Does Your Company Culture Attract Top Talent?

TalentCompanies like Sendouts in St. Louis, have been recognized for exceptional company culture, the effects of which are credited for helping the company to increase sales by 50% within 2 years. Jonathan Herrick, VP of Sales and Marketing, illustrates how success is rooted in company culture.  Here, we highlight methods used by Sendouts that you can adopt in order to attract top talent to your business and improve retention.

In the next three minutes, learn the top 5 steps you can take to build a cultural foundation for success and the 12 questions you need to ask your employees today.

How would you define your company culture? What are your core values? What does your company truly represent? Companies like Sendouts have NO problem attracting talent. They have all become a magnet for Top Talent because of their culture. When an employee goes to work for Zappos, another company highly regarded for their culture, the new employee is trained on the company culture and core values for five weeks! It’s no surprise they are one of Fortune’s Top 100 companies to work for and have a 99% retention rate! Who does that?

In an AMA study it was revealed that 70% of change initiatives fail because your culture rejects them! That one statistic is enough for anyone to realize the importance of this topic.

Jonathan shared five steps to building a dynamic culture:

  1. Know your culture
  2. Hire tough – Manage easy
  3. Communicate
  4. Rethink outside the box
  5. Wheel Alignment

If you want to gauge the culture of your organization and your effectiveness as a leader, we recommend this 12 question Employee Survey to understand where you’re culture stands today and how to turn it into a talent magnet.

Follow the three C’s of hiring…Character – Compatibility – Competence. You need to hire individuals who will align with your culture and core values as a company. When you build a dynamic team, top talent is drawn in by your team members, referrals dramatically increase and you become a preferred employer.   Positive word of mouth advertising in the job market is priceless.

Imagine what you could do with the survey results to improve employee morale and retention? Most employees complain they are not in the loop. In fact, most of them don’t even know how to find the loop! When the seas are turbulent, your employees don’t want you fixing the motor. They want you steering the ship. They also want to know where the ship is headed, and they want their role defined!

If you want to attract top talent, discard your policies and procedures and replace them with expectations. Let your employees know what they can expect from you and be clear about what you expect from them. Give them the ability to make a difference and feel that they play an important role in your organization. You will see the benefits come in the form of retaining your superstars, attracting top talent to your organization, and improving the quality of productivity in your organization.

Why using a staffing agency may not be best

A reported 90% of Fortune 500 companies use staffing agencies to hire top talent and solve business challenges quickly. While there are clear benefits, using a staffing agency may not always be your best option. Here are 3 key reasons to use a staffing agency and 3 common scenarios when calling a staffing agency is not your best option.


  1. Recruiters are subject matter and market experts

Recruiters typically do business in one or two professional areas. This specialization allows them to have deep market insight into the candidate pool and your competitors’ activities. Working with a knowledgeable partner will give you the tools you need to quickly attract the top candidates to your company.

  1. Recruiters can help reduce your cost per hire

One of the biggest objections to using a recruiter is the cost. Although recruiters collect a fee, the commission paid to a recruiter is typically less than the time for the in-house man-hours needed to fill the position. For example, if your CFO, who earns well into 6 figures per year, is running the search for a new staff accountant and it takes her three months to find the right candidate, consider the total cost of her time plus costs of inefficiencies while the position is vacant. By contrast, if you use a recruiter to hire a new staff accountant, you’ll likely fill the position within 2-4 weeks while offloading much of the screening process and pay approximately $12,000 to $14,000 for the service.

  1. Recruiters readily have access to hundreds of viable candidates, which will help fill your position quickly

Recruiters have access to candidate databases that include hundreds – if not thousands – of professionals. Furthermore, they are consistently in contact with available candidates and probably know a handful of top candidates for your position, without even needing to consult their extensive resources. If you’re starting your candidate search from scratch, using a recruiter will save a lot of time.


  1. You haven’t reached out to your personal network or utilized employee referrals

Research has shown that hiring an employee or personal referral is the best, fastest, and cheapest way to add new employees and reduce turnover. The easiest way to kick off this program is to create a financial incentive for employees to refer quality candidates. Rewarding the employee who refers the chosen candidate with a $1,000 bonus is one great example of a financial incentive.

  1. You’re not clear on the type of candidate who would be successful in this role

Recruiters are only as good as the information their clients give them. The more unclear your requirements are, the higher the chances the recruiter won’t produce the candidate(s) you need. Generally, recruiters are happy to help you refine your requirements for the ideal candidate, but hiring managers should have a strong baseline for the non-negotiable requirements before reaching out to a recruiter.

  1. You have not explored the possibility of promoting from within

When senior roles at a company become available, many hiring managers immediately look to hiring an outside candidate with senior-level experience to fill the position. However, promoting from within allows you to maintain your investment in that employee’s training, skills, and knowledge. Furthermore, hiring from within helps employee retention. If employees understand that promoting from within is the company policy, they will be incentivized to stay at your company and work hard in their current position, as opposed to finding professional growth opportunities outside of your organization.

We advise companies to keep a comprehensive toolbox of recruiting options that include internal and external resources. For more information, click to request our free checklist and cost-per-hire comparison tool.

The Role of Social Media in Recruiting

There’s no doubt that social media has changed our world in significant ways. The way people find new job opportunities is no exception. Social media is widely used by recruiters looking for the best candidates. It has given recruiters many tools to find candidates and gain insights about them. Your social media presence can play a pivotal role in a recruiter’s decision to hire you. Today, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the most common social media platforms. If you’re looking for new job opportunities, it’s important to optimize your social media. When your social media represents you well, you will maximize potential job opportunities. Here are our top tips to positively stand out on social media!





To work on perfecting your LinkedIn profile, check out our past blog post that describes detailed steps on how to develop your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is by far the most powerful social media platform since it is made for professional networking. Once you’ve followed our steps to developing your LinkedIn profile, you can now work on being more specific on your profile. Our top tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile are:

  1. Keep your profile as detailed as possible. Recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn based on aspects like industry, years of experience, certifications, and job description. You should include as much detail as you can on your LinkedIn and use career-specific keywords. Doing so can increase your likelihood of appearing in search results. Detail is crucial on LinkedIn! Recruiters want to see everything you have done in as much detail as possible, including awards and achievements.
  2. Get recommendations! One of the most important things you can have on LinkedIn is recommendations. It is very powerful for recruiters to read about experiences that other professionals have had with you. It sheds a much more positive light on you in the workplace. If you have any coworkers or past bosses, don’t be afraid to ask them to write a quick 100-150 word recommendation about their experience working with you. It will make a world of a difference!



While the way Facebook is used differs from LinkedIn, it is just as important. It is mostly used as a platform to stay in touch with family and friends, but can still be looked at by potential hiring authorities. Here are our most crucial pointers to staying professional on Facebook:

  1. Find a balance of portraying your personality while still maintaining an appropriate profile. When a recruiter is looking at your Facebook, they are looking to get an idea of who you are off paper. Facebook posts can show a lot about how people think and act. For example, it can show character traits. By looking at a profile, a recruiter can tell if someone is usually positive vs. critical, organized vs. messy, and more. Most recruiters won’t look deeply into a Facebook profile or hold it to the same standard as they do a LinkedIn profile. 
  2. Make sure that you’re being honest about yourself, your qualities, and your work history throughout your profiles. Recruiters will look for any major signs or inconsistencies that would not match something you have stated elsewhere. 
  3. Before liking or posting anything, pause and ask yourself: what would a recruiter think about me if they saw this? Once something is online, it will stay there forever and anyone can see it.


Twitter & Other Social Media

Like Facebook, Twitter is used to stay in touch with people and current news. Twitter accounts show your posts, replies, and everything you like/favorite. This means that a recruiter checking out your profile can see anything you like or post. The best way to keep a professional Twitter profile is to:

  1. Use Twitter to follow companies you may be interested in. Also, use hashtags that relate to your career goals so that you can keep up with potential opportunities. 
  2. Just like Facebook, be mindful of what you post. Anything inappropriate could influence your eligibility as a candidate in a negative way.


LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the most prevalent social media sources for recruiters. But, that does not mean that the rest of your social media accounts can be neglected. Platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Vsco, and more are still very much public.  If recruiters choose to access them, they can do so. You should still be making sure that you are never posting content that could be damaging to your reputation. Your social footprint is the first impression that a recruiter will have of you. Put these tips to use to make sure you positively stand out.


Getting Over Your Fear of Public Speaking: 5 Simple Tips

Public speaking is unavoidable. Some people are naturals at it, but most of us have to learn and perfect our public speaking skills through practice. Whether it be in front of a small group of executives, or a lecture room full of hundreds of people, chances are you’ll be put in a position at some point in your career where you need to give a presentation to an audience. Almost any type of job will require speaking in front of people, which makes public speaking a critical skill in today’s world. If you’re finding yourself nervous going into a presentation, start with these 5 simple tips, and we guarantee you will crush it and work towards eliminating any potential nerves in the future!

Feel confident and informed on what you have to say. Confidence always radiates, especially when you’re in a position where all eyes are on you. Choose a topic that you feel passionate about, and feel like you can answer anything on. Take the time to learn as much as you can about it, and when you have that knowledge, your audience will be able to tell by how you present yourself. Just remember, more often than not, the audience wants to learn about what you are saying!

Use your energy. Be ready to raise your voice. Speak loud and clear. Walk around a little. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and use hand gestures or tonal changes in your voice – the best way to publicly speak is to mirror how you normally speak and act. If you go into the presentation thinking you need to stand perfectly still or can’t let out so much as one “um,” you will end up much more nervous than necessary. It’s okay to loosen up and make the presentation feel natural and casual. This will keep listeners engaged!

Practice practice practice! Going into a presentation prepared on what you want to say will most definitely ease your nerves. You can never practice too much for a presentation; every extra rehearsal will help to make you feel more comfortable. Pro-tip: Try recording yourself giving your presentation! As uncomfortable as it may be to watch yourself, it will be so much easier to point out where you could improve on body language or speech when you actually see yourself present.

Know Your Audience. Know what your audience is expecting, what they already know, and what they want to learn. Studying your audience beforehand will make it much easier to talk to them throughout the presentation; it will help reassure you that they are there to learn from you and not to intimidate you. This will also help your presentation feel much more conversational. You don’t have to feel like you are lecturing to your audience, just think of it as simply talking to them.

Dress the part. Generally, this would mean business casual attire or professional attire. This is a simple tactic that can make a world of a difference. If you look your best, you will feel your best, and that’s a fact. It all goes back to confidence and feeling like your most self-assured and positive self. When coupled with the previous four tips, you’ve built yourself a recipe for public speaking success!

For more personal and professional tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at We are always happy to help you be your best self, on or off the stage!

How to Nail Your First Phone Interview

Going into your first phone interview can definitely be a nerve-wracking experience. You might be asking yourself, is this really as important as an in-person interview would be? The answer is yes! Employers use phone interviews as a quick way to filter out their candidates and get a feel for who they are. That being said, phone interviews essentially act as a first impression to help decide who they want to bring in for an in-person interview. To make sure your first impression is a strong one, start by utilizing these six easy tips in your upcoming phone interview: 


Do your research beforehand. You never want to go into an interview completely unaware of what they do or what position you applied for. The best way to show the employer that you’re genuinely interested is by doing your research and showing throughout the phone call that you’ve educated yourself on their company. You can even craft your questions to them around thoughts that came up while you were researching the company!


Prepare notes. As far as the basic questions that you expect to be asked, don’t be afraid to brainstorm beforehand how you can answer them and jot down some notes. It can help you during the phone call to reference something you wanted to say, and organize your thoughts. Don’t make too long of a list with notes that are too specific, because you’ll just end up confusing yourself and trying to read off your paper throughout the interview. Stick to the essential topics you want to include!


Dress the part. As silly as it sounds, you should be dressed for success while preparing for and during your phone interview. It helps your performance and improves your attitude by making you feel more confident and prepared, as you would in an in-person interview. Dressing your best will also make you feel your best!


Stay standing. Standing up during your phone call helps to exert your energy and put more of your voice into the phone call. It will help you speak more clearly and confidently, and that energy will be transferred to the employer on the other line. Stand up, walk around, and get your energy flowing!


Keep a smile on your face. It may not seem like it, but keeping a smile on your face is crucial to maintaining a positive and clear voice throughout the phone call. Since they can’t see you, your voice is one of the only ways the employer can get a feel for your personality and confidence. Forcing yourself to smile throughout will ensure that you keep a bubbly attitude that the employer will sense on their end!


Send a thank you email. You always want to leave a meaningful impression on who you spoke with, and a simple thank-you can make a huge difference. Try to include a small tidbit of something interesting or funny you may have talked about with them. It will help them to remember you and the conversation, and show thoughtfulness on your part. Regardless of how you think the interview went, always follow up with a brief note!


We hope these tips help you ace your next interview! Remember: you got this!

What Our Team Learned From Our SWOT Analysis

When you hear the term SWOT Analysis, you probably reflect back to a business course you took in college or to the general acceptance of a SWOT Analysis as a tool for analyzing and planning for a business. It is a widely used tool that helps identify an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses, followed by external opportunities and threats. This week, we took a slightly different spin on the SWOT Analysis and we had each of our team members complete her own personal SWOT Analysis. Then, we came together as a team to debrief and discuss each others’ responses. Here are some of the things we learned!


A major takeaway was that our team members realized that they had more strengths than they had initially written down. When hearing what others were saying about themselves, it reminded them that they, too, had that strength or a similar one. We each underestimated the different types of strengths we really did have; we needed to push ourselves to think more critically about ourselves, and realize that we had more strong qualities than we thought!


On top of that, we saw a surprising correlation between our strengths and our weaknesses. We noticed how most of them fit together and were very much the same basic attribute, just at different ends of the spectrum. For example, having high urgency but also being impatient, being personable but also distractible, or being empathetic but lacking assertiveness.


In terms of our weaknesses, as a member of the team would discuss their awareness of their individual weaknesses, it would help us all to be able to point out that specific blind spot. With that, we found the areas where we could most support that teammate and encourage growth beyond those weaknesses. It created a positive twist on our supposed weaknesses; being able to identify and share them allowed for the whole team to be aware, and help us tackle them in the future!


We also were able to identify that, very often, one person’s strength may be another’s weakness. For example, while one team member may view their attention to detail as a strength, another may come at it from an opposite viewpoint, feeling like they pay too much attention to detail. It highlighted how unique our perspectives were, and how our views on our skills can vary depending on how we look at them.


While these exercises are stimulating and insightful in the moment, the most important part of them is how you take action on what you learn. So what’s next? For us, each team member has picked one weakness she would most like help with and our team has committed to helping her develop beyond it. Our goal is to build a culture where people never feel the need to hide a weakness but instead, put it on the table as something to work on. The second action item for us is to create a “Wall of Strengths” showcasing each team member’s strengths. Our aim is to consistently consider “What is needed for the task at hand?” and “Who has the best strength for this?” By doing this, we hope to inspire collaboration, learn from one another and maximize the impact of our team as a whole.


Last but not least, we want to know, what’s your Personal SWOT Analysis story? Are there additional take-aways you can suggest?

Building Your Resume: Top 3 Do’s and Don’ts… From A Recruiter!

When starting a job search, perfecting your resume should be your first priority. It is one of the first things the hiring manager will see, and it is your chance to give them a snapshot of yourself in terms of your past successes. Your resume should work to show your past experience, the skills you have learned, and what type of candidate you are. Follow these essential do’s and don’ts to make sure that your resume is ready to go!

Image result for stock photo resume writing free

DO include your contact information.

There’s nothing worse for a recruiter than when they’re thoroughly impressed or intrigued by your resume and wanting to move things forward, then realizing they have no way of contacting you. Your resume should include your email, phone number, your address/location, and your LinkedIn. A lot of people tend to forget to add these simple yet crucial pieces of information. As much as you do need to focus on the bulk of your resume and the experience you’re choosing to highlight, don’t let it stop you from remembering to give the recruiter/hiring manager a quick and easy point of contact! 

DON’T make it too long/list out every task and responsibility you have had at every single job.

Your resume should be no more than a page long. Remember, while your resume is your way to brag about yourself as a candidate, you only want to pull out the most important and relevant aspects of your past. More likely than not, the hiring manager looking over your resume is looking over multiple resumes a day, and may even toss your resume to the side if it’s over a page! Make the recruiter’s job easier and craft a resume that is short and sweet, highlighting all of your main strengths and accomplishments.

DO use descriptive and relevant action words to highlight the skills you’ve learned.

Use your resume bullet points to paint a picture of the role you played in your past jobs and what skills the position taught you. Be sure to choose descriptive words that are geared towards the skill you’re trying to highlight, whether it be management, communication, technical, creative, teaching skills, etc. For example, in a leadership or management role, instead of using nondescript words like “did,” try using verbs like “conducted,” or “administered.” Make that extra effort to paint a clear image in the recruiter’s head of your workplace successes! 

DON’T lie.

It’s not worth it, for a number of reasons. It can be really detrimental to your future employment opportunities if you get caught lying on a resume, especially if it results in you being terminated from the job. On top of that, you could be setting yourself up for failure by giving hiring managers a false impression of your capabilities, and not being able to execute those skills like your resume suggests. Be honest, highlight your true strengths and let the employer see those qualities for themselves!

DO read over and double check for typos/formatting errors before sending it anywhere.

No matter where you are sending your resume, take an extra minute or two to check for any spelling mistakes and, most importantly, formatting mistakes. A lot of the time when you convert your resume to a PDF, the layout changes and it may need to be readjusted. A spelling or formatting error could show a lack of care on your part. On top of that, make sure the contents of your resume stay consistent throughout, keeping your experiences in order and looking as neat as possible!

DON’T send in the same resume to every job you can

Take the time to tailor your resume to the job you are applying to, in terms of your skills and experiences. Especially if you are a candidate with varied types of experience, pick and choose what experience is the most important to highlight for the specific job. Look over the job description and pull out key skills that the company is looking for. Tweak your background and specific bullet points so that your duties and work successes emphasize the same skills that the job is looking for. Putting that extra thought into each resume you submit will be much more beneficial than aimlessly sending in the same resume to every job you apply for.

5 Questions You Need to Ask Your Prospective Employer in an Interview

When preparing for an interview, it’s important to put time and energy into crafting well thought-out answers that show that you are capable of the role. Of course, you want to make sure you stand out as a candidate within your answers. While your responses to the interviewer’s questions do matter, many people tend to overlook the importance of that very last question that every employer will ask you:


“So, do you have any questions for me?”


The worst mistake you can make in an interview is to not ask the employer any question at all. There is always something that can be asked, whether it is a question that shows the employer your interest, or one that gives yourself more insight on the environment itself within the company. This is your chance as a candidate to ask some thought-provoking questions to your interviewer. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to ask your employer, check out these five questions for ideas on what you can ask before wrapping up an interview.



  • What are the opportunities to grow from this position? In what areas will the company need people to grow?


Not only does this show the interviewer that you have personal goals and the drive to work your way up within a company, but it can also provide you with some insight on what it is like to be an employee for the company. Is it a company where employees and their specific roles remain stagnant, or is it a company where employees are encouraged to work harder and given incentives to succeed? On top of that, by asking about areas in which the company needs growth, you also demonstrate that you are thinking about the best interests of the company as well as your own ability to fulfill those needs.



  • How would you describe the culture of the company from your experience as an employee here?


Asking a current employee in the company about their experiences can give you a more thorough idea of what you really will experience working there. A lot of the times, the answer to this can show you the extent to which the company prioritizes building relationships between teammates, such as going out to lunch together or celebrating achievements as a group. While it may not be crucial for a company to prioritize a more “fun” environment among the employees, it is always more reassuring to know that you would be welcomed with open arms and have the opportunity to build long-lasting friendships while there.



  • What does a typical day look like in this position? Does it stay consistent or will my tasks vary day-to-day?


This question is crucial in order to paint a picture of what your role will consist of and if it is truly something that you are fit for. Whether you are looking for a more structured role or a role with more flexibility/spontaneity, the employer’s answer to this question can confirm whether the role is a position you would thrive in. On top of that, it will show on the employer’s side how prepared they are for your potential addition to the company and the role you would play.



  • What are the company’s goals and expectations over the next five years?/What are the company’s long-term and short-term goals as of right now?


To strengthen your potential as a candidate and show a more genuine interest on your end, this question will show the employer how you prioritize having a true understanding of the company. On top of impressing the employer, it will also give you information regarding the company’s work ethic. They might be a company that is constantly setting ambitious goals, and pushing their employees to work their hardest, or they might be more laid-back and let employees work at their own pace. Either way, it will give you a deeper look into how they organize themselves and what they expect of their company.



  • How does the company measure success overall and specifically in my role?


This thought-provoking question will allow you to further understand the role and its expectations. It is important for you to feel confident that you will succeed in a role before taking it, and the answer to this question can give you some insight on company expectations.Taking all of these questions into account while preparing for an interview will help set you up for a successful interview, both for you and the interviewer.

Developing a Five-Star LinkedIn Profile

In today’s world, many people overlook the extent to which recruiters and employers are using LinkedIn as a tool to find potential candidates. It can be easy to think that you are only being looked at as a candidate when you are applying to jobs and finding potential employers, when in reality networking profiles like LinkedIn allow for employers to find you. Having a well-developed profile that is consistently updated is a crucial first step in opening up the doors to all kinds of potential opportunities. That being said, take the time now to pull up your LinkedIn profile, follow this checklist, make any necessary tweaks, and last but not least, be ready for success!


Your Profile Picture

Having a profile picture on LinkedIn is necessary; it makes your profile much more likely to be clicked on because of the personal touch it adds to those coming across your profile who may not know you. Ideally, you want the photo to be as high-quality and professional as it can be, a clear image with good lighting. You should be dressed in work attire, either business casual or business professional. If you have not had the chance yet to get professional pictures done, throw on a nice outfit and grab a buddy to take pictures of you somewhere with a clean and simple background!

                                       Cailin Flannery

Your Header

Like your picture, your header would be one of the first aspects someone would see on your profile (and even before they click on your profile). One of the most common mistakes people make is using headlines that are extremely generic and do absolutely nothing to differentiate you. Make sure to revamp a boring heading, like “Student at UMass Amherst,” into something descriptive and exciting, like “Driven Marketing Student at UMass Amherst seeking a Summer 2019 Internship Opportunity.” Just from tweaking your heading, recruiters and employers now know a little bit more about your unique qualities and what you are looking for!


Your Summary

There is a little more freedom when it comes to your LinkedIn summary and what you would want to include. On a basic level, you should at least include who you are, what your past work and school experience has been, followed by what kind of opportunities you are searching for or career goals you have. You want to use this space to give potential recruiters or employers more insight on who you are, deeper than just your 5-10 word header. Here, you can include your strongest qualities and where you have had the opportunity to utilize/strengthen them, and even where you are today in regards to your career and how you have gotten to this point. Be honest, and don’t be afraid to brag a little and show off how unique you are, because this is your chance to show everyone what you’ve got to offer!



When filling in your past experience, make sure to add more detail other than just where your past jobs have been and how long you worked there. It is important to know where you have worked in the past, but it is even more important to get a sense of what your days really consisted of during your time there. A lot of the time, recruiters are seeing your profile before seeing anything else, such as your resume, so you want to include detailed bullet points under each job describing what kind of tasks you performed on a day-to-day basis. For example, describing experience in a customer service position can go from this…

  • Helped customers find items         

…To this.

  • Greeted and assisted customers while responding to inquiries in person and through telephone calls           


Use strong action verbs and be specific, each bullet point should be able to highlight a skill you learned and improved upon while at that specific job.

PROTIP: Currently looking for a job? Let recruiters know you’re seeking opportunities by going to ‘Settings and Privacy’ under your account, then making the switch under ‘Job Seeking Preferences.’


Last but not least, BUILD YOUR NETWORK!

Don’t be shy! Whether it be a work event, a school event, or even a small interaction you might have had with someone, make the effort to reach out and connect with them on LinkedIn. You never know where your next opportunity could come from, and just one connection could lead you to hundreds of potential ones!