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Monday, September 20, 2010

What I Know About 'Social' Recruiting

Here's what I know about 'Social' Recruiting:

  1. It isn't social until myself or my staff has seen our candidates face-to-face. A candidate can be an absolute rock-star on paper (or LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter), but if I haven't seen whether the candidate is fully capable of engaging me, making eye contact, firmly shaking my hand or composing their body language... they aren't going to my clients. On the rare occasion I can't meet a candidate, I have taken to Skype; at least I can get an idea of how engaging this candidate is. After all, talking through a keyboard isn't very 'social' at all!
  2. My teams use Twitter, Facebook, Niche Blogs, LinkedIn, Hi5 and other social media outlets, but they are also mandated to attend truly 'social' events. This means they frequent outtings by ERE, CAPS, NAPS, Tweet-Ups, Whine N Dine's, Career Fairs, and Community Forums. I can't afford (nor can my recruiters or researchers afford) to forget how to conduct themselves in social settings. People wouldn't believe how many 'social guru's' I've met at conferences or other engagements who couldn't hold my attention in a conversation unless they were inhaling helium balloons and I had humor invested in listening. I'm serious... Do your recruiters AND your researchers a favor... drag them from behind the dust of a keyboard and put them in an open room of talkative, networking socialites.
  3. My business DOES make money off of recruiting and sourcing through social media networks, but that doesn't alone, pay my bills. So, yes... I may tweet, update, link, connect, follow, blog, fan or whatever else you do on these sites, but unless it pays for my son's college tuition in whole - you shouldn't expect me to spend my entire day @replying, DMing, thanking mentions or tracking google mentions... Why? Because I make my money by closing deals or securing other companies with research that closes deals... THAT'S what I am good at. THAT'S what pays my bills and THAT'S as much as I know about this whole Social Recruiting trend. Yes, it helps pay a few bills here and there, but it's not my cash cow and it's not where I will spend 90%, 70% or even 50% of my day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Attitude: Are You Projecting a Positive One?

Over the summer, I went to the Fordcye conference where Executive Recruiters who are at the top of their game come together. In a dreary economy, the conference was energizing and optimistic. It turns out, it was also prescient. Industry leaders felt change was upon us and that there was going to be more activity… finally. Turns out, we are seeing more activity.

Those who seem to be benefiting the most are those with a positive attitude about offering clients a strong business presentation. Industry leaders such as Barb Bruno, Jeff Skrentny, Kathleen Kurke, Mike Ramer, and Jennifer Lambert had spoken about the value of rebranding, social media skills, sourcing, and, yes, upgrading your presentation and attitude.

What’s your attitude these days? If you are a client, do you think you can do it all? Maybe. But maybe you’re also spending more time and money than if you used an experienced executive recruiter. Hiring companies often don’t realize that they loose productivity by trying to do it on their own. In a recent survey of 942 companies by Watson Wyatt, companies claim that the critical skills they are seeking are not being found in this abundant market of candidates. Who is qualifying all these resumes? In many cases, it’s coordinators with just 2-4 years of experience who lack the breadth of knowledge to evaluate senior level resumes. Key word searches are not enough; experienced eyes are a better solution.

Is your follow-up rude and dismissive? Today companies feel it is acceptable to receive a resume without providing a response. If candidates are directly applying to a job posting why are they never being told they have been rejected? When candidates are dismissed without reason, all the work done on employer branding goes right out the door. Executive recruiters know it is happening because HR departments are so understaffed right now, they can’t stay on top of the applicant flow. All the money spent spreading the good word about their company flies right out the door when the process is so neglected.

If 770,000 boomers leave and only 330,000 are available to replace them, we are still technically in a labor crunch - it’s just camouflaged by a prolonged recession. If I were looking for talent, I would be doing it now when people are disgruntled, over-worked, and ready for the next big challenge. You can find the best passive people now; however, clients don't think it is worthwhile to sift through all these active resumes when there are other pressing issues.

What are you doing … as a client (or candidate) to brand yourself and set yourself apart? What is your value proposition? What are your processes? Start thinking and change your attitude. Let me hear what you are doing!

Let me hear from you on what your doing!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Diluting The Employer Brand: How Your Company Can Avoid This Strategic Misstep

In my last blog, I talked about the critical importance of employer branding. Let’s talk about diluting the employer brand, and how fast you can go down this slippery slope.

Clients were lulled into thinking they didn’t need to maintain their employer brand while the economy was tanking. Wrong. The days of shopping for talent are coming to a close for corporate America. People are actually receiving multiple job offers. Have you thought about your employer brand? Do you have jobs that are open for more than 90 days or on hold? Word gets out on street that your company is not serious about dealing with candidates.

The Path Toward Diluting Your Employer Brand
  • Seeing too many people
  • Not appearing to care about or value talent
  • No knowing the qualities/experience/skills that you want
  • Lack of clarity in job description
  • Lack of urgency in filling job (sends signal this is not an important position)
  • Not making a decision
  • Lack of integrity in recruitment process

No one wants to take a job where they perceive they are destined to fail or be back on the street in 6 months. You make a bad situation worse when you put someone in position of having to explain a short-term position on a resume. Alternatively, if you keep candidates hanging for months to make a decision, you deny them the opportunity of taking another job that may not be as appealing as yours, but that is real. Rumors start when it appears your company lacks focus. When you send a bad message in job marketing, the word goes viral among the employee community and the business community at large.

Steps to Protect Your Employer Brand

  • Pull the trigger to start the process when you are truly ready
  • Be serious about filling a position
  • Set a goal of 4 months for hiring
  • Have clarity in every aspect of the process: with the management team, interview schedules, follow-up call schedules, negotiations, references and background checks, making the offer
  • How are you protecting your employer brand? What are you doing to make sure it doesn’t get diluted? I’d love to hear the steps you are taking.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Representing the Client’s Brand: Make employer branding Your Priority in 2010

    It looks like the economy is starting to get a pulse again, making employer branding a top priority. Whether the marketplace is raging hot (think 2007) or on life support (think the last 18 months), employer branding is extremely important. How people are treated in the recruitment process should never be underestimated.

    First impressions are lasting and word travels fast when the candidate experience is negative, disorganized or disrespectful. Communicating information about your company’s recruitment process, and what is happening with a specific position and why is the first step toward minimizing misperceptions and potential problems. Granted, internal information is often confidential. However, if you are involved in recruiting, the best course of action is to keep the conversation going and real, and not to hide from having a dialogue. Letting prospective candidates know there may be changes that could impact the role they are applying for is good business sense. They don’t need explicit details; broad brush strokes can suffice. Believe me it is a lot better than no communication at all or misleading signals. In the end, you will earn the candidate’s and the recruiter’s respect.

    Any time you work with external business partners, such as executive recruiters, you need to establish how you will collaborate and how information will be communicated (phone vs. email, frequency). Keeping the conversation alive and people content with the best information that you can supply is critical. It’s all part of building your employer brand. The market is bouncing back, things are changing, and candidates are receiving multiple offers. Clients will lose their best candidates when they continue to shop or are not willing to actively engage a strong prospect. After a while, you tarnish your employer brand and make your company less attractive to top-tier talent.

    Perception is key. Do you as a client present an image of “paralysis of analysis”? Don’t give the candidate marketplace the impression you can’t make a decision or aren’t willing to be upfront. I really want to hear from clients-- -- how are you representing your employer brand - How would you describe your candidates’ experience — is it working for you or does it need work?

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