Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the Battle for Top Talent, Delay Is Fatal

In February, 192,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy, according to the Labor Department. It was the largest single monthly gain—excluding census workers—since early 2006. While not a windfall of jobs, considering the nearly 800,000 jobs lost in March of 2009 alone, it is a stark improvement.

While the figure may have improved because of delayed hiring during a stormy January, some economists suggest it is still being underreported. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusts for the birth and death of companies, it often underestimates the number of new companies in times of recovery. While its survey of employers reported that 192,000 jobs were created in February, its survey of households showed a gain of 250,000 jobs.  Payroll provider, ADP, which puts out an estimate of total employment based on the millions of employees in their system, has been reporting an average gain of more than 200,000 private-sector jobs for the last three months.

None of these statistics are comparing apples to apples. Each is surveying overlapping populations and each through different means. What they all show, however, is that jobs are being added—and at an increasingly meaningful rate. They indicate educational achievement is as important as ever. They also show that service-providing industries, as well as small and medium-sized companies, seem to be creating the most new jobs. What they don’t reveal is the pain that many, especially larger employers, are feeling in the crunch for top talent.

“Today, we are seeing a position that once may have taken six to eight weeks to go from first interview to job offer, now taking two or three times as long,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “Once a passive candidate is considering a position, they’re no longer passive and with each week they are more likely to be considering additional opportunities.”

A delay in extending an offer risks a candidate losing the enthusiasm to take the position and if they find other opportunities, it can create a bidding situation, driving up the cost. This doesn’t make the candidate less desirable; in fact, the opposite may very well be true.

“Every employer wants a candidate who is passionate about working for them, but they also want people who are aggressive, strategic, and who will go out and create opportunities. If a sales manager candidate waits through a three-month vetting process without considering what other options are available, that on its own should raise a flag,” notes Romaine.

At larger firms, there are often vetting procedures that can’t be skipped. Background checks, reference checks, internal postings, and multi-level interviews all take time.

“Hiring managers need to work with HR to streamline the hiring process and overcome as many obstacles as possible before the interview process begins,” says Romaine. “When delays arise, the candidate needs to be kept informed of the process. Frequent updates, even just to let them know things are still on track, will help keep them primed and ready for an offer.”

In many industries and job functions, the pendulum has swung from being an employers’ market back to one favoring candidates. It doesn’t mean that getting great talent is impossible. If anything, it means that the top-performing passive candidates are going to be more willing to explore what else the market has to offer. 

MRI Network, First Friday Preview, April, 2011. Provided by ETS Dental. Find out more at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You Can’t Compete With Me – The Legality of Non-Compete Agreements |

Here is a good article on Non-Compete agreements.

You Can’t Compete With Me – The Legality of Non-Compete Agreements |
Millions of American’s wake up every day, get dressed in business attire, and head to work- only their “job” these days is actually looking for one. Unemployment rates are still hovering around 9.6% nationally, making this job market highly competitive and hard to crack into. Employers know this, and in a lot of ways, the sheer volume of applicants per job gives them the ability to exclude benefits, cut salaries and make demands that are sometimes not only unfair, but illegal.
One such demand that employers are placing on new-hires is that they sign a non-compete agreement. A non-compete is a document that restricts where and who you can work for should you be fired or quit. Is that legal and should you sign it? In a few states, they’re generally not legal. For example, in California, a non-compete agreement is enforceable only if someone sells a business and agrees not to compete with the new owner. That aside, California employers cannot restrict the livelihood of their current or former employees. For most other states the short answer to are non-competes legal is yes-however, the agreement has to be “reasonable” to be legal and upheld in court. Before signing, there are some things you should look for within the agreement itself before signing.
Article continued at

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Questions that Could Save Your Dental Practice from Ruin

In many ways, the dental community is isolated from the rest of the business world. While the corporate world is encroaching, most practices are still built around the owner who, generally, has little formal business training and may well remember the days when a handshake was enough.

As recruiters, we often start our relationships with dental practices who have recently gone through a frustrating and often messy termination. Unfortunately, the doctors who leave the biggest messes easily find other employment only to leave a similar wake of destruction in their next office. Why is it so easy for these doctors to ruin one practice after another?

Dental Practices, as a group, routinely fail to protect the practice, staff and patients by performing a simple reference check. The importance of reference checking is well-documented in the larger business world. Many articles have been written on the subject, including some very helpful resources.

Simply checking license history is no longer enough. You have the right to ask for references, and you should not settle for personal references. Ask for contact information of previous employers or faculty, if appropriate. Here are some practical steps to help making a reference check call easy, informative and less time consuming.

Confirm the details
Do not be shy to ask how the reference knows the job seeker. Find out how long they have known each other. If the reference is a former employer, ask for dates of employment. Ask what their function was in that position.

Decide what you want to know before you call
When we perform reference checks on behalf of our clients, we ask the reference to rate the job candidate on productivity, the quality of their work, their oral and written expression, their working relationships, their motivation and initiative, and their punctuality and attendance.

Know what he/she does well
Ask the reference what they would consider to be the job seeker’s greatest strengths in the position. Also, ask what the employer’s expectations were and how well the job seeker fulfilled them. Do they work better independently or under direct supervision?

Know where the job seeker could improve
This is a great way to ask for constructive criticism in a way that will not make the reference feel uncomfortable about giving a bad reference. Be sure to ask if the job seeker was open to critique and if progress was made toward improvement.

Would the reference hire or re-hire the job seeker?
This is straight to the point. If you hear “No,” make sure that you know why.

When you finish the reference check, be sure to thank the reference for the time that they spent with you and the information they provided. They may well have just saved you from a bad decision or enabled you to sleep well with the decision you will make.

Written by Morgan Pace, Sr Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan directly at (540) 491-9102 or Find out more at