I am sure all of us have heard a derivation of this line in the last six months: “There is a war on talent, so we need to be prepared.” Whether you are an agency recruiter or a corporate one, it seems like this has been the mantra of late.
Those of us who have been doing this for a while know this happens in cycles. Now it’s the war on talent. The next cycle will involve having great candidates but not having anywhere to put them. Being on the corporate side with an established brand definitely helps, but your brand alone is not going to close a candidate on your opportunity.
Expect to see a surge in the recruiting of passive candidates. While only 25 percent of global respondents from LinkedIn’s research are actively looking for work, 45 percent of candidates say that they would be open to speaking with a recruiter, which means that the passive talent pool could be a great source for finding fresh candidates. But how do you convince candidates who are satisfied with their job to make a switch?
Here are three things that can make the difference for a successful hire and what notable business leaders have to say about them. keep reading…
In a related companion article last week, I highlighted why using the term “passive candidate” or “passive job seeker” was inappropriate and I proposed a more accurate name, “not-looking top prospects.” In this article I highlight the best sourcing approaches that can be used to identify and eventually attract the highly desirable “not-looking top prospects.”
You Must Use the Best “Not-Looking Sources” And Approaches keep reading…
Why calling them “passive candidates” or “passive job seekers” is misleading
Using the term “passive candidate” is just wrong for so many reasons. First, these recruiting targets haven’t applied for anything, so they can’t be classified as candidates (the correct name for those who have not applied is prospects). Calling them “passive job seekers” is equally inaccurate because they are not in fact currently seeking a job. And finally, they can’t accurately be called “passive” because they are definitely not passive individuals. In fact they are frequently bold and aggressive individuals while on the job.
The only thing that these prospects are passive about is looking for a new job. First, they are disinterested because they already have a job. In addition, because they are also top performers, they are likely to have a good manager and to be treated well, which means they have no business reason to look for a new job outside their current firm.
Once you understand the proper name to call them, you still have a major problem because “not-looking top prospects” can simply never be reached through normal recruiting channels (because almost all of these approaches are designed for prospects who are “actively” looking for a job). There are four key realizations that recruiting leaders must accept if they expect to have any real chance to land these highly desirable “not-looking top prospects.” The realizations include: keep reading…
We’ve all met superstar recruiters at some point in our careers. The ones who work with essentially the same tools and resources as everyone else but still manage to consistently outperform their peers. Those elite few who regularly source “unreachable” candidates and close top-tier talent at impressive rates.
One of the hallmarks of the superstar recruiters is that they possess a more sophisticated understanding of passive candidates. The average recruiter thinks of candidates as either active or passive. The active candidates are those who are cruising job boards, lining up around the building trying to get jobs, and filling recruiters’ inboxes with resumes. They are generally dismissed and perceived as undesirable. Passive candidates are successful professionals who are succeeding at their jobs and not looking for new opportunities. They are highly sought-after and are considered the best quality candidates.
But, the more sophisticated recruiters understand that the market is far more nuanced than that. They recognize that pigeonholing candidates into these two distinct categories is not only simplistic and inaccurate but unproductive.
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.
Between Thanksgiving and the rest of the year in the Silicon Valley and in many other geographic areas around the U.S., it is mostly a dead period for recruiting. But recruiting leaders should realize that failing to recruit during this period is a huge missed opportunity, simply because the recruiting competition is mostly inactive during this extended period. This lack of competition makes recruiting even more essential for smaller firms and those without a strong employer brand simply because the major firms (with powerful employer brands that are difficult to compete against) are on the sidelines. keep reading…
The recruiting function is unique among business functions because almost no one in recruiting can actually name even a handful of the different strategies that are available to the chief recruiting leader. But this article is not about the complete list of recruiting strategies (it can be found here), but instead it is about which strategy from among the 20+ possibilities is the boldest and most aggressive recruiting strategy.
The “Hire to Hurt” strategy (or H2H for short) is the most aggressive for a variety of reasons. The first is that the name alone sends chills through the risk adverse in recruiting. The name of the strategy is also clearly indicative of its chief goal, which is to “identify key talent and then directly hire them away to the point where your H2H hiring actually hurts the competitor’s business results.”
It’s a two-for-one deal. Not only does your firm get top quality talent but simultaneously your top competitors’ lose key talent. As one CEO put it, “I really like that strategy; our ship rises while their ship sinks” (Incidentally, the No. 2 most aggressive recruiting strategy is “make other firms your farm team”.)
Join the Team, Because Every Other Business Function Already Tries to Hurt the Competitors keep reading…
Fall 2014 ERE Conference Think Tank Session Recap
Good conferences always offer great opportunities to stay on top of challenges, best practices, and future trends. The best conferences also offer new take-away ideas to implement within our own organizations. The recent ERE conference held in Chicago in late September delivered the goods on both fronts. As the moderator of an almost-two-hour-long Think Tank session on “Challenges and Future Trends in Talent Acquisition,” I was blown away (the conference was held in the Windy City, after all!) by the sheer number of issues — and solutions — that were discussed.
This post is too limited to include all of the great ideas that this group of very experienced HR and talent acquisition professionals discussed. So we picked the best of the best for the following list of “Top 10 Overall Best Practices” currently being applied to address the No. 1 challenge determined by the session participants: “finding and engaging qualified candidates.”
Again — a big thanks to all the in-house recruiting & HR professionals in attendance at this session who focused specifically on the key challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in 2014 and going into 2015.
Overall Top 10 Best Recruitment Practices (in no particular order) keep reading…
Everyone loves a trip down memory lane. That’s why VH1 made those retrospectives about the 1980s, 1990s, etc. Admit it: once you caught five minutes of one of those shows, the next four hours of your life were forfeited.
A few years ago, when I was an IT recruiter back in Washington, D.C. (see what I did there? Clever, right?), one of my favorite parts of the job was getting to know each candidate and figuring out what their “story” was. What were their unique aspirations and hot buttons? How did they get to this point in their career? What were they passionate about in their lives? Being able to get to know someone, then matching them up with a company that matched their professional and personal ambitions was, to me, one of the best and most rewarding parts of the job. It was always a delight to follow up with them six months later and learn that they were indeed happy with the new direction in their career.
Any recruiter worth their salt will tell you that their ability to sell a candidate on a company or a job is their “raison d’etre” (for those of you who slept through French or Philosophy 101: reason they exist). Now, with skill set requirements and qualifications that rapidly evolve with each new technology and regulatory change, creating specialized pockets of highly competitive positions, this ability to differentiate an opportunity from the rest of the landscape has become more important than ever.
So how exactly, beyond sheer luck, do you ensure that “just right” fit? Let’s take a cue from VH1 and fire up a couple of classics for some help: keep reading…
An in-depth analysis on how the right timing can dramatically improve recruiting
In my experience, the hardest-to-recruit exceptional targets are those who I label as “no, and stop calling me” passive top prospects who simply won’t accept a recruiter’s call. Even though most recruiters will tell you that their lack of interest in changing jobs is unwavering, my research has found that there are exceptions that may occur once or twice during each year, and I call them “their angry hours.”
During this brief time period the prospect is open to a recruiting discussion because something has recently occurred that makes them angry about their job, their manager, or their company. And for at least a few hours … that anger makes them suddenly receptive to recruiter calls and to new job opportunities.
Timing Is Everything in Sales and Recruiting keep reading…
The Holy Grail in recruiting has always been the passive candidate: someone not actively searching for a job.
A LinkedIn survey of 18,000 full-time employees across all industries and 26 countries found what attracts these people. The results aren’t particularly shocking: passive candidates want more money. Either that, or they want a better work/life balance or a greater opportunity for advancement.
But the survey revealed more than just that. It also showed the surprising number of workers who consider themselves passive candidates, what active applicants want, and what motivates people to change jobs the least.
Most 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…
Recruiting leaders are constantly looking for strategic opportunities, which admittedly are rare in this progressive field. There is only one big missed opportunity in strategic recruiting and that is … keep reading…
I’ve been missing from these pages for awhile, but I asked if I could return and request the help of some real recruiters. I heard some of the best hang out here at ERE.
Here’s the idea. I’m working with a bunch of people and companies putting together a comprehensive batting average for recruiters that combines all the critical factors, metrics, and competencies into one useful statistic. This will become known as the RBA — the Recruiter’s Batting Average.
Please look this first list over, suggest other factors that should be included, why some shouldn’t be considered, and which ones you think should be weighted more heavily than others. keep reading…
A candidate from a well-known benchmark firm dropped out of our search for a General Manager position because the hiring manager took a week to respond to his interest. He said…
It’s not like I need their job. If it takes them a week to respond to a resume like mine for a job of this importance, they’re not the kind of company I want to work for. I move fast, and I can already see that my style wouldn’t fit their culture. –Wind River Associates
As a corporate recruiting leader, know that in a highly competitive college marketplace, there may be nothing that damages corporate recruiting results more than slow hiring.
Many firms now go the first step and track some variation of the “time-to-fill” metric. But despite that metric, not only are firms still almost universally guilty of painfully slow hiring, but to compound the problem, few recruiting leaders truly understand the many negative business and recruiting impacts that result from slow hiring. I estimate that the impact at most corporations exceeds tens of millions of dollars each year. And the dollar loss from this factor may be as much as 10 times higher than losses resulting from low recruiting efficiency related to the more popular “cost-per-hire” metric.
It’s not enough to be conscious and aware of slow hiring. Identify and then quantify in dollars each of the negative impacts of slow hiring, so that everyone from the CEO on down will support the streamlining of the process. After several decades of work on “speed hiring,” I have put together an extensive list of the negative consequences associated with taking too long to hire. The top 12 most damaging factors are listed below.
The Top 12 Reasons Why “Slow Hiring” Damages Recruiting and Your Business Results keep reading…
Round up the usual suspects. - Claude Rains, Casablanca, 1942
Movie buffs will recognize this classic line from the closing scene in the film Casablanca when the police captain issues an order and saves the hero, played by Humphrey Bogart, from arrest. The quote also accurately and, in our view, unfortunately, describes a common recruitment scenario. Organizations often will dip into the same pool of “usual” candidates, time and time again, rather than make the effort to engage highly desirable passive candidates.
It’s not that recruiters don’t want to engage the passive candidates that, by some estimates comprise 75 percent of the workforce … it’s that they often really don’t know how OR don’t have the time. By definition, highly desirable passive candidates aren’t interested in switching jobs, so getting them interested in your organization and eventually building an interactive relationship via social media with your recruiters is challenging, to say the least.
While there are literally hundreds of social networking tools available, using them to craft a solid strategy to precisely pinpoint and truly engage passive candidates requires persistence, patience, and an understanding of six classic rules of engagement, described in more detail below: keep reading…
We recently completed our largest survey to date on job seeking (more than 18,000 professionals in 26 countries) to shed light on the workforce’s attitude toward job satisfaction, new opportunities, and career evaluation. We discovered that while 75 percent of professionals identify themselves as passive candidates, only 15 percent are “super passives,” or folks who are happily employed and unwilling to consider changing jobs. That’s down 25 percent from 2012.
Why the decline? One of the reasons is that social/professional networks and other online resources have increased transparency — giving professionals and recruiters immediate access to jobs and prospects. But other forces are at play as well: some economies are improving, causing companies to open reqs and gainfully employed professionals to weigh their options.
Regardless of the causes, super-passive candidates declining means opportunity is knocking for recruiters like you and me. Here are the most important things my team has done and is doing to capitalize on the growing pool of what I like to call “approachable candidates”: keep reading…
For most recruiters, changing your recruiting strategies is a major transition. You see, we recruiters seek endlessly after the holy grail of recruiting: superior quality of hire. Most recruiters use boring, generic, job description-based postings that attract a high volume of applicants, and then we must take additional time to weed out the bad candidates. The expectation is always that maybe, just maybe, a few good people remain at the end.
Mercedes Benz would quickly be out of business if it manufactured its automobiles this way. A better recruitment strategy would be to build quality in every step of the process, rather than at the end. keep reading…
Let me repeat that: Don’t bother with employment branding. Don’t waste your time or resources uncovering and articulating your brand. At least … don’t bother unless you commit to changing your mindset about active and passive candidates. keep reading…