Want to be more competitive in this candidate market?

Of course, you do! It’s one of the only things people want to talk about right now. How the heck can we hire more people, our competition is killing us for talent?! Then ten minutes later I talk to their competition and they say the exact same thing!

So, I’m going to tell you what a state government is doing to find talent, and most of you will say you can’t do this! By the way, state governments and federal governments are historically awful at hiring! Like the worse in any industry awful! They put tons of unnecessary rules and processes in place that make it almost impossible to hire, and then to fix it they create more rules and processes!

The State of Maryland, though, just broke ranks in government hiring and announced that they will be dropping educational requirements for many jobs that used to require various degrees!

“As an alternative qualification, Maryland will seek out  “STARs” (Skilled Through Alternative Routes) — those who are “age 25 or older, active in the labor force, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and have developed their skills through alternative routes such as community college, apprenticeships, military service, boot camps, and most commonly, on-the-job.”  

Okay, first, as HR pros, can we realize how funny it is that a state government HR office actually named their new hiring process (STARs) when since forever the most popular behavioral interview process is called “STAR”!? Only in government would you see something like this happen! “Hey, we need to come up with a cool/hip acronym for this new program! Let’s call it STARs!? No one has ever used that before in HR!”

Okay, enough making fun of our peers in Maryland, because this idea makes 110% sense and that is completely against the norm in government hiring and it should be celebrated! Also, thank you to all the tech companies that started doing this five years ago and showed big hiring entities, like governments, that education might be the most over-valued criteria in candidate selection!

Seriously, this is big news! If the great state of Maryland can change in such a major way so can your stupid hiring managers who are demanding degrees for positions that actually don’t need them! I mean, we should be screaming this from the highest hills! Someone actually has common sense in Maryland government! That is no small feat, for a government or a company!

If you are finding it super hard to find qualified talent and using degrees as criteria, eliminating this requirement could really open up your candidate pool, and without losing any quality! It’s called having the right skills to do the job, not a random four-year degree that is almost useless for that job you have open.

Don’t take this as I think education is worthless. I don’t! I love people going through formal education. I will force my three sons to get degrees. Yes, I said force. That’s how highly I value education in my household. So, I do not take the elimination of degrees lightly. I also have seen the light in my own company, as I use to require degrees and stopped and found amazingly talented people that were intelligent and had great learning agility and could perform as well or better than similar folks with degrees.

I also will never allow my family to get surgery from someone who doesn’t have a medical degree! Education still matters in many fields, but it also has no correlation to performance in most professions. So, like Maryland, we adjust and try new things. I think Maryland made the right decision and I really like where this trend is heading for so many people!

How to Not Suck at Recruiting

If you ask people who are recruiters that work in an agency, RPO, or corporate TA, 90% would say “they” (meaning the organization they work for) don’t suck at recruiting. But, if you asked them about whether another organization sucks at recruiting, a much higher percentage would say others suck. Not surprisingly, you get this with most functions – IT, Finance, Sales, Marketing, etc.

We all love to believe we are awesome and others suck. At least they suck as compared to us!

If you ask a CEO if their recruiting sucks, way too many say “yes”. Now, there are a couple of reasons for this. First, they have no idea how to recruit or what’s being done in recruiting in their own barns. Two, CEOs usually come from a function within the business, and 99.99% of the time, that wasn’t recruiting! So, if you ask a CEO who came out of Sales if their Sales function sucks, absolutely they would say it does not suck! There’s a little functional bias at play with all of us, no matter our level.

I got a very simple question the other day from a webcast I did over at SHRM titled, Recruiting 2022: How Not To Suck! (just kidding – it was called “Recruiting 2022: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times) and you can see it on demand, it got a very strong reaction. That mostly speaks to how hard recruiting is right now. The question? “Tim, I’m brand spanking new to recruiting, out of HR, and I have no idea what I’m doing. How can I not suck!?”

How to Not Suck at Recruiting, a Primer

  • Sell! Sell yourself, sell your organization, sell your jobs, sell your hiring managers, sell the dream! Your stuff might not be what everyone wants, but someone does want it. You just have to sell it to those people.
  • Advertise the crap out of your jobs. We buy stuff not because we need it, we buy it because the power of advertising makes us believe we need it. Job advertising works in the same way. The grass is greener at your place!
  • Make candidates feel wanted. Respond to them. Pursue them. Tell them they are wanted, until you don’t want them, and then be honest enough to tell them that.
  • Don’t allow your hiring managers to F around. If they aren’t doing what you need, let them recruit on their own and tell them that’s what is happening. If they want to take that to people up the chain, welcome the opportunity to tell your executives what’s really happening in recruiting.
  • Use any recruiting technology you have to it’s fullest. It’s the only way you’ll know what you don’t have, what you need, and what you desire. Using your ATS 60% of the way, tells you nothing about whether it sucks or not.

At the end of the day, recruiting is about getting people in front of hiring managers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a hiring manager to interview a 60% of the way candidate that they ended up hiring and that person was amazing. Of course, that’s not ideal, but that’s reality. Find good people, who have skills, and want to work, and make hiring managers talk to them.

Almost every organization is a market recruiting organization. Meaning, you are only going to attract talent within your market who is looking to move. Unicorn brands can blend markets and pull from anywhere. You are not a unicorn brand. Remote helps, but it’s not perfect. You can find just as many crappy people in another state willing to work remotely as you find in your own market. I like to start hyper-local and slowly move out.

What I find is that recruiting functions that suck are ones that have given up. They think they have nothing to offer, that no one wants to work for them, etc. I never find an engagement recruiter or recruiting team that sucks. They might not have super high skill, but they are doing everything they can with high energy and hope, and so often that is enough to be average!

It’s hard out there right now. You have an entire global recruiting community will to support you and help. Keep the faith. Keep smiling. Know at any moment of any day in recruiting, you have the power to change someone’s life for the better!

It’s Harder to be a Corporate Recruiter than an Agency Recruiter, Today!

And in this corner, weighing at 185 and standing 6 feet 1 inch, from Shrimp Taco Capital of the World, Mr. Corporate Recruiter! And in this corner weighing in at, “wait, what? what do you mean she won’t give us her weight?” Weighing in at the same weight she was the day she got married, and standing 5 feet, 6 inches with heels, from City of Night Lights, Ms. Agency Recruiter!

It’s been an argument that is as old as the profession. Who is better? Who has the tougher job? Etc.

For the most part, it’s an easy breakdown. Corporate recruiting folks, on average, do far more inbound recruiting, than outbound recruiting. Agency folks do far more outbound recruiting than inbound recruiting. Corporate folks have way more meetings and politics. Agency folks have to way more ass-kissing, but get to do way more actual recruiting. Corporate folks do way more administering of the recruiting process. Agency folks do way more contacting of candidates.

All that being said…

Corporate Recruiters Have a More Difficult Job, Today!

Why?

Basically, in today’s market of ultra-low unemployment and way too many open jobs, corporate recruiters are put in a no-win, highly stressful situation. Yep, they get paid salary and very little performance pay, but they are being forced to perform right now, so that big salary is really meaningless when your quality of life sucks!

Let’s breakdown all the reasons:

  • Corporate C-suites are pushing their TA teams over the edge. The c-suite thinks their TA teams suck, but really have no data to support it except for all the open jobs. But when you take a look at what those same TA teams did in 2019 vs. today, in almost all cases they are performing better. But, hey, the job isn’t getting done so let’s bash them over the head with extreme pressure.
  • Corporate recruiters can’t go tell a hiring manager who sucks to just f’off. Oh, you want me to find you someone but your JD sucks, you won’t give me feedback, you won’t give me interview times, and you throw me under the bus in board meetings! Agency recruiters won’t tell you to f’off, but they’ll just not work on your awful opening. Espeically right now when 99% of companies have needs and there is always someone better to work with.
  • Corporate recruiters have been conditioned and trained to do mostly inbound recruiting and for decades it’s actually worked okay. That is what made the job so desirable! Oh, hey, I get paid full salary and great benefits and I just have to post jobs and wait for someone to apply!? Yes! Sign me up! Inbound recruiting, by itself, is not working very well right now. Corporate recruiters are being forced to do heavy lifting and work longer hours. All the while, without the tools and training they need to be successful.
  • Corporate TA teams have worked for decades under this notion from our finance team that every year we should be able to reduce our budgets. Than we have a hiring crisis and some dumb corporate Accountant in finance who thinks they know everything says you can have 10% more to “help” out. When in reality you’re probably closer to around 300% underfunded to actually make it work. Agency folks are historically cheap, but they spend money when they can get the business! And they can turn that around over night!
  • This one stings a little, many Corporate Recruiters didn’t actually take the Corporate Recruiting job because they love to recruit. They took it because they love to administer a recruiting process. Those are two very different things, but now they are being forced t recruit. That sucks. If you took a job that you loved and now someone changed that job, that sucks.

All of this leads to the fact that being an Agency Recruiter, today, is a better job than most Corporate Recruiting jobs. Agency Recruiters have far less stress. There is still stress, but not like corporate. Agency recruiters can pick and choose, way more than corporate, on the openings they work and focus on. The commission stress that agency recruiting gets a bad rap for, isn’t really an issue, today, because everyone is so busy.

Do you agree or disagree? Give me your reasons in the comments!

 3 Communication Mistakes That Make Recruiters Look Like Fools

There are a lot of things we can do as recruiters to make ourselves look like fools. Most of them deal with the way we communicate with candidates and the hiring managers we support. Many of the communication mistakes we make also are from our lack of experience, as you rarely see senior-level recruiters make as many communication mistakes as newer recruiters!

These are 3 of the biggest mistakes we make:

1. You lack understanding of the function you are recruiting for, and that lack of understanding comes across to both candidates and hiring managers in a way that makes you look foolish.

Part of this is a lack of understanding and part of it is your unwillingness to try and understand. What I find is if you’re reaching out and trying to understand the function you are recruiting for, those hiring managers will have much more respect for you. No one expects you to come in knowing what your business does by function, but they do expect you’ll dig in and find out.

2. You act like you know how to do the job you are recruiting for and that makes you look foolish.

Unless you did the job, you don’t know how to do the job. I’ve worked with Nurses and Engineers who have become recruiters, and they clearly knew how to do the job and did the job. But just because you know some buzzwords doesn’t mean you know the job. There are too many recruiters out there acting like they are experts in a job they never did, and they look foolish!

3. You don’t use the medium candidates or hiring managers want to communicate in and it makes you foolish.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen a recruiter force a candidate and/or a hiring manager to only communicate in a way they wanted to communicate. A candidate wants to connect via text, but you only want to use email. A hiring manager would prefer email, but you are forcing them into the ATS, etc. While neither the candidate nor the hiring manager will necessarily see you as foolish, you are foolish because you are missing an opportunity to make more connections and deeper connections by having a willingness to communicate across multiple mediums.

Here’s the thing, all of these are super easy fixes!

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to show interest in the functions you support, to ask questions, to get invited to team meetings, etc. The functions you support are actually waiting for you to get involved. They want you involved.

Instead of acting like you know everything, try acting like you know nothing to a candidate! It seems counterintuitive. “Well, if I act like I know nothing then they’ll think I’m an idiot!” No, they actually won’t. They don’t expect you to know anything about what they do, but when you act like you do by asking questions a hiring manager gave you that you don’t understand, well, it’s a back look. Just once try asking a question and then asking the candidate to explain it to you because you don’t really understand. You’re new to this position and trying to learn. Candidates are masters at teaching you what you don’t know!

Stop trying to use your positional power to get others to do things your way. The best recruiters on the planet have developed processes that allow them to work in a variety of ways depending on the needs of the candidates and the hiring managers. It’s a process run through data points, not steps. I need to gather certain things and as long I can get those things, the steps don’t really matter!

The Most Brilliant Talent Tips Condensed Into Tiny Sentences!

I wrote a book with a lot of words. One I discovered is that people love for you to have a book, but no one really wants to read 60,000 plus words. They want you to break it down to about 500. “Just tell me what I really need to know!”

Okay – Here you go:

  • Always give personal feedback to candidates you’ve interviewed but didn’t hire. 
  • Make every candidate believe you desire them until you don’t. 
  • Job advertising works. Programmatic Job Advertising works best. 
  • You don’t hire the best talent; you hire the best talent that applied to your jobs. 
  • If your team only uses 50% of your ATS, it’s not an ATS problem, it’s an adoption problem. (which means it’s a leadership problem) 
  • Measuring the recruiting funnel will give you far better results than measuring days to fill. 
  • Only hire Sourcers if you truly have recruiters willing to do outbound recruiting. 
  • 90% of your recruiting is inbound recruiting, but your hiring managers believe 50% of what you do is outbound recruiting. 
  • Your diversity hiring woes can be tied specifically to certain hiring managers, but we are too afraid to connect the dots politically. 
  • 99.99% of candidates will never accept a job without first talking to a real person. Call volume, in recruiting, matters. 
  • If your sourcing tech is failing, it’s not a failure of the tech, it’s your recruiters hate doing outbound recruiting. 
  • They key to being a great recruiter is getting someone who doesn’t know you to trust you with their career. 
  • A candidate will always respond to a hiring manager more than a recruiter on average. They’ll respond to the CEO of your company even more than a manager of a function.
  • On average, there are worse selection strategies than hiring the most pretty people you interview.
  • The most underutilized recruiting resource you have is your own database of clients.

What is your favorite tiny piece of talent advice? Put it in the comments, and I use it in my next book which will only be 2,000 words!

It’s Actually Easy to Hire the Greatest Talent! Here’s How!

If you had the best technology, the best recruiting talent, best assessment science, great hiring managers who were visionaries, charismatic, and engaged, if you led the market in total compensation and had amazing perks, then hiring the greatest talent in the world is simple.

The formula is simple. 

The hard part of hiring is doing it at scale when you don’t have all those advantages. 

General Motors is playing catch up with Tesla. Is Tesla better than GM? Hard question to answer because Tesla is making a fraction of the cars per year that GM is making. It’s actually way easier to make an expensive low volume automobile than to make a million competitively priced automobiles per year. Tesla sells to a tiny fraction of the world, the elite of the elite. GM sells to the masses and provides automobiles that way more people can afford. 

Building a hiring process for the masses is difficult.

You now bring in competition, and at that level, candidates have more choices, brands are harder to differentiate, etc. You now have to do “other” stuff to get candidates to accept your offer. Being the best, paying the most, having the best tools and products, and the best leaders make it super easy to hire the best.

So, what’s the use of even trying to hire great talent if we aren’t the best?

That’s the right question!

First, it’s easy to hire the greatest talent, but we f*ck it up constantly because we actually suck at knowing who the greatest talent is! We are actually exceptional at picking good talent that we really like. But we suck at actually knowing who’s the best and then hiring them.

This means, if you become exceptional at knowing who is the best, you can actually pick off some really great talent, because those with all the power, all the resources, get cocky. They don’t do all the work they could. Often they assume someone is the best, without really doing the work. There’s this weird corporate psychological thing that happens. Basically, the thought process is, “if I’m here, I must be great, so if I find someone who’s like me or better than me, they also must be great”.

The problem is, just because you work for an outlier brand has no correlation to the fact you’re great. You may be great, or you may have just won the job lottery.

So, what did we learn?

Hiring great talent is super easy. But, it’s also not.

Finally! Elon Musk Weighs In on America’s Birth Rate Crisis!

Say what you want about Elon Musk, he tends to be years ahead of the curve around what the world will want and need. I get it, he’s a polarizing figure, people either love him or hate him. I don’t own a Tesla, and I don’t really have the pull to want one, but I get the fascination. I get the fascination with building a company around private space travel, and he just recently said he could care less about electric cars because he now wants to build “real” robots like the ones Will Smith fought in iRobot!

BTW, I totally want my own Tesla Robot. The friend that will always be there for you and I would get the algorithm where they never try to give me life advice, just support my craziness! Also, my “Tesbot” will have an English accent, because I’m a dumb American and I really like that accent.

Elon’s robot idea came partly because of a real-world problem he faces, and truly all of us are facing at this moment, around talent shortages. He needs workers to build EVs and Rocketships. For a dude that doesn’t put limits on what is possible, it seems almost impossible to hire great, productive workers, who enjoy that type of work. So, let’s build robots!

Elon came out recently to clarify the real problem we have in America, really most industrialized countrys’, in that our birth rate is a major economic problem no one is paying attention to:

He went on to talk about world population estimates, etc., and the trends we are on are not positive when we truly look way out into the future. The problem is, in almost every country, our political systems are not built to address the future, they are built to address the next election cycle.

If you voted for Trump in the last election, you probably believe we have a “major” problem at our border to the south with immigrants flooding into our country. Honestly, we should be hoping immigrants are flooding into this country because we need them to work in all the jobs that Americans are refusing to work in!

We do have an immigration problem! The problem is, we don’t allow enough immigrants to come into our country and work legally, pay taxes, and be a part of this great experiment we call America. I’m not a liberal. I’m a raging moderate who sees what is really going on in businesses across America! We need more workers! Or, as Elon believes, more robots…

What are potential solutions for our birth rate crisis?

1. Pay people to have more babies.

You know, stuff like paid family leave and tax incentives to have more children, great education and paid daycare, etc. Let’s make it easy for families to have great families. Right now, in America, having kids is a wealth deterrent for people.

2. Massively expand immigration.

This is not a scarcity problem. Immigrants are not taking jobs away from Americans. We have way more jobs than we have Americans! Plus, immigrants now have more options than coming to America, since there are about 20 other countries with worse birth rate issues than we have. We are now in competition for immigrant talent, skilled and unskilled, and we have half our population who still are being told by politicians that immigrants are bad.

3. Help Elon build his robots!

Honestly, because of our birth rate crisis, if Elon doesn’t get there first, someone else will. We have already seen so many jobs get eaten up by automation and robotics and it’s not stopping, it’s accelerating. Self-driving semi-trucks. Touch screens to order your Big Mac. Self-checkout lanes at the grocery store. Etc. The problem is, robots are only good at certain things, and we still need humans for a lot. Unless Elon figures out my Tesbot and then look out! Timmy is going on vacation!

Talent Hoarding is Real! And it’s getting worse…

Talent hoarding has been around since the beginning of time. If you were good at hunting and gathering, some bigger stronger caveman was going to keep you around and not let some other cavemen lure you away!

In today’s world, talent hoarding begins when a manager doesn’t identify someone who works for them as promotable when they most likely are. The organization uses its leaders to understand who is ready for that next-level position. Certain managers, tend not to openly report they have such a candidate in their group, so they can keep that talent performing for them. This makes their life easier.

But, let’s not just blame these managers of people. There’s another organizational design issue that causes talent hoarding. Manager performance, and often parts of their compensation, are based on “team performance”. That being the case, it’s to a manager’s advantage, and the team’s advantage to keep talent. Almost no organizations incentive managers to promote people off their team into other parts of the organization.

There was a study just released in 2022, appropriately titled, “Talent Hoarding in Organizations” that showed that:

“Temporary reductions of talent hoarding increase worker’s applications for promotions by 123%. Marginal applicants, who would not have applied in the presence of talent hoarding, are three times as likely as average applicants to land a promotion.”

What the study determined, was that if you did not have any barrier to letting someone apply for promotion, your way more likely to be promoted! Things like you must first have your manager sign-off on your readiness, or things like having managers put names forward, etc.

Organizationally, we know also that talent hoarding often pushes talent to leave. Basically, if you aren’t going to promote me, I’ll use the free market to get a promotion somewhere else. In a talent market, as we have right now, that is happening at a massive scale. We see organizations implementing new internal mobility strategies to help counteract this, but it’s barely making a dent still, primarily because most of these strategies still rely on some sort of manager performance metric to allow someone to move internally.

Can we eliminate or reduce talent hoarding?

Short answer, yes. The longer answer, it’s hard!

First, we are talking about centuries of institutional dynamics at play. Generation after generation of leaders were raised under this framework. Thus, we have major change management issues to conquer.

Second, we would need to eliminate the negative side, or at least counteract the negative side of team promotion, with a positive side for the manager and team. This is the “coaching tree” analogy. Great coaches hire assistants and teach them how to be great coaches and those coaches go on to peer level roles. When you talk about the greatest sports coaches of all time, one major factor is their coaching tree. How many other coaches did they create? And, how good were those coaches?

If we can find a way to reward, and not punish, managers for promoting talent within the organization, which is greater than the reward for keeping great talent, we will have a much better chance at stopping talent hoarding. That is difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an organization that has figured out the value of the theoretical “coaching tree” for a manager. Meaning, if I promote someone off my team, what is that worth to me, as the manager?

It’s a hard question to answer because it’s very specific to position and organization. If I’m at Apple and I “grow” a new Engineering Manager, from a Software Engineer, that I’ve mentored, there is considerable value in that happening! If I’m managing a fast food restaurant and mentor an hourly worker into a salaried manager, that is less valuable, by dollar amount, but still very valuable to the organization.

The reality is, you have no shot if you don’t try and answer that value equation!

You can have some success, by just eliminating all barriers to promotion and allowing anyone to apply. You will still have some that won’t, as managers will still have formal and informal influence over those that work for them. So, it’s not perfect. But, you’ll get more, than by asking your managers alone.

Also, just eliminating barriers could create a gender issue as we know through many studies men or more willing to apply to jobs they aren’t qualified for than women, so barrier elimination will most likely get you more male applicants, who you will promote, leaving more women behind. We actually need our leaders to help us identify and promote our great female next-level hires.

When talent is scarce, like it is now, talent hoarding will be worse. Talent hoarding is bad for your culture and it’s bad for your talent. And it’s happening right now in your organization.

You Do NOT Have a Short-term Recruiting Problem!

I’ve been trying to preach this for what seems like forever, but we tend to be so short-term focused in almost every business process and decision we make in the modern world. How can we make a profit today, F the future!

Your current recruiting issue is not a short-term problem that eventually will just go away on its own. Also, your current recruiting problem has nothing to do with the “Great Resignation”. That was a made-up term by a professor trying to explain a short-term issue we were currently facing, amongst a much larger long-term problem.

The “Great Resignation” is simple economics. We have more jobs than people looking for jobs, so workers have “buying” power. Other companies will pay me more for the same work or give me a promotion with my lessor skills because they have no other options. Straightforward supply and demand economics.

We are already seeing the “economics” of this situation play itself out with higher inflation driven by wage growth and we’ll see more and more adjustments made by organizations to figure it out. Most likely that involves technology replacing parts of jobs, adding human capacity through technology, etc. Organizations can only eat so much in wages before they’ll find a “better” way to skin the cat.

Our problem IS and will continue to be, we have a shrinking workforce that we are doing absolutely nothing to turn that demographic fact around.

Peter Shanosky, wrote a good piece on our aging issue:

The median age in the United States is currently 38.1 years old — a number that reflects a consistent rise in recent years, but not too terrible. That number has been moving up about .15 per year as our largest generation, the oft-discussed boomers, age…

In our professions, then, we would expect to see a median age of around 38. Naturally, that’s not the case, specifically when you get into some of the trades or other professions that aren’t necessarily glamourous. Still, these jobs are essential to our everyday lives. We should not ignore them.

So how far off are they? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’ve got some wide discrepancies. Looking at just a few:

· Real estate agents: 49.1 years old

· Automotive mechanics: 47.4 years old

· Facilities managers: 50.1 years old

· Bus/Shuttle drivers: 55.6 years old

· Housekeeping/Janitorial: 50.1 years old

· Home health aides: 47.2 years old

· Electrical trades: 46.8 years old

Yikes. There were plenty of professions even older than that, but I picked these for a reason — there’s little barrier to entry. You don’t need a $200,000 piece of paper, and they’re located across the country. You don’t need to live in a growing metropolitan area to have any of these jobs. In other words, based on ease of access, they should be younger. But they’re not.

Why aren’t younger people moving into these roles?

Basically, we have a problem with younger generations not actually wanting to work. There are probably a million reasons, social media, NFTs, influencers, Bitcoin, Meme stocks, etc. If you are 18-30 in today’s world, you are inundated with examples, constantly, of how you can be rich, by not really working, and it all looks so easy!

The problem is, we can’t rely on GenX and young Baby Boomers to keep building our shit! Eventually, they’ll be dead and you’ll be sitting there wondering why the fucking lights won’t come on so you can film your next TikTok video about how to make a million dollars trading make-believe money. Turns out, we need folks willing to get their hands dirty from time to time.

The obvious solution is to increase immigration and create a constant pipeline of workers who want to come to America and actually work. Turns out, regardless of want mass media is trying to get us to believe, millions of immigrants still want to come to America! We actually have jobs that pay money and benefits and overtime and provide training, simply if you have a work ethic! Isn’t that a crazy concept!?

I don’t want young people to think this is all their problem, it’s not! Your parents own a portion of this as well. Someone should have made you work when you were younger. Mow a lawn, babysit, work the fryer at McDonald’s when you were 16, but they were doing pretty good and you were basically not annoying them with your face in your phone, so you didn’t get the opportunity to value work. I think older Millennials, GenX, and Baby Boomers all worked when they were 16 for two main reasons: 1. Our parents refused to give us anything, so we needed money if we wanted something. 2. Our parents couldn’t stand watching us sit around and do nothing, so we were forced to leave the house.

All of this rant about how young people suck, still isn’t the problem!

We aren’t having enough babies!

Probably starts with we aren’t having enough sex, but that’s another post.

Turns out, babies and puppies are a god damn lot of work, and if you don’t like work…well, it’s kind of comes around full circle!

There are 3 ways this will be fixed, and I do believe it will be:

  1. More Immigrants, like millions and millions more. (BTW – every industrialized, rich country is in the same boat as the US, we just really such at immigration)
  2. More automation and technology to replace workers. (Already happening, get used to it happening a lot more)
  3. More babies! Won’t happen anytime soon, and I would guess we might never be able to turn that around.

Or, you and your organization can just believe this great resignation thing will play itself out and we’ll all be back to normal by summer. Have fun with that!

And P.S. – Get off my lawn!

Why do candidates ignore recruiters?

Oh, Lord, let me count the reasons! Can I get an Amen!?

Basically, candidates ignore recruiters because as recruiters we have sucked too many times for them to pay attention any longer! Also, it’s a lie, candidates don’t actually ignore you, they see you, but they don’t respond, because we can be worse than a used car salesman who’s about to be fired if they don’t sell one more car before the end of the month!

There was a brilliant article written recently by a Software Engineer, Alex Chesser, Career Advice Nobody Gave Me: Never Ignore a Recruiter. From his post:

The obvious adaptive response that I suspect the vast majority of us use is to roll our eyes and ignore them. We tell each other jokes about the problem all the time. We’ll gripe and moan about how annoying it is, how obvious and crass it is.

No one ever explained to me that recruiters are also one of the best career resources you can find.

If you think about it, who better to be completely honest with about what you want from your career? Who else has real and direct insight into how much money any given role pays?

Alex shares the script he uses to respond to each recruiter outreach he receives and it’s brilliant –

BTW! Alex says “Steal This and Use it!”

Candidates Ignore Recruiters Because We Waste Too Much of Their Time!

This is the reality. Because we, as recruiters, don’t really know enough about them, we tend to waste a lot of time discovering if a candidate is right for us or not. Maybe, Alex has found a better way to communicate this back and forth that is valuable for both parties. The candidate gets what they want and we get a response, that might lead to a positive outcome. No response leads to no outcome!

The truth is, every candidate does actually want to hear from a recruiter. Recruiters think this isn’t the case. Candidates mistakingly say this isn’t true. But it is. If I contacted Alex, today, and I had his dream job, he wants to hear from me. If I have a crappy job that is four levels lower than his ability, he doesn’t want to hear from me. But, as he found, you don’t know that until you know that!

Alex’s response to every recruiter, while canned, is perfect in getting positive responses from him. If more candidates did the same thing, I’m sure we would see more positive interactions across the board between recruiters and candidates.

Candidates ignore recruiters simply because far too often recruiters are reaching out to them with positions they wouldn’t be remotely interested in. Why do recruiters do this? Desperation. Ignorance. Overconfidence. Lack of clarity on what the hiring manager wants/needs. Lack of basic worldly understanding of what someone would possibly want given the information they have. All of the above.

Candidates don’t ignore recruiters who deliver the goods and treat them as a professional. As someone who values your time. There’s hope, because of the Alex’s out there helping us be better by being very specific about what and how that looks.