.  Consultants will become a part of your company and work to optimize your recruiting function.

At ORS Partners, we offer an outsourced talent acquisition function for emerging growth firms.  We fully integrate into your brand, bringing along our proven talent acquisition practices and toolkits, ready to deploy. If you’ve exhausted your internal network, you should weigh your options and find the best talent solutions for your hiring goals. Check out our talent solutions for more detailed information.

Authentic Talent Acquisition Creates Success in a Competitive Market

Most people would describe authenticity as being genuine, legitimate, real, or true. These words are synonymous, but in human interaction, what is being authentic?

Authenticity is hard to describe, but you know it when someone is being inauthentic – it’s a feeling. You can easily describe someone to be inauthentic if they seem like they don’t care, if there’s lack sincerity, if they’re passive or even vague. Authenticity is a major part of the talent acquisition field because communication and relationship building are a necessity for hiring and in order to do that, you have to have authenticity.

Authenticity bridges the gaps from candidates to consultant to hiring manager. These relationships cannot be built without legitimately caring about what your client wants for the positions they are hiring for. Like any consultant, talent acquisition consultants want to have the best relationship with their hiring managers to ensure a smooth and successful process. How do you create this relationship? Honesty, transparency, respect, and the shared goal to grow and scale your organization – together as a team. Once an understanding of your relationship has been created, the next step is to extend authenticity into the interview process with candidates.

In a market where the same technical talent is called upon by recruiters each day, it is crucial that you present with authenticity. The best consultants source, screen, and vet candidates through the pretense of emotional investment about the positions that need to be filled and what their client can offer the candidate. 80% of people would take one job over another based on personal relationships formed during the interview process. Meaningful interactions, candidate care, and open dialogue is the key to to success in a competitive talent market.

90% of job seekers say that it’s important to work for a company that embraces transparency. Transparency is sought after by candidates and important for working relationships with hiring managers, and talent acquisition consultants. Authenticity from the beginning to the end of the recruitment cycle can be the ultimate factor as to why or why not the best possible candidate will take a position. Get in touch with an ORS consultant to learn how we can help you build an authentic talent acquisition program.