Despite my optimistic view of the past few months, I'm considering the possibility that the recovery could be very long in coming and very slow in growing.
Take a look at this letter from your hiring manager. As you read it, make it personal. Put your name at the top. Think of a hiring manager you think would send you something like this and put his or her name at the bottom. Then send it to a hiring manager who is the least likely person to send it. Hiring top people is a two-way street. Unfortunately, for most recruiters it's always uphill.
Dear (put your name here),
I'm frustrated. You've let me down too many times to let this continue. As your client, I believe your performance must improve in order to succeed in building and developing a strong team. Your role is critical, but somehow you've trivialized it. I don't want to see average candidates anymore and I don't want to see people who are obvious misfits. You need to take on a bigger role in this process, be more involved, and become more of a consultant than a vendor.
However, with that said, I am not without fault here. Since I want you to have an equal stake in the outcome, I must be more involved in the process from beginning to end. With this in mind let's describe our new partnership relationship in finding and hiring more A-level talent.
Times are tough. Even those companies that are doing reasonably well are cutting their recruiting teams by a minimum of 30% to a maximum of 90%, and tightening up expenses to the absolute barest minimum.
We're working with a fast-growing security software company whose CEO is using Blanchard and Hershey's Situational Leadership model for their management development program.
In a recent ERE article I made the case that a tipping point was close at hand for converting recruiting and sourcing into a scalable and systematic business process.
We're currently conducting a major research project on how top people look for new jobs. This research will offer great insight into what companies need to do to better align their current sourcing efforts with market realities. If you'd like to take part, just send this survey link to all of your best candidates and those you've recently placed.
2008 is the year of races, including the all-important race for the Presidency of the United States. As the presidential hopefuls gear up for their longest job interview ever, we shouldn't forget that the race for top quality talent in our own organizations has already begun, and candidates are bolting out of the gate at a tremendous clip. Unlike the presidential race, where now nine hopeful candidates are vying for one top job, the talent race is upside down with hundreds of thousands of candidates and even more open positions. As one pundit put it last year, "The talent wars are definitely over and the candidates have won!" Just like the bloated real estate market, we've got a glut of jobs and a shortage of talent (except perhaps in Michigan), and more recruiters than ever pitching their opportunities to an ever shrinking talent pool. Even if the economy dips into the dreaded recession, we'll still have jobs for talented people. It's a buyers market even for average talent, and recruiters are going to have to step up their game if they expect to attract top people. And just for the record... it's always a buyers market for top talent regardless of the position, industry, or economic circumstances.
We are currently in the midst of our somewhat annual Hiring and Recruiting Challenges 2008 Survey. You should take the survey. Just the questions will get you jazzed. The answers, on the other hand, will make you shudder.
Our clients do a lot of dumb thing that cause us recruiters to work too hard. These all seem to fall into big buckets of lost opportunities. Here are the ones that head the list:
In a recent email I paraphrased the following quote. My son had sent it to me in regards to training and evaluating officers in the military. He thought it would be useful in assessing managers, executives, and leaders. It's been attributed to a variety of different people, and I can't seem to find the originator, so I apologize for not giving the true author official credit.
Amateurs think tactics.
Professionals think logistics, planning and strategy.
Reformers think staff selection, retention and team development.
Web 2.0 has resulted in a rapid change in how hiring top talent could be conducted. But from what I can tell, very few companies are moving rapidly enough to take full advantage of this great opportunity.
If you want to hire top quality candidates in the shortest period of time at a reasonable cost, you'll need to organize your team to meet the ever more challenging recruiting demands of your company.
Let's play "Recruiting Monopoly." As you'll see, there are a number of critical stages in this game that correspond to the recruiting and hiring processes at most companies.
This article is exactly 1,000 words long. It contains instructions on how to draw a picture. Drawing the picture will have a profound affect on your ability to think strategically. It will also make you a better recruiter. Now grab a pencil and a blank sheet of paper.
In a recent article - Does Your Company Really Have What It Takes to Hire Top Talent? - I presented a 10-point assessment on how to measure your company's ability to hire top talent. Take the evaluation to see where your company stands. In this article, I'll make the case that by implementing an operating system for hiring top talent, companies will finally be able to win the war for talent by making sure everyone involved in hiring is on the same page - using the best tools and techniques available. Even better, I'll suggest that a proven operating system (OS) already exists - Performance-based Hiring.
Here's your chance to take a unique Hiring Top Talent evaluation of your company's hiring effectiveness. In 15 minutes, you'll find out how your recruiting department compares to the best in the country -- and what you need to do to get into the upper echelon.
Over the past month, I've had the opportunity to discuss talent management strategy with over 500 recruiting and HR leaders from companies across the U.S. I started these talks by asking the question, "Are you aware that most corporate executives and line managers don't consider HR/recruiting strategic enough?"
The easy performance improvements are over. As the hiring market recovers, corporate recruiting departments will be called upon to handle more work with fewer trained recruiters and with fewer good people applying. Recruiting managers who adjust for this imbalance now will be able to minimize the impact of a recovering labor market.
Doing the wrong things more efficiently is not a good thing -- even if you do them well. [You might want to read that opening sentence again: it's a key part of this interactive article. There are a few questions based on this at the end. If you answer them, even incorrectly, they'll entitle you to a free guest pass at one of my upcoming public workshops. We're in Boston on May 26 and Washington, DC on June 23rd. The point of this article is to get everyone to start thinking about problems from a different perspective. So make your answers as odd and as different as you can possibly imagine.]
Moral of today's story: Don't let tactics drive strategy. Don't mistake activity for progress.
[Note: Recruiters, you might want to send this article to your boss, your clients, and your CEO. It's about your well-being in 2004.] Here's some holiday advice for hiring managers and HR/recruiting managers, and anyone else who works with recruiters or will need recruiters to help them hire people in 2004:
I just read an article about the supposed "benefits" of the steel tariff, but which also reminded me that there are really three types of metrics.
As most of you know, I don't hide my beliefs very well. For example, in recent articles I've been lambasting job boards as being the number one way not to hire good people. But actually, job boards are number two on the list of obstacles preventing companies from hiring top talent. Number one is the traditional job description.
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