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5 HR Technology Trends to Watch

Advances in technology have impacted every field, including recruiting.  We’ve put together a list of seven technology trends we think will change the way recruiters operate, as well as some suggestions for how you can leverage these developments to improve your company’s HR functions, positively impact company culture, and recruit (and retain) top talent. Recruiting Chatbots Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to hold text-based conversations with individuals who land on your company’s recruiting page, presenting a cost-effective way to provide real-time answers to potential applicants.  Some tech companies are also working on developing chatbots that can help new employees get set up after being hired, so they are not roaming around looking for someone who can answer their questions or frantically flipping through the employee handbook.  Integrating an AI chatbot can help attract potential employees, ease the transition for new employees, and increase productivity. Mobile Mobile app usage within...
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Idaho National Laboratory Position Filled by Potomac Recruiting

Idaho National Laboratory Position Filled by Potomac Recruiting

September 2016 – Idaho National Laboratory (INL) engaged Potomac Recruiting to conduct a search for a Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for National and Homeland Security (N&HS) Programs, and we are pleased to announce that we have successfully placed a highly qualified candidate.  INL is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center and the Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy research.  Their N&HS directorate plays a crucial role in the organization, providing innovative science, technology, and physical solutions to secure critical infrastructure and preventing the proliferation of nuclear and radiological weapons of mass destruction.  INL was seeking an accomplished leader capable of articulating an inspiring vision and guiding the directorate towards an exciting future, and able to work effectively with the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Intelligence Community, industry, and other stakeholders to position INL as the intellectual leader in national and homeland security programs.

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Why the Best Recruiters Have Learned to Love Data and Technology

Recruiters have embraced data and technology to employ a precision approach to hiring the best candidates—and they love it. Data and analytics in human resources play an increasingly important role in the way that companies approach candidate searches and the hiring process in general. Welcome to the era of digital hiring. What Makes It So Great Data and technology searches have become a primary method of recruitment for a plethora of reasons. It provides recruiters with tremendous insight into potential candidates, more so than a traditional resume can. Big data provides information about candidates that can be easily acquired, such as educational history or former jobs and titles, but also analytical information that recruiters can use to learn more about the trends within the profiles of top-performing employees. For example, an employer can see how a candidate’s career has progressed over time, or notice any patterns and similarities within a...
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How to Maximize the Value of an Internship Program for Your Company

Internship programs are ubiquitous around the beltway (and around the world), but few employers approach these arrangements as ways to attract, develop, and retain top talent.  A well-designed internship program will not only help the student or young professional learn valuable skills that will help them in future endeavors, but will create a talent pool of qualified candidates who already have an understanding of your organization and its culture.  We asked our experts to come up with some ideas for employers looking to leverage their internship programs – or start one – to attract fresh talent and expand their candidate pools. Give Interns Real Work  – This tip is the most obvious, but definitely worth bringing up.  An internship is about much more than fetching coffee or making copies, and giving interns real assignments that will help them build their skills while learning about what type of work is expected...
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Using Social Media to Source Candidates

Social media has become a recruiting buzzword; these days, it seems everyone is sourcing candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There’s just one problem: there are millions of people on these social networks, and finding the right candidate among the crowd can be difficult – if not impossible – leaving many recruiters and hiring managers wondering how, exactly, they are supposed to leverage this technology to improve their candidate searches.  We’ve put together some tips designed to help you get started and effectively utilize social media sites to identify and reach out to qualified candidates. Tip 1: Take Advantage of Niche Groups So you’re on Facebook and LinkedIn and you want to find a specific kind of person to fill an open position – say a Java developer.  Where do you start?  By searching for relevant groups!  LinkedIn, for example, has hundreds of thousands of Groups professionals can join to...
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Improving the Candidate Experience

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when in the midst of a candidate search, especially if you work at a small company that may not have a dedicated recruiter who’s been well trained and can manage every aspect of the search.  You may find yourself sending out brusque form e-mails to candidates who didn’t make the cut, or calling people in for interviews without really having a plan in place for what to do with them when they get to the office.  Spending some time thinking about the process of applying for a position at your company from the candidate’s perspective, though, can be very beneficial in the long run – applicants who had an overall positive experience, even if they didn’t get the job, will be more likely to keep in touch with the company and apply for future opportunities, and to recommend your company to their friends.  So, here...
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Creative Ways to Build a Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline is a crucial way to ensure your company doesn’t get caught in a lurch by a sudden departure or a new project that requires additional manpower, as an effective talent pipeline will contain highly qualified individuals who are ready to quickly assume a position.  Creating a solid pipeline requires a lot of effort, though, as candidates are not available indefinitely – they will find new jobs, move across the country (or globe), or do something to demonstrate that they would not be a good employee after all – and therefore you will need to constantly review and update your pipeline.  Doing so doesn’t have to be tedious, though!  We’ve put together a list of some unique, creative ways to make sure there is a steady stream of candidates expressing interest in jobs with your firm, and who you can add to your talent pipeline. Tip 1:...
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Common Mistakes Companies Make when Hiring

Hiring the right talent is not an exact science: it takes finesse, experience, and a little bit of luck, and at some point everyone is going to make a mistake and hire the wrong person.  Company culture and the type of position being filled also play a role in hiring practices, which adds to the difficulty of creating a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring the perfect candidate every time.  Our hiring experts have, however, noticed a couple of common mistakes companies make during the hiring process, so this week they’ve put together a list of some of the more prominent errors and some simple fixes. Mistake 1: Not knowing what you want It’s impossible to fill an open position with a talented individual who will succeed and help the organization if you don’t know what specific skills, experience, and attributes a qualified candidate will need.  Developing a list of job responsibilities,...
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Making the Most of a Reference Check

Checking references is a step that, unfortunately, many recruiters and hiring managers decide to skip when bringing in a new employee.  It often seems tedious and time-consuming – the candidate has already passed through the pre-screening process, they’ve gone through phone and in-person interviews (perhaps even multiple rounds of face-to-face interviews), and they’ve managed to shine through it all.  What’s the point of going through their list and calling everyone just to get standard, canned responses about what a great employee they were?  Reference checks should never be ignored, though.  People can be trained on how to interview well and come across as competent, personable, and eager, so checking their references to make sure that they are actually a good employee , not just a good interviewee, is crucial.  Additionally, you need to verify that everything they’ve said on their résumé is accurate – you’d be surprised how many people...
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How to Simplify your Hiring Process

Hiring new employees is never going to be an easy process: identifying, interviewing, vetting, and on-boarding the right candidate takes time and effort, which pays off in the end, when you are rewarded with a competent and loyal employee.  There’s no need to struggle with an arduous hiring process if it’s leading to difficulties in attracting qualified candidates, though.   Take a look at these tips for simplifying your talent acquisition process, and see how many you can apply to your business! Tip 1: Shorten your application As an employer, you naturally want to have as much information about each candidate as possible before deciding whether or not to spend the time and effort to bring them in for an interview.  If your job application is too long and requires too many steps, though, it can negatively impact your hiring process.  Highly qualified candidates are turned off by lengthy applications that...
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Reducing Employee Turnover

It’s no industry secret that employee turnover and “job hopping” are on the rise, with fewer people choosing to stay with the same company for the entire length of their careers, as was once common.  This does have some benefits, as employees are gaining a wider variety of experiences and skills which they can apply to each new workplace, but can hinder company growth – especially for small companies.  With that in mind, we asked our HR experts to come up with some tips for reducing employee turnover and improving long-term retention rates.  Tip 1: Review compensation and benefit packages regularly Higher salaries and more attractive benefit packages are regularly cited by job hoppers as some of the top reasons they accepted a new position, so employers can cut down on this motivation by regularly reviewing compensation packages.  Review industry trends to make sure that your employees are being paid...
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Tips for Avoiding Job Posting Scams

Many recruiting scams are easy to spot: offers to make thousands of dollars a month working from home and blatant Ponzi schemes typically get sent to spam folders anyway, making them very easy to ignore, and fake ads on recruiting boards generally offer high salary ranges with vague descriptions of the position and responsibilities.  Some are much more subtle, though, and falling for them can have consequences that range from the mild annoyance of wasted time to devastating identity theft.  With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you avoid some of the more sophisticated recruiting scams, which tend to attract first-time job seekers, those who have been in the market for an extended period of time and have become increasingly frustrated, and mothers or recently retired seniors looking to make some additional income by working from home. Tip 1: Always Research the Company and...
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How to Expand your Career Network

Networking is a vital aspect of doing business: whether you are the CEO of a company or a recent graduate trying to find a first job, connections are important for achieving almost all business goals! While many people realize the importance of networking, they do not understand the impact an extended network can have on their future careers. By the time an individual is 40 he or she will have met tens of thousands of people, but very few people take full advantage of this network.  So how does one leverage these numerous long lost friends? The first step is to make a list, and make it now before you forget! This seems simple, but it will go a long way toward helping you remember people that you would have otherwise forgotten two years earlier. Making a list is a pretty simple task, but the organizational structure of this list...
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How to Build a “Talent Pool” for your Company

One of your primary jobs as a hiring manager is building an effective talent pool for your company, which can then be tapped to help you fill any open positions.  With that in mind, we’ve put together some simple tips and tricks to help you create, or improve, an effective pool of candidates.  A truly exceptional talent pipeline will help you simplify your hiring process by providing quick access to pre-screened internal and external candidates who are known to be good fits with your company culture and who are interested in opportunities with your business, and we are happy to assist you with your candidate pool, regardless of where you are in the process! Tip 1: Take advantage of your online presence Last week we discussed some of the key ways to optimize your mobile recruiting process , and this will be very important as you seek to build an...
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Why your Company Should Utilize Mobile Recruiting Apps

Everywhere you look there is someone engrossed in their phone: tapping a message, scrolling through an article, watching a video – everything can be done on mobile devices.  Additionally, Google has recently changed their search algorithm to ensure that mobile search results favor sites that look good on smartphone and tablet screens.  So why not bring your recruiting efforts into the mobile world and take advantage of the opportunities mobile-optimized websites provide?  To help you figure out what you need to do to optimize your mobile presence, our recruiting experts have put together a list of six key things candidates are looking for in a modern, mobile recruiting page. 1 – Mobile-Optimized Website Not surprisingly, we’ve found that one of the top things candidates would like is a recruiting website that is optimized for viewing on mobile devices.  This goes for hiring managers posting job listings on their company website,...
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Making the Most of a Phone Interview Part 2 – As a Hiring Manager

Last week we took a look at some of the things candidates can do to ace a phone interview , so this week we are decided to flip the focus and offer some advice for hiring managers!  Phone interviews can be a valuable tool, particularly if you have a lot of candidates who have applied for the position and not enough time to meet with all of them in person, but there are some simple things you can do to make sure you are getting the most out of each phone interview. Tip 1: Develop a Checklist Phone interviews are typically used to pre-screen candidates to determine whether or not they should be brought in for a full, face-to-face interview, so before you begin interviewing you should sit down and develop a checklist of immediate disqualifiers.  By going through this checklist during each interview you will be able to quickly...
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Making the Most of a Phone Interview Part 1 – As a Candidate

Phone interviews have a number of advantages over in-person interviews, particularly because phone interviews allow candidates to pull up information about the company and the position during the interview, and refer to notes on accomplishments and strengths.  There are challenges to phone interviews as well, though, as it is harder to build a rapport without the facial cues that separate a light-hearted, joking comment from a verbal barb.  To help you maximize the value of your phone interview, we’ve put together some tips and tricks for acing the call and setting yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. Tip 1: Double-Check the Time Zone Even if the person you are calling lives just down the street from you, remember to confirm the time zone prior to the interview – you don’t want to miss the interview because you are in Central time and your interviewer is in Pacific!  Plus,...
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Key Questions to Ask in an Interview

One of the myths we debunked last week was related to asking questions during an interview, and highlighted the importance of bringing up questions throughout an interview in order to keep conversation flowing, build a rapport, and demonstrate your curiosity and interest.  This week, then, we asked our recruiting experts to come up with a list of some of the best questions to ask in an interview, to help those of you who might be looking for ideas on what is appropriate to ask or what you need to keep in mind. 1.         How Do You Evaluate Performance?   Companies and managers have different ways of providing feedback, and it is important to know how you will be assessed.  If you prefer regular performance reviews, for example, you may not be the best fit at a company that does not have a formal review process. 2.        ...
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How to Attract Millennial Workers

Millennial workers, or those born between about 1980 and 2000, have been trickling into the workforce over the past few years, and will continue to do so over the next decade, leading many business owners and hiring managers wondering how to attract this new generation of employees to their particular company.  Dozens of studies and articles come out every year on millennial traits, millennial goals, and millennial sensibilities as members of older generations try to understand what drives millennials and how to motivate them to succeed in the workplace.  With that in mind, our experts have put down some of their thoughts on how to attract—and retain—millennial workers and build a modern workforce. Tip 1: Build a Strong Web Presence Many companies focus purely on the business aspects of their organization on their website, providing detailed information about service offerings, customer feedback, and past projects, while ignoring cultural aspects.  If...
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Tips for your First Day on the Job

If you’ve been hunting for jobs and recently decided to accept a new offer , you undoubtedly are enjoying the relief that comes with no longer competing in the difficult employment market or weighing the pros and cons of different opportunities.  You may, however, find yourself dealing with a different kind of stress: the stress that comes before your first day in a new office, with the pressure to impress your new boss and colleagues and hit the ground running.  With that in mind, we’ve pulled together some tips to make your first day a bit more manageable!  Tip 1: Pre-Plan your First Day       Take advantage of the time you have before you start at your new position – whether that is a day or several weeks – to prepare and plan for your first day.  Figure out what outfit you are going to wear, make sure...
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About Us

Potomac Recruiting consultants are specialists in talent. Our experienced consultants are passionate about finding the right people for your business—that’s the Potomac Recruiting advantage. We specialize in finding the people who will help your business exceed its goals, and our success is measurable: in today’s fast-moving world Potomac Recruiting is proud that our retention rate is 93%.  

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