When is the best time of day to interview?

Ever since reading about a disturbing parole study in Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, every time I’m asked to interview or set up an interview for a candidate I’m representing, I strive to schedule the interview for 1:00 pm, 8:00 am or shortly after. I never schedule interviews for late morning or late afternoon.

This came from a study on how likely judges are to grant parole and the finding that the biggest factor was, how long ago did the judge have a break or something to eat.

“The authors of the peer-reviewed paper looked at more than 1,000 rulings made in 2009 by eight judges. They found that the likelihood of a favourable ruling peaked at the beginning of the day, steadily declining over time from a probability of about 65% to nearly zero, before spiking back up to about 65% after a break for a meal or snack.” (Bryant, 2011)

We do not have to assume that the judges are consciously making decisions based on the rumblings of their stomach, rather,  from a psychology point of view, we simply need to assume that (1) denial of parole is the default position (less risky) (2) overcoming the default position requires intellectual effort (3) intellectual effort depends on your circumstances, including the consequences of being wrong. (Caplan, 2012)

When is the best time of day to Interview?

Applying this to interviewing candidates, I would contend that hiring decisions made by interviewers follow a similar pattern and I will make these assumptions (1) not hiring a candidate is the default position, since a big risk is taken when offering someone a job (2) overcoming the default position requires intellectual effort (3) intellectual effort increases after a rest and/or having something to eat.

In the future, I would like to study whether or not the time of day an interview happens, impacts whether or not the candidate is moved forward in the hiring process, to see if it’s as significant as the impact of the time of day parole hearings happen. Until then, I’ll keep scheduling my clients’ interviews for just after lunch or first thing in the morning.

Message me on LinkedIn if you’d like your organization to be part of a study of whether or not the time of day an interview happens, impacts the hiring decision!

My LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/caseydrengler/

Bryant, B., 2011 Judges are more lenient after taking a break, study finds: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/apr/11/judges-lenient-break
Caplan, B., 2012 Kahneman, Mental Effort, and the Scary Parole Study: https://www.econlib.org/archives/2012/01/kahneman_mental.html

Top 3 Places to Post Jobs For High Volume Recruiting

When it comes to which job boards to try for your company, I recommend trying all of them, just make sure you do a free trial or month to month to see if it works for you, before signing a contract. Not all will work for you, but since job board effectiveness will vary by region, job and industry, you need to test to see what gives you the best results.

Top 3 Places to Post Jobs For High Volume Recruiting

  1. Indeed – Indeed remains our best source of candidates (not counting referrals), both organic (free) posts that are scraped from our website and sponsored ads, give us a regular flow of candidates. In larger cities, we don’t need to sponsor ads, free ads bring in plenty of candidates, in smaller cities and towns, setting our ads at $5-10/day + free posts, gets us the volume we need.
    • Candidate experience: Indeed hides contact info on candidate resumes, so recruiters have to select view contact info and use one of their monthly views to do so. This is annoying for recruiters, but saves candidates from a lot of spam! Since candidates receive less spam when sharing their resume on Indeed than other job boards, Indeed has a more up to date, higher quality resume database.
    • Watch out for: after creating a job post, there will be a big bold blue button to press to sponsor the job, in very small font, you can continue without sponsoring. Several recruiters I’ve worked with initially thought they could not post for free, since they missed the small font. You can post for free, unless you’re a staffing firm.
  2. Facebook Jobs – Facebook Jobs is quickly becoming an essential source of candidates and in some regions, Facebook Jobs is competitive with Indeed for the number of entry-level candidates we receive. With Facebook, you can target keywords, for example, CNA, caregiver, direct support professional, nursing, etc. and control the radius, to make sure your ad is highly targeted. Also, use Facebook for creating a hiring events for at your office or offsite, then boost the event through Facebook ads.
    • Candidate experience: very easy to apply or message the company page and start chatting with a recruiter so both can see if the job is a fit.
    • Watch out for: when candidates apply, often it is without an incomplete resume, under current job, you’ll often see “none of your business”. This is not the candidate being lazy, but rather, Facebook is pulling this from their Facebook profile, without the candidate realizing it. Don’t dismiss applicants through Facebook who don’t have a completed profile/resume.
  3. ZipRecruiter – ZipRecruiter, I’m continually impressed by ZipRecruiter and their year over year growth, with their omnipresent marketing, they are quickly gaining market share. ZipRecruiter’s heavy investment into marketing is helping bring in more candidates and grow their resume database (which is included in a monthly subscription). Very user-friendly and intuitive dashboard.
    • Candidate experience: very easy to apply to many jobs very quickly and candidates receive email alerts about jobs that match previous searches.
    • Watch out for: with how easy ZipRecruiter has made it for candidates to apply to jobs – dozens in a few short minutes, this can be frustrating for recruiters, since many applicants don’t bother to read the description, but this issue isn’t limited to ZipRecruiter.

Job Board to Avoid:

CareerBuilder – Very few applicants, high price, poor quality resume database and they won’t let you out of their contract for non-performance. When I posted with CareerBuilder in 2018, at first I received no candidates in some smaller towns and low single digits in mid-sized cities. I emailed CareerBuilder and CC’d the CEO (since she had previously told me on a call that CareerBuilder would outperform other job boards that we’re using) and then they connected my jobs to Facebook jobs. Now I’m getting more candidates, due to the Facebook jobs traffic, but it is still fewer candidates and at a higher cost than Indeed, Facebook and ZipRecruiter. It’s better just to go directly to Facebook jobs. 

  • Candidate experience: Awful. Since candidate info is visible, candidates regularly report that they receive spam emails, robo-calls and fake job offers soon after putting their resume on CareerBuilder. If you check out the comments at CareerBuilder’s website and consumer comments at the better business bureau, you will see how common this experience is. As a result of the poor candidate experience, people are becoming wary of posting their resume on CareerBuilder, causing the value of their database to drop.
  • Watch out for: Over-promising and under-delivering account managers and long contracts.

I didn’t include Monster in the above, since I don’t have any personal experience with Monster. Please share in the comments your top place to post jobs for high volume recruiting!

How to Answer: What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

People love or hate this question. Joanna Zobjeck of Joanna Zobjeck Graphic Design shared, ” I really hate that question. It’s so low effort and tired. It’s also in almost every stinking interview – probably from a top 10 interview questions print out. They should ask instead, “what skill are you currently working on improving?” or “what would you like to improve or work toward as you progress in your career”

Why do interviewers ask this question?

Interviewers want to know how self-aware you are and what you are doing to grow and improve. If you share that your greatness weakness is a key part of the job you’re interviewing for, this question has the potential of screening out candidates.

Personally, I think there is value in asking this question, especially for certain roles, such as recruiting, sales and related positions. Recruiting, since recruiters should know what common interview questions are and how to answer them well. Sales, because sales people need to be able to think quickly and answer persuasively.

Regardless of your thoughts on the value of this question, it is used often enough that you need to prepare for it.

How to answer, “What is your greatest weakness?”

  1. First, share an actual weakness, but don’t list a weakness that is a key function of the job you’re applying to (if that’s the case, you are probably applying to the wrong job).
  2. Finish by sharing how you are working on overcoming this weakness or how you leverage your strengths to get around this weakness.

Example: I’m not very good at public speaking, although I feel I have very valuable information that people would find useful, I get very nervous in front of large crowds. I’m working on overcoming this by joining Toastmasters and giving presentations in front of smaller groups.

Alternative answer to “What is your greatness weakness?”

If humor and reporting to someone who has a sense of humor is important to you, try:

“Chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream” (or whatever your dietary weakness is)

This was my answer the last time I was asked this question and I got the job!

Warning: this could backfire, but if it does, do you really want to work for someone who doesn’t have a sense of humor?

How not to answer, “what is your greatest weakness?”

Avoid the strength disguised as a weakness answer, “I’m a perfectionist”, “I’m a workaholic” or “I have little patience for people on my team who don’t pull their own weight”. These are boring and transparent and can hurt your credibility by showing that you lack self-awareness of your weaknesses.

None of us are perfect and we should all have the self-awareness to find one imperfection, that’s not critical to the job, that we can share.

How have you answered this question? 

Recruiters, do you ask this question?

My Top Question to Ask Interviewers

You’re getting close to wrapping up your phone or in person interview and you really want to land this new job. After you’ve asked all your other questions and the interviewer sounds like they are about to end the interview, finish with this question:

“Do you have any reservations about moving forward with my application?”

This does two things:

  1. Uncovers any reservations or objections that the interviewer did not bring up and gives you a chance to address them before ending the interview.
  2. Takes advantage of Dr. Cialdini’s 2nd principle of influence: commitment and consistency from his book: Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion.

If you are interviewing for a sales position, consider being even more forward and asking for the position or for the next interview. Always be closing.

December Jobs Report Obliterates Expectations

This won’t make recruiting any easier! Great news for candidates both in demand for talent and higher wages.

The economy added 312,000 jobs last month, skyrocketing past economists’ prediction of fewer than 180,000 new jobs for December 2018.

What about wages you ask? Wages tied October ’18 with the highest monthly gain since 2009! Wages in December grew 3.2% YoY

Unemployment ticked up to 3.9%, but that is actually good news, because it means more people are entering the job market, i.e. the labor market grew by 419,000 last month.

Recruiters, we need to stay on our game and can’t count on a economic downturn to make our jobs easier, at least not yet.



Image: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/economists-ask-what-recession-after-blowout-jobs-report-2019-01-04

Data: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm


Simple Idea to Save Money With Staffing Firms

After 5 years in the staffing industry and 2 years as an owner of a staffing firm, my friends in staffing may have mixed feelings about this post. But hey, maybe they’ll be able to send out more contract recruiters!

Next time you need to reach out to a staffing firm to help fill your critical open positions, consider bringing on a temporary recruiter instead of paying direct-hire fees.

Staffing firms, especially in the current candidate market, rarely just have the perfect candidate for your opening(s) just sitting around. Rather, they will take down all the necessary job opening details, post the position, search their ATS, cold call and text candidates they find in resume databases and email blast lists of candidates – many of the same things that a temporary recruiter could do for you.

Assuming your openings are all direct-hire roles, staffing firms will charge between 20-30% of base salary for every direct hire you make from the candidates they refer, that cost quickly adds up.

Assuming your average salary is $50,000 and the staffing firm charges 20%, to be conservative and keep the math easy, that’s $10,000 per direct hire.

A temporary recruiter, depending on your market and the recruiters experience, may come with a billing rate anywhere from $28-60/hour (possibly more in big cities, but the direct hire fees will also be higher). If they just hire 1-2 people a month, they are already more than paying for themselves.

A temporary recruiter, provided with the right tools, will just cost whatever the hourly bill rate is from the firm who provided them. Compared to the cost of direct hires, once the temporary recruiter starts making hires, they will quickly pay for themselves. A good staffing firm will also stand behind the temporary recruiter’s performance

Stay tuned for my next article: how to negotiate with staffing firms – sorry Randstad, Robert Half and Vital Tech friends!

9 Steps To Fix Your Hiring Process

Just about every organization’s hiring process can be improved by shortening it, if you aren’t convinced, please start here: Why You Need To Shorten Your Hiring Process.

9 Steps To Fix Your Hiring Process

  1. Get buy in from all the stakeholders
  2. Apply to a position at your company using a pseudonym
  3. Document your current process
  4. Ask why each step is included
  5. Decide what steps to remove, shorten, combine or replace
  6. Document your finalized process
  7. Ask for feedback from key stakeholders
  8. Roll out changes in your biggest region or most challenging department first
  9. Check back regularly to ensure compliance

Detailed Steps:

  1. Get buy in from all stakeholders
    • Before you start and throughout the process, make sure stakeholders are involved.
    • Ask questions to highlight pain points of the current process:
      • If we could fill positions one or two weeks faster, what impact would that make on your work load, your department?
      • What about the current process do you not like?
      • What candidates have you lost during the hiring process? And why do you think they fell through?
    • Be prepared with some stats: Why You Need to Shorten Your Hiring Process
    • Once they are on board with fixing the hiring process:
      • In what ways do you feel the hiring process could be improved?
      • What parts of the process are not helping you make a hiring decision? What parts are helping?
  2. Apply yourself to a position at your company using pseudonym
    • Apply using your phone! This will help you test how mobile friendly the application process is – this is critically important with 70% of candidates applying on a mobile device (CareerBuilder, 2018)
    • If possible, try to go as far through the process as possible before someone notices
    • Alternative: interview recent new hires about their experience from applying to orientation
  3. Document your current process
    • Thoroughly document your current process: from a candidate landing on your homepage, to attending new employee orientation
  4. Ask why each step is included
    • Test all assumptions, something may look good on paper, ask recruiters, hiring managers, new hires, if the step works as intended.
  5. Decide what steps to remove, shorten, combine or replace
    • How many interviews are being conducted? Can you reduce, shorten or combine these?
    • Are you insisting candidates make a formal online application before interviewing? Why? Can you have them do this at the interview instead to reduce the fall off rate?
    • Is it taking a week to get a hiring decision from hiring managers? – Set a time limit
    • How long is it taking from time an application is received to when a recruiter reaches out? – Set a time limit
    • How long is it taking from when a recruiter reaches out to when an interview is scheduled – Set a time expectation (room for exception based on candidate availability.
    • How timely are references being completed?
    • Can someone walk in off the street and be hired before leaving your office?
  6. Document your finalized process
  7. Ask for feedback from key stakeholders
    • You should know where you will get the most resistance at your company with a hiring process change, go to that colleague(s) and ask for their feedback. Know your numbers! Be open-minded to their recommendations and reservations.
  8. Roll-out changes in your biggest region or most challenging department first
    • Only have the roll-out meeting if all stakeholders are present – you only get one shot at this
    • Have the regional or department leader open, and make it very clear that this will be the new process.
    • Share the documented new process with everyone present
    • Go step by step through the process
    • Check for understanding
    • Ask what the major changes are for this region/department
    • Write out the major changes on a whiteboard
    • Ask for a commitment to follow the new process
    • Follow up with an email, summarizing the major changes, a photo of the whiteboard is a nice touch.
  9. Check back regularly to ensure compliance
    • Check in with the leader, mid-managers and recruiter(s) of each region or department, ask how the changes are going, what the effects have been and if everyone is following the new process. Attend management meetings as necessary.




CareerBuilder, 2018, Job Seekers Are Now in the Driver’s Seat and Expect Next-Gen Recruiting and New Hire Experiences, Survey Finds, http://press.careerbuilder.com/2018-10-30-Job-Seekers-Are-Now-in-the-Drivers-Seat-and-Expect-Next-Gen-Recruiting-and-New-Hire-Experiences-Survey-Finds


Why You Need to Shorten Your Hiring Process

Making a new offer is often stressful, so much could go wrong, if you hire the wrong person, it will reflect negatively on you, make your job more difficult, take up your time, your team’s time, cost the company money, hurt moral, cost customers, hurt the company’s reputation and it could even lead to lawsuits.

The temptation is there to increase the length of your hiring process, to make sure you don’t make a hiring mistake: have a long application to get all the details you want (not need), send multiple assessments, have many people interview, (that way you can share the blame), etc.

This is counterproductive.

You will often lose the best candidates with an unduly long hiring process. The best candidates know their worth, and will feel that you cannot see their worth if you make them interview several times, often answering the same questions, over and over. I’ve witnessed it many times, where the best candidate gets frustrated with endless interviews, starts to wonder why she has to meet so many different people (she’s also most likely working, so getting time off for interviews is a challenge). Often, she drops out of the process since she feels you failed to see her value.

A few stats to support shortening the hiring process:

  • 60% of candidates quit job applications due to excessive length or complexity (CareerBuilder)
  • Organizations lose 20 percent of candidates after waiting just three days to schedule an interview (Filho, 2018)

The average interview process takes 23.7 days! (Cherian, 2017) It does not take 23 days to make a hiring decision, shorten your interview process and make more and better hires, before your competition steals them away.

If you can make a hiring decision in 10 days or less, you will lose fewer candidates to the competition, since candidates will continue to job hunt while interviewing and it won’t take long for the best candidates to receive additional offers. An unduly long process puts you at risk for losing the best candidates and for competing with additional job offers.

Coming soon: How to shorten your hiring process 




Cherian, J., 2017, 5 Ways Your Losing Good Candidates In the Recruitment Process https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/losing-good-candidates/

Filho, O.G., 2918, How Recruiters Can Foster ‘Hire’ Engagement with Hiring Managers https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/recruitment-onboarding/how-recruiters-can-foster-hire-engagement-with-hiring-managers/

Indeed’s 15 Top-Rated Workplaces in 2018: Best Culture

Indeed just released their top-rated workplaces in 2018 for best culture. Keller Williams, who didn’t make the top 15 in 2017 jumps all the way to the top spot, 4 fast food companies make the list and only one conventional tech company made the list, Apple, which could be a reflection of the rough year tech has had.

Indeed Top 15 company cultures

Reading through the reviews on Indeed and Glassdoor about the top rated workplaces for best culture, a few things stand out:

  • Supportive management: management needs to be supportive and demonstrate that they care for their employees.
  • Lived values & culture: a set of values are part of the everyday experience for everyone at the company, not just a list of 5 or 10 nice sounding words given to new hires at orientation
  • Clear career path: employees need to see a future at the company, a path for growth and this needs to be clearly articulated by management.
  • Competitive pay: You don’t need to have huge salaries (4 fast food companies made the list) but you do need to pay competitively for your industry.
  1. KW logo Keller Williams – also topped this year’s work/life balance ranking, reviews raved about top-notch training and support, volunteering and community service. 
  2. IN N OUT logo IN-N-OUT Burger – flexibility of scheduling was a repeating theme, competitive pay, positive culture, happy customers and making life long friends
  3. TQL logo Total Quality Logistics – employees were very happy about the combination of support & independence, promoting from within and benefits such as a basketball court, ping-pong, Nerf guns, gym and food trucks
  4. Vans logo Vans – fun and flexible work environment and employee development through training
  5. HEB logo HEB – a supermarket chain with an “amazing” work environment, competitive pay, 6 month bonuses based on performance


Culture isn’t a fluff word, having a strong workplace culture leads to better retention, which means fewer open requisitions for recruiters, so they can focus on quality over quantity and ultimately, happier employees and customers. Culture also isn’t complicated, support and care for your employees, show them a path forward, provide training, pay competitively, encourage work/life balance and a ping-pong table won’t hurt either.


Sources: Top-Rated Workplaces 2018 https://www.indeed.com/Top-Rated-Workplaces/2018-US-Culture

Top 10 Recruiting Books to Read in 2019

1.      Recruiting in the Age of Googlization by Ira Wolfe

If you are a recruiter and you’re not paying attention to how google is changing recruiting, you are being irresponsible. If you only read one recruiting book this year, read this one.

 “Scary and astute” – Charles Coy, Global Head of Analyst and Community Relations

“Everything you thought you knew about recruiting has changed” – Jeff Hoffman, Serial Entrepreneur

2.      The Talent Delusion by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Using a combination of psychology and data driven solutions to measure, predict and manage talent.

“This is the book I want to hand every manager I’ve ever worked with who mistakenly assumes “give me 5 minutes with a candidate and I’ll tell ya if they are a good hire.” Every chapter is filled with quotes, findings, and ideas that I want to post on Twitter and share with the world”―Dr. Todd Carlisle, VP of HR, Twitter

3.      Recruit Rockstars by Jeff Hyman

“I read this book in one weekend, and I loved it. Everybody claims they want to hire A-Players, but Jeff and his book help you understand why B-Players are more damaging to your company than you expect. You can’t build a world-changing company without world-class talent. Ignore Jeff’s wisdom at your own peril.” – Dick Costolo, Former CEO of Twitter, and CEO of Chorus

4.      Revolutionary Recruiting by Mary Ann Faremouth

The Faremouth method focuses on matching the whole individual to the job by highlighting why candidates are looking, taking a deeper look at what both the candidate and employer truly want and focusing on relationships. Filled with personal experiences, yet a succinct and practical guide to recruiting.

5.      The Talent Fix by Tim Sackett

Using a step by step approach, The Talent Approach, shows how to simple fixes, organizational designs, and technology can help your organization create a scalable ability to recruit. A recruiting book with a sense of humor and little fluff.

6.      The Talent Magnet by Mark Miller

Mark takes a storytelling approach to this engaging and accessible guide to attracting the best talent. This book provides timeless insights on what motivates people who can work anywhere and how to get them to work for you.

7.      Creative Hiring by Ozan Dagdeviren

Creativity, curiosity, collaboration and genuineness. These are the central concepts the pinnacle model is built upon. The author takes a refreshing and revolutionary look at the hiring process and dismisses old ideas about recruiting. Personalities and belief systems are emphasized.

8.      Culture Driven Recruiting by Lee-Anne Edwards

This well written, relatable, humorous and entertaining book starts with urging the reader to start with your company culture. Don’t expect just a passive read! You will be prompted with charts and exercises to complete.

9.      What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro

One of two non-recruiting books, but one I definitely recommend for recruiters. This book will teach you nonverbal intelligence, how to read body language and look for deceptive behaviors. Beware, after reading this book, you won’t be able to un-see a lot of the deception going on among those around you!

10.  Caro’s Book of Poker Tells

During college, poker helped me pay my bills, shortly after reading Caro’s Book of Poker Tells, I entered my first large poker tournament and took first place. Although I rarely play anymore, I still put the skills learned from this book to use every time I interview someone. This is a great primer on reading people. Many times while interviewing, I notice a “bluff”, triggering me to ask follow up questions.