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SF Chronicle’s Three Questions to John Younger, CEO

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CEO, John Younger, interviewed by SF Chronicle on July 19, 2009

Q: Your company prides itself on technology that powers and streamlines the recruiting process. How does it work?

SFChronicle

A: Part of our technology is an advanced recruitment system. It’s about what the job really needs first. Rather than thinking of a template job, we believe every job is as unique as the person who fills it.

We take into consideration what needs to get done by when, how a person’s performance will be measured, why a person would want this job, and what the common attributes of top performers are, including skills, communications style, sense of humor, etc.

Our technology builds questions that can extract and align those attributes between the hiring manager and the candidate.

Q: Accolo came up with something it calls a “candidate bill of rights,” which states the company’s commitment to treat applicants with the utmost respect. What’s the idea behind it?

A: Oftentimes openings will be listed on job boards but the jobs themselves may not be real. They might be already filled or maybe recruiters are only fishing without having a job to fill. Over 94 percent of the people who apply for a job never hear back from anyone. What would happen if you didn’t answer 94 percent of your e-mails? You’d be single and unemployed. And that’s how most traditional recruiters operate.

What many companies fail to realize is that candidates are also consumers, shareholders and referrals to other candidates. Our candidate bill of rights’ main tenets are that everybody should be treated with fairness and receive closure no matter the outcome. Doing so helps the companies and creates goodwill with the people who are applying.

Q: Who’s getting hired and who’s doing the hiring?

A: There are a couple of things we’ve seen consistently. People getting hired have very specifically targeted goals. Generalists will be selected only if there’s not a specialist who comes first. As people get desperate, they turn into generalists and that actually turns against you.

There’s a bunch of jobs out there. We focus on technology companies, biotech and pharmaceutical, but hiring is picking up in several areas, including sales, marketing and software engineering. Sustainable energy companies are also doing a lot of hiring.

The world went sideways last year and stopped hiring, but now (companies) have realized they have to get work done and they need people to do the work.

Interview by Alejandro Martnez-Cabrera, SF Chronicle.



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