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Advice and How-Tos

Employee Stars, Imaginative Campaigns, and Cool Referral Programs Highlight the Best in Recruitment Advertising

by Jan 14, 2015, 5:01 am ET

Apac DavenportHere are some lessons we can draw from the best and most creative recruitment advertising, which you can use to improve your own recruiting in 2015.

Read on.

keep reading…

Do These 2 Things to Attract More Candidates If You Haven’t Yet

by Jan 13, 2015, 5:39 am ET

ERE2015SpringHeroAs we go farther into the 2015, many companies I do business with are ramping up hiring.

Whether it’s to replace people who are not performing, or to add new people to the team, the search for people who are really top caliber is not easy.  Too many hiring managers blame the economy, lack of people in the pool, or other circumstances instead of looking in the mirror and ask themselves, “What can I do differently to hire the very best people?”

I’ve learned many things since getting into the hiring business nearly 20 years ago, and the more things change, the more certain things stay the same. Here are two necessary things to do that won’t change: keep reading…

The Top 10 ‘Bleeding Edge’ Recruiting Trends to Watch in 2015

by Jan 12, 2015, 5:29 am ET

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 2.20.29 PMMost articles that cover recruiting trends highlight what I consider to be obvious approaches that many firms have already adopted. But my perspective on trends is unique because I am focused on what I call the “bleeding-edge trends.” These trends are unique and rare because they have been adopted by less than 5 percent of the major firms. However, they are still important for all recruiting leaders to know and watch because they signal the path that all progressive firms will eventually have to follow. The top bleeding-edge trends are listed below in an easy to scan format.

The Top 10 Most Impactful Trends That May Surprise You keep reading…

Know Your Talent Acquisition Enemy

by Jan 7, 2015, 5:27 am ET

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.27.38 PMThus it is said that one who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements. One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes be victorious, sometimes meet with defeat. One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeated in every engagement. – Sun Tzu

Ever since I was a lowly Rook squaring the gutters of the finest military college in the country, I’ve been a student of military strategy. It is actually easy to be a student of strategy, because there has been so much written and analyzed on the topic for centuries, and I have found that so much of what I’ve studied, learned, and practiced has real world business applications every day.

The quote above I find very applicable to my world of recruiting, and is a lesson I impress on those I mentor. This maxim, when put into action, can help transform good recruiters and good teams to great recruiters and teams.

Allow me to explain.  keep reading…

Looking For Bold Recruiting Approaches? Best Practices For Recruiting STEM Women and Diversity Candidates, Part 2 of 2

by Jan 5, 2015, 5:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 2.15.54 PMUnfortunately, I have found that corporate recruiting leaders spend way too much time complaining about the many problems associated with successfully recruiting STEM women and other diversity hires. What is needed is less talk and more practical, proven recruiting solutions. The goal of this complete article is to provide 25+ leading-edge best practices in recruiting that have proven to be effective at major firms.

Last week’s (12/29/14) part one of this article covered 10 different bold recruiting practices for attracting STEM women and diverse candidates. This part two will cover 10 additional best practices in referrals, candidate slates, and accountability.

Referrals Are the Best Way to Successfully Recruit Top STEM Women keep reading…

The Labor Market’s Better, But Not Yet Out of the Woods

by Jan 2, 2015, 5:07 am ET
Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 1.08.56 PM

U.S. unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, November 2012 – November 2014

After years of sluggish and uneven employment growth, 2014 marked a crucial year in the U.S. economy. Hiring has quickened its pace enough to help shift the balance of power in the job search from the employer to the job seeker. A look back at developments in the labor market in 2014 may help recruiters to understand what they can expect in the coming year, and what can be done to prepare for 2015.   keep reading…

Lonely Planet: Talent Shortages Loom as More People Remain Single

by Dec 31, 2014, 5:48 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 3.50.42 PMThe U.S. reached a milestone of sorts in recent months when for the first time since records have been kept, more than half of all people over 16 are single — almost 125 million adults. This trend has been building since the 1970s, but as the number of single people increases, birth rates drop, which means that the labor force starts to shrink.

The trend is the same in much of the developed world. keep reading…

Email Marketing Meets Recruiting at Farmers Insurance

by Dec 30, 2014, 5:47 am ET

secretary-338561_1280When it comes to acquiring quality candidates, working in an industry notorious for being dull doesn’t help your case. Although we beg to differ on the boring factor at Farmers Insurance, the outside industry perception can get between us and top talent. However, when you have agents who span 21 states and are looking to expand, this can’t slow you down.

Companies in industries like healthcare or accounting might be able to empathize with us: it’s tough to compete with the hot industries in today’s job market. To tackle this image hurdle, our recruiting department has focused efforts on reaching passive candidates, offering upward mobility, and the chance to accelerate career growth. Today, 71 percent of employees are on the job market and 35 percent of them change jobs every five years, so targeting talent before they’ve jumped ship is crucial.

Ending the Numbers Game keep reading…

Looking For Bold Recruiting Approaches? Best Practices For Recruiting STEM-Women and Diversity Candidates, Part 1 of 2

by Dec 29, 2014, 5:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 2.33.26 PMMost valuable information that recruiting leaders seek out are known as best practices: leading-edge recruiting practices that have been implemented at less than 5 percent of major firms. Best-practice information is so valuable because although “brand new” ideas can be exciting, they are always by definition still unproven. When you are faced with limited resources, it makes business sense to focus on learning about and adapting the leading-edge practices that have already been successfully implemented.

Cynical executives are much more willing to fund and support a pilot recruiting initiative after hearing that a Fortune 100 firm that they admire has already thoroughly researched, vetted, and assessed its probability of success. Keeping up with leading-edge best practices is part of the professional development obligation of every recruiter. My research has also found that far too many leaders that are responsible for STEM women and diversity recruiting spend so much of their time complaining about how difficult their problems are that they simply don’t find enough time to implement any “new-to-the-firm” best practice approaches.

The Focus Should Be On Bold, Practical, and Already Proven Recruiting Solutions keep reading…

Show Me These 4 Things and I’ll Show You a Quality Hire

by Dec 26, 2014, 5:31 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.33.22 AMQuality of hire is such a broad metric to quantify. There are certain metrics which provide a baseline talent and HR leaders can use to make decisions, add corrections, or make improvements, such as cost per hire, source of hire, and time to fill, to name a few. They can be calculated relatively easy. Quality of hire is certainly an important metric to measure, yet can be a complicated metric to calculate as there can be varying factors that influence it.

It happens every day across Corporate America … Mr. or Ms. hiring manager has an open position and calls down to recruiting or out to their trusted search partner and says, “I need to upgrade the talent and quality of this position.” But what truly constitutes a great quality of hire? I posed this question to multiple talent leaders and hiring managers and every single one of them provided differing criteria.

Read most HR/recruiting blogs or platforms and you’ll find many avenues on how to rate quality of hire: keep reading…

The Truth of It: Why Trust is Essential in Recruiting

by Dec 25, 2014, 5:43 am ET

We can talk about recruitment innovations, insider tactics, and new search strategies as much as we want, but this doesn’t change the fact that without effective communication and time dedicated to building good relationships, there would be no success in recruiting. However, before we can achieve this, we need one thing: trust.

As Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, said: “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

If you think that the only reason to cultivate trust is to attract clients and candidates, you should rethink your position as a recruiter right now. High-quality recruitment involves much more than building databases and making hundreds of phone calls. In order for a recruiter to successfully match candidates with jobs, they need to be invested in the candidates they screen. Reading about a candidate on LinkedIn or scouring their CV will only reveal so much. To effectively evaluate a candidate’s skills and suitability for a job, you need to be able to convince them to share this information with you.

This is where trust comes in. keep reading…

4 Ways Content Beats Social Media in Recruiting Quality Candidates for the Long Haul

by Dec 24, 2014, 5:04 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.06.15 AMIt’s the end of the year and that means that if you aren’t thinking about the tactics for next year, you’re definitely reviewing the past year to see what worked and what didn’t. I love this time of year, because the hustle and bustle eases and we can all take a big deep breath and reflect on the plan. Instead of running from one fire to the next, from one demand to the next, we can plan.

So obviously, you want to get involved in the new channels, like content, in all sorts of variations: blogs, video, employee-generated, podcasting, employee profiles, reasons why someone should work for you, etc. But you also know you need to stay in social media. Facebook, while 12 years old, is still “the place” to reach people. And LinkedIn is still the primary watering hole for people looking for jobs, so you have to be there.

But when push comes to shove, you have limited budget resources. You can’t buy everything you want, so you have to prioritize. So, if you are down to your last proverbial budget dollar, where do you spend it? Social media, or content?

Let’s start by looking at social media. These days, Facebook is a pay-for-play network. You only reach 1-3 percent of your organic audience, and Facebook just announced that posts that are purely promotional (“Buy this!” “Download this!” “Apply here!”) will be downgraded even more. So if you want your job posting to be seen by more than the tiniest fraction of potential fans, you need to pony up the cash. Remember when social media was cheap? That seems like a very long time ago.

While Twitter isn’t as bad as Facebook, it us already talking about filtering content as well, not pushing your job posts to all your fans. Again, bring your checkbook.

And LinkedIn? It also filters all traffic you see in your news feed. So all the time and energy you spent getting 100,000 fans wasn’t that productive, as you can’t really reach them all without spending money.

Let’s not forget that the big pitch social media gave us was “Sure, we have low click rates, but it’s all so cheap, who cares?” Now that it isn’t so cheap, low click rates aren’t so enticing.

Content is labor intensive. Even if you can magically grind out a short press release or blog post in an hour, the time to proof, edit, review, and approve it makes it expensive. And if you want something grander than just a blog post (said the guy who writes a lot of blog posts all day), the price tag goes way way up.

But content has a few things going for it that lower the price tag. keep reading…

The Power Has Shifted to the Candidate, So Current Recruiting Practices Will Stop Working

by Dec 22, 2014, 5:02 am ET

Areas where recruiting must change during 2015

If you are frustrated because your recruiting approaches are no longer producing great results, you will be happy to know that there is a logical reason behind it. I estimate that 90 percent of recruiting leaders and hiring managers have yet to realize that the power in the recruiting relationship, which for years has favored employers, has shifted over to the jobseekers.

The technical term for this change is a shift from an employer-driven market to a candidate-driven market. And The Recruiter Sentiment Survey by the MRINetwork has revealed that 83 percent of the surveyed recruiters have realized that the power has now shifted to the candidate.

Knowing the reasons for shift is less important for recruiting leaders and hiring managers than recognizing that when jobseekers hold the power in the relationship, your current array of recruiting tools and approaches will literally stop working.

Another interesting phenomenon happens after the power shifts.

keep reading…

Content Marketing Predictions for Talent Acquisition in 2015

by Dec 19, 2014, 5:50 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.59.03 AM“2015 is the year content subsumes marketing and brands realize that content is the atomic particle of every aspect of marketing.” – Shane Snow, Contently

It’s old hat to say that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos defined “brand” as what people say about you when you aren’t in the room. But even if that’s true, Bezos has only identified the situation without prescribing a way of changing it. If you can’t be in the room to change the brand, what can we do to influence how people talk about you?

For talent acquisition professionals, this is doubly important as our prospects form impressions of our brands long before we can reach out to them. Decisions such as to whether to sign up for updates, whether to respond to a recruiter, and whether to apply for a job start with the brand when you’re not in the room.

Which is why we’re so in love with content and content marketing. Think about that moment when people talk about you when you aren’t there. Content is what they are looking at. Content is what they are referring to. Content is what helped them form an opinion about you. At the same time, content is what draws you to their attention via Google and social media. Content is what gets shared because done well, it is engaging, useful, educational, and entertaining.

In many ways, 2013 and 2014 were when content marketing went from “interesting idea” to “useful tool” for talent acquisition. As case studies start trickling out of agencies, showing that content influences people at almost every stage of the sales or consideration process, everyone is taking content seriously. More companies are looking to content to advance their employer value proposition to prospects at every position of the sales funnel.

As 2015 approaches, no doubt you’re wondering what the future holds for content marketing within the talent acquisition space. While content marketing sometimes feels new and novel, the future boils down to being authentic, specific, and useful. keep reading…

A Job Post Should Look Its Sunday Best

by Dec 17, 2014, 5:06 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 4.06.38 AMThe human brain processes images in a different way than text. Images create stronger associations and they apparently improve retention of the associated text by up to 42 percent. Text with images included is even perceived to be more trustworthy and valuable. Are we so shallow? Well, yes, we are.

Advertising has long used powerful images at the core of its dark arts — across all types of media. The story is not told in words. The malnourished African child asking for a donation. The gorgeous film star modelling the latest perfume. The college boys enjoying a Friday night pizza. These images stick in our heads forever.

What should it be so different with a job ad? keep reading…

Perhaps Talent Acquisition Departments Are Wishing for Something They Already Have

by Dec 16, 2014, 5:52 am ET

track recruiting performanceCome on, admit it. If you are like the rest of us, you have, at some point in time, indulged in wishful thinking about what to ask for if a genie appeared to grant three wishes with no limitations. So, what if Aladdin did actually appear from out of his bottle promising to fulfill three recruitment-related wishes, unencumbered by the dreary realities of limited resources or an ever-shrinking budget? What would you wish for? keep reading…

Are Firms ‘Kicking the Can Down The Road’ So They Can Pay STEM Women Less?

by Dec 15, 2014, 5:40 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 11.55.57 AMConsider the possibility that thousands of STEM women are literally missing out on billions of dollars in higher salaries as a result of the recent actions by tech firms.

Everyone knows that many of the larger tech firms have recently released their employee diversity numbers.

Obviously releasing this data was a positive move that resulted in an expanded discussion around the need to increase the number of STEM women employees at tech firms. But what most analysts have missed is the realization that, almost universally, the response to this shortage of women in tech firms has been some variation of a long-term “increase-the-supply” solution. In my book, increasing the supply is code for “doesn’t increase your salary costs.” This is what would occur if every firm instead solved its shortage problem with a short-term solution. This would involve actively recruiting STEM women away from other firms, because that competition would have the effect of immediately driving up the salaries of women.

Waiting 5+ Years for the Employees You Need Wouldn’t Be the Normal Response keep reading…

Stop Talking About Cost of Living and Start Talking About Standard of Living

by Dec 12, 2014, 5:15 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 2.17.36 PMTrying to sell a relocating candidate on a lower compensation than what they make today, based on a lower cost of living, is a common closing technique in our industry. However, this is a pretty common miss in recruiting, but in my experience it is also a pretty easy fix. When attempting to get candidates to commit to relocation we most often go through a version of the “Ben Franklin close” — list pros and cons and hope that there are more pros.

I’ve recruited all over the world, and oftentimes when we are looking to differentiate one place from another, the concept of “cost of living” bubbles up high on the list either as a pro or a con. Emerging or developing markets, as well as rural markets often point to this as a great reason to move there and plant your stake in their community. It sounds good. Who wouldn’t want a lower cost of living?  However, most often it’s used by organizations in those markets to try and hire talent that would command a higher market price elsewhere in a fashion that drives their compensation down to the new location’s cost of living index. This, my friends, is a classic logical fallacy. keep reading…

Employers Say Employer Branding Is Working

by Dec 10, 2014, 12:34 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 9.34.52 AMMost companies say their employer branding is successful, and 9 out of 10 small companies feel that way.

That’s according to a new survey of 100 professionals, from HR directors to recruiting consultants to CEOs.

While there are some great insights from polls and white papers that talk to what goes into a compelling employment brand (recognition, rewards, career opportunities, culture, etc.) there is surprisingly little about how companies conduct their employer branding/employer value proposition initiatives.

That’s why earlier this year we looked at how organizations plan, execute, and assess their employer branding. Here are some of its most significant findings. keep reading…

Why You Should Never Lose Your Identity When Recruiting

by Dec 9, 2014, 5:43 am ET

EREConf14_footerWhat makes a recruiter stand out: It’s a culmination of their personal experiences, intellect, intuition, and what made them who they are today. I call this experiencing rites of passage. Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Recruiting is not a transaction. The military teaches that attention to detail is critical in all actions performed. This is where the wheat is separated for the chaff. If a seasoned recruiter doesn’t see a full, professional representation on a resume — it speaks a lot of the candidate. If the skill set is essential, maybe it is a matter of spending some time with the candidate to educate them on the importance of a well-defined resume.

When you’re in the people business, it’s all about understanding an organization’s needs and improving the return on human capital. Statistics reflect that the best hires are typically referrals. There are obviously a number of reasons why, but one is that an existing employee can comprehend a person’s motivational fit and drivers to the point that they’re confident the candidate will be interested and contribute to the results. Recruiters can do this with both internal and external candidates.

The same thing goes for establishing relationships with people and understanding the ‘who’ vs. throwing resumes at the wall. keep reading…