Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for January, 2011

Engaging Quality, Active Candidates – All About Timing & Your Message!

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Question: Ever wonder how many recruiters are logged into Monster/CareerBuilder at any given time?
Answer : Hundreds of thousands!

Question: Ever wonder how many “hits” a quality candidate gets (in the first 48 hours)  from recruiters after posting their resume online
Answer: 20-100 + +

Synopsis:  While there are talented, active job seekers out there (contrary to what some “experts” might say), the competition for them can be as fierce as it is for those elusive “passive” candidates!

The minute a talented professional posts their resume, you can bet there are hundreds of recruiters, sourcers, competition, etc. ready to pounce on them!  So what can you do to ensure you are making contact with the top job seekers?

Some practical advice on Harvesting Quality, Active Candidates:


Since quality talent will get 20-100+ hits from recruiters within 48 hours, it is critical to be identifying talent as they ‘hit the boards’.

Some tips:

  • Set up automated search agents to drive candidates to you (NOTE: A key to this is ensuring you have the right key words set up to harvest talent effectively.  If you don’t have the right key words, you will miss talent).
  • Don’t rely on your search agent (NOTE: comment on keywords above).  Each morning before 8 am (when your competition is getting in), review all resumes posted during the last 24 hours.  Again, your ability to develop key word search strings that will identify all the potential candidates will be your key to success. If you want more info on this subject, contact me.
  • Lastly, MAKE CONTACT WITH THEM. I know many recruiters who have search agents to drive candidate flow to them but. . . only get to them on a weekly basis.   

These tactics will probably ensure that you are one of the top 5, 10 recruiters that are contacting them which is very important. 

Think about it. If you just posted your resume online, what would you be feeling when you started getting responses? Probably pretty excited eh? How about the 83rd response from a recruiter? Maybe annoyed?


Your Message:

Regardless whether a candidate is active/passive/unemployed . . . TOP TALENT IS IN DEMAND! 

So what is your value proposition? Why would they want to talk to you? How is your message different from all the others?

As many of you know, the Art & Science of Engaging Top Talent has been a passion of mine for years.  I spend a lot of time working with recruitment teams on perfecting this skill.

Some simple advice:

  • Make sure your message is short, compelling and to the point (100 words or less).
  • Make sure it answers the questions roaming through the candidates mind: “So What?” and “What’s in it for me?”

For more insight, check out this blog post I wrote on the subject.

Remember there are definitely talented active job seekers out there.  But . . . you are not the only one trying to recruit them!

Ensuring you are one of the first recruiters to contact them with a compelling message and . . . the probability of engaging them will go up exponentially!

Building Talent Communities – A Pragmatic Approach using Dunbar’s Principle

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Because we have so much data/intelligence at our disposal, I think we have a tendency to over complicate and analyze things to the extent that we become overwhelmed with WHAT WE CAN’T DO rather than focused on getting started with WHAT WE CAN DO!

No better example of this dilemma is the concept of recruiters building talent pipelines/communities. 

There is so much being written about using social media to develop communities by leveraging viral marketing strategies using multiple channels  (LI, Twitter, FB, etc.) that . . . . it can make your head spin!

And when we humans get overwhelmed, we usually shut down and do nothing.

I was introduced to the Dunbar principle a few years ago.  For more info check out the article on the Dunbar principle

The short version of his principle is that there is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person.  No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar’s number. It lies between 100 and 230, but a commonly used value is 150.

I have often recommended that we use this complex (yet very simple) theory to start developing talent communities.  Instead of getting overwhelmed with all the cool new Web 2.0 things you can do (that you are not getting to!), focus on a simple pragmatic process to get  a talent pipeline going.

  1. Identify the job categories you need or want to develop a pipeline within.
  2. Within those job categories, start to identify prospects (via your ATS, online databases, LinkedIn, etc.) that you want to develop  a relationship with.
  3. Make an initial contact to engage in dialog (remember to develop a compelling message).
  4. Over time, develop  a candidate relationship management program to regularly connect with these individuals to cultivate the relationship.
  5. Focus on developing your Top 150 Network – the top 150 candidates that you would like to continually have a relationship with – these can be active or passive candidates.
  6. As you learn more about individuals in your network, think about replacing folks that are not the ‘quality’ you are seeking with others that are (or you think might be).
  7. Invest 3-5 hours a week to developing and maintaining your Top 150 Network.

The key is to keep it simple and focus on developing your first 150 relationships. Dunbar would be proud! 

Recruitment leaders, imagine how powerful it would be if each of your recruiters had a Top 150 Network! 

Once this is created, think about expanding your network by leveraging social media sites, building online communities, etc.    

Of course one of the keys to your success is being able to develop relationships with these individuals.  Best practices include:

  • Becoming a resource to them.
  • Providing information of value.
  • Providing a compelling value proposition that answers the questions “So What?” and “What’s in it for me?”

Please don’t confuse this message. I do believe that social media tools will transform how we recruit in the future.  I am not proposing that you abandon your social media/talent community initiatives!  But sometimes taking a simple, pragmatic approach to launch an initiative is the right way to go!

A New Year — Perfect Storm to Recruit Top Talent!!!!!

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Well, here we are.  It’s 2011.  The beginning of a new year.  A time to reflect on the past and look into the future.  For many, it’s time for their yearly “mid-life crisis”.  As another year goes by, we most often reflect on:

  • Health – Not getting any younger!
  • Financial situation – Did my 401k go up? Did I pay down debt? Am I getting closer to retirement?
  • Career – Is this where I thought I would be at this time in my life?

This is often a time for dreaming and wishing and planning for a better life!  In this state of mind, many will be open to more adventure/risk in the hopes of achieving a better quality of life!

It sounds to me like a perfect storm for recruiting top ‘passive’ talent! 

As you get back into the groove after the holiday season, it is a perfect time too:

  • Contact top talent from your competition! Somebody might be ready to make a change.
  • Re-contact top performers that have not shown interest in the past.
  • Cast a wide net on those folks that were not open to relocation in the past.  The family might be ready for an adventure and . . . the housing market is a tad better!

As we have written about in past blog posts the key to your ability to recruit top talent includes:

  • Timing (I’m proposing the time is right)
  • Compelling message (In less than 30 seconds, can you convey a compelling value proposition that answers the two questions – “So What?” and “What’s in it for me?”
  • Tonality in both your written and verbal communication – Are you positive?  Do you convey excitement about the opportunity you have to offer? (Sales 101 – 50% of the close is a result of your excitement and passion for the product/service that you sell!)

Sooo – What are you waiting for? There’s no better way to get back into the swing of things than by carving out some time to source top talent for your organization (and maybe a little time for exercise too :) )!

Hope you are having a Perfect Week!