Continued from Part 1 (READ HERE)
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?
Rayanne: The majority of our hires are made through direct recruitment. Our clients hire us to â€œfindâ€ the best, not wait for the best to find us. Websites are a powerful tool but nothing is as prevailing as a live, enthusiastic voice on the line or an on-site interview where objectives are openly discussed and the process of discovery flows evenly or not so evenly â€“ which aids in the process of elimination.
Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)
Rayanne: Many sales professionals utilize LinkedIn; so it seems to reason that we would use it often and we do. However, I would have to say that most of our hires come from our own database that has taken years to establish. We have over 35,000 names and rÃ©sumÃ©s that have been collected during the course of past recruitments. This is an exceptional resource for our company; that just doesnâ€™t happen overnight.
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?
Rayanne: That would have to be the same answer. Our own database has details, collected during previous searches, allows us the opportunity to quickly peruse a field of candidates and get right to the potential fits or recognize quickly that we need to go outside of our own network in order to find the person our client wants.
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
Rayanne: In particular, our firm targets Sales Professionals that have years of enterprise sales or sales engineering experience in Software, especially with pre-IPO companies. It seems our clients are always looking for a â€œHunter.â€ So…, that is what we hone in on. There are over 65,000 software companies in America. Reason would say that there are at least twice that many first-rate software sales professionals. I aim to find them all………
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
Rayanne: During my time in health care recruitment, I had the opportunity to attend health care conferences, such as ASHHRA and AONE. I was the chosen one, if you will, that attended the workshops and seminars at the conferences where we exhibited. I am constantly looking for better ways to get his job done. I just attended the Kennedy Info Conference in Vegas and I will be at the Fordyce Forum this week. I plan on sitting in on as many sessions as I can. The greatest lessons I can learn though are from those out there in the trenches doing this job everyday and from individuals like Susan Burns, John Sumser, Don Ramer, and Shally Steckerl. I take advantage of every single extra minute that I have to cruise through a website or watch an interview. You can never know too much, right?
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?
Rayanne: We typically only recruit in the US and the tools I use are ACT!, Outlook, and my telephone. It doesnâ€™t get easier then that.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
Rayanne: When I first started recruiting, we mailed or faxed everything. There was this perception that if the candidate or client saw our impressive letterhead on bond paper (water mark and all) that they would be more likely to want to learn more. Often, Federal Express was used because of the level of importance it represented. It was an incredible waste of time and money. I encouraged my co-workers daily to email the details and get an answer as soon as possible, preferably by the end of the next day.
I still like to print rÃ©sumÃ©s and keep a job file folder but this could be done completely paperless. However, you will rarely seem without a yellow pad and a pen. Itâ€™s funny how times have changed in just a few short years.
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?
Rayanne: Itâ€™s funny because when I first started recruiting, I loathed being called a head hunter, it had such a negative connotation â€“ like a used car salesman. Then I started making light of it with potentials like, â€œItâ€™s Friday, so you can call me a head hunter but I still canâ€™t wear jeans.â€ I have friends who roll their eyes at me and say, â€œI wish I could talk on the phone all day.â€ I wish I could, too. If it were only as easy as that…
I was really nervous during my first several calls. My boss would stand outside my door and listen and I just knew I was going to be schooled when I hung up, I usually was. But that is how I learned. One time it finally just clicked, hey, I can just hang up if it doesnâ€™t go my way or I completely mess up. Itâ€™s not like I tripped in the hallway in high school, not that I ever did that. Umm…, thatâ€™s another story.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didnâ€™tâ€¦and how that was a learning experience?
Rayanne: I think my biggest mistake was the years I spent in denial saying, â€œIâ€™m not a salesman, I am an educator.â€ Recruitment and Business Development are definitely sales. It is something that I am good at and, on top of that, I like it. I like the people I get to network with every day. I even like it when I have a lengthy conversation that may not go anywhere this time but who knows about next week. It is a job not for the faint of heart. If you canâ€™t take rejection, itâ€™s probably not for you.
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.
Rayanne: I think my place is in the humanization of this job. I have a rather lofty vision of redefining the image of recruitment. I value relationships tremendously; that is where success for me lies. I am not â€œtechnically savvyâ€ and I donâ€™t see myself as the guru of LinkedIn or an expert in anything, really. I consider face-to-face time and meaningful conversations to be my forte. I sometimes have a quirky insight and ask questions that others might not that lead to the answers that I want and my client seeks.
Six Degrees: â€œBest practiceâ€ you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
Rayanne: About six months into recruiting, I became increasingly frustrated by the lack of continuity when moving from search to search in taking or making phone calls. So, I established a search details template that provided information to each of the recruiters, making sure everyone had these updated details on their desks weekly, if not daily. The job instantly became easier and we sounded more professional when presenting opportunities.
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
Rayanne: It is very frustrating when the phone system at a particular company that I am calling in to isnâ€™t set up correctly or I am directed to the wrong extension. This all means that I am unable to get to a specific individual to develop business with or present an opportunity.
Another, sometimes daily, frustration is when technology fails: when the internet or phones are down. I know we have all experienced days when we canâ€™t get done what we want to get done because the technology, we have come to rely so heavily upon, just isnâ€™t there. It is not only frustrating but it is scary… One company I worked for thought they could go without paying the phone bill for several months. Try removing the most basic recruitment tool from your cabinet and see how far you get in a day. I think I spent that day organizing my files and drawers.
Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?
Rayanne: I am not sure it is a â€œmishapâ€ but I seem to run into it regularly and that is a lack of professionalism in some recruiters. It is easy to become lax in what you are doing when you have been doing it for a while or when you think you know the client well enough to use slang or an easy manner. I never underestimate the power my clients hold and that there are a multitude of other recruiters out there that would gladly fill my void. I understand how busy my clients are and that I provide â€œsupport serviceâ€ for them, not the other way around.
When working as an in-house recruiter, a common tactical error that I consistently fought against was the altering of job descriptions and lowering of presented salaries once interest has been established in a candidate field. Calling up a candidate and having to say, â€œIâ€™m sorry but the salary has been lowered or that job now entails…â€ can be exasperating. It seemed like there were times when I was the only one worried about our reputation.
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?
Rayanne: Recent inspiration has come from my involvement with RecruitingBlogs and the wonderful people I have met through that social network. Not only have I learned about how to do my job better from industry giants but humor is injected, daily, into my work life. I love what I do. I love talking to people and networking. I get a fantastic high when I sell a search or make a placement. Additionally, I think there is a place for respect in recruitment, not everyone can do this job, not everyone should do this job.
My family is a continuous source of inspiration for me. I have three children still living at home that need and want me to flourish in my chosen profession. I donâ€™t exactly live in an economical location but I love it in Southern California so I must work hard and continue my drive toward success.
Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2008?
Rayanne: Personally, I would like to take a vacation…, I know that doesnâ€™t sound like an accomplishment but for me, it would be. I havenâ€™t taken a vacation in years â€“ I havenâ€™t felt I deserved it. This year I will deserve it. I would also like to continue on my quest toward achieving my masterâ€™s degree.
Professionally, I would like to continue to build a trusting client base and an ever-growing candidate database. Establishing and maintaining these relationships are key to what I want to accomplish over the next ten years: a search firm that is sought after and respected by clients, candidates, and peers.
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
Rayanne: Of course…, what kind of â€œsales personâ€ would I be if I didnâ€™t want to plug something?
My firm, BSM Associates: continuously searching for quality… www.bsmassociates.com
My upcoming book: â€œThe Frost is Goneâ€
My favorite social network: RecruitingBlogs.com
My favorite radio show: Recruiting Animal
The next play Iâ€™m directing: â€œItâ€™s a Wonderful Lifeâ€ opens in November 08 (www.stagesoc.org)
And the next play I am in: â€œSanta Claus Conquers the Martiansâ€ opens November 08
Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
Rayanne: Wow, that is a loaded question! There is so much I want to do and give to the industry. I guess I will continue to do what I have been doing and that is driving the way candidates are treated. It always amazes me when a candidate is honestly surprised that I have called them to tell them they didnâ€™t get the job. Along that same vein, I will persist in providing my clients with candid advice and timely feedback, when necessary. I like receiving unsolicited rÃ©sumÃ©s or recommendations; it validates my vision and proves I am doing something right.