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Meet Steve Rath, ‘Mickey Mantle Corp Recruiter,’ Part 2: “How Does He Do It?”

Posted on June 29, 2009
Filed Under Interviews | Comments Off on Meet Steve Rath, ‘Mickey Mantle Corp Recruiter,’ Part 2: “How Does He Do It?”

By Dave Mendoza

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Phone: (770) 803-0444

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?

Steve: I’d have to say that it’s been my experience that I’ve seen more qualified candidates come the way of employee referrals over the corporate web site. I’d also say that I believe employee referrals will continue to rise with the introduction of the social networking and it’s impact on our industry.

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

Steve: Ok, here’s a plug for (now Arbita), but it’s an accurate plug… I believe the training both Shally and Glenn provide to sourcers and recruiters alike will make the biggest impact in your career. If you’re serious about your recruiting/staffing career then keeping up on the latest tools, tricks, techniques is a must. It’s furthered my career and has made me a more sought after resource.

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?

Steve: I use a SaaS based ATS called for all of my engagements. It’s a great place to store my sourced prospects and network with them from client to client. I also use LinkedIn quite heavily and am still amazed on the passive talent out there. Job Boards still have their place in our industry, but I’d have to say that social networking sites will be giving them a run for their money.

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

Steve: Let’s see, when I first started posting was posting to a newspaper and receiving resumes was by mail (mostly) or by fax. Email was just starting to make its presence. Using the phone was the primary method of reaching out to someone. It’s interesting to reflect on what we now call getting back to the basics – picking up the phone and initiating conversation like in the “old days” – 15 years ago

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?

Steve: You know I think my biggest adjustment was recruiting for a position, networking via phone, banging the phone for leads, and at the end of the day not getting the right candidate for the position. It’s comparable to spending your time building something, at the end of the day you have something to show for your hard work. But in recruiting it’s wasn’t like that. Recruiting is very time consuming as you’re creating an interest and working with those with differing goals and objectives. Keeping everyone focused and responsive was initially challenging.

I think people’s perceptions of recruiting is it involves little or no work to produce viable candidates. People only see the finished product and can not appreciate the work that goes into the “process” to vet a candidate. I subscribe wholly to the following quote –
“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”

Educating our customers, clients, and applicants is an important part of what we do on a daily basis. Definitely provides a new prospective that everyone can begin to appreciate.

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

Steve: Ok, I probably have a few and some I have made a point to just forget, but I do recall sending a bulk email and mistakenly copying the list of emails (from the same company) into CC: instead of BCC:. I didn’t realize until I started receiving hate email back from some of the recipients. Talk about wanting to hide under a rock! Yes, I should have known better

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.

Steve: My plan to implement change within our industry is to take one step at a time, client by client. The last few years have been a testament to my growing list of clients. My legacy at each of my previous clients has help to create a bridge to my current and future clients. If I can consistently deliver and exceed the expectations of my clients I am able to influence change, knowing I’ve left behind a mindset both strategic and tactical approach in dealing with our industry.

The biggest challenge relates to customer service to both hiring managers and applicant. Providing a consistent message throughout an organization is critical as well as within the community you’re hiring from. Bad news travels fast and with the explosion of Web 2.0 technologies, keeping a consistent message is critical. My solution is for the staffing department to declare a mission statement, address customer service challenges, and consistently deliver on the define expectations. Creating a positive customer experience from both an internal and external perspective will help create an organization others will admire.

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

Steve: I love implementing best practices and recruiting enhancements at the clients I engage with. Having had the opportunity to function as a hiring manager, agency sales, agency and corporate recruiter has provided me with the insight to share my experiences with the teams I support. And it’s not a cookie cutter approach as companies have varying needs. Determining what will work with one company may not with another. My Best practice strategy is understanding an organization’s Recruiting Process life cycle and providing enhancements to keep it running efficiently. There are many opportunities to enhance most Recruiting processes, maybe not overhauling, but providing new ideas and tools to help streamline or generate more applicants.

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

Steve: As a recruiter you’re constantly juggling your priorities to achieve maximum bandwidth. We also say how we don’t have enough time in the day to get things done. You prepare a game plan and try to cover most angles which could derail a transaction (pre-hire negotiations) and of course it’s always the one you didn’t see that pops up and requires your immediate attention to resolve. It’s always the one you didn’t foresee that causes some angst. Yes, it’s a learning experience, but also frustrating for a seasoned recruiter.

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

Steve: Internal perspective – requiring HR Admins to function as staffing/recruiting personnel which may in turn cause bottle neck from lack of inflow of prospective . When utilizing staffing agencies using them as a resume referral service instead of utilizing them as a full service.

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?

Steve: What inspires me is the fact I get to influence and change people’s lives. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing I’ve been a part of that process. Whether it’s for my clients or for new hired employees, knowing I’ve had a hand is my greatest accomplishment and that’s the most fulfilling part of my career.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.

Steve: Lot’s of opportunity to invent or create something within our industry especially given the exposure to the internet. I’d like to create a process or tool which would streamline the pre-interview process – from when the applicant expresses interest to the position to the initial phone screen. Creating a black box of questions specific to the job to help prescreen the applicant. A tool with AI capabilities which would rank the best candidate from the pool of applicants. Something I’d be interested in investigating.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Steve: Of course – as I had mentioned earlier I’ve used many ATS or RMS tools and have found one tool which as helped me build my personal database of prospects over the years. The tool is a SaaS based Web hosted ATS by the name of It’s truly a recruiter’s tool. It’s worth taking the time to review and a great addition to any recruiter’s toolbox.

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

Steve: Staying the course, continuing to exceed my clients expectation as well as those I come in contact with. Continue to help others reach their objectives (within my sphere of influence). Remain humble knowing I don’t know all the answers or will I pretend to. Always strive to give my best. Have fun at what I’m doing. Lastly, know that I am blessed in whatever I’m doing. I believe exhibiting those aforementioned attributes will help to change the Recruitment Industry or at a minimum with those I’ve had the opportunity to work with.


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