Recruiting In 3D

Advice for Today: Trust Yourself

No matter how long you are in a profession, you are going to make mistakes. I thinkFailing that’s actually healthy, because if you stop learning in your profession, then your eventually going to hit a wall and peter out. This week was one of those days where I learned something. That I need to trust my gut and intuition, despite talking myself out of it in one recent scenario. Read More

Reports Of the Death of Recruiting Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.

In case you hadn’t heard, it turns out that recruiting is dead (or dying, or going extinct, or some similarly dire prediction) – or at least that’s many of the recruiting pundits and prognosticators out there seem to believe.marktwain_cc_img_0-768x475

Of course, this industry has always looked at the world with a Chicken Little sort of mentality, perpetually holding onto the belief that the sky must be falling.

Look no further than your social feed, and surely you’ve seen at least a few examples of what’s become an entire genre of predicting the demise of traditional jobs, the obsolescence of sourcing and recruiting, and, of course, the rise of the robots poised inevitably (and invariably) to replace recruiters and hiring managers with algorithms and AI and automation, and so forth.

You know the drill by now.

Because while this sort of doomsday scenario inevitably drives eyeballs, clickthroughs and conversions, even the most confrontational content around this perpetual talent trending topic is starting to feel a bit tired, lazy and hackneyed. After all, we’ve been predicting the demise of recruiting for as long as I can pretty much remember, and somehow, we’re not only still here… Read More

Spam: She’s Crafty

Licensed to Ill is a record that changed everyone’s mind about what hip-hop was, especially License Ill.pngcoming from three white guys from NYC. Now mind you, I’m no hip-hop historian. I’m a 40-something white guy so I’m well aware that I don’t know everything about hip-hop isn’t exactly all there is to know. What I do know is that the Beastie Boys changed things up. They broke the mold in the midst of hair bands and pop legends. A mold that rippled through rock and rap stations alike, making them question their musical lineups and seek out new styles to keep audiences tuning in.

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#Noise

Noise

Proudly co-authored and cross-posted with Steve Levy and Derek Zeller

We didn’t turn it on, but we can’t turn it off, off, off
Sometimes I wonder how did we get here
It seems like all we ever hear is – Noise 
~Kenny Chesney

Lately, there’s been a growing amount of anger, disillusionment, and Straight-Outta-Compton need for attention across the social galaxy. Lines being drawn, lines being crossed, lines being blurred and the silence or screams that have followed have been too easy to track – I mean, if you wanted to spend hours each day involved in this “social sleuthing”. Many of us looked at what was going on like the car wreck on the side of the road, slowing down to rubberneck at the carnage. Our collective minds have been overwhelmed by the Comments, with the unfounded accusations, and the downright malicious behavior.

Folks, the time is now for an industry-wide wake-up call. YES, we contribute to the stench just like everyone, but we try to provide something positive, something we see as having value. Whether others believe we do, or how this “value” is perceived, is going to be up to the reader’s interpretation. Read More

The Emperor’s New Clothes: Lookup and the LinkedIn Talent Disconnect

Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is one of those companies that’s constantly tweaking their platform; that they put a ton more time and money back into their actual product than most HR Technology vendors, and make much more substantial updates to core features and functionalities than most online and SaaS companies, period.tumblr_mahxbaNXm91qc7mh1

The average active LinkedIn member (note: the “average” LinkedIn member, in fact, isn’t active on the website) a recent study suggested only around 37% log on at least once a month) spends a scant 17 minutes on the site every month, compared to over the over 20 minutes a day Facebook’s 1.3 billion users spend on site.

The average recruiter, by contrast, more or less lives on LinkedIn, which is why we’re so quick to catch even the most minor tweaks to functionality or the most subtle changes to the site’s UI/UX. Recruiters know LinkedIn better than anyone, which is why no one in this industry would deny the sheer level of work that goes into iterating current functionalities, introducing new features and experimenting with potential enhancements or revenue streams (remember CardMunch or Connected, anyone?).

This is why so many of us are so frustrated at the fact that what was once such an effective, disruptive and innovative recruiting technology has devolved into whatever the hell LinkedIn has become these days – although frankly, I’m not even sure the company itself knows what LinkedIn is supposed to be, anymore. While the amount of work that goes into the product is self-evident, exactly what the hell the point, or value, of this work actually is to its end users and customers, however, is another story entirely. Read More

Stop It. You’re Not Jumping Off The LinkedIn Train

I think it’s relatively safe for me to say that I’m less the raging fanboy of LinkedIn that I was in my earlier career. No, really, I’ve been pretty vocal about it. So when I’m coming out in quasi-defense of LinkedIn, that’s a little surprising, even to me. Anecdotally speaking, there is a large population of recruiters who are shouting from the rooftops ‘Down with LinkedIn!’ and ‘Who uses LinkedIn anymore!?’. Maybe they have had enough of the ever-original memes and dynamic inspirational quotes on the Pulse publishing platform. While they are certainly entitled to their opinion, to them I emphatically say, “B*itch please”.AAEAAQAAAAAAAALXAAAAJDlkOGRiZjc0LTZkOTktNDkzMy04OWQ2LTMzOTZkNmZjMzJiMw

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How to Use Image Search to Identify Fake LinkedIn Profiles

Search concept

With the rise of phony LinkedIn pictures and profiles, the ability to determine what’s real from what’s stock photo is more important than ever. It’s essential to take just a minute or two to scan the profile of someone who has requested to be in your network. Doing some investigative work so you can help preserve the integrity of your network can help to eliminate unnecessary headaches down the road. Read More

Friend or Faux: Why It’s Time for LinkedIn To Get Real

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For weeks (actually, no, make that months), I’ve sat back and watched a pretty interesting phenomenon unfold. It’s nothing new, of course, but it’s a hell of a lot more prevalent – it seems like the conflagration of fake LinkedIn accounts has turned from a rivulet into a river.

And the floodgates are beginning to burst – just like my patience with this deluge of phony profiles. I mean, at first, I was going to give them a pass – I figured, well, that’s going to happen to any platform, particularly on social media.

But after a few months, it’s become pretty obvious that this phenomenon is particularly prominent on the LinkedIn platform, and disproportionately so.

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What Staffing Agencies Really Want From Corporate Recruiters

recruiter hellAfter writing about what corporate recruiters really want from staffing agencies, it only seemed fair to turn the tables and discuss what those on the other side of the aisle really want from those of us in corporate. So, if you’re working in house, listen up.

I mean, look, I get it. Many of corporate recruiters still seem to think of staffing agencies as some sort of black mark, a red badge of dishonor on an otherwise stellar hiring record, a source of hire best kept secret. But the fact of the matter is, staffing agencies represent a viable and necessary partner in many situations (and requisitions) where you’d be screwed without them.

It’s also important to note that not every third party recruiter is a slimy, money hungry whore willing to beg, borrow and steal their way to a placement fee. Sure, there are some on the agency side whose business model seems predicated on dishonesty, deception and duplicity. But then again, the same holds true for those recruiters who happen to reside in-house, too. I’d caution anyone who thinks all agency recruiters are cut from this mold take a moment to remember where most corporate recruiters first got their foot in the door. That’s right – most of us (myself included) initially entered the industry from the agency side of the aisle.

I recently took some time to speak with some colleagues currently working at staffing agencies – and to reflect on the five years I spent doing temp, contract and contingency recruiting in the agency world.

4 Ways To Stop Sucking At Working With Staffing Agencies

After much reflection and reminiscing, I came to up with a few conclusions and overall observations about what it is, exactly, agency recruiters really want from their corporate counterparts.

PS: To all those trolls out there, go ahead and get your snide remarks and snark ready for the comments section. 

1. Be A Conduit, Not A Barrier.

listYour partners aren’t just looking for a copy of the job description or some URL linking to the posting you’re working on. Instead, they’re looking for real details – and real insights – into what you’re really looking for. These insights include things like why the role is open, what the growth potential looks like, and maybe even a crash course on the specific business unit or function for which you’re hiring.

What can help even more than answering these fundamental recruiting questions is – **GASP** – giving your third party partners access to the hiring manager or team actually responsible for making the decisions. Sounds crazy, I know, but why the hell not?

You have a job that you need filled, and whatever the reason was for finding an outside partner in the first place might have been, from having a requisition that’s just too hard to fill or simply having too much else on your plate, you’ve already acknowledged that you need help. The job of agency recruiters is to make your job easier, so if you’ve already brought them into the fold, ENGAGE them and ensure that they have access to the information they need.

Seriously. Stop being so damn secretive and protective of your hiring manager. Many corporate recruiters treat internal clients like jealous girlfriends, but ultimately, you’re only cheating yourself by adding unnecessary challenges and complexity to your staffing partners’ process. There’s no need to be jealous; if you manage the relationship correctly and establish the parameters of communication ahead of time, you’ll be just fine. Remember: be a conduit, and not a barrier.

Your hiring manager and agency partners will appreciate you for it. And, of course, if those parameters are violated, then you’ll actually have justification to take action – but preempting this in the first place is simply counterproductive (and unfair). If you trust your agency partners enough to engage candidates on your behalf, you should trust them enough to do the same thing with your clients and coworkers, too.

2. “Not A Fit” Is Not Feedback.

staffing agenciesLook, no matter what you think of the agency model, third party recruiters almost always rely on commissions and placements to make money, and you have to respect that. Not all agency recruiters even make a salary (and those that do often make little more than a pittance), which means that they’re entirely dependant on making draws and/or commissions to make ends meet.

Much like you’re competing against other companies for the affection and admiration of candidates, so too are your agency partners. The difference is that, unlike corporate recruiters, they’re representing multiple companies and clients competing for the same finite pool of qualified candidates and top talent.

Time is money to agency recruiters, and time kills all deals. That’s a fact of life, no matter which side of the house you’re on.

That’s why if you’re a corporate recruiter, it’s so important to set clear expectations upfront about how quickly your third party partners can expect to have feedback at each stage of the process, and deliver as promised. If there’s a delay in obtaining feedback on your end (which is often inevitable), then at least give them the common courtesy of an update and heads up on when they can expect that feedback. If you’re having difficulties getting any modicum of meaningful feedback from a particular hiring manager, it’s imperative to at least keep them honest – they need to know if they snooze, they lose.

Bonus Points: Giving updates is one thing, but giving actual feedback is another thing, entirely. Saying that someone is “not a fit” is NOT feedback and won’t lead to better or more qualified candidates from your partners. It’s really that simple. In recruiting, the definition of insanity is expecting different results from submitting candidates who get rejected over and over without providing constructive feedback. This is your cross to bear. Own it.

3. Good Faith is Good Business.

serviceLet me save you the trouble of negotiating up front: no staffing agency is going to slide their fee scale down to 5 or 10%. It’s just not happening. While most will be willing to negotiate some terms, such as non-solicitation or exclusivity agreements from each other, terms of payment and the like, don’t try to gouge your agency partners.

Sure, you’ll maybe be able to knock a few percentage points of the placement fee, or bargain your way into a sliding conversion scale, but in recruiting, as in all else, you’re going to get what you pay for.

Think back to your days on the agency side. Would you rather work on a req where the perm fee is 20% of $100k or 8% of $60k?

Hell, you don’t even have to have agency experience to answer that question. It’s a no-brainer – and you’ve got to have no brain if you think that nickel and diming staffing agencies is going to actually equate to recruiting ROI.

Pay agencies what they’re worth and always, always act in good faith. This approach will lead to better rapport, better relationships and, long term, better candidates and more flexibility the more that they work with you and know that you’re a client that they can count on – and one who’s really looking out for their best interests, too.

Agency recruiters (or the good ones, anyway) want to build long-lasting, successful recruiting relationships, too, because then, we all benefit.

4. Stop Playing The Field.

orgyOne of the biggest frustrations for agency recruiters is to accept a search and start reaching out to a number of candidates, only to discover that dozens of other firms have already contacted them about the same position at your company.

You’re looking for a menage a trois, not an orgy, after all, and this professional promiscuity kills any incentive most agency recruiters have to work on that particular requisition – particularly when they have dozens of other open jobs to work on already sitting there.

Now, understand I’m not insisting on exclusivity every time you go external, but it’s imperative to let third party providers know up front about any competition they might be up against from other agencies.

Being transparent about partnering with multiple agencies probably won’t preempt them from working on a position – hell, you’re not going to be successful as a recruiter if you’re not ultra-competitive, anyway (generally speaking…take it easy, haters), so this should actually be a carrot instead of a stick.

I normally try to give my preferred agency of choice a 2 week window before opening the search up to others. I’m also very selective with staffing partners, and only work with a few agencies with whom I’ve built long term relationships and a track record of success.

Personally, I prefer to work with only a single agency at any one time, since engaging an agency ultimately means more work for me to manage, and trust me, like most recruiters, that work is already more than enough, thank you very much.

The Golden Rule of Recruiting

Aretha-Franklin2I hope the irony – or the relevance – of my previous post isn’t lost:

“We live in a very delicate ecosystem where we have an interdependence on each other to do our jobs sometimes – like it or not.”

That statement rings just as true for corporate recruiters as it does with staffing agencies – no matter which side of the house you sit, we’re really all in this together.

While it’s difficult to develop a reputation as an employer of choice, the kind of place where everyone wants to work at, it’s incredibly easy to build up a reputation as the kind of company every staffing agency wants to work with.

Remember: if you’re in recruiting, chances are you got your start at an agency. Chances are even better that at some point down the line, you’ll have to engage one as a third party partner. Either way, it’s important to remember that no matter which side of the house you happen to sit, we’re all recruiters, and we all know how tough a job this can be.

We need each other to build our careers – and enhance our professional reputation. We’ll never build respect from our clients, colleagues and candidates if we can’t respect each other. And that’s something every recruiter needs to respect.

This post originally appeared on RecruitingDaily on Jan 5, 2015.

What Corporate Recruiters Really Want From A Staffing Agency

Let me be really clear here to start this post off: I’m not hating on staffing agencies. In fact, far from it. I actually grew up on the agency side; I cut my teeth there. I made my bones there. And I clearly have watched Goodfellas like a hundred times too many. I’m grateful for my external recruitment experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

That may come as a tremendous surprise to most of you, but as a technical recruiter working in-house, I get a lot of calls from agency recruiters. Like, a lot. And they suck.

Allow us to take a moment, to mourn for those whose heads just exploded from shock.

I want to give something back to the staffing agency world where I grew up. This is a “let me help me help you….help me” type of mini-festo. Read More

Can You Recommend Me? That’d Be Great.

This post was originally published on RecruitingDaily on August 27, 2014

 

You know those endorsements you can give people on LinkedIn? Those are the little skills that you can click on at the top of a page on the site? They of adding little value to a person’s profile; They of nothing more than what amounts to a batch of UX tomfoolery to get users to “engage.”

Those suck. Yeah, we’re not going to talk about those.

However, the recommendations that LinkedIn offers can be a really valuable tool for your career. Who wouldn’t want to be recognized for something they did or contributed to the success of? Read More

Recruiting IS Sales – How I’ve Come To Accept It

I read the article by Kyle Lagunas about recruiting, and how it’s not like selling at all. And while I appreciate his thoughts, I think they are misguided, and frankly, I still think he’s speaking as an “expert” in an area where he doesn’t have any applicable experience. This is akin to me giving stock advice. Sure, I have a brokerage account, but I lack the Series 7 that would be critical for me to give the advice people could count on. So after cooling down for a night, I set out to yet again defend the profession I’ve taken up. Sure, I fell into it like the rest of us, but I’m a believer of jumping in 100% to your career. After all, if you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly.

Full Disclosure: Following the obscenely talented Amy Ala’s post on this is hard. So just bear with me……

So here’s how I see sales as a part of what I do at each phase. Again, I don’t take this lightly and many of my colleagues can attest to how long I was in denial about this. So I’m saying this after years of self-introspection and reflection. I’ve been on the agency and corporate sides, so I feel like I can speak intelligently to both sides. You know, because I DO it for a LIVING. Read More

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