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Senior Recruiting Consultant (Continued)
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?
BRENDAN: 5% through corporate website, and about 40% through hired referrals. We have a very strong ERP program. While the technology to capture them and link them to open reqs still needs to be updated, Palm employees across the board are making an effort in bringing good people to Palm.
Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)
BRENDAN: Through passive searching. Linked In, Google, referrals, etc. The most hires come from networking sites like Linked In, and social networking sites. However in the past 6 months or so I think Linked In has â€œjumped the sharkâ€. I send out a lot of inmails to people that are listed as â€œopen to career opportunityâ€ but hearing back from less and less. I think itâ€™s good that we as recruiters are constantly looking for new ways to reach passive candidates. Now with help from a friend, I have created several linked In groups as well as Open Source groups where I am attracting members to join. This is setting up my resources for future hiring.
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?
BRENDAN: Employee referrals tend to be some of our best hires. They only cost us a few thousand by the employee referral bonus (ERP) but tend to be the best hires we can make. People know them and can vouch for their work. Nowadays trusting a listed reference on a resume isnâ€™t always the best source for checking someone out.
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
BRENDAN: Mobile Design, Mobile user groups, open source mobile groups, etc. I have specialty positions that I recruit for in Interaction Design that I post jobs on specialty sites. Itâ€™s more about finding these social networking specialty sites where they collaborate and trade information.
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
BRENDAN: We have a great â€œAuditionâ€ series of interviewing classes at Palm for all managers who interview. We try to cover all competencies instead of just interviewing candidates for their technical skills. Iâ€™ve also taken Airs training and Google search training.
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?
BRENDAN: I use passive searching on Linked In, I use Talent Hook that searches the boards and saves time. I use Zoom Info now. I donâ€™t use the boards as much anymore. Donâ€™t have the time for the disappointment.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
BRENDAN: OMG, I remember using file cabinets with all the data on candidates. We started using Dice back then, got a lot of candidates that way. I remember when I was working at Oxford Global Resources, we got a visit from the head honchos back east and they were trying to tell us that we shouldnâ€™t rely on the boards, that we should be doing recruiting the â€œold school wayâ€ by referrals. Sure, we could do it, but when placing contractors you had a tool that was getting results, so why not pass a step or two. Later on when recruiting wasnâ€™t so easy as it was during the dot.com boom, we definitely had to go back to using referrals as a mean to find candidates.
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? To this day would you say people’s assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?
BRENDAN: My expectations included making over 6 figures and at the same time helping people to find jobs. I learned that itâ€™s not just about picking up the phone, understanding the technology, being able to communicate but pulling all the variables of what could go wrong and make them right in placing a candidate. Time management and prioritizing tasks became the most important aspect of meeting my goals. All this while learning the technology and business became crucial in advancing.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didnâ€™tâ€¦and how that was a learning experience?
This experience didnâ€™t happen to me, but a co-worker. While working for an agency, I brought in a Sr. Unix System Admin to prescreen before sending out to a client. Iâ€™m glad I did because when he came in he wore a Matrix like trench-coat and had a stuffed bird perched on his shoulder and would talk to it when he couldnâ€™t answer my questions. I heard later that another recruiter from our office just sent him out to a client interview without interviewing him first. You can guess what happenedâ€¦.
Another not so funny one got me reprimanded. I started a fulltime employee without a background check completed. This was a â€œbig dealâ€ at the company I worked for and I got written up for 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.
BRENDAN:. I think we need alternatives to social networking and the job boards. I envision a powerful computer that uses A.I. to match candidateâ€™s history, experience and skill sets to job openings. Monster would love to say it does this now, but Iâ€™m talking about a computer that pulls every passive candidate and resume from the corners of the net and puts it in your inbox. JobFox is trying to do something similar now. A large part of our jobs is the time it takes sourcing candidates. We are experts at account management, selling and closing, etc. You end up working weekends because you know that when you go into your staff meeting on Monday morning, are always going to need more candidate flow.
Six Degrees: â€œBest practiceâ€ you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
BRENDAN: Iâ€™m not sure this can be listed as a â€œbest practiceâ€ but what Iâ€™ve done to build credibility and respect with my groups is to be very attentitive to their hiring needs. Iâ€™ve made myself available after hours and answer my email late into the evening. Managers know they can get their questions answered quickly and if after 5pm, they donâ€™t have to wait until the following day at 9 to get an answer. Iâ€™ve also positioned myself as a trusted resource. Working with different personalities and demanding managers keeps you from becoming ego driven. I believe you can always learn new things working with personalities opposite of your own and I am always trying to find the â€œmiddle of the roadâ€ that will satisfy my clients.
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
BRENDAN: Personalities. Everyone has a different one, and as a recruiter you need to adapt. Iâ€™ve come a long way in this area, but Iâ€™m still challenged working with different people, management styles, expectations, and predetermined impressions of staffing. This also includes their own work styles. Some managers can be very responsive, and you might think it is because hiring is their priority, or some feel like pulling teeth to get their feedback. Again, this may not be because they donâ€™t respect their recruiter, but their own style that works for them. Iâ€™ve come to learn the different habits of my managers and try to approach each on their level. It just takes some â€œtuning inâ€ to their different work styles and personalities to find common ground.
Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?
BRENDAN: Lack of teamwork between HR and Staffing. When HR is competing or a lack of collaboration between the two groups, I really think this can be cancer like in an organization. When the two groups canâ€™t work as a team and show mutual respect for one another, itâ€™s a recipe for a revolving door. Other mishaps might include not setting expectations with client managers and poor management skills on the part of your staffing manager.
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?
BRENDAN: I still like servicing my clients. I get a big rush when my clients say; â€œgood job, well done!â€ When a VP makes a positive comment to my boss about how he/she likes working with their recruiter, when youâ€™re invited to his staff to give an update. The feeling that you are making a difference to the companyâ€™s bottom line. When the SVP of HR wants to know how you are doing because sheâ€™s heard some good things about you. When the rest of the staff looks up to you as being successful. And when a candidate comes back to me to say; â€œYou are the best recruiter Iâ€™ve ever worked withâ€! All these things inspire me to continue to excel.
Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.
BRENDAN:Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
BRENDAN: Iâ€™m going to change it by setting good examples to my colleagues. I currently take an active role in volunteering for a non-profit called â€œProject Hiredâ€. This company provides tools and resources for people with disabilities in finding good jobs. I spend 4 nights a month doing mock interviews, resume editing, personal mentorship and one brown bag presentation to help train their staff on current staffing issues. I do this not because I feel like I have to or Iâ€™m representing my company to â€œlookâ€ good, but I do it for my own balance in my profession. For me, volunteering gives me that satisfaction of building the long term relationships I always wanted in this career. It balances me out in life.