Old school hiring practice “at work”

Was looking to replace a technical manager for my website.

Used a tech job board where you can view the candidate’s resume along with the types of jobs they completed with ratings given by past customers.

These tech girls/guys are independent contractors and work by the job and/or hourly fee. The job board earns a % of what the employer (me) pays the contractor.

Received a bunch of candidates within a couple of days after posting my ad – all had high ratings and job completion rates.

Sounds good right…if everything written is true.

So I practiced what I preach requesting references from each glowing candidate including a contact name and email address.

The majority of candidates responded that everything I needed to know was right at my finger tips listed on their profile page including former project completion, rates and customer reviews*. No need to bother former customers with inquiries from potential employers like me. I’d say maybe 10% of the applicants (3) who applied to my job gave me references. Of those three, one former customer was surprised he was being used as a reference (from this particular candidate) and eager to speak to me by phone.

His surprise peaked my interest.

We talked the very next day. After exchanging introductions and niceties and the conversation kinda went like: I’m surprised Ben (the tech candidate) gave me as a reference because frankly he didn’t do a great job. Ben’s ok for basic work but anything more advanced like app design or writing code forget it – he’s not very good.

Toward the end of our conversation I thanked the Jerry (the reference) for his time and feedback and then asked “…have you used any techs from this site who are good? Yes! Let’s look up his name together on the job board to make sure you get the right guy.”

It was my lucky day and I fortunately asked the right question.

Since then I’ve used Ben multiple times. He’s done a “bang-up” job at a fraction of the cost I was paying my former tech guy.

Point is employing “old school” recruiting methods like picking up the phone and chatting with references is just as valuable today as it was back in the day **.

Not only did I avoid a headache by hiring a sub par candidate l actually found a winner.

Another point.

In today’s world we have technology that often does the busy work for us like ratings and rankings (i.e. Amazon product reviews) sometimes called social proof. I don’t always trust reviews provided by the very same job boards and companies who will profit from my sale. If another source avails itself to help me make a smarter decision, business or personal, I’m going to use it …regardless of whether its “trendy” or not.

If judging a candidate by measures like a solid handshake, eye contact, good phone skills, manners, ability to ask questions and show interest in my company during an interview, thinking before speaking etc. is considered “old school” then I’ll gladly wear the label.

If you’re a little old school too and looking to fill a club position, consider using our Target Search service.

Where vintage recruiting meets technology!

Say your club needs a Chef or Membership Director. We’ll contact just about every qualified candidate actively employed, starting locally and moving our way through out the state, and apprise them of your opportunity via email. It’s tedious work, yet creates results.

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*Beware of customer ratings – I dug a little deeper and found out that tech candidate ratings can be skewed by customers since the customers themselves are rated by the techs and if given low enough ratings, no-one decent will work with the company seeking help. 

**Some club policies do not allow the release of a previous employee’s information. At a minimum, most will provide start and end dates and position titles. If you are not able to get the information you are seeking, you can ask the candidate to provide another reference.