Opening Day: A New Season for Recruiting Teams

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My brother Steve and I – 10 years ago. A couple of die hard baseball fans playing with major league players in Florida.

THE PINSTRIPES ARE BACK

A sign of summer – baseball is here. My favorite 6 months of the year. Another season, and I reflect on how things in the recruiting world are now since last April, and the April before.

As in baseball, the leadership and management is NOT solely responsible for the day to day experiences and results when recruiting talent. The responsibility is shared with the ones in the field, and the ones who play every day. The manager is not a catcher, pitcher, infielder, or an outfielder. The manager is not pitching the ball, or throwing to first. Now conversely, it is the manager that calls for certain pitches. Its the manager that creates the batting order and who plays each day. The manager is the one calling for certain plays. There is a back and forth on responsibility for sure.

Change CAN come overnight – but sustainable change takes more work, planning and adoption. Those improvements come with consistent effort and concentration. So I have prepared some ways to improve – all season long.

IMPROVE ALL SEASON LONG

The baseball season kicks off today. Its a long season, ripe with opportunity for players and managers to get better through that season. As such, I have written a post, like above, for each series that the major league baseball team Philadelphia Phillies play. Yes – I am a Phillies fan – a die hard Phillies fan.

Posts like this are set to release on the opening pitch of each series, the 2 to 4 games that the teams oppose each other over a 2 to 4 day period. Each post has content designed to enable recruiting efficiency. The posts will showcase which competencies one could improve as a recruiter or sourcer, will have methods on executing analytics, and data proven techniques to improve the recruiting experience for candidates and hiring managers. Everything is data driven or based on evidence from Pando, not just random set of editorials. Like baseball, we run things at Aspen by the numbers, so I did the same with the posts.

THE BEST PLAYERS and TEAMS

In addition, I will be traveling the country again through April to October. Some of these posts may coordinate with the many conferences associated with recruiting and HR. I will attend some baseball games with some great leaders in recruiting, so watch for those pics online. We will also be engaging with the TRU conference series (via Bill Boorman) and Future of Talent Institute (via Kevin Wheeler) to keep the work progressive and global. I will drop in some items from these conferences, viewpoints from all kinds of players, and those who judge the game (but don’t necessarily play).

I’m excited to share and participate in this “season of improvement” for recruiting. I am not convinced that my Philadelphia Phillies will make the playoffs (the odds are really against them) – but I am convinced that any recruiter or leader who wants to improve can when given the right tools and allowed the ability to give their best efforts. 

SERIES 1: Boston Red Sox vs. Philadelphia Phillies @ Citizens Bank Park / April 6, 8, 9

IMPROVING EXPERIENCE

Did you know that increasing the amount of hiring manager interaction with a candidate directly has been proven to increase ratings? I bet you didn’t 🙂 We have all kinds of data like that in Pando.

The key communication points, such as interview scheduling, offer letters, thank you notes and so on have been a trait that companies with a higher rating of have in common. That does not mean that recruiters should stop or are bad at those things – it just means the candidate likes interacting with the hiring manager too. In fact, hiring managers at companies with highly rated are much more likely to execute such activities. So take a look at the process you do, and the one the hiring manager does, and move one or two of your interactions over to the hiring manager (this assumes that you don’t do a bunch of this already). Here are some suggestions – have the hiring manager leave a message or personal email about scheduling an interview; have a thank you come from the manager; have the manager follow up prior to an interview saying “please prepare a few questions”; have the manager extend the offer – even if that means all questions still go to recruiting for negotiation. Those are just a few, but candidates clearly state that those experiences occurred in companies they rated highly.

IMPROVING ANALYTICS

Track metrics in multiple time frequencies. Metrics are always required – but what is a “Metric” – and what is its “frequency”? A metric is a trend line – plain and simple. Its a measurement over time. You can use a bar chart or a line chart, or other visuals, but if the X axis is time…its a metric. Measuring over time and showing a visual of those results is one of the easiest ways to show how improvements are occurring. However, that X axis needs to be looked at several different ways. In Pando, we tracking metrics daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually and year to date. THAT IS MORE THAN MOST and because we can easily – so don’t get nuts. Most organizations have trouble tracking daily – so they don’t see how work is executed day to day or on the weekends. However, its likely you are tracking things monthly. So start tracking one frequency sooner and later – weekly and quarterly, so you can see consistency in how your team executes in these other intervals. Start with simply hires, then interviews. Then do time to fill. Then start segmenting by team, recruiter, division and so on…you will start to see differences you never saw before – and opportunities for improvement.

IMPROVING COMPETENCY

Planning and Organizing is a key dimension for any recruiter or sourcer. Honing those skills means better understanding the competencies of that dimension, as listed below. There are probably one or more you can work on, but also one or more you are an expert in. Pick the ones you will develop, and pick at least one you can mentor somebody else on.

multitasks appropriately; integrates with management effectively; improves manager efficiency; handles incompletion of tasks well; performs against intended plans well; uses good planning technique; handles missed deadlines well; use of procedures as intended; keeps track of activities and records; creates client schedules appropriately; arranges schedules regardless of difficulty; performs weekly planning effectively

IMPROVING STANDARDS

Time to Fill. We have seen several variants of “time to fill” because companies start measuring from approval, or posting, or first applicant and then stop at offer, hire, start date, blah blah blah…UGH. What a benchmarking mess.

We can only measure what is in the data. For Pando, “Time to Fill” is actually Time to Offer Accept (TTOA). It is the designated start date for active recruiting until the candidate has accepted the offer in the system. Your company can designate its own recruiting start date – when the recruiter was assigned, when the req was posted, when it was approved – whatever. That is NOT a standard company to company – but the concept of GO is. The reason we use offer accept is because its candidate driven. They are the ones who determine the date – not you. So you determine GO, they determine STOP. Its the cleanest, easiest to track, works globally, works across functions, and is specific to any business.

“But it should be when the requistion closes or is marked as filled”. WRONG 🙂 In some organizations, they have multiple positions on a requisition. So you have to track by when the position was available, and when it was filled, not the requisition. In Pando for these organizations we have to track both, and that can be an interesting variance in itself. Tracking TTOA is a sure fire way to have comparisons across industries, regions, recruiters, and so on.

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