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A Job Description Is Not a Job Ad

Jeff Dickey-Chasins
Aug 10, 2011, 12:42 pm ET

We all know that a job description is not a job ad.

So why do we see so many boring, long, and legalistic job ads — postings that are really just job descriptions? I suspect it boils down to a few things:

  • No time
  • Not enough of the right kind of information about the job
  • Outside pressures (from the hiring manager, other departments, etc.)
  • A less-than-clear understanding of how to create an effective job ad

In a session at ERE’s fall conference, I’ll be tackling the challenge of creating compelling, enticing, and effective job ads. I’ll be looking at some of the best examples — and examining why the bad ones are so awful. I’ll talk about how a great job ad lowers your cost per hire and drives up the quality of your candidates. And I’ll cover why the art of creating a great job ad transcends any technological changes — be they social media, job boards, or ATSs.

Most importantly, I’ll break apart the different parts of a job ad and show you how they work, how to build them, and how to improve your recruiting results as you do so.

I encourage you to join me in “Job ads That Deliver Results,” Friday, September 9, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Hear About My Innovation Journey

Amy Buck
Jul 18, 2011, 4:40 am ET

Innovation, as defined, is simply “the introduction of something new.” So, why is innovation all the rage? And, why is it reserved for product development or business process … rarely a cornerstone to the human resources strategy? Especially today — the workforce revolution is real, with boomers retiring, millennials entering, and retention and engagement paramount. The time is now for HR to claim the right to deliver innovation on par with our product organizations.

Innovation can be iterative and incremental or transformational. Regardless, it comes with struggles and triumphs. In September I’ll share with you glimpses of innovation and its trails and tribulations throughout my 25 years in HR and staffing, spanning from new recruiting models to internal placement to marketing campaigns.

One of the capstone victories in in my career is my most recent role with Cisco. I will share a true startup story of building the Staffing Innovation Organization: a high-performing, agile team that delivered a foreign yet transformational internal recruitment and retention process in this Fortune 100 company. You may have read about Cisco Talent Connection, which received the 2011 ERE Recruiting Excellence Award for the best retention program, but that was just the summary. At the Fall ERE Expo, we’ll discuss the roadmap of introducing and championing innovation within Staffing and HR at Cisco: lessons learned, successes, and tips for driving innovation in your own organizations.

You won’t want to miss this session, just like a summer box office hit — it comes with plot twists, special effects, and a dramatic ending. Looking forward to sharing my innovation journey.

Why Networking is Critical for Talent Acquisition Leaders

Linda Brenner
Jun 25, 2011, 12:04 am ET

Everyone knows that networking is critical to finding a job, or for schmoozing with senior leaders at your company. But networking is essential for talent acquisition leaders who want to do a great job. Why? Because leading a recruiting function is hard. Really hard. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not rocket science, but it’s a lot of moving pieces. And just one broken part can derail hiring throughout the company in a very visible way.

So what’s the connection to networking for talent acquisition leaders? Tricks, tips, good ideas, and best practices to constantly making improvements to the way we run the talent acquisition machine. Instead of constantly reinventing the wheel, as we tend to do, we need to take the time to step out of our frenetic schedules and connect, learn, and brainstorm with our peers. The payoff benefits your team, the talent acquisition function, your organization — and your own personal development.

How can we make this happen? Here’s one great idea: attend ERE in September in Florida. Really. It’s an inexpensive way to pack in a ton of networking, learning, best practices, and discussion into two days. You deserve it — and your company deserves it.

Gaining an Edge: Presentation as a Package vs. a La Carte

Tony Kubica and Sara LaForest
Jun 1, 2011, 4:28 pm ET

So what’s the big deal about strengthening your presentation skills? A lot, if increasing your influence with the hiring managers and creating a reputation as the “go to” person for recruiting is important to you. This is a description of presentation that goes far beyond the old interpretations of platform skills such as poise and dressing for success. While personal presentation and effective speaking are important elements of your presentation, there are several other elements that are equally potent though less conventionally addressed.

When faced with hiring managers who are busy (and some less interested then they should be) and with the best candidates shopping options, like it or not, how you present becomes as important (we would say more important) than what you present.

While brevity and fact-based presentation are key today, if what you present is a recitation of the facts about a candidate, ranking them using some algorithm, this can be, quite frankly, boring. How do you get the hiring manager to not only want to meet with you, but also to listen to you, seek your advice, and respond? It’s in your presentation. For example, when you start working with a hiring manager and as the process continues:

  • Are you fearful about bothering them in approaching them with your concerns or questions?
  • How responsive are you? Are you slow because you are seeking the “perfect candidate”?
  • How good are you at building relationships?
  • How focused are you on the hiring managers’ issues and needs? Have you inquired as to their key priorities for the role?
  • Are you interesting to talk to and meet with? Do you bring energy, knowledge, and value-add ideas to the discussions?
  • Do you conduct yourself like a peer or subordinate?

These questions reflect the “intangible” elements of presentation. Many recruiters we meet believe that their value is predominantly in identifying and bringing good candidates to the table. Yes, this is certainly their role, though only a part of their potential value. And strong presentation will help you expand your value.

Start acting like a peer, bring distinctive and useful knowledge to the discussion, demonstrate beyond what is expected, look and be impressive, and you will be seen differently. Presentation is a package, and the ol’ a la carte approach will only take you so far.

The Techniques for Highly Effective Recruiters pre-conference workshop we’re giving at the Fall Expo will address these issues and more to help you increase your effectiveness and impact as a recruiter in your organization. And yes — it’s in your presentation.

Why NOT Do Your Job Ads Right?

Jeff Dickey-Chasins
Apr 13, 2011, 5:20 am ET

You see them everywhere: job ads that are little more than corporate gobbledygook, pulled from a job description more interested in covering legal points than communicating with humans.

Ask yourself: as a recruiter, is this really the best you can do?

I would suggest that, in fact, you can do better — and that doing better will bring you great rewards.

In the fall session of ERE’s conference, we will be tackling the challenge of creating compelling, enticing, and effective job ads. We’ll be looking at some of the best examples — and examining why the bad ones are so awful. We’ll talk about why the art of creating a great job ad transcends any technological changes, be they social media, job boards, or ATSs, and how a great job ad lowers your cost per hire and drives up the quality of your candidates.

But September is a long time from now, and I really want to get started — so I’m making an open call for the best and worst job ads you’ve seen (or even created yourself). keep reading…

Accenture’s Launch, Starbucks’ Recruiter Recruiting, and Other ERE Expo Gossip

Todd Raphael
Mar 24, 2011, 8:07 pm ET

Word on the street from San Diego is that Accenture is about to launch a new employee referral program using LinkedIn. It’ll make it easier for employees of Accenture — a perennial competitor for the best-referral-program ERE award — to see who among their contacts, based on people’s profiles, might fit into various Accenture job openings.

The company has tested out the tool and is very bullish on it. Accenture’s Sjoerd Gehring will be speaking at ERE’s big annual fall conference in Hollywood, Florida (September 7-9) on using LinkedIn as well as other tools — such as smart phones — in employee referrals.

Some of the event this week is being streamed live. Here’s some more scuttlebutt from the conference and from throughout the recruiting world today:

keep reading…

So . . . You Want to Sell Me Something at ERE?

Dr. Michael Kannisto
Mar 23, 2011, 4:38 am ET

Those of a certain age will remember a very famous print advertisement that McGraw-Hill used to run. It was called “The Man in the Chair,” and featured an imposing looking gentleman sitting in a chair, staring intently at the reader, while the ad copy to the left of his picture read: “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know your company. I don’t know your company’s product. I don’t know what your company stands for. I don’t know your company’s customers. I don’t know your company’s record. I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now what was it you wanted to sell me?”

The moral at the bottom of the page was “Sales start before your salesman calls.” The message was straightforward: developing trust based vendor/customer relationships takes much more than a sales call, and the more you know about your customer up front the more likely you will be successful.

As requisition loads increase to frightening new levels, and because the ERE Expo in San Diego was approaching, I received dozens of inquiries from vendors eager to talk about their new product offerings. And while I love hearing about the latest and greatest tools and services, more often than not I feel a lot like the stern old man in the chair. keep reading…

ADP Says February Hiring Was Strongest In Years

John Zappe
Mar 2, 2011, 12:44 pm ET

If today’s employment report from payroll processor ADP is any indication, February was a good month for hiring. A very good month.

The 217,000 private sector jobs that ADP says were added during the shortest month of the year was the largest increase reported by the company since November 2006.

Based on ADP’s payroll data and compiled by Macroeconomic Advisers, the monthly Employment Report is considered a harbinger of the official Labor Department report that will be released Friday. While the two reports use different methodology and the government report includes public sector employment, the ADP report offers economists an early look at the employment trend.

Economists had been expecting the ADP report to show an increase of 170,000 to 180,000. Estimates for the government report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics average 200,000 more jobs in February, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires. keep reading…

Vision: From Pharaohs to Revolutions–an ERE Expo 2011 Primer

Joe Shaheen
Feb 23, 2011, 1:34 pm ET

In March’s ERE Expo (San Diego) I’ll be presenting the final general session on Vision and its relationship to what we do. This topic was inspired by the recent democratic Egyptian revolution in Egypt. It really made me think about so many things and I wanted to share some of them with you. At the conference I’ll share much more about my thoughts on this, but for now I’ll concentrate on the subject of having Vision and how, in so many ways, the Egyptian revolution is a result of visionary recruiting. keep reading…

Strategic Recruiting Issues and Trends — Fire Away with Kevin, Lou, and John

Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 14, 2011, 5:46 am ET

This March at the ERE Expo attendees (and those watching the live video stream) will be treated to something new. For the first time in the Expo’s history three of the longest-running ERE authors (Kevin Wheeler, Lou Adler, and myself) will come together for a live crossfire to respond to your questions and top issues. For nearly 14 years the three of us have shared our perspective on strategic issues, current trends, and emerging issues, sometimes agreeing, sometimes not.

In recent weeks the three of us have tackled a number of topics including the growing influence of social media, the future of recruitment process outsourcing, and improving functional efficiency and effectiveness. While these topics are likely to emerge during the crossfire so too are many others. The top-20-plus subjects on my mind heading into the crossfire include:  keep reading…

5 Things Keeping Recruiting Leaders Awake

Tony Blake
Nov 2, 2010, 2:26 pm ET

Last week I had the pleasure of serving as the chairperson of the Fall ERE Expo in Hollywood, Florida. During my opening remarks, I discussed five things that are “keeping senior recruiting leaders up at night.” The list seemed to resonate with the crowd at the Expo, as many took time to talk to me about it. It was created at a “Recruiting Summit” hosted by CareerXroads on August 17th in Oak Park, Illinois, and Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin get the credit for pulling many different responses together into these five coherent themes.

The survey, while not scientific in manner, included input from over 20 powerhouse organizations, including Wal-Mart, Lockheed Martin, Kimberly Clark, Lilly, Campbell’s, Limited Brands, Cargill, State Farm, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Target, and others. The five items, along with my commentary, are presented below: keep reading…

ERE Expo Live Stream Starts Wednesday

Scott Baxt
Oct 26, 2010, 5:30 am ET

If you are not one of the nearly 500 people getting set to converge on South Florida Wednesday for ERE Expo 2010 Fall, you aren’t totally out of luck.

As has become the norm for all of our events for the past 2 years, we will be live streaming many of the sessions for free for those of you who can’t make the trip.

Of course we can’t bring you all of the benefits of attending the events live in person like the tremendous networking and access to our expert speaker faculty, but if it is not an option for you to be there in person, clear your schedule for Wednesday and Thursday so you can take advantage of the stream.

This year, you will find some new ways to participate in the Expo, including a way to submit questions directly to the speakers during the sessions — both via email and phone. Everything will be taking place at, so make sure you bookmark that page!

Here is a schedule of what sessions will be streamed: Note: All times listed are EST keep reading…

Three Reasons to Make the Fall Expo a Priority

Tony Blake
Aug 3, 2010, 2:23 pm ET

The Fall ERE Expo is less than three months away (Oct 26-28 in Hollywood, FL to be precise). Maybe you’re thinking about coming, but you’re still firmly straddling that fence. Maybe you’ve already ruled it out. In either case, here are three reasons why you need to make this a priority.

Take Time to Think Strategically

Years ago when attending a week-long management development class in the foothills west of Denver, I had the chance to participate in an interesting exercise. We were told to “go outside, walk around, and think strategically.” For the next hour, I meandered around in a daze, and my brain started to hurt. Was I really thinking strategically? How did I know for sure? Was I confusing tactics for strategy? What would I report on to the class when the exercise was over? Would others laugh at me and say “THAT’S NOT STRATEGIC!” Well, you get the idea.

In the end, the point of this exercise was simply that if you don’t separate yourself from the day-to-day minutia of your job (and life), it’s really hard to take a step back and think strategically.

During my career, I’ve attended seven ERE Expos (side note … I should propose a “Frequent Attender” loyalty program: attend nine conferences, get the 10th free!). Anyway, each one gave me a great opportunity to step away from the day-to-day craziness of running a recruiting team and deeply reflect on what we were doing, and where we were going. From personal experience, I can tell you that sitting on a beautiful beach in South Florida is a great place to do this reflection.

Here are three suggestions to get you started on your beachside strategic thinking: keep reading…

10 Secrets to Success of Employee Referrals in India

Indrajit Sen
May 14, 2009, 5:45 am ET

“Better late than never.”

Even though ERE Expo ’09 (Spring) ended more than a month ago, I thought of writing this piece connected to that event. Thanks to an invitation from Todd Raphael of ERE, I flew down to San Diego from India and enjoyed making a presentation on “10 Secrets-to-Success of Employee Referrals in India.” It was one of the breakout sessions and obviously many had other choices to attend. To those who I missed interacting with, I am now making an attempt to share my thoughts again through this medium.

Before I got into the main theme of my presentation I shared some thoughts about India. I assumed that most in the audience would not have experienced India and hence a small introduction helped them to appreciate the context. My PowerPoint presentation is embedded below, along with this write-up. It will be good to go through that with the following synopsis in mind: keep reading…

Amazing Practices in Recruiting — ERE Award Winners 2009 (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. John Sullivan
Apr 20, 2009, 6:00 am ET

It has been an amazing year in recruiting and talent management. Despite severe economic hardships, budget cuts, and hiring freezes, recruiting functions have continued to innovate and stretch the limits of “standard recruiting.”

After evaluating hundreds of applications, here is part two of the list of best practices in recruiting that I recommend you emulate.

(This article was updated May 4, 2009; it originally said that GE Healthcare “abandoned its outsourcing model,” but this was incorrect. It did not.)

keep reading…

Amazing Practices in Recruiting — ERE Award Winners 2009 (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. John Sullivan
Apr 13, 2009, 6:30 am ET

It has been an amazing year in recruiting and talent management, despite severe economic hardships, budget cuts, and widespread hiring freezes.

Unlike the economic turmoil following 9/11 and the dot-com bubble burst, many recruiting functions have continued to innovate and stretch the limits of what can be defined as “standard recruiting.”

If you work in an organization that has given up on innovation and instead has adopted a survival strategy, it’s important to realize that many of your competitors are not standing still. If your organization chooses to wait for an economic recovery to begin modernizing their recruiting practices, you may find it nearly impossible to catch up.

One of the challenges in the fast-moving profession of recruiting is how to keep up with the latest evolutions in best practice. In my experience, there’s no better place to learn about practical tools and applications in recruiting and talent management than

Fortunately, ERE Media holds a yearly global competition aimed at identifying the very best “next practices” in recruiting. Each year, ERE receives hundreds of applications in eight recruiting program categories from well-known organizations like Microsoft, IBM, Ernst & Young, Intuit, Accenture, GE, Yahoo!, and from less well-known but equally innovative organizations like DaVita, the American Cancer Society, and Tata.

Fortunately, as a judge for the Recruiting Excellence Awards, I’m given the opportunity to highlight some of these amazing practices that your organization should consider adopting.

keep reading…

And the Winner Is…

Scott Baxt
Mar 30, 2009, 11:01 pm ET

Last night in San Diego, the winners of the 2009 Recruiting Excellence Awards were announced. After an intense judging process that lasted over a month, the finalists gathered in San Diego for the annual ceremony and dinner that kicks off the spring ERE Expo.

Congrats to this year’s winners:

  • Best College Recruiting Program – Ernst & Young
  • Best Corporate Careers Website – Yahoo
  • Best Diversity Program – Microsoft
  • Best Employee Referral Program – Accenture
  • Best Employer Brand – Ernst & Young
  • Best Retention Program/Practices – American Cancer Society
  • Best Strategic Use of Technology – Microsoft
  • Recruiting Department/Function of the Year – DaVita

Of course, none of this could have been accomplished without the incredibly hard work of our esteemed judging panel who graciously volunteered hours of their time to go through the entries.

If you want to learn more about what they did, tune in this afternoon to the live stream from ERE Expo at 11:15 a.m. PDT to watch the special panel session where many of the winners and finalists (including Valerie Kennerson, pictured, from the American Cancer Society) plan on sharing information about their winning strategies and tactics.

Managing Change: When S.A.R.A.H. Met S.A.L.Y.

Jeremy Eskenazi
Jan 14, 2009, 5:44 am ET

Of all of the issues that are discussed in the ERE communities, at ERE Expos, and at other HR and Recruiting conferences, the one that I find most important is rarely discussed: leading and managing change. This skill is probably one of the most important a Recruiting and Staffing or HR Manager should have in their toolkit.

In our communities, we’re constantly coming up with and discussing great ideas about initiating change, but all of that is worthless unless we can execute and implement those ideas. In this new year, change is a real buzzword — but rightly so! Because we have to change and flex every minute of the day, planning for difficult times and good times alike require excellent change management skills. And as someone who has learned some hard lessons over the course of my 25-year career in not knowing how to manage change, I speak from experience.

For instance, several years back, when I was head of staffing for a large, multibillion dollar company, the whole company participated in a global reengineering initiative. In HR, we decided to take advantage of this effort to implement some changes of our own. We decided to combine all of the staffing functions in the separate business units into a centralized, shared-services model. As the leader of the staffing area, I figured that since the whole company was going through change, there was no need to have any additional communication with our clients about our staffing reorganization — after all, it could be considered as simply another element of what we were all going through. Thus it wasn’t until the head of HR of a business unit and my boss were sitting in my office, complaining about my team’s dwindling performance in the wake of this change, that I realized just how important it is to communicate extensively about, and have a comprehensive plan for, implementing change.

It’s not that I didn’t communicate at all about what was happening; it’s that I didn’t “get it” in terms of what was necessary with respect to engaging others and making them “partners” with me in this change. I was subjecting my plan to what we like to call “Death By PowerPoint” — I was going around with my little PowerPoint presentation tucked under my arm, informing everyone as to what was going to happen versus truly engaging and communicating with them.

keep reading…

Monster Creates Expo Buzz Over Its Coming “User-Centric” Launch

John Zappe
Oct 31, 2008, 6:04 am ET

1.10.09. You couldn’t walk the floor of the Expo without seeing someone wearing the rectangular Monster button showing that date. They were part of the buzz the company is creating in advance of the launch of what it’s telling people is a new improved user experience.

Taking to heart the message CEO Sal Iannuzzi has been touting that users are as important as recruiters, the company is set to roll out a new look and new features on January 10th. Monster was previewing some of what’s coming at its well-trafficked booth, and what we saw suggested the kind of career and succession planning tools found in higher-end talent management systems.

“It’s a seeker-centric appoach,” Monster’s VP of Client Adoption, Eric Winegardner, told us during a tour of the features.  There were no live demos because Monster’s development teams are still making tweaks.

But the slides showed tools that should appeal to passive candidates, as well as the traditional active seeker.

keep reading…

Lavin Broadcast Live Thursday

Todd Raphael
Oct 30, 2008, 5:01 am ET

Thursday’s highlights will include ESPN’s Steve Lavin (himself mentioned as a job candidate these days) and his tales of roundball recruiting at UCLA. Lavin’s 9 a.m. Eastern presentation is scheduled to be broadcast live on the home page of

Dr. John Sullivan is scheduled for broadcast at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, talking about recruiting during the downturn. Krista Bradford will discuss passive candidates at 3:15 p.m. Eastern. Also look for a panel called “How well do you know  your company?” at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Also on the agenda from the “posh” Westin but not broadcast: Coke’s talent-acquisition director; AIRS; a session on building pipelines of candidates, by the Recruiting Roundtable; Tony Blake, who has written a killer article for the Journal; Mr. Ted’s demo of its new ATS; and the vendor smackdown — where “job-matching” sites will strut their stuff.

As for yesterday (which, was in a sense, a cloudy day): Jobfox’s Rob McGovern released a white paper PDF warning that hiring won’t stop even in this slower economy); Kevin Wheeler said it will be “economic suicide” for companies to insist on keeping jobs in the U.S. that could be outsourced; attendees talked about the challenge of attracting out-of-towners who can’t sell their homes; Penelope Trunk and Jason Warner talked blogs; and speakers touted new tools like the Insider Referral Network and On Wednesday, the focus was less about the slowdown, and more about passionate recruiters leading the way in their companies.