The One Thing Most TA Leaders Miss When Creating Real Change

Our Hiring Managers just won’t give us feedback, or give us interview times. My recruiters just won’t use our ATS or our CRM. I can’t get our executives to understand our brand isn’t what they think it is.

I had an F500 TA leader tell me last week that their biggest issue was not finding candidates, or getting qualified talent, it was simply we can not get our hiring managers to give us interview times. They desperately want and need talent, we have thousands of openings, but they won’t prioritize hiring, so we lose great candidates.

In the Talent Acquisition industry, we see a constant churn of TA leaders. Mostly they get fired because they are ineffective in creating the change they promised when they were hired. At least once per month, I’ll have some well-meaning TA leader reach out to me and ask me this question: “How do I continue to hire, using our broken processes and systems, but also build the new system and processes that I’m supposed to do?”

That’s the catch 22, right?

I wish I had some silver bullet answer for them, but I don’t. There’s no ‘one’ answer for this problem, but I think there are some core pieces to the answer that have to be met:

1 – You have to have an executive, or critical function hiring manager, who will be your champion when you break out your plan of change.

2 – An understanding by you and your team, that hiring as we know it right now, will not continue, and for a bit, we’ll probably get worse and some people might hate us, in the short run.

3 – Change only happens when you actually make change happen. (Damn, I should put that on a t-shirt!) 

The Final Step? 

You stop doing everything people are used to you and your team does. You create tension. You might just stop hiring altogether. Send a note out to your hiring managers explaining that Talent Acquisition is broken. To fix it, we have to blow it up. So, for the next 4 weeks, you are all on your own for hiring. Have fun!

Create Tension! 

The only way you’ll get lasting change is if others feel your same pain. Understand, when you stop hiring, you might just have a hiring manager who will be just fine hiring on their own! They don’t need you. If you and your team got killed in a bad ropes course team building accident tomorrow, let’s face it, the organization would still hire and move forward.

But, you’ve created tension and now you can build something new that will be “the” way you’ll be hiring moving forward. Maybe that is a rules-based approach where every single screened candidate sent to a hiring manager needs a 24-hour turnaround on feedback and also if a manager has you work on their opening they give you pre-assigned interview slots, etc.

If they don’t play along, you don’t work on their stuff.

Might you get fired? Yes. Of course. Might you get fired if you don’t change? Yes. Of course. Damn, isn’t Tension great! Also, why it’s really important to have an executive champion, who buys into your plan!

Every single TA Executive/Leader I speak with actually knows exactly how to fix their problem. Their real problem is they want to change, but they want to do it without adding Tension. That is where they fail.

Why Does Spam Recruiting Work?

I just got done deleting the 17th phishing email from my personal email inbox today. Comcast, Amazon, Princes from far-off lands, I’ve never been more popular and, apparently, soon to be rich!

I was asking our Cyber Security company why phishing is still such a big deal. I mean don’t we all know by now that some Nigerian Prince isn’t going to give us a million dollars, or that Amazon doesn’t send us emails asking for our credit card numbers, or passwords!? There is no way someone can be this stupid, right!?

Apparently, I’m way wrong, we are all still a lot stupid! 

The reason phishing and spam are not because they are really tricking us. It’s the sure volume of messages and cadence. While we can all spot a fake fairly easily, can you always spot a fake when it’s sent a thousand times, all different times, with all different designs and strategies. Scammers will send a million to get one click. That one click will pay off.

Therein lies the strategy of why Spam Recruiting still works. It’s not about being good, or the best, it’s about being there all the time, knowing a certain percentage of the time will be the right time! Do we like it? Well, I guess that depends on who you are. If you happen to be that one person who gets the spam recruiting message at the exact time you’re desperate for a job, then yes, you will like it!

If you are the superstar performing software engineer getting twenty spam recruiting messages a day, you hate our industry!

Spam Recruiting Works Because It Works Some of the Time

I have never met one American-based TA Leader who believes that Off-Shore Recruiting firms (you know the off-shore RPO spam emails you get constantly all day long) actually are good. For the most part, they don’t recruit, they spam. Because they pay next to nothing to their workforce, they can spam a whole bunch and still make money, even if the entire process truly sucks.

They don’t have to be good. When you’re being paid like $10 a day, all you have to do is spam a couple of thousand people a week to get one placement a month and you’re making a profit for the “man”! Any company engaging in off-shore recruiting for hiring in the U.S. is basically engaging in slave labor. But, I digress. Back to crappy recruiting.

Bad recruiting is a lot like bad sex. If you really need a job, you don’t care how you get it. Which perpetuates you just continuing to be bad.

Spam recruiting works, and will always work, because the world will always have candidates who just need a job. They don’t care that you’re awful at your job. They don’t care that you are spamming them. All they care about is getting the job. Also, if you do care. If you do hate bad spammy recruiters. It turns out you also are fine with them being awful when you’re out of a job!

Spam works because we are all vulnerable at some point. It feeds on us being weak, naive, and desperate. But, at the end of the day, it works. It doesn’t work well. But it does work. And that sucks.

2021 Workforce Report by @iCIMS – 84% of HR Pros Believe Their Diversity Recruiting Sucks!

I love workforce data and you love workforce data, so I’m super excited to share my breakdown of iCIMS’s latest report on the 2021 Workforce. Of course, we anticipate there will be a ton around remote workers and virtual hiring, and we can also anticipate the level of focus on DEI hiring and culture initiatives are only going to increase in 2021.

Let’s breakdown the iCIMS 2021 Workforce Report

– iCIMS hiring data seems to point to a moderate economic recovery when you look at the overall job postings, hiring activity, and employer sentiment to hire more in 2021 with 91% of employers stating they will be hiring in 2021. That’s a big number!

– Recruiting tech stacks are evolving in 2021 in a big way to accommodate the ongoing trend of being able to hire virtually. 97% of organizations stating they will invest in virtual interview technology. That’s a lot of video interviewing tech buys! And, online assessment buys! Probably some video job posting buys as well.

– Gig hiring isn’t going away anytime soon, in fact, it’s growing internally. 60% of organizations are relying on contingent labor to help meet workforce needs, which tends to go in the opposite direction of the economy. Meaning, as the economy weakens, we usually see growth in contingent as organizations get nervous about the future. In strong economies, we less growth in contingent. Also, organizations are posting more and more internal gigs for their own staff as development opportunities.

84% of organizations are concerned that their current strategies and tools are not reaching diverse and inclusive pools of talent. Hmmm…should be an excellent opportunity for sourcing and recruiting technology that states they can reach DEI talent, but be careful. Most of those tools, just reach back into the same pools you have already been trying to get talent. DEI recruiting starts and ends with real recruiting and outreach, professional apprentice programs, paid internships for DEI talent, employee advocacy programs, etc. There is no magic technology that will pull DEI talent out of a hat. Most fail at DEI recruiting because they keep doing the exact same thing they’ve always done, but added a picture of a person of color to the job posting.

– Probably one of the most overlooked tech items of 2020 from a recruiting standpoint. Internal collaboration tools like Teams and Slack had massive increases in usage. Recruiting teams that can figure out how to leverage these tools best, will have a distinct advantage at leveraging their employees to help them recruit better and faster. 90% of organizations started using these tools over the past year!

– Finally, 2.7 million candidates applied to jobs via Text Messaging in 2020, and that number is increasing every single month moving forward. Anytime I present and mention utilizing text messaging in recruiting it always gets more questions than anything else! Applying via text, communicating with candidates via text, is the new norm, not innovation. If you’re not doing it as a recruiter, you should be fired.

Go download the report, it’s packed with great information and data around how organizations of all sizes are moving forward with their recruiting technology and strategies.

Is More Efficient Recruiting Always Better?

If you’re in HR or TA and read this blog on a regular basis you know I’m all for making our recruiting process as efficient as possible! Primarily, because so many of us are woefully inefficient in using our technology and the belief that a more involved process must be a better process.

I’m a little nervous about the future and recruiting efficiency.

I think in our rush to become ever more efficient we might miss out on some great talent. At this point in the recruiting tech stack, I can actually automate every single piece. Anything you have a person do in recruiting I can automate. I can even ensure that candidates “don’t” get dispositioned if that’s how you like to play it! I mean about 50% of you don’t do that now, so it seems like that is probably the way you like it.

If recruiting was only about taking a requirement, matching that requirement to available talent, screening that talent, interviewing that talent, assessing that talent, and onboarding that talent, well then, technology can do that better and more efficiently than humans at this point. But, I think recruiting has always been about getting the best talent for your organization.

Available vs. best is where the technology starts to fall down if talent truly makes a difference in your organization. Honestly, for many, “best available” will work just fine, and it has for decades. The vast majority of organizations are hiring the best available at this point.

Technology is exceptional at hiring the best available. Technology hasn’t figured out how to hire the best talent that isn’t openly available at this point. If you don’t have that talent in your database, and that talent isn’t active on LinkedIn, or other job boards, technology has a really hard time getting your message in front of them.

The future of recruiting isn’t about efficiency. That is already here. The future of recruiting is about your organization’s ability to actually go out and discover who is the best talent for your organization. That person might not actually be in the “jobs internet”, or they were but that was five years ago so you’ll never see them as someone you want because the five years ago person isn’t your person you need today.

Efficient recruiting is great until it isn’t. If you suck at recruiting, then becoming more efficient at best practice recruiting (which recruiting technology can definitely make happen) will elevate your function for sure. But, efficient recruiting isn’t world-class recruiting. It’s just efficient.

The best talent acquisition in the future will be able to go out and discover the talent that hasn’t been discovered by everyone else. We like to believe that everyone who is anyone is on LinkedIn, or Indeed, or you name the site. But they are not, or they haven’t been active for a long time, so this is a hidden talent.

Too many TA shops are currently working too hard at becoming efficient and not hard enough at becoming experts of the talent for their industry and their marketplaces. You know I love technology. So, be great at technology, but don’t forget to be great at recruiting.

What is the Top Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) in the U.S.?

Okay, you guys know I love my guy, Rob Kelly over at OnGig and his team, for putting together data around the most used ATSs. OnGig recently released their latest report and I wanted to share some highlights and reactions.

First, let’s answer the biggest question – is this real? Yes, Rob and the team looked at over 1,000 companies and dug into which specific ATS they are using. Most were Enterprise level, but there were also a number of SMBs.

Here’s the breakdown: (click on the pic for a larger version)

 

Tim’s Reactions:

– In 2018, Workday had a 4.20% share in the enterprise ATS market. In 2020, that has grown to 21.92%, and they have thousands of customers going through and waiting on implementation. Workday has taken over the recruiting market at the enterprise level as of right now and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

– In 2017 Taleo’s market share was 25.51%, in 2018, 19.11%, and in 2020, 14.68%. Still a giant piece of the market, but it shows how Taleo didn’t react quickly enough to the changing marketplace to keep or grow their huge advantage. Keep an eye on Oracle Recruiting Cloud and the impact that will have for those Oracle customers looking to move to the cloud and away from Taleo.

– iCIMS share at 8.94% is extremely impressive, given they totally retooled their software over the past year or so, and basically pioneered the recruiting “App Store” marketplace concept which allows users to build an integrated stack with the features they want fairly easily. Also, this number doesn’t include many of the mid-market, SMB customers iCIMS have.

– Along with iCIMS, Greenhouse, SmartRecuriters, and Jobvite are all top best of breed ATS plays on the market and we are beginning to see this separation of organizations who are choosing the Best of Breed recruiting technologies, to those who are using the Giant HCM recruiting modules (Workday, Oracle, SAP).

What does any of this mean to Enterprise TA Leaders?

If I’m a current TA Leader working for an F1000 organization I better be ready to answer this question:

“Why can’t you, or can you, use the recruiting module for our large HCM stack?” 

Every single CFO, CIO, and CEO, if they haven’t already are going to be looking at their financial, operational, and supply chain stack and making a decision, most likely, between Workday, Oracle, and SAP (there are some others, but these 3 own 90%+ of the market).

These leaders are being sold on the power of one platform and the ability to leverage all of that data, and part of that decision will be HR and TA explaining the benefits and drawbacks of going enterprise module solution versus best of breed.

By the way, and this is very important, your input to this decision, as a TA and HR leader, will be weighted by the overall cost of the combined organizational solution and decision. Don’t be confused and think you are an equal player in this decision. The reality is, we (HR/TA) are not, as our portion of this contract is peanuts compared to the rest. The CFO and CIO are the big players, so if you want leverage around what you need, make friends fast!

Final Thoughts:

Many of you will not be given a decision on the TA tech stack you are given. I find that unfortunate, but that is a reality at the enterprise level. HCM Recruiting Module, best of breed ATS, an Excel spreadsheet, they all work, if we make them work.

Workday has a tremendous partner network with some of the most advanced recruiting technology on the planet. You can build a great Workday TA stack. You can build a very strong Oracle TA stack. The key is getting the decision-makers to understand, no matter what system you choose, the core ATS is only the foundational piece, and each of us will have other pieces that we’ll need to add to that stack to make it most effective for our organization.

Those pieces will cost money, on top of the money that is spent on the foundational ATS. Try not to allow yourself to be handcuffed with a new ATS (at any level) and be told this is all you get. Modern-day recruiting and talent attraction take way more than just an ATS.

One last shoutout to Rob and the OnGig team – keep up the great work!

1 Free Job Posting from @LinkedIn if You Read This Post!

Pretty cool news coming out of LinkedIn this week! LinkedIn has made a few changes to help job seekers (#ImOpenToWork photo frames, Career Explorer, free skill courses, etc.) and also will be helping employers, especially SMBs, who need help connecting with this talent with FREE job posts! No, really, you don’t have to put a credit card or anything – no bait and switch!

Check out the video below…

How do we post that FREE job? 

Basically, if you’re a hiring manager, HR, TA, etc. and looking to hire, you just go and create a new job posting. You can find the job posting button by going to your main LinkedIn feed page, going to the upper right-hand corner, and clicking on “Work”. A drop down will show you a “Post a Job” button and you can click on that.

For SMBs who aren’t already using LinkedIn to post jobs, you will get one free job post to use. If you fill that job, you can post another. Basically, you get one free job to post at a time. If you are an enterprise LinkedIn user, you’ll get pushed into your account to post a job.

Once you add a job, you will be given the option to add the “Hiring” frame around your profile picture.

Check out this LinkedIn Blog post for additional details and links.

It’s pretty rare for an organization like LinkedIn to give away something so valuable for free! We know LinkedIn job postings work, we also know they can be quite expensive for SMBs to use.

I’m sure the cynics will say this is just another way LinkedIn is getting more people to use the platform and get addicted. Maybe! But, if it works, who cares! And, if it works and it’s free for an SMB to test, seriously, that’s a great thing! Take advantage!

Go post a job out on LinkedIn and then send me a note and let me know the results! I’m super interested to see how this works for everyone!

 

4 Reasons You Fight to Keep What You Have vs. What You Need!

I recently had a great conversation with the CEO of Greenhouse Software, Jon Stross. Jon developed a model he calls the Hiring Maturity Model. Basically, it’s a scale or curve of where your recruiting department is in terms of technology maturity.

Part of that conversation was a fascinating piece around why do we keep technology that isn’t moving us forward or making us successful? Don’t say budget! It’s not budget! Let me explain that.

What are the four reasons why we would rather keep stuff we have versus getting stuff we actually need? 

1. We fear the pain of change. “Moving from one ATS to another ATS is hard work and takes years and it’s just not worth it, Tim!” You’re wrong. It was that way when we had on-premise software, but with modern-day Saas platforms, this isn’t as painful by a mile! My most recent ATS change took 6 weeks, and we had zero downtime because kept the legacy system going while we got used to the new system.

2. We fear short-term lower performance over the benefit of long term gains. Well, it might not be great, but we know what we have. What if we change and it’s worse!? It won’t be because you will do your due diligence and research and you’ll make sure it will be exponentially better! If what you have isn’t that good, you must be willing to build something better. Your organization needs you to do this.

3. We feel stupid and don’t know the technology enough to advocate for change. This is very legitimate. I feel stupid every single day about technology. I’ve got some stupid thing with my Macbook going on and I can’t figure it out and drives me crazy! Demo. Demo. Demo. I felt stupid about our TA Tech space and I just started demoing everything I could find and it opened up a completely new world of what is possible in talent acquisition.

4. It was your call, originally, to get what you have, so bailing on it now looks bad on you. Do you still have an iPhone 4? No!?! What!?! Why not!? When the iPhone 4 was launched it was AWESOME! Oh, wait, the iPhone 12 is better? Turns out, technology improves. What you thought was best two or three years ago is now a dinosaur in the technology world. So, just like IT, Finance, Operations, it’s okay to say, hey, the tech we have now isn’t what we need today to stay competitive for talent.

Did I say demo? For the love of St. Petersburg, Demo! It’s the single best thing you can do to develop yourself around getting smarter about the technology in your functional professional area of expertise.

Too many of us keep processes and systems way too long for reasons that when you really dig into it, don’t even make sense. “Well, Tim, we have to use this ATS because payroll is tied to it and payroll says we can’t change.” Um, what!? Does payroll drive revenue for the organization? Does payroll find and develop talent for the future of the organization? Stop it! Stop the excuses.

Oh, Budget! 

I forgot it’s the pandemic, you don’t have a budget. Actually, you do. I mean you’re already spending it on crappy software that isn’t working for you. Stop spending that, and you have all kinds of budget! I have never met one CEO/CIO/CFO who when shown a better more efficient way of doing business wasn’t all in on giving it a try if it didn’t cost them more money. Same money? Okay, let’s do it!

Check out the Greenhouse podcast with Jon and me. He’s a great dude. I love his voice and cadence, I could listen to him all day!

@LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting Survey says the #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is… @LinkedInNews

I know you hate clickbait headlines, but they work, plus I know you want to know, so why give it away in the title! I mean I don’t get paid for my dashing looks and witty charm! Thank goodness!

LinkedIn launched its 2020 Future of Recruiting survey results today and it’s one of my favorite content pieces to comment on. Click through the link to download it for yourself, it’s packed with interesting data around talent acquisition and recruiting!

The #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is…Adaptability!

Did you guess that? I didn’t. I think I could have probably could have had 50 guesses on not got that one. Here are the others:

Fastest growing skills for recruiters in 2020:

● Personal Development +44%

● Diversity & Inclusion +42%

● Talent Pipelining +37%

● Decision-Making +34%

● HR Strategy +30%

Okay, I can see personal development being high on the list, since 2020 has brought a lot of quality time working in remote settings and high unemployment numbers for recruiting pros, I think most people have been thinking about their personal and professional development.

I actually would have guessed D&I would have been #1. 2020 will be remembered for a few things – Covid, Social Justice, and the U.S. finally getting a sane person in the White House. So, from a talent acquisition perspective, I would have guessed diversity and inclusion recruiting to be the top priority.

HR Strategy actually makes zero sense to me! So, you’re in talent acquisition and your most needed skill is HR Strategy? Quite frankly, it makes you question the results overall. How could that be? Talent Pipelining? Yep! HR Strategy? Nope! But, it’s 2020, weird times.

Another big eye-opening stat from the report:

70% say Virtual Recruiting will become the new standard!

Okay, this one will take some explaining and background. First, what do you mean by “virtual recruiting”? So, for this data, that basically means, the process we have for recruiting can be done virtually. Sourcing, video interviewing, online assessments, etc., can all be done virtually, so I guess, yes, in that case, “virtual recruiting” is the new standard.

But, honestly, most of that stuff was already fairly standard.

I think the bigger aspect is Recruiters believing they’ll continue to be virtual/remote after Covid. I think Covid has shown organizations that in a pinch, yep, recruiting can be done virtually. But, every organization will have to truly decide is it better or the same as before, or possibly worse?

I’ve spoken to a number of F500 executives who aren’t super keen on remote recruiting because the relationships with hiring managers are worse, synergies amongst the TA team aren’t as robust, and brainstorming around testing and how to improve seem weaker in remote settings. Some of that can be improved, but it still comes down to leader perception.

We’ve been automating recruiting since the first Caveman needed a new assistant to track dinosaur migration patterns, so the fact that we’ll continue to automate and be able to recruit from anywhere in a mostly Saas environment should not be surprising to anyone.

Go download the new report. Some really good stuff around TA budgets and everyone’s favorite new topic, Internal Mobility, as well.

That 20 Minute Phone Screen is a Candidate’s Most Important Moment of the Week!

A lot of folks are currently out of job and looking for work. Not many jobs open. Too many candidates lead to a lot of rejections, black holes, no feedback, and very few “interviews”.

You and I (TA Leaders and Pros) don’t consider a twenty-minute phone screen to be an interview. Candidates definitely believe it’s an interview. They prepare for your phone screen at the same level they prepare for an in-person interview with the hiring manager. First impressions and all.

Here’s the problem, that twenty-minute phone screen, one of many you will have during the week, isn’t even in your top 25 most important things you’ll be doing this week. So, how do we address this variance in importance with how the candidate will ultimately view your employment brand, you, your hiring manager, and the job?

That’s a tricky question.

I think the first thing we need to do in talent acquisition is simply to recognize this reality. We are going to be talking with scheduled candidates about who we are, who they are, and what we have, and this is extremely important to them, especially for those out of job. To have some empathy and understanding of the situation. To provide something of value, even as we look to gain some value of information ourselves.

It’s a powerful thing to know you’ll be talking with a number of people in a week, all of whom this could be their most important conversation of the week, month, year. That we (all recruiters) have a major impact on this event in their lives. We can create an amazing experience, or we can do something less than amazing.

I have this naive belief that all of us humans actually want to do things that make other people happy and satisfied. Isn’t that a great little fuzzy, cute world I live in!?! If we knew we had the power to make someone’s life just a little better, we would use that power for good. That if given the choice to make someone’s day brighter, we would always make the right choice.

Well, we do.

Do Good. Be Kind. As Chris Kurtz would say.

This week, as you go out into the world and phone screen your brands out. Try and make someone’s week. You are worth it. They are worth it.

Happy Global Talent Acquisition Day! #GlobalTADay

September 2, 2020, marks the third annual Global TA Day!

Global TA Day was an event started by the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (of which I was a proud founding board member!) and it’s a day to celebrate our profession!

Recruiting is hard! What we do in talent acquisition is difficult! Also, what we do has an extremely positive effect on our organizations! Every single day, we impact our organizations by improving talent. That talent will lead our organizations into the future, and we are the first step to making that happen!

Never discount your role in talent acquisition. So many of our peers in HR don’t want to do recruiting because they know how difficult these roles truly are. In recruiting, your performance can’t hide. We either find the talent or we don’t, and there’s no way to hide from that fact. Our level of accountability is in our face with every single requisition we work.

So, I salute you my fellow TA pros! Take a moment today to stop and celebrate yourself, your team, and your profession. Use the hashtag #GlobalTADay on social today and put up a picture of you and your team doing the work you do! Join along with the celebrations online that are going on across the globe! There will be live presentations and panels throughout the day, all free, for you and your teams to enjoy and learn.

Want to join the movement in TA? Sign up and join me as a member of ATAPGlobal and support your profession throughout the year, and not just this one day! The top TA pros across the world work on their craft all year long, and ATAP supports our development!