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A Journey Through My Hiring Process | Alphagraphics’ Rob Halverson

Posted by Erin Borgerson on November 21, 2013

This is a guest blog post written by Rob Halverson. He is the owner of Alphagraphics Chicago North, located at 645 N. Michigan Avenue. Alphagraphics provides printing (large format to smaller jobs), design, direct and email Marketing, and e-cmmerce solutions for small to mid-sized business. To learn more about Alphagraphics, please visit  www.chicago255.alphagraphics.com or call 312.266.9266. 

I founded my first company, along with partners, in 2003. And while we were fortunate enough to sell it in 2007, it was for much less for less than I needed to retire on.  So after several years in Corporate America, I went back to work taking on my second entrepreneurial opportunity.  However, I had been “out of the game” as far as recruiting and hiring was concerned, so this new endeavor gave me the opportunity to start hiring completely from scratch. 

Rob HalversonBack in 2003 online services like Craigslist, Monster, and CareerBuilder were flourishing.  Similar to what they still do today, these sites provided candidates of varied qualifications.  While the candidate flow was numerous, I became frustrated at the shear number of resumes I had to dig through just to find someone partially qualified. So much of my time was spent going through the hundreds of candidates that my focus was diverted from where it should have been – on the business.

I had also reached out to several staffing agencies at this time as well.  Needless to say, their fees were quite surprising. As a startup we just couldn’t justify spending 12-15 percent of the candidate’s first year’s salary on a recruiter. So I ultimately didn’t pursue their services.  And unfortunately, up until the day we sold the company four years later, I felt like we never got hiring right. We always struggled mightily with turnover.   

Fast-forward to 2011, I purchased a new business, this time without partners.  I was determined not to make the same hiring mistakes, yet I found myself back at square one contacting staffing agencies. While my cash flow situation at this point was different than in the past, agency fees had spiked to about 18 percent making for yet another pricey hiring option. However, I felt it was my only option.

But what really surprised me was the approach these agencies took to recruiting candidates. Anytime I would interview candidates sent from from these firms I made it a point to inquire about how they found or were found by the staffing agency.  Lo and behold, I was frequently they were found on one of the websites I had originally looked at. 

I don’t mean to sound down on staffing agencies, but I’ve had much more success sourcing candidates from sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed. They seem to be providing significantly stronger candidates than I feel like I saw back in 2003.  Obviously there are now many more of these sites and they seem to be more sophisticated and user friendly, and many have their own particular niche or specialization. It’s great because Hireology has partnered with many of these sites, so you can automatically post jobs from your Hireology account right to these job boards.


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Erin Borgerson

About the Author

Erin is the Director of Marketing, Crisis Controller and Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) who joined the Hireology team in April of 2012. As a certified Inbound Marketer, Erin manages Hireology's marketing department, the Hireology Blog, and media relations. She is also a co-leader of the Chicago Hubspot User Group which brings together Hubspot users from around the Chicagoland area. Erin set off to Chicago after graduating from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she can be found shaking it in a Zumba class, reading a bestseller, or drinking a craft beer on her Wrigleyville porch.