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Stephen Lowisz

With nearly two decades of experience in the recruitment industry, Steve Lowisz is a highly regarded trainer and speaker on all things talent. A leader of sourcing and staffing engagements for companies throughout the world, he has a unique perspective of the industry, its challenges, and its present and future opportunities. His passion is to educate and equip recruitment professionals and hiring executives with the tools and techniques required to create effective recruitment functions and processes. His unique and sometimes unconventional delivery style is engaging, challenging, and thought-provoking for recruiters new to the industry, all the way up to the seasoned CEO seeking the best talent. He is also the force behind the Recruitment Education Institute and is the author of the forthcoming book, “Recruit or Get Out of the Way.”

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Recruiting ‘Trends’ Are Not Trends At All: Beware of Impractical Advice, and Remember Effective Metrics

by Aug 21, 2013, 5:48 am ET

I keep seeing articles about the “hottest trends in recruiting” that are, in reality, of little value to the recruiting community.

These articles list “new” recruiting concepts and ideas, but there’s a hitch: most of the “trends” listed have been talked about for years. What’s more, the kinds of ideas that are named must actually be paired with traditional practices and are not enough to effectively drive results on their own. This kind of misinformation can be dangerous for recruiters, particularly those who are just starting out and looking for guidance.

Let me explain a couple of the “trends” mentioned in these types of articles that are most bothersome to me and make note on why they aren’t really trends or, if they are, how to take advantage of them. keep reading…

4 Strategies to Address the Coming War for Talent

by Apr 25, 2012, 8:58 am ET

Before we experienced the 2008 economic disaster, the phrase “war for talent” seemed to be overused by every corporate and agency recruiter I came in contact with. It seemed to go away until the first or second quarter of 2011 and now seems to be back on every executive and recruiter’s mind. Recruiters across the country have shared with me the excitement they have about recruiting again — about building talent pipelines, implementing social media, bolstering up their LinkedIn connections, and creating new and compelling candidate value propositions.

Let me start by giving one word of advice: stop!

If you are serious about recruiting the best talent, take this as an opportunity to build a recruiting culture throughout the entire organization — up to and including the CEO. Don’t make the mistake of throwing all of your time and money into new-fangled technologies, building talent communities, or costly social media campaigns unless you have the basic principles of recruiting drilled into both your recruiting staff and your hiring executives.

Let me ask a few questions:

  1. What is your organization’s candidate value proposition? Does everyone involved in the recruiting process understand these points? How is this information communicated to candidates?
  2. Are you really using your social networks/connections? Are you continuously broadcasting your open positions to your networks? Are you growing your LinkedIn connections?
  3. Are you building talent pipelines? How do you create a talent pipeline? How do you communicate to and track those in your pipeline?
  4. Are you interviewing consistently and effectively? What questions is the recruiter asking? What questions is the recruiting committee asking?

Most of those reading this can probably provide a detailed answer as to what they are doing in each of these areas. For example, every time I ask the question “Why would someone want to join your organization” I get a very lengthy answer. Whether I ask the CEO or the recruiter, both can rattle off 10-15 bullet points of why any particular candidate should pack up their current offices, quit their jobs, and walk across the street to a new, fantastic, opportunity.

In the same way, everyone talks about growing their social networks, particularly LinkedIn, and the value this brings to their recruiting effectiveness.

On the surface both of these issues seem like great news — but are they really?

As the competition for finding, engaging, and attracting the right candidate heats up, every organization needs to reassess their understanding of, and strategy for, implementing each of these focus areas.

Let’s go through the four questions I asked earlier. keep reading…

Quality of Hire: The Top Recruiting Metric

by Jun 30, 2010, 1:48 pm ET

We talk about “top” talent and “top” performers, but how do you know you’ve reached the “top”? Is there some kind of altitude marker? A sign that reads “Welcome to the Top”? Unfortunately, no. But of all the recruiting metrics in your talent capital toolbox, one indicates a recruiting job-well-done above the rest: Quality of Hire.

Every CEO, manager, and corporate investor knows that hiring the best people is what ultimately drives an organization’s long-term success. Yet the recruiting metrics most companies employ evaluate efficiency rather than quality. Metrics like “time-to-fill” and “cost-per-hire” only tell us about the process, not its impact.

What matters most is how new hires perform and how much they contribute to your organization’s growth and goals. “Top” performers can exponentially increase your productivity and profitability, while those with lower standards can damage your bottom line and plummet your reputation. Those numbers far outweigh how much time it took to fill their position. Yet the question remains: How do you evaluate the quality of your hires?

Determining Quality of Hire: Across Your Organization

If you were to deduce a formula for calculating how well your organization is hiring overall, it would look something like this: keep reading…

Over-hiring Is Company Suicide

by Dec 16, 2009, 3:08 pm ET

plant mgrWe have all heard the recent statistics of rising unemployment rates, along with candidate-to-position ratios being the highest we have seen in decades. Almost every time I open the paper there is a depressing story of how one job posting attracted hundreds of applications. One story even told us of a job posting for a single position that attracted more than 14,000 applications in five business days — almost 3,000 applications a day!

What is even more interesting than the actual volume of candidates is the response I hear from business leaders as to how they are dealing with this issue. keep reading…

Technology: Recruiters’ Friend or Foe?

by Dec 3, 2008, 5:13 am ET

There is no doubt that technology has had a significant impact on the way we identify and recruit candidates in this age of social networking and blogging, but have we gone too far?

I recently had the opportunity to speak at a recruiting conference whose major theme focused on technology and its application in the recruiting lifecycle. As I stood in the back of the room waiting for the speaker in front of me to finish her presentation, I was shocked at what she had to say. She stated that “there is no reason to actually talk to a candidate today.” She continued by saying that “email and text messages should be the only means we use to contact and recruit candidates today because that is the medium they use.”

As this well-known speaker’s comments began to sink in, I realized the cause of many of the problems we face today — it’s people like this speaker who teach us to rely almost exclusively on technology! I may not be a doctor, but the last time I checked, every candidate is a living, breathing, human being with the innate craving to have a relationship with other living, breathing, humans.

Within the recruitment profession today, technology has moved from a tool to identify candidates and create efficiencies to a mechanism that replaces real relationships. If we all rely on the same technologies to identify, engage, and recruit candidates, what will be the differentiator from company to company? Are candidates to be treated as a commodity?

Have we forgotten that recruiting is sales? That sales is what builds real relationships? That technology should enable us to be more efficient but cannot engage a candidate in the way a recruiter can? Obviously these are all rhetorical questions aimed at pointing out how our near-reliance on technology is only exacerbating the problems we face today.

As I surveyed the room after I heard these ridiculous statements, I realized the impact this speaker had on the audience of seemingly young, inexperienced recruiters who were attempting to learn at least one nugget of information they could apply when returning to their respective companies.

keep reading…

5 Steps to Recruiting (or Sales) Success

by Jul 10, 2008, 1:17 pm ET

A great recruiter should have the same skill sets and qualifications of a great salesperson. All of the great sales visionaries including Zig Ziglar and Tom Hopkins have taught these steps to sales professionals around the world, yet few recruiters today understand or use any of these available resources.

So much emphasis has been placed on prospecting or sourcing potential candidates that recruiters are not taught the basics of the sales process that follows the sourcing function. Having listened to thousands of third-party and corporate recruiters over the past 15 years, my sense is that less than 10% of recruiters understand basic sales principles.

Although the terminology may differ, the following are the critical steps to every successful sales professional or recruiting professional.

keep reading…

6 Good Metrics

by Jul 7, 2008, 3:35 pm ET

Recruiting metrics require a number of characteristics to be considered effective and reliable:

• Metrics must be predictive and actionable. Statistics need to provide information that can be acted upon by providing data to indicate trends.
• Metrics must be tracked over time in order to generate internal benchmarks and analyze internal performance.
• Recruitment metrics should include both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Time and cost obviously comprise the quantitative aspects of recruitment metrics, while productivity, retention, efficiency, and candidate performance comprise the qualitative aspects.

Metrics of the Past

Ten years ago recruiting was often seen as a steppingstone to an HR generalist role. Recruiters were trained to “screen out” applicants, thus making their positions transactionally focused. This led to the two most commonly used metrics: cost-per-hire and time-to-fill.

keep reading…