THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

March 5, 2009   view past issues

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The Upside of Down

Recruiters Have Careers Too

If you’re a recruiter or an HR professional in the recruiting field, you spend all day, every day helping to advance the careers of others. Now there’s a way you can take care of your own career, as well. We at WEDDLE’s are pleased to announce the launch of CareerFitness.com. Based on Peter Weddle’s new book Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, it is a state-of-the-art resource center 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. You’ll also find other insightful assessments and a full featured program for career success at the site, so we hope you’ll take full advantage of all of it and tell your friends and colleagues all about it.

Feature: The Upside of Down

Deep economic downturns often change human and organizational behaviors forever. A generation of Americans kept their extra money secreted under their mattresses after the Great Depression because they no longer trusted banks. And until the late 1900s, commercial banks were forbidden from operating as investment banks in order to prevent a Depression-like banking collapse. Sadly, the Glass-Steagall law was rejected as old fashioned in 1999, and we are now living with the consequences. The point remains, however: that in times of stress, people and organizations adopt new ways of acting, and those new behaviors-good or bad-tend to last a very long time.

That’s particularly true in recruiting. Despite all the bleak numbers in the news, employers are still adding new staff. They are hiring in a very different way, however, and it’s this new behavior which has the hallmarks of a permanent change in the way things are done. What am I talking about? The strategy of upgrading an organization’s workforce even as it downsizes that same population. I call it the upside of down.

To put it bluntly, a growing number of employers are now trading out their “C” performers and replacing them with “A” level talent because … well, because they can and they must.

  • They can because there have never been so many high performers actively looking for a new job. Bankrupt, merged and wounded companies are now laying off their best performers and in the process creating the most attractive pool of prospects in decades.
  • And, they must because they risk falling behind the competition if they don’t. When the recovery comes-and it will come-the organizations that have upgraded their workforce will be able to move more quickly, more creatively and achieve better results than those that are still plodding along with a full complement of mediocre performers.
  • So, the challenge for those of us in recruiting today is to find an answer to this critical new question: how do you upgrade a workforce even as you are downsizing it? It’s a complex business, to be sure, but not as outside the realm of our experience as we might at first think. In fact, I believe you can successfully implement an upside of down strategy if you remember just three things that you already know.

    First, remember that “C” level performers are people too. They deserve your employer’s respect and decent treatment even if they will no longer be among its employees. That’s not only the correct way to act, it’s the correct way to recruit “A” level performers. The single most important criterion in a top performer’s evaluation of a prospective employer is what it will be like to work in the organization. And they make that judgment based on what an organization does, not on what it says. They assume that the treatment an employer accords its displaced workers-regardless of their capability-is the treatment it will accord a new employee-even if they are more talented or will make a greater contribution to enterprise success. Hence, you can have the most compelling employment brand ever devised and you can spend a fortune promoting it to the candidate population, but if your human resource management practices suggest a different reality at work, the best talent will always default to the more negative view.

    Second, remember the Golden Rule of Recruiting. This maxim is as simple as it is powerful: what you do to recruit the best talent will also recruit mediocre talent, but the converse is not true. In other words, “A” level performers, even those who are in an active job search, know they are a valuable asset for employers and are determined to be treated that way. They will not respond to job postings which are poorly written and lack the detail necessary for informed decision-making. They will not condone interviews by hiring managers who are unprepared, unfriendly or both. And, they will not tolerate a lack of communications or attention during the recruiting process. They expect to be kept informed of their status on a regular basis and that we recruiters will make the effort to get to know them and their employment goals. To put it another way, they don’t want what has sadly become the norm in many recruiting functions today: a supply chain experience that makes even the best prospects feel more like a widget than a talented human being.

    And third, remember that you are trying to adopt a new behavior. Senior executives, even those in HR, may not recognize the potential benefit your organization stands to gain from today’s high caliber candidate pool or the cost required to attain it. Therefore, sell the value proposition of upgrading your workforce up the chain of command. If possible, take it all the way to the top. Then, after they get the message, educate them on the companion reality: there’s no free lunch in recruiting top talent, whether we’re in a recession or a boom time. You need capable recruiters, a sensible budget, solid technology and effective leadership to succeed, and now’s the time to get them. You’ve never been able to offer a better return on the organization’s investment than right now. So, make your case as an extraordinary window of opportunity-a momentary and fleeting chance-to upgrade your employer’s talent and, in the process, give it a competitive edge that will serve it well in the recovery and for years thereafter.

    Improving the level of talent in an organization is normally one of the most difficult goals to accomplish in recruiting. Typically, “A” level performers have lots of choices, including the employer for which they are already working. They are seldom willing to move voluntarily and are even less frequently forced into transition. That’s why it’s so important to change your behavior and take advantage of today’s atypical situation. The current candidate pool represents a once-in-a-career opportunity to upgrade your organization’s capability and ultimately its success. Don’t miss it.

    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

    Peter Weddle has launched a new blog which you can reach from 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, Peter believes 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. We hope you’ll read the blog regularly and tell others about it.

    News Item #2

    With almost one-in-five companies reporting an HR hiring freeze, layoff or both, recruiters and HR professionals who are in transition face an especially challenging job market. If you find yourself in that situation, it’s important to identify the areas that offer the best prospects for success. A recent survey won’t tell you where those are, but it does offer some useful insights on where they aren’t. ORC Worldwide released the results of its SIRS Benchmark Survey that examined HR staff cuts by industry. Although they mostly follow the financial news, there are some surprises. The five industries with the most cuts are:

  • The Financial industry, with HR staff down 14%;
  • The Airline industry, with HR staff down 10%;
  • The Pharmaceutical industry, also down 10%;
  • The Biotechnology industry, with HR staff down 9%; and
  • The High Technology industry, with HR staff down 5%.
  • Can you still find an opportunity in these industries? Of course. But the data suggest that the odds are better elsewhere.

    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! PLUS, if you sign up before March 15th, you’ll receive an additional 10% discount. It doesn’t get any better than that!

    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:

    SeattleJobs.com

    http://www.seattlejobs.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: Regional: Seattle, WA

    Fee to post a job: $251-300/posting slot

    Posting period: 60 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 3,000,000+

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Administrative

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

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Get 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!