I first came across Keith as a fellow Linkedin Power Networker two years ago. At 4,700+ contacts, he shares the frontier spirit of developing relationships with passive talent that have long been evangelized at SixDegrees.. but he likewise has the distinction of a sincerity and willingness to assist other recruiters that made an impression when I first crossed paths with this gentleman recruiter as he has so often in the present. Keith is that gentle spirit, modest, affable, and keen to open the next page to that new technology and that old fashion handshake and warmth that brings comfort to the candidate sitting in the waiting room for his 9 am interview appointment.
We have often given well deserved, fanfare to the Thought Leaders of today’s industry, be it Shally “Elvis” Steckerl, Jason Davis, community builder, or Dave Manaster, entrepreneur of fashioning best practices into a conference/expo and publishing powerhouse. There is also the other angle of the soft spoken, those wedded to the daily front lines of the War for Talent we speak too infrequently about. Consider today, if you will, the nuts and bolts of what makes a recruiter memorable and respected. Today we pay homage to the unsung heroes within the contract recruitment industry who are friends to peers and candidates alike. The ‘recruiter’s recruiter’ who always forward an introduction request, who recall a favor months back they found able to contribute to, – the people of meaningful contribution who do not seek limelight as much as to be remembered for kindness. It is no small achievement to have these attributes and to have the same, if not brighter assessment of their craft, after twenty years.
Today my friends, I invite you to Meet a gentleman, my friend Keith Halperin.
Over the last two decades, Keith Halperin has displayed an aggressive commitment to client satisfaction in the areas of recruitment, placement, search, and research for highly diverse clients (from startups to Fortune 500 firms) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since 1986. He conceived, designed, and implemented corporate recruiting strategies, and developed a white paper for a $70 million, 5-year NASA CS recruiting project. As a leading contract recruiter in the Bay Area, he has contributed and implemented Recruiting Process Methodology, a comprehensive open-source roadmap of recruiting. Keith has also been an initiator, co-founding MyIPOJob job fairs for pre-IPO companies, and in addition to founding Recruitersforum, an on-line job site for all types of recruiting positions.
Keith has been happily married to his wife, Elizabeth, a freelance copy editor, for over 15 years. Together they have raised two children: Ben (14) and Sophie (11), both of whom are avid Storyboard Artist enthusiasts gearing their talent for a prospective future in gaming.
Keith has been active in his faith, contributing to his local synagogue and working to create a neighborhood gathering of Jewish families to celebrate holidays together. He is always trying to get people together, either at work or outside of it. â€œItâ€™s part of my nature.â€ Heâ€™ll tell you, and when you consider his social inner core, it lends credence to the fact that in â€˜another lifeâ€™ Keith Halperin was once a a DJ and concert producer life.
But it is about Keithâ€™s current passion as a recruiter that we celebrate his contributions to his craft and his fellow peers. Many moons ago, he walked into an employment agency looking for any kind of work. They offered him a job as a recruiter paying $4.00/hr draw against commission. He has seen more lucrative days since as a senior contract recruiter in the Bay Area.
Keith was kind enough to share his personal perspectives about the evolving craft of staffing.
Q: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized and abundant within particular countries under your review?
Keith:â€œI used to say I was a â€œRecruiting Generalist,â€ until I received too many questions: re Comp. and Benefits. I now say that Iâ€™m a â€Recruiting Multi-specialistâ€ where Iâ€™m very strong finding a wide variety of candidates at all levels, both technical and non-technical.
As an A-Z Recruiting Consultant, Iâ€™m frequently doing everything from Coordinating interviews to developing staffing procedures and everything in between. I have frequently represented my clients at job fairs and conventions. I also independently co-produced three job fairs for pre-IPO companies.â€
Q: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
Keith: â€œI was largely self-taught until I had a recent refresher course while working with Google. I received excellent Behavioral Interview training from Susan Welch in the Bay Area.â€
Q: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Keith: â€œIâ€™d say the understanding of the implications of â€œoff-sourcingâ€ and how they will affect recruiting- if it can be done anywhere (virtual)) it can be done offshore for a lot less money.â€ Q: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
Keith: â€œ1) Unrealistic expectations and biases of hiring managers and organizations. 2) Overly complex, bureaucratic hiring processes developed without the input of those actually doing the job of recruiting. 3) Excess devotion to process/documentation/peripheral functions as opposed to timely, cost-effective, efficient recruiting.â€
Q: 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?
Keith: â€œI have yet to find some recruiting SW/ATS that passes the â€œTiffani Test.â€
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.
Keith: â€œI see the current state of recruiting as one of great problems, tremendous potential, and rapid change.
First: great problems- I believe huge sums are being misspent on cumbersome technical /consulting solutions to basically simple (if difficult) problems. Recruiting should- and can be a relatively simple, straightforward, elegant (in the scientific sense) process. However, itâ€™s very difficult to convince the â€œpowers that payâ€ that (all else being equal) â€œsimpler is betterâ€ particularly if there are political/organizational biases to be challenged.
Second: great potential- The leaders of American organizations tend to be highly intelligent, pragmatic individuals. When shown the facts of the matter, many of them will tend to go ahead with the new reality as opposed to fighting it. (Theyâ€™ll make more money that way.)
Third: rapid change- globalization, outsourcing, difficulties in producing adequate numbers of skilled individuals in many areas, sky-rocketing healthcare costs; these factors will greatly influence the nature of recruiting in the next few years.
My solutions: Iâ€™ve been recruiting for a LONG time. I have â€œboots on the groundâ€ experience with baby startups and Global l000 organizations. Iâ€™ve seen what works and what doesnâ€™t. I can go in, set up recruiting processes for new companies, fix dysfunctional processes in established firms, and find exceptional people to hire. I custom-tailor my solutions to the needs of the company and the hiring managers. I base my knowledge and advice on what can be objectively demonstrated, not just alleged. I have substantial additional resources I can bring in. If your firm is committed to hire quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively the best people you can get and want to know how to do it again and again, Iâ€™m your man.â€
Q: What inspires you to stay in recruiting?
Keith: â€œI love solving problems and making a difference. Oh, and I like people, too.â€
Q: How are you availing your knowledge input to the broader staffing universe?
Keith: â€œI invite my peers to review my blog, The Real World of Recruiting, on ERE. I’m also available to share best practices at a venue near you on any of the following topics:
1) Recruitment Process Outsourcing- “Why and Why Not?”
2) Recruitment Process Optimization- “The Tiffani Test”
3) Recruitment Improvement Through Recruiter Empowerment), and my availability to be on panels and boards
Q: “How are you going to change the recruitment industry, If not the world?
Keith: â€œYou can call me a hopeful realist. Itâ€™s very hard to change institutions and industries, particularly those with strong vested interests as we have in recruiting. What I expect to be able to do is to gradually demonstrate that a results-oriented, pragmatic, model based on straight-forward, robust recruiting processes emphasizing on-demand, high-touch, high value-add services will outperform the traditional 20th Century recruiting models generally used. (Whew!) Plus, itâ€™s more fun than the old way.â€
â€œI have had the honor of working Keith on two different assignments. He is truly a pleasure to work. He has high integrity, compassion for others and is a top notch networker. Keith fully understand the recruitment process and is an asset for any team.â€ December 18, 2006
Jody Davis, Senior Recruiter, Kula Consulting
â€œI liked working with Keith. He was very flexible and very easy to work with. He was able to adapt to my style of recruiting and help me improve on the way I recruited.â€ May 22, 2006
Richard Wilson, Senior Manager Information Systems, Check Point Software Technologies