New York City, NY
James Weston is the founder and managing partner of Polaris Placement, a boutique placement firm that specializes in the Health Care sector in the tristate New York City region. Polaris Placement helps hospitals, Managed Care companies, and private practice groups hire and keep talented professionals with leadership and sub-specialty skills. We interviewed James to find out how Polaris finds people that are the right fit, and how Daylite fits their business.
I like solving complex problems and helping folks find a better career where they can express themselves more fully. Many times this goes hand-in-hand with helping clients find the key person that can help them achieve their mission. It’s the same thing for both folks from different perspectives. I enjoy the multi-dimentional puzzle solving of finding the right person for my client’s needs.
We believe that the reason our clients trust us with their key vacancies and their reputation is because we don’t just throw a bunch of resumes at them. We go out and try to find the one, two, or sometimes three people that are squarely in the centre of the bullseye. We try to find people that don’t just fit on paper, but who also fit from the corporate culture perspective; as well as with the personality of the person they’re going to be working for. For these reasons, we might be slower than other firms because we take more time and dig deeper. We don’t just turn the snow blower of resumes and point it at our client’s inbox. Instead, we really try to find the best possible fit that an outside consultant can find.
I go about finding the right person by judging people based on everything they say and don’t say, and everything they do and don’t do. When I’m talking to someone and I’m not getting the feedback or feeling from them that it’s going to be a fit with my client, I trust that intuition. In a way it boils down to keeping in mind the expectations of the client and letting the candidate convince me that they are a good fit. The person may be great on paper but if they are a purple rhomboid and my client is looking for a yellow circle, then they are never going to fit. I perceive that all from what they do and don’t do, and from what they say and don’t say. This industry, like many other professions, is as much of an art as it is a science. Part of it is whether they meet the criteria on paper by having the right degree but beyond that is the soft skills and the personality. That can only come across in non-verbal things. It’s the way and tonality in which people present themselves. I keep my eyes open at first to check the boxes of the checklist and after that I open my ears and intuition as much as possible. I’m a fairly good judge of people and have always enjoyed the interplay of people. I’ve always been inclined towards being aware and sensitive to what is underneath their actions.
Most of our clients come to us through referrals. We also do outbound marketing, cold calling, and social media. I find I would rather call the person and have a conversation. I find human contact is becoming even more important to people as we become more tech centric.
Often times it is the case where our clients give us a job order a little too late in the cycle. They’ve tried on their own through ads or other agencies and at that point they have reached a point of desperation so their expectations are very high. Because of the way we operate, we rarely present someone in the first couple of weeks. It takes time to find the few folks who fit in the pool of candidates among which they are seeking. The other challenge is that people think that through sites like Linkedin, Indeed, or other networking sites that they can do it on their own so we end up competing with our clients at a faster pace.
When dealing with a client I have a rapport with and have done business with in the past, I can set expectations accordingly. When I hear them groan and stress about needing the person yesterday, I can say with credibility “you remember when we did a search for that last person and it took almost four weeks but we got it right with the second candidate?” I can explain to them that at first it takes a bit longer but when we present the candidate they are going to be hireable. A repeat client will understand this, but with a new client we may lose because we don’t believe in setting false expectations. It’s a bad start and a bad relationship if I say I can find someone in a week and over promise or show underwhelming candidates early on. Being in a faced paced environment, people expect that all things happen at high speed and it simply does not work that way with people.
We use Daylite to manage candidate and job processes and to manage communication with clients and candidates. We also use Daylite for planning projects, tasks, pipelining, sales, marketing, and recruiting projects. Daylite has been very effective with tasking other people in the company to do various things and standardize routine processes. It’s been a really big win for us to be able to keep refining what it is we absolutely need to do and following our check lists before we enter in a new stage of the pipeline. This helps us to make sure we don’t drop the ball in the process, which results in high level service. We use Daylite Mail Assistant for tracking conversations, which is very important to us. We use this for both client communications and for candidate offer negotiations. We use the calendar extensively for interviews, appointments, and meetings. We use opportunities for marketing so we go out into the market place and look at advertised jobs for particular potential clients. If we see what we know would be a good fit, we present the candidate and treat it like a job order. All these opportunities are kept in Daylite and when they are won they become a project. We use projects for sales, marketing campaigns, and active job orders. We use tasks a lot to delegate calls, emails, and research activities.
Daylite is a centralized communication platform so things tend to not get lost, as long as we all comply with how we mark and fill in fields. This is the main value in it for us, to keep us unified. We use Daylite to direct workflows and to track all the little details that are important in this multi-dimensional process. When I first started in this business the company I was working for was not even computerized. I computerized them and they were all on PC so we used ACT! After getting tired of viruses I switched to a Mac, gave Daylite a whirl, and have been using it ever since. I appreciate how Marketcircle has kept the focus on how Daylite serves a business. Daylite just makes logical sense from a workflow perspective because every component goes together well and can be linked in multi-dimentional ways.