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Hires That Will Transform Your Company

Randall Birkwood
Jan 17, 2013, 5:39 am ET

Steven Tyler-PRK-032194You have staffed your team with all the right people: they graduated from top universities, worked at leading companies, stayed at each company the requisite length of time, and exuded intelligence in the interview process. Yet you see other companies with far less surface talent achieving incredible results and outstripping you. Why is this?

The most likely reason your company is failing to progress is that you still hire based on standard interview processes that have been followed for decades. You focus on qualifications only, and ignore focusing on the individual attributes that will help you find superstars, or game changers.

A game changer is a person who thinks outside the box and approaches problems differently from the rest of us. They approach problems with passion, a unique perspective, and their thinking inspires others to build on their ideas.

With game changers on your team you can move from average to an industry leadership position. Good examples are Apple and IBM, which transformed themselves from fading brands into dominant positions by adopting the ideas of leaders who were game changers. Three football teams have had great success this year bringing in game changers. The Seattle Seahawks (Russell Wilson), Washington Redskins (Robert Griffin III), and Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck) have seen vast improvements after they drafted rookie quarterbacks who have the unique attributes of game changers.

An example of a game changer in the music industry is Steven Tyler. In his entertaining autobiography he discusses how he approaches the four elements of writing a song: melody, words, chords, and rhythm.

He explains, “You know right away if a song has that magic. It has to have those extremes — the one thing it can’t be is okay. Okay is death.

He adds: “Never mind the melody, never mind the chords — no, no, no. You start with infatuation, obsession, passion, anger, zeal, craze, then take a handful of notes, sew them into a chord structure, create a melody over that, and then come up with words that fit it perfectly.”

His diverse way of thinking is completely different from standard music writers, but as a game changer, his unique perspectives have resulted in incredible successes.

If we analyze the way the majority of companies hire, we see a system that is designed to hire okay performers. We focus solely on the tangibles: the candidate’s job history, education, and interview performance. We ignore the intangibles like diversity of thought, work ethic, intelligence, and common sense.

As an example, diversity of thought means approaching challenges using varied thought processes based on personal creativity and different life experiences. If you can combine diverse thinking with a strong work ethic, intelligence, and common sense, you have a game changer. The results of game changers can often transform the way we do business.

To hire game changers, you will need to make modifications in the following areas:  keep reading…

You Should Learn What I Learned From 2 Millenials

Morgan Hoogvelt
Dec 20, 2012, 5:11 am ET

Millennials get a bad rap. We hear that millennials work with their iPods on, want flexible hours, won’t stay in a job long, and they get bored easy. Some of these assumptions are legitimate. But similar assumptions can be held true for any generation of worker.

Rather than fight, not understand, and not accept the behavior and way of the millennial, hiring managers should actively engage with this new generation and learn how to lead, manage, and motivate this new generation of workers.

When it was finally my turn to be put in the situation of hiring a millennial or two, I was a bit nervous, as I’d made all the above assumptions myself.

Thankfully, my first two millennial hires have worked out well. But to get these great hires, it took a keen eye and ear to locate these talented individuals. Let’s call them Kacey and Magi. keep reading…

Terminix Working on New Recruiting Ad Campaign to Bring Women to Bug Business

Todd Raphael
Sep 18, 2012, 5:47 am ET

A mosquito sits down for dinner

We’ve come a long way, baby — but not so far that women are beating down the door for a job that has to do with creepy crawlers.

Yeah, Terminix salespeople, even though they’re selling, not spraying, are mostly men. The company, owned by ServiceMaster, is working with TMP on trying to change that, preparing a campaign that will bring together “girls and bugs.”

We’ve talked about the pest-control business before: it’s not one of those industries a lot of college students, particularly women, say they’re dreaming about working in. Then again, the same could be said for urology, but that has its virtues. And people can surprise you: a car-racing company, for example, found that women were far more interested in clicking on its job ads than it anticipated.

These sorts of issues were what ServiceMaster started talking about around May of this year with ServiceMaster’s ad agency of choice, TMP. On the ServiceMaster side, Andrea Hough, in particular, was interested in reaching more females. After all, it is females of who often are the ones being sold to — the ones who make the decision to have someone douse the garage with something that’ll kill off underground domestic terrorists. keep reading…

3 Trends Toward the Revolution in Recruiting

Denny Clark
Jun 18, 2012, 8:36 am ET

As I consult through my business, the Thought Leadership Institute, I am amazed at the speed of how things are changing in recruiting, even though most of us would still admit that we are in the midst of an economic downturn. Despite not hiring at the rates most of us are used to, this is the time period to prepare ourselves for the tide-change we will be going through soon enough.

In this article, I wanted to provide you with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek perspective on some of these game changers; I’ll begin with three today that are more macro in nature and then I’ll hit you up (I just learned this phrase from my youngest son) with three more in the very near future.

In the meantime, if you’d like to get started learning to be more adaptive, you can join me and TLI at our upcoming pre-conference workshop: A Roadmap to Recruiting Reinvention on September 5 as part of the ERE Expo, where we’ll be joined by Tom McGuire of Coca Cola and other great adaptive leaders in Florida.

Trend Number 1:  Helicopter parents/stay-around kids keep reading…

Your Customers: A Near-perfect Recruiting Target

Dr. John Sullivan
Jun 4, 2012, 5:07 am ET

They are the perfect recruiting target because these prospects are currently employed (i.e. passives); they are diverse; it costs almost nothing to get a recruiting message in front of them and best of all; and they already know and like your company and its products. These perfect candidates are your customers.

Even though customers are generally the most-ignored recruiting source, some firms like Google, McDonald’s, Marriott, and Wells Fargo have realized that some of the best recruiting targets are their own customers.

Let’s take Wells Fargo as an example. It literally has millions of customers that use their ATM machines every year, so it only makes sense to try to recruit them as employees. Its approach is simple and cost-effective. It is reaching these customer prospects by merely adding a recruiting message to the receipt printed out by its ATM machines. The message is: “Now hiring. With you when you want a career opportunity that is right for you” (see the inserted sample of a “recruiting receipt”).

Why Customers Are Near-perfect Recruiting Targets keep reading…

FDNY Succeeding in Attracting Minorities, but They Need to Know How to Prepare

Cassie Fields
May 16, 2012, 9:45 am ET

Fire Department of New York officials announced this month that a record number of minorities took its firefighter exam this spring. The Fire Department says nearly 46 percent of the potential recruits were members of minority groups. The number of women test-takers also saw an increase this year. Nearly 2,000 women took the test. That’s more than the past three test years combined. That’s a good thing, but it’d be even better if these applicants were even more prepared. More on that in a minute.

Big Improvement keep reading…

Comings, Goings, Referrals, and Responses in This Week’s Roundup

John Zappe and Todd Raphael
May 11, 2012, 8:22 am ET

Financial and business consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers captured the top spot on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity.

Of PwC, DiversityInc said this: “Always cognizant of the war for talent, PwC continuously creates innovative strategies to find, engage, and promote the best and brightest employees, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups.”

Surprisingly, considering the layoffs and slowdown in hiring that have beset the finance industry, it was well represented on the list. Ernst and Young, Deloitte, Prudential, KPMG, and a few others in the sector made the list.

Tar Heel Cops Needed

The highway patrol in North Carolina is hiring. There are 183 jobs open in its “first recruiting blitz in five years.”

Recruiting Company Lawsuit

The U.S. EEOC says Randstad U.S. LP is settling an ADA-related lawsuit for $60,000. keep reading…

Hiring Executives? Search Out the “Different Ones”

John Zappe
May 9, 2012, 6:04 pm ET

When employers look for senior people — and 31 percent will be, a new survey says — the evidence is they’re all looking for the same qualities. Industry experience is important; so is proven problem solving.

Nowhere on the list of qualities a CareerBuilder survey reported as important to employers was craziness listed. Perhaps that trait was covered by the “Is creative” characteristic that 43 percent of the respondents look for in a new executive. keep reading…

Minority Report: The Role of Race in Hiring

Raghav Singh
May 8, 2012, 7:05 am ET

I started my professional career in recruiting when I was hired at a Native American casino to run the recruiting team. There was considerable consternation when I showed up because my boss had told people that I was an Indian, which had been interpreted to mean that I was Native American (I did wonder just how smart one has to be to think that someone with my last name was a Native American). Hiring Native Americans, especially for senior positions, was a goal of the casino and we were supposed to show preference in hiring to Native Americans. This was no easy task and my team was constantly berated for not hiring enough. Native Americans represent about 0.8% of the population, and of the ones that were qualified for senior roles had their pick of jobs.

This was when I learned just how much of a premium the claim to minority status can provide to a candidate. I had noticed that some of those who we hired didn’t look much like Native Americans, but more like Native Irish or Native Germans. Our only basis for classifying them as Native Americans were their personal claims about their ancestry, and apparently any claim was acceptable. I suggested that we ask anyone claiming Native American status for some proof, such as a tribal membership card, but was told that candidates would find this insulting — it was never explained why — so it went by the wayside. One of our managers was an African American individual who claimed that one of his ancestors, six generations back, was Native American. There was obviously no way to validate this and even if it was true it only made him 1/64 Native American but that was good enough for management and it got them off my back, so I didn’t complain.

The Diversity Dilemma keep reading…

10 Compelling Numbers That Reveal the Power of Employee Referrals

Dr. John Sullivan
May 7, 2012, 1:24 am ET

I strive to be the world’s most prominent advocate of employee referrals simply because there is no more powerful tool in recruiting. Well-designed referral programs not only identify top prospects that are not in a job-search mode but they also require employees to assess candidates for skills and fit and to sell them on the company and the job. Taken together, this identification, assessment and selling feature make referrals superior to any other source.

If your corporation is not getting close to 50% of your hires from employee referrals, I have gathered 10 compelling numbers that should change your perspective. keep reading…

Solutions to Recruit Technical Women

Todd Raphael
Feb 28, 2012, 7:38 pm ET

Hunter College president and IBM's GM of North America Bridget van Kralingen

A new report’s out about recruiting technical women. The document is from a not-for-profit called the Anita Borg Institute (which appears to be putting on a May 10 workshop on recruiting high-tech women … heck, stay in town a week and you’ll see us in Mountain View).

Anyhow, the 50-page PDF called “Solutions to Recruit Technical Women” includes case studies from Cisco, IBM, Intel, and Intuit, and also some good appendices listing how many women receive engineering and other degrees from various colleges.

The Business Case for Hiring College Grads — 32 Reasons They Can Produce a High ROI

Dr. John Sullivan
Dec 12, 2011, 5:33 am ET

College hiring is about to ramp up again — and the very best college recruiting organizations would argue it ramped up several months back — so now is an opportune time to conduct an ROI analysis to determine when and where you should hire college grads instead of experienced hires. Understanding the unique competencies and skills that college students bring to a business is important not just in determining the number needed, but where to place them.

As a college professor and someone that advises firms on the design of college recruiting programs, I have come up with a long list of the advantages of hiring recent graduates. keep reading…

Occupy Wall Street from Within: Dodd-Frank’s Diversity Mandate

Krista Bradford
Nov 25, 2011, 5:21 am ET

As Occupy Wall Street protesters criticize high unemployment and economic inequality, a little-known diversity mandate embedded in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173 / Public Law 111-203) is forcing a different kind of occupation within those very financial institutions. In 2012, Wall Street firms must be prepared to prove they’ve made a good faith effort to employ women and minorities or else they stand to lose billions of dollars worth of contracts with the federal government.

In other words, Dodd-Frank is mandating that more women and minorities must occupy lucrative Wall Street jobs that heretofore have been dominated by white men who, in gender and ethnicity, resemble Gordon Gekko, the anti-hero of the movie Wall Street and of its sequel. keep reading…

HR Diversity: What You See Is What You Are

John Zappe
Nov 2, 2011, 5:12 am ET

Look around at most any HR conference and one of the profession’s little secrets is instantly obvious: HR is the domain of white, middle-aged women.

A little harder to see is that they are better educated than most of the population, and far better off financially.

Catbert notwithstanding, human resources is a pink-collar profession that looks very different from the rest of the corporate workforce, let alone the U.S. as a whole.

More than a few surveys have noted the gender imbalance in human resources. A dozen years ago the federal Office of Personnel Management reported the dramatic change in its own workforce. In 1969, 30 percent of the HR jobs were held by women. By 1998, the percentages were reversed, with men holding 29 percent of the jobs. A SHRM survey from 2007 came up with similar numbers.

Now, one of the most extensive profiles of HR professionals ever conducted not only confirms that what the OPM found in the federal workforce applies to the private sector, but the diversity there is just what you would expect from eyeballing conference attendees. keep reading…

Raising Awareness Is Goal of Disabled Worker Month

John Zappe
Oct 12, 2011, 4:51 pm ET

Falguni Chitalia, a native of India, speaks three languages and holds a degree from Rutgers. She also has cerebral palsy that has affected her speech and limited the use of her left hand.

She struggled to earn a living, for a time clerking at Wal-Mart. But her goal was to find work as a professional in a career that could allow her to be independent. With the assistance of Virginia’s Department of Rehabilitative Service, Chitalia received job counseling and speech therapy.

Today, she is a project manager with Anthem Wellpoint and was recently lauded in the company newsletter.

Her story is but one of dozens being cited as examples of the success disabled workers can have when, with a little assistance from the government, employers reach out to the disability community.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Labor is taking the lead in promoting the month around the theme of “Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities.” Managed by the DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the month-long campaign to build awareness of the contributions of the disabled includes the posting of stories like Chitalia’s, as well as lending support to state and local efforts to increase the hiring of disabled workers. keep reading…

Yukon Rolling Out New Recruitment Branding, Marketing

Todd Raphael
Oct 11, 2011, 5:23 am ET

In case you’re looking to apply for this open HR job, be aware that the snow starts in October and melts in May.

OK, so Yukon would like you to know that there’s more to its territory than a six- to eight-month long winter.

In 2008, it began looking at a new strategy for recruiting, retention, branding, and marketing the new brand. It wanted to better attract youth, Yukon First Nation (aboriginal) candidates, people with disabilities, and others, and do a better job at staffing hard-to-fill jobs. keep reading…

The Complete List of Employee Referral Program Best Practices (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. John Sullivan
Aug 15, 2011, 5:49 am ET

I strive to be the world’s foremost champion of employee referral programs. As a thought leader in this field for more than 20 years, I have had the opportunity to assess and research hundreds of corporate ERPs, and most are pretty dull.

Too many organizations task management of the program to a loosely organized committee that rarely invests the time required to build anything more than a conservative, basic program. Despite the conservative approach taken, ERPs continue to outproduce every other external recruiting source (volume and quality of hire). In world class firms, the performance of ERPs is often double that of the average, but they often have dedicated management and a host of features few firms invest the time and resources to support.

If your firm is in the process of developing a new program or redesigning your old one and you are looking to move beyond the mediocre, this checklist should give a number of ideas for building a program that will give you a competitive advantage. keep reading…

Sourcing For Diversity Panel

Brendan Shields
Jun 17, 2011, 3:05 pm ET

In this webinar panel moderated by Gerry Crispin, some of the most interesting companies on the planet and a few of their top recruiters will discuss the challenges, strategies, and tactics for the future of building diverse pipelines and slates.

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!


OFCCP Wants More Data For Compliance; Seeks to Strengthen Veteran Recruitment

John Zappe
Jun 13, 2011, 1:15 am ET

Two proposals from the Federal Office of Contract Compliance Programs, now open for public comment, seek to require federal contractors and their subs to do more to hire veterans and to provide more information and data in the event of a compliance audit.

So far, neither of the proposals seems to have caused much of a stir, despite nearly unanimous mentions in the various analyses of the additional paperwork and increased obligations on federal contractors.

Littler Mendelson, one of the largest employment law firms in the country, says the OFFCCP focus on veterans “significantly expands the obligations of federal contractors and subcontractors.”

Another firm, McGuireWoods, referred to the proposal for additional data as both “burdensome” and “stealthy.” The firm notes in its analysis, “The agency (OFCCP) does not understand the private sector or have any apparent concern about the burdens and confidentiality issues these proposals place on contractors.”

The OFCCP itself estimated it would take 103.2 hours and cost $135,000 to collect and provide all the data that could be requested in the so-called “Scheduling Letter” — the notice of compliance audit — should the changes it wants be adopted. (The OFCCP has to get permission from the Office of Management and Budget for changes to the document and data provisions.)

Complying with the veterans rules is estimated to cost each contractor $396 a year and take 10.7 hours a year. keep reading…

On Facebook, Home Depot Is an Open Book as it Expands its Recruitment Branding

Todd Raphael
Jun 7, 2011, 5:02 am ET

Home Depot has quietly been expanding its use of Facebook in online games and recruitment advertising on people’s profiles, meanwhile operating with transparency and responsiveness — returning emails in 24 hours — often missing elsewhere in online recruiting.

Miko Covin, who manages the employment marketing group, is one of the key players. She and others in that group — people like Alison Foy — came up from recruitment ad agencies like Bernard Hodes, TMP, and JWT Inside.

Covin arrived in 2008 from JWT, wanting to use the basic marketing and advertising skills she’d learned at agencies and apply them to social media and recruiting. In early 2010 (late in the game, she admits) she opened up a personal Facebook page after a friend invited her to be a Facebook member. She also saw the agency world struggling, social media increasing its role in recruiting, and wanted to move Home Depot in the social media direction.

She spent 2010 on education. There were HR people in Home Depot who didn’t get social media; in fact, some even used the now-awkward word “The” preceding “Facebook.” “I don’t know about The Facebook,” one person said.

Covin kept talking up the importance of social media in recruiting. By the spring of 2010 Home Depot began testing two things on Facebook, targeting people based on the information in their profiles. First, it tried advertising store jobs to females, part of an effort to reverse the perception as a company for male jobs. It casted a “huge net first,” Covin says.

It narrowed after that, targeting people — now both male and female — whose profiles indicated they were in HR, and were based in areas where an HR district manager was needed.

It brought on JWT, the recruitment marketing agency, to help with the Facebook project.

By August, satisfied with the approximately 100 resumes it had received over the summer from these efforts, the recruitment marketing team was feeling that Facebook was a success in recruiting, and it should be expanded. keep reading…