Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Serious Sourcing Straight Talk – The Truth About Email Validators

April 23rd, 2014

What works and what doesn’t!

When teaching Module 8, Mining Candidate Databases and the Internet for Top Talent, from our Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program, we often get asked about which software tool is best for validating email addresses (also called an email validator).

There is a lot written about websites where you can type in an email address and it will tell you if the email address exists. This can be very handy if you find a candidate on Linkedin.com, determine the email pattern of the company they work for, and want to validate their email address before reaching out to them. .

For any of you who may have used some of these tools, you were likely frustrated when the email verifier site said the email address was good, but then you never heard from the candidate. You probably wrote it off as them not being interested. But a more likely scenario is that your prospect never got your email.

Here is why:

1)     Many email validators cannot actually validate if a specific mailbox exists on a mail server. They can validate if the domain exists. You must find an email validator that will also perform an SMTP check.

2)     You will also want the tool to tell you the reason why the email did not pass. A simple Email=Bad is not sufficient. Many corporate email servers can be set by the administrator to “Accept All Emails”. This is a technique for the email server to divert exactly what we are trying to do. It means that the server will never send out a bad email message. Any emails sent to a bad email address are just deleted. A good tool will tell you if the server you are testing is set to Accept All Emails. If you see this message, you will know there is no way to validate any email addresses on that server.

Some tools we have validated for use in your email validation efforts:

  • www.email-checker.com – a tool that does check SMTP and does provide a helpful message. This tool typically works fine with public email addresses such as yahoo.com because they have not yet set a level of security to catch it!
  • www.Rapportive.com – Rapportive.com will work with your gmail account to show all of the contacts information from inside your gmail account. The caveat to this tool is that the email you are checking must be the one used in LinkedIn by the candidate. However, if you hit it right, not only do you get the email validated, you will also see other information about the candidate from the web.

The bottom line is that email validation tools can be helpful, but if not fully understood, they can be misleading. Try these two out.  Research and choose others wisely.

If you have any questions or ideas you would like to share with me, please Email Me

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

Karen Antrim

Developing A Sourcing Strategy

April 16th, 2014

Drives creativity, relieves stress and builds confidence

During Module 5 of our Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program  we discuss how to develop an effective search strategy (aka – Mindstorm) for Critical/Difficult/Visible (CDV) requisitions.

While the concept is simple, the benefits are HUGE:

  1. Drives Creativity – Engaging subject matter experts and spending time identifying 20+ ideas to fill a position will almost always provide you with strategies you haven’t thought about.
  2. Relieves Stress – I don’t know how many times I have lead a Mindstorming session where folks felt really good afterwards. They now had a project plan they could execute. A tangible, well thought out plan.
  3. Builds Confidence – Once a Mindstorm is completed, you should share it with your hiring managers (hopefully they were involved in building the Mindstorm plan). This will demonstrate you have a plan of action to fill their position.


For more information on Mindstorms, read These Blogs  I wrote on the subject, and this special one on Using A Mindstorm To Drive Your Search Strategy


The concept is simple – results from doing Mindstorms . . . PRICELESS.


David Szary

Change Your Recruitment Process- But Don’t Forget Change Management!

April 1st, 2014

True leadership in change management is a critical ingredient to a successful initiative.

I like to cook. In fact, I entertain and cook for friends quite often.  I have my kitchen and cooking utensils set up in a way that makes cooking easy and fun for me to do.  If someone came into my kitchen and moved my pots, pans, knives, spices, etc. into different places, I would feel very unsettled and would not be a happy camper.

We can apply this simple analogy to change management in almost any environment.  For example, with Healthcare Reform, hospital systems are experiencing, what is being considered by CEO’s, the largest fundamental shift to patient care standards and processes that they have seen in decades.

How leaders assist their teams in responding appropriately to change will determine how well the organization shifts their processes to meet these new healthcare expectations and standards of care.  How strong are your leader’s “Emotional Intelligence Capabilities?” More specifically, how well attuned are your leader’s to subtle but diagnostic cues about how groups in the organization are reacting to change and change initiatives? A leader’s skill at recognizing and responding to collective emotional reactions, referred to by Management Scientists as ‘Emotional Aperture,’ can play an important role in their ability to gain feedback about other’s interpretations and likely reaction to organizational events, such as change initiatives. For example, one study at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business revealed that leaders’ performance in the eyes of his or her subordinates was directly influenced by the leader’s emotional aperture skills. Those leaders not attuned to how people are making sense of change are unable to respond effectively.

Let’s face it – - The only thing that will remain constant is CHANGE!

With all these changes occurring in Healthcare, many of you are making changes within your recruitment organization:

  • Optimizing process using Lean principles.
  • Adding sourcing function/expertise.
  • Adding validated assessment tools.
  • Developing hiring manager/candidate Service Level Agreements

You are reorganizing your ‘kitchen’, so to speak, and these changes are having a tremendous impact on your customers.

To ensure success, some suggested Change Management Best practices include:

  • Include key stakeholders in the effort from the very beginning. Excluding the team early on only delays broader buy-in.
  • Send a Voice of The Customer Survey  to hiring leaders in order to capture the brutal facts on current state and solicit the expectations of their key customer.
  • Include hiring leaders in the creation of the new process.
  • Partner with hiring leaders in the communication of the process change, and identify very clearly what the differences will be.
    • For example, instead of receiving 8-10 candidates within 48 hours of the job posting, you will receive 4-6 highly screened, qualified candidates within 5-7 days of the job posting, saving you time by only having to review the most qualified candidates.
    • Plan a requisition strategy that allows time to complete the hire, rather than transferring the requisition to a different recruiter.

Without a solid change management methodology, solid process improvement solutions might not be well received within your organization.

If you are interested in learning more about an innovative change management methodology developed by renowned expert and Lean Human Capital Partner, Dr. Jeffery Sanchez-Burks – Click Here

Deb Vargovick

Developing Candidate Pipelines

March 25th, 2014

Think SMALL!

I recently had the opportunity to facilitate Module 6 (Sourcing: Leveraging your Center’s of Influence) of our RACR program with two separate groups.  This is one of the topics we discuss in developing candidate pipelines.

While this is not a new concept, it is still a hot topic (a lot of students had questions regarding implementation/strategy) that honestly – - recruiters still struggle implementing. 

I think the biggest reason folks are struggling to develop and maintain candidate pipelines is because they are over thinking when/how to get started and . . . thinking too BIG!

  • What CRM system am I going to use?
  • Do I have a compelling landing page?
  • How will I communicate with them?

While these are all important topics to tackle at some point along the way, you don’t need to have all the answers to get started.

My best advice – Start SMALL! 

I recently wrote a blog (and teach this concept in RACR Module 6) on this topic introducing a new concept – - The Dunbar Principle. If you are struggling to develop candidate pipelines and/or just looking for some pragmatic advice You Might Want To Read This! 

I hope you are having a Perfect Day!

David Szary

Sourcing Made Simple

March 20th, 2014

Reach out when they can respond

One of our RACR students recently asked the question . . . . when is the best time to reach out to prospects you have not talked to (either active or passive)?

The truthful answer is . . . . It depends!

In today’s mobile society, we are instantaneously communicating with friends, family co-workers 24/7 via email, social media, text, etc.  For most, their mobile device is never more than an arm’s reach away.

With that said, I found that individuals are less apt to pick up the phone from an unknown caller more than ever.

Think about it, we want to know who it is and what they want before we respond.  New technology has conditioned us to act this way.

So the best time to reach out to someone is when they are available to read your email, tweet, post, text and/or listen to your voice mail!  You should craft and deliver a compelling message when they have time to read/hear it and . . . respond!

The best times folks can respond depends on their schedule.  For example:

  • It is much better catching a nurse going on (or just leaving) a 12 hour shift versus while they are working.
  • Exempt office workers, meetings usually starting around 8, 8:30 to noon then 1 to 5. 
  • Construction workers – - usually get off shifts around 3 or 4 pm. 

Best Practice examples:

  • Emailing folks Sunday night (I wouldn’t call them) around 5-8.  Most are getting back into work mode and . . . if they are not 100% happy, this might be a time for them to respond and set up a time to talk to you!
  • Some folks swear that Friday mornings before everyone really starts working is a great time. Folks are in a good mood and maybe more receptive to set up a time to talk or talk right then.

Reaching out to candidates when they can respond can increase your ‘connect’ rate exponentially (assuming you have a compelling message).

Here are some other blogs I have written that you might find of value on the subject of sourcing:  


I hope you are having a Perfect Day!

David Szary

Recruiters – What is the Value Proposition?

March 12th, 2014

And How to Effectively Communicate with Candidates!

One topic I am very passionate about is the Art & Science of Recruiting Top Talent.  I’m not talking about sourcing candidates, I’m talking about the candidates you would like to pursue and connect with (whether they applied to a position or you found them on LinkedIn, Monster, etc.) and engage in a friendly conversation about your opportunities and your organization.

Over the years, I have written many articles and blogs on this subject (check our free resources) and cover it in great detail in Module 9 of our Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program. 

In Module 9, we discuss how critical it is to:

  • Understand your candidates’ ‘Motives’.
  • Craft a compelling value proposition that would make them take interest in the opportunity based on their motives.
  • Make the message as personal as possible.
  • Reach out to them when they most likely have time to respond to your inquiry.
  • Deliver it with great tone. If you aren’t excited about the opportunity, why should they be?
  • Communicate with them based on how they like to be communicated with.

With this last point, I found a very interesting article I thought was worth reading called Inside the Millennial Mind, From a Gen Y Recruiter.

Talented professionals, regardless of their generation, have options and are probably being recruited heavily by your competition.

With that said, your ability to craft compelling messages and deliver them successfully is a skill required for hiring top talent for your organization!

David Szary

Keeping Recruiters Highly Engaged – Top 10 List

March 5th, 2014

Results from our January Recruiter Focus Group

David and I recently hosted a terrific focus group with recruiters throughout the nation in order to solicit input on specific areas that were important to their personal engagement within their recruitment organization. The dialogue was very dynamic!  I could barely keep up documenting all of the responses that came in fast and furiously throughout the session.

We guided the discussion to gain insight into these primary areas:

  • Does your organization conduct an Employee Engagement Survey?
    • If so, when and how often?
  • What are the three most important things impacting your personal engagement within your role?
  • What three challenges prevent you from being successful in your role?
  • Describe what you need to be most successful in your role, like Training & Education?

Approximately 60% of our attendees said that their organization conducts an Employee Engagement Survey.  Most are conducted on an annual basis, with survey times varying throughout the year.

These are the Top 10 things that were most important for personal engagement within their organizations:

  1. Training & Education (The ability to pursue continuing education and training in their specific field of recruitment; attend conferences; attend classes in HR, finance and analytics; six sigma; SHRM; Dale Carnegie coursework, to name a few.)
  2. Autonomy to run the recruiting business (Work life balance; ability to work from home; flexible work schedule.)
  3. The right tools to do the job (Effective ATS system; CRM tool to build relationships with candidates for future positions; sourcing tools; Social Media contacts; technology; lean and efficient processes.)
  4. Management / Leadership support.
  5. A career path; growth opportunities both inside and outside of recruitment.
  6. Having a voice; a “seat at the table”.
  7. Fair compensation and benefits.
  8. Recognition and reward for a job well done.
  9. Value as a trusted advisor and strategic partner to hiring managers.
  10. Teamwork and being part of a fun, smart team.

The Top 5 list of challenges:

  1. Budget constraints within the recruiting organization.
  2. Candidate pay, compensation.
  3. Hiring Managers’ skill set expectations – a) Too narrow a focus on ideal skill sets that very few candidates will possess; b) Looking for a quick fill with lower skill set; c) Failure to recognize a candidate who has future potential.
  4. Hiring Managers’ lack of willingness to hire diverse candidates such as older workers and veterans.
  5. Lack of skilled candidates (like Clinicians in a hospital setting) to fill positions due to growth and mergers.

The Top 3 things needed to be successful:

  1. The right technology: a) Upgraded Applicant Tracking System; b) A Candidate Relationship Management technology; c) Employee Referral Program.
  2. Company, Industry specific training and education.
  3. Sourcing and Social Media training.

This was a fun analysis to perform.  It helped us understand from the recruiter’s perspective what they think is important, and those items that will help them be more engaged in their roles!

The next step is for us to conduct a Recruitment Leaders ONLY focus group, to discuss Best Practices/Solutions with respect to what recruiters need and want to be successful, engaged, and motivated!

Of course we will provide those results once tabulated!

Stay Tuned!


Stop Throwing Recruiting Under The Bus

February 26th, 2014

It takes two to tango!

I spent the first part of my career as a recruiter in the ultra-competitive tech industry back in the 90’s! And now after spending a great deal of time working with healthcare recruitment teams over the last 5 years, I have found many similarities between the two industries, including:

  • Supply/demand of top talent – recruiting talented healthcare clinical, IT and leadership professionals is difficult, to say the least!
  • The critical, direct role professionals have within the organization (especially considering that the end consumer in a hospital is a patient!)

When demand far exceeds the supply of talent in the market, organizations will struggle and/or can literally go out of business. I saw it happen back in the late 90’s.

And of course when we face these market conditions, often the first reaction is to:

  • Put more pressure on the recruitment team to find and hire more people.
  • Blame the recruitment team for not meeting the staffing needs of the organization.
  • Often, simply throw recruitment under the bus!

While it is our job to develop strategies to find and hire the right people, hiring leaders arguably have the biggest impact on an organization’s ability to lure the right talent on board.

A couple of recent articles I found have some solid advice that I believe apply to all industries experiencing a “war for talent” – Enjoy:

Stop throwing recruiting under the bus!

Leaping into 2013: A recruiter’s thoughts on startup hiring for job-seekers and hiring teams


I hope you are having a Perfect Week.

David Szary 

3 Tips For Eliminating Unqualified Applicant Flow

February 18th, 2014

So You Can Spend More Time With Qualified Applicants!

A common frustration with most recruiters is managing the countless unqualified applicants that apply on a daily basis!

Not only does this waste a recruiter’s precious time, but it also impacts the candidate experience. 

Let’s face it, each and every candidate who applies (no matter how unqualified they are) that we reject (no matter how human we do it) probably doesn’t walk away feeling all that great. 

Working with several recruitment organizations on this issue has led to a few pragmatic solutions. 

  1. Monitor the Candidate Funnel – For positions that you receive a high volume of candidates in short period of time, educate the hiring manager, explaining to her that you will monitor the requisition and when you believe you have a sufficient slate of quality candidates, you will take the posting down externally to limit the amount of unqualified applicants you will have to reject.  While I know some managers might resist this at first (wanting to keep it open for even better candidates), educate them on why you are doing it and the significance of the candidates experience on your organizations brand. Of course, this tactic must be implemented with EEOC/affirmative action/union policies in mind at your organization.
  2. Sharp Shooter Sourcing Strategy – The best thing about social media is that we can get our message out to millions of folks instantly. The worst thing is that we can get our message out to millions of unqualified applicants instantly!  For positions that you constantly receive high volume of unqualified applicants, limit your marketing efforts to sources that net high quality applicants. 
  3. Post the Qualifications needed to get Hired NOT the Minimum Qualifications – Most organizations job descriptions are built on minimum qualifications (rather than the actual qualifications it will take to get hired).  Work with your hiring managers (and compensation, HR, etc.) to really specify the qualifications required to get hired. This will assist in the amount of unqualified candidates that believe they are qualified based on the minimum qualifications posted.
  4. Post BAU req’s on Monday NOT Friday – For positions you receive high volumes of unqualified applicant flow (we call these Business As Usual requisitions – BAU), think about posting on Monday (or early in the week) so you can monitor candidate flow.  If you post on a Friday, you might end up with 200 unqualified candidates in your in box on Monday morning!  On the flip side, for your difficult to fill, posting on Friday provides passive seekers a chance to find it over the weekend. 

While I know all three of these solutions are not fool proof and/or can easily be implemented, think of what you CAN DO versus what you CAN’T DO

Reducing unqualified applicant flow by just 10% annually can save thousands of hours wasted on managing unqualified applicant flow and improve overall candidate satisfaction.

David Szary

When your TTF recruitment metrics look bad…

February 12th, 2014

It might actually be a good sign!

During our quarterly review meetings with our clients, we always review our performance scorecard to:

  1. Celebrate success of our achievements.
  2. Identify performance improvement opportunities.
  3. Quantify ROI to key stakeholders.

Lately, we have had three teams see their overall Time-to-Fill (TTF) rise, their % of positions rise, as well as seeing their TTF rise for positions filled in greater than 60 days.

Of course, their first reaction was, “OMG, I worked so hard this quarter and I did worse!?!?”

Well, while at first glance you might think that is the case, in reality their perceived “failure” was actually their greatest achievement.

With one recruiter, their overall TTF went up 30% quarter over quarter. But when we reviewed it closer, that was because she had filled 13 positions that had been open over 150 days! Yes, 150 days. And a few were even over 200 days.

So all the hard work she spent re-calibrating hiring managers unrealistic expectations, driving a Lean process, and developing and executing a killer sourcing strategy were the keys to filling the position!

Customer a raving fan – CHECK.

Position filled – CHECK.

Cost of Vacancy stopped – CHECK.

REMEMBER – Scorecard metrics are meaningless, what you do with them is priceless!

In this case, quantifying why TTF went up and celebrating successfully filling these reqs was priceless.

Added bonus – less positions over 60 days to fill moving into next quarter. At some point, this will drop your TTF through the floor!

Don’t take your performance scorecard data at face value. Analyze it and then use it wisely.

NOTE: If you are seeking to develop an industry best practices scorecard, give us a call. We have a lot of passion on this subject!


David Szary