Don’t Try to Hire the Perfect Candidate

There is an old joke about the guy who spent years and years looking for the perfect woman.  Finally he found her.  Sadly for him, she was looking for the perfect man.

As recruiters we see this happen all too often when companies have a long list of things they expect from candidates, but then a look at the company or the job being offered has shortcomings that would not allow them to attract and retain such “perfect” employees.

Too often hiring managers spend months attempting to find this perfect employee, which is next to impossible. Instead, they should be focusing on finding people who will do both a good job and work well inside of their businesses. Unfortunately, most businesses approach hiring the wrong way and are either left with a lot of vacancies or employees that just don’t fit in.

The worst thing that employers can do is just leave a job opening unfilled while hoping to one day find the perfect person to fill it. In reality, the perfect candidate that they are looking for is either already working somewhere else or just doesn’t exist!

The reality is that the very best of the best find jobs in no time, so they aren’t the type who will be going on many interviews. They get the jobs that they want and then dozens or even hundreds of other businesses are left out in the cold. Well, not really because the fact is that there are plenty of people who can do the job well and often fit in with the company better.

Hiring managers also have a budget to work with, which means that the perfect candidates are often not going to agree to what the company wants to pay anyway.  This doesn’t mean that businesses have to hire less-than-adequate employees; they just have to be realistic when they start their searches.

If you are on the hunt for a great employee, there are steps that you can take to make sure that recruiting and hiring is done at a top level. Below are some of the things you can do to make sure that you are getting the most out of the hiring process:

 Develop a Hiring Strategy
It doesn’t matter if you have all of your jobs filled right now or not, you have to know exactly how you are going to go about finding future employees now if you want the process to go smoothly. The tops businesses always know how they are going to seek out candidates, so you have to have a plan of your own for when the time comes. The worst thing you can do is try to just wing it when you are desperate for new staff.

Put More Emphasis on Training
By training employees the right way, you don’t have to worry as much about recruiting future candidates because you will be able to retain more of your staff. Employees are happier at their jobs when they fully understand what they are supposed to do and how they can help the company.

When it comes to training recruiters, they will know what they need to be looking for, so there aren’t too many wasted hours searching for people who wouldn’t fit in well anyway. Everyone in the company, new and old, should know what the goals for the business are so each department can work together and really feel like they are a team.

Don’t Worry About Cost:
If you want to find great employees without having to find the perfect one, you have to be willing to pay whatever it costs to get out the word.  To get noticed by candidates, they will need to find you, so pay recruiters so they can spread the word about your job openings. This will both speed up the process and up your chances of finding fantastic candidates.
If you do have a low budget, do all you can with the money that you do have available to give yourself the best shot at finding great people to work with you. Recruiting and hiring is a major part of every business, so be sure that you do have funds to work with in this area.

 Recruiters Need to Do More
Recruiters are also known as head hunters because they would go out and find new employees like their lives depended on it.  Find a company who will give your job openings the attention they deserve.  A good staffing agency will do a good job of matching the best person to the job, not just throwing candidates your way and hoping to get lucky.   They also need to feel the pressure that you want the right person for the job found and you want them quickly.

Know the Job Market
One of the worst things businesses can do is throw up job ads all over the place without knowing how much interest there is at the present moment. It should be a team effort to find out what the interest is right now so you know how many man hours should be going into the search. Recruiters and hiring managers need to always be on the same page so that there is an understanding of what can and can’t be done.

Doing the things above will give you a much better shot at finding new employees that will do a great job for you even though they might not have been the “perfect” candidate.


What with all the new developments regarding the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form, your clients might ask if they could see the I-9s you have on file for the associates you have working with their company. And while your instinct is surely to make the client happy, this is one time you really want to tell them “no.”

Why? The short answer is: because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says so, and you probably don’t want to get on their bad side. The longer answer involves educating your clients about co-employment.


Legally, clients are deemed “co-employers” with staffing firms for several aspects of the employment relationship – generally based on their sharing control of the supervisory employment relationship and the work environment. However, that shared control doesn’t apply to meeting federal regulations for hiring, one of which is employment eligibility, the territory of the I-9.

This is actually a benefit for your clients: your company bears the responsibility of making sure the associate is legally authorized to work in the United States. But it’s a risk for you, because it means you would bear any fines and penalties for incorrect or fraudulent I-9 forms.


We recommend that every staffing firm use E-Verify for all their hires. (Depending on your state, you might be required to use it.) E-Verify’s high rate of accuracy means you can essentially guarantee that every associate you send to work is eligible to work in the U.S. However, the DHS specifies that E-Verify information can only be used or even viewed by individuals who are authorized to check employment eligibility, and it forbids sharing E-Verify information with third parties – i.e., your clients.

Your clients likely conduct internal I-9 audits every year, as recommended, and they’d probably like those audits to include associates from your firm. One way to satisfy their desire for I-9 compliance information is to conduct your own I-9 audits on your associates once a year, if not more frequently. Then you can provide your clients with a copy of their current associate placement list and your audit findings.

You want to keep your clients happy, of course, but we bet you’d like to keep the Department of Homeland Security happy even more.

BarryStaff Inc.- Top 5 staffing agency

BarryStaff Inc. in top 5 staffing companies list Ranked by Local full-time employees

Sorted by number of full-time employees. Data from organizations listed. Information current as of June 2013. For more information contact Jane Applegate at (937) 528-4423 or e-mail her at
Rank Company Local full-time employees sample of benefits offered some industries served sample of services top local official

1 Staffmark
10 Prestige Plaza
Miamisburg, OH 45342
937-428-4250 47 Health, dental, vision and term life insurance, short-term disability, paid holidays, tenure bonuses, 401(k), direct deposit, referral bonuses, corporate discounts Office, clerical, light industrial, engineering, IT, skilled trades, accounting, finance Executive search, temp-to-hire, direct hire, temporary, onsite staffing Carla McKelvey, senior vice president

2 Manpower of Dayton Inc.
3075 Governor’s Place Blvd.
Kettering, OH 45409
937-293-0081 45 DND Health care, IT, customer service centers, manufacturing, logistics Placement, recruitment, assessment, training, outsourcing, consulting Thomas Maher, president, chief executive officer

3 Patrick Staffing Inc.
1200 E. Second St., Suite D
Franklin, OH 45005
937-743-0708 32 holiday pay, vacation pay, health insurance, dental and vision coverage, short term disability, term life insurance. Manufacturing, assembly, administrative Temporary and permanent placement, on-site staffing management Kelly McCool, vice president

4 BarryStaff Inc.
22 S. Jefferson St.
Dayton, OH 45402
937-461-9732 18 Vacation, holiday pay, health insurance Automotive, plastic molding, packaging, assembly Temporary-to-hire, direct placement, onsite management Doug Barry, president

5 Thinkpath Engineering Services LLC
9080 Springboro Pike, Suite 300
Miamisburg, OH 45342
937-291-8374 13 DND DND DND Robert Trick, president, chief operating officer


I recently interviewed an excellent candidate for a position at a growing start-up business. The woman had an incredible resume, an infectious personality, and, seemingly, a great work ethic. She was dressed for success, with a style fitting our culture. She answered all of my questions well, and seemed like a potential excellent fit for our company. Yet, despite all of this, she didn’t receive another interview, and I absolutely couldn’t seriously consider hiring her. What went wrong?

When I asked her what questions she had for me, the job candidate replied, “None, really. I’ve been following you guys online for awhile and feel like I know everything already.”

That was a fatal error, of course. By not asking questions, she told me she wasn’t truly interested in learning more, in creating value, and in our company. I couldn’t hire an otherwise very-well-qualified candidate because, in her lack of questions, she displayed a lack of passion for, interest in, and curiosity about our company and the position.

The most important thing you must do in every interview is to ask great questions.

The key is to ask great questions- not to ask questions that you should know the answers to already (“What does the position entail?) or questions that make it all about you (“What is your vacation policy?”)

Here are 9 great questions you can use or make your own on your next job interview. Obviously they’re generic and should be tailored based on circumstances:

1) Who would make the ideal candidate for this position?

2) How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the organization’s mission?

3) What were the best things about the last person who held this position?

4) What are three ways I can contribute to the company beyond the job description?

5) How can I best contribute to the department’s goals?

6) How do you see me best contributing to the corporate culture and morale?

7) What do you see as the biggest challenges of working here and how can I overcome those challenges?

8) What is your vision for where the company or department will be in one year? In 3-5 years?

9) How can I best help you and the team succeed?

Of course, the more research you do in advance, the more you can ask specific questions about the company’s recent news, blog posts, product launches, plans, etc. But here’s the bottom line:

Ask questions that demonstrate genuine interest in the organization and how you can fit in to their success.

Remember, also, job interviewing is a two-way-street! By asking questions, you can get a much better sense of the organization you’re interviewing at, and the extent to which you’d even want to work there.

An interview is just like a date. A date is a two way street– where both parties are seeing if tis a right fit. The dater who talks and talks, even if they’re a good match, seems disinterested in the other person. It’s the same with interviewing. Show that you are invested and interested in the person, by asking questions.

When job seekers come in with not only great answers, but with great questions, I get excited about the prospects of hiring them. And hopefully, they can get some great answers from us, and get excited about the prospects of working there as well.


Even Smart People Can Blow an Interview

Yes, even the smartest folks can make a mistake when it comes to the job interview. After all, how many people do you know who interview for a living?  Most people have skills and abilities that make them qualified for their job but the interview is something that rears it’s ugly head between those jobs.  And, yes, smart people can blow it, too.  By knowing some of the top ways that even the smartest among us have crashed and burned at an interview, maybe you can avoid these pitfalls and come out clutching a job offer.

The job interview is one of the most crucial components of a job search. In these lean economic times of long-term unemployment and sparse interview opportunities, it can be a make-or-break situation.

With so much at stake, you’d think job seekers would be at their best when they get that rare chance to meet a prospective employer. But many intelligent job seekers don’t know, or don’t think they need to know, the most basic rules of good interviewing, leading to unnecessary disasters.

One job applicant’s blunder, however, is another’s opportunity.  Job interviewing may not be easy, but it’s also not rocket science.  It requires a combination of preparation and common sense. Just knowing the 10 most common ways intelligent job seekers blow their interviews will give you a step up in this ultracompetitive job market:

1. Plan? Who me?  Many job seekers begin a job search without much advance thought, perhaps due to a recent unpleasant workplace event or a desire to make more money. The absence of a clear-cut professional career plan will be apparent to an alert employer, however, who will judge you as lacking commitment or as simply unsuitable. Even worse, a less observant employer may hire you for the position, which may lead to your entering the wrong next chapter of your career. Know yourself and your fundamental goals before even thinking about a job search.

2. Research is a waste of time: Not all companies are alike, and even when they are, employers prefer to believe they’re different and special. In fact, many will ask you what you know about the company and the position for which you’re interviewing. Try to bluff your way through that question and the interview will be over, even if you haven’t realized it yet. You can avoid that dilemma by thoroughly researching the company and job responsibilities ahead of time. That will ensure your ability to come up with a unique and convincing answer.

3. Preparation?  Who needs it?:  You’re a bright person and fast on your feet, right? And who knows about your experience better than you, right? So why prepare? Because if you don’t, you’re going to blow it. There’s a difference between knowing something and being able to articulate that information in a concise and engaging manner. Even experienced attorneys who know their cases inside and out will rehearse before they make a final argument to a jury. Smart politicians who know their positions cold will nevertheless prepare for important appearances. Your career — and your future — is worth the same amount of effort.

4. Dress like a mess:  Dress codes in the workplace have taken a dramatic turn toward the informal. That has prompted many a job seeker to assume that “business casual” attire will be just fine for an interview. An employer who pays undue attention to superficial matters such as dress doesn’t deserve you anyway, right? Wrong. Dress for an interview as you would for an important meeting, which translates into a suit or jacket and tie for men and the equivalent for women. Even if your interviewer is wearing a Hawaiian shirt and teases you about your attire, he will understand that you suited up as a gesture of respect and are someone who values the opinion of others. In other words, it doesn’t hurt to overdress.

5. Important people are fashionably late:  Many otherwise smart job candidates make the mistake of viewing an interview as just another appointment. That mindset tempts them to take the last-minute phone call or gamble that the traffic won’t be any heavier than usual. And if you’re just a few minutes late, what’s the big deal, because it shows you’re a busy, important person, right? Wrong. Lack of punctuality is almost always fatal to a candidate’s prospects, however qualified she may be and however compelling her excuse for being late. If you’re more than one minute late to an interview, you will probably not get the job. The lesson: Plan your commute so that you arrive in the reception area seven to 10 minutes before the interview.

6. Be a pain in the neck in the reception area:  All job interviews start in the reception area. Receptionists serve as the eyes and ears of the employer. In fact, they’re often sought out by the interviewers after the candidate has left to learn how he behaved before the meeting. So feel free to be rude to the receptionist. Have that nasty cellphone conversation with the client who isn’t paying you. Catch up on your dental flossing while you’re waiting. Just don’t plan on returning.

7. Ask about pay and benefits right away:  Compensation is almost always one of the key factors an employer or job seeker considers in deciding whether to extend or accept a job offer. So it seems perfectly logical to ask the interviewer how much the position pays. After all, why waste everyone’s time if you and the employer are in completely different ballparks? Unfortunately, there are some aspects of job interviews in which social convention trumps common sense, and salary is one of them. A job applicant’s question about compensation is one of the reasons most frequently cited by employers for rejecting candidates. So keep your curiosity in check until you get a job offer.

8. Don’t ask questions:   There’s one thing worse than asking bad questions during an interview: not asking any questions. Many otherwise intelligent job seekers opt not to ask questions during a job interview, even when invited to do so. Ask them why, and they’ll tell you they wanted to make a good impression by showing respect for the interviewer and her time. The result, unfortunately, will be exactly the opposite. Employers view job seekers who fail to ask any or more than a few perfunctory questions as lacking interest, enthusiasm or intellectual curiosity. Do your preparation, and walk into the interview with at least 10 open-ended, substantive questions about the company and position.

9. Wing-it when answering questions:  Job interviews can be as unique as the people and opportunities involved. Still, certain difficult questions come up often. They vary from the straightforward, such as why you’re seeking to leave your current job and how much money you’re seeking, to the annoying, such as what your weaknesses are, to the truly challenging, such as to describe a recent disagreement you had with a supervisor or co-worker and how you resolved it. You may be the glibbest individual to walk the face of the earth, but fail to plan your answers to the most common and challenging interview questions and you will blow your opportunity. Savvy, intelligent job candidates may in fact need less preparation than their competitors but will prepare twice as hard.

10. Tell amusing (to you) war stories:  In the classic comedy movie “Airplane,” the movie’s hero, an airplane passenger on a long flight, insists on telling his long and boring life story to his seatmate. When we next see his companion, she is a skeleton. That’s a good image to keep in mind when you go on a job interview. One of the key characteristics of successful people in today’s busy, short-attention-span world is the ability to communicate in a clear and crisp manner. Insist on telling war stories or giving super-detailed answers to simple questions, and you may find yourself talking to a skeleton. Opt instead to bone up on your communication skills so that you’ll be prepared to answer any question, however complex, in 40 to 60 seconds.