Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

How does your Career Webpage Look?

July 23rd, 2014

Are your candidates staying put or leaving the page too fast?

Many organizations have forgotten about the importance of their Corporate Website Career page. With more and more organizations using Recruitment Marketing firms that create landing pages that actually pull candidates away from your site, the original career page has gotten a little lonely.  That’s too bad because if your organization is well branded, as much as 23% of your applicant flow might be going directly to your career website page. So it’s time to take a look at it and make sure it is meeting the following best practices:

  1. Is there obvious links to Careers from every page in the site? The easiest and most obvious place for a link to the career page would be at the top navigation bar and on the side navigation bar if your site has one. Many organizations make the mistake of putting the Career link at the very bottom of each page. A true passive candidate will not dig.
  2. Once a prospective candidate lands on your career page, is it inviting, easy to follow and does it have a value proposition?
    1. Appealing to the eye with graphics instead of all text.
    2. Bullets with short, declarative statements.
    3. Value propositions explain reasons why this is a great place to work. Consider employee testimonials.
    4. The power of video. Consider making a value proposition video. According to the Wharton School of Business, a well-produced video increases information retention by 50%. Make a great impression with employees discussing why this is a great place to work.
    5. Make the search process easy and obvious. Don’t hide the link to the ATS search in the middle of the webpage text. Make it standout on the sidebar.
    6. Put hot openings right on the career page. Don’t make candidates search for your most difficult to fill positions. The passive candidate casually looking is more likely to click if the job opening is presented to them.
    7. Make it Mobile! If your entire website isn’t mobile yet, it should be in the plans very soon. 77% of candidates perform their job search on a mobile device (phone or tablet).

Stop driving traffic away from your site. With some simple updates you can engage candidates, increase your passive candidate throughput to job postings, and possibly drive your sites Search Engine Optimization (SEO) up.

Make a great day!

Karen Antrim

Pre-Assessments are Crucial in Raising the Quality of Hire

July 16th, 2014

How to make your Hiring Managers Raving Fans by creating an efficient process for producing quality hires

We have analyzed thousands of data points through our HMARTsm  (Hiring Manager Assessment of the Recruitment Team). Based on this research, two of the most intriguing dimensions for hiring managers have been:

  • Efficiency (of process)
  • Quality of hire

They only want to spend time reviewing and speaking with candidates who are the most qualified for the job.  After all, they are busy leaders running busy departments and expect the recruiting process to take as little of their time as possible.

With that said, once you’ve sourced a top notch applicant pool, you need to ensure that you are only forwarding the most qualified candidates for consideration who fit the culture of your organization for long term success.

I’ve worked with several clients over the last two years to help them define a process to narrow down their applicant pool to the most qualified candidates. Through this work, I have found there are four key elements for hiring this Top Talent for your organization:

  • Imbed screening questions in the application process for each job opening:
    • A combination of knock out questions that eliminate an applicant who does not meet minimum qualifications, coupled with questions that rank candidates according to preferred qualifications is ideal.
  • Use a pre-assessment tool that assesses applicants for cultural and behavioral fit.
  • Educate hiring managers on the consistent use of standardized behavioral interview guides tailored by job family.
  • Participate in interviews with your hiring managers as much as possible:
    • Focus on critical jobs that have a high impact on cost of vacancy, revenue and turnover.

I hope you have a Perfect Day!

Deb Vargovick

Connecting with Top Talent

July 9th, 2014

When they are available to respond!

During our Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program – Module 9 covering Candidate Development, we talk about the significance of timing your outbound inquiry to a candidate (regardless of whether they are active or passive) to coincide with when they are available to respond.

Now in the good old days, we talked about timing the inquiry when they would pick up the phone!

But now a days, no one picks up the phone!

We wait to see who is calling. If we don’t recognize the number, we let the call go to voice mail.  If we have TIME, we quickly replay the VM to see who it is, what they want, etc.

So while the game has changed a bit, the concept is still the same.

When making outbound inquiries to prospects, candidates, etc., be mindful of when they are available to respond to your inquiry – both for voice mail and email!

While some might argue that folks respond 24/7 via mobile, there are still ‘better’ times than others to reach out. For example, corporate professionals who have meetings from 9-12 and 1-4 are less apt to listen to your VM and/or respond to an email about a new job during those times!

With that said, traditionally right before work, during lunch, and right after work are good times to connect with most professionals, BUT . . . you need to understand what might be the best times for the specific types of candidates you recruit.

  • Nurses work 12 hour shifts (7 to 7).
  • Manufacturing supervisors usually work 7-3, 3-11 or 11-7.
  • Construction managers will take calls throughout the working day but often not at lunch (their time).
  • Candidates working in large cities might have long commute times on trains (think NYC, Chicago, etc.).

The key is to plan your sourcing/outreach time when they are able to respond to your message (both voice mail and email).

If you haven’t tried reaching out during the times you believe top talent is available to respond, I would encourage you to test it out during the next few weeks.

I would bet you will increase your overall response rate and how much faster the average person responds!

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

David Szary

One Key For Turning A Hiring Manager Into A Raving Fan

June 25th, 2014


During the development of our validated HMARTsm (Hiring Manager Assessment of Recruitment Team) Voice of the Customer Assessment, Dr. Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks  analyzed thousands of data points.

And of the five dimensions identified to be critical to hiring manager satisfaction, the single point recruiters have consistently performed worse on, compared to the other four, is Communication.

Common feedback includes:

  • I don’t have regular communication with my recruiter.
  • I don’t know the status of the position I have posted.
  • I haven’t been kept abreast of what they are doing to fill my position.

Now, to be fair, they also probably don’t know that you have 30, 40, 100 positions that you are working on! And to effectively communicate with all managers all the time is a full time job!

With that said, communication is critical to hiring manager satisfaction and turning them into Raving Fans of our services.

Outlined below is a pragmatic Communication Rhythm many of our students have implemented from Module 4 – Tactical Consulting of our Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program to ensure effective communication with hiring managers:

  1. Set communication Service Level Agreement – during your intake session with your hiring manager, identify how often they would like updates. Agree upon something that is realistic given your work-load. While best practice is weekly, we have found many recruiters can score high with respect to Communication even when providing bi-monthly status updates.
  2. Identify how they want the update - Schedule in-person meeting. Conference call, email (best practice).
  3. When you have no update, provide update – In a recent blog, we discussed this point (link).  But if you don’t have any new candidates or other information action, you need to update them on the things you are doing to fill the position.
  4. 4.      Consistently do 1, 2 and 3 above!!

By adopting this Communication Rhythm, we have seen recruiters improve their Voice of the Customer Communication scores by as much as 27% in six months!

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!


Why Everyone Can’t Kill Their Job Postings The Way Zappos Did!

June 18th, 2014

You can’t be found if you’re not a household name… and sometimes even when you are.

When I read about Zappos  new approach to ‘No Job Postings’, I was intrigued. In case you are not familiar with the recent change, Zappos has done away with job postings. They now have a program called Zappos Insider. An interested job seeker goes to their website, finds the ‘insider’ links and answers some questions and can upload their resume.

I found their jobs website and went through the process to ‘become an insider’, as they call it. I found the team that I wanted to be a part of, filled out the questions and sent it off. I was even provided with the name and contact info for a recruiter. Fantastic and very personal. I emailed my recruiter to ask about working remotely. Unfortunately, I was told that remote work is not a part of their model. Darn it, no shoe discounts for me!

With that said, two significant things concern me about the new Zappos model for the majority of organizations out there. Don’t get me wrong. I love Zappos. I am a regular and dedicated customer. Their customer service is second to none. But their new no job posting model isn’t for everyone. And I’ll be curious to hear how it works for them over the next six to twelve months.

While there are many Pros and Cons  to this new method of finding talent for Zappos, the first issue that came to my mind about this model is that they will no longer have keywords that are searchable for the Internet. Zappos is very well branded and many job seekers will go directly to their site and enroll to become an insider. But 77% of job seekers begin their job search at the search engine. How will their jobs be found if there are none TO be found? The typical passive candidate might not think to look at the Zappos website for a job.

The second reason I have concerns about the new ‘become and insider’ model is that there is no self-screening process. Having said that, Zappos may have a fantastic CRM or ATS that can effectively sort and screen based on the answers to the questions asked during the application process. I have yet to see one that can handle that level of accuracy.

I’m excited about any new techniques in Online Recruitment Marketing and I look forward to hearing about Zappos results. However, I feel that that the good old job posting is here to stay, for a while longer anyway. The goals for now should be to improve on the job posting template and the process for marketing them.

Make it a great day!

Karen Antrim


Are You A Real Partner With Your HR Business Partner?

June 11th, 2014

Regular communication is the key! 

For most organizations, recruiters co-exist with HR business partners to provide a suite of Talent management services including recruitment, succession planning, learning and development, etc.

While the goals of the two groups are almost always aligned – Find, hire and retain high quality, engaged employees – we often find that the two groups operate in silos with very little ongoing communication between the two with respect to this goal!

So I ask this question, Do you regularly meet with your HR business partner (or recruitment partner) to discuss how you can achieve your common goal?

If your answer is NO – the first thing I recommend you do is set up a recurring bi-weekly (or monthly) meeting with your business partners.  Just putting it on the schedule will drive some meaningful dialogue that will assist in achieving your goals.

With that said, a focused agenda will assist in providing structure to your discussion.

Potential topics for the agenda:

  • Predict upcoming hiring needs:
    • Growth expansion.
    • Succession planning.
    • Retirements.
    • Turnover ‘risks’.
  • On-boarding of new hires:
    • How is it going? Feedback from new hires?
  • Employee Engagement:
    • Feedback from recruiters.
  • Current opening status:
    • Challenges with filling positions.
    • Pipeline of candidates.


Investing a couple hours a month with your partners could be the best time spent to achieve your common goal!

I hope you are having a Perfect Day!

David Szary

Recruiters – 2 Hours Sourcing On A Sunday….

June 4th, 2014

Is worth more than 4 hours on a Friday!

Over the years, I have preached the value of Sunday late afternoon Sourcing.  Yes Sunday!

Think about it. How many folks late on a Sunday afternoon (or early evening) are winding down weekend activities and switching back into “work mode”?

They might be checking emails, perusing the Internet or planning for the week ahead. For those that don’t particularly like their current position, there is a excellent likelihood they are searching for a new job!

This is a GREAT time to start emailing top talent about your opportunities.  I usually recommend doing this from 5-7 pm.

Best practices of crafting and delivering a compelling message doesn’t change (from those delivered during the week):

  • Personalize the message.
  • Ensure you have a strong value proposition.
  • Be mindful of the Subject Line (so they don’t delete).
  • Make sure it is short and reads well on a mobile device.

NOTE: For more info on this subject – check out Module 9 of our RACR program 

Your “call to action” can be an intro conversation on Monday.

I have shared this advice to so many people over the years and . . . . almost all have raved about the benefits. They start getting emails back that evening. They start setting up candidate conversations on Monday.

What a great way to start your week. Already scheduled discussions with top talent for critical to fill positions on Monday!

I have always joked that these 2 hours on Sunday are worth more than working 4 hours on a Friday. And wouldn’t you rather work 2 hours Sunday and take off the afternoon on Friday?

NOW, I want to be clear.  I know this might not work for everyone given your busy lifestyle AND . . . I can’t say that your boss will allow you to take off Friday afternoon!

BUT if you are seeking to connect with top talent – - this might be the best investment of time you could ever make!

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

David Szary

The Non-Hired Candidate Experience

May 28th, 2014

How important is it to your organization? And what can you do to improve it?

Two weeks ago, at the Society of Talent Acquisition & Recruitment’s Annual Staffing Symposium - STAR Chicago,  I had the opportunity to facilitate a panel discussion for over 250 recruitment professionals regarding the Non-Hired Candidate (NHC) recruitment experience. Specifically, our session was focused on how we can improve the NHC experience for the thousands of candidates that apply but do NOT get hired.

We spent the first part of our lively discussion wrestling with the question, “Do we need to be GREAT at providing NHCs with an excellent candidate experience or . . . is it OK to provide just an average experience?”

An overwhelming majority clearly stated that it was important to be GREAT at providing an excellent experience once they understood the research we provided.

  • What candidates would do if they had a bad applicant experience (research by HARRIS Interactive – 2013):
    • 42% – Never seek employment at that company again.
    • 22% – Tell others not to work there.
    • 9%   – Tell others not to purchase products or services from that company.
    • 78% – They would talk about a bad experience they had with a potential employee with friends and family.
  • What candidates would share about the experience (research by Talent Board – 2013):
    • 65% would “likely” or “definitely” share a negative experience with their inner circle.
    • 32% would “likely” or “definitely” be willing to speak out publicly regarding a negative experience.
  • How candidates feel after their experience (research by Lean Human Capital – 2014):
    • 39% can’t agree (even slightly) they experienced procedural fairness with the applicant website.
    • 57% can’t agree (even slightly) they experienced procedural fairness with recruiters.
    • 59% can’t agree (even slightly) they experienced procedural fairness with hiring managers.

When provided a good candidate experience, NHCs are also vocal. Nearly all candidates with a positive experience (97%) would refer someone to apply to the company (Talent Board – 2014).

Understanding the significance of the NHC experience is the easy part.  Doing something about it is much more complex.

All 250 attendees engaged in an Innovation Exercise to try and identify things you can do immediately to start improving the candidate experience.

Check out some of the Best Practice ideas that were generated during this session in our White Paper.

We are excited to announce that we have developed a validated methodology to survey your NHCs with the assistance of Dr. Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

If you are interested in learning more about this exciting offering, let me know!

I hope you have a great week!

David Szary

Can Talented Professionals Find Your Job Postings?

May 21st, 2014

And when they find them, are your messages compelling?

As unemployment rates continue to fall (that is a good thing), we have found the market is really starting to heat up again for top talent. This is especially true for critical to fill job families like experienced nurses, engineers, IT professionals, etc.  Of course this just makes it that much harder to find, attract and hire the best and brightest in the industry.

While there are many facets involved with developing a proactive sourcing strategy, at the core, you need to ensure you perform well and receive high scores when asked the following three questions:

  1. Can talented professionals (active and/or passive) find your job posting?
    1. 77% of the population will start inquiring about career opportunities (or start a job search) at an Internet browser (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.).  They will use key words relative to what they do and/or what they are interested in. You need to ensure that your job postings are search engine optimized (SEO) so that when they type in those words, your position(s) will be found on the first page of the search.
    2. When they find the posting, is your message compelling?
      1. I read a recent statistic that said a job seeker will take 6 seconds to review the position headline, etc. before deciding to continue to read on (or not). Only 6 seconds! Is your position headline compelling? Is the overall posting compelling? Is it short and to the point? Easy to read? Are you taking advantage of best practices such as Video Job Descriptions?
      2. Can they apply or learn more if they want to?
        1. If you do #1 and #2 well, candidates will want to engage further to learn more and/or apply. When they click on your links, do they direct them to the right spot(s)? Do the links work?  We analyze organizations recruitment marketing strategies all the time and we are amazed at how many links do NOT work.

So how do you know if you get high scores in these three areas? A simple way is to go “out on the internet” as a candidate and search for career opportunities and see what you find. Or better, have some of your top employees who are raving fans of your organizations do it for you.

What did you find? Was the message compelling? Could you apply and/or learn more?

Finding and hiring top talent is NOT easy.

Ensuring talented professionals can find your compelling job postings and can engage to learn more is critical to your success!

If you are interested in our Recruitment Marketing Analysis Services, let us know!  We would be happy to objectively provide you insight and advice on this critical part of the recruitment process.


David Szary 

Finger Pointing Has No Place In Recruiting

May 14th, 2014

A ‘Stuck’ Report can help solve the problem!

My colleague David Szary uses a phrase that I borrow regularly when teaching our RACR classes,  ”Be curious, not furious.” In other words, before you make an assumption about how someone has handled a situation, discover the facts first.

When working with recruiters and their hiring managers, I often hear them blaming each other for delays they are experiencing during the hiring process. My advice to both is to always meet with the other party either by phone or in person, and to engage in a dialogue to determine what specific obstacles are causing the delay.

As we all know, hiring managers have a shared responsibility in the hiring process. While the hiring process is the recruitment team’s primary function, and the reason we are on payroll, without the hiring manager adhering to agreed upon time frames for key steps such as reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates and making a final selection, the hiring process can (and does) experience major delays.

A tool we have developed and has been instrumental in identifying when and at what point a requisition is delayed is what we call a Stuck Report.

This report can be generated from your ATS. It will identify the status for each open position and how long it has been in that specific status.

As you can imagine, when you run this report it is most common that the requisition is stuck because the next action is sitting in the hiring manager’s bucket.

To engage the “Be curious, not furious” technique when using the stuck report, I recommend these guidelines for recruiters:

  • Request a conversation with the hiring manager. In person is always best, but a phone conversation is better than an email.
  • Share the facts that address how long the manager has had applicants and which applicants you are waiting for review or feedback on.
  • Inquire as to the reason for delay. They may have been out of the office, busy putting out fires, you name it. They have a vested interest in filling the position quickly, so most often the delay is unintentional.
  • Offer assistance! Do they need help reviewing resumes? Do they need help scheduling interviews? Would they like your help in assessing the final candidate and participating in interviews? Would they benefit from an interview guide? Would it be more efficient and save them time if an interview blitz was scheduled for them to process candidates in a time block?

Recruiting is all about building relationships. Being curious and discovering the facts go a long way when establishing credibility and trust with hiring managers. The Stuck Report can be an invaluable tool to “Be curious, not furious!”

Deb Vargovick
Senior Consultant