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April  2003 RSS feed Archive for April, 2003

Confusion, Uncertainty, and a Bit of Fear

by
Kevin Wheeler
Apr 30, 2003

Many of us, including myself, have predicted that organizations will begin to adopt online screening and assessment in a significant way. However, while I see some websites starting to use screening questions, very few websites are incorporating much in the way of assessment. Those that are using assessment tools, companies like Chili’s and Enterprise Car Rental, report great success. Yet most recruiters are swamped with resumes, and the constant lament at recruiting conferences is about the huge volume of resumes organizations are receiving, mostly from poorly qualified candidates. Given this scenario, why don’t recruiters aggressively go after the tools that could quickly make that volume go down? There are three big factors at play. The first is simply confusion. Very few recruiters have an industrial psychology background or any understanding of the tools and methodologies available for screening and assessment. And it is very confusing. Here is a “short” list of the types of assessment tools available:

A Tribute to Grassroots Recruiting Organizations

by
Dave Lefkow
Apr 29, 2003

Recruiting is always in the process of being reshaped and redefined. New technologies, techniques, and processes are continually being evaluated and tested. Grassroots recruiting organizations ó which come in a variety of shapes and sizes ó play a vital role in sharing information, best practices, and even candidates among the best in our industry and our markets. What follows are the stories of two such organizations: the Washington State Association of Healthcare Recruitment (WSAHCR) and the Northwest Recruiters’ Association (NWRA). I hope that these stories inspire you to get involved with or start your own local recruiting organization! Healthcare Recruiting: We’re All in This Together The shortage of healthcare workers is reaching staggering proportions, a problem not only for those in the industry, but for everyone who will need hospital care in the next 10 years. Whether we’re having children, caring for a sick loved one, or in need of care ourselves, the levels of patient care due to overworked and understaffed hospital workers and the rising costs will eventually have an effect on all of us. Healthcare recruiters are truly on the front lines of this crisis ó even small hospitals and systems have hundreds and often thousands of RN and other openings to fill. In a previous article I published, How to Win the Healthcare Talent Wars, I discussed the lessons learned from the IT talent wars and how competitors in the healthcare industry are banding together to reach common goals. Organizations like the Georgia Hospital Association have successfully combined several organizations’ resources to promote careers in healthcare and achieve common goals. Recently, I got to see this type of cooperation in action at a Washington State Association of Health Care Recruitment meeting. The group, which has been in existence since 1983, provides a forum for healthcare recruiters to discuss their current challenges, share best practices, and even trade horror stories (usually about having so many openings to fill with so little budget). In some ways, WSAHCR acts like a support group ó recruiters come away knowing that no matter how challenging their jobs get, they’re not in it alone. Judy Shorr, a nursing recruitment manager from the University of Washington Medical Center, has been with the group since it’s inception. She’s seen the group grow from a meeting of three or four people to filling a larger meeting room with representatives from almost every major healthcare organization in the Seattle area. “We often don’t have enough chairs now,” she said with pride. At the meeting I met Steve Houston, a recruiting manager from Southwest Washington Medical Center, who had made a three-hour drive from Vancouver, Wash., to make the 9:00 a.m. meeting. “There’s really nowhere else I can get the type of openness, information and support I can here,” he said. Over the years, the scale of the WSAHCR’s initiatives has grown as well. In 1992, the group became a member of the larger organization of National Association for Health Care Recruitment, which gives them the opportunity to hear about the initiatives from many other chapters and attend their national events. Many years ago, the Seattle Area Hospital Council and WSAHCR held a joint event at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center to help get local high school students interested in healthcare as a career field. They even had a former Miss America who is a nurse as their keynote speaker for the event. As Judy points out, the biggest obstacle to building a successful organization will always be finding the time to meet. “We’re all dealing with very scarce resources,” she said, “and it really pays off to help one another. But sometimes, with all of the demands on our time, it is difficult to meet. I find it very beneficial to share some of the key lessons I learn with my UWMC co-workers, which helps me build organizational support for my attendance and for the group as a whole.” Recruiting in the Northwest Seattle has always been a fiercely independent community and one that marches to its own beat. We generally shun large chain restaurants in favor of the quaint, unique, and quirky independents. A large statue of Lenin, a relic from the Soviet Union, graces the center of the artistic community of Fremont ó more out of a sense of irony than any political commentary. It should be no surprise that these same sentiments apply to a large portion of the recruiting community. The Northwest Recruiters’ Association is an independent recruiting organization formed six years ago, at the height of the IT talent wars. It’s an inclusive collection of in-house corporate recruiters and vendors in the Seattle area, all devoted to networking and educational opportunities within the recruiting industry. Trisha Bowen, a senior member of the recruiting team at Starbuck’s and the current president of the NWRA, discussed some of the different challenges facing recruiters today, and how the NWRA has adapted over time to meet these challenges. One of these challenges is the increase in layoffs in the recruiting industry. “With labor projections pointing towards huge shortages in the coming decades,” said Bowen, “we know that recruiting will again become one of the key issues in the new economy. The NWRA provides a forum to discuss how we can keep good people in the recruiting industry to weather the storm, and to stay connected with those that have left. Several of our members ó including me ó have found great new opportunities through this group. I can’t overstate the value of being professionally and personally networked.” But networking is only one facet of the NWRA. Another major initiative is education. Hundreds of attendees have shown up for events that featured speakers I’m sure you’re already familiar with ó industry experts like John Sullivan, Michael McNeal, Bruce Tulgan, and Yves Lermusiaux, to name a few. Their events are smaller-scale interactive forums in which they can take global best practices learned in some of the posts on this very website and apply them to the local recruitment community. Their past president of the last few years, Jason Warner, is credited with setting their sights incredibly high and delivering even higher in terms of the quality of the educational experience provided to the NWRA’s members. Despite the economic and recruiting downturn, the organization is doing very well. They will sponsor six educational events this year and hold two social events and one golf tournament (you’ll find me stuck in the sand trap). They are also giving back to the community through partnerships with the Seattle Jobs Initiative and Dress for Success, with portions of the proceeds from this year’s upcoming golf tourney going to SJI, and individual members contributing time, money, and job seeker training. Sarah Banks, who co-founded the NWRA with Lauren and John Pulse and Pam Golightly six years ago, suggests getting involved in an existing grassroots organization or local chapter in your community by joining the board or running for executive office. If nothing that meets your needs exists already, creating a new organization can be a risk worth taking. She promises that it will take time, hard work, and “seat of your pants” management skills, but the end result is an opportunity for local education and a set of relationships with your peers that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. What inspires me about these stories is that, regardless of the economy, these organizations are trying to create an environment in which we can learn from our peers, share best practices, and create personal and professional networks. As we evolve as an industry, grass roots recruiting organizations like the NWRA, WSAHCR, and of course the Electronic Recruiting Exchange, provide us with great examples of how, collectively, we can achieve so much more than we can individually ó even if we are competing for the same talent pools. I hope that you have the opportunity to contribute, get involved with, or start a local organization that accomplishes the same for you!

Six Sigma in Recruiting, Part Two

by
Scott Weston
Apr 29, 2003

In my previous article on Six Sigma, I gave a brief overview of the term, hoping to demystify it, and discussed its application to the staffing function. There continues to be more buzz in our industry about this process-improvement methodology, and senior recruiting management may be wondering if they should jump on the Six Sigma bandwagon or not. Or it might be something that is already prevalent at their organization and is knocking on their door. In a recent meeting with Microsoft Corporation, I spoke with them about the Six Sigma initiative they are embarking on for their staffing organization. They are in the process of aligning their recruiting efforts with the rest of their company’s implementation of Six Sigma. Microsoft has even created a Senior Manager of Quality Improvement position to oversee process improvement for their Technical Staffing Group. This is a trend that will most likely take hold in some fashion at many large organizations, as the prevalence of Six Sigma grows. In addition, many medium-sized and even smaller organizations will move to embrace it on some scale. But as companies prepare to apply Six Sigma to their staffing function, there are still some important questions to ask. Why Should You Implement Six Sigma? This is the most fundamental question that must be answered, and it may be the most pressing in the minds of many people in staffing. You keep hearing about Six Sigma. Should you be doing it? Has management in other departments/areas of your organization already embraced Six Sigma? Is your CEO going to be asking you why you haven’t started yet? The answer to the why question is simple: to improve how you run your business. While Six Sigma is looked at as a process-improvement methodology, it is much more than that. It is a management philosophy and a strategy. The strategy of Six Sigma is business process management ó or measuring and controlling your business processes. Metrics are something that most recruiting professionals are used to dealing with, but most organizations manipulate these standard measures of cost and time through budgeting ó or worse, at the expense of business objectives. Six Sigma will actually help you improve and control your metrics in a systematic way that will align your efforts with your organization’s business goals. And it doesn’t just mean reducing costs and speeding up hiring-cycle times; it means making the overall processes in recruiting more effective by also improving the quality of hires and the experience of all your customers. Once you are sold on the concept of Six Sigma, it is important to understand whether you can or should do it. This presents some harder questions, but they are questions you must answer. Are You Just Looking for a Short-Term Fix? Again, Six Sigma is a process-improvement methodology, but it is more importantly a management philosophy. You need to ask yourself if you are just seeking a short-term fix, or if you are prepared to commit yourself to excellence in how you do business. This would be akin to the difference between starting a crash diet along with going to the gym because your class reunion is next month, or committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle of good nutrition and regular exercise. Ultimately, you can probably get some initial results, but maintaining and controlling them in the long term is what is important ó and where the true ROI will come from in your efforts. Is Management Committed Enough? TQM (total quality management) often failed at companies, not because it was a bad process-improvement methodology, but because management merely signed off on the program and passed it to the front line to be carried out. Management was often not committed enough to the program. One of the reasons Six Sigma has proven to be successful is that it starts at the top. Senior management owns it first, makes sure it is aligned with the business goals, and then it trickles down to successive layers in the organization until all members own it. Besides selecting people to work on the project (Black Belts and Green Belts who run the project on a day-to-day basis), there must be a Champion. This may need to be the VP of HR or some other member of senior management who is the process owner and is in a position of high enough power to effectively clear away roadblocks to the project’s success and to make sure proper resources are committed and available. Do You Have the Resources? Six Sigma is something that will take up a great deal of time and energy, but the benefits can be profound. For example, in one year alone, General Electric added more than $2 billion to their bottom line through the use of Six Sigma. The necessary resources include both financial and manpower commitments, and will often entail an additional budget investment to reap the rewards in the future. This is a clear investment in changing the way you do business and not committing the necessary resources can doom the project. This is especially dangerous because the initial successes in Six Sigma are critical for cultural embracement by the organization. Is Now the Right Time? Though I believe now is always the right time to start making improvements to how you do business, this can be very situational to each company. I have heard it said that fixing a recruiting process is like repairing your car while driving a hundred miles an hour. The good news is that many recruiting departments are running a lot slower than they were a few years ago. Unfortunately, most are also operating now with significantly fewer resources and manpower. In addition, your tenured people, who understand your processes best, are the ones who will need to be involved first in Six Sigma. You cannot just hire consultants to do all the work or expect to throw new employees at the job. How quickly hiring will ramp up and what resources you will have available at that time are anybody’s guess. What I can say with certainty is that waiting until your hiring is ramped up again to start improving your recruiting processes is probably not the best time. Getting the budget and manpower to commence Six Sigma will take building a business case and some vision to get it started now rather than later.

Radio: Try the Most Targeted Recruiting Tool

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Apr 28, 2003

Okay, before you instantly think, “John’s nuts!” stop and think about radio for a minute. Don’t you personally listen to it several times a day, perhaps in your car, in places where you are a “captive” audience? Some of the most under-used tools in recruiting involve the media. Nearly every major firm has used TV and radio advertising (with great success) for their product advertising, but few in recruiting have ever even tried it once. Not so long ago, Monster.com showed its marketing prowess with the first recruiting ad during the Superbowl, and Sony successfully used radio ads to attract talent for its Pittsburgh plant. But most others have been no-shows. I can see how the initial upfront costs of TV can scare some people away (though that is less true now with the proliferation of cable channels with “localized” advertising.) But radio? It’s cheap, fast, and it has the best niche demographic demarcation lines on the planet. Some recruiters are just the corporate version of lemmings. Almost without exception, they use the same tools as everyone else, year in and year out. If you know anything about marketing, you know that the “first user” has an advantage in advertising (and in any recruiting tool for that matter). Whether it is a new approach or new medium, being the first grabs more attention. Why not be the first in you market to use targeted radio ads to recruit? Why You Should Try “Targeted” Radio Targeted radio doesn’t mean placing ads on the most popular stations and shows. Instead, it means using radio to reach narrow niche groups. Targeted means placing ads on smaller stations and on specific shows that are frequently listened to by the demographic group that represents your job needs. Radio station audiences represent one of the narrowest bands of people demographics in the media. It’s one of the best kept secrets in recruiting. There are a variety of reasons why targeted radio advertising is a great recruiting tool, including:

  • Definable demographics. Radio has very definable demographics. If you want to target a particularly narrow population, radio is the champ. If you want to target a certain age group, education level, or even a type of worker, there is nothing better (with the exception of direct mail from professional magazine lists) than radio. It is far superior to newspaper ads and job fairs, which hit a broad audience. In this case stereotypes are true. Construction workers listen to country and western stations, teachers to NPR, and stockbrokers and traders listen to Wall-Street-type shows.
  • keep reading…

The Elusive Applicant: Mitigate Legal Risks by Defining the Term

by
William Hannum & Julie Jackson
Apr 25, 2003

For more than two decades, employers have been collecting data on applicants for employment and guessing at what an applicant is ó guessing because the law does not clearly define an “applicant.” Now, with the dramatic rise of Internet-based recruiting, and emails submitting unsolicited resumes, the challenge of defining an applicant has become more complicated. Unfortunately for employers, the need for a clear definition of applicant is also urgent. An employer’s hiring practices, policies, or procedures may be challenged as discriminatory by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”), the Department of Justice, or even an applicant who does not get hired. When that happens, the employer’s applicant data can be critical to the employer’s ability to successfully defend itself. Fortunately, there is more than one practical solution. While the best solution would be for the OFCCP and EEOC to establish a clear, reasonable definition, don’t hold your breath. On March 31, 2003, a task force led by these two agencies missed yet another deadline for defining applicant. So while our tax dollars grind away in Washington, employers should take this bull by the horns ó by adopting clear hiring policies and procedures, clearly defining “applicants,” and consistently following those policies and procedures. “Applicant” may appear to be a simple term, but its definition in the context of employment law is far from clear. For years, the EEOC, the OFCCP and the courts have used vague and varying definitions of applicant. Government guidance avoids defining applicant by stating that the definition “depends” upon certain circumstances (a classic lawyerly non-answer). Instead, Question and Answer 15 describes “the concept of an applicant” in extremely broad terms, as a person “who has indicated an interest in being considered,” which interest might be expressed orally. This suggests that anyone who expresses interest in a position could be considered an applicant, “depending upon the employer’s practice.” Thus, defining applicant has essentially been left to the discretion of each employer. To the extent that the employer’s own application process is not clearly defined, the courts have found that a person who has somehow expressed some interest in a job opening is an “applicant.” On the other hand, courts have limited the definition of “applicant” in situations where (for example) the employer has clearly defined its own application process as requiring applicants to complete certain paperwork, such as a specific job application form, or to meet certain minimal qualifications, such as minimum education or experience. Employers are subject to significant fines and penalties if their hiring practices are successfully challenged as discriminatory and illegal. These hiring practices may be challenged by applicants or the government on the theory that they have an “adverse impact” on minorities or women. Individual applicants may also claim unlawful discrimination for failure to hire, under state and federal discrimination statutes. The penalties for violating applicable federal employment laws can include back pay, reinstatement, attorneys’ fees, and debarment from bidding on government contracts. Clearly, then, it is critical that employers have consistent hiring procedures and maintain sufficient records of their applicants in order to defend against these kinds of discrimination claims. Each employer should define its own hiring practices and procedures, define “applicant” for itself, maintain the requisite records, and understand the data that it has maintained, in order to minimize the risks of legal exposure from a discriminatory hiring practice and/or maintaining too few, too many or inadequate records. Tracking applicant data is becoming increasingly burdensome with the increased use of Internet-based recruiting. Many people send resumes to employers regardless of whether the employer has a job opening. Is an employer required to retain data on all of these “applicants,” and if the race or gender of an applicant is not indicated on a resume, is it an employer’s responsibility to elicit this information from them? Thus, the increased use of the Internet in recruiting and hiring presents practical, financial, and legal challenges for employers. From both a practical and a legal perspective, until a new definition is proposed, and in order to avoid adverse legal action, employers should define applicant for themselves. This should include defining criteria and procedures for determining whether someone is an applicant. In this regard, courts are likely to show some deference to clear and explicit policies that are consistently followed. More than two years ago, the Office of Management and Budget directed the EEOC and OFCCP to create a clear definition of applicant. However, a resolution has yet to be proposed. The taskforce has been granted several extensions over the past couple of years, and missed the most recent deadline of March 31, 2003. So, while we wait for a clear definition of applicant, employers must continue to attempt to define applicant for themselves, relying on the vague definition offered by the OFCCP and EEOC, the limited guidance offered by the courts, and common sense.

The Best Metric of Them All

by
Lou Adler
Apr 25, 2003

I’m about to reveal absolutely the best metric of them all. If you can manage only this one metric, I’ll personally guarantee you the shortest time to hire, the lowest cost, and the highest quality candidates. Once I give you the answer, you must promise me that you’ll use this metric to manage the process ó not to report the results. If you use this metric to manage the process, you’ll probably get promoted, or at least get a raise. You’ll certainly get more respect, and have more influence with your hiring manager clients, and with your candidates, too. But if you use this metric just to report results, all you’ll be able to do is make nice fancy presentations to your boss, and everyone will think you’re busy. If this is your thing, I guess it’s still a good metric to track. If you haven’t yet sneaked a peak, here is the best metric of them all when used properly to manage the recruiting process: Sendouts per hire by position by recruiter. Here are two reasons why sendouts per hire is so important:

  1. Without it, you can’t achieve my gold standard of recruiting excellence, which is no more than three sendouts per hire ó all three of the candidates must be hirable, and the three candidates must be delivered within 10 days.
  2. keep reading…

Online Screening Tools Review: The Unicru Hiring Management System

by
Charles Handler & Steve Hunt
Apr 24, 2003

This is the second in a series of articles reviewing innovative ways that companies are leveraging Internet technology to offer new and better forms of staffing systems. Please note that neither of us are compensated in any way for our decision to write about a specific company or product. In this article we discuss how Unicru uses the data collection capabilities of the Internet to actively manage and improve staffing processes. Unicru’s system continuously collects and analyzes data at different stages in the employment life cycle, starting with the initial job application and ending with a post-exit review of the performance of former employees. Unicru uses this “streaming data” for two purposes:

  1. The data allows Unicru’s staffing assessment tools to learn from experience. As a result, the longer Unicru’s system is in place the more effective it becomes for identifying high potential candidates.
  2. keep reading…

Buy For Tomorrow, Not Today: A Brief History of Recruiting Technology

by
Kevin Wheeler
Apr 24, 2003

The tools we use for recruiting have a powerful future and will eventually become the cornerstone for a talent relationship strategy. Even though recruiters have a natural reluctance to embrace technology because of a fear that it will get between them and the candidate, many do see its value. Organizations such as Electronic Arts sell to and recruit from the younger generation, and they have already embraced the Internet and other technology-based tools to create, build, and maintain relationships with candidates. Rather than getting in the way, technology can create and nurture the relationship. Total acceptance will require the convergence of two trends: the development of more powerful and useful technologies and the evolution of users who have an appreciation for what the technology can make possible. A loose comparison might be made between horse-drawn wagon and automobile drivers at the turn of the 20th century. The work involved in driving an early car was greater than that of dealing with a horse and buggy. In many cases, you could get where you were going faster with the horse. There was little obvious advantage to the car and many limitations. Yet those who adopted the automobile saw the possibilities and knew that eventually the technology would improve and that it would offer substantial advantage over the horse. They could see that the car represented a new approach to transportation that would eventually make the horse obsolete as a primary way to get around. That was a revolutionary concept in 1902. Similar inadequacies and requirements are true of recruiting technologies. In fact, we don’t even have an agreed upon definition of what the term “recruiting technology” means. I prefer to use the term “talent management” because it encompasses a broader and, I think, more useful scope. The set of technologies that make up a talent management solution include:

10 “Success Attributes” of World-Class Recruiters

by
David Szary
Apr 23, 2003

Over the last few years, much has been written about the skills required to be considered (or to become) a world-class recruiter. Some of these skills include:

  • The ability to source passive candidates who are not looking for employment
  • keep reading…

Talent Management: Something Productive This Way Comes

by
Howard Adamsky
Apr 22, 2003

Talent management is nothing new. It has been around for a long time and worn many guises. It is, however, holistically a concept whose time has come. And if you are an HR professional looking to justify your existence, bringing talent management to the forefront of human resources is a step in the right direction. Talent management means a host of different things to different people. I personally see it as an all-encompassing model of what HR should have been doing in the first place. For openers, let’s define my version of the ideal role of HR within a given organization: “The purpose of HR is to act as a business unit whose primary responsibility is to partner with and proactively support senior management’s business objectives as they relate to human capital.” With this as an operational definition, let’s look at the primary areas that need to be addressed and use them as a rule of thumb. Please understand, the following categories can be subdivided endlessly, with no argument from me. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s look at six areas that really matter, with a few sample details to consider in each one. The better you are doing in these areas, the more measurable value you are adding to the organization. The converse of this is true as well ó so ignore this advice at your own peril. Workforce Planning Workforce planning is a big part of supporting organizational growth. It requires you to work closely with senior management. Together, you have to plan not only the number of employees to be hired but also the types of skill sets and core competencies that these employees must possess. You also have to plan the hiring schedule and help to architect what the organization will look like down the road. All of this, of course, is easier said than done. But I recommend you to think about the following:

  • Plan your strategy as far into the future as possible. No one expects perfection, but the more well thought out the projections, the better you know what will be expected of your organization. Be sure to have a “Plan B” in place that you can fall back on, in the event changes in anything from shifting markets to economic gyrations come into play.
  • keep reading…

Failure: A Not Uncommon Experience for the Successful Professional

by
Ken Gaffey
Apr 22, 2003

I accepted one full-time position and one consulting position in my career where I was not as successful as I am accustomed to. Er, that is to say, I did not succeed in achieving my unusual… uh… level of excellence. The client, um, found satisfaction less than at the level they were anticipating. Hmmm… The demands of the client exceeded the requirements as discussed in the initial meeting. I… We… Okay, okay. Enough already. I was fi… fir… terminated. And for many recruiters, that would be grounds to immediately eliminate me from consideration for an open position. There are economic- and business-driven layoffs and reductions in staff, but these aren’t exclusively about your personal performance. On the personal level though, there are essentially two forms of non-voluntary personal performance-based terminations:

Understanding Differentiation in Recruiting

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Apr 21, 2003

article by Dr. John Sullivan and Master Burnett Your organization’s success in the future will depend more and more upon getting the right people in the right seats to drive it. To accomplish this, corporate recruiters and hiring managers will need to become steeped in the art of differentiation. Unfortunately, few organizations have mastered this art from a recruiting point of view, despite having spent the last few years engaged in a war for talent. If you ask any employee, and in many cases any recruiter, what differentiates their firm or makes their company a great place to work, you will undoubtedly hear the exact same answer you would get if you asked an employee or recruiter from another organization. The most common answers include:

An Email to CEOs Everywhere: Define Success, Not Skills

by
Lou Adler
Apr 18, 2003

If you want to hire outstanding people, first define outstanding performance. This seems to me to be the foundation for building a company filled with top performers. Let me explain. I had a conversation a few weeks back with the CEO of a medium-sized distribution company. Her frustration was evident. She wanted to hire outstanding people, but she felt somehow that the message was not getting down to her troops. She implored them to hire only people with great experience, great academics, and great potential. Unfortunately her vision was far different than the reality. The excuses from her recruiting team were many ó unrealistic standards, not enough candidates, not enough money, a weak employer brand, weak hiring managers, etc. How many of you ó whether CEO, HR executive, or recruiter ó are caught in this same tug of war? Here’s the essence of my subsequent conversation with her, and the email I sent summarizing our talks. I hope you find a point or two useful.

Dear CEO: As we discussed, the idea of hiring outstanding people ó while a noble goal ó isn’t practical using traditional job descriptions as the basic measurement stick. Just because someone has all of the required skills, experience, and academics, that doesn’t mean that he or she will be an outstanding performer. This problem is exacerbated when more skills, more experience, and even better academics are used to elevate the definition of outstanding performance. In fact, as we discussed, some of your best people achieved great success with little of the standard prerequisites. Instead, they achieved their business objectives by substituting basic talent, the tenacity to achieve the objectives despite challenges, the ability to motivate and inspire others, and the ability to anticipate, plan out, and solve all of the job-related problems that always crop up. A traditional job description ignores most, if not all, of these factors. In fact, traditional job descriptions are more focused on defining skills and requirements. A better idea might be to write job description that describe outstanding performance. This should be a list of the major objectives, all of the key challenges needed to achieve these objectives, and a great understanding of the environment in which all of this needs to take place. From a hiring standpoint, you then need to find people who are both motivated and competent enough to achieve these objectives. This is easy enough to figure out. Just get detailed examples of comparable accomplishments in comparable environments. A couple of examples will help clarify how this concept works in the real world: One of our clients was looking for a COO for a real estate management company. They thought they needed an MBA and at least 10 years of experience in the real estate industry. In reality, they needed someone who could quickly improve operating performance for 30 under-performing properties. This required an overhaul of most of the management team in the field and a major upgrade to the company’s performance reporting systems. They’re now looking for someone who has achieved comparable results. The person might have an advanced degree, but maybe not. The person will probably have many years in real estate, but maybe not. More importantly, the person ultimately selected will have had success turning around a comparably sized company facing similar challenges. Focusing on success, rather than on skills and experience, changed their whole approach to the search and assessment process. Another client needed to hire 100,000 camp counselors. Rather than looking for outgoing and bright kids, we discovered that their best camp counselors actually were very responsible, diligent, and had an acute awareness for the needs of others that they instantly acted upon. Many of these kids were also outgoing and bright, but “outgoing” and “bright” were not good predictors of success, since they might not be diligent and responsible. So we created interviews that looked for the success traits by obtaining detailed examples of team projects these students worked on, either in school, church, scouts, or charitable events. Many of the outgoing and bright kids didn’t pass muster when measured this way. Again, by focusing on what drives success rather than some secondary criteria, the approach to hiring and selection was improved dramatically. The key to this changeover is to get everyone involved in the hiring process to define job success, rather than just list skills and requirements. When completed, this final success profile is a list of six to ten major and secondary objectives put in priority order by the hiring team. Everyone involved should get a chance to have their say, but the hiring manager and the needs of the business should dominate the setting of the priorities. Next, make sure that advertising and sourcing programs emphasize these challenges, while soft-pedaling the requirements. This will attract a bigger pool of top performers. You’ll also be able to obtain the interest of more top passive candidates, who are only interested in jobs with more excitement and opportunity. The interview itself is quite simple. Just get detailed examples of the candidate’s major comparable accomplishments. Four to six will do. Observe the trend of these accomplishments over time to see candidate growth. Ask detailed follow-up questions to determine the real results achieved, the process used to achieve these results, the teams involved, and the environment in which these results took place. From this, you’ll be able to quickly determine the characteristics of successful people ó tenacity, competency, motivation to do the work required, team leadership, and job-specific problem solving. While it might not actually be as easy as this, it shouldn’t be that much harder. The key is to insist upon writing job descriptions that list the real performance objectives of the job before the job requisition is approved. This is the key control point. In the process of preparing these for all your new job openings, you’ll discover that people at every level in the company have a better understanding of what they need to do to be successful. Clarifying expectations this way is just good management. The best managers clearly communicate the performance objectives to their team members, anyway, so just have everyone do this before they hire anyone new. Clarifying expectations this way is the key to hiring outstanding talent. Ask your top performers what they like most about their jobs. They’ll probably tell you it’s the challenge ó not the fact that they’re getting another year of experience. In my opinion, you should never compromise on hiring outstanding performers. But you do this by first defining outstanding performance. This is how you can create a performance-driven culture. When you align these performance objectives to the vision and business objectives of the company, you are then making hiring the best a part of your culture. When selecting these candidates, don’t compromise on their ability to achieve the desired results. Most likely they’ll have all of the experience, skills, and academic background you’ll ever need. More importantly, they’ll have the tenacity and ability to achieve consistent success. This is the real hallmark of outstanding people. “In essence, make the job description equal to the real job, not some arbitrary set of criteria that could exclude the best candidates from ever applying. I hope you find these ideas useful. Warmest wishes, and good luck. Lou Adler

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Will the Internet Ever Solve Recruiting Problems?

by
Dr. Wendell Williams
Apr 17, 2003

There seems to be a good deal of confusion about how the Internet can “solve” recruiting problems. Sorry, but in my observation, the Internet has done more to operationalize bad practices than it has to promote good ones. Translating a brochure, job listing, or application form into electronic form may keep web designers off the street, but thinking it can somehow turn bad recruiting practices into good ones is just a bunch of “hooey” (a highly technical term for the stuff you scrape off your shoes after walking through cow pastures and barnyards). Restriction of Applicants Ever thought about how many people don’t live and die for the Internet? Not everyone searches the Net for jobs. Using the Internet as a primary recruiting tool is like standing on one street corner and screening only the people who cross there. Some published reports, for example, show minorities are substantially under represented on the Net. Sure, playing games and using email are attractive, but using one communications medium for all potential job applicants? Fishing Few people want to fill out application forms ó especially when they know the answers will be used to disqualify them. Who wants to read a bulletin board of job titles? Job titles tell us almost nothing about the job or what is expected. And job postings are often almost as fictitious as resumes. How does an applicant know which title to apply for? Which one maximizes his or her chances of being hired? Is the web design oriented to job postings, marketing brochures, service requests, or all three? Job applicants need information about what kind of place it is to work and the nature of the jobs. Playing the lottery is about the only time people will invest 100% effort with an almost zero chance of winning. Automated front-end application forms may be easy to build, but they will ever seldom work as expected. Tower of Babel Imagine a world where everyone uses a different metric system and a different set of accounting practices, speaks in different languages, or uses a different numbering system. This gives us some idea of what it is like to describe human performance. Until organizations come to grips with the fact that “performance” means more than proficiency in a certain technical area, applicants and employers are doomed to wander aimlessly in the dark asking “What do ‘taking responsibility for…’ ‘leading a group to…’ or ‘successfully accomplished…’ really mean, and how can I measure it?” Sifting Through the Trash Sifting through trash to find a lost article is among my least favorite activities. I seldom find what I’m looking for, but I always get old coffee grounds under my fingernails. Automated resume screening is similar. For one thing, it takes a pretty smart keyword search engine to discriminate between “thought about getting an IT degree from Harvard in 1995″ and actually graduating from Harvard in 1995. And, even if you get the search engine perfect, the data is often trash. For example, I recently read a resume where the applicant listed his skills as “responsible for making RJ45 connections and installing peripheral computer equipment in 7-foot racks.” Translation: “Crimped plastic connectors on wires and used machine screws to attach equipment to metal railings.” Wow! Just the guy I was looking for to man my technical hotline. Matching Skills to Skills? Sorry no cigar here, either. There is more to jobs than having specific knowledge ó little things like being able to think and solve problems, being able to plan and organize work, getting things done through people, and having the right kind of attitudes and motivations. Hiring a person who retook a skills course six times is a tribute to human tenacity, not problem-solving ability. Systems that use a straightforward match-to-match process are functionally retarded. Human decision making is far more complex. Humans use trade-off strategies, are willing to substitute one skill for another, and employ knockout factors. Using a match-to-match algorithm is like using the alphabet to multiply numbers. Cow Hurling In “The Search for the Holy Grail,” Monty Python’s Crusaders encounter two characters who personify much of today’s recruiting environment: the Knights Who Say “Nee!” and the French soldiers who catapult cows at the Crusaders. It goes something like this: Step 1. The hiring manager gives the recruiter an incomplete idea of job requirements (i.e. “Bring me a shrubbery!). Step 2. The recruiter searches around for a suitable cow. Step 3. The recruiter hurls one cow after another over the wall until one stays put. Step 4. The hiring manager takes credit if the cow is a prizewinner, but hides the evidence if the cow is a loser. There you have it: miscommunication, poor measurement, shift of responsibility, and poor feedback. Cow hurling is as silly in recruiting as it is in the movies. I wonder why this profession is considered replaceable? What’s Happenin’? A while ago, researchers sought to learn about human behavior by studying animals. In one fascinating experiment, pigeons were taught how to roll a ball down a plank with their beak. If they knocked down pins, they received a few pellets of grain (much like the compensation program in one of my past jobs). Anyway, one group of pigeons could see the pins, while a control group had their view blocked with a curtain. Results? Pigeons that could see the pins learned to knock down more pins. Accurate and prompt feedback leads to improvement. Recruiting needs to get specific feedback. Getting Smarter…or Not I’ve been doing some work on an Attitude, Interest and Motivation test lately, comparing test scores with job performance. In technical terms this is called a “concurrent performance criterion validation study” (in lay terms, this kind of study measures whether test scores are better predictors of test-publisher revenue or future job performance). We could have just set some logical targets for our test and “winged it,” but we thought it was a better idea to actually see if test scores (e.g., attitudes) were statistically associated with job performance ratings ó things like quality, sales volume, and call time. We found that scores varied depending on job and rating area. In some cases, people who liked problem solving and generating creative ideas did better in sales; in others, productivity was associated with a desire to follow rules; while in a third job, only the dull and lazy stayed on the job five years or more. This is valuable information to know. A little bit of mental gymnastics tells us what’s important and what’s not. We can use that sort of information in hiring. Putting Tests on the Web Internet applications, like it or not, are tests. They either predict something or nothing. ASPs designed by recruiters often look a lot like interviews. ASPs designed by techies look a lot like technical qualifications. Only applications designed by measurement experts can deliver trustworthy results ó and this kind of accuracy takes considerable homework to define. ASPs that are not carefully tailored to the job and the organization may be pretty to observe, but will inevitably fall short of expectations. The government takes a dim view of testing ó not because testing is “bad,” but because testing is often misapplied. The EEOC is not against testing, it is against test misuse. Their purpose is not to force organizations to hire unqualified people, but to make sure tests are job-related, based on business necessity and don’t unnecessarily screen out people based on irrelevant factors like race, gender, age, and so forth. Any application that uses tests or interviews better be able to back-up test results up with facts and data. Wrong-Way Web-Thinking A few months ago, a very self-impressed person described his “perfect” ASP. He said he would collect data about each applicant he placed, then study it to identify which sources provided the most placements. Nice idea for if you are in the short-term recruiting business, but way off the mark if you are a client who cares about human performance. Keeping record of placements without keeping records of performance is like a salesperson who sells a product and hopes it is not returned. I have never heard a line manager complain about sourcing problems. They care about on-the-job performance. I may be wrong, but it just seems logical to give the customer what they want ó a high-performing employee. But maybe that’s just me. Complaints Please send all nasty-grams to the attention of the EEOC. Be sure to include name, contact information and a detailed explanation why their hiring and placement guidelines take too much work or should be ignored. (If you think there aren’t that many lawsuits, be sure to check out the EEOC website). Be sure to copy the company COO. It will show him or her you are on technology’s cutting edge!

Four New Roles for Staffing Agencies

by
Kevin Wheeler
Apr 16, 2003

Several weeks ago, on March 19th, I wrote an article called Value and Frugality: The Do-It-Yourself Decade. This article did what it was intended to do ó create a stir and raise the level of awareness as to some of the trends we will have to deal with in the future. I try my best to act as a scout of the future, looking at what I see happening and reporting on it with my own thoughts. I don’t always agree with or advocate what I see happening, but I do think we have to face the facts whether we like it or not. Here are a few important facts that I see right now. Fact Number 1: The market is a ruthless judge of value. It has decided that staffing agencies are not as critical to corporate success as they once may have been. The number of agencies in existence is down considerably, and those that were large are now much smaller. Many who owned or worked in staffing agencies are now working on the inside as corporate recruiters. While the agencies may list off scores of ways they add value, most corporate executives don’t see it that way. I hear executives say that they perceive most agencies as organizations that, in many cases, simply use the Internet better than their recruiters do and charge too much in the process. So they have sought out corporate recruiters who can do it themselves, as I pointed out in the article cited above. The agencies that have survived are doing things differently, and I’ll discuss some of these in a bit. Fact Number 2: The Internet changes everything. Successful agency recruiting has always relied on two factors: knowledge about who and where talented people are, and the ability to screen and sell that talent to the right client. Getting to know candidates used to require lots of legwork; hours on the telephone; attendance at meetings, shows, and professional organizations; and a big network of friends and colleagues who would refer people to you. Screening required interviewing skills and intimate knowledge of the client’s needs. And the really good recruiters who worked in staffing agencies were excellent salespeople. They could convince candidates in the merits of jobs and clients on the merits of candidates. There is still hope for agencies in the future who can sell well. The Internet makes finding candidates fairly painless. AIRS and a host of other organizations have been teaching us how to source on the Internet for close to a decade now. Most recruiters have at least rudimentary skills at doing this. Some are downright expert. Monster and other job boards have educated candidates about how to become known to recruiters, and most candidates have an online presence of some sort. Corporate websites, while woefully inadequate for the most part, at least exist and periodically gather thousands of prospective candidates. The popularity of employee referral programs has also added to the candidate stream. Alas, most agencies that cropped up over the period from 1995 to 2000 were not very good at any of those things. They still used the old legwork approach and often could not economically find the right candidates soon enough. Many corporate recruiters were astounded to find that the same candidates they found were also the one being submitted by the staffing agencies ó who expected a hefty fee, as well. But those agencies are mostly gone. Fact Number 3: Corporate recruiters have the same (or better) access to potential candidates than do agencies. I think we can all agree that access to candidates is uniformly the same to everyone these days. The only differentiator is skill at using the Internet and at establishing electronic relationships with candidates. Sometimes corporate recruiters are actually at an advantage because they can create relationships with candidates who have come to them and are interested in their particular company or product/service area. So how can agencies survive and thrive? Here are four things agencies can do to adapt. 1. Differentiate. Face the facts that I have outlined above. Figure what the market will support. I believe that it will be necessary to differentiate your agency from others ó to most executives they are all the same. Find a focus area and develop it well, perhaps in collaboration or partnership with your clients. Agencies that are focused on a particular type of candidate or on a particular level of candidate can still be successful. Offer compete solutions or set up a way for organizations to buy some services, but not all. Some agencies have set up divisions that are branded under the client’s name and provide outsourced service that is transparent to the candidate. The agencies that broker temp-to-perm candidates have done well as have those that work with a small and select group of organizations in a collaborative manner. The key is to have a crystal clear and well-communicated strategy and focus. General purpose, broad-based, do-it-all agencies are not likely to thrive. 2. Lower or eliminate the commission. The market is becoming more and more resistant to “standard” fee structures. Creative recruiting executives want to negotiate for value. They want a more competitive and fee-for-service based approach to recruiting where they can better understand what they are paying for. I honestly believe that the days of 25%-plus flat commissions are gone forever. The use of automation, the Internet, and the far more varied ways of finding talent mean that a fee-for-service approach makes more sense. Along with this goes the need to keep costs at a minimum. Agencies have to work with many fewer people and research has to become automated. This means that agency recruiters have to be more efficient than their corporate counterparts and need a high level of computer and Internet expertise along with good selling skills. 3. Provide anonymity when appropriate. There are many positions that are open confidentially, either because of the potential impact the position might have on strategy or competitiveness or because of some other business reason. An agency is obviously well positioned to conduct a confidential search. In fact, this is the most cited reason that agencies are used for executive recruitment ó not because they have access to exceptional candidates. 4. Advocate for candidates and clients. The ability to sell could be one of the most powerful benefits of using an agency. Most corporate recruiters have two strikes against them when it comes to selling their organizations and jobs to candidates. One strike is their own inability to see what benefits their organization can offer a candidate. Sometimes being in the trees makes it very hard to see the forest. Agencies can offer an outside view. The second strike is that candidates expect corporate recruiters to be “pro” their own organization. Well-positioned agency recruiters can be seen as much more objective and may be more credible to the candidate. In fact, I can see agencies becoming “talent managers” for certain kinds of candidates and negotiating a percentage of the final negotiated salary as their fee. This is much like the sports talent agents that all major sports players use to find and negotiate their positions and salaries. This will eventually extend into the corporate arena and represents a rich area of growth for staffing agencies. Staffing agencies, in some form or another, are not going to disappear. What is disappearing is the agency that relied on corporate ignorance and indifference as the source of its business.

The Value of the Dinner Conversation

by
Hank Stringer
Apr 15, 2003

Whether the talent market grows or shrinks, it is still going to be harder for companies to find key quality talent. We can expect to see more targeted hiring soon due to a pent-up demand by workers to make career moves and from companies who can’t put off hiring additional talent resources any longer. In this environment it will become important to successfully recruit and deploy the right quality talent, in the right areas, at the right time ó all the time. Your company will face increased competition for talent; therefore, it’s important your recruitment skills are honed with a sharp edge. Here’s a suggestion that may help. Before you stop reading because you see the “dinner conversation” title as simply a cute attempt to get your attention…please read on! I’m serious. Understanding the conversations and activities around the candidate’s dinner table can make your recruiting even more successful. So consider these hints, try them out and let me know if they help. A typical dinner conversation about work: Dinner Dan: “How was your day? Did you get the transfer?” Sue: “No. Corporate wants no transfers, period. I did get a call from a recruiter…interesting opportunity and company.” Dan: “Really. Local? Who is it?” Sue: “Meteoric Corp. Their recruiter called and has a project management slot. So I applied.” Two Days Later, Dinner Dan: “Have you heard anything?” Sue: “About what?” Dan: “The recruiter. The job.” Sue: “Not yet. He said it would take a couple of days. I checked out their web site and was frankly blown away. I like what I see.” Five Days Later, Dinner With Friends Ellen: “So, Sue, how’s work?” Dan: “She’s got a new job lined up.” Ellen: “Really! When do you start?” Sue: “Not so fast…I got a call from a recruiter this week but haven’t heard anything back yet.” Eight Days Later, Dinner Sue: “I haven’t heard a word from the recruiter at meteoric. If this is the way they work, I’m not interested. Besides, I heard from my boss and they offered me the new project.” Dan: “So, you’re going to stick.” Sue: “I’m sure not moving someplace worse.” Ten Days Later, Afternoon Meteoric Recruiter: “Hey, Sue, sorry I’m so late getting back to you. I’m swamped. Hey, I’ve shared your background with the hiring authority and he is really interested. We’re trying to work out a time for a phone screen with him next week.” Sue: “Not interested.” Why Timing Is Everything As a recruiter you can bet that every discussion you have with a prospect goes back to the key influencer in that individual’s life. They can be a spouse, significant other, friend or family member; you can count on the discussion taking place. As a recruiter, you can control the timing of the interview and hiring experience. It takes responsiveness, caring, and an acute understanding of what the candidate is thinking, and when. The conversations that occur at home are typically about work, and that includes the good, the bad and the opportunity for change. After all, it’s human nature to share good fortune with those you care about. A recruiting call about a position and company of interest is good fortune. It’s Sally Fields at the Oscars: “They like me, they really like me!” The call and interest is validation and affirmation that you count, you matter, and someone cares enough to make you feel special. Anyone would want to share, and why not? Most of you reading this are really good recruiters. Recruiters who do have the ability to understand a prospect’s needs, their abilities. When it is appropriate, you can make them feel wanted. But as recruiters with that ability, you also have some responsibilities that, if followed, can make your recruiting even more successful:

Using News Updates to Encourage Stakeholders to Help You Recruit

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Apr 14, 2003

article by Dr. John Sullivan and Master Burnett While the methods of recruiting have changed somewhat with the times, the critical challenges that most recruiters face have not. We still struggle to find enough time to get everything that needs to get done finished; we still deal with misperceptions by others regarding what it is we actually do; and we still struggle to find a way into that last remote, untapped, unidentified talent pool. It is this last issue that this article will address. Then and Now In the old days when communities were much smaller than they are now, most people in the community knew what was going on inside the manufacturing plants or office buildings in the community and in neighboring communities, because word of mouth spread through the grapevine and kept them informed. They knew who was hiring and for what. They knew what community service activities each company was participating in, and how each firm was planning to grow. These days our communities have ballooned, and the classic grapevine doesn’t reach nearly as far as it used to. Today the communication grapevine on average stretches just one layer of separation to those in the community who are directly connected to someone who works inside the local organization. The primary difference between then and now is that back then all stakeholders were involved, whereas today they are disconnected. Pulling Your Stakeholders Back In Recruiting organizations need a method to convert everyone around into a cohesive set of eyes and ears that keep an eye out for talent, foster developing talent, and spread the word about what it means to work for their firm. They need universities to know what skills their organization will be looking for in the future, they need those with appropriate skills for today to know what a great place their firm is to work for, and they need everyone to know who they are on the look out for. In short, recruiting organizations need a method to communicate with everyone connected to or interested in the success of the firm, a group often referred to as stakeholders. This group includes:

So You Want To Be a Headhunter?

by
Lou Adler
Apr 11, 2003

Before you read this article, answer one question first. I’ll ask the same question again at the end. When you compare your two responses, you’ll learn a little about yourself. What’s the one single thing you need to do to become a better recruiter? Your first answer probably has something to do with finding stronger candidates, shortening the hiring cycle, being more influential with hiring managers, becoming a better interviewer, increasing your understanding of the job, improving your networking skills, or getting better at negotiating offers. All of these are important. And now is a very good time to focus on recruiting skills improvement: Once the economy strengthens, you’ll need to be better at what you do as you handle more assignments with even fewer easy-to-find candidates available. In our recruiter training program where we convert corporate recruiters into headhunters, we first classify recruiters into four broad categories, from beginner to advanced. Benchmark yourself as you read the descriptions below. They describe the skills, competencies, and typical results expected for each class of recruiter. When you evaluate yourself, first determine your class and how well you do within each class. Then consider if the class you’re in is appropriate for the candidates you’re attempting to hire. Each of the recruiter descriptions involve to varying degrees these key activities:

  • Sourcing different types of candidates, from active to passive
  • keep reading…

Strategy Is Important

by
Kevin Wheeler
Apr 10, 2003

Getting things done is essential to both business and recruiting success. The popularity of books like Execution, by Larry Bossidy, have raised the idea of achieving goals and acting decisively to god-like levels. But Americans have always been particularly good at accomplishing things, even though they frequently aren’t sure why they are doing it. We make more cars, produce more food, and have one of the highest productivity levels in the world. Our employees work longer hours than those of any other country in the world ó even more than the Japanese, who come in second. But if there is one thing we don’t do well, it is to create an overarching purpose for what we do. It’s amazing that we buy books on execution, time management, project management, process improvement, and efficiency, but the handful of good books on strategy never make the bestseller list. Most of us relegate strategic planning to a special and separate function within our organizations and then forget all about it. This is particularly true of recruiting. Recruiters, as well as hiring managers, seem to make the assumption that the only function of recruiting is to find and hire people. While there is nothing wrong with that general thought, it is way too broad, vague, and generic to help guide any useful execution focus. No other function that I can think of has such a broad assumed purpose. My belief is that performance excellence can only be achieved when there is a narrowly defined and carefully thought out strategy. We put men on the moon successfully not because we had a space program, but because we had a purpose that was precisely expressed by President Kennedy when he challenged us to put a man on the moon by 1969. After that, everything NASA did was focused on achieving that goal. This recruiting “downtime” may prove to be the perfect opportunity to begin the process of more carefully defining the purpose of recruiting in your organization. Initiating the change process is the responsibility of recruiting leadership, but it will have to be done with the help of other business units as well. Here are a few ideas on how to approach this task. How Do You Make a Difference? The first move is to step back and ask yourself what you really contribute to the organization that makes a difference. Where does your recruiting pay off the best for your organization? In other words, who are the most valuable people you find and hire? Then ask yourself if these are the same people you spend most of your time finding and recruiting. This process of defining a focus for your work is critical to making the next steps work, so take the time to do it thoroughly. The best way is to get a small group of stakeholders together ó hiring managers, recruiters and HR generalists ó and pose a question that might look like this: “If we had to recruit only one or two particular types of skill sets for our company, what would those be?” For example, get a conversation going that probes into which specific positions you should focus on and which might be less important or best outsourced. Find out if some degrees or skills are critical or just nice to have. While this is not a pleasant process, because we all think our skills and positions are the most important, by asking people to think about those skills that actually generate products or services or that create new products or services you can begin to bring people into some sort of consensus. Usually support groups like human resources, legal, finance, and IT all find out that they are not in this group. The function most likely to be found in the critical area include engineers, scientists, inventors, and sales staff although there is great variability from organization to organization. Statement of Purpose The second step is to create a statement that expresses in writing the purpose for recruiting in your organization. It might read like this: “XYZ Corporation’s recruiting department supplies key experienced technical and R and D staff on a timely basis. We support the development of a pipeline of technical skills through internship programs, scholarships, and attendance at key technical conferences. Recruiting of non-technical and hourly staff is outsourced to carefully chosen partners.” Writing this statement is tough. It is contentious. And it is one of the best things you will ever do. Once this statement has been crafted, it must be thoroughly vetted with each business group and with the leadership team. By having a joint taskforce charted with creating the statement, part of the buy-in process will already be done. Agreement on the specific purpose and reason for your function is critically important to long-term success. Communicate Your Strategy The third step is to develop a plan to communicate your strategy widely internally. This means letting everyone know what you do and don’t do and where your focus will be placed. Email, your organization’s Intranet, and other communication media such as meetings and memos can all be used to make sure that all employees understand and are able to articulate what you do for the organization. You’ll need to begin to change your tactics to be able to flawlessly execute this strategy. The tactics, processes, policies, and staff skills that you need should all be aligned to this overarching strategy and purpose. Focus, concentration, clearly expressed purpose, and carefully designed processes are always a formula for success.

Getting the Most From College Recruiting, Part 2: College Alumni Rosters

by
David Szary
Apr 10, 2003

College recruiting has for years been a staple for recruiters looking for entry-level candidates. Still, I often find that recruiters struggle with:

  • Finding cost-effective ways to tap into the 70% of the candidates who do not find jobs via career services and job fairs
  • keep reading…