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February  2008 RSS feed Archive for February, 2008

The Imperfect Evolution of the Corporate Recruiting Department

by
Lou Adler
Feb 29, 2008

Before we get to the future, a little history is in order. As part of the marketing for my retained executive search practice in the mid-1990s, I did consulting for dozens of mid-size companies through TEC (The Executive Committee) and YPO (Young Presidents Organization).

The primary focus of this work was the development of a strategic hiring plan that allowed companies to move from a loose entrepreneurial business to a more sustainable and well-run growing company. Pulling this off always required the CEO/founder to relinquish a major portion of his authority, the addition of a number of critical senior managers, and the implementation of scalable business processes for all core functions. As part of this, the independent free-wheelers had to either leave or join the team.

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Spring Grad Outlook

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 28, 2008, 1:26 pm ET

It’s still early yet, but the Class of 2008 will be graduating sooner than you think. Here are some trends of note to help you on your path toward this year’s crop of new job candidates:

– Engineering services and accounting firms are among the employers showing the most interest in this year’s new college graduates, according to the Winter 2008 issue of Salary Survey. Other hot spots include consulting, financial services, retail, and petroleum products companies. Here’s a glimpse at the average starting salary offered by most employers:

Adicio Honors Career Sites

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 28, 2008, 12:32 pm ET

Adicio has revealed the winners in its 4th annual Best Practices Awards, honoring leading career websites. Adicio says its award winners incorporate “progressive” strategies that set the standard for other media companies to follow. The winners of the 2008 Adicio Best Practice awards include:

Best Careers Site (Large) – JobsTodayOnline.com (The Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Best Careers Site (Small) – TriadCareers.com (The Greensboro News & Record)

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Why Do We Love Hiring Shenanigans?

by
Kevin Wheeler
Feb 28, 2008

Have you ever asked candidates to come in for six, eight, or even 10 interviews? Does your culture demand that candidates answer weird and irrelevant questions like those infamous ones Microsoft used to ask about why manhole covers are round or how many eggs it takes to fill up a school bus?

These were so well-known that in 2003, William Poundstone published a book about them called How Would You Move Mount Fuji? Microsoft’s Cult of the Puzzle – How the World’s Smartest Company Selects the Most Creative Thinkers.

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Webinar: Source of Hire

by
Madeline Laurano
Feb 27, 2008, 8:30 pm ET

Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler of CareerXroads presenting on their Source of Hire survey…what is a better way to help you become a strategic decision maker in your own company and bring your recruiting process to the next level? Listen in to a snapshot of how large, highly-competitive, high-profile firms maintain and track their Source of Hire (SOH) data. While few companies are confident that their own SOH information is as accurate as they might want it to be, they are increasingly placing their bets on sources that have demonstrated the most success in the past year. Data integrity, obtaining reliable and valid information about the staffing decision process, is still a concern for many organizations. Gerry Crispin provides examples of how leading companies overcome this challenge and offers advice for how you can you can track your Source of Hire data in order to achieve results.  

Jigsaw CEO Podcast: The Company That Invented Trading Business Cards For Profit is Evolving

by
John Zappe
Feb 27, 2008, 1:09 pm ET

Jigsaw changed its slogan last month, eliminating mention of the business cards for which it became famous as a resource for recruiters.

Now, instead of saying “Buy and Trade Business Cards” the Jigsaw tagline is “Complete, Collaborative Business Information.” The change reflects the evolution of Jigsaw, according to its co-founder and CEO Jim Fowler, who joined us in a podcast recently to tells us the company is broadening its reach.

In the 8-minute podcast, you’ll hear Fowler tell us that recruiters are the most active networkers among the 400,000 members of its community; that sales people are the biggest users; and that Jigsaw is going beyond what is on the face of a business card to include data about the employee’s company itself.

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From Overt to Covert: Keeping Remote Workers Safe

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 27, 2008, 10:30 am ET

About 70% of Cisco Systems employees work from home at least 20% of the time, but you would never guess that after reviewing an alarming Cisco study that paints remote workers as ignorant about online security.

The study of more than 2,000 remote workers and IT professionals from various industries shows that remote workers’ security awareness and online behavior may inadvertently heighten risks for themselves and their employers.

Spanning 10 countries — the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, India, Australia, and Brazil — Cisco security executives report that workers’ perceptions of security threats are softening. And more than 50% of IT respondents believe their remote workers are becoming less diligent toward security awareness, an 11 percentage-point increase from the year before.

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Forgotten Fun

by
Maureen Sharib
Feb 27, 2008

I’d forgotten the fun of Internet search.

I had a job come in during January. The position was for a senior-level manager in the R&D software group of a major storage business. The customer told me in the specifications that the person we were looking for was “an uber-geek who has the capacity and the desire to talk business to customers.” Further clarification pointed out that most qualified candidates “have blogs, or they’re named on the Web because they are conference speakers, award winners, or as with ____, have a brief profile of their background.” They were also likely to have been awarded patents.

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So, How Did I Do?

by
Cecelia Emery
Feb 26, 2008

Here’s a scenario that recruiters and hiring managers are often faced with. You’re interviewing a candidate. The interview is mediocre at best, you’re not “wowed” by the candidate by any means, and they ask, “So, truthfully, how did I do?”

Every time I’m asked this question, I want to mimic the scene in A Few Good Men and say, “You can’t handle the truth!”

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Rainmaker: Firm Seeks Sales-Hungry Attorney

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 25, 2008, 2:21 pm ET

The construction-focused law firm Scholefield Associates calls itself an unconventional law firm, due in part to its efforts to break free from “archaic” hiring practices.

The firm is actively seeking a sales-hungry new associate, a rainmaker with a solid sales background, something that borrows from the corporate world.

Unlike at most law firms, where a senior partner would take on the “rainmaker” role, the San Diego-based law firm wants to let its new hire run free to bring in new business, unshackled by billable hours and copious legal writing and research.

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Aggressive Talent Poaching in Bathrooms and Parking Lots

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 25, 2008

Ever since the unsolicited offer by Microsoft to buy Yahoo, recruiters have been literally “circling” Yahoo in a manner that would have to be labeled as aggressive even by Silicon Valley standards. The tactics vary from the relatively tame practice of “cold calling” into Yahoo in order to find nervous employees to the more aggressive “trolling” by recruiters outside Yahoo’s parking lot and in local spots where Yahoo employees hang out.

Even though Microsoft hopes to gain a significant amount of Yahoo’s talent through acquisition, a number of groups at Microsoft are not waiting. Already on the Internet you can find copies of emails sent by Microsoft recruiters to known top talent at Yahoo, offering them an opportunity to explore a Microsoft career in this time of uncertainty. Those interested in reading one such email can check out this blog posting.

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Bond with Your Candidates

by
Ken Forrester
Feb 22, 2008

While surfing the Internet for information on a presentation, I came across a Toastmasters video of a guy giving suggestions on “how to overcome the fear of public speaking.” The example that he used to get his point across will certainly help you if you have to give a speech, but more important, it will help recruiters fill more jobs by emotionally connecting with both the hiring manager and applicant on every deal.

He indicated that in order to eliminate stage fright and deliver an effective presentation, the speaker must know both the subject matter of his speech and his audience. When that is established, the objective of the speaker is to simply share information that he likes about the subject that he wants his audience to know. And, because the speaker is convinced that his audience will like the subject, he will not only use words, he will also subconsciously employ eye contact, facial expressions, dramatizations, body language, and enthusiasm to emotionally connect with the audience.

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Starbucks Cuts 600

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 21, 2008, 12:29 pm ET

Reigniting the “emotional attachment” with customers or brewing resentment among loyal employees?

This is something Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has had to grapple with, and he stated his opinions publicly on Thursday. He sent a letter to all employees, a note he called his “most difficult communication to date” but necessary in order to improve the current state of the company and reinvigorate sales.

The gist of his open letter is that Starbucks is cutting about 600 positions, a move that is not surprising in some circles. This includes the elimination of existing positions and open headcount, as well as the reduction of its current workforce. Within this context, Schultz notes that approximately 220 partners have separated from the company, and that nearly all were U.S. partners serving in non-retail support roles.

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ChoicePoint Bought for $3.6 Billion

by
Todd Raphael
Feb 21, 2008, 10:47 am ET

The company has seen its share of bad news, but not today.

ChoicePoint is being bought by the British company that owns LexisNexis. ChoicePoint’s stock is up dramatically today, about 43%.

Scenes from the Office: The Oscars and Your Boss

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 21, 2008, 9:30 am ET

Is your ideal boss more likely to say “Make my day!” or ask “You talking to me?”

This Sunday night, after Barbara Walters’s tete-a-tete with nominees but before the Academy Awards are handed out, take a moment to consider who your ideal boss would be if you could choose from past Oscar recipients.

CareerBuilder.com recently did just that, asking 6.704 U.S. employees which Oscar-winning actor or actress they would most like to work for. According to the new survey, most prefer Julia Roberts or Tom Hanks as their ideal boss.

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Join the Puzzle Craze

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 21, 2008, 6:55 am ET

What is black and white and square all over?

If you’re hoping for a bit of a distraction from your looming piles of work, ERE is here to provide some light-hearted relief with our newest invention: the ERE crossword puzzle!

After you complete the puzzle, let us know your thoughts, as well as feedback on its difficulty level or ideas for future puzzles.

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What’s Hot for 2008?

by
Kevin Wheeler
Feb 21, 2008

I am always looking for trends or emerging practices that are changing, or at least influencing, the way we source and recruit talent. The Internet is the engine that drives all the innovation we are seeing and has already, in little more than a decade, revolutionized how we attract, find, assess, and even communicate with candidates and how they interact with organizations.

Over the past year, several applications and new tools have appeared that are both exciting and a little frightening. Some of them will most likely go nowhere. They are just too edgy to ever become mainstream. Others may turn out to be the dominant tools of the next few decades.

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The Recruiter’s President

by
Raghav Singh
Feb 20, 2008

The election this year is considered a watershed event in American politics. We have, at this time, three individuals who have a good shot at becoming president. While there are plenty of reports on who will best serve what groups’ needs, it would be instructive to look at who would be of most benefit to the recruiting profession.

To make this assessment as objective as possible, three criteria that affect recruiting will be used to compare the candidates: immigration, since it impacts the availability of labor; supporting a climate conducive to business, since business is the primary source of employment; and legislation that impacts employment, either making it easier or more difficult to hire an employee. Everything written here is taken from the candidate’s publicly stated position, his or her voting records, or information in the public domain.

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Caterpillar Grows in Weak Times

by
Elaine Rigoli
Feb 19, 2008, 1:08 pm ET

Despite a painful slowdown across multiple sectors in the building and construction industries, Caterpillar is inching along.

The Peoria, Illinois-based manufacturer of iconic yellow tractors may hire hundreds of engineers and designers to work in a planned 100-acre research and development facility and manufacturing plant in Raleigh, North Carolina. The new facility would develop prototype products for the Caterpillar line of machines and engines.

The company may also boost its 700-strong North Carolina workforce by hiring at the Cary, Clayton, and Sanford locations.

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Motivating the Passive Sales Candidate

by
Lee Salz
Feb 19, 2008

I was never very good in science class, which is probably why I’m not a doctor today. Yet, I remember vividly the exercise on heated atoms. The experiment started with a flask of water and a Bunsen burner. When the flame from the Bunsen burner was applied to the flask, the atoms would dart all over the place in excitement. The excitement was uncontrollable. The energy remained as long as the heat was applied. As soon as the Bunsen burner was removed, the atoms moved back to a static state. All movement stopped.

This science experiment teaches a lot about recruiting “passive” sales candidates (those not presently looking for a job). All companies want to recruit the top-talent salespeople from other companies. However, that talent is usually locked in pretty tightly. The top salespeople are the best earners of the company, so they probably aren’t looking to leave. What would get them to leave? How do you find these candidates? What would energize passive sales candidates to be excited about another opportunity?

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