© adobe stock

The employer-employee dynamic has flipped, and maybe for good. Good candidates are scarce, whether because they left jobs during the Great Resignation in no hurry to return, or simply because they know the leverage they possess. Your interview process needs to stand out. You need to be efficient and impressive — for the sake of both the interviewers and the in-demand interviewees. This tip sheet will help you improve on a few of the critical skills needed.

1. Self-evaluation

There are so many factors that determine the volume of candidates a position will receive, including salary, location, and an organization’s ability to grow and develop. By taking an honest look at your organization’s reputation and culture, you can better determine what kind of candidate you’re looking for and the profile of a person who would excel in the organization.

2. Open-mindedness

Whether you are actively in a search process or will be filling a position in the near future, open-mindedness with your candidate pool is paramount. While you may be looking for a certain amount of experience or education, the traditional pool of industry-trained and -educated workers isn’t what it was five to 10 years ago.

Social media snapshot: Labor in 2022

3. Know your ideal hire

Set a job target that includes behavioral and cognitive requirements by having key stakeholders within your organization identify the key motivators and drives of a specific position. Ensure that everyone is aligned with the expectations of the role. Key contributors to define the role could be top performers in the job or those who frequently work with this individual. Utilize assessments like those from DISC, Meyers-Briggs and Predictive Index to help you determine those requirements.

4. Make sure position responsibilities are clearly defined

The arbitrary title and responsibilities of any one specific role varies by organization. Getting clear on the precise responsibilities of the position, knowledge, skills and aptitude will be much easier to determine the type of candidate that would be a fit and to achieve your desired results. In addition, ensure salary commensurate with the skill sets you’re seeking by studying regional compensation reports of comparable organizations.

5. Create a compelling job advertisement

Check to see if there are any conflicting qualities. Consider the length of job description. Highlight your culture, upcoming or previous projects, advancement of team members, and be transparent about compensation and benefits.

6. Target traditional and consider non-traditional candidates

The best employees are gainfully employed, and they often speak and network with other top candidates. Beyond internal networking, target audiences of similar backgrounds. The traditional avenues include industry-specific job boards, industry networks and peers, universities and local associations. Consider alternative sources such as social media, trade associations and apprenticeship programs to reach various audiences.

7. Evaluate beyond the briefcase

To determine if a candidate is a good fit, you need to look beyond the résumé or the interview. Our instincts can tell us important information. But when we rely on nothing but our gut, we open ourselves to headaches. A strong interview process doesn’t always mean a strong candidate and résumé are often fluffed. Read between the lines of someone’s résumé and find the transferrable skills that could make a candidate a diamond in the rough. Real-world experience doing the work you are looking to have done should count for something even if the education doesn’t fit your criteria.

8. Conduct a consistent process

To ensure objectivity, questions should be consistent, objective and measurable. Use similar interview questions rather than random conversations. Don’t forget to do your due diligence in using background and reference checks to find any information on the candidate.

9. Communicate regularly

The depth of quality candidates you get for a job means absolutely nothing if you can’t act in a timely manner to keep the candidates interested and abreast of their place in the search process. Going multiple weeks without any form of communication with a candidate is a good way to have the candidate lose interest or question the quality of the leadership of a club, and potentially have them drop out of the search process.

10. Commit time to the process

If the role you’re hiring for is an important asset to your organization, you must dedicate time to sourcing, screening candidates, updating them on the process of the search, scheduling phone and in-person interviews, and the final onboarding process.

Tyler Bloom is a workforce and leadership consultant and founder of Tyler Bloom Consulting, a business he launched in 2020 after 17 years working in daily golf course maintenance. Follow him on Twitter @tbloom_golf.

Tartan Talks 72


Garrett Gill is a second-generation golf course architect who named his daughter MacKenzie in honor of one of the profession’s all-time greats.

“She sorta shortened it herself to Mac,” Gill says. “She has no qualms with it, and I think she likes it better than some of the other names we were thinking about. I don’t know how she tells the story, but that’s how I tell it!”

Gill’s passion for his career — and his love for a grown daughter named after Alister MacKenzie — are evident throughout his appearance on the Tartan Talks podcast. In 1977, Gill followed his father, David Gill, into the business and has never seriously considered doing anything else. The Wisconsin-based Gill launched a golf course architecture firm in 1985 and has executed more than 250 projects in 34 states.

“The way I think about it — and it humbles me tremendously — is that you’re making an impression on the face of the Earth that can be seen from outer space,” he says. “It’s mind-boggling to me that we are putting this stamp out there that others can see.”

Want to hear the passion in Gill’s voice or learn more about his philosophies? Download the episode on the Superintendent Radio Network page of any popular podcast distribution platform.

Course news

Wolfdancer Golf Club
© Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort announced a redesign to its Wolfdancer Golf Club championship course. Expected to be completed in fall 2022, the renovation involving the original designers, Hills • Forrest • Smith Golf Course Architects, will result in the creation of four new holes. The resort is located outside Austin, Texas. … The Magnolia Golf Course at Walt Disney World Resort is undergoing the biggest redesign in its 51-year history. The project includes reconfiguring the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes and upgrading greens throughout the course. … Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design has been selected to renovate Cavalry Club in Manlius, New York. Architect David Ferris, who grew up playing the course, is working to restore the original design philosophies of architects Dick Wilson and Joe Lee. The project will also address bunkers, fairway widths, tree management and cuts around greens. … Black Desert Resort Golf Course, a new Tom Weiskopf design currently under development in Ivins, Utah, hired Ken Yates as superintendent and Jordan Rhodes as assistant superintendent. The 18-hole facility has entered the grow-in phase, with nine holes scheduled to open to daily-fee play this November.

Industry buzz

David Johnson

USGA executive director Mike Whan awarded The Country Club director of grounds David Johnson with the inaugural Marshall platter following the conclusion of the 122nd U.S. Open contested at the storied Massachusetts course. The platter is named after E.J. Marshall, a Toledo, Ohio, attorney and greens committee chair at Inverness Club who played an integral role in the formation in the USGA Green Section in 1920. The honor recognizes excellence in agronomic partnership with the USGA and course preparation. … John Deere, Bayer and Rain Bird have opened the application period for the 17th annual Green Start Academy. The career development program for assistant superintendents is scheduled for Dec. 12-14 at Pinehurst Resort. Applications are due Aug. 1 and can submitted via the Green Start Academy website. … Prime Source announced Surmise SpeedPro XT, a glufosinate-based herbicide combination for the turf and ornamental markets, received EPA registration and will be available for purchase this summer. … Quali-Pro promoted Paul Blodorn to key accounts manager. A six-year company employee, Blodorn will work to position new and legacy products and convey Quali-Pro's message to all levels of distributor management in his new role. … New England-based Valley Green added Jeremy Stachowicz to its sales team as a golf representative. Stachowicz spent 17 years as superintendent at Wahconah Country Club in Dalton, Massachusetts.

Acquisition news

Founders of PACE Turf, Drs. Larry Stowell and Wendy Gelernter, announced its acquisition by Dr. Micah Woods, president and chief scientist of the Asian Turfgrass Center. Woods will become director of the online turfgrass management information service, and Stowell and Gelernter will become visiting research directors. Woods will continue to oversee ATC research and education programs as he expands PACE Turf to meet the needs of turfgrass management community, which includes golf course superintendents, sports turf managers, commercial and residential landscape managers worldwide.

"ATC has been a long-time collaborator with PACE Turf,” Woods said. “Together we've introduced tools, such as the Minimum Levels for Sustainable Nutrition guidelines that have been adopted worldwide and helped turf managers reduce inputs while maintaining high quality turf. I'm immensely proud of these achievements and look forward to continuing PACE Turf's long tradition of delivering expert and practical turf management guidance."