nd Publisher Solutions Group (APS). She is a renown internet sourcer with varied background in the IT, Wireless, and Financial Industries. In her day to day at one of the most prestigious software development companies in the world, Kay is often sourcing prospects for lead Developers, Engineers, Testers, Security, System Admins, Business System Analyst, Project Managers, Program Managers, Media, Marketing, Search, Research, Recruiting, Sourcing, Online Media, On-line Networking, Blogger, and Social Media, etc
I had the unique pleasure of getting to know Kay in Atlanta last September at Shally's BBQ mixer on his deck and was immediately charmed by her genuine warmth, humility, and passion for her work and family life. Nearly every speaker for Sourcecon paid a visit for a chance to mingle, talk shop and to taste some of the best ribs and brats in town - but my conversations struck me as memorable, notwithstanding it my first opportunity to finally meet Kay after hearing so much praise within common circles. She has this winning smile that speaks volumes about her ability to connect instantaneously on a human level that I found endearing. I made a friend, but likewise I found someone I grew to admire over the course of that evening. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to share her background with Recruitingblogs today.
Q &A with Kay Kellison
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Kay: I have a partner named Mary Cay Kelison and we have been together for 18 years, She is my soul-mate and an awesome Sr. Technical Recruiter. When we met, I was a bartender studying art and she was a waitress while studying dance/linguistics/french. Our life has been blessed with two boys. They have captured our hearts and add their own imprints in our world. Deacon Blue Kelison leads the charge at three years old. Chase Orion Kelison, age one, challenges Deacon as well as keeps him grounded. Besides my partner, my boys are the best thing that has ever happened to me. We have a dog name Jaxx Magee (named after street-fighter) and a cat that thinks shes dog, her name is Colly Magum.
I was in the Navy for 6 years, traveled most of asia. Lived in Hawaii for those 6 years, honorable discharged in 1989 to go to art school. I have saved about 4 people’s lives , 2 dogs, and one cat. As an artist I have donated and sold my paintings around Seattle and on-line. I also make jewelry as a glass artist. I have donated time and art for the AIDS Foundation and Cancer Foundation which are very dear to my heart since I have lost a lot in my life to both diseases. I was brought up treating people that way I want to be treated and that when you see a stranger who is new to the area, or lost or need help. I without any hesitation will invite them to my home; especially around the holidays, I don’t like knowing someone is alone on the holidays. I also, will take the leftovers and we will hand out food to those on the street around our areas during the holidays.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Kay: Having ten years of experience, I have 10 years of strictly research, name generation. I don’t consider myself as a recruiter; I am a researcher who partners with recruiters. I also train and educate recruiters on all that is being offered and help them improve their knowledge of the forever changing web 2.0 generation.
My partner, and I are both in the industry. Her specialty is corporate recruiting and strategy with a focus on international. My role is strictly internet research, training, and establishing parameters of communication within an organization.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Kay: I am a Researcher/Trainer with AIRS Certification CIR, ACIR and I have been in the Recruiting Industry for 10+ years. I have made a career of Internet Research. As a Senior Internet Researcher and Trainer, I liken myself as a Sherlock Holmes of the Internet. I have great passion for the Internet and its unfathomable depths and unlimited potential. I believe in the hunt and don’t believe in stopping until I have found what I am looking for. I make strategic sourcing sense to my clients. With the demands of finding outstanding talent and keeping our internal customers happy, I form strong partnerships with Recruiters, working with them to create strategic plans and execute them so that clients are satisfied with the team’s efforts and results. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing companies: Saltmine, Amazon, Microsoft –Ad Center as well as Microsoft India, Wachovia, T-Mobile…. At the present time I am the Sr. Researcher (aka Researchologist) for Microsoft Corporation in the APS group where I am a key player in building, training and setting the strategy for the Sourcing team. My approach adds value to Recruiting, explores, and exploits all old and new techniques for the best results.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Kay: I would say working for a start up company; it empowered me to carve out my niche. My passion for creating the research need and it gave me the means to develop my skills. With the support of those who saw me as a diamond in the rough… look at me now. I am a diamond! The manager who gave me this opportunity is no longer in the field, but I am sure he would be very pleased where I am in my career and would say “I knew it all the time”
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Kay: I don’t have just one Mentor, I would say I have several who in most cases don’t even know the influence they have on me. Here are a few people that I appreciate for their influence on the sourcing industry Shally Steckerl, Rob Macintosh, Amy Beth Hale, Moises Lopez, and Carmen Hudson just to name a few. In someway, these are folks who helps confirm what I do, is a great validation and importance in our world of recruiting. To them, I would like to say Thank you!
Six Degrees: Tell us about your job
Kay: I am the Sr. Researcher (aka Researchologist) for Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group (APS) at Microsoft Corporation where I am a key player in building, training and setting the strategy for the sourcing team. At any given time I will be working with 2 - 12 recruiters. My relationships with recruitment staff is very important to me. The goal is to effectively communicate needs on both sides so we can accomplish some of the difficulties of finding top passive talent. My work is to take some of the pressure off the recruiters and do most if not all of the internet name generation, sourcing, research, etc so that recruiters can focus on developing the passive and/or active candidate relationships. It is important to me that WE as a team work together to be sure candidate as well as the hiring manager has the best experience possible while working with our teams.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your industry involvement.
Kay: I spoke at SourceCon 2008, it was my first time and it was the best experiencing to have the support of my peers in the industry. I really want to make change and become more proactive in educating others as well as being a SME in my field. I still feel that my job is relatively new concept to recruiting in a way that there needs to be distinguished role in order to accomplish all the different approaches in conquering the multi facets in our growing technology.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal?
Kay: I would like to get into a leadership role focusing on research, training, mentoring and speaking about to leverage each other’s skills and passion. As I work with recruiters and partner with the businesses of the company, the demands that both sides are facing in hiring talented candidates needs to have a synergy between the Research/Source/Recruitment/Hiring process. I want to be a part of a new movement and make change in recruiting. Recruiting in general is still having a hard time understanding the value of “specialized” individuals since the industry seems to want to create a super recruiter that can do all things. This process is broken when you have so many burnt out recruiters that are tired of working to the brink of exhaustion. We need to divide our roles and responsibilities to make work more creative, effective as well as efficient. With the new Web 2.0 generation, it’s just too much to have one individual to succeed. Let’s make the change together!
Six Degrees: Tell us of your other passions in life beyond work in our industry.
Kay: As a hard hitting internet researchologist and data manipulating mad woman – most would not picture the artist that paints Picasso like abstracts as well as creator of glass jewelry and especially not, the six year career in the United States Navy. My family taught service above self and to help those in need. Mary Cay and I continue that philosophy and way of life with our sons, be being involved with the homeless over the holidays and charity work. My time and various artworks have been donated to both the AIDS Foundation as well as the Cancer Foundation. Like most Americans, we have lost so many to those diseases.
Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
Kay: I feel very strongly about how communications is broken in our own recruiting world. If we don’t address some of the issues that we face as a recruiting function, then we will never move ahead with the ever changing technology regardless of the industry. We need to utilize our strengths and interest that we hold within the recruiting industry. In recruiting, we tend to make hiring and candidates a “process” and tend to forget about the “human” part of human resources. I decided a long time ago to focus on the research/sourcing aspects of recruiting because of the vast amount of information and the forever changing ways to connect with the talent that is available passively. I am finding more and more corporations are trying to save money by asking one recruiter to do it ALL. This is a major problem, because no one can do it all and be effective, efficient, and still love their job. In fact we have lost a lot of good recruiters because of lack of work life balance that company’s claim they have. I want (will) to be part of a new kind of recruiting and make changes in our industry that support multiple resources to provide the best human experience for candidates and clients alike. We need to start looking at passion, expertise, specialization, to be key factors in areas that we are able to provide research/sourcing/recruiting to humanize the process. By empowering an individual and giving them the education to accomplish these things, then we as team will be stronger and better. My motto: Knowledge is Power and Sharing is Caring! I love working with recruiters and businesses that benefit from my passion and knowledge!
Recommendations For Kay
“I worked with Kay at Amazon.com and found her to be a thorough, diligent researcher and sourcer. Kay's knowledge of search, research and sourcing continues to impress me, and her ability to quickly understand the elements of a search would benefit any organization. Moreover, she is fun to work with!” May 10, 2005
“Kay is a sourcing PHENOMENON! I am consistently amazed at her ability to network with and discover amazing talent for her teams - she is also incredibly gracious in sharing her knowledge with her peers - Kay is passionate about sourcing, and her talent at it is well known - she recently spoke at SourceCon '08. Any organization that is looking to grow and flourish will be lucky to have Kay as a part of the team. She's a star!” September 15, 2008
Mary Hurlock-Murphy, Lead Recruiter, Avenue A | Razorfish
“Kay is on the cutting-edge of deep search and candidate sourcing. When ever I work with Kay, I feel like I come away learning something new. Kay is a true wealth of knowledge when it comes to interactive search and sourcing and it has been a real pleasure working with her.” May 1, 2008
Peter Kaye, Sr. Recruiter, Avenue A Razorfish
“Kay is by far one of the best Sourcers/Recruiters I've worked with. Her knowledge and expertise is boundless and unmeasurable. She's always coming up with excellent strategies and ideas on sourcing and candidate generation. She's a pleasure to work with.” May 1, 2008
Jenafer Park, Recruiter, Atlas, a Microsoft Corporation subsidiary
“Kay is best, if you need to find anyone or anything via the web she will show you how!!! She is a self taught master at web sourcing, she spends 1:1 time with every new Recruiter on my team and I always take advantage of getting her on my calendar to learn new tricks of the trade. She is best I have worked with; she is always available and loves to help. A definite team player who thrives on helping my team become more successful. Highly recommend” May 1, 2008
Shannon Barbour, Recruiting Manager, Avenue A | Razorfish
“Kay is an incredible team-mate. Her experience, knowledge, drive, determination and creativity really shine through, and you see it when you work with her. Her passion for research, how to use it, how to share it are all things that make her great at her job,. Kay is a pleasure to work with and an awesome team member. GO TEAM SPIDERS!” November 9, 2007
Bryan Reichert, Prospecting and Networking Manager, aQuantive, a Microsoft subsidiary
“Kay is an amazing sourcer! She comes up with candidates that are right on. Kay assumes ownership and does what it takes to get the job done. I recommend her without any reservations.” June 6, 2007
Nelia Hayes, Senior Recruiter (Account Manager), Microsoft - Windows Live
“Kay is a very smart, dedicated worker that is motivated by using key sourcing techniques to find information that enables recruiters.” July 7, 2005
Tameiko Davis, Senior Technical Recruiter, Washington Mutual
“This woman is phenomenal at what she does. She is able to source potential candidates quickly when others have failed. I recommend her without reservation...she is excellent at what she does.” June 17, 2005
Vicki Cohen, Staffing Manager, Saltmine
“Kay is one of the brightest stars in internet research I have had the privelege of working with; she is also one of the most determined when it comes to producing results. Professional, fast, and very committed to the needs of the organizations she represents, Kay is a recruiter's dream to work with!” June 5, 2005
“I worked with Kay at both Amazon and T-Mobile. Kay would source candidates and I was her customer as a technical recruiter for both companies. Kay is excellent at finding good people and she gets what you are looking for very quickly. She uses her intelligence to find what you want. She is persistent and reliable and I would recommend her highly for sourcing. She adds value to any recruiting team.” May 12, 2005
sting 3.0. But what direction are we heading in? Is it a coherent journey? Is there a clear destination/end goal?
4.0. What on earth could that include? How’s this?
Recruitment transitions from being a “cost center” into a “profit center”’!
The collapse and insolvency of many recruitment agencies.
Job boards stuttering and collapsing … and repurposing themselves
Companies hiring “through the sky” through external referrals and crowdsourcing
Exclusive/VIP/premium paid in-community content and paid mobile apps
Gamification shapes recruiting strategies and generates stickiness and virality
Companies rated globally by crowd opinions
Before anyone screams “unrealistic” or “utter fantasy” or cries B.S., let’s be clear that Recruitment 4.0 moves into the territory of vision. This is some years off. But by calculated hypotheses it is clear there will be a 4.0 and that it is a natural progression of 3.0 and builds sensibly on its foundations.
Let’s recap the different versions of recruiting.
Recruitment 1.0 encompasses traditional recruiting over a huge timeline, including good old-fashioned fax machines, print advertising, (post, spray ,and pray), and Rolodexes moving into traditional ATSs. Recruiters more focused on processes than end results. The basic any-bum-on-any-seat philosophy.
Recruitment 2.0 saw the move onto online and using technology for recruitment purposes, including the advent of online job boards & online CV searches. While the technology moved forward, the traditional methodology of 1.0 was prevalent, including online post, spray, and pray candidate attraction (aka the recruitment lottery of let’s hope the right-ish person looks at the online advertisement, at the right time and feels willing to go to the effort to apply).
Both Recruitment 1.0 and 2.0 were/are fundamentally focused on the active job seekers, (applying to vacancies, on agency books, and those watching job boards like a possessed predator).
Recruitment 3.0 is a huge leap as it moves recruitment out of its comfort zone. The beating heart of 3.0 is the non-active/passive individual and a focus on “best talent” and building predictable talent pipelines. In addition, the philosophy of “everyone is a potential candidate so engage them” is central. 3.0 takes us into building engaged, two-way, free-conversation based, transparent communities. This is anchored by things like employment branding, marketing, and PR. 3.0 is not only concerned with building communities but mapping key competitors and seducing cream-of-the-crop talent with your brand and in-house opportunities.
What is Recruitment 4.0?
Recruitment 3.0 is all consumed and focused on building communities. 4.0 is all about the value of those communities, both real and perceived.
Recruitment has traditionally been a cost center. It sucks money from the profit line like Count Dracula on a feeding frenzy in Transylvania, especially if agency fees are involved, coupled with advertising/job board fees etc. Add this up and it can be an overwhelming drain on resources.
Remember that many of the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies are addicted to agency hiring and mass job board advertising like an alcoholic drawn to drink. Why highlight the Fortune and FTSE companies? Primarily they should have the advantage and resources to wean off agency addiction, source passive candidates far more easily than small to medium companies, (but funnily enough it is the small- and medium-sized companies who are far more fleet of foot and innovative).
Recruitment 4.0 sees recruiting move from being a cost center (a loss-making division) to being a profit center.
Reflect on that statement.
It’s huge and revolutionary.
Recruitment being a profit center.
“Impossible,” you cry.
Perhaps not if you reflect and apply some visionary foresight.
Recruitment 4.0 is some years off. But not as far as some may think.
Consider the world we live in. Value is defined differently. Companies like Zynga, Facebook, and LinkedIn have massive valuations, well above their profitability margins. Their reach and potential reach and the size of their mass following — an engaged following.
Our generation is living in the information age. The power lies in networks. Networks are data. Data is power. And data is money.
We all want data. Especially recruiters and marketers/salespeople.
So how does a community, (or let’s crudely call it data) = value = monetization = recruitment becoming a profit center?
There are several facets to recruitment moving to a profit center.
Reduction of recruiting costs to a minimum, (agency usage close to zero, less need for mass job board advertising, reduction in number of in-house recruiters employed).
This depends on building and nurturing a “qualitative” community, a strong employment brand, vibrant social networks, mapped competitors, and putting in place a predictable talent pipeline for key hiring channels.
The community itself evolves into a self-service community, where recruitment can be executed by crowdsourcing, and by hiring managers becoming more engaged into pipeline generation and hiring. Everyone can use LinkedIn. Why not hiring managers?
Value in the community is identified by both internal and external advertisers/marketers that allows for revenue for recruitment.
A sense of increased value is attached to belonging/being part of that community, hence VIP/exclusive areas/content that people are happy to pay for.
Gamification principles create more engagement and sense of belonging and stickiness to sites, hence driving potential of more opportunities for monetization.
Actual games/cartoons/content that people subscribe to have repeat value.
Let’s look at some of those in a little more depth.
Traditional advertising is failing. The days of successful, targeted TV and print advertising are long behind us.
Ways to communicate, once limited and restricted, are now numerous and disperse.
Looking at TV, the former medium of choice for mass communication, now diminished, as people are now hungry for choice and happily spread their viewing over a diverse and numerous multitude of TV channels. If an advertiser manages to define a great TV slot to advertise to reach their target audience they are thwarted by the fact that people can now record and Tivo, hence skipping ads. TV advertising then is a busted flush.
Print advertising? Again, some national newspapers and magazines are spiraling downward from their heyday readerships. People tend toward reading the latest news online 24/7 or from niche web sites. They don’t want to wait the next day for old news. Print has had to be more salacious and do what it can to get the best scoops to get whatever sales possible. Online, people not only digest news, but have the benefit of posting comments and engaging in discussions.
So traditional messaging vehicles are struggling.
This coincides with a time when recruiter networks are expanding. Combine a recruitment database (with some companies having in excess of ½ million – million names), with social media networks, a targeted mass of names, email addresses, with perceived affinity to a business or product, and a growing realization awakens that this has a marketable value.
A marketing department does not have this scale, (or quality), of information on its database.
Now the first step is for recruiting to cross charge its marketing division to advertise to its database and community. Why not? Many marketing departments don’t see or understand the value of recruiting databases. They’re a potential goldmine of information and data … and potential business opportunities.
Taking this a step further, why not allow specific external companies the opportunity to advertise to your community? (Mindful of data protection and ensuring a community buys into contact by third-party advertisers). You remain in charge of the names and not divulging data, but certain advertising is safe to your community and could be revenue-generating for recruiting.
As this thought sinks in, revenue potential opens up.
The Death of Recruitment Agencies
At the same time, savvy companies will be seeing their recruiting costs decreasing.
As companies build their databases of talent, via sourcing, identification through LinkedIn, talent mapping, and coupled with their valued online communities, the need and reliance on recruiting agencies, both contingent and retained, will dramatically lessen.
This will also coincide with less of a need for corporate in-house recruiters. Hiring managers are more than adept at searching on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is greatly expanding its offering and making recruiting easier for everyone. Initiatives like ‘Genome’ from LinkedIn will radically lesson the need for dedicated in-house recruiters in the future. Coupled with your community recruiting on your company’s behalf (crowdsourcing of talent), the need for recruiters will lessen and hence accelerate cost reduction.
The very future of recruitment agencies depends on their ability to adapt to the new realities that companies are waking up to the need to break out of the active candidate pool and identify and attract passive candidates. If we take as an approximation that of the 100% of candidates qualified for your job, only 10% are active with agencies and job boards, then it’s the 90% who are more attractive to companies, and the agencies need to identify, attract, and present those candidates.
Contingent recruitment agencies, especially the large ones, are in the business of competing to be the first to present the CV of that 10% active pool, all trying to Bolt out the blocks. Unless they start to adapt by attracting and mapping out the 90% non-active and building their own communities, their model will face extinction. Now is not the time to rush and buy shares in traditional contingent operators as a long-term investment.
Even worse, the business model of traditional retained search and selection companies, as we reflect on it in this modern age, is founded on the delusions of lunacy. A client pays a 30% fee for first-year guaranteed compensation (or even just basic salary only), split into thirds, a third for commencement of the project and a third for presentation of a shortlist — the risk all loaded on the fee-paying client. Certainly, cost models will change toward loaded placement fees.
The irony is that search firm marketing is based on its peerless reputation as the ultimate Rolodex of all the golden names in the industry. Their network is the goldmine that we are seduced to unlock. If their databases are that peerless and they have done hundreds of similar searches, why then does it take four to five weeks for a shortlist? Perhaps that question is not raised enough.
The zealots will cry that the search agency is peerless in assessment and interviewing. But is that not we do in house? Why am I paying two-thirds of a fee without a placement? It’s even more laughable when the shortlist of contacts is most likely generated by a fresh graduate on $40,000 a year in the back room of the search agency, who then passes all their lead generation to the search consultant.
Alternatively, a growing trend is using a new breed of company that is engaged in market mapping, talent pooling, and recruitment research solutions — hence providing a company with a mapped market of qualified talent, with contact details and candidate profiles that the recruiter then follows up on. Not every company can afford internal sourcers, and this is the next best thing, and significantly cheaper/more cost effective than a full search.
However you cut it, the future is not bright for contingent and retained search and selection unless they adapt to changing new business realities. Not many currently have that foresight as they focus on short-termism. Hopefully agency CEOs have strong managers in their crow’s nest who are prepared to shout “iceberg ahead” before disaster strikes.
Job Boards Faltering
Coupled with the death/decline of agencies will be the faltering and restructuring of the large job boards.
As companies build their own recruitment databases and even more importantly their own communities, they can use creative ways to sourcetalent.
Communities themselves will evolve around certain disciplines/careers/industries and hence negate the use for paid job boards. Why pay for a large job board in the active pool when we can reach passive candidates in a free community?
Job boards will have to look at community-building themselves and earn their revenue through product placement advertising rather than paid-for job advertisements.
Companies have always embraced the concept of internal referrals. Why not the reverse? External referrals — even better through crowdsourcing using their communities.
Naysayers will point to the rewards attributed to internal referrals, generally through monetary bonuses, and hence the difficulty of applying this externally as companies don’t want to pay for talent they would have got anyway.
But recent times have showed the power of recognition and “public reward” through games like Foursquare. People love the status of being the Mayor of a local curry house.
Why not take this principle into recruiting and reward referrals from crowdsourcing: Public recognition and rewards in the community, (badges, leaderboards), on a sliding scale to reach actualization of ”real” rewards, be it monetary bonus, vacation, or a PC or iPad?
External Referrals through Crowdsourcing
Recruitment can learn a lot from crowdsourcing.
This term was arguably defined by Jeff Howe in the June 2006 issue of Wiredmagazine.
Simply defined, crowdsourcing represents the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call. This can take the form of peer-production (when the job is performed collaboratively), but is also often undertaken by sole individuals. The crucial prerequisite is the use of the open call format and the large network of potential laborers.
Howe further drives this home by stating that “it’s only crowdsourcing once a company takes that design, fabricates [it] in mass quantity and sell[s] it.”
In laymen’s language, a company posts a problem online; a vast number of individuals offer their opinions and ideas as to how to solve it; the winning idea is rewarded in some form; and the end result is the company adopting the idea for its own benefit.
Some great examples of the power of crowdsourcing exist on Wikipedia: (the following are all directly quoted from Wikipedia).
In 2005, Amazon.com launched the Amazon Mechanical Turk, a platform on which crowdsourcing tasks called “HITs” (Human Intelligence Tasks”) can be created and publicized and people can execute the tasks and be paid for doing so. Dubbed “Artificial Intelligence,” it was named after The Turk, an 18th century chess-playing “machine.”
Cisco Systems Inc. held an I-Prize contest in which teams using collaborative technologies created innovative business plans. The winners in 2008 were a three-person team, Anna Gossen from Munich, her husband Niels Gossen, and her brother, Sergey Bessonnitsyn, that created a business plan demonstrating how IP technology could be used to increase energy efficiency. More than 2,500 people from 104 countries entered the competition. The winning team won $250,000.
The Democratic National Committee launched FlipperTV in November 2007 and McCainpedia in May 2008 to crowdsource video gathered by Democratic trackers and research compiled by DNC staff in the hands of the public to do with as they choose — whether for a blog post, to create a YouTube video, etc.
Facebook has used crowdsourcing since 2008 to create different language versions of its site. The company claims this method offers the advantage of providing site versions that are more compatible with local cultures.
General Electric organized a multimillion dollar challenge to find new, breakthrough ideas to create cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid technologies, and to accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies. The winner will be announced on Nov. 16, 2020.
The Vancouver Police Department has put up a website entitled Hockey Riot 2011, informing people about the VPD′s investigations into the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot. It also asks people to contribute any pictures or video that they may have taken during the riot, with the goal of identifying people who may have participated in the rioting. The site also reminds people to not use social media to take justice into their own hands, instead leaving it to the police. As of July 1, 2011, 101 arrests have been made.
IBM collected more than 37,000 ideas for potential areas for innovation from brainstorming sessions with its customers, employees, and their family members in 2006.
L’Oreal used viewer-created advertising messages of Current TV to pool new and fresh advertising ideas.
Pepsi launched a marketing campaign in early 2007 which allowed consumers to design the look of a Pepsi can. The winners would receive a $10,000 prize, and their artwork would be featured on 500 million Pepsi cans around the United States.
Unilever has recently decided to drop its ad agency of 16 years, Lowe, and has turned to the crowdsourcing platform IdeaBounty to find creative ideas for its next TV campaign. Unilever has worked with Lowe on the snack-food brand Peperami since 1993, but has decided to submit its brief out to the public, rather than a small team of creatives.
Ironically, Wikipedia is itself a successful example of crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing, as a concept, lends itself perfectly to recruiting.
Posing the question to your community, “We are looking for a dynamic Product Manager, with x/y/z experience … any ideas/recommendations?” will soon become a normal sourcing/name generating activity for recruiters.
The key is how to incentivize/inspire/motivate the crowd to do your recruiting.
LinkedIn gets it. It’s already making headway toward this goal, aiding a company’s ability to use employee networks and matching up people who are connected to our employees who closely match our job specifications.
But what about the wider crowd? That’s where attention will turn next.
Premium Paid Content
Recruitment 3.0 recognized that recruitment is fundamentally boring. People tend to only visit corporate careers pages when they are looking for work. There is no engaging “repeat visit” content that drags them back for more. Many companies are using social media as a replacement job board and listing jobs with hyperlinks back to the job site. It’s hardly the most engaging content.
Recruitment 3.0 involves building “engaged” communities. The key is compelling, rich content, creating a destination that people want to go to on a frequent basis. That is not a list of jobs.
Remember again that recruiting is not about “bums on seats”; it also encompasses nurturing a strong employment brand proposition, attracting and seducing those not familiar with your brand, and taking them on a journey to either apply to work for your company or be an active brand ambassador in your community.
As communities build up in 3.0, underpinned by engaging content, and when those communities reach a critical mass, the next step is starting to grant VIP access and exclusive content to community members. If communities are engaged, they will be, by definition, happy to pay to be part of the VIP area, and we will see the monetization of these communities and a potential revenue stream for recruiters.
Aggregating all your social media feeds — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube content, and your blog — is the first step. This could and should be aggregated both on your corporate careers site and your mobile phone app (for those who want to be part of the community on the move). A one-stop shop for people to engage and follow your company encourages repeat visitors.
This content on the social media sites needs to feel personalized and humanized, giving exclusive access behind the scenes of your company and the individuals behind it.
But what else?
Understand the public pulse. There is no better place than the Apple Store. This shows what content keeps people coming back and is most popular to download. And guess what that is:
News & Information (knowledge and exclusive access news)
Games (fun games but also including quizzes)
Comics & books (The appeal of an ongoing story that people want to follow)
Photography/photos/videos (uploading and sharing)
This content often focuses on getting people involved, something to do with your friends, and brings that “global community” together.
Each of these is “sticky” and keeps people coming back.
Why can’t recruiters use these same concepts as part of their community building but adapt them for their own companies?
Recruitment Embraces Concepts of Gamification
Gamification is the latest buzzword. What’s funny is that some well-known commentators are rushing to speak about this subject but end up mirroring granddad at the disco trying to throw “cool” shapes to the latest bangin’ tune but instead look rather doddery and completely out of touch.
People love to be entertained. Gaming is huge. Not just “serious” video console games like the Call of Duty’s, FIFAs, and Battlefields, or the PC games like World of Warcraft, but the spread of casual gaming whether on Facebook or on mobile shows the power of people of all ages wanting interactive entertainment.
Gaming educates us about the dynamics of engagement. (Some would take this further to addiction.) What a great game does is ingrain itself into the conscious and subconscious of the player. You think about it and love the roller coaster of emotions that the game takes you through. You may pull an all-nighter, or get up extra early to get in an hour or so before having to venture off to deal with humdrum reality. Escapism is the new drug of the austere Tens.
But what else can we learn? Casual games are the key to the door of mass/mainstream and that elusive community engagement via compelling content that we all seek.
Casual games are those that embrace all demographics, are simple, fun, accessible, and from which users get an instant form of gratification. This is different than “serious games” that are deeper experiences and are perhaps less accessible due to the time invested and the barrier of controllers/complexity of purpose.
Farmville on Facebook is a classic example of community-building and demonstrates some key buttons in engagement theory (in a social context). Farmvile has been such a success for a number of reasons. First, it recognized the unbridled thrill of “gifting.” When you first visit your farm, you don’t go straight to it but to a page with a list of gifts. Many games ask you to spam mail your buddies to play the game. Farmville cleverly goes further by allowing you to send a gift of an animal or plant/crop to your friends. Of course, when we receive gifts, we also like to give them back, starting the spiral of interaction.
Part of this psychology also encourages you to help your friends by reminding them to harvest their fields and to weed their farms. It’s very community-friendly stuff.
These gifts also have a perceived value. The whole point of Farmville is to build a busy and profitable farm and maintain it. But to do this, you need to build and grow the farm, which is time-consuming and takes a while to buy plants, crops, and trees, etc. But luckily your saving grace is your friends as they help out by sending all these valuable items for your farm. Hence my farm looks better with more content so I will invite more of my friends to play, give them gifts, and expect/request gifts in return. It’s a clever use of personal psychology and satisfaction of wants.
Farmville also gets that the game has to be accessible and simple. There are no extra levels; you just keep on growing the size and scope of your own farm. The only limitation is money. But having lots of friends gets around that.
Now the clever part kicks in. The game keeps you coming back. Certain crops you plant require harvesting at certain times. Some crops will die if you don’t come back. Strawberries mean you come back every four hours. That locks in an engagement and repeat visit. “I must log back in at 2 p.m. or my crops will die!”
Farmville also cleverly gets the whole concept of one-up-manship and competing to have the bigger farm, the more money, the latest gadgets 00 and that’s where monetization kicks in. Someone can pay to get ahead of their friends, and for many that is a key driver. “I must have the biggest farm and the latest items and be ahead of my mates!”
Hence Farmville teaches us there are three things to making social games huge viral successes: getting users to invite their friends (virality); getting users to return frequently (stickiness); and people competing to win/be ahead of their friends (showing off).
Interestingly, one of the first to understand these dynamics was the Hotel chain Marriott, which has released a Facebook game designed with the goal of introducing potential employees to life in the hospitality industry.MyMarriottHotel gives players the opportunity to “work” in various hotel roles, including hospitality manager. You can start by working in the hotel kitchens and gain points for excellent customer service and profitability. The game is geared to raising awareness among millennials to job opportunities around the world (cleverly available in five languages).
Critically for recruiting, the MyMarriottHotel Facebook game includes at the top of the game a banner shouting “Do It For Real” that hyperlinks to Marriott’s jobs site. Marriott’s goal is to fill 50,000 positions at its hotels around the world, helped by this game raising awareness, (predominantly outside the U.S.).
So what is gamification, and how can it be applied to recruiting?
Gamification is using game mechanics/methodology to inspire engagement in activities that otherwise would be considered boring or routine. Recruitment certainly sits within that definition.
Key concepts of gamification that recruiters can learn from when developing communities and building compelling, repeat visit content, include:
The key word when engaging in social media and community-building is remembering the key element, often-forgotten, is social
Keeping activities/content simple, fun, and interactive. When people read your blog/social media, is it light, carries pictures, short, informative, stimulating, or even entertaining to read?
People want to know what other people are doing, especially their friends. Can people see what their friends have been doing? People love engagement and giving their opinion, be it by rate-this-page, commenting, oropinion polls. These are all interactive elements that engage.
As people interact, degrees of personalization and humanization help, such as the uploading of avatars and/or people’s pictures. People prefer engaging with “perceptibly real” other people. Avatars aid that.
Are you encouraging sharing content/activities with your community? Are people rewarded or recognized for sharing content?
Inspiring members of your community’s “friends” to get involved and get their friends engaged, i.e. virality, sending community growth viral.
“Gifting.” Can content be shared amongst friends/can someone get something in return?
Keeps em coming back for more. Certain times of the day/week that the community has to be there. Prizes/giveaways ingrain this activity. Some companies do specific content “reveals” at certain times of the week. Live webcasts also encourage set-time attendance.
Competition against friends/leader boards. It could be quiz-questions about your company, the most referrals of job seekers, or the most comments made in your blog/social community. Leader boards keep people coming back to chart their progress and see who is on top, and if they are ahead of their friends.
“Easter Eggs” — those intentionally hidden features that people can’t find. Especially cool for college sections and can be used to encourage people to find about more about your company and unlock exclusive content.
Enabling unique experiences/personalization. Can people create their own unique user account, personalize their landing pages, and personalize their experiences?
Progress bars. People are addicted to completion, and progress bars are often used in online shopping as you are guided to place things in the shopping cart and progress to the checkout. Progress bars fit nicely with job application processes of a series of tasks that people will want to complete. “Completism” is a natural human psychological compulsion.
User-generated content, and games like LittleBigPlanet have showed us that people love creating their own content and sharing that content with the community. Can your community do the same, involving uploads to your blog/corporate careers site?
These concepts can all be applied to corporate career sites, which are purely a repository of information overload and fundamentally dull, and of course tomobile apps. People, bored sitting on the train, plane, and bus, want content to engage them.
Some corporate sites already include games and other challenges — almost always in the Careers section — and some companies have added game elements to the recruitment process.
Some are asking, “Is this expensive? How can a recruiting department make games? But at minimal cost there is a thriving development community and graduates studying at colleges who would love the opportunity and exposure that creating and publishing a game on a corporate site brings them. Development time on games for mobile is minimal but the key is fun (look at games like Doodle Jump and Flick Football, massively popular but simple to develop).
Many recruiters are currently using Empire Avenue as a way of engaging with communities and making new contacts. Some are even using it as a sourcing tool to recruit from. For those who don’t know, Empire Avenue is fundamentally a stock market simulation social network game that encourages users to buy and sell shares of people and websites. Players have their own portfolio in a virtual economy and earn money, called Eaves, by investing in other people. This sees your own net worth rise by encouraging friends and community members to invest in you. What is cool is that when all accounts are linked together, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogs, your net worth rises based on the content you either create or share. What’s cool about this approach is that it combines simplicity with what we do on the web every day: creating and sharing content. Interestingly, Empire Avenue mimics the other sites as it’s also a social network itself. It’s allows opportunities to connect and debate with others by finding affinity groups (“Communities”) within Empire Avenue. Clever engagement mechanisms at play.
Concurrently, Google is also on the move with its Google News Badges. We all read the news, and applying the above theory — let’s call it gamification methodology — Google has created “Google Badges.” Google News users in the U.S. can earn different pins for reading the news, starting with bronze and moving up to Ultimate. There are more than 500 badges available to suit all types of interests, such as “stock market,” “Harry Potter,” and U.S. elections. These “Google Badges” follow closely on the heels of Google launching its own social network, Google+, and is increasingly trying to get people to share content via its network of services in a similar fashion to Facebook.
This will sound very similar to users of Foursquare. Foursquare is a location-based social networking website based on mobile phones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application, and select from a list of venues that the application locates nearby, e.g. restaurant, library, pub, house, etc. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges.”
The first time a badge is unlocked on Foursquare, be it an easy achievement (like the “Superstar” badge for 50 check-ins), or one that comes as a surprise (“Douchebag Badge,” which is unlocked after checking into venues tagged with “douchebag,” or the “Don’t Stop Believing Badge,” awarded for checking in to three venues tagged “karaoke” in a month), the game keeps people engaged with rewards that makes members want to use the system even more and compete with friends. Especially those who live or work in close vicinity of each other as they compete to be the Mayor of a location.
Why is gamification so important?
Interestingly, to give more credence to this area, Gartner, in research published in April 2011 stated: By 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organisations will have at least one gamified application.
That’s a big statement. 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.
Many commentators see that naturally fitting in the corporate careers site.
Perhaps gamification will be taken more seriously among current recruitment leaders moving forward.
Global Community Rating of Companies
People trust each other and members of their community far more than they do advertising or company communications. Paul Gillin, author of The New Influencers, talked about the impact of social media. One of his key points was that 78% of consumers trust each other more than they trust advertising — which is why they read blogs and go to chat rooms.
There are many examples to back this up, particularly when we go on vacation. The holiday industry has had to get far more authentic and responsible in its communications. No more fantastic ratings of restaurant food when it is tripe; no more “the beach is in walkable distance” … but only for those who are happy to walk for two hours; and no more “great local entertainment” when it is two people playing spoons. Why is that?
Many people now check out Trip Advisor and read how people have voted/rated their vacation/hotel en masse and then read through some of the commentary. Real. Authentic. Trustworthy. No hidden agendas, just shared experiences.
Companies value their placing on “best companies to work for” and “great places to work” lists. And these are a mix of internal questionnaires of employees’ experience and then a specialist evaluation of policies and internal structures by a panel of experts.
Glassdoor is the closest to a trip advisor for recruitment. Its bias is more U.S.-focused and needs to hit that critical mass to be held in the same esteem.
As we head to 4.0, those principles behind Glassdoor will see job seekers trust the crowd, and companies will value that authenticity far more than traditional manufactured best-places-to-work lists.
Size Doesn’t Matter
Some reading this will rightly raise the question of whether this is all this scalable. Cynics will openly proclaim there will always be a need for local agencies to hire receptionists, builders, joiners, hairdressers, admin assistants, and hosts of other roles. Screams will be heard:
Job boards will never die!
This was all predicted 10 years back and it never happened!
How can a small company generate its own community?
Many criticisms/protection of vested interests will emerge in this debate.
They’re fair points to discuss. Interestingly, when Hard Rock Café wanted to open a new venue in Florence, perhaps the initial reaction of many recruiters was to advise them to go to local “high street” agencies, or place an ad in the local press, even on a job board. The Hard Rock took a different approach and used Facebook to reach out and recruit. It built a community around the new venue opening. Hard Rock needed to hire 120 staff across eight categories from waiting staff, barmen/women, to accounting. It was inundated with responses and was able to interview 600 candidates for the roles and whittle down to the 120 needed for opening.
Whatever the size of a company, all the concepts here are relevant. It may be that a company does not have the time to build its own community but will be able to access other communities and groups, be they local or discipline-specific, such as hairdressers, and crowdsource their vacancies.
Technological, access to information, and communities know no boundaries. That’s the difference the past 10 years have made and why jobs boards and agencies have to adapt, or else.
Recruitment 4.0 is a long way off; yet, many of its concepts are resonating today and being built upon and planned. Some early adopters are even implementing some of the component parts. 4.0 is a natural progression from 3.0. It takes the community concept to the next level.
While some will be initially shocked at the radicalism involved at suggestions of recruitment transitioning into a profit center, crowdsourcing talent, and entertaining/gamification, with a period of reflection it makes sense as a natural strap-on to 3.0 communities.
Many of the recruitment leaders in place today are not ready for 3.0, let alone 4.0. They have been schooled in traditional recruiting techniques that will soon be outdated and detrimental to their business. Many more are worried about process than end results. Where does your leader stand?
Imagine those recruiting leaders who can go to their CEO and demonstrate that they have been able to map out competitors, and identify and build relationships with cream-of-the-crop talent. Leaders who have helped shape and who have put in place engaged communities with positive two-way communication social media channels, thus enhancing employment brand attractiveness, (with a positive spinoff for the consumer/product/service brand), and have hence been able to slash expenditures on recruitment and are now coming up with proposals of how to turn recruitment into a profit center.
Compare that to your current recruiting leader. Are they shaping your future in this direction?
Who do you think your CEO would prefer as a recruiting leader? The one described above or your current one?
There is plenty above to chew on and debate. Agree or disagree, what is certain is that exciting times lie ahead for recruitment.
And before someone asks, will we see an article on Recruitment 5.0 anytime soon? Not from Autodesk. We’ve got to focus on delivering 3.0 and 4.0 with the great team at Autodesk. There’s lots to do and achieve.
Featured Blog Posts by Sheila:
* The Best Advice I Ever Got
* Research & Recruiting - Lingo Simply Defined
Today is a sourcer's delight. Sheila Greco has always practiced the "pass it forward" doctrine valued at "SixDegreesfromDave". From traditional search, competitive intelligence to research/name generation this petite, soft spoken personality is a well known brand in research product delivery and services to her clients. Sheila has established herself as an industry Thought Leader within the conference circuit as a presenter. Most recently, Sheila spoke at ONREC this past September in Chicago, “Best Practices Combining New Technology with Traditional Sourcing.” Today, Sheila walks us through the process of traditional search as a practitioner, and from the vantage point of her clients - with her recipe for successful value-ads in pursuing and utilizing research in the long term with all the ferver of an evangelist.
About Sheila Greco
With Sheila’s leadership responsibilities as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sheila Greco Associates, LLC and her active role in the overall growth and success of the company, she places her broad-based skills and experience at the disposal of clients, candidates, and colleagues alike. As an entrepreneur, she has gained extensive experience in human resources to include, research, recruiting, and competitive intelligence. As a strategic results oriented leader, Sheila has a proven track record of building long-term and solid relationships with clients and candidates.
Prior to launching Sheila Greco Associates in 1989, Sheila spent several years with Goodrich & Sherwood, an executive search company in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She began her career as a research associate and quickly climbed through the ranks and ultimately became a Director of Executive Search specializing in consumer packaged goods marketing and sales.
An alumna of Hartwick College, Sheila received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Marketing. She is a member of the National Association of Executive Females, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), SCIP (Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals), Women in Technology International, and participated in many events sponsored by the New York State Olympics. Sheila is also currently Chairperson for the Amsterdam YMCA.
Q & A with Sheila Greco, CEO at SGA
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world, Sheila
Sheila: Family has always been #1 on my list. I have a son who I adore, a great husband and dog. Just like you Dave, I do a lot of traveling but I will share a secret with you, it is always scheduled in between my son’s games and school activities. He is 15 and I am proud to say I have only missed one baseball game. This is quite an accomplishment since he plays golf, baseball, and basketball.
As I travel around the country each meeting that is set is scheduled around my son’s activities and games. Part of my mission in life is to NEVER miss my son's games and school activities. He too travels as he is part of a NIKE Basketball National AAU Team. This continues to be part of my life too.
My philosophy is to work hard and play hard, something I live everyday! I am a very competitive person, I guess I passed this along to my son. I tell him and I tell all I come in contact with; when you step on the court, baseball field, spelling bee stage, lacrosse field (I played in College), tennis court (played in college) whatever, you need to have a winning attitude and give 110% or don't play at all. I also say you win some and lose some... and you tend to learn more from the losses that you experience. But I love to win!!
Six Degrees: How did you get your start into the Recruiting World?
Sheila: Networking, and being in the right place at the right time! Some would say I was lucky in how the opportunity came to me Dave. I started as a research associate with the Tidewater Group in Stamford, CT and my job was to identify names for recruiters to recruit. On my first day I was handed the Standard Directory of Advertisers, “The Red Book” and told to identify 500 marketing names from consumer packaged good companies and to do it quickly! Baptism by fire….I must say! I remember my boss telling me “here’s the telephone”, and the rest is history! When I started the Internet wasn’t even thought about. As the year went on, I became a sponge for knowledge, learned all about companies and how they are structured and loved it…obviously!
Six Degrees: Baptism by fire? I recall you once told me, your Initial Thought – “Is this really a job?” You peaked my interest Sheila, tell us more about your initial perceptions as a researcher and overall practitioner.
Sheila: “After the handshaking and signing of papers. I was told my role as a research associate in a nutshell was to obtain names. I was handed the standard directory of advertisers and told to identify 500 brand managers in one week from P&G, General Foods, Kraft, Colgate Palmolive, General Mills, Coke, Unilever, just to name a few. Why? Because Pepsi needs 10 brand managers yesterday.
Catholic Guilt began to set in….so I went to my boss and said “Why are we doing this? Why are some people hesitant to give names? This is not rocket science! I am having some difficulties here.”
She said, “I used to feel the same way, not anymore… Our job is simple, our clients ask us to offer an opportunity and these folks can either take advantage of it, refer someone or not!” Next without skipping a beat she said, “How many names did you get so far?”
Six Degrees: What was your progression track as a practitioner to establishing your own research firm?
I began my career as a financial analyst. I joined the wonderful world of executive recruiting where my real training began. I was recruited to a prominent executive search firm in New York City as a research associate. I joined Goodrich & Sherwood working in Greenwich, CT and New York City where I worked as a research associate for approximately 14 months. Soon thereafter I was tapped on the shoulder and told that I was ready for the next step and was promoted to a principal. This was my true entrée’ into recruiting. As a side bar, my first candidate ever was George Brandt, most of you know him. His company, PrimeGenesis is a company that specializes in Executive On-Boarding! Anyway, he was always one of my biggest advocates and I do thank him for that. Actually he is now on our company’s Advisory Board!
In 1989, I followed my dream and started "Sheila Greco Associates"
Today, I am still passionate about what I do. I continue to work hard and play hard. May I also add, that this wonderful Recruitingblogs.com community plays nicely into my personality…I like to listen, learn, respond, help and build relationships.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your company, Sheila Greco Associates:
Sheila: Since I founded Sheila Greco Associates LLC in 1989, SGA’s primary mission is to dramatically shorten the amount of time it takes clients to find the RIGHT executives. Since 1989, SGA has been a True Recruiting Solutions Company, specializing as a single source provider of online data, Custom Research, Recruiting Support, and candidate name generation to executive search and HR professionals. We offer Customized Research & Competitive Intelligence, (CCI), in which we partner closely with clients, helping them identify professionals to recruit, target their best sales prospects, understand industry trends, and find valuable intelligence on their competitors. We provide research and customized competitive intelligence to corporations and search firms alike. Our clients include professionals in recruiting, business development, sales, analysts, competitive intelligence, and corporate librarians.
SGA is known for its signature delivery product, ExecutiveTracker, which houses the most comprehensive list of executives currently employed at major companies – both private and public – across all industries. SGA carefully researches and sources each passive candidate – from the C-level executives to the hard-to-find, mid-level decision makers. Users can view company name, location, job title and function and other information of passive candidates based on search criteria. Once they determine contacts that best fit the current open position, the recruiter can purchase the complete contact record, which includes name, phone number, email, reporting structure and a biography, if available.
Six Degrees: I think it’s fair to say you have been an evangelist on behalf of the “Traditional Search” niche within the sourcing sphere of our staffing industry. You have been especially vocal about using ‘today’s research results’ for future search assignments. Can you elaborate?
Sheila: As I became more experienced, I began to understand organization chart structures, titles, roles, responsibilities and how companies differ across industry segments.
Too many recruiters solely use the Internet. I am not saying replace what may work for you, but consider adding traditional research to your recruiting strategy. By fully leveraging traditional research, the standard recruiting process evolves into a strategic resource to be used not only for the current search assignment, but for future assignments, benchmarking and competitive intelligence.
Six Degrees: Walk us step by step through an effective “Traditional Search” process.
Sheila: Say for example, you need to find out who the brand managers are. Here’s the telephone and the book which lists the names of the brands for each company. Think of it as a game. Set a target of 10 names per call and just keep asking till they won’t give you any more. If you can, find out who they report to and who reports to them.
Six Degrees: In having reviewed your presentations in the past, I think you underscore an important criteria, “Titles can be deceiving, know the role – research it just as you would the pipeline throughout the process.” Can you elaborate for our readers?
Sheila: Definitely, Titles can be deceiving, know the role. We recommend researching from the top level down. In general, Never stop asking questions and guiding the interviewee so the information needed is obtained. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding structure and team members.
More specifically, however, consider that once traditional research and charts are completed, we recommend showing them to the client. Allow the client to provide feedback and offer comments which may include: “proceed, I know this person, don’t proceed, already interviewed, perfect.”
As the candidates are presented, I’d recommend developing a summary of how they compare to one another - it assists the client with deciding when to interview and for which business group. Along with resumes, it’s ideal when you provide the client organization charts to show how each candidate compares to their own internal staff structure. By presenting the organization charts it enables you to intelligently discuss why these individuals were chosen. Again, always share your findings from start to finish!
Six Degrees: Can you walk us through a case study where you employed traditional search strategies?
Sheila: Our client asked us to recruit a Vice President of Merchandising. Following the steps using the tried and true traditional research methodology, a list of approximately 100 potential candidates to call was developed and five candidates were presented. The cost of research was 20 hours and recruiting approximately 35 hours.
The result: we presented the client with an ultimate hire while saving the client money. We also had built a pipeline of candidates that were used for future searches. In addition we provided the client with an in-depth knowledge of the competitive landscape which could be used for future searches.
Six Degrees: As a Pioneer in our industry, what advice would you like to share with those just joining or new to research and recruiting?
1. You need to know that time is of the essence EVERY DAY. This is crucial. Every one wants everything yesterday.
2. Do not be afraid to ask questions. It is okay to say “help me”. Become aware of the tools the team uses and learn how to use them to their fullest. It is also a great idea to learn how and where to go get things yourself because you do learn more by “being in the trenches”.
3. Never stop learning! Be knowledgeable, as time goes on, be the expert and go-to person. Earn respect, do not expect it. Be thorough! Do not take shorts cuts because in the long run it will come back to haunt you! Take the time to do the upfront work.
4. Build relationships internally and externally! Two of my favorite sayings are “what you do today, will help you tomorrow” and “maybe not a candidate or client today, but maybe a candidate or client tomorrow.” I tell everyone on my team, engage, listen, and respond.
Six Degrees: How do you see the staffing industry adjusting to keep costs down and broaden its value?
Sheila: (1) We are seeing companies that are being strategic, proactive and methodical as it relates to hiring. The days of handing over 3-5 candidates for a specific rec and saying “here you go” are over. Many hiring managers want to be part of the process and want to be shown the research, the pipeline from the targeted companies, how the potential qualified candidates compare and contrast with to each other, their respective teams, and the available talent universe. Methodical, yes... but very smart. Companies are looking for ways to keep costs down while still recruiting top talent. By using this methodical approach the research can be used again and again thus creating value long term.
2. Building and keeping relationships: Company executives really want those long term partners who can help them. Hiring managers and recruiting professionals alike want a team approach and value the results that it produces.
3. Today, more so then in than in the past, successful recruiters are looked at as experts and partners. The respect has been earned and we are now invited to have a seat at the conference table! Hiring managers have learned to respect what it takes to find the candidates and we have conditioned them to listen to what we have to say. A great example is the fact that we have them understanding the value of tools that are now available, ATS, research and recruiting tools, and online communities. The executives are more on board with us! Great job guys and gals.
4. Lastly we are seeing many top companies across several industries going through the exercise of making sure their internal teams are staffed with the best in the industry. It is not surprising to have leaders take a peek at their competitors, their staff and compare it to their own. If necessary we are seeing them pluck the good ones from others.
Six Degrees: What are the value-ads in pursuing and utilizing research in the long term?
Sheila: Dave, time and again, it’s whether the client has the vision and tenaciousness to view the information as a resource that can also be shared with other business groups in the organization. Once they review how best to leverage the yield of valuable information they see how it applies not simply to just talent management, but also issues of diversity, future restructuring efforts, long term strategic hiring as well as other human resources strategies. I’m in the business of being a long-term partner, not a transactional partner – and I’ll do my best to work with my clients in finding multiple venues to pursue their objectives with all the value-adds that are implicit in the research process.
Six Degrees: We always see you smiling, cheerful and happy. When you are not working, what are you doing?
Sheila: I am always on the go ... I don't really know another way of life. I guess I am just like my mom and dad! They always told me if I am passionate about what I do for a living, then it won't be a job! So I guess that is true....after all these years, I remain passionate about what I do. I am a workaholic and a proud mother too.
Six Degrees: Tell us something about you few know outside of the industry:
Sheila: In the summer I spend my off time on the Lake (Lake George in upstate NY) with lots of family and friends. The more the merrier! I enjoy fast cars and boats, as well as fishing when I need some quiet time.
I also love to volunteer and some day when I strike it rich, I want to be a philanthropist. Nothing makes me happier than to put a smile on someone’s face.
“Sheila is highly professional and persistent is obtaining the information she needs. At FIND/SVP, we hired Sheila to unearth information that we could not find through traditional channels, and she never disappointed us.” August 6, 2007
Ann Middleman, Director of Research Services, FIND/SVP
“Sheila is whip-smart, focused on the needs of her clients, and a natural relationship builder who always delivers on her commitments.” July 23, 2007
Glenda Brown, Consultant/Director, Partnerships and Alliances, Association of Executive Seach Consultants
“Sheila is extremely responsive, diligent and a great listener. Her focus is sharp and she's able to direct her team/resources at the right point. Her team will be an asset to any HR building effort, be it recruiting for a new operation or augmenting an existing staff.” June 26, 2006
Anindya Dixit, Exec. Vice President, MMatrix, Client”
“I have known Sheila Greco for close to 10 years and have worked directly with her and her associates on several projects to include; traditional search, competitive intelligence and research/name generation. Her firm sets the standards for excellence in all of these catagories.I am delighted to be able to endorse her work.” May 27, 2005
J. James O'Malley, Sheila's client
“I have engaged Sheila on a number of occasions, going all the way back to 1990. The work she has done across a broad array of subjects has always been of very high quality, on time and beyond expectations. She is a pleasure to work with.” February 19, 2007
Top qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative
Don Rosenkoetter, client
“I've worked closely with Sheila for several years. She’s a successful entrepreneur who has built an outstanding organization and assembled a great team that provides the highest quality work to clients. The significant value she provides to clients is to quickly and accurately evaluate their needs, then very effectively partner with them to provide solutions that make their businesses better. Sheila's energy level is inspirational, and she’s one of the funniest people I've had the pleasure to meet. I highly endorse working with Sheila.” January 11, 2008
Peter Malamas, Sr. VP (Current), SGA ExecutiveTracker
Daniel Harris is one the bright stars within the constellation of strategic sourcing talent developing within Silicon Valley. He has been developing his name generation and overall research capabilities over the last seven years, and in that time, has been a passionate evangelist for his vocation as a distinctive fine art within the staffing realm.
Daniel Harris recently was a Sourcer/Talent Researcher at NetApp Sunnyvale headquarters since February 2007. He Reported directly to Sr Staffing Managers, building a pipeline of talent lead generation supporting different recruiters on a daily basis. Dan actively sources both active and passive passive leads on behalf of NetApp, finance/accounting, sales, consulting and marketing departments. Prior to NetApp he worked at VeriSign for a year supporting multiple recruiters from engineering to sales/marketing.
It is suffice to say that Dan cares deeply for people, his work, and about living life to the fullest. He takes time to smell the roses so to speak. He is an international traveler, always looking over the horizon for his next experience overseas year after year. Dan prides himself in being part of the American dream, and likewise in being traditional; maintaining tight familial bonds. He visits his family often in Vacaville, about 1.5 hours away from his home in San Jose. His parents have since retired; his mother was a florist and father was in the Air Force and a part-time car mechanic, and he is mindful of his younger brother, and their family dog, "Momo" He is just as animated about speaking about those he loves as he is about the passion he has for his profession, sourcing.
And for all these stated reasons and more, I am proud to have Dan as my first personal apprentice in the JobMachine Advanced Cybersleuth's program.
It has been my personal observation that Dan Harris has a particular passion for life, one which resonates in each of the opportunities I have had the pleasure of meeting him. He has often been seen passing out sheets of the latest niche sites he has discovered to colleagues with a large grin and a sincere enthusiasm, and never seeks reciprocity for his generosity. He is often one of the first to register for a webinar or workshop, with a tenacious desire to maintain his cutting edge. When Research Goddess in Training, AmyBeth Hale visited the Bay Area, Dan provided legendary tour guide assistance. Of special note, Dan is one of the most modest people I have met in this industry. He is if anything, bashful when it comes to recognition, always thankful for the smallest of favors, and never a braggart. It is a significant quality for someone whose career is noteworthy for accomplishments and destined with the high expectations of his peers. Dan is respected for many reasons, but because he is a genuinely kind and thoughtful person he is a person who develops bonds in his friendships that go beyond the professional meet and greets.
Dan is one of the small circle of colleagues I contact within the Bay Area to assess hiring trends for recruiters in the technology economy. Someone of Dan Harris' talent and work ethic is in demand and the availability of sharp sourcers is in limited supply. I can honestly say, Dan is one of my personal bell weathers “ if Dan isn't on a contract, I promptly surmise the bay area economy is slowing down.
Q&A with Daniel Harris, Sourcing Expert
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world Daniel.
Daniel: I bought a Nintendo Wii and I like to play video games but haven't lately at all. I've been spending my time reading more books to sourcing/research on the internet. I am picking up Golf and enjoying that greatly. Mainly my time is spent at work/home in research and sourcing (passion for it). Currently reading books on Competitive Intelligence as I am finding the subject and topics it covers extremely interesting. I love listening to self improvement audio books at my desk everyday (for about 1 hr while I'm working). I listen to webinars to CDs from others such as Bill Vicks Big Biller audio dvd to Lou Adler zoominfo webinars to Shally Steckerl recorded webinars I have. I also enjoy volunteering at my local church serving as an usher to help setup and takedown on Sundays.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Daniel: I got pulled into recruiting from retail. I was working for Best Buy as a Merchandising/Media Supervisor and one of the General Managers left to join a small boutique Name Generation/Profiling company (HTC Research). He recommended me and I was hired on the day I interviewed.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Daniel: Well, I would say itâ€™s multiple events, but if I had to nail one it would be Jack Young, a coworker I had at HTC Research who stated to me, "Dan, BE YOUR BEST" just before I left there. Its has been a lasting effect over me and the changes I've made within my career in my learning development, growth, thoughts, work ethic, understanding and how I go about in research and sourcing for the best passive talent.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your job
Daniel: I'm most currently a Contract Sourcer/Talent Researcher at NetApp working onsite in Sunnyvale, California. My responsibilities are delivering a pipeline of talent of names/profiles/resumes to senior recruiters covering marketing, sales, to finance position opportunities we have.
Six Degrees: Are there occasions in which you share best practices with your colleagues?
Daniel: In-house at NetApp I gave presentations & my cheat sheets on some of the newest techniques, websites, and sourcing strategies I share with the recruiting teams I worked with every quarter. In November and December this last quarter I Led and contributed to sourcing training via phone/web conferencing to the NetApp India recruiting team along with the help of two additional sourcers within NetApp. I love to teach and also learn from others!
HOW DOES DAN DO IT?
Our continuing series on the rank and file and thought leaders who make us proud of our vocation. Dan Harris is a worthy role model to spotlight. He is modest, - truly uneffected by each of his successes, suffice to say it is because his inner core is driven by a certain, most unique love for his profession in life. It is comparable to a professional football player remembering the first time he held a pigskin in his grip or a baseball player recalling that warm summer afternoon as a youth playing catch with his dad. It is a sincere passion, a bliss few of us can maintain given our daily chores, and it is for that reason, that Dan Harris is respected and admired by his peers - his focus and drive being all the more infectious to us all. Today we continue our discussion from the trenches in this War for Talent.
Q&A with Daniel Harris, Sourcing Expert
Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?
Daniel: While I won't give an exact number, I will state we have a higher percent of employee referrals that are hired and come onboard vs through our corporate website but its almost equal I would say.
Six Degrees: What is the source of the "Most Hires" collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)
Daniel: Employee Referrals and directly through our Company Website are representative of our highest quantity hires. Both are about equal.
Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?
Daniel: Employee Referrals and Internal mobility.
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
Daniel: One of my focuses is building out a talent pipeline at NetApp. I am the orginal creator of our NetApp Facebook page which now boasts over 700+ fans. I'm proud I was able to create something that will now contribute to more overall branding and social networking relationships for NetApp. I also targeted specific competitor companies and built out handmade directories/contact title lists for multiple recruiters with a majority of names that won't be found using any resume board, Linkedin, or via the internet.
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
Daniel: Well, I am currently Secretary of HRCA and actively assist putting together great speakers here locally in the bay area every quarter. I usually try and attend great webinars given by Humancapitalinstitute.org. I also look at ERE.net to taking Shally Steckerl's Jobmachine, Inc. webinars.
Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?
Daniel: I would say my biggest three tools I used everyday at NetApp are jigsaw, spoke, linkedin, and talenthook. There are some other tools I am itching to get but for now I must use these.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
Daniel: I was originally trained via telephone methods while at HTC Research. I then started using the internet more and found search engines like Yahoo, Dogpile, or Google helpful.
Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? To this day would you say people's assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?
Daniel: Found it pretty exciting and challenging at the same time. The expectations and what I thought I would be doing was extremely hard but I was able to reinvent myself by a combination of using both the phone and the internet. While I had a lot of personal interaction while working retail before I found a lot of my skill sets I learned did carry over but still had to work and learn at recruiting, specifically the biggest being just really understanding the job and what the hiring manager was looking for.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn't and how that was a learning experience?
Daniel: Ha ha! I've made so many and learned a lot. I can't say I could single out any single practice in my mind this moment. However, One point I would say the you can't really start a job without first really understanding it and knowing what your looking for and requirements.
Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.
Daniel: Its starts with me! I openly share my research/sourcing knowledge with my coworkers and friends I have in recruiting. I believe in sharing knowledge and skills as it comes 100x back. I think the biggest differentiator is that I do feel confident in the work quality/quantity I can produce, how I think and can best bring value and talent into a top organization. I believe the YOU can be the biggest component in your success along with meeting and surrounding yourself with the right people/talent and knowledge along the way. Continually Learning and I never give up plus I love the thrill of hunting talent and winning.
Six Degrees: Best practice you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
Daniel: Striving to Be My Best everyday. Continually learning and improving. Understanding the position, having focus and then taking the right actions to get the results I need.
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
Daniel: The biggest obstacle I still face internally sometimes is when hiring manager(s) or certain upper management within companies doesn't understand the challenges that sourcer/researchers go through in the recruiting process. Sometimes the hiring manager needs coaching and understanding on what is realistic (both in timetable to the multi-faceted skill level candidates the hiring manager is wanting).
Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?
Daniel: Maybe an HR Business Partner or Upper Management at many companies that don't have a fully understanding grasp of what research/sourcing can do within their staffing organization (not to mention help possibly impact marketing, sales, and Competitive Intelligence).
Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?
Daniel: People Do! What motivates me everyday is People. I truly want to help impact and make a difference in their lives. Yes, while I do acknowledge I reach out and connect to passive talent mostly, I really do want to make a positive impact and create that great win/win in their career and financially for their families.
Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to implement that hasn't been done before?
Daniel: I would like to lead and take part in implementing some very low-cost training & networking luncheons starting here in the silicon valley/bay area that would provide more opportunities for face-to-face networking of industry leaders, HR staffing mgmt, and recruiting peers as we truly are only a couple degrees of knowing each other. We can help each other and others through this as People and the connections we know is one of our most powerful assets throughout our career and through our lives. If we can build lives, help build each other, we all get better and get through challenges and challenging times together!
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
Daniel: Well, I love to make great connections on linkedin so I can be found there
Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
Daniel: This feels like a Pinky and the Brain question! I will endeavor to get research and sourcing more well known, valued, and an understood function within industry organizations. Also see above on networking luncheons.
Recommendations For Daniel Harris
"Dan's generous spirit and ebullient enthusiasm are absolutely contagious. Few people in our industry have such a hunger for learning even after they have developed a deep wealth of knowledge, yet remain so openly willing to share. Dan is sharp and engaging, making him not only a pleasure to work with but someone with whom to enjoy exploring new ideas. I strongly recommend Dan among the elite CyberSleuths" September 21, 2007
Shally Steckerl, Chief CyberSleuth & Founder, JobMachine, Inc,
"I hired Dan based on a recommendation from one of my Name Generation Managers and I'm glad I did. Dan is probably one of the best Internet Name Generators I've every trained. We trained him to take a project and "make it his". When he first started he had never even heard of Name Generation and within a year he was taking ownership of projects and runing the research from start to finish. He made tons and tons of mistakes but never allowed his ego to get in the way of what was best for the research and the client and was easily corrected and put back on the right track. He was always eager to learn new tricks and invested a few new ones himself. He has the highest integrity and truely appreciates the skills he has acquired. He is an absolute pleasure to work with and I highly recommend him as I know he will go very far in this career." February 21, 2007
Jeff Weidner, COO, HTC Research Corp
"Dan worked for me at HTC for 4+years. Was sorry to lose him. Great work ethic and super employee. Knows his way around the internet too! Solid researcher. Would love to have him back!" June 9, 2005
Jeff Shiverdaker, President, HTC Research
"Dan is an excellent sourcer and team player. He is up to the second on what's new in sourcing techniques and tools and so willing to share what he knows with others. He is always positive and always willing to go the extra mile to help the team be successful." September 20, 2007
Andrea Schmidt, Recruiter, VeriSign, Inc.
"Dan is passionate about his role and committed to providing value to the team. He is a fearless researcher and has freely shared his insights and techniques with me. I feel I've learned a lot from his cutting edge techniques and his take on the future of recruiting plays out for me in my bid to secure top technical talent daily." September 19, 2007
Kate Gordon, Senior Recruiter, VeriSign
"Dan is great guy, very professional, focused and interested on getting to know the actual person to find the best fit." March 27, 2007
Federico Bockel, Sr Network Engineer, DTCC
"Dan is one of the best sourcers of the industry and is always well equipped with new sourcing techniques and ways to find qualified talent for "hard to fill " jobs .He is very talented in sourcing and always ready to share information.I would highly recommend him." September 25, 2007
Nikhila Bhingarkar, Human Resources-Staffing, Oracle ( formerly Hyperion Solutions Corporation)
"Dan has an incredible sense of how to best utilize information technology to attain and maintain a true competitive advantage. Use his resources and watch his amazing network bring you the results you need almost magically." October 18, 2006
Kevin Nations (email@example.com), Owner, SilverBack Marketing Corp
View my profile on RecruitingBlogs.com…
ave along with some of my other paintings of Pete Rose, Jim Rice, Ali/Frazier, and Rocky."
Phone: (770) 803-0444
Steve Rath is a Microsoft staffing consultant alumni with over 20 years of diverse experience aligning talent strategies with business strategies. He is an experienced talent acquisition consultant and trainer. Steve has worked with companies of all sizes in the retail, financial services, manufacturing, software, and Internet sectors, offering unique talent acquisition and training strategies with a Client Service focus. His particular expertise is in recruitment strategy design, recruitment process optimization, recruiting/sourcing, and applicant tracking software implementation. Steve has a bachelor of arts degree in Computer Science with a focus on Personnel Management.
Steve Rath is a noteworthy feature for me on a personal basis. Knowing him honors two cornerstone aspects of a life well lived for me. (1) Did you ever meet someone that within 24 hours you know you made a life long friend? One of significance? To be distinguished in your personal and professional pursuits is an accomplishment. In Steve, I firmly believed then and have since reflected that I was fortunate to have been at the right place and at the right time introduced by the right person. (2) Do you have a mentor, a brethen of sorts who consistently introduces you to people of significance? Someone who sees a connection potential amongst individuals beyond the sharing of stats and 'how to's' that often represent professional environments and has you break bread with them? To have such a friend who contributes actively to your circle of established friendships is likewise a professional/personal milestone. I have one. You may know him - his name in our industry is akin to the names "Cher" and "Prince." He had me sit next to Steve Rath. I am grateful on several levels to have two such friends who make me a better human.
That warm smile upon reflection is what Steve Rath produces in so many conversations. He is the type of person you tell your proudest moments - not for the sake of braggacio, but because you know as he listens he identifies with what it means to you and he wa ts you to succeed just as you wish for the Steve in your life. It's not even necessarily a reaction tied to trade news. It can just as easily be about your kid's spelling bee or the day you planted a new tree in your garden. You may hesitate to share it, Who wants to be perceived as having odd pleasures? But Steve will smile and tell you, "That's great I remember how excited you were when you saw it on the lot." Steve is someone I can tell that to. This is the Steve I know. Steve is also that person you tell the embarrassing tales to, and he can often win the game no one should wisely desire to win. My one named friend is the model of that friend aacrchetype, now Steve is a fellow tribe member. The ego is two doors to the left, we can just sit here and mind our own time. We often do and we do it in the splendor of one another's company.
Today let me stand up and genuflect as I present an opportunity to meet my friend and colleague, Steve Rath.
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Steve: Originally from NY state, I graduated college in 1985 from State University of New York - Potsdam with a degree in Computer Science (and a minor in Personnel Management). I spent my first 12 years as a developer/programmer. I moved from Poughkeepsie, NY in the late 80’s to Raleigh, NC and then to my final destination, Atlanta, GA in 1990. I like to think I was one of the reasons why the Atlanta Braves started their incredible Division winning streak after I moved to Atlanta! It was in Atlanta where I meet my wonderful wife Marjorie with her intoxicating southern charm. We will be celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary this September 2009. She keeps me both focused and grounded and she’s my biggest fan. I have three wonderful boys – Nicholas Dominick (12), Anthony Stephen (3), and Charles John (1). I stay quite active as a result of my two youngest and have become quite the Spongebob Squarepants fan.
Growing up I bled baseball. I couldn’t get enough of it. I played it as an 8 year old and in college as a walk on at Florida Institute of Technology (FL Tech). My dream was to play professional baseball. Of course my favorite team was the NY Yankees – Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Dave Winfield, and Phil Rizzuto (as an announcer). Those were the days. I was also an avid Chess player and #1 seat on my High School Chess Club. One of the only students to have lettered in Baseball, Soccer, and Chess!
Today I’m a huge Hockey fan. I enjoy following the Atlanta Thrashers as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins. We go to as many games as we can as a family as we thoroughly enjoy the overall experience.
One of my favorite hobbies is art. I used to draw my sport hero’s as a kid – sketches, pen and ink, and acrylic paintings. One of my most cherished art pieces is a drawing I did of Mickey Mantle of the NY Yankees. Mickey signed my work back in the late 70’s. I framed it and currently have it proudly displayed in my man cave along with some of my other paintings of Pete Rose, Jim Rice, Ali/Frazier, and Rocky.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been the the staffing industry?
Steve: I’ve been in the recruiting/staffing industry since 1997 and recruiting 100% since 2002, so 7 years.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Steve: Upon graduating from SUNY-Potsdam I started my career in the software industry as a developer working primarily as a contractor to various IBM facilities in the East Coast. I had very technical jobs during that time which required much of my time with my eyes glued to the terminal (yes we had terminals – no PC’s or workstations or Laptops!). I found that I started enjoying my interactions with people more than with computers and took interest in a possible career change. In 1997 I had the opportunity to change careers and enter the staffing agency world - placing people like myself to work with clients in Atlanta, GA. I started my staffing agency career with a company called Carson Associates (now part of Spherion). It was with Carson Associates where I cut my teeth on the Sales/Account management/Recruiting side of the business. I was responsible for managing the Atlanta based Coca Cola Account as we were one of several vendors working exclusively with KO at the time. It wasn’t long after Carson Associates sold to a publicly traded company (Norrell) that I joined MATRIX Resources as a Sales Representative responsible for opening new business. After several years with MATRIX (2 President Clubs and performer of the month), I joined Comprehensive Computer Consulting, Inc. (CCCi), an established Atlanta staffing agency founded in the 70’s.
In 2004 I took my knowledge of the staffing agency world and applied them directly to my clients as a corporate recruiter/staffing consultant.
What has made me successful in my career as a Recruiter/Staffing consultant in the IT industry has been my unique combination of my technical background as a Developer interlaced with my knowledge and skill of a recruiter. I have always maintained an edge over my recruiting colleagues in my dealings with hiring managers and candidates. Understanding the needs of a hiring manager has allowed me to translate that need into viable candidates. Also understanding the needs of candidates and establishing a bond of trust, has helped me maintain relationships beyond the current requirement and create a future referral base.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Steve: Probably the single event which had the most impact on my recruiting career would have to be the transition from the technical industry to the staffing agency industry back in 1997. The transition from developing to staffing was one of the toughest times I can remember. I recall thinking many times during that transition – where is the project plan to account for my time!!
Six Degrees: Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
I have had several mentors or influencers over the years as I traveled this long and winding recruiting road. There is one in particular who has greatly influenced my approach to the staffing industry to which I attribute my overall outlook and successes. She actually mentored me during my initial years in the staffing industry. She inspired me with her work ethics and her honest approach with people. She was never quick to judge and displayed the utmost in patience. She knew how to deal with people and operated solely on trust and integrity. Her actions always spoke louder than her words and her knowledge and passion exemplified her dedication to our industry and aspirations to positively influence others around her.
Six Degrees:Tell us about your latest contract recruitment efforts
Steve: Well Dave, this is an interesting question as I’ve been engaged on many staffing projects over the past few years. I’ve taken projects where I’ve simply sourced (Microsoft), as well as projects where I’ve consulted with staffing departments of small to mid-sized organizations (Manhattan Associates, Hanna Strategies, RightNow.com) and functioned as a full life cycle recruiter (Home Depot and Genesis10).
I am currently working on an engagement with RightNow Technologies. The are a small to midsized global company focused on creating CRM software. I was hired to evaluate their staffing process and recommend enhancements, best practices, optimize recruiting strategy, and sourcing techniques.
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
Steve: This is a difficult question to answer as the ebb and flow of recruiters add to and take away from a successfully operated recruiting department. The team and its leadership typically account for a successful operation. I know most all operations I have been involved with have operational issues to contend with and ultimately it’s the leadership which provides the direction and compliance.
(B) In what aspects are they superior?
Steve: The aspects which make one companies’ recruiting operation superior over the other is a solid foundation of sound processes put in place. Processes that account for both the hiring manager experience as well as the applicant experience. Personal accountability and the support of executive level to ensure compliance must exist to some degree. Bottom line is the superior recruiting operation sends a clear and consistent message both internal and external of its company.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Steve: Well, besides the fact that our economy has severely affected the overall health of our recruiting industry I’d have to say technology wise the explosion of Web 2.0/social networking has positively impacted my work. Why? Finding and reaching out to talent has reached a new level for recruiters. While traditional methods of networking have always had there place, creating virtual business and social networks have made it easier to connect taking advantage of economies of scale. With the explosion of blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, recruiters now have access to a resource pool larger than anyone could have ever imagined.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
Steve: My next career goal is to take my consulting to the next level. Continue assisting small to midsized staffing organizations realize their potentials – building best practices, staffing optimization, sourcing strategies, branding, best practices for applicant tracking utilization. While I have enjoyed the tactical side of recruiting and staffing, I’m enjoying the strategic side of building stronger organizations.
To get there is to continue building my resume. My business currently relies on referrals and recommendations. As I continue to build my reputation and my network, I believe my business will also continue to grow.
Recommendations For Steve
“I have known Steve since 2002. Steve is extremely professional and trustworthly. Steve truly cares about his clients and always wants to make sure they are not only happy with his services but that he does everything possible to ensure they are given the best service. Steve has a wonderful personality. Steve is very smart and a quick learner. When you meet Steve you will be able to tell right away, like I did, how much he cares about people.” November 30, 2008
Susan Van Dyke, IGT
“We brought-in Steve to take the lead in staffing for our IS, SAP, and Thin Client Engineering groups... he did just that. Steve immediately took the reigns thus allowing for the Staffing Organization to flex with the growing needs (strategic and tactical) of the company. Steve met and exceeded the expectations of all our groups (including the SAP department, in which IGT heavily utilizes SAP apps and modules). Steve truly understands Staffing and how to effectively manage the groups with whom he works.” September 26, 2008
Cory Burk, Program Manager - University Relations, IGT
“It was indeed my pleasure to have Mr Rath working with our team. He has an excellent understanding of the technical recruiting world. The groups he helped us support at Microsoft (through sourcing) are some of the more difficult teams to please. His understanding of the roles, technologies and his sheer ‘stick-to-it” style was a BIG PLUS for us. He was on point for helping us find some KEY HIRES for critical projects. I am hopeful that our paths will cross again!” August 2, 2008 Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Creative
“Steve is an excellent recruiter who helped me source for numerous positions while he worked for Microsoft. His expert advice and all his dedication throughout the recruitment process were paramount. His support and understanding of the recruiting process as well as the technology space makes Steve an outstanding asset for any company.” June 17, 2008
Doug Kester, Technical Recruiter, Microsoft
“I am very impressed by the speed and responsiveness with which Steve and his team have responded to my queries and concerns. This is very difficult to do when working with such high-value clients as Steve does, which certainly send to him hundreds (thousands?) of requests daily. He is a real responsiveness star, and a role model for recruiters everywhere.” May 15, 2008. Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, On Time
Bernard Hayes, PMP, The Home Depot
“I had the privilege of working with Steve in Home Depot's Supply Chain group. His passion to attract right talent to the group and more importantly, post-recruitment follow-through is amazing! Steve is one of the most sincere HR recruiters that I have seen.” December 8, 2007
Vijay Sankararaman, Sr.Manager, Supply Chain Technology, The Home Depot
“I have had the pleasure of working with Steve now for several months. He is by far one of the most ethically, hard working recruiters that I have worked with. Steve is a dedicated worker and always seeks to do the right thing. He is also a great resource of information and always willing to do what is best for the customer! I have enjoyed working with Steve because you don't have to second guess or wonder if he will meet your expecations.” July 5, 2007
“Steve started with Manhattan Associates as a Contractor and eventually moved into the Manager role. Our team rallied around him at all times. Steve has a strong recruiting foundation and understanding of recruiting. His skills, knowledge and experiences allowed the rest of the team to focus on our recruiting and know we were headed in the right direction. Steve is a solid asset to any Talent Acquisition team.” April 21, 2009
Greg Freed, Senior Technical Recruiter, Manhattan Associates
“Steve was a pleasure to work with and is one of the best recruiters that I have ever had the privilege getting to know. Steve consistently follows up on candidates finding the best fit and is willing to listen to exactly the type of person that I am looking for. He is open and honest and a great communicator. Steve also has tons of industry knowledge and seems to be connected everywhere. He really made a huge impact on the Corporate HR recruiting team. He brought in the right people and was able to motivate his associates getting things done. If you are looking for a recruiter then I would highly recommend utilizing Steve’s talent. He is one of the BEST!” May 15, 2008
Lyndon Kolb, Strategic Account Management - Hardware, Manhattan Associates
“Steve Rath is an effective, results-oriented manager who works well with all levels of the organization. He ensures that his direct reports have what they need to be successful in their roles. He gives a great deal of feedback and manages his recruiters' workloads well. He is very easy to work for and work with.” January 18, 2007
Barbara Marks, Corporate Recruiter, Manhattan Associates
“Steve invited me to come aboard with Manhattan Associates as a contract recruiter. The 3-month engagement was extended twice to seven months. We worked beautifully together because Steve was even-tempered, steady, always encouraging and kind to candidates and colleagues, even in the midst of learning his new role as Recruiting Manager, implementing a new enterprise applicant tracking system, and enduring increasing governmental recruiting regulations. He really does a great job of helping others move along gently, no matter the pressure on him. We were friends before I went there. We are even better friends now!” January 18, 2007
“I worked with Steve to help find several people to expand my Siebel and SAP teams. Steve went out of his way to find high quality people and to do them quickly and efficently. He was exacting in his screening and his can-do attitude made working with Steve a pleasure. He was creative in his searches and problem solving, while meeting all deadlines. I would recommend Steve and would certainly enjoy working with him again.” December 3, 2007
Stephan Cavarra, IT Application Dev Mrg, Hanna Strategies, LLC.
“Steve is an excellent hire for anyone looking for a top notch recruiter. He has the ability to hone in on what the needs are and drive to filling the needs in a quick and efficient manner. Steve and I worked together for a while and once he understood what I wanted he was a bulldog. Great catch for any company looking to grow their talent base in all aspects.” November 30, 2007
Annant Patel, Manager - Supply Chain, The Home Depot…
Global Gathering of Corporate Recruiting Leaders, in Chicago on September 14-16 2010
Mark S. Andrekovich, Chief of Human Capital and President of MAXIMUS Tax Credit & Employer Services, will be joining Jim Lanzalotto, Principal of Scanlon.Louis, at the onrec.com Online Recruitment Conference & Expo 2010, to be held at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center, in Chicago from September 14-16, 2010 where they will be speaking on How Employers Find the Best Talent in the Communities They Serve.
Both Mark and Jim have been in the recruiting industry for 25 years and have experience with effectively finding the right people for the right job - in the right area. Their knowledge on the opportunities that arise from a populous that doesn’t have a technological advantage to compete in this day-in-age of recruiting online will provide a great opportunity for those who attend onrec Expo 2010 that are looking for an understanding of how to tap into obtainable local talent.
onrec Expo 2010 provides a thriving network exposition hall packed with the latest tools and services to help your organization hire the best, and is highly regarded as the “must attend” recruitment event of 2010 where corporate recruiting practitioners and thought leaders will educate hundreds of attendees with cutting edge training (HRCI Credit pending) on innovative sourcing, screening and recruiting techniques and technologies.
onrec Expo 2010 will bring together delegates and exhibitors involved in recruitment from around the world to share their common interests, provide a business driven networking environment, and stimulate discussions, debates, and beneficial partnerships.
Only 45% of households with income less than $50,000 have Internet access in their home. Given this, employers who broaden their community-based recruitment focus will be afforded new opportunities to uncover a diverse array of hard-to-reach candidates - including those who are not wired for the Internet and cannot access job boards, and therefore rely on the resources provided by local community organizations to find jobs (e.g., state job agencies/Veterans & disability assistance organizations). In this session you will learn how to utilize these resources to effectively recruit locally and find the right person for the right job - right in your front yard.
Mark Andrekovich wears two hats at MAXIMUS where he serves as the Chief of Human Capital and as the President of the firms Tax Credit and Employer Services Division. As the CoHC, he has global responsibilities for all aspects of the human capital functions. Mark has over 25 years of Human Capital Management experience with multi-national firms that include: General Electric, Owens-Illinois, Cytec Industries, and Nordson Corporation. He was a partner with Banister International, a global Executive Search and Human Capital Consulting firm where he led the Chief Financial Officer and Recruitment Process Outsourcing practice areas.
Jim Lanzalotto, an award-winning marketing and eBusiness leader with nearly 25 years of direct, leading-edge experience for some of America's highest-impact B2B brands, is also a sought after writer and speaker on the economy, customer relationships, eBusiness and technology and marketing integration. In the past few years, he has spoken on these topics to groups such as The Conference Board, Staffing Industry Analysts; Americas SAP Users Group, the Australian Business Travel Association and FOX News. Jim previously served as VP of Strategy & Marketing for Yoh, a Philadelphia-based talent and outsourcing service provider.
MAXIMUS is a leading provider of government services worldwide and is devoted to providing health and human services program management and consulting services to its clients. The Company has more than 6,500 employees located in more than 220 offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Israel. For more information visit: http://www.maximus.com/
Scanlon.Louis is a Philadelphia-based strategy and marketing outsourcing firm that specializes in driving brand and business growth. For more information visit: http://www.scanlonlouis.com
About onrec Expo:
onrec Expo is Onrec.com’s annual international recruitment conference featuring a wide range of over 25 industry specific topics from more than 40 of the top thought leaders and industry experts - and with the 2009 acquisition of Kennedy Information's Recruiting Conference and RecruitingTrends.com, onrec Expo has effectively become the must attend recruitment conference of the year.
A division of the Tarsus Group - an international B2B media company creating industry-leading events, publications and online media since 1998 - Onrec.com is the world's leading information resource for Human Resource and Recruiting professionals, and is the accompanying website to Online Recruitment Magazine, which takes an in-depth look into recruitment and industry suppliers - helping corporate recruiters, recruitment agencies, and suppliers find the best resources available through a range of media and services. A growing portfolio supported by Tarsus Online Media, features educational and networking products in the talent management, HR and recruiting sector including; TalentManagementTech.com, RetentionInstitute.com, TheRecruitingConference.com, RecruitingTrends.com, and Onrec.com.
Start onrec Expo 2010 by joining our great line-up of leading experts on online sourcing. Expand your understanding of the proven tools, techniques, and strategies to deepen your talent pool and optimize your sourcing channels, by attending the preconference Sourcing Summit: http://www.Onrec.com/conferenceusa/pages/sourcing_summit1
For an overview of all Onrec session topics visit: http://www.Onrec.com/conferenceusa/pages/session_descriptions
For more information on all of the speakers participating at this event visit: http://www.Onrec.com/conferenceusa/pages/speakers
For more information on the Onrec.com Online Recruitment Conference & Expo 2010, contact Anna Brekka at anna@Onrec.com or go to www.Onrec.com/conferenceusa…