College Students Have No Idea You Want to Recruit Them!

For part of my career, I did the standard corporate college recruiting gig. It sounds “super-cool” when you first think about it. “Wait, I get to fly around the country and go the best college campuses and recruit people who actually want to be recruited?!”

The reality is college recruiting as a corporate recruiter is much less sexy. Think a lot of Courtyard Marriotts, a pizza, and a six-pack, while you watch crapping hotel TV and follow up on work email. Then wake up early and get to the next campus. You quickly begin to hate travel, hate college campuses and miss actually being in the office!

But, corporations believe they must be on campus to recruit the best and brightest college students. Here where the problem begins. College students don’t even know you’re there! A recent study by Walker Sands found out that the majority of college students don’t even know you were on campus:

Walker Sands’ new Perceptions of Consulting Careers study, 56 percent of college students don’t even know if consulting firms recruit at their school. On top of that, 82 percent feel that major firms only recruit from a limited group of select universities.
Okay, this study focused on consulting firms, but the reality is the students don’t really know the difference between Deloitte and Dell when it comes to getting a job!
What can you do to make your company stand out and be remembered while you’re on campus? Try these five things:
1. Develop a Pre-visit communication strategy. Work with the schools you want to recruit from most to find out how you can get your message in front of them (email, text, the student newspaper, geo-targeted social media campaign, billboards on campus, etc.). Each school has a way to reach every student, you need to find out what that is, and how you can tap into that, even it costs a little money.
2. Come in early and take over classes in the majors you’re most interested in. Professors are like most people, they don’t want to work hard if they don’t have to. So, if you build 45 minutes of great content, most Professors will let you ‘guest’ lecture as long as it’s not one big sales pitch. Come up with great contact professors will find valuable for their students, then go deliver it the day before the major career fair. Then invite each class to come see you.
3. Make a splash in high traffic areas on the day of your visit. College kids haven’t changed much, they like free food and drink, free stuff, basically anything free! So, find the highest traffic area on campus and give away free stuff college kids will like. If you’re only interested in one specific school within the university, find out where those students hang out.
4. Stay a day later after everyone else leaves. Whether it’s the day after or even another time altogether, find a time to be on campus when you don’t have any competition to getting your message out. 99% of employers only show up on career fair day. Stand out and be the employer that is there when no one else is!
5. Post-visit communication strategy. Most organizations never contact the students who show interest in them after they leave campus.  They’ll contact a handful of the ones who stood out to them, but so is every other employer. Recruiting kids after you leave is more important than the time you spend on campus. Most kids will see 20+ employers and will only remember a couple. If you stalk them after the fact, they’ll remember you!

Sure! I can give you my “Free” staffing firm option!

I’ve gotten a chance to work both sides of the fence for an extended period of time in the Talent Acquisition/Recruiting/Staffing game. For ten years I ran corporate talent acquisition shops for some very large organizations.  One organization spent over $3M annually on staffing agency fees! Obviously, prior to my getting there!

I’ve spent almost fifteen years on the agency side, sandwiched in between my corporate experience. What I’ve learned along the way is that there isn’t a “free” option when it comes to hiring great talent.

Frequently, I get asked from clients for discounts to my fees on the agency side.  I get that. When I was on the corporate side, I would never take an agency’s first offer.  Here’s the main problem with all of this:

Corporate talent acquisition pros don’t want any of it. They don’t your 20% direct fee, they don’t want your retained plan, they don’t want your RPO plan. What they want is Free. A free option.

Therein lies everything you need to know about staffing agencies and corporate talent acquisition.  One side wants free. One side needs to get paid.

The reality is, even staffing on your own on the corporate side isn’t free.  Corporate talent acquisition done right has a ton of costs. Recruitment tools, automation, branding, job boards, applicant tracking, college strategy, recruiter training, and hiring, etc. None of that is free.

All of this, though, should be screaming to the agency folks that something isn’t right.  What corporate talent acquisition pros are saying is “we don’t like the options we are getting from agencies”.  This should be of serious concern because there are companies trying to design other options for corporate talent acquisition pros.  Options where they’ll feel like they are getting the value they want.

These options aren’t free, either, but they are less than all of the traditional options that 99% of staffing agencies are offering.

When I was on the corporate TA side of the desk, here was my decision matrix to when I would use a staffing agency.

This matrix made me feel good about my decision to use an agency:

1. Does my team have the capacity to do this search? If Yes, why would I pay to have this done? If No, the cost is justifiable.

2. Does the agency offer me recruitment expertise and/or pipeline I don’t have on my team?  See #1 for Yes and No options.

3. Is it financially feasible for me to add more capacity to my team, as compared to an agency option? This one took some more work. If I had a need for an agency to fill, let’s say, three positions and it was going to cost me $100K, well, obviously I could hire a pretty good recruiter for $100K. But, would I need that Recruiter in year 2, 3, etc.? Adding headcount isn’t a one time cost for an organization.

Ultimately, for me on the corporate side, it was almost always a capacity issue.  I had the expertise, but we had bubbles of work I needed extra support with.  Too often, I see corporate TA leaders upset over agency spend and it’s based on the fact they don’t have good recruiters on their team, yet they’re unwilling to change this fact. I’ll pay for additional short term capacity. I won’t pay for expertise I should have on my team every day. That becomes my issue!

Corporate TA leaders become frustrated over agency spend because ultimately it’s a reflection on the team they have created.

Are you measuring the Intelligence of your candidates? You should be!

Hire for Smarts. Train for Skill. It doesn’t sound right, does it?

The old adage is “Hire for attitude, train for skill”. The reality is, we probably have done this wrong for a long time. We hire for attitude, thinking we can train the person to do what we need if they just have the right attitude. Then Timmy turns out to be dumb and we can’t train him to do anything!

Lazlo at Google tried to tell us this, but we didn’t really listen in his “Work Rules” book. Scientist have been trying to tell us for years as well, that if you don’t have the ability to watch someone actually do the job you need them to do, the best bet across the board is to hire the smartest person you can, that actually wants to do the job you have available.

Smart + Desire to do the job = a pretty good bet on a hire. 

A new study just out doubles down on this concept that hiring smart people will actually give you an employee who is also more cooperative:

Our experimental method creates two groups of subjects who have different levels of certain traits, such as higher or lower levels of Intelligence, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness, but who are very similar otherwise. Intelligence has a large and positive long-run effect on cooperative behavior…Note that agreeable people do cooperate more at first, but they don’t have the strategic ability and consistency of the higher IQ individuals in these games.  Conscientiousness has multiple features, one of which is caution, and that deters cooperation, since the cautious are afraid of being taken advantage of.  So, at least in these settings, high IQ really is the better predictor of cooperativeness, especially over longer-term horizons.

The great thing about intelligence is it has nothing to do with actual educational success. A person can be a high school drop out, but still, be intelligent. You might also see a number of bachelor degreed individuals who test fairly low on intelligence. So, whether you are hiring for a low-skill job, or a high-skilled job, intelligence is a fairly good predictor in hiring, as compared to things like personality.

I would love to see a large organization, someone who does thousands of hires per year, actually measure the intelligence of those who term from their employment! We haven’t seen this, because of the obvious difficulty of getting a past employee to take an intelligence test, but I think the right organization/research partner could make this happen. I theorize that when taking a look at performance and tenure, you would see lower intelligent employees performing lower and having less tenure than those employees who have higher intelligence.

Cognitive assessments are actually fairly cheap and quick, and some organizations are using gamification to measure cognitive ability of applicants as an application pre-screener currently.

I have a bias against personality profiles. I think they are mostly witchcraft and sorcery. In my career, I just haven’t seen them consistently predict better hires during the interview screening process across all levels and kinds of candidates. So, I know I have that bias. On the other hand, I’ve seen cognitive ability raise the level of an organization when used consistently over time.

What do you think?

Should You Put a Rank and File Employee on Your Board?

Most boards of companies are made up of current company executives and/or executives from other companies are former executives from other companies. Almost never will you find a “regular Joe” on the board of directors.

Last week, a worker’s rights organization, United for Respect, presented to Congress and then to Walmart’s board the idea of adding hourly Walmart workers to its board, with full voting privileges. From the New Yorker:

“The practice of constantly cutting costs and squeezing workers often stems from the short-term-profit-oriented mind-set that has come to dominate corporate America over recent decades, in which moves to boost a company’s stock price are given priority over longer-term investments in infrastructure and employees. Murray believes that, if there had been a meaningful number of people with a stake in Walmart’s longer-term health—such as store associates—involved in the business decisions, some of these changes wouldn’t have happened, and the company would be better off. This led Murray, with the help of a worker’s-rights organization called United for Respect, to join in drafting a resolution that she plans to present to Congress on Tuesday—and, later, at Walmart’s annual shareholders’ meeting—urging the company to place a significant number of hourly retail employees on its board of directors so that they might have input on major corporate decisions.”

I love the idea. The only way it works is if the hourly employees who are on the board, have full voting rights as other board members, and they are not compensated in a way that makes them vote differently than they would as a normally compensated hourly worker. Basically, you couldn’t allow management to game the system by making it financially rewarding to those hourly employees that incentives them to make decisions in ways they normally wouldn’t.

So, would it be better for organizations to have hourly employees on their board? That’s the real question! More from the article:

“Because workers have so rarely been invited to participate in board-level decisions at companies in the U.S., there are few domestic examples to look to for a sense of how it would play out. In Germany and a handful of other European countries, however, having worker representation on boards is required. Baldwin’s office found research that showed that companies with worker representation invest twice as much in their businesses as those without; wages are higher, and profits are distributed more evenly. These firms also performed better. None of this is surprising. Low-level employees are deeply invested in a company’s long-term success, because their families depend on it in ways that top executives waiting for a bonus may not.” 

I’m definitely one of those people who believe we have an issue with executive compensation. Sure you see examples that are grotesque, but for the most part, executive compensation is market driven, and if organizations want to find effective leadership that has the ability to lead on a giant scale, it costs money.

I think what we are missing is the re-investment piece. Most boards and executives are concerned with financial performance, but in the short-term, not long. Quarter to quarter earnings drives short-term decision making that many times doesn’t include re-investment into the business to ensure long-term, steady success.

The market doesn’t reward steady success, so boards make decisions that are many times counterintuitive to long term success. Hourly employees, in turn, would tend to make better long-term business decisions because this business success long-term has a much bigger impact on their life, versus short-term business gains.

I’m not sure I want to see this regulated, I tend to believe the market will show companies how to run. That being said, in the past few decades the market has led many strong companies down the wrong path.

What do you think? How would you feel about having hourly employees on your board of directors?

Career Confessions of Gen Z: Make Your Data Work For You

When you think about the top companies in the world, what are the first companies that come to mind?

I would bet that Google was one of the first companies that popped in your mind.

I am positive that HR professionals around the world are trying to figure out the formula to building such a great workplace environment for employees. After reading the book, Work Rules: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Block, I learned that one of the keys to Google’s continued success is metrics.

Every new initiative or process that they introduce to employees is calculated and analyzed to determine how successful it was. They often use a small sample group to test and get feedback on the new idea.

The problem with most companies is that when they introduce something new, they don’t have a strategy as to how they will determine the program’s success. Companies are basing the success of initiatives purely on opinion.

In 2016, fewer than a third of all projects were successfully completed on time and budget over the course of the year (Capterra). Here are a few tips to using metrics to properly gage the success of a project:

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

What are we trying to accomplish with this project that is measurable? What benefit will this project bring to involved stakeholders? What is our budget and time frame for this project?

These are all simple questions that should render the data that you need to measure the success of the initiative.

For some companies, there may be historical data from the past that you can use to compare a new project in terms of success. This can be helpful for looking at what was done in the past and how it can be improved upon.

However, not every company has been around long enough to use historical data. These companies can use data from other companies who have done something similar as a benchmark. No need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to.

Get Feedback From Those Involved

Getting the proper feedback from the people involved in a project is essential for improving on that project in the future. How else are you going to know what employees like and what they don’t like? Come up with a creative way to get honest, useful responses.

Make Sure it Aligns with the Company Strategy

I’ve seen companies come up with great ideas that are successful as soon as they are implemented. The only problem is that the project does not fall in line with the vision and values of the company. Whether that project has success or not, you must consider what message you are sending to your employees.

Not everybody likes dealing with numbers, I know, but numbers can be very beneficial if used properly. I’ll leave you with a quote by the musical genius Jay Z:

“Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t lie”

Jonathan Sutherlin is a human resource professional with experience in the engineering and automotive industry. Currently going for his Master’s in Organizational Change Leadership in a hybrid program at Western Michigan University. He is very passionate about reading, philanthropy, basketball, and fitness. You can connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn or through email at When Jonathan is not at work trying to impact lives, you can either catch him in the gym or nose deep in a good book!

The ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ Internship Program!

I’m a kid of the 80’s! Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, Pretty in Pink, St. Elmos.

There was one other movie from that era that stuck with me called “Can’t Buy Me Love”, starring a very young Mc Dreamy, Patrick Dempsey, and a very young, Amanda Peterson. Of course this was a favorite of mine because well let’s just I indentified with the main character!

Quick story line – Patrick Dempsey plays a nerd-type, nobody in high school who just wants to be one of the popular kids. Basically, the same plot line for every teen movie ever. He mows lawns and saves all of this money. He asks Amanda Peterson’s cheerleader character to be his girlfriend and he’ll pay her, believing that’s all it will take to make him popular.

She does it. She does the makeover on him. It works. It works too well. She really falls for him. He gets cocky. His world falls apart. He gets the girl in the end! God, I miss the 80’s!!!

The concept of ‘buying’ popularity is both brilliant and stupid. In high school, popularity is a valuable currency. If you have it, it’s awesome. If you don’t have it, you want it, but it’s not something that is very transferable. The key is association! If you’re in with the popular crowd or the right people or person, you can catch their popularity exhaust.

So, what’s the “Can’t Buy Me Love” Internship Program? 

Here’s what I’m thinking. If I was a college student, right now in the world, I would pay the right person, at the right company, to be their intern for the summer!

Stay with me.

Two kids graduate from a B-level college, both with a degree in business, both will similar GPAs. Kid #1 did summer internships with local organizations, mid-sized companies, good brands locally, solid stuff, nice resume. Kid #2 also did summer internships, but her internships were with Apple, Amazon, and Google.

Which kid are you going to hire? Which kid will get a job faster? Which kid will get the better offer?

Kid #2 – will get better everything!

So, it would be to the advantage of every kid to get the best internships possible! But, we know getting the best internships possible are super competitive and hard to get.

Next question: What is an internship, really?

An internship is an experience someone obtains that will help them obtain the next experience. That internship is basically validated by the organization, and more specifically, by the person who manages the intern.

How much would it cost me to get a manager/director/vice president at a major brand to let me ‘shadow’ them for the summer? $2,000? $5,000? Let’s say it’s for 10 weeks, and I’ll do anything this person wants me to do to help them, and I’ll show up every day and stay as long as they want.

Whatever it would cost, that money would be coming back to me 10X or 20X over my career when I hit the market looking for a job with “Giant Brand Experience” on my resume as an intern, with a reference from my ‘internship’ supervisor to back it up.

The “Can’t Buy Me Love” Internship Program!

But, instead of can’t buy me love, it’s really I Can Buy Me A Great Resume! Don’t hate the game, love the hustle! It comes down to how much are you willing to invest in your future? You were willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on that education. Don’t you think it’s worth a few thousand dollars more to separate your resume from the pack?

Food for thought, kids.

The Talent Fix – My new book is now available to purchase! If your organization is having trouble hiring, this is a must buy! 

Talent Fix Review: My mom says it’s her favorite book that I’ve written!!! (I’ve only written one book!)

Purchase The Talent Fix now! 

It’s Equal Pay Day! Is Pay Equality Even Real?

If you didn’t know April 10th is national Equal Pay Day!

How are you spending today celebrating this Ummm, well, holiday-ish thingy?

I have yet to see a company do this, but it would be awesome to see them make all the white dudes come to work and everyone else who is affected by pay inequality actually gets the day off, with pay!

I know, you probably clicked to come read this article because you thought I was going to give you some right-winged propaganda about how Pay Inequality wasn’t real and it was just made up by the left! If that was your thought, you really don’t know me!

Pay inequality is real and I know it’s real because I’ve worked two decades in HR and I’ve seen it with my own eyes.  I’ve run the compensation reports and sat down with executives to show them the real data we were facing as an organization.

Was it 70 cents on the dollar to men? No, not in my experience, but it was enough to be embarrassing. It was enough to show we had real sexist and racist assholes working for us making pay decisions.

Here’s my take on Pay Equality Day…

We own this as HR. I was once asked to step down and leave a company because I went into the executive boardroom as an HR professional and said, either you pay these women the same as the dudes, or I’ll quit. They took that as my resignation because they were not about to pay the women the same. That’s cowardly leadership, but it proves a point.

We – HR – own this. It’s not hiring managers. It’s not CEOs or CFOs or COOs. It’s you and me.

If HR allows a hiring manager to make an offer to any candidate for less than others are being paid in the same role, and we don’t stop that, we own it!

If you don’t stop it, or you believe you can’t stop it, you can quit and go to work for an organization that respects all their employees. If you don’t, you are now complicit in pay inequality. You are now the problem, not the hiring managers, and not the executives.

Now, should you quit and give an ultimatum like I did? Hell no! I was young and stupid.

What I should have done is approached this with a plan and a solution to fix our problem. If at that point, I was told we didn’t have a problem, or we would not be fixing this problem, then I have some decisions to make. My solution was to change employees salaries now or I’m going to throw a fit. That doesn’t work in the real world of budgets, and stock prices, and, well, life.

It took us a lot of time to get into this position, you don’t get out of it overnight. In hindsight, here’s what I should have done to fix our pay inequality issues:

1. Discover the importance of this issue with the leadership team and our legal team. I can do a lot of things, but if this is considered a non-issue by both my executive team and my legal team, I’m not getting anything done.

2. Stop all new pay equity issues. I might not be able to change the past, immediately, but I can definitely ensure no new issues come in the door!

3. Make a plan, with finance, on how you recommend we solve historical pay equity issues, and request an audience to dual-present this plan on this issue with myself and finance. By doing this, I would have known what we can actually do financially and have the buy-in already from those writing the checks.

4. Discover who my true offenders are, and deal with these folks first. In my experience, pay equity issues rarely are equal across an organization. It’s usually small pockets of hiring managers and locations that are doing bad things. “Well, Tim, we’ve always paid the ‘gals’ a little less because they tend to leave and have babies!” Oh boy! Even after coaching, discipline, etc., I don’t allow these folks to make compensation decisions. They lost this responsibility for a long time.

5. Develop and run quarterly or monthly reporting and ensure your leadership and legal team are aware of your progress.

6. Tell your employees what you’re doing.

Pay equity is an HR issue. HR owns it.

We are now responsible for what happens in our organizations when it comes to compensation because we all have been put on notice. If you don’t take this responsibility then you shouldn’t be in HR.

The Top 100 Fortune 500 Employment Brands Report @WilsonHCG

RPO provider WilsonHCG released their annual Employment Brands Report for 2018. The report lists the top 100 employment brands based on an algorithm Wilson put together, and they are:

#1 – Johnson & Johnson

#2 – Intel

#3 – IBM

#4 – Lockheed Martin

#5 – Proctor & Gamble

#6 – General Motors

#7 – J.P. Morgan Chase

#8 – Dow Chemical

#9 – Cummins

#10 – ADP

So, how does that Top 10 feel at first glance?

I had some problems. The top 10 list seems a bit dated. Like it might be better titled, “Employment Brands People Over 40 Would Love to Work for!”. If someone on the street came up and said, “Tim, you can win a million dollars by telling us the 3 top Employment Brands in the U.S.” I would immediately say – Google, Apple, Facebook.

Google is on the list and in the top 20. Facebook is down at 61. Apple is NOT on the list! Also, no Nike. Very strange.

So, I looked at the criteria. How did this big RPO firm that sells to the Fortune 500 come up with this list? Here are the criteria for having a ‘top’ employment brand:

  • Career Page – Okay, that’s important to a great employment brand, solid start!
  • Job Boards – Um, what!? Your use of Job Boards has nothing to do with your Employment Brand! In fact, I would argue organizations with great employment brands don’t even have to use job boards.
  • Employee Reviews & Candidate Engagement – Okay, we get it Glassdoor has data.
  • Accolades – By whom? Me? You? This is also gamed as it’s “Best Places to Work”, “Most Admired”, etc. Which are all pretty much pay to play schemes.
  • Recruitment Marketing – RM is not EB. You can be great at RM – Amazon, and still have a weaker EB.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility & Recruitment Initiatives – Recruitment Initiatives? Could one of those happen to be – “Use RPO”? Just asking for a friend.

Okay, I’ve had enough fun with Wilson and the report, there was some actual good data that came out of it as well.

The biggest one that really hits home is this: The top 100 on the list scored 805% better than the bottom 100 on the list! That’s a giant disparity and really talks to the fact that EB (or more RM in this case) still has so far to come, but many top brands are beginning to separate from the pack.

Wilson found that top scoring companies had better alignment with marketing, which completely makes sense and it should be that way. Employment branding and recruitment marketing done in a silo, is a whole lot of wasted effort and resources. Your candidates are often your consumers, and while marketing messages can be vastly different from recruiting messages, the tone and voice should be similar.

Go check out the report, you can download a copy here! Under each of the six measures, the report does a great job of giving specific things organizations can do to better themselves.

Generational Profiling – The Newest Trend in Recruiting!

We all have heard and know what Racial Profiling is, right?

Well, we get to add something new to our toolbox in recruiting, Generational Profiling!

Targeting someone because of their race is awful and illegal. Targeting someone based on their age is no different. It’s called it Generational Profiling and we are in the middle of an epidemic.

Take a look at the average age of these super popular tech brands:

You don’t have to be a genius to understand what’s going on in hiring in these companies. Remember a couple of years ago when we all got hot and bothered because Facebook and the like weren’t hiring women? Please educate me on how this is any different.

If the world, especially our work world, is moving to more and more of a technology focus, what are organizations doing to ensure they hiring for diversity across generations? I’ll tell you! Nothing! It’s not on the radar of 99.99% of organizations. We don’t give a crap if we hire older workers or not.

But, TIM, you don’t understand, older workers don’t get tech and they don’t want to work in tech!


Here are some fairly significant tech companies, compare them to the ones above:

27 years old average age of employees to 38 years old average age employees is statistically significant in a giant way!

IBM, Oracle and HP value the diversity of generations in the workplace, and are probably more likely to not be generationally profiling when hiring.

You hear “Generational Profiling” when CEOs of Fortune companies speak at shareholder meetings. They will say things like: “We need to ‘modernize’ our workforce”. They aren’t talking about re-skilling, they’re talking about getting younger, believing that’s their real problem. These old farts can’t do what we need to be done.

So, what do you do about it?

We, talent acquisition, need to start calling this crap out! If your hiring managers weren’t hiring women or minorities because of poor ‘cultural’ fit, you would call them out.

In Generational Profiling, ‘poor cultural fit’ equals ‘overqualified’. “Yeah, I don’t want to hire Tim because he’ll be bored in this role.” Bullshit. You don’t want to hire Tim because you might be challenged by having someone on your team that knows something you don’t!

We have the data to show generational profiling. You can put a report together that shows each hiring manager by age and years of experience, then show the exact same thing for their team, then show the candidates presented in the same manner. A really interesting thing will happen! You’ll instantly see which managers are profiling hires by age!

-Tim is 27 and has 6 years of experience post-college.

-Tim’s team’s average age is 24 and has 3 years post-college.

-Tim’s interviews selected average age is “X” with “X” experience.

-Tim’s interviews declined average age is “X+” with “X+” experience.

Stuff just got real!

No one, and I mean no one, likes to be called a racist or a sexist. Our hiring managers should feel the same way if they were called and ageist, but they’re not. We need that to change.

By the way, you will see this in promotions as well…

Are You Hiring Weaker IT Talent If You Get Above 12% Female on Your Staff

So, Stack Overflow came out this week with their annual Developer survey. This survey is the real deal when it comes to IT staffing and data. Over 64,000 IT pros responded to the survey! That’s a giant data set up on hiring trends! You can download the survey results here: Free Guide: Recruiting Developers in 2017. (FYI – they’re not paying me to promote this, it was just fascinating data!)

So, there’s this concept in hiring when you look at pools of talent in a single skill set when it comes to gender. Let’s say you were running a retail chain. Your total employee mix is 70% female, 30% male. When you go to hire leaders you would assume that your leader gender mix would be 70% female and 30% male. But, we know this doesn’t happen.

In fact, in most cases, we see the opposite, 70% male and 30% female leaders selected. What happens when you do this is that you degrade the quality of leaders you are hiring because you are over hiring out of one pool. So, the quality of talent you are pulling from continues to get weaker and weaker. If only 30% of your employees are male, but you’re hiring 70% of your leaders from that small pool, you are statistically more likely to make bad hires.

In IT 88% of employees are male, 12% female (from the study). Thus, the theory would say, if you hire more than 12% female IT workers, you are ‘over’ hiring within one pool and probably getting lower level candidates from that pool.

I know that sounds crappy, right! Everyone hates when data doesn’t tell the story we hoped for! I get it, we all want more females in IT. I want more females in IT. But if you force it, you actually are giving your organization weaker talent, based on the pools available.

Some other super cool things that Stack Overflow was able to pull out of the data: 

– How do IT Pros find their job (called Job Discovery)?

  • 27% Referred by friends, peers, internal employees
  • 18% External Headhunters
  • 14% Contracted
  • 13% Job Board
  • 8.5% College Career Fair
  • 7.7% Visited Career Site directly

What’s missing? Yep! Almost no IT talent is hired by your internal recruiters! This should be super scary for TA Leaders! Go ahead and argue the data – it’s 64,000 IT pros! This is not a lie. Why is this the case? Well, the study also shows that only 13% of IT pros are actively searching for a job at any one time. Most internal recruiters only work with actively searching job candidates, so their pool of talent is very small, to begin with, thus way less hires.

– Job evaluation factors? Those things IT pros find most important when deciding upon which company to go work for. This one will also sting most Corp TA Leaders:

  • #1 – Is this position better for my career and skill set (okay, this is good)
  • #2 – Money fools!
  • The last thing on the list? Diversity. Ouch. IT pros could care less about your diversity initiatives and working in a diverse workforce. We want so badly for this to matter to candidates, but this study says it doesn’t. IT pros care more aobut the reputation of the person they work for, than diversity.

Go download the study for yourself. If you truly understand all of this data it will make it much easier for your organization to hire IT talent. We tend to spend so much time focusing on the wrong things and then struggle to understand why we can’t hire enough or fast enough.