Someone is Banking on You Being Lazy!

I work in an industry where I’ve been told for a decade technology is going to take my job. The staffing industry is half a trillion-dollar industry worldwide. The entire industry is built on us banking on the fact that someone in corporate TA is going to be lazy.

Ouch! That should sting a little!

So, I don’t really bank on you being lazy at my company. We do contract work so we are looking to fill contingent roles, not direct hire staffing, which is an industry almost completely built on lazy! For my staffing brothers and sisters out there, I hear you, I know you’re ‘just’ filling in when ‘capacity’ is an issue. (wink, head nod, wink)

There are other industries that bank you us being lazy. The entire diet industry! You’ve got overpriced awful foods, bars, shakes, workout gyms, at home gyms, etc. Because we won’t eat less and move more, because we are “lazy”, we pay a lot for that! Believe me, I pay my fair share! Just because I’m too lazy! Ugh, it’s embarrassing!

Direct hire¬†staffing as an industry could be gone tomorrow if corporate TA just did what they were hired to do. You have an opening, you fill the opening. We aren’t trying to put a woman on the moon! This isn’t rocket science!

But, we don’t fill the opening. In fact, we do just about everything except filling the opening. We post the opening. We meet about the opening. We send whoever applies to the manager of the opening. We meet some more about candidate experience. We have another meeting about employment branding. One more meeting with the manager to see if anything has changed.

That doesn’t sound lazy, does it?

But, deflection of more difficult work is just another form of laziness.

My kid doesn’t want to go out in 90-degree heat and mow the lawn. It’s a hard, hot job. So, they come up with ‘alternative’ work that they have to do that just happens to be inside in the air conditioning.

As TA Leaders, we have to understand how are others are banking on us being lazy, and then make adjustments to stop lazy. So, how do you do that?

Well, I wrote an entire book on the subject – The Talent Fix – you can buy it here – but until you can get it, here are some tips:

  1. Have clearly defined measurable activity goals set for each member of your TA team.
  2. Make those measures transparent so everyone can see them every day.
  3. Have performance conversations immediately when measures aren’t met.
  4. Course correct as measures need to be adjusted to meet the needs of the business.
  5. Rinse, repeat.

1 -5 above is like page 37 of the book. So, you can imagine what the rest of the 200+ pages will be like! ūüėČ

If you follow the five steps above about half of your team will quit in 90 days. That’s a good thing, those idiots didn’t want to recruit, to begin with, they just wanted that fat corporate check and Taco Tuesdays. They were being lazy and it was costing your corporate bottom line.

The talent acquisition function is not a charity case. I think in the history of HR we’ve done some corporate charity where we let people keep collecting money even though they were costing us money. They weren’t giving back the value we needed for what we were paying. Great leaders stop this from happening.

Great leaders understand that there are people in the world that are banking on us being lazy.

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.

What Does Tim Sackett Actually Do?

So, besides my beautiful wife asking this question, frequently, I get asked this question all the time! During the spring and fall conference season, I’m out and about all over the world speaking. At almost every stop I’ll have at least one person come up to me and ask,

“So, what do you actually do?”¬†

Ugh! It’s the single biggest failure of my life!

I probably should start each conversation like an AA meeting:

“Hi, my name is Tim Sackett, and I run a technical staffing company!”¬†

That’s the real job. That’s the money maker. I run a recruiting shop! Like most of you, I have to go out and buy a recruiting tech stack that works. I need to decide if I spend money on Indeed, or LinkedIn, or ZipRecruiter. I need to hire and train recruiters. At the end of the day, I’m in the weeds finding talent.

Unlike most Staffing Firm executives, I can’t really hide. I’ve been blogging and speaking for ten years in our industry. When I meet with new clients who want to use my team, I try and tell them, “I think we’re better than most, but the one thing I can guarantee is I won’t lie to you, or take advantage of you! I’m too public! You could kill my brand overnight if I was one of those cheesy staffing guys selling you a load of bullshit!”

The name of my company is HRU Technical Resources. We are a 100% certified female-owned technical staffing company. Most people believe I’m the owner, but in reality, my Mom started the company in 1980.(Check out her profile pic from the 1st day! She looks like Farrah Fawcett!) She’s the original OG Recruiter! In her 70’s, she still could out recruit probably 99% of Recruiters in the world! Old school and proud of it!

Want to work with me? I want to work with you! 

Here’s what we do:

  • Contract staffing – helping organizations for 38 years build¬†that part of their company that they want to maintain as contingent to add flexibility to their workforce.
  • Sourcing Projects – we will your funnel with talent and let you do the recruiting
  • Project RPO – we bundle some critical hiring for you and do the entire thing end-to-end
  • Traditional Direct-hire staffing

I also do a bunch of Talent Acquisition consulting with clients as well, helping them build out their own recruiting tech stack and just flat out execute better when it comes to their own direct hiring and figuring out what’s the best way to get the most out of your recruiting team.

So, yeah, I write a lot. I speak quite a bit. I do webcasts, etc. But that’s not the full-time gig. I wrote a post a few years ago titled “What would it take to get you to work 80 hours per week?” I don’t work 80 hours per week, but I probably work 60-ish. A lot of nights and weekends to make both my full-time and my side gig work.

The reality is, if I don’t work my full-time gig, my bills don’t get paid. That’s real life. So, let’s work together! I would love to get to know more of you and work with a bunch of you. Send me a note and let’s connect –

Doing Time in Recruiting

Have you done any time? I asked the unsuspecting young lady sitting next to me. She just stared at me not sure if I was joking or serious, and really not wanting to engage either way. 

Old recruiters tend to be a bit forward. Their time has worn away the niceties and cultural norms society places upon us when you go through the system.

Mine have been gone for a while now.

‚ÄúHave you done time?‚ÄĚ, Is me asking you, if you have ever worked in staffing? Corporate TA isn‚Äôt time! Corporate TA is an all expenses paid trip to Disneyland, with the Disney Princess breakfast included.

How long was your sentence? 

It seems like most recruiters do a cup of coffee and get out for parole within a year. A fucking year! I’ve got searches on my desk longer then a fucking year! 

What can you learn in staffing in a year? That you suck at Recruiting is really the only thing I can think of. You don’t even learn the language of what you’re searching for in a year!

I think everyone in talent acquisition should do some time in staffing. It produces calluses, it thickens the skin. Staffing doesn’t come close to giving you all you need for a corporate TA job, but it gives you one thing that is desparately lacking. It teaches you how to fill positions.

I’ve worked in both staffing and corporate TA and I loved both. Both a very different and I loved them for different reasons, but I’ve always been extremely grateful that I had experience in staffing before I went into corporate. Both sides have lifers, and it makes sense. Some people know that one side is just for them and the other isn’t.

So, on this day, hit me in the comments and let me know how long your sentence was, or has been, and let us celebrate our time served!

Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @Indeed takes Away Free Traffic to Staffing firms!

Today on The Weekly Dose I dig into Indeed’s recent announcement to stop scraping the jobs from staffing companies. If you didn’t hear Indeed announced as the Staffing World conference that beginning January 7, 2019, they would no longer include “recruitment-based” jobs in their organic search results due to ongoing search quality issues (link to the official Indeed Policy on Recruitment-based companies).

I was able to talk directly to Paul D’Arcy, the SVP of Marketing for Indeed, about this decision. Paul was refreshingly frank about the announcement. Here are some of the things that came out of that conversation:

Think of the jobs Indeed posts on its site in four type of buckets:

#1 – Organic Jobs listed on Corporate websites scraped by Indeed

#2 – Promoted Jobs listed by corporate TA teams willing to pay to get those jobs to show up higher in the search results

#3 – Organic Jobs listed on Staffing Industry websites scraped by Indeed

#4 – Promoted Jobs listed by staffing firms (recruitment-based organizations – in Indeed’s wording) willing to pay to those jobs to show up higher in the search results

Of those 4 kinds of jobs, three out of the four have very similar rates of candidates getting hired. One of those types doesn’t do well at all because of a number of factors. Basically, Organic staffing jobs that Indeed has been scraping do very poorly. “Analysis shows that impacted jobs¬†represent¬†approximately 5% of applies but just 2% of hires on Indeed.”

So, the decision is made, by Indeed’s Search Quality team, to no longer scrape staffing jobs.

THIS IS SUPER UNFAIR TO STAFFING FIRMS!!! (I hear a collective 3 trillion dollar industry shout!)

Is it?

No one on the planet has lit up Indeed worse than me over some of their practices! (Hi, Todd!) I’ve been in Indeed Jail since early 2018 when they first shut off my free organic traffic. But, let’s be real, Indeed isn’t saying they won’t work with staffing firms or kicking staffing firms out. In fact, every single product Indeed sells is still available for staffing firms to use. They just aren’t giving you anything for free anymore, and that stings a bunch.

It’s like that first time the crack dealer tells you that you have to pay for the next hit! It sucks, and then you hand over some money.

Indeed understands the optics of this, according to D’Arcy, and they also know this will take some work to repair some relationships within the staffing industry. The fact is, staffing companies have been making millions of dollars off of free traffic from Indeed and it hurts to lose that!

The reality is, we (staffing) basically did this to ourselves. No not you! It was always the other guy! There was location spamming, posting ‘evergreen’ jobs that you would never fill, etc. Like most good things in recruiting, the staffing world found ways to exploit it and Indeed is shutting that down.

It’s D’Arcy’s hope that Indeed will find a way to begin bringing back some of the ‘real’ staffing jobs that out there. Think of contract and temporary jobs. Indeed corporate clients will be impacted if those jobs aren’t filled, as many now rely a great deal on their contingent workforce for large parts of what they do. Those are real jobs, that real candidates, will want to apply for and Indeed just took those away from candidates. They do realize this and they are trying to come up with a way to bring the real jobs back, without opening up the bad jobs again.

This is just Indeed making a move into the staffing world!

Wouldn’t be a bad business move, let’s be honest! I would do it, so would you, but Indeed is telling me this isn’t part of the strategy behind making this decision. Take it at face value, some will believe it, some won’t. The reality is Indeed is making hundreds of millions of dollars off staffing firms as clients right now, and for years have also been working in the staffing industry simultaneously, so I’m not sure it really makes that big of a difference, short term.

What does this mean for staffing firms!?!?! 

If you want to keep making hires on Indeed, you’re going to have to start paying up! Indeed’s short-term revenue will increase because of this decision because most staffing firms will initially just fork over some money to keep the faucet on. Eventually, they’ll find our avenues to find candidates. Optimize their postings for Google Jobs and the traffic and hires will come from others sites and sources.

You might decide to start testing other tools like LinkedIn Recruiter, CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, ZipRecruiter, Programmatic job postings, maybe even pick up the phone, build a recruitment marketing machine, grab some sourcing technology, etc. Staffing firms don’t know this yet, but the reality is not relying on one tool so heavily is a blessing in disguise for your longterm success.

One piece of good news from Indeed is they’ll still allow staffing firms to use their paid resume database product.

What does this mean if you’re in Corporate TA?¬†

The hope will be you’ll actually see more traffic to your jobs, but understand that Google is no longer indexing Indeed’s job pages, so traffic has been going down and will continue to go down unless Indeed buys that traffic through marketing efforts. What does that mean? You’re probably going to be paying a lot more for the same or less traffic.

Now, with less staffing firm jobs clogging up the search results the hope is that you’ll see more candidates, faster to your jobs that are scrapped as part of your organic Indeed feed, and potentially even better results using Indeed’s job promotion products.

What do I think?

From someone who has been living in Indeed Jail for almost a year, you’ll survive. It’s not fun losing your free organic traffic, but you’ll figure it out and you’ll be a stronger recruiting shop in the end.

I think Indeed really screwed up by announcing this without first figuring out the contract/temp/consultant jobs. The contingent workforce is the fastest growing segment of the labor market, and someone at Indeed completely dropped the ball. I’ll blame Matthew in search quality because that’s kind of the inside joke at Indeed, if a client is pissed, blame search quality. But, my hope is Paul and the team will stick by their word and figure out a way to get those jobs back on Indeed for candidates.

I’m not sure this was a wise business move, really by Indeed. You never want to wake a sleeping giant. The staffing industry has been a sleeping giant over the past decade ($3 Trillion). Fat on Indeed free traffic and LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, the normal staffing recruiter today is not the staffing recruiter of a decade ago. Indeed just kicked them awake to see if they wanted to pay the check or go find somewhere else to spend their money. Some will go elsewhere.

I also know that Indeed produces results, so many of us, myself included, will continue to use them and pay for the products that work, but it won’t stop me from continuing to test everything and figure out how to lessen my team’s reliance on any one product. That’s just good recruiting strategy for both corporate and staffing leaders.

The Weekly Dose ‚Äď is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market. ¬†None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion. ¬†There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find. ¬†If you want to be on The Weekly Dose ‚Äď just send me a note –

Want help with your HR & TA Tech company – send me a message about my HR Tech Advisory Board experience.

Corporate TA is Doing Contract Hiring All Wrong!

In every university on the planet in every Economics 101 class, professors teach a very simple concept of FIFO (First In, First Out). It’s basically meant to describe the way products/material move through a system. There are two basic types, FIFO and LIFO (Last In).

FIFO is you get some supplies shipped to your warehouse, but you first use the supplies you already have in your inventory.  LIFO is you get those same supplies shipped to you, but instead of using the inventory you already have, you first use this new inventory to fill orders.

Unfortunately, in Talent Acquisition we really haven’t figured out the basic economic theory when it comes to Contract labor.

We’ve built Vendor Management Systems (VMS) and Managed Service Provider (MSP) which we thought were the answers to our prayers, but I find most corporate TA leaders and most vendors being pushed through these systems, are unsatisfied with the results on both sides.

So, How Do We Fix It? 

The pain point in bad contract hiring is caused by speed!

Yes, that same speed we desperately want is causing us to hire poorly!

Stick with me. VMSs work as a middle person between vendors and corporate TA. They’re basically a wall so your hiring managers and TA pros aren’t taking a million calls a day from bloodsucking recruiters.

VMSs have tried to fix quality issues, but the reality is in their veal to deliver talent quickly, that get caught in this LIFO dilemma. Almost every VMS on the planet runs their submission process in the same way:

  1. Job requisition goes out to suppliers
  2. Suppliers have some sort of limit of candidates they can put in (like 3 each), and the requisition has a limit of submissions it will accept as in total from all suppliers (like 25)
  3. Suppliers are on the clock to put candidates in before the competition puts them in.
  4. Riot mentality ensues and suppliers put the first garbage they can find into the system for fear of missing out.
  5. The “first-in” candidates are interviewed and a candidate is hired on contract.

The hiring manager is told this the best talent available, sorry, you’ll have to do.

This is a lie. 

One small change by VMSs and corporate TA could easily fix this problem. Do everything exactly the same way you’re doing it now, but don’t allow any vendors to submit talent for 48 or 72 hours. With this ‘window’ of time, your vendors would actually contact more talent, better talent, and not have the fear of missing out in shoving talent into your system as fast as possible. They would still be limited to three, but now they could actually¬†select their three best – NOT – the first three they get in touch with.

Simple. Easy. Effective.

The two or three days of waiting, is nothing, compared to the increase in candidate quality you would get.

The contract hiring world has actually gotten to the point where it moves too fast. Too fast to give recruiters a chance to find the best talent that is interested in your openings. Indian call center recruiting shops are killing VMSs because of how they are set up. It’s all about meeting a number, it has nothing to do with actually finding great talent for your organization.

Contract hiring is increasing in all markets. This isn’t going away, so we need to find better ways of doing this. As you look into 2018 and beyond, and start to analyze your total workforce (ftes, contractors, temps, consultants) the portion of the total that will be contingent is growing. The more it grows, the better quality you need to have. Moving fast is great until it isn’t.

Company aren’t hiring the best contract employees they can right now, they’re hiring the fastest. There’s a big difference between those things.

Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP) first Board Meeting

This week the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP) Board (of which I’m apart) met for the first time, live, and in person in Atlanta. There hasn’t been an official launch yet of ATAP, but the work continues to make this association the one global talent acquisition association that all recruiting professionals will turn to.

What the heck is ATAP? 

ATAP was founded originally by Ben Gotkin and Gerry Crispin, and then with a ton of help from a whole host of great TA advocates! ATAP was founded on the belief that talent acquisition, as a profession, needs an organization (like a SHRM) to support “US”, the TA Pros and Leaders that work in corporate environments, agencies, RPO, vendors, etc.

What the heck did the ATAP board and Executive Director Ben Gotkin (plus Gerry Crispin) do this past week? 

So, for over a year a ton of folks have put in a ton of work to get ATAP to the position it is now, which is basically build a complete foundation of an organization. That’s not easy! And this group brought ATAP into existence and gave it a soul.

The board and the Executive Director is tasked with building a Talent Acquisition specific association that meets all the needs of the stakeholders in talent acquisition. As you can imagine, just deciding on what the hell that means is a big job!

There are a number of critical things on the agenda that need to be addressed. First, you can’t have an association is you don’t have money! You don’t have money without members and/or sponsors. Why would someone want to be a member of ATAP?

That’s no small question. When you ask an HR Pro why they are a member of SHRM, they can rattle off a number of reasons. All those reasons were built over time, SHRM wasn’t launched with resources, certifications, advocacy, etc. But, you need to start somewhere!

ATAP is looking to do all those things you expect from a modern day association that represents your professional field. We need to build a complete body of knowledge for talent acquisition. We need to build a code of ethics for our profession. We need to build resources for our members.

We need to decide which pieces add the most value to our members, now and in the future, then prioritize that work. We need to do all of this with a current 100% volunteer organization, that can’t stay that way for long if we really want to gain traction and do really cool stuff for members.

How can you help? 

First, you can become a member! Becoming a member puts you in a position to be able to shape the future of ATAP and the future of talent acquisition. We have a ton of work in front of us, and we need TA pros and leaders who are passionate advocates of talent acquisition who want to volunteer and give back.

Second, join the conversation around a number of committees we’ll be launching over the next 90 days and once you become a member join the ATAP Facebook Group to give us feedback on many items we’ll be putting in front of our membership.

Third, spread the word. This is a grassroots organization that will not be successful with you. If you’re a TA leader, have your entire team join. If you’re a vendor consider being a sponsor of ATAP. For everyone, raise the conversation around how we (all of us) make recruiting better and a profession we are proud to be a part of.

I’m leaving Atlanta so energized and excited. The board of directors for ATAP is a ultra-passionate and diverse group of individuals that truly represent our profession. I’m proud to be a part of this future!

America First: The White Collar Workers Who Got Outsourced

Your liberal friends want you to believe everyone who voted for Trump are racist, low paid, middle-aged white dudes from the Midwest. It’s nice and clean when you put it into that box. It fits the narrative they are selling really well.

¬†They don‚Äôt want you to know about the black female in California who lost her high paying salaried job to an H1B worker. Or the Asian-American male and female who lost their jobs, as well. Or the 60-year-old plus Hispanic male who lost his job. Those folks also are hoping ‘America First’ takes off.

This from the New York Times (I think this is still ‘real’ news, the NY Times?):

Audrey Hatten-Milholin, 54, was notified in July that she would be laid off from the University of California, San Francisco, at the end of February after 17 years in its technology department. Along with eight others, she filed a complaint in November with California‚Äôs Department of Fair Employment and Housing, charging that replacing her and others with ‚Äúsignificantly younger, male‚ÄĚ workers ‚Äúwho will then perform the work overseas‚ÄĚ was discriminatory.

‚ÄúWe are at a disadvantage as Americans,‚ÄĚ Ms. Hatten-Milholin said. ‚ÄúThey look at it like, where can we get it cheaper? And for U.C., it‚Äôs not here.‚ÄĚ

From the same article:

In other words, it’s true that cheaper labor helps employers increase profits and grow, and having more skilled workers in the United States contributes to economic innovation. But at the same time, individual American employees do face more salary pressure from newcomers who will work for less. And in some cases, they risk losing their jobs entirely, especially older employees who earn higher salaries.

After 11 years working in the I.T. department of Northeast Utilities, a Connecticut-based company now named Eversource Energy, Craig Diangelo was among 220 employees laid off in 2014. Before leaving the company, he was told he needed to train his replacement if he wanted to receive his severance.

Mr. Diangelo, who is now 64 and was receiving $130,000 a year in salary and bonus, said he trained an employee from the Indian outsourcing firm Infosys who was an H-1B visa holder making $60,000 a year. There was also a team of workers in India making $6,000 a year that shadowed him on the computer.

There’s a reason Tech companies are screaming as loud as they can for the current administration to expand the H1B program and it’s not because they can’t find candidates for their jobs. The candidates are there, but the companies don’t want to pay the salaries of the American candidates who are available!

About half of all the H1B’s issued annually go to outsourcing firms. What are those? These are basically companies who perform modern day indentured¬†servitude. They find a foreign worker with great skills who desperately wants to come to America, pay them a very good rate as compared to where they are coming from, but much less than a similar American worker. Since the outsourcing company holds the H1B, they basically have this person at the lower rate for six years.

The tech companies get great talent, for a much lower wage than a similar American worker. Everyone is happy. Well, almost everyone. Miss Hatten-Milholin and Mr. Diangelo from above, they’re not too happy, they are really hoping this America First thing takes off.

If you really dig into what the new administration is trying to do with the H1B program it’s not to eliminate it, it’s to bring it up to an¬†equal footing of the American worker. If the American worker gets paid $100K to do the job, you also have to pay the H1B worker $100K for the same job. The theory being if everything is equal American companies will hire American workers. Or, in the case where a true shortage exists, then hiring H1B workers will make sense without limits.

Ah, equality, it’s what I love about America.¬†There are at least two sides to every story, this side rarely gets shared.

I Love the Buzz of a Recruiting Team in Full Motion!

On a Tuesday night recently I stayed late at the office, took my laptop and sat out in our recruiting bullpen. Hearing everyone at once on calls, talking to candidates, selling, recruiting, is like music to me. There’s an energy you can feel, and so can everyone else that’s in the middle of it!

If you do one thing to make your recruiting team better this week, schedule a full team calling party! It doesn’t have to be at night. For agencies, that’s the best time, but I know most corporate TA leaders would struggle to make this happen.

Bring your team together and give them time to prepare, source, etc. Let them know from 10 am to noon, we are all going to call candidates all at the same time. No sourcing, no setting up interviews, no following up with hiring managers, no working on projects. Just one thing, dialing and talking.

Make a contest out of it. The recruiter who makes the most calls in this time will get a prize, or the person who talks to the most people will win. You can play around with different ways to incentivize this behavior.

It’s an amazing feeling having the entire team doing that one activity, together, that is the core of all that you do. The nervous energy, the elevated voices, the positivity is infectious! I can guarantee you that if you do once, you’ll want to do it again.

It’s too easy for us to sit there at our desk and send emails. Source on the internet. Do all that work we do, but not that one thing we all need to do more of and that’s one-on-one conversations with candidates. That’s how you make more hires. That’s how you decrease days to fill. That’s how you increase your hiring manager satisfaction. That’s how you increase candidate satisfaction.

At our core, this is what we are. Recruiters find people, talk to people, and connect people. Most of this can only be done with live conversations. Do yourself a favor and give this a try!

Dear Timmy: How Do I Get Into Talent Acquisition?

I get asked a ton of questions via email. Some are from college students who ask a variety of things. Here’s a recent one:

Dear Timmy,

I’m a college student majoring in communications (editor’s note: why do college kids major in communications? Like 80% of college kids want to major in communications. You know there aren’t real jobs in communications, right!?) and I’m looking to get into human resources, more specifically I would like to work in talent acquisition. ¬†What suggestions, or steps, do you suggest to help me get a position in corporate talent acquisition?


Communication major because apparently I’m an idiot (just kidding, she didn’t sign it that way!)

Here is my response:

If you want to get into straight HR you’ll need to graduate with a degree in HR. As I don’t know of an organization that hires entry level HR pros with non-HR degrees. If you want to get into talent acquisition follow these steps –

Step 1 – Graduate

Step 2– Apply for ‘agency’ entry level recruiting roles.

Step 3 – Do your time in the agency world, at least a year, maybe a bit more.

Step 4 – Apply for corporate Talent Acquisition openings

Here’s my reasoning for the steps above.

In talent acquisition no one cares which college degree you have, they only care that you can recruit. The reality is they shouldn’t even care if you go to college, but most corporate recruiter jobs will require it. Corporate TA departments rarely hire entry level recruiters because they don’t have the knowledge, processes, and capacity to train recruiters, which is why you need to get experience on the agency side of recruiting.

Agency recruiting is known to be very cut-throat and high burnout rate, but I’m only talking about a year or so. Anyone can handle that, and it will give you valuable experience. You might like agency recruiting and you can make a ton of money, but it’s high stress. Corporate TA is mid-level money, with no growth, but virtually no stress in comparison.

Once you get your experience in the agency world, even only a year, you’ll actually be considered pretty valuable on the corporate side of TA. Think of your agency time as your TA internship. You know there’s an endpoint, then you get into the job you want.

When interviewing for agency positions you should never mention that your goal is to get into corporate TA. They won’t hire you if they feel you’re just going to leave. Also, when you interview, most agency folks are only looking to hire two things: high energy, highly money motivated. So, drink three Red Bulls before you interview, and talk constantly about how much money you want to make. You’ll get hired by 99% of the agencies that interview you.

I might be joking a little, but only a little, that’s fairly close to reality. I mean agencies are also known to hire pretty people, so it wouldn’t hurt to be good looking.