Thirty Innovative Recruiting Tips for 2012

Recruiting is a tough job. It’s especially tough if you’re doing it the same old tired way. There are tons of new technologies, new ideas and new attitudes to finding and hiring the absolute best talent. We asked some of the best and brightest recruiters (at ERE Recruiting Innovation Summit; #RIS11 and online) to give us their most innovative tips for 2012. Here’s what they had to say...

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Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 28, 2011 at 6:00pm

Some very good.  Some very dumb.  You decide.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on October 28, 2011 at 6:27pm

I've decided. I want one of those thought bubble boards.  :)

Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 28, 2011 at 6:32pm

If i had a thought board it would say, "Go back it's a trick."

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on October 28, 2011 at 6:53pm

@Sandra I just laughed so loud at that people are looking at me funny.

Comment by Bill Schultz on October 28, 2011 at 7:11pm

reminds me of a quiznos food tray.  


Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 29, 2011 at 1:39am

For an assembly of the "best and brightest" recruiters to provide their most innovative tips supposedly to fly above the "old tired way" of recruiting I’m unimpressed.  For the most part, with a few exceptions, these tips are pretty basic--almost commonsensical.  Maybe by innovation what is meant is same old, same old but with a bigger smile. Or the audience is full of non-recruiters and non-hiring managers because if these ideas are considered “innovative” then the old way of recruiting cannot be called “tired” just reapplied but updated with the latest jargon, technology and pizzazz.

Now I am impressed with TIP 1: Chase Down the ‘Unrecruitable’ because most hiring managers would prefer not to waste time and money (time is money) chasing down and trying to convince a strong candidate they should consider leaving their great job for the unknown.  I, however, love the challenge.

Less impressive tips are:

TIP 3: Find the Best People First, Train Later - ..."finding the right people" as opposed to finding the wrong people?  Come on this is so basic.  In fact this sounds like a pretty old fashioned idea--regardless if they're highly experienced or require training.  You always go for the best you can find, attract and land.

TIP 4: Make Sure Everyone Likes the Candidate - depends on what defines “everyone”.  Does it include last minute substitute interviewers who typically get rushed in when the scheduled/prepared interviewer is called away on business?  Happens all the time. And if they have no clue on how to interview and what is being sought?  I've witnessed and heard about interview schedules getting changed at the last minute causing the introduction of unprepared, untrained "substitutes" who have no idea how to interview and what to interview for--but have an opinion in the debrief meeting.  A better tip would be “No substitutes, unless they are prepared as “alternative interviews” to cover for unexpected schedule changes.

I like: TIP 25: Hire People You Don’t Like – It’s not about you.  It’s about the talent and their match to the job, team and employer.

I like: TIP 30: Be Active in Your Community but would change it to:  Be Active in the Community which makes broadly applicable to technical or minority or other unique communities relevant to the recruiting challenge.

TIP 6: Target Recruitment Ads to Your Top Fans - Wow!  When I see a "tip" like this I'm guessing it's meant for an audience with absolutely no concept that you should direct Ad Copy to the most logical audiences and entities that may be helpful in having and/or referring candidates…Duh.

TIP 28: Probe a Candidate and Find Out What They Want - unless "probe" requires a sterilized tool with instructions this is elementary.  Who forgets to get that info upfront?  Establishing a candidate’s job interests and career ambition would be primary things to know before you waste another next step in the selection process.

TIP 11: Lean On Your Own Network First - working the network...good one, unless it's a Soprano leaning to get their attention another no brainer.

TIP 16: Ask Their Favorite Cuss Word – So this is you’re most innovative tip in the form of a question?  Questions like this are inane.  A good response would be, “Asshole, as in you’re an asshole for asking me a question so lame this must be a lame place to work ‘cause they have you here playing with serious job applicants”.

…need I say more?

Comment by Jerry Albright on October 29, 2011 at 10:47am

Tino - I'm with you.


When I first heard of the Recruiting Innovation Summit I thought - now just exactly what kind of innovation are we talking about here?  Faster internet connection?  Yet one more played-out video resume conversation?


In fact - I recall tweeting something to the effect:  I doubt you'll see anything that actually involves innovation at the summit.


Turns out I was right.  (As usual if I don't mind saying so myself.)


I like this post/blog though for one main reason.  It confirms in my mind just how close we are to having gone full circle here.  This job - our job - is not about these tools.  Never has been.  It's about the people.  The basic things relationships require for success. 


Get to know people - all the time.  Be professional.  Follow up.  Hardly innovative - but absolutely crucial.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on October 29, 2011 at 11:28am

@Jerry,…Jerry said,  "Get to know people - all the time.  Be professional.  Follow up.  Hardly innovative - but absolutely crucial."

Couldn't have said it better (so I'll borrow it for opportune moments in the future...thx).

It also just occurred to me that at this Recruiting Innovation Summit some meeting facilitator (gotta love ‘em) must have yelled out, during the brainstorming session for the most innovative ideas, Someone explain Recruting to me like I’m in 3rd Grade...and Wah Lah...

Comment by Tim Spagnola on October 30, 2011 at 10:30pm

I 'm kinda with Tino in that I like #25 as well. Get the ego out of the mix. There certainly is a lot here to go back and forth and debate, but from a marketing standpoint I liked the way they summed the conference up. Although I never ate at a Quiznos- that might have made me rethink that last thought.


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