I Don’t Always Use Recruiters, but When I Do… (I use Tim Sackett!)

I love those old Dos Equis commercials “The Most Interesting Man in the World” where the most interesting man says, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis.” It’s great marketing that doesn’t seem to get old.  It actually ended in 2018, but it’s become part of our vernacular.

It got me to thinking as well. I started my HR career in recruiting working for the company I’m now running, so in a sense, I’ve come full circle. I started recruiting right out of college for HRU Technical Resources, doing technical contracts. It’s a tough recruiting gig but pays very well if you’re good.

When I left my first job, and the third party recruiting industry, to take my first corporate HR job. I left with a chip on my shoulder that armed me with such great recruiting skills that I thought, I would NEVER, I mean NEVER use a recruiting firm to do any of my recruiting. WHY WOULD I?  I mean I had the skills, I had the know-how and I would save my company a ton of money by just doing it on our own.

So, I spent 10 years in corporate HR before returning to HRU in 2009, and you know what? I was young and naïve in my thinking about never using recruiting agencies. It’s not just about having the skills and know-how; it’s much bigger than that. I worked for three different large, enterprise-sized companies, in three different industries in executive recruitment type roles and in each case, I found situations where I was reaching out to some great third-party recruiters for some assistance!

So, why did I change my philosophy on using recruiting agencies?  A few of the reasons I ran into in corporate HR…

1. Having Skill and Know-How only works if you also have the time.  Sometimes in corporate gigs, you just don’t have the capacity to get as deep into the search as you would like with all the hats you have to wear as a corporate HR pro.

2. Corporate HR positions don’t give you the luxury of building a talent pipeline in specific skill sets, the same way that search pros can build over time. As a corporate HR pro, I was responsible for all skill sets in my organization. Niche search pros can outperform most corporate HR pros on most searches, most of the time. It’s a function of time and network.

3. Many corporate executive teams don’t believe their own HR staffs have the ability to outperform professional recruiters, primarily because we (corporate HR pros) have never given them a reason to think differently about this. Thus, we are “forced” to use search pros for searches where executives like to get involved.

4. Most corporations are not willing to invest in the model and tech stack (people, technology and process) that puts themselves on a higher playing field than professional recruiting organizations. I would estimate only 1% of corporations have made this investment currently and more are not rushing out to follow suit.  Again, this comes from corporate HR not having the ability to show the CFO/CEO the ROI on making this change to have the best talent in the industry you compete in. So, the best talent gets sourced by recruiting pros and corporations pay for it.

I didn’t always use recruiting agencies, but when I did I made sure I got talent I couldn’t get on my own in the time and space I was allotted in my given circumstances.  When I talk to corporate HR pros now, and I hear in their voice that “failure” of having to use a recruiting agency and I get it! I get the fact of what they are facing in their own corporate environments.  It’s not failure, it’s life in corporate America and it’s hard to change.

Stay thirsty my friends…

When in Doubt, Hiring Attractive People Usually Works Out!

The first time I wrote that in a post, it was 2012 with a post called, “Hire More Beautiful People!“. In 2014, it was, “Do Managers Have a Bias for Hiring Attractive People!” (Spoiler Alert – Yes!) In 2016, I doubled down as the science continued to tell us, pretty people, make the best employees with, “Pretty People Make the Best Employees!”  In 2018, it was “The One Big Problem with Being Pretty!

All of them pre-Internet outrage wars. So, the fall out was minimal. A few ruffled feathers from some ugly folks, but all in all, people believe science! That’s hard for the extra-libs! They want to kill Trump for not believing science, but then it’s hard for them to kill me when I’m using science.

So, here we are in 2019, the height of #outrage culture and Business Insider feed my obsession to write about the Attractiveness Bias in hiring with, “11 Scientific Reasons Why Attractive People Are More Successful in Life!” I love science!

I think I write about our need to hire attractive people so much because it’s right there in our face and yet no one wants to admit to it! You see, I was raised a red-headed stepchild. I know what it’s like to not be attractive and lose out in life to some idiot who looks like Brad Pitt. To me, it might be the biggest travesty of our time!

So, what does “science” tell us about being attractive (remember – this is science, it’s not me!):

Since I’ve been writing about this concept of “Hiring Pretty” I haven’t really changed my position. When in doubt, hire an attractive one!

It’s a bit fascinating to me that there is so much research about this topic. But, like me, I think dorky smart people, who most of us wouldn’t consider attractive, are trying to prove all of this wrong, but we can’t! Those damn pretty people still keep coming out on top! It’s like they have pretty privilege.

There is one giant reason most people don’t get upset by this concept of “hire pretty”. For the most part, we all think we’re fairly attractive! Not all the time, but at our best, when our game is flowing great, we look in the mirror and go “yeah, I’d hit that!” Come on! Be honest! You believe that!

I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a hotel room getting ready to go down and speak and look in the mirror and think, “yep, they’re about to get destroyed by you, beautiful bastard!” Then, sixty minutes later, I see pictures of myself on social media and I look like a troll! A f@cking TROLL!

Every time I’ve ever struggled with getting a hiring manager to actually make a decision to hire, and they just won’t, I know the problem. I haven’t given them someone pretty enough to hire! Once I find an attractive candidate, they always pull the trigger and make the hire. It’s science, we can’t stop it.

So, kill me in the comments. I’m just sharing our reality that we continue to ignore. We love to hire pretty!

Amazon just got 200,000+ Applications and That is a Giant Problem!

You probably saw the headline from Amazon: “Hiring 30,000!” Let’s face it, Amazon is a rocketship. Have you seen the Amazon vans coming down your street? I’m 100% sure the “Amazon Guy” who drives the van in our neighborhood stops by our house about 250% more times then the mailperson stops by our house!

I’m not actually surprised they have 30,000 openings, but I am surprised that they only got 200,000 applications!

The headline is from Business Insider and they’re mostly professional journalist thinking that when they write the headline everyone will be wowed by the big number, but in reality, that number is scary low! Do the quick math 200,000/30,000 = 6.6 applications per position.

Also, we (Talent Pros) know the reality. For positions that Amazon has no trouble filling, they probably got 600 applications per positions and for the ones they are having trouble filling they got zero or one, and that one wasn’t even close to being qualified!

I’m not sure exactly what Amazon’s applicant funnel looks like but if the top of the funnel only has 6 applicants, that’s a problem! A giant problem! The big question is how many applicants does Amazon need to fill 30,000 currently open, or anticipated open positions. If Amazon has 30,000 positions to fill, right now, how many applicants would they have to plow through to fill those jobs?

This is where the rubber hits the road with your Talent Strategy. There are a number of factors:

  • What’s the average pay per position?
  • Can we group these positions into various categories to better understand how long the process will take?
  • How many are skilled vs. unskilled vs. semi-skilled vs. white-collar?
  • What are the locations?
  • How fast do these need to be filled?
  • How picky are your hiring managers?
  • What’s our comp strategy? Trailing, leading, etc.?

Let’s just throw out some numbers assuming the average pay is around $15/hr. Probably low for many of the openings they are filling, but I’m also assuming the vast majority are warehouse, drivers, service level type roles. Scattered all over the country, but most white-collar positions will be in highly competitive markets.

Let’s say you need at least 20 applicants on average per position. That would mean at a minimum they will need around 600,000. But, there is a massive turnover of those lower-level positions, plus Amazon is known to have a demanding work culture that tends to push folks out even quicker, so you would probably need at least double that to around 1.2 million applications to fill 30,000 openings.

That means, in the real world, Amazon’s TA team is probably right now having a panic attack! A panic attack of being around 1 million applications short to fill 30,000 positions, and that’s not even considering current turn and churn of their giant employee base already, plus who knows what Bezos and the team have cooked up for future growth.

The numbers are staggering, but at scale this the job. It’s just a funnel whether you’re filling 30,000 or 30. You better know how many applications you need on the topside to ensure you get the hires at the end!

College Students Have No Idea You Want to Recruit Them!

For part of my career, I did the standard corporate college recruiting gig. It sounds “super-cool” when you first think about it. “Wait, I get to fly around the country and go the best college campuses and recruit people who actually want to be recruited?!”

The reality is college recruiting as a corporate recruiter is much less sexy. Think a lot of Courtyard Marriotts, a pizza, and a six-pack, while you watch crapping hotel TV and follow up on work email. Then wake up early and get to the next campus. You quickly begin to hate travel, hate college campuses and miss actually being in the office!

But, corporations believe they must be on campus to recruit the best and brightest college students. Here where the problem begins. College students don’t even know you’re there! A recent study by Walker Sands found out that the majority of college students don’t even know you were on campus:

Walker Sands’ new Perceptions of Consulting Careers study, 56 percent of college students don’t even know if consulting firms recruit at their school. On top of that, 82 percent feel that major firms only recruit from a limited group of select universities.
Okay, this study focused on consulting firms, but the reality is the students don’t really know the difference between Deloitte and Dell when it comes to getting a job!
What can you do to make your company stand out and be remembered while you’re on campus? Try these five things:
1. Develop a Pre-visit communication strategy. Work with the schools you want to recruit from most to find out how you can get your message in front of them (email, text, the student newspaper, geo-targeted social media campaign, billboards on campus, etc.). Each school has a way to reach every student, you need to find out what that is, and how you can tap into that, even it costs a little money.
2. Come in early and take over classes in the majors you’re most interested in. Professors are like most people, they don’t want to work hard if they don’t have to. So, if you build 45 minutes of great content, most Professors will let you ‘guest’ lecture as long as it’s not one big sales pitch. Come up with great contact professors will find valuable for their students, then go deliver it the day before the major career fair. Then invite each class to come see you.
3. Make a splash in high traffic areas on the day of your visit. College kids haven’t changed much, they like free food and drink, free stuff, basically anything free! So, find the highest traffic area on campus and give away free stuff college kids will like. If you’re only interested in one specific school within the university, find out where those students hang out.
4. Stay a day later after everyone else leaves. Whether it’s the day after or even another time altogether, find a time to be on campus when you don’t have any competition to getting your message out. 99% of employers only show up on career fair day. Stand out and be the employer that is there when no one else is!
5. Post-visit communication strategy. Most organizations never contact the students who show interest in them after they leave campus.  They’ll contact a handful of the ones who stood out to them, but so is every other employer. Recruiting kids after you leave is more important than the time you spend on campus. Most kids will see 20+ employers and will only remember a couple. If you stalk them after the fact, they’ll remember you!

McDonald’s Is Showing Us the Future of Recruiting!

Mikey D’s announced this week that they purchased an Artificial Intelligence speech recognition company. Why? Well, quite simply the vast majority of interactions that happen between McDonald’s and it’s customers happen through the drive-thru speaker. So, if you want to save money. Become more efficient. Make fewer errors. etc. You need to find a way to add technology into that equation.

“Yeah, um, well, I’d like a #3 with a large fry and large diet, and an extra McChicken with no mayo, what? No, you can’t have an apple pie, I also need a kids meal with apple slices, the cheeseburger one, with no cheese, ketchup only, did you get my large drink on the first order? Oh, I need an extra ranch as well, and I’ve got a coupon for a free large sandwich.” 

So, welcome to the show A.I.!

Here’s the thing, if McDonald’s new AI software can figure out these orders and get them right, we recruiters are in trouble!

I wasn’t making fun of the order above, I think that’s my actual order! That is complex language to have to figure out and sort through and respond to. If they can have a chatbot take your order and answer your questions, they will be able to figure out how to eliminate a real human in having screening conversations and most low-level skilled interviews.

“Oh, AI will never replace recruiters, Tim!” 

Why?

Because AI can’t have complex conversations? Maybe at this moment, but that is changing quickly. Because AI can’t correctly judge and have bias like a real person? Well, turns out that’s a positive for inclusive hiring. Because AI can’t select the best talent out of many candidates? Yeah, it already does a better job at that than humans.

So, it basically comes down to AI can’t build relationships.

AI is super good, way better than humans, at doing transactional stuff really well. Candidate applies for a job. AI takes them through the process. The candidate gets hired. That can happen today.

Person, not yet a candidate, might be a good fit for your job, but they have a job and are happy with the job they have. They could probably, through a great marketing process, actually get interested in your job, but it’s going to take some real person to person interaction to get them truly interested and leave that job for a new job.

This is where AI will struggle, but that is only about 20% of hiring. So, almost 80% of hiring, theoretically, today, isn’t too far away from having AI take it over and be more efficient and less costly.

Technology starts on the consumer side of the world. “How do we use AI to sell hamburgers to customers?” Once that gets figured out, it’s pretty a very easy transition to “How do we sell this job to a candidate?”

Words matter! If you want more gender diversity in your applicants!

New data study released by LinkedIn this week titled “Language Matters Gender Diversity Report” has some awesome insight to how the words we use in job descriptions and job postings have a dramatic impact to who actually applies to jobs. We’ve known some of this for a while, but the LinkedIn data is very robust and compelling at a new level.

Some highlights from the report:

– Women are 16% less likely to apply to a job after viewing it than men.

– Research shows that when words like “aggressive” are used in a job description to describe a company’s workplace, 44% of women (and 33% of men) would be discouraged from applying.

– 25% of women would be discouraged from working somewhere described as “demanding”.

– 61% of women associate the term “soft skills” as a female-gender preferred role vs. 52% for men.

– Women are 4 times more likely to want to be perceived as ‘collaborative’ in the workplace.

So, how do you put all of this into practice?

The reality is the words we choose, thinking these words are going to get us the dynamic talent we desire, might actually be hurting our ability to get the dynamic, gender-inclusive talent we desire. There are a number of technologies on the market currently that can help with the wording (Textio is probably the most known).

The data is very clear, the language you use on your job postings and job descriptions will attract or detract certain people from applying. Want to give yourself a chance to get more females to apply, use phrases like “soft skills” or “collaborative” as a desired skill set you’re looking for. Don’t use words like “aggressive” and “demanding” or you’re more likely to get fewer females to apply, and there are a whole host of these types of words.

If you can’t afford the technology that will help you catch this language, I would ask for help from females in your organization (not necessarily in HR) to give you feedback around language and suggestions for things that would get them to be more likely to apply. I find most employees welcome the chance to give TA and HR feedback about our work! 😉

What we know is cutting and pasting the same job description you’ve used since 2004 isn’t working or helping. Most job descriptions, even today, are written in a male-dominated voice that discourages females from applying. It’s very hard to read and see, but the data is screaming at us that it’s a problem that we aren’t paying attention to. We all (male, female, non-binary, etc.) all write in a male-dominated voice because that’s how we’ve been trained to write. That’s what we read. So, it’s natural for us. It’s unnatural for us to change it. Welcome to bias in hiring.

 

@ZipRecruiter Launches a New Product to Help Get Candidates Recruited by You!

I’ve been trying to tell people for the past year or so that you shouldn’t be sleeping on ZipRecruiter. They have quietly been working on their tech with their heads down and they might currently be the best value recruiting product on the planet that no one is really talking about.

Well, yesterday they launched another product enhancement that is an AI-based matching technology to help candidates get recruited by organizations. Check it out:

The company’s AI-powered matching technology now instantly presents strong-fit potential candidates to hiring managers who post a job on ZipRecruiter. Employers can signal their interest with a single click, and ZipRecruiter connects the two sides to fast-track the hiring process.

“The number one job seeker complaint is applying to jobs and hearing nothing back,” said Ian Siegel, ZipRecruiter Co-Founder and CEO. “We’ve flipped the process on its head by letting employers initiate first contact. Job seekers can, of course, still apply to jobs, but now employers have the option to, in effect, apply to job seekers.” 

The product debuted in early April. During that month, 624,000 job seekers received outreach from employers, contributing to a 13% month-over-month increase in hires* across ZipRecruiter.

Here’s what Zip has figured out. The single most powerful recruiting tool any organization has is its ability to make candidates feel wanted. Sure they can make more candidates apply to your jobs, but what candidates really want is for you to want them. That’s a powerful attraction component that we miss when all we think about is getting more applies.

Having AI reach out and match candidates and give your recruiters the ability with one touch to show interest will deliver a highly engaged candidate that matches the needs of the position. With really very little effort on your teams part to get it all started.

Good, solid candidates, the kind that doesn’t need to apply to jobs, want to be wanted. We all want to be wanted.

Now, this might sound like recruiting 101, but the sad fact is most corporate recruiting, especially for SMBs, is just post and pray. Post a job on a site like Zip and pray someone will apply. This doesn’t work when there are over 6 million jobs out there for candidates to apply to! We have to show candidates we are interested in them and ZipRecruiter has created a technology that will make this simple and efficient.

Take a look and check it out, well worth a demo. ZipRecruiter is very inexpensive to test, so there’s really no reason not to.

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

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

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

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

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

– Connecting Employee Experience and Candidate Experience

– Next generation Talent Analytics

– Increasing Conversion Ratios of Career site Visitors

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

– Enabling and Sustaining Your RM Strategy

– Activating Talent Communities at Scale

Plus so much more!

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

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

 

Recruiter Roundtable with Loxo CEO Matt Chambers and I!

In this discussion, Loxo CEO, Matt Chambers, and I discuss trends in recruiting that is here to stay, and how modern recruiters will need to evolve to address these changes.

 

Question 1: What do you see as the most impactful changes you’ve seen in the recruiting industry?

Tim’s Answer:

It continues to be the speed at which recruiting is expected to find talent for openings. We’ve gotten to a point where hiring managers have this expectation where you’ll start showing them candidates in a matter of hours, not days or weeks. All of this is driven by technology.

Matt’s Answer:  

Let’s start macro and work our way down to share why these changes are happening.

A generational transformation is underway.  Baby Boomers are retiring, millennials are taking over their leadership roles, and Generation Z is entering the workforce as the first digitally native generation.  This generational transformation is hitting at the same time that the web 3.0 is emerging and we are going to cross a tipping point to broader market adoption.

Unemployment is at an all-time low, and we are also on the longest bull run in history.  A tight labor market magnified lazy hiring practices which relied exclusively on job board postings. Ineffective hiring and subpar results created a robust demand for recruiting agencies and passive recruiting solutions.   Today talent acquisition is strategic; having top recruiters either in-house or as recruiting partners is a major competitive advantage.  We are starting to see a hybrid RPO boots on the ground model becoming very popular.

Executive search, staffing, RPO, and recruiting agencies are facing pressure to find ways to differentiate. Five years ago, the biggest changes were happening on the corporate side, but now executive search, RPO, and recruiting agencies are playing catch up.  It’s a lot of energy and effort for an organization to change software solutions and to consider new approaches to recruiting.  It also can take a year or more for an organization to switch out and upgrade their technology, so those who wait risk putting themselves out of business to modern recruiting practices that just have too significant an advantage.

Matt’s Thoughts on Tim’s Answer:

Hiring managers are being sandwiched by both technology innovation on the vendor/supply side but also from their C-levels measuring progress via KPI metrics.  I think Tim and I would both agree that quality of hire is the most important metric, but as he said to be successful in today’s world you have to get the job done fast or someone else will be there to beat you to it. 

Tim’s Thoughts on Matt’s Answer

As much as we see recruiting evolving and changing, it’s still out on the edges for the most part. The most used recruiting strategy across all functions, markets, and industries is still “Post and Pray”. Post a job, pray someone will apply. While we see the leading edge of recruiting at an advanced stage, it’s still mostly in the minority. One issue, especially on the corporate side, is recruiting is still part of HR and HR hates to recruit. So, they’ll do almost anything else besides picking up a phone and reaching out to a potential hire.

The growth of RPO is a straight-line direct reflection of this failure. Organizational leadership is giving up on recruiting at a colossal level because CHROs can’t figure out how to fix recruiting and make it work, so let’s just shop it out to experts. The reality is, you’re not shopping it out to experts, you’re shopping it out to 25-year-olds working in call centers who are paid to call candidates. That is now your employment brand, a 25-year-old who probably have never been to one of your locations and knows nothing about you.

It’s not a hit on RPO, they are hired to find talent and fill a position, and they need to do that as efficiently as they can to produce a profit. Turns out, many do a great job at that, but many organizations give up too easily instead of just fixing the core issue. Talent Acquisition is not HR. It can’t be run like HR, or it will keep failing.  

 

Question 2: Process-wise, where do you see recruiters putting in the most effort into moving forward?

Tim’s Answer:

I would love to tell you it would be quality over speed, but I fear it’s still going to be speed. For me this isn’t either/or, it’s both. Yes, I want you to find me talent fast, and, yes, I want you to find me great talent. Far too often, in most shops, recruiters turn this into one or the other. It doesn’t have to be that way. But, that takes a really great process, supported by great tech, supported by high expectations and performance management. BTW – it also costs money!

Matt’s Answer:

At the very top of the funnel. 

Executive search firms and internal talent acquisition teams are focusing most of their effort at the very top of the funnel.   Relying exclusively on job boards for “sourcing” is lazy and results in the lowest quality, yet still remains the primary way most organizations (and even most staffing agencies) recruit.

We have crossed the tipping point, and it is no longer cost-effective to source manually, when there are superior sourcing options on the market that can programmatically deliver an extremely high-quality talent pipeline at a fraction of the cost. 

To give you a concrete example, Loxo AI™ helps our customers build extremely high-quality talent pools.  It removes 90% of the hours spent sourcing by recommending only the very best people for each open position.  This is automated.  Why would you have a dedicated sourcing team when you could have this? Solutions like Loxo AI™ are gaining popularity as more recruiting organizations learn about them and realize how big of a game changer it is to their productivity.

The largest recruiting organizations have started to invest in building their own in-house technology systems.  I think almost everyone except these organizations realizes this is a catastrophic mistake that will lead down a black-hole.  The pace of technological innovation in the open market is 100x faster, so the tens of millions of dollars of investment will cost these organizations a decade of lost opportunity cost.

Corporate recruiters are relentlessly testing and trying new solutions, but often have to figure out workarounds or even pay out of pocket due to the slow and bureaucratic nature of big enterprise. As a compromise, I think you are starting to see market forces demanding open API integrations so their recruiters can use best of breed solutions rather than being forced to use these monolithic systems that put the recruiter’s needs last.  Recruiters will select and choose solutions that they want to use and that solve their problem, even as big enterprise struggle to keep up with the pace of innovation and global regulatory environment.

Matt’s Thoughts on Tim’s Answer:

Spot on –it’s always about the time, quality, cost tradeoff!

The Project Management Triangle is one of the most important constraint models in business operations. Clients always want it faster, better, AND cheaper and service providers always have to remind them that we can do two at once, but you Mr. or Ms. client select the two you want and we’ll adjust accordingly.  Technology innovation in a fully optimized system is the only thing that can improve all three at the same time, but technology will only get you so far so if you don’t have exceptional leaders, process, and people.  If you do you can achieve better quality hires faster than ever before. 

Tim’s Thoughts on Matt’s Answer

Totally agree with you, Matt. Although, I don’t see corporate recruiters “relentlessly testing and trying new solutions”, I would encourage them that they should. They should be demoing and looking at new tech at least once per month. It has to be a priority or the function just falls too far behind, too fast.

I do think as we see more and more of the top of the funnel be automated the real value of recruiters comes back to can you influence the decision of a candidate to believe that the position you have open is right for their career path? Can you get them to say, “Yes!”? That only happens when they trust you and believe that you have their best interest at heart. That takes expert-level relationship building at scale and speed.

 

Question 3: Where do you think the biggest opportunity is for recruiters to drive more value?

Tim’s Answer:

Click over here to finish reading this interview! Matt and I went back and forth for a few more questions!  (FYI – I get asked this A LOT – Loxo is our ATS and it’s awesome! Also, Individual Recruiters you can sign up use Loxo for FREE! Give it a try.) 

6 Reasons Your Organization is Failing at Recruiting

I’m out in San Francisco this week teaching a class on Talent Acquisition to some great Pros and Leaders who are doing all they can to learn more and help their organization succeed. The class is part of the process for SHRM’s Specialty Credential in Talent Acquisition.  Part of the process is two days of deep learning with an ‘expert’ instructor in-person or virtually. Apparently, the expert instructor got hit by a bus, so they tapped me on the shoulder!

The course is designed for corporate HR pros and leaders who want to get better at TA. This is modern material, designed to help individuals begin to build out a modern recruiting practice. It helps build a foundation in the right way on what best practice organizations are doing in their TA shops right now.

I love spending time with HR and TA pros who just want to learn and get better. Who want to help their organizations be better. It might be one of the funniest things I do all year! At the same time, it might be one of the most frustrating because I see and feel their struggles!

What I find is almost all organizations fail at recruiting for basically the same reasons. Here are those reasons:

1. We fail in recruiting because we are trying to be like everyone else and afraid to stand out from the other competitors for talent in our market. Yes, this is mostly employment branding and recruitment marketing, but it speaks to basic risk aversion we struggle to overcome in traditional HR. What I find is most c-suite executives welcome this risk, but no one is giving them options.

2. We are flat out not persistent enough going after the talent we want. Great recruiting is about pursuing great talent. I married way above my pay grade! The only reason I was able to land my wife was that I didn’t give up. We all want to be wanted. Most corporate HR and TA pros give up on pursuing talent because they initially say they aren’t interested. That should just get us going!

3. We aren’t letting potential candidates know who we really are. Guess what, when you come here you’re going to have to work and we don’t allow you to have pet pigs. Sorry. I mean, we’ll still have fun, challenging work and we’ll support the heck out of your development, but this isn’t a playground, this is a business. If that sounds like you, we will love you and you will love us! It’s okay to help some talent self-select out of coming to work for you. I don’t want to attract every candidate. I want to attract candidates who want us and we want them!

4. We hear your advice, but we just suck at actually executing it because we are busy. Too busy to get better. I hear all the time from leaders that they would love to do all this cool stuff, but they just don’t have the time. So, I ask, are you successful? No, we are broken. So, you would rather stay broken then fix your shop? Well, we still have to keep doing what we are doing. No, you don’t. You can stop. That is an actual option if you let everyone know you have a plan and this is the plan to finally get fixed!

5. We fail because we don’t fully believe we are responsible. Ouch, that one hurts me, because I’ve actually been fully in that position. Someone finally gave me the title but somehow I felt like I still wasn’t really in control. Turns out, I was, but if I wasn’t going to take control, others above me were going to, since someone had to. Ugh. Once I took control, everyone around me and above me gave me full support.

6. We haven’t figured out how to use our network for good. I’ve been royally screwed by people that I networked with, only to watch them f@ck me over and take (Hi! Z.A., you prick!). Yes, this happens. I’ve also reached heights in my career that would never be possible if I didn’t have all of you helping me along the way. I see way too many pros scared that if they share, especially locally in their market, someone will steal their great ideas and secret sauce. So, they don’t and they miss out on so much good in the world! Go share, exchange ideas, and keep doing it, especially with those who reciprocate!

To my first SHRM TA Credential SFO class – go out into the world and do better recruiting! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me when you need a little help!