There is no more valuable recruit than a “Purple Squirrel.” In fact, a single Purple Squirrel recruit may be more impactful than all of your other hires combined during a single year. If you’re not familiar with the term, a Purple Squirrel is the moniker that denotes an extremely rare and talented recruiting target. Purple Squirrels are valuable because they are extreme innovators. Once hired, they can change your firm’s capabilities, direction, and marketplace success almost instantly.
The benchmark Purple Squirrel was Tony Fadell, who conceived of the concept of the MP3 player while he was at Philips. But Apple recruited him away, allowing them to dominate and make billions in a product area (the iPod) where they had little expertise before recruiting him. This single Purple Squirrel acquisition made Apple billions and set the expectation for future market dominating innovations at Apple!
The most stunning thing, however, about Purple Squirrel recruiting is the fact that there is literally a zero chance that these valuable game-changers and pioneers can be recruited using the existing recruiting process at 99.5% of the world’s major corporations. For example, everyone would agree that Steve Jobs, even in his youth, was a Purple Squirrel, but the fact is that he was rejected by the recruiting process at HP, despite all his talent, simply because he had no college degree.
These purple squirrels are true pioneers with the capability of not only coming up with original ideas but also in successfully implementing them. Purple Squirrels are generally not senior executives, but instead, they are often mid-level employees in product development, technology, mathematics, social media, or the monetization of products and services. Each of these areas are essential for market domination.
Why You Should Develop a Process for Recruiting Purple Squirrels keep reading…
This webinar will provide Recruiters/Human Resource Professionals with the training required to create a solid foundation for the Recruitment Process. Using this process, the company will be able to recruit, screen, and select the Passive Candidates. The selection of better and more engaged employees leads to greater profitability, fewer Human Resource challenges, and greater retention.
For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out ERE.net!
They are the perfect recruiting target because these prospects are currently employed (i.e. passives); they are diverse; it costs almost nothing to get a recruiting message in front of them and best of all; and they already know and like your company and its products. These perfect candidates are your customers.
Even though customers are generally the most-ignored recruiting source, some firms like Google, McDonald’s, Marriott, and Wells Fargo have realized that some of the best recruiting targets are their own customers.
Let’s take Wells Fargo as an example. It literally has millions of customers that use their ATM machines every year, so it only makes sense to try to recruit them as employees. Its approach is simple and cost-effective. It is reaching these customer prospects by merely adding a recruiting message to the receipt printed out by its ATM machines. The message is: “Now hiring. With you when you want a career opportunity that is right for you” (see the inserted sample of a “recruiting receipt”).
Why Customers Are Near-perfect Recruiting Targets keep reading…
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…
Many great recruiting departments and organizations pride themselves on being “metrics-focused” or “metrics-driven” — And for good reason. There’s plenty of research that confirms the value of having clear strategic and operational targets.
Generic recruiting pipeline
In addition, employees appreciate having expectations (think: metrics) that are “SMART” (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time bound). In the recruiting world, some common metrics include time to find, time to hire, survey scores (from hiring managers and candidates), as well as various quality of hire metrics.
How confident are you that you can “hit your numbers”? Are you able to consistently and quickly deliver qualified candidates to your hiring managers? If you are highly confident in your ability to meet or exceed the expectations of your hiring managers, that’s great! Chances are, then, you “know your numbers” very, very well.
This article focuses on one specific aspect of managing opportunities — knowing some key metrics. The next article in this two-part series will focus on some specific techniques for moving individuals through your funnel, or pipeline.
What Have You Done for Me Lately? keep reading…
I’m going to contend that with new tools now available, “true” passive candidate recruiting can maximize quality, reduce time to fill to weeks, and minimize cost per hire. Top-tier third-party recruiters are already using all of these techniques, so they’re proven and doable. What is surprising is why their corporate counterparts have yet to step up to the plate and do likewise. Now’s the time.
Let me start with three basic points:
Point 1: active candidate recruiting leaves a lot to chance, primarily quality-of-hire and time-to-fill, primarily since hiring managers will procrastinate as long as possible to find their “ideal” candidate. This waiting time is random, unless the supply of top people is greater than the demand, or the manager becomes pressured to decide. Of course, the longer the wait the more the cost.
Point 2: The lack of a correct and agreed upon definition of pre-hire quality adds more randomness, time, wasted effort, and cost to the process. No one uses the job description for measuring quality and we’ve all had hiring managers confidently say “I’ll know the person when I see him.” This is a problem with passive candidate recruiting, too, but it’s more like playing the lottery when you’re only sourcing active candidates.
Point 3: passive candidate recruiting emphasizing direct networking techniques, i.e., calling pre-qualified referred prospects, reduces the time to find prospects to a few days.
How to Achieve the Recruiting Performance Trifecta
With this as background, here’s a basic passive candidate recruiting process that will maximize quality of hire, minimize time to fill, and reduce cost per hire: keep reading…
We started measuring quality of hire a couple of years ago. What started out as a simple exercise to see how we were doing turned into an interesting experiment. We realized in order to save the company money and increase productivity, we needed to measure quality of hire and sources of hire together. The results were interesting, and in one case the result was actually surprising.
There are a few hire-quality formulas out there, and you can make it as simple or as complicated as you deem necessary. In our case, we took the simple route.
Quality of hire is defined as the percent of new hires who pass their one-year anniversary and score at least “meets expectations” on their first review. For example, we grouped together all the new hires from the first quarter of 2010. We then ran a report dating to the last day of the quarter a year later, 2011. We determined what percent of those hires were still employed and were not on performance improvement plans, etc. We did this on a quarterly basis.
This is simple but effective. It doesn’t matter whether the employee was a poor performer, an excellent worker who was disillusioned, or a job-hopper. Ultimately, the business is negatively impacted if it loses talent in the first year, or is dealing with a poor employee.
The results of our experiment have been illuminating. keep reading…
It’s a brand new year, great things are on the horizon … and for me, I have had it up to my eyeballs with a particular topic. I am so fed up with this topic that I want to climb to the highest peak and scream, bang my head against a wall, and even toss my desk around the room over and over. This topic that’s making me and others so irritated is Passive Candidates.
Yes, that’s right. The topic or even the mention of passive candidates now a day makes me want to throw up. In conducting my own personal year in review and through scouring HR topics, articles, blogs, etc., it seems as if 2011 was the year of the “Passive Candidate.” My response … so the heck what.
I guess I am at a loss as to why there is so much over-emphasis on “passive candidates.” Whatever happened to simply hiring the most-qualified, best-fit individual who can add their strengths in order to advance the organization? Now we have resorted to “Commandments of Recruiting Passive Candidates,” “Rules to Recruit Passive Candidates”, “Your Guide to Passive Candidates” — you get my point.
So here are some questions for you to ask yourself and answer: keep reading…
This article is part of my continuing series on passive candidate recruiting. The key principle underlying all of these articles is that you can’t recruit and hire passive candidates using the same workflow, nor the same recruiters, used for active candidates.
According to a recent survey we conducted with LinkedIn, 83% of fully-employed members on LinkedIn consider themselves passive when it comes to their job-hunting status. While this is a huge and important pool, most companies over-emphasize the 17% of candidates who are active. Then to make matters worse, when they do target passive candidates, they clumsily use their active candidate processes.
To assist talent leaders in understanding the differences between active and passive candidate recruiting, I’ve developed a recruiter competency model addressing the similarities, differences, and overlaps. Contact me directly if you’d like to learn more about this. It’s highlighted in the graphic showing the 12 most important competencies alongside a very rigorous 1-5 ranking system. For example, a 4-5 ranking requires outstanding performance, some type of significant recognition, and continuing accolades from the recruiter’s hiring manager clients.
Here’s a quick summary of each of the competencies and the differences between active and passive recruiting requirements: keep reading…
A recent survey we conducted with LinkedIn clearly indicated the 83% of their fully employed members classified themselves as passive candidates. It seems to me that if you’re not an expert at recruiting this 83%, you’re missing the 800-pound gorilla.
To help here, I’m in the process of consolidating and summarizing all of the articles, webcasts, and recordings I’ve prepared in the past few years on passive candidate recruiting into some type of eBook format. Some of the stuff actually works, so this could be a pretty good handbook on how to use Performance-based Hiring to find, recruit, assess, and hire passive candidates. To get started I figured I’d put the Table of Contents together with a short description. This is shown below. keep reading…
This week, I had the pleasure of receiving some feedback from two candidates who recently completed the hiring process, each with a different end result with our organization. As talent acquisition professionals, the majority of us strive to ensure that proper recruiting processes and procedures are in place, and at the same time we wonder if the candidate is truly having the experience we initially envisioned and created.
Granted, my organization is still far off from where we want and need to be from a talent acquisition standpoint; however, we are taking the proper steps to get there as an enterprise. One particular topic that has always been the focus of my recruiting career is the candidate experience. Some will argue that it includes an employment brand, a cutting-edge career site, high-performing HR technology, etc. I have always believed and will continue to believe that while those items are important, nothing can replace the importance of proper human interaction. This will truly set your company’s candidate experience apart from other companies out there in the marketplace.
Two case in points occurred this week: two individuals, two different positions. The first individual, who did not receive an offer, sent us an email thanking us for how we handled and treated him through the search process. Here is a snippet of the note that we received: keep reading…
This will be my shortest, and my last article for ERE. At least for 2011. Regardless of the timing and its length, it may very well be my most important article this year, at least if you want to hire top people who are not overtly looking for another job. It consists of a few pithy ideas you need to embrace if you want to be successful recruiting passive candidates.
Adler’s Holiday Missives 2011 on How to Recruit Passive Candidates
Bridge the Gap on First Contact. Recognize that for passive candidates “Criteria to Engage” is different that the “Criteria to Accept” an offer. On first contact passive candidates decide to engage based on “Day 1” criteria. This includes the job title, the company, the location, and the compensation. However, when deciding to accept an offer, top passive candidates use “Year 1 and Beyond” criteria. This includes the career opportunity, the importance of the work, the hiring manager and team, the compensation and total rewards package, work/life balance, and the company mission and culture. Being able to bridge this gap on first contact is the difference between hiring great people and wasting your time. keep reading…
John Sullivan asked: Are QR codes the next big thing in recruitment technology?
For adidas, an award winner last year, they’re already a big thing.
Craig Larson heads up U.S. recruiting. He started about a year ago, about the same time, he says, that adidas “identified a problem that needed a solution.”
The problem begins with the fact that adidas sends lots of people to trade shows in places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. These people aren’t recruiters, usually — and in fact recruiters sometimes are not welcome at the conventions. They are designers, marketers, buyers, and others there to “push product and get orders,” Larson says. “There’s a lot of deals down there and a lot of passive candidates.” Depending on the event, adidas can send a recruiter or two, but “a lot of times they don’t like us tagging along.”
On top of that, trade-show goers are often with their bosses, and not able to talk jobs. keep reading…
Of late I’ve been making the contention that the strategies and tactics used to recruit active candidates is fundamentally different than the ones used for passive candidates. Until this foundational difference is resolved, companies will never be able to hire enough top talent to meet their needs, unless they have a big employer brand to hide their process inefficiencies.
Employer brands, however, have limited shelf lives in maturing markets. As an example, just compare Google today and its continuing series of product blunders to the Microsoft of 10-15 years ago. When a company’s business strategy changes due to changing market conditions, its talent acquisition strategies must immediately follow suit.
Quickly, here’s what I believe are at the root cause of most companies’ hiring challenges: keep reading…
by John Sullivan and Laureen Edmiston
Several weeks ago ere.net published an article that asked the question “what are the dumbest things that recruiters do.” After surveying recruiters on ere.net, Twitter, and at the recent SMA symposium in Seattle, it is clear that most feel the dumbest thing recruiters do is…
Not managing the candidate experience — the candidate experience is the perception of the sum of interactions with an organization throughout the hiring process. It includes every communication, the design of the process, the fairness of process elements, the quality of information exchanged, and the honesty with which questions and concerns are addressed. Providing a poor candidate experience can have many negative consequences, including an increased candidate dropout rate, negative word-of-mouth, and decreased loyalty to the overall brand.
The rest of the “Top 10” are… keep reading…
You can’t recruit and hire passive candidates using the same workflow nor the same recruiters used for active candidates.
We conducted an in-depth survey with LinkedIn last year that indicated that 82% of their fully-employed members were unlikely to even consider switching jobs unless directly contacted by a recruiter or through an employee they’ve worked with closely in the past. This increased slightly to 83% in this year’s survey. This is shown on the graph, with the dark blue line representing the satisfaction level of those surveyed (4,550 fully-employed LinkedIn members) comparing their job seeking status and job requirements over time.
From a strategy standpoint, the idea is to find candidates either the moment they actively enter the job market, or before. But to do this, you need a different process for sourcing and recruiting the 83% who are not actively looking than used for those who are. This is what is meant by an “Early-bird Sourcing Strategy.”
The surveys also highlighted the fact that most companies spend most of their recruiting resources targeting the 17% who are actively looking. Making matters more challenging, while most passive candidates are open to a discussion with a recruiter, they would only consider a significant career move to switch jobs.
Over the next several weeks I’ll be hosting a few webcasts describing how to develop this type of early-bird sourcing program. Part of this will describe some of the workflow process changes required to support the strategy, and the specific competencies a recruiter needs to possess in order to implement it. These changes are not insignificant. keep reading…
If you weren’t at LinkedIn’s Talent Connect last week in Las Vegas (Oct 17-19, 2011) you missed the recruiting event of the year. Since most of the work I do is with SMBs (small to medium size business), I was asked to lead a program on how to create a big brand without the big name. As part of this I introduced a new concept for how companies should benchmark their social media presence and effectiveness: the Social Media Pyramid. I know many of you will be vying for awards at the Spring 2012 ERE Expo, and social media will play a role in quite a few of the awards, so I thought I’d give you my guidelines for using the Social Media Pyramid as guide.
Most companies are using a hodgepodge of social media ideas, trying a little of this and a little of that, in the hope something works. Rather than proceed in such a haphazard manner, I’ve decided to give some structure to the process by creating five levels of social media effectiveness based on currently available technology. keep reading…
Social media gets a lot of press. There seem to be millions of articles offering advice on how to succeed with social media, in business, in fundraising, starting revolutions, and of course, recruiting. A lot of that advice is as useful as a bicycle for a fish — since it’s often anecdotal or the wisdom of some self-styled guru writing about purple sheep or comparing anyone that doesn’t follow their advice to dinosaurs. So it’s great to read something that’s based on data and research, like a recent report from Gallup that has implications for recruiting.
The Medium vs the Message
There’s more going on offline than online. keep reading…
Nasa photo of "crystal ball" nebula
I’m going to go out on a very firm limb here and suggest that I’ve just seen the future of passive candidate recruiting and sourcing 2012-2015, and it’s amazing. Before I uncover this tasty morsel for all to see and properly digest, let me set the stage, the lighting, and get the orchestra warmed-up. keep reading…
In a recent Harvard Business Review blog I came across this quote attributed to Steve Jobs (this has been paraphrased for the ERE audience):
Screw the channel.
Manage the present for optimum performance.
Reinvent the future.
The equivalent for recruiting goes something like this:
Maximize quality of hire.
Become a great recruiter.
The point: hiring great talent is not about great sourcing; it’s about great recruiting. And if you continue to chase the next sourcing silver bullet you’ll wind upexactly where you are today in 5-10 years from now. In fact, those of you who have followed the “chase-the-sourcing-silver-bullet” strategy have not improved quality of hire in the past 5-10 years. The only companies who have shattered this fundamental truth in the war for talent have been those who have a great employer brand. For everyone else, improving quality of hire requires great recruiters.
In a nutshell, here’s my secret formula for hiring great talent:
Great Hires = Good Sourcing plus Great Recruiting
If you follow this formula you’ll be seeing and hiring far better people. Here are some ideas on how to reinvent the future of recruiting: keep reading…