Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for May, 2010

Leveraging the Power of Your Network

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

David released some of the initial results of our elite recruiter study a couple of weeks back . 

One of the areas that was ranked as an area for improvement was Leveraging Networks.  It just came up again the other day during an intriguing conversation with a client and I thought it was a topic that warrants further discussion.

We discussed that while 70% of people still find jobs through networking (according to Bureau of Labor), people spend less than 20% of their time “networking” to find a job. And if this is true, how much of a recruiter’s time should be spent developing relationships and networking to find quality candidates?

The point was well taken.   

To level set the discussion – The definition from our competency/skill model is as follows:

Leveraging Networks: Draws upon a wide range of professional and/or business relationships for help and support in achieving individual and organizational goals.

After I thought more about this topic, it’s not surprising that recruiters rank themselves low here.  Let’s face it.  It takes work to maintain an internal and external network that can assist you in performing your work more effectively.  This alone takes more time than most of us have in a day. 

So if you think this is an area for improvement for you, following are a few techniques to consider:

  • The Lost Art of Investigative Questioning – Of course you need to have a robust network to leverage it.  Most struggle to develop a network of professionals they can leverage for sourcing talent, etc. Using specific, probing questions with your Centers of Influence can exponentially improve your ability to build a strong network.
  • How Many Friends do you have  – If you don’t invest time in maintaining the relationships and helping out your “friends” in your network, don’t expect them to be responsive to your request!  Invest time in identifying how many true “friends” you have within your network and building upon this list over time.
  • Growing your friends network  – Check out this post to discuss some simple tactics to grow your friends network!  Some things to consider:
    • Prioritize the relationships – Focus your networking and energy on those that can help you with both your current and long-term problems.  For work-related problems, this might be a peer or someone who is a level above you.  For industry-related issues, this might be a peer at another company.  Whoever it is, block time to spend with that person consistently, and stay connected! 
    • Don’t waste your time on the wrong people - Stop spending energy on a relationship that’s not giving something back to you.  Don’t keep helping others out if you realize they really aren’t helping you.

While all these tactics will help you create and grow a powerful network, probably the single biggest deterrent from you having a robust, interactive network of friends is having the DISCIPLINE to carve out the time to develop it!

Building your network needs to become part of your daily/weekly routine.  I personally have developed the good habit of blocking off 30 minutes a day (I plan it into my Perfect Day Routine  to develop my network and hit all of my news, websites, and blogs for industry information.

I know.  This is easier said than done.  And by no means can I say I do this 5 days a week/52 weeks a year!

Some behavior modification tips/techniques to help you build this “good habit”:

  • Post a note on your screen – - Am I building my Friends Network today?
  • Have a list of your “friends” network. Set a goal each quarter to grow this list.  Make this goal “public” and post it in your office (i.e., – I will have 350 friends in my network by June 30, 2010. Review every month for growth. ).
  • Try to carve out 30 minutes of time when you are least likely to be interrupted.  First thing in morning before you leave your house for work? End of day? Lunch? Friday afternoon? 
  • Hold a contest with your fellow recruiters. Who can develop the most amount of new friends in the next 90 days?

With the instant access we have to millions of people, we often forget to develop lasting relationships that will and can benefit us in so many ways.  INVEST in your network and it will provide dividends along the way.

Announcing Release of New Book: Best (and worse) Advice for Job Seekers!

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

In developing our Elite Recruiter competency/skill model and collaborating on our ERE post – “You know you’re an Elite Recruiter if . . . “ I have been equally inspired and frustrated!

The one “attribute” causing me the most angst is:

  • “You know you are an elite recruiter if . . . You spend time each week helping those less fortunate to find employment, craft a better resume, prepare for an interview, etc.”

Of course I am inspired by this statement because I know it is the right thing to do. We as recruiters have so much knowledge to help job seekers at all levels. But do we on a regular basis?  Probably like many of you, the day-to-day grind of work/life does not leave as much time as we would like.  I know I would like to participate in these activities more but time contraints often leave me frustrated – specially when I read statements like the one above!

So I am proud that over the last year, I have been working on a project that I believe will benefit job seekers in this uncertain job market with unemployment still at 9.9%!

I am excited to announce that I have finished our book – Best (and Worst) Advice for Job Seekers” that I believe will help job seekers across the nation!

I say “our” book because countless people and hundreds of hours have gone into the development of this book.  It has been a collaborative effort that I think will provide insight/knowledge that will help others.

As I started to devise a plan for marketing, I was inspired by another post by Chuck Clevenger on our ERE blog.

  •  “An Elite recruiter gives back to the community by volunteering to freely help people in their job searches. An elite recruiter is known for his/her pro bono work.”

With that said, a wonderful idea popped in my head.  What if I was able to help job seekers (via the content in the book) but was also able to take the royalties and give back to others!

What if I could inspire folks to purchase the book for themselves (or their loved ones) recognizing the proceeds would go towards helping others!?

What a win-win! 

I am excited to announce that all proceeds of the book sales will be donated to an amazing organization close to our hearts – St. Jude Children’s Hospital.   

I’m asking for your assistance in helping job seekers and the children of St. Judes!

Please spread the word on the book. Please share this message via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. to all your friends, co-workers, associates, etc. 

To the job seekers out there, recognize that purchasing www.bestjobadvice.net might be the best money you might invest in your career and . . . you can feel good knowing your money will actually benefit the children of St. Jude’s.

For those of you who know job seekers, what if you bought the book for them allowing you to help two parties for the price of one!?

For your HR/Recruiting professionals, maybe you can purchase it and use the material to help candidates that need coaching/mentoring!?!?

If you have ideas of how I can market this book, I would appreciate your input .

Thank you to all of the individuals that contributed to this endeavor. I am also asking your assistance in helping others!

I hope you have a Perfect Week!

Benefits of Technology Going Down

Friday, May 7th, 2010

So as I tried to get online this morning, I quickly realized our network was down.  And because we moved to the snazzy VOIP, that meant our phone system was down too :) .   While my first reaction was OMG . . . I quickly diverted my attention to miscellaneous projects that I have had on my Perfect Week/Day plan.

Without the constant interruptions of voice mail/email, I have been laser focused and have knocked off many “to-do’s” that I have “started and stopped” many times because of pesky CIE’s (calls, interruptions and emails for those that haven’t been through our Perfect Week/Perfect Day training program).

While I strive to get into “work flow zones” when doing project related work, I have to admit it is a very tough to discipline myself to halt email and put the phone on silent when attacking these projects. 

Like you, I have people I am waiting to hear from!

But lacking that ability to be “connected” this morning quickly demonstrated how powerful and productive you can be when laser focused with no (or fewer) interruptions!

So on this Friday afternoon, if you have some projects that need “quiet, focused time”, halt your email, put your phone on silent and get into a “workflow zone”.

The results will be priceless!

Have a perfect day and a great weekend!