Recruiting In 3D

Showing up late for an interview? There’s just no excuses.

I never understand it when a candidate shows up late for an interview. It’s a job interview, and presumably since you scheduled it, employers assume you want the job. I mean, I JUST don’t understand when a candidate shows up 30 minutes late and expects that the employer will still want to conduct the interview. Would you show up to your wedding 30 minutes late? (If the answer is yes, its likely best to stick with the singles scene for while)

While life indeed “happens” – traffic occurs (especially if you live here in DC!), kids get sick, and clocks lose power occasionally, there are things you have in your power to ensure that you can reduce the potential for you to be late for a job interview.

  • Leave with plenty of time. If you know that a commute to a certain area can be hectic, give yourself plenty of time to get there. Get there too early? I’m sure one of these places would be happy to take your $5.25 for a latte while you prepare further for the interview. Additonally, try to schedule your interview at non-peak times of the day if you are going to a place that is notoriously traffic-laden in the AM or PM rush hours.
  • Map it out and take a test drive prior to the interview. Saying that you got lost on the way to an interview tells an employer that you A. Don’t know how to use technology (specifically a GPS) OR B. Didn’t bother to map out the locale. With as much technology as we have on smart phones these days, everything can be found with a few slides of the thumb.
  • Have backup alarms to get you up well ahead of time. “I overslept” just doesn’t work for employers. You have an alarm clock, your cell phone, the old school telephone (yes, ask someone for a wake up call if that is a challenge for you)

Always have a plan and stick to that plan. You get one shot your potential employer to make your 1st impression. This is one of the easiest slip-ups to control, so take ownership of it. Employers remember who was late, and who stood them up. The memory of a good recruiter is a vast expanse that holds more long term tidbits than should be allowed by law. They will remember you. Make sure its for the right reasons.


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What Do Applicant Assessments Tell Us, Anyway?

You’ve seen it. Maybe you’ve lived it. Maybe you had to implement it, and you may even have taken it. The dreaded pre-employment assessment. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the more common types in the market are Wonderlic, Myers-Briggs, and Gallup. Sure, they are all legal, and legally defensible in court, and are praised by a vast amount of executives far and wide. But what do they really tell you?

Choices, Choices.

The types of information sought on these assessments can vary widely – from personality types, to sales acumen, to analytical skills. But in the end, how much does it really tell you about the employee you are about to hire. There are several areas to consider when looking at potentially using a pre-employment assessment.

1. What are you looking for?
If you are seeking people who have strong analytical skills, then an employment assessment that measures this might be a way to go. But without having to over-customize a solution, can you effectively get what you need? In most cases, a cookie-cutter assessment may seem like a one-size fits all, but it’s leaving out critical components about who is actually taking the assessment. A Director of Product Management may score vastly different from a Statistical Data Analyst, depending on how much of their day-to-day is spent in a purely analytical world. And, are you having your sales reps take the same assessment as these purely analytical candidates?

2. What kind of metrics are you assessing to validate the impact of these assessments on your hiring process?
Assessment without analysis is just testing. You have to look at your core metrics on this. If the point of testing is the reduce turnover in key critical roles, and to make sure that people in these roles are highly promotable, then you need to look at the data. Having detailed components about turnover, promotion rates, and performance reviews is critical in seeing how valuable this assessment toll has proven. If you can’t put a finger on seeing where the value was added (i.e. a 15% reduction in turnover in the inside sales group), then you just have a bunch of test scores. Considering the pricing on many of these products, that’s an awful lot of money spent on anecdotal data. Considering that HR is already a department that most companies consider overhead, we have to spend wisely.

3. Do executives put more weight in the assessment more than the people interviewing and selecting the candidate?
If you have C-Level people weighting the outcome of the assessment ahead of the other critical stages of the interview process (Resume, experience, interview & interview feedback, references, and background checks), then something is wrong. You’ll almost inevitably lose proven and potential “A” players because they refuse to be judged from an assessment, and/or you let them get away because some test score said they weren’t up to snuff. “A” players don’t have to tolerate the cynicism that comes with being judged on test scores alone.

I’ve worked in companies where if the test score was not a certain number, there was no hire – end of story. I think about all the people in the world who are great at writing the 30 page paper, but who are not good testers. Conversely, how many people can ace tests, but not come up with core analytical takeaways from a project? It’s a balance, and as I said above, needs to be looked at as PART of the process, not as the litmus for the WHOLE process.

4. Is the assessment linked to your organizations key indicators of success and performance?
If it is, then you can truly use this as a potential indicator for future success. Dr. Charles Handler really does some nice work in presenting views in this arena. If you’re seriously considering implementing something, his research and articles might be a good spot to start. He has a great deck on Slideshare, that might be worth reviewing.

Assessment for the sake of saying “well, we tested them, and they did well/poor” is a waste of valuable interviewer and recruiter time. I’m not 100% in favor on pre-employment assessments, nor am I 100% against. As with most people, I’m somewhere in the middle.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this.


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Networking, Why its important

Depending what side of the fence you are on – recruiter, corporate honcho or job seeker – you have different perspectives about what everyone should bring to the table in the hiring process. Recruiters want candidates quick, and for them to glide with ease through the hiring process. They also want managers to respond quickly. Managers (AKA honchos) want everything 3 days faster than it is today, and job seekers want to either find their next landing spot or obtain employment ASAP.

Yet, each of them follows a different path of getting there. What if we combined wonder-twin forces, and all realized the power of our NETWORKING capabilities? Are recruiters asking everyone they know for referrals (after they’ve built the relationship of course, otherwise they just look like candidate hoarders), are managers asking new hires if they think former co-workers might be a good fit in the organization, then passing any leads they get to the recruiting team? And are job seekers following the “pay-it-forward” mentality of passing along good opportunities to friends and colleagues about an opportunity that sounds good but isn’t for them? What if all of those cylinders were firing in unison? Would we see drastic reductions in cycle time? Maybe. Referrals are always about quality, not quantity.

But herein lies the dichotomy – if we are all working off of the same mindset of networking with those who are in front of us, and who we know from past lives, we’ll build quantity, which by law of averages should bring some quality with it. Yes, I know there will be those who want to fillet me for asking for quantity and expecting quality, but if you don’t cast a wide net, you’ll catch less – simple math. And recruiters need to drive activity. Job Seekers need to promote themselves, and managers needs quality employees to fill critical roles.

We should all be using whatever tools are available to us in order to network for our openings, our team or our next gig. Do that, and life becomes exponentially more simple. The technology is there, and it’s user-friendly. We can never get away from the personal touch, but combine all your resources and you’ll see the results.

The world of work and how people get work and employees is increasingly becoming less about what sites you know, and more about who you know in the places you want to go.


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Being a Candidate of Choice

Recruiters are in a unique position, in that what we do is neither purely art or purely science. It isn’t always about the ‘best’ resume, the pedigree school, or the numerous accolades. Occasionally different attributes cloud the clear cut decision based on skills, especially if that is critical in the position. Sometimes it’s really all about the intangibles that keep you in the running for that position. (Wait, you mean it’s not about that I was the #1 recruiter/sales-guy/excel spreadsheet ninja in my office?) Nope. It’s sometimes about the small stuff, and contrary to the book, you need to sweat this small stuff:  Read More

Cover letters? Are We Thin-Slicing Recruiting?

What is it with the love affair people have with cover letters? Is it professional? Sure. Is it a nice way to give a complete presentation of your professionalism? Check. Does it show you completed a basic course in business writing in college? Probably. But is it absolutely necessary to have in order to be considered a top candidate for a role? In my opinion, no. But that would differ from a great deal of opinions from people in the Twittersphere and Blogosphere right now.

There are a number of people out there who feel the cover letter is an essential piece of the puzzle, and key in determining the validity of a candidate. Just this week, there was banter out there on Twitter about how one Twitster would toss out the resume of a candidate who did not have a cover letter! Really? Are you that flush with candidates that you can just arbitrarily throw out potential stars because they didn’t have the obligatory “pick me” letter? I’d be hard pressed to believe that is the case with many companies in many areas, where the pool for talent is being thinned by everyone, and in a market where a large percentage of seekers are top performers, hit hard by the economy.

What I don’t get, is what are you getting from the cover letter that ensures that this candidate is better than everyone else who doesn’t have one? Writing skills? Ok, sure, but won’t the resume give you some inclination of the writing skills? Or the e-mails you have traded back and forth with them (assuming you DID e-mail with them). Most importantly, won’t their previous experience, and the phone call that you have with them tell you a bit more accurately if they are the right choice? Thing is, I think we’re becoming to focused on the quick hit, the “thin-slicing” of the recruiting process, to steal a phrase from Malcom Gladwell’s book, Blink. Don’t mistake me, recruiting is a quick moving, minute-by-minute profession, but we also need to step back at times, and make sure we’re taking in the full picture. Too often, we see no cover letter, and think “oh well they are not professional”, or “they couldn’t take the time to write me a personal cover letter?”

Lest we forget, that in this day and age, it’s becoming profitable to be a cover letter or resume writer. Do a quick search on Twitter for “cover letter” and you’ll get a minimum of 5 services in the 1st 25 tweets, for people peddling their services. (I’m not knocking it as a profession, it’s actually quite a needed service for some folks.) But, let’s remember that there’s a better than average chance, the cover letter you covet (too much ‘cov-” there? Ah, I digress) so much has a good probability of being written by someone else anyway, so it’s still not giving you the indicator of the candidate you want.

We need not kill off the cover letter. I think it’s a nice touch, and I’ll read it if there is one. But that said, let’s not let it become the determining standard. As with social media, it’s not the end game, its not the sole strategy, but more of a tool in the arsenal.

What a lovely segue to my follow-up post.


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Found Your Ideal Candidate? Good. Make a Good Offer.

One thing I never understand is why companies have a habit of making low-ball offers. As recruiters, we go through painstaking processes in order to source, attract, screen and move candidates through the hiring process. In many cases, a full write up is sent to hiring managers (or other KDM’s) and the vetting begins.

So why is it with so many apparent QC checks in place, that companies still tend to make offers that are clearly so far below candidate expectations? I know that the market is bad, and the sky is falling – this too shall pass – but that doesn’t mean we should not be planning for the future, with the hires we make in the present.

I said to Jessica Lee the other day, when she was pondering taking the SPHR exam, that the more bullets you have in your gun (i.e. the more training and depth you have) the longer you stay in the gunfight. Couldn’t then, the same be said for making an offer to a candidate that is compelling and fiscally savvy? If you know what the candidate makes and have spent the time making a a point to know what they want, and you know what the budget can handle, why would you then not make your most compelling offer up front, getting the candidate to accept quickly, and instilling an immediate sense of excitement that this is the right opportunity for them. You may also be DRASTICALLY reducing the rate of counteroffers as well, since if they feel wanted and satiated in their comp needs, then they may be less likely to even consider a counter offer.

Know the facts up front, hit the offer head-on, and make your organization one that is not pigeon-holed into being “one of those “low-ball” shops. Candidates will appreciate the candor, hiring managers will love knowing that you can close the deal, and they can get their 1st choice candidate.


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How not to do a job fair – Yes, YOU.

Ok, so after the last of the fall job fairs ended today, I really had to just take a deep breath. And, finish that last drink of beer here in the airport (What, a guy can’t imbibe after a long day of repeating the same phrase 647,…no, 648 times? I also decided to craft a list, a dummy-proof list of things to do AND not to do/say/spew at a job fair. Yes, I’m an equal opportunity whiner.

DO:
1. Have your resume with you. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to picture your resume in my mind’s eye like before the first time I went to Disney and pictured Space Mountain.
2. Research us a bit. Give me 1 sentence that tells me you have internet access and had the sense to show some (even feigning) interest in us.
3. Dress the part. It’s not an interview, but remember, I’m half-deciding if you are someone I want to interview.
4. Have a smile, and a story about who you are, and why you are a person I want to know. Half of all communication is non-verbal, and a smile says, “HI! How are you today?”
5. Know what you are looking for. Telling me that you majored in Marketing because you like marketing, or IT because you want to work with computers is redundant.

Do NOT
1. Invade my personal space. I can hear you from 12 inches away. (Caveat – DO talk loud enough for me to hear you from 12 inches away.
2. Recite a pre-rehearsed speech that tells me about every project, skill, tool, building you ever worked in or on. That’s why you have a resume. All this tells me is that you have no ability to quickly and concisely disseminate information to another person.
3. Be combative when I tell you that Astrophysical Material Science is related to our business, and I am wrong. Remember, I am the keeper of the keys/resumes. (wow twice in one week I pulled Astrophysic-somethin, BONUS POINTS)
4. Ask what our company does. Check the Interwebs.
5. Have a resume that looks like my 14 month old wrote it. Really? REALLY? This applies 100-fold if you are a PhD candidate, unless that is something you’ll learn at the dissertation stage.
6. Go off on a 10 minute diatribe about how I MUST be wrong about immigration and that you are eligible. I play by the rules set by the lawyers, not make ‘em. I could have lied to you, but I gave you the straight story on why.

Job fairs suck. We all know this. On our side of the table, we stand for 5-7 hours, repeat the same message, and collect all sorts of germs. On your end, it sucks to be herded like sheep at a pageant. But we can make it easier on both of us by doing things the right way.

Stay tuned for a recruiter’s version of the “million man” promise to candidates.


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Why that interview DIDN’T get you a second date.

I’m always concerned about making first impressions, whether it is in my personal life or professional settings. They say you get one shot at it, and you’d better make it count. Recently a few situations have come to light that really make me wonder if first impressions are a lost art.

When you think about it, going for a job interview is a lot like going on a date. You may have been introduced to or made aware of one another by a mutual acquaintance. Additionally, with all of the tools we’ve got available to us these days, the likelihood is increasing that the connection was made blindly on a website – be it Monster or AshleyMadison.com (I’ll leave finding out what the heck the latter is to all you Howard Stern fans.

Think of all the things you do when preparing to go on a first date – you (hopefully) shower, shave, potentially buy new clothes, etc. Nowadays, it’s also likely probable that you use Google, Facebook, MySpace or some other form of research on your date prior to going out. Let’s be real, it’s a kooky world out there, and people want to know if they are going for Sake at Nobu with the next Ted Bundy. People will go to great lengths to find out as much as they possibly can on the other party before going on these dates.

What is AMAZING to me then, is that a vast majority of these folks do none of this before interviewing for a job! Sure, dating someone could lead to some life-changing events, but are any of them likely going to be as impactful as the next job that can change the entire scope and direction of your life. True story, about 3 months ago, I spoke with a candidate over the phone, who was referred blindly to me by a former colleague who knew his skill set would be perfect for our company. (It was spot on, and my recruiter “Giggity Meter” immediately went off the charts.) I pretty much dropped off whatever wasn’t an offer for the next few minutes so I could schedule time to talk to this candidate. I knew going into this that all the standard needs for us were there: deep knowledge of and visible footprint in the industry, pedigree school, all the right contacts, and innovations we would look for. Right now you are thinking, “whoa…perfect slam-dunk hire”, right? WRONG. We set up time to talk later that week, since I’m big on having people’s undivided attention when trying to change their life, and can’t expect they are always ready to take my call. Here’s where it all went wrong:

About 20 minutes into the conversation after all the normal who/what/when/where/why’s were exchanged, things went awry.

Me:So how familiar are you with us (company name not disclosed, as always)?
Candidate: Not at all actually. You guys are one of those companies that puts mailers in the newspaper right?

    (This is about as far off as me being a Harvard-Trained Astrophysicist with a post-grad degree in Swahili)

Me: Pardon?
Candidate: Yeah, you know, insert mailers.
Me: Actually, no…………(deep, deep breath). We actually do Market Research for the Web (I went on in more detail, yadda yadda).
Candidate: Oh how about that. Well, I guess I could be interested in that too.
Me: Have you seen our website, or any other material out there, like out Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube pages?
Candidate: No, plus I think the Twitter thing, I’m not on it. Frankly, I don’t know if it’ll last.

This was really where I knew things went downhill. I work for an incredibly progressive web company, and if you aren’t in tune with the web, why would you passionate about working here? But the thing that got me most, was the complete lack of any research at all. I would have completely given a pass if it was a “cold call” and the candidate had no time to prepare. The person had an EMAIL from me, stating the day and time we were talking, and the role I wanted to discuss. But, instead I was so turned off by the utter lack of preparation and disinterest shown, that I politely ended the call and said we’d be in touch if anything came to light matching the background. After having ended the call, I realized that it may have been beneficial to the candidate to mention doing some prep work in the future, but there is just no helping some people. I suppose I would have been more inclined to do this if it were a recent grad, as opposed to a 7-10 year vet who should have known better in my book.

In the end, with all of the tools available to candidates to do all sorts of extensive research on a company – down to where the hiring manager graduated from and what they majored in – why are people seemingly doing LESS research now. We’ve got LinkedIn, Google, Facebook Pages, Twitter, Plaxo, and I could go on, but too many people do a quick scan through the mission statement and benefits pages without really researching things that help them to stand out from the crowd. If a candidate was able to tell me about the two newest products we released to the market, or the new acquisition a company has made in our industry, or a new promotion from a press release, that would impress me.

My point is, people do more research for a cheap steak and margarita than they do for a potential six-figure job. You can do endless things to make yourself a more appealing mate, why not apply that to your career?

Don't be THAT guy

Don't be THAT guy


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Keeping The Ambulance Chasers Away When Recruiting With Social Media

It’s coming. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, it is coming. The US has become an incredibly litigious society in the last 20 years or so. Remember the lady who sue McDonald’s because the coffee she bought was hot, and burned her? And about 100 other similar cases over time? Well folks, soon they will be attacking recruitment practices on social media (SM) sites. Mark my words.

As Jessica Lee highlighted this in her most recent Fistful of Talent post, there are concerns that lawsuits may rise because of the rise in recruiting on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.

Now I’ve been saying for sometime, that we’re just in the waiting period before the first company gets hit with a discrimination suit after recruiting on a SM site. Not because it is an inherently bad practice, but because it is a wide open target. From my perspective, I’m a bit leery of actively recruiting off of SM sites, not because I think it’s bad, but more because I don’t want to be the first to get hit. Our team uses a more passive approach on these sites, to divulge information about the company and it’s openings, and to formulate more of a circular recruiting approach to drive traffic back to our company site. In this way, we’re using the site for a recruitment purpose, but not necessarily sourcing off of there, per se. I recently hired someone off of Twitter (our 1st off of there), but it was someone who reached out to us, after seeing some tweets we put out there, and having viewed our career site, hence circular recruitment.

But as Jessica puts it, and as I’ve seen it in other posts out there, SM CANNOT be your only method of recruitment. Sure, if you are seeking people with SM backgrounds or certain creative skill sets, these might be a strong source for you, but hopefully you are supplementing this with other sources. You’ve got to cast a wide net to source and identify the best of the best out there, and one or two sites won’t get you there.

The ambulance chasers will always find something to file a suit against, and people will always look for a way to get rich quick at someone else’s expense. But a well thought out, and well rounded approach to your recruiting will hopefully guard you from any frivolous accusations. You should be taking an active look at your process, and evaluate where you might have any risk exposure.

Plan accordingly, avoid the mob.

Plan accordingly, avoid the mob.


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Are You Rolling The Dice With College Recruiting?

This is probably the ideal location for me to go on some rant about how great “The Hangover” was this summer, but I’ll do my best to refrain – no guarantees. What I really want to touch on is how your college recruiting program can look a lot like the tables in Vegas. I’m inclined to write about this because: A. I just came back from a trip to Sin City in the last few weeks, where I surprisingly did a minute amount of gambling and B. College Recruiting has begun anew for the 09-10 school year. So, bonus points for me and my circular relevancy.

Vegas Baby! or Maybe State U!

Vegas Baby! or Maybe State U!

So here’s how a great deal of college recruiting goes: Company signs up for fair. Company goes to fair, yaks up company, collects resumes. Company holds PowerPoint slide show, branding extravaganza (Also known as Information Session).Company parses through resumes, and selects on-campus interviews. Company selects 2nd round (maybe 3rd round, as well) interviews. Company makes offer, student accepts (some decline). Company hires candidate.

What has the company gotten? Well, potentially a dud. Maybe someone who does not work out, who perhaps interviewed well. But potentially they get a rock star, a motivated, and successful hire. Hopefully more of the latter, but all of those people have a common trait. They came to the company – all of them. Not Vice Versa. So I liken this to gambling because you aren’t you really playing the odds every time you go through the process like this? Wouldn’t you be better served going after more students aggressively? Certainly, there is still going to be a cross-section of candidates who came to you, but why not reduce the need for relying on chance?

Equate this to another scenario: Plan and pay for Vegas trip. Get to Vegas, yak up dealers, friends, and anyone willing to listen. Spend money to play cards, dice or vice of choice. Spend more money if you lose. Potentially come home with a bit more cash or much less than you went with. Same Same.

There are many things that a company can do in order to make their brand better known, and to reach students before they even hit a job fair, and to be on the top of their mind.

  • Career Services gets a bad rap as a place where you don’t get much accomplished in trying to get connected to academia, or getting directly to students. And really, that’s not the primary function of their job at all universities. But if they are used correctly, as more of a conduit, than the end game. They can provide you with information about student groups, and groups, clubs or societies that are part of a major/school. They can provide information for you, and generally are happy to do so, if you are not walking in there and asking for a list of students that “are looking for jobs”.
  • You can contact many of the groups etc. and find out when they have events that you can sponsor. This might be a dinner, or awards event, or even guest speaker. These students are happy to help. The money they may or may not get donated helps. But hey, this is college recruiting, and it takes money to make money, right? They are also going to help you with finding out about small-scale fairs for students in their disciplines. These typically have fewer, but more targeted attendees.
  • You must kill the information session. In fact, it’s already dead, so you’ve saved time. Whatever is going to be provided in the “branding extravaganza” they can get in 15 minutes online, and…they like it that way. In this regard, faculty can be helpful. They want to get exposure for their students. Their students getting jobs is good business for them. But you’ve got to have something compelling to go in with that isn’t a “Rah-Rah” speech. If you can get candidates interested in your industry, you can get them interested in you. Remember that, and you’ll have some interesting stuff to deliver to them.
  • Finally, and most importantly, you have to stick to what you say you’ll do. There’s a big reason most students are mistrusting of the current process as it stands – many in our profession don’t keep their word. When we say that we want to stay in touch with them through the year (maybe they are a junior who already has an internship, or a sophomore we cannot use just yet) we need to do so. When we say that we’ll be contacting candidates back in 2-3 weeks, we need to do so. Or at the very least, let them know that you’ll be contacting back students who were selected, by “x” date. At least they know, that if “x” date comes and there is no word from you, then they have their answer.

Now, I will say that there are exceptions to these rules – we all know that there are certain……let’s call them Big Boys, who can just show up, and people will flock, they have all the connections they need at the school to get the best 5-10 candidates from each discipline (again, money helps A LOT with these issues). And they can just play the same old notes and get what they need, what with all their cool t-shirts and all (They actually are quite witty, to be frank). But let’s face it, we’re not all companies the size of a 3rd world country, and aren’t all afforded that luxury.

So, are you going to be the active hunter, trying to seek out the people you want at your company, or do you want to roll the dice, and see if your number eventually comes up?

PS – I couldn’t resist. The Hangover WAS a great movie. I’m sure many a bachelor party was scratched due to it’s release, and many a reminiscent moment was had around the country. Go see it, or get it on that Netflix queue.

Don't build relationships and networks, and it's all a gamble.

Don't build relationships and networks, and it's all a gamble.


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Don’t sling it over the fence! Working with TPR’s…

Full Disclosure:
I’ve been on both sides of the desk in my career, TPR (3rd party Recruiter, agency, whatever you call it) and the corporate recruiting side. I have sympathy and affinity for both, though working on the corporate side, I LOVE not working 90 hours a week. 🙂

We don’t use alot of outside firms where I work, because, well we’re lucky to have 3 strong recruiters who all have agency experience and know a variety of sourcing techniques. That said, there comes a time where you have to use them, whether it is due to position overload, or just general need for more help on a hard search. I was reading an article today from Leah Ward and she really makes a great point on how to interact with your TPR’s.

If you are just farming out jobs to 10 agencies at a time, you’ll likely not only NOT fill the spot in a timely fashion or at all, but you will almost inevitably drive yourself crazy in the interim. Sifting through resumes from TPR’s takes alot of time, and unless you make the investment up front, you’ll likely not get what you are looking for.

When I take time to farm out a position, I have a short list of TPR’s that I trust, and know can get the job done. But, req’s don’t fill themselves. You need to disseminate down what you are looking for in the ideal candidate (and yes, GIVE THE WISH LIST TOO!). You can’t play the information-secret game. They want to fill your spot, and you do too. I’ve even found it helpful at times to have them come and meet with the hiring manager directly, getting it right from the source as well.

Set ground rules too, as Leah states. If you commit to responding to a resume in 24 hours, DO IT. Being a former TPR, nothing makes me work on something less than lack of response. And provide feedback – let them know why it wasn’t a fit, i.e., the candidate is a job hopper, they couldn’t answer basic technical questions, whatever. You wouldn’t take no for an answer about your resume or job interview without a reason, right?

So, what are you doing? Are you setting expectations, or are you slinging req’s over the fence in the hopes that the right candidate will be slung back? Not likely.

Share what you are doing to make sure you get the most bang for your 20+ %.

Time invested, saves time.

Time invested, saves time.


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Building Pipelines, and Paying It Forward

I read a tweet that someone sent out yesterday, linked to an article that talked about how recruiters are looking always for the exact match. They want people in almost identical roles, from competitors, etc. In essence they are looking for clones, as the article states.

While that may be true, and also a narrow minded way for a recruiter to work, it is the recruiters job to find candidates that have backgrounds that line up with the current skill set of the company, the openings you have now and the ones you will have in the future. All we hear is “build a pipeline” this and “have a bench” that. So IMO, in essence, recruiting for similar skill sets out of competitor companies makes sense in both filling your openings and building the ever-popular pipeline. However, as there is more than one way to skin a cat, there is more than one way to build a pipeline.

When we talk to a candidate, do we explore the entire spectrum of that candidate’s experience, desire, and future goals? Or are we looking at do they have “5 years of .NET programming skills, experience in a widget shop, and did they go to an Ivy League school”? If we only look at that and move on, we’ve only scratched the surface, and likely have wasted time on both ends of the phone.

If you truly take the time to peer through someone’s background and ask about the “why” behind the “how” of their projects, what motivates them, and what they want in the future, you may have just built that wonderful enigma that is a pipeline. While it may not be the exact match for now? How many among us can predict our req load or makeup of that load 3 months from now.

I just hired someone recently, that I had talked to for the 1st time about 9 months prior. At the time, his skill set was just a bit off on some of the experience (technically speaking) that we needed for that role at the time. Instead of just showing him the door, we explored a bit more and figured out what he was really strong at and where he could best showcase these skills. I told him that we didn’t have the fit now, but in time, I was sure that something would pop up, and I’d call him then. Skeptical as he was (and I could tell from the way he finished the conversation, he’d heard this a million times before), I called him back when we had the right fit. Long story short, he’s on board. I kept my word, and he took our job. Win-Win.

That said, there are going to be people you talk to that you just can’t help, no matter what the background. But if that person can demonstrate that they are a strong candidate, and assuming you as a strong recruiter have built up your network to have a small group that shares resumes amongst yourselves, you can get this person networked around. Philip Newman on ERE chats a bit more on this topic, earlier this week.

You’re a recruiter. That means you’re a digger, a hunter, a harvester, a conduit and a connector. You can’t be complete just being a paperboy. Say yes when you can, no when you have to, but always remember to keep it in mind, and pay it forward, because you need to.

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