Wednesday, August 6, 2008

10 Rules for Dating and Recruiting

10 Rules for Dating and Recruiting
by Amy Kimmes

Dating and recruiting have a lot in common. Learn how to improve your recruiting efforts by applying the most common dating rules.

Dating rule #1 First impressions are critical.
Recruiting application:Differentiate yourself. Resist the “I have a great position for you” especially if you have never spoken to them.

Dating rule #2 Don’t believe everything you see. We have all heard stories from people that signed up for an online dating service and were shocked when their date was two feet shorter and 10 years older than the profile.
Recruiting application:Candidates exaggerate their strengths and skills and down play their weaknesses. Do not assume anything. Prescreen, interview, administer assessments, and call the references before you present the candidate to your hiring manager.

Dating rule #3 Play hard to get. Desperation is the world’s worst perfume.
Recruiting application:If you make a huge fuss over the candidate and beg them to interview, you will diminish your negotiating power.

Dating rule #4 Be selective. You can not change people.
Recruiting application:Look for the red flags; don’t avoid them. It is better for you to uncover any candidate weaknesses or issues than your hiring manager discovering them. Your name and reputation is all you have in this business.

Dating rule #5 Prepare for the date.
Recruiting application:If your candidate has spent 20 minutes on the phone with you and takes time off work to come to interview, and then you ask them “so, tell me what you want to do?” — you are wasting the candidate’s time. You should have notes on the candidate’s resume that you want to clarify, and if appropriate, the company profiles that best match what your candidate’s needs.

Dating rule #6 Don’t talk too much. People who express the “enough about me, what do you think about me?” attitude sit home alone, a lot.
Recruiting application:The candidate should be doing most of the talking. Assess what the candidate has to offer, what they need, and then set expectations of how you will work together. Let the candidate talk about the interview before you disclose the hiring manager’s view. If you blurt out “they love you, you are the best candidate they have ever met!” — what do you think happens to the candidate’s salary requirements?

Dating rule #7 Follow up with your date.
Recruiting application:As an industry, one of the biggest complaints we get from candidates and hiring managers is the lack of communication. No news is still considered news to the candidate; make sure you keep your candidate in the loop.

Dating rule #8 Don’t be afraid to end the date early.
Recruiting application:Prescreen carefully, ask the hard questions, and always tell the candidate the truth. If they are not going to fit into your recruiting focus (skills, salary expectations, location, etc.), coach or make suggestions regarding who may be able to help them in the market.

Dating rule #9 Improve your odds by hanging out where (like) people hang out.
Recruiting application:If you are recruiting technology talent, sign up and participate in technology activities in your market. Volunteer at association meetings to check members in: you will meet every attending member, every meeting.
Explain to people you meet that there are two types of people you would like to be introduced to: those who are leaders in their field and are looking for an opportunity and those who are leaders in their field and are not looking for an opportunity right now. You are an expert in your market, so people who are not looking now would still benefit from knowing you and the people in your network.

Dating Rule #10 They will not buy the cow if they are getting the milk for free.
Recruiting application:When you agree to represent a candidate, you are entering into a business agreement. You need to set clear expectations of how the process must work. If the candidate will not agree to the terms, they are not committed to you, so turn them loose.

Monday, August 4, 2008

13 Trends In Corporate Recruiting for 2009

13 Trends In Corporate Recruiting for 2009
by Dr. John Sullivan


A significant part of my work involves giving presentations around the world on the hottest recruiting topics. It is an aspect of my work that I truly enjoy because it affords me an opportunity to continuously learn about where our profession is headed.
Through speaking, I not only help companies understand the latest recruiting trends, but I also learn from hundreds of professionals about what they see as hot topics, emerging trends, and how they are approaching them. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on what recruiting trends will top the agendas of Global 500 recruiting managers in the next 12 to 18 months based on my interaction with more than 300 organizations around the globe this year.

The Latest Trends in Corporate Recruiting
Based on conversations with recruiting leaders, questions asked during seminars, advisory requests, and best-practice research, expect to see an increased emphasis in:

Upgrading employment branding. Nothing is hotter around the globe in recruiting than employment branding. Firms throughout Asia, in particular, are increasingly adopting employment branding as a wildly important activity for 2009. The success of Google, a firm that has built the world’s strongest employment brand over an amazing five-year period, has led others to focus on this impactful long-term strategy. Key focus areas include increasing media coverage, increasing visibility online, building your “green” brand, and countering your “negative” employment brand. Firms to watch: Facebook, Google, Yum Brands, Tata, E&Y, Enterprise, U.S. Army, and Sodexo.

Reinvigorating referral programs. Despite the growth of career-related Internet sites, the highest volume and quality candidates still come from well-designed employee referral programs. While heavy adoption was initially hampered by cultural issues around the world, today such programs are proving highly effective everywhere. Key focus areas include proactively approaching key employees for referrals (program targeting), leverage non-employee referrals, making reward systems more comprehensive, immediate, and visible, and last but not least, helping employees leverage social media to restore relationships, make new relationships, and build stronger relationships. Firms to watch: AmTrust Bank, Edward Jones, Whirlpool, and

Renewing the focus on quality of hire. As a result of strong research by organizations like, recruiting leadership has begun to refocus its efforts on identifying factors that increase the quality or the on-the-job performance of new hires. Key focus areas include improved quality of hire metrics, calculating the performance differential between average and quality hires, and identifying sources that produce high-quality hires. Firms to watch: Aimco and Wipro.

Reinforcing the business case for recruiting. As budgets tighten and slow economic growth continues, recruiting budgets will face constant constraints. Instead of whining, many leading talent organizations are seizing the opportunity to reposition themselves as non-transactional organizations. When the focus in recruiting is placed on non-transactional, more systemic issues, such organizations can work with the CFO and risk management to demonstrate the importance of supporting recruiting even during times of reduced hiring volume. The key focus areas include predictive modeling, dollarizing recruiting results, and showing the dollar impact of vacancies in revenue generating positions. Firms to watch: Aimco, DFS, Wipro, and Google.

Utilizing social networks. Although using social networks as a recruiting source has been a well-discussed concept for a while, few firms have found productive ways to truly leverage social media sites. However, as new approaches are developed that more accurately align with the paradigm of social media audiences, recruiting on social networks will become more mainstream. Focus areas include encouraging your employees to be more visible online and using networks to identify innovators. Key networking sites include Facebook (global), MySpace (global), Friendster (global), LinkedIn (global), Twitter (U.S.), Multiply (Asia), Mixi (Japan), Cyworld (Korea), and Xiaonei (China). Firms to watch: E&Y, Zappos, CIA, Yum Brands, Google, and Facebook.

Utilizing video. While it may be hard for some to fathom, 1:1 and 1:many video has become a very popular communication medium, surpassing all other forms of Internet traffic. Second only to employee referrals, the most impactful tool for effectively demonstrating the excitement and passion at a firm is online video. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then moving pictures demonstrating what it’s like to work at your firm would have to be “priceless.” Focus areas include posting on video-sharing sites such as YouTube (global), (China), and sharing employee-generated “unscripted” videos on your corporate site. Firms to watch: Deloitte, Microsoft, and Google.

Upgrading succession planning. A common practice becomes much more critical as global growth and large-scale retirement loom on the horizon. Focus areas include replacing retirees, improved succession planning metrics, adding external candidates to your plan, and fast-track leadership development. Firms to watch: Intuit, Eli Lilly, Deloitte, and TVA.

Using employee blogs for recruiting. A practice that is finally beginning to enter the mainstream is employee blogging to support recruiting efforts. The very best firms use blogs not just to spread their message but also to answer questions and to make their company appear more “real” and approachable. Key focus areas include blogs by employees other than recruiters and micro-blogs. Firms to watch: Microsoft, Google, and Sun.

Using mobile-phone recruiting. As mobile phones with amazing features spread throughout the population, recruiting managers are beginning to realize that they can be a powerful recruiting media. Key focus areas include text messaging, mobile video, and mobile-accessible corporate careers sites. Firms to watch: Google and nearly any firm in Asia!

Revitalizing corporate jobs page. Recruiting managers are beginning to understand that pitifully dull and dated websites drive away innovators. Focus areas include providing personalized information to the visitor, Flash video integration, blogs, podcasts, and virtual Q&As. Firms to watch: Microsoft, Google, and Deloitte.

Using a CRM model for hiring. I’ve been touting the values of the CRM (customer relationship management) model for years. More firms are beginning to understand the value of improving the experience at each “touch point” with the candidate. Key focus areas include relationship recruiting, automated applicant profiling, automated event calendaring, and robust lifecycle metrics. Firms to watch: U.S. Army, GlaxoSmithKline, and E&Y.

Hiring innovators. Rapid product copying and the high visibility of innovative firms like Apple and Google are forcing recruiting managers to modify recruiting processes in order to successfully recruit innovators and game changers. Key focus areas include relationship recruiting, pre-need hiring, and tolerant/inclusive screening and interviewing processes. Firms to watch: IBM and Google.

Recruiting globally. Recruiting managers are beginning to learn how to differentiate multi-national recruiting from true global recruiting. Key focus areas include global sourcing, globalized websites, and globalized employer referral programs. Firms to watch: Infosys and IBM.
Other Trends to Observe
Although these trends aren’t red-hot, they are emerging areas where a few firms have taken the lead and have produced noticeable results. These are certainly not going to become mainstream for most firms during the next year, but if you are an innovator, keep a close watch:

  • Virtual-reality recruiting on SecondLife
  • Video games as recruiting tools
  • Online assessment tools
  • Using contests to identify internal and external prospects
  • Simulations for candidate assessment
  • Inclusive recruiting (replacing diversity recruiting)
  • Remote interviewing
  • Remote college recruiting
  • A renewed focus on internal redeployment
  • Boomerangs (bringing back key ex-employees)
  • Recruiting at professional events
  • Using credit card/sales leads to find prospects
  • Using analytics and modeling to predict future workforce needs
  • A new focus on the use of contingent workers in the weak economy
  • Remote” college recruiting
  • A focus on contingent hiring
  • Improving on-boarding to build the employment brand
  • Reality TV shows as a recruiting and branding mechanism

Not-So-Hot Areas
Here are some areas that vendors and consultants talk a lot about, but in many cases, there is little innovation to report:

  • Outsourcing recruiting processes. Protecting your own recruiters makes this option less attractive as budgets get tight.
  • Video resumes. It’s still hard to get managers to view them.
  • Competency modeling. Too time-consuming to undertake during tough times.
  • Large job boards. Always mediocre, and their value is shrinking.
  • Retention. In a tight economy, only the very best will consider leaving.
  • Speed of hire. As unemployment rises, there is less pressure to make rapid hiring decisions.

Monday, July 28, 2008

HR Professional
is pretty cool web site designed for Human Resource professionals to combine the resources in various HR areas into a single web home page

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Creating People Advantage_How to address HR challenges worldwide through 2015

"Creating People Advantage_How to address HR challenges worldwide through 2015"
A comprehensive global study conducted jointly by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA), and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) surveyed 4,741 executives in 83 countries and markets.

Downloadable at

(retrieved from EFMD

Executives worldwide see talent gaps as top people challenge in every region and industry
Managing talent is the most critical HR challenge worldwide and will remain at or near the top of executive agendas in every region and industry for the foreseeable future. The ability to gain competitive advantage through people strategies - or people advantage - requires an overall HR approach. This report suggests that it is vital:

To understand the connections that link HR to metrics and strategy. A most effective way is to create a strategic workforce plan. For doing so, there are two steps

  • Understand how strategy drives the demand for people (to provide long term guidance)
  • Understand the four bridges that connect strategy and HR, namely: sourcing (recruiting, HR branding,), performance (metrics, incentives,), development and affiliation (compensation, motivation)

To deploy operational excellence to bring the HR function up to speed by focusing on three key areas:

  • Strengthen capabilities : establish the HR function as a step on the career paths of high potentials , build the people management skills of line managers
  • Establish accountability and efficiency by optimizing the HR delivery model by automating processes, sharing services and distinguishing between the various HR roles
  • To increase cooperation by designing key HR processes (people reviews, mobility management) and by serving as experts on organizational issues

The future

This "Creating People Advantage" report furthermore analyses and ranks 17 HR challenges. The top 8 future challenges in HR fall into three strategic categories:

  1. Developing and retaining the best employees
  2. Anticipating change
  3. Enabling the organisation

Developing and retaining the best employees

  • Managing talent : attracting, developing and retaining all individuals with high potential and communicating the HR value proposition
  • Improving leadership development : defining leadership models, assessing leaders and designing development programmes
  • Managing work-life balance : dealing with new and non-traditional expectation about work

Anticipating change

  • Managing demographics : namely the loss of capacity, knowledge and productivity with an ageing workforce
  • Managing change an cultural transformation : by developing an integrated approach to operational and organisational change, focused on employee behaviour
  • Managing globalisation by having the right people in the right location and by enabling effective and efficient cross-country and cross-cultural collaboration

Enabling the organisation to become a learning organisation and transform HR into a strategic partner

HR executives must also excel at the fundamentals of the HR function: restructuring the organisation, delivering on recruitment and staffing and mastering the HR processesThe remaining six HR topics are:

  • Managing diversity
  • Enhancing employee commitment
  • Improving performance management and rewards
  • Managing CSR
  • Measuring HR and employee performance
  • Providing shared services and outsourcing HR

The Boston Consulting Group, visit
World Federation of Personnel Management Associations visit

Monday, July 14, 2008

The 20 Principles of Strategic Recruiting

The 20 Principles of Strategic Recruiting
by Dr. John Sullivan
(retrieved from

Corporate recruiting is an interesting field. There are no books entitled The Theory of Recruiting or Principles of Strategic Recruiting. As a result, most individuals in recruiting tend to make it up as they go rather than follow a more defined set of rules or principles.
There is no formal body in recruiting that “codifies” the established practices. In this article, I am attempting to help resolve that problem by compiling a list (from my 35-plus years of experience in the field) that can serve as a foundation for your actions.
Of course, principles are guidelines to point you in the right direction. Remember to vary your direction depending on your business situation and global location.

20 Principles of Recruiting and Talent Management
The following is a list of 20 principles, laws, or guidelines to help you design and implement effective recruiting strategies and approaches:

  1. A well-defined strategy. The foundation of any recruiting effort is a clearly defined and communicated strategy that illustrates the brand message, target candidates, primary sources, and most-effective closing approaches (the who, what, when, and how). Poorly defined or communicated strategy elements results in wasted resources and weak hires. In addition, the best strategies have the capability of “shifting” as the economy and the demand for candidates change.
  2. Pipeline approach. The most effective recruiting approach is to build a steady stream of applicants (a pipeline). In order to build a continuous “talent pipeline,” use a “pre-need” approach that includes workforce planning, branding, continuous sourcing, and onboarding.
  3. Competitive. The most effective recruiting approaches are compared against and are clearly superior to those of a firm’s talent competitors. Because competitors will quickly copy your most effective approaches, a continuous side-by-side assessment of “yours versus theirs” is necessary. A sub-principle applies to candidates: because the very best are always in high demand, if you don’t have to literally “fight” for a candidate, in most cases, you do not have the best candidate in the field.
  4. Employment branding. The approach with the highest impact and the only long-term recruiting strategy is employment branding, the process of building your external image as an excellent place to work. By proactively making it easy for potential applicants to read, hear, or see the factors that make working at your firm exciting, you can dramatically increase the number and quality of your applicants over a long period.
  5. Global. For jobs that require top talent, the process must have a global recruiting capability. This is because the very best talent is unlikely to live within commuting distance of your job.
  6. Target employed “non-lookers.” The best recruiting processes are designed to identify and successfully hire currently employed top performers. This means that the process needs the capability of identifying and convincing employed individuals who work at your competitors and may not be actively looking for a position. Unfortunately, most corporate recruiting approaches are designed to attract “active” candidates.
  7. Speed. Making fast hiring decisions is essential whenever a candidate in high demand decides to make a job switch. Top candidates must be hired using “their” decision timetable. Research shows that top candidates are off the market in less than half of the normal corporate time to fill.
  8. Sourcing is critical. If you don’t utilize sources that attract a high percentage of top performers, it is unlikely you will make a quality hire. After employment branding, effective sourcing is the most critical element of the recruiting process. Generally, the most effective source is employee referrals. Other effective but under-used sources include recruiting at professional events and contests. Using ineffective sources means that you must spend inordinate amounts of time and money on candidate screening in order to avoid a weak hire. The source that is used must be shift, depending on the type of candidate required for that position. Unfortunately, many recruiters use the same exact sourcing scheme for every job.
  9. Data-based decisions. Base decisions on sources, screening tools, and which individual to hire on facts and data, not emotion or even common practices. Making decisions based on objective data helps eliminate biases and causes the recruiting process to produce more consistent, reliable, and high-quality results. It’s also true that in a fast-changing world, “what works” changes quickly so recruiting practices become obsolete quickly. Unfortunately, rather than being a small part of recruiting decisions, emotions and “it’s the way we’ve always done it” tend to dominate corporate decision-making.
  10. Build a recruiting culture. The most effective approaches build a corporate-wide “cultural of recruiting” where every manager and employee is a recruiter. Because of their continuous contact and interaction with outside talent, everyone must play an important supplemental role in identifying talent and in spreading the employment brand. The most effective recruiting strategies convince employees to be 24/7 talent scouts, making every employee a recruiter.
  11. A candidate-centric approach. Focus the process on the candidate’s needs, their job selection criteria, and the candidate experience. A significant part of recruiting is “selling” the candidate on applying for and accepting the job. At least in part, recruiting must follow the customer relationship management (CRM) and the sales and marketing models. Often, the number-one reason why candidates reject job offers is the way that they were treated during the hiring process. It’s also important to note that candidates may be current or future customers, so treating them poorly can directly impact future revenue.
  12. Prioritize jobs and targets. Effective recruiting processes maximize resource utilization by identifying and focusing on the positions with the highest business impact. That generally means revenue-producing and revenue-impact jobs, as well as jobs in high margin and rapid growth business units. The process should also target high-impact individuals known as top performers, innovators, and gamechangers.
  13. Managers are the delivery system. Although corporate recruiting designs the process, managers “deliver” and execute a significant part of that process. As a result, hiring managers must understand its elements and support its precise execution. You must effectively demonstrate to individual hiring managers that they will suffer whenever a bad or “butts in chairs” hire is made. Therefore, recruiting must make a strong business case to individual hiring managers that convinces them of the importance of executing the process precisely. The most effective way of influencing hiring managers is by converting recruiting results into their dollar impact on that individual manager’s revenue and profit.
  14. Diversity. An effective recruiting process must include enough variation and personalization to meet the unique needs of diverse individuals from around the world. Diversity and inclusiveness are becoming not just legal terms but critical components in building global sales.
  15. Selling applicants. The very best recruiting processes builds “relationships” with potential applicants over time in order to increase their level of trust and interest. Unfortunately, no amount of benefits or job features will be convincing to high-demand applicants without this level of trust. Because all candidate-screening processes have flaws, stretching out the assessment process over time allows you to learn more about the candidate and decrease the chances of making a bad hire. The best approaches are designed to take advantage of the fact that a target candidate’s willingness to consider a new job changes quite rapidly, as a result of changes in their own job and organization.
  16. Technology. The best processes rely heavily on technology and the Web in all aspects of the recruiting process. Technology can improve screening, increased hiring speed, cut costs, and provide the firm with the capability of hiring globally.
  17. Integration. Recruiting processes must be integrated with other HR processes. Those recruiting processes that operate independently rather than in unison with other HR functions like relocation and compensation will produce diminished results.
  18. Talent shortages. Although industries often face talent shortages, individual firms can actually have a surplus of candidates if they have a strong employment brand, a great referral program, and a candidate-friendly hiring approach. For example, handsome movie stars seldom have difficulty getting “dates” even when the average “Joe” can’t find a single one. Talent shortages are relative and depend on your image and what you have to offer.
  19. Remote work options. Offering candidates remote work options dramatically increases the candidate pool. Firms that have the capability of managing candidates who work from remote locations have a distinct competitive advantage. They can attract the top performer who doesn’t live in the area, who desires working at home, or who isn’t willing to make a long commute.
  20. Metrics and rewards impact recruiting. Every aspect of recruiting improves dramatically when managers and employees are measured, recognized, and rewarded for their contribution to recruiting. By convincing senior management and HR to place metrics and rewards on key aspects of recruiting, you send a clear message about its importance.

Final Thoughts
Almost every business function has come to realize that if you want consistency and excellent results, you must clearly define the rules of the game. There are, of course, exceptions and perhaps even additions that can be made to the principles outlined above.
But, after working with recruiters and recruiting managers from hundreds of companies, I found that these guidelines will give you a pretty good idea of the essential laws of recruiting and where to focus your efforts if you want superior recruiting results.