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February  2009 RSS feed Archive for February, 2009

The Hidden Gift Your Gen Y Employees Are Offering You

David Lee
Feb 27, 2009, 5:52 am ET

Yesterday, I read one of those “10 Tips for…” type of articles on how to manage the Millennial or Gen Y employee. They included recommendations such as:

  • Provide leadership and guidance.
  • Listen to the Millennial employee.
  • Provide challenge and change.
  • Provide structure (i.e. clear expectations, goals, assessment of progress, etc).

One of the website’s readers posted a point-by-point criticism of the article, concluding with: “The advice given is good for employees of all ages. Contending that it is uniquely applicable to a new generation is nonsense.”

While I agree with the rather prickly poster’s perspective that the author’s advice applies to all employees, I do think he missed the nuances the author was trying to convey.

keep reading…

The Plight of the Renaissance Man

Brendan Shields
Feb 26, 2009, 3:39 pm ET

Recruiter Academy Founder David Szary joined me and over a thousand others yesterday to cover how the role of the recruiter is changing in 2009. With a myriad of factors such as a struggling economy, new sourcing tools and technologies, and Gen Y entering the workforce, it was apparent that the recruiting industry is going through a period of major change. Szary addressed the need to adapt in order to succeed, stating that “the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting your results to change.”

In examining the trends, Szary predicted the end of an era for the “generalist” recruiter. As more sourcing technologies and specialties emerge, he made the point that being a jack of all trades and a master of none is no longer feasible. “Make yourself invaluable” was the number one takeaway of the presentation. By specializing and becoming an expert in a select few areas, recruiters are less likely to be considered expendable in tough times like these.

Following the presentation (about 45 minutes into the video) Szary took questions from the audience, addressing a variety of topics. I particularly enjoyed David’s thoughts on the future of middle class recruiters & sourcers and changing mindsets around the use of new sourcing tools. View the slideshow and archived video of the presentation below to learn more!

keep reading…

A Time for Rebirth: Rethink and Refocus Your Career

Kevin Wheeler
Feb 26, 2009, 7:00 am ET

Tough times offer opportunities that cannot exist in good times. The brightness of good times means that shadows are deep and lots of creative ideas and innovations lie in the dark shade cast by the glow of success.

But when clouds roll in, suddenly many things are revealed. We are now in such a time. keep reading…

“Googlean” for Sourcing and Internet Research

Irina Shamaeva
Feb 26, 2009, 5:25 am ET

Lately, the word Boolean has become very popular among web sourcers and recruiters. (As you might know, I am fond of it myself!) For some, “Boolean searches” seem complicated. Others wonder what the big deal is since Boolean simply means AND, OR, and NOT applied to keywords.

Let’s try to find some clarity. I’ll write about Google here. Though other search engines are similar in many ways, each has its own syntax, somewhat different from Google’s.

Google syntax does, of course, implement Boolean logic, though in a limited fashion. It’s not what I want to talk about here; I’d like to talk about the additional, “non-Boolean” part of Google. Google syntax (shall we call it Googlean?) contains much more than an implementation of Boolean logic.

There are operators and special characters that instruct Google on how to use keywords in a search string. One doesn’t need to learn about all of the operators to become successful in one’s searches, but adding a few operators to your search will help quite a bit. Here I’ll cover some operators that I think are a must for a serious web sourcer’s toolbox.

Part 1 of 2 “Googlean” and Special Characters

keep reading…

Aussie Job Board Founder Is Young Global Leader

John Zappe
Feb 25, 2009, 7:38 pm ET

Paul Bassat, CEO of Australia’s largest job board, has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Bassat, who founded Seek in 1997 with his brother Andrew, joins 229 other men and women under 40 years of age who were selected, according to the Forum, for their “professional accomplishments, commitment to society, and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.” Also on the list are golfer Tiger Woods, Chad Hurley, co-founder and CEO of YouTube, and Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. Primarily composed of business leaders, the list also includes government officials, artists, writers, and educators from 71 countries.

Seek is publicly held and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. In addition to the job board in Australia, Seek also runs the largest job board in New Zealand and is a leading shareholder in Zhaopin, one of the largest job boards in China. It also has job board holdings in Brazil and owns training, testing, and education firms in Australia.

The Slashing May Slow

Todd Raphael
Feb 25, 2009, 5:31 pm ET

The last we time we were the bearer of bad news from a Watson Wyatt survey, 23% of companies were planning more layoffs. That percentage is way down: 13% of companies are now expecting to make layoffs.

That’s partly because a lot of companies have already cut. In December, 39% of companies said they’d already done layoffs; now, 52% say so.

Meanwhile, the percentage of the 245 large U.S. companies surveyed last week that say they froze salaries more than tripled from the December survey to this one. keep reading…

More Forgettable Interview Advice

Dr. Wendell Williams
Feb 25, 2009, 5:59 am ET

People are always writing articles about the best interview questions. One author (who positioned himself as a hiring expert) actually advised, “In terms of ‘canned’ interview questions, my suggestion is to select a few questions you like and ask them.”

This is a fine strategy for making friends, but absolute nonsense for a recruiter (I had another word in mind, but it would have been politically incorrect.)

After some initial chit-chat, the only interview questions a recruiter or hiring manager should ask are ones that provide trustworthy and reliable data about whether the candidate has the skills for the job.

keep reading…

Paid Internships May Be Scarce, But It’s A Way To Hire The Best

John Zappe
Feb 24, 2009, 5:00 am ET

While you digest the consequences of eliminating your college recruiting consider one of the benefits of maintaining — or starting — an internship program: You’ll have an uncrowded pool to swim in. keep reading…

Peek at the Week Ahead

Scott Baxt
Feb 23, 2009, 5:43 am ET

Here is a quick rundown on what is going on around the ERE world this week:

  • On Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET, our sister site, will be presenting the second episode of Margaret Graziano’s A Keen Sense of Recruiting Fordyce TV show. No need to RSVP to this one. Just go to on Tuesday. If you missed Margaret’s first episode, you can watch it here.
  • Sign up for the next in ERE’s free webinar series taking place Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET — The Changing Role of the Recruiter, led by Dave Szary.
  • This week, keep your eyes on the site to find out the hidden gift your Gen Y employees are offering you (hint: canary).
  • If you missed Melissa’s announcement last week, we are coming to hang out with Chicago area recruiters at our next meetup on March 11. Tell your friends and colleagues.
  • There was quite the response to Kevin Wheeler’s article last week about a Candidate’s Bill of Rights. Make your opinion known in the comments section.
  • For all you social networking junkies out there, connect with other ERE members on Facebook and LinkedIn. Also you can follow ERE and FordyceLetter on Twitter.

We are also another week closer to the start of ERE Expo 2009 Spring in San Diego. Check out the growing list of companies who will be there.

Have a great week and feel free to leave any questions you have for me in the comments section.

Workforce Planning Is Hot; Are You Lagging Behind?

Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 23, 2009, 4:15 am ET

What’s hot in talent management changes quite often. Right now, there’s no hotter topic within the talent management community than workforce planning.

The reasons are simple: with the current economy driving revenues down dramatically, many senior executives are examining how to plan ahead in order to increase their firms’ capabilities, reduce costs, and survive the economic chaos likely to continue for some time.

Organizations need an effective talent management plan that will allow them to “explode out of the box” at the first sight of economic recovery, yet one that doesn’t threaten economic sustainability in the short term.

While most in talent management are continuing to react with stale cost containment approaches developed decades ago, strategic talent managers are stepping forward with robust workforce planning solutions and new work models that account for the significant changes in both how people work and live that have occurred in the last 20 years.

If you are interested in doing more than talking about being strategic, here are some recommended action steps to help improve your organization’s workforce planning.

keep reading…

Internal Transfers Growing As Leading Source of Hire

John Zappe
Feb 23, 2009, 12:32 am ET

(the chart in this story was updated February 23)

Once again referrals have turned out to be the leading source of external hires in the annual CareerXroads source of hire survey. In 2008, 27.3 percent of the external hires made by the 45 large employers who completed the survey came from referrals made primarily by employees, but also by alumni, vendors, and others.

Corporate web sites — a destination and not an actual “source,” insists the report — was second with 20.1 percent of the external hires coming from there. Rounding out the top three were job boards, which accounted for 12.3 percent of the hires.

No big news in those results. For the last several years the survey that CareerXroads principals Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler conduct every January has consistently found referrals accounting for about 3 of every 10  external hires made by the participating companies.

What is different this year is that 38.8 percent of all openings were filled by internal transfers and promotions.

“We found that very interesting, ” says Crispin. “That’s the highest number since we started this survey eight years ago.”

His explanation is that despite hiring freezes, critical openings still have to be filled. But, now that’s being done internally and the  jobs the transfers leave are simply being absorbed by the remaining staff.

keep reading…

LinkedIn Groups Now Has Free Job Postings

John Zappe
Feb 22, 2009, 12:57 am ET

What would you pay to get a job opening before a group of the very people you’re looking to hire? How about free?

LinkedIn is now allowing group members to post job openings at no charge. The jobs are separate from the group discussions and have their own channel. Only other members of the group have access to the jobs, so while that reduces the overall visibility, it makes it possible to highly target job openings.

If LinkedIn announced this feature anywhere, we missed it. Nor could we find anyplace on the site itself explaining how it works. What it looks like, though, is the job posting rules are the same as participating in a discussion. Only members of a group can post a job. And the jobs aren’t included in the main, fee-based job board.

So this looks to us like more of an opportunity for specialty recruiters already participating in groups where they fish. It’s also likely that recruiters may start joining more groups.

We suspect that eventually LinkedIn will open up the group job boards to anyone for a fee. But that’s just a guess.

If You’re Really Good, Make Sure You Don’t Apply

Todd Raphael
Feb 20, 2009, 2:04 pm ET

Thanks to Ron Katz for the tip about this search firm’s job ad. It’s one I’ll be passing along to my most mediocre friends — who won’t have to worry about misspellings on their cover letters.

Senior Financial Analyst-DARIEN, CT

Sr Financial Analyst. Salary 60-70K plus 6% bonus.

They are looking for 5 + yrs exp. Do not want candidates who are overqualified who will settle for les money. They are NOT seeking resumes of Wall Street Brokers and others candidates who are willing to settle for less. There is a train station 3 blocks away and 50 minutes from Grand central. Ideal candidates come out of Manufacturing with hands on Accounting exp.

Recruiting Lessons from ‘Fast Company’

Lou Adler
Feb 20, 2009, 7:00 am ET

The March 2009 issue of Fast Company lists its take on the 50 most innovative companies in the world.

As I read their analysis, it seemed evident that the lessons learned about what makes a company innovative could be directly applied to the recruiting industry. With this perspective in mind, here’s how I’d translate business and product innovation into recruiting ideas.

Some of them are wild and crazy, but then again, they might just work.

keep reading…

Meetup’s Unique Approach to Talent Pipelines

David Manaster
Feb 19, 2009, 5:19 pm ET

“Talent Pools.”

“Talent Pipelines.”

“Talent Networks.”

All of these buzzwords describe the same thing — the idea of building a community of individuals whose skills you will need before there is an immediate opening for them. The idea is to strengthen the bonds between these people and the organization so that when the need arises, it’s a simple matter of picking up the phone.

In theory, of course.

In practice, I’ve seen too many software solutions aimed at creating these “communities” turn out to be little more than databases with candidate names and contact information. I’ve seen too many companies fall in love with the idea (which is a really good one), but not put in them time necessary to implement them in a way that realized the concept’s potential.

This Tuesday, I attended a NY Recruiting & HR Network Meetup and had the pleasure of hearing Linda Paul, the Director of Team Development at Meetup talk about her work. keep reading…

You Think Your Job Is Stressful? Try Being A Photojournalist

John Zappe
Feb 19, 2009, 3:31 pm ET

Here’s a quick quiz from Adicio, the California company that runs the CareerCast jobs network:

  1. What’s the most stressful job? Now the second most stressful? And the 3rd?
  2. How about the best job in the U.S. to have? 2nd best?
  3. What’s the worst?

Some of the answers in the Jobs Rated Report issued by Adicio will surprise you. In the stress area, Adicio rated surgeon and airline pilot as first and second most stressful jobs respectively. Considering that one has a job where a little uh-oh can be a life or death matter and the other never knows when a routine day at the office might turn into a landing in the Hudson, I can buy the stress rating. But photojournalist as the third most stressful job? Well, hmmm.

The best job? That would be mathematician, says the report, with actuary and statistician filling out the top three places. That rating had me flashing on the Monster commercial from 1999. The black and white one with the kids saying things like, “When I grow up I want to file all day.”

I don’t know about you, but I have never, ever heard anyone tell me they wanted to be an actuary when they grow up. Pilot, yes. Doctor, of course. Even photojournalist.

When I lived near the mountains I knew a lumberjack who loved his job and worked at it every summer when he was off from his winter job as a teacher. Bad career choice for him since lumberjack is rated as the worst job in the United States, because, says Adicio, “lumberjacks perform backbreaking physical labor in an unpleasant environment.” It was the physical labor that appealed to my acquaintance. And, whatever you may think of cutting down trees in a forest, it is a forest. What’s not to like?

keep reading…

It’s Time for a Candidate’s Bill of Rights

Kevin Wheeler
Feb 19, 2009, 5:13 am ET

When times are tough, candidates are often treated with disrespect. Many recruiters see a surplus of candidates and start acting impersonally or begin ignoring them. At the same time, candidates, many of whom may be unemployed or very worried about their current positions, are super sensitive to how they are treated. I have heard from unemployed colleagues and from many other candidates about the poor customer service they are receiving as the volume of resumes grows and the number of positions decline. Perhaps some of this can be rationalized because many recruiters have been laid off and workloads have, of course, increased. On the other hand, we have never had more tools to help.

From email to caller ID to voice mail, recruiters can now employ and hide behind electronic shields that are virtually impenetrable by ordinary candidates. Job boards have promised exposure to more potential employers and an easy one-stop experience for job hunting. What candidates actually get, especially in a depressed job market, is inclusion among thousands of others who have similar backgrounds or job aspirations. Rather than gain exposure, their resumes become buried.

Email makes submitting a resume and communicating with a recruiter or hiring manager easier than ever, but in reality the huge volume of email most recruiters receive causes them to ignore and neglect candidates more than ever. Voice mail has become primarily a way of avoiding speaking directly to candidates.

So much of the technology that aids recruiters has actually increased candidate frustration and disenchantment with the corporate recruiting process. Mistreated, ignored, and often frustrated candidates are not likely to say good things about us or our organizations. They may be easy to hire, but they will be hard to retain.

It would be in our own self-interest if we developed and promoted a candidates’ bill of rights that spells out how they should be treated and what they should expect in their search for a new position. There have been attempts to create these in the past, but none have gained much interest. In good times, unfortunately, neither candidates nor recruiters have much motivation to create such a document. Perhaps in this period of uncertainty and frustration such a document can flourish. If there is no collective effort to create a bill of rights, it would be a competitive advantage for any company to create its own such document and use it on their career site and in their promotion to candidates.

The level of frustration is growing. The longer the recession continues, the deeper this will become. Candidates are not asking for a lot — just basic guidelines and an understanding of how we make interview and hiring decisions. They are seeking some understanding of what the process and timelines are for a position and how your organization goes about its hiring. This is not a lot to ask, but I have not seen a single corporation that spells this out at any level.

Using ideas from RPOs, Accolo, and the American Staffing Association, below I have suggested several possible categories where candidates’ rights could be explained and guaranteed. Your organization may not choose to use all of the categories, but providing information or guidelines for any of them would be a huge step forward.
keep reading…

It’s Your Turn Chicago!

Lance Haun
Feb 18, 2009, 1:10 pm ET

After the success of our Meetup in Cincinnati, we received a ton of interest from people all over the country to bring our Meetups to their city. And Chicago is where we are headed next.

Thanks to our sponsor Wolters Kluwer, we will be hosting our Meetup on Wednesday, March 11th from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. at the fabulous Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel in Wheeling.

To spice up the night we are even going to have a theme! In honor of St. Patty’s Day and also to be eco- friendly, the theme is green. Wolters Kluwer will be providing environmentally friendly goodies and tips that will help you be a “greener” recruiter. And feel free to sport some green attire!


When: Wednesday March 11th 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Westin Chicago North Shore,
601 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling, IL
Attire: Casual
Cost: FREE! Drinks and Appetizers, our treat


Our Meetups are a laid-back way to network with recruiters and HR professionals in your area. This will be a fun and valuable evening and I hope to see you there.

Please RSVP in the comments section below so everyone can see that you’re coming.

keep reading…

Managing Executive Referrals During an Economic Meltdown

Dr. Michael Kannisto
Feb 18, 2009, 5:20 am ET

Several excellent articles have appeared here recently that have offered useful advice on how to deal with challenging economic times; certainly, many of us find ourselves helping our friends update their resumes, deciding where to trim out budgets this year, and coaching our organizations through headcount restrictions and freezes. ERE continues to be a great source of useful, timely information no matter what the business climate happens to be.

Right now, the business climate happens to be a little frightening. Since it looks like things will be like this for a while, I’d like to offer some thoughts on something that you’re certain to encounter in the next few months: a notable increase in executive referrals.

Anyone who spends time here knows that employee referrals are a simply fabulous way of bringing talent into your organization. The benefits are legion: employee referral hires are cheaper, pre-screened, more likely to be successful, increase employee morale, etc. A well-run program that delivers a consistent experience to both the candidate being submitted, and the person doing the submitting, will pay for itself many times over.

Executive referrals are a little different . . .

keep reading…

New International Job Board Network Launches

John Zappe
Feb 17, 2009, 2:36 pm ET

A new job board network launched today, opening its first sites in New York, London, and the Grand Caymans. It’s a modest start to a network that is planned to swell to more than 5,000 job boards.

Omni Job Board Network Inc. is a product of CML Offshore Recruitment, a recruitment and staffing agency on Grand Cayman Island. It describes itself as “a specialist offshore recruitment and temping agency offering Accounting, Legal, Insurance, and IT Jobs in Bermuda, Grand Cayman, the Cayman Islands, BVI, Dubai, Hong Kong, the Channel Islands, and beyond.” CML is part of Cayman Management Ltd.

The press release announcing the launch of says Omni has spent the better part of a year developing the network. The company says it has acquired “5,000 high-value domain names” and “now boasts one of the most comprehensive and valuable domain name portfolios in the online recruitment industry.”

Omni joins several other job board networks including, which operates what is probably the largest with some 15,000 titled sites. CareerBuilder, Monster, and HotJobs all have extensive networks with company-owned and co-branded partner sites.

Considering that estimates of the number of job boards in the U.S. exceed 50,000, why launch yet another site, let alone a network that may number thousands more in time?

We didn’t reach Steve McIntosh, CEO of CML, though Colin Doylend, CML’s manager of marketing and public relations, with whom we briefly spoke, told us “We’re looking at expanding as fast as we can.”

The press release explains a bit more:

“The Omni network has been created by a team of former recruiters, web developers, human resources, and marketing professionals who had become disillusioned by the high cost and inconsistent results they experienced with traditional job boards.”

Posting a job to the site costs $100. Jobs posted to one of the sites in the network are automatically reposted to other relevant boards.

Oh, one more thing. The CML agency site has a webcam link with a view of George Town Harbor. Forget the job boards. That’s a way better recruiting tool.