Hiring with CCN’s Expert HR Recruiters

When we launched our new HR Direct Hire program at CCN, our experienced HR recruiters took the proven elements from our successful practice in finance and accounting, and customized them to fit the unique challenges of HR. This “Direct Hire” model features:

  1. Subject Matter Expertise: CCN recruiters are experts in their field. They know exactly what kind of talent a client needs because they have inhouse experience and industry perspective.
  2. Collaborative Experience: CCN recruiters work closely with the client to get a thorough understanding of their needs and culture. We save clients time by acting like part of their inhouse hiring team.
  3. Unique Hourly Pricing: Clients can choose to take advantage of our hourly pricing model to save thousands of dollars compared to traditional contingency search pricing.

So how does this unique model impact the recruiting experience? Let’s take a step by step look through our typical process to find out.

“[We] make sure there aren’t any unanswered questions or missing details … So far, our clients have been eager to interview every single candidate that’s made it through our in-depth vetting process.”

Tammy McCarty, President, Strategic HR

Traditional agencies vs. CCN’s HR recruiters

In order to appreciate CCN’s HR recruiting model, it’s important to understand where the industry is coming from. Especially in today’s hot labor market, candidates are fewer and farther between. Many companies are desperate to attract and hire top-notch talent.

Often, traditional agency recruiting firms are taking shortcuts, simply posting job orders and passing on whatever resumes they can get their hands on.

This fast-paced approach might feel more productive, but it sacrifices quality in favor of quantity. This means that the client spends more time filtering resumes and interviewing candidates who aren’t qualified. That places an undue burden on the client, and at the end of the day, the client might not get exactly what they need. Ultimately it could even lead to higher turnover down the road.

CCN’s expert HR recruiting process

To deliver top quality, CCN’s HR recruiters follow a proven process that’s customized to the unique needs of each client. Throughout the process, their specialized industry expertise directly translates to excellent talent, efficient searches, and cost savings.

1.  Client intake

CCN’s industry expert HR recruiters schedule a one-hour intake call with the client before every search. This in-depth conversation helps reveal the nuts and bolts behind the job description and many of those culture fit “intangibles” that are critical to a successful placement.

“We talk about the organization and their business goals. We want to know where they are currently, and where they are going,” explains Shanon Holley, one of CCN’s experienced HR recruiters.

“Outside of typical benefits, compensation, etc. we need an understanding of who they are,” adds Tammy McCarty, president of CCN’s strategic HR services. “We need to understand their culture, fit, mission, and values. What are the opportunities for career progression? How will their performance be measured? What is the company leadership style? What are the team dynamics?”

2. Customized candidate background questionnaire

Next, CCN’s HR recruiters customize a background questionnaire based on the findings of the client intake call.

This serves as a valuable tool throughout the search process to help drill into any gaps and validate that candidates have the skills they need to perform.

On the candidate side, this detailed questionnaire helps applicants completely understand the scope of what they will be responsible for. “I’ve had candidates come back to me and say that the questionnaire uncovered requirements that they weren’t aware of, and that they no longer felt qualified,” says Tammy. “This is a critical step in filtering through candidates to identify the best of the best.

3. Candidate search

As soon as the questionnaire is ready, CCN’s recruiters “hit the streets” to find the perfect candidate for the open position. Of course, this includes job postings on Linkedin and other platforms, but the most valuable work happens behind the scenes, combing through our rich networks of personal contacts and passive job-seekers.

Once a candidate has been identified, we invite them to apply and complete the candidate questionnaire.

4. Screening interview

After an application has been accepted by the CCN team, they schedule a one-hour in-depth screening interview with the client.

Because CCN utilizes industry expert HR recruiters, they can drill in to ask all the tough questions they need to assess qualification and fit.

“I wouldn’t hire someone I wouldn’t personally want on my own team …. or for a C-level position, I wouldn’t hire someone if I didn’t have complete confidence that they have what it takes to help the company succeed.”

Shanon Holley, HR Recruiter

A one-hour interview might seem like a lot of work before a candidate even talks to the client, but Tammy explains that this is all part of the ‘pay to play’ model: “we need to see how interested they really are and how much effort they will put into the process. They have to show they are committed and that they personally believe they are a really great fit for the role.”

5. Submission of candidates

After an applicant has made it through the in-depth vetting process, CCN’s HR recruiters submit a “candidate summary” to the client.

Tammy explains that this valuable document is much more than just a resume, it includes everything they need to know about the applicant: “Our candidate summary makes sure there aren’t any unanswered questions or missing details. At this point, the client can be confident in scheduling an interview… in fact we’ve got an incredible success rate when it comes to our top picks. So far, our clients have been eager to interview every single candidate that’s made it through our in-depth vetting process.”

6. Follow-up and hiring

CCN’s HR recruiters continue to work alongside the client to help manage the rest of the hiring process, including scheduling interviews and putting together offer letters.

“By this time, both the client and the candidate have been through an incredibly thorough process to help identify the best possible fit, and both parties are very invested in the relationship,” says Tammy.

“So far, we haven’t had a single candidate turn down a job offer. Our acceptance rate is 100%.”

Tammy McCarty, President, Strategic HR

Let’s get started

If you’re interested in finding the perfect fit for an open HR position, don’t hesitate to contact us. CCN’s experienced team of HR recruiters has the subject matter expertise and the proven process to facilitate a positive search experience and deliver exceptional results.

CCN welcomes Shanon Holley, HR recruiting

We’re excited to announce that Shanon Holley has joined the CCN HR recruiting team.

Shanon brings over 20 year’s experience in human resources for a variety of industries. She considers herself a “utility player/leader” and has led HR teams and departments to the next level, driving business outcomes through strategy and execution.

She speaks “HR” and has a unique ability to engage with candidates and continue those relationships through networking. She has a proven track record of successfully building high performing talent recruitment pipelines and optimizing workplace culture.

6 Questions about HR recruiting with Shanon Holley

1. What’s your specific experience with HR?

When it comes to HR, I’ve worked with everyone from large public companies to small startups.

I’ve done it all. I’m the “utility player” and leader. I worked my way from the ground up, so I’ve stepped into every single HR role. That means I know what kind of skills and personalities candidates need to be successful in those roles.

I’d say my sweet spot is employee engagement, culture, and coaching and development.

2. That combination is key isn’t it? how do you go about making sure that a candidate is the right fit for a client?

Culture is key to an organization’s success. CCN has tools and resources to determine technical qualification, but understanding culture-fit has to come with experience. We engage with candidates and conduct thorough behavioral interviews specific to the client’s culture to ensure fit. I usually know by the end of the interview if they are a good fit for the client.

3. These days a lot of companies are desperate for talent. We’ve heard stories of recruiters making job offers without even performing an interview. How is CCN doing things differently?

It’s all about due diligence and vetting, and to do that you have to have that deeper knowledge and expertise around HR.

We do a drill-in questionnaire before we even get on the phone with a candidate. It’s specific to HR and tailored to the client’s needs. That determines who even gets the interview.

By the time a candidate is presented to a client, they have been thoroughly screened by our subject matter experts and are qualified for the role and a fit for the organization. We’ve already done the homework upfront. We’re not going to waste their time with a candidate we don’t personally believe in.

4. In addition to serving clients well, I hear you also go above and beyond for your candidates. What does that look like?

I am not a traditional interviewer. I form connections with candidates that allow for direct, collaborative conversations. The candidates that I engage with may be my next team member or client, so it is imperative to make a lasting impression on behalf of the client and CCN.

If they get an interview with the client, I call them afterwards with feedback, being transparent and honest and delivering those messages. Nobody likes to hand out rejections, but I don’t hesitate to provide constructive feedback that will help them move on to the next opportunity. Even if they are not right for one particular role, I’m engaging and creating a relationship with them.

6. You’ve got the ability to do a lot of different HR work. Why HR recruiting?

Everyday I get to talk to like-minded HR professionals, and sometimes they are smarter than me, and I have clear takeaways from those conversations and relationships… I get to talk about what I love!

Let’s get started!

If your company is looking for exceptional human resources talent, Shanon is excited to get your HR recruiting search started! Call 512-900-2152 or send us a message.

If you’re looking for new work opportunities or simply want to welcome Shanon to the team, you can connect with her on Linkedin. You can also sign up to join our network online.

Save with CCN’s Hourly Search Recruiting Model

Our hourly model delivers exceptional talent at a fraction of the cost, saving clients thousands of dollars on every search.

At Cox Consulting Network, you can choose from two different pricing models. The first is the traditional retained or contingent search model. The second, unique to us, is our hourly pricing model.

The traditional contingent search model

Contingent fees are expensive! The industry standard is 25% of a salaried role.

That means to you that if a senior accountant is paid $75,000 per year, you are going to pay $19,000 up front for that candidate search. And you pay the same amount regardless of how long it takes to find the candidate.

CCN's hourly search model

With our hourly search model, we find high quality talent and simply bill you for our time.

Our fees on the hourly search model are limited by either 12% minimum to 20% maximum. And keep in mind that that 20% maximum is still 5% less than the 25% industry standard for a contingent search.

Most of our clients only pay half of a traditional contingent fee. Why would you do it any other way?

You're going to get transparent invoices along the way, with reasonable fees that reflect our effort. You are making an investment in finding exceptional talent, and the ROI in our expertise and our pricing model is exceptional.

Start your search today

Regardless of which pricing model you choose,  we are aligned with you. We work with you and for you, and we want to see you be successful.

Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.

CCN’s collaborative recruiting process

If you've used a recruiter before, have you ever felt in the dark? Have you wondered what they were up to or how they're finding the talent?

At CCN, we work as your outsourced recruiting department. We pride ourselves in our proactive communication and our collaborative recuing process.

Throughout the process, you will receive dashboard reports, which are going to show you who we've
looked at, who we have interviewed, and who we're recommending to you.

Recruiting shouldn't be a mystery! We're on the same team and we're working toward the same goal.

Start your search today

We invite you to experience our recruiting process for yourself. Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.

The art and science of recruiting for finance, accounting, and HR

Recruiting for finance, accounting, and HR is really a combination of science and art.

The science of recruiting qualified talent

The science is the ability to discern whether a candidate has the technical skills to succeed in a job.

You really can only assess whether the candidate has those technical skills if you have the subject matter expertise and have done the job yourself.

The art of assessing fit

The art of recruiting is figuring out whether this candidate is the right fit for your company culture, as well as for your team.

We work as your outsourced recruiting department. We're the experts in recruiting for finance, accounting, and HR. When you work with us, you can be confident that you are getting the best and most qualified person for that job. We're not simply selling your position to anyone who comes along.

Our process

Our process is collaborative and fun, and our recruiters are all great people. We are here to take the pressure off recruiting. We want you to be able to relax and get back to your other responsibilities.

Start your search today

Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.

Quality over Quantity: CCN’s Recruiting Philosophy

Sometimes with a traditional recruiting firm, you will find that they'll get your results quickly, but the candidates that they are putting forward aren't really what you are looking for. They are really just spinning candidates at you hoping that one of them fits.

At CCN, our recruiting department does things a bit differently. We take the most qualified leads, interview them, and put them through a stringent vetting process based on our industry expertise. Then we work and collaborate directly with you in this process before we put forward anyone for a job.

We focus on quality over quantity, which means that we actually vet all of the candidates, instead of simply flooding your inbox. When we review candidates, we're looking for the best fit for your company and for the role. We're not simply selling your  position to any candidate that comes along.

We want to deliver great results to our clients, and you can see that in our high fill rates.

Start your search today

Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.

Get exceptional results with CCN’s specialized recruiters

Most recruiters are generalists, which means that they hire for a variety of roles, everything from finance to operations, administrative support, and more.

The problem is that those generalists may not have the technical background to really assess whether candidates are going to be able to succeed in a finance, accounting, or HR job.

That's the difference with CCN's specialized recruiters — that's all we do, and we have the industry experience to back it up.

When you work with us, a recruiter who has decades of industry experience will be talking with candidates and selecting them.

We've been in your shoes, which means that we know what you're looking for and how to find it.

We're here to help

We would love to help you find incredible new talent for your finance, accounting, or HR team. Call us at 512-900-2152 or get started online today.

Save Time and Money with CCN Direct Hire

At CCN, our recruiting services are a little bit different. We've put together a great team and a great model to get great results and save clients time and money.

We're specialized

We only provide recruiting for finance, accounting, and HR roles. Our recruiters have deep industry knowledge and are experts in their field. We've been in your shoes. We know what kind of talent you need and where to find it.

You can see this experience in action in our high fill ratio and our fast turnaround until we get someone in the seat at your company.

Our unique pricing model

We've also put together a unique new recruiting pricing model in which we simply bill clients for our efforts. Our fees are limited by a reasonable 12% minimum and 20% maximum.

We're happy to still offer contingent searches, but on average, our clients are paying half of what they would using the traditional 25% contingent fee. That translates to thousands of dollars saved on every search.

Our collaborative process

We conduct proactive check-ins throughout your search process. We show you details on the candidates we've sourced and where we are sourcing them from. We show you which ones we've interviewed and which ones we've submitted.

Transparency is one of our founding principles at CCN, and you're simply not going to get that level of transparency anywhere else.

We're here to help

We would love to help you find incredible new talent for your finance, accounting, or HR team. Call us at 512-900-2152 or get started online today.

How to attract great talent in Austin during the pandemic

These days, everything is “unprecedented.” Everyone is looking for a “new normal.” — We get it! We’ve all heard the same tired headlines, but did you know that thousands of companies are still hiring talent in Austin?

In fact, the majority of companies have actually maintained or increased salaries during the pandemic. Particularly in Austin, the market is still hot. Companies are going to have to offer competitive salaries and compelling benefits to fill open positions.

Let’s take a look at the hiring market in Austin and see what employers can do to attract and retain top talent.

Who’s hiring in Austin right now?

Many hiring managers see the unemployment numbers and expect there to be an abundance of candidates, but that hasn’t been the case in our experience.

“Salaries are holding steady, and competitive benefits are more important than ever.”

Austin-based company indeed.com currently shows almost 20,000 job listings right here in Austin. At CCN, we’re still seeing plenty of direct hire searches. Salaries are holding steady, and competitive benefits are more important than ever.

Sadly, hospitality, entertainment, and travel industries are suffering, but many others are carrying on business as usual or even experiencing increased demand. Some of the winners include grocery chains, logistics, and finance. In fact, a recent LinkedIn News survey showed that finance “now leads the way in employer confidence among U.S. industries.”

Here at CCN, we’re finding the biggest discrepancy to be in mid-level talent in Austin — roles like senior accountants, senior financial analysts, and accounting managers. In our experience, there is more supply and less competition in lower-level and senior-level positions.

These days we’re also seeing an increased number of job seekers from of out-of-town. Many talented workers are willing to relocate for work, and Austin’s robust market is the place to be. Demand for commercial real estate may be declining, but residential real estate is booming.

Tips for attracting great talent in Austin

Pre-pandemic hiring often emphasized lifestyle benefits with happy hours and break room baristas, but who needs bring-your-dog-to-work day when you work from home?

It’s time to cut the fluff and get back to basics with strong numbers and clear communication of work-from-home benefits. Many employers are now offering salaries at or above pre-pandemic rates. Candidates are much less willing to be swayed by non-monetary benefits; competitive health plans and retirement benefits are critical.

Non-monetary benefits may look different, but they are still a valuable way to create an attractive work environment and demonstrate a positive company culture.

  1. Work from Home Options: This perk is number one on every applicant’s list. Many like working from home, while others are ready to get back to the office. The majority want a combination of both. Either way, people want to know that there will still be flexible options after the pandemic.
  2. Flexible PTO: Job-seekers want to see policies that reflect the changing work week. Both small companies and top employers in Austin are moving to offer unlimited PTO.
  3. Provide Hardware: Proper computer hardware and connectivity are essential! Some companies are even providing office chairs and other accessories to bring home the creature comforts of the office.
  4. Food Allowance: Give your employees something special by delivering food for meetings or special occasions. Uber Eats and Door Dash allow teams to order food from anywhere in town and put it all on the same tab. Some companies are even offering a daily/weekly food allowance.
  5. Social Experiences: It’s easy for remote workers to feel like another cog in the wheel. Validate the importance of team dynamics and networking by virtual hosting happy hours and social events (inside work hours — no one needs an extra zoom meeting!). We’ve heard of companies shipping a bottle of wine straight to their employees doors or offering an expense allowance for delivery from Austin’s own Twin Liquors.
  6. Reimbursed Expenses: Remote working offers significant saving for employers. Some companies are sharing these saving with their workers by reimbursing expenses for internet, communications, and even rent.
  7. Continuing Education: Companies can show that they invest back into their employees by providing virtual learning experiencing or supporting continuing education. It’s a great time for workers to learn a new skill.
  8. Travel: According to a recent Harris Poll, 74% of Americans would consider taking a “workation” where they both work and play remotely from a vacation destination. Why not encourage or even reimburse employees who want to get out of the house and broaden their horizons?
Forward-thinking companies are reinventing remote work dynamics. We’ve seen employers investing in home office equipment and even delivering wine for virtual happy hours.

Put your best foot forward

Because it’s such a hot job-seekers market, employers need to have realistic expectations about timing. Typically, skilled positions aren’t being filled right away.

Once you get applications in, it’s important to follow up quickly, or risk missing out. We’ve seen qualified candidates entertaining multiple offers in a relatively short amount of time.

“Once you get applications in, it’s important to follow up quickly, or risk missing out.”

Once the interviews begin, employers need to communicate clearly about benefits, compensation, and policies. Ask your team about their remote experience and find out what really matters to them. Be prepared for common work from home questions… Have you extended an official deadline for working from home? Can employees come into the office if they want to?

Leverage CCN to Find Great Accounting Talent

No matter where you are working from, our direct hire team is here to help you find great talent and navigate the remote knowledge transfer process.

Our recruiters have direct experience in internal finance and accounting departments. We know exactly how to spot the people you need — and we’re experts in video interviewing!

These days, our hourly direct hire pricing model is more attractive than ever, with many clients saving 50% compared to traditional compensation-based recruiting.

Send us a message or give us a call at 512-900-2152 to get your search started today.

How to use a search firm to fill roles in an uncertain market

With the current outbreak of the Coronavirus, markets are unstable and details about the immediate future are unclear. In such an uncertain environment, many companies are turning to consultants to fulfill their interim, project, and overflow needs.

However, the fact remains that many businesses will still need to make new hires. So, should you still use a search firm in an uncertain market?

Here at CCN, we have a unique direct hire model with an hourly pricing structure that provides distinct advantages over traditional contingent search models. CCN is perfectly positioned to save you time, money, and risk in your next direct hire search.

The Traditional Contingent Direct Hire Search Model

Contingent Searches are the most popular means of bringing in employees through staffing agencies or search firms. You, the client, only pay the firm or agency if they produce a candidate that you hire. Fees are usually 25-30% percent of the employee’s first year compensation.


  1. Limited risk – You only pay if you hire a candidate. This gives you the ability to see a wide range of candidates without ever being obligated to pay an agency.
  2. Multiple firms – Ultimately you will only have to pay one staffing firm, so you can engage multiple firms to conduct the same search if you wish.
  3. Fast results – When search firms compete against each other, they know that the first one with a solid candidate wins the deal. You can often get an employee identified within 3-4 weeks of starting the search.


  1. High cost – 25-30% of first year compensation gets really expensive. Particularly for senior level positions, you might have to dish out 30, 40, or 50 thousand dollars just to bring someone onboard.
  2. Recruiter turned sales person –  The contingent model tends to create a culture of selling which can impede an open an honest dialogue to find the best candidate. When you wave $30,000+ in front of a recruiter, you just turned that recruiter into a salesperson. To get paid, they must produce the candidate who gets hired first — not necessarily the one who is the best fit for your company. Recruiters ooh and ahh about the barista in the breakroom, the vacation policy, and all the great things that make a position, “the best job ever!” This doesn’t happen at every search firm, nor for every opening, but recruiters must often take a sales approach to get the candidate across the line.
  3. Long-term success – What happens if a candidate doesn’t work out? Especially if the candidate was rushed through the hiring process (see above) it’s possible that person won’t be a great fit for the requirements of the position or the culture. Sometimes hiring agreements include a limited-term guarantee period, but if you lose or have to terminate a new hire down the line, there’s no way to get that contingent fee back. You will have to start all over again and pay yet another contingent fee for a new candidate.

The CCN Hourly Direct Hire Search Model

At CCN, we offer our direct hire or “permanent placement” services based on a new hourly pricing model that puts your needs first. Think of us as your outsourced recruiting department. We find you top-notch, experienced talent and simply bill you for our time. Our fees are limited by both a modest minimum amount and maximum amount — if we hit our upper limit, we’ll work for free until your position is filled.

For a simple comparison, consider a new accounting manager with an annual salary of exactly $100,000. With a contingent search model, you would pay an average of $25,000 just to get that person on your team. With hour hourly model, you could pay as little $10,000. At the very most, you will pay our maximum of $20,000. Either way, you’re saving on every hire!

These savings aren’t just a nice idea, they are based on actual data. We are currently saving companies 50% versus a traditional contingents search. See the chart below for the breakdown using real CCN numbers for our last five direct-hires:

PositionDollar SavingsPercent Saved
Finance Manager$14,62557%
Finance Manager$18,62561%
Senior Accountant$7,50050%
Supply Chain Manager$16,00064%


  1. Low Cost – The financial savings of our hourly model can be tens of thousands of dollars! At the end of the day, our hourly search fees typically equate to between 10 and 12%.
  2. Long-term success – We’re not motivated by a quick payout. This means we can take the time to get to know you and personally select talent to match your unique requirements and culture. This results in a higher success rate of new hires who love their jobs and want to stick around. This can save you huge amounts of time and a big headache later on.
  3. Low risk – Our lower cost means that in the rare case your new hire doesn’t work out, you’re not out too much money. We can simply pick up where we left off, leveraging the work we’ve already done to produce a replacement.
  4. We’re experts in finance and accounting. We can leverage both connections and experience specific to the industry in order to produce exceptional candidates.


  1. You pay as you go – We have a check-in call with our clients every 15-20 billable hours to go over results of our search, candidates we’ve submitted, and ones you’ve interviewed. Each call we “take the temperature” of the search to make sure we all feel confident in the process. The call ends with a “go” or “no-go” decision. If we conclude to not continue, you keep the candidates we’ve submitted, and we’ll invoice you for our time. If it’s a “go”, then we invoice you and keep moving forward with the plan! The disadvantage is that you do have to pay either way.
  2. No refund – since we’re billing by the hour, there is no refund for the candidate you hire. As we mentioned above, you will more than likely have paid only half of a traditional fee, so we think this is a fair trade, but you should be aware that this is a possibility. We’ll gladly pick up the search where we left off if needed. This is very rare, and to date, we have never had to find a replacement candidate!

You can get started on the journey towards a great candidate today. Contact us to learn more about CCN’s direct hire services and how they will work for you.