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Gail Miller

Gail Tolstoi-Miller is the CEO and chief staffing strategist for Consultnetworx, a national consulting and staffing firm. In addition, she is the CEO of SpeedHIRE, the only nationwide targeted invitational recruiting event organization.

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Raise the Grade on Recruitment Performance With Quarterly Incentives

by Nov 25, 2014, 5:55 am ET

EREConf14_footerBased on my experience, both as a former HR executive and as an agency owner, I believe corporate recruitment can be enhanced by borrowing strategies from well-managed agencies (and vice versa). For example, during my time at Dendrite, our recruiting staff was highly effective and engaged. Their success was a result of an agency-inspired, detailed, bonus structure, measured through hard and soft data that was tied to quarterly performance.

Detractors of this model have their concerns: ill-conceived benchmarks and fluctuations in business cycles can cause morale problems for those whose compensation is tied to performance. Others contend that it is impossible to set hiring metrics that fairly measure performance since there are so many players responsible for the ultimate outcome of hiring. Our winning process at Dendrite addressed these concerns. keep reading…

Score Some Winning Insight From a Sports Recruiter’s Perspective

by Sep 16, 2014, 12:59 am ET

Mel playing soccerRecently, I’ve become immersed in some unfamiliar recruiting territory — collegiate sports! As I work with my son, a student athlete, to navigate the college exploration process, I’m noticing many similarities between these two worlds of talent search.

Last month, I met Jay, a sports recruiter/scout who has placed numerous incredible college athletes through the years. Many of his “picks” have gone on to play sports professionally. Jay and I spoke at length about our industries and I asked him the secrets to his success as a recruiter, albeit in another realm.

If you find solutions to your professional challenges by looking to other industries, read his valuable perspective on sports recruiting success, as well as my related observations. keep reading…

The Pros and Cons of Texting for Talent

by Jul 31, 2014, 5:07 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 9.18.31 AMMany HR departments are at a crossroads with their recruiting effort, wondering how to improve staffing and wondering which technologies they should implement into their process. Using texting as a means of candidate communication is an option being explored by a growing number of firms. But for every supporter there is a critic — and for good reason.

Sure, texting can improve the candidate experience and speed up the process when handled properly. However, many firms do not have the infrastructure or resources to implement a centralized texting platform, integrated solution, or structured texting campaigns. In many cases, without a thoughtful strategy, texting for talent can become a major detriment to an organization’s recruitment brand.

Let’s take a look at the bright side of texting for talent: keep reading…

Take a Fascinating Fresh Look at Human Behavior in the Workplace

by May 23, 2014, 12:06 am ET

sensationLike many people in the business of  “human” resources, I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people tick — especially in the workplace. That’s why the book, Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence by Professor Thalma Lobel was a fascinating read. The author explores how our personal and professional behavior and decision-making are influenced by the physical stimuli that we’re exposed to everyday.

From taste to smell to touch and beyond, this book’s sweeping exploration makes sense of the senses. Through various research projects we learn thought-provoking new insight that has many implications for HR professionals.

If you have intellectual curiosity about psychology, physiology, and how it all affects work behavior, try putting the book’s findings into these real-world work scenarios! keep reading…

Peer Interviewing: The Right Tool in the Wrong Hands?

by Apr 30, 2014, 12:32 am ET

Norm Abrams of PBS’s long-running series This Old House spent a lot of time educating viewers on the value of using the appropriate tools. He used to say that the wrong tool in the right hands would always produce disappointing results. As builders of teams — not houses — HR leaders might consider this statement in reverse. After all, when it comes to staffing, the right tool in the wrong hands can be detrimental, too.

Case in point: The peer interview. keep reading…

Judging the Voice: The Reality of Phone Interview Bias

by Jan 24, 2014, 6:44 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 8.42.21 PMWhat do you have in common with Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Sheldon, and Adam Levine? If you spend time searching for top talent, quite a lot! After all, with the rise of HR phone screening and first-round phone interviews, recruiting is beginning to resemble the blind auditions on the blockbuster TV show, The Voice.

On The Voice, blind auditions ensure that talent is judged fairly, with no bias based on their appearance. On the recruiting front, the voice of a job candidate could unwittingly cause bias or at least weigh heavily on the decision-making process of an interviewer.

Now, some would say that candidates actually benefit from phone screenings because initial decisions are not influenced by a candidate’s appearance or body language. However, research suggests that many candidates’ voices could sway first impressions and damage their chances for a second interview. After all, it’s human nature to make silent judgments about people based on how they speak.   keep reading…

Going Once. Going Twice. Sold: Internships on the Auction Block

by Oct 31, 2013, 6:31 am ET

With the recent headlines shining a light on the corporate exploitation of interns, it’s shocking to me that some firms are auctioning off internships in the name of philanthropy. Imagine, a wealthy family of a college student or recent grad actually “making a donation” to get their kid’s foot in the door.

It’s true. Big name movie studios, glamorous fashion houses, private academic institutions, and highbrow publishing companies are just some of the many organization that have auctioned off internships — paid or unpaid — via Charitybuzz.com, the online auction house.

According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, internship auctions have “… brought in big money. In fact, one posting billed as the ‘ultimate intern experience’ gave one bidder a 12-week-long internship … for $85,000, making it the most expensive internship ever sold on the site.”

Some of these internships are really job-shadow experiences while others are actual hands-on work. Regardless, these internships are appearing on the resumes of those wealthy enough to afford steep donations, which are generally $1,500-$5,000 in value.

The first question that comes to mind: When they interview for their first “real jobs,” do these privileged students reveal the fact that their internships were unearned? The answer: Of course not!

Here are five other questions to ponder with regard to internship auctions: keep reading…

6 Reasons Why Overachievers Frequently Under-deliver

by Oct 3, 2013, 6:30 am ET

As a fresh crop of recent college graduates hits the job market, big hiring enterprises are out to harvest the cream of the crop. Summa cum laud graduates from top-tier schools with focus, ambition, and confidence are ripe for the picking. After all, many of these dynamos possess the traits we look for in future leaders. But, be warned! A bodacious resume is not a true measure of future success. keep reading…

Bring in the Reserves: an Argument for Over-Hiring

by Jul 25, 2013, 6:34 am ET

Consider this scenario: A talent acquisition director makes a seemingly great hire for a specialized manufacturing role. However, several weeks after the new employee starts the job, another, better — actually, amazing — candidate is referred by a colleague.

The HR professional decided to bring in the late-coming candidate for an informal interview even though a true “job opening” no longer exists. After the decision makers interview the late-coming candidate, they acknowledged that he’s a perfect fit for the culture, qualified for several potential future opportunities in the firm, and a prime candidate for leadership grooming.

The talent acquisition director considers two options: keep reading…

The Art of Filling the Most Desired Job in History

by Jun 11, 2013, 6:45 am ET

mars oneINHABITANTS WANTED: Mars One, the Dutch-based, nonprofit space travel organization, is recruiting a few brave men and women to colonize the red planet.

I’m a skeptic of the Mars One mission. In fact, I think Mars One’s interplanetary initiative is based on more nonsense than facts — a publicity stunt at best (or worse, a Ponzi scheme.) Will Mars One explorers ever get off the ground, given the scope of this unprecedented scientific and technological undertaking? I doubt it.

Still, as a staffing professional, I am astonished by the early success of Mars One’s astronaut recruitment efforts. Believe it or not, nearly 80,000 video applicants have paid up to $75 for a chance to explore the heavens. While many question the motives of this so-called boundary-pushing space mission, employers can’t deny that Mars One’s unique recruitment process provides some fascinating takeaways. keep reading…

Facebook and Phone Calls: A Recipe for Recruiting Success

by Apr 10, 2013, 12:25 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 11.22.02 AMAccording to a recent Facebook blog post, “Half of employers (50 percent) are using Facebook in their hiring process. A majority (54 percent) already using the social network anticipates Facebook becoming a more important part of the talent acquisition process in the near future.”

Job candidates are also infusing their job search with Facebook activity. In a recent study conducted jointly by Facebook and Carnegie-Mellon University, results revealed that job seekers with strong ties who shared private messages, commented on each others’ posts, or posted directly on each others’ walls found new jobs at a rate of 33.2 percent over the three months. Those with weak ties found jobs a fifth as often, at only a 6.5 percent rate.

This data suggests two things: The first is that we are hiring people who are spending a lot of time on social media. (Let’s hope they’re not doing it while on the job!) And second, Facebook is a powerful tool for active, hands-on users. Like job seekers, recruiters need to do more than just jump on to the Facebook wagon — they need to learn how to drive it and not to forget to use the phone along with it. keep reading…

You May Be Slamming the Door on the Next Gates, Branson, or Jobs

by Mar 12, 2013, 1:06 am ET
NYU -- the largest private university in the U.S.

NYU — one of the largest private universities in the U.S.

With the astronomical jobless rate and the skyrocketing cost of four-year college, many are questioning the value and validity of a bachelor’s degree. As a proud NYU alumnus, I treasure my education and wholeheartedly believe in the relevance of the college experience. However, over the years my black-and-white viewpoint on this subject has shifted to shades of gray.

That’s why the current educational phenomenon of “degree inflation” is so disconcerting to me. Economists and educators have coined this term to describe today’s hiring climate, where a college degree has become the basic requirement for jobs that don’t actually need an advanced education. According to Burning Glass, these positions include clerks, dental hygienist, administrative assistants, and paralegals. Corporate hiring professionals often adopt strict “degree required” criteria as a means of weeding out candidates and working with a manageable number of prospects. But very often this false criteria has no bearing on someone’s ability to engage, contribute, or excel in a role. keep reading…