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J.P. Winker

J.P. Winker is a partner at The A-List, which specializes in sourcing talent for organizations around the world. A former recruiting director at a Fortune 500 company, and executive in the electronic recruiting space, his focus is on developing companies by helping them get the right talent in the right frame of mind.

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Facebook’s Shiny New Job Board!

by Jul 13, 2012, 2:34 pm ET

With the announcement that Facebook is going to offer a job board, we are witnessing the company’s inevitable capitulation to pressure to deliver financial results after a disappointing IPO.Despite a well-deserved reputation for doing things the Zuckerberg way, Facebook is a public company now and must bow to investor pressure in order to justify its (still-high) valuation. Starting a job board is comparatively low-hanging fruit, and we should expect more such offerings in the future as it strives to develop new revenue streams.As job boards go, Facebook’s strength lies in numbers. With hundreds of millions of users, some ads are bound to hit targets. By the way, this is how we know this effort is a cave-in to financial pressure. If it weren’t caving, it would offer something new. Instead, it’s producing a rehash of existing business models.

Facebook hasn’t invented better targeting, improved matching, or even a prettier display. It claims to be able to deliver masses of eyeballs to advertisers and little else — a claim that many have not found to be true given the low click-through rates on ads. Eventually, it may develop better targeting and better matching, but to do so, it’ll need more information from you. And, despite outcries for privacy, you will continue to hand it your private information in exchange for this “free” platform, complaining all the while. This is Facebook’s business model. Get used to it or get off of Facebook. keep reading…

Facebook User Disappoints “Friends”

by Jun 6, 2012, 5:20 am ET

Kip Hanson threw his followers for a loop on Tuesday when he photographed his Starbucks coffee and uploaded it to Facebook. Instead of the same venti dark roast with half and half he always posts, Kip’s followers were surprised to see a grande iced caramel frappucino.

“I was shocked,” Kip’s college roommate, Bill, exclaimed. “Kip is usually so reliable. He always gets the dark roast. I’m stunned that he would let me down so casually. And with a frappuccino? That’s just not like him.”

Comments on the posting reflected the widespread disappointment among Kip’s followers. Friends, co-workers, relatives, and people he forgot he had friended registered their dismay at Kip’s beverage post saying things like: “not cool, dude” and “WTF?!!!” or “drinking from the suc-cess-pool!” One of Kip’s college professors sent a private, angry message. It was too stern to post on Kip’s wall.

Kip’s departure from his normal routine has some of his friends suddenly wondering if they ever really knew Kip. Jeff Kelley, Kip’s classmate in the fifth grade, thinks Kip might have been “shining on” for some time now, and this might have been a peek behind the curtain showing what Kip is really like. He now suspects Kip has only been posting the good events of his life and not sharing the whole picture. Jeff says it makes him seem less authentic. “Either that or Kip is so whipped by his hot new girlfriend he thinks he’s dating Giselle and he’s going all ‘Tom Brady’ on her.” Kelley exclaims.

A quick poll of Kip’s followers suggests that many believe his account has been hacked, and they are no longer following the real Kip. While some loyal followers offer half-hearted rationalizations for Kip’s behavior, the number of Kip’s followers have declined since the incident. It is clear they no longer feel the deep sense of intimacy they used to enjoy with Kip on Facebook.

“I mean, he was always there, you know?” Said Kip’s ex-girlfriend, Amanda Blake. “Every time I’d check my FB account I could see that he was still there. He was still Kip. But then that Frappuccino? It’s like, I don’t know, did he really have veal scallopini for dinner on Thursday? Or check in at the gym at 6 a.m. Wednesday? Was he really outraged at the price of gasoline? Maybe he didn’t really ‘like’ my LOL Cat post. Maybe it was all a lie.”

When asked about the uproar, Kip says it’s been a tough lesson, but he now knows who is real ‘friends’ are. He also says he’s using Twitter now and has some new followers. He claims they’re more ‘free-spirited types’ who accept his alternative lifestyle.

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So, you want to source candidates using Facebook? keep reading…

Stranger in a Strange Land: Agency Skills in a Corporate World

by Nov 9, 2011, 2:55 pm ET

Despite a slow economy, recruiting has picked up over the past year. Talent is hard to find in some segments, and corporate leaders talk about bringing “agency skills” to their recruiting teams. What they mean is they’d like to add the executive recruiting skill set to their existing staff. So, they hire a recruiter with an agency background.

On its face, this would seem to make sense. But it rarely works. After a while, it becomes clear that things aren’t working out as planned. The new hire either does what the other staff are doing (abandoning their agency skill set), or they quietly leave.

It’s an old story: the agency recruiter comes into an established department overseen by HR, replete with processes, advertising budgets, and clear lines of authority. Internal company recruiters, especially those working for larger employers, are adept at marketing jobs designed around the company’s brand and managed through an ATS. There are teams, matrixed relationships, and lots of processes governing recruiters. The goal here is to create reliable, repeatable service levels.

Square Pegs in Round Holes

Agency recruiters find themselves wedged into an environment which is the exact opposite of the agency model — it relies on advertising, has much higher req loads, and is a place where process trumps results. They quickly realize they have to get with the program to fill so many requisitions. This is a situation where the agency skills are not much use. The agency recruiter who wants to stay in a corporate role learns they cannot afford to use agency skills unless they have a shorter requisition list, so they can work them intensely.

Recruiters who learned their trade at a company with a strong brand never really learned to recruit. The brand does the heavy lifting. The corporate recruiter runs a different game, emphasizing ads, job distribution, and SEO, instead of digging for candidates, because its the most efficient way to meet their needs. Anyone wanting to stay will do the same. So the agency skill set falls by the wayside.

Others take a different path. keep reading…

Recruiting Costs: A Manager’s Opportunity

by Aug 12, 2008, 6:09 am ET

Cost has always been central to recruiting. One of the most popular (though not the most useful) metrics is cost-per-hire.

But demonstrating the value of recruiting is difficult. The reasons are simple enough — recruiting costs are tangible; the benefits less so. It takes time for new hires to become productive, and their contributions are difficult to measure with any precision. Furthermore, it is impossible to attribute an employee’s performance to the recruiter’s skill at getting the right fit, in the right place and time. Consequently, tying recruiting results to cost is nearly impossible. Few even try. So recruiting managers usually find themselves under pressure to “manage” costs better — which usually means do more with less. Some companies have just given up trying and handed over their recruiting to an RPO vendor.

RPO has its own issues, but one benefit of RPO may just be that recruiting managers begin to understand costs, and how to manage them to their advantage. I don’t mean “manage” as in “limit” (although that’s a very fine thing), I mean structuring costs to maximize flexibility, leverage in-house expertise, and limit cutbacks during down cycles. This is the “manage” they teach in B-school.

keep reading…

Blogging Bob

by Jun 4, 2008

So many recent news articles proclaim that social networking and blogging are the keys to effective recruiting. The vibe of these stories is that if you aren’t already using these activities, your fate in the war for talent will be to become another battlefield casualty. You are a dinosaur and deserve to be extinct.

Whenever something new comes along, there tends to be a lot of hype, based on the “promise” of what it may deliver. Think ATS and job boards. It’s a lot like elephants trying to procreate: there’s a lot of hooting and hollering and dust getting kicked up at the start, and then nothing may happen for a very long time. And if it does happen, it’s going to be difficult and painful.

keep reading…