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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 Of course as a professional, you know that you have an obligation to keep up with the latest practices, but your outdated recruiting approach is damaging your firm.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top performers?;  your employees why they can’t work alongside the very best?; your customers why your products have outdated features?; and to your shareholders why your company can’t grow because of its inability to recruit top talent?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.

Assessing Whether You Have an Elite Strategic Recruiting Function — a Checklist

by Oct 15, 2012, 5:44 am ET

Corporate recruiting is a field where there are distinct and measurable differences between the average and elite functions. In short, what that means is that “elite” recruiting functions (defined as the top 1%) produce superior results and act in ways that are totally different from the average function.

I am frequently asked during corporate presentations to cite the difference between “good and great” recruiting functions. Well, as a former chief talent officer and someone who has spent years devoted to identifying what makes the handful of elite recruiting functions unique, I’ve come up with an assessment tool. It is a checklist that can be used by recruiting leaders as a self-assessment tool in order to determine how they compare “side-by-side” to the few firms that have reached this elite status. The 40 defining characteristics are broken into seven distinct categories and they are listed in a numbered format for easy scanning.

The 40 Defining Characteristics of an “Elite Recruiting Function” in 2012 keep reading…

The Bold Recruiters Toolkit — 50 Tools for Aggressive Recruiters (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)

by Sep 24, 2012, 5:28 am ET

If you’re going to be an effective recruiter, you need to continually change your mix of recruiting tools in order to stay ahead of the competition. Adopting new tools is critical because once any tool is used by everyone, it loses its effectiveness. In part one of this article, I provided a list of bold sourcing, referral, event, and college recruiting tools. In the second part, I continue the toolkit with advanced recruiting tools for the most aggressive recruiters, and bold closing tools for getting difficult to land candidates to say “yes.”

Advanced recruiting tools and approaches keep reading…

Recruitment Value Insourcing Delivers Where RPO Fails

by Sep 3, 2012, 5:18 am ET

In recent years issues with the RPO model have been well documented. It’s not so much the model itself because the theory is sound, on paper. It’s the execution of the model and competition driving cost-saving promises which can’t be met unless corners are cut or high volumes of lesser-experienced RPO recruiters are hired to fulfill demand.

Whether it’s an RPO model or simply an in-house direct recruiter model, the same conundrum exists. keep reading…

Forget About the Cost — Modeling the Real ROI of In-house Headhunting

by Aug 28, 2012, 5:18 am ET

It’s no secret to any of us that the appetite and shift to more direct sourcing is driven to a large extent by the focus on cost savings. Agency margins have been driven down to within an inch of their life over the years and so the next natural step was always going to be to “do it ourselves.” Internal recruiters have been around now for years, some under the guise of the RPO model.

Internal headhunters (I differentiate from internal “recruiters”),  taking time to do full market mapping and cold call headhunting, are still very rare though. Mapping out competitors and building market intelligence takes time, and time is of course expensive. Whereas an internal recruiter may work on upwards of 100 vacancies per year (the numbers hugely fluctuate from company to company influenced by seniority of role, etc.), an internal headhunter doing the full lifecycle process may work on as little as 15 to 20 searches per year.

There’s also the issue of skillset required to do both roles. It’s very different asking a recruiter to sift through 100 resumes received in an inbox from a job posting than it is to ask a headhunter to start with a blank sheet of paper and map out the firm’s top six competitors and cold-headhunt call everyone at those firms who may have a relevant skillset. In my time spent heading up an executive search function at J.P Morgan, I never once posted a job advertisement. My role was purely to headhunt top talent in the market.

An internal headhunter is of course a role that should be used only for particular vacancies. It may be the most senior roles, or for niche roles, where typical channels to market aren’t satisfying the requirement.

So how do you convince the budget holders to invest in an internal headhunter who costs more than a typical internal recruiter, but who works on far fewer roles? keep reading…

The Strategic Recruiting of Purple Squirrels, Innovators, and Gamechangers

by Jun 18, 2012, 5:18 am ET

There is no more valuable recruit than a “Purple Squirrel.” In fact, a single Purple Squirrel recruit may be more impactful than all of your other hires combined during a single year. If you’re not familiar with the term, a Purple Squirrel is the moniker that denotes an extremely rare and talented recruiting target. Purple Squirrels are valuable because they are extreme innovators. Once hired, they can change your firm’s capabilities, direction, and marketplace success almost instantly.

The benchmark Purple Squirrel was Tony Fadell, who conceived of the concept of the MP3 player while he was at Philips. But Apple recruited him away, allowing them to dominate and make billions in a product area (the iPod) where they had little expertise before recruiting him. This single Purple Squirrel acquisition made Apple billions and set the expectation for future market dominating innovations at Apple!

The most stunning thing, however, about Purple Squirrel recruiting is the fact that there is literally a zero chance that these valuable game-changers and pioneers can be recruited using the existing recruiting process at 99.5% of the world’s major corporations. For example, everyone would agree that Steve Jobs, even in his youth, was a Purple Squirrel, but the fact is that he was rejected by the recruiting process at HP, despite all his talent, simply because he had no college degree.

These purple squirrels are true pioneers with the capability of not only coming up with original ideas but also in successfully implementing them. Purple Squirrels are generally not senior executives, but instead, they are often mid-level employees in product development, technology, mathematics, social media, or the monetization of products and services. Each of these areas are essential for market domination.

Why You Should Develop a Process for Recruiting Purple Squirrels keep reading…