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Keith Halperin

Keith Halperin is currently working as a senior contract recruiter and performs additional sourcing work. He has worked in recruiting, placement, search, and research for highly diverse clients (from startups to Fortune 500 firms) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since 1986. He conceived, designed, and implemented corporate recruiting strategies, and developed a white paper for a $70 million, five-year NASA CS recruiting project. He developed the Recruiting Process Methodology, a comprehensive open-source roadmap of recruiting. He co-founded MyIPOJob job fairs for pre-IPO companies, and founded Recruitersforum, an online job site for all types of recruiting positions.

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How to Solve Your Recruiting Problems (and Where You Should Go to Do It …)

by Jan 31, 2014, 12:05 am ET

One of the prime purposes of and other such forums is for advice and problem-solving. One thing that doesn’t often seem to get discussed is where someone should go for answers to recruiting problems, and that’s what I’ll talk about here. keep reading…

I Wish We Knew Some of the Best Answers to These Questions

by Jan 22, 2014, 12:20 am ET

It’s strange that some of the most important questions related to hiring people never seem to get clearly answered.

Yes, I realize many of the questions below could be answered with, “it depends” and “it’s different for every job/company.”

But after all the time they’ve been discussed, I’d think there would be some solid information as to what would be considered “best practices” for some of the following (or at least what “worst practices” to avoid):  keep reading…

The Mastery of Recruiting?

by Jan 7, 2014, 6:41 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 8.40.18 PMMy wife and I watched a fine documentary on TV called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It was about an 85+-year-old master sushi maker named Jiro Ono who has a 10-seat restaurant in the Tokyo subway. He probably makes the best sushi in the world, and maybe ever. He only serves sushi, and it costs about $300 for 20 pieces. He’d been doing it for about 75 years. The documentary talked about his life, his approach to work, his family (his two sons were in the business), and people who knew/interacted with him.

Here are some interesting quotes (with some editing from me) from the movie. After that, I’ll tell you what this means to you, the recruiter or human resources professional.  keep reading…

Recruiters’ Favorite Wastes of Time

by May 10, 2013, 6:39 am ET

We often read about a variety of supposedly recruiting-related topics which are designed to have in-house (either full-time or contract) recruiters “do better.” We typically work on 15-25 requisitions at a time, putting in 45-60 hours of work/week for immediate hires. Consequently, if it doesn’t directly lead to helping us “quickly and affordably put more/better quality butts in chairs,” these topics are wastes of our time.

A number of these suggested topics/tasks are useful (if not vital), and others aren’t. However, when we recruiters aren’t “drinking from a firehouse,” we’re wondering how soon they’ll lay us off, so in neither case can we work on these useful tasks. It would be valuable to have a company say to us:

We’re slowing down a bit now, so we’ll have you work on these other important tasks you haven’t had time to do up to now to keep you working for awhile.

Many companies are unable/unwilling to do this, and would rather lose our accumulated knowledge and practice and start all over again in the future with some largely/wholly new crew.

Anyway, back to those favorite wastes of time we’re supposed to do in the negative-5 to negative-20 hours of free time we have during the week: keep reading…

Making Your Company Stronger: The Robust Recruiting Model

by Apr 30, 2013, 5:57 am ET

Throughout our recruiting careers, we are always told to hire the “A players” or “the Fabulous 5%” or the “very best”; it’s to make our company stronger. While it would be a good idea to try and hire the very best, it isn’t always possible, and it may not even always be the best idea …

The False Premise: Hiring the Best is Always Best keep reading…

Let Me Tell You What a Good Recruiting Boss Is

by Apr 24, 2013, 5:53 am ET

I’ve had many recruiting bosses, sometimes in large organizations, sometimes in small. I’ve been privileged to have had a few who have been exceptionally good. Here’s what the good ones had in common, and the sorts of things they would and wouldn’t do. keep reading…

An Honest Look at What Job Candidates Really Want

by Apr 16, 2013, 5:24 am ET

Fragile handle with careEvery few months here on ERE, some author writes an article discussing the “candidate experience,” or as I prefer to call it: the “c words”: candidate care. As a contract recruiter, I’m very frequently a candidate, so while I’m just one person, I’m very familiar with this side of the process, so let me discuss the candidate’s perspective. keep reading…

Recruiting Supermodels and a Tool to Help You Do It

by Feb 15, 2013, 5:13 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 9.12.31 PMAs a recruiter, one of the main problems I face with prospective and actual clients is unrealistic expectations of who they can really hire. For a variety of reasons (which have been gone over many times before), there seems to be a sense of entitlement that the facts don’t bear out … “The very best of the best should beat a path to our door and be dying to work for us.”

I can think of one particularly relevant example of this. keep reading…

The Agile Recruiting Manifesto

by Feb 4, 2013, 1:22 am ET

While I recruit for almost anything, over the years I’ve done a lot of software engineering recruiting. I’ve learned that software engineers in startups typically have short time frames to develop, modify, and test their software, and to do it effectively, there is a formal method called “agile software development.”

Since I usually like to understand what it is I’m recruiting for, I did some research about agile software development, and found out the the principles behind it were formulated in 2001 in a document called The Agile Manifesto. There seemed to be a great deal that could also apply to recruiting. I decided to “sample” — aka, steal it — and substitute some appropriate recruiting terms for the software terms, and about three years ago I sent it out. Here it is again: keep reading…

Can You Help Me Answer These Recruiting Questions?

by Jan 24, 2013, 12:05 am ET

This week, I thought I’d throw out a bunch of recruiting related questions that I’m curious about. Some may be easy to answer (and I’m just to lazy to do so), some hard, and some may have to be re-stated/re-defined.

Do you have any answers? keep reading…

The Real World of Recruiting

by Jan 17, 2013, 1:59 am ET

“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” –Howard Beale, Network

Hi Folks,

I’m making a late introduction – I started writing last week after not doing so since 2009. Though it’s much easier and more enjoyable to tear apart other peoples articles, I decided to start writing some of my own.

My madness is because much of what I read as “professional wisdom from “recruiting thought leaders” is: keep reading…

The Worst Recruiting Mistakes

by Jan 10, 2013, 5:04 am ET

Late last year, I checked with my recruiting friends (yes, I still have a few left) and colleagues as to what they thought were the worst recruiting mistakes that companies make. What they said is below. What do you think are the worst? keep reading…

The Recruiting Project Manager

by Jul 9, 2009, 11:30 pm ET

The traditional recruiting model should be replaced by what I call Solution Recruiting — which I will be writing about in an upcoming Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership. For the time being (for the website), I wish to mention a part of the solution I’m proposing.

This part of the solution is called a “Recruiting Project Manager.” Recruitment Process Outsourcing has often failed when the client believed it to be a wondrous pipeline, where money flows out and perfectly qualified employees flow in, without effort or oversight necessary on the part of hiring managers. As in other areas of business process outsourcing, RPO requires considerable upfront planning and the provision of adequate onsite project managers. Because of this, I believe that the development of a new kind of employee — the Recruiting Project Manager — will be a significant milestone in the evolution of corporate recruiting.

As segments of the recruiting process are outsourced, it will become increasingly important to hire individuals who are capable of acting as liaisons between onsite enterprise clients (including hiring and recruiting managers) and offsite RPO resources. These recruiting project managers will oversee different functional groups (such as Internet sourcing, phone sourcing, candidate development and recruiting, coordinating and scheduling), often in dispersed locations. The skills required to be successful in this role are considered to be “high-touch” and “high value-added” in that they require a great deal of direct contact. They also are considered to be of greater value than other skills that are more routine.

While a number of these skills can be taught, many members of recruiting organizations who are highly competent in the traditional roles will not possess the necessary skills to function in a new recruiting environment. These newly required skills include competencies in the following areas:

  • Formulating business strategies and goals
  • Outlining the competencies needed to achieve those goals
  • Identifying core competencies — those competencies that the organization must have in-house
  • Analyzing current competencies and identifying gaps
  • Formulating hiring strategy for addressing the gaps, including bringing in new skills and developing competencies of current staff
  • Monitoring and managing ongoing requirements for organizational capability
  • Interpreting and analyzing explicit and implicit social communication
  • Articulating and representing diverse organizational interests

Some of the competencies in this list are common to many types of project management. However, I have included the last two competencies that are based on managing social relationships because of the greater interpersonal requirements of the hiring process.

Recruiting Project Managers will be critical in the new recruiting environment because they will serve as necessary bridges between hiring companies and outsourced providers of services.