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Hiring a Targeted Innovator Requires Bold Approaches

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 18, 2013, 6:06 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 1.47.30 PMThe top 30 boldest actions for recruiting individual innovators

I just returned from the always-powerful CoDev conference, where a prime focus was on the difficulty of hiring and retaining innovators. Almost everyone agrees on the value of innovators, but unfortunately, because of their design and their lack of boldness, most corporate recruiting processes simply cannot successfully hire a highly desirable innovator.

In case you have been unable to get innovators to complete your interview process or to accept your offers, I’ve put together a list of bold but effective approaches that can make it possible to sell and land even the most fought-over innovators. keep reading…

Use a Salary Reopener Clause to Increase Your Offer Acceptance Rates

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 11, 2013, 5:28 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 6.52.25 AMOne of the most frustrating elements of recruiting occurs when after weeks of hard work, you have found an excellent candidate who is excited but you can’t get past the last sticking point: the appropriate starting salary. The candidate naturally wants more, but the company is often reluctant to offer more money because they are uncertain whether the new hire will produce at a level high enough to justify their higher salary request. Rather than losing the candidate, consider offering them a “salary reopener clause.”

The salary reopener gives the new hire a chance to get that added money within a short period of time, provided that their actual performance for the first few months has been worthy of the higher salary. No candidate wants to wait, but if they are confident in their ability, they may be willing to wait a short few months to show you that you are wrong. All you are really doing with the reopener clause is postponing the final salary determination until the new hire has a chance to prove their worth. Salary reopener clauses are quite common in union contracts but they are unfortunately underused by recruiters.

A Hiring Manager’s Uncertainty About Future Performance May Lead to a Low Offer keep reading…

The End of Sourcing Is Near … the Remaining Recruiting Challenge Is Selling

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Feb 4, 2013, 5:51 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 11.59.04 AMWith the growth of the Internet, social media, and employee referral programs, finding talent is becoming amazingly easy. In recruiting, we call finding talent “sourcing,” and for nearly three decades sourcing has been the most important but difficult aspect of recruiting. After all, if you can’t find great talent, you certainly can’t interview and hire them.

But finding top talent among professionals is now becoming painless to the point where almost any firm can do it successfully. The time is rapidly approaching were nearly every professional and working individual in the developed world can be found by a recruiting function.

Finding Talent Is Easy Because Everyone Is Now “Visible” keep reading…

High-impact Strategic Recruiting Metrics for WOWing Executives

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Jan 28, 2013, 5:55 am ET

The Top 18 Metrics for Recruiting Leaders

It’s hard to find anything in recruiting that has failed to live up to its potential more than recruiting metrics. For nearly two decades recruiting leaders have poured resources into measuring recruiting success, and in most cases, the best that they have to show for it is being able to say “yes, we have metrics.” If you don’t know what’s wrong with most recruiting metrics, I have outlined in great detail in a previous article “what is wrong with metrics”).

So if you are a recruiting leader and you are frustrated or disappointed with your current metrics, this article will provide you with a list of the metrics that you should be using. I assure you that after reading this list you will definitely question your current metrics. The other possible option is that you may think that the metrics provided here are impossible, but you would be wrong (they are not).

Understanding the Three Time Periods That Metrics Should Cover keep reading…

Hires That Will Transform Your Company

by
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…

Doing These 10 Things Will Help You Recruit Successfully in 2013

by
Howard Adamsky
Jan 2, 2013, 5:42 am ET

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. –Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von

As we emerge from the strains and exertions of 2012 and look to manage our recruiting efforts in the New Year, we are all sure to suffer one ongoing problem: distractions that will eat away at our time and our productivity. Too many things both online and off scream for our attention and too many people want a piece of our day. This is not good.

I believe that the time to clear off your desk and start afresh is now, and even more then the physical aspects of cleaning house are the mental aspects of knowing that if you have a job of any significant responsibility, the watchword for renewed success will be productivity. One’s ability to get their recruiting done despite the madness and the noise that puts us in the zone Stephen Covey referred to as “the thick of thin things” is an ongoing effort with which we all struggle. (If you have not read Covey’s seminal book the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People yet, I can’t imagine a better way to kickstart the year off in your favor.)

With this in mind, I offer 10 insights that will surely contribute to enhanced success as a recruiter in the year all of us are about to enter. keep reading…

The Holiday Candidate Snatch-up

by
Ryan Phillips
Dec 13, 2012, 5:44 am ET

Anyone who has been recruiting for the last five-plus years has likely experienced the holiday candidate snatch-up. Most veteran recruiters understand that recruiting, unlike other professions, doesn’t take a break over the holidays as candidates and hiring managers are both unique and unpredictable.

Some hiring managers have an abundance of down time during this period, making it the perfect opportunity to interview and maybe even hire while a competitor is on vacation.

Though everyone needs some time off and has family obligations throughout the holiday, if prepared ahead of time, every recruiter has the opportunity to block an opponent snatcher, if not to be a snatcher themselves. Losing a candidate to another recruiter over the holidays can be avoided if certain precautions are set in place. keep reading…

3 Things You Need to Do to Close the Prize Hire (Confessions of a Recovering Headhunter)

by
Adem Tahiri
Nov 28, 2012, 6:21 am ET

bust of Socrates

I’ve always thought corporate recruiters could learn a lot from “headhunters” — not because I’m biased due to years spent in third-party recruitment (both as a recruiter and manager). It’s just that when I came to the “other side” I noticed one glaring weakness.

Corporate recruiters are very “process driven” and not very good, well, “hunters”; at least that tends to be the case for corporate recruiters newer to the profession. They get the procedures down quickly but they just haven’t been exposed to the world of recruiting and closing higher-level talent. More senior corporate recruiters, on average, have been exposed to both sides and may already use some of the principles I’ll discuss.

A few quick facts about recruiting top talent in the U.S. Currently in the U.S. unemployment is hovering around 8%, yet, more than 52% of employers (according to the Wall Street Journal) say they cannot fill their positions. How can this be? How can we have, in this economy, a jobs gap of nearly 4 million? keep reading…

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

by
Dr. John Sullivan
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…

Come Change the World One Robot at a Time

by
John Zappe and Todd Raphael
Jul 20, 2012, 4:54 am ET

What’s the opposite of a dreadfully boring recruiting video, featuring employees or the CEO talking in corporate-speak about your workplace, your team environment, your diversity, your work-life balance, and your blah blah blah blah blah? Perhaps it’s the video below.

It’s promoting jobs at Aldebaran Robotics, a company that says it wants engineers who are “the most creative and experienced” … different, humble, and ambitious … if on top of that you are a funny geek, come join us!” keep reading…

Gaining Commitment from Candidates: A 10-Point Checklist

by
Nancy Parks
Jul 17, 2012, 5:19 am ET

Does this sound familiar? You are having a great conversation with a “rock star” candidate who has applied for one of your positions. You share the details about the position and your candidate seems genuinely excited. You might even be getting lots of “buying signals.” You assume that you are both in “violent agreement” that this is the perfect position!

So you move your rock star forward — setting up an appointment with the hiring manager. Your candidate sounds excited, and you are looking forward to one more “fill” on your scorecard for the month. Life is good!

But not so fast. keep reading…

5 Steps to a Successful Recruiting Presentation

by
Nancy Parks
Jun 14, 2012, 5:21 am ET

In the world of sales, there is a high correlation between presentation skills and sales success. Great salespeople work to hone their communication skills and are able to communicate with confidence and impact. In addition, they are often remembered and acknowledged as key business partners — not simply as “someone trying to sell us something.”

Less successful salespeople, on the other hand, spend very little time consciously building their competency in this area.

But what are the elements of a great presentation? Is there a way to make a compelling presentation over the phone? And more importantly, what can recruiters do to build their phone presentation skills? In this article, I provide a simple 5-point checklist for recruiters who make presentations to candidates and hiring managers during phone conversations. keep reading…

Recruiting By the Numbers — Analyze This! (Part 2 of 2)

by
Nancy Parks
May 31, 2012, 5:56 am ET

In Part 1, we looked at the importance of “knowing your numbers.” To be successful in meeting demand from hiring managers, great recruiters need to know how to move “suspects” (think: passive candidates) through a sales funnel, or pipeline, quickly, and effectively. And they need to know their conversion rates throughout the process.

In this article, we turn our focus away from the recruiter’s activities and look more closely at the passive candidate’s activities. In order to be effective at moving people through a sales funnel or pipeline, know the key factors that affect whether a person is open to moving forward or not.

So what makes a person even want to move from being a “suspect” to a “prospect”? From “prospect” to “candidate”?  There are three key decisions that your suspects, prospects, and candidates need to make in this “change process.” Let’s look at each of these.

Key Decision #1: Is This Worth My Time? keep reading…

Using the Two-Question Performance-based Interview for Recruiting, Part 3

by
Lou Adler
Mar 23, 2012, 5:32 am ET

In the first two parts of this series, the two-question performance-based interview was introduced. The first question involves asking candidates to describe some of their most significant business accomplishments in great detail. While it’s only one question, it is repeated multiple times to ensure the person can handle all of the critical performance aspects of the job, using a performance profile to define the work, rather than using a generic skills-based job description.

The second question involves asking candidates how they would handle one or two of the most critical job-related challenges defined in the performance profile. This is more of a give-and-take type discussion to get at thinking, planning, and the ability to visualize job-related problems.

These two questions in combination with the performance profile, and an in-depth review of the person’s resume looking for the achiever pattern indicating that the person is in the top half of the top half, is all that’s necessary to accurately assess a candidate across all job needs.

Using this information, the candidate can then be assessed using the following formula for hiring success, ranking the person on a 1-5 scale for each factor:

Hiring Success = (Talent + Management + Team (EQ) + Problem-solving)*Motivation2

___________________________________

Organizational Fit

While the Performance-based Hiring process is an easy way to assess a candidate, you still need to  recruit and close the candidate on equitable terms. On this score, most managers, and too many recruiters, think recruiting is selling. You get far better results if you make the candidate sell you. Here are three ways to do this using the two-question interview: keep reading…

Communication and Your Business

by
Carol Schultz
Jun 9, 2011, 5:40 am ET

Without effective, intentional communication, your company won’t thrive. Communication consists of three parts:

  1. Oral (Verbal)
  2. Non-Verbal
  3. Written

Each of these is necessary and they work together in concert. Your communication needs to be consistent from the CEO to the lowest levels of your organization. Without consistent, clear communication you will encounter a multitude of problems within your company. Inconsistent messaging and communication will consequently cause perception problems outside. Do you really want negative publicity running around the country? Here is an example of what I mean. It’s a bit long, but I believe it’s important to tell the whole story so you can see all the mistakes that were made.

Chelsea has just received her bachelor’s degree. She had an internship with a prominent firm in NYC the summer following her sophomore year of school. They liked her so much they invited her back the summer following her junior year. Before she went back to school to complete her senior year she was told by everyone she worked for (including HR) that they wanted to hire her after she graduated, and that she was as good as hired. They told her to reach out early this year, which she did.

The HR person she had dealt with during her internships (Mary) had been promoted and told Chelsea to contact the person who had backfilled her position (Karen). Mary said she’d let Karen know to expect to hear from Chelsea. Chelsea proceeded to email Karen to let her know that she still wanted to come to work for the company and would like to set up an interview. It took three weeks for Karen to respond to the emails (Chelsea sent two more over this time).

After finally hearing back from Karen, Chelsea said that she could be available any Monday or Friday (she was still in school) for an interview. Karen just told her to let her know when she’d be in the city and they’d schedule time to interview. Chelsea made it clear that any Monday or Friday would work. Karen still wouldn’t commit to an appointment to see Chelsea. keep reading…

20 Reasons Why Weak Managers Never Hire A-level Talent

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Mar 25, 2011, 5:44 pm ET

Talent acquisition functions spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars designing processes to hire top performers, innovators, and game changers. Unfortunately few of those dollars or hours are spent fixing the biggest roadblock in recruiting A-level talent: weak hiring managers. Everyone seems to intuitively know that managers are the weakest link in any hiring process but few have had the time to research the topic and to identify the specific reasons how weak managers hurt the overall hiring effort.

As part of a larger project I’m currently working on (developing a “bad manager identification” orBMI program), I have been able to compile a long list of how weak managers hurt both the speed and the quality of hire. keep reading…

Recruit Confidently

by
Stephen Balzac
Nov 11, 2010, 2:41 pm ET

Recently, I heard a hiring manager comment that she would “Prefer not to hire anyone at all.”

Her company is growing. They are actively looking for people. At the same time, this manager who has been tasked with building up her team is openly telling candidates that if she has her way, not one of them will be hired. Indeed, given the choice, it’s hard to imagine candidates accepting an offer if they did get one, compared, say, to an offer from an enthusiastic and confident employer.

While making the observation that this woman lacked confidence might be something of an understatement, it is only a start. keep reading…

Gambling for Hires

by
Megan Stanish
Oct 19, 2010, 1:59 pm ET

photo by Todd Klassy

Recruitment, at times, can seem a lot like a poker game. The client is the dealer, and every candidate is a player. At prescribed stages in the game, all cards are hidden, and bit by bit, each individual reveals his or her hand. Each show of cards is a risk. Sometimes the dealer wins, which is good because that means the game can remain solvent for other players to enjoy. At other times the players win, which is also positive, since a losing game draws no players. As long as the odds are relatively even and everyone abides by the rules, the game can go on. But what happens when a player steps up who doesn’t play by the rules? keep reading…

Tech Recruiters Sweetening Offers to Lure Workers

by
John Zappe
Sep 14, 2010, 7:15 pm ET

Since May, almost a third of IT recruiters have had to sweeten their offers to tech professionals in order to get them to sign on with a new company.

The No. 1 sweetener, as might be expected, is more money. But flexible working arrangements, including telecommuting, and commitments to new technologies, also rank high as talent attractors.

“Money is important,” says Tom Silver, senior VP/North America for Dice. But other incentives can be compelling, he adds, especially to those candidates who live in metro areas, where telecommuting might be worth more than a few extra dollars.

Workplace flexibility “is a big deal,” says Silver.

Dice released the results of a late August survey of 1,357 recruiters, consultants, and staffing firms who look for IT professionals on Dice.com.

keep reading…

Recruiting Passive Candidates with Multiple Offers

by
Lou Adler
Sep 10, 2010, 5:02 am ET

On the face of it, this title makes no sense. First, how could a passive candidate have multiple offers? Second, who cares? In today’s troubled economic times, when we make an offer, it’s accepted, no negotiations, no counteroffers, no competing offers. It’s just accepted. Period.

So I could leave it at that, and make this officially the shortest article I’ve ever written on ERE in 10 years. But what’s the point then? Under the low probability chance the market for top talent is finally starting to heat up a bit, recruiters might soon be faced again with the challenge of recruiting candidates with multiple offers. And, if not, they can bookmark this article for that exciting day.

So for recruiters who don’t remember what it’s like, and for those recruiters who are too young to remember the golden olden days when top candidate supply was less than demand, a little history is in order. Whenever the economy is expanding more than a few percentage points, labor shortages in certain job categories frequently occur. Under these circumstances, companies aggressively compete for this scarce talent by bidding up prices (i.e., salaries and signing bonuses) and increasing the speed of decision-making. In this hyper-heated market, mistakes are made, recently hired candidates are pursued by ultra-competitive recruiters who are paid for making placements, and hiring managers are pulling out their hair. For third-party recruiters this is what’s referred to as “the good old days.” keep reading…