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October  2008 RSS feed Archive for October, 2008

Monster Creates Expo Buzz Over Its Coming “User-Centric” Launch

John Zappe
Oct 31, 2008, 6:04 am ET

1.10.09. You couldn’t walk the floor of the Expo without seeing someone wearing the rectangular Monster button showing that date. They were part of the buzz the company is creating in advance of the launch of what it’s telling people is a new improved user experience.

Taking to heart the message CEO Sal Iannuzzi has been touting that users are as important as recruiters, the company is set to roll out a new look and new features on January 10th. Monster was previewing some of what’s coming at its well-trafficked booth, and what we saw suggested the kind of career and succession planning tools found in higher-end talent management systems.

“It’s a seeker-centric appoach,” Monster’s VP of Client Adoption, Eric Winegardner, told us during a tour of the features.  There were no live demos because Monster’s development teams are still making tweaks.

But the slides showed tools that should appeal to passive candidates, as well as the traditional active seeker.

keep reading…

Looking for Value in HR Technology

Raghav Singh
Oct 31, 2008, 5:29 am ET

I just returned from the Future of Talent conference put on by Kevin Wheeler. This is a truly exceptional experience for those lucky enough to attend. The quality of content and discussions would be hard to duplicate. Having heard and talked about where talent management might be in the foreseeable future, it was logical to look at what technologies might be there to support it. As luck would have it, the Fall brings opportunities by the truckload to review the future of HR technology.

Judging by what’s on display and what’s being discussed at some other HR tech conferences I’ve been to, HR technology appears to be geared more to the past than the future.

keep reading…

Trends in Hiring and Assessment: Notes from the 2008 HR Technology Show

Dr. Charles Handler
Oct 31, 2008, 5:13 am ET

A few weeks ago I had a chance to visit the 11th annual HR Technology Show in Chicago. While the show includes all types of HR-related technology, there is a definite focus on recruitment and hiring. Below are some of my observations about technology and trends as they relate to the areas of interest to ERE readers and my specialty area of focus: technology based screening and assessment tools.

keep reading…

Slam-Dunk People Strategies with ESPN’s Steve Lavin

Elaine Rigoli
Oct 30, 2008, 11:16 am ET

The locker room is not the boardroom, and the basketball court is not the corporate talent acquisition department.

So as ERE Expo keynote speaker and ESPN analyst Steve Lavin warmed up the crowd at Expo on Thursday morning, it was unclear how his theories on people management — on really building a solid team — were applicable to his audience.

Lavin started the game slowly, but as he shared his passion and outlook on choosing the right people, his passion became palpable. He’s not talking ATS, he’s not talking ROI, and he’s certainly not talking time-to-fill metrics.

But what Lavin knows – and knows well – is sticking to a core belief system and applying motivating tips to help you create your own winning, successful teams. Here are traits of winning people for a winning team:

keep reading…

Lavin Broadcast Live Thursday

Todd Raphael
Oct 30, 2008, 5:01 am ET

Thursday’s highlights will include ESPN’s Steve Lavin (himself mentioned as a job candidate these days) and his tales of roundball recruiting at UCLA. Lavin’s 9 a.m. Eastern presentation is scheduled to be broadcast live on the home page of

Dr. John Sullivan is scheduled for broadcast at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, talking about recruiting during the downturn. Krista Bradford will discuss passive candidates at 3:15 p.m. Eastern. Also look for a panel called “How well do you know  your company?” at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Also on the agenda from the “posh” Westin but not broadcast: Coke’s talent-acquisition director; AIRS; a session on building pipelines of candidates, by the Recruiting Roundtable; Tony Blake, who has written a killer article for the Journal; Mr. Ted’s demo of its new ATS; and the vendor smackdown — where “job-matching” sites will strut their stuff.

As for yesterday (which, was in a sense, a cloudy day): Jobfox’s Rob McGovern released a white paper PDF warning that hiring won’t stop even in this slower economy); Kevin Wheeler said it will be “economic suicide” for companies to insist on keeping jobs in the U.S. that could be outsourced; attendees talked about the challenge of attracting out-of-towners who can’t sell their homes; Penelope Trunk and Jason Warner talked blogs; and speakers touted new tools like the Insider Referral Network and On Wednesday, the focus was less about the slowdown, and more about passionate recruiters leading the way in their companies.

The Unprotected Quarterback

Frank Mulligan
Oct 30, 2008, 5:00 am ET

High performers are assumed to be a priority focus for retention efforts during any form of economic crisis.

The value they put on the table should ensure that they have an edge in keeping their jobs, but in actual practice things don’t work quite so well.

The Chosen Ones

The methods that are used to evaluate whether someone has high potential are many and varied, but they generally focus on two issues: capabilities and desire.

keep reading…

Vendors Reach Recruiters With Coffee Mugs, Rockets, and Information

John Zappe
Oct 29, 2008, 10:52 pm ET

After two years in the vertical search business, JuJu was looking to make an impression. So the job search engine is sponsoring the coffee breaks at the ERE Expo. Now coffee is always welcome at conferences, but what really is getting the attention of recruiters are the hundreds of brushed aluminum travel mugs JuJu is giving away at the breaks.

“We want to let everyone know about us,” explains JuJu’s Euan Hayward. Around since 2006 (with the JuJu brand) and with respectable visitor numbers, Hayward says it was time for the company to reach out to recruiters. “This is our first booth experience.”

A job search engine with roots in the late 90′s, JuJu is nearly identical in concept to the better known Indeed and SimplyHired, both of whom are also at the Expo here in Hollywood Beach, Florida. Like them, it “scrapes” job postings from commercial and corporate job boards making a jobseeker’s search a one-stop effort.

Does the world need another vertical — or meta — job search site? Hayward thinks so. “There are some additional opportunities,” he says. “Innovation is not dead in this market.”

There was other evidence of innovation on the show floor.

keep reading…

Top Recruiting Metrics

Todd Raphael
Oct 29, 2008, 2:58 pm ET

The most-used recruiting metrics, from a new study by The Newman Group, in conjunction with ERE, of 500 recruiting and staffing professionals of varying company size.

keep reading…

ERE Keynoter Says Economy Offers Recruiters “Seat At The Table”

John Zappe
Oct 29, 2008, 12:24 pm ET

Did you catch former CNN anchor and business reporter Jan Hopkins this morning giving her keynote live from the ERE Expo, here in Hollywood Beach, Florida?

She talked about the world economic conditions and her own challenge selling a home after four years on the market for less than the mortgage balance. She illustrated the negatives and positives (yes, there were and are some) of the creative financing that is fueling the financial collapse, but which also enabled a young couple to buy her parents’ home with 104 percent financing.

“Imagine,” Hopkins told the audience of about 400 as she referred to President Bush’s call for a world financial summit, “we’re talking about rebuilding the financial structure of the world.”

For recruiters, Hopkins said, the economic conditions mean:

  • Morale needs to be boosted, especially among workers whose options and 401(k) plans have taken a big hit;
  • Compensation plans need to be rethought;
  • Plan for the possibility of more mergers and acquisitions;
  • Difficulty in recruiting workers who have stable jobs;
  • Growing interest in unions, fueled in part by the security of pension plans.

Now is the time for HR to be more proactive, Hopkins says, to “take a seat at the table, closer to the power.”

Turning to the audience, Hopkins began an interactive exchange, asking about the challenges recruiters were facing.

One recruiter said he finds it hard to attract experienced manufacturing workers because they can’t sell their homes to move. Turning to the “Wisdom of the Crowd,” a theme conference chair Jason Warner of Google sounded earlier, Hopkins coaxed solutions from the group, including one where a company seeking to relocate workers from a community looks for companies bringing workers into the community to work out a house swap.

Warner, in his introductory comments, encouraged recruiters to look for solutions by tapping into the collective wisdom of the group. Putting the economy in perspective, Warner of Google took the stage this morning flashing images of Time magazine covers from years past. Those dealing with economic conditions hailed from recessions past with headlines remarkably like those of the past several weeks.

Building The Right Team, With The Right Stuff, in the Right Way

Margaret Graziano
Oct 29, 2008, 5:56 am ET

Have you ever thought you hired the workplace version of John Wayne, only to find out you’ve been duped and ended up with a Woody Allen?

How Can We Improve Our Ability to Hire Right the First Time?

The two most common hiring traps are hiring in a hurry and hiring the resume rather than the person.

Companies that don’t have succession plans in place or that fail to practice cross-training often rush to relieve the pain of the empty chair. Businesses that ignore the hiring process in the interest of expediting it are far more susceptible to missing important clues that could otherwise prevent a poor hiring decision.

Articles from Harvard Business Review, Spherion, and Kenexa report that more than 65% of all candidates do not prepare their own resumes and more than 45% of job applicants misrepresent the credentials on their resumes with one or more “tall tales.”

A third and very common hiring trap is to hire based on a job description. These typically list a subjective interpretation of required job skills and experience. By highlighting only hard skills, they leave out the most critical elements such as key performance objectives, behaviors, values, character traits, and soft competencies — the defining criteria that lead to effective performance.

There is tremendous pressure on hiring managers to keep their organizations fully staffed and productive. But, how does one meet these demands without falling into hiring traps?

keep reading…

Watch Marlatt on Wednesday

Todd Raphael
Oct 29, 2008, 5:27 am ET

Michael Marlatt (rhymes with day, say, and Wednesday) will be one of the highlights of a day’s agenda that’s packed to the hilt. Penelope Trunk is appearing at 4 p.m.; an all-star panel on hiring military veterans is at 2:15; a host of startup companies will be on the hotseat also at 2:15, and tons more. There’ll be podcasters and bloggers and Twitterers.

And ERE’s Expo is being broadcast this year on Today we’ll plan on streaming on the following (among other videos):

  • Jason Warner, from Google
  • Jan Hopkins, former CNN anchor
  • Kevin Wheeler (tour of the recruiting world)
  • Gerry and Mark’s panel on cutting-edge technology
  • Michael Marlatt on the future of recruiting
  • Mike Beckman from Freddie Mac

and others.

The Candidate’s Virtual Experience

Elaine Rigoli
Oct 28, 2008, 6:08 pm ET

Gerry Crispin of CareerXRoads claims that about 55% of corporate careers websites cannot answer the question, “Why come here?”

That means most candidates are lost as soon as they stumble on one of these sites, Crispin told a pre-conference workshop at ERE Expo on Tuesday.

keep reading…

Awaiting Google

Jim Dalton
Oct 28, 2008, 6:05 pm ET

If you’re visiting the website via Firefox or Google, you might have received a warning about our website being infected by “malware.” In fact, we were infected with a malware virus early Tuesday morning, which we promptly detected and removed.

Unfortunately, it appears to be taking Google and Firefox a long time to update their records and clear our website from the flagged list. We have requested a review of our website and are currently awaiting a response back. Apparently the process can take up to a day, so we’re hopeful the warning messages will have disappeared by Wednesday morning.

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and confusion this has caused some of our readers. We’re hoping we can find a way to work with Google to eliminate this kind of disruption to our users in the future.

Update: Probably ten minutes after I posted this note, Google cleared the warnings and everything is running smooth. Again, sorry for any confusion or concern this caused anyone.

ERE Expo Opens With Busy Workshop Schedule

John Zappe
Oct 28, 2008, 2:58 pm ET

ERE Expo Fall opened this morning in Hollywood Beach, Florida, starting with a series of practice workshops covering everything from how to source passive candidates to how to interview for results, improve Latino recruitment and plan strategically.

Dozens of recruiters are attending these special workshops and pre-conference events. In all, some 800 registrants are expected over the Expo’s three days. It formally kicks off Wednesday morning when conference chair Jason Warner of Google offers his welcoming remarks.

Today’s pre-conference sessions are focused on recruiter skills. Judging from the attendance and some of the comments, the world economic condition has not had much of an impact on the recruiters.

Hands down the biggest attendance was at the sourcing workshop run by Shally Steckerl and Glenn Gutmacher. There, some 50 recruiters from the U.S., the Netherlands, and elsewhere, learned the secrets of Internet sourcing and such remarkable bits of information as only .18 percent of the Internet is accessed via search engines. (The rest is in password protected databases or otherwise similarly hidden.)

Here’s a tip from the session: Want to find resumes that keywords don’t turn up? Use the command intitle:. Too easy for you? Then the afternoon’s Master Level Sourcing workshop is for you.

keep reading…

A Sourcer’s Journal

Maureen Sharib
Oct 28, 2008, 5:29 am ET

Recently I posted a piece about namby-pamby sourcing, part of which was about being afraid of your own shadow in these troubled times. In it I stated that one way to improve upon scaredy-cat sourcing processes was to keep a journal about your daily sourcing routine. That way you could “see” and “hear” the mistakes you made along your sourcing way. I confessed I had been doing just that for several years when one day I realized I had a body of work with which I started a fledgling phone-sourcing training business. I didn’t have this intent when I started sourcing — the training business just flowed out of my actions. You never know where you’re going in this life ‘til you get there. And then you never know where you’re going next!

Someone suggested that it might be interesting to read a scenario out of my journal and the specifics of keeping such a journal, and what goes in it. At first surprised, I soon grasped the interest potential in reading a behind-the-scenes synopsis of a phone sourcer’s day. So, to wit:

Writing about your sourcing experiences in a journal gives you the opportunity to read back over your process releasing new ideas along the way. This is how I started communicating my processes — for years and years, when I had a particularly good day (or a particularly bad one!) I’d sit down and write out what happened. I’d do it in a script format. This is where many of the scripts I use as examples in my training came from.

One such day’s entry turned into a script that I used to demonstrate the effectiveness of acquiescence when sourcing. I advise that it’s usually best, when you’re in the early stages of contact with a Gatekeeper, to follow her suggestions until the two of you have established some minor rapport that allows you to “take over” at some point in the exchange and begin to direct her actions to achieve what you want. The following entry is from 2005.

keep reading…

The Google Recruiting Machine Rolls On With Google’s College Ambassador Program

Dr. John Sullivan
Oct 27, 2008, 6:00 am ET

There is only one way to accurately categorize Google’s recruiting efforts: they are a recruiting machine.

While you might have heard speculation to the contrary, they continue to innovate, particularly in the area of employment branding, where they maintain global dominance. Several years ago, I wrote a broad case study on Google recruiting that highlighted its overall approach, but I didn’t go into any depth about the company’s bold approaches in the area of college recruiting.

In this article, I’ll highlight some of the creative things that Google has tried in college recruiting, including its latest triumph, the amazing Google College Ambassador Program. (If you missed the original case study, or would like to revisit it, you can find it here.)

The King of Employment Branding

The recent collapse of the banking and financial markets has subdued much of the consulting and investment banking competition that Google once faced on campuses. Despite some turbulence, the high-tech industry is still a shining light in this economy, and Google is by far most students’ number-one choice of employers among high-tech firms.

Recent research reveals that 45% of engineering students would like to work at Google. Even outside of high-tech, Google’s employment brand still shines. It was recently selected as the number-one ideal employer among all undergraduate students by Universum. In their most recent study, 17% of the students participating selected Google, up from 13% last year. Those leads will undoubtedly be lengthened next year following the implementation of their new and innovative College Ambassador Program.

The Google College Ambassador Program

The number-one weakness of all college recruiting programs is their inability to maintain a “continuous presence” on campuses throughout the academic year. Every firm is forced by travel expenses and a finite supply of recruiters to limit the number of days they can have a recruiter on any particular campus.

Because of the cost, recruiters typically fly in, spend a few days, and then fly out. As a result of this “here today gone tomorrow” approach, some college recruiters have even been labeled “seagulls” because they are viewed as “flying in frequently, dropping a load of crap, and then leaving.”

Even Google has realized that it cannot afford to park its recruiting staff on every key campus for enough days during the year to really make a difference. As a result, they developed an “on-campus ambassador” program that I predict will soon be copied by many other major firms.

The premise is simple. Instead of periodically flying in representatives, why not recruit individuals who are already there (students) and convert them into ambassadors?

keep reading…

Watch ERE Expo Live on the Web!

David Manaster
Oct 27, 2008, 2:56 am ET

This Wednesday will mark the 15th time that I’ve kicked off an ERE Expo in the U.S., but running conferences is a people business, and it’s different every time. The people, personalities, and subject matter changes from show to show — I always come away with something brand new.

The ERE team works hard to introduce new aspects to ERE Expo every time we run one. Last show, we experimented with Twitter, running a live feed on screens in the front of the room so attendees could share their comments with the entire audience. (You can still follow the official ERE Expo twitter feed here).

On Wednesday morning, and throughout the ERE Expo, visitors to will be able to share in our latest ERE Expo experiment. We’ll be broadcasting large portions of the conference for free, live on the home page of the site! You’ll see a live video feed from many of the sessions, and also be able to share your thoughts about the presentations with other recruiters via chat.

Nothing is the same as being at the event, but this is our way of saying thanks to you for being visitors to the site. Enjoy, and let me know what you think once we start broadcasting — I will be hanging out in the chat as often as I can during the show!

Wells Fargo Agrees to Provide Poll Workers

Leslie Stevens
Oct 24, 2008, 5:29 pm ET

The aging population and people’s busy lifestyles have made it increasingly difficult to recruit poll workers in Orange County, California. With the presidential election just days away, the Orange County Registrar of Voters has received a helping hand from Wells Fargo Bank in filling 8,400 poll worker positions. Wells Fargo employees will be allowed to work the polls, with their manager’s permission, and still receive their regular pay in addition to a $95 stipend; $75 for poll worker duties, and $20 for a three-hour training class.

It’s the first partnership between private business and the Orange County registrar, which has been actively soliciting corporate sponsors to provide volunteers. The registrar also expects to fill 2,300 poll worker positions with local high school students, up from 1,400 in previous elections, according to Brett Rowley, community outreach manager.

“Besides serving the communities where we do business, we know Gen Yers are attracted to companies that demonstrate social responsibility, so we think this adds to our value as an employer,” said Julie Green Rommel, Orange County communications manager for Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo employs 3,000 people in the county.

Using Situational Leadership to Assess Competency

Lou Adler
Oct 24, 2008, 6:36 am ET

We’re working with a fast-growing security software company whose CEO is using Blanchard and Hershey’s Situational Leadership model for their management development program.

Our part in this is developing a new method of assessing Managerial Fit when hiring from the outside. We all know that the development skills of the manager are critical in ensuring a new employee’s performance, so this might be something useful to consider whether you’re a recruiter or hiring manager.

In this same vein, using the concept of Managerial Fit and Situational Leadership might also be something to consider if your company is increasing its emphasis on internal mobility. It could help increase the number of top-performing current employees transferred into significantly different roles.

The concept behind Blanchard and Hershey’s leadership model is that the manager needs to adapt their style based on the current skills and developmental needs of the subordinate. The model categorizes management styles into these four levels:

  • S1 – Directing: providing specific guidance for the task with direct and immediate follow-up. This is useful technique for a subordinate who has little skills in the area of need and lacks confidence.
  • S2 – Coaching: providing an appropriate level of training and follow-up, but giving the subordinate some latitude in getting the job done. This is a very interactive two-way approach which is also useful where the subordinate needs external motivation to complete the task as well as some training.
  • S3 – Participating: the manager assigns the tasks, provides some direction, but leaves how the task is done up to the subordinate. This technique is appropriate for a skilled person who might need some support and guidance in getting the job done.
  • S4 – Delegating: in this case the manager assigns the tasks with the expectation that the subordinate will get it done with little follow-up. This is an appropriate technique to use when the person handling the tasks is fully competent and highly motivated.

The Situational Leadership model defines the developmental needs of subordinates into four broad categories based on competence, confidence, and motivation to do the work.

As you’ll see, these classifications are very-task oriented, so a person might vary in ability and motivation from strong to weak across all job needs. This requires a successful manager to adapt to the subordinate’s needs given the specific task.

keep reading…

Salary Increases Low; High Performers Are the Focus

Todd Raphael
Oct 23, 2008, 12:55 pm ET

Hewitt’s latest survey shows some employers will be giving salary increases of about one percent smaller than they would have, had the economy been looking a little better.

Hewitt’s survey of 411 large companies revealed that 42 percent of companies “are revising their salary budgets and variable pay spending strategies related to the economic downturn or because of increasing cost pressures.” Of that 42%:

  • 49 percent plan to reduce variable compensation payouts
  • 66 percent will cut bonuses by more than 10 percent in 2008
  • Salary increases will be about 3.1 percent in 2009, or about 1 percent smaller than they would have been.

Thirty-eight percent of companies are reserving part of their salary-increase budget for their highest performers. And 23 percent are creating supplemental, discretionary incentive pools for high-performers. Another 20 percent are offering employees retention bonuses for them to stay a certain amount of time.