THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

April 5, 2007   view past issues

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Feature: Open Source Recruiting

By now, you’ve probably heard about the open source movement among software developers. Its proponents reject the traditional “closed” model of development in which the owner controls all aspect of a product’s design, implementation and use. Whether it’s Microsoft coding software or the Encyclopedia Britannica creating content, the open sourcers believe the process involved is inefficient and produces suboptimal results. A better alternative, they argue, is a collaborative model where anyone with the appropriate expertise can make a contribution and is actually encouraged to do so. This open source approach has produced Linux, a computer operating system, and Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, both of which, the open sourcers contend, are more robust and have fewer errors than their competitors produced the old fashioned way.

Regardless of where you come out on that debate, however, I think the open source concept can be a worthwhile way of rethinking our recruitment strategy. It has a number of features which can improve the quality of our yield and the productivity with which we work. They are:

  • Inclusiveness. The open source approach does not limit the accomplishment of work objectives to a fixed set of individuals, but instead taps into the talent of everyone who can make a contribution.
  • Collaboration. The open source approach does not create stove pipes of activity, but instead seeks to establish a cooperative and integrated vision for reaching key goals.
  • Shared rewards. The open source approach does not channel all of an activity’s rewards to a single source, but instead makes them available to the community at large.
  • Open source recruiting has the same basic attributes. They are tailored, of course, to reflect the unique challenges of sourcing and recruiting top talent.

    Open source recruiting is inclusive. It envisions recruiting not as a function assigned solely to the HR Department, but instead, as a core responsibility of everyone in the organization. In other words, bringing new talent into the organization is as much a part of the job description of the CEO and other executives and hiring managers and the employees who work for them as it is the role of recruiters. And, to make that assignment real, it must be modeled by senior leaders in the organization and included in each and every person’s performance appraisal, to include the CEO and hiring managers.

    Open source recruiting is collaborative. It does not encourage employees to recruit their friends and former colleagues-the implicit design of most current employee referral systems-but instead, enlists them in identifying and recruiting the best talent in their field. The organization’s employment brand is the foundation for such a collaborative effort. Every employee must know it, believe it, and be able to articulate it persuasively. To achieve such cooperation among its workers, the organization must invest both in correcting any deficiency identified in its value proposition as an employer and in ongoing training to enhance workers’ ability to express, explain and ultimately sell its brand effectively.

    Open source recruiting offers shared rewards. It works best when recruitment and retention results are viewed as a key indicator of individual performance, and therefore a factor in determining each person’s compensation. If an employee excels at their job of bringing top talent into an organization, they should be rewarded for their performance, regardless of whether they are an hourly employee, a senior staff person, a contract employee or an executive. Moreover, their reward should be more than a handshake and a pat on the back; it should involve a meaningful financial bonus. The only way to implement such a system, of course, is with metrics. And, the best metrics for measuring open source recruiting results are team-based and include number of new hires sourced by unit, quality of new hires sourced by unit, and the attrition of current employees by unit.

    Some may worry that the broad-base of open source recruiting undermines the role of recruiters in staffing. Actually, exactly the opposite is true. With so many people performing recruiting tasks, it’s critically important that there be consistent and knowledgeable leadership. That leadership dimension moves recruiters beyond today’s over-commitment to administrative tasks and places them directly at the center of a major organization-wide strategy. It repositions recruiters as internal experts with the knowledge and experience necessary to train and support line units in accomplishing their tasks. And, it changes the dynamic of recruiting from a staff function buried in the HR Department to a core business activity which requires the participation of the entire organization.

    Now, I know that it’s much easier to propose than to implement such a tectonic shift in the view of recruitment in today’s corporate enterprise. However, as more and more organizations begin to realize the extraordinary challenge they face in the War for the Best Talent, the leaders of those organizations are likely to show a greater willingness to consider new ideas. From now on, therefore, a key aspect of our job is to be ready to offer them, and open source recruiting is one idea you may want to consider.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!


    This Issue’s Sponsor: SmartPost

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

    Do you know where your hires are coming from?

    SmartPost is more than an online posting solution, it’s a sourcing intelligence system. SmartPost takes the guesswork out of job posting by tracking metrics on job boards, social networks, niche industry associations and even SEO methods. And we’re constantly updating with the newest free boards, likes Jobs.com, Oodle, and Indeed, so you’re always in touch with today’s talent. The result? More posts where the hires are.

    See SmartPost in Action:

    Visit us at ERExpo West, Booth #14 on April 17-19th in San Diego.

    And join us for a FREE HR Talent Metrics Webcast focusing on best practices and methodologies to build the right measurements for your organization throughout the talent lifecycle. Sign up now.


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Michael Sturman, a professor in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, published the results of his ongoing research into how different pay practices motivate employees in service-based enterprises. He found that bonuses had the greatest positive impact on individual performance. Employees typically perceive bonuses as extra pay and thus are more willing to take risks to earn it. The professor believes that willingness to stretch outside their comfort zone is what elicits better performance. Merit raises, on the other hand, had no effect on employee motivation and work on-the-job. Why? The professor opines that employees perceive merit pay to be a part of their base salary and thus are hesitant to take risks with it. That hesitancy, in turn, holds them back and keeps them from performing at their peak. What does that mean for recruiters? If you’re having a hard time getting your recruiting team to adopt new practices and more innovative methods, try offering them a bonus for new hires accessed with such tools. You may just find that the prospect of “extra pay” is just the encouragement they need.

    MEPatWORK, an employment site that serves HVAC, electrical, plumbing and general construction professionals, released the results of its survey of what job seekers want in offers from employers. Not surprisingly, “a fat paycheck” came out on top. It was selected by over a third (36%) of the respondents. What came next, however, was a surprise. For the first time, “interesting work” was selected as often as “full health benefits.” Each was cited by one-in-five respondents. Does this mean healthcare is now a less important aspect of your organization’s value proposition as an employer? No. It means that challenging and rewarding work is now becoming more important. The best candidates-those who possess hard-to-find skills and those who are top performers-have choices, and one of the criteria they increasingly use when selecting an employer is the quality of its opportunity. How do they define a quality opportunity? It’s one in which both the job and the employer will help them to advance their career.

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that workplace discrimination complaints increased in 2006, the first rise in four years. What fueled the increase? According to the agency, the greatest number of complaints involved:

  • race bias,
  • sex bias, and
  • retaliation.
  • However, complaints about pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment of men also reached record highs. Why is this important to recruiters? Because when complaints become a pattern of behavior, that pattern becomes a part of your employment brand. The visibility of sites such as JobVent.com and F**dCompnay.com almost guarantees that bias complaints are neither private (i.e., in-house) matters nor matters that are quietly settled with the government. Avoiding them, of course, is best, but resolving them effectively and appropriately is almost as important. It can become a part of the “public record” about your company on the Web, and thus an integral part of your employment brand, regardless of what you say and do on your corporate Web-site.

    Workplace Forecast from the Society for Human Resource Management surveyed 1,232 HR professionals and found that only a third worked for organizations that had taken the time to determine their demographic makeup. Only 31% worked for organizations that knew what their workforce retirement rates were likely to be. Without those data, however, it’s impossible to predict just how big their future recruiting workload is likely to be. And, without any measure of the quantity and quality of new hires required, of course, they have no way of assessing whether they can accomplish their workload, given budget and other constraints, nor can they provide the strategic counsel necessary to ensure their employer avoids serious demographic mistakes (e.g., locating a new facility where it cannot access the skilled employees it will need). What should organizations do? I recommend that a Workforce Inventory Report accompany every annual budget submission by every business unit. This document should detail the required number of employees and their skills necessary to accomplish the operations funded by the proposed budget and make explicit any assumptions about retirement and attrition rates and internal mobility that are integral to hat number. Budget approval would then be dependent, at least in part, on the staffing function’s concurrence with the specified assumptions and its receipt of the resources necessary to meet the identified requirements. The devil is in the details, but such workforce planning is no longer an option given the large and growing number of variables employers face in the labor market.

    WEDDLE’s announced the availability of private in-house training programs for the recruiter teams of direct employers and staffing firms. The programs can be delivered to one or more groups on-site (at an all-hands meeting, for example) or to a dispersed organization via teleconference. You get exclusive, high caliber training in the setting that best serves your team. Program topics include:

  • Optimizing the Candidate Experience
  • Building a Corporate Career Site That Will Attract Top Talent
  • Best Practices in Sourcing Passive Prospects Online
  • The Sum & Substance of a Great Employment Brand
  • Blink Recruiting-Getting to “Yes” Fast With Passive Prospects
  • Transforming Your Resume Database into a Candidate Gold Mine
  • A-to-Z in Best Practices for Online Recruitment Advertising
  • All programs are delivered by WEDDLE’s publisher, Peter Weddle, one of our industry’s most highly rated speakers. Most programs can be tailored to any one of three formats: a one hour presentation, two-hour seminar or half-day workshop. For additional information, please call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888.

    CareerJornal.com from The Wall Street Journal said of WEDDLE’s training programs, “The WEDDLE’s Seminar has been held in cities around the country to rave reviews; in fact, more than 95% have said they found the seminars to be both very informative and very helpful.”


    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:

    Hcareers

    http://www.hcareers.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: International: USA, Canada, United Kingdom

    Fee to post a job: $100-375/posting

    Posting period: 45 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 53,841

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Hotel/Restaurant Manager, General Hospitality

    Other services for employers: Automated Resume agent, Status report: postings

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Support Our Sponsor: SmartPost

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

    Do you know where your hires are coming from?

    SmartPost is more than an online posting solution, it’s a sourcing intelligence system. SmartPost takes the guesswork out of job posting by tracking metrics on job boards, social networks, niche industry associations and even SEO methods. And we’re constantly updating with the newest free boards, likes Jobs.com, Oodle, and Indeed, so you’re always in touch with today’s talent. The result? More posts where the hires are.

    See SmartPost in Action:

    Visit us at ERExpo West, Booth #14 on April 17-19th in San Diego.

    And join us for a FREE HR Talent Metrics Webcast focusing on best practices and methodologies to build the right measurements for your organization throughout the talent lifecycle. Sign up now.