8 Hard Truths in Recruiting, as Told in Percentages!

33% – basically, recruiting is the rule of three. If you post a position, on average, over millions and millions of jobs and applicants, you basically get a 1/3 ratio. Of those that apply about 1/3 fit what you need. Of those, you screen about 1/3 will move on to a hiring manager interview. A manager will interview three and make an offer to one.

50% – Almost every organization has a success rate in hiring that is around 50%. Basically, our selection process is as successful as a coin flip. Oh, but you only have 7% turnover so you must be way better!? No really, who’s to say the other person you interviewed wouldn’t have actually performed better?

89% – Of employers believe employees leave for more money. 12% are employees who claim they actually leave for money. The other 77% are smart enough to make up another reason they left for more money.

30% of employable people are actively seeking a new job at any one time. This is why post and pray fails as a strategy, mostly. You are targeting only 30% of your target market, the other 70% are passive and need outreach directly to engage them.

48% of employers claim that employee referrals are their highest quality of source of hire. 97% of employers basically have no technology to assist them in getting more employee referrals.

67% of candidates consider diversity important, while the other 33% of candidates are basically just racist.

75% of hiring managers say Employment Branding matters. 67% of those same Hiring Managers refuse to give a recruiter feedback on candidates that were sent to them.

95% of Recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates to present to their hiring managers as “top talent”. 93% of Recruiters have no clue what “top talent” is in their industry. But, Whee! It’s fun to play on LinkedIn all day!

(Shout out to Cait Mack on Medium for the title inspiration!)

How can Text Recruiting increase your gender diversity hiring?

Who likes to text more, men or women?

What’s your gut reaction? My initial reaction was it’s probably the same, right? Then I was thinking about my wife and the amount of text messaging she does with her friends, her sister, her mom, her children, okay, its women for sure! Also, if there is ever a real phone call that needs to be made, she will text me to make that call! Like somehow my “superpower” is picking up the phone and speaking to a real person on the other end.

“Dear, it’s just ordering pizza, you can do it!” Fine, I’ll just go online and order it there!

There is actually data to support this:

Statista.com

I’m not sure men would prefer to talk over text, but they definitely are more willing to talk over the phone, on average, than women.

How can we use this nugget of information in landing more female candidates? Obviously, increase the utilization of text messaging outreach when you want to increase the number of female candidates you want to get into your pipeline!

As you are putting together your recruitment communications plan for a requisition where you know you want to gather more female candidates, text messaging should be a primary source of outreach. That doesn’t mean you want also to use email and phone calls, but your primary communication strategy should be focused on text messaging.

What do female candidates like to hear your outreach messages? Most likely that you have their dream job, but here are some other popular highly engaged forms of text messages females tend to respond more to:

  1. Items around important events.
  2. Sharing something about yourself.
  3. Another way to say, “I’m thinking of you”.
  4. Direct response to something public.
  5. A meaningful memory.
  6. A good morning text.

Now, the trick is how do we use this information in a job outreach candidate interaction exchange!?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “why would this person reply to this text message?” Your message that says, “Hi, we have an opening for Business Analyst, click the link to see more…” Is not the correct answer to this question! That’s spam, no one likes spam.

How about something like, “Happy Holidays! I’m getting ready to fly home to see my parents in a few days but wanted to send you this in hopes you would get a chance to review it on your time off as well. Please let me know if you have questions. Would love to discuss this with you!”

I can guarantee you, you have a way better chance of that candidate clicking through and viewing your job at the very least. Plus, you are actually setting yourself up for outreach number two which could be, “I hope your holidays were awesome! I had some flightmares, but great to see the family. Did you get a chance to take a look at what I sent? Any interest or questions?”

You are adding numbers 1, 2, and 5 from the list above in two messages!

Adding “personalization” doesn’t always mean you need to share actual personal information. It’s the perception of personalization that also matters. In these text messages, you sound like a real person who cares and you’re beginning to build trust. All are important in getting a high level of response, especially from female targets.

Want more female candidates? Use text messaging, get personal, and build trust.

Want to learn more about how your organization can utilize text recruiting to its fullest? Check out Emissary.ai today!

What Will Be Your Big Unlock In Recruiting?

Okay, the first thing you’re asking is what the heck is an “Unlock”, right? Well, an “unlock” according to Scott Galloway is:

“An unlock is the discovery of an accelerant for the brand, product, or service invisible in plain sight. The mold on cheese curing disease was a substantial unlock (penicillin). So is administering a small dose of a pathogen to immunize someone from the complete, more harmful pathogen (vaccines).”

An early unlock in recruiting might have been the concept of “poaching” whereas there was a time when it was considered unethical to recruit someone away from a competitor that wasn’t out actively looking. Basically, if they contacted you it was fine, but you couldn’t cold outreach to them. Sounds silly today that was an unwritten recruiting rule a few decades ago!

Another “unlock” in recruiting a few decades ago was the concept of using a candidate’s references as potential leads/referrals to other candidates. For decades we just called references for the simple fact we wanted to actually get an employment reference on a candidate, then all of sudden we were doing that, but also trying to recruit the reference as well!

The biggest unlock of the pandemic for TA was understanding as more and more positions went remote, we could now recruit talent from anywhere, potentially increasing the level of talent we could hire, and sometimes reducing the cost of salaries by hiring folks in less expensive markets.

What will be your Recruiting Unlock in 2022?

Each organization is kind of on its own recruiting evolutionary timeline. While you might have had an unlock years ago, some organizations will just discover that unlock this year. An example would be the reference check one above, many organizations are still just doing reference checks for reference checks! Some have taken those contacts with potential candidates to the next level.

What are some possible Unlocks for you this year?

  • Using marketing automation and nurturning campaigns to make more hires from your ATS database.
  • You’ll use a multi-channel approach to contacting candidates – Email, Inmail, text, phone, Facebook messaging, What’sApp, etc.
  • You’ll stop just posting jobs on job boards and start using Programmatic Job Advertising to discover potential candidates where they are on the interent, not just active candidates searching for jobs.
  • Finally using the data you collect to make your TA more effective and efficient, and not just reporting for the sake of reporting.
  • You’ll actually train your recruiting teams to be better recruiters using sites like Social Talent and SourceCon.
  • Maybe you’ll finally demo and purchase a Sourcing technology tool to help you discover talent in your market you had no idea was there.

But, the question is still what will your unlock be this year!?

I think the biggest unlock most organizations need to figure out is how they better utilize their most expensive resource, your own ATS database. Basically, for most, the candidates in there are just sitting there dying a slow death. We spend so many resources filling these databases with talent and then we do nothing with it.

If I’m not going to do anything with it, it’s basically worthless. If it’s worthless, then let me play around with it and see if I can find a way to get a better value out of it! Here are some ideas:

  1. Invest in an AI driven matching engine and activate your database again.
  2. Get a few local TA leaders in your market and start sharing talent amongst each other. Meet once a month, everyone brings a USB drive with 500 candidates on it and exchange, who knows maybe getting another 1500-2000 free candidates a month will land you some more hires!
  3. Give your ATS database to your marketing team and let them sell to every person who ever applied to your jobs. At one point these folks were saying, “Hi, I love you, I want to work for you!”, so at a minimum marketing has a positive sales database to tap!

Hit me in the comments with any ideas you might have that could be a great unlock for 2022!

The (Fight) Recruiting Club Rules

Great talent and great hiring are about getting the best candidates to respond to you. It’s our reality as talent acquisition professionals that we have candidates who apply to our jobs, some of which might be great. We also have to go out and find great talent and find ways to get them to respond to our overtures.

It’s the number one job of every talent acquisition professional. I would argue it might be the only job of talent acquisition. Get great talent to interact with you!

The first rule of Flight Recruiting Club is you need to get candidates to respond!

The second rule of Recruiting Club is you need to keep trying to get talent to respond to you until they actually respond. Wait for a second, Tim! Do you mean we have to reach out to a candidate more than once!? I mean, if they don’t respond to me after my first outreach, that’s their loss! No, it’s your loss! You need that talent!

The third rule of Recruiting Club is you need to interact with candidates in the medium they are most comfortable with. I like it when you text me, most people do. It gets a high response rate. Some folks like email, phone calls, Facebook messenger, hand-written notes, etc. Find all the mediums the candidates like, not your favorite!

The fourth rule of Recruiting Club is it’s not about you. It’s about them! “I’ve got a great career opportunity for you!” How do you know what I want? Stop acting as you know me when you don’t. How about you first to get to know me a little. I mean, a girl deserves at least a drink before you ask her to get married!

The fifth rule of Recruiting Club is subject lines matter. Throw away any subject line that is about you. Spend twelve seconds, actually researching your target, and make a subject line that is about them! I like Michigan State University. If you sent me a subject line that says, “Go Green!” I’m way more likely to respond!

The sixth rule of Recruiting Club is don’t spam people you want to respond to. What’s spam? “HI TIM,” is spam! Your crappy ATS mass email where every word of the email is the same accepts that awful capital letter salutation at the beginning! That’s not personalization, that’s spam!

The seventh rule of Recruiting Club is to be a real person in your outreach. Once you let them know that you know who they are, have a personality, and let them know who you are. Of course, this interaction is about your organization, but the top recruiting professionals make personal connections first with great talent and then introduce them to the organization. “Hey Tim, I see you’re a Sparty fan! I’m a Big Ten person myself as I went to…”

The eighth rule of Recruiting Club is you make “all” candidates fall in love with you until you need to dump them. Great recruiting is like dating. I want you. I want you. I want you. Until I don’t want you any longer. Don’t hate the players, hate the game.

The ninth rule of Recruiting Club is new recruiters always find Unicorns! “Oh, that person won’t be interested in what I have, I mean they work at Google! We aren’t Google…” New recruiters don’t have pre-programmed recruiting biases. They just reach out and offer, rinse, repeat. They “stumble” into great talent because they don’t know any better. We have to work constantly to stop knowing better!

The tenth rule of Recruiting Club is you need to be on the edge to get most candidates to respond. If you’re vanilla in your communication, you’ll get a low and steady amount of replies, and no one will ever, ever complain about your style. If your Strawberry, you’ll get more responses, and every once in a while, someone is going to complain about you. Great talent acquisition lives right on the edge. Not over it, on it.

What’s the first rule of Recruiting Club?

Sackadomas returns to Chad and Cheese with 2022 Predictions!

Each year I go on the Chad and Cheese podcast and the three of us give our Recruiting Technology predictions for the year. We are rarely accurate, but every once in a while we’ll get one right. What it really turns into is what we wish would happen! This 2022 episode is a great one and you can check it out everywhere you listen to podcasts …

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/predictions-2022-w-sackadomus/id1211760335?i=1000547172102

Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman put on a great podcast throughout the year without me as well, you should definitely check it out and give them a follow!

You Are No Longer Fit For Duty…in Recruiting!

I’ve been hearing a lot of “Fit-for-duty” stuff in the news lately and it got me thinking. Are any of us really fit for duty for the jobs we have!?

Fit-For-Duty, according to OSHA, means that an individual is in a physical, mental, and emotional state which enables the employee to perform the essential tasks of his or her work assignment in a manner that does not threaten the safety or health of yourself, your co-workers, your company’s property, or the public at large.

That’s a lot, right!? I mean, on a day-to-day basis I might make one or two of three of those, but being physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared each day!? Get out of here!

As recruiters being physically ready probably isn’t our biggest hurdle. I mean, let’s face it, we sit in front of a computer. If we can physically type and make some calls, it’s not the most demanding job from a physical standpoint. Also, mentally, is recruiting really challenging anyone day-to-day? We aren’t trying to figure out how to put puppies on the moon, we are just trying to talk someone into accepting a job we have open.

Are recruiters fit for duty?

The problem is the emotional side of fit for duty. You see, Recruiters face rejection all day, every day. An average recruiter will face more rejection in one week than an ugly, short dude gets on Tinder all year. That’s to say, it’s a lot!

The recruiter also has to constantly placate dumb hiring managers that believe they are way better than they are and that believe they know how to recruit talent better than the recruiters they work with. On top of that, we have the serial repeat candidates who are awful but can’t take “no” for an answer. So, each week we spend hours with candidates whose own mother wouldn’t give them a job, but somehow they believe they should be the next executive VP at our company!

Let’s not forget our HR brothers and sisters who secretly, and not so secretly hate us, because they ain’t us! It’s hard being this sexy, smart, and cool. We get it, but let’s just be friends! And still, somehow we take the blame for our organization’s lack of talent when we have psychopath leaders who turnover people like there’s an endless supply of warm bodies just craving our average pay, average benefits, and average, cold, work location.

Emotionally, there’s no way, most recruiters are fit for duty!

And, yet, we show up, pick up the phones, and keep finding fresh suckers every day to fill the jobs of our organizations.

When is a Recruiter no longer fit for duty?

Here’s the real deal, because, for all the joking above, there is actually a time when a recruiter is no longer fit for duty in your company. The time they are no longer fit for duty is the exact time they stop believing.

That moment when they stop believing your company is a good company.

That moment when they stop believing that the job they are working on is a good job.

The moment when they stop believing that the hiring manager they are working with has the ability to be someone good to work for.

Now, I get it, we all have a bad hiring manager here and there. a bad job here and there, but overall, the majority is good. The moment we no longer believe this is the exact moment you can no longer recruit for your company.

You are no longer fit for duty, because “believing” can’t be faked. It shows up. It shows up in the bad candidates you let go on to the next step. How you sell your company to the world. How you allow a partner to make a bad decision and just walk away.

As a recruiter, you are no longer fit for duty the moment you stop believing. That is the moment you must leave. Maybe not the company, but certainly your job as a recruiter.

I think a lot of CEOs would like to believe this is a fit for duty criteria for every role in their company, but that just isn’t true. I don’t need Ted in IT to believe in the company, I just need to make sure he keeps the network up. Do I want him to believe? Heck, yes! But, I desperately must have my recruiters who believe!

Take a good long look in the mirror today. Are you fit for duty?

What is your “Save” strategy for 2022?

I’m calling 2022 the “Great Retention“! Primarily because I was sick of hearing “Great Resignation” when it wasn’t really the great resignation, it was more reshuffling. A ton of openings allowed workers to upgrade jobs and salaries in 2021, so yes, folks “resigned” but then immediately accepted a job somewhere else they felt was better for their life choices.

We are facing some major challenges in 2022 and beyond. Most of which can be traced back to simple demographics. The reality is, we are going to see more jobs than workers for a long time. This means a few things:

  1. Yes, we can be and must be getter at acquiring talent.
  2. We need to be more flexible with our workforces, if we want to keep and attract talent.
  3. We need the government to open up immigration in new and innovative ways, for both skilled and unskilled workers.

How are you going to Save talent in 2022?

Your recruiting strategy can not only be to actually go recruit more talent in 2022. There must be a simultaneous strategy to retain talent and save talent. What’s the difference between retaining and saving?

Retaining talent is about a systematic, ongoing strategy to improve and change pieces within your work world that helps create an environment where your current employees want to stay longer with your company.

Saving talent is about having a systematic strategy that is designed to talk someone out of leaving your company for another opportunity. A save strategy goes into effect the moment you believe someone is going to leave you. That might be when they put their notice in, or maybe you start to hear about someone interviewing, etc. The reality is, there’s a good chance they are looking to leave your employment.

What does a save strategy look like?

Most save strategies are designed around critically hard-to-fill and/or revenue-focused roles. Roles that will have the most impact by keeping well-performing talent versus having to go out and try to hire new talent.

When you engage a save strategy, there must be concrete steps you take to try and talk the employee out of leaving. This might, and usually, includes multiple people, including senior executives up to the CEO. In a traditional notice situation, you have two weeks or so to work your strategy. While the person is in your employ you can have them travel, meet, and pretty much pay them to do what you need before they leave.

Traditionally, let’s face it, most of us waste these two weeks. We let the employee dictate what they will do and not do. This usually ends up being pretty much useless as the current employee just makes sure people know what they have going on before they leave.

What if you designed those two weeks around trying to do whatever it would take to keep that employee with your company? You might have them meet with the leadership team and discuss why they are leaving and what it would take to keep them. You might have them go try a different job they are interested in to see if they would be opening to transfer to another role or location.

I’ve worked with organizations that when a certain level of an employee put their notice in, they were immediately scheduled for a flight out to meet with the company executive team to discuss why they decided to leave and what the executive team could do to keep them. The success rate was 40%. Not perfect, but instead of hiring ten new employees for every ten that put their notice in, we only had to hire six! That made a huge difference for a stretched TA team!

The best recruit you’ll ever make is the one you don’t have to!

What if you allowed anyone in your company to hire?

Let me walk you through a scenario and you tell me what I’m missing.

We all have hiring needs right now. Almost all of us are struggling to fill those needs. We love employee referrals! We also have great employees, doing great work who work with us, that we trust.

What would happen if we went to our employees and said, “Hey, we love you and trust you, so we are going to allow you to hire one person. You have total say in whether this person gets hired. We have a few parameters around HR stuff, drug screen, background check, etc., but the hiring decision is yours”.

You could probably add in some fun parameters like:

  • Here are the positions we have open that you can hire someone for. (IE., you might have some positions you don’t want the run of the mill making hiring decisions on)
  • If your hire fails, you won’t get this chance to hire another person for at least a year, so make it a good one!
  • If your hire succeeds, you will be given the ability to hire another person.
  • Maybe you want to throw some sort of bonus to your folks for successful hires, explain what “success” looks like, etc.

What might happen?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never done it, but I think I would be willing to test it out.

Let’s dig into what we think would mostly happen.

My best guess is you would have some employees who would be like, awesome, I’ve got a friend or family member I think would do a great job, and I’m going to hire them. Yes! Some positions get filled and they have some employee sponsorship that will probably help hold them accountable and be more successful.

You will probably have a few misses. Yeah, I thought Johnny would do well, and since he has a record no one will hire him, but he’s my sister’s kid and I really thought he turned his life around and this was a great chance, but ultimately he’s a loser.

You will probably have some employees who think you are nuts and not serious.

The big question is would you allow this for any positions, or just low/no-skill type of positions? I mean, really, conceptually, it works for any level. If I have a finance position open, and there are certain requirements needed for the job, then it isn’t really that hard to see if the person can conceptually do the job or not with their experience and education. So, it could work for any level job, blue-collar or white-collar.

Does this empower your employees?

Imagine being an individual contributor in your organization and one day you wake up and go to work and you realize you can actually hire someone. I can have that experience of making a life-changing decision for someone else. That seems like it would be pretty powerful!

Do you remember the very first person you ever got to hire? That’s a giant career moment. I tend to think every person you hire is a pretty great career moment, but the first one is big!

I think being able to hire someone would be super empowering and it’s really just a next-level employee referral program. Instead of you just referring someone, just take it few more steps and make it happen!

I tend to look at our current staffing problems with a strong testing mentality. Let’s try a bunch of stuff and see what might work. Most of it won’t work, but we might run into something amazing! Maybe our first test of this concept is to go to a hand-selected group of 10 or 20 employees and give them the first shot. Measure the results, gather feedback, decide if it should be rolled out further or what changes should be made.

All that I know is that early in my career if the CEO came into my cube and said, “Tim, we are going to allow you to hire one person to work here!” I would have taken that assignment very seriously and would have thought that was super cool!

What do you think? Tell me how crazy this is.

6 Signs You Shouldn’t Make That Offer!

If I have learned anything at all in my HR/Recruiting career it’s that everyone has an opinion on what makes a good hire. If you ask 100 people to give you one thing they focus on when deciding between candidates, you’ll get 100 different answers! Especially with today’s difficult hiring event where we are pushed to hire any warm body, don’t!

I’ve got some of my own. They might be slightly different than yours, but I know mine work!  So, if you want to make some better selections, take note my young Padawans:

1. They only have bad things to say about former employers. Notice I didn’t say “employer” singular, because we all can have a bad, toxic work choice we’ve made. Once it gets to multiple, you now own that, turns out you’re bad at knowing what’s good for you! Plus, there is a high correlation between hiring a candidate that bad mouth their former employer and that eventually they’ll be bad-mouthing you as well!

2. Crinkled up money. Male or female if you pull money out of your pocket or purse and it’s crinkled up, you’ll be a bad hire!  There is something fundamentally wrong with people who can’t keep their cash straight. The challenge you have is how do you get a candidate to show you this? Ask to copy their driver’s license or something like that!

3. Slow walkers.  If you don’t have some pep in your step, at least for the interview, you’re going to be dud as an employee. Of course, if the person has a disability, ignore this point!

4. My Last Employer was so Awesome! Yeah, that’s great, we aren’t them. Let’s put a little focus back to what we got going on right here, sparky. Putting too much emphasis on a job you love during the interview is annoying. We get it. It was a good gig. You f’d it up and can’t let go. Now we’ll have to listen about it for the next nine months until we fire you.

5. Complaining or being Rude to front-desk and/or waitstaff. I like taking candidates to lunch or dinner, just to see how they treat other people. I want servant leaders, not assholes, working for me. The meal interview is a great selection tool to weed out bad people. Basically, if you feel comfortable in an interview treating anyone bad, you’re a bad person.

6. Any communication issue where they aren’t apologetic. “Yeah, I know you contacted me five times about the interview, but like, the new game came out and I was like busy and stuff.” Hard no! I don’t need you to respond immediately, but at least have some awareness of the moment! Before you lose your shit, this is for both candidates and recruiters! If a recruiter is bad at communicating with a candidate they should be apologetic as well. Common civility is a bare minimum for an offer!

What are your signs not to make an offer?  Share in the comments!

Supply and Demand are Undefeated!

Why can’t you find talent?! Why are your workers resigning at all-time highs? Why can’t I buy the car I want? Why does my local supermarket keep running out of diet Mt. Dew in the 16 oz bottles!?

The law of supply and demand is undefeated in the history of the world! That’s why!

When there is a feeling of equilibrium in the talent market, meaning we seem to have enough workers and enough jobs, but not crazy on either side, our world works fairly well. For sure, there are outliers, but all of those have a real business answer to why you’re an outlier. Right now, it seems like no one has a real business answer to why everyone is an outlier!

That’s because there isn’t one answer. Well, I take that back, there is, and it’s fairly simple, but your executives don’t want to hear it, we have more demand than supply of talent.

I find it super ironic that really smart executives won’t hear this when it comes to talent, but will go into every single board meeting and using different words tell their boards the reason they can’t sell enough products or services is because of supply and demand. But, when asked about talent, they truly believe TA/HR has a magic machine they can keep filling up with more candidates and employees that is never-ending!

There. Is. No. Magic. Employee. Machine!

By the way, everyone is to blame for this supply and demand issue. It’s not people who work. It’s the entire system failure that causes supply chain issues. What are these failures:

  • We are crappy at educating kids for future jobs. We take way to long to react to what our world needs for skills, from a public and private education standpoint.
  • Those that have the money are unwilling to properly incentize people for their labor and efforts.
  • Those who buy products and services are unwilling to pay more for all the crap we want.
  • Employers are unwilling to invest what is needed to grow their own talent and then do all they need to do to ensure they retain that talent.
  • We have a government that is basically incapable of doing anything besides work to get voted in again. Rinse. Repeat. Do nothing of consequence.

Gawd! That seems pessimistic, right!?

But, I don’t think so, because every single one of those bullet points we can control as a society, which is why we are all complicit in this problem!

This is not a complex problem. This is simply a supply and demand problem. Create more supply and bring back some equilibrium and everything will be back to normal. I have no fear that this won’t happen because supply and demand are undefeated!