THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

December 3, 2008   view past issues

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Feature: Best Practices Don’t Work

We recruiters talk a lot about Best Practices. We’ve convinced ourselves that they’re the key to success in our field. Mediocre techniques might enable us to do our job, but the best techniques enable us to do it faster, better and more professionally. Whatever the outcome that’s needed, most of us believe that Best Practices are the single best way to achieve it. And that’s wrong.

Best Practices are important. There’s no arguing that. Put Best Practices in the hands of less than the best recruiter, however, and the results will inevitably fall short of expectations. In fact, Best Practices used by anyone less than the Best You will likely take more time, cost more and deliver lower quality hires than your employer needs and deserves. Why? Because your output is determined by your input. And your input-your ability to apply Best Practices on-the-job-is dependent on who you bring to work each day.

Recruiting is a profession that is most accurately defined as the art of forming honest connections with people so they can be persuaded to do what they don’t want to do. Unlike a customer in sales, most of our prospects-and especially the most talented ones-aren’t looking for what we have to sell. They are already employed and loath to experience the disruption and stress caused by changing employers. They don’t want to “buy” our employer’s value proposition, and recruiting techniques alone-even the best ones-won’t change their minds. Let me explain what I mean.

The definition above has two parts. Both are essential to success:

  • One part, of course, involves the activity of persuasion. We have to present a compelling argument that our opening is (a) better than any other opening out there-the best talent, after all, has plenty of choices-and (b) that our opening is also worth the hassle of their making a change.
  • The second part involves the activity of forming of honest connections with our prospects. We have to convince them that we (a) understand and respect their unique values, goals and needs-what makes them the talented person they are-and (b) have their best interests at heart.
  • Good recruiters appreciate the first part of that definition and use Best Practices to execute it. The best recruiters, in contrast, are equally as able to accomplish the first part and devote considerable energy to accomplishing the second part, as well. Why? Because you can’t make honest connections with others if you aren’t first honest with and connected to yourself. You must get to know your Best You and then put them to work with the Best Practices.

    Who is this Best You? For your role as a recruiter, it is the essence-the foundational character-of the working You, the You who spends one-third of your life or more at work. And sadly, many, maybe even most of us don’t know that person. We assume we are aware of our core values, principles, qualities, and priorities as a working person-we think we know what matters to us in the workplace-but the truth is, we don’t. That insight doesn’t happen by serendipity or by magic. It doesn’t arrive at birth, at adulthood or at graduation. Self-awareness can only be achieved by making a conscious effort to explore our inner persona. And that’s where we come up short. We spend more time watching reality TV than we do probing the reality of ourselves.

    If you have any doubt about that, take a look at the news. Story after story recounts the misguided, even illegal behavior of CEOs, CFOs, bankers and brokers, track and baseball stars, and politicians at every level. Many of these people are indisputably brilliant technocrats-people who are true experts at using Best Practices-but they have no sense of what they stand for (or don’t) in their working lives. They have never met their best self so they bring someone else-a far inferior self-to work. And that person all too often lets them down.

    Now, please don’t misunderstand. I am not saying that recruiters who are unfamiliar with themselves are in the same league as the miserable miscreants in the news. What I am suggesting is that a lack of self-awareness puts us at risk. It threatens our well being in two ways:

  • A lack of self-awareness precludes our using Best Practices to the best of our ability. Without a sure knowledge of who we are and what we stand for as a working person, we simply cannot establish the genuine connections that are essential to recruiting the Best Talent.
  • A lack of self-awareness also makes us vulnerable to losing our way. We are uncertain of our ethical guideposts; we lack a moral compass. So when we have to make a choice of behaviors, we react on impulse rather than act with certainty. We are, in essence, flipping a spiritual coin.
  • How do you protect yourself from such vulnerability? Spend a little time getting to know yourself, but do it the right way. Don’t multi-task; uni-task. Focus entirely, completely, utterly on You. Find a quiet spot, set aside at least an hour and begin a conversation with the person inside. Let a couple of days pass so you can assimilate what you’ve learned, then do it again. Repeat that process until you’ve become the best friend of the Best You.

    It’ll probably seem a little strange at first-after all, you’re practically strangers to one another-but over time, you’re going to make a wonderful discovery. You’re going to find that the Best You is far more capable, committed and courageous than you ever imagined. You’re going to recognize that your Best You is the You of your dreams. And that’s a person you can count on, a person who can work with Best Practices to excel at recruiting.

    (To learn more about achieving self-awareness and living an authentic life, take a look at my new book, Recognizing Richard Rabbit. It’s described below.)

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Commit an Intentional Act of Kindness. Do something special for a friend or colleagues in these difficult times. Tell about them WEDDLE’s newsletter. It’s the best advice they’ll never have to pay for!


    This Issue’s Sponsor: Recognizing Richard Rabbit

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book. It offers a gentle way to survive and prosper in tough times.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for working men and women. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends that make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

    This story opens the door to genuine self-exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you are meant to be.

    What’s that have to do with recruiters and HR professionals? Despite all of the technology it now involves, recruiting is still fundamentally an exercise in forging genuine, empathetic connections with other people. And you can only make such connections if you are being authentic, if you are being true to yourself. In other words, Recognizing Richard Rabbit will not only help you to find the You of your dreams, it will improve your ability to recruit top prospects, as well.

    So, what are you waiting for? Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. This is one book you won’t want to miss! Buy your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    WEDDLE’s Research, a division of WEDDLE’s LLC, released a preliminary data set from its upcoming 2009 Recruiting Excellence Survey which will be published in January 2009. (For pricing and to order the report, please call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768.) This one-of-a-kind report examines both sides of the job market; it explores which strategies and tactics recruiters prefer and what job seekers are doing to find a new or better job. For example, in response to the question “In general, which job boards are most helpful?”, over 1500 job seekers provided the following results:

  • 37% said niche sites that specialize by career field or industry;
  • 36% said general purpose job boards;
  • 11% said search engines for jobs;
  • 7% said niche sites that specialize by geography;
  • 5% said job boards at employers’ sites; and
  • 4% said association sites with job boards.
  • As the data indicate, job seekers are using an array of job boards to search for employment opportunities. However, better than seven-out-of-ten (73%) prefer either niche sites that specialize in a specific career field or industry or a general purpose job board. As has been the case in previous surveys, they seem much less convinced of the value of corporate career sites-an opportunity to reinvent your site so that it stands out from the competition-and job boards that appear on association Web-sites. That said, I think the best strategy is one that probes the full breadth and depth of the prospect population and that requires the application of what I call the 6:1 Method. You must advertise your opening on 6 job boards to recruit 1 top performer. Which job boards? I believe the following formula is best: 2GP + 3N + 1D, where 2GP signifies the two general purpose sites that deliver the best prospects for your organization; 3N signifies three niche sites-one that specializes in the career field for which you’re recruiting, one that specializes in your employer’s industry and one that specializes in the location of your opening; and 1D stands for the one diversity site that best serves your organization.

    WEDDLE’s is offering a range of services to help you build your employment brand, develop relationships with top talent and maintain your professional edge. They include:

    To Build Your Employment Brand & Develop Relationships with Top Talent

  • Peter Weddle’s Blog-Sponsoring this unique job market commentary that launches in January, 2009
  • WEDDLE’s Newsletter for Job Seekers and Career Activists-Sponsoring this widely read online publication
  • WEDDLE’s Content Syndication Program-Syndicating Peter Weddle’s career content for your corporate career site
  • WEDDLE’s User’s Choice Awards-Sponsoring the premier awards in the online employment services field
  • To Maintain Your Professional Edge

    WEDDLE’s Private Training Programs-Attending these courses in the privacy of your own facility

  • WEDDLE’s Public Training Programs-Attending these courses in the comfort of your own office
  • WEDDLE’s Syndicated Research Program-Acquiring the information and insights that will give you a competitive advantage
  • WEDDLE’s has released a powerful new tool for recruiters. Called Finding Needles in a Haystack, it’s the first comprehensive listing of keywords for successfully searching resume databases online and off. The book provides thousands of search terms and phrases for the:

  • engineering,
  • finance,
  • healthcare,
  • human resources,
  • sales & marketing,
  • technology,
  • and other fields.
  • If you’re not getting the yield you need from job board resume databases, data mining or even your own resume management system, this is the reference book for you. In fact, sourcing guru Shally Steckerl described this book as “A rare and uniquely useful reference guide for recruiters!” It doesn’t get any better than that! To order your copy, please call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Get Finding Needles in a Haystack today!

    WEDDLE’s also offers a number of other publications for recruiters seeking to win the War for the Best Talent and maximize their ROI … their return on the Internet. They include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the occupational fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden talent market” online, it details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • Postcards from Space: Being the Best in Online Recruitment & HR Management. A compilation of Peter Weddle’s columns for The Wall Street Journal, it provides a complete introduction to the Best Practices for sourcing, recruiting and retaining talent online.
  • Generalship: HR Leadership in a Time of War. The only primer on leadership that focuses on the unique challenges of the HR professional waging both a War for Relevancy in the modern corporation and a War for Talent in the 21st Century labor market.
  • So make sure you’re at the top of your game, get your WEDDLE’s books today. Click here or call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768.


    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 40,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to recruiting top talent online, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for each of your requirements. WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the optimum yield for you. For example:

    working.com

    http://www.working.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: National-Canada

    Fee to post a job: $425 (CDN)/posting

    Posting period: 28 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 172,000+

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Administrative, Retail, Technology, Healthcare, Trades

    Other services for employers: Assessment instruments, Automated resume agent, Banner advertising, Status reports

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit Today!

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book. It offers a gentle way to survive and prosper in tough times.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for working men and women. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends that make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

    This story opens the door to genuine self-exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you are meant to be.

    What’s that have to do with recruiters and HR professionals? Despite all of the technology it now involves, recruiting is still fundamentally an exercise in forging genuine, empathetic connections with other people. And you can only make such connections if you are being authentic, if you are being true to yourself. In other words, Recognizing Richard Rabbit will not only help you to find the You of your dreams, it will improve your ability to recruit top prospects, as well.

    So, what are you waiting for? Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. This is one book you won’t want to miss! Buy your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.