Why Does Spam Recruiting Work?

I just got done deleting the 17th phishing email from my personal email inbox today. Comcast, Amazon, Princes from far-off lands, I’ve never been more popular and, apparently, soon to be rich!

I was asking our Cyber Security company why phishing is still such a big deal. I mean don’t we all know by now that some Nigerian Prince isn’t going to give us a million dollars, or that Amazon doesn’t send us emails asking for our credit card numbers, or passwords!? There is no way someone can be this stupid, right!?

Apparently, I’m way wrong, we are all still a lot stupid! 

The reason phishing and spam are not because they are really tricking us. It’s the sure volume of messages and cadence. While we can all spot a fake fairly easily, can you always spot a fake when it’s sent a thousand times, all different times, with all different designs and strategies. Scammers will send a million to get one click. That one click will pay off.

Therein lies the strategy of why Spam Recruiting still works. It’s not about being good, or the best, it’s about being there all the time, knowing a certain percentage of the time will be the right time! Do we like it? Well, I guess that depends on who you are. If you happen to be that one person who gets the spam recruiting message at the exact time you’re desperate for a job, then yes, you will like it!

If you are the superstar performing software engineer getting twenty spam recruiting messages a day, you hate our industry!

Spam Recruiting Works Because It Works Some of the Time

I have never met one American-based TA Leader who believes that Off-Shore Recruiting firms (you know the off-shore RPO spam emails you get constantly all day long) actually are good. For the most part, they don’t recruit, they spam. Because they pay next to nothing to their workforce, they can spam a whole bunch and still make money, even if the entire process truly sucks.

They don’t have to be good. When you’re being paid like $10 a day, all you have to do is spam a couple of thousand people a week to get one placement a month and you’re making a profit for the “man”! Any company engaging in off-shore recruiting for hiring in the U.S. is basically engaging in slave labor. But, I digress. Back to crappy recruiting.

Bad recruiting is a lot like bad sex. If you really need a job, you don’t care how you get it. Which perpetuates you just continuing to be bad.

Spam recruiting works, and will always work, because the world will always have candidates who just need a job. They don’t care that you’re awful at your job. They don’t care that you are spamming them. All they care about is getting the job. Also, if you do care. If you do hate bad spammy recruiters. It turns out you also are fine with them being awful when you’re out of a job!

Spam works because we are all vulnerable at some point. It feeds on us being weak, naive, and desperate. But, at the end of the day, it works. It doesn’t work well. But it does work. And that sucks.

Build the Perfect Recruiting Stack for a Hybrid World!

Talent acquisition has a major problem looming just over the horizon: Executives are preparing for business to accelerate in the near future and part of their plan is that talent acquisition professionals will be able to turn hiring on like a light switch. Unfortunately, the vast majority of talent acquisition departments do not have processes and technology systems in place to move this quickly.

On top of that, many of us had to reduce our recruiting budgets and teams! Now, the CEO comes down to your office and she says, “Hey! We’re getting the band back together! Get ready to hire 500 people by the end of the year!”

What are you going to do? 

Step 1: Sign up for my free webcast this week! Feb. 25th at Noon ET, 9 am on the West Coast – You get SHRM credit and a whole bunch of valuable information from yours truly!

Step 2: After the webcast – just do what I tell you! It’s super easy. Like only two steps to be super awesome at recruiting!

We will look at a bunch of strategies and technologies that organizations are using to get ready to hire in this crazy new hybrid world of work. Plus, the number one technique being used by organizations to eliminate ghosting by candidates.

Come learn how to build a light switch for your TA department and put your executive’s minds at ease for your talent attraction and hiring for 2021 and beyond.

REGISTER HERE!  (Free eBook for 5 tips for better Diversity Hiring as well!)

Thanks to Oracle Recruiting Cloud for sponsoring this SHRM Webcast!

What Does Tim Sackett Actually Do?

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

“So, what do you actually do?” 

Ugh! It’s the single biggest failure of my life! How did I do so well to “brand” myself, but then have so many people not know what I actually do for my job?!

I probably should start each conversation like an AA meeting:

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

BTW, I think that’s actually Step 13 of AA! Staffing firm owners will agree with this!

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

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

The name of my company is HRU Technical Resources. I own the company, now, but in reality, my Mom started the company in 1980. (Check out her profile pic from the 1st day! She looks like Farrah Fawcett!) She’s the original OG Recruiter! In her 70’s, she still could out recruit probably 99% of Recruiters in the world! Old school and proud of it! I like to tell people I was “born” into staffing, as my Mom started the company when I was a boy and I would sit on her bed as she made interview calls at night and watch TV with the sound off.

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

Here’s what we do:

  • Contract staffing – helping organizations for 40 years build that part of their company that they want to maintain as contingent to add flexibility to their workforce.
  • Sourcing Projects – we will your funnel with talent and let you do the recruiting
  • Project RPO – we bundle some critical hiring for you and do the entire thing end-to-end
  • Traditional Direct-hire staffing

But, wait! What else do you do? 

I also do a bunch of Talent Acquisition consulting with corporate clients as well, helping them build out their own recruiting tech stack and just flat out execute better when it comes to their own direct hiring and figuring out what’s the best way to get the most out of your recruiting team. It usually starts out like this, “Tim, can we talk? Our talent acquisition department is broken and we need some help!”

I’m also an influencer, advisor, and analyst in the HR Technology industry. I work with tech companies in a number of ways from brand awareness, to product marketing and development, sales strategy, etc. As a reader, you see this in the demos and reviews I do, over 100 per year, but behind the scenes, that’s actually working with these organizations in a number of ways.

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

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

The NCAA Transfer Portal in the New College Athlete Job Board!

If you are into college athletics, you have heard of the NCAA Transfer portal. If you are not into college athletics, basically the transfer portal is the technology used for an athlete of one school to let everyone involved know they intend to move from their current school to a new school.

There are over 500,000 student-athletes at NCAA sanctioned schools.

For the most part, we only hear about athlete transfers for the big sports of football and basketball, because that’s what the media covers, but it’s happening in all the sports.

So, what’s the big deal? 

Let me give you a quick history lesson. For centuries these NCAA schools have pretty much held all the power. Kids want to go to school to play sports, coaches at these schools recruited the athletes they wanted, and once they got that kid to sign his/her letter of intent that kid was basically stuck. Of course, they could leave, but if they did the transfer rules were so restrictive they almost always had to sit a year at the very least.

The coaches could leave for other schools, without any waiting period. Could be fired, etc. All the while the kid just had to stay and put up with whatever was thrown at them.

Recently though, the transfer rules have been relaxed allowing the vast majority of kids to transfer without having to sit out, if they are willing to give some reason that the NCAA feels are remotely close to being true and in the kid’s best interest.

“Oh, Johnny, didn’t get to play this year and he’s upset. Oh, his Mom is stressed out!? Well, we better let Johnny leave State U and go to HomeTown U so he can close to her and play football.”

So, yes, it’s become a complete cluster of movement!

What if this was your company? 

Now, I know what you’re going to say. Tim, this isn’t one company, this is thousands of schools that compete against each other, it’s just fair market dynamics at play. But, that is not quite true!

While we like to think of schools competing against each other, they’re all still staying in the NCAA! All the money is still being split up amongst the NCAA institutions. And just like a real company, some “divisions” are getting more resources than others, even though we talk about “equity” all the time!

HR gets less budget than sales because guess what, sales makes us money.

Football gets more resources than Men’s swimming because guess what?

D1 gets more resources than DIII because guess what? Turns out, some things are more important than others, or at least someone at the top made that decision.

This is more like one organization with 500,000 employees who all of sudden went out to all 500,000 employees and said if you don’t like your current job, or boss, or team members you work with, go ahead and apply for any job in the company, and we’ll let that manager determine if they want you or not!

Can you imagine the chaos?

All that said, I love it! 

The recruiter and leader in me love the transfer portal! I work hard to attract great talent and get them to sign on the line that is dotted. I then have this obligation to live up to what I sold this recruit on. If I don’t, I lose. If I do, well, that’s what the hell I was supposed to do, right?!

Too often, we are asking 17 and 18-year-old kids to make decisions on their life that isn’t reality. We wine and dine them, they show up to campus and learn that real life isn’t the recruiting trip. But then we expect them to live by this decision their adolescent mind made. This makes zero sense when you put into play that all these coaches lie and say whatever it takes to get them to sign.

Traditionalists in college athletics hate the transfer portal. They want it back to where they can control kids through a contract. I think this is the best, long term, for all involved. It is less likely you’ll have a few elite programs stash away all the great athletes. Once these athletes get to school and find out they won’t be playing any time soon, they can make a move that better fits them.

College coaches will have to be more transparent to recruits, or risk having a roster they need to rebuild each year. Kids will have to take more time to think about their long term future, or risk being seen as the kid who just jumps around when they don’t get their way.

This has all kinds of angles to corporate internal mobility! 

We love talking about internal mobility in corporate HR, but rarely can we point to organizations where it works great. Why? No, it’s not about technology. It’s about the same thing college athletes are facing. I thought I signed up for “X” and I got here and it’s “Y”, but oh, hey, great, I see “Y” over there in that department, let me move!?

Well, sorry, you can’t move, at least, not right now. First, you need to stay here for a year, and perform great, and get your boss to like you, and… “But, I just want to move over there and be great!?” Yeah, no.

It leads to the question, why don’t we allow employees to post and move jobs whenever they want? You hired them believing they would be great. They show up and almost immediately determine that the position they have isn’t right for them, but another one is. If you hired them believing they would be great, we should let them go be great, without waiting, right?

It’s messy. Like the transfer portal. Messy isn’t always wrong, it’s just messy as we work through it and figure it all out. The reality is, overall, the number is way lower than we think.

Finding Qualified Diverse Talent is NOT Your Issue!

During 2020, I’ve spoken to a lot of leaders who are concerned with their diversity recruiting. Every single one of them will say something like, “Tim, we just can’t find the ‘qualified’ diverse talent we need!” Sound familiar? Feel familiar?

I’m not a diversity recruiting strategy expert. I leave that to my friend, Torin Ellis. I do think I’ve got a bit of knowledge when it comes to overall recruiting, though.

When I break down the response I get from most leaders, regarding diversity recruitment I usually have one cringe, and one response. “Qualified?” What do you mean by that? I hear it as, you can find plenty of diverse folks interested in coming to work for you, but none of them, or few of them, are actually qualified to work for you. Is that how you read/hear that?

It makes me cringe a bit because what you’re actually saying is we don’t have a supply problem, we have a training and development problem, but you don’t even realize that. You could have your perfect diverse mix of employees if you just invested a bit in training and developing these great hired into great employees. But, you don’t see the value in that, which makes me think you probably don’t see the value in a diverse workforce, to begin with.

What I actually say to them is this, “You don’t have a diversity recruiting problem. You have a diversity pay problem because finding diverse “qualified” talent is easy. Finding ones that will accept your job, culture, location, and/or average to low pay is really hard!” 

Finding talent has never been easier in the history of humanity. We have more technology and tools than ever before. Finding is easy. Recruiting is hard..

Successful recruiting takes some skill. A success recruiter will find the “qualified” diverse talent you are looking for and then they’ll do a few things:

  • They’ll get them interested first. They will make them feel desired and wanted by the organization. By the hiring manager. By the team. Being Desired is a powerful drug!
  • Next, they’ll discover what that talent actually desires in their career. Quickly, efficiently, like a sniper.
  • Then they’ll make a determination: 1. Are we going to meet those desires. or 2. We won’t meet those desires.
  • One, you obviously move on to screening, assessing, etc. Two, and you move on to giving something back to this person. “I can’t help you right now, but I’ve taken notes and if I have anything that ever comes close to meeting what you need, I’m going to contact you back.” 99% of recruiters will never say that to a potential candidate.

Honestly, about 25% of the time when you tell someone “I can’t help you, but…” they’ll actually state a desire to keep going. You taking the potential away will make some reveal they actually have an interest. Doesn’t mean you will still move forward, but it’s a nice outcome.

I can easily find you “qualified” diversity talent. Don’t think so, call me. I can find anyone. The problem we’ll run into is that some of that talent is rare and will cost a premium to get. It’s a simple economic proposition, you can buy talent or build talent. They each have their costs and benefits. I find most organizations claim they want to hire diverse talent, but aren’t doing what it will take to make it happen.

Breaking Down the 2020 @Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey with @Kris_Dunn and @KellyWLavin

(Project fans – sharing a podcast called The Best Hire Ever – this week I was on it with my buddy, Kris Dunn, and Jobvite’s Chief Talent Officer Kelly Lavin! Check it out!)

20 – Breaking Down the 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey – Kelly Lavin and Tim Sackett

In Episode 20 of BEST HIRE EVERKris Dunn breaks down the 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey from Jobvite with Kelly Lavin (SVP of Talent at Jobvite) and Tim Sackett. The survey is a leading piece of research on how recruiters are feeling and working annually, and this year’s release speaks volumes about how recruiters are feeling in the middle of COVID.  Serious stuff as well as recruiters use of IG and TikTok, as well as recruiter turn-offs when viewing candidates on social.

Please subscribe, rate, and review (Apple) and follow (Spotify) to get the latest delivered to you.  Click here if you don’t see the player below!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

2:40 – Kelly talks about her love for the HR Capitalist blog, etc. Kris wants to hear more. Tim doesn’t.

5:10 – Kelly breaks down the reason for the Recruiter Nation Survey – the reason for it, what is is and why it is important.

6:48 – KD talks about the survey size and the MARGIN OF ERROR – in a shoutout to an election year.

7:30 – The gang talks about the biggest downwards shifts in where recruiters are no longer spending their time and money during COVID (pipelining, time to hire, employer brand, candidate experience, and increasing retention rate). Wow. So much honesty in 2020.

13:55 – The gang talks about the upwards shifts in time spent and investment (managing layoffs and diversity hiring).  Kelly, KD, and Tim wonder why the focus on diversity hiring didn’t trend upward more.  Lots of honesty in the report from recruiters.

17:45 – Kelly, Tim, and Kris talk about what the survey says about video interviewing and where recruiters think candidates struggle with video interviews.  95% of recruiters think they are good at viewing interviewing. Tim thinks most of the recruiters think they are good at it because they’ve never been on the candidate side in a video interview.  Kelly breaks down the issues with eye contact in a video interview.

24:30 – Tim talks about where recruiters are spending their time via the survey – social media and LinkedIn. Tim hates it. He rightfully points to the candidate database and referrals as where the hires are.

25:55 – KD mocks the uptick in the use of Instagram and TikTok for recruiter purposes. Kelly learns about how KD gets the best TikTok videos in next to no time spent.  Kelly and Tim lead a real conversation about how TikTok might be used in a smart way by TA teams.

28:43 – KD leads a conversation from the survey results about the biggest “recruiter turnoffs” when viewing a candidate on social media (skin shots, use of pot, and of course – spelling errors. LOL).  Stalk much?

RESOURCES AND SHOW NOTES:

————Kelly Lavin, Jobvite and Tim Sackett

Kelly Lavin on Linkedin

Jobvite

The 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

————Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Boss Leadership Training Series

Kris Dunn on Twitter

Kris Dunn on Instagram

1 Free Job Posting from @LinkedIn if You Read This Post!

Pretty cool news coming out of LinkedIn this week! LinkedIn has made a few changes to help job seekers (#ImOpenToWork photo frames, Career Explorer, free skill courses, etc.) and also will be helping employers, especially SMBs, who need help connecting with this talent with FREE job posts! No, really, you don’t have to put a credit card or anything – no bait and switch!

Check out the video below…

How do we post that FREE job? 

Basically, if you’re a hiring manager, HR, TA, etc. and looking to hire, you just go and create a new job posting. You can find the job posting button by going to your main LinkedIn feed page, going to the upper right-hand corner, and clicking on “Work”. A drop down will show you a “Post a Job” button and you can click on that.

For SMBs who aren’t already using LinkedIn to post jobs, you will get one free job post to use. If you fill that job, you can post another. Basically, you get one free job to post at a time. If you are an enterprise LinkedIn user, you’ll get pushed into your account to post a job.

Once you add a job, you will be given the option to add the “Hiring” frame around your profile picture.

Check out this LinkedIn Blog post for additional details and links.

It’s pretty rare for an organization like LinkedIn to give away something so valuable for free! We know LinkedIn job postings work, we also know they can be quite expensive for SMBs to use.

I’m sure the cynics will say this is just another way LinkedIn is getting more people to use the platform and get addicted. Maybe! But, if it works, who cares! And, if it works and it’s free for an SMB to test, seriously, that’s a great thing! Take advantage!

Go post a job out on LinkedIn and then send me a note and let me know the results! I’m super interested to see how this works for everyone!

 

4 Things You Can Do to Get Candidates to Open Your Emails!

I found some cool data that probably got overlooked a while back from CB Insights. Now, this data is from 2016, but it’s super relevant!

CB Insights did some testing with their own email newsletter that went out to 175K+. A very big sample and the reality is they have the exact same goal as we all do, Get Candidates to Open Our Email!

These 4 things work really well in getting people to open your email:

1. Brand Names. CB found that using a big brand name like Apple, Google, Nike, etc. in your subject line increases your odds greatly of getting someone to open your email. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Tim, how the heck am I going to use a brand name in my recruiting emails!?” How about something like, “3 Ways we are a better place to work than Apple!”

2. Short TitlesLess is more when it comes to attention-grabbing subject lines! I suggest under 5 words if possible. “Are we paying too much?” or “I’ve Got a Quick Question” or “Sackett” – Yep, in my own testing, the one email that gets open at a higher rate than any other is when I only put my last name in the subject line!

3. Negativity. This seems counter-intuitive. No way! People love positivity. You are right, but negativity draws them in! “How Candidates Fall on their Face!” will get opened way more than “How Candidates Succeed!” Again, in ten years of blogging and making headlines, this data also rings true. I get way more interaction on negative headlines than positive headlines.

4. Surprises. Different viewpoints that people don’t expect. “Punching Your Boss Can Get You a Raise!” or “Older Workers Have More Energy Than Millennials!” or “Hiring Dumb People!” Basically, people open these because they don’t agree with the headline. What the heck is Tim talking about today!?!

So, if all of these things work. What does CB Insights say doesn’t work, in fact, what should we stop doing with our subject lines? 

  • All of the opposites of above! Long headlines, positive headlines, boring, etc.
  • Question Headlines. “What 3 Things Are You Doing to Hurt Your Brand!” While Buzzfeed has made billions with these clickbait headlines, CB found readers are getting fatigued with these types of headlines. (I will tell you “The X Things to do…” headlines still work in my world. 5 Ways to Hire More People! Will always do well.
  • Broad topics do worse than Niche. A headline that says “5 Ways to Attract More Talent” will do worse than “5 Ways to Attract More Nurses Right Now!”

The key to great email subject lines is they get opened! If you send out a hundred emails to candidates and no one opens them, it doesn’t matter what the content is and how much time you spent making it perfect. Get Them To Open Your Emails! Is the single most important thing you should worry about first!

It’s very Recruiting 101, and it’s something almost every recruiting shop struggles with, but then we go and focus on the picture we’re using. Does it have a puppy and a kid in a wheelchair? No, stop the presses! Stop it. Fix the basics first, then worry about doing the higher level stuff.

What is your most responsive email subject line?

@LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting Survey says the #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is… @LinkedInNews

I know you hate clickbait headlines, but they work, plus I know you want to know, so why give it away in the title! I mean I don’t get paid for my dashing looks and witty charm! Thank goodness!

LinkedIn launched its 2020 Future of Recruiting survey results today and it’s one of my favorite content pieces to comment on. Click through the link to download it for yourself, it’s packed with interesting data around talent acquisition and recruiting!

The #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is…Adaptability!

Did you guess that? I didn’t. I think I could have probably could have had 50 guesses on not got that one. Here are the others:

Fastest growing skills for recruiters in 2020:

● Personal Development +44%

● Diversity & Inclusion +42%

● Talent Pipelining +37%

● Decision-Making +34%

● HR Strategy +30%

Okay, I can see personal development being high on the list, since 2020 has brought a lot of quality time working in remote settings and high unemployment numbers for recruiting pros, I think most people have been thinking about their personal and professional development.

I actually would have guessed D&I would have been #1. 2020 will be remembered for a few things – Covid, Social Justice, and the U.S. finally getting a sane person in the White House. So, from a talent acquisition perspective, I would have guessed diversity and inclusion recruiting to be the top priority.

HR Strategy actually makes zero sense to me! So, you’re in talent acquisition and your most needed skill is HR Strategy? Quite frankly, it makes you question the results overall. How could that be? Talent Pipelining? Yep! HR Strategy? Nope! But, it’s 2020, weird times.

Another big eye-opening stat from the report:

70% say Virtual Recruiting will become the new standard!

Okay, this one will take some explaining and background. First, what do you mean by “virtual recruiting”? So, for this data, that basically means, the process we have for recruiting can be done virtually. Sourcing, video interviewing, online assessments, etc., can all be done virtually, so I guess, yes, in that case, “virtual recruiting” is the new standard.

But, honestly, most of that stuff was already fairly standard.

I think the bigger aspect is Recruiters believing they’ll continue to be virtual/remote after Covid. I think Covid has shown organizations that in a pinch, yep, recruiting can be done virtually. But, every organization will have to truly decide is it better or the same as before, or possibly worse?

I’ve spoken to a number of F500 executives who aren’t super keen on remote recruiting because the relationships with hiring managers are worse, synergies amongst the TA team aren’t as robust, and brainstorming around testing and how to improve seem weaker in remote settings. Some of that can be improved, but it still comes down to leader perception.

We’ve been automating recruiting since the first Caveman needed a new assistant to track dinosaur migration patterns, so the fact that we’ll continue to automate and be able to recruit from anywhere in a mostly Saas environment should not be surprising to anyone.

Go download the new report. Some really good stuff around TA budgets and everyone’s favorite new topic, Internal Mobility, as well.