These Aren’t The Recruiters You are Looking For…

The candidate’s recruiter…whoever that is 🙂 Titles can be dangerous. Just because your email signature or twitter bio says you are a recruiter, DOES NOT mean that you are the “recruiter” to your candidate. Conversely, if your business card says something other than recruiter, does not dismiss you from being placed right into the role of being one. 


Who is REALLY the “recruiter”?
Is it the corporate assigned recruiter for the function/region/business…or the employee that the candidate knows who asks him/her to apply?
Is it the sourcer that sent a templated spammy InMail and got a response?
Is it “Sally”, who that candidate has known a long time, and who sings the praises of that company on the train ride home.

Maybe “the recruiter” is simply a weird combination of Twitter, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, the corporate website,  and the hiring manager that had a great phone screen with the candidate. Maybe the “recruiter” is a head hunter who called that candidate and has placed them three times before…or maybe, its nobody, as the candidate recruited themselves right into applying.

Let’s admit the most obvious thing there is in recruiting – our standards are weak and virtually non-existent. There are no rules. We have laws and practices, but there are no standard rules. You can appreciate how ridiculous it would be that with no standard rules or practices how its MADNESS to assume that there is a standard perceptions of how the candidate views who is “their recruiter”. 

PAUSE….let that sink in. 

UGH. Now what?? How do you control the candidate experience now? You can’t even control who the candidate believes is the most pivotal role in the relationship.

Our natural biology is designed to protect ourselves and our offspring first, not the pack. Looking out for others that are not dear to us is not our natural state. Think about your day – did you say Thank You to the Starbucks barista today? Did you wish them a great day? Did you turn your phone off completely at the last dinner you had with a friend to give them full attention? Maybe you did…but maybe you didn’t. If you did – realize that those behaviors are learned. So let’s realize our human nature (and our flaws) and simply give people tools, reminders, and encouragement to slow down and be deliberate with others. 

With that, consider this – maybe the recruiter is not the pilot. Maybe they are simply the air traffic controller. The pilot certainly sounds sexier. They are in control of the plane, they wear cool jackets and sunglasses, they are recognizable, and in many cases respected. Meanwhile, the air traffic controller is hidden, placed in a tower, and works all hours. Their job is has NO actual role other than to drive awareness and advocacy to this concept >> a strong experience needs to be placed into the hands of EACH of your employees, regardless of their role, not the recruiter.


Here is what you don’t do…get a bunch of adults into a room and tell them they suck at being human. 
Are we seriously having lessons on how to be courteous? How to smile? How to say THANK YOU? I don’t need my LinkedIn thread or a conference session to tell me NOT to treat people like an ass (I am good at that when I need to be anyway). Of course I say this as I prepare for several conferences coming up discussing candidate experience – but I am not getting to the front of the room and telling people to be human. However, I will tell them how to use analytics and evidence to see where human flaws happen across the THOUSANDS of interactions that happen daily, so we can encourage people to slow down and be deliberate. I promise I won’t talk about how important it is to be courteous. My teachers, parents, grandparents, and the rest of the village did that when I was playing soccer on Saturday mornings with the other 4 year olds. This is playground 4 year old stuff, and we have escalated common courtesy so much it is now lost in a sea of technology, conferences and presentations that really are not necessary. Maybe I am the exception. I was just a kid who went to public school, played outside occasionally and loved watching TV when mom didn’t make me study, so CLEARLY I am in the minority and demented in thinking that courtesy is not a bother or pain in the ass.


Aspen has crazy awesome tech that tracks engagement and experience, and I love using data to help understand where to make change. The fact that we can find out how engagement and experience is good/bad across thousands of locations, employees, and interactions is impressive…but the fact that we had to design it…that is actually kind of depressing. I didn’t design it to track where the planes are in the air, to use the radar analogy, I did it so we could AVOID collisions. Our humanity creates those collisions all the time, and that injures people – sometimes deeply. I wanted to know where people were being discriminated against, so it could stop. Where inequality needs to become equal, and where fairness needs to replace what is unbalanced. That’s why experience and engagement is important…safety first.


Back to the playground…I got my own 4 year old to teach…

The Fall Look-Ahead

I know it’s only August 4th, but Old Navy is already airing their back to school commercials, so I guess summer is essentially over, right?

Back to school, back to hoodies and sweaters, and for us, back to packing a suitcase every few weeks to attend some killer conferences.  Some are new, some are tried and true, and all are getting us excited.

First up in late September is something new for us. Until earlier this year, we didn’t really have any formal connections with the healthcare recruiting industry.  Our friends at Clinical Magnet have invited us to the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando. With talent being an integral part of risk management for any organization, we’re excited to hear how the healthcare field is innovating to overcome the challenges in the industry.

The following week, we’ll be heading to Chicago for one of our favorite conferences, HR Tech.  With some big names on the agenda, including some very near and dear friends, HR Tech never disappoints in its ability to introduce the cutting edge technology that will transform the HR world in the coming year.

While we won’t be physically crossing the Atlantic to attend London Talent Week, we are so very interested in the scope of this event that we’ll be following it closely.  The combination of in-house talent, recruitment & HR professionals, knowledgeable and highly respected recruitment speakers, and inspirational speakers from outside of the recruitment and HR space, makes for a quite a conference.  We are also intrigued by the similarities and differences in how the talent/hr space operate in the U.S. and the rest of the world, so following this event will stoke that curiosity.

And speaking of the non-US talent industry, we’ll be headed to Paris in late October for the HR Tech World Congress. All of these HR and thought leaders in one place, talking about HR technology makes it an international leading event on the future of work.

Sad to miss it, but we’ll be closely following the ERE Recruiting Conference in New Orleans.  ERE Media are veterans in the conference world and always fill their agendas with world class speakers and interesting topics.

Rounding out 2016 will be the HRO Today Forum in Edinburgh Scotland.  As former iTalent competition winners, we love our involvement with HRO Today and their commitment to technology.  This year’s focus on the “talent cloud” will bring a new attention to how companies are leveraging cloud, mobile, and social technologies to attract, engage, and retain top performers.

Hope to see you all out there!


Using Data in Sourcing

This post is inspired by two very good people who are close to me, Derrick Zeller and Marie Burns. Earlier this week, both of them happened to reach out to me on the same day, asking questions that were related to data and sourcing.  They were the kind of questions that friends within the industry ask each other in order to step back and help advance initiatives that they’re working on each day.


So here are, arguably, two of the top sourcing people in the country asking me questions, probably because I have the data at my fingertips. It made me think, how do you source using data? Well, I’ve been doing it for years. And I haven’t seen anything written about it lately, so I thought I would come off script and give some sourcing tips that I used to use, that others can use in order to find top talent in the marketplace.


One of the questions I used to ask hiring managers after an intake session was, “Do you have a score card or key performance indicators that you’ll be tracking for this particular role or for positions like it inside the organization?” Typically, the answer was yes, which would typically lead to me getting a copy of the score card or indicators. It also meant that I could ask questions about who the top performers were and what their key performance indicators looked like.


That was a long time ago. The way we collect data now, their dashboards and key performance indicators on individual contributors, managers and divisions are all over the place. Most organizations are run on goals and objectives and have all kinds of metrics and measures that they try to improve on. In fact, in many cases, they are very finite and very specific.


As an example, let’s look at recruiting. It’s not unusual for recruiters to have a scorecard that measures the number of requisitions that they manage, their interview to hire ratio, and their distribution of diverse candidates. There are all kinds of measures that recruiters have, and it’s not uncommon for those key performance indicators to make their way onto a resume, LinkedIn profile, or in the natural language associated with an abstract at a conference or any kind of thought leadership sharing event. All of a sudden, we now have a set of keywords that talk specifically about performance, typically hone in on the level of improvement that person has achieved, and it serves as a qualifier on how they measure themselves and how success has been measured for them. A candidate that has a profile that talks about success using numbers typically has a high performance rate.


One takeaway is to ask for the scorecard or for the key performance indicators that the new employee is going to be measured upon and then ask what does “good” look like in terms of the key performance indicators. You need to leave with an understanding of what those keywords are and you can use natural language with in any number of sites to help you do searches and bring up profiles in a way that you probably didn’t think of looking at before.


So what happens when there isn’t a scorecard or the manager is still trying to figure out what “good” looks like? Well, this is where the internet can really help you. What you want to look for is a third-party analysis that has been done on a particular topic related to performance in that particular discipline. As an example, if I wanted to understand more about demand generation, because I’m looking for the paper personnel, I could search for something about analysis that has been done by third-party experts in relation to that topic. Turns out, there’s been several white papers and several surveys that have gone out to people who purchase all types of software programs, like HubSpot or Marketo, that indicate the types of campaigns that people do in demand generation, the key performance indicators that they would typically measure, and some of the campaigns that those people typically do to drive key performance indicators.


Of course, you can go ahead and look at companies that you can poach from, and titles that you need to focus on, but it’s amazing how the better companies and the right titles have the right mix of key performance indicators, measurements, and scorecard techniques listed on the resumes, profiles, and articles that are on the internet that would list contact information.


Over the past so many years, talent has become harder to find.  This is not just because some people don’t go public, but because we are also navigating through a sea of information that’s just overwhelming. We have to make sure that we’re looking for the right type of information out there, pull out the top talent and reduce the amount of time we invest in looking at less than top talent.