THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

June 29, 2006   view past issues

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WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

Since 1996, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both job seekers and recruiters on the Web. 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.
  • Recently we tallied job seeker responses to this question: “How many times per month do you visit an online employment site?” The results provide some interesting insight into the best strategy for online recruitment advertising.

    WEDDLE’s Findings

  • Almost three-quarters of the respondents (72%) visited 2-8 sites per month;
  • Just 4% visited only 1 site per month; and
  • One-in-ten visited 16 or more sites per month.
  • What the Findings Mean

    Sourcing success depends on coverage-our ability to reach the greatest range and depth of the workforce. It’s all but impossible, therefore, to rely on any one site or even a couple of them when looking for top candidates.

    What should you do? Design your recruitment advertising effort as a strategic solution. I call that solution the 7:1 Method; it’s expressed as follows:

    2GP + 3N + 2D = 1GH

    where

  • GP represents general purpose job boards;
  • N represents niche sites, including 1 that focuses on the career field for which you’re recruiting, 1 that focuses on your employer’s industry, and 1 that focuses on the position’s location;
  • D represents diversity sites; and
  • GH represents a great hire.
  • Bottom Line: winning the War for the Best Talent requires both well written job postings and a continuously promoted brand that appear on the seven best sites for the high caliber prospects you want to recruit.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: IAEWS

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of the IAEWS–the International Association of Employment Web Sites.

    The International Association of Employment Web Sites is the trade organization for job boards and career portals. Its members include over 500 sites operated by stand-alone enterprises, newspapers and professional journals, associations, radio stations and affinity groups. Their services cover every profession, craft and trade, every industry and virtually every location around the world.

    Why is it important to you? Because it will help you to be a smart consumer on the Web.

    There are over 40,000 employment sites, and not all of them operate according to accepted business standards. How can you tell the difference? Look for the Association’s logo on Web-site home pages. It’s the “good housekeeping seal” you can count on when you make buying decisions among job boards and career portals.


    Section Two: From WEDDLE’s Archive

    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 is drawn from that work. For a complete collection of Peter’s writing, please see our book Postcards From Space.

    Are Your Applicants Persona Non Grata?

    It’s hard not to be overwhelmed. With the avalanche of resumes, I mean. They come crashing into our companies non-stop these days. And that makes our job even harder. If identifying qualified candidates for an opening is normally a challenge akin to finding a needle in a haystack, today, it’s more like finding a molecule in a mountain. There are so many resumes piling up so fast that our entire recruitment process is in danger of collapsing.

    So, who can blame employers for trying to reestablish some order? But, what are they doing? A growing number are refusing to accept candidate resumes unless they are submitted online. They have declared the old fashioned paper and fax varieties persona non grata. Only e-resumes are welcome because they can be easily downloaded right into the corporate resume management system where they can then be easily searched and identified for appropriate openings.

    It’s an efficient solution, to be sure. And, it has all of the hallmarks of good supply chain management, which some HR pundits are fond of extolling. Need to recruit some new employees? Great! Just rack ’em, stack ’em and pack ’em in the door. It’s enough to make a logistician’s heart sing.

    Those resumes, however, are not widgets, but a stand-in for people. That’s right; for all their inadequacies, resumes have not one, but two realities. They are records, and they are relationships. From a candidate’s perspective, then, the way his or her record is managed says a great deal about the way an organization will treat them as an employee. And processes that are efficient at moving around widgets don’t necessarily build good relationships.

    Consider the following example. In 2003, an employer asked a staffing firm, Pearson Reid London House, to recruit several thousand new employees as quickly as possible. The firm used two strategies for sourcing prospects: Internet advertising, where candidates applied online, and an interactive voice response (IVR) system, where candidates applied by responding to automatic prompts on the telephone. The two approaches generated over 300,000 applicants. They also revealed some of the inherent problems in treating people like widgets.

  • Problem #1 The exclusive use of Web-based applications (by resume or application form) may discriminate against certain segments of the population. Why? Because in this case, the IVR system was used by 25.3% of the Native American candidates, 24.7% of the African American candidates, and 16.1% of the Hispanic American candidates. These are candidates who may not have been able to apply if the company had relied solely on an online application. Although progress has been made in eliminating the digital divide in recent years, it remains a real and potent barrier to some members of the population. Hence, relying exclusively on Web-based application can inadvertently cause an employer to miss qualified diversity candidates and run afoul of EEO/AA regulations.
  • Problem #2 The use of Web-based applications may be off-putting to those prospects who do not have a resume. In addition to the candidates identified above, 11.6% of the Caucasian applicants also used the IVR system. These response patterns simply confirm what we recruiters have always known: not all job seekers are alike. Those who do have a resume are likely to be engaged in an active job search, and most (but not all) will happily send you a resume online. Those who do not have a resume, on the other hand, are likely to be passive job seekers. In most cases, that means they are both impatient with application processes and concerned about their confidentiality. Given the unpleasantness of filling in forms online and all of the news lately about identity theft on the Internet, at least some employment prospects among passive job seekers will exclude themselves from consideration if an employer relies exclusively on Web-based applications.
  • Problem #3 Although it’s not apparent from this situation, many of the best prospects-the “A” level performers among active and passive job seekers-do not like to be told how they may apply for a job. Top talent rightly sees themselves as preferred applicants, and they want to be treated that way. Given the shortage of such high quality workers and the performance premium they provide, it only makes good sense for employers to comply. That means taking resumes or applications however the candidate wants to send them … online, by telephone, by paper airplane or pony express.
  • Obviously, efficiency is important, particularly in these days and times. The quest for efficiency, however, must not undercut our ability to accomplish our mission. We are responsible for finding the best candidates possible for our employer’s vacancies. And when we limit the ways by which candidates can apply for those openings, we limit the range of candidates we can recruit. Indeed, the net effect of designating paper and fax resumes as persona non grata is to make many very appealing candidates feel exactly the same way.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. 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

    Bernard Hodes Group released the results of its study of global employment branding trends. Developed with both qualitative and quantitative methods, the study found:

  • 79% of respondents said that HR was one of the key stakeholders in the management of an organization’s employment brand. So, who did the other 29% think was going to do it? Finance & Accounting? This response is a classic example of dodging responsibility. An organization’s employment brand is one of the three most important assets that HR controls, and we shouldn’t be “one of the key stakeholders,” we should be the only one.
  • 94% of the respondents use their corporate Web site rather than other advertising channels to promote their employment brand. There’s only one small problem with this approach: the only people who visit the Career area on that site are active job seekers, and they represent just 16% of the population. If you want your brand to sell passive prospects-the other 84% of the population-you have to promote it on sites where they hang out online.
  • The Public Policy Institute of AARP has found that about 80% of Baby Boomers say they will work beyond the traditional retirement age of 62. They may want alternative work schedules, but they definitely have valuable experience and skills that your organization can put to work. How can you recruit them? Set up a special “Post-Retirement Workers” channel in the Career area on your corporate site and tailor the content in that channel to their interests and needs. For example, you might offer:

  • a “virtual mentor” to address the questions such workers have about the impact on their Social Security payments of receiving a salary and the availability of part time or contract work in your organization;
  • testimonials from other post-retirement workers who have been employed by your company; and
  • descriptions of any opportunities you may have that include an entrepreneurial component-for the past 10 years, adults aged 55-64 have been the most likely to start a new business.
  • Yahoo! HotJobs launched a new suite of products that go beyond traditional job postings to help employers reach passive prospects online. Called Yahoo! Recruitment Advertising, the program includes:

  • Yahoo! Network Advertising, enabling employers to reach visitors in other Yahoo! properties such as Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! News;
  • Yahoo! Sponsored Search for companies seeking to increase their visibility on the Yahoo! search results page; and
  • Yahoo! Search Summit Pro which employers can use to expand their presence in Yahoo!’s algorithmic search results.
  • Unlike vertical search engines that only active job seekers use to find employment opportunities, this move by Yahoo! may finally connect employers with the 40+ million users-many of them passive prospects-who visit Yahoo! every month.


    Support Our Sponsor: IAEWS

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of the IAEWS–the International Association of Employment Web Sites.

    The International Association of Employment Web Sites is the trade organization for job boards and career portals. Its members include over 500 sites operated by stand-alone enterprises, newspapers and professional journals, associations, radio stations and affinity groups. Their services cover every profession, craft and trade, every industry and virtually every location around the world.

    Why is it important to you? Because it will help you to be a smart consumer on the Web.

    There are over 40,000 employment sites, and not all of them operate according to accepted business standards. How can you tell the difference? Look for the Association’s logo on Web-site home pages. It’s the “good housekeeping seal” you can count on when you make buying decisions among job boards and career portals.