THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

September 16, 2009   view past issues

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What Is a Candidate of Choice?

They are the elusive goal of every recruiter. They are our candidate of choice. And yet, there is no common or generally accepted definition for them. That fact is made clear every day in the variety of different terms we use to describe them. Some call them “top talent.” Others prefer “the best talent.” Still others refer to them as “A level candidates.” And the sports enthusiasts among us think they are “all stars.”

Despite this lack of a common vocabulary, however, most of us believe we know them when we see them. And that may certainly be true. The term of art is less important than the attributes it defines. As long as we clearly understand the qualities for which we’re looking in our candidates of choice, we can figure out where and how to recruit them. No less important in these days of recruiter layoffs, such an understanding also enables us to establish reasonable and appropriate measures of success for our work.

So, what are the qualities of a candidate of choice?

One author developed a list of eight characteristics. She describes these individuals as people who:

  • are well-rounded so understand the business as well as their field of work;
  • get results, often in innovative ways;
  • are builders who can help an organization grow;
  • are flexible and can succeed in a range of roles;
  • are open and willing to accept the ideas of others;
  • keep their commitments and deliver what they promise when they promise it;
  • are team catalysts who support group work and accomplishments; and
  • are respected by their peers and the people who work for them.
  • It’s a comprehensive list, and that is both its strength and its weakness. Clearly, a person who has those attributes is a valuable employee. In fact, they may also walk on water. The list sets the bar so high, we would be hard pressed to find anyone on earth who measures up. Indeed, if this list ever fell into the hands of hiring managers-people who already have champagne tastes and beer budgets for their staff-our jobs would be incalculably more difficult to perform and our prospects of success significantly less likely.

    So, what we need is a more realistic set of qualities to help us identify a candidate of choice. It has to be a list we can work with, something we can use to fulfill our obligation to the organization. All too often, however, we get suckered into using a list similar to the one above, a list designed to help managers and supervisors do their job. And when we let that happen, we quickly find ourselves saddled with impossible requirements and, as a result, set up to fail in the organization.

    The best way to develop an appropriate set of attributes, therefore, is to focus on who does what in the organization. Our role is to bring the right individuals in the door-the organization’s candidates of choice; it is the hiring manager’s responsibility to transform those candidates into effective workers-the organization’s employees of choice. We must focus on individual readiness; hiring managers necessarily focus on individual performance.

    A Definition That Makes Sense

    When we search for a candidate of choice we are hunting for a person who is ready to perform. And, individuals who are ready to perform have at least two of just three attributes:

  • They have a hard-to-find skill that is critical to the success of the organization;
  • and/or

  • They have a track record of sustained superior performance in their field;
  • and

  • They have a personality and outlook that aligns with the culture and values of the organization.
  • An individual can have either or both of the first two attributes, but they must always have the third to be a candidate of choice.

    This attribute set recognizes the central reality facing every employer today. What differentiates successful organizations from all others is not talent. It is “accessible talent.” Candidates must have the ability to make a meaningful contribution on-the-job and they must possess a mindset that predisposes them to do so within the context set by an employer. They must, in short, be ready to perform, and that’s what makes them candidates of choice.

    You can call such individuals whatever you like, but to be an optimal employment prospect, they must have attributes that represent real potential for your organization. For in essence, that’s what we do. We recruit real potential. It’s the hiring manager’s job to turn that real potential into reality.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    Visit me at CarerFitness.com

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


    New Certification for HR Professionals

    One of the key roles HR professionals play in any organization is staff development. To execute that responsibility effectively, they must know how best to counsel employees on career issues and concerns.

    How do you acquire the expertise to do so? WEDDLE’s is proud to introduce the first-ever certification program in Career Fitness. Based on Peter Weddle’s new book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, this program provides all of the training and follow-up support you need to be able to counsel employees on both the key principles of career success in the 21st Century and the practical steps that will put those principles to work for them on-the-job.

    The Career Fitness Pro certification also offers two other very important benefits for you:

  • It will set you apart among your peers in the HR field
  • and

    It will enhance the contribution you make to your employer.

    In short, this certification will give you career security even in today’s turbulent workplace.

    To learn more, email Peter Weddle at peter@weddles.com or call at 203.964.1888.


    Our Featured Books

    Get WEDDLE’s recruiting bestsellers today.

    Hot off the presses, you can now order:

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This Gold Standard of guides to the Web’s 100,000+ job boards and career portals has been completely updated so you can make smart buying decisions for your organization’s online recruitment advertising.

    This edition of the Guide, our 9th, introduces an entirely new format: The Top 100, our pick of the most effective job boards and career portals on the Web, and the Best & the Rest, a directory of over 10,000 sites organized by career field, industry and geographic focus. And at just $39.95, it’s a true recession buster, as well!

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Association Web Sites. The best talent are often members of their local, state, regional or national professional associations. This Guide enables you to determine which of those associations have the recruiting resources you need to connect with their members.

    The Association Guide lists over 3,000 associations by the career field, industry or location in which they specialize and indicates whether they have a job database, a resume database and/or a discussion area for professional networking. It is the only book of its kind in print and at just $49.95, it’s practically a steal.

  • How can you get these amazing resources? Click here to reach our online bookstore or call 203.964.1888 to order your copies of these truly unique recruiting guides.

    And don’t wait. Even if you’re not hiring at the moment, these books can be helpful to you. Their site profiles will enable you to pinpoint the best places online for recruiting, once the economy starts growing again. And if that takes longer to happen than you would like, these books also include useful information for a job search. So, don’t delay; get your WEDDLE’s Guides today!

    Even Super Search Strings Won’t Work With the Wrong Keywords

    How can you tell search engines and computers what kind of candidate you’re looking for? Use Finding Needles in a Haystack. Just released by WEDDLE’s, it’s the first comprehensive listing of keywords for successfully searching resume databases online and off.

    The book provides tens of 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 203.964.1888 or click here. Get Finding Needles in a Haystack today!


    Our Featured Job Board

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.

    There are 50,000 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 2009/10 Guide profiles The Top 100 employment sites on the Web today and provides The Best & the Rest, a listing of over 10,000 such sites worldwide. It’s all of the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the optimum yield for you. For example:

    BrokerHunter.com

    http://www.brokerhunter.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Fee to post a job: $400/posting

    Posting period: 60 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 73,317+

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Administrative, Customer Service, Finance & Accounting, Operations, Sales & Marketing

    Other services for employers: Discussion forum, Automated resume agent, Banner advertising, Status Reports: postings & banners

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Set Yourself Apart in HR

    One of the key roles HR professionals play in any organization is staff development. To execute that responsibility effectively, they must know how best to counsel employees on career issues and concerns.

    How do you acquire the expertise to do so? WEDDLE’s is proud to introduce the first-ever certification program in Career Fitness. Based on Peter Weddle’s new book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, this program provides all of the training and follow-up support you need to be able to counsel employees on both the key principles of career success in the 21st Century and the practical steps that will put those principles to work for them on-the-job.

    The Career Fitness Pro certification also offers two other very important benefits for you:

  • It will set you apart among your peers in the HR field
  • and

    It will enhance the contribution you make to your employer.

    In short, this certification will give you career security even in today’s turbulent workplace.

    To learn more, email Peter Weddle at peter@weddles.com or call at 203.964.1888.