THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

January 4, 2005   view past issues

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Feature: Be One of the “Best Recruiters”

Perhaps you’ve heard of them. They’re called “retronyms.” They are words that have been redefined by the advent of new technology. They range from the anachronistic “snail mail” to the quaint “black and white television.” Once familiar and well understood, these words from the past now require a descriptive label to explain their meaning in the present and the future.

We in recruiting have seen this phenomenon occur in our own profession. We use a retronym to describe what we are about in the labor market these days. It’s a war, right? But not just any war; it’s a War for the “Best Talent.” Thanks to the Internet, it’s now necessary to add an adjective to a word that should be sufficient in and of itself.

Talent is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “a special often creative or artistic aptitude.” Recruiting people of talent, therefore, is the goal of every organization. Some may do it better than others, but every employer sets out, at least, to attract and hire those who have that special aptitude in the skill areas it needs to accomplish its business operations. They know they need the competitive advantage that talent provides. And, they know that their probability of success declines dramatically with the “untalented.”

Why, then, do recruiters now believe that they have to recruit the “best talent”-the talent whose aptitude is more special than the rest? There are at least three reasons:

  • First, unlike other retronyms, the “best talent” is not a pejorative term. It isn’t something that technology has made obsolete, but rather something that it has made possible. By properly tapping the power of the Internet, we can reach into that very small population of the truly superior talent in the workforce and present a case for their moving to our organization.
  • Second, we have proof that the economic value of truly superior talent is greater-indeed, considerably greater-than that of even good talent. The McKinsey & Company study that was, ironically, called The War for Talent provided quantified confirmation that “A” level performers are 50-100% more productive than “C” level performers. We’ve always know that intuitively; now, we can demonstrate it with numbers, so even the Chief Financial Officer will understand.
  • Third, many corporate leaders, including some in the HR profession itself, believe that they can acquire the best talent with a minimum of fuss. All they have to do is bolt a little e-recruiting technology onto what recruiters have done in the past. There’s no need to change policy or procedures or even the capabilities of the recruiting staff (witness the number of HR Generalists being asked to recruit as an additional duty in an already overloaded day). As long as they have the Internet and a shiny, new career area on their corporate Web-site, pulling in the best talent is as easy as fishing in a barrel.
  • The first two of these reasons make sense to me, but third … well, the third is just way off the mark. The best talent may be a retronym, but recruiting it with the Internet is not like using other technology. Take the television, for example. The viewer’s experience is enhanced by simply flipping a switch on their color, flat screen, high definition, surround sound set. As long as they can find the on-off button, they’re good to go. e-Recruiting, on the other hand, requires considerable understanding and skill. The Internet does not enable us to recruit the best talent; that capability is achieved only with a fundamental change in the way recruiting is done-one that is carefully designed to capture the full potential of the technology.

    What does that change involve? As a minimum, it must incorporate the following:

  • A change in recruitment advertising. It doesn’t do any good to use the Internet to connect with previously inaccessible populations of great workers if your message has all the appeal of a wet mop. Unfortunately, however, that’s the nature of most job postings today. They are uninformative, uninspiring and therefore uninviting to all but the untalented. To access the best talent with Internet, companies are going to have to change their view of the purpose and content of recruitment advertising posted on that medium. They must give it the same priority as that of their product and service advertising and develop it with the same care and creative energy. They must see their job postings not as simple notices of open positions, but as electronic advertising brochures that have the power to differentiate and sell their special value proposition as an employer.
  • A change in branding. An organization’s employment brand isn’t conveyed via a slogan or a marketing campaign; it is, instead, the sum of the experiences that are provided to candidates throughout its recruitment process. And in many organizations, those experiences are off-putting to all but the most desperate of job seekers. Candidates are subjected to the “black hole” feel of online resume submission and to the generic content of corporate career sites; they have to endure being kept in the dark on their status as they move through the process and the frustrating inability to connect with a human being at almost any point during the process. To recruit the best talent, companies must re-design their processes to improve the way they touch people on the Internet. While administrative efficiency is important, the critical objective is to provide a total consumer experience that is so unique and compelling that it attracts and sells even the most reluctant (i.e., passive) of superior talent.
  • A change in individual communications. At one time or another, every employer attracts prospects. For that reason, virtually every candidate management system on the market these days has some functionality for communicating with them. Unlike applicants, these individuals are not yet ready to submit a resume (in fact, they probably don’t have one), but they are interested in learning more about what an employer has to offer. In most cases, they are successful and employed (somewhere else) and all but ignored by the recruiting team. Why? Because the team lacks the staff with the skills and time necessary to communicate with these individuals. Doing so, however, is the one sure way to enhance the quality of a company’s applicants and to cut the time and cost of reaching them in the future. To capture those advantages, companies must change their view of the timing and purpose of individual communications on the Internet. Their goal is not to develop a database of static resumes, but rather to build a vast web of active relationships that nurture interest and trust among the best and brightest.
  • Recruiting the best talent may be a retronym-a capability made possible by technology-but it cannot be accomplished by technology alone. Indeed, the War for the Best Talent will only be won by the “best recruiters”-those who most effectively adapt their organizations and operations to capture the full potential of the technology.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. WEDDLE’s Newsletter grows only by word-of-mouth. So, please … tell a friend or colleague (or two) about the newsletter. We’d be very grateful, and they will be too.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: Yahoo! HotJobs

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Yahoo! HotJobs.

    Get the resource that helps you recruit smarter – the Guidebook to Online Recruiting. It’s yours FREE, courtesy of Yahoo! HotJobs.

    The Guidebook to Online Recruiting can help you:

  • Target qualified candidates
  • Maximize your recruiting dollar
  • Evaluate online vs. newspaper job advertising
  • Write effective online job descriptions
  • This comprehensive resource provides information a business needs to make recruiting more cost effective, targeted and efficient.

    Click here to get your free Guidebook.


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    HealtheHire.com launched its site to provide recruitment services for the healthcare industry. According to the Home Page, it offers two key advantages: its specialization in the healthcare segment of the workforce and its patent-pending technology, enabling job seekers to use Billian’s Hospital Bluebook to compare prospective employers.

    National Federation of Independent Businesses reported growing optimism in the small business sector of the U.S.. Among the 574 companies that responded to the group’s recent survey, 29% expect to grow in the next three months-the highest percentage in five years-and 19% plan to hire-up from 11% in June of last year. Hiring plans are now at their highest level since the go-go days of 2000. What’s that mean for you? Increased hiring will undoubtedly encourage more workers to move from one company to another, so ensure your employer (a) reinforces (i.e., invests in) its retention programs and (b) builds up (i.e., invests in) its inventory of top prospects for its openings in 2005 (and beyond).

    PricewaterhouseCoopers released a survey of international companies’ success in achieving the cost-savings expected from outsourcing. Among the respondents, 31% saw little benefit from outsourcing, 9% reported that they were at break-even, and 4% said they were actually losing money. In other words, better than 4-out-of-10 of these organizations had failed to capture the much ballyhooed cost reductions of the strategy. How should we react? Recognize that outsourcing can work, but only if it is implemented and managed skillfully. The strategy’s cost savings are not axiomatic; they are achieved with careful planning, effective execution, continuous improvement and diligent oversight. Other than that, outsourcing is a piece if cake.

    WEDDLE’s announced the release of its 2005 print catalog. If you’d like to receive a free copy, please e-mail your name, company name, title and postal mailing address to us at corporate@weddles.com. The catalog will probably ship in mid January and list all of our publications for the new year. These books will not appear in book stores until March or April, but you’ll be able to order them right away with the catalog. You’ll have special, advanced access to our 2005 Guide to Employment Web Sites, our 2005 Directory of Employment-Related Internet Sites, and our completely updated Guide to Association Web Sites, as well as to several exciting, new titles. If you want to get ahead of the pack, sign up for WEDDLE’s 2005 Catalog today! Sorry-the catalog can be mailed to U.S. addresses only.

    Yahoo! HotJobs introduced a new service for local recruiting. It enables recruiters to target local candidates for rates as low as $39 per posting, depending on the location and number of listings purchased. In addition, employers can post their openings in real-time and use the site’s special landing pages for specific geographic areas to make their opportunities stand out. These new features are available for all regions in the U.S..


    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. Business is up and you need to hire a new member of your marketing team. Which of the following sites would help to brand your search a success?

  • The-DMA.org
  • MarketingPower.com
  • ProMarketingJobs.com
  • BrandBuilders.com
  • 2. A member of your surgical nursing team has just been hired away by a competing hospital. Which of the following sites would help you sponge up some great candidates for the position?

  • PatientCare.com
  • SuperNurses.com
  • GreatNurses.com
  • HospitalSoup.com
  • 3. Your CFO has just been called to active duty with her Guard unit in Iraq. Which of the following sites would help maximize your ROI when recruiting a contract senior financial manager to work temporarily with your team?

  • CareerJournal.com
  • ExecuNet.com
  • 6FigureJobs.com
  • CareerBank.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005 Guides and Directories

    HireHealth.com

    www.hirehealth.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All

    Distribution of jobs: National – USA

    Fee to post a job: $325/posting

    Posting period: 60 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 125,000

    Source of resumes: Direct from candidates

    Top occupations among resumes: Bio/Pharmaceutical

    Other services for employers: Auto resume agent, Banner ads, Networking listserv, Status reports on ads

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. All but BrandBuilders.com, the site of a radiator repair and installation company.

    2. Only HospitalSoup.com; PatientCare.com is the site of a home healthcare provider, while SuperNurses.com and GreatNurses.com are non-employment resource sites for nurses.

    3. All of them.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: Yahoo! HotJobs

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Yahoo! HotJobs.

    Get the resource that helps you recruit smarter – the Guidebook to Online Recruiting. It’s yours FREE, courtesy of Yahoo! HotJobs.

    The Guidebook to Online Recruiting can help you:

  • Target qualified candidates
  • Maximize your recruiting dollar
  • Evaluate online vs. newspaper job advertising
  • Write effective online job descriptions
  • This comprehensive resource provides information a business needs to make recruiting more cost effective, targeted and efficient.

    Click here to get your free Guidebook.