Is the answer to an increase in staffing needs always to add more recruiters, or sourcers? Do we really think the answer is always to add more. Is more really better? The answer is not always more but perhaps better, or perhaps educating what you have, or even breaking apart the Staffing Lifcycle (SLC) into parts and assigning different parts to different people, ie sourcing, calling, etc.
What if you have a team of 4, 2 account management recruiters (AMR) and 2 sourcers. If you are having problems filling your openings perhaps the answer is who is doing what. Perhaps one of the AMR’s would make a better sourcers and vice versa. I was speaking to a friend of mine who manages a staffing team of 6. He was talking to me about the fact they are not filling enough positions fast enough. I asked him what he thought the problem was? He said he was not sure, but the management wanted to add more recruiters. I said okay that is one way to go, but perhaps before you do you should do an analysis, find out were in the SLC the issue is. He agreed and we talked about how he should do it. Long story short after doing it, he discovered the issue was 2 fold. One a lack of training, and 2 not taking advantage of what he had. What he had was 3 strong AMR’s and 3 strong sourcers. However since all were full-cycle, he was not talking advantage of their strengths. So a simple switch to a AMR and sourcer model, and 3 months
later all was good.
The point is before you go adding people look at what you have, look at their skills maybe the answer to your problem is not adding more, but utilizing the skills of what you have.
Believe it or not there are hiring managers (HM), and staffing professional who will ignore and not even really read the resume of a candidate if they have had too many jobs in a given span, were some place to long, or someplace not long enough. Enough is enough, can we stop coming up with excuses to not do our jobs, or allow the HM to not do theirs.
While I can agree there are some cases where there is a legitimate reason to not consider a candidate who has had too many jobs in a given span, or been at a particular company for too long, or not long enough. However for the most part you cannot tell that from a resume. You need to contact the candidate and find out the, who, what, when, where, why and how, of the situation. Perhaps they have had 3 jobs in 3 years, so you are concerned about stability, if they will stay with your company for any length of time. The problem is until you ask the reasoning for their moving you really do not know. What if the companies were all startups that went under? In that case the assumptions you may have made would be wrong. Now I understand in a lot of the cases the assumptions will be right, but in some they will be wrong, there will be legitimate reasons for the issues.
The point is, despite the unemployment rate, we are in a crunch for technology talent, and we are going to have to start changing our ways of thinking, and excuses we use to ignore possible candidates and start investing the time to find out the who, what, when, where, why and how of the situation.
Making it easy to apply!!
Over the last few weeks, I have gone out to many company sites and check out the style, process, and length of time to apply to an open position. I was amazed at some of the things I saw. About 50% of the companies had easy, quick ways to apply, took less than 5 minutes. Another 20-30% took 10 minutes or less. However up to 30 % took over 10 minutes with some as much as 25 minutes.
What started me down this was when a recruiter friend of mine had told me how he does not get many applies when he posts his positions on the company site. I knew from experience he wrote great job descriptions so I knew it was not that. So the question was what was it. So I went on the site and started the applies process, 20 minutes later I was done and for me it became obvious.
I then decided to do a little survey, I spoke to about 40 people who were currently looking for work. I asked if they would take the time to apply to a job if it took 15+ minutes. 98% said no. that was huge. I asked why and it was obvious, it took too long, made them wonder if it took this long to simply apply, how long would it take to hear anything if at all, how long would the process be, and if to apply was so long, so cumbersome, what was it like to work there, how serious about finding people are they.
Well there you have it, for those companies who have never bothered to check how long the apply process is, you may be losing some great candidates and not even know it. You may be getting a bad rap, all because you applies process is way too long, As I have said many times, simple is best. Make it simple, allow them to upload a resume, and have the system take the info from the resume, and fill out any forms needed. Then all the candidate needs to do is verify the info, and apply. Simple, quick, and it works.
Staffing or specifically sourcing is like hitting in baseball. To quote the character ‘Jack Elliot” from the movie “Mr. Baseball”, “Hitting is like the tide, there is high tide and there is low tide and then there is high tide again”. This analogy works well for staffing. Think about it. One minute you are finding anything and everyone you want, next you are struggling, then eventually you are back to finding anyone.
This high tide/low tide phenomenon has more to deal with our own brains then an actual event. Basically after a while of looking for the same thing our brains kind of run out, or have a low tide, of ideas of different places and ways to find what we are looking for. Like with a hitter who is struggling sometimes we need a break, a change of pace, a day off, a soft reboot, and all of a sudden we are brimming with ideas and its high tide again.
The idea here being when you run out of ideas, when it is low tide, just take some time, take a break, do something else for a little while, reboot your brain and high tide will be back again.
I know Hiring Managers (HM) have certain predisposition about certain type of candidates, In this case I am talking about people who worked at the company before and their performance was not great. As a result, if they are being looked at back at their old company, they are immediately turned down, no questions asked. The problem is there should be questions asked. Questions like: how long ago was it, what exactly was the reason for their performance, where have they been since, and more.
An example if you are looking at the resume of a former employee who worked at your company say 3+ years ago and let’s say their last review was not great. Does this mean they should not be looked at to come back? The answer is no, you find out what was behind the review. You look at other reviews. If for example the candidate had several great reviews prior to that last one that was not so good, there could be reasons that have understandable, like a job mismatch, constantly changing managers, etc. What if you look into it and it was determined they just did not have a strong enough skill set. Well okay, but that was 3+ years ago, maybe now they do.
The point is do not assume anything, do not dismiss someone without finding out the who, what, when, how and why of the bad review, or no hire or anything. Things are very rarely black and white, and as the market gets tighter for great people we cannot afford to simply over look people for reasons that are 3+ years old.
I know them, well do you really??
One of the things I see, and hear about all the time is how someone knows someone, who knows someone and how it either helps them get a job or stops them from getting a job. The interesting part is when the people who know people, knew them 1+ years ago, and yet still feel that what they know actually is still correct.
According to a study by Dr. Phillippa Lally of the University College of London, people have changes to the way the think, act, react, and process things at least every 4-6 months. That means if you knew someone say 1.5 years ago and back then they did not listen well, it is likely they listen very well now. Or If you knew someone 3+ years ago and back then they were a little hard to work with, it is very possible that they are now easy to work with.
In other words even though you may have worked with someone, or worked around someone, or even socialized with someone, if it has been more than 4-6 months you really cannot say you know them at all. The same would hold true if you are asking a third person about someone. If that person has not been around the person you are questioning about in the last 4-6 months they really cannot say they know. In fact if the person you are asking is someone you have not been around in the last 4-6 months you cannot say you know them well enough to have complete 100% trust in what they say.
In this age of social media were you can always find someone you can contact to ask about a perspective candidate, the reality is those opinions you get if are based on information 4-6 months or older are not 100% reliable, and in fact could be totally unreliable, and yet candidates are hired or not hire based on them.
Now I am not saying totally ignore them, what I am saying is use them like a piece to a puzzle, but talk to the candidate and address those issues and see if they are real, and are current. This way you are not giving up on what could be a great hire because of information that could be wrong.
All you hear when you talk to companies is fit, the right fit, fits in with the team, etc. The problem is fit, can and usually does mean ensuring that the people you bring in, are of similar type, thoughts, skills, demeanor, and attitude. The problem with that is it goes totally against what it takes for innovation to happen. Innovation is what happens when people with different backgrounds, views, demeanor, skills, and attitudes come together to solve a problem or improve on something. So you can see how these 2 concepts can go against each other and in fact how it makes “Fit” a deterrent to innovation. Of course that said let me qualify what I mean here, I mean when the term or idea of “Fit” is taken to extreme, when we do not leave open any room for differences to be a good thing. While this may be not happen a lot it does happen sometimes. Sometimes people just get so caught up in the “Fit”, they forget differences can be a good thing too.
Great Sourcers do not need industry experience!
Over the last few weeks I have noticed an increase in the number of companies looking for sorucers. However they are not just looking for sourcers but sourcers who have industry experience with in their respective industries. They even go so far as to make industry experience a “have to have” in the job description. This got me thinking that while I agree industry experience is a good thing, but it is no were near as important as great sourcing and research skills. I myself have sourced within numerous industries without having prior experience and have never had a big problem learning what I needed to know, and with the advent of social media connecting to people within that industry and finding candidates. I have also been able to help numerous fellow sourcers with regards to their sourcing needs within industries I have had little no know experience with. So the point is while I can understand the desire for industry experience, let’s not forget a good Sr. Sourcer will have skills and knowledge that more than make up for a lack of industry experience. So for me industry experience is a “nice to have” and top notch sourcing skills is the “have to have” for a sourcer.
Not looking at Previously Interviewed!!
I know Hiring Managers (HM) have certain predisposition about certain type of candidates, In this case I am talking about people who were previously interviewed. In some cases these stances are so intense that if they or someone else in the company interviewed someone and said no for any reason, they will not interview them again even if 10+ years have gone by.
However this practice is not correct. A blanket stance of no to previously interviewed candidates is only hurting the company.
The reality is if a candidate was interviewed say 2+ years ago and was not hired due to lack of experience it is highly probable that 2+ years later they might have the needed experience, or a candidate who 2+ years ago was not hired due to cultural fit, may now 2+ years later be a fit. In other words find out the who, what, when, how and why of the reason for not hiring and then see if those reasons are still valid. In a lot of cases you will find they are not. Add to that, the fact that sometimes people say no to hiring someone for reason that are personnel, or even to protect their own jobs. It is ugly but it happens, a lot more than you would think. So just because someone was interviewed and not hired does not mean you should never look at them again. It just means you need to find out the reasoning and then take the 5-30 minutes on the phone to see if those reason still exist, and find out for yourself, not just take what the notes form 2+ years ago say. The same can be said of previous employees as well, find out for yourself. Sometimes it can lead to a great hire.
The Tiger Team!!!
Within every company you have groups that are hard to source for, or groups were the demand is higher than the staffing team that is assigned is capable of handling or groups were the demand just jumps. In addition every company has those constant need profiles. These are profiles of candidates you almost always are looking for. The question is how do we deal with these difficult groups or positions. How do we deal with these quick ramps and how do we deal with these constant need positions. Some companies use contractors, the only problem is contractors come and go and with them goes the knowledge they have learned, and also comes the difficulty of finding similar or better talent to replace them when you need them again. Some do nothing and just try to gut it out, and some use agencies. All of these choices cost you, in time, money, resources, and morale.
The answer is the “Tiger Team”. An elite group of sourcers who can quickly move from group to group, position to position and quickly fill a pipe with potential resumes and profiles. When not doing this they are filling the pipe of the constant need profiles that every company has.
Think of them as a quick strike, problem solving group that fill the pipe with potential resumes and profiles and move on. When there is no need for this quick strike ability they are filling the pipe with candidates for your constant need profiles. They can even be providing training, process improvement and staffing PM abilities.
The “Tiger Team” every company needs one!
Helping people connect with their Destiny”