Category: Recruiting Strategy


Why Managers are Failing to Hire – It’s not always HR’s Fault

May 4th, 2016

Often, managers keep C talent in roles too long. Here’s why networking can help.

First, it’s important to understand what today’s economy and labor market look like:

  1. There are a lot of job openings.
  2. Unemployment is low.
  3. 1 in 3 workers that is happy, however, they intend to change jobs.

Yes, we are now in a market where happy workers are moving around and ready for their next challenge!

In a candidate’s market, what do managers do about hiring for their team/department/division? I know what they do. Complain to Human Resources and to their boss that they are not seeing enough talent for their openings. I hear this everyday from customers. And we tell them the same thing every time. Failing managers count on others to find talent for their organizations. And then blame HR or Talent Acquisition teams.  

This is why failing managers keep average or below average talent. In survey after survey, managers admit they keep sub par talent because they have no one else to do the job. Which is another way of saying that they don’t intend to do that job either. They are simply happy with the notion that someone is doing the work. But the failing employees are not happy! The employees are missing time, or making mistakes, and causing havoc with the rest of the team. Aren’t leaders responsible for budgets, productivity and results? Of course.

how-to-hire-a-players-coverSo why not network to go from being an average or failing leader to one who networks and fills their own jobs? This is what I call keeping your sofa full. (Check out chapter 7 in How to Hire A Players by Eric Herrenkohl.)

Failing (C players) managers blame others and do nothing.

Winning Leaders (A players) get out out to meet talent at trade shows, industry events, chamber meetings, or at civic and social clubs. Leaders get out to build their network. To meet people. To offer help and create value. But they are always working on building their bench and know who their next hire is going to be!

Which type of leader are you?

What is a pipeline of candidates?

April 27th, 2016

A common definition: A pipeline of candidates also referred to as a ‘candidate pipeline’ or ‘talent pipeline‘ is a pool of candidates who are qualified to assume open positions when they are created or vacated through retirement, promotion, or someone leaving the company.

what-is-a-pipeline-of-candidates

To clear up any misconceptions of what a candidate pipeline is, let’s discuss what a pipeline of candidates is not.

A pipeline of candidates is not…

  1. A Resume Database: Any company with an Applicant Tracking System or file of resumes collected over time technically has a ‘database of candidates.’ Likely those same candidates sent their resume to other companies, which means just having the resume isn’t worth much of anything. Has anyone qualified those candidates or built relationships with the people behind the resumes? Without at least a phone screen, a batch of resumes is no more helpful than a pile of blank paper.
  2. A Static, On-call List of Candidates: In the world of recruiting, you’re not buying a thing, you’re buying a person. People have wants and needs, and they often change and evolve. People are promoted, switch jobs, change paths, have different priorities, etc., etc. It’s important to stay in touch with candidates and move people on and off the list of qualified candidates. If you’re buying a pipeline of candidates, you should expect that a Recruitment Consultant is staying in touch with the humans on the list and updating the talent pipeline.
  3. An Exclusive Access Pass to Top Talent: No recruiter has ‘a list of people that no one has. LinkedIn is public and the world is small. Lists may be different but don’t expect that your money can buy something that the company down the street can’t.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I hope you’ve also learned that developing a pipeline of candidates takes time and requires consistent relationship building. This is what makes a ‘list of names’ investing the time in or worth paying for. Instead of a pile of resumes, a talent pipeline is a list of qualified candidates that have each shared their background, skills, career goals and and interests with a Recruiter and those things line up with your company’s ideal candidate profile.

Building a talent pipeline is a shift from reactive recruiting to proactive recruiting, or recruiting in advance of your hiring needs. So instead of waiting until a position opens or is vacated, you work to fill future openings with talent that is a fit for your business. It means that when you have a new job open or an employee leaves, you can tap your talent pipeline to fill your jobs faster. That’s how a talent pipeline improves your recruiting process.

What is a passive job candidate?

April 8th, 2016

Just about anyone in a company may have to recruit at some point in their career, but if you’re not entrenched in the world of talent acquisition, you may not be up to speed on all recruiting jargon. Like “passive candidate” for example.  Recruiters are not making a judgement call about a candidate’s personality, instead they are categorizing them based on who is seeking who.

what-is-passive-job-candidateGoogle offers a great definition: A passive candidate (passive job candidate) is someone who is being considered for a position but is not actively searching for a job.

An active candidate, on the other hand, is someone searching for a job. They are on the job boards, going to networking events, emailing recruiters and applying to open jobs. In that case, the candidate is actively seeking a new job. For passive candidates, it’s the recruiters who found them. A recruiter came across information about a person or found their online job profile and thinks they are a great fit for a certain job and/or company. In this case, the recruiter is seeking the candidate.

Passive candidates are often considered to be higher quality candidates, but they can also be more difficult to engage and convince to make a career move. As the economy shifts back and forth from an employer’s market to a candidate’s market, the number of active candidates ebbs and flows. LinkedIn reports that “Passive talent accounts for 79% of working professionals around the world.” Regardless of whether or not passive talent is better or not, targeting passive candidates should always be a part of your recruiting strategy, especially for rare & hard-to-fill roles. Here’s a few suggestions for how to catch the attention of A+ talent that ignores you.

Need help attracting top talent?

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Most Will Find their Next Job Through Networking

March 23rd, 2016

Networking Is RecruitingThe largest % of the workforce will find their next job through networking. That’s right. People are more likely to land their next position through the people that they know. And this is proven true time and time again, at any level and for any role. Technology and social media are not replacements for talking to the people you know about your job search, instead they enable you to do it even better.

Let’s think this through from a recruiting perspective.

Are your managers meeting with people and networking to fill their own roles? If not, they are missing out on building their own bench of talent. How do you think recruiters and recruiting firms (like mine) find talent, anyway? We network all of the time! That is what real recruitment is all about; meeting talent in your community and finding the players you want to put on your virtual bench for your next hiring need! With constant networking, jobs get filled faster. Average talent is replaced.  And better talent is attracted over time!

If you haven’t caught on yet, I am stating that the best companies fill their roles when leaders and employees view recruitment as part of their core job, on top of what their HR and talent acquisition teams are doing. Recruiting is much faster when leaders are networking — both for business and for hiring. And when they meet with the talent in their community, well in advance of their need. What does this look like? This is where managers accept coffee meetings from candidates that network with them, even if they don’t have a current job opening. Where your team goes to lunch with competitors or attends industry events to meet others in your field/industry.

So, hiring managers — do as the best staffing firms do; get out from behind your desk and meet folks. All of the time. Build a bench of relationships. Your company (and your recruiters) will thank you!

Next up: Why the best candidate can network and average ones can’t!

 

Being Creative with Your Recruiting Model

March 9th, 2016

What is the best way to find talent for your business?

If I had to sum up a talent acquisition manager’s job, it would be with that question. The people responsible for recruiting in 2016 face the challenge of attracting quality applicants in a candidate’s market, keeping up with hiring demands, and ensuring all this work is on budget. You’re expected to have a streamlined recruiting process with consistent candidate messaging representing your employer brand, and you need to optimize that process for each skill set using targeted and up-to-date tools and methods. Easy day in the life, right?

The competitive market is putting talent acquisition at the top of the business’ strategic goals. If you’re struggling with the best way to find talent for your business in any capacity, it’s time to get creative with your recruiting model.

So, what’s the first step?

The first thing you need to do is identifying the business challenge. To create an effective recruitment solution, first you need to uncover the true source of your recruiting woes. Where’s the gap? What are you struggling with most? Maybe you’ve got a streamlined process and a great employer brand but are not having success finding quality candidates for a specific skill set like sales, IT or healthcare. Perhaps you need better job profiles. Or maybe, it’s not clear or obvious to you.

I’ve identified by recruiting challenge, now what?

Once you know what you need to fix, it makes it easier to build a solution. The first option is an obvious one – if you can identify the problem, you may be able to solve it in-house. But when you can’t identify the problem or don’t know how to fix it, there are lots of options for getting creative with your recruiting model. When it comes to working with recruiting providers for your direct hire roles, you can:

  • Find a full-cycle recruiting partner for help for one position.
  • Hand over all of your hiring from start to finish.
  • Break up recruiting by the skill sets you hire or by geographic regions.
  • Unbundle the recruiting process to get help in one area like sourcing or screening.
  • Bring in on-demand help for projects like opening up a new office/branch or launching a new product.
  • Blend any of the above!

Building a Recruiting Solution

With the complicated and diverse nature of recruitment challenges, creative solutions will help meet hiring objectives. If you’re interested in a free recruitment assessment to identify your recruiting challenge, connect with CBI Group today.

Recruitment-Assessment

 

When to Use an Executive Search Firm

March 1st, 2016

When to use an executive search firmWith every hire, companies have the choice to “stay in house” or outsource to a recruiting company. But how do you know where to draw that line? When should you call on a recruiting agency? This article explores seven scenarios when investing in a search firm is a good idea. And while our companies offer many outsourced recruitment models, this blog examines traditional executive search, also commonly referred to as headhunting.

  1. The Most Obvious. Most often, employers call on an executive search firm for really important roles, especially c-suite or executive leadership roles like CEO, CFO, CTO, CHRO, etc. Not only are leadership positions crucial to the success of the business, but it’s helpful to have a 3rd party perspective to avoid blind hiring (sometimes internal team members see only what they want to see).
  2. Underwater Basket Weavers. In addition to executive-level positions, some companies offer such a unique product or service that they require rare skill sets that are essential for driving core, strategic areas of the business. Pop culture may refer to these candidates as unicorns, we call them Underwater Basket Weavers because, well, how many of those are there out there?! Executive recruiters are used to developing a strategy for finding these ‘needle in a haystack’ candidates.
  3. The Search for the Best. Recruiting is one of those things that anybody can do. Just about anyone can find a person to do a job. But if you’re looking for the ideal candidate who will check all the boxes, you need to work with someone who really knows what they are doing. And executive recruiters generally are the best of the best at what they do and will help you find the best candidate, instead of just any candidate.
  4. You’ve tried, but have not had success. Either you have an active search that has been open too long or you’ve used up your knowledge and recruiting tricks and aren’t sure what to do next. Working with a recruiter opens up your pool of candidates beyond your network.
  5. Brand new roles. Generally, companies are used to filling their core positions — why go to an outside firm when you are in a rhythm? But then they create a brand new position in the company and they don’t know where to begin. This is a good time to ask for help from an expert.
  6. Confidential Search. If you have an employee that is under-performing, you may want to start recruiting before you let them go. Or you may need to recruit talent from organizations that your company does business with. In these cases, a search firm can provide the secrecy you need.
  7. Time & Resources. If your ‘day job’ is not recruiting, you may not have the time or focus to dedicate to an important search. Or your day job may be recruiting but you have too many open and not enough time. When you lack the time and resources, search firms are a great resource for giving an executive search the time and resources necessary.

Working with a search firm is not always a necessity. These seven scenarios are common cases for when it makes sense to hire help. After all, recruiting A players can be complex and requires strategy and a lot of hard work.

Need help with a search?

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Why I Hate Headhunters

January 29th, 2016

Let me start with the ironic truth: I am a headhunter. My family has been in the recruitment business since 1971. We are a family of headhunters. And we have helped more than 50,000 people (our customers) with their career and search. Yes, we have helped them find their next role. So I think I have an earned perspective on what I hate about the very field I live and breathe in each day.

I Hate Head HuntersHeadhunters are selfish.
They tell you about how they make money. Or how much they make. Or worse yet, they perpetuate the notion that they are in the headhunting business just to make money. We all want to work with the pompous ass who brags about paying for his cigarette boat with his commision check, right? Headhunters see value in dollar signs, not human success stories – and that makes their actions and goals selfish.

Headhunters sling resumes.
We have all heard the demand from headhunters: Give me your job opening. Pretty please, hand over your hardest job to fill, the one that has been open forever and you have met with 50+ candidates that don’t fit the bill. Yes, that one. Once a headhunter takes the order, they will sling 10 resumes at you that aren’t even in the right job class. All they are doing is clogging up their “client’s” inbox.

Headhunters’ “clients” often don’t know they are clients.
Please just say yes – that you are open to seeing talent. Then, I will call you my client and push talent and resumes your way. There is no partnership here. And, you certainly don’t feel like a client.

Headhunters disappear when you need them most.
Wow, what’s really aggravating? When a hire blows up at the end of your headhunter’s guarantee period. It’s common for a headhunter to guarantee their placement for 60, 90 or some number of days. Headhunters call their customers all of the time. But then they disappear when there is a problem to avoid replacement hires or giving money back.

Headhunters make placements.
They don’t build recruitment solutions. Each placement is a transaction to a headhunter that means a payout. So headhunters build their goals around how much money they want to make, instead of solving their customers problems. Why do you need your next hire? What are your challenges in finding the right person? Headhunters don’t really care so long as they put a butt in a seat.

So yes, I hate headhunters.
The term headhunter is derogatory. But only because people live up to these stereotypes. And people that don’t live in the industry are left to believe that this is what all recruiters are like.

This is not how my company recruits. Quite frankly many good competitors do OK too. But many headhunters, well, they make it a little easier for the Outside-In Companies to make placements. Because we headhunt talent, but we don’t perpetuate the headhunter myth!

Consider scheduling an info session with our Senior Recruitment Consultant and see for yourself how we’re different.

What is the future of hiring?

January 27th, 2016

Hiring Predictions 2016A few weeks ago, I posted How Hiring Has Changed From 20 Years Ago. Lots of folks were curious and asked, What is the future of hiring? While the future is always uncertain, I have never been shy about making a few predictions.  

My 10 Predictions on the Future of Hiring

  1. Candidate Marketing Automation: Job candidates online behaviors will be tracked and monitored for changing career interests and information will automatically be sent to their inbox about your company (content created by your team or provider of course).
  2. Mobile Technology: It will be possible to complete 100% of the hiring process from a smart phone.
  3. What phone?  All video, all recorded… for all steps in the hiring process.
  4. Automated Referral Programs: The employee referral process will be easier and staff will seamlessly find future talent for the company.
  5. Selling Passive Recruits: The hiring process will be a sales process for the passive job seeker.
  6. No More Resumes: Resumes will no longer exist, your electronic business profile will become the standard!
  7. Networks Still Matter: You will still find jobs by who you know and how well you network and maintain relationships.  Those that leverage digital solutions will do the best job of maintaining business relationships.
  8. Hiring Managers: There will still be a need for Hiring Managers who will maintain their role in hiring process by determining technical fit for positions.
  9. Nurture Talent: Functional roles like HR or Talent Acquisition will drive process for acquiring enough or the right talent through marketing processes that attract, nurture and close talent.
  10. Talent Sharing: A transferable hiring clearance status will be developed across companies and institutions giving the person reciprocity to work for many different companies.

What do you think? Anything you would add? Or debate with me? I would love to hear your opinion.

If you’re interested in discussing the future of your hiring with me, I welcome you to schedule a 30 minute consultation with me. Click here to find time on my calendar.

How Hiring Has Changed From 20 Years Ago

December 29th, 2015

20 years ago…

A Personnel Manager advertised a job by:

  • Senior Java Developer Vacancy in Newspaper. Job Search Concept.Placing an ad in the paper, usually in Sunday’s job section!
  • Handing out applications to walk-in job seekers.
  • Talking to their network, friends & family.
  • Encouraging referrals through sign up sheets/cards that were on the shelf in the HR office with all of the other forms.
  • Calling a temporary agency for a temp.
  • Reaching out to their favorite search firm or headhunter for more difficult positions.

Job seekers applied by:

  • Walk-in resume submission in the office lobby.
  • Sending resumes by fax machine, postal mail, hand delivery or even a courier!
  • Signing up in person at the local temporary agency.
  • Talking to their network, friends & family.

Employers reviewed talent by:

  • Batching and reviewing resumes — Often times a task to do at night in front of the TV.
  • Searching  for talent on Resumix or other early Applicant tracking systems (as time allowed).
  • Calling applicants, returning calls and screening people over the phone (leaving a lot of messages on home voicemail machines)
  • Keeping track of activity with paper sheets or maybe excel.
  • Interviewing people in person.

In the last 20 years, technology and social media have made significant changes to the way we hire talent. What things do you miss about the old-fashioned way of hiring? What technology and social media are you forever grateful for? Are there any new things that you wish were never invented or introduced?

The 1 Thing You Should Be Doing About Talent

December 16th, 2015

People ask me all the time if there are any shortcuts in recruitment. Are there any quick fixes to deal with today’s changing talent landscape? Normally I would lecture you. I’d explain that your talent strategy is as fundamental as your business strategy or marketing plans. However, there is something you can do right now that will help you and your business immensely in the long run.

The one thing you should be doing about talent is keeping the sofa full. Leaders should practice “keeping the sofa full,” by interviewing talent all of the time. (Read my blog on Keeping the Sofa Full here)

Everyday leaders struggle with proactivity and routines. A business needs a rhythm or way of pulsing and discussing what is most important. Where should we put our focus? Where should we put our time and attention? What matters most? Deciding what is most important is the hardest part.

I’ll say it again, your business should be interviewing talent all of the time. It is really that simple. We don’t sell only when we need a new customer. Proactivity is everything. Keeping the sofa full is about always knowing who your next hire is. But I don’t have any openings right now you may be thinking. You may not now, but you will. We all will. That is the one fact in today’s talent-driven economy. Your business and every business will lose some talent for good and not so good reasons. What you do about it is a choice.

When you keep the sofa full, it will take less time to fill your open positions. If you always keep an eye on talent and meet people, it can shorten the days it takes to fill a recently vacated position. Keeping the sofa full also improves your brand and your productivity. Can you find better talent than you have? Can you top grade or upgrade someone who is failing or has average performance? Keeping the sofa full is a direct way to improve your engagement scores and culture at the same time because it requires you to be giving feedback to staff and to know if they are productive and a culture fit.

I know this seems impossible for your company. You’re fighting today’s fire. Dealing with this week’s crisis or business opportunity. The business has a different plan du jour right now. Time is always the enemy for good ideas like this. Recruiting proactively takes planning, discipline and prioritization to interview all of the time. As a leader it takes time, money and most importantly resources to commit to this. It seems like a soft dollar cost savings to turn hiring all of the way off. But have you ever tried to get any program going again when it was turned off completely? It takes retraining, planning, kick off meetings, etc. to breathe life into something that has not been used in a while.

So take action. What are your three most abundant skill sets? What is the hardest role to fill in your business? Build recruiting for these roles into your daily operations. Take all networking calls. Meet any referrals quickly. In short, interview talent all of the time.

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