Focus on quality and everything else will fall into place!

To the outsider, recruiting is nothing more than forwarding along a resume we received after placing an advertisement out on the internet. To those of you who have had the pleasure (sarcasm) of working inside of a recruiting agency - you know it is much, much more than simply placing an ad and emailing a profile. I wish it were that easy! There are so many steps: building a company brand, building web technology, implementing a database, placing thousands of ads, making connections with hundreds of candidates, countless hours of phone screens, checking references, formatting and proofreading resumes, sending out resumes, emails, calls, interview prep, numerous follow-ups, scheduling, post-interview follow ups, and the list goes on and on. The reality is that we spend thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours and often times we have nothing to show for it. That's the risk we take for the big reward.

Whether you place someone or not has nothing to do with the aforementioned steps. You will do those either way, trust me. Whether you place someone or not has everything to do with candidate quality. Yes, candidate quality. The one metric that can often times be hard to define, yet it means everything to the clients we serve.

In this week's recruiting rant I will try to distill the often ambiguous term "candidate quality" into four key areas. Here goes.

  1. Tenure. Full stop. I am listing this first for a reason. Job hopping is the #1 way to discredit yourself and your career. Employers believe if you have left employers in the lurch many times before, that you will do it again. And 9 times out of 10, they are right. Job hoppers continue to jump. They think they can stop doing it, but they can't say no to an extra dollar, or they have hidden behavioral or skill issues that are only revealed once on the job for a few months. Checking a solid reference or two will alleviate this...somewhat. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 5 years or more at each job demonstrates stability and reliability. Tenure also means if someone is resigning a valuable job, they are sacrificing something good for something better. That sacrifice leads to commitment. Job hoppers are always leaving something they deem worthless and therefore have very little invested in the role, thereby making the new role virtually worthless. A candidate can have everything else, but if they can't stick around when times get tough, they are not worth the paper their resume is written on. How to score Tenure on a 1 to 4 scale: 4 - All jobs over five years, awesome! 3 - Minimum of three to four years at each job, okay. 2 - Majority of jobs three years or less, bad. 1 - Very jumpy, stay away!
  2. Relevant Skill & Experience. This is somewhat self explanatory. How relevant are the person's skills and more importantly experiences to the position at hand? Did they complete projects? Were the budgets similar in size? Did the projects have the same building materials? Does the person know ProCore and P6? Screen the person heavily against the job description - you won't be disappointed you did! Here's how to score Relevant Skill & Experience on a 1 to 4 scale: 4 - Perfect fit, has all (or almost all) of the requested criteria! 3 - 50-75% Skill Match, pretty good. 2 - Less than a 50% skill match, proceed with caution. 1 - No Relevant Skill/Entry-Level, strongly recommend against.
  3. Brand Names. Brands are everywhere and we buy them because we trust the product behind the brand. In this case we trust the training, processes, and management behind the company brand. We trust that the employee we are hiring has been trained and managed well by their former employer. Having an employee who has previously worked for strong brands will give them the pedigree necessary to operate at high level in your organization. Conversely, if you see a resume full of companies you have never heard of, often times (not always) that person has not had the exposure to the same training, processes, and most importantly scale that will be necessary to navigate their next job. Brands matter and if you say they don't, it is most likely because you don't have them.???? Here's how to score Brand on a 1 to 4 scale: 4 - Every brand known, impressive! 3 - Most brands known, pretty good. 2 - Maybe one reputable company. Eh. 1 - All companies unknown. Run!
  4. Location. This is last for a reason. It's last because a relocation solves this one...most of the time. Most of the time, if someone moves, its fine. But everyone can agree it is not ideal. Relocations go wrong. Housing issues, new schools for the kids can be an issue, or heck, maybe the person doesn't like the traffic of Atlanta, the heat of Miami, or the constant rain of Seattle. Your ideal (not necessarily best) candidate will always be the down the street, will love the company location and have a nice commute into the office. Whether they work remote or not, proximity matters! Here's how to score Location on a 1 to 4 scale: 4 - Local, perfect! 3 - In-State/Area, strongly consider! 2 - Regional, proceed with caution. 1 - National/International Relocation, they better be "all fours" otherwise!

Then, for a more impartial method, instead of using boilerplate terminology like "they are great" or my personal favorite "rockstar", you can use a discrete algorithm to score and thereby present your candidate based on facts, not feelings. As Ben Shapiro so famously said "Facts don't care about your feelings". In the overly emotional world in which we live, being objective and impartial with each and every candidate, based on the criteria above, will serve you well and you will thereby command respect from your peers and competitors alike - based solely on your recruiting prowess and pellucid objectivity.

About ME: I'm a Construction Management recruiter, and CEO of Hire10 ( based in Winter Park, FL. If you are hiring or are a job seeker for Construction Management, Architecture, or Engineering - we would love to help you! Please don't hesitate to reach out and get the conversation started. We can talk business, recruiting, life, or whatever you like! EMAIL:

IF you are a recruiter looking for a new home and you want to be treated with respect, managed like an executive, and to gain access to our prestigious 65 billion dollar client list, reach out to me personally. If you can figure out how to get me on the phone, you have passed the first gauntlet of the interview. Good luck!