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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

True or False: Corporate Recruiters Fear Agency Recruiters?

True or False?  It’s a common belief, in most Talent and HR circles, that most corporate recruiters fear agency recruiters.  Go ahead and argue if you would like, but it seems a little silly.

The reality is, true recruiting professionals don’t fear amateurs.

It’s like a really great professional Photographer. They charge money because they offer something someone is willing to pay for. Professional photographers don’t fear the mom at the soccer game with her $2,000 dollar camera and $5,000 dollar lens. Who cares that you have the equipment if you don’t know how to use it!? Pros don’t fear amateurs.

So, if you are a really good corporate recruiter who knows how to really recruit and source talent, agency recruiters don’t scare you, because you know your stuff! That’s the problem, though, right? The reason so many people feel the title of this post is true is because we all know so many corporate recruiters, who really don’t know how to recruit. They aren’t pros, they’re amateurs. Amateurs fear professionals when it comes to meeting head to head in competition.

The best professionals love it when a talented amateur tries to play at their level. These types of individuals help to push both parties to do the best work they can. Or, at least, they should! A great agency recruiter should push an average corporate recruiter to want to get better. An amateur agency recruiter will starve, that’s why you only see amateurs in the agency ranks for a very short period of time. If they aren’t good, they don’t eat! That is why on average, agency recruiters tend to have more recruiting skills than corporate recruiters. Agency folks aren’t full salary. How they are compensated forces them to have better skills, on average, of they are out of job.

So, how do corporate recruiters ensure they become professionals? Well, I love Malcolm Gladwell, so I’ll steal a little of his 10,000-hour concept (and go ahead and tell me it’s B.S. – I don’t care, I like it and I’ve seen it work). You must make yourself a true recruiting professional!  You need to invest time and development in yourself, in the recruiting industry, to become a pro. That means as a corporate recruiter, you focus on recruiting, not becoming an HR Pros. What?! Most corporate recruiters are corporate recruiters because that’s their path to get into a straight HR position. Their endgame is not recruiting, it’s HR. That’s a problem because they are not fully vested in the recruiting game. This is an amateur move.

The reality is, those who get promoted are usually professional at something. Become a great recruiting pro and the powers-that-be will take notice, and you’ll find yourself in positions you never thought possible. True professionals don’t worry about promotions, they worry about becoming a better pro at their craft.

The next time you start feeling yourself pushed by an agency recruiter, don’t curse them for what they do, embrace them for what they push you to become — a better recruiter!

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…

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!

Sure! I can give you my “Free” staffing firm option!

I’ve gotten a chance to work both sides of the fence for an extended period of time in the Talent Acquisition/Recruiting/Staffing game. For ten years I ran corporate talent acquisition shops for some very large organizations.  One organization spent over $3M annually on staffing agency fees! Obviously, prior to my getting there!

I’ve spent almost fifteen years on the agency side, sandwiched in between my corporate experience. What I’ve learned along the way is that there isn’t a “free” option when it comes to hiring great talent.

Frequently, I get asked from clients for discounts to my fees on the agency side.  I get that. When I was on the corporate side, I would never take an agency’s first offer.  Here’s the main problem with all of this:

Corporate talent acquisition pros don’t want any of it. They don’t your 20% direct fee, they don’t want your retained plan, they don’t want your RPO plan. What they want is Free. A free option.

Therein lies everything you need to know about staffing agencies and corporate talent acquisition.  One side wants free. One side needs to get paid.

The reality is, even staffing on your own on the corporate side isn’t free.  Corporate talent acquisition done right has a ton of costs. Recruitment tools, automation, branding, job boards, applicant tracking, college strategy, recruiter training, and hiring, etc. None of that is free.

All of this, though, should be screaming to the agency folks that something isn’t right.  What corporate talent acquisition pros are saying is “we don’t like the options we are getting from agencies”.  This should be of serious concern because there are companies trying to design other options for corporate talent acquisition pros.  Options where they’ll feel like they are getting the value they want.

These options aren’t free, either, but they are less than all of the traditional options that 99% of staffing agencies are offering.

When I was on the corporate TA side of the desk, here was my decision matrix to when I would use a staffing agency.

This matrix made me feel good about my decision to use an agency:

1. Does my team have the capacity to do this search? If Yes, why would I pay to have this done? If No, the cost is justifiable.

2. Does the agency offer me recruitment expertise and/or pipeline I don’t have on my team?  See #1 for Yes and No options.

3. Is it financially feasible for me to add more capacity to my team, as compared to an agency option? This one took some more work. If I had a need for an agency to fill, let’s say, three positions and it was going to cost me $100K, well, obviously I could hire a pretty good recruiter for $100K. But, would I need that Recruiter in year 2, 3, etc.? Adding headcount isn’t a one time cost for an organization.

Ultimately, for me on the corporate side, it was almost always a capacity issue.  I had the expertise, but we had bubbles of work I needed extra support with.  Too often, I see corporate TA leaders upset over agency spend and it’s based on the fact they don’t have good recruiters on their team, yet they’re unwilling to change this fact. I’ll pay for additional short term capacity. I won’t pay for expertise I should have on my team every day. That becomes my issue!

Corporate TA leaders become frustrated over agency spend because ultimately it’s a reflection on the team they have created.

@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.

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.) 

Through the Eyes of the Hiring Manager

On Wednesday I was sitting on The Talent Fix Book Club webcast with one of my Recruiting Managers, Zach Jensen, and Zach made the comment that great recruiters do something a bit different, they look at applications and resumes through “the eyes of the hiring manager”. It’s a brilliant piece of advice, but what does it mean!?

New, or lesser experienced, recruiters look at candidates like a checklist:

  • Do they meet the minimum qualifications? Check.
  • Can they work when we need them to work? Check.
  • Will they fit the compensation band we have for the position? Check.
  • Are they interested in our company? Check.

Get enough checks and you send this candidate over to the hiring manager.

The hiring manager receives this candidate and immediately looks at this person completely different from the recruiter who was checking boxes. The hiring manager will look at the candidate and immediately think, can this person do the job I have, and do it well? Will this person fit into my team? Do I think I can manage this person? Will this person be challenged by my position, or will they be bored? Is this person better than me or someone on my team? Does this person make me/us better? Etc.

Great recruiters have enough of a relationship with their hiring managers that they are less concerned with checking boxes, and more concerned about these questions that are in the hiring manager’s head. They want to have those answers, so when the hiring manager asks, “What do you think?” What they will respond with is not checked boxes, but strategic explanations that help the hiring manager make a decision.

It’s a transition we usually see happen around year 3 with our recruiters. Checking boxes isn’t all bad, it’s how we all start. The reality is we don’t know much, so we have to go on something. Some, though, never make the transition. They just think recruiting is about checking boxes.

It’s the one reason I’m not concerned about ‘technology’ taking my job, and why the best recruiters I speak with aren’t concerned either. In fact, they welcome it. Technology will eliminate box checkers. A.I. can check boxes faster and better than you or I. A.I. can’t get into the head of a hiring manager and know what she really needs for her team. I can. Zach can.

Great recruiting happens when you build relationships with your hiring managers where they trust you know what they are really looking for. How do you get that? Mostly time and consistency. Keep showing up. Show them you have some interest in helping them improve their talent. Be persistently annoying. Rinse. Repeat.