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Hire to Hurt: the Boldest Recruiting Strategy of Them All

by Nov 24, 2014, 5:56 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.01.16 AMThe recruiting function is unique among business functions because almost no one in recruiting can actually name even a handful of the different strategies that are available to the chief recruiting leader. But this article is not about the complete list of recruiting strategies (it can be found here), but instead it is about which strategy from among the 20+ possibilities is the boldest and most aggressive recruiting strategy.

The “Hire to Hurt” strategy (or H2H for short) is the most aggressive for a variety of reasons. The first is that the name alone sends chills through the risk adverse in recruiting. The name of the strategy is also clearly indicative of its chief goal, which is to “identify key talent and then directly hire them away to the point where your H2H hiring actually hurts the competitor’s business results.”

It’s a two-for-one deal. Not only does your firm get top quality talent but simultaneously your top competitors’ lose key talent. As one CEO put it, “I really like that strategy; our ship rises while their ship sinks” (Incidentally, the No. 2 most aggressive recruiting strategy is “make other firms your farm team”.)

Join the Team, Because Every Other Business Function Already Tries to Hurt the Competitors keep reading…

Aggressive Talent Wars Are Good for Cities

by Nov 11, 2014, 12:45 am ET

ERE 2015 Spring Hero_BGCalifornia is often ranked among the world’s most inventive regions. But most observers miss one of the major reasons why: the absence of non-compete agreements.

In San Diego, at the ERE conference, I’m going to be talking about this, but also will be talking to recruiting leaders about rethinking the whole way they handle departing employees, ex employees, and employees who could depart (that’s all employees).

Anyhow, back to non-competes, barring them is one of California’s longstanding strong talent mobility safeguards. keep reading…

Recruit Top Prospects During Their ‘Angry Hours’ — Because Timing Is Everything

by Oct 6, 2014, 12:03 am ET

An in-depth analysis on how the right timing can dramatically improve recruiting

In my experience, the hardest-to-recruit exceptional targets are those who I label as “no, and stop calling me” passive top prospects who simply won’t accept a recruiter’s call. Even though most recruiters will tell you that their lack of interest in changing jobs is unwavering, my research has found that there are exceptions that may occur once or twice during each year, and I call them “their angry hours.”

During this brief time period the prospect is open to a recruiting discussion because something has recently occurred that makes them angry about their job, their manager, or their company. And for at least a few hours … that anger makes them suddenly receptive to recruiter calls and to new job opportunities.

Timing Is Everything in Sales and Recruiting keep reading…

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…

Source of Hire Study: What’s Going On With Recruiting?

by Jul 25, 2014, 12:25 pm ET

Why are employee referrals down? Is LinkedIn now a job board? And what’s the significance of more hires being made the ‘old school’ way — direct sourcing, from agencies, and even temp conversions?

Watch our interview with Gerry Crispin, co-founder and partner at the recruiting consultancy CareerXroads, as he discusses the firm’s source of hire study.

Learn what’s behind the numbers and what it means to your recruiting efforts.

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…

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…

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…

Talent Management Lessons From the Super Bowl for Corporate Leaders

by Feb 3, 2014, 6:36 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 10.43.50 AMA couple years back I was asked to outline “the future of talent management” in a talk at Google headquarters. Then as now, I predicted the future of talent management will follow the “professional sports model,” which many of you undoubtedly witnessed during yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Some in HR carelessly make the mistake of instantly dismissing sports analogies as irrelevant, but those individuals fail to understand that the NFL and its teams are multibillion-dollar businesses with the same economic bottom line and the need to dominate competitors as any other corporate businesses. So if you want some talent creds, tell your boss that you watched the Super Bowl not just for enjoyment, but also in order to learn some valuable talent management lessons. My top eight talent management takeaways from the Super Bowl are listed below. keep reading…

Oil and Pregnancy Don’t Mix, But Apples and Berries Do

by Oct 18, 2013, 6:33 am ET

apple blackberryMaybe not so much for apples and oranges, but BlackBerrys and Apples do indeed mix.

Within days of last month’s announcement of 4,500 upcoming layoffs by the sinking ship that was once BlackBerry, Apple threw a “career event” in a hotel a few minutes from the firm’s Canadian headquarters.

Sifting through the LinkedIn profiles of the mobile device maker’s engineering and operations professionals, Apple sent out personal invitations. The pitch: keep reading…

The Government Shutdown Provides a Great Recruiting Opportunity

by Oct 11, 2013, 6:24 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 2.55.58 PMIt’s hard to miss the troubling news about the “government shutdown” and the “debt default crisis,” but what has not received a lot of press attention is that these negative events have unwittingly created a powerful recruiting opportunity for hiring away top government workers. keep reading…

A Look at the Retention and Attraction Competition Between 7 Tech Companies

by Jul 24, 2013, 5:59 am ET

Dublin atriumHeadhunting from your competitors is a great place to start recruiting, and a strategy that everyone employs. So this must also be the case when companies are looking to recruit recruiters.

Our analysts at Careerify were hungry to learn more about this by observing one of the few honest things we have left in this world: numbers. To make this a more manageable task, we focused on seven of the larger tech companies in the world: Oracle, IBM, SAP, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. By aggregating data available via social networks, and data collected by Careerify over the years, the objective was to learn more about HR/recruiters who are either currently working, or have at some point in their careers worked at one the seven companies to depict their journey to and from the companies.

We’ve broken down the findings into four main categories: Retention, Attraction, Executive Development, and Surprise Findings. Below is an infograph as a summary of our findings. Click on it to enlarge it. keep reading…

Comparing the Competencies Between a “RINO” and an Exceptional Recruiter

by Jun 3, 2013, 6:44 am ET

Recruiting is a unique field because it has no entry barriers. Unlike most professions, you can become a corporate recruiter without any formal certification, registration, recruiting experience, or even a college degree in the discipline. Because becoming a recruiter requires no formal qualifications, you probably won’t be surprised to find out that in practice, there is a wide variation in the capabilities of individuals who hold the corporate title of “recruiter.” Many corporate recruiters are truly outstanding, but unfortunately in some corporations, many other recruiters can only be classified as what I call a “Recruiter In Name Only” or a RINO (pronounced as rhino). keep reading…

USC Lures Two Top Scientists: A Case Study in Recruitment Poaching

by May 27, 2013, 6:16 am ET

USC trojansAfter years of unsuccessfully courting two of the world’s preeminent neuroscientists with offers of more money, bigger and better facilities, a larger budget, and almost anything else they wanted, the University of Southern California finally closed the deal last month when its top recruiters sold them on lifestyle.

Poaching Arthur Toga and Paul Thompson and practically the entire staff of their Laboratory of Neuro Imaging from crosstown rival University of California/Los Angeles came down to things as hard to predict as a senior school official greeting janitors and doctors alike, and as hard to control as a commute.

How USC finally lured Toga and Thompson is a case study in recruiting world-class talent, showing the importance of every part of the process; from building and maintaining a relationship, to encouraging employee networking, involving the most senior people, and creating a culture where deans know janitors as well as they know their medical school faculty. keep reading…

Don’t Blame The Headhunters — Get Better at Keeping Your Employees

by Jan 29, 2013, 5:02 am ET

iStock_000016676143XSmallWhile working in-house as a headhunter (the real market-mapping and cold-call headhunting “headhunter”) I often got asked the question about the ethics of direct headhunting from competitors. When I was giving a talk on the value of in-house headhunting at the 2012 Fall ERE conference in Miami, someone in the audience actually asked me this very question, “Do you think it’s ethical to headhunt from competitors?” keep reading…

Acqui-hiring: A Powerful Recruiting Strategy That You’ve Never Heard of

by Dec 10, 2012, 5:49 am ET

The war for technical talent is so intense that a handful of firms like Google, Facebook, Cisco, Apple, Twitter, and Zynga have shifted to a powerful but rare recruiting sub-strategy known as acqui-hiring. It involves established firms acquiring startup firms not for their products (only Facebook admits it) but instead primarily to capture an entire team of talented engineers and designers at once.

Marissa Mayer

If in the past after reading about an announcement of an acquisition you’ve wondered to yourself why a technical giant was bothering to buy a startup with no profit, a seemingly unrelated product, and a product that was in a completely different field, now you know why. The strategy has recently received some added publicity because Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer recently announced that she was going to adopt the strategy used by her former employer Google, a king of acqui-hires. Mark Zuckerberg has boasted that “Facebook has not once bought a company for the company itself. We buy companies to get excellent people” (“Engineers are worth half a million to one million” — V Smith).

Acqui-hiring (acquisition hiring) is in direct contrast to most traditional corporate hiring, which simply doesn’t work when you are recruiting innovators who prefer startups over what they consider to be onerous “corporate jobs.”

The Benefits of an Acqui-hire Strategy keep reading…

‘Tis the Season for Recruiting — 20 Reasons Why December Is a Powerful Recruiting Month

by Dec 3, 2012, 5:23 am ET

If you work in an office, you realize that many times the Christmas season can be a less hectic and even a slack period. In most cases everyone, including recruiters, gear down and change their work patterns for the holidays.  But if you’re a corporate recruiting leader, December should be viewed instead as a golden opportunity. It is a prime recruiting month (along with January and June) because many employed prospects have free time to consider a new job due to their own reduced workloads.

The end of the year is also a time where many individuals are reevaluating their current work and life situation and planning for the future. You may be skeptical but in this article I provide more than 20 reasons why corporate recruiting leaders should actually ramp up recruiting during the holiday season.

The Top 20 Reasons Why December Is a Powerful Time to Recruit keep reading…

Another Recruiting Lawsuit: This Time EBay

by Nov 16, 2012, 6:09 pm ET

There was that Kixeye-Zynga battle I mentioned this week. Now, the U.S. government is suing Ebay, saying it agreed with Intuit not to hire from each other.

More on that here.

For its part, you may remember Intuit has been part of a legal case like this before.

Kixeye-Zynga Fight Continues

by Nov 14, 2012, 6:08 pm ET

Remember that cover-your-kids-ears video I mentioned back in August? That was from the gaming company Kixeye, who’s apparently involved in a countersuit against Zynga, involving a Zynga lawsuit against Kixeye.

More about the case where “Kixeye is asking the court to prohibit Zynga from interfering in its right to recruit, among other things” here.