Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Recruitment Strategy Development – Contacting the Passive Candidate

When you decide to direct source instead of simply posting and hoping, how do you approach the passive candidate? Do you call and say, “Hey! Would you like to work for us?” I’ve listened as corporate and third party recruiters tried similar lines. Naturally they did not like the rejection – and returned to posting and hoping.

Who is a passive candidate? They are people with demonstrated expertise who need your help to discover they really aren’t as happy as they could be. Typically a truly passive candidate has no desire to look at postings Anywhere. They may not be on LinkedIn because “What’s the point? I am happy here.” Why are they a potentially better candidate when you recruit them?

That’s easy. In addition to their skills and focus on making impacts, they have not yet started to shop their resume around to other companies. This is your opportunity to land them before they decide they could be happier somewhere else. As in other areas of sales, time is your enemy in recruitment. Once a passive candidate is on the market for you, they begin to look around “To see what else is available.” But I am jumping ahead…

If you are not used to direct sourcing and cold calling candidates, it is a good idea to develop a script around what you want to say. The beauty of scripts occurs when a candidate asks a question and you put your finger down where you are in the script. After you answer their question or questions, return to your place in your script (so easy even I do it!).

Some people are afraid that a script will make them seem “fake”. Just try to be natural and smile. People can feel a smile on the other end of a call.

When you are calling a passive candidate the first time, identify yourself and ask if this is a good time to chat for 10 minutes. If not, when would be a good time? When they ask why you are calling them, tell them the truth - somewhere (Tell them where) in your research, you found they were talented in that field. “Talented people generally know other talented people.” If you described a situation to them, perhaps they could suggest a couple of people who may be interested in this opportunity. Many times they want to help other people. Describe the company and opportunity and then ask them “who do you know that I should call next? Hopefully they will say, “What about me?” If they don’t, you at least leave the call with other names and numbers. It’s amazing how well it works!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Recruitment Strategy Development – The Elusive Passive Candidate

As a contract recruitment consulting professional, I listen to companies when they say they are looking for the elusive passive candidate. When I ask them how they plan to attract that person, generally they reply that they want to post a job where they will respond. They then ask where I suggest they post the position. My sense is they have conflicting goals.

Quite possibly my definition of a passive candidate is different than theirs. I define a passive candidate as one who is successful in their field and believe they are happy. Therefore they are not looking on posting sites. They are spending that time making impacts in their own companies.

Therefore, how do you attract passive candidates? If they think they are happy, and are not looking at posting sites, the seasoned professionals probably are not even on LinkedIn. I just contacted one of those today. I’ve known her for years and had to hunt for her. She does not participate in social media sites. “Why should I? I’m happy!” was her response.

Therefore finding passive candidates requires someone who understands, accepts, and practices “Recruiting Is Sales”. Sourcing these candidates is not easy. It requires someone who is creative and probably has a little detective in them.

What is a potential strategy to identify and recruit truly passive candidates? As a recruitment consultant, I recommend that we begin by finding out where they hang out. Hanging out may be physically or virtually. Now maybe you can understand the detective reference.

Generally if you are searching for people with specific skills, that means that you have people with those skills working with or for you. Ask them where the passive candidates of that field hang out. If they claim not to know (they know), ask what associations they belong to. What conferences do they attend? What school typically graduates that person?

Ask your manager in that area, what companies they prefer to see people with that experience. It’s also a good idea to ask which companies they do not want to see candidates – and why? It helps you focus. I also ask what the 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month goals are for the position. The skills required to be successful become crystal clear.

How do you approach the passive candidate? Follow my articles for the next segment.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Candidates - Effective Resumes

I have been a professional recruiter for 29 years and recently signed a contract with a publisher to publish my first book on finding a job in this economy. Over the years I have read over 400,000 resumes.

Back in the early 90’s I was timed by an assistant as I reviewed a stack of resumes. I created three piles of resumes – no, trash wasn’t one of them. However, Interested, Not Interested, and I’ll Take Another Look were. When I completed reading the resumes, my assistant told me that she timed me as I read each resume. Being from the East Coast originally, I asked her if I didn’t give her enough work that day. Her response was perfect. She said, “You hired me as a Junior Recruiter. I knew better than to ask how much time you spent on a resume so I timed you. What are those stacks?” I told her what each stack of resumes meant then asked what she found out. She said, “You spent as little as 2 seconds on a resume and those went into the Interested and Not Interested stacks. You spent as much as 12 seconds and those mostly went into the 'I’ll take another look and Not Interested stacks.' You averaged 6 seconds per resume."

Therefore, you have 6 seconds to get my attention – and that was almost 20 years ago. Hopefully I’ve improved on those numbers!

What am I looking for? Your impacts! What positive measurable impacts have you made? Your resume is your marketing piece. This is a time to trumpet your successes! Most managers have never been taught how to interview. Therefore, the information on your resume is mostly the basis of your interview. Use previous annual reviews if you need reminders.

The convention in resume writing is to write your resume in 3rd person past tense, even current experience, and drop the pronouns. There never should be an “I” in a resume. Always begin sentences with an action verb – Designed, Sold, Closed, Developed, Interfaced, Integrated, etc.

I suggest that you write your responsibilities in a paragraph format and bullet point impacts. You want your impacts to stand out, correct?

Good luck!

Recruitment Strategy Development – Resume Retrieval

Over my 29 years of recruitment, one of my clients’ biggest problems in sourcing resumes has been retrieving them from their own files.

In the “beginning”, paper resumes were stuffed into file drawers after they were reviewed by a recruiter – generally never to be found again. A year or two later they were all stuffed into the trash to make room for “fresher” resumes, and the cycle began anew.

Today most resumes are sent electronically. This is good for our landfills! The bad news is that they are rarely reviewed before going into the electronic file known as an HRIS (Human Resource Information System) or ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Therefore many times the corporate recruiter does not even know to try to find the resume in their system. They then post the position online and the process again renews itself.

I had one HR client who was so paranoid that I would successfully find resumes in their HRIS that they required me to take HIPPA training prior to granting me access to their resume database. I know HIPPA is for health records but they were desperate to find excuses to keep me away. They then asked me to sign a form saying that I completed the training. Below my name was the word, “Employee”. Since I was a consultant, I refused to sign as an employee to protect the client and they denied me access to their database – dumb!

Were you aware that there are over 30 different titles that mean SALES? Therefore if you are only searching your HRIS or ATS on your in-house title, “Account Manager”, you will miss all of the men and women who are Sales professionals, Account Reps, Account Representatives, Business Development, and the balance of the other sales professionals with the “wrong” titles. The same happens with many titles outside of sales.

I do not sell Broadlook Technologies products http://www.broadlook.com/ nor do I receive a referral fee. They have nifty utility that you may use to find all of those sales titles or other similar titles for other positions. Actually they offer some great search products. The company was founded by a successful recruiter who really knows what he is doing, Donato Diorio. Give them a call to learn about their products.

Meanwhile creative sourcing of resumes in your own database will reap you candidates beyond your dreams! Good Luck!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Recruitment Strategy Development - Mobile Recruiting technology will leap frog Internet postings

As part of my Recruitment Strategy Development series, RecruiterGuy is making a prediction. Mobile recruiting technology is going to leap frog the Internet posting sourcing that everyone has grown to both love and hate.

Your Applicant Tracking System will enable candidates to opt in to your mobile recruiting program. They have the opportunity to post their resume in your system with the request to receive a text message when a position opened in their area of expertise and commutable distance from their zip code.

It is important to allow candidates to opt out of receiving texts. If you miss just one person’s request, it could cost your company over $10,000 – that would quickly drive up your costs to employ this technology.

By allowing candidates to opt in and out of mobile recruiting, companies will provide interested candidates an opportunity to learn of openings the moment they are posted by receiving a text message.

Since the millennial generation grew up with computing power in their pockets, this is where you may find them. Can you imagine the power of reaching qualified 200 candidates in seconds – all of whom told you they want to be contacted? Many of these are the true passive candidates who just want to be contacted for specific positions.

The difficulty that some companies may have is narrowing down their positions enough to prevent “spamming” candidates while texting openings. If your company breaks this trust with candidates, they will probably opt out of your mobile recruiting program in a hurry.

How do the costs compare with Internet postings? It depends on many factors. How many qualified candidates you hire using this method of sourcing is a major metric. Your costs to text to these candidates are another cost to track. Additionally what is your cost to follow-up? I suggest that you conduct a trial program first to see how it works in your recruiting culture. If you experience success quickly, then gradually widen the opportunities. Meanwhile continue your traditional proven ways to source.

For further discussions on this improved way of sourcing you may contact me at recruiterguy@msn.com.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recruitment Strategy Development - Recruitment Process Improvement – Requisition Approval Process

As the Toyota Production System and Lean process improvement have repeatedly demonstrated, there is waste in many processes. In order to be more efficient and more productive, it is important to identify and remove the waste. The people who generally are best to identify the waste are the people involved in making the process work. When you see or hear frustration in their voices, you know the process is not working smoothly.

While developing a recruitment strategy, it is good to identify different areas within your recruitment processes that you may be able to improve. Set a goal to improve your recruitment processes every year. Create metrics to demonstrate your success or failure to accomplish your goal. We will look at these processes in this white paper. As a point of reference, this white paper will be published in sections in order to be more focused. Each blog entry in this series will begin with the recruitment process improvement title.

When discussing recruitment process improvement, many people describe the recruitment process as a single process. However, when you examine it, you can see that the recruitment process consists of a number of processes. If even one of those processes is flawed, it could prevent you from recruiting and attracting an Impact Performer.

When a company needs to open a new or replacement position (requisition), the first recruitment process (requisition approval process) begins. The approval process in a small company can be very simple. The manager asks the CEO if they can hire a new person and the CEO says, “Sure.” Generally in larger companies, this process is more detailed where forms are completed and different levels of management need to approve the new or replacement requisitions.

On one of my recruitment consulting contracts in the 1990’s, it took almost 6 weeks to open an employment requisition. There were eleven levels of approval required. The CEO recognized that it was now taking far too long to approve a position. When I began investigating the process, my first impression was that it was a paper process that was dependent upon people sitting at their desks. If the requisition was delivered to the desk of someone who was out of town, it could languish there for a week or more. Worse yet, no one knew where it was.

As a result of my interviews with the managers involved in the approval process, I discovered that many did not know why they were involved – nor did they want to be. We whittled down the levels from eleven approvals to four – the Direct Manager, the Director, the Vice President, and the CEO. It was still a paper process but at least it was now manageable and finding which desk it may be stuck was easier. Then we further refined the process where the requisition would be forwarded on email.

The hiring manager was responsible for creating a meaningful job description, justifying the need, and checking the budget to ensure it was approved. The higher level managers checked the information supplied and ensured the position was in line with the current corporate strategy. If the position was outside of the budget, the hiring manager needed to justify the new position. If everything was as expected, the requisition was approved.

This example is a great example of why RecruiterGuy suggests that you improve a process prior to automating it. If this process was just automated, there would still be eleven levels of approval. In essence, you would potentially just speed up a flawed process.

Today, if you have a small to medium sized company, an applicant tracking system is recommended by RecruiterGuy for many reasons. First of all, you may automate the approval process and easily track the progress of an approval, sourcing, candidates, recruiter notes, and the interviewing and on boarding processes. Secondly, with the more aggressive enforcement of Federal OFCCP regulations, applicant tracking systems will create the required reports (if you enter the information). Thirdly, you may search and retrieve candidates who are in your own database. Larger companies require the more robust HRIS systems just to cope with the amount of information flowing into and out of them.

How do you decide which applicant tracking system is best for your company? Sylvia Dahlby of Advanced Personal Systems, Inc (smartsearch) recommends that you develop an RFP. How many employees do you currently have? How many employees do you expect to hire in the next year or so? How many resumes do you expect to import into your applicant tracking system in the next year and beyond? How many people will be accessing your system regularly (licenses)? What reports will you need? How do you plan to introduce resumes to your applicant tracking system? Do you want to be able to post approved jobs immediately to your website and to selected job boards? Would you like the Internet aggregators such as Indeed.com to easily find your jobs (Of Course!)? Is it important to integrate your applicant tracking system to Outlook? How quickly do you want your system up and running? How much money can you afford to pay for the initial purchase and then annual license fees? Any of the companies who sell applicant tracking systems will help you with your options.

Who are the applicant tracking system companies?

My vendor is Advanced Personnel Systems, Inc (smartsearch)
. They have been in business for over 20 years and continuously improve their product and integrate smartsearch with other recruitment process related vendors. Once your company signs the contract with them, they will have you up and operating within a couple of weeks, including importing resumes from Outlook or wherever you are currently storing them. Their customer service is impeccable and prompt. Once, I had insomnia and was doing some work in the middle of the night. I got hung up on a small detail and sent a note to support. The CTO replied in 15 minutes that he had solved the problem! I replied that rarely was my middle of the night problem that important but that’s the kind of company they are.

You may also look at Taleo , icims , and enterprise systems such as Oracle’s PeopleSoft HRIS .

RecruiterGuy is Presenting at the Corridor Career Fair in Cedar Rapids, IA on Sat. April 24th.

RecruiterGuy is Presenting at the Corridor Career Fair in Cedar Rapids, IA on Sat. April 24th.
9:15am - 10:00am "Effective Networking to Your New Position" by Bill Humbert

Effective Networking to Your New Position
Are you tired of posting to the black holes on the Internet? You know them – tantalizing job titles and job postings where no one ever answers other than the automated thank you response.

RecruiterGuy says stand up and take control of your search! All too often candidates try the easy route to finding a job – simply get on the Internet and post their resume to dozens of companies at a time. Unfortunately after all of those postings you never received a call. Then frustration sets in and you find yourself complaining that it’s all a waste of time – and then you do it again tomorrow and the next day.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lost your job? Try the Park City Career Network

In late August 2009, RecruiterGuy was one of the 4 volunteer professionals who organized the Park City Career Network with the goal of helping people out of work find their next job. Since then, twenty of the people who have participated have found positions in their fields; and another ten have started small businesses.

This is a great organization with two recruiting professionals, a corporate turnaround consultant, and a professional counselor who provides emotional support. Few of these volunteer organizations have this breadth of experience, especially the emotional support.

The Park City Network has brought in specialists to counsel members on how to meet their expenses and how to work with creditors. On Monday, Feb. 1, 2010 from 9 to 10:30 AM, bring a copy of the job description of a position that interests you and your resume that you would use to reply to that position. We will compare the two and then practice interview selected members (depending on how many people show). An executive Human Resource graduate of our group will work with us tomorrow. The Feb. 1st meeting will be at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church Parish Hall on Rt. 224 in Park City.

Future Monday morning meetings will be held from 9 to 10:30 AM across Rt. 224 at Temple Har Shalom. Future speakers will feature tax experts and career counselors. You may join the Park City Career Network LinkedIn Group to view discussions including meeting agendas, job search related news, and job postings. Human Resource and Recruiting professionals are invited to join this LinkedIn group and post their positions free in our Jobs section.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Middle and High School Students' Future Job Choices

RecruiterGuy is addressing future generations of workers in this blog.

To the high school and middle school students who are trying to figure out your future careers but don’t really feel that college is the right direction, remember that education has become its own industry. Educators strongly recommend further education.

It is important for us to develop people who want to use their brains and work with their hands. If you decide not to go to college, what are your choices? Actually there are many lucrative choices for you.

We will always need skilled professionals in the building trades. Magnificent buildings and renewable energy farms do not go up by themselves. Homes are not necessarily built by college grads.

Automobiles and trucks are repaired by skilled technicians. Trains are becoming a popular form of transportation again. Someone has to repair them.

Where are there going to be shortages in the near term? Consider that the Utah Manufacturer’s Directory http://www.mnistore.com/products.asp?STATE=UT lists 4,595 manufacturers in Utah alone. Some of those firms are very small but each one is building some kind of product. They will need machinists (becoming a critical need as the Baby Boomers are retiring), skilled labor to work in clean manufacturing environments, electricians, HVAC specialists, plumbers, etc.

We already have a shortage of watch repairmen in the US. Watch repairmen? Hey, people don’t just toss the Rolex watches if they break!

Do you enjoy driving? Companies like Salt Lake City’s CR England http://www.crengland.com/ are always looking for truck drivers and are even willing to help you train.

The tourist industry is very important to the state of Utah. All of the ski resorts hire during the winter. The rafting companies and adventure companies hire during the summer. There will always be jobs in the restaurant industry. Talented servers will always be able to get a good job with a four or five star restaurant and earn a very nice living.

Decide which of your skills that you enjoy and then find an industry that is a good match. The United States needs your talents!

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Job Growth Prediction

As a professional recruiter since 1981, I have now experienced four recessions that impacted my profession. As a result of my experience, I have developed the “Recruiter Economic Barometer”. It may not be as scientific as other economic barometers but it has proven very effective.

Typically when companies are anticipating a slow down or hiring freeze, they either assign their corporate recruiters to other duties or lay them off. The contingent recruiting industry tends to wash the third party recruiters out who have not honed their sales skills. Therefore during a recession nearly 50% of all recruiters (corporate and third party) leave the profession.

As a result of these reductions in recruitment forces, you may forecast a decline in hiring.

When the economy begins to improve, lean companies begin to look strategically and realize they need to add recruitment resources. As a result, they begin to add recruiters, either corporate or contract, and contact contingent recruiters to alert them of their coming needs.

During November and December 2009, I saw a slight increase in the postings for new corporate or contract recruiters. Since companies typically do not hire a recruiter to recruit for one position, hiring recruiters is a multiplier for new job growth. As new jobs are created, consumer confidence and spending increases; creating the need for more jobs.

I forecast a slight increase in jobs in the 1st quarter, followed by incremental growth in job creation in each of the next three quarters of 2010.

The two caveats are:
1) Are the Federal and State governments going to take too much money out of the economy in taxes to prevent job growth?
2) Will a terrorist organization strike the US homeland in a way to slow economic growth?

Hopefully neither will occur and the predicted job growth will occur as it has in past recessions.

Have a Happy and Successful 2010!