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Mark Rinovato Shares 30 Years of Staffing Trade Secrets

Posted on December 6, 2009
Filed Under Interviews | 1 Comment

• Mark Rinovato
• President, EMR Search Partners
• Location: Laguna Niguel, CA
RecruitingBlogs Profile
• Office: (949) 218-0133
• Mobile: (949) 395-9593

Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?

Mark For every 3 people hired via employee referrals, we hired 1 through our corporate website. The website generally accounted for about 10-12% of or hires, and referrals averaged about 33% of all hires. However, this is an interesting issue. Is the corporate website really a source of hire, or is it just a destination. Very few people actually would attribute the website itself as the referral source that got them to apply. Usually, they go there because they know of the company, or heard about it at an industry event, or saw a job ad somewhere, perhaps on a job board or from a google search. The only way to determine the true source of hire is to ask the new hire.

Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)

Mark The Employee Referral Program produced the most hires of any source, about 1/3 of all hires. I suspect that this is the case at many companies, especially if they have established a strong referral program.

Six Degrees: What is the source of your “LOWEST COST OF HIRES” – (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?

Mark Again, it was the Employee Referral Program. Best bang for the buck, by far.

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Mark The talent groups that we focused on at Broadcom were primarily design engineers with either IC design, systems design or embedded software design expertise. Within these groups is quite a bit of specialization, as the company has over 22 different product lines. But those are the basic talent hubs, and they were all supported by my teams. We also recruited for other support functions, such as finance, IT, HR, etc.

Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?

Mark We had access to a lot of good training. The three primary training courses for staffing were:

The Adler Group – full cycle recruiting, including interview and assessment.
JobMachine – Sourcing
AIRS Xtreme – Sourcing

All of these vendors did an excellent job of coming on site and conducting professional training sessions that had a great deal of benefit to my teams.

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?

Mark The main tool was the ATS system, from VirtualEdge, and that system was implemented worldwide. We used all the typical job boards. Job boards were a tool worldwide as well, but only Monster worked reasonably well overseas. Most countries and regions have there own local boards that do better then Monster, CareerBuilder, Hotjobs and Dice. Of course, everyone had a LinkedIn Recruiter account, which is quite effective everywhere. Other sourcing tools included ZoomInfo, Broadlook Diver and Profiler, InfoGist, TalentHook, and others. We also used Search Engine Optimization and built an SEO site with TalentHubs.

Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

Mark Early in my career it was definitely 5X7 cards in boxes and the telephone, for sure. In the late 80’s I automated when I started my own business. The first recruiting software that I used was called MicroJ Systems, a program customized for the agency business. It ran on a MAC, which I liked because at the time Windows had not quite come out yet and the MAC was the only GUI available. I think that first MAC system cost about $8k. As I said earlier, things have changed quite a bit from when I started.

Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people’s assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?

Mark I was so young, just out of college, when I started in this business that I really had no expectations of what it would be like, other then that it was primarily a phone sales and commission type of business. I was pretty green. Fortunately, the agency that I started with had a good system for training new recruiters and that helped me to be successful. I think people’s assumptions of our industry vary widely, but I doubt that most of them realize the hard work and energy that is required in order to be successful. As far as corporate recruiting, I think a lot of managers think that recruiters just handle incoming resumes and attend some job fairs. And perhaps many recruiters just do that. But the best ones are involved in all aspects of the recruiting process, and are also very active in direct sourcing of talent.

Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?

Mark Most of the big mistakes I have made were the result of lack of communication. Nothing leads to disaster like making decisions in a vacuum. Probably the best example of this happened when I became enamored with Web 2.0 job boards and thought that I needed to add one to my company’s toolbox. I did my due diligence, checked out all the top contenders and made my selection. I even had a small team of 2 recruiters who also participated in the demo’s, and they were also positive, so I was comfortable with my final decision. I was so sure that this was a great product that I failed to involve the larger team of recruiters and sourcers who would be using the product on a day to day basis. It turned out that, even after extensive training, they were not getting the results from this new product, and simply stopped using it. I had wasted tens of thousands of dollars of the company’s money and valuable training and recruiter time. The result was no results, and no ROI. No matter how cool a technology seems, you need to make sure that it can produce the desired results and that you have buy in from the majority of users before going with it.

Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.

Mark My focus now is to launch a new search and consulting business that does contingency, retained, contract and eventually RPO. My goal is to become the best strategic business partner to my clients. I would take what I have learned over the past 10yrs in corporate recruiting and apply that professional approach to the search business.

Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?

Mark There are two recent ones, actually, that I am most proud of. I had the opportunity to create an employment brand and associated marketing message and materials that were applied to each part of the recruiting process. At the same time, I created a mirror career site that used SEO/SEM techniques to achieve high search engine rankings for our current jobs. The site also used Talent Hubs to attract the types of skill sets that the company constantly needs, independent of open requisitions. And they both combined to make a very effective, and strategic, sourcing strategy.

Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?

Mark Well, I guess the most frustrating thing for me has been dealing with the internal bureaucracies and processes in order to get things done, even the simplest of things. I’m a bit impatient and just want to get right to it, but that’s not always possible in big company environments. This was especially true when it came to finding money for new projects. But I was always able to move things in the right direction as long as I could demonstrate the ROI, so I can’t complain.

Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?

Mark: I think that companies like to talk a lot about the strategic importance of recruiting and sourcing, but in reality it is treated as a short term tactical need which can be quickly discarded when the reqs dry up. Very few companies actual invest in a strategic process. It’s a requisition driven thought process and is very shortsighted. It does not take into account the long term strategic necessity of sourcing talent. That is the most common theme that I see.

Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, — what inspires you as you continue in your career?

Mark Recruiting is still the most enjoyable and valuable career you can be involved with. No other career I know of gets you involved in so many different facets of business. It’s a continuous challenge to keep up with the industries you support, the staffing strategies and the technology involved in this industry. And it’s a lot of fun. At it’s core, recruiting is a people business, and It’s the people that make it interesting.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009? (OR) Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.

Mark I am looking forward to establishing my own recruiting and consulting business again. I’ve been in the corporate world for the past 10 yrs, but I had my own search firm before that for 13yrs. What is exciting is that I’ve learned a lot of things in corporate recruiting that would be fun and productive to implement on the search side. I think corporations have a hard time acting strategically when it comes to staffing, so perhaps the answer is to outsource this function. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s may be the future trend. At the very least, having my own firm will allow me apply my ideas on a long term strategic approach to talent acquisition with my clients.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Mark Yes, my new business, EMR Search Partners. I should be going live with this very soon. Please look out for it.

Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?

Mark I don’t know if I would call it a change, perhaps evolve would be a better word. I think our industry is becoming increasing professional. I just want to add to that professionalism and continue to show the strategic value of the recruitment industry by being the best possible practitioner, and performing with integrity.


One Response to “Mark Rinovato Shares 30 Years of Staffing Trade Secrets”

  1. reader on December 8th, 2009 5:00 pm

    hmmm….wonder what web 2.0 site he is referring to?