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Advice and How-Tos

A Conversation, Not Just Technology, Can Help You Hire a Veteran

by Jun 19, 2014, 12:20 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 11.18.59 AM“Civilian Life.”

These are two words that can strike fear into a veteran. Yes, the same veterans who have seen unspeakable tragedy defending our country from enemies foreign and domestic. One of the few things that can scare those brave souls is coming back home.

Why? Several reasons associated with post-traumatic stress disorder have already been chronicled, but another source of real concern for our heroes is employment. Getting a job places more worry upon those men and women than just about anything, because while they come home to a country with open arms, several of those soldiers go to a home with a family doing the same.

They want to provide for their family but they have to get a job once their tour is over. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, unemployment rates among veterans who have served in the Gulf War of 2001 (Gulf War-Era II) and later is 9.0 percent, which equates to more than 700,000 people — individuals who have bravely served our country. Among that, 60 percent are 45 years of age and over. They can’t find a job because they don’t understand they already have the skills.

Is civilian life that difficult to manage? We encounter candidates on a daily basis looking for work, wanting help with their resume, and hoping one of clients in talent acquisition and hiring will scoop them up. They don’t seem to have a problem, so why do our heroes?

Tap Into It keep reading…

Not-too-expensive Employer Branding

by Jun 18, 2014, 12:26 am ET

co-authored with Michael Pelts, RightJoin

What do folks think about your company? Every organization has a public image as an employer (and if you don’t, all the worse), and the image determines whether in-demand professionals will agree to be in touch.

The hands-down champion in employer marketing to software engineers is Google, which regularly gets photo-shoots of its toy-filled offices in top media like the New York Times. These campaigns are planned to draw in the best candidates in the industry and also to increase retention among current employees. In the final calculation, they more than pay for themselves with a significant reduction in recruiting costs.

In many small and medium sized companies, the priorities cannot justify the budget for long-term branding campaigns to boost the corporate image. But employers have started to realize that strong employer branding can make the difference between excellent hires and unfilled reqs; or, even worse, filling the position with unqualified candidates. Luckily, employer branding can be done on the cheap by combining it with recruiting: They both have the same target audience, and they boost each other when done together.

In this article, we’ll explain how to do this efficiently, focusing on the area we know most about: software engineering. keep reading…

It Is Not Hard to Find Qualified Candidates

by Jun 17, 2014, 5:46 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 5.11.44 PMCollectively, our recruiting model is broken. It is broken, for the sole reason that that it was built on the foundation of a single lie. The lie: It is difficult to find people. keep reading…

Diversity Recruiting – What’s Wrong with it? Pretty Much Everything (Part 1 of 2)

by Jun 16, 2014, 12:38 am ET

DOT diversityIn case you missed it, there was a great deal of publicity generated recently when Google’s Laszlo Bock openly announced Google’s diversity numbers. Even Google was disappointed in them, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. Almost every major corporation struggles with meeting their diversity goals as a result of a poorly designed diversity recruiting effort that hasn’t changed much since the 1970s.

As a corporate recruiting expert, I continually analyze recruiting approaches of all types, and in my experience, diversity recruiting is the worst-performing one among all recruiting sub-programs. In fact, when people ask me “what’s wrong with diversity recruiting?” I quickly respond with “pretty much everything.” It’s sad that such a high-impact and well-intentioned effort simply has little chance of success because of its many design flaws.

These design flaws are numerous and the top 10 most impactful ones are listed below. The remaining 10 high-impact design flaw factors can be found in part two of this series.

The Top 10 Highest-impact Diversity Recruiting Errors keep reading…

College Career Fairs Are Obsolete

by Jun 13, 2014, 12:03 am ET

career_fair_fall_2012Perhaps I’m being a bit unfair. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for companies to attend college career fairs (where else will all those free pens and t-shirts go?), but rarely does it include discovering and interviewing the best students.

There seems to be a perception among many companies that attending career fairs at a few top universities is enough of an effort when it comes to hiring interns and new-grads. To those companies: The best university recruiting programs don’t focus on career fairs.

There are multiple reasons for this. keep reading…

The Worst Interview Question Ever

by Jun 12, 2014, 12:01 am ET

“What is your greatest weakness?” is the worst interview question, ever.

Here’s why you should be asking candidates about their greatest strength.  keep reading…

How to Improve Your Recruiting Batting Average 25 Points

by Jun 11, 2014, 12:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 12.43.42 PMI’ve been missing from these pages for awhile, but I asked if I could return and request the help of some real recruiters. I heard some of the best hang out here at ERE.

Here’s the idea. I’m working with a  bunch of people and companies putting together a comprehensive batting average for recruiters that combines all the critical factors, metrics, and competencies into one useful statistic. This will become known as the RBA — the Recruiter’s Batting Average.

Please look this first list over, suggest other factors that should be included, why some shouldn’t be considered, and which ones you think should be weighted more heavily than others. keep reading…

Crossing Over to the Other Side – From Agency to Corporate

by Jun 10, 2014, 12:52 am ET

cartoon_mt_1Hiring technical recruiters or sourcers with agency background experience has always been a trend. Why is this? What are the skills that agency recruiters and sourcers have that make them appealing to leaders of corporate staffing teams? Also, if you do work on the agency side but want to break into corporate, what do you have to do? Do you possess the skills that will make you marketable to a staffing team on the corporate side?

Of course, just because you work at an agency doesn’t guarantee that you are instantly awesome. You still have to be good at your job. Here are some of the transferrable skills that are needed in order to cross over to the other side. And why corporate staffing managers should pay attention.

Skills to Pay the Bills

If you have a good agency recruiter or sourcer who is on your doorstep applying for a job, then here are some the skills that will be of benefit to you: keep reading…

Do a Snapshot Assessment of Your Talent Function With These Powerful Business Impact Metrics

by Jun 9, 2014, 12:02 am ET

icon_retail

In a world where it’s easy to get a “snapshot assessment” of your personal physical health or your organization’s financial or IT security effectiveness, what could be more valuable than an easy-to-conduct executive level “snapshot assessment” of talent management and HR?

Unfortunately I have found that most in HR are satisfied with a subjective or low-level tactical assessment, which instead of business impacts, covers spending efficiency, lean staffing, and whether managers and employees are satisfied with us.

In order to be considered as credible, instead this snapshot must be strategic, and it should mirror the executive snapshots that are available in finance, customer service, and IT. In order to assess how well you’re doing, a benchmark number must also be provided so that you can compare your results to your direct competitor firms. I have included six simple measures that by themselves are enough to give you a snapshot but accurate view of talent’s business impact. keep reading…

What Students Want in Their First Jobs, and How Government Can Deliver That

by Jun 5, 2014, 5:42 am ET

engagement process.jpgImproving Employee Engagement to Create Government Workplaces That Will Attract and Retain Young People 

We described what young people want in their first “real” jobs, based on Universum research. This year, Universum’s survey of more than 46,000 university students showed that students are looking for jobs that provide characteristics like work/life balance, job security, commitment to a cause, and a dynamic and respectful workplace.

Even with this important information, however, public sector employers face challenges in creating workplaces that incorporate these characteristics and will therefore attract and retain young talent. One proven way for government to meet this challenge is to improve the level of employee engagement. Higher levels of engagement create more attractive workplaces and translate into higher retention as well as improved individual and organizational performance.

The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board defines employee engagement as a heightened employee connection to work, the organization, the mission, or coworkers. Engaged employees believe their organizations value them, and in return, engaged employees are more likely to expend “discretionary effort” to deliver performance.

There is compelling evidence as to why government agencies, in particular, should care about employee engagement. The Gallup organization has systematically studied employee engagement, and its research reveals that high-engagement organizations are 20 percent more productive than their low-engagement counterparts, and also exceed low-engagement organizations in other critical areas such as customer satisfaction and employee retention.

In government, a Merit Systems Protection Board study of 37,000 federal government employees revealed that higher employee engagement correlated with: keep reading…

Why Social Job Matching Will Replace Talent Assessment Tests

by Jun 5, 2014, 12:43 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 10.43.34 AMTalent assessment continues to grow as a legitimate business tool. Times have never been better for those who provide and use talent assessment solutions. Despite the seemingly infinite complexities that can come with the territory, companies of all shapes and sizes are realizing the business value of using assessments to support insight on quality of hire.

As good a tool as talent assessment is, it remains old fashioned and continues to have trouble getting out of its own way. The real disruptive force in quality of hire will take the form of “social job matching.” keep reading…

The Upcoming Fall ERE Recruiting Conference is Jam-packed With Timely Recruiting Leadership Issues

by Jun 4, 2014, 9:42 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 5.11.44 PMWe’re still adding more speakers, but the agenda for the big annual gathering of in-house recruiting leaders is now live.

The topics on the agenda originated from countless one-to-one conversations with talent acquisition leaders, and from surveys we did with attendees from our previous event, 75 percent of who are VP, director, and manager level in-house recruiting leaders from some of the most recognizable companies in the world. Those topics include:

  • Transforming a recruiting department
  • Designing and implementing an employment brand
  • Partnering with hiring managers
  • Quality of hire
  • Improving the candidate experience
  • Making recruiters more consultative
  • Social media management
  • Developing recruiters
  • Increasing your influence through metrics

And dozens more.

The speakers are an awesome array of chief people officers, VPs of talent acquisition, and recruiting directors from companies like NBCUniversal, PwC, Amtrak, Comcast, Spectrum Health, T-Mobile, adidas Group, TOMS, and more. Like the attendees, the speakers are your peers, ensuring a networking experience that is unmatched at other events.

One of the many new features of this conference is what we call “think tanks” — interactive discussions with your peers, without presentations. Tested at our spring event in San Diego, and rated highly by participants, they’ll revolve around topics like managing social media; managing technology; future trends in talent acquisition; and college recruiting. The think tanks are optional: you can attend one, or go to a breakout session.

You can register and look at the session descriptions online now.

How Many Phone-Sourced Names Do I Need to Make a Hire?

by Jun 4, 2014, 5:54 am ET

The short answer: It depends.

The long answer: It depends on a lot of things but the biggest qualifiers are what and where the job is.

If the job is one in which there is a plentiful supply of talent in the local market (relocation still being a big issue in recruiting today — most of my customers prefer not to do it!) and the job itself is one in which there is a healthy employee turnover rate (four to five years), usually between 35 and 50 telephone sourced names will effect one immediate hire.

Why do I put those words in italics?

I say usually because there is no magic bullet in recruiting, and several factors play into this formula: keep reading…

Examining Zappos’s ‘No Job Postings’ Recruiting Approach — Innovation or Craziness?

by Jun 2, 2014, 12:01 am ET

Inside Zappos profile pic - updatedThe new recruiting “no job postings” website of Zappos is truly unique.

First off, you have to give the Zappos team credit for eliminating anything in recruiting, because we have a long history in recruiting of adding but never subtracting approaches.

The new talent community declares the end to job postings and the painful transaction between applying for a specific job and getting a cold rejection. It further offers the opportunity to become “a corporate insider,” where you join the firm’s exclusive “talent community,” made up of interested prospects and applicants. In essence its own social network that the firm can use to keep in touch with applicants over time. It can also use the information that you provide during the increased interactions with recruiters to find the right job for you, even if it’s outside the typical jobs that you would have applied for.

This article critically analyzes this new approach in order to highlight possible advantages and problems with this approach for others that may be considering a similar move. keep reading…

A Recruitment Revolution Is Upon Us

by May 30, 2014, 12:10 am ET

I am seeing a revolution happening in recruitment. keep reading…

Stop Your Firm’s Brain Drain – Convincing Innovators to Choose an Established Firm Over a Startup

by May 27, 2014, 12:01 am ET

                                                                                    John Sullivan and Trena Luong

There is an innovator brain drain going on. The drain is away from larger established firms, which desperately need more innovators, and toward startup firms, which are successfully recruiting a disproportionately high percentage of these prized innovators.

fs-tritium-image1It doesn’t matter whether your corporation is trying to hire experienced talent or recent grads; it seems like every innovator and entrepreneur these days is seriously considering working at a startup (or creating their own startup). What makes the “brain drain to startups” a problem so unique is that corporations are fully aware that they are currently outmatched in this recruiting battle and most are also painfully aware of the economic damage that they suffer whenever they lose an innovator.

Given this awareness, it would seem logical that, at least at large tech firms in the Silicon Valley, each would have a dedicated “counter-startup recruiting program” designed specifically to reverse this brain drain. But for some unexplained reason, it’s almost impossible to find a large corporation (tech or otherwise) that has a comprehensive formal recruiting program for landing innovators who have had a natural inclination to bypass them and go to startups. Yes, some large firms like Google, WL Gore, Yahoo, Facebook, and recently Zappos have a few features that are attractive to innovators but no one has a visible comprehensive “counter-startup recruiting program.”

What Is a “Counter-startup Recruiting Effort?” keep reading…

Take a Fascinating Fresh Look at Human Behavior in the Workplace

by May 23, 2014, 12:06 am ET

sensationLike many people in the business of  “human” resources, I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people tick — especially in the workplace. That’s why the book, Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence by Professor Thalma Lobel was a fascinating read. The author explores how our personal and professional behavior and decision-making are influenced by the physical stimuli that we’re exposed to everyday.

From taste to smell to touch and beyond, this book’s sweeping exploration makes sense of the senses. Through various research projects we learn thought-provoking new insight that has many implications for HR professionals.

If you have intellectual curiosity about psychology, physiology, and how it all affects work behavior, try putting the book’s findings into these real-world work scenarios! keep reading…

Predictions for the Future of Digital Talent Acquisition: Mobile (Part 3 of 3)

by May 22, 2014, 12:09 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 5.11.37 AMThis is the third part of a three-part series on the future of digital talent acquisition. Previously, I looked at the power of content and social media. While content has power in itself, that power is enhanced when driven via social channels. Today, I move from content to content’s best friend: mobile technology.

It has been a long-running joke in digital circles that it has been the “Year of Mobile” for five years now. And while mobile technology is one of the fastest-growing technologies since the invention of the wheel, we’re nowhere near done. keep reading…

Social Recruitment Engagement — How do You Measure Success?

by May 21, 2014, 5:02 am ET

I recently highlighted some social media recruiting tools that help you reach and engage your ideal candidates. But how do you measure that “reach” and “engagement”? Which metrics mean success in terms of finding high-quality hires and justifying your spend? This week, I help you find the ROI of social recruiting.

Find Metrics That Matter keep reading…

Predictions for the Future of Digital Talent Acquisition: Social Media (Part 2 of 3)

by May 21, 2014, 12:06 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 5.12.46 AMThis is the second part of a three-part series on the future of digital talent acquisition. In part one, I looked at content. Content will be the watchword of the next few years and there are some very specific ways talent acquisition professionals can ride that wave. But content is a spark waiting for gasoline in the shape of social media.

It has only been a few years since social media escaped the dorms and became the communication and financial powerhouse we see today. To some extent, we’ve seen social media complete its maturation process to compete with TV and display ads. No longer is social media a means for people to talk to each other that happens to have ads on it. Now, it is a medium for ads that happens to allow you to connect with friends.

If you don’t believe it, take a look at your Facebook feed. If you stripped out updates for games like Farmville and Candy Crush, updates from brands, links to other websites and videos, and updates from other social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest and Spotify, what’s left? Not much. Not much at all.

But that doesn’t mean social media is dead. It means that it is changing and evolving. Maturation of the content channel coincides with a maturation of the business model: many of the feed updates are paid for. It used to be if you were a fan of Coke or Bucky Badger, their updates would show up on your feed because you are a fan. Now, only about 1 percent of all brand updates organically (read: free) make it onto peoples’ feeds. Everything else gets paid for.

So look at your Facebook feed again. Think about how many of those updates were paid for and what they cost. Think about how much time and effort goes into all those Upworthy, BuzzFeed, and Huffington Post “articles” that flood your feed. Think about the amount of actual conversation that is taking place on your Facebook feed and you’ll agree: Facebook has changed a great deal in just the last four years. This means that in the near term, any Facebook campaigns you’re considering will be more expensive just to maintain the same reach. This means that in the long term, maybe Facebook isn’t a social media platform as much as it’s an ad platform. This should change your thinking of if and how to use it. keep reading…