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Carol Schultz

Carol Schultz is a pioneer in the recruitment process optimization and career strategy industries. She has built a client base of countless individuals and myriad companies from early stage pre-IPOs to publicly traded companies. She uses 20 years of recruiting experience where she honed her industry expertise and formed an intrinsic understanding of successful recruiting processes and the critical nature of alignment with corporate goals and objectives. She takes a thoughtful approach to talent and focuses all her time on assessing, analyzing, and deploying recruiting strategies and processes that work. Her consulting and training company, VerticalElevation.com offers a fresh approach to talent strategy and incorporates the executive management team’s core values so they permeate every aspect of the hiring process. As an advisor and coach to corporations, she makes a stand for best practices to attract and retain the best and the brightest.

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Sit Down and Listen Up — What the Best Recruiters Already Know That You Should Too

by Feb 13, 2013, 12:57 pm ET

cat.jpgAs a recruiter, the way you communicate can make or break you. It can keep you employed and keep your candidates loyal to you.

I’m sure you have all heard the saying, “It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it.” It’s wise to follow this advice, but the most successful recruiters need to know what to say and how to say it. Consequently, to be a truly effective oral communicator, it’s imperative to be a great listener. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to focus on oral communication.

Knowing what to say and how to say it means you’re listening, asking questions, and prepared for questions, concerns, and/or objections.

The Importance of Effective Communication keep reading…

Why Some Recruiters Will Almost Always Be a Success

by Jan 24, 2013, 5:02 am ET

photo.jpgThere is nothing like a good controversy to stir up one’s feelings and subsequently a fierce debate. One of my favorite things about reading articles on ERE is how some of its contributors have a wonderful ability to write articles that generate comments a mile long because of controversial subjects covered. We were barely into 2013 when Adrian Kinnersley wrote an article entitled, “Why LinkedIn will never kill the professional recruitment industry,” which was very on point.

People are so polarized around this issue, but the comments section was what really made it an interesting read for me. If I didn’t know better I would have expected a fistfight to break out. One commenter even suggested that commission-only salespeople are unable to provide independent advice to candidates, and candidates know this. This inspired me to pick up my pen (figuratively, that is) and write, which I haven’t done lately.

The Demise of the Agency Recruiter keep reading…

Why You and Your Candidates Should NEVER Accept a Counteroffer

by Aug 9, 2012, 5:21 am ET

(Editor’s note: With so many new ERE members coming on all the time, we thought that each week we’d republish one popular classic post. Here’s one, below.)

For the sake of this article I’m going to assume you know how to qualify your candidates regarding opportunities from the moment you first speak to them until they’ve signed the offer letter and started their new job. I’m going to assume you’ve been communicating effectively throughout every step of the interview process and have been asking quality, qualifying questions to ensure you’re not getting “sunshine blown up your skirt” regarding their interest in moving on to a new company.

There’s nothing 100% foolproof and guaranteed, but good methods of pre-qualifying candidates regarding counteroffers will make your life less stressful and more financially rewarding. In addition, if you are straightforward and authentic in your qualifying methods you may even weed out any candidates who would accept a counteroffer and possibly leave you and your client/company hanging.

Step Away From the Counteroffer!

First, let me say that I know the word “never” is a strong one. It’s absolute and I don’t use it lightly or without substantial consideration because the world I live in, both personally and professionally, is gray. That said, when it comes to considering whether or not to accept a counteroffer, remember that accepting a counteroffer only works out positively in a fraction of the cases; it’s just not worth the risk. I have known people who accepted counteroffers and in the vast majority of situations they regretted it.

keep reading…

How Having as Many LinkedIn Connections as Possible Will Increase Your Revenues by 42%

by Jul 3, 2012, 5:56 am ET

As an early adopter of LinkedIn (member 554,000-ish) I’d like to think I have a bit of experience and insight into this business network. I am not a LinkedIn expert, but I do know enough about it to understand the value from the viewpoint of a candidate, recruiter, salesperson, and business owner. When it comes to expanding my network and invitations to connect, I have some strong opinions.

The Business Network

When LinkedIn first started, its “suggestion” regarding invitations to connect read:

Carol Schultz wants to be your connection on LinkedIn. We recommend that you only connect with professionals you know well and who you are generally willing to recommend to your other business contacts.

Now, LinkedIn invitations read:

WHY MIGHT CONNECTING WITH CAROL SCHULTZ BE A GOOD IDEA?

Carol Schultz’s connections could be useful to you

After accepting Carol Schultz’s invitation, check Carol Schultz’s connections to see who else you may know and who you might want an introduction to. Building these connections can create opportunities in the future.

These are two very different guidelines. keep reading…

Hire Like Google … Or Should You?

by Jun 27, 2012, 5:57 am ET

Sometimes I’m asked about the graphic of sheep on my website. Sheep will follow other sheep — regardless of the danger — and the flash analogizes the importance of breaking the herd mentality. A great example of herd mentality is an event at many rodeos called Mutton Bustin. There is a sheep held in the middle of the arena whose sole purpose is to get the other sheep to run to it. This is one of the best examples of herd behavior I know.

When it comes to recruiting and hiring processes many recruiting leaders look at the hiring practices of successful companies and assume the same will work for them. We often hear about successful companies like Google that are able to attract great talent. Many of us hear this and immediately want to emulate their hiring process. Is this an effective strategy?

Will Deep Pockets Get You the Best Recruiters? keep reading…

What Every Recruiter Ought to Know About Candidates With Questionable References

by May 10, 2012, 7:04 am ET

If you have ever been in a situation when checking references on a candidate you uncovered negative references and/or performance reviews, you are not alone. What you do with the information is key.

This is one of the most misunderstood, hence mishandled, situations preventing good candidates from being hired. I have seen people get poor reviews because of “sour grapes,” and it happens more often than you may think. I’ve had managers tell me negative things about a former employee, and upon diving in and asking more detailed questions, determined the negative feedback to be sour grapes or a poor fit with culture or the manager. Oftentimes a hiring manager calls a former associate of his whom the candidate worked for and gets a lousy reference. In a split second the candidate is dropped from consideration without further investigation.

The opposite holds true of positive references: if the same manager gets a glowing reference on the candidate, he makes an offer. But neither of these situations individually indicates whether or not the candidate is “right” for you.

Benefit of the Doubt keep reading…

Got a Minute? If So, Spend it Looking at Resumes

by May 3, 2012, 6:33 am ET

I recently read an article suggesting that recruiters only spend six seconds reviewing a resume to determine whether or not a candidate was a fit to the job they were attempting to fill.

6 Seconds?!

My initial thought was, “How can a recruiter get enough information to determine whether or not a candidate is worth talking to in such a sparse amount of time?” keep reading…

This Is Business; Stay the Hell Out of Your Candidates’ Personal Lives

by Mar 27, 2012, 5:00 am ET

I read an article last week about job candidates being asked for their Facebook passwords so that potential employers can examine their personal activity. It also covers law enforcement agencies making similar demands of their applicants. So at the risk of getting tarred and feathered, here I go.

When did companies decide that it’s okay to invade someone’s privacy? Some candidates said that they feel like they have to say yes to this “request” since they need the work. One individual in the article referred to it as “coercion.”

Any company attempting to take advantage of candidates in this way should be ashamed. This wouldn’t have been considered even five years ago. Just because it has gotten easy to check someone’s social activity doesn’t make it appropriate to ask them for their password or that they “friend” you so you can spy on them. I can almost hear the requester respond, upon asking how s/he would feel if they would feel if asked this, “I don’t have anything to hide.” But that’s not the point.  keep reading…

Advice on Entering the Recruiting Field

by Oct 5, 2011, 5:44 am ET

Knowing that some readers of ERE.net are not in recruiting, I wanted to address a question that Todd was sent about how to get into recruiting. This is an appropriate topic for recruiters still green in their careers as well as recruiters with years of experience.

The questions were as follows:

  1. How do I make the switch into the recruiting industry?
  2. How do I leverage my industry knowledge while I’m there to gain enough experience?
  3. And eventually start my own recruiting business?

Let me begin by answering the first question and telling you how I made the switch into recruiting. keep reading…

8 Questions to Ask to Determine the Best Practices You Need to Implement

by Jul 26, 2011, 5:10 am ET

I received an email recently asking for articles on recruiting best practices within immature companies. It’s a solid request but broad in scope because, depending on who you ask, “recruiting best practices” will vary with the number of people you ask. What I feel are best practices may differ significantly from someone else’s. I say this because it was the lack of quality recruiting practices I experienced that ultimately drove me out of recruiting and into what I do now. There is a school of thought that small companies need to approach recruiting best practices differently from large companies.

At a high level I disagree. I believe that a company, regardless of size or maturity, needs quality, effective recruiting practices and has the ability to implement them. In determining what these best practices are for your company, a number of questions need to be asked and evaluated. That said, there are some issues early stage companies deal with that large companies don’t, and vice versa.

I suspect that if I asked 100 recruiters what they consider to be best practices in recruiting I’d get similar responses at a high level and different responses at a granular level. For example, if I asked recruiters whether or not candidates should receive a response to job inquiries, I believe they’d all say “yes” (high level). Where many people would differ is in answering the (granular level) question, “How should I respond and in what timeframe?” Elaine Orler wrote a post recently telling a story of an individual at a large company who asked each of his recruiting departments around the world a question with a negative consequence to get ideas on how to make the candidate experience better. It was a very interesting approach to get his recruiters to look at issues in a new way. The bottom line is that overall there are practices that we can probably agree are positive for our organizations. How they’re implemented is where we may differ in our approaches. keep reading…

Are You a Technology Junkie?

by Jun 21, 2011, 5:51 am ET

There’s probably not a week (or maybe even a day) that goes by in which we don’t read about how technology will help you in your business, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, computer, social media, applications, etc. I think many of us have the need to use every type of technology out there without really knowing why or even having a real need for it. I believe it has gotten to the point that if you don’t adopt every new technology and use it in business, people think there’s something wrong with you.

Yes, technology is wonderful — when used effectively. That’s the caveat. Too many people have just jumped on this bandwagon without evaluating how, when, and why they should be using various technologies in business. It has become so pervasive that some of the tried and true methods of doing business have fallen by the wayside. Let’s look at a partial list of some of the technologies used in recruiting: keep reading…

Communication and Your Business

by Jun 9, 2011, 5:40 am ET

Without effective, intentional communication, your company won’t thrive. Communication consists of three parts:

  1. Oral (Verbal)
  2. Non-Verbal
  3. Written

Each of these is necessary and they work together in concert. Your communication needs to be consistent from the CEO to the lowest levels of your organization. Without consistent, clear communication you will encounter a multitude of problems within your company. Inconsistent messaging and communication will consequently cause perception problems outside. Do you really want negative publicity running around the country? Here is an example of what I mean. It’s a bit long, but I believe it’s important to tell the whole story so you can see all the mistakes that were made.

Chelsea has just received her bachelor’s degree. She had an internship with a prominent firm in NYC the summer following her sophomore year of school. They liked her so much they invited her back the summer following her junior year. Before she went back to school to complete her senior year she was told by everyone she worked for (including HR) that they wanted to hire her after she graduated, and that she was as good as hired. They told her to reach out early this year, which she did.

The HR person she had dealt with during her internships (Mary) had been promoted and told Chelsea to contact the person who had backfilled her position (Karen). Mary said she’d let Karen know to expect to hear from Chelsea. Chelsea proceeded to email Karen to let her know that she still wanted to come to work for the company and would like to set up an interview. It took three weeks for Karen to respond to the emails (Chelsea sent two more over this time).

After finally hearing back from Karen, Chelsea said that she could be available any Monday or Friday (she was still in school) for an interview. Karen just told her to let her know when she’d be in the city and they’d schedule time to interview. Chelsea made it clear that any Monday or Friday would work. Karen still wouldn’t commit to an appointment to see Chelsea. keep reading…

Proactive vs. Reactive Approaches to Your Business and Talent

by Jun 1, 2011, 5:52 am ET

Have you thought about how much it costs to fix a problem after the fact vs. preventing it from happening in the first place? In a February 2011 McKinsey report one of the companies interviewed for the article had a struggling executive team. McKinsey reported about the executive team and their company: “Fewer than one in five of its members thought it was highly respected or shared a common vision for the future, and only one in three thought it made a valuable contribution to corporate performance. The company’s customers were very dissatisfied — they rated its cost, quality, and service delivery at only 2.3 on a 7-point scale — and the team couldn’t even agree on the root causes.” Ouch! That smarts.

Here’s a team and company way out of alignment, and it realizes it. It was unable to agree on the causes of their problems, which is very unfortunate. I wonder how many of them may be thinking about running for the door? Do you think they’ve considered what it has cost them thus far in time, dollars, and productivity to have issues so detrimental to the health of their organization? Why aren’t they discussing how to fix the problem? Given my experience, I’d assert they are just so overwhelmed with the idea of fixing their problems that they’re paralyzed.

Companies can take a proactive approach making the time and spending money to build their organizations the right way the first time. keep reading…

Attn: Recruiting Leaders — When Hiring Recruiters, You Get What You Pay for

by May 16, 2011, 2:16 pm ET

Do you know what an experienced recruiter “looks like”? If hiring a recruiter to build a talent strategy, would you know the interview questions to ask to determine if candidates can do the job like any top talent you’re in search of?

I pose this question because I see a multitude of job postings for “experienced” recruiters with five years of experience. To me, this is an oxymoron. I had extraordinary search training, broke the 100k barrier in my third year, had lots of clients, and I was just beginning to really know what I was doing in year six.

Each year I learned more and got better at my craft. Recruiting is highly complex, when done properly, and it concerns me that companies that wouldn’t consider hiring a sales rep with five years of experinece would hire a recruiter to build a talent process who only has five years of experience. There seems to be a considerable disconnect here and I’d like to try to get to the bottom of it.

Since this is my assertion, I posed this question to a number of recruiters I consider “experienced” to determine if I was barking up the right tree. One of them has six years, one has 10, and the rest have at 15-30 years in the industry. They do retained and contingent work. Here are the three responses I found most interesting and believe they say it all: keep reading…

This Is NOT Recruiting

by May 9, 2011, 5:10 pm ET

I recently received an email with a job spec on it. An associate who had received it from a recruiter forwarded it to me because of my feelings on this type of “recruiting.” She (the recruiter in question) was obviously spamming the job opening to her entire email list. The email follows:

Subject: HR Software Sales Executive — MN or Denver

Hello,

We are looking for an HCM Sales Executive in MN or Denver. If you are interested or know someone worth speaking to, please let me know asap!

Sales Executive — HR Software Company

Location — MN or Denver

Compensation — Base — $100K/Plan — $225K

Our mission is to help employers dramatically improve the employee experience by making “must do” workforce communications more effective, more strategic and less costly. We execute an on-demand, personalized and searchable HR communications application suite that supports the entire workforce life cycle from “hire-to-retire” – and includes solutions for: onboarding, benefits decision support, work/life events, employee policies, total rewards statements, manager effectiveness and HR/Service Center staff.

Our solutions are rapidly deployed, provide a broad range of features for significantly less money than traditional communication venues and are hosted and maintained by providing a low total cost of ownership and allowing your internal HR and IT professionals focus on more value-added work.

Why work here?

  1. You get paid on first year setup, maintenance, & other fees
  2. Working WITH an inside sales rep generating leads
  3. We have a lot in the pipeline; it needs to be CLOSED
  4. Growth was 62% last quarter
  5. We are growing and cash flow positive

Requirements -

  1. Being a hunter, cold calling, and working hard
  2. Very strong selling Software as a Service (SAAS)
  3. MUST be able to orchestrate a deal internally & externally
  4. 5+ years selling HR/HCM software
  5. This person MUST be a awesome CLOSER

Responsibilities -

  1. Carrying a $1.5M first year quota
  2. Covering MN & CO
  3. Selling Software as a Service is CRITICAL
  4. Working with an inside sales person, hand in hand
  5. Strong CLOSING skills — we need a CLOSER

So what’s “wrong” with this method? There are many things that don’t work about this type of “recruiting.” I’ll point out some of them: keep reading…

How to Be Sure Your Job Req Attracts Anyone and Everyone

by May 3, 2011, 4:37 am ET

click to enlarge

One of the things that frustrated me when I was a recruiter was a poorly written job description. This was just one of many puzzle pieces that provided the impetus for me to leave recruiting and work on aligning talent strategy with corporate strategy.

For those of you who are responsible for writing job descriptions and/or approving them for your company (hiring managers, corporate recruiters, RPOs), what guidelines do you follow to produce exceptional and accurate job descriptions? Do you even follow any guidelines? Has anyone ever taught you how to write an effective and accurate job description? Have you thought about what’s necessary to attract the “right” candidate for you and used these things to recruit those top performers so they want to come to work for you? Do you just throw the job description onto your “careers” page, a job board, or social networking site, and hope (I always say “hope” is never an effective strategy) great candidates find you? But most importantly, is your job description a reflection of an aligned executive team, benchmarked employees, and well-thought-out recruiting practices that are directly in line with executive alignment and culture?

One of my LinkedIn connections passed on a job description through his network for one of his connections who’s looking for inside sales folks. The individual who wrote it is a VP of Sales & Marketing. I’m not sure if he’s responsible for all their recruiting or if this company also employs corporate recruiters and/or 3rd party agencies. Either way, this is a wonderful teaching example of what won’t work, unless you’re looking for low-quality employees. I’ve included the entire job description (click to enlarge) with the company’s name removed, for obvious reasons.

As you read this, can you see some of the main the issues I’m seeing? It occurs to me that they are just casting a very wide net to see what they may catch. Let’s look at the most important items. keep reading…

Is Your Organization Optimized? 8 Questions to Ask Yourself

by Apr 27, 2011, 5:33 am ET

Our country has gone from conversations about how to recruit and retain quality employees in a market with low unemployment just a few short years ago to conversations about how to find a job in a market with record unemployment numbers.

What’s missing is the most important conversation, regardless of our economic situation.

No one is talking about what needs to be done by companies to optimize their organization with the highest number of “A” players possible. What percentage is possible? If done properly, 80-90%. In our current economic climate it is especially important to move away from mediocrity. The 80-20 rule, as it relates to sales, is just not acceptable if you truly want to be successful in today’s market. For those who aren’t familiar with the 80/20 rule, it says that 20% or your sales organization will produce 80% of your revenue. Is this really what you’re company is committed to? Have you considered the possibility of what your revenues would look like with 80-90% of your sales organization achieving quotas vs. 20-50%?

Optimization Checklist

These questions are just some that you need to be asking yourself. If you’re not asking these questions, you are headed for mediocrity or possibly even failure.  keep reading…