Human Behavioral Recruiting Methods – Part I


The human mind and the way we perceive information is a HUGE aspect when recruiting talent. When contacting possible candidates who are already employed, emailing them, calling them at work, etc…..the way we construct our terminology is vital.

In this series, we’ll be discussing how to close candidates via email, calling them at work, texting, LinkedIn, cold calling, and many other ways. For the first part of the series, we will be breaking down human behavior and perception in recruiting as a whole, with the following editions covering specific ways to do so.

One of the most popular words used in emails to possible candidates is “opportunity” and it’s also the one word that I personally like to heavily stay away from. You see, the term “opportunity” has a question mark attached to it. Whenever I get an email talking about an “opportunity”, I immediately think that something might be fishy, even if it’s not. Red flags go up and we don’t want that. We want these candidates so intrigued about what we’re emailing them, they HAVE to write/call/text back! That’s the bottom line. I prefer to use what I call vague intrigue, which is intriguing the heck out of the candidate with just a little bit of enticing information on the front end, then saving all of my other information for the back end when we personally speak. If you lay it out all on the line from the get go, we lose control and again…….that’s something we don’t want.

Talent Magnet

You have to remember, these are people who are getting a phone call, email, or text from a complete stranger. Why should they trust us? Even if the job we have to offer is an out of this world “opportunity”, the possible candidate on the receiving end will have their guard up at first, which is our personal duty to lower from the get-go.

It’s all about terminology, the way we phrase everything. When talking to a passive candidate, we aren’t setting up an “interview”, we’re setting up a “meeting”. It’s not a phone screen or phone interview either, we are simply “discussing everything in more detail”, simple as that. Doing that, the pressure is off and it’s a laid back conversation and one that has a MUCH higher candidate closing rate attached. We’re still walking them through the interview process, simply using different keywords when describing our objective at hand.

With all of this in mind and the examples given, Part II on Thursday will be breaking down human behavior and the art of the email. If you want a better return rate across the board, you are going to want to read Part II on Thursday.

Perception is the key here, so never forget that. The human mind has a very specific way in processing information and that will be our key to success in closing candidates at a very, very high rate.

Happy Hunting!


Candidate Engagement: A Ballad of Love and Hate

Candidate engagement is an intriguing topic these days. A majority of job applicants aren’t feeling connected to the hiring process, all the way from the early stages of applying for a position to the interview/post-interview process. The feeling of “wasting their time” and not feeling “up to date” on the process itself is an obstacle that many companies need to overcome.


First of all, one of the main issues at hand is that the hiring companies are losing great, qualified candidates (even for future use) by not treating them with enough respect. Where are the talent communities that need built? Why aren’t strategic branding and social media objectives not being utilized?

I’ve never been quite sure why many companies think that they’re the only ones who should be looked after. When you have the free agent signing period in sports, these teams are selling themselves to the players because they know it’s a 50/50 process. This is the exactly the same. The hiring company needs to show why they’re the best fit and a high class organization, as well as the candidate showing why they’re the right fit for the position. If you add personalization methods and techniques to keep job seekers in the loop, then you are way ahead of the game! Imagine all of the residual talent that companies would have at their fingertips if they simply took a little extra time to map out a strategic plan of action!

I recently sat down with Mary Davids, Managing Member of D&M Consulting, to discuss such matters, along with gauging her thoughts on what candidates want out of the process. D&M Consulting offers professional consulting services to job seekers and organizations. They are showing rapid growth throughout North America and are working towards International expansion, so it was a treat to gain the insightful feedback from Mary.

Mary Davids (D&M Consulting)

The Clark Review: Mary, I really appreciate your time discussing these topics with me. But before we get into those, how did D&M Consulting originate and what were the initial conceptions of the company?

D&M Consulting: D&M was founded in 2010. The initial conceptions of the company were the based on the constant demand for career advice and resume writing services in the job market.

TCR: There is a huge demand for that in the market, especially for direct specialization. In what areas do you see candidates needing the most guidance when it comes to career development?

D&M: Many of our candidates request guidance on negotiating salary and career success. Career success includes lateral movement or upward movement within desired industries.

TCR: To branch off that, candidate engagement is a huge topic these days that many companies often ignore. Where do you see ways in which engagement can be more evolved during the pre-interview, interview, and post-interview process?

D&M: Drawing the candidates into the conversation pre-interview, during and post-interview is an important and vital way to ensure you are not overlooking qualified and hire-worthy applicants. To do this, it is important to ask questions related to personality characteristics and behavioral characteristics. If an applicant feels that a company wants to know more about them as an individual and not just about their skills and knowledge then it makes them feel like the company really cares about its employees. The questions have to be strategic enough to ensure the applicant does not feel uncomfortable, but allows the employer to get to know more about who they are. This avenue also opens up the opportunity for a conversation rather than a test question format. A common engagement issue during interview process is that employers fail to gear their questions based on the applicant’s expressed desires. For example: Generation X and Generation Y employees will have different needs and priorities when considering employment. Social Responsibility may be a priority to one demographic and Work/Life Balance may be a priority for the other. Get to know the applicant’s needs and desires before running down the robotic list of questions under the “one size fits all” umbrella.

TCR: You make a very good point. I’m a huge proponent of personalizing the process and getting down to who the candidate really is as a person. So when you speak to individuals who are looking for job, are there common frustrations mentioned about the hiring process as a whole from the candidates perspective?

D&M: The major stressor that I hear from our clients is that they are one out of a thousand or more applicants for each job opening and at least 90 percent of the time they have no idea if their resume was either received or reviewed by the employer. Another significant stressor is the application process. An online application (depending on which system is used) can take between 20 to 45 minutes to set up a profile (which you may never use again) and complete the actual application. Even after all of that time is invested, there is rarely a response provided to the applicant regarding consideration or lack thereof.

TCR: I’ve spoken to many applicants who are extremely qualified, but just straight up don’t apply to the open jobs that have the exact setup you mentioned. Who wants to waste that time over and over again when you don’t hear a word back many times?

What area(s) do you see hiring companies dropping the ball when it comes to communication with the candidates?

D&M: I believe hiring companies often overlook the importance of their flexibility as to work/life balance and community involvement or social responsibility engagement. Applicants entering the job market at this time care more about the future of the organization and what image it has rather than just a paycheck.

TCR: I completely agree. People as a whole want to be proud of where they work and that often goes ignored by companies as a whole.

Where do you see D&M Consulting being in three years compared to where you are now and what are some plans for the future that you may have?

D&M: In the future, I see D&M Consulting growing to a National Consulting Agency providing consultation services all across the globe. Our goal is to expand and increase our brand to connect with global consumers as well enhancing our domestic consumer engagement.

Please visit our website for more information about the company and the services we provide.

Talkin’ Bout A Revolution


A revolution. A personal revolution against everyone who says you can’t do what you want to do. Against everyone who has doubts, but is actually doubting themselves. It’s time to step up and grab what’s yours. The time has come where you need to lace up the boots, man the ship, and say, “LET’S GO!”

Even if you’re an existing business owner, you want more. You want to evolve your company to new heights and you have a vision in place. Even if you don’t realize a vision in stored in that creative mind of yours, there is one there. During my trainings for startups and helping develop/build out companies, I notice a thought has been put out there in motion, just waiting to break free. Most of the time it’s our own selves holding us back from that absolute prosperity that is relative towards every one of us. It’s that belief system we have for ourselves and our company.


Listen…….everything is relative. What’s a huge feat to one is a small/forgotten task to another. What’s an easy goal to accomplish is a giant triumph for someone else. You see, it’s all relative. When you’re on the phone or face to face with a client, they have no idea if you’re worth $300 or $3 million dollars. Embrace that $3 million dollar mindset, where you strongly believe you have that much just sitting there in the bank and the confidence is pouring out of you. There is zero difference from Person A to Person B…..except for that personal belief system.

Let’s corral up the troops and head into battle. It’s time to take what’s ours and owning every part of the process along the way!

The Workplace Revolution

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Why do management teams feel they can talk down to and belittle employees? I understand the “we are a family” way of thinking, the good comes with the bad, etc… but this has simply spiraled out of control. Not everywhere is like this, of course…..which is why I proudly salute companies that have a great working environment.

Is it stress the managers are under? Is it something going on at home? Or are they simply control freaks where if it’s not done their way to the T, they get out of control? I firmly believe that many people think that if they are under a certain amount of workplace stress with their workload, that means they’re working harder. I think not, my friend. It’s all relative anyway, stress that is. One person can freak out over x,y,z, while to another, it’s no sweat off their back. But don’t push your own personal issues onto the team you’re leading. Don’t make them worry about yet another part of their job, when in reality it’s simply yourself that’s holding everyone back. Below is a link to lawsuit about a woman who was awarded $280k for being belittled and harassed at work after her boss used specific language her way.

Jury Awards $280k In Workplace Lawsuit

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The Review:

Create a strong, positive atmosphere where everyone can be themselves and flourish. They got hired for a reason, so let them shine! Throw that tacky, gossipy, 15 year old mindset out the window and embrace a world where the only thing that matters is positive evolution. Notice I didn’t say change. I don’t believe people need to necessarily change, simply evolve to where they’re capable of. Look at these huge companies out in Palo Alto. They create an upbeat, positive movement where everyone can be who they are. Let’s start being game changers and not look back!

Change 1

Accenture Survey – Characteristics That Attract Job Seekers


Why do some companies wonder why job seekers and top talent haven’t simply reached out to them on their own free will? They’re wondering why their system isn’t backlogged with candidate after candidate that are wanting to come work for them under their tentpole. Well, it’s time to change that way of thinking and we’re going to help break it down!

Brand management is a popular topic these days. Brand your company. Brand your employees. Brand yourself. Brand this and brand that too while you’re at it! Don’t get me wrong, all of this is phenomenal because it IS all about the brand, which is an extension of yourself as well.

But why don’t you see more companies branding themselves in a way that will stand out and attract future employees and talent? Why don’t these same companies strategically construct a way to extend their brand management initiatives in that direction? It often goes ignored for smaller companies that are growing and even existing ones that are in the upwards shift of a slow and steady growth.

It’s time to examine this a bit more, which will hopefully get your brainstorming sessions working at an even more rapid pace. I don’t believe you should ever tell someone what to do or exactly how to do it, but what you can give them are tools in which they can personalize and set in motion in their own way.

I wanted to include a survey by Accenture. Take a look at the results and think to yourself if you’re hitting the points mentioned. Perhaps you’re already on top of these initiatives and are sailing high in the sky. Perhaps you would like to look at everything from a different angle and add to your current culture. Either way, these are great findings that shouldn’t be ignored. Don’t forget, it’s a constant process of evolution and not so cut and dry as some may think.

Key survey findings:

Employer Characteristic (% of Respondents Selecting
Priorities of Job Seekers Employer Characteristic Priority)

1. Challenging and interesting work (60%)
2. Recognizes and rewards
accomplishments (58%)
3. Provides an opportunity for fast
career growth and advancement (44%)
4. Financially strong/will prosper
in the long run (42%)
5. People-oriented (42%)
6. Offers flexible work arrangements (41%)
7. Innovative (33%)
8. Approachable (27%)
9. Team-oriented environment (27%)
10. Global company (26%)
11. Offers a variety of work (26%)
12. Smart (21%)
13. Collaborative environment (17%)
14. Committed to the community/corporate
citizenship (16%)
15. Diverse workforce (16%)


Let’s break down some of these results. The top two results were overwhelmingly in the lead, meaning challenging/interesting work and recognizing/rewarding your accomplishments were heavy hitters. So we can easily see that creating a culture where employees and future candidates KNOW that you recognize their success through their hard work is crucial. I’ve seen many companies have incentive programs, yet employees are vaguely familiar with them…..much less prospective job seekers. Also, what makes your company interesting? What makes you different? Promote those characteristics. Make them a part of your brand. Be interesting!

A majority of job seekers didn’t pinpoint such programs as diversity and corporate citizenship on top of their list. What does that mean? Well, in my opinion it clearly states that candidates are looking for a results/incentive driven position with an innovative company that will personally impact them. They don’t want the dull and mundane, even if said company is a successful one. People want to be excited about their work and feel good about it, plain and simple. Make it happen!

The survey, which queried more than 4,100 job-seekers in 21 countries in North and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, was to identify the most-valued career goals of both entry-level and experienced job seekers.

Further Reading from Accenture:
No Shortage of Talent: How the Global Market is Producing the STEM Skills Needed for Growth

Caught On Video – Gamestop Employee Berating Customer In Packed Store


Talk about bad press. During the release for Grand Theft Auto 5, a customer is berated, mocked, and made fun of in front of the whole store to see. Meanwhile, someone was filming the whole thing and decided to toss it up on Twitter for everyone to see. It caught the attention of the folks at Gamestop and action was taken.

I personally have no idea what this lady was thinking. If you are having an issue with a customer, client, etc… handle it as professionally as you can, especially in front of a store full of people. Never do you outright talk down to someone like that, which is completely senseless and classless. I’m glad Gamestop stepped up and handled the matter. One can only imagine if anything would’ve actually happened internally at the location if the incident wasn’t caught and recorded.

The Review:

This lady is out of her mind and needs to issue some sort of an apology. Do I see that happening from someone this tasteless? Of course not.

Check out the 2 minute clip/story on the link below.

Branding Your Dreams: My Interview w/ Food Network’s “Food Court Wars” winners Chip-n-Wich

chipnwich 1<

I've always been a sandwich guy and have put chips on them since I can remember. So when I saw Chip-n-Wich on Food Networks "Food Court Wars" hosted by celebrity chef Tyler Florence, I was hooked immediately. I found myself pulling for these guys right away, hoping they would take it home……and when they did, I knew that I had to reach out.

Almost immediately, you could sense a built-in brand that everyone could identify with. Their company had "it" from the get go and recently had their grand opening on Monday, August 5th. Below is my conversation with the guys from Chip-n-Wich (Jonathan Neely and Craig Jones), along with an update on how their opening week went.

The Clark Review: First off, I want to thank you both so much for discussing everything with me today! On the show, you guys came across as extremely passionate about your brand, which was infectious. When did you first start putting together the CnW brand and what were the themes that you wanted to come across through that?

Chip-n-Wich: We started the concept “Officially” 3 years ago, however the concept of crunching was all to familiar to us. The ideas in their infancy came while brainstorming with my twin brother and designer Corey Jones, we have been “chipping our wiches” since grade school in Johnstown, PA. My brother has a really in-depth understanding of branding and has always stressed the importance of having not only a solid logo, but having a clear message. Corey was always willing to pitch in on my many ideas and eventually helped me brand my own espresso infused BBQ sauce “Craig’s Jones’en BBQ”. After college I decided to move to Detroit, MI and while working at Wolfgang Puck, I met Jon who I would often share my many creative concepts. Jon and I became great friends and one day I shared the concept of CnW that my brother and I have been playing around with. He really liked the idea because like us, he has always put chips on his sandwiches. Jon quickly became a key team member contributing ways to integrate the city of Detroit and Michigan inspired concepts. He came up with the idea of the float bar, and with Faygo being a local product with an unlimited variety of flavors we decided to make them our choice, Michigan Made. So now with Jon, Corey and I on board we brought in Jamie Coven a good friend and brilliant designer to the team. Together Jamie and Corey developed the awesome logo and key brand elements you see today.

TCR: I’ve been obsessed with sandwiches my whole life and personally love chips in them. What were the early visions created and discussed regarding where you wanted to take the CnW brand?

CnW: Early on we recognize that the concept of chips on a sandwich was nostalgic to a lot of people but NO has ever built a brand around it. We thought, how could something so familiar not be shared with the world? Jon and I knew that the everyday home variety “chip-n-wich” sandwich couldn’t stand a chance against the big business sandwich shops. With both of us having respective culinary degrees, we came up with not just a good, but better sandwich. Using only the best locally sourced ingredients, we perfected the art of sandwich stacking. Between using better ingredients, house fried potato chips, and a unique stacking system, we have created the ultimate crunch satisfying sandwich. The Chip-n-Wich brand was built to be a global entity and that’s where we will take it!

TCR: CnW is a versatile brand that can easily translate over to future stores/franchises all over. Do you have a long term vision as well and if so, what would they be?

CnW: Because we have spent so much time building our brands foundation, we know its potential for growth is high. Our vision is to connect with the people and spread the word. Our motto is that no sandwich should go “UN-CRUNCHED”. We want to take the next few years and grow our brand, build locations and establish a solid franchise plan. We just want to deliver the best possible product and make every location a destination.

Chip n Wich John and Craig

TCR: So let’s get back to where you guys are with everything right now. How has the response been in Michigan and in your area after the show aired? My girlfriend told me that we need to head to Michigan from Florida to eat at CnW, so I can only imagine the feedback that you’ve been getting locally.

CnW: Right now things are crazy, we are trying to get everything set up for our grand opening Monday Aug 5th. The response locally and via social media has been awesome, and awe -inspiring. The people of Midland have really embraced us and made us feel welcomed. We are so excited to begin service. Based on the response rate we have been receiving, the people are just ready to crunch! We would love for you and your girlfriend to come on up to MI, heck bring a bus load of friends! Honestly, we have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from all across the US.

TCR: We might actually have to do that! Finally, if you could give advice to startups or newer companies about branding and following their passion, what would you tell them?

CnW: My advice to start ups and all serious entrepreneurs is the following:

1. Establish a solid brand foundation, logo, vision, message…this is single handily the most important phase.

2. Stay positive, never lose your passion, excitement or love. If you have a great personality and a positive life outlook people will be more inclined to help your endeavor. Become your brand and believe in yourself, nothing is impossible if you believe.

3. Stay resilient and NEVER give up, this business is full of road blocks and it takes a strong individual to remain focused. If you believe in your brand, you have to push through all adversity.

chipnwich 2<

UPDATE: The guys at Chip-n-Wich shot me over this email about their first week –

” James,

The first week was AWESOME! We actually sold out of an overstocked inventory day one and nearly day two as well. Everyday last week has been super busy, the reviews are raving!! People all across the USA have been contacting us, congratulating us on the concept. We have also started to get some serious interest in franchises, so that is something we are building out and hopefully will have in place next year.

Things are looking good!”

Chip-n-Wich is located at:

The Midland Mall
6800 Eastman Avenue
Midland, Michigan 48642