Rant!!!!!, Reality, Recruiting, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Twitter

Are you a good fit for this job?

Who – me? You’re asking me if I’m a good fit for your job?

Well gimme a minute. You know what I do, right? I’m a recruiter! Nearly every person who follows you is a recruiter, resume coach, PR firm, ATS guy or HR lady. This is one giant fishbowl of people who DO NOT do what your client needs. So why do you keep up the exercise?

Remember waaaaaaaayyyy back a few years ago before social media? Remember how you actually had to put together a presentation? You know – a list of features and benefits? A general summary of reasons your prospect MIGHT want to consider your opportunity? Remember when the goal was to connect with people who know the skills your client is looking for? Remember the phrase “Say what you need to say to people you need to say it to?”

Did that just go out the window? Is “sales” no longer in style? Has anybody (ANYBODY) replied to your job tweets? Ever? Really? (Don’t fib now – it’s just you and me talking here…..)

My guess is no. This is not your “Talent Community.” It’s a Social Media Mutual Admiration Society. We do not know anyone who does what you are looking for.

And by they way – before you go on and on about how careful you’ve been about your follow list…..I looked. There’s not a single (fill in the blank) on your list. Or at least in the last hundred of so people that are following you. They’re all guys and gals like me…..and you. It’s us here – not them!

If someone on your list just happens to be a…….C++ Embedded SW Eng in NYC….here’s an idea. Call them. Get to know them! Why just throw out a random tweet or FB update hoping it happens to cross their newsfeed at exactly the same moment in time their eyes are looking at the screen? I mean – you don’t think they’ve got you set up with your own Tweetdeck column, do you? Just hoping, PRAYING that some point in the near future you’ll randomly tweet “Are you a good fit for this job” in front of a list of buzzwords tailored just for them….do you?

So why are you still doing it? Does it make you feel better? Like – you’re really working here? Like – this is business?

Here’s a tip for you – it’s not. You’re wasting your time. “Are you a fit for this job?” is not business – it’s a joke.

Get it? You’ve been had.

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Uncategorized

Time Kills All Deals? Nope…..

Time kills all deals, right? Or so we’ve been told. That seems to be a theme I see pop up from time to time. Almost as if we are “allowed” to blame “time” for our failures.

My concern with this excuse is quite simple. I do not believe it. Time is not the culprit in most situations – mismanagement is. Mismanagement of expectations, of process and steps along the way kills deals. Time is merely the scapegoat.

It seems over the years too many “enthused” recruiters have always appeared to be in a hurry to make things happen. So excited in fact they create a false sense of urgency for their candidates without having a thorough grasp on the time line in front of them. It’s almost as if by “telling” the client “we better move quick” they somehow change their corporate policies to accommodate your enthusiasm. It doesn’t work that way kids.

I tell each of my clients something that helps me get a handle on the process. I let them know in no uncertain terms I am in no rush. If they have a 4 week process – OK. Now I know. I’ll set the expectations with my candidates. I’m also fully prepared for a quick process. As a matter of fact – it doesn’t matter to me what kind of process (short of absurdity) is involved. I just need to know WHAT IT IS. As long as I know IN ADVANCE then I can do my job.

The key to success with any hiring process is to know WHAT it is: How many interviews, how many people, how long does it take to schedule an interview, when will I get feedback from each step, who has to agree, how that decision is made and what timeframes are involved.

It is only AFTER this discussion that I have a right, an obligation, to keep them on track. Only then can I say “Ms. Client, when we discussed this last week you told me you would be able to give me feedback within a day of the interview” or “My notes indicate there would only be 2 interviews……” whatever the case may be. Whenever things are not as previously discussed you then have the professional authority to say “Something has changed. Can you tell me what it is?”

If you don’t discuss it before it starts – how will you know when it’s not going the way it should?

Time kills all deals? Nope. Mismanagement does……..

Recruiting, training

Choices….

Choices….

As a small agency – we find ourselves in an interesting “predicament” at the moment: Which assignments should we work on? Now while I’m personally overjoyed with the opportunities at hand – I’ve got to make some tough decisions here.

Normally the clients that get our attention are the ones with the highest CUE ratings. For those that haven’t heard of it – CUE is pretty simple. We look at three things: Cooperation, Urgency and Expectation. When one of these areas is lacking it makes the decision pretty easy. In fact – without either cooperation, a need to hire NOW or a realistic expectation of salary vs. skills vs. availability – it’s nearly impossible to be successful.

But what do we do when there are several clients who need to hire NOW and offer every bit of cooperation we could hope for – combined with having realistic expecations of the talent available?

I’m in a quandary……

So as I’ve thought about our situation this morning I’ve come to the realization that another level of criteria needs to join the CUE. I’m going to add an “S”: Strategic.

What placements (if made) offer the biggest strategic impact for the future? How should we look at this? Multiple hires? Is this client in a marketplace that is expanding? If they are contract roles – which ones should last longer? Are there any critical hires that would help us strengthen our role with the client? What about recruiting on the positions in HR? Or for the leadership team…..placements which may offer a stronger client relationship in the future?

Oh my. So many things to consider. I love this profession!

Thoughts anyone?

motivational, Recruiting

A word about one of the best recruiters I’ve ever met……

Her name is Holly. In all my years of recruiting she has been one of the (very) few who is somehow able to come up with a great candidate for any position – anywhere – any time. She’s been a partner for quite a while – and on our team full time since the beginning of last year.

I wanted to just take a minute and give her the recognition she deserves. Here is a quick rundown of what she’s been able to accomplish in just the past month or so. Note: This is by no means her entire contribution – just some highlights!

We’ve been working quite a few searches for one of the more “discerning” clients to cross my desk in years. We’ve been hunting for an HR Manger in Southern Wisconsin for months. Many more months that I personally would have wanted to stick with it. But Holly doesn’t give up! Our client’s new HR Manager starts on the 14th. Thank you Holly!

Last week another client gave us a 48 hour exclusive for a PLC Software Contractor. I’ve never placed anyone in that field – neither has Holly……that is….until this morning! Her guy started at 9 am today. Thank you Holly!

In January a dear friend and split partner asked for our help in another area – a Computational Linguistics/Machine Learning Software Researcher. Are you kidding me? What is that? I still have no idea. But guess who does? Holly! Her guy starts in a few weeks. Thank you Holly!

Not impressed yet? Well – how about the call I got during the Animal show last week. A new client needed some immediate PC/Networking help for a few months. They need someone to start right away. After describing our service – (wherein the resume also has a play button on the top – and he will be listening to the candidate describe his/her background while he reviews the resume) – he was looking forward to hearing someone describe their experience fixing printers, working with Group Policy and their background with Windows 2003 and 2008.

Guess what? Within 3 hours he was listening to a fully qualified and interested technician describe the exact experience and background he is looking for. They’ll be interviewing tomorrow at 9 am.

Thank you VERY MUCH Holly!

Recruiting

A Word on Split Placements and the Continuity of the Close

Just a quick thought here for us split recruiters. Once the handoff has taken place – it is very important to let the recruiter who is working directly with the client also be the one who the candidate talks to.

Why is this? I have found the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” is quite applicable. If another cook comes in, tastes the soup and decides to add a pinch of this and that…..cook number one has no idea what was put into his dish.

Bringing this analogy to a split placement is quite simple. Closing is a series of discussions – all based in part on the previous discussion. If you introduce a candidate to me and I am working on a sendout (or offer) – I need to be the one keeping all concerns/questions on one page. If you jump into the middle just to “see how things are going” you are breaking the continuity of dialogue.

Perhaps the candidate tells you something important – but you forget to tell me. What then?

Chances are I’m in a better position to address questions about my client than you. What happens when you make a few assumptions – just trying to keep things moving ahead – and those assumptions are inaccurate? Yet the candidate feels that “since he talked to one of us about it” then it’s been covered.

The reasons to keep continuity with one person are far too many to list here. Just wanted to throw the topic out here for discussion……

Twitter

Why I’ll Be Tweeting This Holiday Season

I’ve been away from Twitter exactly 4 months. It’s been refreshing.

During this time I’ve been in a constant stream of actual recruiting business – you know – client visits, sendouts, placements and such. It’s been great. I feel great.

I am going to jump back on Twitter with ZERO expectations – just to enjoy the holiday season. (I typically shut down between Thanksgiving and New Years anyway.) I will not expect any ROI whatsoever and therefore will not beat myself up for all the time I plan to waste there.

So for those who said “You’ll be back!” – You’re right. You win. .

That’s it. It’s just that simple. Anyone who needs to find me on Twitter – here I am!

Uncategorized

The Littlest Placement

I have been given a gift. Well – not given, necessarily. It was earned. Those are the best anyway, aren’t they?

We’ve been recruiting for a junior level IT role with a client for the past 3 weeks or so. Not much in the way of qualifications – college degree, some sort of “paid” IT experience combined with a nice personality and enthusiastic attitude. Salaries at this level aren’t really that high as we all know but I’m not one that takes searches based only on what the fee might be in the end.

We had an interesting discussion going over on RecruitingBlogs just yesterday about fees in fact. I’m a stickler for having a minimum percentage. There is a line I have never and (hopefully) will never cross. But that’s a different discussion – feel free to jump in over there.

The client called earlier this week. “Is there a fee if we just want to hire Zach for a summer internship?” Hmmm…..I’ve never placed an intern. Should I not charge anything and hope my goodwill will be remembered down the road? What about putting it together as a temp assignment with a reasonable markup? I wasn’t quite sure which way to go.

Then it hit me. My fee is based on the annual income of the person I place. In the past this amount has always been a year-long salaried role – not a 12 week internship. Why should I come up with some other way to charge for my service?

My fee is $1152 and it might quite possibly be the most rewarding placement I’ve made in quite a while. It has reminded me to take every opportunity in this crazy world to appreciate the way I provide for my family. In fact I’ve earmarked this as my beer budget for the rest of 2010. Each time I crack open a coldie I will celebrate My Littlest Placement!

So this gift is more of a reminder of sorts. I’ve been reminded that ALL placements are to be loved. Each and every placement is as unique as a snowflake: Big ones, tough ones, easy ones, “surprise” placements, the placements that seemingly need to be “remade” several times along the way. Every. Single. One!

Enjoy your work friends. Be thankful for each opportunity no matter how big or small they may be!