The Chicagoland Conversation with Hireology

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down on behalf of the Chicagoland Chamber with Adam Robinson, who is the Chief Hireologist of Hireology. Previously, Adam was the co-founder and CEO of illuma, a leader in high-volume recruitment outsourcing solutions as well as the creator of the Ionix Hiring System, a full suite of interview and assessment tools.

Hireology is a company that specializes in interview guides, applicant tracking, candidate assessment and selection. Just this year, the company was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business and Fox Chicago, where it was profiled as a “tech company to watch.”

Adam, on your website, you describe Hireology as a company that was 13 years in the making. What do you mean by that and what inspired you to start Hireology?

AR: My last company was an outsourced recruitment provider and through the course of my time there, what I learned was that most companies are terrible at hiring. Fewer than 10% of companies know how to conduct an interview. It’s a coin flip whether it works out or not.

Why? The company doesn’t think far beyond next week or next month with that person and instead just focus on the fact that they have a hiring need.

So at Hireology, we’ve used technology that helps correlate behavioral tendencies to a person succeeding in a given job. We work through that data to see if it’s a good fit with an easy to use online tool that incorporates an applicant tracking system, interview guides, online skills tests, background checks and more. All within one interface.

Can you speak more to how that science occurs? Is there a real criteria behind it all?

AR: We’ve analyzed 1000’s of interviews across hundreds of companies to come up with the 67 Elements of Success™, traits that, when present in a candidate, enable us to predict his or her likelihood of success in a specific role.

What type of training and tools do you provide to managers on how to evaluate a candidate?

AR: The manager logs in and runs their entire hiring process from our website. Thousands of potential questions get customized based on requirements into an interview guide. The manager receives questions that are perfect for their hiring scenario, which makes their life tremendously easier.

We’re increasingly giving people the tools to help find the right candidates. When you put a job in our system, you get a unified URL for that given job. When you’re no longer hiring for that job, you turn off the product. Hiring spree? Turn it back on. There’s no contracts or math. It’s $24 a month.

What’s a good example of a company that needed your services at Hireology and prospered from hiring you?

AR: A woman in the medical space recently turned to us because she was having difficulty attracting the right kind of candidates. She posted on Craigslist, did flyers and it wasn’t that organized of a search. Then she talked to us about activating a full account with our processing tools. She couldn’t be happier and she’s able to scale her growth with this tool.

Is there an ideal company that hires you at Hireology?

AR: We really work with all kinds of companies from industry associations and healthcare systems to franchises and small business owners. No matter what, we want to work with people who will embed our platform into their hiring process rather than handing a confusing binder off to a hiring manager. There’s no reason to do that when we can set up the system in literally 60 seconds. You pick the plan you want and it’s a 14-day trial. It just works. And it works for a lot of people.

Preventing The Negative Effects of High Employee Turnover

In today’s post, guest blogger Melonie Boone, Co-CEO and Owner of Complete Concepts Consulting (an HR consultancy focused on compliance and management) takes a look at how strong employee retention can have a positive impact on your culture and overall brand strategy. 

You may be thinking that your employees are happy and even if they do leave, it’s an employer’s market out there so I won’t really be affected, right?

If your organization is a revolving door, frequently churning employees it makes a negative impact on your reputation, current customers, prospective clients and business partners.

Your company brand goes further than your logo, company colors, and website. Your employees are your brand. Who you are and what you do is encompassed by who you employ. Moreover, the cost associated with high turnover can break the bank.

Nearly 70% of organizations report that staff turnover has a negative financial impact due to the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement employee and the overtime work of current employees that’s required until the organization can fill the vacant position.

So what can you do to retain your employees to maintain a dominant brand and minimize the costs of high turnover?

It all starts with hiring the right person.

  • Making sure the candidate is a good fit before the first day of work is critical.
    It all starts with sourcing candidates from the right place. While Monster and CareerBuilder have always been the staple go to, branch out and explore LinkedIn, niche job boards that pertain specifically to the job function you are recruiting for and don’t under estimate the power of your network. A quick email to your network could result in a referral that is a perfect match.
  • Use the interview as your opportunity to get to know the “real” candidate.
    Every time you sit down with a candidate, they put on their interview face. When the candidate with the interview face tells you everything you want to hear. They have memorized the job posting, researched good answers to common questions and smile the entire time with great eye contact. To get beyond the interview face, combine a structured interview process with behavioral based questions. Set clear company expectations and position requirements. Incorporate more than one hiring manager and don’t hesitate to have follow up interviews to clarify any concerns.
  • Don’t rush the hire and neglect conducting proper due diligence.
    We encourage companies to conduct background screenings, always check references and verify the candidates background. Use findings from this step combined with all the information obtained through the interview process to aid you in making the hiring decision.
  • Make it a great start.
    Once the position has been offered and the first day has been set, start the new hire off on the right foot. A new employee orientation can go a long way in setting the tone for your new employee.  Make them feel welcomed and a part of the team. Training from Day One helps build the foundation for a successful relationship.

So you have a great team – now, how do you keep them?

  • Make employees feel valued.  Create a culture that embraces and celebrates your employees and their accomplishments.  Train, mentor and develop your team from top down. Reinforce your employee’s value through recognition and make your organization the place your employees enjoy coming every day.
  • Provide feedback and opportunity for growth. Incorporate a performance management process that hold employees accountable, provides feedback and promote from within giving opportunity for growth.
  • Build trust and confidence in the leadership team.  Live and breathe your mission, vision and brand!  Employees have to trust their leaders and believe that they have the competence and passion to grow the business.  Inspire your employees to be the best they can be and follow that mantra in everything that you do.

It is no secret that happy employees are one of the most important components of your brand strategy.  Remember, if you recruit the best person for the job and nurture them as employees. they will stay – creating a powerful brand statement for your organization.

About the Author:

Melonie Boone MBA, MJ, PHR is Co-CEO and Owner of Complete Concepts Consulting;  a HR Consultancy specializing in Human Resources Compliance and Management for small to mid-sized businesses. With over 12 years of experience in Human Resources, Mrs. Boone has held varying positions from administrative to executive leadership. Mrs. Boone possesses advanced education in business management, human resources as well as business and employment law. She is a native of Chicago, HR enthusiast, novice runner and enjoys spending time with her family. To learn more email Mrs. Boone at

Chicagoland companies planning to hire in 2011. Now’s the time for HR to get creative.

Good news from the Management Association of Illinois: A new survey says that 52% of Illinois companies plan to hire new workers in 2011 or bring back workers they laid off in 2010. Not only is this encouraging to hear but Illinois also beats the national average here as well.

This leads me to believe that this is a good opportunity for companies in Chicagoland about to hire to think beyond the basics of common benefits as they ready that classified ad or online job posting.

Don’t get me wrong, benefits are great and nobody should take them for granted in a day and age where our economic recovery still has a long way to go. Yet, just as you have to position your company’s brand to the right target audience, recognize the opportunity to position it here again above the other voices in the crowd who are hiring toward the right type of individual who will fit into your culture. In considering that one extra unusual perk that include in your benefits package, don’t choose it for its ability to get you some extra press. If it’s creative but isn’t really something that’s going to be utilized, there may not be much point in adding it to the mix.

Instead, choose the unusual perk because it is an accurate reflection what makes your company different. For example, I’ve run a company where preserving family time and the bonds that go with it were very important to me. I’m close to my family, my partner is close to his family and we’ve had people on staff who can’t imagine missing out on a child’s school play or field trip. We wouldn’t want them to. So my partner and I make sure that vacation days are not in short supply and the people who work for us get a terrific amount of days right off the bat. Let’s just say it’s more than the traditional 2 weeks most companies give when someone is hired (obviously they have to get their work done far enough in advance of that time off, but it’s definitely there).

Or let’s say yours is a company where the majority of the employees and managers have a very strong bond to their pets – they consider their pets to be members of the family, want to bring their pets to work (a perk in itself) and will basically spend any amount of money to ensure the well-being of their canines, felines, hamsters and assorted creatures. For this and other companies like it, offering pet insurance coverage might be a nice reflection on the company to show how they understand what’s important to most employees.

Some other unusual benefits I’ve come across, courtesy of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For:

  • Paid Sabbatical
  • Education Reimbursement
  • Same-Sex Partner Benefits
  • Unlimited Sick Days
  • Referral Bonuses
  • Even an On-Site Farmer’s Market!

I’m not suggesting you do all of these by any means. What I am suggesting is that few people ever started a conversation about a company over the fact that it offers health and dental insurance or a 401K (again, nice to have and important, but rather expected if it’s the typical plan). What I am also suggesting is to start with one perk or allow your people to have a hand in voting for the perk, provided you can swing it financially.

Company incentives can play a part here too.
As my friend Rob Jager of Hedgehog Consulting would suggest, you may want to consider how you can give performance incentives to unlock some of these perks so that they aren’t merely “given.” You have your base of benefits that people have typically heard of, but then you have that special perk or perks that is out there if company goals for the quarter/year are met.

I’m extremely optimistic about 2011 is going to bring for businesses – after what we’ve been through, why dwell on where we’ve been? – so if your company plans to follow the hiring trend that this recent survey says Illinois companies are in for, remember that employee recruitment can provide yet another way for your business to bolster its brand. And the right creative perks that reflect your culture just might fuel those conversations between job hunters on the bus or the El – because if you’ve ever been packed in on any of those commuter rides, you know that a conversation between two people is really a conversation among twenty.

If your company has a benefit or benefits that you feel sets it apart from the pack, I’d love to hear about it. Maybe we’ll post some of the best ones here too.

(Source: Chicago Sun-Times, January 11, 2011)