November 16, 2006   view past issues

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Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

WEDDLE’s continuously conducts both primary and secondary research on Best Practices in employment excellence and HR leadership. We recently asked the visitors to the WEDDLE’s Web-site to tell us where they expect to find their next job. A total of 1,270 people participated in our survey. Here’s how they think they’ll be successful in future job search campaigns:

  • 57.6% Responding to an ad posted on an Internet job board
  • 16.8% Networking at business and social events
  • 7.2% Responding to an ad posted on an employer’s Web-site
  • 7.6% Sending a resume to an employer by mail
  • 3.9% Receiving a call from a headhunter
  • 1.9% Receiving a call from a staffing firm
  • 1.9% Attending a career fair
  • 1.6% Responding to a newspaper ad
  • 0.7% Joining a social networking site
  • What the Findings Mean

    As with consumer intentions, job seeker intentions can provide us with important insights on how best to design the features and dynamics of our sales and marketing campaign (or what you and I call our sourcing and recruiting process). In other words, now that we know where and how individuals will be looking for a new or better job, we can align our activities with theirs and, as a consequence, optimize our yield.

    What steps should we take? The following suggestions will get you started:

    Use the right job boards in the right way. The data suggest that Internet job boards continue to be an effective route for connecting with talent in transition. They were three times more popular with our respondents than the second most cited job search activity.

    The key to using job boards effectively, of course, is knowing which ones are most likely to attract the specific workforce cohort(s) you are trying to recruit. And that’s the rub. You have at least 40,000 boards from which to pick, and no single one of them can provide complete access to any one cohort. For that reason, I recommend a strategy called the 7:1 Method.

    The 7:1 Method involves posting your openings at 2 general purpose sites (those that support recruiting in all professions, crafts and trades), 3 niche sites (one that specializes in the career field you are trying to recruit, one for the industry of your employer, and one that focuses on the location of your opening) and 2 diversity sites (those that focus on diversity in general or on a specific diversity group you are trying to reach). That 7-site formula provides you with optimum access to the full range and depth of the workforce and thus has the best prospects of yielding 1 great hire.

    Add networking to the Career area on your company site. While job seekers feel that ads posted on your site are their third most likely source of employment, using them was selected by fewer than one-out-of-ten individuals. In contrast, better than one-out-of-six respondents felt they would land their next job by networking … and not a single one mentioned networking online or at a company’s Web-site.

    That disconnect between the popularity of networking and its absence online creates a huge opportunity for your organization. I’m not talking about using social networking sites; they were selected by fewer than 1% of our respondents. Instead, I’m suggesting that you re-imagine the Career area on your corporate site so that it operates not as a classified ad platform but as a venue for building relationships with employment prospects.

    Certainly, you continue to post your openings on the site, but with this new vision, you also invite your visitors to stick around and chat awhile. How can you do that? Offer one or more blogs, bulletin boards or discussion forums to create a way for job seekers to communicate with you and with their peers online. The resulting sense of inclusiveness will bring them back over and over again and, no less important, stimulate them to bring their friends and coworkers by, as well.

    Finally, our poll also afforded the respondents an opportunity to identify job search methods other than those on our list of options. It generated some … well, some unusual responses. How do these “free thinkers” expect to find their next job? Here’s what they said:

  • Beats me;
  • I’ll rely on serendipity;
  • By pounding the pavement; and
  • I won’t be looking as I’m now retired.
  • Please Note: As a part of our ongoing research, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both job seekers and recruiters on the Web since 1996. We’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of data elements probing:

  • what they do and what they don’t do,
  • what they like and what they don’t like,
  • and most importantly,

  • what they think works best.
  • To add your insights and opinions to our research, please visit the Polling Station at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.

    This Issue’s Sponsor: Arbita

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

    Arbita is the leading provider of global jobs cross posting solutions.

    Our flexible integration solutions allow you to combine job-posting capabilities with other applications easily. Our platform independent technologies empower you to deploy our systems in concert with leading ERP, HRIS, and ATS platforms. Our streamlined posting, robust reporting, knowledgeable media consulting and experienced vendor management improve recruiting workflow and results.

    For more information please contact or call us today at (612) 278-0000.

    Section Two: Insights From In-Sites

    Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the Interactive Edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated for 2006. For a complete collection of Peter’s writing, please see our book Postcards From Space.

    To “B” or Not to “B”

    The War for Talent, a report produced by McKinsey & Company in 1997, was a seminal document in the recruiting profession. Not only did it underscore the importance of the work that recruiters do in the modern enterprise, but for the first time, it calculated the monetary impact of that work.

    McKinsey studied a number of organizations to determine if the quality of recruiters’ yield really mattered at the bottom line. Now, you have to wonder why it took a study in the 97th year of the 20th Century to figure that out, but we’ll explore that question on another day. Anyway, McKinsey found that the differential financial impact of high performers was not only measurable, but profound. No matter what metric is used-sales closed, products manufactured without defect, or customer satisfaction scores-“A” level performers are 50 to 100% more productive than “C” level performers. Hire the best and most capable in each profession, craft or trade for which you recruit, and you will give your organization a clear competitive advantage that even the CFO will be able to recognize.

    Now, some will say that this push for the best quality is overblown. Even professional sports teams, they argue, can’t afford to hire All Stars at every position. It’s an interesting point, but a misconceived analogy. Any sports team that is truly trying to win a championship also tries to hire the best players it can find for each and every position it has to fill; the Yankees haven’t won twice as many World Champions as any other team because they go out and hire “C” players at a position or two. Accepting less than the best is asking to be mediocre … whether it’s on the baseball diamond or in the global marketplace.

    Indeed, that is the ultimate finding of the McKinsy report. Whatever the position you have to fill, you should try to hire the person who will do it best. Not the first qualified person you can find, but the best qualified person there is. That’s obvious in the professional and managerial ranks, but it’s just as true among trade and hourly workers. If your organization needs another retail sales person, then you want to recruit “A” level candidates in sales; if it needs a mail room clerk, then you want to hire the best mail room clerk you can find; and if it’s a janitor, then go out and recruit an “A” level janitor.

    But here’s the rub. The McKinsey study ignored a whole class of workers that we would do well to consider. Between those “A” level performers at the top and those “C” level performers in the mediocre middle, there are “B” level players who are the invisible candidates of the labor force. And, according to recent work by a scholar at Harvard, they deserve better treatment.

    “B” level performers are typically every bit as talented and capable as “A” level performers, but they bring different motivations to work.

  • “A” level performers These employees work for huzzahs. They want to be known as the best in the organization. They are good, and they want everyone else to know it. They crave being recognized by promotions and bonuses and the attention of their boss. They may be the only employees who actually look forward to performance appraisals. Their motivation is Brand Me.
  • “B” level performers These employees work for what one writer called “mental chocolate.” They are very good at what they do-in fact, many are recovering “A” level performers-but they do it for the intrinsic reward of a job well done. It’s not that they don’t care about awards and bonuses, but they aren’t driven to stand out or to stand above their colleagues. Their motivation is Brand Us.
  • Said another way, “B” level performers have a balanced view of work and life, and because they do, they often go unnoticed (witness the McKinsey report) and underappreciated by their employers. In many respects, however, they are the backbone of an organization. They are the workers you can count on in a crisis; they are the people who will quietly but competently step in to help cover for an absent co-worker. And they are, as a consequence, people we must recruit.

    How do we do that? As I’ve suggested in previous columns when discussing “A” level prospects, we have to find out exactly what will attract “B” level performers to our organization and focus on those factors in our job postings and the Career content on our Web-site. One of the best ways to acquire this insight is to borrow a tactic used by our colleagues in marketing. We should hold focus groups among the “B” level employees in our organization working in the fields for which we are recruiting. They are the perfect surrogate for the “B” level prospects we want to recruit and can tell us precisely what it takes to get someone (just like them) to “buy” our organization as an employer.

    The basis for this research, as our marketing colleagues have learned, is customer segmentation. We must recognize the differences among the potential “customers” of our organization’s employment value proposition and shape the expression of that proposition to attract the customers we most want. The McKisney and Company report provides the justification for focusing on “A” level performers and their unique needs. To achieve full success as recruiters, however, we should also determine what attracts “B” level performers and source them, as well. When we do, we give our organizations both extraordinary performers and those who add something extra to the ordinary performance of everyone around them.

    Thanks for reading,


    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!

    Section 3: News You Can Use, an employment site specializing in environmental, occupational health and safety recruitment, announced that it will now serve as the official job board of NAEM, an organization formerly known as the National Association for Environmental Management. NAEM serves management-level professionals in the environmental, health and safety fields. Job posting fees begin at $350 for a one month posting.

    Harvard Business Review published an article entitled Breaking the Trade-Off Between Efficiency and Service by Frances X. Frei, a Harvard Business School professor. She notes that “customers aren’t simply the open wallet at the end of an efficient supply chain.” For the recruiting field, she might restate her view as “customers aren’t simply the automaton at the end of an efficient recruiting process.” They have a choice of employers. And that choice is based on how they are treated during the process. Ms. Frie argues that there are five distinct parts to any service program; they’re presented below with my translation for the Career area on your company’s Web-site:

  • When the customer arrives (Translation: Take a look at the Home Page on your corporate site; does it use Jobs (which appeals only to active job seekers) as the link to your employment area or Careers (which appeals to passive as well as active job seekers?).
  • When the customer makes a request of some kind (Translation: Do you make it easy for visitors to search your job postings or do you scare off all but the most determined active job seekers by requiring them to register first?).
  • When the customer decides how much to participate (Translation: Does your Career area feel like a store where you’re selling jobs to active job seekers or a farm where you’re building relationships with active and passive prospects?).
  • When the customer participates in the interaction (Translation: Do you offer an application form for passive prospects-most of whom won’t have a resume-or do you require candidates to submit a resume in order to apply?).
  • When the customer judges how well they’ve been treated (Translation: Do you make the visitors to the Career area on your corporate site feel like cogs in a supply chain or like cognitive beings with a choice among employers?).
  • 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:

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


    Googling, Blogging & Other Sourcing Techniques for Passive Prospects


    Transforming Your Resume Database into a Candidate Gold Mine


    Staffing Metrics That Count in the Corner Office


    Employment Branding-Creating the Image That Sells Top Talent

    November 30, 2006

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

    December 14, 2006

    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. 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.

    Please Support Our Sponsor: Arbita

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

    Arbita is the leading provider of global jobs cross posting solutions.

    Our flexible integration solutions allow you to combine job-posting capabilities with other applications easily. Our platform independent technologies empower you to deploy our systems in concert with leading ERP, HRIS, and ATS platforms. Our streamlined posting, robust reporting, knowledgeable media consulting and experienced vendor management improve recruiting workflow and results.

    For more information please contact or call us today at (612) 278-0000.