Recruiting Roadmap: AI Comes to Recruiting and Hiring

Is technology ready to supplant human hiring managers?

Recruiting is an age-old of practice that has been going on since the dawn of time; in fact, it can be traced back to Ancient Egypt and Rome, where soldiers were recruited for their armies!

Today, the game has changed significantly, as cutting-edge artificial intelligence tools coming to bear on the recruiting and hiring market. With the costs of an empty seat getting higher and higher, many hiring officials are turning to AI solutions…but what works and what doesn’t?  

While AI has brought on a multitude of possibilities in many fields, sometimes AI brings about some concerns when dealing with a topic as objective and as human as hiring. For all intents and purposes, my stance is simple: recruiting is a very personal business. It is a relationship-driven decision on both sides. People want to work for people they like and who they feel like them.

That being said, candidates also want to work for exciting companies. While AI tools claim to find candidates faster, cheaper, and more efficiently, is that all you need to make a great hire?

Here are the pros and cons of using AI for recruiting and hiring:

Pro: Automated Response Times

The artificial intelligence software on the market can be programmed to solve a big recruitment flaw: It can provide timely, painless feedback to candidates. This means hiring managers, HR teams and candidates alike can all rejoice, as these AI platforms take the human element of empathy out of the equation – leading to greater efficiency and a significant improvement in the candidate experience.

Con: Limited Results

AI severely limits your candidate pool. Although the candidate may receive automated notifications about where they are at in the process, most AI systems filter through candidates that apply to the software directly. That is efficient, but it also severely limits the candidate pool when you consider that 80% of the candidate pool is not actively looking for a new position and would most likely never wind up applying.

Pro: No Resume Missed

Sometimes, when hiring managers or recruiters get inundated with resumes, it can be easy to miss a perfect fit while looking for a literal needle in a haystack. The average number of applicants per job posting varies, but in today’s market with layoffs happening all around us, it is higher than ever. AI is great at providing consistent results without making mistakes, which can be critical at times, especially in hiring.

Con: Bias and Lack of Human Touch

Artificial intelligence is only as good as the information it is given. It will not think outside of the box or listen to an applicant’s intellect and ability to grow. It can become biased over time and definitely cannot make its own decisions. AI-based systems learn the behaviors of the decision-makers over time and make a decision based on that. It is black and white. It sounds great, but at some point, it is going to keep saying yes to one type of profile only; in fact, there have been some cases where the AI starts to only select applicants of a certain race or gender after developing a bias.  

While AI has the potential to be a great tool for someone who may struggle to match skill sets, nothing can replace the human touch that good old people to people conversations provide. For now, humans are making the decisions. The bottom line is the technology is not quite ready to replace recruiting and HR functions completely; however, in the meantime, it might be a good supplement.

To determine if AI is the right tool for your organization, it is crucial to pinpoint where the bottleneck is and decide if AI supplementation will make a difference.

Recruiting Roadmap: Recruiting Agency Red Flags

Is your recruiting partner displaying any of these five danger signals?

Every month I speak to many prospective clients, and while some are eager to speak with me about our services, there are many others who seem scorned, often skeptical of recruiters.

Upon digging deeper, I nearly always uncover that they have had a mediocre – or worse, a straight-up terrible – experience with previous recruiter relationships.

Here are five major signs that you need a new recruiting partner:  

1. The don’t follow the three Ls of recruiting:

The three Ls of recruiting are pretty simple. They are listen, listen and…you guessed it…listen! To truly know what an organization is looking for in a candidate I have to take the time to hear about what tangible and intangible features are important. Over-talkers, interrupters, and rapid-firers are classically bad listeners by trade. If your recruiting partner shows any of these signs, it is a huge red flag that should be vetted thoroughly. If the person is annoying you as the customer, imagine how a potential employment candidate may feel when they run into the same issues.

2. They can’t engage:

As an almost complete contrast, there is a fine line between serious and professional to just plain old boring. The best recruiters should be able to entice candidates to come work for their clients. A monotone or purely unengaging conversationalist will seriously struggle to bring on superior talent. Remember, your recruiting partner is often a candidate’s first impression of an organization. Choose wisely! 

3. They are willing to work at a very low rate:

While recruiting services can be costly, they are an important investment. The old saying holds true that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Recruiters willing to operate at below industry standard pay rates can only mean one thing…they are not representing top candidates. In recruiting, good, qualified people are our “product.” Don’t settle for the cheapest service and expect the best results.

4. They are recruiting people in your organization:

If an agency has an active agreement with your organization, but for some reason they are also taking people out of your company – that is a major red flag. This would basically be equivalent to a security integrator going to a prospective client, stealing all their security equipment and then calling them the next day and pitching them their installation services. This is obviously an extremely unethical practice. One of the major benefits of working with a recruiting agency should be safety from candidate poaching! 

5. A lack of diversity in the pool:

Last but certainly not least is a critical topic these days – diversity. While some might say this is an area our industry is lacking as a whole, there are many diverse candidates in our industry with valid experience. If your recruiting partner keeps providing the same profile, it might be a good time to reevaluate. 


The bottom of the line is that there are many recruiting agencies out there, but not all of them are ideal for your organization. When evaluating a recruitment partner, put yourself in a candidate’s shoes and ask yourself “Is this a good representation of our brand?” Then take it a step further and decide: “Is it the best representation of my brand?” If neither are a yes, it is time to revisit other options. 

Recruiting Roadmap: Staying Ahead of a Recession

Why security businesses should keep hiring during a potential economic downturn

There is no doubt about it, the companies in the security technology space have been enjoying record years between 2021 and 2022 in the post-pandemic market. The V-Shaped recovery has launched us back into growth numbers greater than years prior to 2020, and companies are feeling the unique pain of their ever-growing backlog. It seems like nearly every company we connect with is buzzing with business and can’t move fast enough to meet their client’s orders. A great problem to have!

But what about this “impending recession” that is supposed to be dooming us with its presence by the end of the year? Inflation is at its highest, rates are increasing, and the signs are pointing in that direction potentially. While no one has a crystal ball to see into the future, planning ahead will always help companies prevail. Whether the forecast includes a recession or continued growth for the future, do not be short-sighted. Companies that have the ability to adapt, think strategically, and ultimately look out for their people will get very far in trying times and in periods of great economic growth.

Four Keys to Adaptation

How will companies in our space adapt to stay ahead of a potential recession and come out relatively unscathed? Since 2020, there have been several lessons that we can take away and use to prepare for another potential economic downturn. Here are four keys:

1. Services rule the security industry.During the pandemic, subscription-based services were succeeding and, in some cases, keeping the doors open for many companies. Salespeople had the opportunity to sell recurring or SaaS-based services that generated RMR. This payment structure kept businesses with money coming in the door and kept sales representatives making money during those trying financial times.

2. Customer service is crucial. People work with who they like and treats them well. One thing we learned about our space during the COVID crisis was particularly interesting: In the service industry that security provides, customer service is what sells during a recession. Bad customer service can lead to losing clients – and ultimately employees – as it affects their reputation as well.

3. Do not stop hiring. This one is confusing. During recession, many companies are making cuts across the board to stay afloat. The reality is that recessions are temporary. Good candidates will surface on the market and could benefit your organization long term. Do not miss out on the opportunity to capture a great piece of talent due to temporary concerns. Try to think holistically about the future of the company and ultimate gains that exceptional candidates can bring to the table. Seize the opportunity to broaden your talent and get ahead of your hiring needs because when the market bounces back it will be much easier.

4. Budget accordingly. While specialized talent is not cheap, when things get tough, many companies lay off candidates that they have specifically sourced and sometimes worse, paid thousands for in recruiting costs. While sometimes layoffs are inevitable, I encourage companies to seriously think about the long-term effects of their decisions.


During COVID, some companies got talented and banned together to protect jobs. This included companywide temporary pay cuts, executive pay cuts, and even four-day work weeks. These decisions were strategic: Instead of letting top talent go for a temporary savings, they thought long-term about their budgets and how they could protect their people and their wallets without hindering business growth and hurting relationships with their people.

Recruiting Roadmap: When to Counteroffer

Because employees choose to leave for a variety of reasons, only certain ones are ideal candidates for a counteroffer

A star employee drops a bomb on you and puts in their notice. Feeling frustrated and nervous about losing their skillset you naturally ask yourself: “Should we try to negotiate a counteroffer?”

On the surface, it seems like the best possible solution, because a few extra dollars now can protect the company from a multitude of turnover related pains and costs; however, while finding a way to keep an employee may be in the best interest of a company, research shows that 80% of people who accept counteroffers still end up leaving the company within six months.

Candidates typically make job moves for multiple reasons, but finding out their prime motivator will usually show if a counteroffer is the correct long-term play; thus, asking questions to reveal how and why an employee made a decision to leave is vital.

Here are three of the most popular reasons for employees to leave – only one of which is an ideal candidate for a counteroffer.

 Reason for Leaving: Professional growth. In this case, a new opportunity may make a candidate feel more well-rounded, it offers them career development, or it aligns with their ultimate career goals. In their current organization, they are happy overall, but room for growth is not there.

Counteroffer? Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to successfully keep this employee, as more money will not fill their long-term career development goals.

Reason for Leaving: Frustration. An employee may feel there are issues in their current company or role that are unsolvable. These can be deep-rooted or sometimes as simple as an altercation with another employee. Either way, these frustrations push them to discover external opportunities.

The first interview that an employee takes with another organization is like an window opened into a new world. Even if the position is not ideal, he or she just got a taste of something different, new, and exciting – maybe it was more paid time off, better hours, or even more resources. After a few interviews with other companies, an employee may start to think maybe the grass might be greener somewhere else, and their desk chair becomes a little less comfortable than it used to be, or the coffee does not taste as good. Overall, their patience for the normal trials and tribulations that occur in every workplace gets a little thinner.

Counteroffer? In this case, offering a higher salary is like putting a band-aid on a deep cut – at first, it is going to solve the problem, but overall, it is not going to solve the fundamental reasons that led someone to leave a company. More money may cloud an employee’s judgment initially, but realistically, the vanity will wear off over time. Even if they accept a counteroffer, the next time a small frustration arises, flashbacks to the other opportunities may leave the candidate feeling regretful and they will feel pushed to start interviewing again.

Reason for Leaving: Financial. In today’s competitive market, attracting talent is not easy. Companies are often throwing money at candidates.

Counteroffer? If there was ever a case for a counteroffer, this would be the prime scenario. When an employee makes a move solely for more compensation, their heart is not in it. They can get tunnel vision over the dollar signs, and when they go to resign, refusing a counteroffer will be very tough for them. Candidates solely seeking higher compensation often do not know how to ask for a raise and try to avoid confrontation, so this is the only option they see fit. They typically feel appreciated and valued when they go to resign and their company really vies to keep them.

Recruiting Roadmap: How to Succeed in a Candidate-Driven Market

Four ways to woo new hires in the post-pandemic security job market

If you tried to make a hire recently and it took you longer than expected to fill or it is still open, you are not alone. In this environment our industry is experiencing a “resurgence” – business has picked up significantly and many companies are recovering from pandemic-related turnover.

In a job-driven market, there are fewer openings, so the companies that are hiring get to call the shots. Candidates are readily available and there is less competition wooing candidates. However, our industry has now shifted to a candidate-driven market, in which companies must roll out the red carpet to court candidates for highly competitive and readily available jobs.

Hiring is an art not a science and there are a lot of variables that go into a candidate’s decision-making process. It is possible for hiring managers to learn the drivers of their potential employees before they start and what it will take to retain them long term for better outcomes. Here are four ways to succeed in a candidate-driven market:

1. Assess the candidate’s motivation: Why would a candidate leave a company for another organization? Today, it is not enough to have full benefits and a 401k; in fact, money is not usually the deciding factor for a candidate. When moving to a competitor, job seekers want to know if the grass is really greener at your organization.

For hiring managers to convince a potential employee to come do the same job for them, it is critical to assess the candidate’s career motivators. Whether it is progression, training, money, less travel, etc., determine what will be able to win them over and ultimately retain them in the long term.

2. Maintain communication: I am not saying the hiring process needs to be less than a week, but it is important to keep momentum in between interviews. Going a week or two between interviews (or longer) with no communication is a red flag, and this lack of communication causes candidates to feel a lack of interest from a prospective company. If it is manageable, I would recommend communicating in between interviews through e-mail. Obviously, hiring does not take priority over day-to-day operations and demands of business and vacations may stand in the way of setting up next steps; therefore, outsourced recruiting efforts can be a solution if a company is really time strapped.

3. When ready to make an offer, do not delay: The candidate-centric market is characterized by highly competitive and readily available jobs; thus, it is not uncommon for candidates to be in the middle of multiple interview processes. Sometimes the first offer is the one that gets accepted – even though it may not have been the best one. Waiting too long to make an offer gives another company the opportunity to scoop up the candidate. That person may have been most interested in your company, but since the other company stepped up and did not delay, the candidate “felt the love” and made their decision swiftly.

4. Never offer without a trial close and expiration: Even candidates with the best intentions can fall victim to a counteroffer. As a rule of thumb, I suggest that all companies make a verbal offer and ask for candidate commitment before sending out a formal offer letter. While this is not a foolproof method, this ensures that a candidate makes a verbal commitment to a company and takes away the risk of “offer shoppers.” Once the verbal commitment is made, a formal letter can be issued with a 24-hour expiration period. By this point, the candidate should have already established that this job is for them, and it should not be difficult to sign and accept within 24 hours.

6 Reasons Why Recruiting is a Great First Job for a Millennial

You saunter sublimely across the stage and shake the hands of the faculty of the largest organization you have ever been a part of. You pose awkwardly for another sudden, yet staged photo shoot. Then, you pridefully move your tassel to the left, and then FINALLY… (the moment you’ve been waiting for) you blissfully throw your mortarboard as high as you can. You did it. You breathe in a deep sigh of relief as the fruits of your labor are finally ready to be harvested. You have just received the most expensive sheet of glossy 11×14 paper on the planet. However, this momentary sense of composure is cut short as reality starts to set in and you can’t help but ask yourself, “Now what?”

Entering the job market as a millennial can be discouraging. On the one hand, many companies thrive off prospective young talent and the fresh perspectives that our generation offers. While on the other hand, some companies deem us as lazy, entitled narcissists. Personally, I found myself struggling with what kind of job I truly wanted. I had applied online to nearly 25 positions (none of which I was actually passionate about) and received 25 cookie-cutter auto-replies deeming me and my glossy piece of paper, “unfit.” This was frustrating. These hiring authorities didn’t know me.  They weren’t aware of my capabilities, the value I’d bring to their organization, or my work ethic. Quite frankly, they never gave me a chance. So, I did what any resourceful, yet unsuccessful job seeker should do: I met with a recruiter. And I will tell you what, HE WAS GOOD! Meet their newest employee… It’s me! I had never considered recruiting before, but it sounded new and exciting and I was unemployed anyway, so I thought, “Hey, why not, right?”

Millennials, check out my six reasons why a recruiter is a great career choice for a recent college grad.

  1. Recruiting is challenging.

In today’s Google-driven world, instant gratification is a necessity for the impatient, stereotypical millennial. As a recruiter, the sales cycle can be quite lengthy, dependent upon a company’s hiring process. The timeline can seem unbearable. Nevertheless, a longer sales cycle can breed patience and demonstrates the need for constant follow-up and effective communication. It isn’t about what you say; it’s how you say it. Even if the process is long, you need to be fast-paced, and questions need to be pointed in order to save time. You can’t beat around the bush. As a recruiter, you need to be able to ask questions, and more importantly, listen to a candidate’s wants and needs. Ultimately, the decision to take a job or not isn’t yours. Making sure the position aligns with their needs is very important.

  1. You build your own brand.

Recruiting is entrepreneurial in spirit. There is a lot of autonomy in your daily routine. It is up to the recruiter to make cold calls, follow up, and move forward with or move on from candidates. Candidates have to trust you or they won’t open up to you. Your daily metrics are tracked and ranked against other recruiters in your firm. The more dedicated and organized you are, the better the numbers will be. This openness keeps the office competitive. Millennials can use these metrics to see which areas of the process need more attention, what sides of the business is lacking, and where improvements are needed. From here, it is up to you to adjust accordingly. This can be beneficial to Millennials, as it requires effective time management. Since this business is self-driven, slackers won’t survive in it.

  1. Ultimately, you are changing your placements’ lives.

This job is more than just a “typical office job.” Working for an international recruiter, you get to talk to people with different backgrounds all day long. It is more than just money– we help candidates in so many priceless ways, as well. Maybe their new position will let them travel less and spend more time at home with family. Or hopefully a new job will be less stressful, and your candidate will be more relaxed. As recruiters, we significantly impact people’s lives. Think about it. People spend nearly 45 hours a week at their place of business.

  1. Rejection is a big part of the job.

Becoming a recruiter can help sensitive Millennials grow thicker skin. It builds resilience. Since we’re stepping into entry-level roles, working with seasoned veterans can be challenging, yet rewarding because they offer a lot of insight into the industry. Being able to take criticism well only leads to becoming a better recruiter, and it starts with being resilient and tough. Rejection can help combat sensitivities and you’ll learn that in the business world, it isn’t personal…it’s business.

  1. Recruiting can help Millenials become team players.

One of the most important parts of success in sales is group collaboration. In the recruiting space, candidates are ambiguous. Their background may fit into more than one search. Sometimes you have to think critically. Recruiting can breed innovation and encourage Millennials to think outside the box and speak their minds to advocate why your candidate can be a potential match in another role. This boosts synergy and increases internal morale. More importantly, it proves that everyone’s opinion matters.

  1. Inside sales is great for socially inept Millennials.

One of our greatest criticisms as Millennials is that we don’t communicate well face-to-face. According to other generations, today’s technology has ruined our interpersonal communication skills. So much of our daily communication is conducted via text message or e-mail. Over the phone, millennials can establish connections with other professional people and ultimately conduct business without ever having to meet in person. This role combats shyness, common with Millennials, and develops our sometimes lacking communication skills. Recruiting serves as a soft entrance into the sales world, and teaches you about closing, follow-through, and marketing.

If you take away one thing from reading this, understand that a recruiter is a great place to begin your job hunt after college. At the very minimum, a recruiter will help you get started and point you in the right direction. Or, if you are like me, you could become a recruiter yourself and the experience will teach you how to interview, how a polished resume should look, and what a good candidate is and isn’t. When I stepped off that stage on December 15th, I had no idea what was next for me. Recruiting wasn’t my major, but I took a risk and, in the end, it was worth it. The job search is tough, but luckily, savvy recruiting firms love to hire Millennials, especially straight out of college. Particularly, here at Recruit Group. (See: Why the Security Industry Should Embrace the Millennial Workforce)

Women in Healthcare Tech: Why Companies Need To Get Serious About Recruiting Female Talent

The despicable tales of Harvey Weinstein have got us talking. The media is pouring out perspectives on misogyny and sexual harassment in the workplace. Facebook feeds are filled with “me too” confessions. It has never been a secret that women face challenges that men can hardly fathom—sexism, both overt and subtle, on purpose and inadvertent. But recent high- profile revelations are shining a spotlight on this issue.

This topic is close to my heart. I am passionate about diversity in the workplace, and although it is a delicate topic, I think it is important that we bring it up and continue to have honest discussions, online and off.

Diversity is good, not just for society and the people who have traditionally been marginalized, but also for business overall. Diversity of thought breeds creativity, better decision-making and a more engaging company culture. According to research from McKinsey, companies with diverse workforces even perform better financially.

Gender Bias in the Healthcare Industry

I have been helping healthcare organizations find A-level sales talent for more than a decade. I place about one woman for every six to seven male candidates. This isn’t on purpose, or for a lack of trying to find and place qualified females on my part. There are fewer women than men in healthcare sales, and they are often not being groomed for leadership roles in the same way that men are.

Women comprise 80 percent of the healthcare provider workforce, yet they are underrepresented in leadership roles. Only 21 percent of healthcare executives are women. These VP and C-level positions are primarily held by white males. I am not saying these guys don’t belong there, or that they are not talented and qualified. I just want to explore why our boardrooms remain consistently homogenous.

It stems in part from an old-school hiring principle: hire what you know. This applies literally and in general. People recruit their friends, acquaintances, former colleagues, etc. They also tend to hire people who are like them and feel familiar.

It also has to do with gender differences and biases. Do some men pursue their next career step more aggressively than some women do? Certainly, but that is not a sufficient explanation. Women are often pigeonholed into certain types of healthcare sales careers, chiefly account management and relationship-building type tracks. These are important, well-paying jobs, but people don’t typically go from the account side to VP of sales.

I live and breathe healthcare sales. When a company is looking to hire someone to pound the phones and bring in new business, they usually hire young men—“hunters.” Again, I am not saying that these men aren’t talented or right for the job. We just need to realize that if we keep this hiring pattern up, nothing will change. In 15 years or so, who are going to be our sales managers and directors?

Why It Matters

The lack of female talent in healthcare technology sales is a bad thing for companies. Women make 80 percent of family healthcare decisions. Why not have a woman on your sales team? Better yet, why not have one leading it?

The gender gap should be of particular concern to B2B enterprises. As mentioned earlier, women comprise 80 percent of the healthcare workforce. You have to hope that means they are the VPs, CMOs and CFOs of tomorrow—the people who will be making technology-buying decisions. Remember how I said people hire people they know? People also buy from people they know, especially in the B2B sphere.

Of course, your role as a hiring company is to find the right person for the role, regardless of gender or race. You need someone with the right attitude, the right experience and a proven track record. My point, though, is that companies would be wise to keep a keen eye out for female talent, not just because diversity is good for society, but because women will drive value for their business.

The healthcare technology superstar saleswomen are out there. I see them, but not often enough. To drive change, we need to be willing to have the uncomfortable discussions. Weinstein is a pig, but I am glad to have a light shined on the realities of sexism in the workplace. Let’s be open to having a real dialogue about the need for more women in healthcare technology sales.

Want to learn about Recruit Group and the issues that move us? Contact us today.

Why the Security Industry Should Embrace the Millennial Workforce

Technology is driving massive changes in the security industry. From 24/7 surveillance via mobile apps to integrated software-based security solutions to surveillance drones, security measures have evolved far beyond the traditional burglar and fire alarm.

This technology push isn’t just changing the nature of security solutions, it is also contributing to changes in the makeup of the industry. For example:

Customers expect more, too. Now corporations, government agencies, small businesses and even homeowners want to be able to use technology to monitor their properties more effectively than ever before. And, of course, there is data security and every company’s duty to keep its employees and customers safe, online and off.

The companies that can keep up with these changes are the ones that will continue to thrive. It doesn’t matter if you are a local operation, a regional business, or a Fortune 500 company – you have to evolve with technology.

That is where millennial talent comes in. I don’t usually buy into all this millennial talk. I have read too many articles by people complaining about this generation—that they expect too much, for example.

I can’t make sweeping generalizations about an entire demographic. I have spoken to too many young professionals to do that. Some millennial candidates are stronger than others, but that can be said of any generation.

I am a recruiter. My job is to find A-type talent. It doesn’t matter if an individual is a millennial or a baby boomer, as long as they are exceptional. I ask all candidates the same questions, and I hold everyone to the same set of standards. I stay open-minded, and I advise hiring companies to do the same. Look for someone with strong character and proven ability. It doesn’t matter if they have been in the workforce for three years or 30—they should have documented successes to share that illustrate their value.

Preconceived notions can stop companies from recruiting the type of talent they really need. Here is where I will make a bit of a generalization – millennials are tech-savvy! Commonly referred to as “digital natives,” and rightly so, they tend to have a deeper understanding of digital channels and the ways in which customer expectations, communication and marketing have evolved.

Today’s graduates are leaving school with more technology knowledge than older generations. My 16-year-old son is already writing code, and his friends do the same. Think of how much value these kids can bring to a company in 10 years or so.

How to Attract Tech-Savvy Talent

My clients range from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar global organizations. When it comes to attracting young talent, size doesn’t matter. The first step is recognizing the value of a tech-savvy hire. Then you need to find them. You can try college job fairs, online job postings or working with recruiters in your space. Next, convince them that your business can provide the company culture, growth and compensation they are looking for.

In my experience, one of the most valuable hires I can deliver for a growing security company is a tech-literate talent with three to five years of experience. I call these hires diamonds in the rough. They are hungry for growth but not entirely green. There is still so much the right company can teach them, and they have so much to offer to the right company.

Let’s face it, we will always need security companies, just as we will always need health care providers. From a tech standpoint, solutions will continue to change and improve. These advancements are not possible without the right people. Security industry players should embrace millennial talent – it is this tech prowess that will help them innovate, grow and keep up and compete in the fast-changing security landscape.

Want to learn more about recruiting and hiring trends in the security industry? Contact Recruit Group today.