Gino Conti's Blog (41)

Why I Wouldn't Hire My Clone

Having the technical competencies necessary to perform a job function seems to be a pretty universally accepted requirement in order to be considered a viable candidate. However, it is perhaps equally important what the personality and attitude are in the package-deal that is a new hire. With more and more companies adopting behavioral or corporate culture-based interviews it seems the trend is to hire based on soft skills as well. The only question is, what makes a person a good fit for a… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on November 18, 2009 at 11:47am — 1 Comment

Maybe those brainless single-celled blobs have it right after all...

It certainly has been a while since I've done any active posting, and while I've enjoyed taking in some of the posts and discussions as a lurker figured it is about time I put something out there of my own again.



Over the past couple of months there have been a couple of big wins and some equally disappointing mishaps. Oddly enough, I find myself crediting and blaming the same thing in both instances...the process. My recruiting team has a very well-defined process by which a manager… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on July 28, 2009 at 11:56am — 2 Comments

Dignity in Downsizing

Having friends and contacts in the industry (both recruiting and automotive) I've been involved in numerous conversations about layoffs recently. One in particular stuck out to me, though. A fellow corporate recruiter at another local OEM was groaning to me about how one of their contract agencies handled a recent round of staff reductions. I'll withhold the name of both companies since I'm not looking to drag any names through the mud, but it is worth discussing what happened.



This… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 28, 2009 at 4:24pm — No Comments

I won't blame them for their ignorance

Being on the corporate side I have both enjoyed the benefits and suffered the frustrations of working directly with hiring managers. I find that the two are very closely related, though, and I have the ability to impact some the of trouble areas. In fact, I feel it is my responsibility in order to be productive and effective in my job.



I speak of the responsibility to educate hiring managers as to what the heck I actually do as a recruiter. Even though the managers and I are on the… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 17, 2009 at 4:17pm — 1 Comment

Exit Interviews

Whether due to a layoff, a firing, or a voluntary separation exit interviews tend not to be very enjoyable. Generally speaking people don't line up to be the company punching bag when an employee sounds off about what upset him/her enough to leave, or how he/she feels about being released. That said, I think as recruiters we need to be the ones making ourselves available for these sessions.



In many cases it was us who brought the employee on in the first place, so it is appropriate… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 17, 2009 at 11:59am — 7 Comments

The more I do my job the more I like it

I've previously expressed my views on the role corporate recruiters need to play in delivering a good message on behalf of the company, so it should come as no surprise that I put a lot of effort into making sure any candidate I recruit is really pumped up about coming to work here.



I generally let the candidate take a lead role here, directing me on the tour of my company to the various… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 14, 2009 at 4:07pm — 1 Comment

Downtrodden and defeatist attitudes need not apply

Being on the corporate side of the recruiting world I regularly field calls from agency and independent recruiters looking for business. There is nothing wrong with this, and I actually enjoy many of the conversations I've had with these recruiters and salespeople. Many of them are quite personable and have begun to cement a pretty good relationship regardless of the number of jobs I can have them work on.



Earlier today I got a call from one such person, but rather than feeling good… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 9, 2009 at 2:17pm — 1 Comment

So maybe a hiring freeze isn't such a bad idea...

To say that my recruiting team is stuck between good old Scylla and Charybdis is putting it nicely. For several years we've had strong relationships with colleges and universities to hire summer interns and entry-level talent each May/June. Unfortunately we've been on something of a hiring freeze for a few months now.



While we are still recruiting for key strategic positions bring a bunch of interns and entry-level employees has not exactly been deemed as business critical hiring… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 9, 2009 at 9:35am — No Comments

Yes I hold out on my candidates, but I also tell them everything

I'm not really much of one for a bait and switch, holding an ace up my sleeve, or pulling any sort of trickery on a candidate. It doesn't seem to foster a good relationship and tends to cause trust issues. For this very reason I provide as much information as I possibly can while maintaining a level playing field - I just happen to be pretty particular about my timing.



There are a lot of things a candidate should know prior to an interview. He or she should have a good idea of the… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 7, 2009 at 11:28am — 2 Comments

Recruiting in a vacuum

Having spent almost a year in my current in-house role I've started to reflect back on where I came from. I took a look at my previous agency experience and compared what I did there to my current responsibilities and realized that although accidental, the format of my last job prepared me very well for what I was walking into.



The setup was such that every recruiter had one skill set within which he or she was to become an expert. The thought was for each recruiter to become fluent… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on April 2, 2009 at 2:44pm — 1 Comment

Blind dates and retention metrics

Recruiting and matchmaking - not entirely the same, but not so different either.



A friend is single, yet can't manage to find a guy/girl because work/school/life is too hectic - just like the customer who has a vacancy yet can't seem to find the right candidate on their own. You get to work thinking about who you know that would be interested and has a personality that will mesh with your single pal - sounds like sourcing a qualified candidate to me. You set up some sort of meeting,… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 31, 2009 at 2:19pm — 1 Comment

Never have another offer declined again!

There is very little in the world of recruiting that is more disheartening or frustrating than having an offer declined. After all the work that was done to source the candidate, sell them to the customer, arrange interviews, and negotiate an offer, the whole deal falls through and you're back to zero. It stings, most notably in the wallet area for my compatriots on the independent/agency side. As a result, developing a method to boost offer acceptance is key for any recruiter.



There… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 26, 2009 at 9:12am — 5 Comments

Chimps and Dartboards

Let's face it, people love to be in control. Not only that, but we like to think we have control over (or at least a handle on) things that are completely and totally unpredictable. Take, for example, the stock market. There are plenty of people who are supposed to be experts, yet it has been proven that even the experts don't get it right all of the time.



A Swedish newspaper gave $1,250 each to five stock analysts and a chimpanzee named Ola, to test who could make the most money… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 23, 2009 at 4:01pm — No Comments

Do underdogs even stand a chance?

Right around this time of year I always seem to have a soft spot for the slightly (or severely) disadvantaged. For some reason March Madness is something I can't pass up and I always love a good Cinderella story. Which got me to thinking - there are underdogs everywhere, not just in sports, and in times like these it must be tough to be in the shoes of the little guy.



Clearly recruiting feels the sting of a bad economy, and I'd wager to say it makes things very tough for the 'mom and… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 20, 2009 at 11:16am — 2 Comments

You can't just give the candidate everything they want

For whatever reason, people don't tend to appreciate the things in life that take little or no effort. Think about the lucky kid whose parents bought him a brand new car for his 16th birthday - did he treat it with half the respect you had for the 1962 clunker you spent your life's savings on? Probably not.



Whatever it is, most people have a greater appreciation for that which takes some work to achieve, be it a possession or a new job.



When I think back to the hires I've… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 18, 2009 at 9:14am — 1 Comment

Is Honesty Really Worth It?

Well, well, look who finally decided to remember how much fun it is to blog!



To say it has been one of those weeks sounds so very cliché, but quite true. To say I minded would be a lie, though. Work has been an absolute whirlwind of activity in the last few days and I'm glad to have hardly had the time to justify taking a peek at my guilty pleasure that is RBC.



Those of you who have read my previous material know I'm a big proponent of the candidate's experience, taking… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 17, 2009 at 3:34pm — 16 Comments

No thanks, I'm just not that nice...

Piggybacking off of Steve's post about undermining your career I feel inspired to delve a little deeper into the topic of when enough is enough. By way of a little setup, I'm notorious for my inability to say no...



About four or five weeks ago I had a gentleman walk into the lobby in my office requesting to meet with somebody in HR or recruiting. The receptionist dialed my extension and I was promptly connected with him. He stated that he was working on a class project and needed no… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 9, 2009 at 11:12am — 2 Comments

Who need a talent pipeline?

With restrictions being placed on essentially every aspect of our hiring it has made talent pooling an interesting endeavor. Sure, we have a few 'future opportunity' positions posted here and there, and the plethora of unemployed engineers in the area means I have a steady flow of unsolicited applications from experienced professionals.



But what of our entry-level talent?



Historically my company has had a strong co-op and intern program that was something of a farm system… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 6, 2009 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Recruiter Man

Taking a little inspiration from one of my all-time favorites, I re-wrote a song to cheer up an agency friend of mine who had a string of bad luck. I realize my lyrics aren't nearly as genius as the original, but hopefully this at least brings a smile to a few faces.



It's five o'clock on a Friday

The clock watchers all punching out

My manager he walks up to me

And he looks just a bit down and out



He says, "Son, can you find me a resume?

I'm not really… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 5, 2009 at 4:04pm — No Comments

Do LinkedIn Recommendations Really Mean Anything?

Just this morning I received a request from one of my contacts to write a recommendation for his profile. Although I had met and spoken with this gentleman a few times before I didn't quite know him well enough to write anything but I clicked on his profile out of curiosity all the same. Not very surprisingly he has a lot of recommendations which were likely solicited in a similar manner from his other contacts. What did shock me was the sheer number of them, though - over… Continue

Added by Gino Conti on March 4, 2009 at 2:03pm — 1 Comment

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