The Arland Group is a boutique creative agency. We want to ask you an important question. Would you rather work with people who want to work with you? Or, would you rather work with people, who work for people, who make them work with you?

By: Ryan Ching

A career fair can be a recruiter’s dreamland or worst nightmare. You’re surrounded by top talent but your competition is out to poach them from your pipeline. In order to recruit the best of the best and stand out from your competition be sure to utilize these four easy tips.

1. Catch Their Attention

Don’t be afraid to get creative, especially if you’re recruiting for a creative minded position. Make sure that your company’s booth stands out with colorful graphics and intriguing copy. If your booth looks like it was made by a middle school student for the science fair it’ll be hard to catch the eye of your ideal candidate. Be sure to convey your brand’s values and employee value proposition clearly at your booth in order to give a sense of your company culture. Another way to attract people to your booth is to have small giveaways such as pens, sunglasses or other creatively branded items. While these may cost a bit of money, it can attract talent to your booth and, at the very least, increase your brand recognition around the fair.


2. Be Genuine and Conversational

Don’t try and sell your company too hard to a prospective employee. Don’t get me wrong, you want to explain why your company is a great place to work and why they should choose you but do it in a conversational manner. If you’re giving top talent a sales pitch, odds are that they can see through the smoke and mirrors and may be turned off by the idea of a hard sell. It can also raise questions about why you are working so hard to sell your company experience. Let the conversation flow naturally and see if they’re a good fit at the end.

3. Respect Your Candidates

It’s important to treat prospective employees with the respect that they deserve and remain professional at all times. If a candidate fails to meet your expectations for the position, simply thank them for their time and tell them in a polite manner that they do not meet the requirements for the position. If you need to get the person to stop talking in order to meet with another potential employee, let them know that it was great talking to them but out of respect for others they must move on to the next person. Remember to be professional and respectful because after all you are representing your company and potential employees can spread the word quickly if they feel they were mistreated.


4. Make a Lasting Impression

As a recruiter you need to have an outgoing personality at career fairs to attract top talent. For example, I had a recruiter from a major company that simply stared me down as I attempted to talk to him and would not answer any questions that I had. Not only was this awkward in the moment, but it also killed my interest in the company. Prospective employees are trying to make a good first impression to you but at the same time they’re also judging the company based on your interaction with them. Be excited about your company and talk about what makes it special to you to give recruits something to remember when they leave the fair.

Next time you attend a career fair use these tips to lure top talent away from your competitors and build your talent pipeline. If there are any tips that we missed be sure to let us know at our Facebook or Twitter page!

4 Easy Recruiting Tips To Career Fair Success

Job Searching Starts with a Strategy

by Ryan Stene

12 June, 2013

Although I am fortunate to not have been a job seeker for many years, I have many colleagues, friends and family that were affected by one our country’s most difficult economic tragedies. I have had the opportunity to help some of them in their job searches. The most important thing that I have stressed is building the foundation, which is the strategy. I believe that the strategy sets the tone and will make you or break you in your success—which is ultimately getting hired.

Throughout my travels, I have narrowed it down to six key points.

  1. Prep Work: Is your resume updated, clean and well-done? Do you have an online presence?
  2. Research, Research, Research
  3. Stay Focused—track your progress; go offline for at least 90 minutes of the day.
  4. Build Your Network. Are you online or building your network? Are you being social on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
  5. Practice: Work on interview questions, your body language and be prepared for last- minute changes.
  6. Follow Up

Prep Work: When it comes to prep work it can be in various levels and context. The first place I would start is “are you online?” We live in a digital “Web 2.0” world and recruiters live fully submerged in this world. They are going to Google you. Don’t think they won’t. When you Google yourself, what comes up? Is there something that you don’t want your mom to see? If nothing comes up with your name, then you have some work to do … get on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Be intentional online. When I Google myself,, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Plaxo all appear in the top seven search results. If you need some help revamping your online image, check out this article. Create an email address that you can take home to mom.

If you need help your with resume, research resume writing services, blogs and career development classes. See if a friend will share it with his or her human resources department and get feedback—they will know a good resume from a bad one; they look at millions of them a year. As your resume is your first impression, it is key to your job search. Go to or a for assistance; they have tons of content. Cover Letter & Resume Articles

Research, Research, Research and Then Research Some More: Research is very important to the job search; it tells you what the market is like and who is hiring. So when you begin to go to a or another job board to look for opportunities, take advantage of tools like job agents to push opportunities to you. Before applying, Google the company and review your connections on LinkedIn and Facebook to see if any know someone at your company of interest. Look at their careers page and gather as much information on them so that you can make a sound decision but also have knowledge for when you apply. Tailor your cover letter and resume to the ideal requirements of the job. It also will help you come interview time. Create a saved search on Indeed; it will help you save time and become efficient.

Stay Focused: It is crucial in a search that you stay focused and positive. Track your progress, where you’ve applied and the responses you’ve received. Work your job search like you would a job. Take breaks, go to lunch and most definitely get offline for at 90 minutes (workout, gardening, cleaning)—this will help you clear your head and remain refreshed.

Are You Online or Building a Network?: Recruiters are spending a large amount of their time online—if they tell you differently, they are lying! So, if they are online, then you need to be. There are so many thought leaders and perspectives on what is a good online presence, so it is all about what you can manage or handle. I personally spend my time on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. When it comes to social networking, I consult my dear friend Paul DeBettignies. He has some great webinars and content. Just have fun with it and experiment!

Practice: Just like when you were growing up and were playing a sport, the only way you got good at it is with lots of practice. The same applies to interviewing. Practice in front of the mirror with your 30-second elevator pitch about you and your particular skills that will make you asset at “x-company.” Go out and get some frequently used interview questions or ones that will make or break your interview and practice with your spouse, neighbor or even your dog. Create a “last minute” interview kit for one at home and one in your car. There may be a case where you are out running errands and they want you in today to interview. This could give you a leg up being prepared and not having to tailor an interview to your schedule.

Follow-Up: Follow up can be the last deciding factor in a selection process. Invest in some thank you cards; follow up with an email not just thanking them for their time, but restate why you are good fit for the role and the company. Also, ask them if they are any unanswered questions that they want answered. Connect with them on LinkedIn—they may not hire you now, but you may want to connect with them in the future.  Ask for feedback.

STAY POSITIVE, there are going to ups and downs, good times and bad, but if you get defeated it is going to show. Good Luck!






Home Grown Recruiting Conferences Can Be Better

by Ryan Stene

3 May, 2013

Seedling, home grownAs I recover and continue to digest information from the Minnesota RecruitersSpring Conference, I am amazed by the rapid growth and offerings that this group provides to their community. Their sold-out conference was a huge success, with more than 300 human resources, recruiting professionals and practitioners in attendance. The conference included a killer agenda and content from the Sourcing Ninja himself—Shally Steckerl, a globally recognized recruiting thought leader. His insights were equally thought provoking and entertaining, and I encourage you to check out the Twitter Feed from the event. I believe the success of the conference was a true testament to the values and efforts of MN Recruiters.

MN Recruiters currently has more than 4,100 members, which makes it the nation’s largest and most engaged regional recruiting community and conference. I have been a part of MN Recruiters’ growth since its inception in 2007, and I recently joined their Advisory Board. My involvement has given me the opportunity to truly examine the way our group executes its mission. MN Recruiters believes in and practices the values of learning, collaboration and getting better through local efforts, values that I think some national recruiting communities and conferences no longer successfully uphold.

Most recruiting professionals know the popular national conferences, and unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard of ERE and Recruiting Trends. There are also the small-niche groups TalentNet and GlobalTru. I believe that MN Recruiters is similar to what has been cultivated with RecruitDC and SMA Seattle.

So what sets MN Recruiters apart from these similar communities and conferences? We do not have outrageously high membership dues or costs. Fees range from $35-$75 based on speaker content, and our group provides attendees with at least one national speaker at every event and the opportunity to learn from local thought leaders and peers. Compare that to the national conferences that typically feature recycled content and speakers yet cost $800-$1,200 to attend—not to mention flight and hotel costs.

And, the greatest difference is that the speakers at MN Recruiters’ events actually do what they teach! Additionally, since the costs don’t restrict anyone from coming, attendees range from small firms to Fortune 500 companies—a combination that results in true collaboration. They are practitioners. The content always is current, the agendas allow for genuine networking to occur and the users actually learn from new people.

By building an un-conference style foundation for MN Recruiters through his love of giving back to the community, Paul DeBettignies, our previous leader, set a high standard for MN Recruiters’ future. DeBettignies’ commitment to the group’s values has been successfully maintained by Jason Buss, our current leader, through blog posts by members of the community, social engagement on Facebook and an interactive mobile app.

If you are reading this and you are not in the Minneapolis market, I encourage you to take a look at MN Recruiters’ efforts, learn from them and borrow our best practices to start your own grass roots community. You may find you can provide just as much value to your local community as any national conference.

Recruiting: Are You Labeling Job Seekers?

by Deb Andrychuk

13 July, 2012

I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the Nationwide Insurance Talent Acquisition conference at the end of June in Columbus, Ohio. Slotted to present the day after their keynote speaker, Eric Winegardner who is VP of Client Adoption & Strategy at Monster, all I could do was wonder if I could measure up to my friend and former co-worker who is a freaking rock star with a microphone and Powerpoint. For those of you who don’t know @ewmonster, he is a bigger than life personality and one of the most fun people I know. He’s a fascinating blend of ex-HR person, fashion policeman, recruitment industry thought leader, fashion advisor, culinary critic, recruitment trends analyst, stand-up comedian and fearless customer/jobseeker advocate all wrapped up into one uncanny resemblance to Jack Black. He is also one of the most engaging speakers in human capital that you could ever have the pleasure of spending time with and he is damn funny!

But, I have to tell you, watching Eric was a real eye opener for me. In that conference room at the Hyatt, Eric got the crowd (me included) thinking about how important it is to treat your job seekers like you would your own consumers and to focus on the sacred candidate experience. After poking fun at Nationwide’s use of Lotus notes, he next dared everyone to think about how job seekers are labeled and the lack of equity that exists in a job search by the unemployed versus the gainfully employed. With 12.7 million unemployed Americans in June 2012, the equivalent of the population of the 30 smallest states (individually), Eric shared that many of the unemployed were just victims of circumstance. How could this classification be an okay practice based on the current economic conditions and the jobs crisis across America today?

He went on to say that “Unemployed” is without a doubt the biggest stigma you can attach to a job seeker right now. It’s become so uncool to hire the unemployed that some companies have begun putting a line in their advertisements, “Unemployed need not apply.” Eric stated wryly to the group, “It’s like saying that only married people are worth dating.” Quiet filled the room as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. Had I not made a living pounding into my clients’ heads how it was imperative that we get their brand and positions in front of the elusive yet exclusive passive job seeker? Don’t we all put a premium on the passive seeker and look down our noses at the active? Haven’t we all been told “That the active seeker couldn’t possibly be talented, he’s looking for a job!?” How is it that just a few short years ago, it was perfectly très chic to search for your next venture on a job board, and now candidate hide the fact that they saw your ad there? It’s no wonder that candidates don’t apply to job postings at the same frequency that we witnessed ten or even five years ago. They are afraid they will be labeled. And, we have taught job seekers that they have to find a more cunning entrance into your company. Whether the candidate feels like they must leverage that they are a “referral” when applying, or we teach them to indicate in your ATS that they saw the job listing on a social media site or simply “other” resource. We have taught them that it is simply not okay to be an active seeker looking job posting and that they need to lie in order to get their foot in the door. Sound familiar?

Now a few weeks later after the conference, I’ve had time to reflect and I’m really glad that Eric spoke first…it made me realize that I had something to learn and it didn’t really matter what I was going to look like or sound like the next day. It was about me being there to hear his message and it really touched me. I absolutely feel some shame and responsibility for adding fuel to the fire all these year and being part of the problem when it comes to labeling job seekers. I want to own up to my mistake. So, here I am sharing with all of you (there are like 12 people who read this blog, right?) Hear me people, “I was WRONG!” Further, I pledge that I will be open to promoting all jobseekers to Arland and client openings, regardless of how they come into the funnel.

I beg all of you who influence or make hiring decisions to offer everyone a fair and equitable chance at employment. Make your choices based on what’s right: Who is most qualified for the job? Everyone deserves the chance at the American Dream. Give them their chance, okay?

Three Things Every Exceptional Career Site Should Include

by Deb Andrychuk

22 August, 2011

I am a person with few pet peeves. I have very few because when things irritate me, I generally look the other way. But when it comes to a poorly designed career site, I cannot pretend that it doesn’t bother me. Why? It drives me nuts when companies are their own worst enemy in the war for talent!  It might sound silly, but it seems like any company who puts emphasis on their employees would want to the deliver the best first impression possible.  Especially when in this day and age, you might only get one shot at wooing a candidate.

The company career site is the first place I go when I scope out a client’s corporate URL.  What do I look for? In my opinion, there are three things every exceptional career site should include.

1. Great Employment Branding:

How do you tell your company’s story to potential job seekers? A good employment brand should first tie your consumer or corporate brand to hiring. It should also be unique, truthful, compelling and relevant to candidates visiting your corporate website. Be careful in believing it’s only about the verbiage and images on your site, because it goes well beyond this one possible interaction with seekers. It’s as much about how you are perceived by candidates in cyberspace and in your local community as it is what type of hiring experience you provide.  Do you thank your candidates for applying? Do you clearly define what happens next once they apply to one of your jobs? Are you professional, courteous and consistent with communications to job seekers? It’s all critical to building a great brand!

2. Sensible Navigation:

Is it easy for the job seeker to find the career site and apply for a job? How many hoops does your seeker have to jump through to find the opportunity they are interested in? Can they find it without direction?  In a perfect world, I believe candidates would only have to click ONE time from the home page to find your careers section. That one click would deliver the job seeker to an area that showcases all that makes you unique and hosts a simple way to search for a job. One of the biggest mistakes we see clients make is offering extremely confusing navigation on their site. It shouldn’t take 10 minutes to figure out where to go on your site to apply for a job. And, you shouldn’t ever drive candidates away from your site to a job site like Monster or Careerbuilder. You have paid big bucks on advertising to drive job seekers to your site, so keep them there and convert their interest into an application!

3. Killer Content:

What makes a candidate want to learn more about your opportunities or your company? It’s all about the information that you are sharing and the way that you share it. As my kids would say, “Keep it real” and stay away from content that looks as if it was written by legal counsel.  Do remember to include testimonials, examples of community involvement, charitable endeavors, cultural information, benefits overview and commitment to diversity recruiting efforts. Videos are a great way to highlight all that makes your company stand apart and have become a must have for companies looking to attract Gen-Y.

So, there you have my rant for the day!  I hope that I can help someone out there.

I am interested to hear what you think!

What is a Black Hole?

by Sharon Lynch

1 June, 2010

What is a black hole? Some may say it’s a “region of space from which nothing, including light, can escape. …” or some may say “that’s where my sales rep went after the contract was signed.”

At The Arland Group (TAG), our Talent Acquisition group guarantees that the media partners included in your recruitment media plan will not disappear into a black hole but rather, become stars and shine their knowledge even more brightly after the sale. To this point, we recently setup three media partners to appear at our customer Ministry Health Care within six weeks of the 2010 Media Plan contract being signed.

We firmly believe in helping our customers truly get the very most for their investment. At The Arland Group, our “account management actions” meant that we invited three vendors who are key partners in the 2010 Media Recruitment Plan to cover best practices, competitive benchmarking, time-saving tips, etc.  Monster, Simply Hired and Healthecareers came to our customer’s headquarters in Milwaukee where they had 15 people, primarily recruiters/end users who came eager to listen, learn and brainstorm about how they can best utilize specific products to fill their job openings.  Each media partner brings a distinct strength to the media plan, and in this group setting, by pulling the entire recruitment team together, also allowed for our customer to pro-actively at the onset of the contract term, establish their own internal best practices.

Mike Schmidt, Director of Recruitment at Ministry Health Care, said his recruiters considered this Vendor Summit as “one of the best meetings we’ve ever had.” With the introduction of many new tools available outside of the traditional job postings and resume search, having direct contact between media partners and end users/recruiters is invaluable to help them best use new products.

This post-sale support and “product on-boarding” are even more critical as new products are introduced with the advent of Web 2.0 and trends developing around social media. Monster’s Media Specialist, Dennis Stevens, said having the entire recruiting team assembled to discuss new products now in their mix will help ensure that one of Monster’s unique and most successful products, Career Ad Network, will garner the best possible results.

Healthecareer’s strategy involves developing partnerships with industry-specific associations to help drive job seekers to their site so they had Jennifer Badding, Senior Manager, Association and Partner Development, in attendance to speak directly with the Ministry recruiting team about associations that were meaningful to them and their specific job openings.

Meanwhile, Simply Hired in the job search engine space, will help Ministry reach job seekers in new places and help them connect with seekers who are searching solely by location and industry/job title.

Now that a baseline has been established, and expectations established externally with media partners and internally among recruiters, Quarterly Reviews will be more significant and informative. It also makes a contract more than a contract; it turns a piece of paper into a true partnership. If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your media sales reps out of the black holes and keep them as stars, you can reach me directly at .