The Top 4 Recruiter Lies We Tell Candidates!

The world quickly turned from a candidate-driven market to a company driven market, meaning for the first time in about a decade Recruiters will have the power. Now, as a candidate, you might have always felt that recruiters had the power, but you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a recruiter in full “I’ve got the power” mode!

I was thinking about this and wanted to share some of the top Recruiter Lies so candidates could spot them, and while you probably can’t call them out, spotting a recruiter lie will help you strategically begin to work on another way to get the response you need:

Send Us Your Resume, Even Though We Don’t Have a Job Lie – I would say this is a ‘semi-lie’. While the recruiter might not have the opening currently, they’re asking for a resume because they frequently have those openings and they never know when one is coming. The recruiter, though, is wrong by not telling you this upfront, so you know what to expect.

The Hiring Manager Hasn’t Gotten Back To Me Lie – This is a lie and not a lie,  potentially! For Corporate Recruiters this is a lie or lazy, I’ll let you pick. If you’re a corporate recruiter and tell the candidate that the hiring manager hasn’t gotten back to you get your butt up from your desk and walk over to the hiring manager’s desk! If they’re in a different location and won’t get back to you, then you have an influence problem you need to work on. Agency-wise it’s the one frustrating things recruiters have to deal with. Hiring Managers will get to ‘us’ when they feel like it, and usually after they’ve exhausted every other opportunity internally to fill the position.

The Never Call Back the Candidate Lie – this really isn’t a lie but this happens all the time!  For the sake of Recruiters everywhere if you do this please quit this profession! We (all Recruiters) Hate you as well. You give all of us a bad name. It takes 10 seconds to call back a candidate you spoke to a job about, and tell them “Sorry, you were not chosen and stay in touch, or don’t call me again, etc.” 10 seconds!

The You Didn’t Score High Enough On The Assessment Lie The company you’re trying to get into might actually have cut-off scores they’ve established and the lie comes into play when a hiring manager presents someone they’ve worked with previously and that person scores the same as you but they still get the job. If they really like you, the assessment wouldn’t stop them from hiring you.

The We’ve Decided To Go Another Direction Lie – This comes along with the ‘We really liked you, but” Lie.  This is Recruiter training 10, to not get yourself into trouble when telling a candidate they didn’t get the job we give them a reason that legally can never come back and bite you in the butt. “We really, really, really liked but have decided to not fill the position.” Two weeks later a job posting comes out that seems very similar but with a title change and a few description changes. They didn’t like you.

What’s the biggest reason Recruiters lie? 

They have major conflict-avoidance and are not willing to tell you the truth, which is usually there is something wrong with you based on what they are looking for and don’t want to hurt your feelings.  Unfortunately, many candidates would actually be helped by a little Recruiter honesty but recruiters are afraid of candidates who get told the truth and then get charges from the EEOC, other state or federal agencies, or just get flat out sued.  Candidates have a hard time with feedback like, “you’re really creepy”, “you’re annoying” or “your personality is grating”.  So, the lies come into play because Recruiters have found Lies are easier than the truth.

Google Leading the Way on #COVID19 Gig Worker Response! #Coronavirus

Google has more contractors (gig workers) than actual full-time employees. Did you know this? I didn’t. Google employs roughly 120,000 contractors and has about 100,000 regular full-time employees. Welcome to 2020!

Here’s what most people don’t understand about the contracting world (it just happens to be my world at HRUTech.com!)

  • Most contractors (gig workers) want to make as much money as possible, as such, most will choose to take the highest dollar offer in lieu of medical insurance and paid time off (PTO). Some states require a certain amount of PTO.
  • Running a contract staffing firm, our contractors are our product. If our ‘product’ doesn’t work, we have zero revenue. So, it’s not like we can just have contractors stay home for 14 days and pay them their full-time wage. It’s simple economics, zero revenue in means no money to pay out, plus most large enterprise clients, like Google, are usually out 30-90 days in paying their contract staff invoices.
  • Of course, every contract and temp staffing firm wants to do what’s best. They also want to stay in business.

Google understands this simple dynamic and they stepped up big time this week in making this announcement:

“As we’re in a transition period in the U.S.—and to cover any gaps elsewhere in the world—Google is establishing a COVID-19 fund that will enable all our temporary staff and vendors, globally, to take paid sick leave if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19, or can’t come into work because they’re quarantined,” the post read.

Google relies on approximately 120,000 temps and contractors on top of its 100,000 full-time employees, and not all of them have paid sick leave currently. Google’s post seemed to indicate that the fund would cover expenses for those not already able to take sick leave under current employment arrangements.”

That message right there is coming from a huge place of understanding from Google! We rely incredibly on this pool of talent, our contractors, and we have to find a way to make sure that the suppliers of this talent are taken care of so they can take care of their employees.

Uber and Lyft also came out this week and told drivers that tested positive for COVID-19 they would also pay them their average week’s wage to stay home and not drive. Another giant cost for these companies, but when you rely on gig workers as your business model, you better find ways to take help these folks out when a crisis hits.

Most organizations don’t consider “Total Employment” when a crisis happens. They circle the wagons around their own FTEs and not much else. I’ve spoken to multiple giant enterprise HR leaders this past week and this concept wasn’t even a blip on their radar! They could care less about their contractors and their partners for talent when it comes to COVID-19.

This is ultimately a much bigger problem for these organizations. I preach constantly to organizational TA and HR leaders they should be owning all talent in their barn. Total employment (FTEs, Contractors, Temps, Consultants, etc.). This is who really gets your work done, and if you don’t have awareness of all aspects, you are truly missing the boat.

What do you think? Do you feel your organization should be paying attention to contract and temporary workers during this public health crisis?

Getting Your Hiring Managers to Stop Sucking! (Video)

I was out in San Francisco a few weeks back at SmartRecruiter’s Hiring Success conference. The theme of my talk was about this often strained relationship that HR and Talent Acquisition has with our hiring managers!

For the most part, Hiring Managers tend to Suck! And I dig into why do they suck so much, and how can we get them to stop Sucking!

Check it out!

Want to get your hiring managers to stop sucking? Send me a note and I’ll come do a Hiring Manager Intervention at your company!

You supply the Antibacterial gel and mask, and I am there!

Want more Women and Minorities in Tech Jobs? Do this first!

We are constantly talking about how do we get more women and minorities (but not those Asian or Indian minorities) into STEM careers. If we only catch them sooner, that will be the key. If we only give them more math, that will be the key. If we only pay teachers more, that will be the key. It’s all false.

A new study out has shown that the number one determining factor at getting anyone interested in going into a high tech field is whether they actually enjoy it or not. Now some things come into play in why someone would enjoy a job. Two main things:

  1. Do you have confidence you’ll do well at it?
  2. Do you get paid well?

In the simple way that I like to think, this all makes perfect sense.

Let me try to do some things. Oh, hey, I actually like doing this one thing! Oh, hey, I’m actually pretty good at it (confidence). Oh, HEY, you going to pay me how much to do this!?!

The problem is, we are super crappy at letting people try to do stuff without them having the education or experience to do that thing. Want to program? Oh, yeah, well just go spend a ton of money programming classes, get some experience, and then come talk to us! We can’t wait! We really want you, after…

If we had some ways to determine if someone would like something, some sort of job experience that mimicked the job, without having to have the specific skill, that would be perfect. Turns out, that’s hard.

I had a conversation recently with an HR leader from a utility company. They are struggling to find “Line Workers”. There really aren’t many educational programs, and even when some of those people come as graduates, they find that they actually don’t like the job! Why would they go through all of that education, and not even like the job? The money is great! They can pass the classes. It seems easy enough!

Do you know what a line worker has to do every day on the job? Climb up high things. If you’re scared of heights, being a line worker isn’t for you.

This HR leader found that if they went to campuses, high, community colleges, etc. and did a little competition, they actually found a highly successful way to hire people who would be successful. The competition? A race up a pole. Set up two telephone poles next to each other on a platform. Rig up some safety harnesses put a bell at the top and give out dumb prices for winners.

The kids who won the races, had no fear of heights, and if they had an interest in line working as a career, and a decent head on their shoulders, they could teach them the job and they would be successful, and most likely enjoy what they were doing.

I find that we (education and the business community) rarely give kids a chance to experience potential jobs they might actually want to do. So, we force them down this path and in the end they find out they don’t like it. We all own this. Businesses need to reach out more to schools and make it a regular occurrence that kids are coming in and shadowing. Not once a year, more like once a month or week! Education institutions should mandate kids to experience the profession before allowing them to sign up for a program.

Make them get involved. Get their hands dirty. See what’s it’s really like. “Oh, you want to be stockbroker!?” Awesome! There’s the phone, call 12 of your friends parents and ask them how much money they make. Go!”

The First Rule of Recruiting!

Sometimes we go so far into the weeds in recruiting we forget what is really important.

We have to have a brand!

We have to have an ATS! Or a new ATS!

We have to have a CRM! What the hell is a CRM!?

Our job descriptions need to be better!

Our career site sucks! Don’t they all!?

We need to relaunch our employee referral program!

There are literally a million things you could focus on in recruiting and you still would have a list of crap you never even got to.

You know recruiting isn’t difficult. It’s not like we’re trying to launch the space shuttle. Recruiting is finding people for your organization. People are everywhere. We just need to talk them into coming to work for our organizations.

It’s the first rule of recruiting – Just let people know you’re hiring.

We make it so difficult when all we have to truly do is let people know we actually want to hire them. Do you have any idea how many people would really want to work for your organization, but they never know you are hiring or were hiring?

Recruiting is really only that. Just letting enough people know that you want them to work for you until you’ve reached the right people. It’s okay that you will reach some you don’t want. That’s part of the game.

To reach the people who you want, and who want you, you have to let a lot of people know you’re hiring.

Letting people know you’re hiring goes beyond your career site. It goes beyond job boards. It goes beyond employee referral programs. It’s a philosophy throughout your organization. It’s about an understanding that you want everyone to know that you’re hiring.

Most organizations don’t do this. It’s a combination of issues, but mostly it’s a conceited belief that letting people know you’re hiring seems desperate. That we are too good of an organization to let everyone know we are hiring, because we don’t want everyone, we only want a few.

This is why most talent acquisition departments fail. Simple conceit.

Great recruiting isn’t conceited, great recruiting is about being humble enough to let people know you want them, that you really want them. At the end of the day, that’s what we all want. To be wanted.

Would You Be Willing to Guarantee a New Hire One Year’s Worth of Pay and Benefits?

“People don’t want more choices. They want to be more confident in the choices they make.”

– Scott Galloway

It’s hard to hire not because there isn’t enough talent. There are all kinds of talent. In fact, there has never been a time in our lives where it’s been easier to actually find that talent and connect with that talent!

The technology and access we have to candidates have never been better. So, why is it so damn hard to hire!?

Candidates are fearful of making a bad decision. I might not love my current job, but at least I know what I have. I know the good and the bad. If I move and make a change, I’m not 100% sure of what I’m getting myself into.

So, would your organization be willing to take that fear away from me? 

Just take it clean off the table. If you take our job, we know it’s a stressful decision, we’ll sign a contract where we will play you a guarantee one year’s salary and benefits, no-fault. Meaning, at any time in the first year, if you, or we, decide this just isn’t working out, we’ll pay you the balance of that first year’s salary. It’s a no-risk offer to come to work here!

Would you do that? Why or why not?

If we do our jobs really well, in terms of sourcing, screening, assessing, vetting, and selection, this is really a low-risk proposition for the company, and it might actually help us land some of the best talent that is just a bit more conservative in their decision making. Think about who is naturally conservative in their thinking? Engineers, highly intelligent, logical people like scientists of all types, medical professionals, accounting types, legal types, etc.

You know those hard to land hires!

The dirty little secret of doing something like this is it’s basically almost no risk because most professional hires, given a proper courting process, don’t leave within twelve months. You wouldn’t do this with high volume hiring, but you could do it with your hard to find, low volume hiring.

What do you think? What am I missing? Why would our executives support this or hate this? Hit me in the comments.

Recruiting Facts: People Actually Like It When You Want Them…

If I hear one more person tell me that candidates don’t like phone calls, I’m going to shove a phone up your…

I’m not the smartest cat, but I know a couple of things.  Here are a few things I know:

1. You can’t taste the difference of well Gin and high-end Gin after 4 Gin and Tonics.

2. French Fries, Onion rings and Tator Tots taste great fried and taste awful baked.

3. Great tasting chocolate is the reason women can be single. (okay, I stole that one from my wife!)

4. Candidates with car trouble are lying.

5. People like to be told that you want them for a job! It’s flattering. It makes them feel important. It makes them feel valued. They love to listen to what you have to say, regardless of how satisfied they are in their job.

If I called you right now with a job that was something you have always wanted, guess what would happen?  You would call me back. You would call me back almost instantly. You would run out to your car, telling the receptionist on the way out you have an urgent personal call, to hear what I have to say.

Those people. Those thought leaders. Those idiots, who are telling you candidates don’t like phone calls are LIARS!

Why are they lying to you? Here is why I think they are probably lying to you:

1. They are lazy and hope the internet will solve all of their problems.

2. They are hoping to talk the world into believing you never have to make a phone call to get a job.

3. They are scared.

I did a survey where I asked 100 people, mostly millennials, (all potential candidates, since all people are potential candidates) if I called you with your “Dream Job”, would you either pick up my call or call me back?  Would you like to know the results?

100 out of 100 said they would pick up my call or call me back! 100%!

Recruiters who say candidates don’t like phone calls are not recruiters, they’re administrative professionals. Pay them accordingly.

A 30-Minute Commute is All Most People Are Willing to Take!

We all kind of know this fact. Once you get more than 30 minutes away from your job, no matter how you actually come into work, it starts to feel like a chore. You begin to hate the commute. Doesn’t matter if you drive, take a train, walk, etc. 30 minutes, one-way, is our max!

It’s called Marchetti’s Constant: 

Marchetti’s constant is the average time spent by a person for commuting each day, which is approximately one hour. It is named after Italian physicist Cesare Marchetti, though Marchetti himself attributed the “one hour” finding to transportation analyst and engineer Yacov Zahavi.[1] Marchetti posits that although forms of urban planning and transport may change, and although some live in villages and others in cities, people gradually adjust their lives to their conditions (including the location of their homes relative to their workplace) such that the average travel time stays approximately constant.

I can’t tell you how many times, as a Recruiter, I was talked into believing this wasn’t true by a candidate that then screwed me by ghosting on an interview after driving to the location and seeing it was too long, declining an offer late, started the job but then quickly left because the commute was too long, or we had to over-compensate to make up for the time the person spent on the commute.

Probably one out of one hundred people can actually take a longer commute and live with it. 99% of people will eventually crack if the commute is over thirty minutes. So, what does this mean for us trying to attract talent to our organizations? There are certain locations in the U.S. that are much easier to have a thirty-minute commute than others:

On average, large metro areas with the shortage commute time:

  1. Grand Rapids, MI
  2. Rochester, NY
  3. Buffalo, NY
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Salt Lake City, UT
  6. Kansas City, MO
  7. Milwaukee, WI
  8. Louisville, KY
  9. Hartford, CT
  10. Memphis, TN

All of these metro areas have the majority of their citizens with a commute time under 30 minutes.

Who have the worst commute times? Think about the largest metro areas, even when you take into account their transit options: New York, San Francisco, D.C., Philly, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, etc.

So, it’s thirty minutes one-way or one hour per day, or five hours per week that the average person is willing to commute. I wonder if this plays itself out when you begin to factor in work from home options?

Let’s say you ask someone to commute one hour each way, two hours per day, but you let them work from home two days per week. Total commute time is still more at six hours per week, but would that make a difference enough to retrain and attract more talent to your organization? I have a feeling it would. It’s worth a test for those who have longer commutes at your work location.

Also, I have seen this done by any company, but I would love to see turnover data by commute time! I have seen data on hourly worker turnover and it’s amazing to see the differences by miles from a worksite in a radiant pattern. Every mile you get farther from the work site, the turnover increases exponentially until you get to about five miles where it skyrockets. So, we know if you hire hourly, low-skilled workers, your best bet for retention is less than five miles from your location (this also is about a 15-minute commute – car, public, walking, bike, etc.).

So often we want to focus on the stuff we control, versus stuff the candidate or employee can control, but we think it’s ‘their’ decision. The problem is, we allow people to make bad decisions and don’t think it will affect us, but it does in high turnover. All things being equal, or close to equal with candidates, take the one with the shorter total commute!

This isn’t about “Fit”, it’s about your Bias is showing!

“We’re big on CULTURE and fit!” We’re looking for the “right” person, not just skills!” “We just kind of know if they’ll fit or not…”

Of course, it’s not The Project if we don’t have some sports analogies that I tie back to some HR topic! That’s how this puppy was founded, probably won’t change. So, you might have missed a great sports-HR topic that popped last week!

LSU is the top college football program in the land and their head coach is Ed Orgeron. He’s beloved by a lot of people and has a great coaching pedigree. It’s surprising, with all of his success at LSU, that USC could have had him as their head coach, but he was passed over. And last week the truth of why he was passed overcame out!

“Specifically, Feldman said certain people in the Pat Haden administration “couldn’t get past what Ed Orgeron sounded like.”

“They didn’t listen to the players. They didn’t listen to the staff,” Feldman explained. “Ed Orgeron’s not a country club guy. I think he can relate to just about anybody…I think he can read people very well. I don’t think Pat Haden, who was the decision-maker at the time, that’s just not kind of guy he wanted. And I don’t think he could get past it.”

USC as an institution is elitist. They have graduates like Matt Charney and Neil Armstrong and George Lucas and OJ Simpson. Pat Haden, himself a USC graduate and Rhodes scholar, was the Athletic Director at the time Ed Orgeron was the interim head coach.

Can you imagine one of your hiring managers coming to you and saying, “Yeah, the resume is awesome, the references are awesome, but you know the candidate sounds dumb, so I’m going to pass!” That’s culture and fit. “We’re great” and we need someone who is going to “represent” us in a way where he makes us believe we are still great.

Pat had a bias. I want a head coach who ‘looks’ and ‘sounds’ like a head coach of USC. What does that mean? Looks good in a suit. Sounds like an educated person, probably white (at least sounds white). Heterosexual with a pretty wife. It was a look, an image. It wasn’t about results.

Pat Haden and USC were just doing what most organizations constantly do. They were hiring for fit. For “culture”. Believing somehow they had it figured out. Turns out, for Ed’s sake, they made the right call, because he is in a position where he is valued and they actually like his accent!

If you find yourself in an interview debrief and the conversation starts going down a path of “Fit” understand you’re about to hear someone’s bias coming out! Maybe you’ll even catch yourself and your own bias. We all have some and they mostly come out when we really can’t determine a real reason of why we don’t want to hire someone!

The #1 Holiday Gift For Recruiting and TA pros Worldwide!

When I worked at Applebee’s in HR we talked about terminations as giving someone a “gift”. Every time I tell someone this, they kind of chuckle. “Yeah! Great ‘gift’ I get fired!”

Of course, there’s an explanation.

Imagine you are working in your dream job (whatever that job might be). You love your job. You love the people you work with. You feel valued. You do great work. The hours work well for you. The location works well for you. You have a really good balance. You are in your dream job.

Now, imagine the opposite. You hate your job. You can’t even stand getting out of bed in the morning, knowing you have to go to ‘that’ job. You don’t like the people you work for. You can’t stand your leadership team. It’s too far away from home. Nothing seems to be right. As such, you probably aren’t giving 100%. You probably aren’t performing at your best. You will probably be fired.

The person who is miserable and not performing in their job needs a gift. That gift is we stop kidding ourselves that this will work out and we terminate them so that they now have the time and motivation to go find that dream job! A job they love! We all deserve that gift! Our life is so much better when we are working at a job we love. It’s a true gift.

So, what’s the #1 gift for Recruiting and TA Pros!?

No, it’s not to terminate them!

It’s to buy my book! The Talent Fix! Yay! It’s back in stock over at Amazon just in time for the holidays, and you can order it in bulk right now! If you want to buy signed copies for your team – send me a note (timsackett@comcast.net) and we can work out the details! I’ll even personalize them with funny messages if you send me what you want to say!

Dear Tina,

I can’t think of a more amazing recruiter who has ever graced the

earth. The world is a better place because you’re in it. Last night, 

I wept with joy from the idea of “you”! 

Tim (but really fancy signature type “Tim”)

You like what I did there!? 😉 It’s really the gift that keeps giving all year long!

Also, you should probably fire some folks who aren’t performing well and hate their job! They will not consider it a gift in the moment, but if they are lucky enough to find that awesome dream job, a job they love, eventually they might come to see it as the best gift they were ever given!