hat goes around, comes around." A simple enough phrase, yet something that Michael Crooks keeps always in the front of his thoughts. Michael lives in England and maintains dual-citizenship. He vacated Western New York a couple of years ago for the even-keeled temps of London - 50° all the time. From the moment you share words with Michael, you are captured, not only by his knowledge, but also his wisdom. He has a passion for ethics in recruiting and is an advocate of paying it forward.
Michael worked for years as a Director of IT before crossing the chasm into recruitment in 2007. He joined bluemondayRecruitment where he and his team specialize in IT and Executive Search. When asked about his transition to search, Michael shared, "I was inspired primarily by a recruiter that tried to recruit me. Her diligence and professionalism really blew me away." Vanessa Boone is that recruiter and what an impact she made on Michael.
Vanessa contacted Michael about a Director of IT position she thought he should review. He decided to follow her lead and pursued the opportunity. In the end, the hiring company had such a difficult time deciding between Michael and another candidate that if they had been justified in hiring both, they would have. However, that was not in the cards, or the coins, as it were. It literally came down to a coin toss. The employer actually tossed the coin to decide which candidate to hire. Michael, painfully, tells of how he was not the winning candidate. "That experience, the heartache..., well, you just have to keep going."
Michael is adamant in his pursuit of clients, "I have to spread my net further because of the way the industry is right now. While my specialty is IT, I have opened up to recruit for positions in opthalmology. I have this one opthalmic position where the candidate needs to speak English, Italian, German Spanish, and French and be willing to spend a significant amount of time in Europe." Darn, if only I hadn't given up those Italian lessons!
Michael is driven by ethics but there is more. What makes him different? "A lot of the companies that post IT positions, the HR departments, they look strictly for word match because they do not know IT. For instance, if the candidate needs to know a particular programming language, HR simply matches words. But I can look at a job description and resume and be able to tell almost instantly whether or not the person is a fit. I can see what an HR professional cannot. Not only do I see what is there, but I see what isn't there. If a particular skill or ability is missing from the resume and that seems out of place to me, I make a simple phone call, and ask the right questions to discern the candidate's ability because I know the job, I know the terminology and that sets me apart."
Michael is new to RecruitingBlogs and finds the global reach to be intriguing. And he agrees that Social Media helps promote and maintain transparency. Vanessa Boone made a huge impression, treating Michael with respect and kindness. Michael is simply paying it forward.
In a new business book written for hiring managers and C-level executives titled "Onboarding: How to Get Your New Employees Up to Speed in Half the Time" (John Wiley & Sons), Authors George Bradt and Mary Vonnegut deliver on their promise.
In a special two-part Inside Recruiting podcast on TotalPicture Radio, George Bradt states, "I've got evidence people are hiring again." Last year, "Everybody froze. They stopped everything," Bradt confirmed. "Recently, we've seen a lot more activity. Recruiters I know are getting calls."
However, there is no question there are fewer jobs available than in past economic recoveries. Translating, in Bradt's opinion, to the following: "Each new hire is that much more important. Think of it this way," Bradt advises, "If I'm the hiring manager or recruiter and I screw up a hire, it's a bad reflection on me." Bradt further suggests, "if it's a senior level appointment, it could negatively impact the bottom line -- even a Fortune 500 global organization." (Bradt worked for multinational corporations, including Coca-Cola and P&G before founding PrimeGenesis).
In the special Onboarding Experts series, Peter Clayton, producer/host of TotalPicture Radio (a popular career and leadership development podcast), asked Bradt to explain the "Total Onboarding Program" he and co-author Mary Vonnegut created, and why their approach is important in the hiring process. "If I could wave my magic wand, no one would ever let anyone else start to recruit for a new position till they had a total onboarding program in place." Bradt responded. "It is the 21-step onboarding program that a hiring manager should go through to bring in a new employee."
The new "Onboarding" book contains a number of forms and tools readers can download to assist in the onboarding process. "You've got to start with the organization shared purpose," Bradt advises. "Why are we doing this?" Bradt believes, "The only reason to hire anybody, anywhere, anytime, is because with them you can deliver result that you can’t deliver without them." Continuing, he told Clayton, "And the results only matter if it’s in line with the organization’s shared purpose. That’s Step One."
Bradt identifies seven risks of onboarding in the podcast interview. These include a role risk: "If they’re going into a role that they can’t succeed in, they’re going to fail. That’s the alignment upfront." Continuing to expand on the risks, he states, "They have a relationship risk. The personal onboarding plan helps them understand which are the critical relationships and helps them think through how to jump-start those relationships."
Bradt shares an interesting perspective regarding due diligence, for both the hiring manager and the candidate. "What we’re suggesting is that no hiring manager should ever let anybody accept a job that they’ve offered to them until they’ve done their due diligence. A lot of people think we’re crazy, and we’ve got some executive search firms that say 'are you nuts, George! We’d never let somebody be offered a job until we’re sure they’re going to accept it.' But play this out..." Bradt continues to spell out two scenarios, that are a win for everyone involved.
In part two of the Onboarding Experts series with George Bradt, Clayton leads off by asking, "What happens, George, I’m sure you’ve seen this – internally, there is a competition going on for that senior executive role that you are about to offer to someone on the outside, and that person is going to have to work with executives on the inside who were not offered that job?" "We've seen it a lot," Bradt replies, and spells out how to approach this situation from a peer verses direct report perspective. "Watch out for passive-aggressive behavior," he cautions.
Part One of the interview podcast, titled Total Onboarding Program with George Bradt is 24 minutes. Part two: 17 minutes. Both can be found in the Inside Recruiting Channel of TotalPicture Radio, and both contain a full transcript of the interviews. You can subscribe to TotalPicture Radio on iTunes, and other podcast aggregation sites, including Odeo.
About George Bradt and PrimeGenesis:
George Bradt has a unique perspective on helping leaders accelerate transitions based on his combined senior line management and consulting experience. He’s worked in sales, marketing and general management at companies including Lever Brothers, Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola – literally around the world. He is Managing Director of PrimeGenesis, the executive onboarding and transition acceleration group he founded in 2002. George and PrimeGenesis have been able to reduce the risk of failure fourfold for executives they have worked with - from 40% to 10% by helping them and their teams deliver better results faster. George has a Harvard A.B., a Wharton MBA and dual U.S./European Union citizenship.
He is the author of: The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan (Wiley, 2006, 2009), Onboarding: How to Get Your New Employees Up to Speed in Half the Time (Wiley 2009), The Total Onboarding Program: An Integrated Approach to Recruiting, Hiring and Accelerating Talent (Pfeiffer, 2010), Back-To-School Chats - Advice from Fathers to Their Sons (Durban House, 2006), and Back-To-School Chats - Advice from Mothers to Their Daughters (Lulu, 2009).…