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The Power Has Shifted to the Candidate, So Current Recruiting Practices Will Stop Working

by Dec 22, 2014, 5:02 am ET

Areas where recruiting must change during 2015

If you are frustrated because your recruiting approaches are no longer producing great results, you will be happy to know that there is a logical reason behind it. I estimate that 90 percent of recruiting leaders and hiring managers have yet to realize that the power in the recruiting relationship, which for years has favored employers, has shifted over to the jobseekers.

The technical term for this change is a shift from an employer-driven market to a candidate-driven market. And The Recruiter Sentiment Survey by the MRINetwork has revealed that 83 percent of the surveyed recruiters have realized that the power has now shifted to the candidate.

Knowing the reasons for shift is less important for recruiting leaders and hiring managers than recognizing that when jobseekers hold the power in the relationship, your current array of recruiting tools and approaches will literally stop working.

Another interesting phenomenon happens after the power shifts.

keep reading…

A Job Post Should Look Its Sunday Best

by Dec 17, 2014, 5:06 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 4.06.38 AMThe human brain processes images in a different way than text. Images create stronger associations and they apparently improve retention of the associated text by up to 42 percent. Text with images included is even perceived to be more trustworthy and valuable. Are we so shallow? Well, yes, we are.

Advertising has long used powerful images at the core of its dark arts — across all types of media. The story is not told in words. The malnourished African child asking for a donation. The gorgeous film star modelling the latest perfume. The college boys enjoying a Friday night pizza. These images stick in our heads forever.

What should it be so different with a job ad? keep reading…

5 Reasons Your Job Posts Aren’t Working

by Dec 3, 2014, 5:52 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 3.28.04 PMAlthough the title of this article promises five reasons why your job posts aren’t working, there is really one big reason: The best candidates always come through referrals. As a matter of fact, that’s where we get roughly 80 percent of our candidates.

That being said, sometimes you’ve tapped out your networks and you need to advertise your job opening across the Internet. When push has thus come to shove, here are the five top job post mistakes to avoid. keep reading…

The Problem Might Not Be the Hiring Manager. It Might Be You.

by Oct 1, 2014, 12:26 am ET

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber E. N. Jacobs/ReleasedYour talent acquisition team has been tasked with finding someone to fill a tough, high-profile, technical hiring need in engineering or science or information technology. The position is open for a while and your company’s senior leadership is getting nervous because the skill set is urgently needed on a mission-critical project.

Qualified candidates aren’t applying. Significant man-hours are being put into sourcing and recruiting for the role. Finally, an interested candidate is identified whose resume looks promising. She does well on her initial phone screen and is brought in for an interview. Things look good but then comes the hiring manager’s feedback. keep reading…

You’ll Think I’m Crazy, But You Should Put This in Job Ads

by Sep 2, 2014, 12:21 am ET

AIDAThe goal of any job advertisement should be to attract the highest number of responses from qualified applicants. But how exactly do you go about writing a job ad that attracts the top talent?

If you want to generate more applications from top candidates you must include a telephone number in your job advert.

Now I know what you’re thinking; Connie (who has an agenda of course) can’t possibly understand the recruitment industry. Is she seriously suggesting including a contact name and telephone number? Imagine all those nuisance calls from unqualified candidates; it’s enough to raise the blood pressure of any agency owner. I guess than I owe you some form of explanation if I’m going to challenge the conventional wisdom. keep reading…

Do a Happy Dance ‘Cuz You’re A Corporate Recruiter

by Aug 15, 2014, 3:50 am ET

norm as hatchet manThis week Roundup brings you a collection of recruiting items truly  worthy of the tag “roundup.”

For your water-cooler chatter pleasure, I offer you a recruiting video from China, news about how some of you have a happy job, and a job posting from the Postal Service which is seeking a RIFmaster.

(Note to pop culture enthusiasts: The picture here relates to that last item. Points to everyone who can identify the show and the character. Extra points for the episode.) keep reading…

How to Get More Your Job Ads More Attention on Job Boards

by Aug 14, 2014, 12:22 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 12.36.54 PMHiring is a complex process, but optimizing it is surprisingly simple. Before posting your job listings online, consider asking yourself “Is this job ad grabbing the attention of applicants?” as well as “Is this job ad gaining the right exposure online?”

Placement is crucial to finding the right candidates, and using the right actions words will drive response. Ad development requires diligent keyword research and an understanding of your competition.

Here are some things you need to know about hiring optimization for job boards.

Understanding Your Competition

Take the time to research your competition. Find out what they are doing to generate attention with their job listings. Read over their job listings to identify the terms they are using — including the job titles. Compelling information for a job listing is found within the first sentence or two. Target those keywords and start naturally integrating them into your job listings to see an improvement in the visibility of your ads.

To create an ad that clearly targets the right market, you need to know the research keywords associated with your target pool. Active job seekers will use search engines to find jobs. Search engines work primarily through keywords. To have effective advertising you need to first have effective keywords. Choose keywords related to the job description and title, as well as the city and state in which the company is located. Including location is particularly important because it allows individuals searching locally to be funneled to your ad, as well as people from out of state hoping to find employment in your specific area. keep reading…

What Successful Recruiters Are Doing Right

by Aug 13, 2014, 12:02 am ET

team_leader_free_stock_photo_bYesterday I listed seven operational habits that characterize unsuccessful recruiters. In this second part, I examine not only the actions that distinguish the successful recruiters, but also the talent mindset that must be adopted. It is the capacity to embrace a “paradigm shift” in your recruiting philosophy that really determines how successful you will be in your talent acquisition efforts.

First, let’s stop fooling ourselves.  keep reading…

What Unsuccessful Recruiters Are Doing Wrong

by Aug 12, 2014, 12:12 am ET

 recruitment-sample-mdMost strategic recruiters seek to optimize the three most important factors in talent acquisition — cost, time, and quality. However, that objective is often impossible to accomplish because recruiters continue to use outdated talent processes which were designed back in the 1980s.

Stephen Covey, in his ground-breaking best seller — 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – introduces timeless principles that form the framework of the changes that individuals must adopt to become more effective. But, before one can embrace the seven habits, Covey proposes adopting of a “paradigm shift”– a change in perception and interpretation of how the world really works. Similarly, recruiters must be willing to adopt a paradigm shift in how they view the world of talent acquisition — if they hope to be successful in sourcing, recruiting, and hiring the very best talent in today’s war for talent.

For example, it has been my experience that “average” to “good” recruiters follow similarly dated talent strategies:  keep reading…

5 Recruitment Practices That Are Hurting Your Organization

by Aug 11, 2014, 12:01 am ET

labor stats.jpg

Some recruiting tactics are actually doing more harm than good, reducing the organization’s candidate pool and tarnishing its reputation in the process.

Check if your organization’s recruitment department follows any of these pervasive behaviors setting the wrong standards: keep reading…

Not-too-expensive Employer Branding

by Jun 18, 2014, 12:26 am ET

co-authored with Michael Pelts, RightJoin

What do folks think about your company? Every organization has a public image as an employer (and if you don’t, all the worse), and the image determines whether in-demand professionals will agree to be in touch.

The hands-down champion in employer marketing to software engineers is Google, which regularly gets photo-shoots of its toy-filled offices in top media like the New York Times. These campaigns are planned to draw in the best candidates in the industry and also to increase retention among current employees. In the final calculation, they more than pay for themselves with a significant reduction in recruiting costs.

In many small and medium sized companies, the priorities cannot justify the budget for long-term branding campaigns to boost the corporate image. But employers have started to realize that strong employer branding can make the difference between excellent hires and unfilled reqs; or, even worse, filling the position with unqualified candidates. Luckily, employer branding can be done on the cheap by combining it with recruiting: They both have the same target audience, and they boost each other when done together.

In this article, we’ll explain how to do this efficiently, focusing on the area we know most about: software engineering. keep reading…

What? No Job Postings?!?

by May 22, 2014, 2:38 am ET

Inside Zappos profile pic - updatedIf you ask my team, they will tell you that I love change and innovation. In the last couple of years I’ve helped push our team to new heights in sourcing, pioneering, and exploring new HR technology, building in efficiencies and finding unique ways to connect with potential candidates. When I look back at all of those “innovative” initiatives, I now realize that I was just iterating on a fundamentally broken process. keep reading…

Limited Language Recruiting and the Art of Haiku

by May 16, 2014, 9:41 am ET

tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?qeiq lhpqlipqeodf gpwafopwprti izxndkiqpkii krirrifcapnc dxkdciqcafmd vkfpcadf.

Need a hint? It’s a Twitter recruiting message.

Another? It’s a simple (they tell me) substitution cipher.

Give up? Don’t care? Clearly you are not NSA material. (That would be the National Security Agency.) The agency may have its problems keeping its secrets secret, but the clever recruiters there sure know how to use Twitter. keep reading…

Video Job Descriptions — a Not-to-be Missed Application Accelerator

by May 12, 2014, 12:32 am ET

quickstopIf you don’t know what a video job description is, it is a short video clip where the hiring manager and team members describe the exciting aspects of a particular job in order to convince top-quality but reluctant prospects to apply. A video job description is a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, the standard and often tedious 100 percent text narrative job description. You should consider adopting video job descriptions because they are about to become “the next big thing” in convincing prospects to apply.

Video job descriptions or VJDs are a 3-for-1 opportunity for measurably improving your recruiting results. keep reading…

Unless You Segment Your Recruiting Messaging, You Won’t Attract Top Performers and Techies

by Jan 20, 2014, 5:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 10.35.36 AMUnless you tailor your bait, you’ll never attract the very best prospects

It might sound silly on the surface, but fishing and recruiting have a lot in common. Any seasoned fisherman or woman would tell you without hesitation that the same bait that effectively attracts small fish simply would have no impact on attracting the harder-to-land big fish.

In recruiting, the need to match your “bait” or attraction features to your target is no different. The job and company features that would attract the average Joe to a job (I call them “paycheck jobs”) would barely get the attention of top performers, techies, and innovators. For example, the average Joe might be excited about the fact that you have good benefits while an innovator may be more interested in how often you take risks and fund innovative ideas.

There lies the problem in corporate recruiting. Almost all the information provided by corporate recruiting is designed to be general to meet a larger audience. But unless there is a separate message on your site or external to it that has “bait” that is tailored to attract this more desirable and harder to land target, they will never view your firm as desirable. keep reading…

To Hire Well, First Define What You Need

by Jan 14, 2014, 5:52 am ET

A friend of my neighbor manages a call center. He has had, as he puts it, the worst luck in finding people who both do a good job and stay. I asked how he sources his talent, and he showed me his boilerplate posting:

Wanted – experienced call center employees.

There was some other generic ad text, but that was about it. You can believe that no two people have the same definition of what this means. His lack of clarity about the behaviors, skills, and experience he needs in his roles encourages his swinging employment door.

As a workplace consultant and executive coach, I see the reason recruiting is so difficult is that most organizations don’t have and religiously use a process to clearly, fully, and accurately define the role’s qualifications; this includes behaviors in addition to skills and experience. keep reading…

Time to Step Up to the Marketing Plate

by Jan 2, 2014, 5:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 3.44.24 PMI recently led a session at a recruiting conference in which I asked how many of the talent acquisition professionals present had to give an account of or provide a forecast for their budget– which was on average between $75,000 and $100,000 per year. Almost no one raised their hand!

Surely there are some organizations that are more ROI-focused and demand more from their recruiters, but this is clearly not the norm. The norm is comprised of vague projections, with little to no accounting for the return on those budget dolloars.

Can you imagine any other department in a business having zero accountability for how it spends its money? How would it go over if, for instance, the sales department said, “We don’t think it’s necessary to explain what we spent our budget on. We spent it, and we need more next year. Thanks.”? It would go over about as well as a lead balloon. The typical budgetary process does not support dart-throwing.

So, why is this allowed in the recruiting function? There are several culprits behind these low expectations. keep reading…

Employer Branding: Don’t Get Taken in By the Waffle

by Dec 26, 2013, 6:35 am ET

bpEvery few years our business lexicon gets invaded by a new cliche. Management speak like “big data” and “social hiring” … vague terms that no one can really define but are liberally trotted out typically by vendors, consultants, and conference speakers trying to impress you. The king of the management cliches at present and one that makes my skin crawl is employer branding. There. I said it — well wrote it — but I was cringing when I did.

If you ever hear someone wittering on about employer branding I dare you to interrupt them and say, “define employer branding.”

I bet most won’t give you a very good definition and will be suitably aghast that you even questioned one of recruitment’s current sacred cows, but challenge it you must. Prick the pomposity bubble that we get sucked into. I read one article recently that urged all companies to create a “compelling employer value proposition.” There were few details on what that meant or how to implement it. In short it was just waffle. Companies spend fortunes and waste thousands of hours (I know, I was part of one) designing internal value propositions to allow company recruiters to become “front-line brand ambassadors.” This is nonsense. Stop wasting your time and money.

Let’s examine what exactly people are referring to when they talk about employer branding. Let’s cut through the waffle and look at some specifics that you can actually do to boost your organization’s perception among job seekers. keep reading…

Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords … Are Job Descriptions and Recruiters to Blame?

by Dec 13, 2013, 9:45 am ET

LinkedIn came out with “Top 10 Overused LinkedIn Profile Buzzwords of 2013.”

As usual there has been a lot of attention given to this yearly list including articles giving advice on how not to use these words. I am sure speakers and trainers have already updated their slide decks.

So I wrote a blog post and sent it to Todd here at ERE with a bit of a rant about how I think job descriptions are to blame.

And how I wish LinkedIn would do the same thing with job descriptions.

Guess what? LinkedIn did, sort of.

Todd pointed me to The 10 Buzzwords Recruiters Overused in 2013 (scroll down here). It’s a look at Recruiter profiles and buzzwords.

And guess what …  you ready for this? keep reading…

How to Write a Rocking Job Description for Recruitment

by Nov 29, 2013, 6:29 am ET

The best and most effective job descriptions give people a sense of what it’s like to be a part of the company. Don’t assume that everyone knows about your company. A small blurb describing the company is good practice and helps potential candidates build a mental image of what it might be like e to work there. Personality and culture should either be directly described or be reflected in the structure and wording of the description.

Airbnb does this in a really nice simplistic way: keep reading…