Train Wheel

Reducing Friction is a Game-Changer for Trains as Well as Executive Recruiters – Who Knew?

Trains and High Speed Rail – The Way to Go

Trains have always been fascinating to me since I was a little kid. I used to commute from south of Seattle to downtown for work and I would take the Sounder Train in. The Sounder provided a comfy ride and saved me the headache of fighting horrific Seattle traffic. Really glad Seattle has this commuting option as it has lead to reducing friction for my commutes. In our ongoing “Be the Grease” series this article will show the parallel between executive recruiters and train lubricants. Who knew they had anything in common?
For several years now, High Speed Rail has been discussed as a transportation alternative. High speed rails is up and running and links together dozens of cities. Technology in this sector is booming and having a profound positive impact on helping fight gridlock traffic around the world.

According to a recent article in Evolution the railway industry is gaining momentum worldwide and looking to make a comeback. There are many reasons for this including, “…environmental challenges, availability of energy and the growing congestion in major cities.” Also, “the cost of investments in road infrastructure is also contributing to an increasing awareness of the capabilities that rail transport can offer to support a sustainable world.”

Reducing Friction is Crucial to Keep Trains in Tip Top Shape

Train Friction
Friction Reduction Is Critical for Trains

Interestingly, one issue that train manufacturers have to contend with is the wear and tear on their railway vehicles. As noted by Evolution, “The friction at the contact area between the wheel flanges of railway vehicles and the rails determine wheel and rail wear. Vehicle and track maintenance intervals are strongly determined by this wear process and dramatically influence the life-cycle cost of the total vehicle and the track.”

What is more, “Considerable energy savings can be achieved by reducing friction in these contact areas. This friction has to be considered, as it occurs on all wheel flange contacts in the train, on every journey and every day.” How is this friction reduced and the trains kept “running on time”? Why the use of a lubricant? Because, “The lubricant, sprayed on the wheel flanges of the first axle in the direction of travel, is transferred to the rail face, thus lubricating the following wheel flanges.” By reducing the friction the trains last longer and are more efficient.

Clearly, reducing friction is critical to keeping railway vehicles in excellent working order.

Reducing Friction is Also Critical for Executive Recruiters

Executive Recruiting
Relationship Management Software Should Reduce Recruiting Friction

In a similar way to trains and high speed rail, executive recruiters are tasked with ‘greasing the skids’ between their network of amazing candidates and their clients who have jobs to be done. Or another way of putting it: Executive Recruiters need to find as many tools as possible to ‘reduce the friction’ between candidates and potential employers. Sources of friction in recruiting can derail successful placements. Things like not being personable, approaching candidates at the wrong time or with a flawed strategy, or losing track of their career trajectory can be deal killers.

One way to help mitigate the friction and ‘grease’ the pathway? Have a solid Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or even better a Talent Relationship Management Solution (TRM) that is tailored to help recruiters stay connected to their clients and their customers.

Testimonials from Crelate Users

Over the years we have had dozens of great conversations with our users, many of whom are executive recruiters, and they have told us what tools they need. Incidentally, a significant percentage of our feature updates have resulted from listening to what recruiters need to do their jobs better. A sampling of their comments helps tell the story of what they value and what they need and, even more importantly, how Crelate helps solve their challenges:

Best thing about Crelate is if I put data in, I can get the data out. Our people are maniacal about updating information and managing that because it’s invaluable to have that information. It’s a great CRM, but is a great rolodex tool.

I do some programmatic recruiting for a client that I’ve worked with for a decade. But my first conversation with these guys was 5 years ago. I’ve managed that relationship in Crelate and kept track of them; so when we talk, I can ask a team member about their wife or kid’s soccer games. You build a familiarity and a trust when you remember these things and track them.

It’s a great product to help you take the relationship to a deeper level. At the end of the day that’s what recruiting is: do the candidates trust you and do the clients trust you and do you take ownership for the success of the fit?

Talent Relationship Management Software a Game-Changer

Additionally, one of our executive recruiters told us they have 55,000 people in their database and 8 people in the firm building direct relationships with these talented people. In order to effectively manage this many folks it’s absolutely critical that your software solution is up to the challenge. This recruiter noted:

A lot of people think it’s lunches and cocktails and golf – this is a hard business. You have to be personable, intuitive, have to be able to sell, dissuade, discern why someone is right or wrong. Your job can’t be to close a transaction, you have to be a great matchmaker.

This last statement is so critical – Your job can’t be to close a transaction. You have to be a great matchmaker.” In order to be the best ‘matchmaker’ you can be having an awesome Talent Relationship Management Tool. Given that it is humanly impossible to remember the personal details and work history of 55,000 people, having a tool like Crelate is game-changing.

Executive Recruiters Need Tools for Effective Matchmaking

Executive recruiters can more easily manage their matchmaking by having features like:

  • Adding personal notes to candidate records (that are saved and searchable)
  • Using “Mentions” to build your network of contacts
  • Using “Tags” so you can quickly identify best candidates for open opportunities
  • Having a “Timeline” feature where the candidates’ career journey can be archived

Our executive recruiter Susan is working on finding a great fit for an open Chief Technology Officer (CTO) position and has identified “Dalena Pham” as a potential match. It’s easy to see how Crelate can make the process go smoothly.

Susan Needs a Way to Reduce Friction to Maximize Matchmaking

For Susan Crelate can quickly get her up-to-speed regarding: (1) What Dalena is passionate about, (2) Who Dalena has previously worked with (and can possibly provide solid references), (3) What specifically Dalena’s skills are (by using Tags), and (4) Access to Dalena’s career journey so she can see if a potential match is plausible.

When Susan determines that Dalena is a great fit she can reach out in a phone call or video chat. Susan will then bring a lot of personalization to the interaction. For instance, she could ask her about her work at the Humane Society. She can also ask if she still talks to Aaron, Wilson, Erik and/or Jason. Also, Dalena will send over a current resume and any new skills can be added to her record and tagged. This is just one example of the power of an amazing Talent Relationship Management system for executive recruiting.

Just as the lubricants are important to make the trains run correctly and efficiently – a smooth running executive search firm must have a software solution that edifies their matchmaking magic.

If this sounds like it could help your business goals please contact Crelate's Sales Department and request a demo today!

Source: Reducing Friction is a Game-Changer for Trains as Well as Executive Recruiters – Who Knew? – Crelate

4 Key Traits Sports Officials Have that Professional Recruiters Should Emulate

4 Key Traits Sports Officials Have that Professional Recruiters Should Emulate

Sports Officials & Professional Recruiters – Kindred Spirits?

Professional recruiters have a tough job. Recruiters are often tasked with trying to get several moving parts to work together to achieve the goal of connecting the ‘right talent with the right opportunity at the right time.’ It’s a lot like herding cats I suspect.

Sports officials also have a very difficult job. They are tasked with judging sporting events play by play and the scrutiny of their work is on display every day, every week, heck by the hour for the entire public to see and often criticize. Given all of the emotions that go along with sporting events (at all levels from Pee Wee to the Professional ranks) often reactions to officiating isn’t terribly rational. Often fans, coaches, parents, and players aren’t well versed in the rules and so aren’t particularly adept at knowing or applying them. Not to mention the nuances of rules and interpretations of those rules. The rule-book isn’t black and white–a lot of grey in there. And, yes sometimes officating feels a lot like herding cats.

Also, what’s often lost is how much preparation it takes to be a good official and the dedication and passion these folks have to be at the top of their games. The constant pressure sports officials are under is intense and can take a toll. Recruiters–ever feel intense pressure in your job?

I’ve been a football and basketball official for 14 years as an avocation – aka a ‘side hustle’. As I’ve moved up the ranks and met some amazing officials I’ve noticed several key traits that make them great. What’s more, it’s clear to me that some of these traits translate very easily to the world of professional recruiting. Could sports officials and professional recruiters be kindred spirits? Perhaps.

So, here are four traits that make sports officials great and will also make recruiters and talent managers be at their best.

People Skills

Play the Game

The best referees/officials have amazing people skills. Officiating requires that folks have the ability to get along with all types of people and personalities. Sporting events have all kinds of small constituencies that all need to be dealt with in a professional way–including coaches, players, athletic directors, game-day personnel, and fans. If you aren’t into people you won’t go far in officiating.

Talent Managers must also have great people skills and be able to communicate effectively with a diverse group of folks. Recruiters too are often balancing diverse groups (i.e., your customers/employers, candidates, and recruiting managers). Must know your audience and what type of communication strategies will work with different people.

Calm in the Storm

Sporting events are often highly emotional for all involved–except the referees. Officials have to be that ‘calm in the storm’ and be absolutely relaxed, cool, and collected. This isn’t always easy of course, but officials have a job to do that requires intense focus and concentration–it’s critical to put the distractions aside and focus on each play. The best of the best do this very well.

Further, when that really tough play/situation arises in a game and the coaches and players are going crazy the officials job is to quiet the situation and rule to the best of their abilities. When the storm hits effective communication with your partners, in order to be sure everyone’s angle/perspective is respected and heard, is also critical.

Recruiters are often dealing with emotional situations as well as folks deal with the stress of obtaining a job. The whole process of getting a job and trying to fill a job with a good candidate is potentially stressful. The best recruiters are the ones that can be the calm in the storm and effectively lead everyone to the goal: to connect talented people with the right opportunities at the right time. Recruiters ‘grease the skids’ between talent and opportunity and make sense of chaotic situations.

Overly Prepared

NFL Referee Craig Wrolstad
NFL Referee Craig Wrolstad

Really great sports officials are incredibly prepared for each game and work many long hours in preparation for game-day ensuring that it will go as smooth as possible. As Seahawk QB Russell Wilson says, “Separation comes from preparation.” Prior to game day officials will often spend several hours watching film, going through a thorough pre-game, and studying rules and rule interpretations. This is done in the off-season as well as during the season. All of this preparation often leads to games that are officiating effectively and smoothly. Further, the more practice and preparation that officials do the more ‘natural’ the mechanics become–leading to getting a higher percentage of calls correct.

For professional recruiters there are a plethora of areas where preparation will help people be the best they can be. A few key questions could include:

  • How well do you know the customer/employer and what are they looking for?
  • How intimately do you know the job description and the nuances of what the hiring manager is looking for?
  • How hard have you worked to learn as much as possible about the candidates you are trying to connect with opportunities?
  • Are you confident your candidates will be a good cultural fit?
  • Are you listening to all sides and acting accordingly?

Preparation is a key factor in recruiting.


And finally, effective referees have the ability to show empathy to all the people that they come into contact with during a sporting event. The ability to ‘put themselves in the shoes of others‘ is critical for officiating. Sports are incredibly impassioned and everyone involved has so much invested in them that to effectively manage these events requires the ability to look at the game/contest from the perspective of others. The best officials listen very well and are aware of their ‘tone’. Sometimes, the best way to ‘communicate’ with a coach that is upset is to be a good listener and acknowledge that you understand why he is upset. People need to be heard and believe their concerns are important. Further, empathy is about being self-aware and understanding how your behavior impacts others. Also, self-awareness is knowing what you can do to manage difficult situations. Clearly there are things that can escalate conflict and other strategies that help to put out the fire.

In recruiting it’s important to display empathy to all parties involved. The best recruiters have the ability to empathize with their customers and candidates and evaluate their tone to ensure they are handling situations effectively.

I think it’s safe to say sports officials and professional recruiters are kindred spirits indeed.

Many thanks to Football Zebras and the Miami Dolphins for these great pictures.

Source: 4 Key Traits Sports Officials Have that Professional Recruiters Should Emulate – Crelate

“Be the Grease” – Spend Time Recruiting Not Entering Data

Be the Grease

‘Greasing’ the Way for Recruiters

Jason S. Capps, PhD, Content Marketer at Crelate, Inc.

One day I was working in the Crelate Inc. West Coast office and Co-Founder, Aaron Elder came into my office and proclaimed, “We want to help recruiters ‘Be the Grease’”! I was immediately intrigued by the metaphor and asked for a little more clarification. Aaron indicated he had been thinking about the relationship between recruiters and their two constituents: customers and candidates. My interest was piqued so I said, “Tell me more!”

Aaron then said that an effective Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and Talent Relationship Management System (TRMS) should do everything possible to ensure that recruiters and talent relationship managers have as much time as possible to be a conduit (aka “grease”) between their customers (employers) and clients (candidates) – with the ultimate goal being connecting the right people with the right opportunities in the most efficient way possible. Technology should edify the process and not ‘get in the way’ of recruiting professionals. I thought this was a great way to think about recruiting and I immediately thought of the gears (i.e., wheel bearings) and wheel axle on a bicycle and the role that grease plays to help keep the bike running in tip top condition.

The grease reduces friction between all the key components and allows the system to function. Some experts indicate that the axle bearings need to be cleaned and repacked with grease every 500 miles. Perhaps like bicycles, that need a tune up ever so often, professional recruiters also need a technological ‘tune up’ in order to further their placement/business goals.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an ATS that fosters ‘greasing’ the way for recruiters to make connections between those that have open jobs and those that are looking to make moves to new opportunities? What are a few specific ways that a solution can help recruiting professionals ‘be the grease’?

There are several ways we think the right technology can help recruiters, here are just a two small examples of how Crelate strives to help reduce friction and save you time as we humbly strive to help you “be the grease”!

Paste Parser

When creating a new contact, simply paste an address, signature block or bit of contact information into the “Paste Parser” and we will fill out several fields for you! Then hit “OK” and you will be taken to the contact record where other key items can be added to the record.





Chrome Parser Tool

While browsing the web, or viewing a candidates profile on your favorite sites or their profile pages, the Crelate’s Chrome Extension makes it easy to grab key candidate/contact information.  Simply click the Crelate button in your browser and watch as Crelate automatically parses the candidates information, including profile pictures. Then it’s simple for you to edit and import all of the demographic info into Crelate. Similar to the paste parser the Chrome Extension will create a new candidate and populate the information from the candidate record from the profile page.






These are just a couple of the ways that an ATS/TRMS should ‘be the grease’ between customers and candidates and, therefore, allow recruiting professionals to have all the time they need to build relationships in their communities. The key take-away is your ATS/TRMS should be useful for quickly importing candidates from a contact record. This will, no doubt, aid in fostering long-term relationships with customers and candidates and help make both customers and candidates successful.

Source: “Be the Grease” – Spend Time Recruiting Not Entering Data – Crelate

A Must for Recruiters: Paying Attention to Your Job Candidate Experience


Candidate Experience is Primary

Small InstagramCapps
Jason S. Capps, PhD, Content Marketer at Crelate, Inc.

Interested in attracting top talent to your recruiting firm? If so, it’s crucial that you put the “Candidate Experience” toward the top of your to-do-lists. Providing meaningful candidate engagement and outstanding candidate experiences will go a long way toward growing your pipeline and ensuring sustained success.

One challenge modern recruiters, hiring managers, and talent relationship managers have is crafting and managing the “Candidate Experience” and ensuring that Talent enjoys an interactive, engaging and personable process when going through the necessary hiring stages.

One entity that has been providing incredibly insightful feedback directly from the candidates, on their experiences, is Talent Board. Talent Board, in their own words, provides “companies access to aggregated candidate experience data-sets and support(s) the Talent Acquisition discipline with benchmarks and best practices that support continuous recruiting innovation.”  Recently, Talent Board conducted an extensive survey regarding how companies were doing in addressing the candidate experience and several interesting patterns emerged.

Talent Board 2015 – Candidate Experience Report

The 2015 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report was written by Madeline Laurano (Co-founder of Aptitude Research Partners) and Kevin W. Grossman (VP of NAM Program at Talent Board). The researchers collected feedback from 130,000 candidates who applied to over 200 companies. Clearly there was plenty of data to sift through and read the tea leaves on.

In lieu of holding my cards close to the vest, I’ll cut to the chase and proclaim: the #1 takeaway from the report was consistent communication is a key aspect for engaging talent. It was noted that only 40% of recruiters are required to respond to candidates at all, which is not an effective tactic. What are recruiters that are ‘doing it correctly’ doing?

  • Listening more
  • Setting better expectations about the recruiting process
  • Holding themselves accountable for the candidate experience talent acquisition performance AND measuring it regularly and consistently
  • Are perceived by candidates as having a ‘fair’ process – candidates feel like they are being given ample opportunities to share why their knowledge, skills, and experiences make them a good fit for jobs they have applied for

5 Key Takeaways for Recruiters

This report is quite extensive, a few nuggets that we think recruiters should pay attention to include:

  • Candidates are becoming more sophisticated – 76% of candidates conduct their own job search research across multiple channels prior to applying
  • Job boards are not dead – Even though candidates are relying less on job boards, organizations have increased their investment in this sourcing tool from 37% in 2014 to 45% in 2015
  • Communication with Candidates is very weak – Nearly half of candidates never received an indication of the status of their application
  • Employers are letting more candidates through the funnel – over 80% of candidates answer general screening questions during the application process, only 50% are asked for job specific skills and less than 1/3 are asked to take assessments
  • On-boarding is still a missed opportunity for the candidate experience – Once a candidate is on-board, organizations have an opportunity to find out what went right and what went wrong – yet only 16% of recruiters/employers ask for feedback during the on-boarding phase

Talent Attraction and Sourcing

Source: “2015 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report”

Recruiters are keenly aware that in order to build an effective pipelines of talent it’s critical to leverage both active and passive candidates. In order to attract talent, according to Talent Board’s study, it’s important to do the following: Understand the influence of effective content marketing, Understand the sophistication of today’s candidates, and Align your brand with the employer brand.

Just like modern marketers focus on prospects (leads) and customers – so should recruiters approach candidates with the same mind-set. As the chart shows candidates surveyed indicated several types of marketing content valuable for accessing potential ‘fit’ before applying. The top 3 were: Organization Values, Product/Services, and Employee Testimonials. As a recruiting agency what types of content marketing are you providing for candidates?

Also, candidates today are doing their homework on potential employers/recruiting firms. Multiple channels are being used to gather information so candidates can take more ownership of the journey. Channels such as the Company career site, Job notifications or agents, LinkedIn career pages, and Online groups provide candidates with access to information. Are your channels up-to-date and providing the best information for candidates coming to your company sites? 

And, finally, employer branding, online content, and SEO are increasingly more important as recruiters are in the business of showcasing their brand–and ensuring that it aligns with the employer brand. Are you actively discussing your ‘brand’ and learning about the ‘brands’ of your customers?




As recruiters and talent relationship management professionals planning and managing the “Candidate Experience” can be daunting and difficult. However, as this report points out the most important item to put at the center of your efforts is: communicating better with potential candidates. Luckily, there are several creative and interesting ways you can choose to communicate more effectively and grow your business.

Laurano and Grossman summarize by asserting, “As organizations mature in talent acquisition strategies, they must provide more opportunities to communicate with candidates and offer transparency through every stage of the candidate journey.”

For access to the full report and to learn more, click here.

Source: A Must for Recruiters: Paying Attention to Your Job Candidate Experience – Crelate