THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

August 7, 2008   view past issues

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Feature: Hire Quality Multipliers By Doing Your Best Completely

Quality hires. It’s the siren song of our profession. Even as organizations discontinue large scale hiring in the current economic environment, they remain in the hunt for top tier talent. And we all know why: both anecdotal and empirical data confirm that “A” level performers not only contribute more themselves, but they raise the value of their coworkers’ contribution, as well. Regardless of their field of work or industry specialization, they are “quality multipliers” for the organizations that are able to hire them.

And that, of course, is the challenge. They are hard enough to bring in the door in the best of times, but in a difficult environment, they are especially tough to recruit. A slow economy makes them even more risk averse and even less willing to move than normal. So, what can we do? How do we overcome the twin hurdles involved in recruiting quality multipliers?

  • First, we have to build and maintain the right size pool of talent so that we always have enough of the right kinds of candidates for each of our openings;
  • and

  • Second, we have to convince the right individual among those candidates to accept the right opening with our organization at the right time (i.e., when we need them).
  • A recent research report from SHRM listed a number of actions that organizations are now taking to improve their yield of quality hires. They include:

  • Increasing the number of recruiting sources they use;
  • Developing standard templates for writing job descriptions;
  • Conducting training programs to upgrade the recruiting skills of hiring managers;
  • Administering applicant skill and personality testing; and
  • Offering recruiting incentives, such as sign-on bonuses.
  • While all of these initiatives are helpful, they are also tactical in scope. In other words, they will improve an employer’s recruiting yield, but only if they are implemented within an overarching strategy that integrates and focuses them. This strategy creates a unity of purpose and approach that enables each and all of the actions to achieve their optimal results. It should have four components:

  • A theme;A context;
  • A framework; and
  • A foundation.
  • Each is described briefly below.

    A theme: A clearly articulated and compelling employment brand.

    Quality multipliers never, ever think of themselves as job seekers. If they move from one organization to another, they characterize that shift as the necessary and proper behavior of a “career activist”-someone who takes the initiative in managing their own career. Their initiative, however, is seldom self-induced; in most cases, career activists must be activated by something you do. For example, they will rarely visit an organizational Web-site or apply for a position on their own. They are also seldom activated by simple information-by a recruitment ad, for example, that does nothing more than notify them of an opening. In a very real sense, they must be compelled to connect with you. How does that happen? Through the rationale provided by your employment brand. It must give them a reason to act that is so persuasive and so uniquely intriguing that they can’t help themselves. They have to be in touch with you just to make sure they aren’t missing out on an employment opportunity that will enable them to continue or (even better) accelerate their success at work.

    A context: A differentiating and persuasive candidate experience.

    All too often, organizations confuse the steps of their recruiting process-the tasks that are performed-for the experience-the affective outcome-that it provides to candidates. While what you do and how you do it certainly influences the way a candidate feels about your organization, it’s the subtle and less obvious things that often determine what a candidate remembers most. These include the warmth of the message you use to respond to candidate applications and the nature of your follow up communication after they visit for an interview. They are also affected by the extent of the interaction you permit them to have with your organization’s employees and by the look on those employees’ faces and the tone of their voices when they talk about their employment experience. It’s these “little differences” that separate one recruiting process from another and, more importantly, differentiate your recruiting process from the purchasing department’s supply chain. Widgets don’t care about the little stuff that touches them, but humans and especially the best performing humans do.

    A framework: A sophisticated relationship-building campaign.

    Done well, your employment brand and your recruiting process experience will get top tier talent into and interested in your organization, but they will not sell them. They are not sufficient to convince quality multipliers-individuals who are probably well taken care of by their current employer-to do the one thing most humans hate most to do: go through the angst and disruption of a change. What’s missing? An emotional lasso. It is the precedent to the emotional handcuffs that the best employers create to sustain high retention among key workers. Basically, you must give candidates a sense of genuine connectedness to both the organization and those who represent it. You must make them feel as if they are a part of your team before they are. While it’s an admittedly overused term, the best description of this activity is “relationship building.” You transform strangers into proto-colleagues by weaving connections to and with them. How is that accomplished? Through a continuous and carefully developed communications campaign that helps each prospect see how they can fit into your organization effectively and play a meaningful role in its success.

    A foundation: A robust and well integrated workforce planning infrastructure.

    An organization can do everything else right in its recruiting strategy and still fail to hire the talent it needs, if its aim is off the mark. A powerful employment brand, a differentiating process experience and a dynamic relationship building campaign are all for naught if they are focused on the wrong number of candidates or on candidates with the wrong skills or skill levels or on candidates who are in the wrong location. Said another way, it’s easier to get it wrong than it is to get it right. How can you protect yourself? With a workforce planning infrastructure that removes uncertainly from your process. It alone can provide the information you need when you need it to design and implement a recruiting strategy and set of tactics that will successfully yield the talent required to execute your organization’s business plan. This infrastructure, however, doesn’t need a super computer and team of statisticians with doctorates to be effective. It doesn’t have to predict your workforce requirements to the eighteen decimal point. It simply needs to give you a ballpark estimate of what’s needed, when and where so that you are recruiting proactively and with a goal that is aligned with your organization’s expected operations.

    Quality multipliers are special people who can’t be effectively recruited with half an effort. They require the use of not one but two kinds of best practices: those that are strategic as well as those that are tactical. The former provides a theme, a context, a framework, and a foundation for all of the important activities encompassed by the latter. The organizations that have the greatest success in hiring top tier talent assign equal priority to both and, as a result, they do their best completely.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. READER’S ALERT: Don’t miss the write-up below on WEDDLE’s latest book-Finding Needles in a Haystack. Shally Steckerl called it “A rare and uniquely useful reference guide for recruiters!”.


    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 that is this year’s first choice for summer reading.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults, young and not so young. 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.

    Make this the summer when you figure out how to meet the person of your dreams-the one who lives inside you. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. So, don’t delay. Make sure you have Recognizing Richard Rabbit packed in your suitcase for your summer vacation.


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Steve Cone, the chief marketing officer at Epsilon, published a new book entitled Powerlines: Words That Sell Brands, Grip Fans, & Sometimes Change History. His advice on the taglines for product and service brands can also be helpful [with some extrapolation] to recruiting teams that are developing their first employment brand or updating the one they already use. He believes taglines:

  • must convey a genuine truth or depict an experience, real or imaginary. [I think they should do both: they should convey a genuine image of the employment experience provided by the organization. More than any other single factor, that’s what talented prospects most want to know.]
  • must be built to last. [That’s true in theory, but unfortunately, the employment experience of an organization is dictated by its culture which is, in turn, dictated by the values and vision of the CEO. With CEO turnover now averaging less than four years, recruiting teams should update their brands regularly to ensure they are accurate.]
  • must do at least one of the following-convey a product benefit, show how the product will improve customers’ lives, recommend specific action or offer specific satisfaction. [Employment brands have a much narrower range of possible roles; basically they must answer one question: What’s in it for the candidate? Why should they bother to go through the angst and disruption of a change to come to work for your organization?]
  • must be unmistakable-setting a line to music and rhyme makes it much easier to remember. [Employment brands must also be unmistakable-they must clearly differentiate an organization as an employer-but they should not be too cute or too commercial to convey a clear and believable message.]
  • must move on the screen-whether they are on television or online, the line should always be in motion. [The idea here is correct: the tagline must be quickly and easily distinguishable from all of the other information that will surround and compete with it for the viewer’s attention. Movement is one way to achieve that separation; others include where and how the tagline is positioned on the screen and the color palate and font used to express it.]
  • 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:

    Experience

    http://www.experience.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: Not specified

    Posting period: 30 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 500,000+

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: College students and alumni, Engineers, Finance & Accounting professionals, Analysts

    Other services for employers: 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 that is this year’s first choice for summer reading.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults, young and not so young. 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.

    Make this the summer when you figure out how to meet the person of your dreams-the one who lives inside you. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. So, don’t delay. Make sure you have Recognizing Richard Rabbit packed in your suitcase for your summer vacation.