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.

Transform Recruitment Marketing Conference – June in Boston!

June 2-4, 2020 the Transform Recruitment Marketing conference will be back in Boston, and I will again be the Emcee for this event! You can use the code “TIMROCKS” for a 10% discount to the conference!

I’ve been a part of Transform from the beginning, I believe this is the fifth Transform. All I know is we started on the Recruitment Marketing bandwagon super early! In those early days, it was all about branding and CRM technology. Since then, we’ve seen the growth of an entire Talent Attraction industry, that includes programmatic job advertising, hyper-personalization for candidates, the rise of video, the evolution of content marketing in candidate attraction and nurturing, and so many other marketing concepts that have found their way into recruiting!

The reality is we went from Employment Branding to Recruitment Marketing in a blink of an eye, and it just keeps growing. Most Fortune 500 organizations now either have a team of Recruitment Marketing pros on staff or use an outside vendor to help them support their recruitment marketing efforts.

Why I love Transform Recruitment Marketing Conference? 

  • It’s not just high-level strategy, but in the weeds, tactics being taught by other corporate recruitment marketing pros who are doing what you’re trying to do!
  • Keynotes that are different. We’re used to a certain type of keynote at HR and Recruiting conferences. Transform always brings in folks I have never heard of that blow me away. In fact, we had Mel Robbins before Mel Robbins was Mel Robbins! Hell, I take credit for Mel Robbins becoming Mel Robbins! (not really, but a little!)
  • We’ve developed a community of corporate Recruitment Marketing Pros and Leaders. This alone, the ability to build your network of like-minded folks, is worth the price of admission!
  • No pitches, just ideas. The conference was built around this idea of how do we raise the game of recruitment marketing, regardless of your tech stack. If we all get smarter, the decision of tech to use will play itself out in the appropriate way.

So, put it on your calendar now and sign up to send your recruitment marketing pro and/or team to Transform!

Click Here to Register and See More Information! 

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.

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!

BREAKING NEWS: Symphony Talent Acquires Smashfly! @symphonytalent_ @Smashfly

Well, the M&A activity in the TA Technology industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down as this morning Symphony Talent announced it has acquired the recruiting CRM technology platform Smashfly. You had a feeling that something was going to happen as you began to see the major recruiting CRMs in the industry align themselves with core ATS or enterprise HCM recruiting modules.

3 Big Questions about the acquisition of Smashfly by Symphony Talent? 

1. Who the heck is Symphony Talent? 

I know some of you are asking that because Symphony Talent is the biggest name in the industry! Symphony Talent is the ATS built by Hodes a few years ago, and the first and only ATS that has built-in Programmatic advertising ability. Maybe a bit ahead of the game, when it was launched I was really impressed with what they had. Their CEO, Roopesh Nair, is a super-smart dude that has major passion around the TA industry.

2. Does this merger of brands make sense for both Smashfly and Symphony Talent?

It does because what I am seeing from organizations that truly care about attracting better talent is you better have an end to end recruitment platform that includes a core ATS at the center and a great recruitment marketing platform on the front-end. With this marriage, you also get the strength of Symphony’s industry-only builtin programmatic engine.

3. Will this integrated platform be able to gain market share in the industry?

That’s really the biggest question. For how advanced Symphony Talent’s technology was in the ATS space, they struggled to sell it, mainly because it probably seemed too advance more most corporate TA leaders.  CRM tech is also very advanced and complex and the reality is Smashfly was probably the best in the industry at selling CRM by making it not seem as complex. So, great tech and great marketing/sales should work for these two brands, in my opinion.

What would I do if I was Roopesh? 

To be fair, I’ve met Roopesh a couple of times and I’ve really enjoyed those conversations and his knowledge of the talent acquisition industry. The reality is Smashfly is a great brand because they’ve been great at marketing, and I would drop the Symphony Talent brand, adopt the Smashfly brand, and built out the integrated platform.

To me, you run with a better-known brand, that has a solid reputation in the industry and use that to sell the full end-to-end recruitment platform. Most enterprise HCM users are stuck with vanilla recruiting modules who can’t buy an ATS but can buy recruitment marketing. It just makes sense for them to buy a recruitment marketing platform that just happens to have an ATS built-in!

This opens up their ability to sell to SAP, Oracle, Workday, Infor, UltiPro, Ceridian TA shops, as well as chip away at the best of breed market currently owned by iCIMS, Greenhouse and SmartRecruiters in the mid-enterprise market.

To be perfectly clear, Roopesh didn’t call me and ask, but he has my number if he needs it! 😉

Who are the best companies to work for? And why?

I don’t put much stock into “Best Company to Work For” lists. That said, the data provided by Universum in there World’s Most Attractive Employer Report is pretty cool and gives you some insight on how you can help move your organization in the right direction.

What’s wrong with the best places to work lists?

  1. It only measures those employers who actually do the work to be considered for the list.
  2. It’s based on data that someone, other than yourself, decided was criteria for being a great place to work. And that might not align with what your org considers to be a great place to work, or the talent you market to, etc.

All that being said, I find that organizations, every single one who tries out for these lists, probably care about their employee and candidate experience at a pretty high level. Are they really the ‘best’ place to work? I don’t know, but they’re trying and that’s more than most of us can say!

So, who are they?

So, you can already see the bias, right? Tech, Business services, big brands. There isn’t one company on the list you haven’t heard of. Doesn’t that seem strange? You mean in the top 50 companies in the WORLD, there isn’t one company we haven’t heard of who is just great? Well, it’s the “World’s 50 Most Attractive”, so the one thing about being “attractive” is you’re probably known, when it comes to lists like these.

What makes you an “Attractive” employer? 

1. The ability to have high future earnings (you can make a lot of money) – 49.1%

2. You’ll get professional training and development – 43.8%

3. The job is secure (you won’t get laid off) – 39.1%

4. Working for this brand will help your career in the future – 38.8%

5. You have the ability to be creative – 38.7%

6. The company is successful within the market they compete in – 38.5%

7. The company encourages you to go home once in a while – 38.2%

8. You like the people you work with – 38.2%

9. You have leaders who support and they know how to develop talent – 38%

10. Competitive base salary – 37.6%

Anything pop out at you from the list?

What about #1 and #10? Oh, so, really base salary doesn’t mean anything, as long as I make a lot of money from what I’m doing!?! Turns out we release research and data for a reason. If you’re trying to sell employer branding software, it’s important for employers to understand it’s not about how much you pay because at that point you don’t need a brand, you need to pay the most.

But, it’s not what this data says. Like all modern research around this topic, what you make, is significantly more important than things like ‘being developed” and having “challenging work”. The person has to know and understand that financially this will work out very well for me, and then, all the other stuff becomes important once that question is satisfied.

You can not act like the most important thing on the list (#1 – High Future Earnings) is really that different than the last thing on the list (#10- competitive base salary). Those things are married at the hip if we have any inkling about basic compensation theory on where someone starts their career in base salary vs. the impact that has on future earnings, in the millions of dollars, going forward.

Let’s face it, as an employer you want to be able to deliver each of the ten things on the list in a really good way. If you do, you will not have trouble attracting talent or keeping your best talent.

In Attracting Great Talent, What’s More Important: Employment Branding or Recruitment Marketing?

Like most stuff I write, I try to break down things in HR and TA that we make way more complicated than it really is. We’re just hiring people, and trying to get the most out of our employees that we can. We aren’t launching the space shuttle or performing brain surgery. This stuff really isn’t that complicated.

I asked some of the most brilliant minds in the space and they gave some great advice, tips, and tricks. Some started to get deep into the weeds, but most gave ideas that were simple in nature to execute. There was basically one theme for each function, employment branding, and recruitment marketing:

Employment Branding at its core is your organization just telling your stories to candidates. 

Not made-up stories of what you want people to think about you, but your real employee stories. Simple, straightforward, this is who we are and why we love who we are. Some will love you, some will not. The best EB does just that, allows people to choose, so they don’t make a bad cultural fit choice.

Recruitment Marketing at its core is ensuring your stories get in front of candidates in a way and time they would like to consume those stories. 

So, it’s less “We’re a great company to work for!”, because everyone says they’re a great company to work for. No one says, “Hey, we’re a better than average company to work for!” Even though, that’s probably the real truth.

There is a piece of this, though, that I think the true employment branding experts are missing.

As consumers, we are all mostly dumb. A company tells us they have the best most reliable cars and then they tell us this over and over a million times, and we believe that those cars are the best and most reliable. We actually don’t do any research to find out if these cars are actually the best and most reliable. We got ‘marketed’ to.

Recruitment marketing can work in the exact same way. Put enough content out saying you’re the employer of choice, and people will recognize you as an employer of choice. The reality is the difference between a ‘true’ employer of choice, and an organization that is not an employer of choice is pretty small. Small, like, most people wouldn’t see any differences.

Most employers are stuck in the middle of delivering a fairly stripped-down basic employee experience. We all offer basically the same thing for all candidates. Thus, there’s a great opportunity for marketing to tell people we ‘actually’ offer a ‘better’ experience. Say it enough times and people will believe it.

I know my EB expert friends will say this isn’t being transparent and once the candidates get hired they’ll realize it’s not an exceptional experience. But, this is also mostly bullshit. Most people don’t realize it. They’ll get hired. They’ll go to work. They’ll be super excited about the new job. They’ll post a pic on IG. Life continues. One day, three years from now, they’ll wake up and think nothing. They won’t think either way about your company from the last company.

There are like 3 actual companies that offer up this ‘unicorn’ level employee experience that can actually match your brand. The reality of employment branding is far less sexy and fun than we make it out to be. Our stories are uniquely our own, and yet, very similar to those stories of every other employer.

I love your stories, but don’t discount the power of marketing will have on candidate behavior.

The 7 Words That Turn Candidates Off!

Communication is a tricky thing. It’s so easy to turn off another party by simply using just one wrong word, especially when you’re trying to build a relationship with a candidate you potentially want to hire.

I think there are some words and phrases that have a high probability of turning off a candidate to want to come work for your organization. I speak to students a few times a year about interviewing and I tell them something similar, which is what you say can automatically make a hiring manager not want to hire you!

Think about being an interview and the candidate starts to tell you why they’re no longer working for ACME Inc. “Oh, you know it was just a ‘misunderstanding’, I can explain…”

“Misunderstanding” is a killer word to use while interviewing! It wasn’t a misunderstanding! You got fired! The ‘misunderstanding’ is you not understanding the crap you were doing was wrong! 

So, what are the 7 Deadly Words you should never use as a recruiter? Don’t use these:

-“Layoff” – It doesn’t matter how you use it. Even, ‘we’ve never had a layoff!’ “Layoff” isn’t a positive word to someone looking to come to work for you, so why would you even add it to the conversation!

-“Might” – Great candidates want black and white, not gray. “Might” is gray. Well, we might be adding that tech but I don’t know. Instead, use “I’m not sure, let me check for you because I want to get you the truth.  Add

-“Maybe” – See above.

-“Unstable” – You know what’s unstable? Nothing good, that’s what! If something isn’t good, don’t hide behind a word that makes people guess how bad it might be, because they’ll usually assume it’s worse than it really is!

-“Legally” – “Legally” is never followed by something positive! “Legally, we would love to give you a $25K sign-on bonus, but…” It’s always followed by something that makes you uncomfortable. When trying to get someone interested in your organization and job, don’t add “Legally” to the conversation!

-“Temporarily” – This is another unsettling word for candidates. “Temporarily” we’ll have to have you work out of the Nashville office, but no worries, you’ll be Austin soon enough! Um, no.

-“Fluid” – Well, that’s a great question, right now it’s a fluid situation, we’re hoping that hiring you will help clarify it! Well, isn’t that comforting… Add: “Up in the air” to this category!

We use many of these words because we don’t want to tell the candidate the truth. We think telling them exactly what’s wrong with our organization, the position, our culture, will drive them away. So, we wordsmith them to death!

The reality is most candidates will actually love the honesty and tend to believe they can be the one to come in and make it better. We all want to be the knight on the white horse. Candidates are no different. Tell them the truth and you’ll end up with better hires and higher retention!

Breaking Down @LinkedIn’s Entire Database! #TalentConnect

I have a confession to make. I use LinkedIn every day! Not just Monday through Friday, I’m on the app on Saturday and Sunday as well! So, don’t think this is a LinkedIn hater post! I’m a LinkedIn 1%’er! I’m a bit addicted to LinkedIn, to be honest, I might have to go see someone!

Being on LinkedIn every day like I am, you begin to notice a few things. Some are great, like content that I find my network sharing that I probably find on LI before I find anywhere else. I love to read about the celebrations of people doing great things at work. I love to read about the funny stories and the heartwarming stories of people in their workplaces. All great stuff!

The more time I spend on LI I begin to feel like the database is basically populated with about 6-7 main types of profiles. It’s like the world is broken down, not in male or female, or black or white, but in these mini-subsets of lives. Here’s what I see when I look at LinkedIn Profiles (these are not official LinkedIn database numbers!):

Sales Pros: I want to say that it’s at least 40% of the LI database, but I know it’s less. But, the reality is, if you’re in sales of any kind, you probably are on LinkedIn at least multiple times a week, and you’re probably sending me an InMail trying to see if I want to blindly give you access to my investment portfolio, sell me leads to executives, sell me offshore recruiting solutions, etc. It’s endless! Even the LinkedIn Sales Pros get into the game and I probably get a message through LinkedIn Sales Navigator from LI themselves at least once per month.

Recruiters: I think about 30% of the LI database are recruiters, but again, it’s probably less, but feels like more, because we (recruiters are my people) are so freaking active on LI! There are very few occupations you can’t find on LI. Of course, you’re probably less likely to find a great pool of truck drives on LI, but for sure any white-collar talent you can find. Recruiters and Sales Pros have to make up at least 90% of all InMails sent on LI, right?

Keynote Speakers: It feels like 1 out of 5 profiles claim to be “Keynote Speakers” which would mean there are approximately 100 million Keynote Speakers on LinkedIn! So, I know that number isn’t correct, but come on, you all can’t be Keynote Speakers! Maybe we need a “Keynote Speaker” definition. To put “Keynote Speaker” on your LI Profile you must be on the main stage speaking either in the opening session, the lunch session, or the closing session, and you must be paid. That probably knocks about 80% of the “Keynotes” out with just those factors.

Life Coaches: You know what happens when you get fired from your job, or can’t hold a job? You become a Life Coach and tell other people how to get a job or hold a job… Is it just me or does seem like 50% of LinkedIn profiles claim to be Life Coaches? “Life Coach” might be the single easiest job in the world to obtain. Life Coach criteria: 1. Are you alive? 2. Have you lived any amount of life? 3. Do you like to tell people to do things that you yourself probably wouldn’t do? If you can say “yes” to all three of those things, congratulations! You’re a life coach!

Executives: Turns out the great thing about LinkedIn is you can call yourself anything you want! It seems like about 30% of LinkedIn Profiles list their occupation as “Executive”. You really bend the matrix when you list yourself as “Executive Life Coach!” So, you are the sole person at your company? Awesome, you’re now the Chief Strategy Officer at Timmy Sackett, Inc.! In fact, I’m a Fortune 1 Million Executive in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world! It’s kind of like the banking industry where everyone is a Vice President, no matter what you really do.

Actual People Doing Real Work that are not in Sales or Recruiting, or playing make-believe as Keynote Speakers, Life Coaches or Executives: Like 3%? Okay, to be fair, I know it’s way higher than that because every week we hire real people off LinkedIn for all kinds of jobs in Supply Chain, Engineering, IT, Accounting/Finance/ and HR. But holy cow do they all seem like the minority. I’m guessing this is the case because these folks are not like me, they don’t live on LI every day. For the most part, folks with jobs are also not looking for attention, so they don’t stick out as much.

So, before someone goes postal in the comments about the value of their life coach or how my math on the profiles equals 347%, I understand that I built my LinkedIn network, so my view reflects a world I built around myself! I built my own nightmare! I put on my headline “Not a Life Coach” and stupid life coaches from around the world reached out to connect with me saying things like “I see we are in the same industry” in their invites.

My dream is that LinkedIn eventually gives me the ability to go in and easily curate my network. You know, do some searches and see that I’ve got “X” number of people in my network that I no longer want in my network and with one click, shrink it down. That would be so cool! Or maybe you’ve changed professions and while you used to want a network of HR pros, now you want a network of Business Intelligence pros.

As our networks get large, it becomes more difficult to curate, that would be super valuable to me. I would pay for that ability! As our careers grow and change over the years we’ve been on LinkedIn for a long time, we really need this ability. I hope as all of you are out at Talent Connect this week you enjoy the great content and networking. LinkedIn puts on one of the top Recruiting conferences in the world and I’m really upset I couldn’t make it this year!