The Secret To Recruitment In January

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on January 6, 2017

The beginning of the year (January and February) is a great time for hiring new talent in most industries. In fact it’s probably the best time to recruit the very best available talent.

Here’s why:  During the holidays and especially during the last week of the year many people reflect on their lives and career situations.

  • “Am I where I’m supposed to be?”
  • “Could I be doing better, make more money?”
  • “Am I feeling stale?”
  • “Do I feel appreciated?”

“Auld Lang Syne” turns into “now’s my time.”

To savvy hiring and recruitment experts, it’s cherry picking time.

The best candidates wait till right after the holidays to begin looking for newer pastures.  (Of course many wait to receive their annual bonus).

January usually starts slowly as people come back from holiday vacations but by the second week of the month, momentum starts building.

Once that happens, New Year’s resolutions are in full gear and great candidates are on the market to make a job change.  And if they’re not actively searching, they are much more willing to hear about a new opportunity in a fresh new year.

For hiring authorities these two months are good because companies usually get their new hiring budgets for the year in January, and a lot of the hiring activity that was delayed in November and December can now move forward.

In addition, this is the time of year when the greatest number of decision-makers are in the office together. So getting a “Yes” is much faster in making the decision to hire and to whom a job should be offered.

The availability of top talent in January and February is not just my opinion.  It’s a fact based on the sheer number of resumes and phone calls that my firm receives every year during the first quarter of the year.

So, despite the dreary weather in many cities and the post-Holiday blues, it turns out that January and February are not so bad after all.  In fact, if you’re looking to add new talent to your team in the New Year, it could be the perfect time to start your search.

Here’s Why You Should Be Actively Recruiting During The Holidays

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on November 21, 2016

Many firms traditionally wind down their recruitment efforts during the holiday period. Strategically, this can be a missed opportunity and a huge mistake. The best time to recruit is when others are idle and when many good candidates are more available and receptive. This is even more relevant for lesser-known organizations that are competing against better-known competitors for the best available talent.

The Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Actively Recruiting During the Holidays:

Proactive recruiting during this long holiday period is a solid stratagem for the following reasons:

  1. Not everyone celebrates the Holiday Season — many people in the U.S. from different cultures and religions do not celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving. So making the assumption that everyone is occupied during the holidays with shopping and going to parties may indeed be a false assumption.
  2. Bonus time is usually in December — almost all year-end bonuses are given out in December.  Therefore, the financial incentive for a top-performing employee to stay diminishes almost immediately after their bonuses are paid out.  Many potential applicants might be more inclined to explore new opportunities.
  3. While others slack off, top performers are still working during this period —top performers are driven and are less likely than others to take advantage of an opportunity to ease down.  Top performers typically remain fully engaged at all times.  Employers should not assume that great candidates are too focused on celebrating and shopping to appreciate a great job opportunity when it is offered to them during this period.
  4. December can be a low-budget time, which often means hiring freezes — many companies are in a “no growth mode” during December and are waiting for the release of the new January budget.   As a result, employers are likely to get a positive recruiting response from top performers when you indicate that your firm is still operating at full speed.
  5. December is an “easy excuse” month so candidates are more available for interviews-many employees take time off for Christmas parties and shopping. It can be relatively easy for your candidates to make excuses to get time off to interview. This is a great time for exploratory informational interviews in order to assess and perhaps sell potential candidates for current or even future job openings.
  6. The Christmas to New Year’s slow down period is also a great opportunity — the eight-day period between Christmas and New Year, when many organizations slow down, may be the most-opportune time to interview individuals who are always “too busy” or those who refuse to “lie” in order to take time off work for an interview.

In conclusion, the Holiday season is upon us and recruitment for great talent may feel like trudging through molasses.  However this can be an outstanding time to connect with well-qualified candidates. With just a bit of ingenuity and creative thinking, organizations can make the most of the Holiday season to recruit the very best talent available.


Please feel free share this article to those that might benefit. Thank you!


Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm.   In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels.

P: 1(800) 801-1400  or email at

Here’s How to Fire an Employee

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on October 31, 2016

If you even if you are debating whether or not to terminate an employee, then it may be time to cut that person loose.

It’s never easy and there is never a great time to do the deed, but business is business.

What are some of the reasons that it’s time to fire an employee?  Here are just a few:

  • too many personal problems
  • extreme absenteeism
  • too many excuses for average or poor performance
  • creating a morale problem with the staff
  • feeling entitled and complacency has set in
  • staff complaints
  • that “pit in your stomach” knowing that this employee is bad news

Of course, this list can go on forever.  The problem employee is a huge issue and no matter how hard it is or anxiety provoking it might be for an employer: action must be taken immediately.

Many employers live with a problem employee far longer than they in fact need to.  The reason may be fear. Fear of being sued, fear of confrontation, fear that the employee may know too much confidential company information, fear of not being able to replace the skill set that this person may have.  Fear can be a huge stumbling block to progress.

But keeping a problem employee is like having to carry a building on your back.

Here’s the good news.  It is not necessary to keep problem employees!  Unless an employee is contractually bound to a job, then an employer has every right to hire and fire anyone if it benefits the bottom line.

It is important to clearly realize that every employee is expendable.  Never forget that.  There may be some initial pain in getting rid of a problem employee but the long term result of removing this person is incalculable.

So here are 6 things to do right now about the problem employee:

  1. Remove your emotions (as best as you can) about your upcoming decision to terminate the problem employee.  This is strictly business.
  2. Long before a termination, create a paper trail every day, a journal or a daily log of issues and concerns, about the problem employee in the event that you need to defend your actions. 
  3. Warn the problem employee as often as possible as to the issues at hand.  In addition, put your warning in writing.  Let the employee see in writing the issues and if possible, have this employee sign the warning notice.  Then you as the employer will have written proof that the employee has been sufficiently warned.
  4. Tell no one in your immediate circle that there will be a termination.  Confidentiality is key to the stability of your staff.  Seeking re-assurance from out-side trusted sources and legal counsel is never a bad idea. The cost of sound legal advice is invaluable.
  5. Trust your gut feelings about this problem employee.  Know that keeping this employee is detrimental to your operation and that by not “doing the deed”, you are risking the loss of other key employees.  You are absolutely doing the right thing.
  6. Terminating an employee is never easy, especially an employee that has been a part of your organization for a long time.  To repeat, remove your emotions about terminating the problem employee, no matter what financial or emotional issues the employee is personally facing.  The problem employee has caused this action.  During the termination, be gentle but be firm and do not waiver.  The decision should be final and it should be communicated in that manner.

In summary, having the best human capital is vital to the success of any operation.  However, things change.  Organizations at some time or another may face a problem employee.  Inaction or failure to address a problem employee can slowly erode the success of your operation.

The time to act is right now. 

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at  I welcome your phone call.

Do This to Hire Better Applicants

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on October 24, 2016

Hiring great employees can be challenging.

While prospective applicants may have the right skills to on paper to match the job – including education and work history – there are many characteristics beyond what’s outlined on paper that determines if an employee is right for the job. Determining whether an applicant will be the best fit for an open position during the interview process can prove difficult.

During the hiring process, consider that skills alone do not guarantee that you will hire the right candidate. Prospective employees should possess a combination of skills and characteristics which in most care are harder to quantify.  Consider the following during the hiring process.

Clearly define what need you are trying to fill.

While not every employee will possess all the skills that you outline in your job description, you should prioritize those you consider critical to the job. This will help you sort out good candidates from those not appropriate. Requirements may differ from job to job, but should include, at the very least all the skills needed to perform the job.

For some positions this may be limited to on–the–job experience. Other skills include more abstract abilities such as leadership and how well a candidate will perform under stress – the latter of which being much more difficult to quantify.

For more abstract qualifications, the interview process becomes critical. This is where employers should encourage applicants to share real–world scenarios and instances where they were faced with appropriate challenges. While more abstract skills may be challenging to vet on paper per se, employers can gather a better sense of a candidate’s suitability for the job with open–ended questions.

During this time, the candidate’s personality should play a big part in moving to the next steps. Again, they may have the right skills for the job, but if they do not have a personality that allows them to get along with other employees, this can impact their performance, not to mention the performance of the team. To be candid, trust your instincts.

Recruiting is not an exact science can be unpredictable. Some candidates can look perfect on paper and perform spectacularly during the interview, only to completely stumble once they have been on–boarded. This is where the vetting process must be as detailed as possible before spending time, energy and resources to bring on the wrong employees.

In conclusion, along with the sourcing of applicants make sure you have a formal vetting process in place.  In addition, employees should always check prospective employee’s work history and references.

Candidate’s online behavior should also be vetted; this includes all forms of social media.

Take the time to hire wisely.

While the urge may be to bring on candidates very quickly if you are in need to fill open positions, it is prudent to take the appropriate time to interview, assess and properly vet candidates to better ensure that you hire the right employees with the right skills.


Please feel free share this article to those that might benefit. Thank you!

Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm.   In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels.

P: 1(800) 801-1400  or email at


How to Keep Millennials from Leaving Their Jobs

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on September 1, 2016

The Millennial generation includes those born between the years of 1980 and 2000, and by the year 2020, it is believed that they will make up nearly half of the workforce in the United States.

However, one of the traits of Millennials is that they are difficult to keep in a job role for a long period of time. Millennials frequently change careers and may leave a position after only a year. This contrasts previous generations like the Baby Boomers who may have stayed with the same job for a decades or more.

So how can your company keep Millennials happy so that they stick around? Here are a few ways.

  1. Give them independence and flexibility. Millennials are self-directed workers and like to have the freedom to work on their own. According to an Intelligence Group study, 72 percent report wanting to be their own boss. They also often look for mutual respect between bosses and underlings. They also are top-notch multi-taskers, so if you let them work from home, they’ll actually get work done. Don’t be afraid to let them off the leash, so to speak.
  2. Consider implementing a mentoring program. Millennials have goals and want to move up the corporate ladder, so you may want to consider putting together a mentor program for these individuals to keep them engaged and to help nurture their skills from entry- to senior-level.
  3. Have a great mission statement. Millennials often seek a higher purpose when it comes to their work. When trying to keep Millennials happy, remind them of your company’s mission statement, and how they contribute and are crucial to the greater cause. They like to know they are of worth. Forty-nine percent of junior Millennials (or Millennials in graduate or junior positions) reported in a Deloitte survey that their personal values or morals were very influential in their decision-making at work.

Millennials sometimes get a bad rap for their dependency on social media and technology, but they have many strengths, like their self-sufficiency and desire to make a difference, just as past generations. All you need to do is know how to nurture these strengths and there’s much success to be gained from this younger generation.


Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm. In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels. P: 1(800) 801-1400 or email at