Category: Hiring and Recruiting

How do you handle peak hiring?

September 30th, 2015
Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Last quarter, an average of 221,000 jobs were added per month, which means many companies experienced and are experiencing increased hiring. After a recession and many years of slow or stable growth, companies with or without HR teams have been able to handle the steady hiring. But now, for companies that are experiencing fast-growth, those same teams are entering unknown territory. Some don’t have the time to add more recruiting to their plate. Others don’t have their recruiting process ironed out and the increased hiring shines a spotlight on those gaps. And, many aren’t sure whether to hire new recruiters to their staff because they aren’t sure when the peak hiring period will come to an end. No matter what the recruiting challenge is, companies are left to wonder, “How do we handle peak hiring?”hiring peaks

If you’re thinking, “this is too much for us to handle, let’s outsource” — then you may consider an RPO solution to meet the needs of a new office, new product, or quick growth. While Recruitment Process Outsourcing can be quite effective, it’s not the best solution to jump into when you need quick results and expect it to take all your pain away immediately. Getting the internal support and dedication to fully engage with your RPO partner is important and takes time, and it also takes longer to implement this type of outsourced solution.

The good news is, if you are experiencing a spike (whether you expected it or not) you are not alone. There were five million hires in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adding to more than 10 million in the previous two months. So, how are companies handling all that hiring? The contract recruiter model is well-designed for peak hiring. An on-demand recruiter with experience in your recruiting niche, is used to coming into an unknown environment and is able to get up to speed quickly. Additionally, at CBI Group, our contract recruiters have their own technology “tool-kit” to utilize and are backed by our Outside-In® team and therefore able to rely on our recruiting and research teams. As an alternative to a complete outsourcing model like RPO, on-demand recruiters can be project-based support that fully integrates into your team and culture.

The inevitable peaks and valleys of hiring can create an unbalanced workforce. A specialized recruiter can provide unmatched flexibility and expertise for just about any situation, including hiring spikes. With varying levels of experience, industry expertise and cost, strategic approaches to talent acquisition partnerships can help shape your business immediately and down the road.

Want to discuss your hiring strategy for peak hiring?
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Job Market Trends: Plentiful vs Hard to Get

September 23rd, 2015

Something unique is happening in the job market and no one is paying a bit of attention. While most of us were squeezing in one more summer vacation or doing back to school shopping, employees left their jobs in what appears to be record numbers! Allow me to explain.

The US economy is into to its sixth year of job recovery. Relative to the labor market there has been a slow but steady environment of job creation with an average of 211,000 jobs created per month in 2015 while the unemployment rate has dropped .4 percentage points during that time. In August, while a little below average, 173,000 jobs were created, prompting unemployment to drop from 5.3% to 5.1%. All of this has happened right in front of us, with very little impact on the mindsets of employees and hiring managers.

A lack of awareness of the recent turnover makes sense on a base level. We have had very little, if any, wage pressures or inflation. There has been no real pain for employers. Sure, we hear the market talking about some skills sets that are in short supply. That STEM jobs never really felt the recession. But, job postings that used to produce a slate of candidates, well, no longer produce quality candidates. In fact, in July the US set an all time record going back to the year 2000 for the number of jobs posted. Yet hiring was about the same, yet consistent number? Why?

What is the shift? Voluntary Turnover. Every Monday morning we are getting calls and messages pointing out the obvious. Employees are leaving for greener pastures. And, more than likely, they were not even looking for work. They either got a call from a friend, someone sent them a job posting, or perhaps they got a call from a recruiter. At 5.1% there are fewer being laid off, fewer who are unemployed. There are simply less active job seekers available now than there have been since 2007 (pre-recession). And the pressures of this environment are now starting to show during planning sessions with talent acquisition professionals. For most, business is good, earnings are up. Revenues hanging in there. Now we have talent gaps, shortages and resignations? What next?

But Burkhard, where is your hard data? This is just conjecture and first-hand marketplace experience. Trust me, we are looking for others that are studying this. And we are working on plans to launch our own survey very soon. But here is my proof.

The Conference Board just updated Jobs Survey Results — a survey they have done for 20+ years. September is the first time since late 2007 that the proportion of respondents “who are finding jobs plentiful equals that for those who are finding jobs hard to get. The last two times the ‘plentifuls’ first exceeded the ‘hard-to-gets’ after an economic slowdown were 1996 and 2005.” In both of those period jobs, unemployment, and frankly a good economy followed. (Source: Bloomberg, Wells Fargo Investment Institute)

So mark my words: what we see is real. If the economy holds up we are entering a new era in employment. Get ready for turnover. Be prepared for job postings to produce less. Get conditioned to recruitment and talent being critical business issues that hold back your business. Employees have had choices. They and their employers simply did not know it. Demand is so strong that the jobs are coming to them!

I am not sure business is prepared for what’s to come. Expect Monday morning surprises “Hey boss, do you have a minute?” Your talent strategy will stop producing they way it did. Your turnover could and should spike, regardless of your focus on talent, culture and employee engagement. Whatever your talent weakness has been, it will be exploited!

Got data? Lets talk! We have many, many relationships that are seeing this ‘plentiful vs. hard to get’ trend.

CBI Way: Thorough Intake Leads to Successful Sourcing Strategy

August 26th, 2015

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

In the last CBI Way blog, we discussed improving sourcing efficiency by cutting out defects and weaknesses throughout the sourcing process. So where can your sourcing strategy go wrong? When do you start wasting your time? Let’s start from the beginning of the process; the intake call with the hiring manager.
Businessman Working Calculator Balance Financial Planning Paperwork Concept

Your intake call should be used to gather as much information as possible about the responsibilities and qualifications required for the role. The more questions you can ask the better. Ask why the job is open, what the target fill date is, and everything in between.

An overview of the position can lead you to more probing and specific questions about the desired candidate profile. Use this time with the hiring manager to fully understand what he or she is really looking for in a great candidate, which can often differ from the formal job description and and listed requirements.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the profile of someone who has been hired previously. The closer you can pin down the ideal profile before you begin sourcing, the better. Not only should you think about sourcing the right candidate during the inquisition, but also find out the best selling points for the position itself. These selling points will be important if you’re targeting passive candidates who need to be engaged or motivated to make a move.

Creating an effective sourcing strategy directly depends on the quality of your intake call with the hiring manager. Don’t take it lightly or breeze through it. Think critically, plan your questions, and reach back out after the intake if you feel something may have been missed. A thorough intake conversation will prime your sourcing strategy for success, and create a strong rapport with your hiring partner.

Do your recruiters use the “Recruitment Bulldozer” method?

August 12th, 2015

Outside-In® Chronicles: Originally published with the title Look out for the Recruitment Bulldozer! four years ago this month. Are you a recruiter that bulldozes candidates? Is your company running over candidates to fill jobs? Here’s a suggestion for a more Outside-In® way to recruit. But first, let’s explain what we mean by bulldozing!

Over the years, I have coached many talent acquisition professionals. One of the soundbites that I’m typically heard saying is, “don’t bulldoze!” What do I mean? Recruiters are tasked with presenting our company, knowing what the hiring manager is looking for and understanding technical terms to have knowledgeable discussions with prospects. Once we are prepped for an interview, we get so excited to share what we know, that we tend to pitch the job. This usually sounds something like, “Hi John, I am Chris Burkhard from CBI Group and I am recruiting today for underwater basket weavers.”

The challenge with the job pitch approach is that it doesn’t leave a good next step. If the person is not interested or does not have the right skills, we need to quickly transition to asking for referrals or help with networking. The problem is that with this approach, the majority of recruiters never talk to that person again. We keep plowing ahead for the talent we need for the requisition in front of us. We just keep running callers over to find what we want.Bulldozer Front RetroAfter I say, “Don’t bulldoze” and I have the recruiter’s attention, I suggest a more Outside-In® way to recruit. I certainly did not invent this approach but I have refined it over the years to be more customer centered.

How? Flip the conversation around and focus your conversation on the caller. Find out what matters to the job seeker. What are they trying to accomplish in their career? Focusing on them typically sounds a little different. “John, I help talented underwater basket weavers achieve their next career objective. Could we spend a little time finding out about you and what you might be interested in?” This approach requires a lot of time, energy and curiosity. But isn’t finding out what the person wants helpful to determine if your current opening is a fit right? If not for this req, then perhaps you can be honest and talk in bigger terms — about where your company is going and how the future might involve them.

The focus shifts to building a relationship with the talent. To building potential pipeline. This makes tomorrows’ recruitment easier and this is where good recruiting takes shape. It means you truly know your talent in the marketplace and particular people come to mind when open requisitions fit their career goals and objectives.

It may seem so much easier to take the Bulldozer path. I hear it over and over again, “I do not have the time and I have jobs to fill.” But I think the typical recruiter has it all wrong. None of us should have the time to do it wrong the first time. Recruiting talent and getting to know prospective candidates is what recruiters should and must do to differentiate. No more bulldozing please!

What are the Hot Jobs of Summer 2015?

July 22nd, 2015

Last month we posted Hiring: All Signs Point to Growth, but are you wondering which industry groups top the employment growth charts? And which industries rank the lowest? Staffing Industry Analysts released the Hottest U.S. Job Markets: July 2015 Update earlier this month that answers these very questions.

Of 11 major industry groups, here’s how they ranked according to their composite growth score (CGS factors in the average monthly job growth over the prior 12, 6 and 3 months, as well as the level of acceleration or deceleration in growth observed over each of those periods).

  1. Professional and business services (74)
  2. Education and health services (72)
  3. Trade, transportation, and utilities (67)
  4. Leisure and Hospitality (64)
  5. Construction (62)
  6. Financial activities (47)
  7. Manufacturing (43)
  8. Information (43)
  9. Other Services (41)
  10. Government (37)
  11. Mining and Logging (15)

As you can see, of the 11 major industry groups, ‘professional and business services’ ranked highest in employment growth with a CGS of 74, and Mining and Logging ranked lowest with a CGS of 15. Within these major industry groups, 247 specific industries were ranked individually. Among all of the industries, here are the top 5 industries with the highest employment growth:

  1. Retail – Warehouse clubs and supercenters (78)
  2. Nonresidential electrical contractors (76)
  3. Computer systems design and related services (76)
  4. Management consulting services (76)
  5. Residential specialty trade contractors (74)

The 5 industries with the lowest employment growth were:

  1. Support activities for oil and gas operations (9)
  2. Agricultural, construction, and mining machinery (17)
  3. Oil and gas pipeline construction (19)
  4. Oil and gas extraction (21)
  5. Wholesale – Recyclable materials (21)

It’s also important to understand how many jobs there are in each of these industries. While some industries may have a high growth score, there may not be that many jobs overall in the industry. And then there may be some industries that do not have a very high CGS, but still employ a lot of people. So which industries boast a high CGS AND have a high overall employment number in summer 2015?

Industry  Composite Growth Score   Employment (in thousands) 
Retail – Warehouse Clubs & Supercenters 78 1,425
Hospitals 73 4,864
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 73 1,846
Offices of Physicians 71 2,538
Services for the Elderly and Disabled 70 1,526
Temporary Help Services 66 2,883
Restaurants and Other Eating Places 63 9,993

So what does this tell us? Any of the following would be a good place to look for jobs: healthcare jobs in hospitals, temp jobs at temporary employment agencies like Placers, jobs servicing the elderly and disabled, medical jobs at doctor’s offices, IT Jobs in all industries – and of course retail and restaurant jobs. Each are hot, hot, hot this summer 2015!

CBI Way: Improve Your Sourcing Efficiency

July 15th, 2015

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Sourcing and identifying qualified candidates can sometimes be tedious, frustrating work. While this isn’t groundbreaking news to many in the talent acquisition world, it is also a pain point that can be resolved by taking a step back, and examining your sourcing process. By identifying the defects or weaknesses in your sourcing process or strategy, you can create a more polished, more efficient method to your sourcing madness.

Creating a sourcing strategy can contribute to smooth, effective, and efficient sourcing. However, if there is a defect in your process prior to executing the strategy, a well thought out plan can only do so much. For example, it’s important to completely understand the job requirements, specifications and responsibilities before moving forward. When you jump into sourcing without a total comprehension of the job, your time invested can easily become a wasted effort. And that wasted effort will likely negatively impact your overall success. sourcing-efficiencyBeyond the initial strategy, you may also want to look at your sourcing metrics to measure how different sources are performing.

Posting job opportunities can be a great way to have candidates quickly pipelined. And job boards can still be effective, with 25% of job seekers saying that found their job by responding to a job board posting (International Association of Employment Web Sites). However, in 2006, that same survey said more than 31% of job seekers had the same response. So, how can you improve your efficiency with posting jobs? Think about your sources for posting. Not all resumes or applications are a fit for you position, and when you have a lot of “rejects” it will negatively impact your efficiency. While it doesn’t seem like a huge problem, every resume you must review as a sourcer, takes away from time you can be digging for candidates you know are an ideal fit. Can you eliminate a source that doesn’t produce quality candidates?

Sourcing is critical to the recruiting process and strong sourcing practices help ensure you meet critical metrics with regularity. Ultimately, weaknesses in your sourcing process can hurt your efficiency as you continue to execute your strategy. Don’t be afraid to take a breath, step back, and identify any defects that you may be overlooking while digging deep in the depths of the world wide web. Afterall, information is the critical ingredient to improve efficiency.

Have you heard about our talent pipelining service, talentSOURCE? Learn about the sourcing service and benefits by downloading the talentSOURCE PDF.

Magic or Science? How Talent Acquisition is Misunderstood

July 1st, 2015

Outside-In® Chronicles: Originally published with the title Talent Acquisition is a Science in July, 2011, this article still rings true today. Today the market may be different and there are new recruiting methodologies, but there is still a science behind recruiting that is misunderstood.

Talent Acquisition professionals are misunderstood. Generally, recruiters are rebellious. We color outside the lines and come and go when we please. Often times, this freedom is misinterpreted. Our work can be considered soft, simple, easy. But frankly, we never stop recruiting. We work at night and on weekends and there is science behind the mysterious, magical quality of our work.

Crazy scientist in glasses with a bulb or test-tube We often hear things like, “I don’t know how you do it, but can you get me another one just like Mary (or John or whomever).” It is this mystery and ambiguity that makes our work seem more like art than true science.

I have managed more than 1,000 recruiters in my career and I can share from experience that only a few are born to recruit. Those that are born with it have some common traits. They are naturally curious, they care about people and they have the energy of the “Energizer Bunny”. They go, go, go 24/7 and they move mountains for their customers. They make it look easy, when it is not. This work ethic, curiosity and personality can get you started but it takes great science to be a good recruiter.

The trouble with the science of recruiting is that there is not one standard formula. When it comes to hiring, our clients respect education and certifications. There are CPA’s, MBA’s, RN’s, EE’s… you name it, these certifications and degrees are a symbol of excellence in a particular field. But how do you know when a recruiter has reached a certain level? That they know, understand and excel in their field? For recruiters, it is not as cut and dry. We learn by doing and sometimes we are lucky to have a good mentor show us the way. We can take some course work or get an Internet certification, but we do not have certifications that translate. Have you heard of CPC or CTS? Probably not. I have had both, but now they mean nothing.

All we do is run Internet searches or review our databases. Right? This misunderstanding of our profession means we aren’t typically viewed with strategic importance. We are rock stars for a year. We are homeless the next. Our expertise is necessary during certain times of a business cycle like growth, acquisition, new product or business unit launches. But we have to be creative with our skills to show our value in down times of the business cycle.

Our customers see outcomes (the people we hire, the requisitions that aren’t filled) not process. They don’t care about things like sourcing or behavioral based interviews because they need what they need when they need it. But take a minute to think about the people on your team. Would you hire them if it were up to you? How would you find the right people to build the best team? With enough thought I think you’d agree that people are really the science behind the strategy — and good recruiters are the science behind it all.

Download our recent white paper to learn some of the science behind creating a sourcing strategy, and why you shouldn’t start recruiting without one.


Hiring: All Signs Point to Growth

June 24th, 2015

After reviewing recent news about recruiting and staffing trends in 2015, all signs point to growth. Below are excerpts from industry surveys and forecasts published this month (June 2015), and CBI Group President, Chris Burkhard’s response to the hiring optimism.

2015 recruiting trends

CFOs in the US are more confident now than they have been in years. – American Staffing Association
The 2015 CFO Outlook Survey conducted by Financial Executives International and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business found “67% of respondents indicated they have plans to hire at their company in the next six months, representing the highest percentage of CFOs to respond positively to this question in three years. The survey also found 77% of CFOs were not forced to reduce headcount over the past 12 months. Furthermore, 74% of respondents said wage levels they are paying are on the rise. The optimism index for US CFOs’ own businesses increased to 74.01 in this quarter’s survey, the highest reported since 2006.”

May Jobs numbers FAR exceeded expectations. – CareerBuilder
“U.S. employers added 280,000 jobs in May, which is the biggest job gain since the end of 2014 and much higher than the 225,000 jobs economists were expecting. That’s especially good news if you look back at some of the numbers from earlier this year.”

All metro areas set for job growth this year. – US Conference of Mayors
“2015 will mark the first year all 363 metro areas will see job growth since the economic recovery began, according to a new economic forecast released by the US Conference of Mayors and prepared by ISH Global Insight. The forecast also projects 316 metros, 87%, will see job growth greater than 1.0%, with only 47 areas, 13%, experiencing job growth of 1.0% or less.”

US staffing employment up more than 5% over year. – American Staffing Association
US staffing companies employed an average of 3.13 million temporary and contract workers per week in the first quarter of 2015, up 5.5% from the same period in 2014, according to data released today by the American Staffing Association. “Even with weak economic growth in the first quarter, demand for temporary and contract talent increased as businesses increased the size of their flexible and permanent workforces,” said ASA President and CEO Richard Wahlquist. “The continued growth in staffing employment means more long-term opportunities for job seekers.”

The US is projected to create 8 million jobs from 2014-2019 — a 5% increase. – CareerBuilder

“CareerBuilder has released a list of the industries expected to add jobs at an accelerated pace from 2014 to 2019… and it’s not just STEM jobs that look to have especially promising growth in the next several years. Technology and globalization continue to change the composition of the US workforce and push our economy in new directions. Based on EMSI’s data from more than 90 national and state employment resources, it appears the US is projected to create roughly 8 million jobs from 2014 to 2019 – a 5 percent increase. A significant number of industries will likely experience an even greater percentage gain during this period.

Around one-third of all U.S. industries are expected to outperform the national average for employment growth over the next five years. While it’s not surprising that technology and health care made the list, the accumulation of new jobs will take place within a diverse mix of industries requiring a broad range of skills and experience.”

The list represents 20 industries that are projected to add at least 10,000 jobs and experience 15% growth in employment over the next five years.

CBI Group President, Chris Burkhard’s response to signs of growth:

I am never more concerned than when all signs point to good times. Not to be contrarian in nature just for the sake of it. However, all of this demand, hiring and need for a contingent workforce solution will require a dramatic shift in how employers approach this “problem.” No longer can you post and pray with job boards or simply spend money to solve it. Organizations are going to need to make Talent Acquisition a strategy just like Finance, Operations, Sales and Marketing. And this time it is going to need to be foundational — pretty marketing around your employer brand or adding a few more recruiters on contract will not provide a sustainable fix. Talent strategy will need to be forever! Or until the next downturn or recession. And even then, great firms will be in a spot to take advantage of their strong position by scooping up the best talent!

CBI Way: Engaging Your Talent Pipeline

June 17th, 2015

By Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Just as important as getting your talent pipeline started is keeping that same pipeline engaged with your business. Long before a position that needs to be filled quickly opens, you should be building relationships with the talent pools you’ve created or identified. There are number of ways to engage your pipeline. The methods that will work best for your talent pipeline will probably depend on the type of candidates that are in your pool. Let’s take a look at two strategies for engaging those candidates; social media and in-person networking.

According to a survey by ERE, just 38% of employers continuously recruit throughout a year. Talent pipelining is almost exactly that; keeping in touch with quality candidates, and forming a relationship that could pay dividends in the future. Your pipeline is like your business’ network. Think about sponsoring live networking events at a local college and give young professionals an inside look into your business, its values, and its goals. If you’re recruiting healthcare workers, promote an event for healthcare workers to your healthcare talent pipeline. Set a meeting place, a speaker, and an interesting presentation on new trends in the medical field, and explain the value the information could provide. Follow up the event with an email survey to the attendees in your pipeline and ask them to rate their experience and if they would attend another similar event for medical professionals.

The combination of personal networking and social media content can go a long way in keeping your pipeline engaged. The candidates could be interested in the next event or may be looking for more relevant content about their industry or even your company. Don’t forget to use social media and web content to your advantage. It’s easily accessible, simple to send out, and is a critical tool for keeping your pipeline aware and engaged.

Have you heard about our talent pipelining service, talentSOURCE? Learn about the sourcing service and benefits by downloading the talentSOURCE PDF.

CBI Way: Employment Situation and Talent Acquisition

July 16th, 2014

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton 

The recent June employment situation released early this month has shed some new light on the workforce changes occurring since the new year. Another 288,000 jobs (predicted) were added in June, marking the fifth consecutive month more than 200,000 were added. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the first time since September, 1999 to January 2000, this has happened, almost fifteen years ago. Additionally, the 1.4 Millions jobs added in the first half of 2014, is also the highest number since the first half of that same year, 1999. Equally impressive is the unemployment rate of 6.1%, which has fallen 1.4% over the past year, the sharpest year-to-year decline in almost three decades, according to the BLS. While exciting, the report not only tells us something about the improving job market, but also speaks to the evolving and challenging world of sourcing and recruiting. In this CBI Way Blog, let’s first discuss the groundwork, sourcing.

ID-10098602More jobs and a lower unemployment rate means less candidates who are actively pursuing a new opportunity. As a refresher, active candidate sourcing is related to those candidates that are unhappy, concerned with their job security, or unemployed, for example. Active candidates are easier to find, as not only are they likely looking for you, the employer, but you are searching for them. Resumes are easy to find and applications aplenty. On the other hand, those candidates which are happy, fully employed, and not thinking about possibly making a move, prove much more difficult to identify, but are often the type quality talent being sought.

Passive sourcing is about generating interest, creating excitement, and establishing relationships, and networking with candidates about the opportunity. Whether by phone, email, or social networks, passive sourcing requires a focus on the candidate. Creating a strategy of who to target, where to target, and HOW to target these individuals is key. Where are they in their career? What sparks their interest? Who may they know? These are some questions that could potentially help with marketing your opportunity and employer brand in the best way possible. Still not interested? Make sure to express your desire to help if they may ever be in the market, or if anything changes in their career. The stronger network you have, the more options available to proactively source and engage the marketplace of talent.

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