Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for March, 2008

Do we spend too much time recruiting and not enough time requalifying req’s…

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

The other day I had a hiring manager say to me. . . “Based on the position description, there are probably 5 people that fit this position. That number includes the person that we are trying to replace (because of retirement). Then he proceeded to ask me how I was going to fill the position!

I think all too often, we spend too much time searching for people that don’t exist rather than spending the same amount of energy (or much less) trying to identify the core competencies required to be successful in the position and who, with proper development, would be just as successful (if not more).

Now I know this is easier said than done. Trust me, I am marginally successful at doing this with the hiring managers I work with (or have worked with in the past). But that doesn’t relieve you (or I) of the responsibility for trying!

Some simple questions to start a dialog around this discussion include:

  • What skills did the person that is currently in the position have when they hired in?
  • What was his/her ramp up time to become successful?
  • What was “lost” during that ramp up period that won’t be lost by us trying to find the unique skill set you are looking for? Given the skill set, it could take 90+ days to find a candidate qualified and interested (if we find one at all).
  • Do you have an internal “up and coming candidate”, this could be a great retention strategy (moving them into this roll)!

Managers usually want the easy way (experience, less training) way out. I don’t blame them. I do as well! But they often think that the “easy way” is finding and hiring someone with the exact skill set for the position. You need to consult with them! You need to let them understand that the easiest, less stressful way is to probably take someone that is eager to learn, can start tomorrow, and excited about the opportunity. Especially if it is a current employee!

Again – I know this argument/line of questioning doesn’t always work but . . . if you aren’t pushing back on these req’s that you know are next to impossible to fill…. than you are creating more work and aggravation and . . . you’re not doing your job as an internal consultant.

Contest + Games = Recruiting Job Satisfaction!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

If you regularly check out our blog , you might have seen my latest entry – “Do you give up too easy on passive candidates”?

One comment I received from a peer (after reading this post) was . . . “Sourcing is not easy and it is time consuming!”

HE IS RIGHT – The reality is sourcing and engaging not-looking/listener candidates is a very laborious and challenging activity. I often compare it to exercise!

It is easy to avoid and it is often tough to get motivated to do it. If you get too busy, it is the first thing that “slips off your plate”.


It is critical to your overall success as a recruiter. If you are motivated and focused, you feel good when you are done. You typically love the results from the activity.

SO HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE sourcing becomes/stays a priority during the work day… Make it FUN.

Many fitness experts talk about making exercise fun by turning it into a game. Instead of running on a treadmill, play basketball or go for a bike ride in the country.

Apply that same thought process to sourcing and that laborious, challenging activity can become…FUN.

Some simple easy games/contests to introduce into your sourcing “routine:”

o Check out our blog Post – “Old-school social networking. Get with your fellow recruiter(s) and see who can get the most referrals/hires from employees. Each recruiter take 20, 30, 100 employees. You get 1 week to make contact, ask good questions, and stimulate the referral process. After a week, see who has won the contest.

o Friday call blitzes. On a Friday, develop a call list and for 2 hours, blast the phones. Have a contest with your peers to see who can talk to the most people live, get the most “bites,” set up the most phone interviews, get the most resumes, etc.

o BET on yourself: Before you start the day (do this for a whole week), Bet $10 (with a peer or the “house”) that you will get something done that day that if accomplished, it would be a BIG deal. Challenge yourself.

When our office plays games and has fun with sourcing…. Our productivity goes through the ROOF. When we don’t…. it usually ends up being a laborious, challenging activity. HAVE SOME FUN THE REST OF THIS WEEK!

Do you give up too easily on passive candidates?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Passive candidates (or as I define them . . . Listener/Not-looking) are just that. Passive. I think we have to continue to remind ourselves of that fact when we are trying to make contact with them.

If you are like me, you often feel that they will respond if they are interested in talking. Especially if you pride yourself on sending compelling emails and leaving thought-provoking messages.

But the reality is (I know this but have to keep reminding myself of this fact) that most folks don’t respond because they are just too busy!

Think about what you do when you receive a voice mail and/or email from someone that has some sort of “appeal” but . . . the message is not critical or urgent.

  • How many emails do you have in your inbox that you haven’t responded too? How many voice mails?
  • Do you ever get to the end of the day and have about 5 – 10 ++ calls left to make but… have to run?

“No return call/email” DOES NOT EQUAL “no interest in talking/networking”.

In sales, studies indicate it take 5 contacts to solicit a positive response from someone. Heck, we recruiters often give up on 2-3 contacts and we are not even selling anything!

GREAT STORY: One of my partners (Troy) contacted a person 41 times over the course of 18 months with no feedback. Every time he called, he was respectful and used phrases like “I know you are busy . . . ” or “I know that I am not the first person on your call list but . . . “

He finally reached this person the other day. Now – 41 times – - 18 months – - for most that is “stalker status” but . . . the person was very polite, very apologetic that they didn’t call back and actually referred a couple of people to network with!

As you look at your list of folks you have contacted, think positive, think they are just busy, think they would LOVE to talk to you!

Recruiting is like sales . . . but is “sales” in your DNA?

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Most good recruiters I know preach . . . “Recruiting is just like sales. Our job in recruiting is to go out, find the best talent, and recruit (sell) them to our organization.”

I agree 100% with this statement! The best recruiters I know possess similar attributes to those of their sales ‘peers’.

Attributes of successful sales people include, but not limited too (in no particular order):
o Willingness to talk to anyone at anytime about their product/service.
o Not afraid to ‘cold call’ for new business.
o A persuasive, motivating communicator.
o Able to overcome basic objections and the first “no”.
o Love the thrill of landing a new account, winning a big deal.
o Competitive. Driven to be #1.
o Play the sales ‘game” ethically and with integrity (allows them to build relationships and get referrals/repeat business).

Now, I can’t say that I would rate myself a ’10’ on all of the above listed attributes but . . . in reflection, these attributes are part of my DNA.

Are they part of your DNA?