On Startups: The Key Considerations and Hidden Costs of Common Recruitment Solutions

Once your startup reaches the emerging or expansion stages of growth, you’ve got a tough decision to make – determining the most efficient and cost-effective talent acquisition solution for your venture. 

As you likely know by now, the process of hiring candidates demands a great deal of your most limited resources – time and money.

Choosing the right type of talent acquisition solution for your startup isn’t an easy call, so in this article we’ll briefly explain common talent acquisition solutions, examining their respective strengths and weaknesses along the way. We’ll then highlight the unforeseen or hidden costs you should expect to incur with each option.

In-house Recruiters

In-house recruiters are your own full-time employees that manage your company’s hiring efforts – they write job descriptions, source candidates, arrange interviews, and prepare employment offers for incoming candidates.

Depending upon location and industry, the average salary of an in-house recruiter is between 70 – 90k a year. This may seem like a cost-effective option early in your venture’s development, but there are a few things to consider before deciding to invest in this talent acquisition option.

Does the recruiter have leadership capabilities and expertise in a variety of industries? In early stage startups, recruiters often report to a CEO who has little experience using best hiring practices or effectively managing an acquisition function. Your in-house recruiter is essentially a one-man army responsible for any and all training, leadership, and guidance that goes on within the department. Simply put, your recruiting process will only be as good as your best recruiter.

Expertise in a variety of industries becomes a critical factor when you find yourself in the following situation – you’re looking to hire two data scientists, a content marketer, and a VP of sales in the coming months. Will your recruiter be educated in these disciplines enough to distinguish qualified candidates from unqualified candidates?

Will your hiring needs change dramatically over time? A significant downside of hiring in-house recruiters is that you’re paying an annual salary regardless of the amount of hiring that needs to be done. If you’re only hiring employees eight months out of the year, you’re still paying four months salary to a recruiter that doesn’t have any work to do.

It’s worth noting that you’re footing the bill for the applicant tracking system, data-mining tools, premium job boards, and any other equipment your recruiters require to work effectively.

These “hidden costs” can add up quickly – LinkedIn’s annual plan for corporate recruiters tops off at 10k alone, and when you consider the price of the other tools and equipment needed you’re easily adding an additional 20k to that 70 – 90k salary.

This isn’t to say that experienced and talented in-house recruiters can’t offer their fair share of value to your company, but there’s a reason many startups wait to build an in-house recruiting function until they grow into larger organizations – it can get costly, fast. (img source)

Contingent Recruiters

A contingent recruiter fills positions in your company similar to how an in-house recruiter does; they’ll source, screen, and communicate with candidates, sending them your way if they seem like a decent fit. However, there are a few major differences – they’re not your employee, you don’t pay them until the role you hired them to fill is filled, and they’re most likely submitting the same candidates to other clients they’re working with.

A benefit of hiring a contingent recruiter is that if they send you candidates you feel aren’t suited for the position available, you’re not required to interview them or pay the recruiter’s fee.

Because of this, contingent recruiters tend to source candidates more quickly than other talent acquisition alternatives – every minute they don’t place a candidate is a minute they’re not being paid for their efforts. Recruiters working on this “no win, no fee”  basis usually spend less time focusing on projects before they move onto the next client, especially if it’s not an easy role to fill.

Contingent recruiters also send large volumes of candidates to your door, hoping that out of the many candidates sent a few will be qualified for the position. Instead of taking an in-depth look at each person’s resume, they focus on sending you available fits for positions rather than best fits.

Do you have the budget to pay contingency search fees? As mentioned above, contingent recruiters are paid placement fees after they fill a position. This fee is agreed upon between the recruiter and the client, and is generally 20 – 25% of the newly-placed employee’s first-year salary. For example, if you pay your new employee 70k annually and your agreed upon fee is 25%, you also pay the recruiter 17.5k for the successful placement.

If you’re planning on filling more than a few positions, you can imagine how these fees add up.

Are you looking to add strategic value to your acquisition process? Contingent recruiters can find candidates for you quickly, but the buck stops there – they aren’t hired to improve the effectiveness of your acquisition function or grow your venture like your in-house recruiters or outsourced recruiting partners.

When you hire a contingent recruiter you’ll still be paying for an applicant tracking system, data mining tools, and any other equipment you’ll need to categorize and interview the incoming candidates. Even after you pay the recruiter’s fee, your investment isn’t over – you’re still responsible for interviewing candidates, making offers, and hiring employees, which can take up countless hours of your limited time.

Outsourced Recruiting Partners

Partnering with an outside acquisition firm allows you to transfer all or some of your recruiting process to an outside entity – they’ll overhaul the design and management of your recruitment process, implementing best practices they’ve learned from working with hundreds of other successful clients in order to fulfill your hiring needs.

Because talent acquisition isn’t commonly considered a core business function by many entrepreneurs, firms in earlier stages of development often benefit from the strategic approach to acquisition experienced recruiting partners provide.

A benefit of forming a strategic relationship with a recruiting partner is that you’re not paying for an applicant tracking system, data mining tools, equipment, or training and salaries for employees. Not only that, but you have the experience and brainpower of an entire organization at your disposal rather than one or two in-house or contingent recruiters.

Even with the aforementioned benefits, there are a few things to consider before choosing to work with an outside recruiting partner. (img source)

Do they represent you? Keep in mind that your partner will be the first face incoming candidates will see, and their successes and failures will reflect your company’s image. Whether your partner is stringing candidates along or providing an excellent candidate experience, candidates will associate your brand with your recruiting partner’s performance. Similarly, does your partner’s portrayal of your brand align with your own vision and internal culture?

Board members, entrepreneurs, and executives tend to retain their relationships with reliable recruiting partners, often bringing them to new ventures once they’ve proven their worth. Trust is a defining factor when it comes to building a strategic partnership with another entity, which is why strong recruiting partners obtain most of their business through referrals rather than through direct sales.

Are they transparent and collaborative with their decision-making processes? As with any working relationship, open communication and transparency is key. It’s critical that your partner keeps you informed of major decisions concerning your acquisition process, allowing you to decide what’s best for your business.

When you work with an outsourced recruiting partner, you pay on a per-project basis – they’ll hire however many candidates you need within your given time frame, and in return you pay the agreed-upon cost of the project.

Working with reliable partners ensures that hidden costs don’t come into play, but there may be unforeseen costs if your hiring needs dramatically increase unexpectedly. For example, if you have two recruiters working the project hiring four candidates a month and your needs jump to eight candidates a month, you’ll end up paying for the increased resources needed to provide the service.

Forming a relationship with an outsourced recruiting partner can be beneficial for emerging and expansion stage startups because they offer strategic value as well as financial value – not only do you save money on technology and equipment, but you also have the ability to scale your hiring process as your needs increase.

To conclude:

What talent acquisition alternative do you believe is the most effective for an emerging growth or expansion stage startup? Leave a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages and let us know what you think! 


If you’re in search of talent consulting or recruiting services and could use help determining your business needs, contact our team of experienced talent acquisition consultants now. 

The Evolution and Unforeseen Challenges of Hiring Within A Growing Startup

Whether your startup was born in a dorm room, in a co-working space, or as a spin-off from another company, eventually you’ll require outside assistance to continue growing your venture. 

Every successful startup will experience it’s own unique hiring evolution, but it’s undeniable – at some point the founders will have to decide when to begin the recruiting process and how it should operate.

It’s not an easy decision to make – begin hiring too soon and you’re spending money you should be allocating elsewhere, or begin hiring too late and you could end up a “50 million dollar company in the body of a 5 million dollar organization.” As you can imagine, neither of these scenarios are beneficial for the future of your startup.

We’ll begin this article by walking through the three distinct stages of a startup’s growth, describing how hiring needs evolve while noting the hiring challenges entrepreneurs should expect to face along the way.

Emerging Growth

In the early stages of your startup, referrals are key to beginning the process of small-scale growth. You’ll likely rely on friends, family, and past colleagues for your hiring needs, which is a very effective approach in the beginning of your venture. Referrals are an invaluable fountain of new talent and continue to be employers’ top source of hires, bringing in a remarkable 30% of all hires overall in 2016. 

However, the law of diminishing returns holds true for this practice. At a certain point in your team’s growth, the time spent combing through networks for referrals would be better spent developing other core business functions, especially when you’re working with a small team. 

At this point the primary focuses of your team should be further developing your product, working to find market fit, and attracting investor interest (which we’ve written a superb how-to article about.) These priorities leave teams with little time and energy to spend building a talent acquisition function, which is why many startups choose to outsource this process early on.

The chart to the right describes the many reasons organizations choose to outsource their recruiting function, with speed of hire being the most common motivation of all.

Organizations also commonly outsource recruitment services because they lack a strong employment brand and have difficulty attracting top talent as a result.

Most of the top reasons given are at least loosely related to time – lack of time to train your employees to become experts in the field, lack of time to devote to attracting specific talent, and a lack of time to devote to developing workforce strategy and core business functions. Allowing another entity to handle your acquisition needs can be a cost-effective method to finding the talent you require to grow efficiently.

Using your limited time wisely is important early on, which is why many startups choose to outsource recruitment for executive or specialized positions at this stage. Check out a full analysis of the SHRM study here.

Growth and Expansion

Congratulations – your venture has reached the expansion stage. You’ve secured significant funding from investors or are experiencing explosive organic growth.

Seasoned global venture investor Gil Dibner describes his view of the expansion stage succinctly in a recent Medium article.

“It’s by far the most significant stage because it is during this stage that the company must complete a complex transition: from a company with a great offering that could scale to a company with a great offering that is rapidly and predictably scaling.”

Talent acquisition is a core business function and should be treated as such – your sudden surge in hiring needs during this stage can quickly become your downfall depending on the quality of your acquisition function. If you’ve received funding to grow your business you’ll have a board of investors to report to, and they expect detailed proposals on how you plan to handle your hiring needs.

Ask yourself these questions as you begin growing: 

  • How do I continue to attract talented candidates?
  • How can I preserve company culture while hiring on a large-scale?
  • What should my interview, hiring, and onboarding processes look like?

Your hiring process should evolve to take these questions into consideration – while hiring qualified candidates is critically important, cultural fit plays a large role as you scale. Aim to hire a team that believes in the vision of your company.

Take a look at the chart above and you’ll notice that the input required to hire one talented candidate is much higher than you might first expect.

One of the challenges you’ll face during this stage is attracting enough candidates into your pipeline that you’ll end up hiring qualified talent. Keeping that volume of resumes flowing in is no simple feat, especially when you consider the time and resources that go into sourcing, screening, and interviewing qualified candidates.

To draw out an example – an average interview takes 1 hour and requires 4 employees to conduct; your company is looking to interview 5 candidates for a given position. That’s 20 hours of work that could’ve been dedicated to acquiring customers, further developing your product, or testing workforce strategy.

One benefit of partnering with a hiring firm at this stage is that they’re able to provide an informative and detailed candidate experience for your applicants. Because employees in an early startup are regularly spread too thin, many companies are unable to devote resources to crafting a candidate experience that reflects well on their employment brand, leaving candidates unsure about what a position entails or how the company operates. Allowing one entity to guide candidates through the recruitment funnel from start to finish will ensure that a promising relationship is built between the two parties.

Growth and Retention

For most entrepreneurs, the end goal of building a startup is to create a business model that’s capable of growing. If you’ve reached the later stage of development of your venture, you’ve got a returning customer base, your model is well-tested, and your startup may have received multiple rounds of funding.

Your hiring needs now differ significantly from your needs as an early stage startup – in the beginning, each team member juggles multiple responsibilities, fulfilling whichever duties are required. In the later stage, many high-level employees have one specialization only, becoming an expert in their discipline. Simply put, the hierarchy of your business is now more concrete.

What does this mean for your hiring needs?

As your company continues to grow, your need for fulfilling specialized roles will increase dramatically, as will your need for general employees.

Partnering with an outside acquisition firm is the most cost-effective approach to hiring leadership, specialized roles, and high volumes of employees during busy seasons, but at this stage it may be worthwhile to build an in-house recruiting function to handle hiring general employees – especially when your focus has shifted to retention and maintenance rather than growth.

The difficulty your business faced while attracting candidates before you had a brand won’t be a significant issue now – your employment brand is much stronger than it was, and candidates will seek your business out because of the remarkable success you’ve had growing your venture. To continue, you should once again focus on attaining candidates through referrals – the more engaged employees you have, the greater rates of retention your startup will experience.

If at any point during your journey you can use a hand growing your company, take a look at the variety of talent solutions we offer and learn more about how we can scale your business together.


What stage of a startup’s growth do you believe is the most difficult to hire effectively for? Leave a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages and let us know what you think! 


If you’re in search of talent consulting or recruiting services and could use help determining your business needs, contact our team of experienced talent acquisition consultants now. 

Recruitment Marketing Strategies: Using Video Job Postings to Dramatically Increase Your Ad’s Visibility

Most recruiters are well aware that posting job listings on social media is necessary to attract candidates in today’s acquisition environment.

Since you likely accessed this blog through a post on our LinkedIn or Facebook page, you too know how invaluable social media’s reach and ability to connect people really is.

As you can tell by the chart to the left, the use of social media for recruiting purposes is a relatively new yet significant development in the field.

Less than 10 years ago, a little over half of the companies polled reported using the communication medium for acquisition purposes. Though the data shows that 84% of companies used social media for recruitment in 2015, it’s safe to assume that number has increased significantly over the last few years. (source)

There are more than a few factors at play, but this shift is in large part due to the growing population of millennials entering the workforce and their tendency to use social media frequently. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, a significant 73% of people ages of 18 – 34 found their last position through a social media platform.

The shift also isn’t surprising when you consider how effectively social media can be used to fill open positions – a formal report by iCIMS stated that putting a job position on social could boost candidate applications by 30 to 50%.

As comfortable as recruiters have grown using social media to attract, contact, and build relationships with talent, it’s constantly-changing nature requires that acquisition specialists evolve their recruitment marketing strategies in order to remain effective.

So what’s up next? It turns out that video is no longer content having only killed the radio star; it’s now set its sights on text-based job ads and descriptions.

What are Video Job Postings?

Video job postings are essentially exactly what they sound like – the hiring manager and coworkers a potential candidate would work alongside record themselves explaining the job description, requirements, and what skills it’ll take to succeed in the position.

Is producing a video job posting really worth the trouble of writing a script, recording, and editing some footage?

In short, yes – but I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves. 

Incorporating Video Job Postings Into Your Recruiting Strategy

Now that you know how effective video job advertisements can be, it’s time to consider what you should include in yours. You should begin by explaining the requirements and qualifications necessary for the position, but video job advertisements also allow you the ability to include more personal information about the position, including the following:

  • Why a potential candidate should want to work for your company
  • What professional and personal qualities make for a successful employee in the organization
  • A look a the culture of your organization, any unique benefits offered
  • Interviews with current employees working the same role the candidate is applying for
  • An interview with the manager the candidate would report to and their expectations

Despite the extra effort that may go into producing one of these advertisements, the return on investment is immense. You’ll see a marked increase in qualified applicants because you’ve given them that extra information, and at the same time you’ll be strengthening your employment brand by producing informative content for potential candidates.

Video job advertisements are still relatively rare to come across, especially for smaller organizations. Strike while the iron is hot and begin making your own today – it might just give you that edge you need in the increasingly-competitive war for talent.


Have you made or would you consider making a video job advertisement? Do you foresee video job postings completely eliminating text-based job ads in the future? Leave a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages and let us know what you think! 


If you’re in search of talent consulting or recruiting services and could use help determining your business needs, contact our team of experienced talent acquisition consultants now. 

Two for the Price of One: Are Buddy Hiring Programs Actually Effective?

Consider this scenario – you’re interviewing for a new job, and halfway through you begin to think that you might be better off sticking with your current employer. You’ve negotiated salary, benefits, vacation days… if only there was something else they could throw in to sweeten the deal.

So they add another incentive. If you take the job, one of your talented friends can also join their team and work alongside you. Would you reconsider their offer?

Buddy Hiring Programs

A buddy hiring program is precisely what it sounds like – you apply to a job along with one of your friends, and if you’re both good fits for the positions available, you could end up working together on your first day.

To many, it sounds too outrageous to be considered a worthwhile idea – a program like this could end up slashing productivity significantly. Though anyone can imagine the number of potential cons in this situation, that hasn’t stopped companies from using the unique hiring option to attract candidates.

Canadian McDonalds and the U.S. Army are two entities that have recently implemented buddy hiring programs, resulting in positive public attention and an increased number of applicants that may not have been interested otherwise. While the culture and structure of the prior examples are far different than a typical B2B or B2C organization, could a buddy hiring program actually have a net positive effect in your workplace?

Dr. John Sullivan, an experienced talent manager and HR thought-leader from Silicon Valley, proposes a few benefits of buddy hiring programs that could save your organization remarkable amounts of money. 

Buddy Hiring Benefits

Half your recruiting costs, double your hiring volume – for every candidate you interview, there’s another in the pipeline. Not only will the primary candidate save you time and resources by selling your company to their colleague, if they’re talented and hardworking it’s likely that the friend they’re bringing along is too.

Free marketing – as is the case with anything controversial, people can’t help but be intrigued by the rare incentive. Offering a buddy hiring option is bound to turn some heads, and they’ll all be looking in your direction.

Higher offer acceptance – talented passive candidates are comfortable remaining where they’re at. Switching jobs is a process, especially if your professional reputation and relationships at your current job are well-established.

Passive candidates may not be up to the challenge of finding their place in a new hierarchy and organizational structure, but giving them the option to bring a colleague along may be the incentive they need to consider joining your company.

Addressing Understandable Concerns

Of course, buddy hiring is not the perfect solution to increasing acquisition or the number of offers candidates accept. However, the distinctive hiring program can be altered to best suit your organization’s needs. To spell out a few suggestions:

You don’t have to lower your hiring standards – if the primary hire is exceptional in his work and his colleague is merely average, there’s no requirement stating you have to make both hires. The beauty of this hiring option is because it’s exactly that – an option.

Limit the timeframe of the work assignment – the talented candidates you’re bringing on board shouldn’t expect to work on the same projects together forever. Set a timeframe of 3 or 6 months before sending them to work on different assignments – by this point they’ll be more comfortable in the new work environment.

Use metrics to determine effectiveness – as always, it’s critical that you use metrics to measure whether the option significantly improves the effectiveness and efficiency of your workplace. Example KPIs you could monitor include quality of hire, speed of hire, retention rates, and overall productivity.


Rather than buddy hiring being an option you openly advertise, it could be more effectively used as an ace up your sleeve – an approach you use only when or if a hiring situation calls for it. Consider reserving the option for highly-talented candidates who aren’t sure if they’re ready to leave their current job and colleagues yet, and you might see a marked increase in the amount of passive candidates interested in joining your team. 


Do you think a buddy hiring program could be successfully implemented in your workplace, or would it end up being mostly ineffective? Leave a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages and let us know what you think! 


If you’re in search of talent consulting or recruiting services and could use help determining your business needs, contact our team of experienced talent acquisition consultants now. 



6 Simple Recruitment Marketing Tips & Trends: Email and SMS

Recruiting, while simple in theory, can be a difficult process in practice. One of the main challenges recruiters face when contacting candidates is getting their messages noticed, opened, and replied to in a world where nearly everyone’s attention is constantly divided.

Whether you’re posting job listings, sending email campaigns, or relying on SMS messages to engage candidates, you’re hoping that your message stands out. Instead of firing blindly, here are a few recruitment marketing tips and trends you should keep in mind – they might just increase your response rates.  

Email Recruitment Marketing

Email is still the number one channel recruiters and acquisition specialists use to contact talent. Despite the fact that most people now prefer rapid, instantaneous communication, email has solidified its position as a tried and true communication medium.

Things to keep in mind when crafting emails geared towards candidates:

66% of all emails are opened on mobile.

Just because email hasn’t changed much doesn’t mean the way we view it hasn’t.

If you’re not formatting your messages so they look cohesive on mobile devices, you could be turning prospects away due to readability or design issues. Optimizing your email for mobile display could significantly increase your response rates, and at the very least, it displays to candidates your professionalism and attention to detail. 

40.5% of iPhone users spend about 0-3 seconds per email, while Android users on average spend a generous 15+ seconds per email.

Regardless of the significant gap between device owners, the point stands – your lengthy emails are frequently glossed over, so keep the messages short and sweet. Include only relevant information and clearly detail the action you’d like candidates to take, whether that’s reaching out to a hiring manager or scheduling an interview. The clearer the call-to-action is, the more likely your recipient will follow through. 

Emails sent on Saturdays and Sundays have the highest open and reply rates. 

Data has shown that emails sent over the weekend have the highest open and reply rates, often because people receive less mail overall on these days. Sunday evenings specifically can be a great time to send emails, as many people are getting ready for the week ahead.

Your goal should be to contact candidates when there’s less competition for their attention. Data suggests that 8 – 12AM on weekdays is another time that people are highly active on email, but the best time ultimately comes down to your audience. Check out CoSchedule’s article “What 14 Studies Say About The Best Time To Send Email” if you’re interested in learning more about tactical approaches to get your emails noticed over the competition.

Text/SMS Messaging

Your inclination may be to avoid acquiring talent using SMS messages out of respect for people’s privacy, however communicating with candidates through text has been shown to be an effective recruiting method. Of course, you need to ask the candidate’s permission first – it’s still primarily a channel reserved for personal conversations, so use it with care unless the candidate has expressed a preference.

A few reasons you might consider adding SMS to your recruiting toolbox:

It’s simple, cost-effective, and allows for rapid communication.

The majority of the workforce is more than comfortable communicating with employers over text, and data shows that 90% of text messages sent are read within 3 seconds. If you’re looking to get in touch with candidates quickly, there’s no better channel than SMS messaging.

Text messages have a 98% open rate; emails hover around 20 – 30%. 

Messages sent through text aren’t only seen faster, they’re opened far more often. Even more surprisingly, these messages are met with a significant level of engagement. Mobile messaging supplier Dynmark revealed that 29% of marketing SMS recipients click on links they receive through text, while Smart Insights shared that 31% of SMS-based survey recipients began interacting with the message within 5 minutes.

It can be used to support other recruitment marketing channels. 

Smart Insights conducted an experiment in which they sent a short follow-up text asking recipients, “Have you read our email?”. This brief text message resulted in a 20 – 30% increase in email open rates for this particular campaign. Even if you decide against using SMS messaging for acquiring talent, it’s utility in engaging candidates throughout the recruiting process can’t be understated.

Additional Info:

90% of candidates drop off before completing application.

Most people agree that there are few things less entertaining than filling out job applications, which is why 9 out of 10 people who begin filling them out drop off before they’re done.

Offering the opportunity for interested candidates to join your talent network will allow them to get connected with your company and receive updates even if they don’t send in a resume – all it takes is an email address. This allows candidates to form a relationship with your business even if they’re not ready to apply, and in the meantime, you’ve got them on your radar.

The ORS talent network is a great example of how simple it should be to begin a relationship with an employer; all you have to do is sign up to receive updates on new jobs and opportunities.

When contacting candidates, a blend of personal and professional information is most effective. 

Personalizing the messages you send to candidates is critical, however copying their first and last name into an email isn’t cutting it anymore. A study conducted by the Temple University Fox School of Business actually found that 95% of customers respond negatively when receiving messages that greeted them by their names.

Of course you still have to address your candidates by name, but don’t let the personalization stop there – coaching consulting company Talking Talent recommends including questions about the candidate’s interests, what school they went to, and even reasons why you think your company could be a good fit for them to increase the likelihood of an engaged response.

I know what you’re thinking, you don’t have time to personally research every candidate you’re contacting. Consider working with a template and customizing it – Mike Chuidian, a senior sourcer at Sears has enjoyed a 97% response rate for some of his emails by writing extremely personalized messages to his intended recipients while basing the structure off of a template.


As a recruiter, what channel (social, email, SMS, phone) do you tend to have the most success contacting candidates with? What are your thoughts on using SMS messaging to contact and engage talent? Leave a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages letting us know what you think! 


If you’re in search of recruiting services or could use help determining your business needs, contact our team of experienced talent acquisition consultants now. 



Continuously Adapting: AI’s Growing Impact on the Recruiting Industry

Globally, CEOs are setting their sights on two business priorities – technology and talent. We’ve written plenty of great posts about talent, so in this piece we’re going to take a closer look at technology and it’s growing influence in the talent acquisition and recruiting workspace.

There’s no denying the fact that AI and intelligent tech are rapidly changing the market and the way organizations conduct business across industries. We’re fortunate – we’re here just in time to witness the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and as intimidating as that may be, the technological leaps that are being made in recruiting and talent acquisition are boundless.

AI and new tech is the elephant in the workplace, and understandably so. While your concerns are warranted, rest assured – AI isn’t gunning for your job, it’s just aiming to make it a little bit easier.

AI’s Application in Recruiting

IBM and’s report “How Organizations Identify and Hire Great Talent” revealed that nearly 50% of HR leaders predicted that AI would be important to talent acquisition in their organizations within the next five years. The outcomes the leaders would most like to achieve using AI are as follows:

It may seem alien to let a program handle these aspects of recruiting, but Athena Karp, the CEO of AI HR company HiredScore, doesn’t believe so. “Some employers attract more than a million resumes a year and handle 5 million to 10 million hiring decision points, and yet we’re still leveraging human instinct and manual processes to make hires.”

Maybe Karp has a point – should we rely on our intuition to make great hires when the tech is equally, if not more capable of making the right decision? She then adds that AI won’t replace recruiters or HR managers, but rather augment their capabilities so they can hire the best people and spend more time on candidate care and other strategic aspects of their jobs that require human attention. 

Today, workforce analytics are being applied in HR and recruiting through the use of assessments that measure candidate and employee engagement, skill sets, and personalities. 23% of HR leaders use those results to develop new leaders and identify high potential candidates and employees, 25% of leaders use it for sourcing talent, and another 10% use it to assess quality of hire. 

For better or worse, the intuitive nature of HR and recruiting is slowly being phased out. An overwhelming 70% of organizations are expecting to increase their investments into workforce analytics in the next few years; at the moment, it appears that big data is here to stay.

Candidate Experience Implications

As a talent acquisition specialist or recruiter, consider how much time you’ve spent reaching out to interested candidates and hiring managers without getting through. People are busy and schedules have a tendency to conflict, which is why more than 40% of U.S. companies now use chatbots to engage with candidates during recruiting. These bots are able to source and acquire talent, pre-screen candidates, and even schedule interviews. Better yet, they’re available 24/7, freeing you to focus on the uniquely-human aspects of your job, like coaching, developing, and building relationships with candidates and hiring managers.

The importance of getting the candidate experience right as a recruiter can’t be understated – nearly 4 out of 5 candidates say that their experience is indicative of how a company treats its people. The time recruiters will gain from using chatbot technology will free them up considerably, allowing them to spend more time working with individual candidates and clients.

Ways to Go

If this article has left you fearing the unknowns of the future, don’t worry too much – while AI is here to stay, the issues with its integration in the average workplace are still abundant. According to,

  • 30% of employers state their recruiting technologies meet their needs to a low extent or not at all
  • 24% feel saddled with outdated recruiting technologies
  • 28% lack an assessment tool to identify the best candidates

Every industrial revolution has shaken up the workforce, and this one is no different. We’re going to see a huge spike in demand for jobs that rely heavily on emerging technologies, but also for jobs that rely on irreplaceable human skills – creativity, negotiation, critical thinking, and social influence to name a few.

If you’re still in need of consolation, take it from Raghav Singh, an experienced recruiter and HRIT leader who’s worked for several Fortune 500 companies throughout his career.

“There was a time when recruiting meant placing an ad in the newspaper and waiting for resumes to show up in the mail. The main tools of an executive recruiter in the 1970s were a Dun and Bradstreet directory of companies and the phone book, and the job required hours of “smiling and dialing” every day. The profession has evolved a lot since then. Recruiters are in no danger of extinction so long as they continue to adapt.”


What are your thoughts on the pros and cons AI’s implementation and utility in the workplace? Do you see recruiting and talent acquisition becoming more or less effective as data begins making the big decisions? Leave a comment on our LinkedIn or Facebook pages letting us know what you think! 


If you’re in search of recruiting services or could use help determining your business needs, contact our team of experienced talent acquisition consultants now. 

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.

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

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