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!

It’s Okay to Tell Your Critics to Suck It!

In the corporate world, everyone is a critic!  Everyone!  We’ve gotten really good at a learned behavior. No longer can we send out a final product the first time. Why?  Because everyone wants to trash it and change it so it can be this really nice piece of vanilla crap!  Welcome to Corporate America. But you know what, this isn’t new, critics have been around since Jesus and critics have been wrong since before Jesus!

I wanted to share with you some famous things that critics got wrong:

Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, by Ludwig van Beethoven (1824)

What the critics said in 1825: “We find Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to be precisely one hour and five minutes long; a frightful period indeed, which puts the muscles and lungs of the band, and the patience of the audience to a severe trial…” –The Harmonicon, London, April 1825

Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville (1851)

And the critics’ response: When Melville died in 1891, Moby-Dickhad moved a grand total of 3,715 copies…in 40 years! The below was typical at the time of the book’s release:

“…an ill-compounded mixture of romance and matter-of-fact. The idea of a connected and collected story has obviously visited and abandoned its writer again and again in the course of composition…Our author must be henceforth numbered in the company of the incorrigibles who occasionally tantalize us with indications of genius, while they constantly summon us to endure monstrosities, carelessnesses, and other such harassing manifestations of bad taste as daring or disordered ingenuity can devise…” -Henry F. Chorley, London Athenaeum, October 25, 1851

 

Animal Farm, by George Orwell (1945)

What the critics said about the book we all had to read in high school: “It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.” –Publisher’s rejection

 

Here’s what I know, true creativity and innovation in what we do, does not come from running our ideas through everyone and their brother for approval.  If your organization wants your employees to be truly creative and innovative, stop pushing teams.

 

Teams don’t make masterpieces, they can do some pretty cool stuff, but pure creativity isn’t one of them.  We push “Team” so hard in HR and in most organizations it sometimes makes you think like this the only way everyone in the world must work, but it’s not.  An HR Pro that can determine the proper work structure throughout their organization is truly valuable and “team” isn’t always the answer. We should have other tools in our toolbox besides just ‘teams’.

 

You hear artist all the time say “I don’t listen to my critics”. This is valuable in that they know listening to a critic will hurt their art.  Unfortunately, in business, we don’t always have the ability/decision to not listen to our critics (since those critics could be bosses, peers, friends, etc.).

 

In business telling your critics to “Suck It” could be a big career derailer!

 

So, when do we go all “Suck It! It’s my project” in the workplace?   First, I wouldn’t suggest you approach it, beginning with “Suck It”. While you will get their attention, I think we all have the ability in our work environment to push back appropriately when you truly know you have something that will make a difference.  But, it’s about having the conviction to stand behind it and not let it get changed.  That’s your marker, “am I willing to put my career/credibility/bank of influence on the line for this idea/project/etc.?” If you are, it’s time to pull out the “Suck It” card and push forward.  For most of us, this might never happen in our work lives, maybe once, but it’s rare.

 

I think what we learn over time is that not all of our critics are bad and some actually might help truly make us better.  The key is to continue to have confidence in what you do, without it, your work critics will make your work life less than artistic.

Finally! A Plan for Employee Smoke Breaks that Works!

I’ve long been very outspoken about how I hate employee smoke breaks. I don’t smoke and I don’t get a paid hour each day to just stand outside and slowly kill myself! I do love diet Mt. Dew! Can I stand outside, get paid, do zero work, and just drink my diet Mt. Dew? Of course not, I would be fired!

Finally, a company came up with a plan to solve the employee smoke break dilemma. A Japanese company (smoking is huge in Japan) decided to reward non-smokers with paid time off! From the article:

Piala, a marketing firm based out of Tokyo, begun offering its non-smoking employees extra paid days after an employee complained that colleagues who take breaks throughout the day to smoke often end up working less…Piala began offering the days-off incentive in September, at which point the company employed about 120 people, of which more than three dozen were smokers. Since then, four have quit smoking, Matsushima said.

I LOVE this!

This works because it’s not negative to those who smoke. Go ahead and keep smoking, good for you! But, if you don’t smoke, we’ll give you an extra 6 paid days off per year. It encourages some folks to quit, become more healthy, and get a benefit.

Plus, it solves the time away from work issue for those who don’t smoke. Non-smokers, because they don’t take smoke breaks, potentially have the ability to work more time and it’s easy to see how this is unfair to those workers who choose to not smoke.

Smokers cost employers more money, that’s a proven fact. The health insurance increase alone is giant, but also you have the issue of non-productive, paid breaks. Paying the extra six days to non-smoker employees is fair, and the hope is you’ll entice your smokers to give it up to get the extra time off.

This is great HR.

Thinking outside the box, doing something differently, to turn a negative into a positive, and allow your employees to still have a choice. It’s really hard to make that happen, but I love this forward-thinking plan.

So, what do you think? Would your organization be open to doing something similar? What stands in your way?

It’s International Women’s Day! Is Your CEO Female? #ReferHer #BalanceForBetter #IWD2019

6% of CEOs in the S&P 100 are female. 50.8% of the population is female.

I’m not super at math, but that seems like a disconnect, right?

Today is International Women’s Day and a young lady (Tatiana Hollander-Ho) reached out to me this week. She’s an entry level marketing pro for The Ladders, 2018 grad from NYU and she said, “Hey, you have a passion around women in the workplace and I want to get this #ReferHer going and make a difference. Can you help?” (FYI – go connect with her – she’s going to be a great one in our industry!)

I can do what I do, which is write about and socialize it and support it! #ReferHer is an awesome idea. We need to refer more women to leadership positions, period.

I’m not one of these dudes who just goes out and flies the female flag because it’s the politically correct thing to do. I’m also not one that buys into the bullshit studies that say “Female CEOs return better financial returns!” – those are bad studies with flawed data – you can’t run a regression on companies run by women and the financial performance and call that good data.

There might be a correlation, but there is absolutely no causation. If you believe in those studies, you also believe in the study that says if your name is Mike and you’re over six foot and you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you will have higher financial returns than anyone else, not named Mike. Those two studies say the exact same thing.

That’s the problem, right!? You see it, right!? You can’t just throw out garbage and expect smart people not to get it and just blindly support females. The opposite actually happens. Smart people see that and go, that’s not what that says, so now I don’t buy any of it. Smart people – both women and men.

I’ve worked for great women. Strong women who are great leaders. These women, in my opinion, had many traits that most of the male leaders I’ve worked for didn’t have. In most cases, these traits made them leaders employees wanted to follow, not forced to follow.

We have this awful bias that says white dudes over six feet make better leaders. It’s literally been drilled into us for 100 years. Look at the Presidents all the way up to Obama and after. White dudes over six foot have nothing buy stature. We are betting that the trait of stature is the most important thing for running a high functioning organization. It’s insanity, right?

The reality is we can solve this. We can. Not overnight, but little by little.

It starts with flooding your leadership ranks with women. That means we have to give opportunities to women to move into leadership in ways we haven’t before. We have to develop Women Leadership Councils in our organizations who can tap on the shoulders of female employees and invite them in and mentor them into leadership roles. We have to purposeful about doing this. It won’t happen organically, we’ve been waiting for a hundred years for it to happen organically.

So, how do you start?

It’s super simple!

Step 1 – Tell your c-suite you are starting a Women’s Leadership Council in your organization and you need their support. 100% will give their support because if they don’t the backlash would be tremendous.

Step 2– Be inclusive, not exclusive. If a woman in your organization shows any sign of potential leadership you pull them into your council.

Step 3– Focus on hard leadership skills, not soft skills. Give them the inside information around how the company makes money or doesn’t make money. Show them how to budget and write a budget. Teach them how to performance manage. Show them how to balance themselves for great success. Show them how to support each other in this drive upward.

Step 4 – Make your C-suite come, present, participate, and watch. They need to see your smart females in action.

Step 5 – Draft your high potential leader internal mobility charts and scoreboard it publicly within the c-suite. Tell them the minimum goal is 50/50. Show it to them monthly.

Step 6 – Make female leadership goals/hires part of your c-suite annual bonus. At least 30%.

It can be done. This isn’t hard. But it has to be purposeful.

Check out LinkedIn’s Gender Insights Report as well it’s loaded with great information on helping solve this problem!

The 1 Thing You Need to Do to Get the Job You Always Wanted!

Last week I got a call from an old work friend. He wanted to have lunch.  He just left a position and was in transition.  Not a bad or negative job loss, just parted ways.  When you get to a certain executive point in your career, it’s rare that bad terminations take place. It’s usually, “hey, we like you, but we really want to go another direction, and we know you don’t want to go that direction, so let’s just shake hands and call it a day, here’s a big fat check.”

Executives get this.  For the most part, there aren’t hard feelings, like when you were young and lost a job. I usually find that the organization the person is leaving from are super complimentary, and usually takes the blame for the change.  Executives in corporate America are like NFL coaches. You get hired with the understanding that one day you’ll be fired.  It’s not that you know less, or aren’t going to be successful in your career, it’s just that the organization needs change, and you’re part of that change.

Welcome to the show, kid.

My friend decided that he was going to find his next position not through posting for positions online, or trolling corporate career pages, he was going to have lunches.  About two per week, with past work friends. Let’s connect, no pressure, we already know each other and I want to catch up.

You see, in 2019 you don’t find great jobs by filling out applications in ATSs and uploading your resume to Indeed. You get great jobs because of the relationships and personal capital you’ve built up over your career.  Having lunch and reconnecting turn on a relationship machine. I believe that people, innately, want to help other people. When a friend comes to you with a situation, and you have something to offer or help, you will do that.

The problem is most people who are looking for great jobs don’t do this. They lock themselves in their home office and apply to a thousand jobs online and get upset when nothing happens. Great jobs aren’t filled by ATSs and corporate recruiters.  Great jobs are filled through relationships. Every single one of them.

Want to find a great job in 2019?

Go out to lunch.

Want to make more money? Do what your spouse does!

I rarely find a person who believes they don’t want to make more money. “No, I’m fine Tim, no more money for me! I make $75,000 per year and you know what that one study says, it’s all I need to be happy!”

Good for you pal. I prescribe to different study that says if you make $175,000 per year, you’ll be happier than at $75,000, and if you make $1,750,000 you’ll be so much more happier than at $75,000 per year you’ll actually hire two people making $75,000 per year to tell you how much happier you are!

A recent study out of Princeton shows that if you want to make more money all you really need to do is be in the same profession as your spouse!

“Individuals who work in the same occupation as their spouse have significantly higher earnings on average than similar people whose spouses work in different occupations. For instance, a lawyer married to a lawyer makes more than an otherwise identical lawyer married to a physician or a teacher. The earnings effect associated with such “same-occupation marriages” is negative for less-educated men but positive for other groups and stronger for women than men.” 

So, let’s unpack this concept a bit:

  • I can understand that if I worked in the same job as my wife, let’s say we are both teachers. We would be a bit competitive (editors note: my wife and I, and our kids, are super competitors!) in our careers. We would both strive to be the best teacher with the most awards and education, continuing to push each other to reach the highest levels.

So, the concept makes sense so far.

  • I could also assume that two people in the same profession, let’s say doctors, would also be more willing and able to start their own business in that profession. It’s hard to hang your own shingle, but two of you and now you have a practice!

I really struggle to find how this doesn’t work in most cases. When I worked at Applebee’s we constantly had partner teams and it was rare that either partner failed. If your partner worked in your same profession, you constantly have this close person to share your pain, frustrations, celebrations, etc., with someone who truly understands!

All of this is predicated on finding a spouse that loves to do what you love to do, professionally.

Did this study just uncover a hidden secret to successful relationships? I’m not sure, but it makes sense that if you love what you do and find a partner who also loves that same thing, and you are both pushing each other to be successful, and because of that you both earn more money, well then, that relationship at least has a chance!

What do you think? Could you do what your significant other does? Would you like if they did what you did?

My top 5 most read posts of 2018!

I love lists! I love lists when I’m on them. I love lists when I make them. Lists are great!

I had an incredible year. I had the most traffic ever in my decade of blogging. I launched my book, The Talent Fix, in April and the traffic to the blog has been exceptional! I’ve got some great stuff planned for 2019, so please keep coming back and enjoying the content.

Here are my most read blog posts of 2018:

#1 – My New Favorite Interview Question!

This one post was read by over 70,000 people, and I didn’t expect it to actually do this well. Interview question posts always do well. For some reason people Google “Interview questions” a ton, both on the candidate side and the hiring manager/HR side. Want some easy clicks? Write a post on interview questions!

#2 – I’m in Indeed Jail, Help me! #FreeTimSackett

Yeah, my co-dependent relationship with Indeed got me into trouble in 2018, and it all started with this post. I wrote another post later in the year – Indeed takes away free traffic from Staffing firms! Which also got a ton of traffic, and I thought was pretty ‘fair and balanced’ from the Indeed side.

#3 – The Reason You’re Being Ghosted After an Interview

Like I said above, interview content tends to be popular! In 2018 we saw a ton of ghosting happening on both sides of the fence. Companies are ghosting candidates and candidates are ghosting companies, and apparently we have all lost our minds! I mean come on, treat others like you want to be treated!

#4 – The Top 100 Applicant Tracking Systems in 2018!

Hat tip to my buddy Rob Kelly, this was actually mostly based on his content, which I sited and love! Turns out most of us have issues with our ATS systems and we love seeing what everyone else is using, because it must be better than what we are using! BTW- we started using Loxo in 2018 and LOVE it!

#5 – Lifesaving Advice I Gave My Son When Someone Starts Shooting Up his School!

This one breaks my heart. This post was directly from my heart, shouting out to the world, as a father, for help. A lot of people agreed with it, and yet, here we are basically in the exact same place.

The 2018 Emerging Jobs Report is Here!

LinkedIn released their 2018 Emerging Jobs Report today and as always it’s packed full of some great information that speaks to where we see the world of Recruiting today, but also what we need to keep our eye for the future! 

So, what stood out in the latest report? First and foremost it’s what jobs are hot this year to last – 

So, I think we’ve all been hearing all of this A.I. and Blockchain stuff. The reality is, we aren’t really talking about true A.I., it’s Machine Learning (ML) and we’ve seen giant increases in the needs for these skills. 

Out of the top 15 emerging jobs (those jobs growing the fastest on LinkedIn) 6 of those were related to ML, Data, and Blockchain. That’s significant in terms of the products and technology that are being built by companies for the future. 

What else did we learn? 

While the report is designed to make us believe it’s all about Tech hiring, it’s not really all about tech hiring! 

  • Sales Executives
  • Recruiters
  • Realtors 
  • Account Executives (another title for sales)
  • Administrative Assistants 

Were all super high on the list as well. What does that mean? Well, those really aren’t emerging or growing jobs, it’s more about who’s living, searching, and spending time on LinkedIn. That might not be the patronage that LI really wants long term for the health of the site, in terms of your normal mix. 

The largest skills gap is still good old fashion oral communications! 

Again, I’m not sure how much of this is truly a skills gap and how much of that coming up in the data is just a function of the types of roles people are trying to recruit for on LI. If the report shows that all of these A.I., Blockchain, and Data jobs are what’s truly hot, oral communication wouldn’t be the most critical thing in those roles. 

But, oral communication is definitely a skill that is in short supply for most professions, and much needed by most professions outside of tech, like sales type roles. 

Machine Learning is definitely a skill set that employers are begging for. I reached out to my buddy and Recruiting savant, Steve Levy, just the other day as we had a search for a client demanding 10 years of ML experience. I was like, I don’t even remember ML being used as a term ten years ago! 

Steve confirmed, it most likely wasn’t. We did find some mention from 2009, but that was about it. So, the hysteria is real. Entry level position, five years of experience! 

I was surprised not to see Autonomous vehicle knowledge on there as this is another skill set we see companies begging for and we are constantly helping our clients in these searches. It’s not just about cars. It’s about delivery vehicles, mass transit, freight hauling, garbage trucks, etc. If it moves people or things, it’s going autonomous eventually. 

Check out the report. It’s great read at the end of the year as you’re preparing for recruiting plans for 2019! 

Gen Z HR Pros!! Are you ready to blog or vlog? I want you to join me!

So, this summer my son, Cameron, and I started up this series on my blog called, “Career Confessions of Gen Z”. He did an awesome job finding his voice and creating compelling content that was coming straight from the mouth of Gen Z, and not some old washed up blogger, like me, who claimed to know what Gen Z was all about.

I loved it! The audience loved it!

He went back to school, got busy doing school stuff and Career Confessions just sat there.

Another crazy thing happens in HR blogging. If you look at most HR Bloggers, the vast majority are Gen X, older Millennials, some Baby Boomers. So very few are actual Millennials and almost zero are Gen Z. While our executives still like to believe all young employees are still Millennials, we know in HR that Gen Z is the newest generation we need to pay attention to entering our workforces.

So, Gen Z HR and Talent Pros – I need you! 

What’s the gig?

HR and/or Talent Blogger for The Project – specifically under the “Career Confessions of Gen Z” series.

How much do you have to write?

Once per month, every 4-5 weeks. Each post would be anywhere from 400-800-ish words, or a video-blog (vlog) 3-5 minutes. The initial project is for 12 months, so if you get invited to join the team, you’ll be asked to write 12 posts in 12 months.

What can you write or speak about?

Anything work or career-related, as long as it’s interesting or entertaining or educational, and hopefully a combination of all three!

Can I do this anonymously? 

Hell no! Why would you?! This is your big break and a big platform – let yourself shine!

What do I get for doing this?

Fame mostly. I mean micro-fame, but it’s still fame. You might get invited to attend some HR or Recruiting conferences for free. We can be friends if you’re not super annoying. I’ll tell people you’re awesome. If I find a sponsor for the series I’ll split the cash with you.

How can I apply? 

Simple. Send me a writing sample of what you would do on the blog. Don’t suck. Have an opinion. Don’t tell me you first have to run it by legal for approval. Send that sample to: timsackett@comcast.net or just Venmo me $1000 and consider yourself 100% on the team! (jk – don’t do that) Deadline for submissions is December 19th – that’s 2 weeks! So, get going! Invitations will go out on or before January 3rd for those selected to join the team!

HR and TA Leaders – Recruitment Marketing and Employment Branding leaders – this is a great stretch assignment for the Gen Zers on your team for 2019! Send this to them and get them to submit!

I’m looking forward to reading your work!

Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @Indeed takes Away Free Traffic to Staffing firms!

Today on The Weekly Dose I dig into Indeed’s recent announcement to stop scraping the jobs from staffing companies. If you didn’t hear Indeed announced as the Staffing World conference that beginning January 7, 2019, they would no longer include “recruitment-based” jobs in their organic search results due to ongoing search quality issues (link to the official Indeed Policy on Recruitment-based companies).

I was able to talk directly to Paul D’Arcy, the SVP of Marketing for Indeed, about this decision. Paul was refreshingly frank about the announcement. Here are some of the things that came out of that conversation:

Think of the jobs Indeed posts on its site in four type of buckets:

#1 – Organic Jobs listed on Corporate websites scraped by Indeed

#2 – Promoted Jobs listed by corporate TA teams willing to pay to get those jobs to show up higher in the search results

#3 – Organic Jobs listed on Staffing Industry websites scraped by Indeed

#4 – Promoted Jobs listed by staffing firms (recruitment-based organizations – in Indeed’s wording) willing to pay to those jobs to show up higher in the search results

Of those 4 kinds of jobs, three out of the four have very similar rates of candidates getting hired. One of those types doesn’t do well at all because of a number of factors. Basically, Organic staffing jobs that Indeed has been scraping do very poorly. “Analysis shows that impacted jobs represent approximately 5% of applies but just 2% of hires on Indeed.”

So, the decision is made, by Indeed’s Search Quality team, to no longer scrape staffing jobs.

THIS IS SUPER UNFAIR TO STAFFING FIRMS!!! (I hear a collective 3 trillion dollar industry shout!)

Is it?

No one on the planet has lit up Indeed worse than me over some of their practices! (Hi, Todd!) I’ve been in Indeed Jail since early 2018 when they first shut off my free organic traffic. But, let’s be real, Indeed isn’t saying they won’t work with staffing firms or kicking staffing firms out. In fact, every single product Indeed sells is still available for staffing firms to use. They just aren’t giving you anything for free anymore, and that stings a bunch.

It’s like that first time the crack dealer tells you that you have to pay for the next hit! It sucks, and then you hand over some money.

Indeed understands the optics of this, according to D’Arcy, and they also know this will take some work to repair some relationships within the staffing industry. The fact is, staffing companies have been making millions of dollars off of free traffic from Indeed and it hurts to lose that!

The reality is, we (staffing) basically did this to ourselves. No not you! It was always the other guy! There was location spamming, posting ‘evergreen’ jobs that you would never fill, etc. Like most good things in recruiting, the staffing world found ways to exploit it and Indeed is shutting that down.

It’s D’Arcy’s hope that Indeed will find a way to begin bringing back some of the ‘real’ staffing jobs that out there. Think of contract and temporary jobs. Indeed corporate clients will be impacted if those jobs aren’t filled, as many now rely a great deal on their contingent workforce for large parts of what they do. Those are real jobs, that real candidates, will want to apply for and Indeed just took those away from candidates. They do realize this and they are trying to come up with a way to bring the real jobs back, without opening up the bad jobs again.

This is just Indeed making a move into the staffing world!

Wouldn’t be a bad business move, let’s be honest! I would do it, so would you, but Indeed is telling me this isn’t part of the strategy behind making this decision. Take it at face value, some will believe it, some won’t. The reality is Indeed is making hundreds of millions of dollars off staffing firms as clients right now, and for years have also been working in the staffing industry simultaneously, so I’m not sure it really makes that big of a difference, short term.

What does this mean for staffing firms!?!?! 

If you want to keep making hires on Indeed, you’re going to have to start paying up! Indeed’s short-term revenue will increase because of this decision because most staffing firms will initially just fork over some money to keep the faucet on. Eventually, they’ll find our avenues to find candidates. Optimize their postings for Google Jobs and the traffic and hires will come from others sites and sources.

You might decide to start testing other tools like LinkedIn Recruiter, CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, ZipRecruiter, Programmatic job postings, maybe even pick up the phone, build a recruitment marketing machine, grab some sourcing technology, etc. Staffing firms don’t know this yet, but the reality is not relying on one tool so heavily is a blessing in disguise for your longterm success.

One piece of good news from Indeed is they’ll still allow staffing firms to use their paid resume database product.

What does this mean if you’re in Corporate TA? 

The hope will be you’ll actually see more traffic to your jobs, but understand that Google is no longer indexing Indeed’s job pages, so traffic has been going down and will continue to go down unless Indeed buys that traffic through marketing efforts. What does that mean? You’re probably going to be paying a lot more for the same or less traffic.

Now, with less staffing firm jobs clogging up the search results the hope is that you’ll see more candidates, faster to your jobs that are scrapped as part of your organic Indeed feed, and potentially even better results using Indeed’s job promotion products.

What do I think?

From someone who has been living in Indeed Jail for almost a year, you’ll survive. It’s not fun losing your free organic traffic, but you’ll figure it out and you’ll be a stronger recruiting shop in the end.

I think Indeed really screwed up by announcing this without first figuring out the contract/temp/consultant jobs. The contingent workforce is the fastest growing segment of the labor market, and someone at Indeed completely dropped the ball. I’ll blame Matthew in search quality because that’s kind of the inside joke at Indeed, if a client is pissed, blame search quality. But, my hope is Paul and the team will stick by their word and figure out a way to get those jobs back on Indeed for candidates.

I’m not sure this was a wise business move, really by Indeed. You never want to wake a sleeping giant. The staffing industry has been a sleeping giant over the past decade ($3 Trillion). Fat on Indeed free traffic and LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, the normal staffing recruiter today is not the staffing recruiter of a decade ago. Indeed just kicked them awake to see if they wanted to pay the check or go find somewhere else to spend their money. Some will go elsewhere.

I also know that Indeed produces results, so many of us, myself included, will continue to use them and pay for the products that work, but it won’t stop me from continuing to test everything and figure out how to lessen my team’s reliance on any one product. That’s just good recruiting strategy for both corporate and staffing leaders.


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