In This Issue

Sue Salvesen, Founder and CEO of STRe Solutions is passionate about changing the way recruiting is done. This is the premise on which she founded the company and she suggests questions to ask when working with a third party recruiter.
full article
This quarter the STRe Solutions team discusses mentoring and its importance to both managers and employees.
Candidate Tip #110  Hiring Manager Tip #110  full article
STRe Expands Team as Hiring Picks Up   full article
STRe Solutions in the Community   full article
Something to do in boring meetings.   full article


Defining Success in Hiring
By: Sue Salvesen, STRe Solutions Founder and CEO

As a former CFO and hiring manager, if I knew then what I know now, working with recruiters would have been a lot easier! This article is intended to share my experiences and provide tips to increase the quality of candidates you see and reduce the time you spend working with recruiters. At STRe Solutions, this is what we call "defining success in hiring."

Do you know that the recruiting industry is extremely data driven? Wouldn't you like to know some of these statistics so you can evaluate the likelihood of success before engaging a staffing/search firm? At STRe, we've defined a successful process around contingent search, modeled after retained search. When we, or any other firm, engage in a retained search, there is frequent communication between the hiring manager and the search firm. Typically, with contingent searches, hiring managers give out a job order and, all too often, quickly receive 5 to 10 resumes "thrown over the transom." Sometimes you may not get anything at all from the search firm after you hang up the phone with the eager recruiter. Why not?

Recruiting Process:
Recruiting firms constantly evaluate the priority of each job and how it stacks up to the other orders on a recruiter's desk. This process is a function of determining the likelihood of filling a job order and includes: 1) the difficulty of identifying qualified and interested candidates; 2) whether the compensation package is competitive; 3) the fee paid to the search firm; 4) the number of other firms working on the job order; and 5) how long the search has been open. So as a hiring manager, if you don't know how your job order stacks up to other orders on the recruiter's desk, you may be surprised to find out that it isn't being worked on.

At STRe we've created a Select Contingent hiring process that has a very high success rate. Partnering with you to fill a critical order, we thoroughly assess candidates and present only those who match the key criteria you require. This requires the hiring manager to discuss the position with us before we begin to recruit, but will be much more efficient in the end. We provide more than just a resume, because the resume is not the whole story; you can't always identify the key skills and experiences that are required for your position from a resume. That's why we provide you with a Candidate Presentation spreadsheet that compares our candidates side by side with your specific job requirements. It simplifies the process for hiring and requires a thorough assessment of the candidates by us.

Questions to ask your Recruiter:
Here are some questions to ask your recruiter before you start working together. As a hiring manager, you'll be much better informed before you make your decision to give out the job order.

  • What is the priority of my job order on your desk? What else are you working on?
  • Who will actually work on my job order, you or someone else at the firm?
  • How many candidates do you typically present to your clients before they make a placement?
  • What percentage of candidates presented are scheduled for a client interview?
  • Do you meet all your candidates before you present them? Do you reference them first?
  • What percentage of your job orders do you complete? [Industry average is about 10-20%]
By asking some key questions upfront you'll have a much higher success rate working with a recruiter, and it will require less time on your part because you'll only see well qualified candidates for your position. Selecting one or two capable recruiting firms who know your company will increase your probability of a successful and efficient hire.

To see a sample of our Candidate Presentation spreadsheet, send an email to

About the author: Sue Salvesen is a former Silicon Valley CFO who has led 3 IPOs and several acquisitions. She has 20+ years of extensive hands-on financial and management experience and more than 7 years as a CFO. Sue founded STRe Solutions in 2004.
Candidates and Hiring Managers: Maximize Your Experience with Recruiters

Our highest priority at STRe Solutions is building long-term relationships with both jobseekers and hiring managers. The Recruiter Relations section of our newsletter offers ongoing tips to help you maximize your experience with a recruiter, regardless of whether you're seeking top talent to seamlessly join your team or searching for your next ideal position.

This quarter's focus is on mentoring. Hiring managers who mentor and develop their staff will need to do less recruiting. Candidates can look to their manager, other executives in their network or professional recruiters as potential mentors.

Candidate Tip #110
Find a Good Mentor. As you manage your career, it is important to get good career advice from someone you respect and someone who knows both your capabilities and your career ambitions. If you work for a large company, there may be formal processes in place, but most people don't have that available to them.

Typically, your mentor will be someone who is at a higher level, perhaps someone you have worked for in the past, or maybe even your current manager. If you are an Accounting Manager, perhaps you know a Controller or CFO who can mentor you. Don't be shy; it is OK to ask someone to mentor you, or ask for career advice from time to time. If you belong to a professional association, they may offer career workshops and mentoring sessions.

Lastly, professional recruiters with industry experience can be a great resource. You know which recruiters: the ones who care about you as a person and have developed a relationship with you. They have placed countless professionals and are keenly aware of what it takes to move ahead. Don't be a pest, and remember to offer help on their searches and you will have a great friend and mentor.

Hiring Manager Tip #110
Mentor and Develop your Employees. All too often I hear from candidates that they are stuck in their jobs and their career isn't going anywhere, so they are looking to find a new job. As a manager, it is your responsibility to develop your employees and help them assess their career in your organization and your company. It is true that there are times that a candidate needs to move on, but have you done everything you can to prepare the individual to continue to provide valuable service to your company?

Mentoring comes easy to some managers while others have to think about it. Actually, it should not be that hard. You need to keep a balance between managing your employee and coaching them for future development. Often, you can incorporate upcoming business projects with opportunities to develop your employee professionally.

Mentoring should be a two-way street. Ask your employee what they are interested in learning, where they want to take their career long term. Also, look at the skills you will need in your organization. Be sure to cover career and personal development during your one-to-one meetings on a regular basis. Bottom line is that it is far better to train a current employee rather than incur the cost (time, training, and potential recruiting fees) to hire a new employee who will need time to get up to speed.

STRe News

STRe Expands Team as Hiring Picks Up
STRe Solutions is pleased to welcome two additions to our professional team.

Diane Lawlis joins STRe as a Sr. Account Manager. Diane has extensive recruiting experience in Finance and Accounting with prior experience at Grant Thornton and The Nolan Group. In addition, Diane has experience as a Career Coach at UC Berkeley and several major outplacement firms.

Soraya Khalili joins STRe as our Business Development Manager. Soraya is a results driven and successful sales professional with experience in software sales and, most recently, building the Finance and Accounting branch office for a nationwide recruiting and staffing firm.

STRe Solutions in the Community

Marilyn Kanas, STRe Co-founder & Managing Partner, is actively involved on the Board of Directors for AchieveKids, a non-public school that provides special education and mental health services to children with developmental, emotional and severe behavioral problems. AchieveKids has two school sites (Palo Alto and San Jose) and serves 4 Bay Area counties.

2010 marks the 50th anniversary of AchieveKids. A series of events will be held in the community to raise both awareness and contributions to support those activities that are not covered by general education funding. A list of upcoming events can be found on the AchieveKids website:

For more information on how you or your company can become involved, email

STRe Fun --- Buzzword Bingo is Back

Do you sit in boring meetings at work? You know, the ones where you listen with one ear and constantly check your Blackberry?

Well, here's another way to keep yourself occupied and build relationships with your teammates. Just spend a few minutes creating some "bingo cards" (or use the automatically generated ones) and print out enough "bingo cards" for the team. Then, you can have some fun!

You will find Buzzword Bingo at