THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

March 1, 2007   view past issues

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Feature: Treat Your Career Area As If It Were a Catalog

Career areas on corporate Web-sites are no longer a novelty. They are so important to waging the War for the Best Talent effectively that almost all employers now have them. And that’s the rub. With so many of these areas now in operation, it’s increasingly difficult to create a Career area that truly stands out.

There is actually no secret at all to creating a top notch Career area. Ironically, all you have to do is visit Amazon.com. They provide more information to sell a $40.00 book than most employers provide to sell a passive, high caliber prospect on taking a full time job with their organization. In other words, most Career areas fail to stand out because they provide so little information to help the employer stand out.

What kind of information should a top notch Career area include? Let’s use Amazon’s promotion of my 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet to answer that question. The site isn’t perfect, but it does provide some useful insights in the following areas:

Finding the information you want.When you visit Amazon, you’re offered a drop down window at the top of the page (yes, we humans read from top to bottom) and a tool bar at the left hand margin (yes, the English language is read from left to right), both of which use an intuitive link-Books-to connect you directly with the information you want. Unlike with many Career areas, you don’t have to scroll to the bottom of the page to find the appropriate link; the link isn’t so small you need a magnifying glass to read it, and the link, itself, avoids obfuscating or confusing terms (such as About Us or Our Company).

The title of the book and its ISBN. Once in the Book area, you can search for a specific publication directly from the first page. The results of your inquiry will always include both the book’s full title (e.g., WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet: For Corporate and Third Party Recruiters, Job Seekers and Career Activists) and its industry tracking number or ISBN (e.g., 1928734421). Unlike with many Career areas, you don’t have to register or build a customer profile to search for a book, and when the results of your search come back, you get a detailed description of the opportunity rather than just some unintelligible internal position title (e.g., Legal Secretary III, Intermediate Systems Analyst).

A picture of the book’s cover. The most successful retail outlets recognize that different consumers shop in different ways. Some are motivated by text-based detail, while others respond to images. For that reason, Amazon.com includes a description and a picture of almost every book it sells. It indicates whether the book is a hardback or paperback, the size and number of its pages, the language in which it’s written and even its weight. Unlike with many Career areas, you don’t have to imagine what the product (i.e., the employer’s workplace) looks like and you aren’t left in the dark about the kind of physical experience it will provide.

What will happen when you place an order. Amazon.com always tells you exactly how many books it has on-hand and whether they are new or used. It will also tell you whether or not it stocks the book in its warehouse and how long it will take to arrive after you order it. Unlike with many Career areas, you can quickly determine its inventory of items (i.e., how many open positions it is posting in a particular career field), the status of each item (i.e., whether a posting is new or old), and exactly what to expect when you make a purchase (i.e., how long you will have to wait before you will receive what you want-an offer-or hear back from the vendor with information on your situation).

Supplemental descriptive information. In addition to all of the above, Amazon.com also provides more detailed information organized into logical sections to help the consumer make an informed decision buying decision and do so quickly. There are Book Description, About the Author, and Product Detail sections as well as prominent invitations to tell a friend about a book and/or write your own review of it. Unlike with many Career areas, Amazon.com tries to answer the questions of the buyer (i.e., the passive prospect who has choices) before they ask them, works to leverage the viral network of the buyer with every purchasing opportunity (i.e., within the content of each job posting), and creates an experience in which the buyer can actually contribute to the site and thus feel as if it’s ownership is shared (i.e., with them).

The War for Talent is, in many respects, a sales challenge. We have to convince top performers who are almost always employed someplace else to do the one thing nobody wants to do: change. We have to sell them on switching from the devil they know-their current employer, boss and commute-to the devil they don’t know-your employer, a new boss and a different commute. As Amazon.com has proven, the best way to close such a deal is with a catalog full of well organized and compelling information that makes it easy for the customer to find what they want and decide that they want it.

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.

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.


Section Two: Site News You Can Use

CareerBuilder.com introduced its Age-O-Matic feature which enables you to determine just how you’ll look (or maybe already do) if you continue to work in your current job. You upload your photo or use one the site supplies and then move scales up and down to indicate your opinion of your coworkers, bosses and output on-the-job. It’s clearly not a scientific evaluation-there are no positive responses to select-and you won’t be allowed to age gracefully. So, while you can add your name to the results and e-mail them to a friend or colleague, that might not be the wisest course. Most of the final photos resemble the chimps in CareerBuilder’s Super Bowl ads. Nevertheless, the feature does point out just how lousy you can feel (and look) when employed in the wrong job, the wrong organization or both. The subliminal message, of course, is that if you feel the way you’re likely to look if you keep the job you have, it’s time to search for another one.

The Society for Human Resource Management published its Workplace Visions which summarized the research of Teresa Amabile, a professor at the Harvard Business School. She studies the best organizational climates for creativity and has concluded that such cultures have six characteristics:

  • Organizational encouragement, including recognition and rewards for creative work;
  • Supervisory encouragement, so that both individuals and teams feel valued;
  • Work group support, enabling diverse and talented workers to be recruited and trained;
  • Sufficient resources, ensuring that work groups have the time and money they need to succeed;
  • Challenging work, aligning individual talents with specific work responsibilities; and
  • Freedom, providing the flexibility and self direction for optimal performance.
  • Looking at those factors, you have to wonder how recruiting teams ever manage to inject creativity into their work. They seldom get either the organizational or the supervisory encouragement they deserve (from senior leaders or hiring managers) or the resources they need (including budgets and staff) to do the challenging work for which they are responsible. Creativity, however, is just as central to winning the War for Talent as it is to waging the battle for the consumer’s wallet. It’s one more piece of the business case for a greater prioritization of the recruiting function.

    Spencer Stuart released its 2006 edition of the Spencer Stuart Board Index. This report details the results of its survey of Board of Directors members in S&P 500 companies. Unfortunately, the findings make clear that most Boards are still clueless when it comes to the War for Talent. When asked what kind of experience they are looking for among new Board members,

  • 71% said they were looking for active CEOs and COOs-the same executives who, on average, devote less than 1% of their total operating costs to the work of the HR Department;
  • 52% want people with an international background;
  • 41% cited an expertise in technology; and
  • 27% thought a marketing background was important.
  • What’s missing, of course, is any recognition of the need for expertise in talent acquisition and leadership. Sadly, the only competency that Boards seem able to recognize in the field of HR is executive compensation. Gee, I wonder why.

    WEDDLE’s announced its Spring/Summer Training Series for 2007. The individual programs and dates are:

  • April 3, 2007: Best Practices in Sourcing Passive Prospects Online
  • April 24, 2007: Building a Corporate Career Site that Will Attract Top Talent
  • May 15, 2007: The Sum & Substance of a Great Employment Brand
  • May 29, 2007: Blink Recruiting-Getting to “Yes” Fast With Passive Prospects
  • June 11, 2007: Transforming Your Resume Database into a Candidate Gold Mine
  • June 21, 2007: A-to-Z in Best Practices for Online Recruitment Advertising
  • Each 75-minute program is delivered by WEDDLE’s publisher, Peter Weddle, one of our industry’s most highly rated speakers. In addition, you can’t beat the price; it’s hundreds, even thousands, of dollars less than comparable programs elsewhere. But, wait, there’s more:

  • Sign up for two programs, you get a bigger discount.
  • Sign up for four or more programs, you get our biggest discount.
  • Registrations are limited, so reserve your seats now. To get pricing information and sign up, please call WEDDLE’s at 317.916.9424.

    “WOW!! I had the opportunity to listen to Peter Weddle speak last week at a conference and ‘WOW!!’ does NOT do justice to how I felt after listening to him!”


    Section Three: Site Profiles

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

    1. Your production company was shut out at the Academy Awards, so you’ve decided to look for a new head of creative development. Where could you go online to dream up some high caliber prospects?

  • ShowbizJobs.com
  • VarietyCareers.com
  • FilmStaff.com
  • Backstage.com
  • 2. Your Chicago-based company is about to begin development of a new line of products, and you need to find a project manager to shepherd the effort. Which of the following sites would help you launch a successful sourcing campaign?

  • OpsLadder.com
  • allPM.com
  • PMTalent.com
  • ProjectPeople.com
  • 3. You’re up to three shifts a day at your mining company and need experienced workers fast. Where could you go online to dig up some qualified talent?

  • Miners.com
  • MiningJobs.org
  • WeDig.com
  • DigDirt.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    JobDig

    http://www.jobdig.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: Regional/USA: Upper Midwest

    Fee to post a job: $89/posting

    Posting period: 7 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes (resumes not searchable by employers)

    Number of resumes: N/A

    Source of resumes: N/A

    Top occupations among resumes: N/A

    Other services for employers: Assessment instruments, Status report: postings

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. All of them.

    2. Only OpsLadder.com and allPM.com; PMTalent is the site of a talent agency and ProjectPeople is the site of a U.K.-based staffing firm.

    3. Just MiningJobs.org; Miners.com is the site of a couple named Miner, WeDig.com is the site of a consultant named Wedig, and DigDirt is the site of an investigative services company.


    Please Support Our Sponsor: 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.