Digging Into RecruitingBlogs.com v2.10: Sourcing Dead, Horse Lives

(March 13, 2009) It's been an interesting week,

Like a mold that you just can't seem to get out of the refrigerator no matter how much you clean, the comments for DRBC v2.08 continue to accumulate. I now get routine mail from readers who hope that I can help them stop the deluge of notifications that someone has added another comment. I tell them to go to the bottom of the post and press the stop following button. It doesn't work very often (the instructions, not the button, the button always works). Many people need to be told several times how to do this.

As the content in the comments matures it's interesting to see it taking on a sort of Noah's ark quality. First, there were just the boors. Then came horses, pigs. chicken and Cheech and Chong. As the survivors spoke amongst themselves, a conspiracy began to emerge. Like an attempted escape from Stalag 13, various Recruitosphere luminaries plotted the development of a new conversational group (network) featuring, you guessed it, them.

I'm sure that the original content had very little to do with the accumulated comments. Some combination of bad economics, job insecurity and the industry's need for a deep tutorial gave the adventure its energy. The real power in the comments comes from that tight group of potential escapees. What is really clear is that they enjoy each other's company. And they seem to know what they're talking about. Competence and camaraderie is fun to watch.

In the meantime, I've been swamped by vendors who want to demo sourcing automation products. Much of the work currently performed by hard working sourcers is going to become push buttoned in the near future. The time and energy associated with using the internet to source names is in the process of declining. Here's a great free tool for making search strings more easily.

My big take away is that while sweeping generalizations are great conversation starters, the truth is always more nuanced. It would be great to take Maureen Sharib's comments out of the post and publish them separately. They make a fantastic tutorial introduction to the world of telephone sourcing.

So, the next big frontier is how to make Recruiting a strategic function. This is hard when it's agency or contingency work. While Recruiting could be the way that companies really transform their operations, most of it is brute force tactical crap. "We're filling this position to these requirements" is a to do list, not a strategic plan.

I recommend taking a very close look at whatever you can find out about Novotus. This RPO is standing the agency business on its head. They take all sorts of work at a 6% fee and guarantee 100% fill on as many requisitions as you'd care to give them. As a result, they get invited to participate in the company's strategic dialog. The company gets really interested in seeing them succeed.

It's a good business model that simply requires discipline, sourcing automation, process control and commitment to delivery of results. It will be duplicated quickly by a variety of competitors and admirers. It makes me wonder if TPRs will be elbowing their way into the job application lines, trying to get in front of the Internet sourcers.

There are two key pieces involved in prospering during the rest of this economic turmoil.

  1. Get used to the fact that there's nothing left to lose. This is a grand time of reinvention. The consequences of failure are much lower now than in good times. Experiment; get out of the box; assume that you need to retool completely and enjoy the transformation.
  2. Get to know your customers better. If you are just taking orders, you are profoundly disposable. If you are a part of the path out, you are indispensible. Notice that filling a requisition is the way that you get paid, not what you do. Focus on what you do, not on getting paid.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendfeed. Catch up with me. There's interesting stuff on Strategy at johnsumser.com

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Its all here
its never easy nor simple to step back and evaluate what we do based on different criteria than what we used to set up what we do..

J
Attachments:
Judy,
Thanks for posting the (only-of-its'-kind!) MagicMethod Phone Sourcing Quiz but alas, you posted a snippet from the online quiz-most of it w/out answers. Here's the full quiz WITH answers - be careful not to misinterpret some of the "answers" posted in the comments (at the bottom) section by a few others who took the test (some of which are wrong, IMO).

If you look carefully, Judy, I think you'll see where you may have misunderstood the points of some of the questions. Thanks for your interest in the subject of telephone names sourcing Judy. I'm still interested in hearing your answers to the questions I asked above.

If any of you have an interest in telephone names souricng - I hope you'll take the quiz!
thank you I did not have the answers to all the questions in the Quiz

J
Maureen Sharib said:
Judy,
Thanks for posting the (only-of-its'-kind!) MagicMethod Phone Sourcing Quiz but alas, you posted a snippet from the online quiz-most of it w/out answers. Here's the full quiz WITH answers - be careful not to misinterpret some of the "answers" posted in the comments (at the bottom) section by a few others who took the test (some of which are wrong, IMO).

If you look carefully, Judy, I think you'll see where you may have misunderstood the points of some of the questions. Thanks for your interest in the subject of telephone names sourcing Judy. I'm still interested in hearing your answers to the questions I asked above.

If any of you have an interest in telephone names souricng - I hope you'll take the quiz!
OK - There are two things I avoid - I don't Twitter and I don't Blog. I'm forced to break that rule today after all the calls and emails about the thread.

Disclaimer - I am an RPO provider. Third party provider of enterprise recruiting solutions. I am not a head hunter nor am I a corporate recruiter. So - just to make sure you know where I am coming from.

Bill? Please... Those recruiters who won't leave their cubicles are the people that are putting you out of business, one happy customer at a time. They are the ones who forced us to really rethink this business. If there was a model to follow today, it is corporate recruiters. Over that past 15 years, corporate recruiters have redefined everything about our business ecosystem. They bought the better technologies, hired up the food chain, built huge advertising and branding platforms, built huge private talent communities (some in the millions), positioned their companies as employers of choice, reduced the time to fill, increased the quality and drastically reduced the cost to fill the job.

How about you Bill, and what about the owners of your firm. In comparison to the real recruiters out there, have you done these things? I am sure you have, but I am asking. Here is a little test to take:
* When you publish an opportunity online, do you brand your client?
* Over the past 15 years, has your firm hired up or down - younger or more experienced - more educated or less?
* Are you hitting the open market hard with postings with every opening as well as doing the tactical recruiting and networking?
* How about your numbers? Are you faster now? How about your quality? How do you measure that? Here is the killer... If your fees are tied to salaries and salaries have gone up year over year in the past 15 years are you surprised that the very customers you serve only call you and every other head hunter they know with just the few very difficult requisitions. How does that feel? I forgot.

One last thing about fall offs. First of all, these are questions we can answer very clearly as we measure everything. One of our customers hires over 1000 people a year through us. We recruit on 62 position titles. In 1 of the 62 titles, we reduced attrition from 41% to 9% with a total ROI of $12,000,000 . Yip fall offs are a real problem.

We would love to take credit for changing this industry Bill, truth be told, it was our customers that made us do it.

Bill Ward said:
Novotus? Please. How is outsourcing your recruiting function via an RPO considered "strategic" or groundbreaking John? The next big frontier you mention is the same frontier recruiters and HR have been trying get to forever. It's pretty simple (if you're motivated and willing to put in the work), make your role less transactional by knowing the business as well as the executives you support. That means getting up from your cubicle (if you're internal) and going out and talking to people in your organization about what keeps them up at night. Take away their pain and suddenly you are elevated to a whole new level in their eyes. I came up with a simple acronym that has served me well LCLVD (Listen, Challenge, Listen, Validate, Deliver) That's the only way you will be viewed as a peer/partner and not an order taker. At the end of the day, there will always be a low cost provider that can provide short term cost containment. I'd be curious to see how many fall offs within the first year RPOs like Novotus and others have. Hmmm....all of the sudden that bleeding edge RPO solution doesn't have that rosy fragrance.

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