Tag Archive | "hiring"

3 Ways to Tell If Job Candidates Are Faking Passion


In an era of fake references and “extreme” job seekers who make displays of their ambitions, finding people who will be as engaged as they pledge to be during the hiring process can be a bit of a guessing game, reported Inc. How can you assess who truly burns for the job, and who’s just faking it?

As it happens, the upcoming NFL draft (April 30-May 2), the annual event at which pro football teams evaluate and select young talent from the college ranks, provides a few answers.

Because of its exceptionally violent nature, football has always been a profession in which a player’s enduring passion is essential. “If you’re playing just for money, there’s probably not enough of it to put your body through that torture,” explains Je’Rod Cherry, an ESPN Cleveland radio host who played nine seasons, to Cleveland.com’s Tom Reed.

Plus, the stakes for NFL teams have never been higher: More and more players are abruptly retiring in their twenties to save their minds and bodies. That is, of course, understandable and even commendable. But it further complicates each team’s quest to gauge which players are just cashing the check and which ones really burn to compete and win.

So, how do NFL teams determine which players are genuinely passionate, and which ones are faking it to get the gig? Here are three tricks of the NFL talent-evaluation trade:

1. Look for talent with a chip on its shoulder.

The textbook example is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He will be in the NFL Hall of Fame one day. But he did not receive a single scholarship offer to play in college, despite a howitzer arm and 3.9 GPA. The reason? He stood 5-foot-2 entering high school and didn’t reach 6-foot-0 until his senior year.

He played his first year of college football at Butte College in Oroville, Calif. It was there that University of California coach Jeff Tedford noticed him and offered him a scholarship. “To say that Rodgers emerged from the recruiting process with a chip on his shoulder would be an understatement,” writes Bruce Feldman in The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks.

In fact, Rodgers’ infamous chip has become a template for those in the business of breeding quarterbacks. Trent Dilfer, the lead instructor at the quarterback competition known as Elite 11 academy, encourages pupils to find the mental space where they can access their chips as motivation, Feldman reports.

For example, prior to his acceptance at Elite 11, David Blough (currently a freshman at Purdue University) had not received a single scholarship offer. Thus he came to the 2013 competition–which takes place at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon–with a chip fully in place.

Blough excelled in early drills but slacked toward the end, claiming he was unaccustomed to front-running. Dilfer advised Blough to tune out the successful realities–and re-enter the world where he was a snubbed, hungry recruit. He told Blough: “Don’t you ever buy into the fact that you should live in reality. You keep living in this pretend world, because that’s where you thrive.”

Traditional entrepreneurs are also keen on finding employees with chips on their shoulders. Bert Jacobs, co-founder of the Life Is Good Company, believes those are the employees who’ll stay engaged in the long term, because they have “something to prove.”

2. Speak to their former managers–the ones you won’t find on any reference list.

Urban Meyer, head coach of the Ohio State football team, explained to Cleveland.com how the smartest NFL talent evaluators compile player information from college coaches.

One way is by asking about a player’s habits when he’s away from team activities. “What did he do on Friday and Saturday nights when he had spare time? How do you draft a guy or recruit a guy if you don’t know that?” Meyer asks.

Two lessons here cross over to business recruiting. The first pertains to checking references. Remember, the references anyone provides–be it a job candidate, an investor, or a partner–are just one piece of the puzzle. There’s nothing stopping you from researching and contacting their unlisted former colleagues to get a different perspective. NFL teams do this as a matter of course.

The smartest entrepreneurs do it when vetting venture capital firms. When Dave Elkington, founder of InsideSales.com, was ready to raise money, he made a point of speaking not only to company founders who had great relationships with VCs, but also to founders whose exits never materialized. He wanted to know how those oh-so-friendly VCs behaved when they were disappointed.

The second recruiting lesson is to ask about a job candidate’s spare time. Anyone can speak passionately during an interview, but do they behave passionately, in pursuit of their profession or something else, when no one is watching? Former managers and coworkers can shed light on these questions.

3. Scan for “graduate-level” details in their responses.

It’s no secret: If you’re passionate about anything, you can go on and on for days, speaking about it. Especially speaking about what it means to you.

Meyer points out that the smartest NFL teams have learned to look for players who have a “graduate-level” recall of football-related topics. It could be their favorite players as a kid, the first game they watched, their biggest on-field rival, or something they learned in game preparation through film study.

By all counts, one of the most passionate players in this year’s draft is University of Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler (pictured above). Teams believe in his passion because he consistently provides detail-dripping replies like this, which he shared with Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas. He’s speaking about his on-field rivalry with LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins:

That’s a bloodbath right there, me and La’el….My sophomore year, we went to Baton Rouge and played against LSU, and I’m not going to lie, I got my butt whooped….So I spent the whole last summer getting ready for La’el, I ain’t going to lie to you….I had it marked on my calendar the day after my sophomore game. That whole week leading up to the game, it felt like it was a year. Saturday finally came, and I was a captain, and he was a captain, too. It felt like we were about to do a boxing match. The whole coin toss, when the referees were talking, I was staring him down and he was staring me down.

You can see that his reply contains precisely what NFL talent evaluators seek in a passionate player: a chip on the shoulder and graduate-level details.

However, the skeptic in you would be right to wonder about how–twice–Fowler declares that he wouldn’t lie about something like this. Then again, it could be nothing but a verbal habit, the way some people repeat “you know” or “like.”

And therein lies the rub faced by anyone screening an employee for passion. “They’re going to tell you what you want to hear,” sums up Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie in a recent Wall Street Journal story. The most any team can do, he adds, is to “make sure you’re thorough.”

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AGWS Announces Bob Harkins as Vice President of Training


WARRENVILLE, Ill – American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc. (AGWS) would like to announce the addition of Mr. Robert (Bob) Harkins as Vice President of Training.

Bob joins AGWS with a very extensive background and has been in the industry for over 25 years in Consumer Finance, Sales and Finance and Insurance Management. Most recently, Bob was Vice President and Director of Training at AFG Training Academy in Texas.

Mr. Harkins has already led a number of training classes covering Compliance and Ethics and F & I Sales for American Guardian. Attendees have praised the depth of Bob’s knowledge in these areas.

AGWS looks forward to having Mr. Harkins on staff as the trainer for the AGWS University that is offered by the American Guardian Group of Companies.

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These Problems Keep CEOs Awake At Night


There are few things that Deloitte’s consulting arm and Box’s file sharing business have in common, reports LinkedIn. Yet the CEOs of these respective companies agree on two big problems at their respective companies that keeps that up at night.

On a Monday panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, Jim Moffatt of Deloitte and Aaron Levie of Box first agreed that recruiting and retaining top Millennial talent is top of mind for their diverse companies. While Moffatt is working to empower young employees to stay at the firm longer by giving them more diverse work, Levie is grappling with the challenges of running a 1,300-person workforce with the average age of 25 or 26.

“It is very apparent that managing and attracting this demographic of workforce is certainly interesting especially in Silicon Valley,” Levie said. “There is this constant dynamism in the workforce that is very very hard to build the right part of platform and environment for people to accomplishment what they want.”

Levie acknowledged that there is an ever-growing group of interesting companies for top talent to work at in the valley. His solution to try and keep his best employees is to try and compress the amount of times that it takes them to accomplish certain tasks and move ahead within the company. In the past what may have looked like a five-year career trajectory, Levie said is now more like a two-year trajectory.

“This generation is very very accustomed to moving quickly ahead in every part of their life and when they get to work and things move slowly and they can’t get ahead quickly it impacts their ability to stay,” he said.

For Moffatt of Deloitte, the challenge lies in disrupting the way Deloitte rewards Millennial talent. Unlike perhaps the generations that came before them, the youngest generation in the workforce is unmotivated by a staple in the consulting world: title changes and promotions. Instead, he said young Deloitte workers are value and impact driven which is forcing the firm to re-evaluate their HR priorities.

The talent crisis was not the only point during the panel that both Moffatt and Levie agreed upon. With the influx of data breaches suffered by companies as diverse as JPMorgan, Target and Sony, both CEOs have elevated the data security responsibility away from just the CIO or CRO level and directly into their office and the boardroom. Pointing to both the regulations and the massive size of the workforces that big companies have to deal with, Levie argued that small tech companies may be at an advantage when it comes to effectively coming up with solutions to tackle cyber security.

“The bigger the organization is the harder it is to solve the problem,” said Levie. “But if all a company had to do was stay secure, that wouldn’t be very interesting because you would just buy lots of security technology. It’s in the same time that you are being disrupted by new technology that you have to figure out the nuanced way… to balance risk.”

Levie called Silicon Valley a “dangerous place right now” that is going after specific industries in the data space, but without being the baggage that comes with being an established company with hundreds of years of processes, behaviors and information.

Moffatt’s answer to combating new market entrants and protecting client data goes back to increasing the access points that need to be protected. He also said he is taking a hard look at the data that his company actually needs to keep. Alluding specifically to the email hacks that Sony suffered in late 2014, Moffatt said that data strategy is something that he is always thinking about as a top priority within his firm.

Levie’s security advice for Moffatt and the other CEOs on his panel?

“You could just say fewer things in your emails,” he joked.

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Black Book Adds VP of Lender Solutions


LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Black Book announced this month that Barrett Teague has joined the company to serve as vice president of Lender Solutions.
A 20-year automotive finance industry veteran, Teague will be responsible for overseeing strategic operations to help Black Book’s automotive lender clients leverage vehicle data and collateral analytics for profitable portfolio management and expansion.

“We look forward to the leadership Barrett brings to the Black Book Lender Solutions team, especially given his extensive experience with indirect lending,” said Jared Kalfus, senior vice president of sales for Black Book. “Our lender clients will quickly realize the strength and value Barrett offers as we continuously work to deliver innovative data solutions that will help lenders make profitable decisions.”

Prior to joining Black Book, Teague was a group vice president, consumer banking manager for SunTrust Bank’s Dealer Financial Services Division. In this role, he was responsible for managing the credit underwriting team for the Indirect Dealer Services group. He also was responsible for aligning credit and risk policies, in addition to implementing programs that supported SunTrust Bank’s overall business objectives.

The Black Book Lender Solutions team supports automotive lenders, which include banks, credit unions, finance companies, and title lenders by offering vehicle data and collateral analytics to help build portfolios around the right vehicles. The ability to analyze historical, current and projected vehicle values in real time allows lenders to make quick and accurate decisions that can impact their profitability.

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National Automotive Experts / NWAN Welcomes Gabriella Roberts to their Executive Management Team


STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – National Automotive Experts/NWAN is proud to welcome Gabriella Roberts to their executive management team as the Vice President of Operations.

Gabriella Roberts joined the NAE/NWAN team as the Vice President of Operations this month. Prior to joining NAE, Roberts worked as a Senior Vice President for Warrantech (an AmTrust Financial Company). Previously, Roberts spent 18 years with Assurant Solutions as a Director of Account Management.

“We are very excited to have Gabriella as part of our team. Gabriella has an extensive background in project management and client services,” said Kelly Price, President of National Automotive Experts. “We believe that by adding the talent and passion that Gabriella brings to NAE/NWAN, we will be unstoppable. She is driven to be the best and will ensure that as we roll out new product offerings and solutions to our agent and dealer partners, it will be done with the quality and efficiency expected at NAE/NWAN.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to join the NAE/NWAN family. I am excited about contributing to and growing with a team so committed to quality, urgency and superior client service” said Roberts. “NAE’s dedication to their clients truly sets them apart from their competition and I am looking forward to ensuring the company mission is brought to life each and every day.”

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How Using LinkedIn Recommendations Can Help You Find Your Next Employee


The evolution of the internet and social media has changed the way we make decisions, reported Entrepreneur. In a matter of minutes, we can tap into the collective opinions of hundreds—even thousands—of people who have already purchased a product or service and know exactly how they feel about their purchase. If you read a lot of negative reviews, you probably won’t complete the purchase. On the other hand, when you read a lot of positive reviews, you feel comfortable purchasing that product or service. Also, your chances of buyer’s remorse diminish significantly because social proof—the act of making decisions based on what others recommend—justified the purchase in your mind.

So what does social proof have to do with LinkedIn, anyway? Actually a lot. Essentially job candidates are marketing and selling themselves on LinkedIn. Their profile, job experience, skills, and the recommendations they get from others are the marketing collateral that people read to get to know them.

But how can social proof help you hire in today’s economy? Let’s say you’ve posted a job opening online. Within minutes, you have more than 100 resumes. You scan through a few of the resumes, and very few people are qualified for the position, even though you clearly spelled out the job qualifications in the job posting.

That’s because people are so desperate, they’re applying for any job—even if they aren’t qualified—hoping to catch the attention of the HR department, so maybe they can get hired for a more appropriate position. But that means you’ll have to dig through hundreds of resumes to find a handful of people to interview. So how do you find good candidates in today’s economy with millions of qualified workers looking for a job?

The fact of the matter is, most jobs are filled through word-of-mouth recommendations, not by sifting through hundreds of resumes, because it’s much easier and more reliable to hire someone who comes highly recommended by one of your trusted colleagues. The old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is more powerful than ever today, and you can get to know the “right” people by leveraging social proof.

LinkedIn created its own version of social proof called LinkedIn Recommendations, which is a reputation manager for professionals. When people write LinkedIn Recommendations for someone, it’s the online version of the written recommendations people used to receive from instructors and former employers.

Think of LinkedIn as a reputation engine for business professionals. A job candidate’s LinkedIn profile is more than an online resume with a list of their past and present jobs, education, and accomplishments. Their professional reputation includes whom they associate with, the groups they belong to, the associations and clubs they belong to, and how much they interact with their network.

When you’re looking to hire new employees, recommendations can help you determine if a potential employee will be a good fit for your business. You can also tell if they’re actively networking and reaching out to others or if they’re a passive LinkedIn member with a static profile and no networking activity. If someone isn’t active on LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean they’re not good at what they do. It just means they’re not actively building their professional network as well as they could be.

When people keep their LinkedIn profile current, participate in LinkedIn Groups, and publish and share great content, potential employers like you can learn more about them than by just reading their resumes. The icing on the cake is the LinkedIn Recommendations, which provide third-party verification of someone’s skills. Each online activity is like a piece of a puzzle, and recommendations are the glue that holds the puzzle together. When you’re using LinkedIn to find new employees for your company, you want to look for LinkedIn members who have a complete, updated profile with lots of great recommendations.

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