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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Job References Real Calls vs. Automation

All companies expect job references, aka professional and employment references to be conducted prior to making an offer of employment or shortly thereafter. Nine times out of ten these are pre-determined references provided by the candidate. Some may well include former bosses, former or current colleagues, and industry references.

That is the real question. Many of these are in fact “personal relationships” where the person(s) providing the employment references will give a glowing reference (call it pre-defined or pre-arranged) that is neither spontaneous and often times misleading. Since I am obligated to deliver a short list of candidates, I do not wait for a pending offer to conduct employment references and comprehensive background checks.

Don’t Use Outdated Process for Job References

 

 

In the 21st century, we live in a constantly moving and increasingly social media world.  Employees’ reputations – both professional and personal – can impact a company’s corporate image, affect how they are viewed by customers and vendors, and can project either a positive or negative social image of the company.  With that in mind, the employment verification call that includes employment references aka job references directly from Human Resources or the supervisor of said former employee is useless fodder.

job-referencesSame goes for accepting verbatim without question those provided by the candidate as they are so often former colleagues who are great friends unwilling to look past a biased lense. After identifying a target list of potential candidates through my Rolodex, networking, and referrals, I conduct one to two pre-screening interviews with the objective of understanding the motivations, skills/experience, and accomplishments of those potential candidates. If I am satisfied, they move forward to deeper interviews on my candidate shortlist.

 

Use Behavioral Analysis Prior to Making Job References Calls

 

 

I have the potential shortlisted candidates take an online 10 minute behavioral survey. This customized testing produces a Behavioral Analysis on a candidate’s motivations, values, decision making traits, aptitudes, communications style, and whether they are a Natural Fit with the team AND the role.Once armed with that analysis, I have sufficient data needed to conduct professional job references calls that are relevant to the role itself. Most search firms simply accept employment references provided solely by the candidates.

What I ask from each candidate is for two each of the following current or former (within last 5 years) by name, phone, email, title, and relationship as follows:  superiors/managers they reported to, subordinates that reported to them, internal customers in their respective positions, external customers, peers or colleagues (professional references NOT like any of the above), and personal and/or community go one step further in validating the list of these employment job references requested of the candidates.

I research, identify, and cold call former internal/external customers, colleagues, and vendors that were NOT supplied. These validate the professional references the candidate provided while at the same time reveal the best unscripted job references possible.There are a growing number of companies who save time by automating job references checks.

Some are pre-defined standard Human Resources types of questions. Others allow you to add your own questions for professional references checking. Thee system sends out emails, the contacts answer the questions online, and you get the results.The problem here is that the human factor does not exist. You cannot hear and ask additional questions based upon what you actually hear and perceive, as well as lacks ability to build a relationship with these professional employment job references.  The truth is that I gain new relationships, fresh perspectives, and sometimes additional retained searches by conducting professional job reference calls the best way possible.

 

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Articles Leadership - Ethics

Meaningful Conversations Proper Email Marketing

Email has become a means for swift communication. In the world of business, it is crucial to open meaningful conversations to old and new clients. The usage of email has opened an essential route for marketers looking to invite, employ, and maintain their clients and prospects. This method of marketing has become quite challenging and competitive.

Companies need to know what their clients think and through email marketing they can reach out to the right marketing niche. Email has given the advantage of reaching out to numerous clients without the need for expensive production costs such as printing pamphlets, television commercials, and radio advertisements. Maintaining a healthy email marketing list is made to specifically target the right niche and sending them customized emails that fit what they want to see and what they are interested in. These meaningful conversations also help in promoting company reputation.

Simply sending out emails is not enough. When establishing good rapport with customers, marketers should know how to keep the line open and cordial. Communication does not mean that only one party is heard, but also the other. Sending out marketing emails should not just be about the company, but also the clients and prospects.

Clients, after all, are the most integral part of business; their feedback on customer service can determine how well the company would do in the future.

Email marketing should not be one-sided; it should always focus on meaningful conversations that attempt to open to customers, give them the choice to respond and allow their experiences to be shared to other networks as well.

Meaningful Conversations in Email

 

The audience of email marketing is vital. Marketers need to know who they are speaking to and how these people would like to be addressed.  Personalizing marketing emails and crafting them to show that the audience is not talking to a machine, but to an actual person, lets them know that they are heard and their feedback is appreciated, and are even implemented into the company. This will increase rapport and allow current clients to share their experiences with the company, which will open to new prospects.

Meaningful Conversations begin at Email Subject Line

 

Composing a catchy subject line is also an important part in opening a profound interaction. Usually, people would just scroll through their inboxes, not giving much thought for promotional emails. They are more focused in emails that are more personal. Marketers can get an idea from this habit. When marketing emails are fashioned to be addressed in a personal manner, customers are more compelled to open and read them. It piques their interest and attention. Not only that, it gives them the thought that there is a listening ear to what they want.

meaningful-conversations-through-emailAmong list of recipients means that there are many personalities that is addressed to. Email marketing may tend to derail with what is the initial focus due to its mindset onto building lists and sending out numerous updates.

Though this is a good method for promoting branding, it should never forget to understand about their customers’ stages of purchasing. It is also important to have that appeal with customers with regards to their purchasing rhythm. Not all the time customers have the finances to purchase goods or employ services regularly. Timing of these emails is important.

Deepening the rapport with customers with great content makes marketing emails interesting to read. Great content in addition to customization makes customers eager to open up their emails and strike a conversation with their marketers.

Knowing what customers want and what they need gives insight on what businesses need to promote and improve. Nurturing customer-company relationships with meaningful conversations will help with company success.