Recruiting 101


Peter Shutz’s philosophy on recruitment is admirable: “Hire character. Train skill.” Although suitable candidates must possess a level of knowledge and skillset to meet the job requirements, having the right attitude, passion and fit with the desired organization is necessary for long-term employee retention and success. Finding the right candidate, who is committed to your organizational goals and believes in your product or service helps to authentically perpetuate your brand. This can help raise your customers from mere repeat buyers to brand evangelists. It is genuine, positive affirmations on social media and through word of mouth that will help escalate your brand to the next level of success; it all starts by hiring the right people with the right character.

When looking to recruit the perfect employee, there are two places to search: outside of your organization and inside of your organization.

When recruiting from outside of your organization, it’s important to acknowledge that technology and social media are now playing a role in the recruitment process. Whether through Twitter, LinkedIn or personal resume websites, excellent candidates are making themselves available via the Internet and recruiters are leveraging these tools. “Social recruiting” or “social hiring” are two terms that recognize the intersection of the recruiting process and social media in the 21st century. For example, LinkedIn has an entire solution for businesses called “LinkedIn Corporate Recruiting Solutions” (watch the video here: LinkedIn is a place where people are building their professional reputations and there are many well-qualified “passive candidates” ready to be recruited. Search filters and keywords allow for dynamic and efficient candidate searches.

When recruiting from inside of your organization, it is important to understand the inherent opportunities and limitations that exist. Hiring from within allows current high-performing employees to be rewarded for their hard work. You already know how the candidate works and there will be less of an internal learning curve for the promoted employee. Opportunities for career and personal growth can also boost employee morale. Possible limitations to hiring from within may include stifling the creative potential of your organization by limiting external ideas and experiences gathered from elsewhere within your industry. There is also the potential for resentment from current employees who feel as though they are qualified but are not being given an opportunity to progress in the company.

Knowing what works best for your company, understanding what your current employees are capable of and recognizing the position you are trying to fill will dictate whether you look inside of your organization, outside of your organization or both.

Ten Steps for Hiring the Right Employee

(From Susan M. Heathfield, Human Resources Expert)

1. Define the Job Before Hiring an Employee

2. Plan Your Employee Recruiting Strategy

3. Use a Checklist for Hiring an Employee (Systematic Approach)

4. Recruit the Right Candidates

5. Review Credentials and Applications Carefully

6. Prescreen Your Candidates (Save the Interview and Selection Committee Time)

7. Ask the Right Job Interview Questions

8. Check Backgrounds and References When Hiring an Employee

9. Extend a Job Offer (vs. Extending Verbal Conditions Only)

10. Use Effective Employment Letters

Find more info here:

In-Action Example

With 35 years of ‘ground up’ executive printing industry experience, who better to learn from than the great Mary Black herself? I had the opportunity to speak with Mary, Principal of Mary Black Recruiting, to learn all about finding the right employee for an employer.

“It’s all about fitting the right person into the right company for the right position in an efficient and timely manner.”

It takes a combination of attributes to thrive in a given organization, including compatibility with the company, being a team player, punctuality, consistency, reliability, a good first impression and a great personality. It is a long list, but placing candidates with this level of interpersonal and technical skill is how Mary maintains her high standards and credibility within the industry. Mary also believes that someone’s “EQ” (Emotional Quotient) is just as important as possessing a high “IQ” (Intelligence Quotient), especially in an interview situation.

“Whether or not the candidate is dressed well for the interview, shows up on time and the way they handle themselves make a candidate’s EQ extremely important,” explains Mary.

Mary has seen a change in the recruitment industry in just the last few years, as there are fewer jobs than in years past, and therefore more competition. Mary makes it clear that there are still lots of jobs available, but candidates must have everything in order before going into an interview because there is so much more competition.

“I don’t find it difficult to fill a given role because the job market is smaller and I have lots of candidates.” She continues, “There’s no trouble finding the right candidate, it’s more about narrowing down the over 900 candidates and making sure the optimum compatibility is there.”

In addition, Mary has found that candidates’ salary expectations have increased and warns that candidates must be realistic and prove that they have value to warrant the anticipated salary.

“I see past students who have only been out of school for two or three years expecting over $100,000 per year. You have to prove your value and show why you’re worth that much to a company.”

From Mary’s perspective, the most important part of the recruiting process is understanding the company’s culture and then working closely with that company to make sure she provides them with the right candidates. As past Chair of Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program, Mary is in the unique position of knowing a decade’s worth of graduates from the only degree-granting printing industry program in Canada. She remembers many of her past students, including their personalities and whether or not they would make a great fit for a given company. Mary’s value lies in the large number of candidates she has to draw from, giving her the ability to often find companies a better candidate faster, providing great value over the long term. In the end, it is simply about finding the right fit.

For more information about Mary Black Recruiting, check out:


Book Resource

Hiring For Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude by Mark Murphy

In his new book, based on hiring and employment research, Murphy states “attitude should be your number-one focus during the hiring process.” He believes that the attitudes of your employees directly affects your customers and having a great attitude is what turns customers into raving fans! Whether it is a matter of hiring someone from outside the company, or promoting internally, it is crucial to understand this key ingredient in the hiring process.


Kenexa Recruiting Strategies

Kenexa has produced a series of podcast audio recordings about effective recruiting strategies. This series includes podcasts ranging from 6 minutes to 26 minutes in length, such as “Hiring the A Team”, “Building Your Social Network Communities” and “What’s Your Recruiting Strategy”. These podcasts are available for free on iTunes.


Michael Goldberg @SuperRecruiter

Corporate Strategic Recruiting Leader at Freeman who gets it and knows how to bring A level talent to the table. Social and Super Recruiting is my specialty.

Diana Varma
Diana Varma is an Instructor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University and the Owner of ON-SITE First Aid & CPR Training Group, a health & safety company that provides training to the Graphic Arts Industry.

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