THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

February 19, 2009   view past issues

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Recruiting’s Scarlet Letter “A”

My New Blog-WorkStrong

Before I begin this week’s column, I would like to invite you to visit my new blog which you’ll find on the home page of the WEDDLE’s Web-site. Called WorkStrong, its audacious mission: is to help bridge the looming gap between the working men and women on either side of the job market. Although they have very different roles in that marketplace, I believe that the key to success for both recruiters and candidates is to re-imagine the purpose of their work and the direction of their careers. To paraphrase a noted (if controversial) scientist, only the fittest will survive these difficult days, and that’s what WorkStrong is all about. I hope you’ll read the blog regularly and tell others about it.

Feature: Recruiting’s Scarlet Letter “A”

No one would ever say it out loud, of course, but there has always been a scarlet letter “A” in recruiting. Conference presentations will carefully finesse the point, and individual conversations will usually steer clear of it altogether. But the fact remains that in their heart of hearts, many and maybe even most recruiters believe that “Active job seekers” are qualitatively inferior to other prospective new hires.

All of us have been in the job market at one time or another, so we aren’t particularly proud of this bias. But that doesn’t change how we feel. And if you have any doubt about our real view, consider all of the fuss we make over our employee referral programs. And all of the attention we pay to sourcing tools and techniques. Deep down inside, we know that only they can lead us to the platinum prospect-the antithesis of the active job seeker-the one, the only, the passive job seeker.

But that was a lifetime ago. That was before we saw more than 3 million jobs disappear. That was before banks and investment firms, auto manufacturers and heavy machinery makers, tony consulting firms and even Microsoft and Google started dumping talent into the job market. Today’s active job seekers are, as a result, unlike any we have ever seen before.

Now, I know that some firms are quietly but resolutely pruning their staff. Using the recession as cover, they’re laying off marginal workers and hiring “upgrades.” They’re taking high caliber individuals out of the active job seeker population and adding to it those who are less capable. Whatever you may think of this tactic, the fact that it’s possible to do it is proof positive that today’s job seeker population is probably the best in history.

So, what should you do?

I would suggest you embark on the following four steps:

Step 1. Sell your organization’s leadership team on the opportunity. They probably have the conventional bias. They see a great big, scarlet letter “A’ on most job seekers. While I don’t know of any empirical data that would prove the counterpoint, logic would dictate that as many of America’s formerly grandest employers either go out of business or sharply reduce their workforces, the caliber of people now looking for a job is up, way up. That gives your employer an unprecedented window of opportunity to connect with heretofore inaccessible talent.

Step 2. In conjunction with Step 1, layout a strategy for capitalizing on the situation. Deep down inside, most senior executives are optimists, so point out that, although we don’t know when, the recovery is coming and when it does, being able to draw on top talent you’ve already recruited will be a strong competitive advantage. Since it’s tough to get a budget for anything these days, however, I suggest you frame your proposal as an investment of “sweat equity” by the recruiting team. As indelicate as that term may be, the fact that you’re “sweating” on behalf of the enterprise makes you more of a “keeper” than a lot of others who are sitting around waiting for the world to get better.

Step 3. Use your sweat equity wisely. For example, here are two suggestions that will leverage investments you’ve likely already made:

  • Create a blog on your corporate Web-site and invite top employees in your organization to write about what it’s like to work there. Make their writing assignment relatively short-a three month stint, for example-so you don’t overburden the participants and the content is always fresh. To increase the viral impact of the blog, have the authors invite the participation of anyone they know in their field who is a top performer and/or in transition.
  • Create a LinkedIn group for your organization and then invite those in your resume database to join it. You can send InMail for free to those who participate in such a group so it’s an effective way to stay in touch and build relationships with applicants. Assign an individual or small team to create regular messages-no more than once a week but no less than twice a month-that describe the day-to-day work experience in the organization.
  • Step 4. Provide progress reports to the leadership team. Keep them up-to-date on the “sweat equity” you’ve invested and the results you’ve achieved. Remember, senior executives understand achievements best when they’re expressed in numbers. For example, tell them about the increase in traffic to your Web-site’s blog or how many applicants have joined your LinkedIn group. Once they see and appreciate the quantitative aspects of your effort, you can educate them on its qualitative impact, as well.

    Perhaps more than at any other time in our nation’s history, today’s workforce doesn’t deserve to be branded with a scarlet letter “A”. Indeed, given the large number of working men and women who are now actively searching for a new employment opportunity, the odds are that the more accurate label would be a giant letter “B,’ in whatever color you would prefer. Why “B”? Because this pool of talent may well be the Best that’s ever been available in the job market.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PeterWeddle

    P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: Work Strong

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, Peter Weddle’s new book on conditioning your career for sustainable success.

    Designed specifically for the challenging workplace of the 21st Century:

    Work Strong not only tells you what to do for career success, but when, where and how to do it.

  • Career Fitness includes both a revolutionary philosophy of work and a regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities that empower you to apply that philosophy to your career.
  • Using physical fitness as a metaphor, it introduces an approach to career self-management that is appropriate for everyone from senior executives and seasoned professionals to recent graduates and those who are reentering the workforce after an extended absence.
  • Work Strong helps you tap both sides of your brain in learning how to build a healthy career.

  • It encourages you to use your reasoning ability on the left side of your brain by presenting all of the information you need to Work Strong in your career. That’s The Career Fitness System
  • It also encourages you to use your creative ability on the right side of your brain by presenting a fictional account of what it would be like to Work Strong. That’s The Diary of a Career Activist.
  • In today’s world of work, you have only two choices: you can be the master of your career or you can be its victim. Get the tools you need to take charge of the one-third or more of your life you spend at work. Get Work Strong today! You’ll increase the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work!

    But don’t forget about others. Get Work Strong for yourself and for your spouse, your sons or daughters and even for your mother and father. Everyone deserves to Work Strong. To place your order, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    News Item #1

    We at WEDDLE’s are pleased to announce the launch of CareerFitness.com. Based on my new book Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, it is a state-of-the-art resource for successful career self-management and job search. Think of it as “your careerspace” for the 21st Century. Where should you begin? Use the site’s free Career Fitness Evaluation to see how well you’re positioned to survive and prosper in today’s and tomorrow’s turbulent world of work. Oh, and please tell others about the site. I’d really appreciate it.

    News Item #2

    What should a staffing firm Web-site look like? My nomination is AmericaonDemand.net. In the interest of full disclosure, I helped this company conceptualize the site, but I think it stands out for a number of reasons:

  • First, it removes the transactional feel of many other sites by offering visitors a Career Center that provides them with tools and resources not only to find a job, but to manage their career, as well.
  • Second, it acknowledges that HR professionals and recruiters are people too. They spend their whole day helping others advance their careers, so the site offers them a special Career Center where they can do the same for themselves.
  • Third, it doesn’t just talk at visitors, it engages them in a dialogue. This first version of the site offers polls for job seekers and HR professionals so they can express their opinions on key job search and career issues. And future plans call for the site to include discussion forums and other kinds of interactive functionality.
  • Is the site perfect? No site is, but AmericaonDemand.net transforms the standard, old staffing firm site into a 21st Century career portal that serves not one but all segments of the company’s customer base.

    News Item #3

    WEDDLE’s is pleased to announce the schedule for its 2009 Spring/Summer Training Series. The first program is in April, but if you register now, you’ll save 10% on the already low cost of participation.

    WEDDLE’s training programs are audio-based. You get the PowerPoint slides for each program in advance, and on the day of the training, you simply call a toll-free number and have the presentation delivered right to you.

  • Everyone in your office can listen in or you can take the course by yourself.
  • You can download the PowerPoint slides onto your computer or print them out and use them for note-taking.
  • You don’t have to spend the time to travel to another location, but can take the training wherever it’s convenient for you.
  • No less important, all of the programs are presented by WEDDLE’s Publisher, Peter Weddle, one of the most highly rated trainers in our industry. In addition, they draw on WEDDLE’s 12+ years of research into the Best Practices for sourcing and recruiting online.

    The Spring/Summer 2009 series is listed below:

  • April 7, 2009: Online Networking for Hard-to-Find, High Caliber Prospects
  • April 21, 2009: Best Practices in Online Recruitment Advertising 2.0
  • May 5, 2009: Best Practices in Sourcing Passive Prospects Online
  • May 26, 2009: Blink Recruiting-Getting to “Yes” Fast With Top Talent
  • June 2, 2009: Transforming Your Resume Database into a Candidate Gold Mine
  • June 16, 2009: Optimizing the Candidate Experience: The Secret to Recruiting Success
  • These are great learning opportunities presented by one of our industry’s most highly rated trainers. In addition, you can’t beat the price; it’s just $175 per telephone line. That’s unbelievably inexpensive for individual training, but consider this:

  • If there are two of you in your office and you both listen in, that drops the price to just $87.50 per person.
  • If you put 10 of your colleagues in a conference room and all listen in, that drops the price to an incredible $17.50 per person.
  • However you do it, you get world class training and save your employer money!

    Registrations are limited, so reserve your seats now. Call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 today. Please note that sessions are not recorded and reservations are final and binding.

    “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 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:

    6FigureJobs.com

    http://www.6figurejobs.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Fee to post a job: $375/posting slot

    Posting period: 30 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 12,000

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Management

    Other services for employers: Discussion forum for networking, Assessment instruments, Automated resume agent, Banner advertising, Status reports

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Ask Your Bookstore for Work Strong Today

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, Peter Weddle’s new book on conditioning your career for sustainable success.

    Designed specifically for the challenging workplace of the 21st Century:

    Work Strong not only tells you what to do for career success, but when, where and how to do it.

  • Career Fitness includes both a revolutionary philosophy of work and a regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities that empower you to apply that philosophy to your career.
  • Using physical fitness as a metaphor, it introduces an approach to career self-management that is appropriate for everyone from senior executives and seasoned professionals to recent graduates and those who are reentering the workforce after an extended absence.
  • Work Strong helps you tap both sides of your brain in learning how to build a healthy career.

  • It encourages you to use your reasoning ability on the left side of your brain by presenting all of the information you need to Work Strong in your career. That’s The Career Fitness System
  • It also encourages you to use your creative ability on the right side of your brain by presenting a fictional account of what it would be like to Work Strong. That’s The Diary of a Career Activist.
  • In today’s world of work, you have only two choices: you can be the master of your career or you can be its victim. Get the tools you need to take charge of the one-third or more of your life you spend at work. Get Work Strong today! You’ll increase the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work!

    But don’t forget about others. Get Work Strong for yourself and for your spouse, your sons or daughters and even for your mother and father. Everyone deserves to Work Strong. To place your order, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!