THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

January 22, 2009   view past issues

Our newsletter is
brought to you by





Feature: Social Is Not Human in Recruiting

Today’s War for Talent is best waged with a social strategy. That’s a far cry from what’s implicitly accepted as the key to success in recruiting today. Conventional best practices are built on the notion that talent acquisition is really an exercise in hiring “human capital.” While that term may dignify us humans as a special form of capital, however, it fails to acknowledge the one attribute that differentiates cognitive beings from cogs: we are a social species not carbon-based widgets. The best way to recruit talent for our organizations, therefore, is to acknowledge and respect that distinction.

What is a social strategy in the War for Talent?

Let’s begin by comparing it to a traditional human capital strategy. That approach to recruiting focuses, appropriately enough, on the skills and knowledge of alternative candidates. It is implemented by taking a page from our colleagues in logistics. Basically, we create a supply chain of human beings with the necessary expertise, and we turn that stream of human capability up or down as needed to fill our various openings. In short, a human capital strategy is all about supply-finding enough talent to meet the demand of your organization. Success is defined as putting a qualified person in the right job.

How is such a strategy typically implemented? The successful operation of a supply chain depends upon your ability to find enough human capital to meet the organization’s needs. Hence, the technique of choice is passive and proactive sourcing. A human capital strategy relies on passive recruitment ads and on proactive data mining online and in resume databases; it involves (largely) passive employee referral programs and proactive searching through profiles posted on LinkedIn and other social and business networking sites. However it’s accomplished, it is all about building up an inventory of talent for potential assignment to specific job openings.

A social strategy, in contrast, acknowledges the critical importance of candidates’ skills and knowledge but goes beyond them. It focuses as much on their temperament, personality and personal attributes. It examines their mettle and their potential level of engagement. Why try and get your arms around stuff as squishy as that? Because as important as “hard attributes” like skills and knowledge are, it is a person’s willingness and determination to apply those capabilities to the organization’s mission that enables that organization to succeed.

The hard skills of candidates define human capital; their dedication and loyalty define social capital. In the relatively benign marketplace of the 20th Century, human capital was sufficient for an organization to survive and prosper. In the dangerous marketplace of the 21st Century, only social capital can ensure an organization’s ability to do so.

Why is that? Because research shows that the single greatest cause for a new hire’s sub-par performance or their rapid attrition is not their inability to do the job, but their inability to fit in. As human capital, they’re everything an organization could want; as social capital they’re worthless. And, an organization that is bankrupt in social capital will inevitably (and quickly) be bankrupt in financial capital, as well.

The Hallmarks of a Social Strategy

A social strategy is not about supply. It is all about the right supply. And a successful social strategy doesn’t put a qualified person in the right job, it puts the right qualified person in the right job at the right time. You can’t do that with sourcing alone. You need sourcing and recruiting, but recruiting with a very different kind of emphasis than what we’ve seen in the recent past.

Although not universally so, recruiting in the past five-to-eight years has largely been seen as the art of selection and persuasion. It has been understood to be the effort required:

  • to determine the best qualified person based on the stated requirements for a job
  • and

  • to convince that person to accept an organization’s offer of employment.
  • As complex and difficult as those two tasks may be, however, they do not provide a complete definition of recruiting. Historically, recruiting has also involved another activity, one that is now vital to victory in the War for the Best Talent. This third task is best described as getting to know candidates as people as well as the paper persona we meet on their resumes.

    How is that done?

    The activity is basically an exercise in socialization, but in our profession, we have traditionally called it relationship building. Its goal is to uncover those individuals with the right stuff-the subtle but powerful personal characteristics and values that draw out a person’s best work on-the-job and their willingness to continue contributing that work to an organization-or what we have traditionally called peak performance and retention.

    Now, as anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows, it takes time and effort to nurture the familiarity and trust that are the basis for a sound relationship. And even more challenging, many of the relationships we do nurture in recruiting will ultimately identify individuals with the wrong stuff, at least for our organizations. Nevertheless, in today’s and tomorrow’s demanding operational environment, any organization without a robust relationship-building or social strategy is at risk, not only in the War for Talent, but in the war for survival.

    It’s up to us, therefore, to move beyond the quest for human capital. In the 21st Century, the primary mission of recruiters must be to enrich our organization’s stock of social capital. We must, for example, stop seeing our resume databases as static storehouses of resumes, and instead treat them as platforms for building relationships with people. We must stop using professional networking sites as virtual barrels of profiles and instead, tap their capabilities to nurture familiarity and trust with talented employment prospects. We must get beyond the simplistic view of humans as simply another form of inert capital and see them instead as complex social beings who have talent to share, but only if they feel like they’re in the right place at the right time for them to do so.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. President Obama called out to our better selves and asked all of us to pitch … so, pleased, help a friend in these hard times; tell them about WEDDLE’s Newsletter.


    This Issue’s Sponosr: Work Strong

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, Peter Weddle’s new book on how, when, where and with whom you can achieve career success in the 21st Century.

    Designed specifically for the challenging workplace of the 21st Century:

    Work Strong not only tells you what to do for career success, but when, where and how to do it.

  • Career Fitness includes both a revolutionary philosophy of work and a regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities that empower you to apply that philosophy to your career.
  • Using physical fitness as a metaphor, it introduces an approach to career self-management that is appropriate for everyone from senior executives and seasoned professionals to recent graduates and those who are reentering the workforce after an extended absence.
  • Work Strong helps you tap both sides of your brain in learning how to build a healthy career.

  • It encourages you to use your reasoning ability on the left side of your brain by presenting all of the information you need to Work Strong in your career. That’s The Career Fitness System.
  • It also encourages you to use your creative ability on the right side of your brain by presenting a fictional account of what it would be like to Work Strong. That’s The Diary of a Career Activist.
  • In today’s world of work, you have only two choices: you can be the master of your career or you can be its victim. Get the tools you need to take charge of the one-third or more of your life you spend at work. Get Work Strong today! You’ll increase the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work!

    But don’t forget about others. Get Work Strong for yourself and for your spouse, your sons or daughters and even for your mother and father. Everyone deserves to Work Strong. To place your order, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    News Item #1

    Adicio, a company that provides job board technology to newspapers and niche employment sites, has launched CareerCast.com, a new portal for recruitment advertising. What’s special about this resource? There are at least four factors that set it apart:

  • First, its range and diversity. CareerCast.com is a network of Adicio’s 500+ national (The Wall Street Journal‘s WSJ.com/careers) and local newspapers (The Virginian-Pilot, Cleveland Plain Dealer) and select niche sites that specialize in a career field or industry (RetirementJobs.com, the Institute for Electrical & Electronics Engineers, American Medical Association). While the geographic and occupational coverage isn’t 100% complete, it’s as close as there is to a true one-stop shop for recruiting online.
  • Second, its ease-of-use. There are plenty of networks online that link job boards together, but few which make it so easy for a recruiter to post ads simultaneously to multiple sites which they select. Sure, you can use your recruitment advertising agency to do the posting, but the process can isn’t at all complicated and can be quickly accomplished by even a first-time user.
  • Third, there’s often a human in the loop. While the posting process is easy enough to complete, it’s also nice to have a person confirm receipt of your order and discuss alternative or additional advertising features that may improve your yield. Yes, that’s sales, but done well, it’s consultative in nature and thus helpful rather than intrusive. Apparently, not all of Adicio’s affiliates provide such follow up, but many if not most do.
  • Fourth, it’s a member of the International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS). Why should you care? Because the Web is now clogged with job boards offering inducements for advertisers. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these offers, if the companies behind them are reputable. The IAEWS is the trade organization for the global online employment services industry; its Code of Ethics isn’t perfect, but it does at least assure you that the members of the Association are committed to good business practices.
  • News Item #2

    Are you looking for an inspirational and informative speaker for an upcoming corporate meeting? Consider WEDDLE’s publisher and CEO, Peter Weddle. One of the most highly rated speakers at recruiting conferences, association conventions and company retreats, he offers a unique combination of storytelling and wisdom that is sure to motivate and educate your audience. Whether it’s a gathering of your recruiting team, the entire HR Department, your sales force or line managers, Peter will leave every participant better prepared for the challenges of 2009 and fired up about meeting them. For more information, please call Peter directly at 203.964.1888.

    News Item #3

    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
  • For more information, please call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768. We’ll partner with you to help you and your organization achieve your goals and the success you seek in 2009.

    News Item #4

    WEDDLE’s also offers a number of other publications for recruiters seeking to win the War for the Best Talent and achieve a satisfying and rewarding career. They include:

  • Recognizing Richard Rabbit. An adult fable like Who Moved My Cheese?, this delightful little book will teach you how to discover your authentic self-the You of your dreams-so that you can express and experience that person in your work and throughout your career.
  • 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.
  • 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:

    Net-Temps

    http://www.net-temps.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: International-USA & Canada

    Fee to post a job: $155/posting

    Posting period: 30 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 2.5 million

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Administrative, Engineering, Finance & Accounting, Information Systems

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

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Don’t Be a Career Wimp. Get Work Strong Today!

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, Peter Weddle’s new book on how, when, where and with whom you can achieve career success in the 21st Century.

    Designed specifically for the challenging workplace of the 21st Century:

    Work Strong not only tells you what to do for career success, but when, where and how to do it.

  • Career Fitness includes both a revolutionary philosophy of work and a regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities that empower you to apply that philosophy to your career.
  • Using physical fitness as a metaphor, it introduces an approach to career self-management that is appropriate for everyone from senior executives and seasoned professionals to recent graduates and those who are reentering the workforce after an extended absence.
  • Work Strong helps you tap both sides of your brain in learning how to build a healthy career.

  • It encourages you to use your reasoning ability on the left side of your brain by presenting all of the information you need to Work Strong in your career. That’s The Career Fitness System.
  • It also encourages you to use your creative ability on the right side of your brain by presenting a fictional account of what it would be like to Work Strong. That’s The Diary of a Career Activist.
  • In today’s world of work, you have only two choices: you can be the master of your career or you can be its victim. Get the tools you need to take charge of the one-third or more of your life you spend at work. Get Work Strong today! You’ll increase the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work!

    But don’t forget about others. Get Work Strong for yourself and for your spouse, your sons or daughters and even for your mother and father. Everyone deserves to Work Strong. To place your order, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!