interested in being a guest on his show. I had listened once before and had thought he was a very witty and an incredibly angry man. He seemed to be the "Howard Stern" of the Recruit-o-sphere and I thought it just might be a little fun (I confess, a lot of fun) to venture onto The Recruiting Animal Show on BlogTalkRadio.
Unfortunately, due to a crazy situation, I failed to show up on the scheduled day that I was to be on the show. I was razzed, jeered at, belittled, and ridiculed. One would think I would have learned a powerful lesson, but I begged to be scheduled once more, in hopes of rectifying my egregious error. The Recruiting Animal let me back in his good graces and I was able to appear at a later time. What was I thinking? He is pompous, interruptive, fails to listen to the answers of the questions he asks, is pig-headed, and an all-around nice guy.
I had the opportunity to return the favor recently when he agreed to a brief interview. I thought his responses might be interesting fodder. Animal has been recruiting, surprisingly, for a very long time. He claims to like the job, with all that pent-up aggression, I find that hard to believe. I had to laugh when he stated, "I want to make money at it. Unfortunately, I am not making any headway." He goes on to, perhaps, cite reasons why, "Everyone who knows me, thinks I'm an idiot. Ask Anthony Meaney. We used to share a desk, and we would pass the phone back and forth between us. That was during another recession. That was a great recruiting experience."
Having a useless degree in English, he just went in and applied for a recruiting job, "What else am I going to do?" I tried to get some answers out of him about his name and profile photo, Paul Winchell's buddy, Knucklehead Smiff. The best I got was, "I read an article about creativity and I was going through some changes at work and thought that I needed a new name, I sat in this chair and just went through the alphabet." As far as the profile pic goes, he had just seen it somehow and thought it was funny. And soon after that The Recruiting Animal Show was born. That was over two years ago, in March of 2007. And an obnoxious radio personality was born.
I think I have an idea where some of his hostility came from. Several years ago, Animal had a potential client, a CEO of a storage company. Animal and his buddy were sent in to talk to a Vice President at the company. Throughout the conversation the VP just sat in his chair with his head down in his hands, rarely looking up. A girl with a coffee cart came by and he jumped up, said to keep talking and then walked out of his office to get a cup of joe. "After that, they went out of business, I eventually helped that CEO find another job." I guess even Animal ends up talking to clients with short attention spans. He shoots back, "Kids, get a practical education; don't get an arts degree."
You want to hear something really interesting? Recruiting Animal actually volunteers a significant amount of time as a doorman for the local geneology society. Back in 1997, he started researching his own family roots and through the years, has met a lot of very nice people. "My best friend there is Henry, he's eighty-five years old." Wait a minute..., Animal has friends? He even hangs out with a group of guys he's known since high school; they play a card game called clubbyish (?) - a sort of poker... I think they keep him around for laughs.
Believe me, I drug my feet the whole time as I considered speaking with the Recruiting Animal. He's a yeller; I am merely a loud talker. I was a little worried he still held a grudge from last year when I missed my appointed time. And he tends to pick on my friends on his show all the time... Yet through my trepidation, I faced my fears and was able to make it through a conversation without getting yelled at. If you are interested in controversy and digging in to a wide range of HR, Recruiting and Social Media topics, check out his show. Yes, he's angry. Yes, he's frustrated. But underneath it all, he is not a Knucklehead and he is no Howard Stern. Thank God for that.
airness and understanding. When in doubt, make a personal connection.
Today, we are starting the search for a Candidate Care Manager to help us create a great experience for the thousands of candidates that come through our virtual doors every month.
A few things about the job....
As you probably know, looking for a job can be really hard. We want someone who cares deeply about how our candidates feel - about their job search and their Readyforce experience.
This job is a combination of doing (yes, the first few months will involve taking a lot of candidate calls yourself), building (we’ve got very little in place right now so this will be greenfield for you - people, philosophy, processes, technology, tools, etc) andmanaging (we have a small team of folks doing the work today and part of your job will be to inspire, motivate, coach and build that team).
You won’t be alone. The entire company - engineering, client services and the executive team is behind you, helping you turn this company value into reality for our candidates.
Really important things about you...
You have ~4-10 years total work experience.
You have at least one year of experience managing people doing customer care in a high-volume environment. To be clear - you don’t need to have built and run a huge call center. In fact, that’s probably too much for the stage we are at.
You have experience with either hiring in volume or human resources. This means that you have been the primary hiring manager for at least 10 positions or participated in the interviewing of at least 100 people.
If you aren’t 100% comfortable using data to run your function, this isn’t the job for you. There’s really no way to fake it. You can easily point to at least 5 projects in which you set specific numerical metrics and tracked progress to these metrics on a regular basis.
You have worked in a fast growing, venture-backed start upwith less than 100 employees.
A few things about Readyforce....
Readyforce was founded on the belief that people deserve better: people deserve more transparency and respect in their job hunting efforts and companies have a right to a better way of finding great people that are a match of their needs.
We are ambitious (we want to revolutionize the staffing industry) and humble (we know we have a long way to go).
We are passionate about what we are doing (we truly think of it as “changing lives”) and we think this is a great place to work.
More about you....
First of all, you are intelligent, resourceful and creative.
You work at an above-average velocity – you get a lot done in a short amount of time.
Your integrity is unquestionable. You think: “How can I make sure this person walks away feeling great about their experience?” not“how can I get this person off the phone quickly and still have them give us a good review?”
Your work ethic is off the charts. This does not mean that you work endless hours but it does mean that you approach your tasks and projects with a tenacity, determination and commitment to finish them well in a timely way.
You have tremendous problem solving skills. We believe that smart people get paid good money to solve really hard problems.
You have a positive attitude that helps you persevere, even laugh, as you manage your way through tough problems and situations.
You have above average communications skills. Your emails are clear, concise and direct. Your verbal communications are fearless, kind, professional and confident.
You are super-organized and know where each one of your projects is at any given time.
You embrace technology. This goes way beyond being good at Excel. You are comfortable navigating around and learning about new systems and products.
You have worked in fast-paced, successful start-up environment. This translates into an ability to handle ambiguity, thrive in a dynamic environment and be flexible about how you get your job done.
Keywords: Customer service, candidate, human resources, client services, managing, caring, self starter, analytic, analytical, data, venture backed, start up, customer care, building, relationships, go getter
firstname.lastname@example.org | 650-543-1408 | www.readyforce.com
un of everything and everyone without regard for the consequences. Sponges? Bras? Master of your domain? If you are a fan, you know what I’m referring to. The mere mention of “low-talker” or “Mulva” or “puffy shirt” still conjures a devilish grin on my face.
To this day, the recruiters in my office use similar nicknames to remember candidates, clients or situations that we have experienced. “Crazy, Pot-smokin’ Granny”, “Beatle Guy” and “Robert” (yes, we have a thing here for the name Robert), are just a few of the many nicknames that we’ve devised that represent a candidate that made us angry, embarrassed or just plain insulted. Just when we think we’ve “seen it all”, along comes another. Just as Seinfeld had his greatest nemesis in Newman, we have ours. His name is “Drunken No-Pants Guy” and he will go down as our ultimate recruiting horror story.
Drunken No-Pants Guy, heretofore referred to as DNPG, started as your typical candidate. He had the skills. We had the job. After an uneventful courtship, offer and acceptance, my partner, Shelley, arranged to meet DNPG at his hotel so she and I could escort him into the client for his first day of work. This was standard procedure for us in cases involving high profile clients. It was especially important in this instance, since we had never actually met DNPG. All our interaction with him to this point had been done via phone or email.
Shelley called DNPG when his flight arrived and arranged to pick him up the next morning since the hotel was on her route to the office. That’s where the “normal” part of the story ends. The horror story begins as she arrives at the office without DNPG in tow.
She’s as white as a ghost when she asks me to go back to the hotel with her. “He’s either sick, a pervert or drunk”, she says, as she tried to compose herself. “Why?”, I asked. “Because when he came to the door, he wasn’t wearing any pants”, she replied.
So up the hotel stairs we go, looking like we’re about to raid some seedy prostitution ring. I go to knock on the door but find that it’s ajar. I take my chances and go with what’s behind door number three for the win. As the door swings open, there sits DNPG, sitting on the sofa with a bottle of booze staring back at him from the pre-fab wood coffee table in front of him. “DNPG (of course I used his real name here), are you okay?”, I said. He stands up. He is fully-dressed from the waist up. He even has his tie neatly done in a classic Windsor. From waist-down, he is completely “nakey”, as my nine-year-old son says. Willie is Free. A snake is loose. You get my meaning.
He comes to the door as if he fully intends on going with us for his first day on the job. Two or three steps away from me, I catch the smell of B.O. (the B. stayed with the O. – for you Seinfeld fans). On top of that, I get a whiff of vodka and vomit, but not necessarily in that order. I give him the benefit of the doubt and ask “Are you drunk?” He mumbles. “We can’t take you to our client like this”, I tell him. He stumbles. I tell him to go back and lay down, but he gets hostile and decides that it would be a good idea to take a swing at me instead. The next thing I know, I am actually holding DNPG by the armpits so he doesn’t hit the floor with his face. I have asked Shelley to never tell me where his man-parts were as we both struggled to get him back to his bed. We locked the door behind us. I think we both burned the clothes we were wearing that day.
On the way back to the office, we tried our best to come up with a solution. We could tell the client he missed his flight. We could go back and pour a pot of coffee down his throat and deliver him in the afternoon. We could pay a sober, pants-wearing guy to be pretend to be DNPG, but then again, he wouldn’t possibly be able to actually be DNPG since he was sober and wearing pants…
In the end, we decided that the best option was to tell the client the truth. After all, who could possibly make all this up? Thankfully, the client understood and we were able to find a suitable replacement for DNPG, a wonderful gentleman whom we shall forever refer to as GWRDNPG (Guy Who Replaced Drunken No-Pants Guy).
The “teaching-points” of the story are quite simple. Tell the truth, no matter what. And have fun. Just like Jerry taught us. Sometimes you just have to laugh.
e the conversation please feel free to do so on your own blogs. That is also as good a place as any to protest my decision if you'd like. No problem. I'll be happy to put together a digest if it serves some constructive purpose but at this point we're going backwards and it serves no purpose at all.
I'd like to close with this excellent advice from someone whose silence speaks volumes and whose sage advise I deeply respect:
Manners are everything. Recently, I've been thinking about conversation and the best ways to have it online. I am hardly the world's greatest advocate for for reasoned discussion. I am particularly good at taking a strong position and working to defend it. I know, however, that my favorite approach is only useful in limited circumstances. More often, reasoned conversation is the way to effective communication.
It's really hard to do that online. The competitive struggle for attention favors assertive stances. You get more attention if you sound really sure of yourself. It's hard to maintain a posture of "I sort of wonder if this might be true." It often gets you insulted or ignored, rarely respected.
So, the airwaves get dominated by personalities who are always on broadcast and only a little on receive. It's good for big puffy egos and really bad for community. The celebrity of the moment tends to have little ears and high output.
With a couple of recent dust-ups and a broad influx of new members, it's a good time to think about what makes for effective online community and conversation. (I've covered this issue elsewhere recently.)
I was talking with Jason Davis about this question this morning. We talked about the most important things for developing a sense of community. I walked away from the conversation and came up with these notions:
* Remember that those words and letters on your computer screen are a person.
This is really easy to forget. In the heat of the moment, alone with your thoughts and reactions, it's hard to recall that the text you are mad about is another living, breathing human with feelings. It's easy to say harsh things that are hurtful. Try not to do it.
* Understand the person who is receiving your message.
You know what happens when you confront a liar with his lies, right? He always denies them. Always. Many responses to your online postings are that easy to predict. If you are going to draw fire for what you say, be sure you know why you are doing it. If your writing is obviously hurtful, write it but don't publish it.
* Use the right function for the message.
RecruitingBlogs.com has blogs and forums. If you want a conversation, use the forums. If you want to confront, to post a commercial message, to have a one sided dialog, to preach, use the blogs. Free speech is important at RecruitingBlogs.com. Manners dictate the appropriate forum.
* The Forum is for Conversation
This is where the community gets to know you. We work together and collaborate here. It is a place for talking and moving toward shared opinion. Celebrate and incorporate diverse views. It makes for richer conversation.
* Your Blog Is Your Own Personal Kitty Litter Box.
Okay, that's harsh. The idea is that this is your own personal theater in which you can yell "Fire" if you want to. If the forum is the living room, the blog is your office.
* Use Email
Not everything needs to be available to everybody. Finding the balance between public and private is part of learning how to adopt to your new home on RecruitingBlogs.com.
* Find Ways to Meet Other Community Members Face 2 Face
It's amazing what happens when you can remember a good laugh, a great story or the general tenor of your last conversation with someone you know mostly online. Part of the point of the Recruiting Roadshow project is that online community depends on physical community.
* Always Reject Intolerance
Respond quickly and strongly to mass generalizations about groups of people. Remember that this is a public place and our behavior reflects on our profession. It's a bad idea to give the world the impression that we think discrimination is okay, that bullying is acceptable or that shirking responsibility and whining should be tolerated.
* Be slow to judge, quick to forgive
Until you've been on the receiving end of harsh online criticism, you can't understand how awful it feels. People make mistakes and good community is all about incorporating it it while encouraging even more risk taking.
* Be Positive. Encourage People To Participate. Praise heavily.
One thing I can tell you for sure is that I've gotten some things wrong and missed others. I'd really appreciate your help fleshing out this list and making it better.
(Here's a little known, very useful guide to building online community. Scan it. It's an easy, quick, value-laden read. It's by John Coate who was the director of community experience at the WeLL. I reread it - and let it influence me - as I pulled this piece together.)
John Sumser is the CEO and founder of the Recruiting Roadshow. To see more of his work, check out JohnSumser.com.…