THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

July 5, 2007   view past issues

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Feature: The Better Deal Theory

In 1973, Robert Ringer wrote a bestselling book called Winning Through Intimidation. Much of it is a formula for how not to recruit top talent. Artifice and bullying aren’t going to get you very far when you’re trying to reach people who have recruiters chasing them every single day. On the other hand, one of his ideas-the Better Deal Theory-offers a rare insight into exactly what it takes to connect with and sell the “A” level performers that your organization needs in order to succeed.

The Better Deal Theory states “… that before a person closes any kind of a deal-including marriage-he always worries about the fact that there may be a better deal down the road. It’s an uncontrollable instinct: at the last moment, the thought has to at least occur to a person that he might be missing out on a better deal somewhere else.” Now, I’m not sure how relationship and marriage counselors would view this notion, but in recruiting, it’s dead on. The people who have the most choices-the best and brightest in the workforce-are always concerned that they are going to under-sell themselves or miss out on a better opportunity by accepting the offer they have today (from you) rather then the one they might get tomorrow.

This phenomenon, of course, is not unique to “A” level performers. It afflicts all of us. No matter how many times we repeat the lesson, somewhere deep down inside, there’s always the belief that the grass is greener someplace else. For those of us in recruiting, however, this notion underscores the importance of being very selective in the kinds of information we provide when crafting our organization’s value proposition as an employer. In essence, we must use only the information that will cause a top prospect to move past the “point of no return”-to accept that our offer is the single best deal for them.

How do we formulate such a message?

First, it’s important to recognize that there is a hierarchy of information for top talent. Not all information is of equal value to them. We have to know the hierarchy because these prospects have the attention span of a gnat. They simply aren’t going to wade through a lot of text to find the information they want. Either it’s easy to access or they’re gone.

To prevent their premature departure, therefore, we must front-load our messaging. We have to lead with the information that is most important to them. In practical terms, front-loading means inserting the required information in the first five lines of your job postings, on the front page of the Career area on your corporate site and at the beginning of any collateral you produce for career fairs and campus visits. It should be the first thing they read and, equally as important, the information that is emphasized with word choice, graphics and format.

Second, it’s important to use the right hierarchy. Unfortunately, the information we typically provide in our recruitment messaging-job requirements and responsibilities-is not what the top talent most wants to see. This information is important, of course, but it’s not what motivates the top talent to see an offer as the best deal for them. And it’s that realization which we must accomplish first. We must get them beyond the point of no return, and then we can tell them about the specifics of the job.

A 2004 Recruiting Roundtable study provides some insight into the kinds of information that matters most to “A” level performers. It found the following hierarchy (in descending order of importance):

  • The day-to-day experiences a person will have as an employee
  • The type of person the organization wants to hire
  • What is expected of the person in performing the job
  • The type of work that will be performed
  • The skills and competencies necessary for successful job performance.
  • In other words, if we want to convince the best talent that there is no better deal than ours, we have to lead with our strength. We have to front load our message with information about the day-to-day employment experience in our organization and the type of people who will succeed there. If (and only if) that communication is persuasive will they then consider our specific opportunity to determine whether it is a good fit for them.

    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: RES

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

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    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Deloitte and The Economist Intelligence Unit released the results of yet another study of how people issues are viewed by business executives. As usual, the results were depressing: 85% of the surveyed executives think people issues are vital to their business, and just 4% describe their company’s HR function as “world class.” Now, I admit I have an old world view of leadership, but I believe that the CEO is responsible for everything that happens on his or her watch. To be sure, they reap the accolades when times are good, so they should be held accountable when things go wrong. And, I would say that a 96% failure rate for their HR function would rise to the definition of something going wrong, seriously wrong on their watch. To put it another way, I’d like to see a survey of those business CEOs and other executives who are willing to put their money where their opinions are. Instead of griping about HR and then investing a measly 0.9% of total operating costs-the U.S. norm for the last ten years-I’d like to see how many would sign up to invest 5%, 6% or more of their operating costs to fix their gripe. Frankly, I’m tired of CEOs’ vapor capital approach to HR; all they invest is hot air. If they want a world class HR function, they’re going to have to pay for it.

    HR Magazine from the Society for Human Resource Management published the results of a study to determine the core competencies of HR professionals worldwide in 2007. Conducted by Dave Ulrich, a professor of business administration at the University of Michigan, its goal was to see what had changed and what was new in the profession’s base of essential knowledge base since a similar study was performed five years ago. Not surprisingly, one of the seven core competencies identified by the study was “business ally,” a role which requires a person to be “business literate.” But, what does that mean? As a minimum, according to Ulrich, you must be able to answer the following ten questions about your employer:

  • What are the annual revenues of your business?
  • How does your business “make money”? Of every $100 that your organization takes in, how much comes out the other end as profit and what happens in between?
  • What is your company’s market value? Price/earnings ratio?
  • What is your company’s type of funding? If equity, what type of stock are you and who are some of the major investors? If debt, who are the major lenders and what is their credit rating for your company?
  • Who are your company’s major customers? Why do they buy from you (what are their buying criteria)?
  • What is your market share in your dominant product/service? What is your customer share of your top customers?
  • What is your company’s product/service brand or desired reputation among target customers? How well is your company delivering on this brand promise?
  • Who are your primary competitors? What are their strengths?
  • What are the agenda items of a recent meeting of your company’s board of directors?
  • What are the objectives and goals of the top manager of your company?
  • OnRec is now booking reservations for its Expo 2007, better known as its Global Summit for Recruitment. The Conference will be held in San Francisco on September 18-9, 2007. Why should you attend? This conference affords the unique opportunity to explore developments in online recruitment in both the U.S. and around the world. It’s a rare chance to hear from and network with international market commentators as well as leading strategic thinkers in the U.S.. The conference will feature such speakers as:

  • Paul Forester, CEO of Indeed.com
  • Tracy Friend, SVP of Talent Acquisition at Countrywide Financial
  • Gautam Godhwani, CEO of SimplyHired.com
  • Don Ramer, CEO of Arbita.net
  • Steven Rothberg, President of CollegeRecruiter.com
  • Kevin Wheeler, President of Global Learning Resources
  • and

  • Peter Weddle, CEO of WEDDLE’s.
  • So, don’t delay. Click here for more information and, as the Brits say, “to book your tickets” to the conference. And while you’re at it, sign up for Peter Weddle’s pre-conference workshop: Recruiting Alchemy: Transforming Passive Prospects into High Quality Hires. The session will

  • introduce the 16 “touch points” in every organization’s sourcing and recruiting process that shape a candidate’s perception of a company as an employer
  • and

  • present a set of guidelines for optimizing the candidate’s experience during each of those interactions.
  • For more information and to register, please click here.

    Prevention magazine offered some tips on how to fight off the inevitable, immobilizing slump that seems to capture just about all of us at some point each workday. Interestingly, the solution (at least, according to the magazine) debunks some conventional wisdom. First, ditch the mid-morning coffee break. It’s better to get your caffeine later in the day when your body has built up six or so hours of adenosine, a sleep-inducing chemical. Second, don’t try to get more sleep. Instead, get up at the same time each day and “bathe yourself in light.” The body performs best if it gets 30 minutes of light first thing in the morning. Finally, forget about eating carbs or what you and I call spaghetti or linguini for lunch. Yes, they’re a quick source of energy, but they can actually turn into an “energy drain” if you consume too many.

    WEDDLE’s announced the availability of a wide range of training programs that can be delivered on-site in your own facility or in a toll-free audio format similar to WEDDLE’s public programs. You can select a single 75-minute program, pick two programs for a combined 2.5-hour seminar or three programs for a half-day workshop. All programs are delivered by WEDDLE’s Publisher, Peter Weddle. WEDDLE’s training programs include:

  • A-to-Z in Best Practices for Online Recruitment Advertising
  • Best Practices in Sourcing Passive Prospects Online
  • Blink Recruiting: Getting to “Yes” Fast With Passive Prospects
  • Building a Corporate Career Site for Top Talent
  • HR Leadership: the Key to Achieving Strategic Partnership
  • Optimizing the Candidate Experience: The Secret to Recruiting Top Talent
  • Staffing Metrics That Count in the Corner Office
  • The Sum & Substance of a Great Employment Brand
  • Transforming Your Resume Database into a Candidate Gold Mine
  • For more information and to schedule your private, in-house WEDDLE’s training program, please call us at 203.964.1888. As The Wall Street Journal noted, “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:

    LatPro

    http://www.latpro.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: International-USA, Latin America

    Fee to post a job: $295/posting

    Posting period: 60 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 14,000

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Latino and bilingual professionals in Engineering, Finance & Accounting, Information Technology, and Sales & Marketing

    Other services for employers: Discussion forum for e-networking, Assessment instruments, Automated resume agent, Status report for advertisers

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Please Support Our Sponosr: RES

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

    Request Your Complimentary Staffing Scorecard

    Do you have a World Class Staffing Function?

    There are five (5) cornerstones of Human Resources and Staffing that when fully optimized will create a world class staffing organization.

    RES has developed a unique scorecard that will enable you to see where your strengths and areas of opportunities exist.

    By analyzing the results from this scorecard, you will see what areas your company performs well and where initial focus is needed to drive the organization towards becoming world class.

    To request your complimentary staffing scorecard, click on RES.