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May  2011 RSS feed Archive for May, 2011

Staffing Firms Rally to Fight Off Disclosure, Fee Limits Bill

John Zappe
May 31, 2011, 8:34 pm ET

A coalition of labor unions and immigrant workers organizations is pushing a bill in Massachusetts to overhaul the state’s staffing industry.

If it’s adopted — almost half the state Legislature is listed as sponsors — the bill would impose a number of administrative obligations on staffing firms, and potentially limit some fees while raising costs. It exempts most professional workers, but it would apply to a broad range of workers, including nurses, clerical, blue collar, and similar. Violators could be fined.

Proponents, who were contacted but didn’t respond  are positioning the legislation as a “temp workers right to know bill,” highlighting provisions requiring staffing firms to inform employees for whom they’ll be working, how much they’ll be paid, where they’ll work, and what they’ll be doing.

While on its face benign, other provisions of the bill limit some fees and essentially end temp-to-hire conversion fees. It puts a damper on the practice of shopping good candidates, by prohibiting candidate referrals without job reqs. Out-of-state staffing firms could be closed out of placing workers in Massachusetts unless they had an in-state office.

“There is no such law currently existing in other states,” says Stephen Dwyer, general counsel for the American Staffing Association. “It is more sweeping and more harmful than any, bar none.” keep reading…

Research Firm Ranks Sites That Best Meet Student Expectations

John Zappe
May 31, 2011, 11:00 am ET

When it comes to meeting the recruitment expectations of American college students, the hands-down winner is German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Of the 102 U.S. sites in the review, Bertelsmann’s corporate career site and online application process were found to do the best job of delivering what students say they want.

Conducted by Swedish research firm Potentialpark Communications, the firm surveyed almost 4,800 U.S. students and grads from a variety of business schools and universities. They were asked what they most wanted from career sites and the application process. From the features and component lists developed from the survey, Potentialpark analyzed 755 sites worldwide, including 102 in the U.S.

Bertelsmann came out on top on both the career site ranking and on a second ranking for the application process.

“The biggest strength of Bertelsmann’s career website,” says the report, “is to focus on the information flow within the site itself. The thinking starts from the job seekers’ point of view and what questions they have, rather than what the company gets across.”

On the career site rankings, Bertelsmann is followed by Accenture, Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank, and Deloitte. On the application rankings, adidas, Ernst & Young, Roche, and Northrup Grumman round out the top five.

The Potentialpark surveys come just a few days after a related survey on the candidate experience by CareerXroads. In that survey, principals Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin and a team of volunteers applied to the 100 companies on the Fortune best companies to work for list. Three months after the last resume was sent, 25 percent of the companies failed to even acknowledge receipt. keep reading…

Onboarding 102

Morgan Hoogvelt
May 31, 2011, 5:00 am ET

May 15th marked the 1-month anniversary for my friend Herb who was the focal point of my previous article regarding onboarding. Herb has settled into the role and he is starting to feel a little bit better about his decision than he did at first. However, the fact remains that he views his current role more of a stepping stone versus the career he initially imagined. How amazing is it that the little steps in the onboarding process can have such a profound effect on a new hire? keep reading…

8-Track, Anyone?

Linda Brenner
May 30, 2011, 12:10 am ET

Remember 8-Tracks? Better yet, remember record albums? Think back, if you can, at how the music industry has evolved: albums, reel-to-reels, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs. It wasn’t really until the advent of digital music that you could finally and clearly see the music industry’s stripes. How did they react to this newest, latest technology? They dug in their heels and sued. Sued artists, sued people downloading music files, sued websites. And the result? Today, more people listen to more music than ever before in the history of the world. They couldn’t stop it.

As recruiters, we can learn from the music industry. Ultimately, digging your heels in isn’t a winning proposition. Defending the status quo is a dead end. Finding the best talent is always a challenge. And the way to do it is always changing. The things that worked for us even two years ago are not the best strategies today.

And for those leading a recruiting team? Balancing the tools, technology, systems, process, metrics, and a team of recruiters can be overwhelming. Sometimes the best thing you can do is get out of the office and immerse yourself in an environment where you can meet new people, hear innovative ideas, and think strategically about where you want to lead the function.

If you’re ready to hear new ideas, learn from your peers and engage in the largest gathering of recruitment professionals, I encourage you to attend ERE’s Fall Expo in Hollywood, Florida, September 7-9.

This event (that I’m chairing) will feature a unique blend of talent acquisition practitioners and thought leaders speaking about the most timely and important issues addressing talent acquisition. In a few days, you can hear best practices and tips about candidate management, talent acquisition process improvement, mobile apps for recruiting, building a talent pipeline, and becoming an employer of choice.

So do what it takes to adapt, grow, and embrace what’s coming. See you in Florida!

(Hat tip to Seth Godin.)

Don’t Waste Your Time Recruiting Passive Candidates

Lou Adler
May 27, 2011, 5:22 am ET

Every executive and hiring manager worth his or her salt will tell you hiring top talent is the most important thing they need to do. Unfortunately when it comes to putting their money on the table, most often all you’ll see is pocket change.

Somewhere in the bowels of the company’s mission statement is some form of the platitude “hiring top talent is a major company objective.” But in the field where the battle is played out, a different picture emerges. Hiring top talent, especially those who aren’t looking for a job, is not about posting a boring job description on some site, getting people to apply, and then conducting a series of behavioral interviews. It’s about finding and convincing these top people that your position offers the best career move among competing opportunities. While many recruiters and individual hiring managers can pull this off one assignment at a time, only those companies with a compelling employer brand have mastered the art at scale.

Another positive U.S. Department of Labor hiring report with 244,000 new jobs created in April 2011 brings seven months of significant job gains. A few more months like this and there will be a real need for companies to accelerate their passive-candidate recruiting. LinkedIn’s historic IPO roller coaster of a run provides credence to the interest in tools available to help make this shift. LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool in the right hands. In the wrong ones, however, it’s just an expensive company directory. Worse, once everyone has the same directory it will be even less valuable without a companywide ability to recruit and hire passive candidates.

Except in isolated instances, I’m going to contend that based on how companies now recruit passive candidates, most of their efforts will be wasted. In large part, this is attributed to the lack of alignment with strategy and tactics. Simply put, you can’t hire top passive candidates who aren’t looking, using processes designed to hire active candidates who are looking.

Rather than get into all of the nitty-gritty details of this, the following are some of the bigger issues you need to consider to make sure your company is ready and able to hire passive candidates in any sizeable quantity. If you can’t answer unequivocally yes to the following questions, don’t waste your time recruiting passive candidates. Instead, spend it figuring how to get ready. keep reading…

Employee Engagement: Changing Cultures and Managing Talent

Brendan Shields
May 26, 2011, 2:45 pm ET

On this week’s webinar, Stacey Harris, Director of Strategic HR and Talent Research for Bersin & Associates, shared recent Bersin & Associates data and trends on Employee Engagement and the practices of High-Impact HR organizations.

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!


How to Connect, Part V

Maureen Sharib
May 26, 2011, 1:36 pm ET

In this last and final installment of this series we’re going to talk about how to use low and high technology appropriately to tailor your message to your audience.

One of the ideas behind technology is that it empowers us to work creatively. By blending different technologies we can democratize communication in new and surprising ways.

If you buy into the theory (and I do) that future generations will design and build their own technologies by blending what works and what doesn’t work in different situations, then you’re far on your way to understanding that what works for one person might never work for another.

Once again, I’m going to approach this subject from a phone sourcer’s perspective and demonstrate how I blend the use of high technology with low technology. keep reading…

The Discipline of Recruiting Leadership

Carmen Hudson
May 26, 2011, 5:14 am ET

Way back in the ‘90s, two consultants published a Harvard Business Review article, and subsequently, a book on strategy – The Discipline of Market Leaders. It was among the first management books I’d ever read and its concepts continue to impress me to this day. Full disclosure: I worked at the same management consulting firm as the authors, and even briefly worked on the controversial marketing strategy for the book. The company no longer exists, but the experience remains as one of the best of my career. The premise of The Discipline of Market Leaders is fairly easy to understand. The authors assert that successful companies compete by exploiting a specific “value discipline” and dominate the market year after year by providing extraordinary value. These companies pick one — and only one — of the three values disciplines to conquer:

  1. Operational Excellence: best price with lowest inconvenience
  2. Product Leadership: innovation that delivers the best product
  3. Customer Intimacy: deep customer relationships for customized results

The book is full of great (albeit a bit dated) examples of companies that “choose their customers and narrow their focus.” A few modern examples of my own: Apple comes to mind as a Product Leader. Customers expect the folks in Cupertino to turn out innovative products. They will pay more for the privilege of being the first with an i-anything. Wal-Mart is the long-standing example of operational excellence; Amazon is the Internet equivalent. Customers expect the best price, convenience and speed. Starbucks is great example of customer intimacy. Half-pump skinny extra hot vanilla latte? Not a problem for the Starbucks baristas.

The Disciplines Applied to Recruiting Leadership

Each time I approach a new recruiting challenge, or am asked to lead a new team, I interview the “customer” – the hiring managers (or their leaders). (And by the way I’ll be talking sourcing leadership in Florida.) It’s become habit to understand what they’re after – a fast, low cost process, the best talent in the marketplace or something else altogether. Of course, many managers will reflexively declare that they want a fast, low cost process and the best talent. As a recruiting leader, you would be foolish to promise both. Yes. Foolish. keep reading…

Behavioral Prediction: A New Trend in Talent Acquisition?

John Zappe
May 25, 2011, 3:49 pm ET

I’ve been trying to figure out what to make of Jobaline.

In some respects, what the recruitment tech vendor offers is just another — if more clever — screening variant intended to weed out resume spammers. Interesting, but no game-changer as I told Jobaline founder and CEO Miki Mullor.

What did catch my attention, though, is that Jobaline also attempts to rank applicants on their “seriousness.” An elusive concept to be sure, Mullor says “People who are more serious about a job will take more time on the website.”

Mullor wouldn’t detail everything that goes into the Jobaline mixer, but the amount of time a candidate spends responding to questions is one of the measures, as is the number of jobs a candidate has applied for. Out of the crunching comes a score Mullor says suggests the candidate’s level of interest in the job. keep reading…

Onboarding 2.0

Brendan Shields
May 25, 2011, 2:43 pm ET

This week, David Lee spoke on how to create a more inspiring, pride-inducing, and welcoming onboarding experience using the science of human nature and a “designer’s mindset”

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!


LinkedIn: The Job Site for People Who (Wink, Wink) Aren’t Looking for Jobs

Todd Raphael
May 25, 2011, 5:14 am ET

LinkedIn’s a paradox. It’s a place for recruiting people who aren’t looking to be recruited. And it’s a place for finding jobs — especially if you’re not trying too hard to find a job.

I talk about these oddities in the 9 1/2-minute podcast below, with Coleen Byrne. She’s a sales director, most recently with Yahoo, and is the co-author of a new book for job-seekers called The Web 2.0 Job Finder. We also talk about the interesting advice people are getting with respect to creating a LinkedIn profile, as well as some mistakes job-seekers make when using LinkedIn. keep reading…

Getting Engaged in Macedonia

Todd Raphael
May 24, 2011, 3:25 pm ET

Young employees are less “engaged” than older employees, and Macedonian, French, Turkish, Mexican, and American workers are far more engaged than Hungarian, Czech, Serbian, and Portuguese employees.

That’s the upshot from a new survey of 30,000 employees in 29 countries, done by GfK Custom Research. An international team of employee engagement experts designed the survey, defining that often-abstract word “engagement” as employees’ identification with their company’s success, dedication, and willingness to stay with their employer.

Also from the survey: keep reading…

Santa to Recruiters: Are You Naughty or Nice to Candidates?

John Zappe
May 24, 2011, 2:54 pm ET

What do Santa Claus and job seekers have in common? Neither gets much respect from recruiters.

Three months after applying to the last of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Santa has no idea if the job has been filled at 78 of them. He doesn’t even  know if 25 of them got his resume.

Applying under his given name, Chris Kringle (Anglicized from the original German), the jolly old guy was looking for a job as a systems engineer in logistics or product security.

With his uncanny ability to know who has been naughty or nice, and to manage overnight global delivery of billions of packages, Kringle should be a shoo-in for every recruiter’s short list. And even though he got turned down by 22 of the 100 companies, a few recruiters did call him up for a phone screen.

keep reading…

LinkedIn’s Monday: Security Flaw, Stock Slide

John Zappe
May 23, 2011, 1:01 pm ET

LinkedIn is getting hammered today as investors already edgy over European debt problems are bidding down the stock that last week had a stunning runup when it made its public debut.

While the Dow is off 151 points in early afternoon trading in New York — 1.3 percent — LinkedIn is selling at just under $86, a drop of 7.2 percent from Friday’s $93.09 close.

Since hitting a high of $122.70 on its first trading day last Thursday, LinkedIn has become the poster child for Internet bubble talk. A Sunday New York Times story about the company began, “What are shares of LinkedIn really worth?” keep reading…

Developing a Culture of Speed — HR’s Role in Increasing Organizational Speed

Dr. John Sullivan
May 23, 2011, 5:20 am ET

CEOs are in love with speed! They are constantly ranting about the need for speed in new market entry, time-to-market, cycle-time reduction, and the resulting competitive advantage that speed can provide. Speed is so important in today’s hyper-competitive business world that if you were forced to come up with a single word that best describes the current climate, “speed” would have to appear among the top descriptors.

The business world is transforming at breakneck speed. Entire industries like print publishing, digital imaging, and entertainment are undergoing radical evolutions, displacing established leaders, and launching new ones. Even once-successful companies like MySpace are burning out just three years into their mature life, demonstrating that if you can’t keep up, you will be marginalized.

All around you new products are emerging that demonstrate the profound impact innovation can have in just a year. Mobile video has gone from a pipe dream to a reality, and smartphones just a year old lack the hardware to take full advantage; chips from Intel that are introduced in January are commodities by December. Telephones that used to be viable for years in the 1950s today are obsolete with two years. A phone capturing a premium upgrade price in January could not be sold a year later.

The increasing speed of change should not be a surprise; society has for centuries focused on accelerating nearly everything. That fact has long driven the efforts of business functions that directly touch the design, manufacture, sales, and distribution of products, but functions like HR haven’t always responded in kind. keep reading…

Assessments Can Improve Retention, Save Money

John Zappe
May 20, 2011, 12:01 pm ET

This is a story about how CashAmerica saved millions. And how your company might be able to save money, too.

Like so many companies, CashAmerica, a nationwide chain of loan and pawnshops, had a retention problem. By the middle part of the last decade the problem had become acute enough that the company regularly operated at 80-90 percent staffing.

That might have been good for the bottom line, but the cycle of hiring and training, not to mention lost productivity, had a cost.

Clint Jaynes, when he took over as SVP of human resources in 2006, figured the cost to be about $2,000 in training costs for every new hire.

As Jaynes studied the matter, he found many newly minted clerks left within the first 90 days; more within six months. By the end of two years, somewhat more than half of all new hires were gone.

Store managers, who cost five times as much to train, had a lower, but still significant turnover rate. keep reading…

Animal Hospital Testing Facebook Contest for Recruits

Todd Raphael
May 19, 2011, 7:07 pm ET

I’ve mentioned before that recruiting departments are testing the use of games and contests on Facebook as an alternative to their career sites. Here’s another example: a big animal-hospital chain, VCA, is running contests on Facebook to diagnose animal ailments, hoping to generate traffic to its Facebook careers page and build up its database of job candidates.

This latest contest ends Friday, May 20, and involves a coughing, 7-year-old, miniature poodle.
keep reading…

LinkedIn Value at Closing: $9 Billion

John Zappe
May 19, 2011, 3:50 pm ET

Wall Street investors who spent the day bidding up LinkedIn faster than the last seconds of a hot eBay auction have given the company a $9 billion value as of the end of the trading day in New York.

Not bad for a job board business network that saw its first profit last year.

The stock, which was priced in its first filings with the Security and Exchange Commission at $32-$35, soared to $122.70, before settling back to close the day at $94.25 a share.

Trading as LNKD, the stock was the darling of Wall Street. More than 27 million shares will have changed hands by the time the market closes, several times the 7.84 million share that were part of the initial public offering. More than 200 stories have appeared in the financial trades and online since the stock opened this morning.

The Wall Street Journal wrote an entertaining post pointing out that at LinkedIn’s price at one point, Apple would be worth $3 trillion. It shows, says the Journal, “how bananas the LinkedIn IPO is.” keep reading…

5 Brief Bulk Staffing/Rapid-fire Recruiting Tips

Andrew Gadomski
May 19, 2011, 11:55 am ET

Coming up in June’s edition of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, I break down the best practices and nuances needed when addressing large volumes of hiring. I spent time with staffing and HR leaders from the Gap, PNC Bank, GlaxoSmithKline, and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas to understand how companies gear up for holidays, expansions, new product launches, and new builds.

In the article, six different process stages are outlined: Needs Analysis, Sourcing, Screening, Assessment, Closing the Deal, and Acceptance/Onboarding. Each step of the recruiting process is detailed, and a checklist of nuances captured at each step, gleaning from the best practices of the interviewed group, as well as the experiences I see each day setting up client workforce strategies.

Below are five tips (or landmines) from the nine-page article which has almost 40 such tips, which together serves as a roadmap for talent acquisition leaders as they plan for the economic recovery and aggressive staffing. keep reading…

Despite Improvement, Grads Still Face Tough Job Hunt, Lower Wages

John Zappe
May 18, 2011, 5:46 pm ET

Would that it were as easy today as it was in 1967 when Walter Brooke gave Dustin Hoffman a word of career advice: “Plastics.”

Ironically, one word still seems to sum up today’s career advice: “Anything.”

Even with the brightest employment prospects in years, barely a quarter of the 1.6 million about-to-be college graduates had a job locked down this spring.

The percentage hasn’t changed since last year, but, says the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the numbers themselves have. Last year, with doom and gloom everywhere, only 45.5 percent of seniors bothered to apply for jobs; this year, two-thirds have.

More students received job offers this year — 42 percent vs. 38 percent — and slightly more turned down an offer this year than last, says NACE, which surveyed 26,000 graduating seniors earlier this year.

Optimism has clearly improved. AfterCollege, a job board for college students and recent grads, surveyed its visitors last month finding 78 percent described the job hunt as “difficult” or “very difficult.” Last year 85 percent of the students said that. keep reading…