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Featured Candidates & Positions

April 2018

Hello and Welcome Back,

Writing from the Great Lakes region, the signs of spring are hardly visible as we just had another snowfall. Although the cold weather remains dreary and unchanging - indoors at Tier One we see consistent progress. We see our clients solidifying their teams by hiring strong new talent and we see candidates making positive new changes to their careers.

Behind the curtain, there are many steps and processes that are necessary to see this type of progress. In this month's newsletter, we go over one of these steps in more detail - the reference check. But first, see our latest featured candidates and positions. Thanks for reading!


Featured Candidates

Candidate Profile 1: USA based Continuous Improvement Director (Global Experience)

This automotive industry professional is willing to work anywhere in the USA for the right opportunity. The candidate is also willing to work across different industries. This individual has a wealth of experience and knowledge in lean manufacturing, problem solving science, and quality. This person has helped global companies create and roll out robust manufacturing systems across the globe, with extensive experience on the ground in the Asia Pacific region as a US expat. This candidate is an engineer with extensive management experience leading regional and global teams up to 30. Call +1-313-887-8300 ex. 102 or email for more information.

Candidate Profile 2: Automotive Aftermarket Sales/Distribution Vice President

This is an outstanding candidate who would consider opportunities in the Midwest or Southeast USA. With an impressive product experience and record of accomplishments, this candidate has managed a product portfolio of $500 Million in revenues. The candidate's expertise lies in managing relationships with aftermarket retailers and distributors and driving topline growth through these channels. Call +1-313-887-8300 ex. 102 or email for more information.

Featured Positions

Plant Controller, Michigan ($2 Billion, Global Manufacturer)

This is an opportunity to work with a worldwide leader in its product and technology area. This position offers a real opportunity for advancement and the opportunity to lead all plant financial management and internal/external reporting for this fast paced, $120 Million facility. In this role you will also lead the budget goal setting initiatives, forecasting, costing, and will lead a team of 6 direct reports in finance, accounting, and IT. Please only apply if you have extensive experience as a finance manager within a manufacturing site setting, along with a relevant education and accounting designation. Email for more details or call 313-887-8300 ex.106.

Plant Maintenance/Facilities Director – 3 Plant Campus

In this role you lead a technical team in the overall preventative maintenance of valuable capital equipment and all company owned facility systems. This operation is a very profitable operation and is running on a 24 hour/ 5 day schedule. The campus has 3 buildings. The position reports into the General Manager and will directly manage a facilities manager, a toll room manager, and a maintenance supervisor. The position will provide a competitive salary with a 15% bonus and full relocation assistance to this nice midwestern city. Email for more details or call 313-887-8300 ex.101.

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Conducting Reference Checks: An Inside Peak at a Recruiter's Process

The power of a reference check and its influence on a decision to hire is greatly underestimated. Up until the point of a reference check, our perception of a candidate is based solely on what the candidate gives us. Reference checks not only confirm (or potentially disprove) the picture we have of the candidate, but it also gives us an idea of how others perceive the candidate.

It is sometimes assumed that a candidate already has the job but just has to go through the motions of giving references. This is a dangerous assumption. It is important to remember that a reference does not need to be negative in order to negatively impact the hiring decision. Your choice of who you give as a reference and what the reference says or does not say, can go a very long way in terms of affecting the hiring decision.

A reference check has so much weight on a hiring decision that we will only do live reference checks. This is because we receive a lot more information through a live conversation than through an email conversation. During a phone call, we are not only interpreting what the reference is saying, but how they are saying it. We are considering the tone the reference is using and the phrases chosen when they haven't had the chance to rehearse or edit.

With these things in mind, it is important to give some serious thought as to who you should be using as a reference. It is often recommended that you find someone who at one point managed you. It is not recommended to use someone with personal ties to you. This can lend a bad impression that you could not ask anyone in your professional life to be a reference.

No matter who you choose, it is a very good idea to give your references advance notice that they will be contacted soon. This helps us to get a hold of the references in a timely manner, and it helps your reference-givers to prepare and expect to answer questions about you. Being prepared could help with giving a more positive reference.

During a reference check interview, we will ask at least 17 questions. Below are a selection of reference questions we use for our process.

Reference Check Questions - A Sample

What position(s) did you and the Candidate hold, respectively, during your association?
This is how we gauge the type of relationship the reference and the candidate had. Whether the reference comes from someone who managed the candidate or from someone who worked for the candidate - this question provides a backdrop for the remaining questions and a lens for interpreting the answers.

What were the Candidate's primary responsibilities?
This question gives us further insight and additional perspective into the candidate's work experience. We might compare the reference's answer with the candidate's own explanation to ensure they are parallel. This question also shows us how closely the reference and candidate worked together. If the reference cannot describe the candidate's responsibilities very well, then this reference might be considered weaker.

What were the Candidate's strengths or greatest attributes, according to your observations?
One of the more important questions to ask. This gives the respondent a chance to say all the positive things they want to say about the candidate. If this answer is a short one, there should be concern.

Given that no one is perfect, are there any job related weaknesses or work related areas the Candidate could improve on?
This is usually the most difficult question for respondents. We aren't expecting to receive a list of terrible things about the candidate but rather, a constructive critique. It invites them to name anything that we should be aware of but might have been hesitant to say.

If you had a similar opportunity in your organization, would you hire the Candidate?
This question makes the reference interview more personal. It makes the reference step back and reflect on the candidate as a whole and imagine working with him or her again. It is usually answered in the affirmative.

Whether you are a candidate who needs to re-evaluate your references or a hiring manager who needs to conduct reference checks from time to time, we hope this article has shed some light on the process. If both sides treat reference checks with the importance they deserves, it will be rewarding for everyone in the long-term.


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