CEO Involved in Staffing

The world of Community Management is least ours is.

The title Community Manager didn't even exist 5 years ago, well it did but in a totally different industry.  Anyway, the world of online, digital, or "inbound" marketing is evolving everyday, every hour, and even sometimes within minutes.  One of the ways we try to keep up with the trends is by having the best people working on the things they enjoy the most.  In this case we're speaking of Community Managers.  Not just social media managers, but true authentic "Community" Managers.  It's a true DNA match for a PeopleOps Community Manager to be architecting and maintaining talent communities.  Here's a graphic describing the difference. 


Its even worse then we thought!

  For almost a year, PeopleOps has been talking about the need for more authenticity and a 'high touch' within recruiting.  We firmly believe that the candidates NOT HIRED by a leading brand, if not treated with a basic mutual respect, could become a PR nightmare for the entire company.    

What happens when that trend starts is a continuum among everything else. The drive for authenticity that is seeing entire countries being turned upside down from within, is now effecting major corporations as well.    Brands, Employers, Startups, pay attention!  If you do not have an authentic culture, that is REAL, what is happening to Goldman Sachs will happen to you.  

Brands in the next couple of years will have to be honest and do right for the customer, or they will be out of business; either from consumers shunning them or from their very own executives blowing the whistle.  We are not implicating that this executive was on point with Goldman rather we are simply saying this should be the warning shot to all brands.  


You have to do right for PEOPLE; employees, customers, vendors, etc, and if you don't...its going to be a really tough decade for you.
 Exec's Scathing Letter: Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most...


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Leveraging Time for Talent Acquisition from a Leadership Perspective

Too often as hiring managers, we are constantly conflicted between what kinds of candidates we want to hire and what we can afford to hire in our budgets. Many times we try to make staffing or our agencies force candidates into this role that really should be paid more.


   The backlash from this is we set up our new hires to be short term from the beginning. If you undervalue a candidate in the hire, they will promptly begin their search for their next gig.  

     This section however is not about hiring candidates for the long term, although perhaps it should be.  Rather, it's about how to leverage your time to get the best candidates available for your role in the least amount of time. 

     One thing you should consider is to employ the 20:5:2:1 ratio.  First carefully identify your five “Musts” for you role.  What do you REALLY need this role to do for you?  What background should the candidate come from?  Which group of competitors?  Is education important? Etc.  

     Once your role is clearly defined into 5-10 “Musts”, then hand this search to three people and only three people.  Your best performing team member that reports to you, your recruiter or sourcer, and to your assistant (who will help you reach out to your own network).  Between the three parties a total of 20 candidates should enter the process within 10 business days.  

      Interview all 20. Why? Well, as leadership, we have to understand that every candidate is a customer first.  If someone who was not looking for a new job was approached by your staff or by your recruiter to end up not even getting a call back, there will be a mental tarnish for your company, for at least the rest of that candidates career.  Now, if that candidate tweets or Facebooks about their experience then your in real trouble.  When we live in a society where the most obscure guy living in his mom’s basement in Iowa can cause complete brand disruption for any given company image, think of what a candidate with a legitimate and on context social graph could do.  Truth is, it's the right thing to do. Also, consider this: Most people are really bad at writing resumes. Getting to know someone face to face, even for a 15 minute coffee chat will give you far better context then a resume or a Linkedin profile.

   Select the top 5.  Interview them a second time and have your key team member interview them as well for cultural fit.  This is when you should start getting into the nuts and bolts of the project, gaging genuine personalities, aptitude, and overall potential continuity.  

    Cut it down to top 2.  Now it's time for dinner, golf, sporting event, something.  Depending on the level of the search you may want to opt for something higher end but at the very least, buy the candidate a coffee outside of the office.  Here you should pre-close, make sure compensation is in line and get your pre-on boarding questions out of the way so there are no surprises.  Now pull the trigger!  The greatest risk is doing nothing.  

This entire process should take less then 30 days and require a total of 10.5 hours of your attention.  Consider the impact of this hire or even better, the impact of what another search a few months from now would take... 


Understanding the Context of the Candidate

   Why there is such a disconnect in understanding that the consumers ARE the candidates.  If you want to know the best way to reach candidates, look at what the best consumer companies are doing.  

   Take for instance, Apple.  They are among the top brands in cult-like following and Apple is the king of subtle disruptions.  This past March (2011), I was at South By Southwest (SXSW) when Apple was launching the iPad2.  SXSW brings together some of the most forward thinking social media and tech companies. They discuss cutting edge and even sometimes barely existing technologies.  Apple did not have a booth or a logo at SXSW.  What they DID have is a pop up store in downtown Austin ,about 4 blocks away from SXSW.  So, the day the iPad2 launched, guess where a ton of people were? You got it! They were not in breakout sessions that they or their companies paid hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for them to be at.  Rather, they were standing in line, a hundred people deep, tweeting away about the iPad2.  Apple won SXSW without even being there.  


  Alright, so what is the connection to this anecdote and the consumer and candidate?  Priority.  Keep in mind, the people waiting in line at the pop up mac store were not just run of the mill consumers. These were the normally passive candidates within the social media space that recruiters fight over on Linkedin and other online platforms.  So why were they in line?  Because they wanted an iPad2.  Apple knew there ultra-targeted customers would likely be at SXSW so they made it easy for them to get there hands on one.  Consumers crave authenticity, relevance, solid actual results, and low barrier’s of entry.  That same consumer is also your next great hire.  

How do you create a recruiting context that matches this culture? 

  1. Be Authentic:  Kill the corporate vomit that is on the job requirements.  Write what you would want to read.  Why your company is cool, why you have good people, what you are really looking for, and why YOU think they should be interested.  Couple that with a quick YouTube interview with the hiring manager talking about the requirement... unedited.  
  2. Is it a Good Job:  If you are trying to pitch a mediocre job then go back and make it not mediocre.  You do not have to pay top of market to win the day but if you want the guy at your competitors, you need to ask yourself why would someone leave to come to you.  If your answer is, because my company is better, then you have lost.  It HAS to be because my job is better, and if it's not, you need to make it better.
  3. Lower the Barriers of Entry: Does your Applicant Tracking System suck?  The answer is most likely yes.  I understand that due to compliance laws, we have to have some forms of applications.  However, you should make the application process, at least on the front end, something they can do with a simple email or maybe logging in to use their Linkedin resume-like profile.  Oh and while I am at it, please start taking LI profiles as resumes, its good enough! 

5 Must-Have Characteristics of a Recruiting/Sourcing Vendor

Sourcing and recruiting for businesses are critical, hard to find skill sets that takes time. It also takes a lot of domain knowledge. It can be hard for businesses to find the necessary time or internal resources to learn and/or implement winning passive sourcing efforts and authentic social media messaging (to name a couple) for themselves. In these cases, businesses can reach out to a third-party agency to manage their candidate development efforts. Consider these 5 must-have characteristics when evaluating an agency partnership.

1. The Right Services

Saying "agency" is really a disservice to the Talent Acquisition industry.  The question is what is your need?  Do you need to hire lots and lots of standard qualification employees? Then a U.S. based RPO might be right for you.  Do you have one critical hire you need to make but have a super strict budget? Then a contingency agency could be the right call.  Maybe you have a fairly consistent need for a tier 1 candidate pipeline for a specific business group that complains a lot? That could be when you tap the services of a tactical sourcing team like PeopleOps.

2. A Clear Process

Project results on whitepapers and company case studies are great, but the real value of an agency's involvement will be in how they put, not only how they fill the business critical roles, but the additional added value of how they work with the hiring authorities.  Recruiting or Sourcing agencies should be able to clearly lay out and explain the candidate development methodology for prospective clients. Being able to clearly show you the order in which things need to happen and the amount of time and resources required at each step. This will indicate that the agency has delivered ROI to clients before. Thus, you will also be able to infer that it has the game plan to do it again for your company.

3. An Emphasis on Measurement

Words like "metrics", "benchmarks" and "analytics" should be peppered throughout your prospective agency's pitch. Progress made toward your goals should to be measured at every step of the way, and a recruiting agency worth its weight will be able to track all campaigns, direct sourcing efforts, candidate flow and report on performance regularly. You have goals. You are trying to meet those goals by hiring the agency. Therefore, it should be as focused as you are, charting success in an undeniable, data-driven way. 

4. Strong Project Management Skills

Recruiting is fueled by the creation of remarkable content aimed at your ideal candidates, compelling direct sourcing initiatives, and authentic messaging. In order to be successful, good recruiting/sourcing agencies will need to get inside your hiring managers head to build that content and learn about that dream candidate. Do the agencies you're considering have the process and communication skills to make you think they will make reasonable and realistic requests of your hiring authorities? Also, have they set clear expectations around what each step in the candidate development and attraction process will require in terms of time and resources? Do you get the impression that they can manage campaigns with lots of moving parts? A good agency will make your life easier; not the opposite.

5. An Online Presence Optimized for Top Talent

Does the agency you're considering blog regularly? What is its own internal recruiting initiatives like? Are there optimized landing pages and premium content offers throughout its site? An effective recruiting or sourcing agency should be its own best case study. Think twice about engaging with a recruiting firm that doesn't make the services it sells a priority for its own business.


4 ways to use Twitter to find great candidates

73% of Staffing Leadership believe using consumer focused social media tools like Twitter or Facebook has little effect on increasing their organizations' top line candidates or filling positions with adequate talent. Only you can change this misconception. Using social media to bring in great talent isn't a cost center, it's a catalyst for growth.


Here are 4 easy ways you can use Twitter to start getting better candidates:

  1. Listen:  From my perspective Twitter is often miss conceived as a content distribution tool.  In my opinion it is far more useful as a listening tool.  Your recruiters or sourcers can set up live searches around specific search terms, like "ios developer" OR "flight dynamics" or "objective-c".  The more specific you can get the less 'noise' you will have to filter through.  Using free tools like Tweetdeck, you can quickly set up numerous searches that will alow you to engage with people talking about your specific topics...odds are these people are candidates.
  2. Be Authentic: If you are looking for Computer Science engineers, Accountants, Management Consultants, or whatever it may be... do not populate your tweets with endless news feeds and other spammy garbage.  Interview your hiring managers, engage in industry blogs, and tweet relevant information about your open role, about the department it reports to, about the people in the department, etc.  The more authentic you can be, the better the chance of you landing the passive candidate that sees you but has yet to respond.
  3. Leverage the hashtag #:  If you want to take a little more of an aggressive approach, you can used paid Twitter tools like TweetAdder3 that can search all profiles associated with a hashtag.  Why is that imporatant?  Most confrences use hashtags to organize so if you want to find alot of social media enthusiasts you could use #sxsw for South By Southwest...or any other conference.  Great way to troll for solid candidates. 
  4. Respond to everyone:  Everytime someone follows you, everytime someone Re-Tweets something you said, any activity at all ... make sure you engage.  Even if its just to say thank you, engaging with your fledging community will make those new found connections strengthen.  Keep in mind, your search may end, but that community you are building (if done right!) will remain to help you when you need it again. 

State of the Union: CEO - Answers section

I hate it when writes create problem statements that resonate but leave you rabbit holing through a book or paper trying to find the answer.  So here are short answers to the problem statements.  I will still elaborate later in the book, but if you are a CEO reading this it will give you enough information be be able to confidentially throw this book at the leadership that is supposed to be running your staffing yelling “WTF.” 

1) If you want authenticity, be authentic.  First, know you cannot control your message any longer.  If you marketing and PR disagree fire them, they are out of touch.  You gain authenticity by 1:1 employment branding.  This is achieved not by your VP, Director, or front line managers.  This is achieved by your hiring managers and your recruiters/sourcers.  Each hiring manager/recruiter should spend at minimum 2 hours a day on social branding.  The first hour is on creating relevant content to the space they are recruiting for.  If the recruiter is not familiar with that space he or she should create a blog interviewing the hiring manager/department employees that are.  The key is to distribute relevant content EVERY DAY.  Then, immediately after the content is published, the next hour should be spent on Twitter, Linkedin, Quora, Xing, commenting and talking to every person’s comment or post that is in the space.  No LINKS, NO APPLY HERE...just networking.  Each of the profiles should link back to the specific jobs that the recruiter or the hiring manager is recruiting for.  That’s all they get; but if they do this every day...after some time when a new role is opened, you will have all the candidates you need within 24 hours.  Candidates that care about your team, already feel invested, and ones that are authentically interested in contributing. 

2) Increasing a companies speed to fill.  All non-revenue positions should be filled within 30 days ...all revenue creating positions should be filled within 15.  Here is how to do it.  

     The hiring manager’s head count, budget, etc should be awarded at the beginning of the year.  After that, creating an approved requisition and offer letter should be no harder then entering basic information into a CRM style application and clicking send.  Does this software exist?  Yep, you have engineers them to build it.   

     The hiring manager should be the recruiter, his assistant the coordinator, and have a dedicated sourcing partner (or recruiter if you must) to jump start the search.  They should first reach out to their social graph with a clear idea of what they are looking for, next they should reach out to local candidates from their competitors, and finally they should reach out based on proper skill set.  NO POSTS.  Sure, post on your internal website for EEO purposes but do not bother opening a requirement and pushing it out online.  Less then 2% of candidates for most organizations are hired from within a companies Applicant Tracking System.  Finally, within 10 business days put together a slate of 10 candidates.  That is 1 a day...even a sourcer working 20 reqs at a time can get you 10 candidates in 2 business weeks.  Interview ALL 10, in person if possible.  Skip the phone interview and just block a day out and have them come in.  Out of the 10 assuming you stuck to the sourcing benchmarks (first social graph, next competitors, third skill set only) you should have a great candidate.  All the candidates that were not hired should get a 1:1 tweet thanking them for taking their time and give them something free (swag, etc).  Do not give them a discount, even if its just a sweat band, make sure its free. 

Once a candidate is selected, the HM or even the coordinator inputs the basic info and HR is able to send out the hire packet all within 24 hours of the interview.  Simple, Fast, Effective.  

3) If the CEO is involved then shit will get done.  What is important to you (speaking to the CEO)?  Is it creating the next product?  Increasing your front line sales NOW?  Maybe its firing your bull shit Marketing Agency to build your branding in house.  Remember authenticity? Well, only focus on the projects that matter to you.  Have the recruiting process work the same but personally take 15 minutes out of your day to do a quick phone interview with the hiring managers top 3 candidates.  Bring in the hiring manager who is probably several dotted lines below you for a lunch or a coffee if you can swing it.  Let them know your vision and how they are a strategic asset to you and the company.  


Executive Recruiting | State Of The Union: Today's CEO

Collectively CEO’s from major organizations ESPECIALLY from publicly traded organizations walk a very tight line.  They know, there is actually little they can do outside of analyst expectations that would potentially be viewed negatively and send their stock price on a tail spin.  


Its no wonder that the feeling most staffing functions get is they're recruiting efforts are perceived with certain distain.  After all, its no secret that majority of executives prefer to use a retained agency to recruit for them rather then using their internal staffing functions... This is often at the director level and above.  By the time you reach the CXO level the perception of internal staffing has been greatly diminished in terms of its ability to deliver strategic candidates. 

Most CEO’s are not concerned with how to do staffing better but rather concerned with “Why it’s not working.”  VP’s and heads of staffing rotates much like a head coach from a major league team.  Bringing with them their select managers and key recruiters from their previous organization.  Most of these VP’s are also out of touch with the tactical of recruiting the best candidates.  They are forced to hire from outside of the organization, often as contractors, to supplement their efforts.  This cycle has continued since the late 90’s until today.  

This patterns is about to be faced with 3 primary obstacles that are going to send many major organizations into the preverbal dark ages of talent.  If what they say is true...that a top performer can bring as much as 10 times the value of even an average employee...then some organizations are about to leave others completely in the dust.  

Problem 1) Authenticity: just because your organization has a twitter/Facebook account does not mean you are being real.  Automated tweets from your RSS feeds of your jobs and press-releases is not what the best candidates are looking for.  You need 1:1 employment branding (more on that specifically later).  In my opinion, traditional employment branding is dead in the water for $50,000+ salary roles. 

Problem 2). Speed:  Staffing is slow.  They are slow to find the candidates, slow to get them engaged, slow to interview, slow to hire, and slow to on-board.  I am aware in major organizations that it takes time.  I think thats bullshit.  In a company of that size, they have the resources to but streamlines in place that fast track the candidate process.  Do you know what kinds of candidates slow processes loose?  Only the ones that other companies want.  

Problem 3). Disconnect:  The leaderships, especially the CEO’s second highest priority next to revenue is elevating the companies human capital.  A best in class organization that is hiring the best candidates in the space, treating the envelop pushing kindness, and paying them double take salaries will elevate the companies sales, perception, and ranking in almost every category.  CEO’s need to simply give a shit...and not because share holders are in their ear...but because caring should be in a CEO’s DNA.  

I hate it when authors create problem statements that resonate but leave you rabbit holing through a book or paper trying to find the answer.  So here are short answers to the problem statements.  I will still elaborate later in the book, but if you are a CEO reading this it will give you enough information be be able to confidentially throw this book at the leadership that is supposed to be running your staffing yelling “WTF.” 

1) If you want authenticity, be authentic.  First, know you cannot control your message any longer.  If you marketing and PR disagree fire them, they are out of touch.  You gain authenticity by 1:1 employment branding.  This is achieved not by your VP, Director, or front line managers.  This is achieved by your hiring managers and your recruiters/sourcers.  Each hiring manager/recruiter should spend at minimum 2 hours a day on social branding.  The first hour is on creating relevant content to the space they are recruiting for.  If the recruiter is not familiar with that space he or she should create a blog interviewing