Posts Tagged ‘Recruiter’
Each year for the past nine years CareerXroads has conducted a survey about the sources of new hires. The most recent survey (full report available here) solicited source of hire stats for 43 large companies, who collectively filled 176,000 positions in 2009. While the sample size is small, and arguments can and have been made about the accuracy and applicability of the statistics, the survey results are nevertheless revealing, and have some important implications for how jobseekers invest their job hunt energy.
- Internal transfers and promotions were the source of 51% of all full-time hires in 2009. This is up by 19% from 2006.
- Why it matters: It is the perennial jobseeker debate: should I take a lower level or lower paid position, just to get back in the workforce, or should I wait for my dream job? Three years ago, it may have been good advice to hold out for your dream job because two thirds of positions were being filled externally. Today, it may not be such a good strategy. If you can get your foot in the door of a good company, you stand a better chance of being able to work up to your dream job.
- Referrals account for 26.7% of all external hires, and yield an average of one hire for every 15 received.
- Why it matters: You hear it all the time: if you want to land a new job you must network, network, network. This stat demonstrates why. More than a quarter of jobs are filled with somebody who leveraged their network of contacts to get a referral. Outside of internal transfers and promotions, referrals were the single largest source of new hires. BUT, and it’s a big one, nearly 75% of external hires were NOT referrals, which means that as a jobseeker you need to have a multi-pronged job search strategy.
- Job boards and corporate career sites accounted for 22.3% and 13.2% of new hires respectively, 35.5% in total.
- Why it matters: There is a lot of noise about job boards being dead. Don’t believe it. Don’t spend all day, every day, scanning job boards, but do make sure that you are checking in on a regular basis to see who is hiring. Use aggregator sites such as Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com to monitor multiple boards at once, and Linkup.com to monitor new postings on corporate boards.
- Third party recruiters accounted for 2.3% of all external hires in 2009, down from 5.2% in 2005.
- Anecdotal auxiliary stat on this: a typical recruiter will have some kind of contact with an average of 100 candidates a week, but will place a fraction of 1% of them.
- Why it matters: A lot of jobseekers have the misconception of the importance of recruiting firms in the grand scheme of job placements (a lot of recruiters do too). Candidates are often outraged about recruiters who focus exclusively on passive candidates, and begrudge the seeming injustice of it. But 97.7% of jobs aren’t filled through external recruiters. Those 2.3% of jobs that are tend to have very specific technical, sales or leadership pre-requisites that are hard to find, or have a mismatch between the location of the talent pool and the location of the job. Be findable by recruiters, but don’t invest a huge part of your job search energy on trying to break down the recruiter’s door. And don’t sweat it if the recruiters aren’t returning your calls.
- 2.3% of external new hires were people who walked in the door
- Why it matters: It’s a comparatively small number, but here’s the thing. Most jobseekers don’t do it. My guess is less than 20% do it. In fact, I’d be venture to say that less than 10% do it. This means that 23% of jobseekers who are so bold as to walk into a company and ask for the job actually end up landing a job. Polish up your cold-calling technique if you want to be one of them.
So jobseekers, now that you have some insights on sources of hire, how will you change your job hunt strategy?
If you follow David Graziano on twitter, read his articles, or listen to his contributions on call-in programs such as Recruiting Animal blog talk radio, you will already know that he is one of the good guys. With more than 28 years of experience as both a corporate and third-party recruiter, David has seen a lot of changes in the industry, and has watched recruiting firms come and go. Recognized as one of the 25 most influential recruiters on twitter, he is a vocal critic of a recruiting industry subculture that treat candidates as commodities. I had the opportunity to speak with David recently about his concerns.
How did you get started in recruiting, and are you any good at it?
I kind of came into recruiting through the backdoor. I am a master’s level clinical psychologist, and when I first relocated to St. Louis I saw an ad for a recruiter. I thought it might be a good interim job while I looked for a placement in my field, so I applied and got hired right away. It was a sweat shop. High volume, lots of pressure. The technology wasn’t there yet, but you could see the early warning signs that transactional recruiting was coming. But my background in counselling gave me a leg up over other recruiters in the firm, and I did what nobody had ever done in the history of the company: I made my first placement within five days of being hired. I had empathy, and I understood the importance of building trust. Instead of transactional recruiting I did relational recruiting. I did my best to be genuine when I talked to candidates and hiring managers, and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions. This made it easier for me to recognize candidates who were going to be a good fit for my client’s needs. Not just a good fit on paper, but a good fit for the long haul.
Later, I worked as a corporate contract recruiter, and the recruiting center relied on ATS technology. The firm’s average time to fill a job was 75 days, but their goal was to reduce it to 65 days. I did 10 days better than that. My time to fill was 55 days, and I did it through relational recruiting. If somebody called me, I stopped to talk to them. Why? Because if a candidate is going to pick up the phone and call me, that speaks volumes about them. And in a 15 minute conversation, I can find out more about a person’s talents, knowledge, goals, and motivators than an ATS system could ever discover. Sure I leveraged the ATS, I made sure that the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed. But I took a transactional recruiting model and made it relational, and that was the key to my success.
What do you see going wrong with recruiting practices today?
I deplore the transactional nature of the recruiting business today. We are all technocrats, 1984 Orwell-style, and technology is vastly taking over relational recruiting. Recruiters and corporations are under the misconception that an application tracking system will take the place of engaging, communicating, connecting, and this behaviour is permeating the industry across third party, corporate and staff recruiting. It’s all “don’t call us, we’ll call you”, and candidates are being treated like a commodity.
There’s a huge push toward transactional recruiting, especially in this economy where there is such pressure to reduce hiring costs. Corporations at the senior level are thinking that their sophisticated applicant tracking system is reducing their cost per hire, but they are deluding themselves because they are measuring the wrong things. They aren’t considering the time to fill a position, the lost opportunity costs, the impact of a black-hole application process on their employer brand. They don’t understand the value of having a good recruiting process that is built on people, not just technology.
Is it fixable?
Frankly, I don’t know if the problem is fixable, but I think it can be influenced. People like Jerry Albright, who understand that picking up the phone is the primary way of making things happen, they are quietly following a relational model of recruiting. It’s not really revolutionary, good recruiters have known it for years. But there is more urgency now if the recruiting industry wants to survive. The recession has only made it worse. Recruiters aren’t recruiters anymore, they are resume sourcers, paper hangers.
There is a lot of buzz about social media and recruiting through social media. As if social media is going to be the new recruiting panacea. Tools like twitter and Facebook are just another form of handshake. The value is still in relationship building, and this takes time. You won’t magically improve your cost of hiring by setting up a twitter account and blasting job ads. Companies like Sodexo know that. They are actively online, building candidate relationships. Most companies haven’t figured that out yet.
Corporations need to be taught how to use recruiters more effectively. We can save them money, we can improve the quality of hire, we can shorten the time to fill jobs, if we go beyond a transactional model. Perhaps I need to offer a series of seminars on how to work with recruiters. It isn’t all the fault of the corporations. Recruiters haven’t been all that transparent or forthcoming. Some recruiters are afraid of looking stupid, so they don’t ask questions. They are afraid of risking the client relationship, so they don’t push back when corporate processes aren’t working. It’s the emperor’s new clothes thing. So they end up with job descriptions that are poorly written, or jobs where there is a hidden agenda, and because recruiters aren’t taking the time to really talk with the hiring manager, they aren’t seeing the intangibles. They just get told “no, he’s not the right candidate” or “bring me somebody else”, but they aren’t finding out why.
If jobseekers want to fight back against a “candidate as commodity” talent acquisition culture, what do you suggest that they do?
If you get a call from a third-party recruiter, ask questions. Not just about the job, but about the recruiter himself. Or herself. Figure out if this is even a person you want to work with. Ask how long they’ve been in the business. What kind of success have they had? Who are some of their customers? What do they know about your current skill set – the marketplace you work in? As a candidate you have the right to ask this stuff, and if the recruiter resists telling you, they may not be somebody you want to work with. Also, pay attention to whether the recruiter understands the position being filled. With the tools available for a recruiter to get up to speed on different verticals, there is no excuse for them not to be able to have an intelligent conversation about your industry. But they should also be willing to acknowledge what they don’t know. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t be in this recruiting space, and you as a jobseeker shouldn’t work with them. Don’t forget, only 5% of jobs are filled through third-party recruiters. You have options.
I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for this, but my recommendation is that, for a lot of companies, jobseekers should by-pass the corporate recruiter altogether. If you see a job that interests you, find out who the hiring manager is, and connect with them. In my experience, most in-house recruiters don’t care about the candidate experience, and they add little value to the hiring process. These are the ones I hear from all the time saying “I’m too busy to speak to every candidate” or “I can’t possibly make all the follow-up calls”. Don’t believe it. Corporate recruiters who think like that just aren’t aggressive enough. There are exceptions, and Sodexo is a shining example, but unfortunately companies like that are rare.
Jobseekers should also learn how the hiring process works so that they can work it to their advantage. Understand the different players – the third-party recruiter, the corporate recruiter, the hiring manager, and who does what, when, and why. Understand the so-called rules, the small-p politics, so you can know which rules can be broken, which ones can be bent, and which ones they absolutely must comply with. It isn’t easy, I know. Jobseekers have to be much more savvy than they did in the past. But using tools like twitter and recruiting blogs can help, because recruiters and HR experts share information with each other that is valuable for jobseekers too.
Are there experts you would recommend that jobseekers follow?
There are some really good people, both corporate recruiters and third-party recruiters, whose voices are helping to bring integrity to recruiting and talent acquisition. Lots of them are on twitter, and jobseekers would do well to listen in on the conversation. My recommendations include:
- @Greg_Savage: Greg Savage, CEO of Aquent International
- @Deandacosta: Dean Da Costa, Senior Talent Sourcer/Recruiter with Microsoft
- @CincyRecruiter: Jennifer McClure, Founder of Unbridled Talent LLC
- @SodexoCareers: Kerry Noone, Head of Marketing & Employer Branding for Sodexo
- @sullivanmarkd: Mark Sullivan, Director of Recruiting for Time Warner Cable
- @BooleanBlackBlt: Glenn Cathay, Vice President of Recruiting at Kforce
- @Ray_anne: Rayanne Thorne, Marketing Director at Broadbean Technology
- @lruettimann aka @punkrockHR: Laurie Ruettimann, HR Blogger and co-founder of New Media Services LLC
- @ResearchGoddess: Amybeth Hale, Editor of ERE Media’s The Fordyce Letter & SourceCon -
- @AmitaiGivertz: Amitai Givertz, Principal at AMG Management Advisors and Program Leader at Brown Bag Recruiter
- @animal: twitter persona of Michael Kelemen, Canadian Headunter and host of the Recruiting Animal Show
- @BillBoorman: Bill Boorman, producer of The Recruiter Unconference events, with TRU Conferences in North America, Europe, and soon in Southeast Asia and Australia.
- I would also recommend Jerry Albright. He’s not on twitter any more, which is a shame because his voice is missed, but you can catch him as host of the Recruiting Animal aftershow.
Follow David Graziano through twitter @DavidGraziano
connect with him on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidgraziano
or follow his blog http://davidgrazianostaffing.blogspot.com/
The web is flooded with conflicting advice about how to write a resume: Gotta be one page. Gotta be two pages. More than two is okay. Keep it brief. Keep it detailed. Use keywords multiple times. Don’t repeat yourself. Get creative in formatting, so that you stand out. Don’t get creative in formatting, or it won’t work. And the list goes on.
The problem is this. There are two different kinds of “gatekeepers” who will read a resume and make a decision about the candidate’s suitability for the job. They each have very different information needs, and the each use very different reading styles. A resume that is designed for one kind of gatekeeper won’t necessarily work for the other.
Recruiters & Hiring Managers Have Attention Deficit Disorder
ADD: “Easily distracted, miss details, frequently switch from one activity to another, become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable, have difficulty processing information”
Recruiters and Hiring Managers often don’t have the time or inclination to read a resume in detail – at least on the first go round. Faced with a two inch pile of resumes, they need to be able to look at your document and tell within a few seconds whether you fit the bill. They may suffer from resume fatigue – after 30 or 40 resumes, all candidates start to look the same, and anything that creates visual distinction is a welcome relief. They don’t want to flip pages, and they don’t want to work too hard to understand what you are trying to say. When resume strategists advise using a one pager with short bullets, and a creative layout that can be easily scanned by the eye, this is the gatekeeper they have in mind.
Resume Screening Applications Have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
OCPD: “a preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, and schedules; very rigid and inflexible in their beliefs”
Resume extraction and screening software – the kind that gets used to pull resumes from job boards – is the opposite. These applications use fairly rigid algorithms to read your resume and decide whether or not you make the grade. Much like Search Engine tools, the more detail, the better. Miss a keyword, and you may get screened out. Try to get too fancy with your formatting, you may not get parsed properly. Try to use graphics, and you just create confusion. When resume strategists advise using keyword-rich content and standard resume layout, this is the gatekeeper they have in mind.
So What’s a Jobseeker To Do?
Tailor your resume to your job search strategy.
Most job seekers are already aware that “one size fits all” doesn’t work if you have multiple career objectives, and tailor different versions of their resume to different kinds of jobs. But they don’t always realize the importance of tailoring their resume to the job search tactic they intend to use.
The Cold Job Search, or “black hole” as it is aptly nick-named, involves applying for advertised job openings online, and posting your resume on job boards. The most likely gatekeeper is going to be some sort of Resume Screening Application, and your resume needs to be optimized to work with the software.
An optimized resume for a cold job search has keyword rich content about both your duties and your accomplishments, with “the balance of power” tilted toward accomplishments. You still need to be concise, no run on sentences, no long paragraphs, because eventually your resume is going to be read by a “live body”. There are occasions when three or more pages are okay, but as a general rule, stick to two pages.
There are many different kinds of Extraction & Screening software in use today. With older versions, you may be required to cut and paste from your original resume to fit pre-defined boxes. More up-to-date software will accept your MS Word or .pdf version, but can still be finicky about how you format, so stick with tried and true layouts.
The Warm Job Search, or “networking and relationship building”, involves developing and reaching out to warm contacts. You can be reasonably sure that you’re resume is going to be looked at by a live human being, and your goal is to get them to sit up and take notice. Anything that you can do to demonstrate that you value this person’s time will be welcome.
The ideal resume for a warm job search is a one pager with enough details to layout the facts and tweak the reader’s interest – this is no place for information overload. Select a half dozen of your top accomplishments to showcase who you are and what you have to offer.
You can get creative with formatting and layout on your “warm search” resume, but be aware, one person’s “wow, great resume, love the creativity” is another person’s “oh my gosh, what were you thinking”.
The response on your Warm Job Search is going to be one of three things:
- Sorry not interested. Okay, on to the next contact.
- Let’s meet or talk: Great, resume worked!
- Can you send me a copy of your detailed resume. Note, this is not a sign that your Warm Job Search resume didn’t work, it’s a sign that it did. You got somebody’s interest, now they want to know more.
The “Come Find Me” Job Search, or passive job search, involves establishing a strong web presence so recruiters and hiring managers will seek you out. The goal of the “Come Find Me” resume is to create a distinctive personal brand identity, elevate your name in search engines, and make the recruiter’s job of getting to know you as effortless as possible.
Whether you set up your own website or use online tools such as VisualCV, you have a great deal of latitude in terms of content and design. Using well thought out layout and menus, you can include much more detail than you could with a traditional resume.
Think about including links to articles and blogs. Provide video clips and PowerPoint presentations. Crosslink with your LinkedIn and ZoomInfo profile. Use Twitter to share insights and information, and establish your reputation as an expert who gets followed.
A word of caution about using Facebook for your “Come Find Me” resume. Once its published, Facebook owns the content. Forever. A resume you post today may still be accessible 5 years from now. Do you really want to give up that kind of long term control over your brand identity?
Be Smart About Your Job Search Strategy
Today’s job seekers are facing one of the most complex job markets in recent history, not just because of the huge competition for a limited number of openings, but because the very nature of what constitutes a smart job search has changed. Gone are the days when you sent out a thousand resumes and waited for the phone to ring (I have to wonder if there ever was a day when that strategy worked).
Savvy job seekers today know that they need to launch a multi-pronged attack if they want to edge out the competition. They use “cold”, “warm” and “come find me” tactics, and they keep multiple versions of their resume in their job search arsenal so that they can use the “weapon of choice” to land their next great job.
Meet Karen Siwak
An award-winning Certified Résumé Strategist, Karen has crafted top calibre career transition packages for thousands of clients. Her specialty is helping people identify and articulate their unique brands and value propositions, and she is passionate about empowering clients with the tools, strategies and confidence to take control of their career search. Read more...
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