t linkedin, facebook, the job boards, professional industry sites, etc. We tell them to watch the boards, check the social networks, join groups that are open to membership to the general public. Then we turn around and say, "oh no, we don't use the job boards, top recruiters do not use the boards or advertise their positions, the best candidates are the ones who are not looking. " "So much for you , you poor unemployed smuck." So what if you were laid off due to a merger and were the highest paid professional in the company. Now that you want or need a job we don't want you because you aren't hiding somewhere working hard and doing a good job. Internal recruiters many times do not get the same candidates even if we post the identical job for as many reasons as there are recruiters and candidates. I have had very few clients ever ask me if i use the boards. If they do my response is absolutely. Part of what you pay us for is to make sure that we cast the widest net possible for candidates for your positions. We write really sexy job ads, that's another part of what you pay us for that you dont' have to do and we weed out all the ones who don't fit so your people don't have to do it.
Believe it or not some top candidates like having a recruiter represent them. We can get feedback when they can't. We can negotiate salaries many times much better than the candidate. We have more company information and can help our candidates interview more effectively.
Would someone please tell me the difference between digging through Linkedin and facebook and digging through the job boards or most of all advertising our expertise or specific positions. Is it because it's free to use social networks, twitter, linkedin? Every recruiter i know used The Ladders when it was free then many dropped it when they started charging recruiters.
We don't buy the database search for the boards because we have discovered that if we post a position we will get most of the ones that have their resumes out there that can be located and many who want notification but not exposure. We get a lot of good candidates who watch the boards for open positions who don't have their resumes out on the net.
Are those passive candidates? They were until they saw my posting. Don't tell me that all of us don't once in a while read the want ads in the paper just out of curiousity. I get top CFO's ,attorneys and scientists everytime i post a position. The cover letter comes in saying, "I am not really looking for a new position but i happened to see your posting and thought it looked interesting." Or, "my brother in law is looking for a job, saw your posting and sent it to me, i'm happy where i am but that sure looks like a great opportunity".
I often tell candidates that i can't place to look for recruiters who are advertising positions in their industry and contact that recruiter. How exactly is a good candidate supposed to find a good recruiter if the recruiter is a secret or only gets candidates from direct recruiting. Should we tell the candidate to go hide and wait for a recruiter to find them for the best jobs. We make 40 cold calls a day asking for referrals and stick our noses in the air saying we would never use a job board. But we will use social networks and we will use twitter and we will pound the phones.
WE all agree that the boards are only one source but why in the name of recruiting we find it necessary to posture as if we are somehow better if we don't use the boards ,that it somehow makes us better recruiters is beyond me. If that plays better in Peoria with your clients, by all means don't use them. I am on the way to the bank with a 38K check i just got by placing a subspecialty trained, almost impossible to find doc who responded to a job board posting.
In my popcorn stand we don't care where they come from unless it's the county jail. I agree with Peter, i am bored with the blah, blah about, "I'm better because i don't use job boards."
And what is really hilarious...Where do recruiters go when they are looking for a job? To the job boards and the job listings on the recruiting sites right after they called all the other recruiters they know who told them to check the boards. yowsa..…
, now finding candidates and selling them on their client's opportunities is the added value part and everything else is the primary value. The reality is that finding people today is very easy to do thanks to the internet and the abundance of resources and tools available. Anybody can do it. And companies have access to the same internet tools as recruiters do. Consequently, recruiters will need to redefine their value proposition to remain competitive in this rapidly morphing industry.
I think there are several key areas where this new value will manifest itself. For all intents and purposes, recruiting as we once knew it, is obsolete. And the future looks bleak for recruiters who don't augment their value proposition with some combination of the following benefits.
The recruiting industry as a whole was becoming a commodity. What was once a very generalized and uniform industry is now starting to become more fragmented in response. This fragmentation is the result of a visible trend in high specialization recruiting. Recruiters will need to find a niche to stay competitive. It will be the recruiters who are subject matter experts with singular focus in a narrow space that will be the most valuable in the near future.
Unfortunately, finding a niche is very difficult. If you choose the wrong one, it's not easy to reestablish yourself in another. After all, the whole value of having a niche is long term exposure and staying power in a given area. Nonetheless, being identified with a niche is a necessity for any recruiter with an eye on succeeding in the business long term.
Tomorrow's recruiters will need to have colossal networks to offer any realistic value to their clients. By virtue of their relationship with a recruiter, clients will expect to gain equity in a highly valuable network.
There are so many important reasons for this and it's beyond the scope of this blog entry to cover them all. Suffice it to say, that recruiters with substantial networks can source better quality candidates and do so in a fraction of the time when compared to recruiters with negligible networks.
A large network will also bolster a recruiter's image and repute. A large network instantly conveys the impression of good standing within the professional community. Unfortunately, due to years of declining sentiment toward recruiters in general, a good reputation must be quickly established in order to overcome general recruiter resistance on both the client and candidate side.
Web 2.0 expertise.
For most recruiters, the extent of their internet tools proficiency is running Boolean search queries on job boards. That simply won't cut it anymore. The days of earning high fees for being the first in line to present low hanging fruit to clients is, thankfully, grinding to a halt.
Recruiters will need to master the use of web 2.0 tools to be able to offer any realistic value to their clients. They will need to be expert social networkers and cyber sleuths. Unfortunately, learning this technology is daunting and presents a steep learning curve for earlier generation recruiters. Sadly, I think web 2.0 is going to wipe this group out. But that's the hard reality.
Without question, a job marketing strategy is an essential aspect of any recruiting initiative today. Amazingly enough, this basic and vital recruiting function is rarely ever provided by recruiters and search firms. Recruiters will need to be able to write compelling job ads for their clients that stand out from all the others online. This adds a creative aspect to recruiting that was never required before in a traditionally conservative sales oriented industry. Without question, new generation recruiters will need to have creative mojo in the area of job marketing to be truly valuable to a client. They will also need to be savvy enough with web 2.0 to choose the right marketing channels in order to ensure their job ads reach the right candidate audience.
Long gone are the days of dull requirements-intensive job descriptions that describe the person who will do the job. Job ads of the future will describe the job and the opportunity inherent in it. They will need to communicate the job value proposition in a creative and compelling way. Companies will expect their recruiters to provide this service. Recruiters who are not creative by nature and lack strong marketing skills will need to outsource this process in order to survive. Clearly, job marketing will be part and parcel of recruiting services in the future.
Hiring process support.
Fact is, managers have a full-plate supervising the people they already have. Needless to say, most aren't enthusiastic about single-handedly managing the process of hiring new people as well. And for good reason. Considering that much of the hiring process is project management and documentation related, these activities lend themselves well to being delegated. Support in this area can provide tremendous value to a manager and I believe we will see some form of hiring process support commonly bundled with professional recruiting services in the future.
Some of these activities will include the consultation and documentation necessary to create a performance profile, writing the job ad, comprehensive candidate screening, interviewing technique coaching, assessment advice and tools, facilitating reference gathering and background checks, on-boarding support and a long-term performance evaluation roadmap.
Performance-based fee structure.
The Performance Payouts fee structure will become the industry norm. Performance Payouts means paying recruiting fees for a new hire's success on the job, not for a recruiter's success in finding the candidate. The key difference being that recruiting fees are paid for new hire results instead of candidate potential. Performance Payouts is a ‘try before you buy' fee structure in which incremental payments representing a percentage of the total recruiting fee are spread out over a specified period of time and paid only as new hires reach calendar milestones. I think it is safe to say that the days of large lump sum fees payable 15 days after a candidate's start date is coming to an abrupt end.
I believe those are several of the most dramatic changes that we can expect to see in the evolution of professional recruiting services. I look forward to hearing what others think?…
all the time. And it not only kills me because I'm in that age demographic, but because people think I have the ability to help them get jobs, but in fact I am pretty much powerless.
I even have friends who have been out of work for a couple of YEARS now. My heart aches when I hear the horror stories about people losing their homes, having to pull their kids out of college, depleting their entire savings, just to survive until they get a job. And there are suicides too.
Going back to school or taking classes? Forget it. It’s a waste of a job seeker's money 95% of the time. Employers just do not consider 'adult education classes' or even a later-in-life degree to be worth much if anything; they'll just keep ignoring those workers they 'assume' aren't a good fit and hire the people who have the experience/knowledge from their employment.
And companies just don’t want to bother to train people anymore. The mantra is ‘hire ‘em with actual experience so we don’t have to spend time training ‘em!’ These days companies who are watching their bottom line (and who isn’t) want to hire people with at least some experience so they can be immediately productive.
Many over 50 job seekers have given up on finding anything even remotely comparable to what they had before being laid off, but therein lies another problem: They can't even get hired at Starbucks or Home Depot! Many of these people will do ANY work – they’re smart, capable, nowhere near ‘over the hill’, and often desperate if not for income then for health insurance. People who NEED money often turn out to be the best employees.
However, those companies assume anyone who is that over-qualified will bolt at the first offer in their field that comes their way. This may - or may NOT - be true, but I just hate all the assumptions and preconceived notions people have about certain age groups (hell, while we're at it, I also hate ALL assumptions about any group of people). No one is judged on their individual merit or circumstances. Why not?
Time and workload. No one in an HR or recruiting function, nor the hiring manager him/herself, has the time to do a thorough review of every applicant.
So what's the answer?
Well, I highly doubt we will change American society and our sociological beliefs. Just look at history… how long did it take Women to gain a foothold in employment? And then African-Americans and other people considered ‘non-white.’ And today, the focus seems to be on Gay rights and acceptance, and that battle is still ongoing.
Face it, we humans are imperfect; we are not computers. Even the best, most well-meaning people may harbor preconceived notions or outright bias against certain groups, and some do without even realizing it. People will stick to what they 'think' they know (like employers 'think' they know to never hire someone at a lesser pay or title than they held before), because it's easy. It's easy to lump an entire group of people together so they can be rejected. Makes the person whose job it is to review all the resumes much easier!
I'm a firm believer that the hiring process in our country is broken. It has become a matter of rejection - how many people can the reviewer (could be an HR Manager, or a Recruiter, or an entry level admin or even a temp worker!) remove from the pile?
That pile of resumes must be made smaller, of course, because no one has the time to read 500 resumes and cover letters for each position in their company. So employers first look for a reason to reject the person... you know, those age-old reasons that humans use to classify others:
There are typos on the resume.
The resume ‘looks’ bad.
- The person’s English is a bit stilted or broken (possibly indicating someone whose first language is not English).
The name of the candidate is ‘ethnic’ sounding. (studies have proved that ‘Colin’ will get hired more often than ‘Tyrone’, and that ‘Jason’ will get preference over ‘Abdul’).
The person lives too far from the company (‘far’ being a very subjective term; 10 miles might be far to you, but many, many people in the U.S. drive more than 50 miles each way)
- The person lives in a ‘bad’ area or neighborhood.
- And, of course, the person graduated from school more than 15 years ago or shows employment dates on their resume from more than 15 years ago.
If it IS a machine (computer) doing the first ‘review’, there is no guarantee the computer will reject the people truly not qualified, nor is there a guarantee the computer will keep the best candidates. The whole subject of keywords and rankings based on keywords is fodder for another debate!
Lastly, they look at the actual experience and qualifications of the person. Yes, I said last.
Those candidates who aren’t immediately rejected, move on to the next step in the rejection process, so that another imperfect human reviews and rejects, and by the time the actual hiring manager sees resumes, from that 500 he/she might only see 10.
Do you for one minute think that every one of the 490 rejected candidates were rejected solely because they do not have the minimum qualifications?
Now let this sink in for a minute… someone who has never met you, someone who could be racist, ageist, homophobic, someone who might be an entry-level employee without much breadth of business experience, someone who most likely has no understanding of what you do and how that fits into their company, could be the person who determines your future.
(dismounting my soapbox now)…
too aggressive, they throw resumes without really interviewing the candidates, send resumes of people that actually aren't interested, send unsollicited resumes, they lie about the qualities of the candidates and on and on. As corporate recruiter myself last week I got another call from a desperate recruiter who just needed to get a visit or a job to work on. Despite the crisis they still need to make their 50 calls or 10 visits a week even though nobody is even hiring a receptionist. Their job isn't easy and there we are, corporate recruiters putting salt on the wounds. But....let's have a look at us corporate recruiters through the eyes of a external recruiter.................
1) you call the them to try and visit them and they never seem to have time, claim to have a preferred supplier list or simply very few open positions. Looking at their job site you actually do see that they have 35 open jobs with an average open days of 65?
2) They claim that all agencies always shout the same thing; that we're the best, leading agency, very specialized but yet able to fill all your positions. They claim we never come up with creative solutions but ....have you ever seen an innovative corporate recruiter?
3) So in the end they do let you come over because they have a job open. You spend 2 hours of your time talking about the job, process and fees and go home thinking you got in the bag. Then when you try to follow up you simply can't reach them and they are not returning your emails/calls. Three weeks later you hear they are working with another agency and apparently didn't bother to inform you. Relationship building anyone?
4) Great, they finally give you the assignment but of course only on a contingency basis. The seem to forget that we as well have our cost to cover, recruiters to pay for etc. They feel insulted if you then try and work quickly and send them resumes on the fly. What do you want, that I invest loads of time and money while you give the same job to 3 other agencies? You get what you pay for right? If you want pure dedication and high quality services you pay for it.
5) Before you can start you do of course first need to be set up as a vendor which requires you to fill out 4 different forms, take calls their Indian call center trying to make sense of what this person is talking about. The contract itself is of course a corporate contract and is so complicated and utterly one-sided that you need to get external help to try and understand it and to make sure your not being tricked into something. But you need the work so you sign with the exception of the payment terms that you set at 14 days.
6) You try and get a complete picture of the positions (beyond the badly written shopping list they call a job description) but the recruiter is not very interested in helping you and doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable about the position. Your request to talk to the hiring manager is denied because "they don't want to bother the hiring manager too much". So we are left (again) with an incomplete picture and later they complain that the candidate isn't that perfect or tell you that you've oversold the job?
7) You are able to present 3 candidates (that you feel are really good) and never hear from you again? The recruiter apparently went to Disneyland for 2 weeks because it is impossible to reach him/her. Due to the terrific backup plan other recruiters have no clue what so ever about that position and tell you to wait until the recruiter is back. After getting close to being sued for harassment you get a short email that they have an internal candidate, a hiring freeze or simply have closed the position.
8) It takes approx 3 weeks before they are able to arrange an interview with your presented candidates and then they complain that your candidate has taken another offer? Oh and yeah, can you send 3 more candidates because they feel they can't take a decision without having seen at least 5 candidates?
9) After a gazillion emails and calls you then finally get some feedback on your candidates. They really needed 3 weeks to get all the managers together and get feedback. It turns out that the manager doesn't actually know whether he has the budget for the hire and it first needs to be approved by the VP. The VP however is again busy with a reorganization and it might very well be that the job no longer exists.
10) After a process of 4 months, 3 phone screens, 8 interviews spread out over 3 days, an assessment center they need you to check references because they are still not quite sure about this candidate. As if references are going to give the best insight?
11) OMG, by now you are taking medication against your anxiety attacks but they are ready to make an offer. The thing is that they only have a budget of 80K instead of the 100K they talked about before. But you know, there is a crisis going on so the candidate will just have to accept it. RSU's and a sign on bonus are out of the order of course so you really need to pull all the plugs and again sell the job and company to convince the candidate.
12) And yes, you did it! The candidate accepts their horrible offer and you are ready to send your eagerly awaited invoice. The candidate later tells you about the absolutely horrendous onboarding where it took 5 days to get an email address, 8 days to get a laptop and most likely 2 months to get that company car he order (while driving around in some battered Ford from the guy they fired last week). Training seems to be non-existent and his manager doesn't seem to have time to get you settled in.
13) While your contract clearly states that you have a payment term of 14 days their Indian service center now tells you that they always have 45 days in any contract and that the recruiter doesn't have the authority to change that. And they didn't get a PO number so it's going to take a bit longer as it's against company policy to open a PO after the service has already been delivered. So it's just gonna take a bit longer than those 45 days because they closed the books already for this month.
14) While you are busy trying to find new clients they all of a sudden remember you because they decided to let go of the candidate and although the contract says you don't refund the money they would highly appreciate it as they will not replace. When you try to find out why they let go of the candidate they somehow are not able to articulate the reason. The candidate you placed tells you that he still doesn't really know either but does know that he is the 5th in a row in the last year that has been let go off.
So, corporate recruiters; let's not always bash so hard on external recruiters! We are not always making things very easy and don't always create conditions for success. Perhaps next time I'll try to come up with some ground rules to work together. In the end we both have the same objective?
oh and yes, this piece is for a bit of fun................…