Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

September  2009 RSS feed Archive for September, 2009

Recruitment Tech Firms Get New Funding

John Zappe
Sep 30, 2009, 3:31 pm ET

Two early stage recruitment tech firms — EnticeLabs and HireVue, both based in Utah — reported this morning that they’ve received investment dollars to finance their growth.

EnticeLabs, whose first product is an online advertising platform, got an infusion of $2 million from a group of investors lead by First Advantage. The company says the money “will be used to accelerate system development, accommodate higher-than-anticipated sales, and build out the infrastructure warranted by the rapidly expanding client base.”

It also gained the expertise of former Monster VP Neal Bruce, who joins its board of directors.

HireVueHireVue, which facilitates video interviewing, received a Series A round of funding led by Peterson Ventures joined by The Garber Fund of Penn State University, and others.

The company didn’t say how big the investment is, though it did say the money would be used to expand management, “strengthen market awareness, and make product enhancements.” keep reading…

Call or Email or Use Social Media?

Irina Shamaeva
Sep 30, 2009, 2:02 pm ET

Picture 2Many aspects of a recruiter’s job remain the same as in the past, before the arrival of social media. We all review resumes, assess the matches, interview on the phone, and meet prospects in person. Social media has added and keeps adding new options on how to get there. To remain competitive and productive we must figure out and start using social media in recruiting. I’d like to highlight some aspect of how it can work for us.

Let’s talk about the very interesting phenomena of communicating with potential candidates in ways that have not been there before. For years, we have been discussing whether to call first or email first. Some gurus suggest that you first send a detailed email, then leave a phone message, and then send a short email mentioning that you had called. Fine, but here are your other options today: keep reading…

Overqualified Need Not Apply

Nancy Anton
Sep 30, 2009, 5:52 am ET

Ask for an inch, and you get a yard! Ask for a staff accountant, and you’re buried in resumes from those who were a controller. Ask for an IT help-desk associate, and receive resumes from the directors of IT. We just aren’t used to having so many overqualified talented people to pick from.

During one recession I remember being young, working in retail, and thinking: “everyone in retail has to have a four-year or master’s degree, for that is what my co-workers all had.”

I didn’t know back then that I was in the middle of a recession, one that pales in comparison to today. People now faced with transition are diligently looking for the right fit, but are also considering applying for positions which they are overqualified for, and, then they are surprised, they are not getting them.

Overqualified workers will be quickly bored, frustrated and discouraged, and the moral in the office may suffer.

One hiring manager said the best time to hire overqualified is when a company is faced with rapid growth, needing to promote quickly without much runway. Having a strong bench with “A” players will position the right talent in key roles, easing the growing pains. This is not the time most companies are feeling that growth.

Some managers are tempted to create that strong bench even without that growth. They want accounting departments full of controllers instead of accounting clerks, or an engineering department full of senior-level designers.

Soon after hiring a clearly overqualified candidate, the manager sees the pitfalls. keep reading…

Surveys Show Workers Are Ready To Make Changes

John Zappe
Sep 29, 2009, 5:36 pm ET

A raft of recent surveys shows that the recession is having a profound impact on workers and employment trends worldwide. Even though they measure different things — global hiring, immigration repatriation, and career trends — there’s a theme here, which is that the economy is global and when it recovers, things will not go back to the way they were.

There’s the report from Monster this week that says vast numbers of workers are ready to switGlobal Snapshotch careers for a new job. Another survey, this one from SearchPath International and Antal International, give us a global view of hiring — and firing — trends.

The Global Snapshot offers clues to where the hottest markets in the world are for managers and professionals. (Hint: Think Russia, China, India, Egypt, and Eastern Europe.)

That report dovetails with last week’s USA Today report about an emerging brain drain of managers and professionals from the U.S. to China and India. keep reading…

Another Half-Baked Hiring Idea

Dr. Wendell Williams
Sep 29, 2009, 5:45 am ET

iStock_000007129991XSmallFor some strange reason, Todd Raphael, the ERE Editor, sent me an article on yet another wacko idea pretending to facilitate hiring. He must think I have an axe to grind against wrong-headed hiring ideas. Imagine that! Well done, Todd. This one ranks right down there with handwriting analysis.

The article cites a lady who specializes in what she calls energy profiling. She claims she or one of her licensees can examine your photograph to determine with perfect accuracy (her words) your personality type. Amazing! And to think all those psychologists who worked their way through graduate school, suffered peer-reviewed research, and spent tons of money pursuing advanced degrees for the last 100 years could have just looked at your photograph! Go figure.

I searched, but aside from watching an engaging streaming video taken in front of some very picturesque mountains, I found little proof that she was qualified to produce legitimate hiring tools. Her PR firm did claim she revolutionized the fashion and beauty industries by sharing her simple beauty/fashion assessments with women around the world; helped women align their physical features in perfect harmony with their clothing, jewelry, hair color and style; and provided pioneering insights on weight, sex & intimacy/relationships, depression, self-esteem, parenting, finances, physical health, and spiritual health. Wow. After all that, I guess hiring was the only field left to master.

I don’t know about you, but I like to see a writer have professional certifications or special education that would convince me they actually knew what they were talking about. You know, the same way we would expect a medical correspondent to actually have practiced medicine, a legal expert to graduate from an accredited law school, or an engineer to a have a legitimate engineering degree. But that’s just me.

She presents, as proof of her work, a collection of streaming video segments and personal testimonials from people claiming her system changed their lives for the better. Sorry, folks, this kind of “proof” is nothing more than personal opinion. If you want to know whether something is fact, you have to produce facts to support your opinion. Unbridled enthusiasm unsupported with expert knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I’m sure she is sincere about what she does. No one would make such wild claims unless they were. Unfortunately, using a photograph system to type people and predict job skills is a shining example of pure nonsense.

Let’s list a few facts prepared by the DOL, published in 1978. keep reading…

Advertised Job Openings Down In September

John Zappe
Sep 28, 2009, 4:40 pm ET

COnference BoardOnline job listings took a hit in September, dropping by 101,800 from the August count.

The job posting data released today by The Conference Board suggests that the U.S. recovery is as tepid as economists fear.

“While the trend has been modestly upward and averaged 40,000 per month over the last five months, the labor market continues to have a hard time gaining momentum,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. “The Conference Board Employment Trends Index, which has been basically flat for three straight months, also helps highlight the difficulty the labor market is facing. With a growing consensus of a weak recovery, businesses seem to be slow to boost advertising for vacant or new positions.” keep reading…

Understanding Available Retention Strategies: Are You Prepared for Turnover Rates to Double? (Part 1 of a 3-Part Series)

Dr. John Sullivan
Sep 28, 2009, 6:28 am ET

turnoverAs the economic turnaround picks up steam, turnover rates in many organizations are likely to skyrocket and recruiting replacement workers of the same caliber will be extremely challenging.

Study after study has confirmed the notion that many employees would have left their employers months/years ago had the option to do so been viable. The economic downturn, combined with the mortgage crisis, has forced many frustrated, disappointed, and unmotivated employees to stay put. The trend is not a new one and is consistent with past downturns.

While turnover rates are at an all-time low, they most certainly cannot be taken as an indication of a firm’s status as a desirable place to work.

Just as in years past, when job opportunities become more prevalent, employees will exercise their right to demonstrate just how much they appreciated the treatment they received throughout reductions in force, furloughs, clumsy mergers, travel freezes, and budget cuts. The level of animosity among many will render most traditional retention approaches ineffective.

Some studies indicate that as many as two-thirds of employees are ready to go. Unfortunately, few corporations are preparing today to handle the dramatic increase in voluntary terminations that will come tomorrow.

While few organizations completely decimated their staffing functions, the majority have cut back to the point where capability has been negatively impacted. Strategic programs that deliver retention have been cut, and in most cases, no one is held accountable for retention solutions. It might seem outrageous, but unless you consider the phrase “let’s keep them all” to be a retention strategy, it’s a fact that most HR and recruiting executives can not even list common retention strategies, let along devise their own.

Retention Is One of the Most Poorly Managed Goals in HR

It’s hard to argue that retaining key employees isn’t a high-value activity, and I can’t say that I have ever visited an organization that would argue otherwise. In fact, most HR leaders and recruiters talk a lot about the importance of retaining the very best employees that the organization has invested so much time, money, and development resources in. Unfortunately, talk is where most HR organizations end when it comes to formalizing retention efforts.

keep reading…

Sneak Peek At the Week Ahead

Scott Baxt
Sep 27, 2009, 9:56 pm ET

Here 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. ET – Emerging Workforce Trends: What the Next 6 Months May Hold, led by ERE columnist Kevin Wheeler. Kevin will take you on an exploratory journey of emerging workforce trends and how they’ll influence your talent strategy.
  • If you missed the news last week, we just announced the 10th annual ERE Expo 2010 Spring conference. The agenda is starting to come together, and once again will feature a brand new panel of speakers, many of which you have never seen present at an ERE Expo conference. And make sure to register by Friday to take advantage of the $600 early bird discount. Check out more about the conference at
  • Speaking of events, tickets are going fast for the next #socialrecruiting summit, taking place in New York City on November 16. Last week we also added another exciting session to the agenda, Electronic Arts’ VP and Global Head of Talent Acquisition Cindy Nicola who will be talking about how social networking is at the heart of CRM.
  • Think you’ve seen and heard it all? Maybe not. On Tuesday, Wendell Williams writes about a new way to select employees that he says is “a shining example of pure nonsense.”

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

Jobster Reborn Away From The Cutting Edge

John Zappe
Sep 25, 2009, 12:47 pm ET

recruiting comRemember Jobster? Of course you do. How could any recruiter forget the soap opera story of this company founded by a former White House staffer who, as CEO, burned through $46 million before he departed at the end of 2007?

Besides spending like it was 1999, Jobster changed, enhanced, modified, enlarged, annexed — choose your favorite adjective — business models often enough that the enterprise resembled Mrs. Winchester’s house. All of this playing out quite publicly via leaks, corporate PR, and the CEO’s own (defunct) blog.

In fairness to the now departed Jason Goldberg, he was a visionary. When Jobster launched in 2004 it tapped into the then-unnamed and not even  recognized phenom we now all know as social recruiting. To briefly, and only inadequately, explain it, Jobster was a corporate recruiter’s tool to tap the connections of the company’s employees; a digital employee referral program.

Over the next three-plus years Goldberg made well-timed investments, buying a job search engine called WorkZoo, a job tagging service called Jobby, and the blog Jobster would eventually relaunch as a career networking site, loosely tying in the referral program of its youth and bits and pieces of the acquisitions. Much of the best parts, however, languished, suggesting the visionary lacked a vision. keep reading…

Using Social Networks to Communicate and Engage: The Future of Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

Susan Burns
Sep 25, 2009, 5:36 am ET

crl_mastheadThe growth, adoption, and momentum of social networking over the past 18 months brings another round of significant change for recruiting departments. The first question that needs to be answered is whether or not you believe social networking is all hype or if it will result in lasting change. Then you can answer the question, “If social networking is here to stay, is it right for our organization?”

Some look at the social networking trend and say that it’s all a bunch of hype. Some look at it and feel the need to, and will try to, be everywhere. Some will consciously decide to be nowhere — we have the phone and that works very well, thank you. Many are feeling overwhelmed by what’s happening, the pace of change, and the fears about transparency. In most cases you don’t need to be and shouldn’t be everywhere. And, you may decide to be nowhere, but make sure that’s a conscious decision and not just resistance to inevitable change.

As for fear of social networking, the pace of change and transparency, think of it this way — whether you engage your brand in the discussion or not, the conversation moves on — nothing stands still, except that eventually people may just not care about your brand at all, and, well, at that point you won’t need to recruit anyways. If you want to influence the conversation about your brand and if you want to engage people in your brand story, then social networking has a lot to offer. The complete article featured in the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership October issue, will delve further into that, but here are my more brief thoughts for the time being. keep reading…

Validation: Practical Information for Staffing Professionals

Dr. Charles Handler
Sep 24, 2009, 5:48 am ET

Picture 4It is not a stretch to say that the validation of pre-employment assessment tools is both one of the most important, and one of the most overlooked, aspects of any legitimate pre-employment assessment program.

Validation is a best practice that can provide both critical information about the ROI of an assessment and the documentation required to support its legal defensibility. Unfortunately, proper validation is not the norm when it comes to the use of assessments. While many companies make use of assessments that have been validated in the past or that do satisfy some of the requirements for test validity, conducting the validation work required to fully satisfy best practices and gain an understanding or ROI is often not on even on the radar screen.

When it comes to validation, my experience shows that the biggest stumbling block is a lack of understanding of just what validation is and why it is so important. While the concept of validation definitely has its complexities, it can be boiled down to a few simple concepts which are discussed below. keep reading…

Jobfox’s Steven Toole: We’re at the Turnaround Point

Todd Raphael
Sep 23, 2009, 2:45 pm ET

Steven Toole doesn’t seem as high on social media recruiting as we are. But he is upbeat about employment, saying that a “perfect storm” is brewing for recruiters in 18-24 months as Americans begin a game of job-hopping musical chairs.

Below, Toole talks about these job-market trends, and the upcoming need for a lot of recruiters who have left the profession to come on back.

keep reading…

Jobvite Offers New Standalone Sourcing Tool

John Zappe
Sep 23, 2009, 8:00 am ET

JobviteJobvite is introducing what I hesitate to call a new sourcing tool, only because the term doesn’t really do it justice.

Google is a sourcing tool, but while it may get the job done, how long will it take to sift through the results? Jobvite Source is more of a blend of the best attributes of ZoomInfo and Broadlook with access to the social networks as well as the entire Web.

Jobvite search comparisonLast week, during a demo, Chief Product Officer Jamie Glenn did a search for an online marketing manager and came up with the resumes of, maybe, a couple hundred possibles from all the Web’s free sources. A similar search on Google turns up results in the hundreds of thousands.

The difference is Jobvite Source can compare the results to the job req, sifting out the job listings and other stuff, leaving you with resumes that match the requirements. It does the same as a well-structured query to your ATS or a resume database.

keep reading…

Job Titles & Headline Statements: Be Noticed, Stand Out From Competitors, Increase Response

Jeff Perry
Sep 23, 2009, 5:30 am ET

hands-photoShopping for a car? Need groceries? Want new clothes? Looking at trying a new restaurant? Whether we are actively searching for a given product or not, we form opinions and make decisions based, at least in part, on the marketing messages we receive about them.

The world of employment advertising is no exception. Attractive logos, extensive benefits packages, flexible schedules: all these can be used to make an impact on job candidates and affect how many people read and reply to your postings. When considering how to initially attract readers to your employment ads, the key opportunity may lie in your job title and/or headline statement. These prominent statements give advertisers the chance to attract the attention and readership of job seekers, and motivate them to respond.

According to marketing legend David Ogilvy, five times as many people read a headline as do the entire ad. Therefore, without a strong headline statement, your ad may be skipped entirely. Another source ( says that while 8 out of 10 people will read a headline statement, only 2 in 10 read the entire ad. By designing a strong, compelling lead-in, you’ll increase the number of candidates who do go on to read your ad, and apply to your job, while your competitors’ ads get skipped over.

Creating Job Titles or Headline Statements

What makes a good title/headline? keep reading…

The 3 Dimensions to Recruiting Top Performers

Neil Lockhart
Sep 22, 2009, 5:48 am ET

crl_mastheadRecruiting the best candidates – something I’m writing a book about, and have a much longer version of this article in the November Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership about — starts with a few basics.

The most important aspect is to understand who you are targeting. I’m not talking about recognizing the technical skills or requirements you want to see in the candidate. Temporarily, throw the job description out the window. Then conduct an early reference check. This is a performance check you can cash.

If the results confirm a prized candidate, think of him or her as a pearl. The Encarta Dictionary defines a pearl as “somebody or something highly esteemed or valued.” The gems themselves take years to develop and the art of pearl cultivation is a long and delicate process. As it relates to candidates, we all recognize the best as valuable. But we often overlook what it took for them to become who they are and therefore do not treat them accordingly. In many cases, we are talking about years of dedication and hard work to perfect their craft. Those who rise to the top of their profession are a select bunch. They are select but not scarce and are very much open to being recruited. But unlike any other, it takes a dedicated, specific plan to successfully recruit them.

Another thing to keep in mind in the initial approach is that many of the finest desire a certain amount of recognition that comes with their achievements. They take great pride in their accomplishments and want you, the recruiting or hiring entity, to pay attention to it. Still, there is a fine line between preferential treatment and the acknowledgement of greatness. The latter commands the stage without demanding that it be so. Those are the most sought after “pearls.”

However, there may be friction if the top candidates are required to follow a set of routine guidelines without explanation. A greater amount of latitude should be given when scheduling interviews, for example, as their time is of the essence. It will be difficult to control the process if a certain amount of patience and flexibility are not demonstrated.

Selling must be at the foundation of any strategy designed to capture the best. Why do so many fail to recruit top talent with any consistency? The lack of sales skills and persuasive techniques are the bane of otherwise successful organizations. Essentially, they are unable to convincingly sell the talent on the opportunity or the company. At best, they produce a half-hearted effort expecting a job description or the company bio to suffice. Or they rely on a formulaic hiring process to do the trick. This does not work. Each candidate should be individually courted. Studies suggest that there are staggering numbers of top performers who are not recruited because they are not “sold” on the recruiter or the position.

There are three important dimensions to selling as it pertains to recruiting top performers: keep reading…

Wall Street Is Monster Bullish

John Zappe
Sep 21, 2009, 8:00 pm ET

Monster LogoThere’s Monster news today with the  international job board lauded in a Barron’s report for its aggressive cost-cutting and wise investments. The report, followed by an upgrade by UBS, helped boost shares of the publicly traded company to a year high of $18.57.

The closing price is a bit more than triple the $5.95 low for the year Monster hit on March 10.

The bullish article, “Turning Into A Monster Of A Competitor,” talks about Monster’s international reach, noting it accounts for 45 percent of the company’s revenue. The article approvingly cites the acquisition of China.HR and Trovix as well as the makeover of its website, with its new emphasis on tools for the passive job seeker.Monster stock chart

These steps, plus a reorganization of its sales force and the improving global economy, says Barron’s, makes Monster “a good long-term bet.”

As if to second that recommendation, UBS Investment Research upgraded Monster Monday to “Buy” from “Neutral” while raising the price target to $27 from $15. It’s the second “Buy” recommendation in a month for Monster. The first was from Oscar Gruss & Son.

Meanwhile, Monster has launched a new round of humorous commercials for the career tools it introduced earlier this year. keep reading…

Peek at the Week Ahead

Scott Baxt
Sep 21, 2009, 11:41 am ET

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

  • If you missed the news, #socialrecruiting Summit is coming to New York City on November 16. Following the first-ever event in June that sold out, this event will continue the conversation that we started to deconstruct the hype, understand how social media tools play a role in the recruiting lifestyle, and think about the possibilities as new and emerging technology come to the forefront. And make sure to reserve your spot by Friday before the early bird discount expires.
  • If you weren’t able to make the trip earlier this month to South Florida, and missed any of the live streamed sessions, you can check out videos and slides from the Expo here. You can get some first hand tweets from those who attendeed by checking out the #ereexpo hashtag archive. And there are some photo albums posted to the Facebook fan page. And stay tuned for the launch of our Spring ERE Expo taking place next March in San Diego. More info coming this week!
  • Register for this week’s free webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET, 2009 Corporate Staffing & Recruiting Part II: Trend Updates and Survival Ideas, led by Dan Kilgore and Jeremy Eskenazi from Riviera Advisors.
  • Job posting on are still just $25 through October 1, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to fill your open recruiting positions with one of your fellow ERE community members. And if you are looking for a new position, there have been fourteen new positions posted in the past week.
  • Check out the article this week from Minneapolis StarTribune ad exec Jeff Perry about how to create better job ads.

If you have any questions about anything I have posted above, please leave them in the comments section.

Determining the Correct Source of Hire: the First Step in Recruiting Excellence

Dr. John Sullivan
Sep 21, 2009, 5:31 am ET

icon_large_calculatorOne of the worst-kept secrets in recruiting is that source of hire data is inconsistently gathered and rarely accurate. To many corporate recruiters, the validity of source of hire data is a non issue; after all, once the hire is generated, their role is over.

However, if you view recruiting as a marketing and sales job (as I and many strategic recruiting leaders do), knowing what channels brought the prospect to the organization and what messages led to conversion (talented individual > applicant > candidate > hire) are by far the most critical bits of data the function can collect. Without this information, it’s extremely difficult to scientifically budget for sourcing or build strategic sourcing systems capable of impacting organizational performance.

Luckily, however, there is a simple approach that ensures much more accurate and helpful information that doesn’t rely on transaction-minded recruiters documenting the source of hire.

keep reading…

Monster Settles Stock Options Lawsuit

John Zappe
Sep 18, 2009, 5:51 pm ET

Monster LogoMonster has settled a class action lawsuit brought in connection with the company’s stock options backdating scandal.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today, Monster Worldwide says it will pay $4.25 million in full settlement of the action. “A substantial majority” of the money will come, the company says, from insurance “and contributions from another defendant.”

The filing, Taylor v. McKelvey, et. al.,  does not name the other defendant. However, the now-deceased former chairman and CEO Andrew McKelvey is one of at least six former Monster executives and directors who were sued.

Monster said it will reverse $6.85 million it had previously set aside in connection with this litigation in its 3rd quarter financials.

In its most recent quarterly filing with the SEC, Monster said the now-settled Taylor case was “one civil action pending against it in connection with its historical stock option granting practices.”

Companies Expect To Hire Fewer 2010 Grads

John Zappe
Sep 18, 2009, 3:59 pm ET

There’s a report out that should be a wake-up for the procrastinators in the class of 2010. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) says employers are cutting back next year’s college hiring plans by 7 percent.

That may not seem like much until you consider that employers reduced this year’s college grad hiring by 21 percent. That seven percent is on top of this year’s cuts, meaning that there will be almost 30 26.53 percent fewer jobs being offered to the current crop of seniors than their counterparts had in 2008.

NACE chartFor comparison, each NACE Job Outlook from 2004 to the spring of 2008 predicted double-digit increases in college senior hiring. The spring 2008 hiring preview predict 8.1 percent growth.

Besides cutting back on their hiring, NACE’s Job Outlook 2010 Fall Preview says employers are shifting their recruiting to the spring. Not in big numbers; only about a 5 percent change from the 2008 survey when the split was 63 percent planned to hire in the fall, while the rest were looking to the spring.

The only region of the U.S. that expects to increase college hiring is the northeast, though only by about 5 percent, which, if you are following the numbers here, will still be below the 2007 hiring level.

“Traditionally, employers tend to be conservative about their college hiring when the economy is in flux,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. “Although employers anticipate doing most of their recruiting in the fall, we are seeing some movement to recruit in the spring. This is likely due to anticipation that the economic recovery will be underway by then.”

keep reading…