What did your company spend on hiring last year? If you’re really not sure, you’ve got plenty of company. Given the decentralized talent acquisition model that many companies use, it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the actual spending — and the true return on that investment. This is just one rather startling finding that we confirmed last year when we conducted our first annual Corporate Recruitment Benchmark Survey.
Survey participants included both executives and candidates, and they shared a number of eye-opening facts including:
- There are strong disconnects between hiring concerns and priorities
- Only 9 percent of the candidates were happy and not looking
- IT had an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent
- Most companies have fewer than two recruiters
- 36 percent of companies either do not know how they track hiring or do not track at all
To illustrate some of these key findings, and other common corporate talent acquisition challenges, we invite you to meet Eleanor. Her story is fictional, but the challenges she faces are anything but. keep reading…
Throughout our recruiting careers, we are always told to hire the “A players” or “the Fabulous 5%” or the “very best”; it’s to make our company stronger. While it would be a good idea to try and hire the very best, it isn’t always possible, and it may not even always be the best idea …
The False Premise: Hiring the Best is Always Best keep reading…
During the newly reinvigorated and exciting ERE conference, two attendees posed related but powerful questions to me. The first was “What advanced topics should be on the agenda of recruiting leaders at elite firms?” Or as another put it “What should Google be planning to do next in recruiting?”
At least to me, future agenda items are an important topic. Because after visiting well over 100 firms, I have found a dramatic difference between the agenda items that are found on 95% of the firms (cost per hire, ATS issues, req loads, etc.) and the truly advanced subjects that only elite recruiting firms like Google, DaVita, Sodexo, etc. would even attempt to tackle.
So if you have the responsibility for setting agendas or recruiting goals, here is my list of truly advanced recruiting topics that elite leaders would find compelling but that most others would simply find to be out of their reach. If you want to be among the elite, you should select a handful for implementation. However, even if you are currently overwhelmed by your current agenda, you might still find them to be interesting reading.
25 Advanced Recruiting Topics for Bold Corporate Recruiting Leaders keep reading…
No one ever said that recruiting was simple, or easy, and if you were listening Tuesday on Day 1 of the Spring 2013 ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo in San Diego, you know that there is an overwhelming desire for how to do it better in today’s rapidly changing, post-recession workplace.
Ron Mester, the president and CEO of ERE Media kicked off the two-day event by observing that recruiting seems to be at a precipice and is viewed by recruiters and other talent managers in one of two very different ways:
- The Golden Age of recruiting is over – We’re not at the strategy table and technology is taking over. Call this the “Wile E. Coyote Group,” or the people who are always worried that the anvil is about to fall on their head. Or,
- This is the time for recruiting to break out and soar — Executives finally seem to understand how important talent really is, and we are all about to become “Masters of the Universe.“
Challenges to Be Addressed keep reading…
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” — Charles Darwin
There is a great article by Adrian Kinnersley on Why Recruiters Will Be at the Heart of Our Corporate Future. I agree with some of the points. The rumors of our professional death have been always greatly exaggerated since our early ancestor recruiters found the first stone-age axe makers. Our profession, however, will change due to disruptive trends (Doesn’t it always?). These trends and their impact apply to in-house, outsourced (RPO), and third-party recruiters alike.
My focus here is on two specific disruptive trends and the strategies to adapt and re-invent if needed. This article is more than about skills development, though some suggestions will help you in your recruitment efforts. As a former AIRS trainer and talent acquisition leader having developed training programs for recruiters, I can say that constant learning is what keeps gives us the edge in changing times (it always will).
Trend #1 — Emerging Technology Will Continue to Disrupt Recruitment keep reading…
Building a house, a building, or a department all starts out with a plan. Many of us, however, don’t heed those textbook ideas of how we should start. Rather, we jump in and try to steer the ship while it is moving and frankly don’t know where it is going. As many have heard the adage, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
A recruitment plan starts out with an agreed-upon strategic vision of what a corporate recruiting department is to accomplish. This must be a consensus of the immediate management chain as well as the people on the top floor. It has to start out with both a forecast of intended hires in a given time frame (a people budget) as well as an overall concept of operations … also known as just how are we going to accomplish our people budget and ultimately drive the operational budget which supports the execution of the concept of operations.
A “people budget” is just that: a budget. We all know that budgets are guidelines that become fluid depending on changes in the business. After all, all business is dynamic and things do change. Development of a “people budget” should be an ongoing activity of the recruitment department, perhaps polling divisions, departments, etc. to provide you with not only an anticipated number of potential new hires in the next three to six months but also a general breakdown of skill sets that you envision hiring.
Your departments will resist this exercise. keep reading…
I hear from talent acquisition leaders that they want a seat at the table. I ask: “What does that mean to you?”
For an individual recruiter, it’s building trust with your hiring managers. For a recruiting manager, it’s building trust and showing progress on hiring needs with multiple hiring managers. For the leader, it’s driving quality of hire, building relationships with leaders, enhancing the brand, globalizing hiring if required, managing a large budget, driving productivity outcomes with the teams they manage, and delivering on hiring goals set out by the company at all levels especially the executive level. Any talent acquition strategy has to be aligned to these company goals and directly to the HR vision.
HR has to build bridges with their finance leaders and with those who influence strategy. For this to happen, talent acquisition has to be the bridge with its HR leaders to be the subject matter expert in hiring practices; specifically, hiring practices that help reduce short-term attrition. keep reading…
About a year ago, I was participating in a series of team meetings when I noticed that one question kept resurfacing: “How can we demonstrate the value of talent acquisition?” While the discussion moved to other topics, this question remained unanswered.
Cost, quality, and speed have underpinned the value proposition of the talent acquisition function for many years. It has been defined by metrics such as productivity, process and channel efficiency, full/sub-cycle time, and the results of satisfaction surveys. Yet, it has become clearer to me that value in talent acquisition is no longer being adequately communicated and translated to our customer base. We need a new way to demonstrate value beyond the walls of our own function. We need to better articulate how and why talent acquisition contributes to the overall worth of the organizations we work for.
Here, I make my case for a new kind of value mapping that centers around talent acquisition first and foremost. Value mapping talent acquisition can deliver better results, with more focused associated costs and impactful communication.
Value: A Simple Definition keep reading…
My last post on why I believe LinkedIn will never kill the professional recruitment industry seemed to generate a lot of attention. While some of the numerous comments made a lot of sense, I can’t help feeling that there are still a lot of people missing the point.
Recruitment can mean different things to different people. There are a plethora of different business models within the staffing industry, so I thought it might be a good idea to define what I believe good recruitment is. This will perhaps put into context why I don’t believe that LinkedIn — or for that matter any other web-based product — can ever replace the service we provide. I expect this will be particularly helpful for those who seem to feel that they are qualified to comment on the impending death of our industry without having ever having been a recruiter, or in some cases ever having recruited a person themselves.
Talent Is Not an Online Commodity keep reading…
In this, the ninth year of the ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards, finalists include a New York hospital that’s a finalist in two categories, a flower delivery company, a big technology and a big banking company, government contractors, management consultants, and a fast-growing home-loan organization.
“It really brings me hope to see people doing excellent things,” one judge wrote to me, about the industry’s leading awards for talent acquisition.
We made a few changes since last year’s ERE Recruiting Excellence Award winners and finalists were announced. For the first time we have an onboarding category. We split the “department of the year” into large and small companies. We altered the “careers website” a bit to encompass more than just a company’s own site, but social media and similar sites as well. And, we added an “innovation,” award, which will be announced at the upcoming Recruiting Innovation Summit.
The other winners will be announced at the ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo in San Diego, where the finalists will up on stage in a perennially popular q-and-a session for the audience.
Here are those finalists in alphabetical order within the categories: keep reading…
After working in a number of talent acquisition groups over the course of my career, I have often reflected on the many comments and sentiments that have been shared with me about the function. My belief has been and always will be that talent acquisition is the only function within HR that can destroy the business and HR.
If you can’t get people through the door, there is no need for benefits, compensation, employee relations, or any other facet of HR because there is no one working at the company. Surely, if there are no people or hires coming through the door there is no way to keep the business going.
In many ways, the talent acquisition job is a thankless one. If you hire someone who doesn’t work out it is your fault. If a job needs to filled yesterday and other logistics prevent the group from proceeding in a timely fashion, it is Talent’s fault.
However, there are many instances in which talent acquisition misses the mark in delivering upon its inherent value proposition and there is no one to blame but itself.
While I recruit for almost anything, over the years I’ve done a lot of software engineering recruiting. I’ve learned that software engineers in startups typically have short time frames to develop, modify, and test their software, and to do it effectively, there is a formal method called “agile software development.”
Since I usually like to understand what it is I’m recruiting for, I did some research about agile software development, and found out the the principles behind it were formulated in 2001 in a document called The Agile Manifesto. There seemed to be a great deal that could also apply to recruiting. I decided to “sample” — aka, steal it — and substitute some appropriate recruiting terms for the software terms, and about three years ago I sent it out. Here it is again: keep reading…
A lot of recruitment leaders we work with are about to launch big initiatives. They’re evaluating new systems, pulling together cross-functional teams to improve their processes, focusing on new or better metrics, or looking for ways to help their hiring managers hire better. All project-y stuff, and the good news is that they all have the budget they need to deliver what’s needed, and they’re really well resourced, with a dedicated project manager and team that is freed up to really focus on the heavy lifting required to create something great.
Right? I mean, talent is a company’s No. 1 priority, so once you make a good business case, you’ll get everything you need to execute flawlessly, right?
Wrong. keep reading…
I’m a planner; I have to juggle a career and a family, so my home calendar is my family “book of reference.” It helps us all to know who is where, doing what, at what time, and which parent is responsible.
I am a planner financially too because I have responsibilities and I also have dreams. I have a responsibility to create a financial nest-egg for retirement, my children’s education, and maybe … just maybe … the country house I dream of buying someday.
To help me plan, I engage with a financial planner who works with me on my portfolio, the degree of risk, future plans and responsibilities, as well as current needs. Granted, none of us know how the stock market will look in 20-plus years, but I feel comfortable knowing my current financial plan, and my path.
I am not a financial expert. I work in the business of talent, specifically talent acquisition. It is a domain I enjoy continue to learn in an ever-changing environment where it can be difficult to plan. But it recently dawned on me that how I plan my future financially could also apply to how my organization looks at its talent. After all, without your talent, products and services as well as new ideas and innovation would not exist. If talent is your equity, then (to quote a branded credit card company in the United States) “Do you know what’s in your wallet?” keep reading…
“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” –Howard Beale, Network
I’m making a late introduction – I started writing last week after not doing so since 2009. Though it’s much easier and more enjoyable to tear apart other peoples articles, I decided to start writing some of my own.
My madness is because much of what I read as “professional wisdom from “recruiting thought leaders” is: keep reading…
Last month, I wrote a post called “Recruiters: Your Days Are Numbered” for which I was lynched in the comments thread for disparaging the recruiting profession and forecasting its demise. Even Josh Bersin — a leading authority on HR — chimed in to describe the article as “a bit of a joke.” keep reading…
You’re at a social event, catching up with an old friend or meeting someone for the first time, and the conversation turns to your career. You say “I’m a recruiter.” Their response is likely, “Oh, like a headhunter?”
If you are a headhunter, then the conversation moves on and everyone understands each other. But if you are a corporate recruiter, your response is typically “Well, not exactly; I am a recruiter for (Insert Company Name Here). This is typically followed by a quizzical look in the other person’s eye (especially if you don’t work for a company with a household name).
If your initial response was “I’m a sourcer” or “I’m a contract recruiter” or “I’m a recruiting manager,” or something along those lines, then you’ve likely just confused the other person even more.
Sound familiar? keep reading…
Recruitment, Recruitment Group, Talent Acquisition, Talent Acquisition Group, Executive Recruiters, Recruiter, Corporate Recruiters, Internet Recruiters, Sourcing Specialists, Talent Acquisition Specialist, and I am sure I am missing some monikers associated with recruiting.
I had a colleague in one of my 2012 meetings describe the job of the recruiters as being sourcing specialists. She went on to explain that recruiters don’t sit at a desk; they get out and they actively meet people. They don’t just post positions and do the administrative stuff. Sourcing specialists, on the other hand, use keywords and methodology to find key professionals to fill open vacancies … that was her way of explaining our recruiter role to some non-HR staff. In her mind, she believes that recruiters who aren’t out and about actively recruiting are sourcers.
While I spent most of my time in that meeting biting my tongue, her description caused me to think about recruitment as a profession and whether or not we are misunderstood or having an identity crisis. keep reading…
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain
See if you can place this current staffing model without skipping to the end.
You are responsible for an organization that has thousands of openings to fill.
For you, big data is an everyday part of your operational initiative. Everyone (and we do mean everyone) who could possibly join your organization is known to you. Access to the details about them has been cost effective (about $.35 per) for some time.
More than just a qualified lead with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience, you also have access to other demographic characteristics (biodata) about each and every lead that relates to your organization’s “fit” and it all can be uploaded into your tracking system.
In fact not only are all (100 percent) of the potential pool of candidates known but your analysis of the factors that predict success for any one of these individuals can be calculated. So, without you ever meeting them, without their having ever heard of you, selection and assessment is moot for most. It is like finding a mine with the entire world’s supply of a given metal in a ready-to-use state … as long as you can acquire it. keep reading…
There’s no better way to start out a new year than to take one or more strategic actions. On the surface, selecting a new strategic area may seem to be difficult because at established firms, it would seem as though all of the important talent management areas would have already been addressed (i.e. with a full-time leader, a written plan, a permanent team, a yearly budget, and a set of metrics for assessing its strategic impact).
However, I have still been able to identify 10 potentially high business impact strategic areas in talent management where almost no firm has a permanent company-wide strategy, plan, and team. The fact that almost no firms do these things isn’t because they lack a potential impact (most agree it could be high), so the lack of action must be because either no one has been trained in the area or because the strategic area is highly complex or highly political. Even if you don’t have the bandwidth to take action in any of these areas, review the list to see if you see the potential for a high business impact.
The Top 10 Strategic Talent Management Areas That Firms Ignore keep reading…