Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for May, 2008

“Don’t confuse Activity for Accomplishment…” John Wooden

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

My partner is reading a book by John wooden entitled, “Wooden, A Lifetime Of Observations & Reflections On And Off the Court” and found this quote. I LOVE IT.

I think it really applies to recruiting! How easy is it to stay “busy” performing “activities,” returning emails, doing paperwork, reviewing resumes from the net, etc., all day long?

But are you confusing activity for accomplishment?

Are you performing the right tasks at the right time?

Have you prioritized your “to-do” list?

Are you checking off calls on your “to-do” list to say you “made the call,” or . . . did you actually contact the person and get the results you wanted/expected?

Since I didn’t plan my Perfect Day today, I have been responding to emails that are not urgent and/or not very important. It has sucked about 1.5 hours of my day so far.

During this time, I have set 1 appointment, and confirmed one business opportunity, while the most critical task I have to accomplish today (presentation for training next week) is being pushed aside AGAIN (this happened yesterday as well).

With that said, if you are reading this blog, I encourage you to revisit your daily schedule and your “to-do” list RIGHT NOW!

Do you have critical, urgent tasks PLANNED into your daily schedule?

Are you accomplishing important tasks today? Or, are you confusing activity for accomplishment?

Now that I got that off my chest, I am off to a productive day.

Best time to recruit passive candidates!

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Memorial Day is coming up. Many people (the fortunate ones) will be taking extended vacations around this weekend. But the majority of people will not!

Fortunately for us recruiters, the folks that do NOT take time off before the holiday (Thursday/Friday) will probably be in “pre-holiday mode.”

You know the mode. We’ve all been there or are there now. What are the signs of this “mode”?

  • Wishing the holiday (or holiday weekend, in this case) had already started.
  • Less focused on work, more focused on other things
  • Thinking that “I can get it done” after the holiday. It won’t be a big deal.

When folks are in this mode, IT IS THE BEST TIME TO MAKE CONTACT WITH PASSIVE CANDIDATES! This is the time that they are most likely to respond to your emails, return voice mails and/or take time to talk if you catch them live.

Now the counter argument to this logic is that “many people will NOT be in”. That is true. You will need to make more contacts to reach someone. But for those folks you do reach, the reception can be amazingly better.

For those of you that will be working before the holiday, and have req’s that you need to find high quality candidates for, try these things that have worked for me (and our team) in the past.

  • Develop a target list of passive candidates and do a “networking” email blast followed up by a phone call (concurrently or within a few hours). Volume is the key, get your message out to as many people as possible.
  • Misery loves company. Hold a contest between your fellow recruiters on Thursday and Friday. Track # of emails sent, # of responses, # of people you talk too, etc. Having fun with this activity a day or two before the holiday is critical to actually staying out of “Holiday mode”.
  • Follow up with everyone you contact on Wed./Thursday (48 hours) after the day they come back. Again, a good % of folks were out of the office, this is a chance to connect with those that probably deleted your email/voice mail. You can say something like: “. . . I reached out to you before the holiday. I wanted to follow up to discuss . . . . “

Most People go into “pre-holiday” mode. Take advantage of it or . . . take the day(s) off!

Are there two, three, or four types of candidates? Now, I’m confused!

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Am I confused or maybe I’m just not that bright.

From all the articles, recruitment advertisements, blogs, etc. I read you would assume there are two types of candidates:

ACTIVE: Someone looking for a job. Someone that is unemployed and/or unhappy with their current situation. Someone that has their resume plastered on every career site and/or ready to shoot it over to you at a moments notice.

PASSIVE: Someone that is passively looking for a new opportunity.

From my understanding, recruiters are sick and tired of vetting through unqualified active candidates that do not fill their open positions.

These same recruiters are searching for new ways to identify and recruit the PASSIVE candidate. That elusive, high quality candidate that they believe will fill their positions.

What about the third type of candidate; A NOT-LOOKING candidate?

A person that is completely happy, that has not been to CareerBuilder, Monster, or other job board. A person gainfully employed, happy and . . . NOT-LOOKING.

Is this the same thing as a passive candidate?

Here is where I get confused.

When I hear the term PASSIVE, I assume that means the candidate is passively looking.

But having recruited for close to 20 years, I think there is a BIG difference between what I define as a PASSSIVE candidate and a NOT-LOOKING candidate.

Or are they one in the same?

I like how Staffing.org defines candidates (don’t quote me on this, go get their staffing report!):

  • Serious/active seekers
  • Casual seekers (those that spend a few hours now and then looking for new opportunities
  • Passive candidates
  • Not-looking candidates

I understand these definitions! This is how I’ve always categorized candidates. The only difference was that I called PASSIVE candidates . . . LISTENERS. That is, if you contacted them with your opportunity (since they were passive), they would listen.

So are there four candidate types or just two or maybe three?

When someone (or some recruitment tool) claims they can help you find “passive candidates,” find out which group they’re referring to.

Do we need to update our definitions so we are all on the same page?

Or am I the only one confused?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Tiger Woods has a coach! Do you?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Why does the greatest golfer in the world have a golf coach?

What is a coach going to teach him? Tiger is a better golfer than his coach, for god’s sake!

The reality is that no matter how good you are, you can always get better. Tiger Woods knows this.

He also knows you can’t be your own coach. It is very difficult to observe & critique your own performance.

You often need another set of “eyes” to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses; understand what you do well and what you need to improve.

To this point, when was the last time someone observed you (your):

  1. Performing an intake session with a hiring manager?
  2. Email solicitations?
  3. Leaving a voice mail?
  4. Trying to solicit referrals from prospects.
  5. Overcoming objections?
  6. Doing a phone interview?
  7. Prepping a candidate for an interview?

These are all vital steps in our recruitment process. The folks that execute these well are usually the best recruiters within any organization. The best recruiters I know are not the best because they are doing something different, they are the best because they do everything well.

With that said, when was the last time you had someone observe you do the processes listed above? When was the last time you taped yourself and then critiqued your performance?

NO ONE GETS BETTER AT ANYTHING unless they continually observe performance, identify areas for improvement, develop an action plan to get better and … Execute.

If you want to be the Tiger Woods of recruiting, I suggest you seek out a coach!