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August  2009 RSS feed Archive for August, 2009

What Is All This Business About Passives vs. Active Candidates, Anyway?

Maureen Sharib
Aug 31, 2009, 2:56 pm ET

You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in. — Heraclitus

There’s a huge controversy that raises itself now and then here in the Recruitosphere and that’s the idea that one type of candidate (passive) is better than the other (active). The thinking goes along the lines of “If they’re looking, there must be a reason they’re looking!” There’s probably something wrong with the guy.

On the other end of the spectrum glistens the shiny new: that person popularly known as the “passive” candidate. The accompanying reasoning goes something like: “If he’s out there and nobody’s talked to him before, I’ll be the first one at the table to get the best (and biggest) portion.”

In reality, both lines of thought are problematic. keep reading…

What’s Happening to Recruiting Departments

Todd Raphael
Aug 31, 2009, 1:08 pm ET

Though so many recruiters have been laid off, hiring still goes on, with maybe 3 million U.S. jobs open. Jeremy Eskenazi talks about who’s doing the recruiting work now, and who might be doing it in a year or two.

keep reading…

Why Not Trade Surplus Talent with Other Firms? A Lesson Learned From Sports

Dr. John Sullivan
Aug 31, 2009, 6:00 am ET

home_sport_390x109If you want to be strategic and make quantum steps in performance, look outside your familiar zone. Step beyond the best practices in your industry and find new ways to leverage your resources, including talent.

In fact, the best way I know to learn about radical new approaches and innovations is to examine the best practices from organizations operating completely outside your industry. I call this practice of adapting “unheard of” practices from other industries parallel benchmarking.

It is known as parallel benchmarking because you are learning from completely different industries that still, however, share a parallel problem. The practice that I am suggesting that your firm consider is from baseball and involves “trading” surplus talent with other firms.

If you want to make dramatic improvements in business practice, you need to study how best-performing firms in completely different industries attack your problem.

If you want to go beyond merely talking about outside-the-box solutions, consider changing your approach and focus on “likely to be laughed at” talent-management solutions like those emerging around Twitter and YouTube, and developing a “talent trading” program.

Almost all firms at some point have a surplus of employees that results from changing business conditions. Unfortunately, the typical approaches for getting rid of surplus employees are cost-containment approaches that provide no payback to the firm.

The most common approach, where corporations lay off surplus talent, is a lose-lose approach. You release talent and get no remuneration for it, despite having invested in it for years via salaries and training. At the same time, you also incur huge costs because you pay for severance, outplacement services, and damage to your employer brand reputation.

But what if there was a solution where instead of releasing talent, you could exchange or “trade” talent with other firms and get something of value in return? Now that would be a talent-management breakthrough that would make any CFO smile.

keep reading…

Peek at the Week Ahead

Scott Baxt
Aug 30, 2009, 11:25 pm ET

2032041314_a63531bf9f_oHere is what is going on around the world this week:

  • Sign up for this week’s free webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m: How Job Satisfaction Drives the Job Hunting Process led by Lou Adler. Lou contends that once the economy begins recovering there will be a huge unexpected spike in voluntary turnover which will result in companies scrambling to fill these replacement hires. Learn when this spike will occur and what you can do about it now to get ready.
  • In this week’s articles, are you ready for the inevitable increase in turnover you’ll experience before long? Find out if you’re ready: John Elliott of the healthcare organization Dartmouth-Hitchcock will have an exercise you can do this week. Todd Raphael uses some new technology were trying out to interview Jeremy Eskenazi about what’s going to happen to laid-off recruiters as hiring picks up. And David Szary writes about building “pipelines.” Everyone talks about them, but everyone’s got a different definition.
  • ERE Expo 2009 Fall is just over a week away. I hope to meet you personally in FL, but if you aren’t able to make the trip, you aren’t totally out of luck! Once again we will be live streaming many of the sessions right here on Stay tuned for more information on the stream schedule later this week.
  • Stay tuned for more information coming this week about the next Social Recruiting Summit to take place in New York City on Monday, November 16.
  • We are looking for speakers for our Spring ERE Expo conference in San Diego. Really cutting-edge corporate recruiting folks. If that is you or if you have a recommendation, let Todd know. Todd is also always on the lookout for writers for the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, corporate recruiting leaders, ideally at medium or large companies, since that’s who the readers are.
  • We’re getting going on the 2010 Recruiting Excellence Awards, which will take place in San Diego in conjunction with the Spring Expo. We’ll get the updated information on the website soon. Let us know if you have any suggestions as to how to improve the process this year, or if you’d like to serve as a judge.

Enjoy the last few days of summer, and if you have any questions about what I have posted, please leave them in the comments section below.

Translating Military Service For The Civilian Work World

John Zappe
Aug 28, 2009, 5:21 am ET

As Johnny and Jane come marching back from war to prepare for the next chapter of their lives, they face the daunting challenge of turning their military experience into machine-readable resumes and elevator speeches that convince corporate recruiters to give them a second look.

“The novelette of their experience in the military,” says Sherrill Curtis, doesn’t always translate clearly.

Agrees Carl Blum, “The hardest problem they have is translating their military experience into civilian language so a recruiter can understand what they have to offer.

Curtis, Blum, and Blum’s partner in an organization called Tip of the Arrow, Bob Deissig, and Sgt. Major James Clark were the prime movers of a program last month at New Jersey’s  Ft. Dix called “Ultimate Warrior Career Workshops and Job Fair.”

They had plenty of help. The Garden State (New Jersey) SHRM council signed on early to the project, supplying dozens of recruiters, supplemented by career coaches from the state’s professional association, and representatives from federal agencies and area colleges.

But this was no ordinary job fair, although some 70 employers showed up and Blum tells us 200 of the participants expect offers. keep reading…

Message to Candidates: Cheating Works … Sometimes!

Yves Lermusi
Aug 27, 2009, 5:32 am ET

How many applicants fake test results and assessments?
Does cheating work? Is it worthwhile?
What can you, the employer, do about it? keep reading…

Three Surveys Show Economic Confidence Is On The Rise

John Zappe
Aug 26, 2009, 8:05 pm ET

New surveys this week are stoking optimism that the worst of the worst recession in (insert your choice of years here) really may be behind us.

The Conference Board, which issues some of the most watched economic indicators in the U.S., reported that consumer confidence jumped 14 percent between July and August. The Index, which hit a low of 26.9 in March, has more than doubled since then and now stands at 54.1. It’s still slightly below the 54.8 posted in May, but the rise was considerably greater than the 47.9 economists had expected, according to Bloomberg News.

Employers mirrored that confidence in a CareerBuilder / Robert Half survey that said 53 percent of businesses polled plan to hire full-time workers in 2010. The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations Report prepared by the two companies found 40 percent of employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers and 39 percent expecting to hire part-time workers. keep reading…

We Multitask Here

Stephen Balzac
Aug 26, 2009, 5:03 am ET

The Northern Lights have seen strange sights,
But the queerest they ever did see … – The Cremation of Sam McGee

While they may not quite compare to the sight spoken of by the nameless narrator of Robert Service’s famous poem, nonetheless some of the tales I’ve heard lately of interviews certainly give Cremation of Sam McGee a run for its money.

By far the most dramatic was the interviewer who spent the entire interview reading email. When the candidate tried to get the interviewer’s attention, the response was, “We multi-task here.”

The interviewers who ask technical questions and then say, “That’s not how I would solve the problem, so you must be wrong,” are, sadly, so common that they don’t even rate.

I must confess that when I heard the first story, I was left speechless. Here’s an interviewer trying to convince a candidate to take a job at a company and is treating that candidate with a total lack of respect. If that’s how the person behaves when the candidate isn’t working there, how will he behave when the candidate is working there? That’s assuming, of course, that the candidate takes the job.

Now, it’s highly likely that some people are thinking that there must be a mistake in the previous paragraph: shouldn’t it say that the candidate is trying to convince the company to hire them? Sure they are; however, it’s a two-way street. The company clearly needs someone to fill a certain position, even if it’s not that specific person. Conversely, that person needs a job, even if it’s not that specific job.

But wait, it’s a terrible economy! Does the candidate really have a choice? keep reading…

ERE’s Meetup – Heading to the Sunshine State

Lance Haun
Aug 25, 2009, 4:40 pm ET

Did you know that Florida is the state with the most ERE employees living in it? And for the 3rd year it’s the location of our ERE Expo? Sounds like an awesome state for our next ERE Meetup if you ask me!

You can check out some of our ERE employees from Florida who will be attending the Meetup by going to their profiles on our new Community. The Fordyce Letter Editor, Elaine Rigoli, our Director of Marketing, Scott Baxt, and our Marketing Manager, Ryan Frazier. keep reading…

Legal Recruiting Firm Tries to Goose Up Its Brand

John Zappe
Aug 25, 2009, 5:17 am ET

How would you brand a newly minted London firm that recruits intellectual property attorneys for jobs all over the world? With a video of a wedding photographer kicking a goose, of course. How else?

Amazingly, that’s what Fellows and Associates has done. And just to make sure you get it, the firm issued a press release over the weekend discussing the video. keep reading…

A Pretty Sweet Internship

Todd Raphael
Aug 24, 2009, 1:47 pm ET

A select group of interns, dubbed with unfortunate corniness FUNterns, are putting in 15 hours a week with Nestle as ambassadors for the Butterfinger brand while working full-time jobs or keeping busy elsewhere.

It’s an innovative program which kills two Nestle birds with one stone: using social media (online user-generated videos) to market candy, and providing job experience that potential employees may not get elsewhere. keep reading…

Meet Fidelity’s People

Todd Raphael
Aug 24, 2009, 1:23 pm ET

Still waiting on Adidas. Meanwhile, Fidelity has gone live with a new careers site, which has been many months in the making. It’s most proud of the “Meet Our People” section of videos; there’s a link to that part at the bottom middle of the site. Let me know what you think of it. keep reading…

Countercyclical Hiring: The Greatest Recruiting Opportunity in the Last 25 Years

Dr. John Sullivan
Aug 24, 2009, 6:20 am ET

Being strategic always requires some degree of unconventional thinking. If you are a corporate recruiting manager and you are looking for an opportunity to have a strategic impact, you need to understand why today is literally the best time to be actively recruiting in at least the last 25 years.

I’ll demonstrate why there is a confluence of factors that make this a “perfect storm” of opportunity if you implement a countercyclical hiring strategy.

I’ll start out with three analogies that show how this current economic lull is an outstanding opportunity to fill your forecasted senior management vacancies that will result from baby boom retirements. keep reading…

Sneak Peek at the Week Ahead

Scott Baxt
Aug 23, 2009, 10:20 pm ET

Here is what is going on this week around the world:

  • We are less than three weeks away from ERE Expo’s Fall conference taking place in Hollywood, FL from September 9 – 11. If you haven’t yet reserved your spot, register today and don’t forget to get your $200 ERE subscriber discount by using product code FL09ERE when you register.
  • And with ERE Expo Fall so close, we are starting to get ready for the what will be the 10th annual spring conference, returning to San Diego from March 15-17, featuring the annual Recruiting Excellence Awards. If you are interested in submitting a proposal to speak in San Diego or serve as a judge of this year’s awards program, please contact Todd Raphael.
  • Speaking of events, if you don’t follow us on Twitter you may have missed the announcement last week that we have secured the date and location of the next Social Recruiting Summit. Following June’s sold-out inaugural event, this one will take place on November 16 in New York City. Stay tuned for more details and registration information this week!
  • On the site this week, a new writer Stephen Balzac discusses the lack of respect employees are giving candidates, especially during interviews. Yves Lermusi shows you some surprising statistics about who’s stretching the truth on resumes. Todd Raphael takes a look at a sweet internship (literally).

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

E-Verify and Other Recruiting Tidbits

John Zappe
Aug 21, 2009, 5:21 am ET

In no particular order, here are some bits and bytes of recruiting news that made it to our inbox this week.

First, the headlines:

  • A publicist for business law firm Proskauer Rose LLP reminds us that Sept. 8th is the deadline for federal contractors to sign up and use E-Verify, if they want to continue being federal contractors;
  • CareerBuilder lit a match to BrightFuse, the business community site it launched 18 months ago, issuing a press release officially announcing it. At the same time, CareerBuilder released a survey saying 45 percent of employers have used social networking sites to research job candidates.
  • Australia’s leading high-salary job board — — introduces a new look and expanded career content today for its dues paying, high earning members. It’s also putting more news and content on the outside of the login wall. keep reading…

Will ‘Employment Churn’ Blindside Your Recovery Sourcing Efforts?

Lou Adler
Aug 21, 2009, 5:19 am ET

A small trickle of new jobs will cause a tidal wave of unexpected replacement hiring. Here’s why you need to get ready now. Hopefully, it’s not too late.

In a recent ERE article, I made the point that “employment churn” (fully employed people switching seats) will increase dramatically three to four months before any pickup in overall employment. This unplanned spike in voluntary turnover will leave many companies ill-equipped to handle the surge, since most are not considering replacement hires in their new hiring forecasts as a big item.

Based on some recent evidence, I believe that this spike will be more significant that anyone realizes. Worse, this could happen sooner than expected, blindsiding unprepared companies.

Here’s some of the evidence supporting this view.

Over the past few months I’ve been asking people who are fully employed these two questions:

keep reading…

Where The Truth Lies: The Need For Balance Between Active and Passive Recruiting

Jeremy Eskenazi
Aug 20, 2009, 5:53 am ET

I once heard a story that the CEO of a major executive search firm told a group of newly minted partners to never present candidates who are unemployed. When one of the new partners raised his hand and challenged the CEO as to how the firm could adequately serve its clients without evaluating all potential candidates, the CEO implied that, by definition, anyone who is unemployed is inferior.

I understand this line of thinking. It’s simple, concise, easy to categorize. A “sexy” pitch. In fact, it’s the same line of thinking that leads to the idea that anyone who hangs out with a communist must be a communist sympathizer, or that someone who fires a woman must be a misogynist, or who is accused must be guilty in some way. In short, it’s dead wrong. keep reading…

Is There a Future for Work/Life Balance?

Kevin Wheeler
Aug 19, 2009, 12:58 pm ET

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, created a stir at the SHRM conference in New Orleans this year by stating: “There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.”

Organizations worry about being perceived as offering a good balance between work and personal time.

Many career sites and recruiters stress the ways the organization addresses this through flexible work policies, family-friendly HR polices, child care, and so on. And, for many job seekers, finding a company that offers this magic blend is the Holy Grail.

While Jack was addressing women specifically and speaking about their opportunities for promotion and growth within traditional corporate America, he was reinforcing this assumption. He was heavily criticized for talking to women in this way, even though it is an accurate reflection of the thinking in most of traditional corporate America.

My problem is not with Jack as much as it is with the assumptions that work/life balance is based on. keep reading…

What They Hear Is Related to What They See

Maureen Sharib
Aug 19, 2009, 5:45 am ET

Do you see what I see?
A star, a star
Dancing in the night,
With a tail as big as a kite.

–Do You See What I See, song lyrics

I was watching a movie a while back and I heard a line in it that has stuck with me and I think of often. It’s one of those file-markers I put in my brain at the time to think more about and maybe write about. I’m doing that now.

The movie was “Beyond the Sea,” a biographical film that took its title from the Darin song of the same name and was based on the life of singer/actor Bobby Darin, played by Kevin Spacey. It depicts Darin’s rise to teen idol success in both the music and film industry during the 1950s and 60s, as well as his marriage to Sandra Dee, played by Kate Bosworth.

Near the end of the movie Darin/Spacey is talking to his wife Dee/Bosworth about his career frustrations and what audiences want. It was the late 60s and Darrin’s successful 50s crooning was being made obsolete overnight by changing musical trends. He was confused and lost in his career. His wife casually made the remark, “People hear what they see.” In response, Darin successfully changed his presentation to accommodate a more modern audience.

As phone sourcers we rely on the telephone to deliver our “message.” What is that Gatekeeper “seeing” when you call her? Have you ever considered that what she is “seeing” is impacting what she is hearing and how she is reacting to you? Her reaction to you is informed by her intuition and her experience. It may also be informed by some extensive cross-wiring in her brain regions that represent abstract concepts … and who would have thought, anyway?

True, you’re going to run up against Gatekeepers who are young with not much experience to guide their reactions, but just as often, and more so these days I suspect, your task is going to be challenged by more experienced gatekeepers who are beginning to understand how their intuition guides their own decisions.
I doubt, though, many of them have an inkling about what I’m about to write about. That’s an advantage for you when you’re phone sourcing. keep reading…

Naked Babies

Maureen Sharib
Aug 18, 2009, 5:05 am ET

Silence is golden; speech is silver. ~ American Proverb

My brother-in-law visited the past week from New York City. He comes, usually, every August to stay a week or so with us here in part of the heartland of America, southwestern Ohio. That’s when the corn starts coming in and the tomatoes are ripe on the vine and he times his visits (I suspect) so he can eat like a king at our harvest table. We grow both.

I call it the Midwest; he argues that we’re not far enough west to be called mid-anything. Be that as it may, he is living in that peaceful twilight between the years your kids are grown and out of the nest and the beginning of the tsunami when they have grandchildren and those grandchildren become yours to keep a portion of some of your days. Or all of your days. Or every other day, whatever it may be.

Entering the room and gingerly turning over a naked doll-baby discarded and laying face-down on the floor with the big toe of his right foot, he sardonically declared, “Dead.”

I laughed just as the thing started babbling, googling, and burping, and leaving out sounds that normally are reserved for the nether regions of the body, all thanks to two D batteries in its back that are not yet dead.

“What did that thing cost?” he asked, warily eyeing the lifeless form on the floor that refused to stop emitting sound once prodded.

“Oh that’s a 50-cent Goodwill baby. If you go on Sundays, everything is half off if you’re over 50,” I answered.

Nodding at another smaller doll-baby sitting quietly in a chair across the room, he asked, “And that one?”

“Oh, that one cost about 10 bucks on sale at Kohl’s. That’s a store-bought baby. It doesn’t talk.”

“Doesn’t talk?” he asked.

“Yeah, that’s why it cost more,” I answered with a wink.

And it occurred to me that this might be a good lesson for sourcing and recruiting.

keep reading…