Should You Measure a Candidate’s Desire to Work For You in Response Time?

I have expectations as a leader in my organizations for other employees who are in a leadership position in my company. One of those expectations is, if I call or text you on off hours, weekends, vacations, etc., for something that is urgent to the business, I expect a reply in a rather short time frame.

Some people would not like that. I don’t care. You’re a leader, the business needs you, there’s no time clock for that.

That expectation is set for someone at a leadership level in my organization. They know this expectation before taking the job. Also, I’m not an idiot about it. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in the past five years I’ve reached out to someone on weekends or vacations expecting and needing a response.

But, what if you measured candidate quality in the same manner? Seems unreasonable, doesn’t it!?

Well, check this out:

Nardini is the CEO of the sports and men’s lifestyle site Barstool Sports. In a New York Times interview, she detailed her process for vetting job candidates. After saying she was a “horrible interviewer” because of her impatience, she explained a unique process for gauging potential hires’ interest in the job.

“Here’s something I do,” she said. “If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9 p.m. or 11 a.m. on a Sunday just to see how fast you’ll respond.”

The maximum response time she’ll allow: three hours.

So, Erika believes if a candidate doesn’t reply back to her on a Sunday at 9 pm within three hours, they are not interested in a job.

This is why recruiting is hard.

You have moron leaders who come up with stupid ideas of what they think is ‘important’ and then they make you live by these dumb rules. This rule is ridiculous. Erika’s assessment of why this works is ridiculous. But, she’ll get a pass.


She’s a she. If some dumb white dude came up with the same rule the New York Times would write an expose on how this guy is a complete tyrant and out of touch with today’s world, and how crappy this candidate experience is, and how bad leadership this is, etc. But, no one will. She’s just leaning in and doing what the guys do!

Yes, she is. She’s being an idiot.

Now, I’ll say I actually agree with her on her assessment on response time, assuming the roles she is expecting a reply from in three hours are time critical roles. She runs a media site with breaking stories. Twitter has these things up in seconds, media sites need replies to what is happening within minutes and hours. So, there could be some legitimacy to something as arbitrary as measuring candidate desire by response time.

It’s fraught with issues, to be sure, but for certain roles, it might find you some good talent. Should it be a golden rule of hiring for your organization? No, that’s just dumb.

If you really want a silver bullet I ask every candidate if they’re a dog person or cat person. Works every time!

Do you do Capacity Modeling in Recruiting? You should be! #ghOPEN

Out at Greenhouse OPEN this week and I was completely captivated by one of the sessions and the topic of Capacity Modeling in recruiting. It was introduced at the conference by Shane Noe of Box, and he was cool enough to share a url so everyone can download the information to do it on your own.

I love that!

So, what is Capacity Modeling and why is important for TA and HR Leaders add this to their recruiting operations?

In simple terms, Capacity Modeling is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. In recruiting then it’s the process of determining your recruiting capacity needed by the organization to meet the demands of your talent needs.

Here’s what happens in real life. Your talent acquisition team is working their butts off day in and day out. Little by little you keep getting a bit better, but most days you’re still just keeping your heads above water. But still, you’re making it happen!

Then the CEO comes into your office on an idle Thursday and says we’ve made some decisions and it’s going to have an impact on recruiting. We’ve decided to make an investment in “X” and as such we will need to hire an additional 300 employees in the next 12 months. Can you make this happen?

The savvy TA leader will say “No!” immediately! Most TA leaders will say “Of course! Just let us know what you need and we’ll make it happen!” That’s failure point number one.

You truly have no idea if you can make this happen. What you know is it feels like you’re at full capacity and hiring an additional 30 new people will kill you, 300? You might as well just quit now.

Capacity Modeling allows you to tell your CEO, “let me show you some data about where we are at, and how we can meet your needs”. We are currently at 87% capacity. The best practice is to be at 85% since we will always have stuff pop up and we need that extra cushion. If you would like us to hire an additional 300 that would put us at “X” over capacity, so we will need the following time and resources to meet that need.

That my friends is a powerful conversation that puts you at a completely different level in your career. Too often we just throw ourselves on the sword and say we can do something when we really have no idea if we can do it, and we mostly fail. We have to better than that. Take a look at Shane’s information. It’s a bit technical but very doable and worth it!

Greenhouse Open is a non-user user conference. GH has put a ton of time into producing some of the best recruiting content on the planet for its users, but I would say as a recruiting conference alone it’s one of the better ones I’ve attended. Kudos to them. If you’re looking for a top Hiring Platform that meets your end to end talent needs, you should be demoing Greenhouse.

Transform Recruitment Marketing Live Stream Registration is Now Open! (Free!)

June 20-21st I’ll be in Boston as the Emcee at Transform Recruitment Marketing conference. This is the 5th year of Transform and I’m super excited to be attending, but also super excited that Transform has opened up this conference to a virtual audience for those who can’t attend in person, for free!

I’m constantly speaking and writing about all kinds of Recruitment Marketing tactics, ideas, and strategies. It’s still a very new and fast evolving function within talent acquisition. What I love about Transform is they’ve gone out and really worked to bring in actual corporate TA pros who are recruitment marketing practitioners to share what they are doing and what’s working for them!

The 2019 Transform conference will have speakers from: Delta Airlines (“The Kid” – Holland Dombeck), Intel, CVS, Washington Post, IBM, Sprint, Fiserv, Cox, etc. It’s loaded with practitioners sharing all of their secrets and best practices around recruitment marketing and talent attraction.

So, what do I expect to learn at this year’s Transform?

– Connecting Employee Experience and Candidate Experience

– Next generation Talent Analytics

– Increasing Conversion Ratios of Career site Visitors

– How do we recruit Gen Z vs. all the rest

– Enabling and Sustaining Your RM Strategy

– Activating Talent Communities at Scale

Plus so much more!

I love that Transform is opening up the content to a virtual audience. Let’s be honest, so many of us just can’t afford to attend a live event each year, or you already have planned a different event. Is it the same as being there in person, no, but in TA we make do with the resources we have! If you get the chance to come next year, the real miss of not being there in person is building the connections and community of other like-minded folks that you can share and build ideas from. It’s really the reason we all go to live events!

Register for the Free Virtual Transform Recruitment Marketing Conference (who won’t get all of the content, let’s be fair some great folks paid a ton of money to be with me in Boston at the Live event, but you’ll get a lot!) Already thousands have registered, so I know this content is needed by so many!


Starting 2019 off with a Recruiting Bang!

If you’re like me you took some time over the holidays to reflect and to think about how you could make your next year on this earth the best one yet!

One of my “areas of opportunity” (HR speak for “stuff I suck at”) is I’m rarely satisfied with my outcomes. So, of course I want to do more in 2019!

I’m an advocate of doing the hard stuff first. The stuff we don’t want to do. The stuff we put off way too easily. So, as we all get back into the groove, let’s get the stuff done we don’t want to do!

Here are some things you might want to put on the list:

  • Discover and establish the measures that have the actual most impact to your recruiting success. I’m going to tell you right now, those probably aren’t “Time to Fill” and “Quality of Hire”. Those actually have little impact to you recruiting talent to your organization and filling jobs.
  • Start measuring recruiter activity metrics and establish a baseline of activity, then work to increase those outputs. Every year the recruiter in my environment who sends out the most screened candidates to hiring managers makes the most placements. This is not by accident.
  • Fire the person on your team that needs to be fired. Well, I had a talk with Timmy and he assured me he’s going to try harder in 2019. No, he isn’t. Do yourself and your team a favor and give Timmy a gift of finding a job and place where he actually wants to give great effort.
  • Sit down with the hiring manager of your most difficult to fill position and have them tell you what they will be doing over the next 30 days to fill that position. Not what you will do, what they will do! One suggestion to help them – bring in their entire team and take thirty minutes to source their networks live all together in the same room.
  • Figure out which part of your technology that your team is not using and call that vendor and tell them you need the entire team retrained on how to get the most out of that tool or you won’t be signing a contract with them to continue in 2019.

I start with measurements because that will have the fastest impact on your recruiting success. If you don’t measure now, or have weak measures, understand when you put in strong measures your team will revolt. So, it might get worse before it gets better, but it will get exponentially better!

Hit me in the comments and tell me what’s number 1 on your list for 2019. I’m told that putting stuff in writing and making it public gives you a much higher chance of actually making it happen! Let’s do this!

The 2018 Emerging Jobs Report is Here!

LinkedIn released their 2018 Emerging Jobs Report today and as always it’s packed full of some great information that speaks to where we see the world of Recruiting today, but also what we need to keep our eye for the future! 

So, what stood out in the latest report? First and foremost it’s what jobs are hot this year to last – 

So, I think we’ve all been hearing all of this A.I. and Blockchain stuff. The reality is, we aren’t really talking about true A.I., it’s Machine Learning (ML) and we’ve seen giant increases in the needs for these skills. 

Out of the top 15 emerging jobs (those jobs growing the fastest on LinkedIn) 6 of those were related to ML, Data, and Blockchain. That’s significant in terms of the products and technology that are being built by companies for the future. 

What else did we learn? 

While the report is designed to make us believe it’s all about Tech hiring, it’s not really all about tech hiring! 

  • Sales Executives
  • Recruiters
  • Realtors 
  • Account Executives (another title for sales)
  • Administrative Assistants 

Were all super high on the list as well. What does that mean? Well, those really aren’t emerging or growing jobs, it’s more about who’s living, searching, and spending time on LinkedIn. That might not be the patronage that LI really wants long term for the health of the site, in terms of your normal mix. 

The largest skills gap is still good old fashion oral communications! 

Again, I’m not sure how much of this is truly a skills gap and how much of that coming up in the data is just a function of the types of roles people are trying to recruit for on LI. If the report shows that all of these A.I., Blockchain, and Data jobs are what’s truly hot, oral communication wouldn’t be the most critical thing in those roles. 

But, oral communication is definitely a skill that is in short supply for most professions, and much needed by most professions outside of tech, like sales type roles. 

Machine Learning is definitely a skill set that employers are begging for. I reached out to my buddy and Recruiting savant, Steve Levy, just the other day as we had a search for a client demanding 10 years of ML experience. I was like, I don’t even remember ML being used as a term ten years ago! 

Steve confirmed, it most likely wasn’t. We did find some mention from 2009, but that was about it. So, the hysteria is real. Entry level position, five years of experience! 

I was surprised not to see Autonomous vehicle knowledge on there as this is another skill set we see companies begging for and we are constantly helping our clients in these searches. It’s not just about cars. It’s about delivery vehicles, mass transit, freight hauling, garbage trucks, etc. If it moves people or things, it’s going autonomous eventually. 

Check out the report. It’s great read at the end of the year as you’re preparing for recruiting plans for 2019! 

5 Things Great Employers are Doing to Drive World Class Candidate Experience in 2019!

I’m still struck at how for the most part, we treat candidates like garbage. Historically in Talent Acquisition, we had this really weird power dynamic that took place. We believed we (TA) had jobs to give out or not give out, like prizes, so we would force candidates into our processes and make them jump through hoops.

It’s been a super hard habit for many of us to break! Even with historic low unemployment numbers!

I have some help for you! 

I’m partnering with the folks over at Candidate Rewards to put on a free, live 1-hour webinar titled:

5 Things Great Employers Are Doing to Drive World-Class Candidate Experience in 2019! 

What can you expect to get from this webinar?

5 Rock solid strategies and tactics you need to be using to deliver more candidates to your organization!

3 Things great organizations never do to candidates, and that you can easily change in your own TA Shop!

Candidate Experience data that will give you the ammunition you need to change your executive’s mind and give you more budget money to fix your Candidate Experience issues!

Live Q&A with me on your toughest Candidate Experience questions!

Candidates Experience has been one of the hottest topics over the past five years, and it’s never been hotter when it comes to the hiring environment that we are in right now! Right now is the perfect time for most of us to look at our 2019 strategies around Candidate Experience, because for most of us it’s TA Budget Time!

If you don’t plan, you plan to fail! That’s what we are always told, right!? So, let’s sit down for an hour and discuss how to make 2019 the best year you and your TA team has ever had!

REGISTER NOW for this free webinar! 

I’m looking forward to presenting this information, it’s the first time I’ve ever done a Candidate Experience presentation, and I’m sure my takes will probably be a bit different than most, but you’ll have to let me know!

Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @LinkedIn Talent Insights – LI’s newest product!

Today on the Weekly Dose I take a look at LinkedIn’s newest product, LinkedIn Talent Insights, which is getting released today for public consumption. Talent Insights is LinkedIn’s first self-serve data and analytics product. Talent Insights provides companies with access to LinkedIn’s global database of 575M+ professionals, 20M+ companies and 15M+ active job listings, to help talent professionals and business leaders develop a winning workforce strategy and make smarter talent decisions more quickly.

What we know is if LinkedIn has anything, it has data! I first got to see this product at the 2017 LinkedIn Talent Connect conference when it was still in beta and they weren’t even quite sure what they had yet, and I was like, “Oh, boy! this is crazy cool!”

Here’s how it’s crazy cool. Talent Insights provides access to LinkedIn’s global, accurate and up-to-date data through two reports:

  • With the Talent Pool report, companies will be able to precisely define and understand specific populations of talent with global insights including skills the talent has, what industries and locations they’re in are, how in demand they are, what schools and degrees they have and what companies are hiring them.
  • Using the Company report, companies will be able to understand their own talent at the company level and see how well they are doing in attracting and retaining talent, and develop branding and recruiting strategies to get even better.

Here’s what companies can expect.

  • On-demand data: Talent Insights users will have the ability to access LinkedIn insights, in real-time, to quickly answer complex talent questions. As members update their profiles, the aggregated data within LTI also updates, providing real-time updates to help companies keep up with the market.
  • Actionable insights: The tool is simple and easy to use making it possible for recruiters, HR, and talent leaders to understand the most accurate view of labor market trends at any given moment, without relying on a team of data scientists.

So, why is this something HR, Talent Acquisition, Marketing/PR, Sales, and a lot of other functions in your company will want to get their hands on it? 

Talent Insights provides some super cool competitor data you can’t get anywhere else!

Need to know what kinds of people your competition is hiring and where? Talent Insights can show you that! In fact, it can give you insight to stuff your competitors are working on that isn’t even public if you can just connect a few dots!

“Hey, why is ABC, Inc. hiring a ton of autonomous developers in Omaha!? Oh, no they aren’t, are they!? Yes, they are!”

Talent Insights also gives HR leaders insight to your current workforce, like who’s coming after your talent, where are your employees going, where are the best coming from, where should you be looking to build your next headquarters (I bet Amazon is looking at this!), etc.

This is definitely a product that TA Leaders will want to leverage, and I’m in love with it’s ability to pull competitor data. Just know, as you’re pulling your competition’s data, so might they be pulling yours, and there’s nothing you can do about it. LinkedIn Talent Insights is available to anyone who wants to pay for a subscription, and you don’t have to be a customer of other LI products to get it.

LinkedIn Talent Insights is definitely worth a demo. You might find it’s just not data that your organization needs, but I think the more competitive you are within your marketplace, executitves are always willing to listen to you a little longer when your wrap your needs and wants around competitive data, so take a look!

The Weekly Dose – 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 – just send me a note –

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

The One Big Problem with Being Pretty

Don’t you hate pretty people? We are addicted to ‘pretty’ in America. Let’s face it, most of the world is addicted to pretty.

Pretty people get all the jobs. Pretty people get all the money. Pretty people get all the fame. Life as a pretty person is a heck a lot easier than being an ugly person! How do I know this? I’m a short, ginger with a Dad bod, I’m like the poster child for birth control!

This is why today, I’m a little excited!

Some new research shows that Ugly people actually have a leg up on pretty people when it comes to hiring! Yeah, baby! Give me a job! Here’s a bit from the American Psychological Association study:

While good-looking people are generally believed to receive more favorable treatment in the hiring process, when it comes to applying for less desirable jobs, such as those with low pay or uninteresting work, attractiveness may be a liability, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Our research suggests that attractive people may be discriminated against in selection for relatively less desirable jobs,” said lead author Margaret Lee, a doctoral candidate at the London Business School. “This stands in contrast to a large body of research that concluded that attractiveness, by and large, helps candidates in the selection process.”

The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology®.

Yeah – take that Discrimination you highly beautiful and desirable hunk of humankind!

Oh, wait, Ugly people have an advantage in getting crappy jobs…

Am I the only one crying in my office right now?

So, turns out you’re ugly. You basically have no advantages in life because the mix of your mom and dad’s genetic code produced something most people don’t find attractive. It’s like a lottery, but you lost. You lost the life lottery.

The one benefit you get is when you go to apply for a menial, low-end job, you’ll have an advantage over people who are attractive. “Sorry, Ashley, take your beautiful ass back Abercrombie, I’m running the fryer today, bitch!”

Don’t you love Life’s sense of humor?

So, the one big problem you have if your pretty is you will find it hard getting a crappy job. Yep, I don’t care that your dream is to have dirty fingernails, Stephen! Go back to that desk job making six figures and try not to get tears on your cashmere sweater.

I think what we see here has less to do with ugly and pretty, and more to do with selection profiling by hiring managers. It goes a little something like this:

  1. A pretty person applies for a low-end dirty job.
  2. The pretty person shows up for the interview.
  3. Hiring manager sees the pretty person and thinks “there is no way this beautiful person will ever stay working at this job”.
  4. Hiring manager continues to interview waiting to find an ugly enough person who the hiring manager feels lacks enough self-confidence to go look for a better job.
  5. The pretty person is denied work and is discriminated against.

We have this psychological belief as hiring managers that your looks play a role in tenure. We have a level of attractiveness internal meter we believe correlates to longevity. The better the job (and compensation) we tend to believe we can hold out for skills and attractiveness.

Go ahead and do some real-world research. Look at the most successful companies in the world and you’ll see, on average, they are more attractive across the board, then those companies that are the least successful.

It doesn’t always work out, but it mostly works out. Basically, 60% of the time, it works every time.

So, my ugly friends and peers. Go out today and walk with your held slightly higher knowing we have the advantage. Let’s just not talk to loudly about what that advantage is, okay?

Quality of Hire is NOT a Talent Acquisition Measure of Success!

I was looking at LinkedIn’s annual Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report and it had some great information.  I have to give LI credit, this report, each year, has some really great information that always makes me think!  This year’s report was no different, and one stat struck me as really telling:

When Talent Leaders were asked: “What is the way you measure your recruiting team’s performance today?

They said:

  1. Quality of Hire metrics (hiring manager measure not a TA measure – my opinion)
  2. Time to Hire (the single worse measure of all time – my opinion)
  3. Hiring Manager Satisfaction (has no correlation to whether or not TA is actually good or not – my opinion)

I hate all of these answers!!!  In fact, these answers are so bad it makes me question the viability of the future of Talent Acquisition!

You know what?  Quality of Hire is an Illusion for about 99% of organizations!  Most of us have no freaking idea how to actually measure the quality of hire, or that what we are actually measuring doesn’t haven’t the faintest correlation to actual quality of hire.

So, why is this interesting to me?

It shows me that TA Leaders still don’t have the guts to use real metrics and analytics to measure the performance of their teams!  Using a subjective, at best, measure, like Quality of Hire, allows them to continue to just make up what they ‘feel’ performance is, and one that doesn’t truly hold themselves or their teams accountable.

If you think this isn’t you, tell me how you actually measure quality of hire of your employees?  It’s very complex to even come up with something I could argue is an actual quality of hire metric!  Most organizations will do things like measure 90-day retention as a quality of hire. “Oh, look, they stayed 90 days! Way to go, recruiters, you’re hiring quality!” No, they’re not! They’re just hiring bodies that decided to stay around 90 days!

Quality of hire metrics only works if you are actually measuring the performance of your new hires to the performance of those employees you already have.  This measure, then, becomes one that you can’t even measure until you have a true measure of performance (which is a whole other issue!) of both the new hire and your current employees. Also, you have to give that new hire, probably a year, to truly see what kind of performer they are in your environment.

How many organizations are waiting a year to measure the quality of hire of the employees they hired a year ago?  Almost none!

The other issue here is why is Quality of Hire a recruiting measure, to begin with? Are the recruiters ultimately choosing who gets hired and who doesn’t?  No? That’s what I thought.

So, the recruiter can give the best candidate in the world to a hiring manager, but she instead hires a gal from her sorority who bombs out, and the recruiter gets killed on the quality of hire metric? That sounds fair.

Quality of hire metrics only became something because TA Leaders didn’t have the guts to tell the executives in their organizations that this isn’t really something that matters to the effectiveness of the TA function.  Quality of hire is a hiring manager metric.  You know how it’s measured? By looking at their operational measures and seeing if they actually met them.  If they didn’t it one of three things: they don’t know how to hire, or they don’t know how to manage, or both.

Regardless, check out the LinkedIn report. It has some good data points that are fun to discuss!

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.