Friday, February 27, 2009

Thoughts on where we are........

I am very confused. Not that is not a normal state of mind for me lately, but more so than ever. My confusion is about the current state of our profession. There are many excellent Recruiters, Talent Acquisition Specialists and Sourcers employed and looking for employment. From the many on line resources we have access to we all see much of the same information regarding all of the open positions in virtually every occupation. We are all overwhelmed with 24x7 information from all media with unemployment figures. Most recently 667,000 claims last week.

Have you all noticed that there are so many openings and so many potential candidates: I ask who is going to work? Who is putting these candidates to work? I had a very interesting conversation the other day with Ami Givertz from Ami is a very intelligent person. He mentioned that there is a geographical push at work here. As they say in Real Estate; “location, location, location.” The jobs just are not where the people are for the most part or vice versa. I agree very strongly with this. There are many qualified candidates that simply cannot relocate for a variety of reasons. Oh yeah, has anyone relocated recently and had to move an entire household? The cost is staggering. From what I know, a company is not going to pay relocation for an Oracle DBA or an SAP person. You all understand this.

This is the background for what my issue is: What can Recruiters do about this? I have no answer but I do have some thoughts about this. Deeply engage your candidate partner in the entire process of what they are experiencing and expecting. Be responsive to the candidate partner. Work diligently with your client partner to help the Hiring Manager or HR person understand that feedback from them is crucial to the candidate and in filling the position. Set a schedule with both the candidate partner and the client partner for when you will be expecting feedback to share with both partners. Be transparent with the candidate partner and client partner. At all costs avoid the Black Hole; Information flowing only in one direction.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Creating a Positive Candidate Recruiter User Experience

I have been thinking about many things and experiencing “Web 2.0 overload” in my attempts to secure a new position and get my own enterprise off the ground. While some of what I am going to discuss here is obvious, I feel compelled to write about it.

There was an excellent discussion on started by Jennifer LaVigne entitled “Cold calling and your best pick up line.” There were insightful comments from every smart person that participated in the discussion. What made me think the most was the comment from Jerry Albright. Actually, it was Jerry's use of one word “WORDS” that was the trigger. I don’t know Jennifer or Jerry or any of the others that commented. But I want to thank all of them for inducing me to share some thoughts about what I think we actually do with the candidates we partner with.

I ask every Candidate that I partner with “What do you not like about working with Recruiters?” The answer (s) to this question will give you the key in how to partner with that candidate and become their trusted advisor.

Upon your initial contact with the candidate, do you ask How the candidate is today, How is their day going? Do you ask about their interests and take some time to get to know them before explaining your agenda or elevator speech? Do you share some information about yourself and who you are and what you are doing? The candidate wants to know that you are a person that will be professionally empathetic to them.

I have a rule: “I recruit the way in which I want to be recruited.” There is never an exception.

Be honest with the Candidate. I cannot stress this enough.

I spend time walking the candidate thru the current state of their job search or if they are a passive candidate what it would take for them to become an active candidate. I pose “what if" questions during this conversation. I ask the following: “What are you hoping to find in your next position that you do have in your current one? Why did you accept your current position? Have you developed decision criteria for your next position? How do I Recruit you?” I discuss their answers in detail. This helps me develop a picture of the candidate. It is also fun! I summarize this and confirm in an email.

I discuss in detail what their compensation expectation for the position is. I confirm an agreement on compensation with the candidate in email.

How frequently should we follow up with each other and how will we do that? I use Web 2.0 technologies, but the telephone is the best tool available for the Recruiter and the candidate

I make certain that I have of their updated contact information and that they have mine (home and cell phone, email that is not your current employers Twitter and IM ID). If it is only the candidate’s email, I would be concerned.

I inform the candidate that I will not send resume to any companies without their permission.I give the candidate the Web site address for the client company. Do your home work! Research the company. When I have secured an interview I give the candidate the name(s) and titles of the person(s) they will be interviewing with and what the interviewing process is. I instruct them to Google the names of the interviewer(s). Search LinkedIn for the interviewer’s name and read their profile. How the candidate responds to this will give you an indication of how strong your partnership with them is.

I offer suggestions as to what questions to expect on the interview. I typically ask; “How do you handle the telephone/ in person interview?” I discuss their reply in detail.

I set a follow up time after the interview to debrief the candidate.

I know that some of this is obvious and I have left much out, but I think we all need to think about what we are doing with our candidates and how we partner with them.