THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

July 26, 2006   view past issues

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WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

We recently asked the visitors to the WEDDLE’s Web-site to tell us how they found their last job. A total of 708 people participated in our survey. Here’s what they told us were the top ten sources of hire:

31.2% Answered an ad on a job board

10.6% Sent their resume to the company

9.3% Answered an ad in the newspaper

8.5% Responded to a tip from a friend

6.8% Were referred by an employee of the company

6.6% Received a call from a headhunter

5.1% Answered an ad posted on the company’s Web-site

4.9% Attended a career fair

4.8% Used networking at a business event

2.7% Received a call from a staffing firm

2.7% Responded to a tip from a family member

What the Findings Mean

First, for those who think newspaper advertising has gone the way of carbon paper, please think again. Almost one-out-of-ten of our respondents found their jobs through the print medium.

Second, employee referral programs work, but they do not replace all of the other sources of new employees. Indeed, in our survey, more people were hired by answering an ad on a job board, mailing their resume to an employer, responding to a newspaper ad, and following up on a tip from a friend than through an employee referral program.

Third, job boards fill vacancies. Our respondents were three times more likely to find their jobs through the ads posted on a job board than with the next closest method-sending their resume into a company the old fashioned way.

Fourth, headhunters and search firms provide quality applicants. When taken together, they accounted for almost one-in-ten (9.3%) of all job offers received by our respondents.

Fifth, employees are effectively sourced with a broad array of techniques. According to our respondents, the top five ways they made contact with employers-responding to a job board ad, communicating with an employer via the mail, answering a newspaper ad, networking, and employee referral-accounted for over two-thirds (66.4%) of all new hires.

Bottom Line: Winning the War for the Best Talent is best accomplished when you:

  • use a multifaceted sourcing strategy that maximizes the range and depth of your reach into the prospect population, and
  • identify and prioritize (with your investments and staff time) the methods that consistently yield the best results for your organization.

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


    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 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.

    Are You Spreading Jargonaise?

    Jargon. We see it all the time and all over the place. Some of us have probably even used it. The simple truth is that these business idioms are rampant in today’s scalable enterprises seeking to leverage their competitive advantage in global markets. Whoops.

    But is jargon a problem? Well, if the purpose of communications is to express ideas clearly and with impact, then it probably is. Indeed, such terms as “value-driven” and “mission critical” may convey important ideas to those who use them, but all too often, they are practically meaningless to others. To the recipients of jargon, all those annual reports, project memoranda, e-mail messages, consultants’ findings and other business documents that contain it might as well be written in ancient Icelandic.

    Why is that? Jargon should not be confused with professional language or terminology that is unique to, but well understood by, all members of a distinct group (e.g., a specific occupational field). No, jargon is something else altogether. It is composed of words and phrases that fall into one of two categories:

    Buzzwords-These terms are used so frequently, they have no impact. They may well have put some zip into an idea or concept before it became faddish, but once they pass into hyper popularity, they lose their ability to resonate with an audience. (e.g., value proposition, growth opportunities)

    Bustwords-These terms are used so broadly, they have no specific meaning. They are used by so many people in so many different circumstances, that they are eventually unable to convey any precise meaning to anyone. (e.g., employer of choice, family friendly)

    In other words, jargon can sap the power and the definition out of our communications and leave us with something that is about as distinctive as a bland sandwich spread. That’s why I describe documents that are rife with jargon as “jargonaise,” a term that actually denotes “jargon malaise.”

    Do job ads posted online suffer as much from jargonaise as do other business documents? I decided to take a look at some recent ads posted on a major commercial employment site to find out. What I discovered probably won’t surprise you. Job ad jargon is booming. It appeared in almost every posting I read. Although the uses of jargon varied, it was most frequently applied to prospective candidates and employers. Here are some examples.

    Individuals

    proactive, highly motivated, self-motivator, self starter, results-driven, results oriented, high energy, hands-on experience, hands-on leadership style, strategic, attention to detail, proven track record

    Employers

    customer-focused, employee-centered, dynamic work environment, fast-paced team environment, team-based environment, team oriented working culture, core values, competitive salary

    The front line of the War for the Best Talent is written communications-on your corporate Web-site and in your job postings. Win there, and you’re well on your way to connecting with even the most passive of prospects. Lose there, and your organization will be indistinguishable from every other organization looking for candidates.

    How do you win the communications battle? Simple. By not spreading jargonaise. Unfortunately, however, I do not have a nifty, automated Jargonaise Fighter to help you do that. I do, however, propose the following simple, three-step process that will help get the job done.

    Step 1: Give every piece of copy-your job postings and your career site content-to an employee (not a hiring manager) to read. For example, if a job ad is targeted at a certain occupational field, ask someone in that field to read it. If the copy is directed at the workforce in general, pick an employee at random and ask them to take a look.

    Step 2: Give the reader a garish-colored marker and ask them to highlight the jargon they find. Encourage them to draw big circles around everything that they view as hackneyed, meaningless, watered down or unclear.

    Step 3: Re-write everything with a circle around it. What should you use? Try old fashioned English. If that’s a problem, pick up the wonderfully readable primer on English called Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

    I realize that such a review takes time and adds work. It’s an effort worth making, however, as it will sharpen anddifferentiate the message you convey to employment candidates. And communicating a powerful message that stands out is the best way to set your employer apart and give it an edge in the War for the Best Talent.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Please 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

    Workforce Magazine released the results of its study of the impact of attrition on corporate financial performance. As might be expected, it found that high attrition (40%+) hurt a company’s ability to generate profits and thus weakened its position in the stock market. Perhaps not so expected, however, it also found that very low attrition (5%) also seemed to have a negative impact on corporate performance. The companies with “moderate” attrition (15%), on the other hand, scored the highest according to financial metrics. What should we do with these findings? Use them to help manage the expectations of your organization’s senior executives. As the War for Talent ratchets up, more and more CEOs and strategic business unit leaders are going to panic when they see attrition among employees. To preclude their angst, make sure they know that some attrition isn’t all bad; it helps to weed out weaker employees and provides room for accessing stronger contributors.

    The National Hydrogen Association announced the launch of its job board for hydrogen and fuel cell industry professionals. The pricing for a single, 30-day job posting has been discounted by 25% for an unspecified introductory period. The posting also includes access to the site’s resume database. Association members can post jobs for $150/vacancy; non-members pay $187/vacancy.

    Harvard Business Review published an unusual-no, a downright weird-twist on the old saw, “Crime doesn’t pay.” Three academics (Carlo Morselli and Pierre Tremblay of the University of Montreal and Bill McCarthy of the University of California at Davis) released the results of their study of mentors among criminals. Yep, there are professors who feel that this is a topic important enough to be worthy of intellectual pursuit. Anyway, they found that criminals with mentors had higher earnings than criminals who did not. They conclude that their findings “suggest that strong foundations in crime offer an advantageous position for continuous improvement and the presence of a criminal mentor is pivotal for achievement over one’s criminal career.” These guys-the three professors, I mean-have way too much free time on their hands.


    Please 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.