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February  2001 RSS feed Archive for February, 2001

The First Dance is Often the Only Dance: Why Employee Assimilation Should Be Part of Your Charter

by
Kevin Wheeler
Feb 28, 2001

In a good labor market, temptation is everywhere. If you are located in a place like Silicon Valley, your employees face a constant barrage of calls from friends, headhunters, and even casual acquaintances offering greener grass. If you are located further away, the lure is to move – to go where the weather and economic opportunities are greatest. This is why turnover rates have skyrocketed into the 20% and 30% range for technical people and even into the teens for non-technical people. But even if your turnover rates are very low, I suggest you not sit on your laurels. There are probably two main reasons: (1) you have a pension and/or stock plan that a significant number of employees are committed to, and (2) you have a high tenure, baby-boomer rich workforce. I bet you still have a hard time keeping the younger and newer employees. As having many different jobs over a few years becomes common, and as the average tenure dips to about 4 years from 10 a decade ago, it seems logical that every company should be focused on customer (read employee) satisfaction and support. Most organizations I am familiar with are doing a lot with stock, pay, and benefits to keep people. Yet they are forgetting the one key ingredient that has been shown to significantly affect turnover: how an employee enters your organization. If, as the old saying goes, you only have 30 seconds to make a first impression as an individual, how long do you have as an organization? While I don’t know the answer, I DO know that it isn’t very long. Getting a new employee socially networked and productive should be a major role that the recruiting and development functions share. No matter how carefully you may have screened a candidate to fit your organization’s culture or how closely her skills match those of the job, there is a good chance she will leave in the first year. Why? There are four major reasons why people may be dissatisfied with a new work experience.

  1. Everyone enters work with a set of expectations about what the work and culture will be like. Some perceptions are more realistic than others. Mismatched expectations start the process of doubt and dissatisfaction that often leads to people leaving.
  2. keep reading…

Tough Questions for Your Employment Website: Does Your Site Measure Up?

by
Dave Lefkow
Feb 27, 2001

No matter how good or bad our “dot-conomy” may be at a given second, there will continue to be one fundamental truth about your employment website: it will talk to most candidates before you will. If you’re consistently serving up a bad experience to candidates every time they visit, chances are that your competition will be getting the cream of the talent crop and you’ll be getting their leftovers. Let’s preface this discussion with a couple of statements:

  • The Internet has recently proven that it is not a great place to sell bowling shoes, costume jewelry, or lawn furniture (my apologies to those who work for dot-com companies that sell bowling shoes, costume jewelry, or lawn furniture).
  • keep reading…

So Who Is Hiring The Other 90%?

by
Ken Gaffey
Feb 27, 2001

I have no problem with “hype.” If you are in sales, hype is an essential part of your life. On a day when the phone is not ringing unless it is bad news, or the candidates are canceling their interviews, or the companies are stalling their hiring decisions, man-oh-man, self-motivational techniques (AKA: Hype) can be the only thing keeping you dialing for dollars. When I was in the Marine Corps, we lived, ate, and breathed hype. We performed at levels that exceeded our own expectations because we believed we were the best, and so to some extent we were the best. Whether it was the concept of self-actualization and realization, belief in the self-fulfilling prophecy, or the concept that perception enhances reality, hype made us better than we actually were. However, if a 5’8″, 140 lb. Marine runs into a 6’6″, 220 lb. stevedore with oak trees for forceps, then believing too much of your own hype can get you killed. In business, too much hype can cost you money, and that is serious! One of the oldest hypes in staffing is: “We only hire, represent, or recruit the top 10%.” It sounds good, but if you actually start believing it, or convince other people you really mean it, it can be a real burden to bear. So let us look at this myth from a slightly different perspective. I call it “reality.” Who are the top ten percent? Well, the chief of cardio-vascular research at John Hopkins is certainly in the top ten percent, if you are looking for doctors. But if you want a really good IT person who can support 275 users using a mix of NT, Windows, and some UNIX for the engineering workstations, this MD is probably not a resident of the top ten percentile. Should the person responsible for the mailroom have a Rhodes scholarship on their resume? Does that make them a top ten “percenter”? How about two years previous experience working in the mailroom of another company? So it is reasonable to conclude that the job description, and the subsequent match between your candidate and that description, is the first step in deciding if a candidate is comfortable amongst the “top ten percent.” Do you think you already know what constitutes a top ten ?percenter? before you talk to your client? One of the common mistakes in “over hype” is to spread it on real thick before you know what it is truly made of. In one company I worked at, the CEO was an Ivy League Alumni. If you did not go to a school with two-hundred-year-old bathrooms, you were not of the “top ten percent.” Another boss worked his way through a state school as a fulltime student and fulltime fast food worker. His GPA suffered, but he was convinced that the overall experience more than compensated him for his low grades. In his world, 4.0s and “Magna Cums” whose parents paid their tuition were not of the top ten percent. So we can further deduce that membership in the “top ten percent” club is driven not so much by you the recruiter, but by the person making the final decision. Your perception of a top candidate may be that person’s vision of a waste of good paper. In which case, as corporate recruiters, consultants/contractors, or third party agency recruiters, how can a candidate be of the top tier if the client is not interested or not buying? Is the focus on the candidate?s subjective personality and behavioral traits, or their skills? What determines their assigned fractional placement? In listening to our hiring managers and business partners, all too often we validate their perception of a “top ten percent” candidate by not challenging their perception in the first staffing meeting. “Yes, I agree an eager and intelligent candidate is a plus. In addition, if I find one who does whitewater rafting on weekends and hunts with a bow, I’ll make sure you see that resume first. But, should they not also have three to fours years experience with NT?” If the concept of a “top ten percent” candidate is ultimately a perception based on “cloning” or a hiring manager’s concocted formula of what it takes to work within his or her team, maybe you need to control it sooner in the process. (“Hey, if everybody does whitewater rafting, your team may all drown!) Urgency is a factor in factoring. When my managers are looking to replace a position within their group during a slow period of development, when there are few deadlines and little urgency, I am convinced they start looking for top one percenters. Then the next release comes along and the sense of urgency makes the yardstick of excellence seem less important than the yardstick of a pulse.

If everybody is of the ?top ten percenter,? why do our managers terminate people? All too often, management teams doing poor interviews based on weak position descriptions and half-hazard searches are the ones who create the “top ten percent” myth. They believe, or try to believe, that the terminated employee was not the victim of a poor selection process or poorly supported or trained. The employee failed because they were a nasty eleven percenter who sneaked by them. (Unclean, unclean, the lower 90%’s are at the gates, unclean, unclean.) So, to fix this problem, the hiring managers believe they merely have to apply their “hocus pocus” fiction of excellence more severely against the next candidates and insure that they are in fact a true top ten percenter. (“He does not know beans about operating systems, but he did go to MIT. Training-shmaining, those kinds of people learn on the run.”) There is no such thing as positive prejudice. Pre-judging is pre-judging. When you go out into the world with a perceived formula of what constitutes the top ten percent, you also enter that recruiting world with a formula that assigns others to lesser roles. That not only makes your basic humanity suspect, it makes you a bad staffing professional. “Profiling” is a bad habit to get into without first determining if the candidate is a match for the position in question. Their value is not as a top ten percent person, but as a candidate who most closely matches the need of the hiring manager or client. Do you want to be able to only market 10% of your candidates? Once you raise the bar, you better have meant it and you better be able to justify it. Once you convince your clients of your pre-search criteria, you will have to be willing to delete that “perfect fit” candidate from the process because he or she did not meet the pre-existing conditions of a top ten percenter. (“Too bad that while winning the Nobel Prize you did not find time to play field hockey. The boss says it enhances intelligence.”) The bottom line is that I agree that you should always choose your ultimate hire from the top ten percent of available candidates. But it is also important that you never forget that you are not judging the candidate, you are judging their match to the job description. You are assigning them a value based on what they can do, not based on who they are or the path they chose to get there. In essence everybody has the potential to be one of the top ten percent. The mathematical realities are cancelled in this equation, for in every 100 potential candidates, there are 100 potential top ten percenters. After all, it is not the aesthetic quality of the person being considered for the position that determines their value, it is the match between their skills, their goals, and their track record compared to the company needs, career paths, and corporate direction that determine the “%” placement of the candidate. We all use past experiences and past practices to help us evaluate and estimate the quality of the candidate who sits before us on any given day. We try and insure that our knowledge gained over the years of practicing our art is used to help us prevent past errors from occurring in the future. But the past was yesterday and the future is tomorrow. The interview is occurring in the present. That candidate sitting in front of you is a top ten percenter, you just need to find them the right job. So that begs the question, is it possible for a good candidate to be missed by a myopic recruiter looking for the pre-ordained top ten percenters? (Obviously a self-serving rhetorical question.) Have a great day recruiting! (Hope to see all of you at the ERE Annual Conference, in San Diego!) <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Give Managers Comparison Offer Sheets to Increase Their “Closing” Success Rate

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 26, 2001

Most managers are not particularly good “salespeople” when it comes to “closing” candidates. Smart recruiting managers therefore provide their hiring managers with the tools necessary to improve their “closing” success rate. One excellent tool that can dramatically help managers improve their sales “approach” is a comparison offers sheet. What is a comparison offer sheet? A comparison offer sheet is a side-by-side comparison (in a one-page spreadsheet format) of the offer that the manager will make to a specific candidate with the most likely “opposing” offers from your firms closest talent competitors. By making it easy for managers to see (side by side) in what areas that “our” offer is clearly superior, you allow a manager to make a more “educated” sales pitch when they are talking to the candidate. A comparison offer sheet is a simple one- or two-page side-by-side comparison between your offer and the “probable” offers a candidate may receive (or anticipate) from a competing firm. Industry leaders like Cisco and Agilent Technologies have used this practice, but it can be easily adapted to any situation. The competing offers are generally compared on several factors on a single page spreadsheet. Areas to Compare Some of the typical comparison areas include:

  1. Economic
  2. keep reading…

Hire Power

by
Paula Santonocito
Feb 23, 2001

Technology has forever changed the way in which organizations recruit employees. While perhaps the most obvious example of this is the use of the Internet as a candidate-finding tool, technology can also be used to facilitate the hiring process. Screening Computerized testing is one example of this. Assessments products, like those profiled in previous testing articles, offered by companies such as Brainbench.com, Test.com Inc., SkillCheck Inc., ProveIt, TeckChek and ReviewNet are all aimed at automating and expediting candidate screening. One of these companies, however, takes the testing process a bit further. Offering Web-based testing with built-in interactive interviewing capability, ReviewNet uses the Web in conjunction with the telephone to further qualify IT candidates. The ReviewNet tool, known as Interviewer’s Console, allows for reference of prior online screening sessions during telephone interviews. It also offers the opportunity to conduct question and answer sessions online and on the phone at the same time. According to ReviewNet, the entire process allows for easier and more productive interviews. The simplification adds to both the accuracy and speed of hire. Show And Tell Speed of hire is an issue for clients of T. Williams Consulting, Inc. (TWC), but so is expense related to recruitment. The management consulting firm assists companies in meeting staffing needs. According to Mike Sweeny, managing director for project staffing, the firm’s clients are typically small, emerging high-tech companies. Sweeny points out that recruitment for these companies can sometimes involve candidates residing outside the United States. He says this can add to hiring time, not to mention the cost of airfares related to interviewing. This is where video teleconferencing can come in handy. One TWC client recently took advantage of this technology to fill two positions with two candidates from India. Both candidates were referrals, says Sweeny, pointing out that some comfort level already existed with regard to qualifications. Video teleconferencing makes sense, he says, in those cases where airfare is a factor. According to Sweeny, video teleconferencing costs ran about $650 an interview, as opposed to a $3500 roundtrip airfare from India to the United States. Yet, although in these instances there were financial advantages to video teleconferencing, he points out that the equipment itself is costly. According to Sweeny, most companies currently utilizing video teleconferencing for recruiting are piggybacking on a decision to use the equipment for other purposes. He says it’s unlikely they could justify using it exclusively for recruitment purposes.

Import-Ant Assistance Because of its concerns with speed of hire, TWC has also taken another step. The company recently entered into a partnership arrangement with VisaNow.com process U.S. visa applications online. As the only full-service site for the U.S. visa and immigration process, VisaNow.com allows human resource professionals to prepare and track all paperwork online. “They’ve automated the entire process, sped up the front end,” says Sweeny. At VisaNow.com, immigration attorneys oversee the site and are also available for consultation. The site itself contains up-to-date information about laws and the documentation required for different circumstances. Coming To A Screen Near You CareerShop.Com is also employing technology to help employ candidates. The full-feature Internet career site offers companies a way to take advantage of streaming video at its site. According to Jane Gonsalves, director of content development for CareerShop, employers can opt to create a 30-second or three-minute spot to enhance its presence at the site’s job board. By selecting “Search Jobs” or “Hiring Employees” from the homepage, a candidate can access job listings. When a video is available for a particular company, a television symbol is displayed as part of the job posting information returned in a search list. The symbol also appears alongside a company name in the list “Hiring Employees.” Selecting the “TV” lets a candidate view the video, provided his or her Internet connection and system both support the feature. Using video as a means of introduction gives a company the opportunity to reach a wide audience of potential job seekers. Although it may never replace an on-site visit, the instantaneous nature of an online visit has its advantages. In a competitive job market, time is a critical factor. Time lost often means candidates lost. Organizations that are able to expedite the various phases of recruitment will be more apt to not only find, but also actually place people in positions. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Hitting Moving Targets

by
Lou Adler
Feb 23, 2001

The biggest problem with hiring today is getting the hiring manager, the hiring team, and the recruiter on the same page regarding the actual position being filled. Too many search assignments are started without a clear understanding of true job needs. This adds frustration, wasted time, and inaccuracy to an already difficult process. Under these circumstances there’s little likelihood of finding a top candidate. In an economy when every hiring decision suddenly becomes very important, it’s critical to get it right at the start. Misunderstanding job needs is the classic hiring problem. Ninety percent of most hiring assignments are begun with only the traditional job description as a guide. Am I the only one who thinks that these job descriptions should be thrown away? Never again should they be discussed, viewed, or used as a template to define a job or to find a candidate to fill the role. This list of skills, duties, responsibilities, academics and required experience at best describes basic competency. It certainly doesn’t describe what a person taking the job is expected to do. If you want to hire competent people, describe what they have to do every day to achieve average performance. If you want to hire superior people, describe what superior people do every day to achieve superior performance. Traditional job descriptions are over-weighted with too much emphasis on having skills, experience, and academic training. The best candidates generally have less experience than the traditionalists require – but balance this with an overabundance of traits like insight, leadership skills, desire, potential and ability to learn. While using traditional skills and experienced-based job descriptions will eliminate the bottom-third of the candidate pool, they also unfortunately often eliminate the top-third in the process. Actually everyone knows this, but few recruiters do much about it. Line managers are a little better, but most still suffer using outdated hiring techniques. Some recruiters try in vain to convince their line manager clients that the best candidates don’t need the pedigree described in the job spec, but nothing else is offered as a substitute. The pleadings then go unheard, and the typical recruiter settles in for a war of attrition – knowing that no candidate will really ever meet the spec as advertised. Then it’s just more and more resumes, with the goal of tiring the manager out long enough to eventually settle upon a candidate. The recruiter is thus viewed as a necessary evil – an expensive resource providing a service that is slow, frustrating, ineffective, yet vitally important. There is a better way. It involves asking clients a simple question: “What does the person taking this job need to do in order to be considered successful?” For example, average performance for a typical telemarketing person at a call center is 50 calls per day: convincing 30% to sign-up for the catalog, and getting 10% to purchase at least $100 in goods or services. Superior performance is 50% above this. It’s not 2-3 years of telemarketing experience, good communication skills, and at least 2 years of college. For a developer it’s writing efficient code to create a spider in six weeks – not 3 years of Java. For a CEO, it’s turnaround a troubled division to generate profit in 12 months – not an MBA and five years as a GM or COO in the consumer products industry. Sound simple? It is. But it’s also revolutionary. Give it a try. Who knows – you might just find yourself knocking down more of those moving targets <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

A Closer Look at Data Warehousing

by
Kimberly Bedore
Feb 22, 2001

Last month’s article covered databases and data warehousing at a very basic level. This month, let’s take a closer look at the terminology associated with data warehouses. A knowledge of these search terms, keywords, and concepts will increase your ability to source and screen these high-demand technologists. A traditional warehouse is used to store a company’s products or goods. Likewise, a data warehouse stores assets of an organization as well, but in this case the asset is information, or data. At the most basic level, a data warehouse gathers information from external and internal sources. This information is then analyzed to understand trends such as sales or customer behavior and for forecasting. Four typical processes for a data warehouse are:

  1. Warehouse generation, which involves designing and loading data.
  2. keep reading…

Out of the Box Sourcing

by
Scott Hagen
Feb 22, 2001

Have you ever been sitting at your desk looking up Web sites that are not work-related? Let’s take it one step further. How many of you have been looking up the latest sports scores or stock quotes on your favorite site, only to have your boss come up behind you and find out that you are spending company time researching your favorite hobbies? What if I told you that you can use a site such as Amazon.com to source or at least network with potential candidates? Well it’s true! Gone will be the days when getting caught looking up books on Amazon or similar sites for personal use is against the rules. To find out how to use Amazon.com or similar sites as a recruiting source, read on. Let’s just say you are looking for a candidate who is well-versed in Java. Do you think that a person who reads a book on Java would be a possible candidate? You may be shaking your head saying, “Well it could be a good candidate if they have the right experience I am looking for.” If this is your answer, then we are in agreement. Someone who buys and reads a book on Java is not necessarily an expert in the subject. Maybe they are just getting started with Java or they could be buying as a gift for their Uncle Harry’s birthday. But what if you were able to identify people who not only bought and read a specific book, but they also have an opinion about it? Would this possibly grab your attention? I bet a lot of you reading this would agree that a person who not only purchases, but reads and then gives a review of a Java book could potentially be a good candidate. At the very least they could be a good person to network with, since they not only know Java but they have enough interest to write a review of a book on the subject. Here are the secrets of how to find these passive candidates:

  1. Go to the Amazon.com website.
  2. keep reading…

It All Looks the Same to Me: Why a Clear Marketing Message is Vital to Recruiting Success

by
Kevin Wheeler
Feb 21, 2001

Let me tell you a story. I spent the holiday weekend with a couple of good family friends. They have a daughter who has just graduated from college with a psychology/English degree. The daughter asked me to help her in her job search. As we spent hours surfing from job board to company and from placement office to company, it became very clear to me why she hadn’t found anything that excited her. Almost no company had a clear message about who they are, what they do or why they are different. Oh, we found all sorts of boilerplate. We found jargon about what the company does and trite job descriptions that left this young woman icy cold. Her comments to me were always, “What does this company really do?” or “What makes this company special?” or “Why do people want to work there?” Those are great questions. And questions no website I saw answered very well. She finally applied to a couple of companies that she had already known about through connections and friends. And watching her frustrations in applying for these positions was also an interesting market research experiment. It seems to me that anyone one of you could spare an hour or two and sit down with a potential candidate or new college graduate and watch them go through your website. You’d learn?oh, boy would you learn?although I’m not sure you would want all the feedback you are likely to get. So let’s make a couple of assumptions. First of all, I think it is safe to say that people are attracted to organizations that have something special about them. We all like to imagine the excitement and potential wealth we could amass if we worked for Cisco or the friendly and rich personal environment of Hewlett-Packard. These companies have created clear images, based we hope on reality. Other large companies are much less identified to people. This young woman, who is very interested in biotechnology and plans on doing graduate work in that area, was typical. She had heard of Bayer aspirin but really knew nothing else about this huge German pharmaceutical company. She was aware that Genetech was a biotechnology firm, but knew little more. Even so, she decided to visit both of their websites. What did she find? The Bayer site is typical. It describes the history, structure and technology in the usual corporate-speak. It uses pastel colors that speak of calm and that are absolutely not exciting. Its goal is to “tap the intelligence and motivation of our employees.” I’m not real sure what that means, but it sounds sort of sneaky. I don’t really want to be “tapped.” It actually sounds overwhelming. This young lady was quite apprehensive about its size and it “coolness.” Genentech’s website was much better. It actually evokes a warm and happy feeling, portraying on the opening page a young girl pulling her sister in a red wagon. This makes a statement about the company that is positive and real. The caption reads, “it’s patients like Shannon Collis who remain the true measure of our success. . .” On the careers page we find out it is one of the 100 Best Companies in America to work for, and we feel that is an encouraging and open environment. There are intern and co-op programs, college hire programs, and lots of other interesting things that draw one in. This young friend had her resume into them in a jiff. Image matters. That’s my whole message. If you don’t leave candidates with positive and exciting thoughts about your company, whether they come to your website or see you at an interview or making a speech, they will not be likely to apply for a job. Images are created by marketing efforts, and recruiters have to make marketing the company, the job and even the hiring manager a major part of their changing responsibilities. Here are a few ideas on how to begin crafting a recruiting image. Step One First of all, know what your organization is all about. If you don’t know, ask. Put together a group of seasoned and novice employees and get their thoughts on what make the company special to them. Ask the seasoned employees why they have stayed. Bring those unspoken principles that guide the daily activities of the firm into the forefront and decide how to portray them. Step Two Develop a marketing strategy. This should include a series of activities, events, publications, and statements over a period of time that begin to define and articulate the special nature of your organization. It has to answer several questions: why are we in business? What do we give our customers? What do employees like about this company and why do they come to work everyday? If you can get honest answers to these, you will have the content and foundation for the actual media pieces. Be sure that this strategy includes the use of multimedia?the newspapers, the magazine, the web, the billboard, and even the radio and television. Step Three Communicate this image to employees as well as to candidates. Nothing speaks louder to a candidate than to find an employee who is clueless about the marketing messages being sent. The marketing messages have to be more than hype and wishful thinking. If they are not well grounded in the reality of the company, they will fail to impress. Honest messages that are reflected in the employees will make a huge impression and create almost instant candidate rapport and a feeling of inclusion. Conclusion This young woman, like thousands of other potential employees, learned mostly about the companies she applied to from the web and from her friends. These are where most images are made today. How is your website? What do the employees and their friends say about your company? When you answer these, you will know what to do. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

What Recruiters Can Expect From an Economic Slowdown

by
Karen Osofsky
Feb 21, 2001

Over the past 6 months we’ve been hearing about the dot-com shakeout and the perfunctory approach to many of the layoffs. More recently, we’ve heard about more established companies like Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Dell, Xerox and Nortel laying off hundreds of employees. The general reaction seems to be a ripple of fear. My perspective is somewhat different. First, historically over 70% of all new businesses fail. So why should this phenomenon be any different in the Internet economy? What we are currently experiencing is truly what is to be expected. Second, the results of the “unexpected” failure of the dot-coms and subsequent market impact, particularly on the technology stocks, has forced larger companies to become more focused, tighten their belts, and streamline what seemed to be a “free for all” in the 1990s. This by no means is the beginning of a severe recession. This is just good business. When stocks were artificially inflated, companies spent money more freely, starting new, speculative projects staffed by additional permanent and contract employees. Now that the market is correcting and stocks are, in my mind (and my pocketbook), somewhat undervalued, companies are scrambling for ways to make up for the loss. Guess what? Even in the new economy, the knee-jerk reaction is the same ? cut headcount and advertising budgets. These are still the two fasted ways to make an immediate impact on the bottom line (and appease the analysts)! So as a recruiter how does this affect you? It doesn’t make your job any easier. It simply increases the workload. For those of you whose business is focused on technological innovation and development, you will continue to thrive. Technology is not going to stop moving forward and you are not going to stop needing to recruit top technical talent. The shortage of computer engineers, scientists and other technologically savvy individuals still remains. The top corporations, even with layoffs, are not going to let their brightest minds go to the competition through a RIF. For every position you post, the number of responses is likely to double or even triple. However, the increase in qualified responses will be only nominal. You will most likely still have to recruit for the same number of profiles, except now instead of having 50 open requisitions for a given profile, you’ll have only 35. If you think it is time consuming now to sort through all the responses to find the few gems, just wait until responses multiply. Your challenge will be to figure out a way to efficiently and effectively filter the responses. Don’t wait until you are inundated with resumes and overwhelmed by the review process. Plan ahead. Here are a few ideas to consider. Depending on your budget and the size of your organization any or all of these might fit your needs:

  1. Use a candidate management system (CMS) that offers a filtering/pre-screening feature. There are several programs on the market that offer unique features that encourage candidates to profile their skills and accomplishments during the online credentials submission process. A few of these include: I-job, Recruitsoft, PureCarbon, and Hire.com. (There are many, many more on the market so I apologize to anyone whose favorite system I’ve left out.) The features vary by supplier but when used effectively the short-run benefits are the same: they allow you to immediately create a “short-list” of “seemingly” qualified candidates. I say seemingly because you never truly know if candidates are qualified until you’ve had several conversations with them. Undoubtedly, the effective use of these systems will save you significant time and money in your recruiting. The broader benefits of systems like this are farther reaching in terms of your ability to source your own database for right fit candidates, affect succession planning, manage metrics, spend advertising dollars more effectively, etc. The key to success with any CMS is using its features wisely. Recruiters who have experience with the challenges of managing large recruiting campaigns typically developed these systems. The profiling and pre-screening systems are designed to streamline some of the steps in your recruiting process, not simply to store more candidate data. Spend the time upfront to implement them on every position. You’ll be happy that you did. One caveat: there is no one system that is perfect. Recruiting is a combination of art and science. The CMS systems assist with the science piece ? the art is up to you, and ? great art is not formulaic.
  2. keep reading…

Applicant Tracking Systems vs. Front-end Systems: What’s the Difference?

by
Michael McNeal
Feb 20, 2001

In talking with companies large and small about their staffing problems, I consistently come across one recurring theme: confusion. There’s confusion about how to identify and effectively plan for staffing needs. There’s confusion about how and when to implement solutions. And there’s confusion about what solutions to implement in the first place. I can’t say that I blame staffing practitioners for this confusion. The choice of solutions is overwhelming, and trying to figure out which product does what can be difficult. The introduction of the Internet into recruiting has sparked a re-engineering of the employment process and has lead a revolution of great new opportunity in candidate identification, matching and selection, and recruitment advertising. But there’s still confusion! One of the many questions that come up time and time again is: Should I buy an Applicant Tracking System or a Front-End Solution? The first problem with this question is that people don’t even realize that they’re asking it. Normally it comes in the form of, “Should I choose Vendor X or Vendor Y?” with Vendor X being an Applicant Tracking System and Vendor Y a Front-End Solution. The second problem with this question is that it shouldn’t be an “either/or” question. Your company will likely need both – you may just need to decide which to implement first. As always, you need to ask yourself the dreaded question, “What is the problem we are trying to solve?” Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Front-End Solutions (FES), while equally important, attack two very different parts of the employment process and solve very different problems. In the most general sense, an ATS will help you manage the flow of applicants behind the scenes once you have them. A Front-End Solution, on the other hand, acts as an interface between you and your candidates and allows for an exchange of information to happen. In order to choose which one you need (most likely both), and which one to implement first, you have to dig deeper into your organization to understand what your needs are and where you currently feel your pain the most. Applicant Tracking Systems: What They Do, When You Need One, And Why We know all too well that the human resources function (including recruiting) has traditionally been viewed as an administrative role. We’ve also noticed that as the importance of human capital management is fully realized, this view has been changing to one of a true partner in company success (at some organizations this change is more apparent than at others). Part of this change is due to the automation of the administrative processes in human resources. The fact is, a recruiter who simply fills open positions is not as valuable as one who fills positions by creating a strategic recruitment and retention plan. A good ATS provides the freedom from administration and the opportunity (dare I say duty?) to focus more on strategic efforts. A good ATS will help automate the hiring process by:

The HP Way

by
Yves Lermusi
Feb 20, 2001

I recently met with Bruce Hatz, who reflected on his 13 years at Hewlett Packard as Global Technology Staffing Manager. Bruce has a direct style and a “get it done” attitude, and is one of the most knowledgeable people I have met in the industry. Bruce reflected on what it means to apply technology to human capital acquisition, and on some of the best practices HP put into action to use technology, in the HP way. As a global company, there is a lot to learn from HP practices that stretch from its outstanding global branding to its incredible online presence. Indeed, HP is seen as the number three best employer to work for in Canada, and number two among U.S. companies in France. Control & Value When we talk about online presence, Bruce expresses his excitement about the way the Internet changed his dealings with advertisers. If they came to him to sell services at a specific rate, they often went back to rethink their value for large employers with heavily trafficked Web sites such as HP. How much traffic does the HP site receive? HP is the only employer listed on 100hot’s traffic ratings under the “Jobs” category – at number 80 overall. Although the methodology of the 100hot site may be uncertain, HP’s position there is still indicative of a trend. For purchasing recruiting services, the Internet has put the buyer in control. Bruce has had an advanced tracking system based on event codes to enable him to know which candidate came from where. With this reporting, it is difficult to justify spending on a board that only returned a couple of candidates. The Internet allows advertisers of goods such as jobs to be able to measure the value of their investment. Although some previous research (see Mbinteractive) showed that online banner advertising can change the perception of a brand, job boards should not be used to build the “employer of choice” brand. Job boards are mostly a transaction business and should be utilized based on their effectiveness at sourcing qualified candidates. Decentralized Action For A Centralized Infrastructure If accurate tracking is possible, it is thanks to a “centralized infrastructure used in a decentralized fashion” says Bruce. I can’t agree more strongly here with Bruce, and our iLogos consulting practice proves it over and over. Corporations do not understand this simple concept: the Internet allows tracking and measurement. Infrastructure such as the advertising buy can now be centralized (and consequently receive discounts), and yet still maintain a decentralized workforce. One of the Internet’s main powers is to allow the extension of reach of any application to the fingertips of any users; that is the power of ASP solutions. Beyond Disintermediation As Bruce noted, the best job board HP has been using so far is its own website, where it receives 2,500(!) applications a day. This brings the concept of disintermediation to its full power. Jobseekers go to the HP site and communicate directly with HP; no intermediaries are needed anymore. Bruce even went a step further. He didn’t want good candidates to come and check for jobs only once, he wants them to come back at the right time and apply. That is why the Job Agent technology, through which the candidate fills-in a profiler and is emailed when matching jobs are listed, is a must-have for any serious corporation using the Web. Our latest iLogos research on “Best Practices for Fortune 500 Career Web Site Recruiting” show that only 6 percent of the Fortune 500 has implemented this valuable, resource-saving technology! Why Cool Technologies? If Cisco (covered in my previous article) has been using some good PR concepts to capture the share of mind of new technologies (e.g. “my boss is coming” button), HP is very focused on what is efficient. For instance, video is not something Bruce sees as a killer application. Broadband is not widespread enough yet, and wireless integration will have only limited usage. Those are not Bruce’s educated guesses; they are conclusions drawn from primary market research, from surveys of more than 12,000 visitors to HP’s website. Success Stories With branding as strong as HP’s, the challenge is efficient candidate identification, and access from the decentralized hiring managers to a centralized classified database. Success stories about recent hires illustrate what Bruce calls results. On a recent occasion, a woman was relocating with her husband. As she started to look for a job, she applied to the HP website. She was spotted the day she applied, invited for an onsite interview the following day, and started to work the week after! That’s an example of a successful hiring process. The efficacy of online recruiting is often gauged by reduced cycle time and cost cutting. With full online integration, savings can be realized in parts of the recruiting cycle you may not even have calculated. For instance, in the cost for each stamp you don’t have to put on the letter of acknowledgment. Just do the math on that for HP with its 2,500 applications a day! Technology and automation in human capital is here to stay. If you are competing for talent, technology is the key to enable speed. If you are in a slowdown, technology is the key for maximum efficiency. Technology will also most likely impact the speed of the economic recovery, and the economic concept. Time to fire can be very short, that process is easy. But time to hire has always been seen as an intrinsic friction because of the inefficiency of the communication process between jobseekers and corporations. With Internet technology bringing better efficiency to recruiting, that friction is diminishing. Hiring can accelerate and corporations can gear back up with less lag time once economic conditions transform. The Internet is changing the fundamental structure of our information exchange backbone. HP has taken significant steps towards benefiting from its power. Those who are not rewiring their processes today could be taken away by the next wave. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Background Checks

by
Paula Santonocito
Feb 16, 2001

Finally, your ideal candidate has walked through the door. Yeehaw! They’ll be dancin’ in the streets. But before you throw confetti in the air and file those other resumes while doin’ the funky chicken, you may want to be sure he’s what he seems. When it comes to background checking, many a human resources sage subscribes to the old adage “better safe than sorry.” Having a System Background checking encompasses many areas. It may include criminal background checks (felony and misdemeanor), Social Security number verification, employment history verification, education verification, personal references, professional license verification, credit history check, motor vehicle record, drug screening and medical examinations. One company that can help you find out what you want to know is arrin System. The company’s name is an acronym for Advanced Record Retrieval and Information Network. By using proprietary software that allows access from any computer with Internet use, arrin System connects customers to information from thousands of databases and presents it in easy-to-read formats. The company offers a wide array of services and search packages, which are available to members on fee-per-usage basis after a one-time membership fee is paid. Among the pre-employment searches available are criminal history, Social Security verification, DMV driving records and credit history, along with several others. Selecting “Pricing” from the site’s homepage provides details about packages and corresponding costs. Although information can be obtained at “Pricing,” you’ll also want to explore the “Pre-Employment Screening” section. The category “Which Pre-Employment Searches Should You Use?” can provide direction, offering details about the different types of background checks and guidelines on when each should be used. “Why Do Pre-Employment Screening?” is another useful section. It lists the arrin System “Five Reasons To Do Background Screening.” Supporting documentation follows each point. Going with a Pro UltiPro.com is Ultimate Software’s Web portal for payroll and human resource professionals. Among the site’s offerings are screening and testing services that include criminal conviction checks, credit checks, DMV research, employment verification and drug testing. Select “Screening & Testing” in the “Market Place” section at the site’s homepage to see an overview of services and a listing of screening categories. Choose an individual category, such as “Criminal History,” and it returns a page with details about services available. Although pricing is not posted at the site, “Getting Started” leads to details about the payment process, which is based on services ordered. According to Matthew Lewis, business development manager for UltiPro.com, each customer has different requirements and UltiPro.com prefers to structure individual packages and gauge pricing based on volume. Select “Need More Info?” to fill in an online form to have an UltiPro.com representative contact you. Or if you prefer, go to the “Contact Us” page to find other ways to contact them directly. Averting Potential Problems Avert is a company providing background screening services. Selecting “Products/Services” at the site’s homepage leads to a list of offerings. These include, but are not limited to, credit checks, credential verification, checking driving records and criminal court records checks. If you need assistance choosing which types of background checks to conduct, select “Concerns.” Here there are detailed explanations of the type of risks you face and corresponding product solutions. Avert has a demo at its site, which gives you an idea of the types of reports that are available. To view this Flash presentation of the company’s Web-based product, scroll to the bottom of the homepage and select “Demo.” Avert offers three different packages. Details about these can be obtained by choosing “AVERTadvantage.” The “AVERTadvantage Online Membership,” which is available for a monthly fee, offers the most options and support and includes a 15 percent discount on reports such as criminal background checks. The “AVERTadvantage Membership” is also a monthly-fee membership that offers a number of benefits. The third package is a “Basic Account Option,” which allows for products and services to be purchased a la carte. Pricing for specific background checks and reports can be obtained by contacting the Avert sales department. A toll-free telephone number and a link to an email pop-up window are both available at the bottom of the “AVERTadvantage” page. Whether You Get the Lowdown or Cover a Little Ground Using a professional service for background checking can help ensure that you meet legal and organizational requirements in a manner that’s efficient and cost effective. As far as knowing if the person who walked through the door is your ideal candidate…okay, you may not be able to answer that. But now you have the resources to check him out. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Applicant Tracking Data…Gone Or Gone Awry?

by
Gretchen Sturm
Feb 15, 2001

Anything brand new is appealing because it’s clean, untouched, and uncorrupted. Within the last year we’ve all purchased something new, and have felt the “newness” of the item fade with each use. A new system can be viewed the same way. You start out with a clean system, but once it is put in operation, you face the potential of having missing, invalid, or even corrupted data. Trying to keep the system “clean” or maintained becomes a challenge (and usually ends up as someone’s full-time job). Let’s see how this applies to the issue of data integrity in applicant tracking systems. Data integrity is defined in many different ways in a tech encyclopedia, but generally refers to preventing the corruption of data in a system (whether by erasure, manipulation, or alteration). However, I would extend this definition for the everyday recruiting system user to include preventing the input of invalid data or the lack of input – basically your “garbage in = garbage out” axiom. Below, I’ve outlined some specific steps you can take to encourage recruiters to enter data properly and help you preserve data integrity. Relevance for Recruiting Let’s say you manage a large recruiting operation and you’ve just purchased and implemented a new system. Soon you have countless pairs of hands tapping data into your system. With the passing of each day, your data, whether good or bad, begins to multiply exponentially. You hope that everyone is following the system usage guidelines and with high expectations, you print your first system report. Elation quickly diminishes when you stare at a page that looks like statistical Swiss cheese. “Where’s all the data?” you may ask, or “Why don’t these numbers look like what the recruiters used to show me on their Excel spreadsheets?” As a recruiter, you may have always viewed data input and upkeep as a necessary evil – a virtual ball and chain that eats up valuable time. But let’s look at some of the issues for recruiters: How about accurately tracking stats for that bonus that’s dependent upon the number of developers you hire each quarter? What about when legal comes knocking on your door asking you to recreate a year’s worth of applicant flow that you didn’t bother putting in the system? Now how much time are you wasting? Not to mention, being able to track your efficiencies with source usage, sharing candidates, and saving redundant phone calls! Strategic HR The importance of data integrity not only touches the recruiting organization but also corporate HR and hiring managers trying to balance head count issues. In some cases it flows all the way to the top, where CEOs wait to see reports that will help them leverage human capital management and business growth. Data integrity issues may be the drier side of recruiting, but if managed well, can greatly contribute to a recruiting organization’s success. The clearest and biggest benefit in focusing effort on data integrity is reporting and tracking metrics that lead to key decision making including:

Forget the Campus; Spread a Wider Net (Especially If You’re After Technical Grads)

by
Kevin Wheeler
Feb 14, 2001

As I work with my clients on college recruiting and attend college conferences around the country, I am amazed at the lack of awareness of the basic facts and figures about the supply of and demand for the students they seek. I am breaking up the multi-part series I am doing on the recruiting process to use this week’s column to try and provide some creative thinking to the crisis that is looming. I will resume the series next week. The supply and demand figures for college students should be a warning that times have changed. The National Association of Schools and Employers (NACE) predicts that competition for college graduates will increase somewhere around 30% this year. Many companies cannot find experienced staff, so they turn to the colleges. There they hope (in vain, I fear) that they can find students who, with a little training, can do the job they would prefer to give to an experienced person. While the college recruiters I run into should be scared to death at what is occurring and be hunting for better solutions, I see them applying the same old formulas and methods they have always applied.

keep reading…

Here Today, “Dot-Gone” Tomorrow!

by
Ken Gaffey
Feb 13, 2001

The concept of a “chorus” comes to us from the ancient Greeks and their plays. The Chorus ringed the back of the stage and they would discuss, in unison and harmony, the actions on the stage. They set the tone. If the scene was happy, the chorus spoke of happy things. If it was sad, they changed their mood. It helped the audience, pre-microphone and sound systems, to follow the play better. Today you can still find the “Chorus” at work in the modern world. Only now we call them “Industry Experts” – and they certainly have “changed their tune” about dot-coms. Investors, employees, recruiters, and candidates seem to be listening to the chorus and ignoring the play. They are all running away from the “Darling of the Decade” (the dot-com) as fast as they can. (Somebody get me a stop watch, I think world records are being broken here!) Well, where I come from we do not bury people until we are reasonability certain they are no longer alive. Even then, we insist on a funeral and every good funeral has a eulogy. Even a premature funeral should have a eulogy. In light of the industry fear, shock and horror, and endless articles “ad nauseam” about the apparent demise on our old friend, Dot Com, maybe we need a good old eulogy here today! (Cue the organ music) “Friends, we gather together today to give our final blessing to that which brought us so many requisitions, billable hours, executive searches, and 25%-30% fees. Cut down in life at such a promising age, offering careers, futures, and more stock than any sane person would have ever believed possible. More generous than careful, more motivated than organized, more enthused than experienced, more willing than able, Dot Com gave all of us a shot in the arm. Dot gave us an opportunity to truly get excited about work once more in our careers. After decades of 3-6% annual growth and salary increases based on the ability of tar to flow uphill in December, the Dot Com gave all of us a “jolt,” and many of us riches, if not millions, then certainly more than our original compensation plans forecasted and predicted. We seemed to break free of the rituals and traditions that bond our fathers and their fathers. We learned to forsake the “Gold Watch” in pursuit of a career that offered change, diversity, challenge, and risk. Ah risk, nectar of the Gods. We now measure challenge based on our own criteria, not the “ticket punching” criteria of career paths of the endless “gray suits” that proceeded us. “Look into the parking lot friends – and you are my friends – I wonder how many of you would be driving the car you drive today with our friend, Dot Com. Maybe one or two steps down in car model and make. Possibly keeping your car two or three years longer than you do now, if not for our old compatriot, Dot Com. How many of you would still be going to work in a coat and tie, pleated skirts, wing tip shoes, and modified heels if not for the unprecedented impact the impetuous and disrespectful Dot Com had on the business atmosphere. That summer home you bought at age 32, when your father and mother had to wait to retire. The student loan payments you were able to make without the same pain as your older sibling who entered the workforce in the mid 80s. The informal “leave your job title on your business card” atmosphere of the office, “Bagel Mondays”, “Beer Bust Fridays”, “Open-door CEOs”, “Midnight pizza till the release is done,” and an atmosphere where company and agency recruiters saw your being young and eager were “good things.” Can such feelings disappear overnight? “Now, now, I know that those of you who missed the “gravy train” feel that your life was not enhanced by Dot Com, because you never left the larger and more established employers. But, can you really say our dearly departed did not come into your life and make it better? Is your company more open and more liberal in its policies and practices? Isn’t the compensation policy less restricted by seniority and more driven by your personal impact and ability to contribute? How many counter offers “to stay where you’re loved” did you receive between 1994 and 2001? How many companies that never offered stock options to rank and file personnel suddenly launched generous programs. Benefits that have been eroding for years saw a turn around over the last decade. Not because large established companies wanted to share more of the wealth with their workers! (Listen, if you think that is why companies give benefits, I want to talk to you about buying a bridge I happen to have for sale in Brooklyn.) But to try and slow down the evacuation of young and seasoned intellectual contributors from abandoning their cubicles on the 15th floor for an open loft in an old mill building, offering little but promise. However, a promise based on your talent and your success. Not based on how much the “wing tips” up in the in the boardroom felt like slicing out of their own dividend checks. “The creation of the new industry has created new jobs in companies that are not even considered traditional Dot Coms. General Electric has Web Content Editors and Web Vice Presidents. The Armed Forces have websites and Web masters. (“When I say Java, I want you to jump soldier!”). I am certain that there must be a “vatican.com” out there.(I wonder who the ISP is?). “Listen to me brothers and sisters, our dear departed and beloved Dot Com touched all of us in ways that many of us cannot even imagine. Say Amen! “But do not be fooled dear friends. For Dot Com has not departed us. Over 10,000 Dot Coms remain, employing hundreds of thousands of employees and representing billions in revenue and investments. A door has been opened and no momentary slowdown, no unexpected soft landing will deny Dot Com the future. Do not forsake our friend Dot Com, for it has a long memory. There are always those who jump on the bandwagon to late, and those who jump off too soon. Take counsel from the wise, not the panicked. The dream that all who “knew” Dot Com would grow rich was a false dream. Do not blame Dot Com for failing to fulfill the unrealistic dreams of tens of thousands. Rather, pity those who failed to keep the dream and ran from Dot Com when the first problems arose.” “Dot Com is business, it is not a mythical tale, a magical power, or a fast track to unearned riches. It is business. When we expect more of it than that, we are destined to be disappointed. It has not passed, it has merely outgrown unrealistic dreams and is beginning to establish itself as what it always has been, business.” “And so my friends, weep not for the passing of the Dot Com, but look forward to the arrival of the reborn Dot Com and come to it, for it is good.” Hey, all kidding aside, business never goes away; it changes, but it never goes away. During times of incredible opportunity, everybody makes money. During times of challenge, those who did not build strong business relations and solid business contacts seek someone to blame for their sudden “downturn.” Bad business opportunities are always the easiest to sell to, and the first to disappear. Today’s villain appears to be our old friend Dot Com. Which I find amazing, as I am still working “beaucoup billables” and numerous assignments for a very real and profitable Dot Com community. Maybe it is another Dot Com, a distant cousin, I have been reading so much about. Have a great day recruiting! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Feast or Famine: Your Choice!

by
Scott Wintrip
Feb 13, 2001

From time to time in the recruiting industry, the market becomes even more of a challenge than usual. This appears to be one of those times. I say appears because I am hearing two different stories from recruiters in our business. The first seems to be most prevalent, and goes something like this: Times are tough! There are not enough good temp and perm candidates out there. Clients are making unreasonable demands and are not realistic regarding price and the qualifications they are seeking. When presented with good people, they drag their feet and end up losing them as a result. Sales are down and don’t appear to be getting any better any time soon. The economy must be to blame! What are we going to do? The second, and in fact completely opposite story I am hearing is one of prosperity and increased success. These recruiters are raving about how well they are doing and are backing it up with credible numbers and statistics. Some are with companies that are opening new offices and moving forward with ambitious plans of growth. They report that sales are up and project that those figures will continue to climb. Your first reaction may be that these recruiters are from different markets or regions. That would explain a lot, if it were the case. These two versions of what is going on are from recruiters in the same markets and cities. In fact, this is not limited to just one area of recruiting. These simultaneous successes and struggles exist in many areas including Information Technology, Finance, Engineering, Banking, Manufacturing, and Legal. So which version is “the truth”? Actually, both. Breaking out of slumps and to prospering even when the market is a challenge is something you can learn to do and then choose to make happen. The fact of the matter is, there are highly successful recruiters who have chosen to write their own story, and they are being rewarded so well because they are making their success happen. Here are five quick ideas to help you rewrite your own future:

  1. Fire the candidates and clients that are stealing your time. There are some candidates and clients that, no matter what you do, are not going to turn into a done deal. Yet many recruiters still invest hours of time with them in hopes that maybe it will pan out. Trust your gut! The recruiting business is not a charity. One of the best things you can do for candidates and clients that are going to “fall off” anyway is to let them go, so you both can get on with your lives. The time you free up can be spent assisting those who really want and need your help. Remember, your time is valuable. Work only with those people who know and appreciate this. When you respect, protect, and value your time others will be more likely to do the same.
  2. keep reading…

Checklist For Selecting The Very Best Executive Search Firm

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 12, 2001

In a tight job market many corporate recruiting functions are strained to the limit. One option is to “outsource” your higher-level searches to executive search firms. Unfortunately, because of the large number of firms, it is often difficult to decide which firm to choose. Should it be a small “boutique” firm or a large multi-national? Is a retained firm better than a contingency firm? Are firms that offer “unbundled services” superior to those that don’t? Because not all search firms do an excellent job, it is essential to do an extensive assessment of their capabilities. Some are slow, others produce a low quality (performance) of hire, and some recommend candidates that result in a high turnover rate. Few firms meet all of the criteria, so it is important to first select which of the following are relevant to your needs. The one certainty I have found is that firms that say that you should “trust them” and then refuse to provide answers to the criteria listed below are NOT top firms. Here is a checklist that I use when I help firms select from among the many, categorized as follows: I. Results

II. Their database

III. Their range of services

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Pay and Pay

by
Paula Santonocito
Feb 9, 2001

“He wants $2.5 million.” “To answer the telephone?!” “He says that’s what people with his credentials are getting.” While the above scenario may be a slight exaggeration, anyone who is in the hiring business knows salaries aren’t always commensurate with experience or logic. In matters of money, it’s very much a candidate’s market. In fact, one staffing company, NYCTEMPS, Inc., has seen a recent surge in the number of clients using credit cards for payroll purposes. While some of these companies use credit cards for convenience or to obtain frequent-flier mileage, Andrew Greenberg, president of NYCTEMPS, says some clients are financing payroll on credit cards just to make ends meet or to complete critical projects. Yikes. So how do you play the new numbers game and win the candidate without breaking the bank? It’s not easy, particularly when you’re attempting to fill those positions for which the pickings are plentiful. It’s even more difficult if you’re a small company with limited financial resources. Whatever your situation, it helps to do your homework. Finding out what a position is worth – really worth – in the marketplace is invaluable. In the case of some positions, “the marketplace” is national or even global in scope. But, in the case of others, salaries vary depending on location. It’s important to remember this when researching what a job pays, particularly when using online tools for earnings information. Salary Wizard The “Salary Wizard” at Salary.com allows you to search for salary information by job category, position and location. It is also possible to obtain a general salary report based on national averages. At Salary.com, your search for salary information begins by choosing a job category from the “Select Job Category” scroll menu. Then, you may “Enter Location” by either keying in a specific zip code or by selecting a “State/Metro Area” from another listing. If a zip code isn’t entered and a “State/Metro Area” isn’t chosen, the report returned will be one based on national averages. Upon completing the required information, clicking on the “Select” button will take you to a second page where you need to choose from a list of job titles. If you’re uncertain as to whether a Salary.com job title corresponds to your position title, highlight the position in question and select “View Job Descriptions.” A small window containing the job description will pop up. Once you’ve determined the correct job title, simply select “Create Salary Report.” A report with base salary information is returned. Low, median and high salaries are quoted. A job description for the position is also given. In addition to salary reports for individual positions, Salary.com provides links to various salary surveys, government data, trade publications, and trade associations. Salaries by Industry Selecting “Salaries By Industry” at Careerjournal.com, The Wall Street Journal career site, returns a list of “Industries and Job Functions.” There are 38 categories from which to choose. They include “Banking,” “Computers and Information Technology,” “Health,” “Hotel Restaurant and Leisure,” “Media and Entertainment,” “Pharmaceuticals,” and “Retailing.” There are even categories for “Senior Executives” and “Service Professionals.” It’s important to note that salary information at Careerjournal.com is often based on industry averages. For some positions, particular employers and/or regions of the country are indicated. Salaries for “Advertising Agency Executives” found under the industry heading, “Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations,” for example, are divided into four categories: New York City, Los Angeles/San Francisco, Large City and Small City. The Salary CalculatorThe Salary Calculator,” another salary comparison product, is available at the Careerjournal site. From the home page, select “Salaries By Industries.” You’ll find “The Salary Calculator” under the “Features” heading. “The Salary Calculator” is a useful tool for candidates considering relocation, or for the recruiter trying to convince a candidate to take a position. It enables you to enter a salary for one location and find out what that salary equates to in another location. Before the comparison is made, you must select a “Housing Preference” of “Own” or “Rent.” Be advised that this choice can greatly impact a location’s salary, particularly in certain metropolitan areas where the cost of purchasing a home exceeds the national average. While it isn’t always money that matters, information is essential when attempting to persuade the candidate motivated by moolah. Figuring out what to pay isn’t always easy to calculate, but having a starting point may help solve the equation. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Yes, But Can the Candidate Actually Do the Job?

by
Lou Adler
Feb 9, 2001

We’ve all been there: we find a great candidate, but down where the rubber meets the road, that candidate’s talents finally don’t match up with the job we’re being paid to fill. Wouldn’t it be neat if there was a fast, virtually foolproof way of measuring a candidate’s competency for a particular job? Help is at hand. I’ve developed a quick system that allows me to better match critical job needs with the abilities and underlying motivation of the candidate. It begins with the principle that the work which motivates people to perform at peak levels can be broken down into four basic categories:

  1. Technical These are candidates who enjoy being involved with details, analysis, or implementing technical (or administrative) processes. They take great pleasure in understanding what makes something work. They usually can get into the details of an issue, and they sometimes can talk at length once you get them talking. In fact, summarizing issues is sometimes a challenge.
  2. keep reading…