A Little Something For The ‘Post And Pray’ Recruiter In All Of Us

If you’ve been around recruiting long enough you have probably heard (but hopefully not directed towards you) the phrase ‘post and pray’ recruiter. In the event that you are unfamiliar with it check out the definition (with examples) from one of my new favorite sites (Paul McFedries Word Spy):

Whether you admit to it or not everyone has high hopes (and wishes) anytime they post a job. Sometimes a posting works out well and you get a couple of good candidates but many times they don’t and you feel utterly ignored by all of mankind.

That got me thinking a little bit about how potential candidates view things – are they more likely to send in their info for a job if it was as easy as hitting ‘send’? So, a couple of days ago I put together a one question survey that asked just that – “Are you more likely to submit your information to a job if all you have to do is email a resume vs. fill out an application?”

After receiving 520 results (I know that’s not a huge, huge number but I think it will do for now) the answer is a resounding YES (420 or 80.8% said so).

One of the things I like to do on surveys that I put together is to give the people who respond a chance to add their own two cents through a comment box and this time the response was a bit overwhelming (140 comments).

While some were answers you would expect to find in a survey like this there was one that stood out as ringing true with me:

“Excellent question!! Those applications take a long time to fill out. If a person has a full-time job (usually > 40 hrs/wk) and family responsibilities spare time is precious. A person has to be highly motivated to find and take the time to fill out the application.”

This comment leads to a very important question – could organizations be driving away the ‘passive’ talent that they so desire because of the fact that an application is required instead of just sending in a resume?

Just answering for myself (and probably everyone else out there) – if I was just passively open to listening to new opportunities the likelihood of me taking 15 minutes to fill out an application is oh, about 0%.

If you want to see the ‘official’ results and read all of the 140 comments that were left you can download the PDF here (Application vs Resume Survey Results).

Now that you have learned a little something about what job-seekers think I would surely appreciate it if you would take 30 seconds a fill out an anonymous survey (a whole two questions) that I will use to share with job-seekers about what recruiters think. You can find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/82GVZY6 and will be able to read the results in a couple of weeks on my job-search blog.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!


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 (www.twitter.com/Azn_ 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!

Recruiting Lessons Learned From Job-Seekers

Over the past several years I have led two intertwining lives. One is my recruiting life (pays the bills, etc) and the other is my career coaching (volunteer) life. I have always tried to keep the two separate but they always find a way to come together. Job-seekers want your recruiting knowledge and recruiters want your job-seekers network.

As I started thinking about both worlds and how they collide it hit me that there are many lessons that recruiters could learn from those in job-search.

Perception is everything. In job-search anything and everything you do can be perceived in a million different ways (i.e. if you call or email too many times you are annoying; if you don’t call or email enough you are not interested, etc).

Recruiting take away: How are you and your company perceived in your market place? What do people think about you and your brand. If you don’t know, you can’t begin to either overcome it or build upon it.

It’s a numbers game. In job-search the more active you are the likelier you are to find a job. You get out of it what you put into it.

Recruiting take away: If I have to spell this one out you should move out of recruiting right now.

The details matter. I always tell job-seekers that you have to cross all of your t’s and dot all of your i’s, spell the word résumé right (not resume), and watch the way you tie your shoes. As a job-seeker if you want to stand out in a good way the details are what makes you.

Recruiting take away: Top talent notices every little thing. I promise. If there is one thing out of whack or out-of-place in their interview with you there are 10 companies right behind you that would love the opportunity to speak with them.

You can’t be a technology dinosaur. A job-seeker who cannot efficiently operate in the digital world might as well forget about it.

Recruiting take away: Are you hanging out online where the folks you are recruiting hang out? No? You ready to settle for last place. Along those same lines I am always shocked by how many of us don’t know what Boolean is and cannot even spell Twitter.

It’s all about networking. Duh. Get off of the job boards and pick up the phone to make some networking calls!

Recruiting take away: Double duh. Get off of your computer and pick up the phone to make some networking calls!

Different spin on things, no?

Next a job-seeker reaches out to you, even for networking purposes – talk shop with them. You might be surprised what you learn about recruiting.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

Three Free Resume Databases (Because Nothing Is Better Than Free) + a bonus item

I think that those that are most successful in recruiting are typically people who are pretty cheap by nature. The reason? There is only so much information you can get from paid resources and when you have to get outside of the box that means finding free toys to play with and cheap people seek out free by nature.

Today we are going to look at three free resume databases that you can tap into plus throw out one bonus item just to give all of the cheapo’s out there the feeling that they came away with a really good bargain.

Now, I know that as soon as this post goes live there will be many people who will say one of the following so I wanted to give my response (in red) before they even have the chance.

  •  If you know how to search google the whole internet is a resume database. True but not every position requires a dive to the Mariana Trench to find a candidate.
  • There are a ton of free resume databases out there. Again, true  but what good is it to open a water hose on someone who has never taken a sip from a water fountain before?
  • Will this change my life? No, but if you even pretend to be competent at your job you need to cover all of your bases.
  • You do know that you don’t have to include the AND operator when using Google don’t you (said in the snobbiest of sourcing snob voices)? Yes I do know but for those that don’t know an AND operator from an OR one it’s easier to understand.
  • Why should I use these if I can use Monster, Careerbuilder, etc? Because not everyone posts their resumes there.

So without further adieu here are three free resume databases for you:

(crickets chirping)

What you aren’t excited? Oh, you want to know how to search them as well?

By using the site: operator in your favorite search engine you can tap into the resumes posted in all three sites.

In Emurse  site:emurse.com AND (“java” OR “j2ee”) AND (“engineer” OR “developer”) AND (“new york city” OR “nyc”) -inurl:jobs you come up with 43 solid results.

Not all are perfect and 43 is not a huge number but it is 43 more than you had before we did the search.

With VisualCV if you search site:visualcv.com AND (“java” OR “j2ee”) AND (“engineer” OR “developer”) AND (“new york city” OR “nyc”) you come back with 16 results (as seen below). That doesn’t set the world on fire but that is 16 people you might not have found anywhere else.

With DevBistro you can go down the Google route (site:devbistro.com AND keywords) but they offer a very easy way to search resumes out (hint – its circled in red below).

So here we go with our bonus item (I can here the faint sound of a drum role in the background). If you have exhausted your local search and want to take things in a different direction you can search out people on LinkedIn who are willing to relocate.

If I wanted to find Java developers who were willing to relo I could search site:www.linkedin.com AND inurl:pub -inurl:dir (“java” OR “j2ee”) AND (“engineer” OR “developer”) AND (“open * relocation” OR “open * relocate” OR “will * relocate” OR “willing * relocate” OR “able * relocate” OR “ability * relocate” OR “ready * relocate”) and it comes back with 293 results.

Hopefully you can find a whole mess of potential candidates using free resources this week and going into 2012!

What are your favorite free databases? What are your go to free resources?

Until next time good hunting and good luck!

What’s A Recruiters Responsibility To Society At Large?

I think as recruiters we all have a responsibility to help out those we cannot place, even in some small way. Today Carter Toungette, one of the best and brightest in the Nashville recruiting scene, weighs in on the topic:

As a recruiter and staffing consultant, I am tasked with finding the very best talent for my client – it’s what I get paid to do.  So, I meticulously go over resumes and question them about their background and quiz them on employment gaps and why they might have bounced around from job to job. 

I want to make sure that I find the best candidate for my client because lets face it, my reputation is on the line with each submittal.  But what about those candidates that just need a chance?

 We all know who these people are.  We see them at networking meetings or career counseling groups.  Some of them might not be the best communicators or dress professionally.  They have their resume posted on every database you can find with the word “Desperate” in the title.  They look to us for help in soliciting their resume to our clients but nobody is willing to use their good name to submit this individual as an option. 

The competition for talent is challenging enough, now I need to help this poor soul? 

I have always been a believer in “paying it forward”, but I’ve never been the best in my follow through.  When I first got into recruiting right out of college, it was for the opportunity to make good money.  Several years later, the money is good, but the feeling of doing good work, is just as rewarding.  

Over the years, several of these types of candidates have passed across my desk, each with their own set of problems.  Unfortunately, there is not a magic eight ball for us to shake to give the answers, but we do have a responsibility to help. 

The question still remains; how do we help the seemingly helpless.  For some it could be a person to listen to them, or give guidance and encouragement.  Some might need the dreaded suggestion of changing professions.  Even a simple resume critique or constructive criticism regarding their conversation habits might be all they need. 

It’s not always easy and there will most likely be those that either don’t want our help or take suggestions well.  A professor I had in college used to say to us regarding our daily work, “do well, and do good”.  It’s easy for us to only focus on the doing well part, we get paid for that, but let’s not forget to do good.  

What are your thoughts? Agree, disagree, indifferent? How do you try to help those that are unplaceable in your specific practice?

To connect with Carter check out him out on LinkedIn(www.linkedin.com/in/cartertoungette).

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!

The Seven Be’s Of Social Media Success (Because Six Isn’t Enough and Eight Is Too Many)

There are as many experts on social media as there are people who participate and each is more than willing than the last to share their ‘expert, professional’ opinion if asked.

As a recruiting professional many of the outside world’s best practices apply but all it takes to be successful are seven key be’s.

Be involved. Get yourself on the big three at least (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) and a few that are niche for your area (IT, accounting, sales, etc).

Be smart. If your granny would be embarrassed by it stay away. If your granny has no shame then go with your most conservative great aunt.

Be engaging. If you are boring in real life will yourself to be interesting at least once or twice a week in 140 characters or less. Give people something to talk about in a good way.

Be consistent. In social media showing up on a regular basis is a huge factor in being successful. If you plan on showing up once a month and crashing the party you might as well forget about it.

Be well networked online. Build a big, strong network. It takes work – they are not going to come just because you built it ala Field of Dreams.

Be proactive. Connect to people and start building credibility / a relationship before you need them to be in a part of network.

Be like Mr. Rogers. Work hard to make your online (and offline)neighborhood a better place.

I hope you are ready to go out and rule the (social media) world! Are there any other ‘be’s’ that we should have included / left off of our list? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!