Monthly Archives: October 2014

DevilStorm Prepares for its Next Challenge

JobGiraffe, Chicago's leading recruiting and staffing company, sponsors the DevilStorm robot building team.
Members of the Mechanical Division brainstorm ideas for a drive train, the system that moves the entire robot. Ideas that seem promising at this stage can be made into a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file so that the proportions can be tweaked and a prototype can be made.

It’s autumn, and those of you caught up in football and the start of NHL hockey and the NBA may not be aware of it, but robotics season is almost here.

For DevilStorm Robotics, the JobGiraffe sponsored team from Hinsdale Central High School, the new “Build Season” will kickoff on January 3, 2015, when the FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) announces this year’s challenge. Every year is a different game, requiring robots with different skills and abilities. Once the DevilStorm team finds out the new challenge, they have six weeks to build and test a robot designed to play the new game.

The DevilStorm team is broken up into different divisions, Programming, Mechanical, Electrical, etc., each responsible for a different phase of the completed robot. The team is now in “pre-season”, with members from last year sharpening and adding to their skills while teaching new members what they need to know to contribute to the project. Pre-season is also the time for fund raising and applying for grants.

JobGiraffe, Chicago's leading recruiting and staffing company,  sponsors high school robot building team
Sophie, from the Electrical Division, diagramming an electrical scheme

For now, the team meets every Tuesday, but once Build Season starts, it will be every day for six weeks until their robot is complete.

Everyone at JobGiraffe is excited about our sponsorship of the DevilStorm Robotics team and is anticipating a great season!

Death By Interview

by Karen Rae Horwitz, President, JobGiraffe

She had superior experience…death by interview, karen horwitz
He had terrific skills…
And now… they’re lost forever.

Such a shame.

Do we know what killed them? (Or at least what killed our client’s chances for hiring either of these great candidates?)

Death by INTERVIEW (gasp)!

Death by Interview is a malady that was first noted in 2009. Yes, companies were laying off and firing far more people than they were hiring, but in those few instances where an opening existed, the first signs of this serious condition were being seen.

Offers that were once made following a second interview were suddenly absent. Then, at the third interview, a small sensation of repetition was observed, followed by an increase in unnecessary pain on the fourth interview. Uncertainty set in during the fifth interview and by the sixth meeting it was too late – the patient or, excuse me, candidate, couldn’t be saved. Any sense of excitement or enthusiasm for the position, or desire to join the team or admiration for the firm itself, was crushed. The candidate’s only hope was to take another job!

As President of JobGiraffe for over 20 years, much of my time is spent studying the numbers – statistics that have held true, for the most part, year after year even through wild economic gyrations. Yet in 2009 something was different. Suddenly the amount of interviews required to produce an offer took a startling jump and even more shocking, all of these interviews were not resulting in an accepted offer!

My staff watched many great candidates walk away from great positions because the process our clients were putting them through had just become too long. What was accomplished by asking a candidate to return 7 different times to meet 7 different people? Were HR managers and/or department heads simply too afraid to make a hiring mistake?  Did more visits mean a better hire?

The epidemic continued unidentified until I read an article last year by Dr. John Sullivan that put a name to the crisis.  Dr. Sullivan’s article accurately pointed out all the symptoms we had been observing – plus, it also noted more visits did not make a better hire, and frequently resulted in no hire at all.

Dr. Sullivan cites Google as a firm that has justifiably earned a reputation of demanding a double-digit number of interviews. Its justification was that because hiring impacts everyone that the new hire interacts with, “everyone at the firm should be able to interview a candidate.”

Fortunately, its well-earned Death By Interview reputation forced Google to eventually conduct internal research that demonstrated that “after four interviews, you get diminishing returns.” And since Google is interviewing for positions that require advanced skills and innovation, it’s time to realize that for most jobs, any number beyond three interviews is probably unnecessary.

The JobGiraffe staff had been alerting our clients to the dangers of this disease all along, but sadly, not all took action quickly enough, and some candidates were still needlessly lost.  But, as we prepare to close 2014 and the job market continues to heat up, great candidates are getting harder and harder to find, and the most talented individuals will not tolerate this unnecessary practice.

It’s obvious that employers are simply going to have to face the hard truth of the hiring environment and come to decisions earlier in the process or face losing the best candidates. Therefore, I confidently predict that this outbreak of ‘Death By Interview’ will be cured very soon.

Karen Rae Horwitz is President of JobGiraffe and is a noted expert on recruiting, staffing, and employment issues. Formerly Paige Personnel Services, JobGiraffe has offices in Chicago, Downers Grove, Schaumburg, and Vernon Hills, Illinois. 

Karen Rae can be reached at KRH@JobGiraffe.com.

Hinsdale Central’s DevilStorm Robotics Team Celebrates a Successful Season…

Last season, the JobGiraffe sponsored DevilStorm Robotics team from Hinsdale Central High School competed in early April at the Midwest Regional Competition at the UIC Pavilion and later that month at the World Championships at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

At the Midwest Regional Competition, the DevilStorm team was on the winning alliance for 6 of the 12 matches in which they competed and was ranked 29th out of the 54 teams that were present. They also received the Rookie All-Star Award for the Midwest Region. At the World Championships, DevilStorm Robotics was one of 400 robotics teams competing in 4 divisions and were on the winning alliance for 2 of the 10 games they played.

DevilStorm Team Receiving Awards at Midwest RegionalThe DevilStorm Robotics team is pictured above at the Midwest Regional holding the Rookie All-Star trophies they received at the awards ceremony.

Congratulations to everyone involved with the DevilStorm Robotics team. These kids know how to Reach Higher!