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5 Secrets to Effective Recruiting

by Oct 22, 2013, 6:17 am ET

Recruiting great employees is very difficult and, often is more complex than people perceive it to be. After running a headhunting firm for the past 10 years, I’ve learned that it is the little things which separate your ability to recruit the right job applicants.

Below, I’ve listed 5 of these secrets. keep reading…

Don’t Lose Great Job Candidates

by Sep 11, 2013, 6:33 am ET

If you are sitting here reading this, you are probably a top performer — the best seek out challenges, look to expand their knowledge bank, and have a strong desire for excellence. What most top performers aren’t looking for is to be sold on something they haven’t had the chance to fully investigate for themselves. After all, most of us are a bit standoffish around salespeople or when facing offers that seem too good to be true.

I recently saw a top-caliber financial analyst leave a company because a headhunter recruited him, offering a 20 percent increase in pay. This offer got the analyst through the door, but the prize at the end of the road blinded his vision of the dust storm ahead. keep reading…

7 Deadly Sins of Recruiting: Surefire Ways to Lose Applicants

by Sep 3, 2013, 6:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 9.58.26 AMThe theory that recruiting great employees is highly difficult is true, but what if your firm was making the recruitment process more complex than it had to be?

Almost one out of every four decisions that a small to mid-size company will make during a recruitment process will hinder their chances at staffing competitive talent. The consequences of these actions can result in a myriad of ill-fated outcomes, ranging from higher salary costs and wasted time to losing competitive applicants altogether.

Firms that are unable to streamline the staffing process on a regular basis are probably prone to committing one or more of the following seven deadly sins of recruiting:  keep reading…

The Right Tweet at the Right Time: Social Media Indicators for Real-Time Recruiting

by Aug 22, 2013, 6:14 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 3.10.45 PMYou know the old saying “the early bird catches the worm,” right? In the case of job recruiting, this phrase is particularly relevant. Any experienced recruiter knows that a highly qualified candidate who has multiple offers on the table needs to be targeted as quickly as possible.

But how exactly can a recruiter decide when it’s the right time to engage a candidate? How can recruiters monitor for indicators that a high-profile candidate may be open to a new opportunity, even before the candidate starts looking? Social media sites, because of their real-time nature, can be an incredibly helpful tool for not only building regular rapport with talent, but also helping recruiters find the right moment to engage with candidates for a new opportunity.

In this post I’m going to talk about a few ways I have used social media in the past to find real-time indicators for recruiting talent with the right timing. For the sake of brevity, I’ll be focusing on Twitter and Facebook (though this could easily be used for other social networks, too).

Opportunity Indicators on Twitter keep reading…

The Little-known Secret to Recruiting Success: 1 Question You Must Ask Yourself

by Aug 15, 2013, 6:43 am ET

new and improved.jpgFor today’s recruiters, there’s no shortage of new. New ideas on how to become better recruiters. New systems. New conferences. New tools. New techniques. New tips. New “best practices.” New processes. New blog posts. New communities of practice. New social media sites. New articles (dare I say, like this one!). New thought leaders. You get the idea.

Savvy marketers know how seductive new can be. Companies count on hooking buyers with that “new and improved” label on an otherwise very familiar product. Just for fun, I did a Google search using the words “new and improved” and found 57,500,000 matches! Notice the subtlety here — the implication that new implies better.

I am not arguing against the importance of “newness” for today’s serious professionals. I, too, love “new.” New ideas and new technology can be powerful game changers. But lately I have been wondering: if we want to continue to grow in our professions, is it simply “all about new”? And does new necessarily imply better?

Do “all things new” guarantee you a first-class seat on the non-stop flight to recruiting excellence? Stated another way, is the right question, “How well do I take advantage of ‘all things new’ in the recruiting profession?” Or is there another, perhaps better, question? I think there is. And you may be surprised to see it’s a question that is hidden in plain sight. But first a brief story. keep reading…

Watch Out for These 5 Onboarding Red Flags

by Aug 6, 2013, 6:42 am ET

red flagYou’ve just locked down the perfect candidate. You sourced and screened him; your client interviewed and loved him; you extended him an offer and he accepted — time to run a victory lap!

Not so fast. keep reading…

An IT Tech’s Blueprint For Hiring Talent Like Him

by Jul 31, 2013, 5:27 am ET

How does a team of technical co-founders recruit a top notch designer?

Maybe they realized it; maybe not. But whoever posted that question to Quora asked what every recruiter on the planet has wondered at one time or another: How can I recruit the best candidate for my job?

It’s a simple question, yet one to which there is neither a simple answer nor even consensus about just what combination of characteristics, background, skills, experience, personal traits, and so on make someone “the best candidate” or even a “top notch” candidate.

Yet right there on Quora, amidst the predictable suggestions about searching GitHub and hitting the networking circuits, is a blueprint for building a recruiting program to attract not only a coder-designer. but an entire team of tech talent. keep reading…

Stories From a New-Grad Recruiter: Working Gen Y Values to Your Advantage On Campus

by Jun 14, 2013, 6:13 am ET

The War for new-grad talent has never been fiercer. More and more companies are turning to universities as their main pipeline to build up their workforce of amazing engineers, designers, and quants. However, many companies who haven’t been active in campus recruiting for the past few years may be surprised to find that the game has dramatically changed.

Remember when you thought pizza and soda at an information session was enough? Now, it’s pizza and soda delivered to your dorm room during finals week with a personalized “good luck” note and invitation to interview. More than ever, companies are adapting to, and even embracing gen Y values in their recruiting processes to sign the best students from top-tier schools.

Jane Graybeal wrote a great piece titled “Valuing the So-Called Me Me Me Generation”,  summarizing three key ideas around gen Y. While some companies may work against these “me me me” values, a handful have worked with them to get some of their best hires. Let’s take the three concepts that Graybeal summarized and apply them on a more practical level — specifically on how university recruiting programs are staying competitive on campus: keep reading…

Avoiding Offer Rejection

by Jun 7, 2013, 6:34 am ET

Enough years in the recruiting business and enough missed placement opportunities by mishandling the offer scenario has taught me to be patient making job offers.

In a tight market for talent, companies want to move top candidates through the hiring process quickly and try to lock the candidate down before competitors do. But first in this race is often times a losing position, as candidates use a hybrid practical/emotional decision-making process when selecting a new job opportunity.

Psychology plays a major factor when it comes to choosing a job, and we as recruiters need to first be aware of it, understand it, then master it to achieve high closing rates on the most promising candidates. We can start down this path by exploring the different job seeker profiles we as recruiters come across.

Job Seeker Profiles 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…

6 Great Reasons Not to Lose a Candidate

by May 23, 2013, 6:36 am ET

The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you’re playing by somebody else’s rules, while quietly playing by your own. –Michael Korda

Losing a great candidate is a painful and disheartening experience. I for one, beat myself and wonder what I could have done differently as I do a cerebral post mortem. Sadly, it is the occupational hazard with which we live daily and it is a part of the game of recruiting. With that in mind, we all need to learn from our mistakes and do our best not to repeat them.

Losing great candidates will never go away completely. But we can look to some ideas and insights that will help that event to become less frequent. Please consider the following points and know that if you do lose a candidate, you played the game as well as possible. keep reading…

The Best Recruiter In the World Lives In Virginia

by May 10, 2013, 6:52 am ET

CIA-logoWho is the best recruiter in the world? Would you believe it’s Joshua Brady, a 26-year-old Virginia man, who lives with his mom, grandmother, and young brother, and used to play a whole lot of EverQuest until he got caught stealing virtual money.

No way, you say. Yeah, well, before you shoot that down, hear this. Brady, posing as a CIA operative, recruited not one but two ordinary, otherwise law-abiding folks to rob banks.

Brady, or Theo as he identified himself, never met the two 20-somethings. All his recruiting was done over the phone, yet he managed to get the man and woman to rob, or attempt to rob, several banks, even convincing friends and relatives of the two that this was indeed all in the interests of national security.

They all got caught, though it looks like everyone except Brady is getting off, and he’ll probably only get probation.

Granted, the robberies were all botched. But you know how hard it is to find skilled talent these days. Read the entire, amazing story here on Businessweek. keep reading…

Don’t Forget These 5 Recruiting Skills in the Social Recruiting Fervor

by Mar 6, 2013, 5:00 am ET

scared to askRecruiting, as many of us know it, has undergone a transformation in the last few years. In fact, there are recruiters coming in to the workforce now who only source within LinkedIn Recruiter, or who’ve never had to keep a physical (read: paper) file on a candidate. Some of the changes that have rocked our industry over the last six to eight years have been great ones. Some could use a keener eye, but I’m not here to criticize.

What I want to do is point to the things that haven’t changed; I want to talk about getting back to recruiting basics. Because not everyone can afford the fancy social recruiting suites and very few can veto the boss when he says no to a perks program. These are the skills that every recruiter should know and all recruiters used to know. These things obviously work with the new tools and platforms … but they’re effective without them. So let’s get back to the basics.

Here are five things not to forget in the social recruiting fervor. keep reading…

Hiring a Targeted Innovator Requires Bold Approaches

by 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 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 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 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 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 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 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…