Jobplex Completes Wilderness Society Search

WASHINGTON, DC – Jobplex, Inc. is pleased to announce the successful placement of Teresa Lane as Vice President of Philanthropy for The Wilderness Society. This search was completed by Partner Kara Teising and Senior Associate Kara Zavaleta.

Lane joins The Wilderness Society from the Nature Conservancy, where she held senior development positions for eleven years, most recently as the Senior Principal Gifts Officer on their Worldwide Office Development Team. Prior to that, Lane served as the Assistance to the President for capital projects at Princeton University. Lane serves as a Board Member for the Great Swap Watershed Association. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Princeton University.

The Wilderness Society, founded in 1935, is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. With more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.

Established in 1996, Jobplex leads the recruiting industry in offering diversified search services for your company’s next generation executive leader. Our customized search offerings and performance-based fee structure provide solutions from a Single Search to Project Recruitment. For more information on Jobplex, visit www.jobplex.com.

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4 Tips for Creating Candidate Experiences That Improve the Bottom Line

In a way, business is like sports: The organizations with the best talent nearly always win.

The challenge is finding those superstars and convincing them to join your team. To recruit effectively, it takes creativity, dedication, and a firm commitment to quality.

Unfortunately, most companies approach hiring the same way they have for decades. Roles are posted, résumés are screened, candidates are interviewed, and a final candidate is selected. There might be an occasional A-player who fortuitously enters the recruitment life cycle, but by and large, this archaic method only produces average talent.

This traditional way of recruiting is also time-consuming and onerous, which is detrimental to landing the most sought-after candidates. Indeed, the highest performers are generally available for fewer than 10 days. There’s simply not enough time to post an opportunity to an oversaturated job board and then wade through a slew of unqualified résumés to end up with only a few legitimate possibilities.

If landing the most qualified workers is so paramount for thriving in this global marketplace — and it is — why do most organizations keep perpetuating this status-quo process? Could it be that recruiting departments are primarily focused on delivering candidates at the lowest possible cost? Could it be that recruiters are catering to the wrong customers?

In this era of one-click shopping, same-day delivery, customer reviews, and social media, it’s time for companies to reimagine their hiring processes and create a world-class candidate experience that will keep them competitive.

When Candidates Become Customers

The “Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report” points out that as many as 80 percent of candidates will share a positive experience with their inner circle, defined as close friends, significant others or spouses, and colleagues. More than 60 percent will share negative experiences with the same group. Percentages decrease when it comes to social media, but they remain significant with 51 percent sharing positive experiences and 35 percent opening up about negative ones.

More importantly, though, according to CandE Awards research, nearly half of candidates who ranked their job seeker experience as one-star reported that they would take their alliance and product purchases elsewhere. For those with a five-star experience, almost three-quarters would not only apply to work at the company again, but they would also refer others and make purchases with the company when applicable — and 85 percent of these individuals weren’t even hired.

For HR professionals and recruiters, then, it’s vital to view your recruiting process as a revenue driver (or killer). Turn your candidates into loyal customers and brand advocates by implementing the following practical steps:

1. Treat Candidates Like Customers
Some of the most palpable qualities of an excellent candidate experience are speed, transparency, and communication. To do this effectively, show candidates at the outset what they can expect in their recruitment journey. Be upfront about what’s coming, how long it will take, and what they can expect at each step in the process. Candidates also want to be able to track this in real time (just like they can do when placing an order with Amazon, Wayfair, etc.) so they’re not left in the dark for weeks or months on end.

Johnson & Johnson is a prime example of a company doing this right. The organization highlights exactly what to expect during the application process and provides updates at each stage. It has also partnered with The Muse to provide helpful articles and resources to help candidates prepare and succeed at each step of the process.

2. Remove All Friction
Put yourself in your candidate’s shoes. Would you enjoy uploading a résumé only to then be asked to fill out a dozen more fields about your employment history? Then, why are you requiring so many non-essential steps to the application process? Cut out as much as you can and then watch your completion rates explode. For example, AT&T removed half of the fields on its application, and over the next two years, it experienced a 20 percent increase in the number of applicants.

Also, stop sending five emails back and forth just to synchronize your calendars. Instead, use a scheduling application like Calendly to make the process more efficient.

Lastly, reduce the number of interviews conducted. Each candidate doesn’t need to meet eight different people. In fact, Google conducted an exhaustive study and found that the magic number of interviews is four. Hiring managers who conduct four interviews will make the same decision at least 90 percent of the time as managers who conduct more than four. The key is to create a small team of experienced interviewers who have a proven ability to assess the intrinsic factors required for succeeding in a particular role within your organization.

3. Survey Candidates at Every Stage
The most effective way to learn how you can improve your candidate experience is by asking your customers about their journey at every step of the way. Ask them how long it took to complete the application or what they liked best about the interview process. Did they have an enjoyable on-site visit? What could be improved in the offer and negotiation stages? For a comprehensive list of questions, Talent Board is a great resource.

Finally, get an idea of each candidate’s overall satisfaction by determining his or her Net Promoter Score. To do this, ask how likely he or she is to recommend that a friend apply for a job with your company.

4. Close the Loop Quickly
Too many candidates never hear back from employers for months after applying, even when they’ve spent hours preparing their résumé, conducting interviews, taking time off work for an on-site visit, etc. That’s atrocious service and wildly disrespectful.

When you decide a candidate is not the right fit, contact him or her directly within 48 hours. To create advocates, go above and beyond the current status quo by providing honest feedback about why he or she wasn’t the best fit for the role. Sometimes the best way to do this is by simply highlighting the additional preferred experience that was lacking. Additionally, you could point the candidate toward resources that could close the skill gap, such as online courses, certificates, educational bootcamps, etc. Lastly, encourage him or her to apply again after applying your advice.

In this age of transparency and constant communication, organizations of the modern era must reinvent their recruitment processes to deliver world-class candidate experiences — or they’ll fall victims to those that do. Treat your hiring practice as a revenue generator. Your bottom line will thank you!

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Elias Promoted to Managing Partner

ST. LOUIS  – Jobplex, Inc. is pleased to announce that Steve Elias has been promoted to Managing Partner of the firm’s St. Louis office. During his 13 years in executive search at DHR International and Jobplex, Elias has successfully managed hundreds of mid to senior level placements for Fortune 1000 clients, private equity groups and growth businesses nationally.

Elias is known for listening to and seamlessly partnering with clients to serve as an extension of their business, as well as his ability to convert passive candidates quickly. He has been instrumental in the growth and success of the Jobplex brand since 2011. Elias has a very strong research and operations background after rising through the ranks at DHR both domestically and internationally, serving in markets such as Chicago, London and St. Louis.

Elias focuses on single search solutions and project recruitment for large scale hiring needs, almost always earning additional assignments when the need exists. He is the firm’s leader in project recruitment, having completed projects of ten placements or more for clients such as Post Foods, FleetPride (TPG Portfolio Company), Valerus Compression Services (TPG Portfolio Company), Enlivant (TPG Portfolio Company), Dine Brands Global, Gerdau, Envirotainer, Honeywell, Tempur-Sealy, and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).

“We are thrilled to promote Steve to Managing Partner of the St. Louis office; we are proud of his leadership and of the work he has done and continues to do at Jobplex and with DHR Partners. Steve consistently delivers results and has proven to be an invaluable leader and asset to the team” said Jobplex President, Justin Hirsch.

Prior to becoming Partner in 2011, Elias excelled as Executing Partner, where he worked alongside Chairman, David Hoffmann. Elias also served as senior associate and head of European internal recruiting based in London, UK. In this role he was responsible for all recruitment, search execution, management, and training for the London and Paris offices. Elias began his career at DHR in 2005 in Chicago.

Prior to joining DHR International, Elias was a sales representative for Xerox in Chicago. He holds a BSBA from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, where he received a degree in Marketing.

Established in 1996, Jobplex leads the recruiting industry in offering diversified search services for your company’s next generation executive leader. Our customized search offerings and performance-based fee structure provide solutions from a Single Search to Project Recruitment. For more information on Jobplex, visit www.jobplex.com.

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Salary History Bans Pose Challenges to Employers, Employees

As some states outlaw inquiries into salary histories of job candidates, Talent Economy explores reasons why and what employers should do.

At the beginning of 2018, California enacted a “salary privacy bill,” requiring that employers no longer ask potential job candidates about their salary history. Employers must also provide a salary range for a job when an applicant requests it.

Other cities and states already have versions of this law; asking for salary histories is illegal in New York City, New Orleans, Oregon and Puerto Rico. By July of 2018, it will also be the case in Massachusetts and San Francisco. Philadelphia has similar laws, but its Chamber of Commerce brought up legal challenges based on alleged violations of First Amendment rights.

The aim of these laws is to reduce the gender pay gap that is prevalent between men and women. According to the United States Census Bureau, women made 80.5 cents for every $1 men made in the U.S. in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, when controlling for those who worked full time annually. This is improving for young workers ages 25 to 34, according to Pew Research Center. In 1980, the wage gap among this group was .67:1, improving to .9:1 in 2015. Still, there is work to be done.

“If you ask a candidate about their past history, you could potentially base their current or future pay on what they were paid in the past,” said Angela Preston, senior vice president and counsel for corporate ethics and compliance at New York City-based Sterling Talent Solutions, a background screening company. “If they had a wage gap or a pay gap, it could perpetuate that wage gap and lead to wage discrimination.”

With bans on asking job candidates for salary history, what will be the results and challenges for employers and employees?

Winners and Losers in the Law

Many forces are at play here, but experts agree that employees stand to benefit most from these laws.

“I certainly think it benefits candidates coming in and starting with a level playing field,” Preston said. Job searchers will feel empowered to not have to answer certain questions that could put them at a disadvantage in terms of pay. Also, candidates will see a focus away from salary and more on their qualifications, Preston said. Requirements of the job and the market for those skills will be the basis for salaries.

Employers, however, will face greater challenges in negotiating wages and pleasing their future staffers.

“While the spirit of the law is noble, and I understand the intention, I think the danger here is if you use salary as an equality number, what’s going to happen is it’s not going to transfer very well,” said Russ Riendeau, partner at Jobplex Inc., an executive search firm based in Chicago. Without a number in mind, it’s hard for a company to determine the value of a person in a job. “It seems fair that I would want to know what your history of success is. If I’m going to invest in you, I’m getting good value for my investment.”

Additionally, it’s hard for employers to negotiate with potential hires. “If I don’t know what you made, how do I know where to begin?” Riendeau asked. Without being able to verify salaries via references, as outlawed in New York City, job candidates could lie about their salary and exploit the business, Riendeau said. Furthermore, companies don’t want to insult candidates by starting with too low of a salary.

Employers like to use applicants’ current salary to eliminate their candidate pool at both ends of the spectrum, both at the highest and lowest salaries, said Hassan Enayati, research associate at the Institute for Compensation Studies, Industrial Labor Relations School at Cornell University. Candidates with very low salaries might be perceived as less qualified, while individuals with very high salaries could be viewed as unattainable. “Then, the employer can use the knowledge of a candidate’s salary history to offer a wage high enough to attract the candidate but less than the maximum wage the employer is willing to pay for that position,” he said. Without a salary history, this process becomes more difficult.

Responsibilities of Employers, Employees

One of the main concerns facing employers is how to remain compliant, especially when a company operates in multiple states or jurisdictions, Sterling’s Preston said. For example, in New York, it’s acceptable to ask about salary expectations, but this is not lawful in California. If a person volunteers their salary information, it’s OK for employers to use the information in California, but not in Oregon.

“If you’re an employer, and you are doing business in both New York and California, you have some very different requirements,” Preston said. She encourages clients to look at these rules at a high level to see what universal changes to make that will be applicable across multiple jurisdictions.

To avoid legal troubles, Preston advises that business leaders do the following:

  1. Train hiring managers and staff on the laws and differences by location.
  2. Remove salary questions from the job applications.
  3. Take salary questions out of the reference-checking process. If the company has a standard question list for reference checking, remove questions of salary, commission and bonuses.
  4. Document the process. Whatever changes the company has made to policies should be noted. If the company has hired contractors doing interviewing, be sure to have the restrictions documented in agreements. And if interviews are in-house, take notes and be sure to document the nature of the questions and how applicants respond, “so that you do have proof in the event that you’re challenged,” Preston said.

While much of the onus is on employers, applicants will need to be educated as well. They should know what questions are appropriate where they’re looking for work, Preston said. Additionally, if an employer can’t ask about bonuses or commissions, the onus is going to be on the applicant to say what they need or expect out of the job.

Jobplex’s Riendeau added that job candidates can also be advocates for themselves by presenting logical reasons for their worth. If they share ways they’re improving their skills and how they would help the company increase profits, they can negotiate higher salaries.

Results of Salary History Ban

Will the intention of these laws come to fruition?

Following the salary history ban in Massachusetts, PayScale conducted a survey of 15,413 job seekers to see if they disclosed their pay history during the interview process. As written in Harvard Business Review, PayScale found that if a woman was asked about her salary and refused to answer, she received 1.8 percent less than women who did disclose salaries. Men who refused to disclose salaries saw offers 1.2 percent higher than men who shared their history. This displays that salary history disclosures impact women differently than men.

“As with any data analysis, individual circumstances may vary, so it’s entirely possible that sometimes revealing your salary does negatively influence your offer,” wrote Lydia Frank, vice president of content strategy for PayScale, in the HBR piece. “However — at a macro level — that’s not typically what’s happening. These findings seem to undercut the whole premise of banning the salary history question in order to level the playing field for women when it comes to compensation.”

Additionally, with these new laws, there is a balancing act between employers and employees. Sterling’s Preston noted that risk of litigation has companies spooked and could have a chilling effect on their ability to bring in the best talent or negotiate salaries. Still, she remains hopeful.

“I think that the hope is that this all leads to a better work environment, a fair marketplace that is based actually on market data and that hiring decisions will be made based on the actual job requirements and skill level that’s required of the applicant,” Preston said.

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