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Advice and How-Tos

Retention — The Top 10 Ways a Manager Can Identify Who Is About to Quit

by Jul 28, 2014, 12:49 am ET

There are few things that are more shocking to a manager then to have one of their top-performing employees suddenly quit on them. Some managers have described it as the equivalent to a “kick in the gut.” It is a shock not only because losing a key employee will damage your business results, but also because managers hate surprises, and as a result, they frequently wonder how they missed the signals that this person was going to leave.

Employee turnover is always an important issue, but most managers are unaware of the fact that overall, turnover rates went up 45 percent last year. And because I am predicting that they will go up at least 50 percent this year, individual managers should be aware of the precursors or warning signs that can indicate that an employee is considering looking for a job, so they can act before it’s too late.

After 20+ years of research on predicting turnover, I have found that if you approach the problem systematically, you can successfully identify which individual employees are likely to quit with an accuracy rate of over 80 percent. Firms like Google, Xerox, and Sprint, as well as several vendors, have developed processes for identifying who might quit. But for most managers, you must realize that you will simply have to develop your own identification process. So if you know of a manager who is worried about turnover, pass this list of turnover predictors to them so they won’t be surprised when their next employee announces that they are quitting.

The Top 10 Ways a Manager Can Determine if an Employee Is Considering a Search for a New Job keep reading…

Rejected Candidate Referrals and the Candidate Experience

by Jul 23, 2014, 12:38 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 5.11.44 PMWhat are your RCR ratios?

If you are not familiar with RCR, it stands for Rejected Candidate Referral.  The metrics are simply the ratio of RCRs in your candidate pool against other sources.

I love this metric for two reasons.

First, just because someone doesn’t get the job doesn’t mean they can’t be a source of referrals. Second, it is a bellwether metric for your overall candidate experience. Simply put, candidates who had a great experience, regardless of the result, will be more likely to refer others than those that did not have a good experience.

See, simple. Recruiting is not rocket science. I know there have been volumes written discussing candidate experience. Companies can and do invest significant time, money, and effort in creating highly curated candidate experiences. I can appreciate that work, and I have seen the value in having an experience that sets a company apart. The thing that bothers me is that like so many things we as humans touch, there is a bias towards over-complicating things.

Candidate experience can be summed up in one word: keep reading…

Recruiter Development as an Exercise in Cooperation: Donate Yourself!

by Jul 22, 2014, 12:25 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 5.11.44 PMIf you work in recruiting in any capacity, ask yourself this question: “When was the last time someone really invested in making me better?”

Then give yourself the responsibility of that development for someone/everyone around you.

Why would we do that? Who has time for that? Where should I start? If this is what comes up top of mind, you might owe it to yourself to put some thought into this topic. I’ll tell you why I think it’s not only a business imperative but a preservation technique as well. keep reading…

The Last Strategic Recruiting Frontier — Sourcing Using Consumer Data

by Jul 21, 2014, 12:08 am ET

Recruiting leaders are constantly looking for strategic opportunities, which admittedly are rare in this progressive field. There is only one big missed opportunity in strategic recruiting and that is …  keep reading…

How to Start Planning for Recruiting Gen Z

by Jul 17, 2014, 12:56 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 12.57.22 PMDigital Generation. Gen Z. Silent Generation. Second generation in the Millennial cohort. The “coming demographic tsunami.”

However you refer to them, Generation Z (born 1995-2010) is the young, fresh round of talent you’ll be recruiting very soon, which will be a different experience than generations before them.

Gen Z was born into a digitized economy and, according to a study by New York-based marketing agency Sparks & Honey, 37.8 percent hope to “invent something that will change the world.”

The connected quality of the older Millennial generation will only be amplified by Gen Z, so be prepared to adjust your recruiting strategy as you begin to connect and communicate in new ways when you start recruiting Gen Z: keep reading…

Creative Ways to Keep Your Interns Working for You

by Jul 15, 2014, 1:38 am ET

2014_AC_CIS_What_MattersWhat’s the difference between university and experienced hire recruiting?

It’s more than just the age of the applicants.

The purpose of university recruiting is generally not to immediately fill a job or internship. It is to build your employment brand on campus in front of students who will apply to your company’s entry-level job or internships … eventually. It is about keeping track of the students you want to attract and then putting on your marketing hat to continue your brand engagement with them.

One way to make that happen:  keep reading…

What’s New With ‘Peer Review’ and What It Means to You

by Jul 15, 2014, 12:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 6.44.44 AMNew websites are being created where the technical talent your company is seeking (and often struggling to find) will be going to publish and discuss their work, evaluate other people’s work, and collaborate with their peers on new work.

These sites are underused or not used at all by most talent acquisition departments. They are fertile ground for those who understand the rules of engagement.

The Start of Peer Review keep reading…

15 Ultra-bold Recruiting Practices — Are You Falling Behind Your Competitors?

by Jul 14, 2014, 12:29 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 3.10.08 PMby Trena Luong and John Sullivan

In case you haven’t noticed, the world of corporate recruiting has become so intense that formerly rare aggressive and ultra-bold recruiting practices are now becoming mainstream. Of course as a professional, you know that you have an obligation to keep up with the latest practices, but your outdated recruiting approach is damaging your firm. Are you willing to explain to: your managers why you can’t hire top performers?;  your employees why they can’t work alongside the very best?; your customers why your products have outdated features?; and to your shareholders why your company can’t grow because of its inability to recruit top talent?

For a busy manager or recruiting professional, realize that the recruiting bar is being raised every day. Because we specialize in advanced recruiting practices, we have put together a quick list of examples of ultra-bold recruiting practices in order to demonstrate just how aggressive and bold recruiting has become. Each bold practice takes only a minute to scan and we assure you that most will be startled with how much recruiting has changed.

The Top 15 Ultra-bold Recruiting Practices keep reading…

How Recruiters Can Create Successful Partnerships With Hiring Managers

by Jul 11, 2014, 12:01 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 1.24.13 PMRecruiters and hiring managers’ shared goal is to fill positions with top talent. So why do they often end up frustrated with each other? Most often, it’s because hiring managers and recruiters have different perspectives and approaches when it comes to hiring.

The only person you can change is you. Take on the responsibility to be a guide, to provide value by serving to help the hiring manager succeed, and in doing so, create a spirit of partnership. Here is some guidance to help you forge a successful working relationship with hiring managers. keep reading…

Speed. Price. Quality. Are Your Recruiters Sacrificing One of the Above?

by Jul 10, 2014, 12:33 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 12.02.37 PM

There’s a well-known project management challenge: “fast, good, cheap: pick two.” It succinctly captures the dilemma that project managers face as they try to achieve their goals at the right speed, price, and quality. In this triangle of competing priorities, it seems impossible to optimize all three at the same time, leaving the project manager with hard choices to make. They know:

  • To get something quickly of high quality, it will not be cheap
  • To get something quickly and cheaply, it will not be high quality
  • To get something cheaply that is high quality, it will not be quick

The best project managers know that to make the right choices, they have to understand which priority is most important to the project, and ultimately, their decisions must be aligned with the priorities of the organization.

This doesn’t just apply to project management. With the increased demand and dwindling supply of high quality candidates, recruiters are finding themselves in the same dilemma trying to meet the needs of their hiring managers. keep reading…

Closing the Engagement Gap

by Jul 9, 2014, 12:25 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 8.19.53 PMEmployees can be a very big recruiting resource

A recent report by PR firm Weber Shandwick — Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism – has a lot to say about the potential for tapping employees as a recruitment resource.

The report is based on a global survey done by the firm. The survey found that engaged employees can become activists for their employers. They can be an employer’s best advocates, promoting the company as a great place to work. Many employees actively defend the reputations of their employers. More than half of all employees surveyed reported defending their employer to family or friends or in a public form like a website or a blog.

But they can also be its worst opponents. Just read the reviews on Glassdoor for proof of both.

None of this should be a surprise, but what’s most interesting in the report is that employee advocacy is a largely untapped resource. keep reading…

Just Say “No” to Forgettable Employee Testimonial Videos

by Jul 8, 2014, 12:40 am ET

made to stickIf you search “employee testimonials” on YouTube, you will notice a theme after watching a handful of them.

They look and sound alike.

They all say basically the same thing, with variations on these themes:

“I love working here because…

  • “… I get to work with really awesome people.”
  • “… there’s such high integrity here.”
  • “… you get to grow professionally.”
  • “… you get to work on really cool projects.”

… etc, etc.

Blah, blah, blah.

If your videos are like these, they will quickly be forgotten in a sea of sameness. You will have lost an opportunity to stand out as an employer of choice.

To Be Memorable, Get Concrete keep reading…

End the Shortage — Recruit STEM Women Who Are Working at Your Competitors

by Jul 7, 2014, 5:03 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 3.30.03 PMI almost broke out laughing when I came across an article in Fast Company magazine entitled Why You Can’t Find Women Engineers. This title reflects a common misconception among business executives about the shortage of technically qualified women at their firms.

This often-repeated “shortage statement” is only partially true, and if you believe it, you will never fill your firm’s diversity recruiting targets.

Let’s examine this shortage issue from a different perspective. keep reading…

Employee-driven Non-compete Litigation: A New Hook on an Old Line

by Jul 4, 2014, 12:26 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 1.18.28 PMHypothetical situation:

John Smith, an employee with Fast and Speedy Cab Co., a taxi company, leaves his position as a dispatcher. Smith and Fast and Speedy entered into a noncompete at the beginning of Smith’s employment. Upon his departure, Smith seeks and is offered a position with a competing taxi company, also as a dispatcher. The competing taxi company, Faster and Speedier Cab Co., knows about the noncompete, but has serious questions about its enforceability. It decides to hire Smith nonetheless. What happens next? keep reading…

The Top 10 Shipwrecks of Hiring Mistakes

by Jul 1, 2014, 12:58 am ET

No one launches a business or accepts an executive position with the goal of incurring unnecessary expenses. Yet, time and again, shipwreck hires cost organizations three-to-five times the hire’s salary. My book The Hiring Compass points out these top 10 hiring mistakes to avoid: keep reading…

Always Open ‘Evergreen Jobs’ Can Improve Your Chances of Recruiting Top Talent

by Jun 30, 2014, 12:22 am ET

treesAs the war for talent continues, it’s time for recruiting leaders and hiring managers to shift to more creative and innovative recruiting solutions. A bold approach that I have been recommending since 1999 is the creation of “evergreen jobs.”

Simply put, these are the one or two most critical corporate jobs where you literally continuously search and hire every more-than-qualified applicant who fits the culture in order to ensure that you always have enough talent in these critical positions.

The term evergreen comes from the fact that the jobs are always open, just as an evergreen tree is always green. Now it might initially seem crazy to hire when you don’t have an open job, but the approach has proven to be quite effective. Imagine if you were an NBA basketball team and LeBron James suddenly became available. Would you hire him immediately, even if you didn’t have an open job or requisition? Of course you would. That’s the concept behind evergreen jobs. Evergreen programs frequently cover jobs with high turnover, including nursing, retail (i.e. REI), and call centers. But they work even better in high-impact mission-critical jobs at growing tech firms with large campuses. 

An Evergreen Job Program continually sources top talent in a mission-critical job. But rather than stopping when you create a pipeline of reserve talent, it continuously “over hires” each of the “more-than-qualified” applicants, in order to create a talent surplus in this critical job.

The Top 10 Reasons Why the Evergreen Job Approach Is So Impactful keep reading…

Waiting for Godot: What to Do When Social Media Fails to Deliver on Its Promise

by Jun 27, 2014, 5:19 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 1.20.42 PMExpectations for what social media can deliver for recruiters have been a lot like the story of the play mentioned as the title for this post. The characters spend all their time getting excited about the arrival of Godot — a man or perhaps a deity. They can’t be sure if they’ve met Godot, if they’re waiting in the right place, if this is the right day, or even whether Godot is going to show up at all, but great things are supposed to happen when he does show up. Well, you can guess how this ends. keep reading…

Company Culture: Your New Secret Recruiting Weapon

by Jun 26, 2014, 12:08 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 2.57.24 PMRecruiting is an arms war, with rapidly advancing technology and complexity. At stake is the future of your company. Social media has changed the game, raising expectations of the applicant experience and making everything faster and more connected. Employees and prospects have the upper hand and our tactics have to keep up.

But we can all name companies that are snagging (and keeping) top talent. So beyond the most recent recruiting weapons, what one thing is helping them win that race?

Company culture.

What’s Culture?

keep reading…

Recruitment is Marketing: 3 Changes You Need to Make

by Jun 25, 2014, 12:04 am ET

Macy'sOnce upon a time we sold products much as we “sell” jobs and organizations today. At the turn of the 20th century, merchants waited for a potential buyer to show up. The buyer was supposed to know what they wanted and ask for it. Most of the merchandise was kept in drawers or under the counter. A customer had to ask for something specifically and the merchant showed them only one particular item. There was no engagement, no selling, and no touting the benefits of the product.

But, soon department stores like Macy’s changed all this by displaying items openly, running ads targeted, in particular, to women. It offered well-known socialites the newest fashions and relied on gossip and word of mouth to attract new referral customers. Window displays created dream worlds and played to emotions. They encouraged salespeople to engage with the customers, build relationships, and even try on clothes or demonstrate the product.

Recruitment has a lot to learn from this story and from marketing. keep reading…

Reaching the 2nd Layer of Your Company’s Social Network

by Jun 24, 2014, 12:58 am ET

Social network mapping has been a popular buzzword with talent acquisition professionals for the last few years, but acquiring a solid understanding of how to build and use a map of our social networks is still well beyond our grasp. Most recruiters’ experience with social network mapping begins and ends with the LinkedIn Maps tool. While this is an excellent place to start, there are several limitations to the tool:

  • You can only see your first level connections
  • It’s difficult to navigate and sort through 1,000 to 10,000 dots and lines
  • Depending on your connections your map could take 30 minutes to load
  • You are just examining people that you’re connected to and not growing your network

Here’s a screenshot of my InMap … it looks like the most intense game of connect the dots on the planet. keep reading…