Recruiting In 3D

No LinkedIn profile? How will I find you??

I’ve always been a bit perplexed when I talk to a candidate and I look for them on LinkedIn for some additional info, like recommendations, what groups are they a part of, (especially important for technical candidates, IMO), and can’t seem to find them. I’ve actually gone so far as to ask some people if they have one, and never cease to be floored when the answer is “No, what is LinkedIn?”

LinkedIn, for several years now has slowly started to become the digital business card of professionals. It acts as a forum to network, to job hunt, to showcase your skills and abilities, and after all, it’s not Facebook, so you are representing your professional side.

The real kicker for most recruiters, is that how these candidates can send resumes with the buzz phrases “technically savvy”, “bleeding edge” and so on, yet not have one of most simple career management/professional networking tools out there, in their arsenal. I think the most frustrating of the “Un-Linked” are the recruiters. When an agency calls me, and the sales rep, etc. does not have a profile on LinkedIn, then there is truly something wrong, and I make no bones about letting them know that this is a hit to their “cred” with me.

In the end, the world has changed. The game has changed. People want to be able to search for and get a feel for you beyond your resume. And at the end of the day, your LinkedIn profile says alot about you. Not having one, now that speaks volumes, and not the kind you want it to speak.

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Career Services – Good thing they don’t serve coffee

I work alot with college recruiting for my current organization. Hence, I deal with the Career Services (CS) folks at each school I’m assigned to. Some schools certainly have a better handle on things than others, and the size of the school can also play into that. This is a department that is perpetually underfunded, short-staffed, and dealing with staff:student ratios that are somewhere equal to the number of digits in PI.

That said, most CS offices do the best they can in order to serve each of their students. But now that Pandora’s Box has been opened and someone has found the 2009 version of the McDonald’s CoffeeGate, what lies ahead? Haven’t heard? A student at Monroe College sued her school since CS did not get her a job for after school. What is to come of this case remains to be seen.

"Sorry coffee, we don't serve your kind here"

"Sorry coffee, we don't serve your kind here"

What it tells us though, is that we’re grossly misinterpreting the role of CS. NAILS it here. Their job is to serve as a conduit for the job search, and to provide advice where it is needed. Let’s face facts here – the class of 2008/2009 faced the worst job market/economic in 30+ years. That said, you’d imagine that a person who was resourceful enough to dream up a scheme to get a free tuition by suing would also have the wherewithal to use job engines such as Indeed, Simply Hired, LinkedIn or even TWITTER to search for their first job out of school.

This sends a terrible precedent, and unless the judge laughs heartily and throws this case out with yesterday’s trash (which he/she should!), we’re looking at the potential demise of the Career Services offices as we ‘knew’ them.

Besides, I’ve got a buck that says she visited said CS office less than 5 times in 4 years.

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Help Me….Help You!

I make it a rule to discuss salary, compensation and the like with virtually all my candidates in the first or second conversation that we have. Make no mistake, I’m not asking for “Name, SS# and how much was your W2 last year”, but I address it at some point in the conversations. You really have to have these conversations if you

Over the years, I’ve had some very colorful responses to my question about what a candidate’s current compensation is and what they are looking to make going forward. I thought having grown up in New York, and watching 20+ George Carlin specials gave me all the dirty words I’d ever hear. Oh how wrong I was. Some people get terribly upset when you ask this, as they feel like you will pigeon-hole them into that number/package, or that there is some ulterior motive. Kinda makes me feel like a really, really desperate Jerry Maguire sometimes.

The thing is, I ask this because I’m trying to work with the candidate, and build trust and rapport from Day 1. By having a frank and open dialogue, we’re able to establish that relationship that allows for good matches to be made. Recruiters need to act as agents for their candidates and that representation is about trust. Have it, and you’ll have higher success rates. Don’t have it and you’ll be closing the same position five times. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve never had a candidate reject an offer based on compensation, but it is an intricate part of your process. Jessica Lee, of Fistful of Talent notes that this is a launching point for being able to have frank discussion about the candidate expectations, and the industry standards that are out there.

Candidates naturally have to have a skepticism about whether to trust the recruiter, after all, there are shlocky recruiters out there, and how can you be sure. I try to address this up front and let them know that I’m asking because there is a budget (as much as we all want to work without one) and if I know what they are looking for from the beginning, I can be sure we can get them to the front lines. Besides, after a manager gets a resume, the first question is inevitably, “How much will this person cost me?” (Don’t believe it? Try sending a profile and resume to an account manager (for TPR’s) or to a hiring manager (Corporate).

If I know the difference between the desired salary and the budget is say, 10k, I can work with that and talk with the manager. Plus, smart candidates are looking at the whole package. But if the candidate is looking for a 130k salary and the budget is 85k, why bother to take them down a path you can’t finish out for them? It’s a waste of your time, the manager’s time and ultimately the candidates time. The key here is explaining this to the candidate. And if you tell them you’ll keep them in mind for the future, do it. Call at another time down the line, check in, etc. If you tell them it’s not a fit, and you’ll refer them elsewhere, follow up and do so. Your word is your calling card.

In the end, the smart candidates will respect you for the candor. The great candidates will even know of peers or other friends that they can refer to you, either for that job or just based on the fact that you’ve proven your mettle as a viable and trustworthy recruiter. This is all just another tool in your box for building that all important positive reputation. And for recruiters, your reputation is your brand. The question is how’s your brand?

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“I’m Qualified! For EVERY job you have!”

One thing that really gets me going is when someone applies for 12 jobs on your site. And it’s not as though they are the software architect applying for all software jobs. It’s when they apply for the sales job, the accounting job, the medical examiner job, and so on.

REALLY? Are you qualified for all of those? Because if so, I have a car-sales business with bad numbers, and employees having heartattacks everywhere. HELP ME!  NASA could probably use a former Doogie Howser with some skills like that.

I think that it is a poor judgement on the part of the job seeker to just splatter a resume all over a career site. The intent is clear – the more I apply the more chance they will see my qualifications. When reality is when we see you apply for 15 jobs, we are much more likely to go on to the targeted candidate who has clearly targeted the one role they are most qualified for.

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No Twitter, What now? Goin’ Old School…

Twitter had a massive outage today for a good portion of the day. Luckily for me, it was when I was trying to use it this morning, and couldn’t access TweetDeck or Twitter directly. Apparently it was a Denial of Service issues that had to do with hacker activity. I wonder how many people became paralyzed for just a few minutes while it set in that the mighty “Twit” was down.

It took me a minute, admittedly. I thought,  “Nah, must just be my computer, Twitter can’t be down.” Oh sure enough, it was.  After coming to grips there, I was utterly amazed how much work I got done in the following 2 hours. I sat down and got some cold calls done. I miss that on days I can’t get to it.  I’d have gotten it done eventually, but not by getting sucked into perusing the Twitter site for over an hour. You can get lost in that site!

It’s good to see that good old fashioned Non-Twitter work still lives on….

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