THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

October 3, 2006   view past issues

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Feature: The Home of Applicant Dead Letters

As does almost every profession, recruiting has its own special set of rules for success. Its axioms have consistently proven their validity regardless of labor market conditions and the specific requirements of individual employers. While all of these guidelines are undoubtedly important, I think two deserve special attention, at least if you believe we’re in a War for the Best Talent. They are:

  • Rule 1: Always recruit the best candidates.
  • Rule 2: Be smart about how you do it.
  • The lessons imparted by these rules are as simple as they are challenging. First, the key to recruiting success in today’s tight labor market is the same as it was during the labor surplus market of the past: focus on hiring the best talent. Now, of course, no one comes into work each morning and says “Today, I’m going to recruit some mediocre employees.” That’s why the second tenet is so important. The key to recruiting success is to be efficient as well as effective in your efforts to reach and sell top candidates. It’s sage advice, and unfortunately, a lot of us seem to be ignoring it. We’re breaking Rule 2, and our employers are paying the price.

    How can that be? We spend a lot of money advertising for prospective employees. In 2005, for example, the Newspaper Association of America reports that we spent in excess of $5 billion trying to make a connection with top talent, both in print and online. That money (usually) produced one new hire for each of our openings and hundreds, sometimes thousands of other candidates who were not selected for those positions. Now, some of those individuals were not among the best and brightest in the workforce, but others were extremely competent. For whatever reason, they were not deemed a good fit for the particular openings we had at that point in time, but they could be just the right candidate for another position in the future.

    So, what happened to them? In most cases, their resumes were archived in our resume databases. We put them there so we wouldn’t forget about them, and then we moved on to the next of the 20 or 30 or 40 openings we had to fill. We had done our job and operated according to Rule 1 and Rule 2. Or, had we?

    You’ve heard of dead letters, right? According to the dictionary, they’re documents that are saved, but ignored; they are still available, but worthless because no one makes use of them. Well, despite our good intentions, the resume databases in many organizations today are the home of applicant dead letters. Sure, we (usually) check the database for candidates for each of our new openings, but that’s about all we do with them. We keep spending the money to fill up that repository of documents, and we ignore the people behind them. To me, that’s the equivalent of ignoring Rule 2.

    Resume databases are not electronic stacks of documents; they are human relationships waiting to happen. That distinction is important for two reasons:

  • First, the best candidates make careful career decisions. They want lots of information from sources with which they are familiar and trust. Building that sense of confidence among prospects takes time and effort. It is, in essence, developing a relationship. That relationship, in turn, enables you to better assess prospects for your openings, better sell them on the value proposition of your employer, and better fit them in positions where they can make a meaningful contribution to the enterprise.
  • Second, the investment required to build database relationships can save you advertising dollars. You can cut back on the sourcing required to find strangers for your openings and focus, instead, on picking the right person for each vacancy among those whom you already know. For that to happen, however, you must interact regularly with the (active as well as passive) prospects in your database. You must act as if they are important to your organization and its future and that you care enough to work at getting to know them better (even when you don’t have an opening that is appropriate for them).
  • How do you build relationships with the people behind the documents in your resume database? I think you have to embark on a “dblog” campaign. Most of us are now familiar with blogs-the logs or personal statements that individuals publish on the Web. These commentaries have been called “citizen journalism” because they enable anyone with access to the Web to opine about virtually any topic the human mind can conjure up and post their views where everyone else can read and comment on them. So, what is a dblog? It’s a database blog, a log or statement written for and communicated to the people behind the resumes in your resume database.

    A dblog is an effective way to build relationships with the prospects in your database because of its special characteristics. It begins as a brief announcement sent via e-mail to each individual in the database; the message informs them that a new posting has occurred on a blog that is written specifically for them and accessible by them on your organization’s site. When they arrive at that location, they find a blog that is:

  • Fresh: a dblog must be published at least once a week in order to sustain the level of interaction that will nurture a relationship between the readers and your organization.
  • Tailored: there’s no such thing as a generic candidate, so dblogs must be tailored to the unique interests and information needs of specific cohorts of your database population (e.g., sales, IT, entry level college graduates).
  • Helpful: a dblog is not a press release or your latest job openings; it is a career enhancing message that is best written by top performers in your organization whose career field and experience match those of each cohort of the database.
  • Engaging: the best dblogs stimulate lively conversations that bring readers back over and over again and, in the process, sell them on the opportunity of working in your organization.

    Dblogs, of course, aren’t the only way to be smart about recruiting top talent. However, given the investment most organizations make in filling up their resume database with relationships waiting to happen, it’s a good place to start.

    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: GetTheJob.com

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

    GetTheJob.com provides a revolutionary new way to find, attract and hire the talent your organization needs. Our unique approach is designed to:

  • eliminate posting fees
  • and

  • move candidate traffic directly to your corporate career site.
  • And, with our auto-wrap spidering technology, GetTheJob.com does all of the heavy lifting so you no longer have to waste precious time posting jobs.

    GetTheJob.com is the first employer-only job board that offers low-cost, performance-based, pay-per-click job listings. You can establish your own monthly budget and pay only a low cost-per-click fee for each candidate who actually clicks through to your site to view your job openings. No more expensive subscriptions. No more taking all the risk with pay-up-front job posting fees. And, no more wasted recruiting dollars spent on postings that don’t work. You control your budget based on your desired candidate flow.

    For more information, please call 732.746.2999 or e-mail sales@getthejob.com.


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    CareerJournal.com and the Economic Research Institute presented the results of their study of cash compensation awarded to America’s business executives in 2005. In yet another example of do-as-I-say, not-do-as-I-do management, CEOs are preaching the need for budgetary restraint (and therefore limiting salary increases for their workforces to less than the rate of inflation), but paying themselves handsomely (with year-over-year increases of more than 38%). Perhaps it’s fitting, therefore, that The Corporate Library has released a list of eleven companies that authorized a total of $865 million in pay to CEOs who led their companies to a cumulative loss in shareholder value of $640 billion last year. There’s no better example of the fuzzy math being used to calculate pay for performance for at least some of today’s CEOs.

    New job boards continue to launch and focus on ever fine-grained segments of the workplace and workforce. For example, IndieHub.com recently announced its coming out as a site for the independent film industry. If you want to be in show business, but don’t think MGM or Sony will be calling any time soon, this might be the place to begin. However, if your creative energies are more likely to be displayed in the kitchen than on the stage, you might want to sail by YachtChefs.com. Dabblers and weekend grillers need not apply, however. The site says it accepts only those with Michelin or five-star culinary experience.

    Microsoft’s Adcenter is testing a feature that can help you evaluate the impact of the keywords you include in your job postings. While the site cautions that the tool does not provide or display conclusive results, it is a useful way “to predict a person’s age, gender and other demographic information according to his or her online behavior-that is, from [their] search queries and page views.” For example, if you use the term “human resources” in a job posting, you are most likely to reach a population that is 30% male and 70% female and more likely to be in the 25-34 age cohort followed by the 35-49 age cohort. However, if you used what is considered by many to be the more dated term “personnel administration” in your job posting, you are likely to reach a more gender balanced population (39% male and 61% female) and, somewhat counter-intuitively, a younger age cohort (18-24, followed by 25-34). Now, there’s no evidence that this prediction is correct, but it may be worth testing certain keywords if only to demonstrate your employer’s commitment to diversity in its sourcing.

    Strategy + Business published the results of a Booz Allen Hamilton study of executive turnover in 2005. It found that CEO turnover is at an all time high; more than 15% of the CEOs in 2,500 public companies left their jobs in 2005, up from 9% a decade ago. That kind of attrition, of course, also led to a lot of newly appointed CEOs taking over the reigns. Who fared best? According to the study:

  • Insiders are keepers. Bringing in an outsider as CEO will likely improve performance, but only in the first five years or so. After that, insiders produce better results.
  • Burn your bridges behind you. Keeping a former CEO on as the Chairman of the Board will all but guarantee poor performance by the new CEO, regardless of whether they are an insider or outsider.
  • Give everyone a boss. The best performers are CEOs who report to a Chairman of the Board who has not previously served as the CEO of the company.
  • WEDDLE’s announced its

    Fall/Winter Training Series. Delivered by WEDDLE’s Publisher, Peter Weddle, these training programs will engage, entertain and educate you … all from the comfort of your own office or conference room. The Fall/Winter topics and dates are:

  • October 5th:

    A-to-Z in Best Practices for Online Recruitment Advertising

  • October 19th:

    Googling, Blogging & Other Sourcing Techniques for Passive Prospects

  • November 2nd:

    Transforming Your Resume Database into a Candidate Gold Mine

  • November 16th:

    Staffing Metrics That Count in the Corner Office

  • November 30th:

    Employment Branding-Creating the Image That Sells Top Talent

  • December 14th:

    Blink Recruiting-Getting to “Yes” Fast With Passive Prospects

  • All programs begin at 11:00 a.m. EST, 8:00 a.m. PST and last for one hour. You can listen to each audio-based program (with accompanying PowerPoint course materials) by yourself or invite your entire staffing team. The fee for each program is just $179. Even better, if you sign up for two programs, the fee drops to $165 per program; and if you sign up for four or more programs, the fee drops to an unbelievable $150 per program. Registrations are limited, so reserve your seats right away. To sign up, please call WEDDLE’s at 317.916.9424 today. Note: Sessions are not recorded and reservations are final and binding.


    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. The stock market is booming, and your brokerage needs more brokers fast. Where could you go online to score some big gains in candidates?

  • eFinancialCareers.com
  • BrokerHunter.com
  • TopBrokers.com
  • SuperBrokers.com
  • 2. Your company just landed a contract to provide security at the regional airport. Which of the following sites would help you carefully search the labor market for some great talent?

  • SecurityJobs.net
  • NationJob.com
  • HotJobs.com
  • SecurityPros.com
  • 3. Your best recruiter has just been hired away by your biggest competitor. Which of the following sites would help you source and sell a replacement fast?

  • TopUSAJobs.com
  • SelectRecruiters.com
  • RecruitingJobs.com
  • TheRecruiterNetwork.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005/6 Guides and Directories

    JavaJobs.com

    http://www.javajobs.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Fee to post a job: $175/posting

    Posting period: 45 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 500

    Source of resumes: Direct from individual

    Top occupations among visitors: Java developer

    Other services for employers: Automated resume agent, Banner advertising, Status reports: Banners/postings

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: No

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. Only eFinancialCareers.com and BrokerHunter.com; TopBrokers.com is the site of a real estate broker, and SuperBrokers.com is the site of a yacht broker.

    2. All but SecurityPros.com, the site of an IT security consulting company.

    3. Only TopUSAJobs.com and RecruitingJobs.com; both SelectRecruiters.com and TheRecruiterNetwork.com are resume distribution companies selling services to job seekers.


    Please Support Our Sponsor: GetTheJob.com

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

    GetTheJob.com provides a revolutionary new way to find, attract and hire the talent your organization needs. Our unique approach is designed to:

  • eliminate posting fees
  • and

  • move candidate traffic directly to your corporate career site.
  • And, with our auto-wrap spidering technology, GetTheJob.com does all of the heavy lifting so you no longer have to waste precious time posting jobs.

    GetTheJob.com is the first employer-only job board that offers low-cost, performance-based, pay-per-click job listings. You can establish your own monthly budget and pay only a low cost-per-click fee for each candidate who actually clicks through to your site to view your job openings. No more expensive subscriptions. No more taking all the risk with pay-up-front job posting fees. And, no more wasted recruiting dollars spent on postings that don’t work. You control your budget based on your desired candidate flow.

    For more information, please call 732.746.2999 or e-mail sales@getthejob.com.