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When You Want to Show Your Culture, Attract Attention, and Have Fun Recruiting, Here’s the Video You Make

John Zappe
Aug 1, 2013, 6:45 am ET


Competing for tech professionals is tough enough for an established company, let alone a startup. Even those with a sexy idea, angel funding in place, and promises of stock option wealth have a hard time finding developers. Now imagine you’re a startup in the storage unit rental business and you need to add staff, including tech help. And, oh yes, you’re in Austin, one of the U.S. premier tech centers.

What do you do? keep reading…

Air Force Ups Pay, Bonus as it Struggles to Retain Fighter Pilots

John Zappe
Jul 30, 2013, 3:38 pm ET

In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up here on this plaque.

Top GunThat line from the 1986 film Top Gun — a film about Navy aviators — sums up the surprising problem besetting the Air Force. It can’t retain its fighter pilots. Increasingly, its pilots are remembered with retirement plaques.

It wasn’t that long ago that 80 percent of the service’s fighter pilots would re-up after their initial 11 year commitment. Today, the percentage is 65. And unless that improves, the Air Force estimates that its current 200 pilot shortage will grow to 700 in the years ahead.

To combat the problem and get more experienced aviators to stay the Air Force announced a lucrative retention program upping the pay for pilots and offering a bonus worth $225,000 for experienced pilots who sign-on for nine more years. keep reading…

Workers Underestimate Demand, But Even the Employed Are Looking and Will Look

John Zappe
Jul 22, 2013, 6:54 am ET

A survey from MonsterMonster job seeker survey find a new job shows there’s a real disconnect between what job seekers think of the current employment market and what recruiters say.

While recruiters regularly report how hard it is to find quality candidates, several thousand job seekers insist it is harder to find a job today that it was last year. What’s more, by a margin approaching three to one, they agreed with the survey statement that, “The job market is saturated with qualified people in my area of expertise.”

They also believed when they took the online survey at the beginning of the year that the number of jobs hadn’t grown in a year; 62 percent thought that. The reality, according to The Conference Board, was that there were almost 600,000 more jobs being advertised in January and February when the survey was conducted.

Why the disconnect? keep reading…

New Rite of Passage for Teens: Summer Unemployment

John Zappe
Jul 10, 2013, 6:05 am ET

Summer teen hiring 2013A summer job used to be one of those rites of passage for teenagers. Like moving from middle school to high school, and Pop Warner to varsity, working at the local mall, or lifeguarding at the city pool has for many teens become as rare as a drive-in movie.

Though outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says the 2013 teen hiring season could still equal last year’s 1.397 million, it would take a July surge not seen since 2010. That July, 457,000 teens between 16 and 19 found jobs, a number tempered by such a slow May hiring month that 2010 saw the fewest teenagers in the decade to find jobs.

“In 2010, employers added just 960,000 16- to 19-year-olds over the entire summer hiring period from May through July,” says John Challenger,  CEO of the global firm. “Hiring has already surpassed that level this year and, if history is any indication, teen employment is likely to grow by another 300,000 to 400,000 in July.” keep reading…

Are You Losing Hires Because of Fat Bias?

John Zappe
Jun 19, 2013, 5:14 am ET

Fat person - freedigitalIt may not be fair; it’s certainly not nice, and it could even be illegal, but for all that, chunkiness is likely costing you candidates who could be perfect for the job.

That physical attributes influence a person’s career is hardly a new revelation; studies linking weigh, especially obesity, to fewer promotions and lower pay have circulated for years. Other studies have shown that attractive women can face discrimination in hiring, especially if the hiring manager is a woman.

More recently, a study involving human resource professionals demonstrated that even this group, which you might expect would know better, is biased against chubbiness. keep reading…

Engineers Stuck on California’s Highway 101 Can Tackle a Coding Challenge Today

Todd Raphael
Jun 17, 2013, 12:01 am ET

designCodeEval (part of HireVue), is launching a series of challenges on the 101 Freeway this summer, a very popular Northern California commuting route for technology employees.

The first billboard launches near the San Francisco airport today, and involves a commuting-related puzzle. The billboards point you online, where you have to find the shortest distance between a set of startup companies in San Francisco.

There’s a not-so-subtle message at work here: keep reading…

NPR Cranked Out This New Career Site in About a Month

Todd Raphael
Jun 5, 2013, 2:35 pm ET

nprFrom the department of quick turnarounds comes NPR’s new career site, one that Lars Schmidt had wanted to redo since he arrived two and a half years ago but ultimately took just a month.

Schmidt is the senior director, talent acquisition and innovation. He has been using social media to create an employer brand that’s … well, more cutting edge than NPR’s old career site was. So, he was anxious for a new site to reflect what he felt NPR was all about. keep reading…

Have Your Kids Watch This Video if You Want Them to Program Computers

Todd Raphael
May 22, 2013, 5:55 pm ET

This video from, pointed out to me by my friend Julia Gometz, provides an awfully strong message that being a computer coder is fun, meaningful, and accessible — as in, you don’t have to be a genius to do it.

Stars include Bill Gates, Chris Bosh, and Mark Zuckerberg. keep reading…

National Security Agency Releases Spy Guide to Sourcing the Internet

Jeremy Roberts
May 10, 2013, 3:58 pm ET

untangling the webThe National Security Agency has made our jobs easier with the release of a 646-page document called “Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research.”

The document was made public recently due to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Michael Morisy and posted on Muckrock. The document appears to have been created to help government operatives understand how to retrieve information on the web.

Though last updated in February 2007, it contains massive amounts of data that will help sourcers and recruiters as they work to improve their sourcing skills and understand how the Internet works.

While I haven’t had time to read the entire document, sections that caught my eye were: keep reading…

National Nurses Week: A Reminder of How Great the Demand, How Tight the Supply

John Zappe
May 8, 2013, 5:51 pm ET

Medical - Nurse - DoctorToday we pause in the hunt to source RNs to recognize nurses for the work they do and the dedication they bring to a profession that is among the most in-demand recruiting challenges in the U.S.

This is National Nurses Week, and today in particular, is set aside as both National Student Nurses Day and National School Nurse Day. In many of the English-speaking nations of the world, including the U.S. and Canada, May 6-12 is a week to honor professional nurses. The timing coincides with the May 12 birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Born 197 years ago into a wealthy, upper-class British family, Nightingale would be both amazed and pleased at how the work she did tending the wounded in Crimea has today become in the U.S. a profession of 3.1 million with responsibilities second only to the doctors with whom they work. keep reading…

The New ROI for Social Media Recruiting

John Zappe
Apr 16, 2013, 12:53 pm ET

photo by David ManasterJody Ordioni wrote a prescient view about the ROI of social recruiting which posted Monday morning. Monday night I discovered first hand just how prescient, at a recruiting roundtable that marked the opening of the ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo.

I moderated two separate discussions of social media issues in 90 minutes. ROI concerns were uppermost in the minds of the recruiting leaders who joined our conversation. (More than 25 different topics were available at roundtables set aside in the ballroom of the Marriott here in San Diego where the conference is being held.)

It wasn’t surprising that these leaders who hailed from firms both very large and more modest size struggle with proving the value of social media as a source of hire. LinkedIn, I should point out, was an exception. Most of the 20 or so recruiters at the roundtable, and several others I spoke with later at the evening receptions, were enthusiastic users of LinkedIn Recruiter for sourcing. Most, though, admitted that getting their senior corporate managers and leaders to be active in posting and commenting on LinkedIn Groups is a struggle.

What was more of a surprise, and what makes Jody’s article so spot on, is that I heard emerging among recruiters a recognition that social media is a marketing and promotional tool. The effectiveness of sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, even Pinterest is probably not in the number of hires or even applicants a company can trace directly to one of the social media sites. Instead, as recruiting consultants Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler reported last year, social media is a channel of influence. keep reading…

Source of Hire Report: Referrals, Career Sites, Job Boards Dominate

Lance Haun
Mar 22, 2013, 12:43 am ET

CareerXroads released its annual source of hire report this week and, as usual, the report is full of information about the broader talent acquisition landscape. We’ll get to that in a moment.

The beginning of this year’s report spells out the demise of more simplistic views about source of hire tracking: that data is easy to get, that it is reliable across the board, and that it is clean (one source = one hire). If you’ve been in recruiting for more than a decade, you probably know that things weren’t much better before the Internet drove so much hiring activity. I remember laughably tracking sources of hire via a questionnaire we asked applicants (online and on paper) and trying to create data based on employee’s recollections of how they came to apply for their job 5-10 years ago.

So no data is perfect but this data is very imperfect. Still, it is the best set of data and analysis we have on sources of hire. With that monster-sized disclaimer out of the way, here are some of the results.

Referrals, Career Sites and Job Boards Top List Again

keep reading…

TheLadders Sued in Consumer Class Action That Calls Site a “Scam”

John Zappe
Mar 12, 2013, 3:34 pm ET

The LaddersTheLadders is being sued in New York federal court in a class-action consumer lawsuit alleging that for years it falsely claimed it offered only high-paying jobs.

Brought by an Arkansas woman representing perhaps as many as a million customers of the job board, the suit says:

From its inception until September, 2011, TheLadders scammed its customers into paying for its job board service by misrepresenting itself to be ‘a premium job site for only $100k+ jobs, and only $100k+ talent.’ In fact, TheLadders sold access to purported ‘$100k+’ job listings that (1) did not exist, (2) did not pay $100k+, and/or (3) were not authorized to be posted on TheLadders by the employers.

According to the suit, many of the jobs offered on TheLadders were scraped from other sites with no attempt at verifying how much they paid or even if they were current.

The suit, filed yesterday by the New York class action firm of Bursor & Fisher, was reported by recruiting consultant and blogger Nick Corcodilos. He’s posted a copy of the lawsuit here.

TheLadders issued this statement in response to news of the suite:

We just learned about this yesterday afternoon, and have put it in the hands of our counsel to resolve. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing the best job-matching service, while serving as the fastest-growing source for professional jobs. In fact, we’re focused on migrating our members to our new online experience, featuring Scout, by April 1, as well as launching our free native iOS app. We continue to be a free resource for recruiters and employers to help them find the right person for the right job.

Five specific counts are alleged in the class action suit: keep reading…

Job Search Traffic Surged in January, Putting on Top

John Zappe
Feb 28, 2013, 5:56 am ET

job board traffic Jan 2013What’s the most trafficked site by Americans searching for a job? Turns out it’s Indeed.

Last month, says comScore, the web traffic measurement company, 17.3 million different visitors from the U.S. clicked into Indeed to look for a job. That translates into a 29% increase over December’s job search count.

Overall, January saw a 24% increase in the job search category, ranking comScore’s broader Career Services category among the fastest growing of all website groupings.

Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore, noted that in addition to big jumps in tax and travel sites, “We also saw a very seasonal spike in the Career Services category, including Job Search, Training and Education, and Career Resource sites, as Americans looked for ways to grow their careers and expand their skill sets in 2013.” keep reading…

Expect the Tight IT Market to Get Tighter This Year

John Zappe
Feb 25, 2013, 2:19 am ET

TechServce ALliance chartEven as the number of tech jobs in the U.S. was steadily climbing in 2012, hitting an all-time high last month, workers were feeling just a bit less confident in their ability to find a new job.

In the last few days, several reports and forecasts have come online, all of them showing that tech workers, despite their own confidence issues, will be hard to recruit.

TechServe Alliance declared that the number of tech workers in the U.S. grew in 2012 by 4.14% to an estimated 4,339,800 workers. That’s more than two-and-a-half times the national rate of job growth (1.52%) exceeds even the growth in the health sector, which increased by 2.26% between January 2012 and last month.

Yet a Randstad Technologies poll conducted in the fourth quarter of last year found 44% of the participating IT workers confident of their ability to find a new job. In the third quarter, 55% were confident. Workers’ confidence could have been shaken by the showdown over the fiscal cliff issues. Another possibility is that with only 275 IT workers in the survey, a few real worriers could have skewed the results.

In any case, employers aren’t buying into that fear. CareerBuilder’s 2013 job forecast says 27% of hiring managers plan to hire permanent, full-time IT workers this year. That’s also what TechServe Alliance expects. keep reading…

SilkRoad Survey Shows Referrals, Job Boards Are Top Sources of Hire

John Zappe
Feb 14, 2013, 4:51 pm ET

Silkroad sourcing effectiveness chart 2013Update: SilkRoad says there are errors in the report it published Thursday on which the post below is based. The most significant appears to be charts on pages 8, 11, and 15 and in the infographic on the SilkRoad blog showing some sources produced more hires than they did interviews. A company spokesman said in an email: “The issue concerning the numbers on Craigslist was an error and has been changed.  In regards to the information on page 15, that chart only represents the percentage of interviews and hires as a percentage of all external sources and does not take into account internal or offline sources.” Additionally, “There were no sources in our findings with a larger number of hires over interviews.  The issue with the image on page 11 is with the chart and Craigslist.” Note that as of this update, it does not appear the updates to the charts have been made.

Referrals and the company career site are the two leading sources for new workers hired by the 1,054 companies participating in SilkRoad’s just released study of recruitment marketing effectiveness.

Between them, they produced 40% of the more than 150,000 hires the companies made in 2012.

This is the second year the HR software provider has compiled ATS data from its customers to report on their source of hire. This year, the company included interviews as a measure of effectiveness.

The data set came from companies as small as 100 employees and some larger than 10,000; 60% had under 2,000 employees, 30% fall between 2,000 and 10,000, and the remaining 10% are larger. A company spokesman said the employers represent “the entire scale. We have lots of technology, healthcare, higher education, and several other strong verticals.”

As it did last year, SilkRoad found that job boards collectively yielded more interviews and hires than did all other external sourcing efforts. (For the report, SilkRoad classified corporate career sites and inside recruiter efforts as internal, explaining “they are company resources.” Company sites were included because they are “internally controlled element of job advertising.”)

Among the job boards, Indeed yielded more interviews and hires than any other single site. CareerBuilder was second. keep reading…

Black Hole Getting Brighter Among CandE Winners

John Zappe
Feb 12, 2013, 1:58 am ET

CandE awards posterThe resume black hole is getting a little brighter among companies that care enough about the experience of their candidates to submit their hiring process to a grueling inspection in hopes of being found worthy of a Candidate Experience Award.

This year, 37 of the 90 companies that entered won the two-year-old competition, seven of them with distinction. Most of the winners were large operations like Pepsico and Intel, with thousands or tens of thousands of employees. However, smaller firms like BTRG, with 500 or so employees, also made the list.

What all the participants share in common is a willingness to open their recruiting process to scrutiny.

Unlike almost every other HR award (excepting Great Places to Work designations), the Candidate Experience Awards are more report card than competition. Companies not only respond to a detailed survey about their recruiting practices, they also must submit their applicants — successful or not — who are also asked to complete a survey about the process. keep reading…

Nashville Launching Grand Ole Effort for IT Employees

Todd Raphael
Feb 6, 2013, 2:30 pm ET

Bicentennial_MallYou’ve seen it from Austin to Detroit to even Yukon. The latest locale to campaign for talent is Nashville.

Local businesses, along with some area governments like the City of Nashville, are particularly honing in on IT talent in their push for people to move to Tennessee.

They’ve put together an impressive 40-page PDF describing Nashville as far more than just one big Ole Opry, but rather a low-cost-of-living, low-tax, fun, diverse, community-service filled town. And it’s a town looking for analysts and .Net, SQL, and Java developers.

The campaign also includes a new website, with a prominent job search on the home page. There’s also a Google Plus group, LinkedIn group, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.

Facebook’s Graph Search Is the Future of Social Recruiting

John Zappe
Jan 29, 2013, 6:00 am ET

graph searchYou’ve probably heard the hype about Facebook’s new search utility, which it calls Graph Search. Unveiled just a couples weeks ago, it’s already being described as everything from a LinkedIn killer to a privacy killer, and a recruiter’s new best friend. For every one of those you can find an article — or 100 — that says the opposite.

Except when it comes to recruiting. While calling it a best friend may be premature, it won’t be long before Graph Search becomes as valuable to recruiters as Google and LinkedIn.

As Stephane Le Viet, CEO of Work4 Labs, wrote in a post on Forbes, “Graph Search is about discovering people — their work history, their education, their interests and their motivations — and using that discovery to recruit better.”

Described simply, Graph Search indexes and quickly accesses all the information each Facebook user has made available. This includes their profiles, photos, comments, likes, friends, and whatever else is out there. Theoretically, what Graph Search does was always possible. In practice, sifting through the thousands of pieces of data was such a huge, time-consuming task, it was all but impossible. keep reading…

Charting the Demand for America’s Top Jobs

John Zappe
Jan 17, 2013, 6:13 am ET

top 10 jobsWhen U.S. News issued its list of the 100 Best Jobs for 2013, its No. 1 criterion was hiring demand. After that came salary. Also factoring into the equation were work-life balance, stress, and the unemployment rate for individuals in each of the occupations.

Based on those factors, and a few others, dentist ranked at the top of the 100 Best Jobs list. Registered nurse was second, followed by pharmacist and computer systems analyst. Of the top 10 jobs on the list, six are in health care. The other four are in tech. (Telemarketer ranked at the bottom of the list.)

HR came in 72nd in the rankings, sandwiched between sales manager (71) and plumber (73). keep reading…