Category: InterSearch USA – Charles Aris, Inc.

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The key to running a successful onsite interview

Article of the US member of InterSearch WorldwideCharles Aris.

As interviews return to the office, it’s important to make candidates feel comfortable during their first visit to your workplace. Candidates begin evaluating your organization from the moment they enter your building, so making a stellar first impression is crucial.

What we’ve learned from over half a century in executive search is that assigning candidates a “buddy” — a team member who is not part of the official interview panel — to guide them through on-site interviews will help you stand out dramatically from other organizations vying for the same person. Here’s why:

First impressions: For many candidates, receiving a warm welcome early in the process is an indicator of strong company culture. Prior to the interview, the buddy should reach out to the candidate to introduce themselves and share a bit about their role in your organization. This is also a great time for this team member to answer any initial questions the candidate may have.

Interview logistics: Your assigned team member should also lay out the specifics of the interview process for the candidate, as well as the plan for the day of the interview. This summary should include the following:

  • Information about parking, building access and other logistical details.
  • Approximately how long the interview will last and what to expect.
  • The exact location in which the interview will take place.

On the day of the interview, the buddy should give the candidate a tour of the office and guide them to all interview locations. Throughout the day, they should regularly check in with the candidate and ensure they have ample time to use the restroom, eat lunch and decompress.

One-on-one debrief: At the end of the day, the buddy should debrief with the candidate and ensure there are no outstanding questions. This team member can also provide their best contact information to answer any further questions should they come up.

The takeaway:

Virtual and on-site interviews are both critical components of the hiring process, but in-person interviews allow candidates to evaluate your organization based on a wider variety of factors. During an in-person visit, the way a candidate is greeted at the door is just as important as the quality of questions you ask during the formal interview.

If you’re selling your opportunity to an A-player, assigning a member of your team to guide the candidate through the interview process will help your organization leave a positive impression and increase your chances of receiving a signed offer letter.

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Six tips for candidates to follow after receiving their official offer

Article of the US member of InterSearch WorldwideCharles Aris.

Sometimes in the world of executive search, we see candidates reach the end of a long and arduous interview process only to receive an offer and ask: “Now what?”

This moment is crucial because even though you’ve already received the offer, it’s important to remember that you are, for all intents and purposes, still interviewing. If you intend to accept the offer, the way in which you choose to proceed could have an impact on the negotiations, onboarding, and even the newly budding relationships you’re forming with your soon-to-be colleagues. Conversely, if you’re going to decline, you want to do it in a way that leaves all bridges intact, as you never know where your paths may cross in the future.

To help you manage this decision, we’ve compiled six tips to ensure your next steps go smoothly:

  1. When you receive the offer, be sure to show your appreciation and enthusiasm (if it’s genuine) and let them know when you plan to follow up with your response.
  2. Sleep on it! Don’t feel like you need to react to the offer or make a decision at that moment. Eschew emotional decisions in favor of rational, informed decisions.
  3. Review your offer letter with a mentor, trusted colleague, or anyone who can help you evaluate the opportunity in an objective manner.
  4. Once you’ve reached your decision, inform the hiring authority directly. Whether the news is good or bad, they will appreciate hearing directly from you, and in person (as opposed to email).
  5. Negotiate in good faith. If you’ve decided you want the job but would like to negotiate, bundle your requests into one ask. If your requests are met, you should be prepared to accept on the spot.
  6. Regardless of your decision, if the offer has an expiration date, don’t wait until the last minute to respond. If you’re declining, spare everyone the hand-wringing and remove that Band-Aid swiftly. The same logic applies if you’re accepting.

Following these six simple guidelines will help ensure that you make a positive impression on everyone involved, whether you accept or decline the offer.

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Succession planning in modern agriculture

Article by the US member of InterSearch Worldwide, Charles Aris.

Traditional agricultural organizations relied on passing their business down to younger generations as the owners reached retirement. But as young people continue to pursue different careers, the talent pool has become significantly smaller for farm owners to find viable successors, a trend our Senior Associate Practice Leader Dana Mull witnessed firsthand.

Dana grew up on her family’s farm in southeastern North Carolina. Their cash crop is tobacco, but they also grow other row crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans. She always thought the business would stay in the family, but younger generations followed different paths.

“When I was a kid, we had high school students working on the farm,” Mull explained. “But new regulations and a lack of agricultural programs in education have made it more difficult for them to get involved in this industry.”

According to the most recent agricultural census data, the average age of a farmer in the United States is around 60 and Americans continued moving from rural to urban areas at a steady rate between 2010 to 2020. This means that young people aren’t as inclined to take jobs in agriculture and there are fewer people, in general, residing in rural, farming regions.

Against these odds, Dana’s father was lucky enough to develop a relationship with one young man who took a liking to agriculture and is currently slated as the farm’s successor. But to find this eligible person, he had to become more vocal about his need for farm workers in the community.

One way we’ve seen agricultural organizations successfully connect with their communities is through education. For communities that do have agricultural programs implemented in school, there are generally opportunities for career fairs, meet and greets, or even site visits to local farmers or businesses that can pique students’ interest in this field.

For communities without agricultural programs, we’ve also seen farming organizations create their own school programs to educate young people and inspire careers in agriculture. Got to be NC is one example of a program created by farmers to raise awareness of North Carolina agricultural products and educate children about the local impact of farming. Opening the gates for students to pursue agriculture should be the top priority for any organization, planning their succession strategy, and getting involved in local education is a great way to achieve this.

Dana’s father also had to widen his search parameters to find an eligible successor, which meant recruiting someone from an atypical background. According to Dana, keeping an open mind about your talent pool is essential for the modern succession plan. Young people who have gone to school for agriculture spent time in a relevant agricultural career path and express interest in farm ownership are worth considering when your organization is evaluating its future.

“Every family wants generational succession,” Dana said. “But people don’t have to come from an agricultural family to be successful farm owners. If someone has the interest and is willing to put in the work, they can be trained either by formal education or hands-on work experience.”

One thing to keep in mind if you’re the hiring authority or candidate on either side of this equation is that the best relationships are formed from a mutual stewardship of an agricultural organization’s heritage. Succession between non-family members is a relatively new concept in this industry, so both parties should be open and transparent about how they plan to honor this legacy moving forward. Having candid conversations about the transition with the senior leadership team is one way to increase understanding from all directions.

Dana also explained that outside hires, especially those in line with an organization’s succession strategy, are often successful when mitigated by a third-party advisor. Whether you employ an executive search firm, or you hire outside family members to consult on finding the right candidate, it never hurts to have multiple perspectives on big decisions.

To learn more about the Agriculture Practice of the US member of InterSearch Ww, Charles Aris, contact Eric Spell or Dana Mull.

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How to create a positive candidate experience during the hiring process

Article of the US member of InterSearch Worldwide, Charles Aris.

When your organization is working to fill a mission-critical role, the hiring process is your chance to leave a lasting impression on both your winning candidates and your runners-up.

Creating a positive candidate experience during the interview process will ensure that your interviewees gain a multifaceted understanding of your organization should they land the role, and it gives those who weren’t a fit for your current opening an incentive to apply for future roles, recommend a friend or up your company’s reputation.

In our career conversations with executives across our areas of expertise, we’ve consistently heard there are two factors that contribute to a positive candidate experience: transparency and efficiency.

Keep your candidates in-the-know:

The most valuable individuals in the job market are either interviewing for multiple positions or they’re already in a role. In both scenarios, your job as a hiring authority is to convince them that your opportunity presents a better career path. One of the best ways to achieve this is to practice transparency from day one.

Every candidate wants to know the details about your hiring process so they can plan and manage their own expectations accordingly. Being clear on the hiring timeline, explaining how they’re being evaluated and having availability to answer ad hoc questions along the way tells a candidate that your organization is prepared and sees enough value in them to dedicate resources to the process, even before they receive an offer letter.

Plan the hiring process accordingly:

Time management is a critical component in the hiring process. When interviews are efficient and candidates know when to expect to follow ups, they see that you are being respectful of their time and that you’re invested in their candidacy. Scheduling time for feedback, both for the candidate and for your organization, is also important for candidate experience. Postponing a candidate’s opportunity to hear about their performance or evaluate your organization can leave both parties feeling disconnected.

If your hiring plan is clear from start to finish, and your candidates receive a copy of the timeline, your process will function efficiently. Delays are inevitable, but keeping an open line of communication between yourself and the candidate and being candid about why these delays occur is the best way to stay on top of schedules.

The takeaway:

Candidate experience can make or break an organization. At Charles Aris, we’ve successfully placed people into organizations years after initially connecting because they left with a lasting impression of the hiring process. If you’re interested in maintaining a good reputation on the talent market, start by engaging with candidates transparently and efficiently. Even candidates who don’t land the role will carry that experience with them to colleagues, clients and friends – and you never know if they’ll be a fit later down the road.

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Five things executive recruiters look for in a résumé

Article by InterSearch USA – Charles Aris.

A professional résumé is designed to encapsulate your career in an easily digestible format, but recruiters tend to focus on a few key details when screening candidates.

In fact, there are five major components we look for to determine whether your résumé is ready for our client: education, organization, growth trajectory, quantifiable data and grammar. Here’s a glimpse at why these are so important:

Education: The first thing our recruiters tend to look at on a professional résumé is education. A candidate’s undergraduate or advanced degree is often important in matching them with the educational requirements of the role we’re working to fill. Additionally, we’ll ask questions about a candidate’s education to prime our career discussions and better understand them as a person. For example, if a candidate told us they were in debate club during college, we would ask whether they held a leadership position. This information is often a great show of character and allows us to connect with our candidates on a more personal level.

Organization: Laying out your résumé in a way that’s logical and easy to read is critical. It ensures your most important career information is front and center for the recruiter. Having a stellar layout also shows that you understand how to properly communicate with others in a professional manner. Using résumé writing and design services is okay, but if overly designed graphics and information instantly give away the involvement of a third party, some recruiters will see that as a red flag.

Growth trajectory: When our clients hire us to match top talent with mission-critical roles, they want candidates who are interested in growing within their organization. If your résumé shows that you’ve had a steady career progression, that’s a good indication you’re interested in pursuing long-term growth opportunities with our clients. Your organizational layout also plays a major role in this. Even if you have been on a steep growth trajectory throughout your career, it must be displayed clearly through your résumé’s layout.

Quantifiable data: Numbers are worth 1,000 words on a résumé. More often than not, our team will skip past a career objective statement and gravitate towards any numbers or quantifiable data being highlighted in a candidates’ résumé. If you’re able to include nonproprietary information such as the number of business transactions you’ve coordinated in the corporate development industry, the number of new employees you’ve onboarded as a chief human resources officer or the revenue growth you’ve been involved in creating, we want to see that you’ve had a measurable impact in prior roles.

Grammar: It’s not uncommon for recruiters to eliminate candidates entirely due to résumé errors or misspellings. This is why it’s crucial that you proofread your résumé and, if possible, have a friend or colleague review the document for any inaccuracies. People make mistakes, but the nature of the executive recruiting industry demands the best of the best. A résumé with even a minor typo will struggle to compete against one free of errors.

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