Category Archives: Rants

Guest Post: Why Recruiting in Bare Feet Can Make You More Successful

I have long felt that as a recruiter that there is no need to work in an office everyday as most of our work is on the phone and computer. Today we have another guest post from Lisa Gebhard on the virtues of being able to do just that.

Bare feet.  Relaxing.  Free.  No constriction.  Allows for movement.  Frees your mind.

All great reasons why everyone should work in bare feet. Ok, I understand if you are in construction or a tradesman – probably not the smartest idea.  But I work behind a desk all day long, so why not be free?

One of the benefits in working virtually is that you do not have to be in dress code – you can really wear whatever you want! Some people do not get out of their pajamas but I often choose a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

My mother has often challenged me to “dress up” on some days as if I were going into the office.  She thinks that it would boost my spirits or spark my professional speak.  I tend to disagree.  Bare feet are the key to my success because it allows me to be free. 

My job as a recruiter is a great fit for me because it allows me to utilize my top skills and traits and allows me to talk to people, especially getting them excited about a company that excites me.

All dressed up in a stuffy suit and shoes that are cute but are uncomfortable may hinder my enthusiasm.  When you are using the telephone for your work tool, tone is most important. If my “piggies” are all crunched up and I’m sweating in a suit jacket – my candidates will hear that on the other line!  My exciting tone and energy is conveyed beautifully because I am in my bare feet and relaxed.

I think that more companies should encourage working from home environments.  You have the comfort of your surroundings, you do not have a commute that can make your irritable and you can wear what you want.

As working virtually  continues to gain popularity, I hope that the option of bare feet does too.  Just think about how much more work you can get accomplished and how much more at ease you’ll be.

Take those shoes off!

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Make sure to follow Lisa at @lisarecruitsadap and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!


The Recruiting Mentality

I am a huge fan of The Far Side and think Gary Larson’s comics are still relevant and funny even after being out many, many years.

A couple of weeks ago I came across one that I had not seen before that really tied all of recruiting together for me and I firmly believe that if you don’t strive to be the antagonist in this picture every single day you are probably in the wrong business.

Now go out, put on a penguin mask, and make things happen!

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

Why I Am Starting To Hate Recruiters (and I am one)

I’ve been in the recruiting business for many years now and love what I do and if I am being completely honest some of my best friends and favorite people call the job function I love their (career) home.

However, there is one thing that recruiters as a whole do that drives me up the wall and makes me want to scream bloody murder at the top of my lungs.

Why can we (recruiters) as a whole NOT figure out that, in a LinkedIn Group, if we are going to post a job that it goes under the job discussion area (on the jobs tab) and not in the regular discussion stream?

It’s not that hard people – click (on the jobs tab), click (on the jobs discussion button), post. 

Say it with me – click, click, post.

Again – click, click, post.

Once more – click, click, post.

If you need help with the concept please look me up on LinkedIn and I can walk you through it.

I ‘own’ seven groups on LinkedIn and manage another and I have to say that the two that I do not allow recruiters into are the two that give me the least amount of trouble. Over the years I have found that recruiters as a whole (and again, this is coming from a recruiter) ruin the group experience on LinkedIn with our inability to remember to click, click, post.

Again, to recap – I love recruiting, recruiters drive me crazy because we cannot figure out how to click, click, post, and contact me if you need help with the concept.

Until next time – good luck and good hunting.

Festivus, Recruiting Style (An Airing of Grievances)

Even after being off of the air for over ten years I still think Seinfeld is one of the best shows out there – nothing on today even comes close. One of my favorite episodes is the one in which Frank Costnaza brings back the family tradition of celebrating Festivus (an actual ‘holiday‘), a rebellion against commercialism.

The celebration features several different parts but for today’s purposes we are going to focus on just one – the airing of grievances.

The Airing of Grievances allows the holiday’s participants to tell others about how they’ve screwed up over the last twelve months. As Frank put it, “…at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!”

If I am being honest I see recruiting related disappointments everyday and although I would love to cover all of them I have tried to pick the cream of the crop (if there is such a thing):

  • It really frustrates me when recruiters treat all of the Internet as one huge job-board (especially the social media sites) where they can post their open jobs to their heart’s content. In fact, if I see one more “Are you a good fit for this job…” tweet I think I am going to scream.

    To further drive home the point above I wanted to share a thought from a recruiter friend of mine, Jung Kim ( CyberSleuth) – “It’s social media, not just broadcast announcement media.”
  • As a LinkedIn Group owner it drives me up the wall when a fellow recruiter cannot figure out that the jobs they post should get posted under the ‘Job Discussion’ area of the ‘Jobs’ tab. It’s not that hard people. Remember – Click, Click, Post. Now go ruin someone else’s discussion stream.
  • For those recruiters who start off every job posting with “I am seeking a talented…” or “I am seeking a top-notch…” I have a question for you – do you ever look for untalented people? Please be a bit more creative.
  • It really bugs me that some organizations in the staffing world only seem to hire folks that are very attractive over folks who are good at their job. Now please keep in mind that I don’t hate attractive people nor am I saying that they are not skilled but how is ONLY being interested in hiring a bunch of folks that all look a they walked out of a fashion magazine helping our industry out long-term?
  • Recruiters as a whole tend to hold information very close to the vest and in many cases are unwilling to share anything other than their job-postings. Those that are most unwilling to share are often the ones that scream loudest that they want to hear others best practices without reciprocating. Don’t ask for what others are doing well if you aren’t willing to share yourself.
  • If you get paid to recruit people for a living please don’t ask me to make an introduction for you on LinkedIn (unless we work together). You get paid to make those connections – go earn your keep.

Now that we have handed out grievances to the recruiters I think its only fair that we hand out a couple to the business world in general.

  • I have never understood why many organizations want to pay corporate recruiters 35k per year – it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you cannot buy a BMW for the price of a Chevy.
  • In speaking to both contingency and corporate recruiters from across the country it seems that most companies want ‘passive’ candidates that are A+ caliber and offer them low salaries, in some cases lower than they are currently making. When that happens who gets the blame when the candidate does not accept? The guys and gals in comp (or whomever sets salary guidelines in that organization)?  Of course not. Go figure.

What say you – are there things that I missed? What peeves you in the recruiting world right now?

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

The Cyclical Nature of Recruiting

I love recruiting, there is no two ways about it.

With all the jobs involves – the competition, the challenge, the strategy, the constantly changing and evolving and tools and techniques – it is always interesting to say the least. The one thing about recruiting that I could do without, however, is its cyclical nature. I realize every job has its ups and downs but the two that most define recruiting (at least in my eyes) are very harsh.

It sometimes takes a while for newbies in the business to catch on to both but once they do they have to enjoy the rollercoaster ride of the highs being hight and grind through the lows or they will quickly become a casualty of the industry.

The first cycle that recruiters usually become aware of is the one that takes you from ‘hero’ to ‘zero’ in a matter of minutes. If you have been in recruiting more than a day you know how it works –

One minute you are on the mountain top because you found the perfect candidate (a one in a million find) – he is in salary range, local, and is interested in your opportunity. After interviewing, he accepts your offer, passes the background check and is all set to start.

The next minute he is accepting a counter offer from his current employer the day before he is set to start with your company and leaves you standing at the altar wondering what happened.

The second is cycle typically a bit longer than the first and can really define your ability to pull yourself back up from the depths.

As a recruiter there are some days, weeks, and months and sometimes years in which whatever you touch turns to gold. You know how it goes, these are the times that you cold be looking for an accountant and type ‘sales’ into any search engine and accountant after accountant shows up for no real reason.

On the other hand there are also days, weeks, months, and (hopefully not but sometimes) years in which everything is a struggle. Search strings don’t work, candidates don’t want to talk to you, they flake out one after another, they do bone headed things in interviews, and on and on.

While both cycles have the opportunity to be harsh the second one can really, really be difficult and I believe drives many good people out of our industry. The challenge in recruiting is to stay as even keeled as you can. It’s great to get excited when things are going well but don’t let the highs get your head too big or the lows will punch an unrepairable hole in you.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

What Doctors, Waitresses, and Recruiters Have In Common

Over the course of my time in recruiting I have come to realize that there are certain professions that are allowed by society to ask questions and say things that the rest of us cannot.

For today’s discussion we are going to group three occupations that would not normally be put together – doctors, waitresses, and recruiters.

Let’s look at doctors as our first example. If you were in conversation with your proctologist or urologist and he were to ask you, “Say, how is that (fill in a very personal body part) of yours?”

With your doctor asking, you would answer and not even think twice about it. If the person asking was not a doctor you would either punch them in the mouth and/or make sure no one else in your family goes near them.

Next come waitresses. You can go to any buffet or county cooking restaurant (and some bars) and the waitress will commonly ask you, “So what can I get for you today sweety (you can also insert honey or any other related term)?” and it perfectly acceptable to all involved, even for the wives of married men.

Finally, as a recruiter we have a whole myriad of questions and statements that we can get away with but I want to focus on the granddaddies of them all and the two that I think puts us in the same ballpark as the doctors and waitresses.

“So …. what do you make” and “what do you want to make” are two questions that any recruiter could ask within five minutes of meeting someone and have it be appropriate almost without exception.

In many cases I don’t even have to ask – people find out I recruit for a living and they start talking, and talking, and talking and before long money comes up and I know where they are and where they want to be.

I know that as a whole, recruiters get a very bad rap but we are in very good company when it comes to the topic of what we can say outside the confines of the office. We are grouped with some of the smartest people and some of the hardest working out there – not bad company to be in.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

There is (ALMOST) Nothing Original About Recruiting

I don’t know about you but I always have to laugh when someone says something along the lines of ‘The way we recruit is so different from anyone else.’

When I hear that I have two different camps that go to battle in my head – either to just let it go (which I always do and regret it later) or to set them straight. If I were to really tear into the topic and push it a bit this is how I imagine that it would go:

Them: We do things differently. We are not your normal recruiting department / recruiting firm.

Me: Oh really? So you have found a new way to try to understand what a hiring manager needs and then go out and find it. I’d love to hear about it.

Them: No, we still do that. It’s just all about relationships for us. 

Me: Well how about that. Can you tell me the birthday of the last three candidates you spoke with? What about their dog’s name or what sports they like to play.

Them: Well, no but….

Me: So you plan on having lunch with them next week even if there is no chance of you placing them… ever?

Them: Well, no but….

Me: So it’s not really about relationships is it?

Them: It is – I promise. What really sets us apart is our search process.

Me: Well I am as excited as the day is long. So you have developed a new way to search outside of Boolean and web-search operators.

Them: What’s Boolean? We don’t rely on old technologies. We use social media and networking.

Me: How many placements did you have last year from Twitter?

Them: I don’t really track that.

Me: Zero right?

Them: (silence)… (crickets churping)… Another thing that makes us different is we have a proprietary database that has a lot of good candidates in it.

Me: So you are telling me that if I went through LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, Google, and Bing that I could not find the same people you have in your database?

Them: Well, you probably could but we have relationships with them.

Me: How many folks are in your database?

Them: Fifty thousand or so.

Me: So you are telling me that at any point you could call anyone in your database and have them call you back and be interested in an opportunity when you want them to be?

Them: Well…… No. But we work harder than anyone else.

Me: Excellent. So if I were to call your office on Saturday evening at 7:30 you would be there cooking up new Boolean strings?

Them: No, but we work smarter than anyone else and that sets us apart.

Me: So you are telling me that no one in your office plays around on Facebook uses work time for anything personal?

Them: Well, no but we have great relationships with our hiring managers.

Me: Wow – that’s pretty amazing. When was the last time the hiring manager invited you out to lunch when you weren’t working on one of his reqs?

Them: Well, never really…..

Me: So when was the last time a hiring manager invited you to lunch when you were working on one of his reqs?

Them: Its happened I’m sure, I just can’t remember when. Whatever the case we have such a good understanding of the culture and what makes the company tick that we can fill our reqs all day.

Me: Really? What does the bathroom next to accounting look like?

Them: What?

Me: If you really know the lay of the land there you will know what the bathroom closest to accounting looks like.

Them: I can’t really tell you that.

Me: So you’re not so different after all are you.

Them: We are, I promise.

If you are in recruiting please face the fact that we all do the same things. Some of us are better in some areas than others and that might set you apart a LITTLE BIT but there is not that much different going on. I promise.

Want to really understand how unoriginal recruiting is? I got the idea for this post by reading an article on recruiting.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!