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Advice and How-Tos

Top 10 Future Recruitment Trends

by Oct 31, 2014, 12:37 am ET

Fall 2014 ERE Conference Think Tank Session Recap 

Good conferences always offer great opportunities to stay on top of challenges, best practices, and future trends. The best conferences also offer new take-away ideas to implement within our own organizations. The recent ERE conference held in Chicago in late September delivered the goods on both fronts. As the moderator of an almost-two-hour-long Think Tank session on “Challenges and Future Trends in Talent Acquisition,” I was blown away (the conference was held in the Windy City, after all!) by the sheer number of issues — and solutions — that were discussed.

This post is too limited to include all of the great ideas that this group of very experienced HR and talent acquisition professionals discussed. So we picked the best of the best for the following list of “Top 10 Overall Best Practices” currently being applied to address the No. 1 challenge determined by the session participants: “finding and engaging qualified candidates.”

Again — a big thanks to all the in-house recruiting & HR professionals in attendance at this session who focused specifically on the key challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in 2014 and going into 2015.

Overall Top 10 Best Recruitment Practices (in no particular order) keep reading…

How to Customize the Sales Message for the Candidate

by Oct 30, 2014, 12:05 am ET

Bryan Adams-AES-033488Everyone loves a trip down memory lane. That’s why VH1 made those retrospectives about the 1980s, 1990s, etc. Admit it: once you caught five minutes of one of those shows, the next four hours of your life were forfeited.

A few years ago, when I was an IT recruiter back in Washington, D.C. (see what I did there? Clever, right?), one of my favorite parts of the job was getting to know each candidate and figuring out what their “story” was. What were their unique aspirations and hot buttons? How did they get to this point in their career? What were they passionate about in their lives? Being able to get to know someone, then matching them up with a company that matched their professional and personal ambitions was, to me, one of the best and most rewarding parts of the job. It was always a delight to follow up with them six months later and learn that they were indeed happy with the new direction in their career.

Any recruiter worth their salt will tell you that their ability to sell a candidate on a company or a job is their “raison d’etre” (for those of you who slept through French or Philosophy 101: reason they exist). Now, with skill set requirements and qualifications that rapidly evolve with each new technology and regulatory change, creating specialized pockets of highly competitive positions, this ability to differentiate an opportunity from the rest of the landscape has become more important than ever.

So how exactly, beyond sheer luck, do you ensure that “just right” fit? Let’s take a cue from VH1 and fire up a couple of classics for some help: keep reading…

Have You Hugged Your Data Today? Notes From the 2014 HR Tech Conference

by Oct 28, 2014, 6:38 am ET

The annual HR Technology Conference always provides a smorgasbord of food for thought. In years past my appetite for content related to talent assessment has not been satisfied. What a difference a few years makes.

This year’s show was packed with valuable information and insights related to the value of talent assessment.  keep reading…

Don’t Let the Halloween Party Become a Nightmare

by Oct 27, 2014, 7:14 pm ET

jack o lanternsAcross the country, recruiters spent the late summer hiring zombies, vampires, witches, and other denizens of the dark to populate the frightful attractions (even an oceanliner) that will be gone by Sunday night.

These thousands of seasonal hires may give kids nightmares, but they’re about the only workers this week who aren’t causing costume angst for the human resources department. Even as most workers are looking forward to Friday’s Halloween party, HR is spooked by the thought someone might show up this year as an Ebola victim or a superhero dressed in what looks suspiciously like underwear. keep reading…

If Martian Executives Visited Recruiting … What Would They Find Missing?

by Oct 27, 2014, 12:33 am ET

MarsIt may seem like a strange proposition at first, but what if an experienced business executive who knew nothing about recruiting visited and took a snapshot assessment of your function?

Obviously even a Martian executive would be able to quickly find and understand traditional recruiting functions like employer branding, sourcing, and interview processes. But what would they find missing? In other words, what standard business elements that exist in every other business function and process (like production, product development, supply chain, or marketing) would an outsider be surprised to find totally absent from your corporate recruiting function?

If you are a recruiting leader and one of your goals is to be “more businesslike,” you might be surprised at the number of common business process elements that simply can’t be found in corporate recruiting.

Business Process Elements That Are Almost Always Absent From Recruiting

If you were a strong business person who assessed the recruiting function, you might be surprised to find that many business process elements are simply missing. Those missing elements include: keep reading…

3 Great Recruitment Marketing Tactics

by Oct 24, 2014, 12:16 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.15.59 PMYou’ve heard of all the same old tactics. Narrow your funnel, speak to the candidate, build trust and rapport, use a CRM. All of these are valuable, but they could be the fodder for any of the articles you see here or any other digital watering hole on the Internet. What I’ve been noticing lately are very cool, very novel tactics used by companies, often those who don’t even have a recruiting function per se. Here are some brand new plays to add to that well-worn playbook you use when approaching new talent. keep reading…

Examining the Growing Trend of ‘Ban the Box’

by Oct 21, 2014, 12:32 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 2.21.00 PMEmployers often seek as much information as possible about their candidates and the strengths and competencies they can bring to the company. But is asking about their criminal history during the application process going too far?

With the proliferation of “ban-the-box” laws in the U.S., whereby multiple states and local governments have passed legislation requiring that employers remove the questions pertaining to previous arrests or convictions from employment applications, that seems to be the trend.

While many of these laws pertain exclusively to employers in the public sector, there are a growing number of laws that apply to private employers as well. Such laws are currently in place in 13 states, with New Jersey being the latest to join the “ban-the-box” movement in August 2014 and Georgia lawmakers considering coming aboard as well. Many local jurisdictions have also banned the box, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Seattle, Buffalo, San Francisco and, most recently, Washington, D.C.

As such laws continue to gain steam, employers must understand their responsibilities and how they can ensure compliance. But the most effective strategy is to stay ahead of the curve by working to eliminate the criminal history question before local regulations mandate it.

The Need for Ban-the-Box Laws keep reading…

Ebola — Are Your Corporate Leaders Prepared for All Upcoming Employee Issues?

by Oct 20, 2014, 12:38 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 1.45.18 PMYou might initially think that Ebola is only a medical issue, but corporate leaders, HR, and recruiting professionals should realize that the likely upcoming Ebola-related panic and anxiety will also negatively impact an organization’s employees and candidates.

Take a moment to visualize this possible scenario where during the upcoming flu season employees will irrationally stress, panic, and avoid other employees and customers who appear to be even slightly symptomatic. Envision an HR function that will be bombarded with questions and concerns about sick leave, medical benefits, and a variety of Ebola related issues.

So if you operate under the philosophy that it’s better to be prepared than surprised, prepare for the possibility that the fear of the Ebola disease alone will result in severe employee stress, turmoil, and lower productivity.

The Top 10 Ebola-related People Management Issues You Should Be Preparing For keep reading…

Some Quick Thoughts on Big Data and Metrics

by Oct 17, 2014, 12:08 am ET

common metricsA lot of companies have been talking about big data lately, but what does mean for us in HR and talent acquisition?

Simply put, it is using data to spot trends and make decisions that impact the business. This is no different from what companies have been doing for a while in other functional areas such as finance, corporate strategy, supply chain, and more recently HR. It is just that how this is captured, analyzed, and presented has changed.

Geoffrey Dubiski of Sumner Grace and I once gave a talk on “Recruiting and Your Bottom Line” at an IQPC event.

I think the points we made are still valid. Here’s an outline of some of our thoughts: keep reading…

How This New Zealand Technology Company Has Been Able to Double Headcount Each Year

by Oct 16, 2014, 12:58 am ET

office photoEROAD is an Auckland, New Zealand-based startup that was established to modernize road user charges in New Zealand. In 2007 the business began to commercialize its research and development and seven years on, it has just launched in both Australia and the United States.

Having seen several articles about EROAD’s recent IPO, growth into Australia and North America and its comparatively huge demand for highly skilled engineers, I met with EROAD’s HR Manager Rebecca McKaskell to gain an insight into how with a relatively unknown brand she has been able to support the highly technical resourcing demands of this business. keep reading…

What Employers Can Learn From the Abercrombie Religious Discrimination Case

by Oct 14, 2014, 12:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.18.54 AMOver the past five years, the EEOC has seen a significant increase in charges of religious discrimination. Between FY 1999 and FY 2008, the EEOC received an average of 2,447 such charges per year. Between FY 2009 and FY 2013, the EEOC has received more than 3,000 such charges each year, with a record 4,151 charges received in FY 2011 alone. With the religious diversity of the country increasing, it is unsurprising that public and private employers and applicants and employees of faith are struggling to figure out each other’s expectations.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will be able to provide some guidance on the subject. This week, the Court agreed to review a decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals involving Abercrombie & Fitch’s decision to deny employment to applicant Samantha Elauf because she wore a headscarf to her interview. Abercrombie has adopted a “Look Policy” for its “models” or sales floor employees, which prohibits models from wearing black clothing or “caps” and subjects violators of the Look Policy to discipline up to and including termination.

Elauf is a practicing Muslim and has been wearing a hijab or headscarf since the age of 13 for religious reasons. During the interview, Elauf wore a black headscarf. The interviewing manager assumed that Elauf was a Muslim and wore the headscarf for religious reasons.  But neither she nor Elauf said anything during the interview to confirm or counter that assumption. keep reading…

The Top 10 Actions for Dramatically Improving Employee Referral Program Results

by Oct 13, 2014, 12:02 am ET

As the economy improves and recruiting top talent becomes more difficult, focus on employee referrals. They routinely produce the highest volume and quality of hire. If you are getting less than 40 percent of your hires from your employee referral program, here are the top 10 actions that I have found will dramatically improve your ERP results.

The Top 10 High-impact Actions for Increasing Referral Results keep reading…

Recruiting in the Purpose Economy

by Oct 10, 2014, 12:45 am ET

Psychology TodayPurpose.

It’s what employees and job candidates, particularly the millennial generation, want in their work. And it’s what companies need in their teams to produce the goods and services millennials and others want to buy.

Employers are starting to find clues to help them attract people with purpose. keep reading…

Transportation Is Facing a Talent Shortage. How Will Employers Find the Candidates They Need?

by Oct 9, 2014, 5:47 am ET

transportationIf you’re hiring in transportation today, finding the talent you need in the coming years might seem a bit daunting.

More than in the labor market overall, employment in transportation related occupations are highly attuned to economic fluctuations. Acting as a bellwether of the nation’s economic health, that employment fell dramatically during the Great Recession. As the economy began to recover, transportation hiring outpaced other industries for two years starting in 2011. Now, consumer spending continues to improve and the energy industry is booming, meaning that demand for drivers is higher than ever. keep reading…

Time to Kill the Requisition?

by Oct 7, 2014, 12:48 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.58.31 PMMost corporate recruiting teams still rely on requisition-based hiring. In most cases this means they focus on recruiting for openings as they arise using whatever recruiting channels yield the “right” talent readily available. Unfortunately their processes don’t typically yield the best talent as quickly as needed, leaving operational teams frustrated with the results.

The solution is to have a pipeline of talent at the ready when a new position arises. keep reading…

Recruit Top Prospects During Their ‘Angry Hours’ — Because Timing Is Everything

by Oct 6, 2014, 12:03 am ET

An in-depth analysis on how the right timing can dramatically improve recruiting

In my experience, the hardest-to-recruit exceptional targets are those who I label as “no, and stop calling me” passive top prospects who simply won’t accept a recruiter’s call. Even though most recruiters will tell you that their lack of interest in changing jobs is unwavering, my research has found that there are exceptions that may occur once or twice during each year, and I call them “their angry hours.”

During this brief time period the prospect is open to a recruiting discussion because something has recently occurred that makes them angry about their job, their manager, or their company. And for at least a few hours … that anger makes them suddenly receptive to recruiter calls and to new job opportunities.

Timing Is Everything in Sales and Recruiting keep reading…

Startups Tackling LinkedIn, Onboarding, Hourly Hiring, Resume Screening, Interviewing

by Oct 3, 2014, 3:42 pm ET

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 12.36.06 PMYou know those short summaries at the top of LinkedIn, where the person describes themselves and what they do? Like this:

Connecting Talent With Opportunity At Massive Scale

or this:

The “Mad Scientist of Online Recruiting” – Specializing in Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding & Social Recruiting

or just a simple:

Public Relations Director, Human Resource Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Well, a new tool will help companies and employees put those summaries together. It’s just one of many new technologies in the talent acquisition field. Read on. keep reading…

What Soft Skills Are

by Oct 3, 2014, 12:03 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 6.13.54 AMTo some, soft skills are code for corporate culture; for others they are the emotional side of working well together as a team and being a team player. Yet to others it represents specific skills that companies spend large amounts of money to develop within their people.

I ask companies small to large what kinds of skills they are looking for in their new recruits.  They often start the conversation by saying “I can teach the hard skills specific to my organization or industry but what I really need are people that are problem solvers, can work in teams, can communicate well, have learned how to learn, and can lead teams.”

What they are saying is they need 21st-century skills or what we are calling soft skills. These five skills below are the essence of soft skills, and every company, no matter its size will either succeed or fail in the 21st century based on how well these skills are developed and used in their organization.

Let’s look at five soft skills and the role they play in your success. keep reading…

The Problem Might Not Be the Hiring Manager. It Might Be You.

by Oct 1, 2014, 12:26 am ET

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber E. N. Jacobs/ReleasedYour talent acquisition team has been tasked with finding someone to fill a tough, high-profile, technical hiring need in engineering or science or information technology. The position is open for a while and your company’s senior leadership is getting nervous because the skill set is urgently needed on a mission-critical project.

Qualified candidates aren’t applying. Significant man-hours are being put into sourcing and recruiting for the role. Finally, an interested candidate is identified whose resume looks promising. She does well on her initial phone screen and is brought in for an interview. Things look good but then comes the hiring manager’s feedback. keep reading…

Making an Offer: It’s Not All About the Money

by Sep 30, 2014, 12:58 am ET

Sometimes recruiters think that if they get the most money for the candidate, then the candidate will accept. But it’s not all about money, but more about making the candidate feel like they have a say in the hiring process and addressing their financial needskeep reading…