Recruiting In 3D

Mining For Gold: Turning The Resume Upside Down

When you are in Talent Acquisition, there are few certainties in your world. Job descriptions will change at the 11th hour, and budgets will be slashed, and candidates will change their minds with the frequency of  strobe light. But one thing has remained the same through all the hiring (r)evolutions in the last decade or so – the resume.goldrush

It may have changed in its look and feel, or the method of delivery to you the recruiter, but it still contains the core basic information as it always has. From the resume, one is able to tell where the candidate went to school, what they have accomplished professionally, and a few other odds and ends needed to assess if there is a baseline fit for a role. Depending on the candidate, you may also have additional sections to glean information about the candidate. They usually fall under a banner of “volunteer experience”, “hobbies”, or something similar. And this section, for all its brevity, it’s where the gold can be buried. Read More

LivingSocial: When Networks And Culture Actually Work.

The terms “network” and “networking” have a rather nebulous definition, dependingon who you ask; of course, for so many in our spam infested, hypersocial and intrinsically interconnected world, “networking” involves something as simple clicking on a friend or connection request online.

Ross ArbesFor others still, “networking” involves attending an in person event, where it’s often just easier to quaff a few cold ones and eat some finger foods while standing around making awkward shop talk than it is to go home and bathe the kids or pay the bills.

At the end of the day, what “networking” actually is can get a little bit murky, given the fact that pretty much everyone has a different definition. Consequently, what we should be doing to effectively build our “networks” becomes increasingly opaque and obtuse, too.

The fact that we can’t even agree on a universal definition of this ubiquitous concept underscores the fact that making your network work works differently for everyone – that is, if they even work at all.  Read More

5 Things Every New Recruiter Needs To Remember

I’ve been at this recruiting thing for almost 16 years now, and I can’t say that I knew I’d be doing what I do for a living in my 40’s. And it’s always good to take stock of your life and path when you’re hitting a milestone that either makes people go skydiving, hit up the coffeeshops in Amsterdam, or eat a bullet.

Personally, I’m choosing option #2 since I’ve found enough ways to almost off myself since the mid-90s without having to try # 1 or #3 at any point. At the risk of copyright infringing on my main man, Derek Zeller: #TrueStory…

One of my favorite topics to discuss (aside from the show in Mountain View) is how to better equip recruiters at the front end of their career, rather than abiding by the time-tested “sink or swim” method. As I’ve mentioned in previously, mentors and those realitywho help shape the future of our industry are indispensable.

But reality is reality, (unless you are a Kardashian), so for those unfortunate souls who are new to recruiting and will have to learn to fly by being thrown off the cliff, here’s a few things to keep in mind. PS: I think it’s important to note that my definition of a “new recruiter” is really the first five years of your career. Read More

The Rise and Fall of LinkedIn: A Recruiting Requiem.

There’s nothing new about M&A in the HR Technology Industry; after all, big fish swallows little fish is how most top tier talent vendors have ended up
stream_imgso bloated they can hardly move, much less run at the same speed as the smaller SaaS startups starting to dominate the landscape.

I’m not naming names (Taleo) but let’s just say when you have a user conference headlined by Maroon 5, you’re basically printing your own money living in the past. Read More

No Time For Losers: Why We Love To Hate Recruiters

Pick any trending topic that’s top of mind in recruiting right now, from the candidate experience to onboarding.

Chances are that once you strip away all the unnecessary layers of BS, buzzwords and bureaucracy, and once you get rid of the ubiquitous consultants and unnecessary complexity, all recruiting is just variations on the same theme, really.

Step back and take a really good look. Fact is, every problem plaguing our profession shares both a common cause and a stunningly simple solution.

Turns out, overcoming even the most pressing or pervasive talent challenge really comes down to what seems, superficially at least, to be a pretty obvious silver bullet: adding a little humanity to the hiring process.

No matter how many machines we have, no matter how much data we generate nor how many processes we can automate, the simple fact is that every recruiting process revolves around people. Hiring managers, not algorithms, still have the final say in who gets an offer.

The most advanced matching engine or sophisticated software can’t build scaleable, sustainable relationships with candidates, no matter what the product marketing material may say.

And as much as the talking heads and “thought leaders” would like us to think otherwise, the fact is that for many of us, working directly with candidates represents a significant part of the way we spend the days we spend at work.

Read More

In Plain English: How To Talk To Tech Candidates

For many recruiters, particularly those hunting in-demand technical candidates, talking tech can be one of the most daunting and intimidating parts of their job. And when you need to assess whether or not your candidate can do the job, this becomes an integral part of doing your job well.

Having spent the better part of 15 years doing technical recruiting, I had to climb this mountain as well to get to the level of comfort that I have today. I still have to go back to the well and gather more info when new technology emerges, but that’s not going to change anytime soon.

Here are a few ways to get more comfortable in a world that many of us did not go to school for.

Know Your Tech Stack

If you’re struggling to understand the difference between front end and back end or HTTP calls and responses, then you need to do some homework. Nothing is worse than being the recruiter who calls a Java engineer about a JavaScript role, you know, because they both say Java.

TalentBin has a great beginner reference that breaks down the variations on a tech stack, which you can find here. You may still need to do some digging in order to then understand what each tool or platform does, but this gets you a head start in the right directiontalentbin cheat sheet

You may also find times when you need to just know what the heck something is. There are a few that I’ve used in the past, which still aid me to this day. Bookmark them, and keep them handy for when you need them.

http://whatis.techtarget.com/ 

http://www.webopedia.com/

Spend Time With Engineers

One of the most resourceful ways to get info is to ask questions of the people already doing this work at your company, the engineers themselves. I’ve spent many hours talking with engineers at the companies I’ve worked with to understand what they do, how different technologies work with each other, and exactly what the point of those technologies are. Humans by nature love to have their ego stroked, and people love talking about what they are passionate about.

This is your opportunity to ask the questions you need to about the technology and the day to day work that you don’t get to see every day. As always, you never get any questions answered if you don’t ask them.

Research StackOverflow & GitHub Profiles

A good proportion of tech candidates spend time curating their Github and Stack profiles, just as we do with LinkedIn, and other sites for our social footprint. Simply perusing what questions they have answered, their reputation and the technology that they use most often.

Not only will this give you a sense of their background and expertise, but it can provide you with talking points that will engage the candidate. And, what’s more, is that they may even be answering questions that are relevant to the position you are hiring for, which gives them some credibility.

Admit What You Don’t Know

Simply put: Don’t fake it and give an answer for the sake of giving an answer. If you don’t have an answer for the candidate on a tech question that they have for you, it’s OK to say you don’t know and need to get back to them on it. (If you say, that, follow through and get the answer – again, credibility is a two-way street. Your candidates will appreciate your candor, and the engineering teams you work with will value your desire and diligence in understanding the work they do, which too many people often take for granted.

Happy Hunting!

 

Fuzzy Math: Why Time to Fill Sucks

Oh, “time to fill.” If you’re a recruiter, the very mention of this metric is enough to send shivers down your spine; after all, it’s been used for years now to beat recruiters into complete submission (and completing submissions).cartoon1

For as long as I’ve been a recruiter – which, by the way, is longer than I’d like to admit – the concept of “time to fill” has been one of the most commonly leveraged baselines for assessing recruiter productivity and output; it’s also commonly utilized as a convenient crutch for building a completely biased benchmark to determine whether or not a recruiter is worth keeping.

In recruiting, there’s a need for speed; if you’re working for a third party, getting your fee often requires sacrificing depth of screening for expediency of submission, a devil’s bargain that most are willing to make (rightfully so, too). 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

Read More

Candidate Experience for Dummies

Everyone seems to be talking about candidate experience these days, and the noise surrounding this perennial talent

trending topic has become deafening, even though most of that banter ultimately falls on deaf ears throughout the recruiting universe.

I’m a little self conscious even writing about it; after all, no one needs another post on what’s become a pretty tired topic.

After all, I’m not sure anyone’s really an “expert” on candidate experience, but I’m damn sure that I’m by no means any sort of definitive authority on this subject. Read More

A Surprise Honor

I received a note a few weeks back from Kris Dunn, who I have had the pleasure of knowing since he presented at recruitDC a few years back. I’ve always followed and admired Kris, and his partner-in-crime, Tim Sackett, but those guys are big time in my opinion. So needless to say I was a bit surprised when I got the note that they had selected me to be part of a collection they were promoting about the Top 20 Branded HR, Recruiting and Talent Management pros…AND I WAS ON IT. I’d have to say, that was a good day.  6a00d8345275cf69e201bb0864d926970d-800wi Read More

Closing the Skills Gap: How Immigration Reform Impacts HR and Recruiting

In my most recent Recruiting Daily post, Border Wars: Tech Recruiting and Immigration Reform, I took a look at the persistent H1B visa cap problem plaguing employers, particularly within the technology sector, and noted that the draconian immigration restrictions blocking highly educated, highly skilled foreign talent has effectively exacerbated the already endemic shortage of STEM candidates while effectively eroding American employers’ economic competitiveness on a global scale.

Pursuing H1B reform seems to be something of an express lane down the proverbial rabbit hole, tilting listlessly at the windmills of political corruption created through policy oversights and partisan bickering. The bottom line, though, is simple; after all, anyone who’s ever recruited for a STEM related position, and the employers for whom they’re recruiting, already know that the system is fundamentally broken. What we need to focus on, instead, is how we’re finally going to fix things moving forward. Read More

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