Total Staffing Optimization (TSO), is the optimization of job description, resume(were appropriate), website, and staff, so that they are easily found when doing internet searches. Basically it is Search Engine Optimization(SEO) for Staffing.
SEO - Short for search engine optimization, the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a Web site by ranking high in the search results of a search engine.
TSO - Short for Total Staffing Optimization, the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a staffing or company jobs page. Also a process by which we increase the likely hood of a job description or resume will be pulled in a typical internet, HRIS or ATS search.
Company Job Site: Obviously since a company's job site is very important to staffing it would need to be optimized. For this you can utilize standard SEO methodology. To do this many factors come into account(this is not all inclusive):
1. Key/Buzz words
3. Tags, Metatags
4. URLs, Domains, Misc
To help you with this I am providing some links to tools I find very helpful. Some of them can help you with the other parts of TSO below.
Now some of the things they talk about are advance. However if you focus on; Keywords, and tags you will accomplish allot.
Resume Optimization- The idea being to ensure your resume or the resume of the candidate, whether on the web, in an ATS/HRIS system or where ever, has the greatest chance of being pulled by a recruiter or company or the hiring manager. You do this by ensuring you have all the correct key words or as they are called "Buzz Words". There are several methods to make this happen:
1. Job Descriptions(JD)- look at the JD of the positions you are submitting for, make note of the key, job related words used. Make note of the words that are used allot. Look at other JDs of similar positions and do the same. Soon you will have a list of "Key or Buzz Words". Also ensure you pay attention to titles, as each company may call a particular job by a different title. I know a company that calls its PMs, Account Managers. You need to ensure the resume has as many of the relevant words and titles as you can to ensure you have the highest chance of being found.
2. Thesaurus- Yes that is right a thesaurus. Because so many companies use so many different words in describing a job or position you must be prepared for them all. A simple check in a thesaurus, can help you see if you missed anything. If you are a PM look it up in a thesaurus see what other words also mean PM, I can guarantee you some company or recruiter will use it.
3. Dictionaries- Technical and non technical. These come in handy, in that acronyms, and names of things change, get added to constantly. Be sure to use an online one, since they will be kept up to date the most and be cheaper.
4. Do research on the company, you find what is their culture and way of doing things and that will tell you the kinds of words and phrases they will look for
The key with a resume and the biggest tool, is the JD, this is the key as it says what that company wants. You may in fact have to perform this process multiple times for different jobs and JDs.
Job Description (JD)- This is where the rubber hits the pavement for staffing. A good JD means everything. ensure you JD takes into account all the varying words and phrases that might be being used by candidates who would be a fit. For example do not write and post a JD for a recruiter and not have the words staffing, sourcing, recruiting, etc.. in it. When candidates search they might miss your JD because they searched under staffing and your JD did not have it. If need be have at the bottom a tag area were you put such tags in. As I said in my blog posting " How to write a great job description", Buzz Words are key to a great JD.
Social Media- Now a day's everyone has a blog, or tweets, or whatever. when doing so and doing it in a staffing(work) capacity ensure your posts have the needed tags to get maximum visibility. It does you no good to post if no one can find your posts. If you have a professional social media persona, were you talk about your company, yourself as a staffing professional also ensure you use the right tags and buzz words. Make sure you are professional. Google yourself see what come up, ensure you add yourself to places like; wefollow, zoominfo etc.
Company News Propagating(CNP)- Big phrase. Basically it means setting up news feeds(RSS- Really Simple Syndication) from Google or other sources, that come to you in your inbox. Taking the ones that help you and your company and sending them and the link out via social media, utilizing the correct tags. I have set up numerous feeds, that come to me via email, coming form google and other such sites, about different companies I have worked for. I read the emails and send out, the good ones, via, twitter, LinkedIn, facebook, and other Social media, I use the right tags and buzzwords. This helps to bring your company and yourself into the forefront of people minds and this can lead to connections, and candidates, but most of all great PR for you and your company.
Staffing News Propagating(SNP)- Like CNP(but not company orientated) the idea is to get you as a staffing professional out there and known. This will lead to people following you and as a result lead to connections and candidates. You can set up feeds to you of staffing related events, news, tools, etc.. and then propagate them out. Ensure you are using the right tags, buzz/key words etc..This will help people see you, and by proxy your company, as in the know about things and worth keeping track of.
The key to remember is all these tricks, and tools work professionally and personally. Also remember while this sounds like allot of work to set up and maintain, there are tools out there that can make it automatic requiring little work or upkeep. Tools such as; Ping.fm, hootsuite, tweetdeck, yoono, twitterfeed etc..
Well there you have it. TSO, in all its glory. However if you re read it all you will notice the heart and soul of TSO or any internet or database optimization is; Key Words, tags, and Buzz Words. If you ensure you have enough of them and they are appropriate then you will be found.
So I previously did a 4 part posting on Metrics. Here I wanted to explain what I call the “Staffing Metric System”. This is nothing really all that new, but instead a new way of thinking about metrics. Please remember to go back and reread the original 4 part series for some added context into some of the things I say here.
Metrics can be divided into 3 categories;
Primary – metrics that are the primary things you will measure performance and success on. These will usually be the primary goals for a staffing professional (SP). Example would be hires, client and candidate sat.
Supporting – metrics that help give further detail on the how’s and whys of the primary metrics, and will sometimes be used for goals of staffing professional but usually to a lesser degree. Examples are time to fill, offer except, and quality of hire.
Learning/Informative – metrics that provide areas were we may need to gather more info, areas where there is opportunities to learn from. Examples are hire source, offer declines, competitive intelligence, and screen to interview.
The key here to remember is allot of these metrics, can fit into many categories. You could put time to fill in the primary field.
Also remember that allot of these metrics are connected. Client Sat will be impacted by quality of hire.
In addition remember that these metrics and the numbers they generate are only a piece of the puzzle, you need to find out why things and numbers are what they are.
Think of the metrics as a puzzle that creates a bridge from the SP(s) to an action. It can go from the SP(s) to an action to train the SP(s), to an action to fire the SP(s), to an action to promote and reward the SP(s), and to anyone of a number of other actions.
So there it is the “Staffing Metric System”
We all know there is a requirement for a certain amount of administrivia as a staffing professional. Whether it is; writing to contact a candidate, writing a job description, or writing up your interview notes, there will always be some administrivia.
However there comes a point when administrivia becomes counterproductive and even hurts morale. Usually this comes in the form of reports. For some reason we in the staffing world, get inundated with reports. Now some reports make sense; hire reports, total number reports, etc.. Some make no sense, and end up eating up more work time then they are worth.
We have all seen these types of reports, they provide information, that is irrelevant and or are usually a line item report, that requires way to much info, and time. These types of reports are a type of micro managing. An example is a line item screen report. This is a report that shows how many candidates a recruiter spoke to in a given week. Usually there is some matrix attached to it, saying you must talk to X number each week, of course this matrix is in addition to the X number of hires a month. Usually the report requires you to not just provide a number, but the names, the position you spoke to them about, the outcome, etc.. The reason for this is, there is a belief that the number of screens done, correlates to submittals, which correlates to hire. To a point this is correct, to a point. But let's remember, without sourced candidates there is no screenings being done, and therefore no submittals, and no hires.. If recruiters are spending upwards of 40%(see below) of their time filling out line item reports, guess what suffers first? You got it sourcing. Now if this can be done automatically through an ATS or HRIS system great, but all too often it cannot and the recruiter pays for it.
First, the idea that you have to keep track of this information, in a line item type of report, is ridiculous, in that filling out the report takes up way too much time. Now I am not saying that knowing this information is not a good thing, although I would be more interested in sourced and submitted candidate numbers, than screened candidates. What I am saying is if you want this information make it simpler. Why not just a total number of screened candidates, total number sourced, total submitted, total interviewed, and total hired. This would take less than 10 minutes to provide, it is a simple email, and appointment count. Rather than the several hours a line item report would take. Of course remember this is only one example of counterproductive administrivia, I am sure there are plenty of other examples that might even be worse.
I remember in one of my positions there was a group that had to supply line item reports on screens, and they had to have X screens a week, and X hires a month. Those recruiters had to work twice as hard and barely made their number each week and month. A large part of that was because 40% of their time was spent doing administrivia related to these reports. Another group during that same time only had to report on the total number of sourced resumes, number of screens, number of interviews , number of hires. So they had to supply more numbers, but because the information was totals, not line items, it took less than 10% of their time. Because of this they not only made their goals, but exceeded them by an average of 50%.
In one of my next blog posting I will talk about matrixes and the different ways we goal recruiters. But for now the point of this is to be careful that you do not tie your recruiters up with counterproductive or useless administrivia so much so, that they cannot do their jobs.
elieve it or not there are hiring managers(HM) who want to be able to make a hire decision from a resume. They may not admit it, but deep down, that is what they want. Mainly it is because they do not want to commit the needed time to do it right. As a result allot of great candidates get passed by, and jobs that should be filled relatively quickly take forever.
How do we stop this, is the more interesting issue. Sometimes the only way to stop it is to explain to them what the resume is really for. As most of us know a resume is not designed to say "hire me". It is designed to say "talk to me". Sometimes a HM needs that explained to them. Sometimes he even needs it proved to them. The best way to do this is to get resumes of really good people currently on the team and show the resumes to the HM so they sees what you mean. You can even take the names off to further prove the point. You would be surprised how well this can work.
In the end it is all about educating your HM about staffing and how it really works as opposed to how they want it to work.
Some time ago, about a month, I put on my blog a post about "The Candidate Experience". The gist of it was that for varying reason allot of companies and people have forgotten about it. For varying reasons, they have been treating candidates poorly. It starts with just being rude on the phone, to not following up or communicating with the candidate. I myself have been a victim of this and other poor treatment at the hands of companies, recruiters, and hiring authorities who seem to feel that they can do whatever they want. I am telling them here and now that it will come back to haunt them, whether it is simply a posting on "Glassdoor"(a site where you can post your feelings and insights on companies and their interviewing) or just a totally disregard for your openings. Word will get around, and you will have what I call the "The Employer of Dischoice" syndrome. Basically it is the opposite of being an "Employer of Choice", that everyone wants to work for. Instead you will be the employer none wants to work for. This is not a good place to be.
So once again below is my feelings on how to treat a candidate and ensure that, even if you do not hire them, they will still view you as an "Employer of Choice".
The candidates experience is one of the most important parts of recruiting and staffing. You must remember the experience a candidate has interviewing(this includes phone interviews) will go a long way in determining whether the candidate would accept an offer. The key is to remember as much as we are interviewing the candidate, the candidate is also interviewing us. Of course we must also remember that the candidate will tell others of their experience, and those others will tell still others and so on. A bad candidate experience can go a long way to defining what the reputation a company will have with regards to recruiting and such.
It all starts with the first call or email. You need to be sure you are polite, professional and positive, or as I call it the 3 P's of first contact. Be sure to not read from a script, ensure you make the candidate feel you are thrilled to talk with them, genuine and excited about your company. Make sure you find a connection with the candidate, this will help you gain their trust and make asking questions so much easier.
The next step in the candidates experience is either next interviews or having to tell them no:
If you have to tell a candidate no, be sure to try and do it over the phone not in email. Try to not do it on a Friday or a day before a holiday. Wait till the following work day. Trust me telling a candidate no, will bring them down, the last thing you want to do is ruin their weekend or holiday. Believe me they will appreciate it. Make sure when you tell them no, you give them as much info as you can. Of course some things you cannot and should not say, but you can let them down gently. Of course here is where you can really score some major positive candidate experience points. Besides just telling then no, and telling them as much as you can. Go a step further. Answer any questions as best you can, even go so far as to help them with career advice, resume writing, interviewing techniques. In other words put on your career counseling hat. It may sound like a huge investment in a candidate you turned down, but trust me "what goes around, come around". I have done this allot and have been rewarded in allot of ways for it. anything from, just knowing you helped someone, to a nice thank you email or card, to being recommended to other candidates, and more. Remember treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. Above all make sure you get back with the candidate. Do not just let them hang, thinking they will figure it out. Even in this economy with so many candidates you want to let everyone you interview know their status. If not it will come back to bite you. The economy and candidate pool , are like the tide, there is high tide (lots of candidates), and there are low tides ( few candidates). Trust me candidates will remember and will talk. So when low tide comes, if you treated them bad, you will struggle to get them willing to interview.
Now on to the next step candidates. The candidates that come in for face to face interviews require the most amount of attention. Prior to actually coming in you should , provide them some interview coaching, as much info on the job, team, interviewers as you can. In other words set them up for success as much as you can. Make sure if they are from out of town, their transportation, rooms, etc.. are all taken care of. Whether local or out of town ensure they have their schedule in advance. Try to be the first person on the interview schedule. Be sure to try to relax them as you interview them. remind them to turn cell phones off, see if they need a drink or anything. As I said earlier treat them the way you would want to be treated. Tell them what to expect from their experience. Make sure when it is time you walk them to the first interview and introduce them. Ensure that each interviewer will do the same for the following interview and that at the end they are brought back to you. When they are brought to you at the end of the interviews, ask them how it was? Alleviate any fears or concerns they might have. Make sure you let them know what comes next and when they might hear from you.
So you have a decision. If it is a no, follow the same guidelines as what you did for a no after a phone screen. If it is yes. Then you need to make the offer and again, just treat the candidate the way you would want to be treated.
Now every company should have an on-boarding process(see blog on subject). A recruiters involvement varies, but remember at a minimum you should check in with your new hire with in the first 90 days.
Follow these guidelines and you can count on your candidate having a great experience. Remember the key with the candidate experience is to "treat each candidate the way you would want to be treated", do that and you will be golden.
What is the primary job of a leader in the staffing and HR world? The primary job of a leader is to: give their direct reports, everything they need to succeed. This includes; equipment, time, supplies, nurturing them, helping them learn and grow, and teaching their reports how to be successful now and in the next level up and more. The idea here is simple, if the directs are successful, the leader is also. If you take care of them, they will want to reciprocate. In addition to all of this a leader must set the example with regards to conduct, honesty, integrity, and hard work. They old saying, "if you lead they will follow", is correct as long as you, as a leader have earned their respect and trust and to do so you must set the example. In other words you must not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. So if you want to be a good leader, take care of your people, and they will take care of you.
Little words that can change the way we communicate!!!
There have been numerous books written on the subject of communication. One of the best is "Conscious Business" by Fred Kofman. I am reading this book now, but have read numerous others on the subject. The one thing that sticks in my mind has been how the littlest words, can have the biggest impact on communication.
We as human beings like to use the words, they, he she, it, that, those, etc.. All of these words are used in explaining why something that went wrong, failed, or did not happen was not our faults. Why it was something or someone else's fault. These words are depowering words. However we as humans do not like having culpability when things go wrong. We prefer being able to put the blame else were rather than deal with our failures. It is human nature.
The reality is we should be using words such as I, We, Me, Us, etc.. When explaining why things went wrong, or did not happen, or failed. These words are empowering words. The reality is in every scenario were things did not go right, there were things that we could have done, said, not done or not said that would have changed the outcome. In other words we have culpability in those failed events.
The sooner we realize this and adjust our behavior accordingly, especially with regards to communication, the sooner we can empower ourselves to become better.
Let's think about it for a second. Let's say you and a coworker are working on a project together. You meet to go over the project just before it is do. Let's say for the sake of the discussion, you coworker forgot 1 line of code, and because of this the code is not working and the project could fail. If you communicate with them using the "you" word, they will hear that as you blaming them, and pointing fingers. This will result in a bad work relationship, and the strong possibility the error will never get fixed, as it is very likely you will get into a quarrel about whose fault it is, as your coworker will defend themselves against what they perceive as an attack, were you are blaming them.
Now let's say you meet with your coworker, you realize there is a missing line of code, but you also realize that it is as much your fault as theirs( this will be true in 99.9% of the cases. Anytime there is a outcome in any event, everyone involved in the event, directly and indirectly will have culpability, good or bad). So you use the word "we", as in we have a problem, you maybe even use the word "I", as in I messed up and did not see this earlier. Now all of a sudden your coworker realizes, that you are taking responsibility for a mistake which may or may not be your fault. They are allot more open to finding a solution. In most cases they will also want to take responsibility for the mistake. In the end you will worry less about the who of the mistake, then just fixing it. I can also tell you your coworker will have a much higher opinion of you, and so will your other coworkers and your boss.
This skill, the ability to use words that show you understand how your actions, and inactions can have a negative impact on events, the ability to recognize them, and to verbally express this understanding, can be used in solving problems.
It is real simple, the disempowering words create an adversarial situation that solves nothing, while the empowering words create a team situation, that solves problems, creates better working relationships, and gets things done.
Background Checks do they really work???
Background Checks, are a must to me. They help you validate someone’s work history, education, and criminal record. Of course, you can also validate their credit score and more, but the work history, education, and criminal record are the biggies.
The key is to ensure you use a reputable service, and remember that no matter what the results is you need to use it as apiece to a puzzle not as a deciding factor.
Background checks can be wrong, they can say someone does not have a degree when they really do, or even that their work history does not check out. The key is to always allow the person you are doing the check on to answer any concerns. They may have all the proof you need to validate their work history or education.
As with recommendations and references, background checks should be used as a piece of the puzzle.
The Art of Resume Sourcing
I would like to focus on the art of searching for resumes on the Internet. Spending time sourcing for candidates on the Internet is just as important as posting a great job. Sourcing is probably more valuable than posting because it is proactive and gives the Recruiter control over who applies.
Sourcing is a skill that is not easy to master. Why? Because no search is usually ever the same. You could have several Recruiters search the same database yielding completely different results. Why? Because there is no set formula for successful sourcing. Understanding that no search is the same, I have listed a few tried and true sourcing tricks that will help you in your searching. I’m sure you may have a couple tricks of your own up your sleeve (and I would love to hear them) but here is a few that work well:
Helping people connect with their Destiny”