THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

December 30, 2008   view past issues

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Feature: Why Advertise If You’re Not Hiring?

The conventional wisdom-or at least the “wisdom” of the Finance Department-is that recruitment advertising should stop when hiring stops. The organization doesn’t need candidates, they will argue, so why bother to recruit them. It’s a waste of money when money is tight.

This view has that inimitable bean counter logic, but as always, it’s terribly shortsighted. In fact, I think an economic downturn is the most appropriate time to advertise for new talent. Why? Because the logic of our friends in finance is framed incorrectly. You don’t need candidates right now, but you will in the future. And, since that’s indisputably true-and because you want to be ready for the upturn when it comes (not after it)-this is the very best time to invest in talent acquisition. Here’s what I mean.

In tough times (as well as good ones), it’s absolutely critical that an organization spend its money wisely. From the Finance Department’s perspective, that means doing more with less. From a rational economic perspective, it means getting the best return possible on any expenditure of scarce financial resources. And, there are at least two reasons why you can generate a better than normal return on an investment in recruitment advertising when you aren’t hiring than at any other time.

Reason #1: It Takes Time to Build a Pipeline

The best talent are almost always employed, in bad times as well as good ones. They are the last workers an employer will let go and the first workers to receive whatever raises, bonuses and plum assignments there are to be doled out. For that reason they don’t jump at the first employment opportunity that comes along, even if it involves a potentially more lucrative and interesting job. They need to be convinced that it’s the right career move for them.

And there’s the rub. Not everyone (or every organization) can convince the best talent to move. They want to be familiar with and trust those who will provide the information and arguments for making such an important career decision. What does that mean for us recruiters? Although it’s a cliché, it’s also absolutely true: the best talent can’t and won’t be sold via as transaction; they demand a relationship.

As anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows-and that includes the CFO-it takes time and effort to achieve a meaningful level of familiarity and a genuine sense of trust. And it’s that necessary lead time that requires advertising now for the talent you will need later. Moreover, unlike in a stronger business environment, you actually have the time to invest in relationship building during a downturn. Instead of answering to clamoring hiring managers, you can reach out to top performers and pay attention to them so they are ready and willing to move six or twelve months from now, when you need them.

Reason #2: Your Competitors Aren’t Advertising

In normal times, you’re not the only one trying to connect with and lure away the best talent. Your efforts are complicated by competitors in your own industry as well as those that operate in countless others. Recruiting-at least recruiting those with hard-to-find skills and those who are top performers-isn’t a contact sport. You can’t just connect with them and expect that they will come. No, recruiting dream candidates is a nightmare.

It’s a cut throat business … except when it isn’t. And, this is one of those times when it isn’t. Today, you have a rare moment of collective myopia, a window of opportunity when the Finance Departments among your competitors will win out and force the cessation of recruitment advertising in their organizations. So, now is actually the very best time to strike. Because now, you have the marketplace for top talent almost all to yourself.

How does that help you? First, your message is likely to cost less, maybe even much less. (Job boards, like retail companies, are ready to deal.) Second, your message is much more likely to be noticed. There’s less competition from other employers’ job postings. And third, your message is also much more likely to work. It will be taken more seriously by more people as they worry about their job security.

All of that adds up to an extraordinary return on a present day investment in recruitment advertising. How can you calculate that return? The cost of a vacant position is typically estimated to be somewhere between one and three times the salary of the position’s incumbent. During a recovery, when having talent on hand and ready to go is critical to success, an unfilled position has the potential to cost far more. The key, therefore, is to monetize that vacancy so that even the CFO can understand.

For example, a Java programmer position that pays $100,000 per year and remains open for just sixty days is likely to cost your organization somewhere between $16,700 and $50,000; a senior sales technician job that pays $60,000 per year and remains open for 90 days could cost your organization between $15,000 and $45,000. And that doesn’t include the real cost of diminished productivity and lost growth opportunities that would accompany those talent shortages.

So, here’s the bottom line (as our friends in finance are fond of saying): investing in recruitment advertising in the present is the single best way to spend money wisely in the present and for the future. It’s as close to a two-fer as you’ll ever get in talent acquisition.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

P.S. Commit an Intentional Act of Kindness. Do something special for a friend or colleagues in these difficult times. Tell about them WEDDLE’s newsletter. It’s the best advice they’ll never have to pay for!


This Issue’s Sponsor: Recognizing Richard Rabbit

This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book. It offers a gentle way to survive and prosper in tough times.

Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for working men and women. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends that make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

This story opens the door to genuine self-exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you are meant to be.

What’s that have to do with recruiters and HR professionals? Despite all of the technology it now involves, recruiting is still fundamentally an exercise in forging genuine, empathetic connections with other people. And you can only make such connections if you are being authentic, if you are being true to yourself. In other words, Recognizing Richard Rabbit will not only help you to find the You of your dreams, it will improve your ability to recruit top prospects, as well.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. This is one book you won’t want to miss! Buy your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.


Section Two: Site News You Can Use

AARP published a study entitled Retirement Security or Insecurity? which found that 65% of workers aged 45 and older are likely to delay their retirement. What’s that mean for recruiters? On the one hand, it may mean fewer openings to fill. On the other hand, it also opens up an unanticipated and highly skilled pool of talent. Many of the urban legends about so-called mature workers-that they are technophobic or increase health insurance costs-have now been debunked, and they are increasingly seen as a high caliber candidate population. Indeed, according to employers cited in the December 2008 AARP Bulletin, such workers bring a number of advantages, especially in retail. These include:

  • Their willingness to take part-time work and/or other than 9-to-5 schedules;
  • Their ability to empathize with a wide range of customers;
  • Their well honed life skills (e.g., speaking multiple languages);
  • Their dependability; and
  • Their capacity to mentor younger staff.
  • As the article also notes, however, not every hiring manager is willing to accept “older” subordinates. Before tapping this pool of talent, therefore, it’s important to gauge a hiring manager’s comfort level. In many cases, they’ll initially reply with what’s politically correct, so it’s important to probe behind the rhetoric to determine where they really come out. The idea is not to put them on the spot, but to avoid investing a lot of effort in recruiting a certain kind of worker if the hiring manger isn’t going to be comfortable with them.

    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
  • WEDDLE’s has released a powerful new tool for recruiters. Called Finding Needles in a Haystack, it’s the first comprehensive listing of keywords for successfully searching resume databases online and off. The book provides thousands of search terms and phrases for the:

  • engineering,
  • finance,
  • healthcare,
  • human resources,
  • sales & marketing,
  • technology,
  • and other fields.
  • If you’re not getting the yield you need from job board resume databases, data mining or even your own resume management system, this is the reference book for you. In fact, sourcing guru Shally Steckerl described this book as “A rare and uniquely useful reference guide for recruiters!” It doesn’t get any better than that! To order your copy, please call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Get Finding Needles in a Haystack today!

    WEDDLE’s also offers a number of other publications for recruiters seeking to win the War for the Best Talent and maximize their ROI … their return on the Internet. They include:

  • 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; and
  • 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:

    PennEnergyJOBS

    http://www.pennenergyjobs.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Fee to post a job: $300/posting

    Posting period: 60 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 6,000+

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Engineering, Scientists

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

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit Today!

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book. It offers a gentle way to survive and prosper in tough times.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for working men and women. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends that make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

    This story opens the door to genuine self-exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you are meant to be.

    What’s that have to do with recruiters and HR professionals? Despite all of the technology it now involves, recruiting is still fundamentally an exercise in forging genuine, empathetic connections with other people. And you can only make such connections if you are being authentic, if you are being true to yourself. In other words, Recognizing Richard Rabbit will not only help you to find the You of your dreams, it will improve your ability to recruit top prospects, as well.

    So, what are you waiting for? Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. This is one book you won’t want to miss! Buy your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.