By Steve Levy, Principal
outsideâ– theâ– box Consulting
Talent Acquisition and Organizational Effectiveness Consulting
First In A Series
It may be because Iâ€™m a bit more weathered than the average recruiter â€“ looking that is (it might have something to do with being a lifeguard at Jones Beach for 30 years) â€“ but I still take great joy in riding the brick-and-mortar route of recruiting. I do not eschew the Internet as a means of building talent pools (those who know me know that!) but the weathered part of me recognizes from experience how pressing the flesh is so critical in our profession. But flesh pressing needs to be as focused as its electronic brethren – that would mean a plan.
Donâ€™t know why but planning seems to be a dirty word in recruiting. It means thinking and I suspect some believe that thinking causes mind pollution â€“ essentially brain smog that may cloud oneâ€™s view. So most recruiters dive right inâ€¦
a) Believing that the job description is 100% accurate
b) Posting on job boards
c) Typing few words in Google and wondering why resumes arenâ€™t jumping out
d) Asking questions of others on some of the recruiting Forums (e.g., ERE Groups), typically, â€œIâ€™ve posted on job boards â€“ now what else can I do?â€
Sorry but this isnâ€™t recruiting â€“ itâ€™s order taking. â€œWould you like some fries with that burger?â€ Yummy. The recruiter makes the hiring manager feel satiated until the next meal â€“ or complaint.
Actually, itâ€™s because new recruiters havenâ€™t been taught to think. Itâ€™s (on the TPR side) â€œHereâ€™s a phone, hereâ€™s a list â€“ start callingâ€ or â€œ(on the Corporate side) â€œHereâ€™s a list of 56 openings, some have been open 125 days â€“ see what you can do with them.â€
In both cases, itâ€™s an â€œOh Joy!â€ response.
There is a plan, there is a solution and it involves three things (there are more but I believe these three constitute the three biggest areas of improvement in recruiting):
a) Recruiting planning by focusing on the business side (who your targets are)
b) Reengineering the job description (which is obsolete the minute it’s published)
c) Brick-and-mortar sourcing (or physically going to association meetings, eavesdropping on conversations in airports, etc.)
In this, the first of three posts, I take great joy (yes, the joy of recruiting is both an obsession and a disease) when starting a search by taking visiting market tools that provide detailed performance data of specific industry verticals. Consider what most recruiters do, they’ll ask about other recruiters which companies are having layoffs and then begin to recruit people from the effected companies- typically focusing on those in outplacement. Wouldn’t it have been better to have been tracking the performance of these companies ahead of time to be both ahead of the downsizing vultures and stand a better chance of landing the A-players?
Having the financial performance measures of focal competitors is key to making this a reality. For instance, one great tool I use is The New York Timesâ€™ Interactive Sector Snapshot. When you go here, in honor of El Dave, change the Category to Information Technology then select semiconductors. What youâ€™ll see is something rather amazing â€“ semiconductor companies who are either Leading (upper right) versus the S&P 500, Improving versus the S&P 500 (lower right), Slipping (upper left) versus the S&P 500, or Lagging (lower left) against the S&P 500.
Now click on any bubble in all of the quadrants â€“ youâ€™ll see the weekly performance against the S&P as well as the YTD performance. See the Time Period slider? Play with it to see other Time Periods and the performances of the companies.
The take-home lesson here is that if youâ€™re recruiting in the Semiconductor industry, knowing where companies stand financially is a critical factor in knowing which ones may be good sourcers for talent. Why do I say this? Well, have you ever heard of the saying â€œlike rats abandoning a sinking shipâ€?
Another thing I do is go to Yahoo Finance and create portfolios for each sector in which I have business. This snapshot can quickly give me targets for any search. For anyone, a page highlighting the financial performance of competitors is great resource. Not to mention several Forbes e-newsletters, MarketWatch bulletins, and a slew of industry email blasts.
Which brings me to a final point â€“ understanding your companyâ€™s or clientâ€™s financial performance. Obviously when your performance is lagging, people may become dissatisfied and may be â€œtakeover targets.â€ Itâ€™s retention time! When your performance is flying high, this is something you want people outside (the talent pool) to know. Itâ€™s recruiting time!
Either way, financial performance should be part of your employment brand and talent acquisition strategy. Otherwise youâ€™re just recruiting blind.
Next post will talk about reengineering job descriptions while working with your hiring managers to develop a more targeted search strategy.
Read El Daveâ€™s post on me if youâ€™re at all interested in me as a person and not a recruiting piece of meatâ€¦
Checkout accounting jobs, UK at AccountantCareers.co.uk.