All posts in: For Employers

Recruitment Tips: Hire Smart

This piece is an adaptation of a previous article written by Roberta Borer in 1995, who was a former SVP here at Bristol Associates, Inc. Roberta was in the executive search business for over 30 years and specialized in the healthcare industry.

The competition to attract, recruit, and retain employees is keen. As an employer, how do you make your job offer the one top candidates accept?

Before starting the hiring process, use the need to hire a new employee as an opportunity to examine the organization and the reason why past employees left. Take an objective look at the program and use this vacancy as an opportunity to correct or amend what can be done to benefit the organization.

Is this a “fill-able” job? If the company is experiencing high turnover, consider the following: Is the compensation offered appropriate for the position? Is the position the right need for the company? Is the company in a geographic location that makes it challenging to attract top-notch candidates?

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Letter of Recommendation [Image]

A strong letter of recommendation can distinguish a candidate’s application from the rest. Taking the time to obtain a letter of recommendation will leave a positive impact with the employer or recruiter reviewing the application. On the other hand, writing a letter of recommendation is a great way to pay it forward and contribute to the success of the candidate’s career.

Whether you are the candidate requesting the letter, or the employer responsible for writing the recommendation, it is essential to understand how to write a letter of recommendation that will leave a lasting impression.

What makes a compelling letter of recommendation?

Here are some helpful guidelines to write a strong letter of recommendation:

  • Print the letter on company letterhead
  • Personalization and sincerity is key – avoid using letter of recommendation templates
  • Explain the professional relationship and the duration spent working with the candidate
  • Give specific examples of the value and impact that the candidate has made in the company
  • Highlight the candidate’s hard and soft skills that greatly benefitted the company
  • When signing off the letter, include a handwritten signature along with the employer’s typed name, job title, and contact information
  • Proofread to avoid typos or grammatical errors

 

Candidates: How to Approach Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

As a candidate, reach out to professionals who have had a previous working relationship with you. Ideally, the letter of recommendation should be requested before actively seeking a job. The employers’ expectation is that references can be checked prior to the offer. When asking a professional to write a letter of recommendation, keep these tips in mind:

  • Do not be intimidated; just ask for the letter of recommendation. Employers are used to this request.
  • Do not pressure the employer to write a letter of recommendation.
  • If possible, request a letter of recommendation to the employer in person. If that is not feasible, then reach out by phone and as a last resort, by email.
  • If the employer is unsure of how to approach the letter, provide a list of points to cover that is relevant to the opportunity.
  • If the employer accepts writing the recommendation, express gratitude for taking the time to fulfill your request.
  • Be prepared to write the recommendation yourself. Many people want to help, but do not have time to write a recommendation. It is quite common for an employer to ask candidates to write the letter themselves that the employer will sign off.

 

Employers: Don’t Want to Write a Letter of Recommendation? Consider This.

It can be intimidating for candidates to personally ask for a letter of recommendation, so it is important to have a good reason for declining in the first place (e.g. against company policy, unable to realistically meet the deadline, etc.). Before declining all together, however, consider the benefits to writing a letter of recommendation:

  • Having the letter of recommendation distributed among industry leaders can result in the growth of the recommender’s professional network
  • Professionals will recognize the recommender as a positive leader who is willing to support their colleague’s career goals
  • The recommender may need a letter of recommendation of their own from the candidate in the future

Alternatively, referring the candidate to another colleague within the company that can better vouch for the candidate’s work is a proactive way to assist the candidate in attaining a letter of recommendation.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with a 50-year history of excellence. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

InMail[Image] Hiring Professional Sending InMail to Network

LinkedIn has become a fundamental resource for connecting with a diverse pool of experienced professionals. The platform provides a way to search for and approach executives via InMail – a premium feature that allows hiring authorities and executive recruiters to send messages to members who are not in their social network.

Our executive recruiters share their tips on how to reach out to quality candidates via LinkedIn InMail:

Personalize. The candidate is less likely to respond if the message appears to be sent to the masses. State the reason why the message is relevant to them, whether it be their specific industry experience or skillsets that would make a great fit for the position.

Be clear and concise. The message to the candidate should be brief and to the point. Having an InMail with too many paragraphs can overwhelm the recipient and obscure the basic message.

Emphasize through format. Bold, underline, or italicize key phrases and sentences that candidates should take away from the overall message. Also, be mindful about the amount of emphasis included in the message. Too many font changes defeats the purpose of highlighting the important areas of the InMail.

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business woman with question marks over head thinking about executive recruitment questions

Looking to find the right candidate for the company? Hiring an executive recruiter can be beneficial to employers – not only does it alleviate the workload of the search process, but it also brings an industry expert’s perspective in filling the position based on the needs and desires of the company. Before fully committing to the idea of utilizing an executive search firm’s services, it’s understandable for clients to have questions, especially if it’s their first time working with a recruiter.

We asked our recruiters to answer client’s commonly asked questions regarding the executive recruitment process.

Q: Bristol Associates, Inc. is based in Los Angeles, CA. Do you manage searches in areas other than the West Coast?

Kelly Nelson, Sr. Vice President

A: We have been recruiting on a National basis for the past 30 years. There was a time when recruiters were geographically focused. The advances in communications, the internet, social media, and job boards have enabled recruiters to reposition on a national (and international) basis. We regularly conduct search assignments in the Midwest, East Coast, Southeast, and Southwestern United States. With that said, the question is appropriate as there are recruiters who have not adjusted their focus. Our national reach allows us to source candidates for key positions in all market areas.

(Click here to fill out Bristol Associates’ Employer Inquiry Form today!)

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Signing an approved document / salary history

On October 12, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown approved AB 168, a law that prohibits all California employers from requesting potential employees’ salary history, including previous compensation and benefits. The law has been effective since January 1, 2018.

Additional US states and cities including Delaware, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh have also prohibited employers from inquiring about salary history.

With the law in effect, all applicants and candidates in the areas listed above are free to voluntary disclose their salary history if they desire, but it is not a requirement.

Below are articles from several publications to provide more information about AB 168.

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Business person climbing mountain toward flag that writes goal

Taking the time to set professional goals is crucial when striving to have a productive and effective year in the workplace. Establishing realistic deadlines is great, but also understanding your resources to help achieve your goals can put you at an advantage.

Bristol’s Executive Recruiters shares their recommended goals for job seekers and employers to kick off 2018.

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Employers: Optimize the Recruitment Process

Thinking of hiring a recruiter to help find the right candidate? At Bristol Associates, our clients can expect confidentiality, responsiveness, professionalism, individualized service, and always going the extra mile. There are numerous ways for employers to work with the recruiter to improve the recruitment process for maximum results. Bristol’s Senior Vice President Peter Stern shares important advice and ways to utilize the recruiter throughout the recruitment process.

Stage 1: Finding the Right Recruiter

Thoroughly screen prospective recruiters. Not every recruiter brings the same level of recruitment expertise and industry knowledge – both of which are key to the success of the search. At Bristol, we specialize in recruitment in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital and healthcare, hotels and resorts, travel and tourism, and restaurant industries. To determine if the recruiter is the right fit for the search, ask the recruiter the following questions:

• Which industries do you specialize in? Within those industries, which functional areas do you focus on?
• Can you provide examples of recently completed searches related to our open position?
• Describe your search process and methodology.

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When searching for a dream candidate, creating a formal job description may seem tedious and time consuming. Dismiss that notion – aside from important HR functions, such as limiting legal exposure and clearly defining a role, a well-written job description is an important element in attracting the ideal candidate; in many cases, it’s your first impression!

In the recruiting world, passive candidates (people not actively looking for new opportunities) are generally going to be attracted to advancement as their criteria for considering something new. However, keep in mind that career growth is subjective: increased pay, higher title, more responsibility, better property/location, and an improved work/life balance are among the numerous considerations one makes before accepting an offer.

Bristol’s Account Executive Sean Parry shares 5 vital tips to improve a company’s job description to increase candidate interest.

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Woman interviewing a man

Wouldn’t it be great if, as an employer or hiring manager, you had a “sixth sense” and could know right away if you were hiring the perfect employee? Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that kind of vision and depend on a resume and interview to make our decisions. Those hiring want to be assured that the candidate not only possesses adequate experience and the position’s requisite skills, but also that the candidate will be a good fit for the company culture, ready to tackle new challenges and hopefully, be a long-term positive addition to the team.

Bristol asked Senior Vice President Kelly Nelson, who’s been with Bristol for over 22 years, for his advice on the best interview questions. Probing questions and edifying answers should help employers make the best hire.

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Successful partnership between clients and executive recruiters

This year marks Bristol Associates’ 50th year in business. As experts in Executive Search, our experience has taught us a few things about the recruitment business. One that stands out is that a successful search is best achieved when there is a cooperative partnership between the client and the recruiter.

When each party does their part, the result is that the client hires a candidate who is personally and professionally qualified to lead and support their company.

As evidence of these successful partnerships, Bristol is proud to report that over 71% of our recruiting assignments come from our existing clients.

The following are guidelines that we follow, and we encourage our clients to follow, to help assure that each search is a success.

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