Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for the ‘Relationship Recruiter’ Category

Helping Job Seekers helps children in need! PLEASE READ!

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

As many of you know, with the help of recruiters across the country, I finished a book that I believe will help job seekers across the nation - Best (and Worst) Advice for Job Seekers.

The book is a quick read with ‘un-sanitized’ information that can immediately help you (or someone you know) with your job search, next interview, resume, etc.

Just as important, 100% of the proceeds on book sales will be donated to an amazing organization close to our hearts – St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

What a Win-Win!

For less than $10.00, you can help a job seeker and the children of St. Judes!

My goal is to raise over $2500 by the end of the year! 

So . . .

If you know of a job seeker in need, what a great gift!

If you counsel Job Seekers, what a great resource to have in your office.

If you just believe in the amazing work that St. Judes does – - please donate!

Please spread the word on the book.

Please share this message via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. to all your friends, co-workers, associates, etc.

I thank you for your assistance! 

I hope you have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season

David M. Szary



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

PSS – Thanks again to all of the individuals that contributed to this endeavor.

Interesting data from ‘Elite’ Recruiter Competency/Skills Assessment Study – some advice to share!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

We are proud to announce that we have had over 1500 recruiters participate in our ‘Elite’ Recruiter Competency/Skills Self-Assessment Study!   If you haven’t participated, we encourage you to do so! It is free! :)

It is interesting to see that outside of normal areas that recruiters always seem to rate themselves “low” (areas for improvement :) ):

  • Use social networking tools to source qualified, passive candidates (rating of 2.94 of 5)
  • Engage and recruit passively-looking top talent candidates (3.20 of 5) 

The next two lowest scores were related to managing the search process:

  • Sets Service Level Agreements with hiring managers: 3.22 of 5.00
  • Manage and control the staffing lifecycle efficiently: 3.39 of 5.00

We have written articles/posts on this subject that have received positive reviews I thought I would share: 

The Most Important Service Level Agreement

When are you available versus what do you think about this candidate?

Do you have credibility with your hiring managers?

We have also helped many organizations implement an “easy to use” one page Service Level Agreement document to be used when qualifying a new position (especially when it is a new hiring manager). If you would like a copy – please email us!

The scores above point to a skills gap with respect to a consultative approach to managing the search process. If you think this is an area where you need/want to “sharpen your ax”, I hope some of the information provided will be of value!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Time to Fill – Are You Managing A Key Metric You Are Measured On?

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

We are excited that we had over 50 participants in our inaugural Healthcare Recruitment Benchmark Study .  We had the pleasure of presenting our initial findings at the National Association of Healthcare Recruiters Annual Image Conference in Las Vegas last week.  The conference, as always, was Five Star!  And we were overwhelmed (and humbled) with the interest in our Lean, JIT recruitment principles and our actual study.

One metrics that surprised us (especially in our flat economy) was the percentage of positions that had been open over 60 days. 

While the overall average Time to Fill (TTF) was trending around 46 days (which is good compared to years past and benchmark data from sources like Saratoga.org), 38% of the participants current open positions were trending over 60 days.

Further analysis provided some conclusions:

  1. Recruitment teams are pretty good at filling what we call Business as Usual Req’s (BAUs) with internal or active candidates that apply to postings, especially since most are rewarded (and measured) on how many positions they fill.  While we didn’t track this particular data element/segment in the study, our qualitative analysis indicates that the average TTF for these positions is 20-30 days.  
  2. Most organizations continue to struggle with filling difficult/critical to fill positions (CTF).  These positions are still trending at 60, 90 days + TTF.

So while on the surface, most organizations feel pretty good about their overall TTF metric, under the surface managers are still concerned about their recruitment teams’ ability to fill CTF positions. Even more important, the inability to fill these positions JIT is often costing organizations millions of dollars (Cost of Vacancy).   

We believe the three primary reasons that 38% of the positions are trending over 60 days are as follows:

  1. Not managing/monitoring your over sixty days report:  It is very easy for a recruiter carrying 25, 30, 50 req’s to forget what their top priorities are, which positions have been open over 60 days, etc.  It you do not stay on top of your openings (and if managers aren’t pounding down your door, positions can creep past this milestone very fast.
  2. Recruiters either don’t have the time to source for quality candidates or . . . are NOT carving out time.
  3. Recruiters don’t have the skills/competencies (or both) to find high quality talent for their CTF positions.

Some solutions to reducing the percentage of positions trending over 60 days old:

  1. On a weekly basis, have a team meeting to specifically discuss positions trending over 60 days.  Position on hold? Close it.  Candidates to disposition and get over to manager? Do it. One of our clients has recently implemented a Monday morning “huddle” to specifically discuss positions trending over 60 days.  By making it a priority, they have cut these down from 25% to 13%!  
  2. The “time” issue is a little more problematic.  It takes relatively no time to “source/pre-qualify” an active, internal or referral candidate.  Literally, this process is a few minutes. On the other hand, it might take hours to source and pre-qualify one passive/top talent candidate.  Most organizations do not factor this when developing recruitment resource plans!  They don’t dissect which positions are BAU’s, which are CTF and . . . how much sourcing time needs to be dedicated to filling these positions.  With our staffing optimization model, we take that into consideration when identifying the number of resources needed to manage the corresponding hiring needs.  You should investigate this when developing your resource plans.  
  3. The 3rd reason is probably the easiest to fix.  Assuming the recruiter has the competencies of an ‘Elite’ recruiter , they probably can be taught the skills to source top talent.  At the very least, you could assign sourcing activities to those in your organization that enjoy and are good at sourcing or outsource part of the sourcing activities, such as name generation to allow your recruiters more time to cultivate relationships (and ultimately recruit) passive candidates.

If your organization measures you on TTF, I would ensure that you are deploying best practices to manage it!

Any questions, please contact me!

LinkedIn + Persistence + Phone + Respect = Success – Don’t stop until they say, “NO!” – A TRUE STORY

Friday, June 18th, 2010

My colleague (Kristine) recently received an executive level, ‘niche skill-set’ search opportunity from one of her clients/hiring managers.  As many savvy recruiters do these days, she developed a targeted sourcing strategy and:

  • Identified all competitor companies and companies that employed people with the skill set she was looking for.
  • Then defined all the different titles that this person would/could be called within these target companies.
  • She then started to seek potential candidates and individuals she could network with in this market (the client didn’t want to relo if possible) via LinkedIn. 

Armed with this intel (and a compelling Value Proposition Statement/Attention Grabber) about this opportunity, she made contact (via Inmail or directly via business/personal email) with all the potential applicants/networking professionals. 

While this is a very common practice among thousands of recruiters, her subsequent actions are often not.

  1. She sent two to three electronic messages out to each and every candidate.  While her response rate was good, she didn’t receive feedback from many and most importantly . . . she did not connect with the A+ talent her client demanded and deserves.
  2. She didn’t give up. While most recruiters would give up on these “prospects” in search of others, she identified phone contact information (this is part of her normal process) for all candidates that had not yet responded to her Inmails/emails and started an out bound telemarketing campaign. 

Covering all bases and having resilience:

She caught one individual around 7:30 am (knowing she was a manager, she called before meetings started – - usually around 8).  Her brief discussion that morning led to a subsequent discussion that led to . . . . an interview, offer and hire for a critical to fill position with interface with the COO, CMO and CEO of a Fortune 500 company!

One day after the candidate (now new hire) accepted the offer, she sent the most wonderful email to Kristine.

“Kristine, I can’t thank you enough for being persistent and making contact with me.  Honestly, while I was intrigued by your emails, I probably wouldn’t have called you back simply because I get so busy during the day with work, life events, etc..  Your persistence has allowed me to find an unbelievable opportunity for me and my family.  I am grateful for your efforts!”


Morale of Story:

  • Don’t assume that no response means they don’t want to talk, won’t help you network, etc.  Remember they are as busy as you! (Are there calls or emails that you have NOT responded to because they are not urgent or of top priority?)
  • Emails, texting, social media tools, etc are awesome and a quick way to reach out to a targeted group of people quickly.  But don’t fall into the trap of ONLY communicating via this method!  A targeted sourcing strategy including emails, texts, and PHONE CALLS is the key to successfully recruiting passive candidates.
  • Your compelling message, your tonality when calling, and the time you actually call are . . . all key ingredients to successfully engaging top talent.
  • Don’t stop until they say – “No, not interested and . . . can’t help with networking” (objection handling on this topic is for another day!)

While I am sure all of you have heard this before and/or follow a similar strategy as a matter of practice . . . I thought this was a wonderful story to share to ensure you are practicing it NOW!

In this age of electronic communication, I think it is easy for even the savviest recruiters to fall into the trap of “email & pray” on occasion! :)

You know You are an Elite Recruiter if…..

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

For those that attended the ERE webinar – Going from Good to ‘Elite’  – - I hope I inspired you to take action :) !

For those that missed it we discussed the competencies/skills of Elite Recruiters.  I have also started work on another fun project related to this subject… 

Shamelessly stealing from Jeff Foxworthy – - “You know you are a redneck if . . . “comedy routine, I am trying to develop a LONG list of “You know you are an Elite Recruiter if . . . “.

This fun exercise has also been inspiring me to reflect on what it is to be an Elite Recruiter and what I need to do to be one!  Performing at an elite level doing anything is very difficult.  Recruiting is no different. 

Documenting these attributes in a fun way helps keep this passion burning and top of mind.

So OK – - You know you are an ‘Elite Recruiter’ if . . .

  1. You get referrals from candidates you turn down for a position. 
  2. Your hiring managers ask you who they “should hire” . . . And listen to your advice.
  3. Candidates seek your input on preparing for the interview with the hiring manager, making a decision on an offer, etc. 
  4. You keep track of all the people you have hired and have kept up an ongoing relationship with 90% of them. 
  5. You track your performance (quality, efficiency, responsiveness/ delivery) on a quarterly basis. 
  6. You quantify the ROI of your services to your key stakeholders.
  7. You have clearly written quarterly Performance Improvement goals.  
  8. You spend time each week helping those less fortunate find employment, craft a better resume, prepare for an interview, etc.
  9. You invest at least 15 minutes to ½ hour developing a written – hour by hour – daily plan of action that you deploy before each day.
  10. You have received gifts from candidates/hiring managers for “changing their life” for the better.

PLEASE – WE ARE LOOKING FOR MORE ADDITIONS TO THIS LIST!  Can you please email us at info@leanhumancapital.com with your ideas!  


‘Elite’ Recruiter Benchmark study!

Our goal is to get 2500 recruiters to participate in our free self-assessment benchmark study!  To provide more granularity, we have decided to categorize ‘recruiters’ as outlined below.

To participate, just find the link that best describes you and . . . sign in!  It will take you about 15 minutes to complete.

NOTE: This is for your OWN self-improvement!  With that said, for us to have fair and accurate benchmarks, please take this seriously and respond with honestly. 

We will publish the results at a later date to use as a benchmark!

Competency/Skills of an Elite Recruiter – Healthcare

Competency/Skills of an Elite Recruiter – Financial Services

Competency/Skills of an Elite Recruiter – Retail

Competency/Skills of an Elite Recruiter – Technology

Competency/Skills of an Elite Recruiter – Third Party

Competency/Skills of an Elite Recruiter – Manufacturing/Engineering

Competency/Skills of an Elite Recruiter – Other

7 Deadly Sins of Waste in Recruiting: Overproduction/Inventory

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

For those of you that missed our recent webinar – 7 Deadly Sins of Waste in Recruiting – -one ‘deadly sin’ always seems to drive a lot of feedback/discussion - Overproduction/Inventory!  In the Lean Six Sigma world, the word “Overproduction” is defined as “Production ahead of demand.”  The word, “Inventory” is defined as all components, work in process and finished product not being processed. 

Arguably these are the biggest offenders to creating waste and . . . the time/cost required to eliminate them.   

Examples of these areas of waste in talent management and solutions: 

  • Overproduction/inventory in postings.   Most organizations, as part of their staffing process, post each and every position to their website and a large job board (like Careerbuilder or Monster).  While this seems to be a quick, cost effective sourcing solution, for those positions that do not require additional applicant flow and/or positions that have a very low probability of being filled by this source – - the cost/time associated with managing the unqualified applicant flow far exceeds the benefits.

Solution(s): When you receive a new position, evaluate the historical source of hire.  If 80% of the time this type of position was filled through internal applicants or referrals, why not exhaust those channels before publishing the position to the masses?  If less than 5% of the time a position is filled by large job boards, investigate more effective sourcing solutions (direct sourcing, niche job boards, etc.) before generating a routine posting on a large job board.  Also remember that job aggregators (simplyhired.com, indeed.com, etc.)  are going to “wrap”  any posting you put on your own site anyway.  

  • Routing multiple candidates to the interview stage.  Historically, managers have requested (and we have provided) a ’slate’ of candidates for each and every position.  Minimally, the rule of thumb has been the magical  ‘3′ candidates per position.  In some cases, we find recruiters routing 5, 10 or worse yet – – – all the candidates that applied for the position.  To the definition, every candidate routed to the hiring manager that does not get hired is WASTE.

Solution:  While psychologically I can understand that a manager wants to review his/her ”options” before making a critical decision like hiring a new employee, if they trust that the recruiter has exhausted all candidate/sourcing options in order to come up with the best, and they understand the concept of waste, then there is no reason that there should ever be more than 3 candidates routed for consideration unless of course those first three don’t meet the requirements. If this happens, it indicates that not enough time was spent up front understanding the requirements of the position and how each candidate would need to demonstrate that they are able to perform the required tasks. The more time spent up front with the hiring manager and those participating in the interviewing process to ensure all are in alignment and to validate how the candidate will be selected; the less time wasted in sourcing. 

For high volume hiring and/or for managers that have experience hiring for a certain position, evaluating each candidate against previous hires (and more importantly – - the competencies/skills necessary to excel in the position) is a much better predictor of success than evaluating one candidate against another. Challenge the old-school mindset of “3+ candidates routed per position!”

  • Developing a slate of candidates for positions that go on hold.   Ok – – how many times have you developed a slate of candidates for a position that . . . goes on hold!  Now in fairness to hiring managers, there are legitimate reasons that this happens that for the most part are out of their control.  But unfortunately, we know that other managers often post positions ahead of approval that have a high probability of never being approved.  Talk about WASTE!  The time spent sourcing/pre-screening candidates for positions that go on hold for some organizations is astronomical! 

Solution: Consider making approval processes mandatory, or holding off on the sourcing process for 48 hours to double check the position approval status.   For those of you that want to be more progressive – gain approval to implement a “charge back” policy!  Charge back to the manager/line of business for openings that are put on hold and waste the valuable time and effort of the staffing function!

While we will never eliminate all of the overproduction/inventory in our hiring process, taking simple steps to incrementally remove waste will exponentially save you time and money!

Spend less time searching for resumes and more time searching for people with intelligence!

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

OK - You have a critical, difficult-to-fill position and you have performed all the ’normal sourcing tactics’ to fill it.

  • Posted on your website and a large job board or two
  • Networked with key employees
  • Surfed the Internet for candidates
  • Checked out LinkedIn

And unfortunately, you still don’t have any interested, qualified candidates.

Does this sound familiar? What do you do next?

For many, the next step is the ‘wait, hope & pray’ tactic.  You wait, hope and pray that some qualified candidates fall in your lap :)

For others, that have the time and expertise, you dive into deep Internet mining tactics (Boolean/semantic search) scouring remote databases/information for the elusive, ‘passive’ candidate. 

From my experience, very few recruiters immerse themselves in identifying people that will KNOW the people you are looking to find and talk too!  

This fundamental shift in thinking is so simple but very powerful. If implemented, this technique will transform the way you source candidates forever!   

Instead of asking the questions:  

  • Where can I find qualified professionals?
  • Where should I look for them?
  • What search techniques should I use to find quality talent?


  • Who would know the person I am looking for?
  • Who can I talk to within a particular company (that has the talent I am looking for) that would know the person I am looking for?

For many creative sourcers, as part of the search strategy, they try to identify key words to source such as:

  • Competitor companies
  • Similar job titles
  • Key tools/technology the qualified candidate uses to perform their job

Now drive laterally through these questions with: 

  •  Who works with/for the person you are looking for? What is their job title?

And your search becomes more three dimensional.

Now drive straight down the middle with the question:

  • Who has recently left that company that knows the person I am looking for in that company?

And you can strike oil!

Let me explain.

The first question – - Who works with/for the person you are looking for? – - will exponentially increase the # of people you can talk to to locate the person you are looking for (you know – - the whole 7-degrees of separation thing).

The second question – - Who has recently left that company that knows the person I am looking for in that company? – - will connect you with folks that have left an organization and probably do not have a vested interest in withholding sensitive, confidential intelligence. Heck – if they were let go, they are even more willing to assist in providing information that might help you and . . . unfortunately . . . ‘hurt’ their former employer. 

Another important point here is the person’s level.  While first instinct may be to go “to the top” and call the SVP or VP (like in a traditional sales approach), you may have non-compete issues that cause the contact to be reticent to provide the information you need.  Don’t avoid this level, but be mindful of it. You may have greater success with peers and/or individuals that worked for the person you are seeking to identify.    

Some examples to illustrate this concept:

  • Searching for accountants — talk to actively looking controllers
  • Searching for .com developers — talk to actively looking SQL – DBA’s
  • Searching for OR nurses — talk to actively looking anesthesiologist.
  • Searching for Market Research professionals — talk to the Account Manager at the research firm.

Note – I referenced ‘actively looking’ in each of these examples. Probably the best person you can ‘network’ with is an active candidate that has recently left an organization. 

Not only will they know the person you are looking for, but they often will provide un-sanitized information about the people you want to connect with. Add in other thought provoking questions to your conversation like – - Who were the top performers? – - Who worked best under pressure? – - and you might gain valuable insight to pinpoint your search.  

A simple, straight forward approach to contacting them: 


 I wanted to reach out. I saw you online and saw you worked for _________.  I  was hoping I could network with you and see if you could help me - and potentially one of your peers - out.  

I have a great opportunity for the right person…. I am seeking ___________________________. I thought you might know the ________ folks at __________ that might be interested in this opportunity? 

Were there some folks that you thought were really good that I should connect with?

Anyone that was not very happy I should connect with?

Any advice you would give me to help me with this search? It is a great opportunity for someone! 


Then when closing, I would always recommend asking them how you can assist them in their job search: 

I really appreciate all your help. As mentioned, I found your information online.  

 How can I help you? – - what are you looking for?  

What have you done so far to find a new opportunity?: 

Have you tried www.indeed.com and/or http://www.simplyhired.com/   

I will keep my eyes/ears open…, etc . 


The key to your success in engaging individuals is your sincere interest in helping connect individuals to excellent opportunities!  

Too often I think we spend too much time searching for resumes versus people with intelligence that can help us with our search.  We wrote a similar post on this subject that you might want to check out – The Indirect Networking Call.

Happy Hunting :)

Best Practices in Moving to a Management by Fact Culture

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

McKinsey recently released results of a study of practices of 230 companies across the globe.

The firm’s primary goal was simple – what makes companies perform well?  For the sake of this post, I’ll hone in on one key point:

“Executives, in their search for ways to make organizations function more successfully, frequently adopt simplistic solutions.   A new analysis of more than 230 global businesses shows that combinations of carefully selected actions can be far more effective than one-dimensional interventions.”

McKinsey makes an interesting point here.  In some cases adopting the simple – or easy – solution is not always the best approach.  Unfortunately in many instances the decisions are made through a high degree of subjectivity and then tempered with a small depth of objective criteria (data).

Over the last 20 years, management concepts such as the balanced scorecard, process management, key performance indicators (KPI’s) and strategy deployment have prompted many executives to revisit their measurement systems.   Practices such as Management by Objective (MBO) and Management by Fact (MBF) have become increasingly popular. 

Successful companies strive to combine real world management experience with the objectivity of data.  This is not to negate the subjective experience of a tenured executive, but to aid in their arsenal of decision making tools. 

As a result, many companies are adopting objective based measurement systems.   These systems ensure objective data measurement is added to uncover the missing elements, or facts, needed to make key decisions.

So if you’re aiming to launch a new measurement system to shift your culture to one of Management by Fact, here are my top three best practices to consider:

  1. Tie your measurement criteria to the goals of the business.   Each business unit or department of your company must provide input related to their specific business goals, and the needs of their customers.  During this exercise the synergies of various departments will come to light.  For example, customer loyalty could exist across multiple departments, and the overall company strategy.  If that is the case, customer loyalty then becomes a key indicator of performance across the various departmental stakeholders.  In this example, an overarching measurement criterion may be customer retention or customer satisfaction. 
  2. Ensure adoption and accountability at the right levels.  Those parties responsible for this new way of thinking must have the knowledge and authority to manage the performance of new processes.  Establishment of a core team of metrics and process owners representing critical functions of the organization is critical to ensure the mind shift is successful. 
  3. Communication is key.  Development of a comprehensive communication strategy is critical to ensure broad understanding and acceptance.  All employees need to understand the importance of the new philosophy and their roles within this process.  Care should be taken to ensure that each employee is able to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”  Each employee needs a clear understanding of how they, as an individual, can impact key metrics.  Creating communication aids such as learning maps and utilizing executives to act as personal communication channels can increase acceptance of the strategies as the goals of the organization are achieved.

If you’d like to lean more and see a great example of utilizing the Management by Fact approach, check out David’s article on why requisitions per recruiter is not a great method for resource planning.

Companies will achieve success by ensuring that the management measurement solutions they create tie to core business objectives and are accepted, adopted, and communicated effectively by all stakeholders of the process.

Developing an Effective Recruiter Training Program

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Perhaps one of the most neglected functions for on-going development is the recruiting function. Most organizations hire recruiters based on previous experience and then expect them to apply that experience into their culture and hiring processes with minimal instruction.

The majority of training for recruiters is focused on technology training, whether it’s the applicant tracking system, the candidate database, performance management, or HRIS system. These are just the technology elements of the job.

A career recruiter will bring a strong foundation of skills in sourcing, screening, creation, and closing of candidate offers, etc. Those coupled with technology understanding are the fundamental skills any recruiter will need to be successful.

However, there are a few things that a company will need to provide in order to make the recruiter successful in your company environment:

  • What is the detailed employment value proposition that makes your company more attractive than your competition?
  • Within the department or group of jobs that the recruiter is aligned to, what are the aspects of that department or job that makes it more attractive? What are the pitfalls?
  • What are the opportunities the recruiter can “sell” that differentiates your company from another?

Here are some best practices in developing an effective recruiter training program:

Design your program to address gaps in the competencies of your recruiters.

First, you need to gain an understanding of the fundamental competencies that are most important for your recruiters. If you looked at your most successful recruiters, which competencies or behaviors set them apart from the others? Do they know the business for which they recruit better than their peers? Are they better “closers”, securing more hires per offer than their peers? If you don’t have a sense of this, then consider creating a Success Profile.

Conducting a series of focus groups or interviews with your recruiters, and the subsequent analysis, creates a tool that acts as a roadmap to management and all recruiters demonstrating the traits and competencies of your best recruiters. Once this is complete, you can then analyze the gaps within the rest of your department. Once you have this gap analysis completed, you can then design the elements of your program. These program elements would address gaps that exist in your current staff, not teaching them something they already know.

Use an external party to train.

The biggest mistake a company can make is to have their staffing or HR executives act as coaches to the people they manage everyday. The executives are to act as everyday coaches and developers of the talent, but in a forum such as this, the executive’s supervisory capacity can conflict with his or her role as a trainer.

In addition, the external party can bring best practices outside of the company’s environment that have worked across multiple organizations. Finally, an external party creates a more open environment, in which dissenting opinions, everyday issues, and other frustrations can be voiced in a “safe” environment.

Have a plan to evaluate success.

It can be as simple as a training evaluation form that is completed by attendees at the end of the course, or a focus group conducted after the session. The key is to gain a sense from the attendees that the content mapped to the competencies you planned to address in the training. This will entail setup on the front end and analysis of the results of the evaluation forms/focus groups, but this is a key step.

Commit to on-going training & effectiveness.

Establish a focus group with recruiting leaders 3 months after the training program to determine the effectiveness of the program and address any remaining areas for improvement. Commit to providing the same training program as on-boarding for ALL new recruiters that enter your organization. Finally, plan to update your training every 6 months and launch the program once a year for all recruiters.

Thoughts from the road!

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous industry events allowing me to talk “shop” with many talented staffing professionals.

 As always, these events allow me to learn from others and provide me time to incubate thoughts/ideas that often turn into future strategies. 

 Some interesting thoughts/ideas from my travels:

  • Ideally, I think most would agree that hiring people based on competencies (versus skills) will drive better hiring decisions. Unfortunately, because it is not easy to assess someone’s competencies, we most often hire based on skills.  With internal candidates, we should have a more accurate understanding of past performance, candidate competencies, etc. allowing us truly to focus the hiring decision based more on competencies versus skills.
  • Probably only 5 to 20% of all hires need some type of direct sourcing activity. Do you understand the positions that will NOT be filled by active/internal candidates before you dedicate time, money, and resources on active/internal strategies that take precious time away from direct sourcing activities?
  • Shally Steckerl challenged the thought that one’s internal website is a “source of hire” – rather, it is a destination.  Think about it.  Most often candidates search for jobs via ‘google searches’, job boards, sites like www.simplyhired.com or www.indeed.com, SEO/SEM, social networking, advertising, etc. If one source of hires is your website, you probably do not truly understand how your candidates ‘found’ your opportunities. 
  • For those of you that have multiple license agreements with large job boards, how many of your recruiters actually use them on a regular basis?  Many companies have saved money by cutting back on licenses!
  • David Lord had some interesting statistics on retained executive search firms. 
    • The submitted candidate to hire ratio for retained search firms was 6.5 to 1 in 07 and 5.2 to 1 in 08.  Is this more efficient than your internal team?
    • 4 out of 10 retained executive searches fail!  WOW!   
  • While most executives see recruiting as “essential”, do they really perceive it to be strategic to their organization? One way to shift their thoughts is to answer the question, “How does recruiting solve corporate problems?”
  • Here’s an idea – Create an annual report for your 2009 recruitment activity/ performance. Present the report to CXX level.
  • To truly create an effective Talent Relationship Program, you need to get hiring managers involved with the ‘relationship management’ activity.
  • If your sourcing team does an effective job of identifying/sourcing quality talent for key job families over time, your sourcing team will spend less time “identifying” talent and more time developing relationships with the talent found!   
  • Create questions to ask your hiring managers:
    • What positions are most critical for changing the market value of our company?
    • What positions are less critical and really only need good people?