Navigating Talent Acquisition During the Great Resignation

Dave: Welcome to Bring Out The Talent, the podcast featuring learning and development experts discussing innovative approaches and industry insights. Tune in to hear our talent, and help develop yours. Now, here is your hosts, TTA CEO and President Maria Melfa, and talent manager Jocelyn Allen.

Maria Melfa: Hi everyone. Thank you for joining us today. This is Maria.

Jocelyn Allen: Hi, it’s Jocelyn we’re back for another episode. This one should be a really fun one. Maria. I’m excited about it.

Maria Melfa: We’re so excited to have two of our TTA employees join us today who run our direct hire division, Bryan Dick and Steve Miln, and they will be talking about the benefits and challenges of talent acquisition. While the economy is attempting to recover, the number of jobs still available has been a cause of concern for many employers, the [00:01:00] federal reserve chairman Jerome Powell recently pointed out.

There were 1.7 plus job openings for every unemployed person. According to the latest data from the labor department, there are over 11 million job openings in total, in addition to the slow return to work, millions of Americans have also retired early in the last two years. With the ever-present need for employees, what options do organizations have when it comes to talent acquisition today? To help us dive into recruiting and talent acquisition. Again, we are joined by TTA’s direct hire division, Bryan Dick and Steve Miln with over 20 years of combined experience in this field. This dynamic duo will provide us firsthand insight into the ins and outs and the benefits of direct hire. Welcome, Bryan and Steve.

Steve Miln: Thank [00:02:00] you.

Jocelyn Allen: What a team. I love having everybody on site today to talk about our direct hire division. You guys work magic together. I know you guys have been working together for a long time, so we wanted to put a little different spin on learning and development today, by talking about what you guys know about the climate right now, and how direct hire can help organizations fill the gaps that they have– that so many of them have with the current culture of things.

Steve, can you tell us how talent acquisition has changed over the last 10 years or so?

Steve Miln: Sure. And there are really a lot of answers that can go into this probably its own 30 minutes segment. But in previous years, we’re talking before LinkedIn, before smart smartphones, talent acquisition consisted of finding a vacancy, putting out a job advertisement, farming candidates, screening them, and negotiating an offer almost seems like an easy process, right?

The biggest change with how talent acquisition has been handled over the last decade is really technology backing up even further to two decades. People were [00:03:00] using landline phones, home numbers, newspapers, and faxes to locate talent. Now we’re supplied with cell phones that are essentially the computer instant messaging, LinkedIn, which has different platforms built within that.

Sales have a sales navigator, recruiting premium, et cetera, and other forms of social media. A lot of people use Twitter and Facebook for this too, but that’s given us access to a pool of candidates that was never thought possible before. We can literally communicate with someone across the globe with the click of a button, also websites like your Indeeds Glassdoor CareerBuilder.

They’ve been around for some time, but they’re constantly evolving and help recruiting. The recruiting experience becomes easier to navigate as far as engaging. And interviewing talent. We’re no longer tied or held to, phone onsite meetings platforms like zoom teams and WebEx have been around for some time.

But especially over the last two years, they become the norm for interacting in a corporate environment, which includes talent acquisition. This has allowed [00:04:00] remote work to become more viable than ever. Another substantial change in talent acquisition over the last decade has been the new generation of the workforce.

10, 20, even 30 years ago. It was almost written in stone that if you find a job, you work hard at it. You grow within it. You work 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and maybe just maybe a new opportunity comes across your desk. Bring up something that you saw in the paper or a friend and a family member works at another company close by that has an opening.

The new generation. We can call it the millennial generation can now get on their cell phones and find 10 new jobs that are hiring and looking for their experience. And they can engage with the touch of their thoughts. It makes it a lot easier. Opens it up to a lot more different things that haven’t been out there possible in the past.

That same generation has come to know the flexible work schedule of nine to five is still very common, but many companies that we’re speaking with have their core hours and allow flexibility on start and stop time. The mind frame is almost as long as you get your work done on time and do it efficiently [00:05:00] do it when you’re able to.

We’re also seeing core four meeting hours. For example, I’m working with a company right now that holds meetings only between eight 30 and 1:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, nothing else. And that’s an effort to really maximize productivity and capitalize on time management. Another change that I’ll mention.

Is that we’ve seen this occur, since the pandemic is the increased need for specialized recruiting support due to a skill shortage, times have changed and jobs aren’t very generalized. I don’t think they ever really were in a sense, but now more than ever. We’re seeing and hearing from companies who don’t know enough about the grand scale of learning and development to find what they require on their own.

Maria Melfa: Wow. What innovation and the recruiting industry over the last many years, Bryan, how have you seen this change since COVID?

Bryan Dick: Yeah, I’ve seen it good and bad. I would say from the pandemic there are a lot of clients that adapted very well to the pandemic. And then there were some clients that didn’t know how to adapt to the pandemic.

And that was [00:06:00] a. A fun, fun recruiting year. And I think that it was more of a conversation and educating the clients on what we do and finding, specialized candidates for, for our clients or just their needs. And it’s, it’s a little bit different now because I think a lot of candidates look at the quality of life now, right.

With the pandemic. I think a lot of people are really into their health now and they, understand that they don’t want to be in a stressful job and there are other things out there. And I think that the biggest thing out there right now would be a lot of jobs are remote. So a lot of folks have.

Options, they, if they’re located in Florida, they could work on, the west coast or, any time zone to be honest. And there’s a lot of flexibility out there right now. So candidates do have a lot of options. And that leads me to the next point where TA TA sometimes doesn’t understand that candidates have other options on the table, not just theirs, and that’s something that we have to understand that the market is the market.

It’s going to move. In the [00:07:00] fact that there are more remote jobs out there, it’s going to be even more competitive. The TA departments that adapt to it that can put some urgency on it that can, understand the market and understand, we need to add the talent. That’s, that’s where it is.

It’s the conversation of adapting through this. There’s a lot of companies that have, and there’s a lot of companies that haven’t you’re going to see probably have already the great resignation. And that is something that’s well-known right now in TA and HR and things like that. It’s, that’s a popular term now and that’s because candidates have options, people are, unfortunately leaving for different roles, maybe try new things and, have other options where maybe in maybe four or five years ago, they didn’t have that option to do that.

So I think it’s it’s one of those things that companies are adapting to, but, just kind of guide

Steve Miln: them in the right direction.

Jocelyn Allen: It’s interesting. A couple of the points that you both brought up because I think it comes down to really the general overarching change that’s happened right now is really in kind of the candidate’s hands.

Like it’s in the job seekers’ hands right [00:08:00] now. And the power that that position gives you is. It gives you the ability to decide what is important. It’s no longer necessarily the salary all the time. It’s about what they’re doing in their job that makes them happy. That makes them feel fulfilled. That gives them great mental health and self-awareness right.

So I’m seeing more and more as a recruiter and the job descriptions that people are providing, some of the call-outs are more about the flexibility of the schedule. The time off that you’re provided the opportunities that you have to seek out more because of a remote or a hybrid schedule.

So yeah, you’re seeing a lot of different trends in what really is supposed to attract a candidate and some organizations start to kind of change how they market their openings because of it. So, yeah, I’m seeing a lot of what you guys talk about just in, just even on LinkedIn in general and how people are marketing their space.

Maria Melfa: Yes, that is very interesting. And from an employer’s point of view, I can see why, and I certainly have changed, my [00:09:00] thinking on remote work over the last decade and especially over the last few years because I have seen that people have achieved a lot of incredible results working remotely especially when COVID hits.

We all basically went remote overnight and we became more innovative. I think we became more efficient. We were definitely more efficient and the meetings that we had. So, it, as much as it’s been a horrible thing and has really helped organizations take a step back and realize, okay, we, we can do this.

We can get our work done and realize that it is so like, I’ve, I’ve always felt it was very important to create a work and life balance, but this even has brought it to a deeper level, knowing that okay, we can still get the work done. And also another important thing for me too is culture is so important.

So I always have felt like, [00:10:00] okay, if we have employees working with. Remotely then how do you build that culture? And I could see when you’re talking to a lot of these decision-makers or talent acquisition managers, Bryan and Steve, that could be sometimes an issue that people are not necessarily concerned about whether the person is working or not, but it’s like, how do you manage, how do you keep your culture intact when you have the remote environment,

Jocelyn Allen: meaning engagement, right? Yeah,

Bryan Dick: I do. I wanted to add one thing too, is that we, Steve and I have been working together for a long time and we’ve actually seen the shift in the candidates, just like that. I what’s, the word I’m looking for is like just their demeanor. Right? They’re just happier. They just seem like they’re just more passionate about what they do.

They’re in a position, maybe not making the money they want, but they’re there on a team that they love. They collaborate, they have a hybrid or a remote shift that works for them, their, their schedule, There’s a lot of [00:11:00] things here that, that make the industry, growing in a good, positive light, because we have clients like most of our clients are remote right now and there, they give the option to the candidates.

Like you can come into the office if you want, or if you want to stay home. So having that option, I think is a really good option for candidates, because if they’re a little cabin fever, they want to go into the office for a few days and collaborate and see some folks and do some work in the officer, able to do that.

They have the option and it, and to trust it’s a trust. You always, want to trust your employees. So even if they’re in the office or out, you want to try to be able to tell.

Jocelyn Allen: See, what would you say some of the challenges are that clients face when they’re searching for candidates? Is there a trend? Are there things that you guys hear repeatedly? What sort of insight can you give us there?

Steve Miln: As far as trends, I’ll try to limit it to like five or six. But there’s, there can always be challenges, but just, it depends on the business goals of the individual hire or the expectations of the hiring manager, and their current process urgency, just to name a few.

I [00:12:00] would even say actual urgency because I think that there’s a difference between urgency and actual urgency. Some of the more common challenges we encounter are having a long drawn-out interview process with multiple rounds that can be consolidated, and good candidates. They’re getting snatched up by another role that’s equally appealing, but it’s able to pull the trigger and make an offer sooner.

Another challenge could be looking for one person to do the job of three or four different types of sets. We saw this a lot during a post pandemic when internal resources were kind of, There was a kind of great layoff. If you will, budgets were cut and people had to be laid off and there was a lot of work that had to be done.

But the continuation of the business was still there to focus on. So the budget may have been not in a place where they could bring on three people. So they were looking for one person to do all of these different things. Where a few years ago they’d be able to hire three or four people to do those requirements.

Another challenge would be not being set on exactly what the responsibilities will be or not getting the input of another major [00:13:00] stakeholder that has an important say in the hire. This is a question that Bryan and I are always asking early on to process. There have been times when we got to the second or third round interview.

Unknown stakeholders became involved. That brought up technical non-negotiables that were discussed beforehand or were brought to our attention beforehand. Makes it very difficult when you’re on that, a third-round interview and you’re getting all this positive feedback from the team. And then someone comes in and says, no, we need them to do X, Y, Z.

Instead of this person, who doesn’t have that. Another one that can be common because everybody gets busy is just being too busy to hire someone. And, what I mean by that is not being able to respond with timely feedback or schedule interviews. Very, very easy to become inundated with work and your daily schedule to fill up.

Then there are responsibilities outside of work. It adds up for everyone. I mean, I don’t think there’s really an exception for that. However, if you’re truly, to add someone to your team and it’s a. You really have to manage your time and make time to operate through that hiring process.

[00:14:00] Especially if making that hire is going to allow you to get some time back. If this person is going to be offloading some of the work that you’re stuck doing right now. Another one that we see is not being confident in the selling points of the position or company, we always ask kind of what the sizzle is, why, work for, ABC company, as opposed to this other company if they can’t really sell why they like working in that environment, why they like that culture, it doesn’t translate well to candidates who are weighing multiple opportunities at once.

And then the last one I’ll mention that comes to mind is not being competitive with the market or willing to adapt to it. This can be in the case of, base salary aspects of total compensation, and flexibility in certain areas. And just being confident while your company is a good place.

Maria Melfa: Those are all great points. I like what you said about not being competent in the selling points of the position and the company and not having the sizzle. How often does that happen when I speak to clients and they’re not able to explain why a candidate should choose their position [00:15:00] versus another.

Steve Miln: Yeah, I wouldn’t say that it happens very often, but there are times when, I mean, someone has to make a hire, and again, they’re inundated, they’re busy and we’re asking these qualifying questions, they ask, do you have the job description in front of you? We certainly do. But in our experience, the job description tells about 50% of that story.

And that may be embellishing the job description. Don’t talk about what the team likes to do, collaborate with what the culture is. Do you want somebody to kind of put their nose to the grindstone and do work? Do you want somebody kind of floating around the opposite, being very collaborative and, and other aspects in regards to, the culture that you’re looking to retain and implement within an organization?

Jocelyn Allen: So I’m thinking that I’m seeing a little bit of too, in regards to the kind of like the selling points of working for a particular place, because that is what it comes down to sometimes is candidates asking for internal reference and says, so, the hiring manager will ask the candidate for their own references to prove their quality of work and experience, but I’ve actually had a couple of people [00:16:00] ask for, it’d be great to talk to somebody who’s been on this project or has worked in a similar role and see how they feel about it.

And if it’s the right fit for me, like, are you seeing things like that to where they almost can’t. Provide that because it’s so new and almost out of the box, thinking for candidates to approach things in that way. I guess he got one of you could answer that,

Steve Miln: but, well, no, it’s a good question because we have run into that, but we’ve also just thinking of, internal references and stuff like that.

Say if an offer’s on the table and they want to bring somebody in a lot of the times, what we’re seeing right now is they certainly need a, a direct report, a manager that you’ve worked with to learn, how you worked under that person, how you kind of, exercise your responsibilities within that company.

Equally as important, they like to see kind of peer references. What was this person like, to work with, to collaborate with all of that? So it’s a good point to bring up the people in the past. And I’m probably dating myself by saying, going back to the 10 years ago, a decade ago, they wanted to see like your past three [00:17:00] managers for references.

And that was it. Which could make it, difficult. Some companies closed down, some managers are unreachable. So what we see that’s a common ask for us is finding resumes of, at least one or two direct managers or reports could even be a supervisor, but also some peer references of folks that are working adjacent to you.

Jocelyn Allen: Bryan, what about like on the client’s side or the candidate side of things, I guess there to candidates ask clients for references to,

Bryan Dick: so I’m actually, I’m actually wanting to go back to like the topic you brought up about The recruitment about like going into and having a conversation with somebody that’s an employee at that company.

I’ve never ran into that, but that is, that actually sounds awesome. I’ve I actually, I really liked that because you really will get the, not the manager view. Right. You’re going to get someone that’s going to say, Hey, this place is great. You’re going to love it here. I have an example that happened this morning, where we had a candidate who was she was a teacher transitioning into L and D.

And she was just lacking a lot of it, but she was just so motivated and [00:18:00] passionate and wanted just to get her foot in the door. The manager offered her. Why do you come in on Friday and do a shadowing? Like, so she’s going to go in and just do a shadowing session just to see what it’s about. Right?

Like it just, she doesn’t know what to expect and Hey, this is the environment. And that was something that I thought was really cool. The candidate was awesome about it. Like they, they were, they were just, both partnerships were great. They were just like we talked about, I’m just going to come in.

We’re gonna have a few hours of conversation. See how she likes it. And then if she’s more interested. Let’s bring her in and have her interview with it, with a manager. So I thought that was really cool to have a manager bring that up because that was the first time in my, 10-year experience.

Steve Miln: done that, right?

Jocelyn Allen: It’s like a living version of that reference is like, well, why don’t you come on in and see for yourself? Right. And I can appreciate that somebody is, quick enough on the draw to do that and just appreciate what their company can provide so much that they’re like, you know what, the best way to find this out is to give us a couple of hours together and see what day [00:19:00] one might look like.

I think that’s very cool too. 

Bryan Dick: also think of like the man, the hiring manager, right? Who doesn’t want to work for that person? Like that person is invested in growth and wants to build and grow a learning development team to the max, give all their opportunities. And if it’s in a different department or learning a new skill set, I mean, she’s going out and being pro.

Steve Miln: You have about this like she could have just said,

Bryan Dick: Hey, unfortunately, you’re not a good fit. When he comes back in a few years when you’ve experienced, but you know, she understands the market, she understands this person is motivated. They’re gonna, they’re going to be very passionate about what they do.

They’re going to grind up, grind it every day because they want to prove to them that I can work in this L and D corporate

Steve Miln: environment.

Jocelyn Allen: I think that’s awesome. Very good. It goes to the client.

Maria Melfa: So it’s definitely a great example of saying that there’s always more to a resume because I know some of our best employees did not come from a learning and development background.

It was more of what they could bring as far as having a [00:20:00] positive attitude, a growth mindset, and just being able to collaborate and work well with the team, having more of the creative mindset, but there is a lot more, so that’s a good example, Bryan. So Bryan, what are some of the challenges that a candidate faces when searching for a new position.

Bryan Dick: Yeah. So it’s, it’s very competitive right now. I’m right out there because again, remote jobs you can kind of. The search is basically a whole of the United States now instead of just one region. So, first I would say LinkedIn is, is pretty heavy right now. I mean, I think a lot of the candidates will apply for jobs and they’ll see over 150 200 applicants that have already applied for the jobs Nope.

For two days. Right. So that’s pretty frustrating. One of the solutions that I have is. Take LinkedIn and make connections and start joining groups. And for example, we joined a teacher’s transition into learning development. And a lot of those teachers are just reading articles, joining webinars, just, adding things to [00:21:00] their resume in their arsenal where, they can use that when they, during an interview or they can add that on their LinkedIn.

They’re going to meet a lot of new people being active and just waiting on an applicant application. Right. So this person going to get back to me or not then, I think it’s just using your connections and your referrals is probably the biggest thing to do right now. Who do you know, that’s working in an industry that you like to talk to them, do you have any, do you know anyone that’s open has, have openings or do you know anybody that could help me out?

It’s, it’s all about the referrals and connections these days because you just never know who you’re going to talk with. Or, you might be, in line somewhere and you meet somebody who’s a CEO of a company and next thing yeah. You’re working there. So just try to network, try to be active.

Don’t just sit in, apply. I, this, it’s all about connections and there are a lot of different avenues now to apply for jobs. But you just to, you want to be able to be active because you never know who’s going to be looking at your LinkedIn or, or anything like that.

Maria Melfa: How could a candidate stand out?

Bryan Dick: Yeah, I mean, I would just make sure your, their resume would be tailored to the role. I [00:22:00] think there are a lot of candidates that have one generic resume, which is fine, but when you’re going to be competing for a role, you want to make sure you tailor your resume to that role. And just think about little keywords, right?

So if it’s just a technician or something like that, make sure you have a technician all over the resume. If you don’t have technicians on your resume, they’re not, they’re not gonna understand. Now, which brings me to the next point I think we really have a hard time in this, this market.

With technical recruiters that aren’t able to source in this space or be able to read a resume correctly when it comes down to this space because we’ve been, we’ve been in conversations where, TAs rejected candidates due to the fact that they didn’t have an L and D background, but they would’ve been in an led for 10 years.

So they sort of couldn’t understand it. We had to, influence and push. So it that’s, that’s a side of it is a little difficult too, because, as a CRA corporate internal team, gets first dibs and wants to, find this candidate. But over time, a learning strategist is not everyone [00:23:00] can do that.

Right. E-learning and all of that, like, that’s not just a, Hey hop on monster or LinkedIn and type in e-learning there’s a lot more to it. And you want to do a deep dive. There are a lot of key terms on people’s resumes that are, they mean multiple things. You can have a design on there.

All these tools, but you know, if the person that’s looking at the resume and reading that resume, doesn’t understand what those tools are. They’re just probably bypassing it to the next person cause they have 200 applicants. So to stand out, make sure that you just add your keywords, and make their resume short and sweet too.

Nobody likes five, six page resumes just made sure that it’s formatted it’s clear, and then make sure you tell a story. You want to have your resume. Tell a story too about, wow, look at this growth and this, this career, this person’s have. Wow. This person jumped to this company and has worked in this industry.

Steve Miln: Definitely. Okay, great.

And that’s a good point, Bryan, about, about the tailoring of resumes. It’s not to the point where it’s like, okay, we want to look attracted to this job. Let’s, make it look [00:24:00] like we’re good at this job. No, we want to be very, very transparent with your background. But it’s just a good point because it’s something that we see every day.

For example, I think recently we saw someone who had the title of let’s call it, people’s manager slash training where training was, 75 to 80% of their job. But just because of that one title, it looked like, people’s manager was, 80%, and the slash trainer, that training piece was, a very small portion of it.

They were like, we’re going to pass it. Doesn’t look, they’re very focused on training. Come to find out after you do a deep screen and deep dive with us that they are. So it’s all about selling yourself to that particular opportunity based on your actual.

Maria Melfa: Yeah

Jocelyn Allen: perception, the perception, right?

That’s why even sometimes it’s just rearranging things so that, that the specific call-outs that a client has in mind, based on who’s the right fit for the role are almost like the first things that they read. So even like how you structure your resume as a strategy in itself, I’ve, de identified those things a couple of times, and working with contractors, it really is.[00:25:00]

If there are a lot of candidates you’re going to want to like, hit them with the information quickly and you do that by putting it right at the top and making sure it’s the first thing they hear.

Bryan Dick: And I just wanted to add one last thing to that was if you were able to partner with a recruiter or some agency pick their brains.

I mean, they’re the, they’re the ones that are talking to these managers all day long. So, for example, if you were to call, and say I spoke to a candidate today about a role, I would tell them what the manager likes to see on the resume. Like, what is the manager like? Right. You’ll be able to tell them and guide them, not just, Hey, go switch your resume up.

You’re able to actually help them with their resume and add a little bit more to it. Hey, you have a really good design background. You just only have like one paragraph. Like, let’s add a few more paragraphs to that. It’ll stand out a lot more,

Jocelyn Allen: See, if you were talking earlier about technology in the hiring process and how it has dramatically changed over the process as a whole in the last 10 years, it seems like there are a lot of positives about it. Cause there’s a [00:26:00] lot of outreach. It can be very quick. But what about the negatives? Are there challenges to the way that technology has changed the hiring process?

Steve Miln: Great question. I’ll just because it’s clear that technology has its advantages. It’s helped streamline communication, expand networks, and help contain information. That list goes on. But also some issues that it causes always pros and cons.

One of the cons that I would relate to direct placement or just talent acquisition altogether as a whole is kind of the impersonal nature of it. Now there are plenty of professionals who can utilize technology efficiently while incorporating a personal touch with it. However, I’ve seen it personally. Clients complain about other experiences where someone that working with in this case, staffing agencies, sales rep, or recruiter where their presence is nothing but text coming through an email, no face-to-face interaction or verbal communication in an, a very tech heavy corporate environment.

Some people almost hide behind it and it’s created kind of an impersonal [00:27:00] uncollaborative way of communicating. What’s really gonna set someone apart is exceptional customer service, where a client can expect a quick response from you. Especially in the days or days now of having your email directly on your phone at all times during the day or for you to answer your cell phone or office phone, or be able to have a face-to-face intake or update meetings.

Another issue. As far as technology is concerned, what’s come up over the last couple of years is virtual communication. There are so many different types of positives that come with having the ability to virtually communicate with people around the country or world. But we’ve all seen technical difficulties with zooms or virtual platforms.

At times people are understanding, but if you’re interviewing for a highly technical role, hiring managers expect you to know what you’re doing. And if you don’t, it almost kind of rules you out. Those instances, whether it’s a poor connection or something one thing that’s pretty funny that actually comes to mind, which is hilarious to me.

I’m not sure if you guys have seen it. It’s, the lawyer who had a virtual court meeting with a judge, and his face [00:28:00] filter was stuck as a cat. And he had to in confidence tell the judge that he wasn’t a cat. And he was like, yeah, I get it.

Maria Melfa: It’s still funny. And as we know, sometimes zoom has nothing to do with technical competency.

Jocelyn Allen: Sometimes it just happens. It’s happened to a couple of people here where like, they turned to the side and I’m like, what is that shadow? Hovering over your face? And they turned back and like the mustache filter is randomly been put on the old areas

Maria Melfa: You brought it up very amused. Yes. The cat picture.

Steve Miln: So that was hilarious. Or if you’re in a very meaningful, deep conversation with a client and you get your face frozen, like you’re about to seize. And it’s just that for the next five minutes,

Maria Melfa: it was very cute. Absolutely a horrible year. Steve, I just wanted

Bryan Dick: to add, I just wanted to add one thing too, to what you [00:29:00] mentioned too, was

TA will, maybe just say we’re not interested, right.

And another candidate. And one of the things that we are really passionate about just in our team is just transparency. A lot of the candidates deserve feedback, right? We, we don’t accept, Hey, this person’s not a fit after two rounds of A’s. We need to know specific feedback. Even if it’s negative, like tell us what the candidate did wrong or what we did wrong because we or the candidate is going to learn from that.

They want to be able to get that feedback and say, oh, okay, maybe I talk too much or, Whatever that was, but they are eager to get that feedback because they’re all actively interviewing at other spots where they’re going to use that next time they interview. So we really appreciate the urgency and just the feedback, even if it’s a no, but we really want to know why, so we can let the candidates know.

Maria Melfa: Steve. What do you see from clients today? As far as their expectations from candidates? Meaning are they getting a little more strict? Are they easing up the [00:30:00] requirements? Because it’s hard to find the right people is college experience still important?

Steve Miln: It really varies from company to company and in some cases, position to position individual, to individual whoever’s involved with hiring.

Everybody wants top-tier candidates to come comment, and to be able to hit the ground running with all the critical requirements they have in front of them, whether a growth position or a backfill. I don’t think that there is an all-encompassing yes or no to that question. It’s case by case. But what I will say is that when a hiring manager or a team does expect too much or too less, we a staffing partner in this instance,, partner partnering with them.

It’s really up to us as experts in the industry and fields of work to provide the education piece of what’s realistic. And what’s unrealistic. We’ve all seen the job descriptions that say master’s degree, highly. Pay rate of $18 an hour. The same goes for the requirement of a certain technology.

A company is using, where experience with [00:31:00] similar technology is sufficient. Years of experience come into play as well. For the most part, anybody with an opening has high expectations for the person that will fill the role, both technically and culturally. What it really comes down to is if the.

Candidates a different from the capable candidate and how you bridge that gap. As far as college degrees, that’s also a case-by-case basis. We’ve seen instances where an employer now cut a candidate loose because of a lack of a degree. And they went on to thrive and be promoted through an opportunity with a direct competitor.

It also depends on your skill set. Obviously, for example, you’re not going to hire someone to design the government’s weapons. If they’ve been a graphic designer for the past 10 years, you need a mechanical engineer. But we do see candidates. They’ve been training facilitators who progressed organically throughout their careers, learned how to build training content, and landed a job as instructional designers.

For example, even though the job description called for a degree in instructional design Very still very much important. A lot of hiring managers are more interested in seeing examples of your [00:32:00] work experience, whether that’s portfolio PowerPoints, course outlines and it’s, and it’s tangible proof that they’ve successfully completed similar projects rather than seeing, okay.

You have a degree in this. Let’s see what you’ve actually done, proficiently throughout your career main factors in not only hiring someone but wanting to interview them are technical experience, industry experience of applicable confidence, and how they present themselves. And during the interview process, you’re also vetted for your cultural fit within the team know, are they looking for someone to put their head down to work?

Like I mentioned before, are they looking for a highly collaborative person, someone who can speak intelligently with key stakeholders throughout the company? So not a direct answer. But you know, it really is kind of a case-by-case basis, depending on the actual requirements of the position, the company itself, and the individual makeup.

Jocelyn Allen: Bryan, what do you think? Bryan, what would you say makes [00:33:00] a good hiring manager in your experience? What are some suggestions you could give to people may be on what makes a good impression.

Bryan Dick: Communication is probably the first one. That’s the biggest piece, right? Steve, Steve harped on that a lot before with just communication is huge.

Because we just we’re, we’re very, we’re built up urgency, so we’re ready to go. We want to work things and we want to be able to, help and partner as fast as we can because we understand the urgency of how fascinating this candidate is, but communication is huge. Right? So if you’re part of what the manager and they get back to you when they say they’re going to get back to you, you start developing a little bit of a trust factor there and in a, just a relationship, right?

So you’re, you’re able to. Have tough conversations with those managers able to provide them feedback on even their interview process, if it’s too long or too short, whatever that is. But I just, I think it’s like a trust communication. I mean, feedback is huge too. If we’re missing the mark somewhere, we just want to know, because we don’t want to keep going down that [00:34:00] path.

We strive on feedback. If, a client said we’re missing the mark, we want to know how we’re missing that mark and just communicate back to communication. So I would say that’s the biggest piece to that. And then just someone else that understands the market.

Maria Melfa: Steve, why would anyone want to use an outside agency when your company already has an internal recruiting team?

Steve Miln: Right now specifically just with a lot of budgets, rebounding, and a lot of hiring coming back into play. Many of the new clients that we’re supporting have too many openings for their internal team to handle.

If they have a dozen different openings and they’re being flooded with hundreds of applicants for each one, good candidates are undoubtedly going to slip through the cracks at the same time, not every corporate talent acquisition professional can be an expert in a specific skill set. In our experience, we’ve had a lot of companies connect with us because they don’t have the knowledge of identifying, learning developing talent, whether a trainer or designer something even more obscure in the company.

This is where we save them a lot of time. [00:35:00] The same can be said for the other agencies or full-service solution organizations that focus on a specific area of expertise. For example, agencies that focus solely on healthcare or nursing or engineering outsourcing these searches can really help save so much time for the client.

It takes transparent, clear communication upfront and learning as much as you can. With an intake call to determine if a client wants you to take the oversight completely off of their plate, or if they kind of want you to act as an extension of their team. That’s where the ability to be flexible is just so critical.

We’ve had instances where we’ve taken the oversight off of the client and have scheduled all interviews while keeping weekly update meetings. So everyone is on the same page. Bryan and I have also had instances where the hiring manager’s internal TA team is in constant contact with us or vice versa.

We’ve been given, a client email address and a desk on site. If preferred, it really comes down to listening, being consultative, and offering options that correlate well to their businesses.

Maria Melfa: Very well said. So what [00:36:00] advice do you have for hiring managers, otherwise known as TAs talent, acquisition managers, which I know you use that term.

And I assume everybody who’s listening understands it because a few times when you said that, I didn’t know if people were thinking it was TTA. Right.

Jocelyn Allen: And you just missed a letter. I thought it said the same thing. Yeah. This guy works with them and doesn’t even know what they’re called.

Maria Melfa: So what advice would you give.

Steve Miln: Well, this would be for both, talent, acquisition or TA and the hiring managers, because there they’re two separate entities that are working collaboratively together, as well as with us. But as far as advice, I would say, be aware of what you need, give serious thought to the responsibilities of a new hire.

Don’t depend on the old job description. That’s several years old and in the D drive of your computer system, in instances where a hiring manager wasn’t 100% sure of what they needed. We’ve teamed up with them to build their requirements collaboratively. [00:37:00] So don’t be afraid to ask for help during that process.

I would also just say, be human. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the technical non-negotiables of a job spec, but it’s also important to come off as someone who’s approachable and fun to work with as much as you want to find that capable person, but you don’t mind spending 40 hours a week with the same goes for the candidate.

And lastly, I’ll say, just be open-minded, don’t be stuck in your ways, and listen to how other people view solving different types of things.

Maria Melfa: I would certainly use you to help me find my next candidate, which I have before

Jocelyn Allen: the proof is in the pudding. Right? Oh my goodness. Well, listen, all right, gentlemen, we’ll listen. It’s been a lot of fun and we’re obviously very excited that you both joined us, but let’s be a little bit different here at the end. I know that you guys have 20 years of combined experience and with that is a lot of sunshine and rainbows and happy things, but what about some fun kind of nightmare stories?

Can you tell us about your time and [00:38:00] TA what do you got for us? Steve? We’ll start with you.

Steve Miln: Sure. So I have one that’s pretty interesting that comes to mind. We were working with a company who got, I really have to dig back and buy the caverns of my finite. It might’ve been, that they were looking for like a mechanical designer.

This is pre-TA and looked like a good candidate. Good opportunity. The candidate, however, came back to us and said, it sounds like a very interesting role. I’d be willing to do the work. However, the commute’s a little bit long for me. Have you spoken to the company about potentially moving their operations closer to me?

Steve Miln: I mean, you, you want to be kind at all of these different times, but it’s just difficult to be like, okay, so you want them either own a building or lease it for several years, pick up, move down the highway, couple of exits that cut your commute down. I’ll see if that’s doable,

Jocelyn Allen: So the salary is not negotiable, but I was wondering if the building [00:39:00] relocation, was that something that you guys can do, right? Bryan?

Bryan Dick: Okay. I got to do Z. So a few years back, we had a candidate that was interviewing for a manufacturing position. I was really, really technical. Went into his interview for an hour.

He gives me a call back after and he’s like, yeah, the interview went great. I said, all right, great. I will reach out to the manager to get some feedback. Call the manager, and the manager says, Hey, Bryan, he’s a no. And I said, okay, can you give me some feedback? It’s. It’s because he smelled like a skunk and I was like, all right, well, that’s kind of weird, but whatever.

So then when I called the candidate to let him know that he didn’t get the job, he says, oh, it was it because I got sprayed by the skunk. And I said, yes, great. By skunk. And he’s like, yeah, like an hour before the interview. And I just didn’t want to cancel. So I just went to it for an hour for the interview, went to the interview.

I can’t believe this manager spent an hour in the room with him, like, oh my [00:40:00] goodness. And that was one thing that I was just blown away by.

n/a: That is unbelievable.

Bryan Dick: I don’t know how you, I don’t know how a manager could do that.

Jocelyn Allen: real right. Keeping that professional face on. Oh.

Maria Melfa: And our producer is showing us a picture of Pepe Le pew, pew.

Well, thank you so much, Steve and Bryan, I was extremely impressed with your background and knowledge, so glad you’re part of the team. And thank you for joining us today. Yes, absolutely.

Bryan Dick: This is, this is so much

Steve Miln: fun. Yeah. Well, it’s about to get

Jocelyn Allen: better because we have a fun little segment called the TTA 10.

Then we’re going to hit you with Uh, All right, fellows. So this is how it’s going to work. I [00:41:00] gave you a little bit of a debrief, but here’s one more for you. We’re going to take turns. Okay. Bryan, I’ll have you go first, and then Steve, you’ll go next and we’re going to rapid fire 10 questions. The whole thing is, is that it’s fun and playful to answer them as quickly.

And as honestly, as you can, and at the end of the 10 questions, we’re going to do a time check and whoever has the fastest time, that’s how we’ll do it with these guys is going to be the winner. And that winner gets well. David, we’ll show you what you get

Maria Melfa: at the two more weeks,

Jocelyn Allen: two more weeks off. Oh geez.

Well, then I’m going to play instead. So, all right, Bryan, you’re my first guest. Are you

Bryan Dick: ready? Go for it. All right,

Jocelyn Allen: What’s your favorite driving song?

Bryan Dick: New found glory. My friends over you.

Jocelyn Allen: What TV show do you always recommend for your friends next binge

Steve Miln: Yellowstone.

Jocelyn Allen: Which of the seven dwarves do you most relate to?

Bryan Dick: I [00:42:00] don’t know. All, I don’t know all I don’t relate to any of them. I

Jocelyn Allen: find that hard to believe. What is 19 minus six,

Bryan Dick: 19 minus six. 13.

Jocelyn Allen: What was your favorite subject in school?

Bryan Dick: High school or college, pick one

Maria Melfa: coffee or tea?

Jocelyn Allen: Coffee. Who would you cast to play you in a movie about your life? Leo garden, gnome cute or

Maria Melfa: creepy?

Bryan Dick: Cute

Jocelyn Allen: Beach Front or mountainside.

Bryan Dick: Oh, that’s beachfront.

Jocelyn Allen: If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

Bryan Dick: Revise.

Jocelyn Allen: All right. Let’s clock the time, David, but don’t give the results yet.

We’re going to make them wait till the end.

Maria Melfa: Okay.

Jocelyn Allen: All right, Steve, it’s your turn now, buddy. Are you ready?

Steve Miln: Bring it on. All right,

Jocelyn Allen: Steve. What pandemic phrase would you like to officially retire? 

Steve Miln: New norm,

Jocelyn Allen: which planet in our solar system is closest to the sun.[00:43:00]

Jocelyn Allen: What is your go to karaoke song

Steve Miln: brown-eyed women by the grateful dead. But I will also go with black by Pearl jam.

Jocelyn Allen: If you could have coffee with any living person, who would it be?

Steve Miln: Any living person say Eddie Vedder, what are Scooby

Jocelyn Allen: dues treats

Steve Miln: called Scooby snacks,

Jocelyn Allen: pizza or tacos?

Steve Miln: Can you repeat that? I didn’t say tacos. 

Jocelyn Allen:   If you could live anywhere in the world where we

Steve Miln: I choose Jackson hole,

Jocelyn Allen: which zoo animal would you most like to have as a pet tiger?

Steven Miln: What

Jocelyn Allen: is your favorite movie?

Steve Miln: Oh, there’s so many, but if I had to pick right now, what’s going to throw it happy. The

Jocelyn Allen: Kool-Aid man just burst through the wall. What does he say?

Steve Miln: Oh yeah.

Jocelyn Allen: Right. And clock the time David

Maria Melfa: tell that Bryan was saying, that’s not fair. My questions were hard.

Jocelyn Allen: half [00:44:00] of yours were either or so here in

Dave: the results are in Steve with the time of one minute and nine seconds. Congratulations, Steve, was it enough to top Bryan? Well, Bryan. With a score of one minute and 17 seconds making Steve our champion.

Steve Miln: This is why I came here to do

Dave: Steve, you are a TTA 10 champion. You may shout this news from the rooftops, amaze your friends, and include it on your resume. Now that you’ve achieved this coveted honor, you will be respected and loved by captains of industry heads of state, and Tik TOK influencers. The sun will shine brighter for you.

Food will taste better and life will have new meaning. Congratulations, Steve. You are [00:45:00] a TTA champion. Yes. We have something for Bryan. Also,

Bryan, you have failed in your quest, complete the TTA 10. Our deepest sympathies to you in the hopes that you can someday move past this profound humiliation. We still respect you, Bryan, just not nearly as much as we did before, really in a way where. Today, but in a more accurate way, you are not a winner.

Just remember tomorrow’s another day and who knows. It might not be as bad as this one. God speaks to you, friend, Bryan. And we thank you for participating and being a good sport for the TTA

Maria Melfa: So, yeah, I feel very bad because Bryan did do it within the 90 seconds. He did. So if you were on this episode alone, Bryan,

Bryan Dick: He got great questions.

Steve Miln: Those are different ones [00:46:00] though. 

Bryan Dick: I have my calculator up over here.

Steve Miln: I’m like, oh my God. I don’t know.

Maria Melfa: thank you so much, guys. This was so much fun and it was so great to hear your stories and how you can help companies in their talent acquisition needs.

Bryan Dick: Thank you for having us

Jocelyn Allen: To learn more visit us at We’ll see you later.