The Method

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. 


4 HR Solutions for one man HR teams

Many early stage & hyper growth companies do not have the luxury of having an army of recruiters, HR business partners, and coordinators to help your company create a world class HR Department.  This doesn't mean the Founder, Hiring Manager, or office manager turned designated HR person can't pull off a really good HR Solution without breaking the bank or working 24hrs a day.  Here are a couple steps that can help:

  1.    Choosing an applicant tracking system.  As an early stage company you have a couple low/no cost options to implementing a pretty robust job board.  If you have a budget of $100 a month you can utilize options like The Resumator or my new personal favorite to build a pretty great page for candidates to apply.  The Resumator gives you more of a traditional applicant tracking system on the back end while gives you an awesome front end candidate experience.  
  2.   Create demand around your brand.  Simply get a camera or your iphone and create video interviews with your current employees.  Compile these videos on a blog (you can set up a Tumblr in 5 minutes) so potential employees can understand more about your company and team. 
  3. For quick on-boarding, check out signmypad ipad app.  This will allow new hires to digitally sign all HR related documents that you can easily store on a secure company cloud platform and send copies to the new hire.  Eliminate paper and saves time. 
  4. Hire slow, fire fast.  Its always difficult being objective when hiring.  Its best to hire by committee and allow your team to help select the next hire.  Use a 4.0 grading scale and only go to offer on candidates with a collective 3.5 or higher.  This will help reduce turnover related to new hires OR BECAUSE OF new hires. 


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...


My recent post on Blogging4Jobs: 10 Common Social Recruiting & Internet Sourcing Myths BUSTED

Jonah Manning at Lunch with DriveThruHR


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DriveThruHR more than not talks about Human Resources with HR professionals every day at lunch time for 30 minutes. Give us a listen at (347) 996-5600 and share your thoughts on twitter using #dthr or @drivethruhr. We talk HR along with lots of clever bantor and thoughts every day at 12 Noon Central time at "DTHR".

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The Slow Agonizing Death of the Job Post

Why the professional job post is dead:


The $50k and up professional job postings are soon to be completely obsolete as job searching becomes a more social process.  The only way for this to not become a reality is if Applicant Tracking Systems stop existing as the black hole of recruiting, and  start becoming real people responding to candidates.  The result comes from the fact that social media is not only changing it for the candidate, but for the recruiting function as well. 

Historically, 2% of online applicants at any tier-one technology firm result in an actual hire.  However, the highest ratio of candidate to hire is from employee referral.  By making job searching social, the theory is that it will help filter down the number of applicants and lift up the number of referred applicants.  

If this occurs, and I believe it will, the number of overall applicants will be manageable. Additionally, because they are going to be likely tied to an internal team member, managing that interaction from a human perspective will be organic.  

So how does this tie into the Method Manifesto?  It’s the acknowledgment that sourcing is no longer just about building a pipeline for the present.  More and more companies want a pipeline of cultivated candidates from likely skill sets, so when the inevitable role opens, the staffing department is ready to go.

How do you do that?  Sensing this has been coming, major job boards are already touting that you can use their platforms to build your candidate pool.  I believe this is bogus, because a pool of candidates primarily with just active seekers seems highly ineffective.  I am not saying active seekers cannot be good employees, of course they can, but by the vary nature of the action they are seeking when you are ready they will likely not be.  The key is to develop these networks with potential candidates based strictly on profile with a mix of active and passive personalities.

So why are job boards dead?  In the next couple years, a new post in pushed candidates will respond, likely because of retweets and network referrals, not because they saw the job on a job board.  Under $50k job opportunities, excluding internships, will be business as usual...for now. 


The Method Sourcer

  Some say ‘true candidate sourcing’ is the intersection of where the art and science of recruiting meet.  Unfortunately, sourcing is too broad of a term for that description. In fact, even to this day I regularly spend time teaching a new client what ‘our’ definition of sourcing means.  

    The Method Sourcer utilizes different techniques to find and locate the best talent.  Early in my career, after selling my previously built name generation company, I was fortunate enough to be hired by an emerging juggernaut in the hybrid RPO space.  As a passionate name generator, I had grown jaded with the realization that the perception of my success or failure derived not by the quality of my research, but often by the quality of the sourcer or recruiter making the calls.  I was eager to learn the rest of the cycle; an RPO environment would be a perfect ‘sand box’ to test what I felt in my gut. 

      After entertaining their training program and learning the traditional recruiting method I was left with just one repeating phrase “why in the hell are you doing it that way?”  The traditional recruiting method is to scour job boards; reading endless resumes, finding what candidate the recruiter feels is on the money, calling them, leaving numerous voicemails, and maybe ending up with 2 or 3 candidates in a day. This process seemed very inefficient, and defeated the intent of what sourcing SHOULD be.  Method Sourcing is very different. Here are the five core principles of a Method Sourcer:

Leverage the Candidate 

      I started to develop what it was to be “the Method.”  The concept of this was to leverage the sourcers’ time by allowing the candidate to screen themselves.  The theory was, if the sourcer could get within a few percentage points of accuracy based on the job requirements, and allow the candidates to review and self evaluate on the must haves, they would respond if it seemed appropriate.  This way the sourcers are only spending time on the phone screening the candidates that are interested and relatively qualified, rather than very generalized screening. 

Understanding the Language of Attraction Marketing 

    We are not talking about the same (and often lame) methods of writing job posts.   The content of the message to the candidate must be compelling, authentic, and action oriented:

  My client is seeking a world class _________ (this is a both a complement and a challenge to the candidate), for their global headquarters in ___________. (If the city is not ideal place a complementing adjective prior to mentioning)

  I ran across your profile as someone whom could potentially contribute to _________’s EXPLODING growth.  (positive growth is a big deal right now, during times of peak hiring substitute this line with ‘I ran across your profile as someone knowledgable in this space) 
         Then add in your closing action line.  This type of marketing allows the company to expand with the greatest candidates possible, and allows the candidates to obtain a greater understanding of why they are needed at the company.

Keeping search simple 

   When the sourcer is gathering the search requirements (preferably from the hiring manager directly) it is important to focus not only on the requirement itself,  but the three to five ‘must haves’ that the hiring manager is looking for.  This is common knowledge for a sourcer or a recruiter.  What is not common knowledge, however, is to then begin to question the hiring manager why each of those ‘must haves’ are critical to the company.  For example, a hiring manager that needs an engineer searches only for a candidate with a computer science degree from a top 20 school.  One may think that hiring manager is perhaps being unreasonable.  However, after questioning you realize that what the hiring manager is looking for is a solid CS fundamental track that is only emphasized at the the top 20 schools during the early parts of their educational track.  

   Understanding the ‘why’ is often more important then understanding the ‘what’.  When searches get hard (and often they do) this is the information you will be able to circle back to for inspiration.  

     Next, you want to understand what alternative titles these candidate could be called.  Working with the candidate as well as the company to find the best suited position title can be beneficial for both the company and the candidate. Finally, obtaining a verified list of competitors.  Simply then construct your strings with the associated “must haves” from people with those titles from those companies.  Voila. 

Essential Tools for The Job:

   A Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad.  Why?  Everything just works. In my experience, my computer never crashes, my emails and files are always synced, and it out performs when running multiple softwares at the same time, versus my PC running windows.  

    A linkedin PRO and Linkedin Recruiter Account.  Why?  Because building a long term network with your Linkedin Pro account while using the Linkedin Recruiter account to blast inMails is more effective than alternative methods.

     A recruiting/enterprise branchout account beyond Facebook  Why?  Because while Facebook has everyone, it is an absolutely terrible mechanism when trying to search professionally.  Additionally, every candidate has access to detailed information on Facebook, such as photos.  Branchout makes it possible to keep your business and personal world separate while making searching through Facebook actually productive. 

     Access to one job board (which one does not matter).  Why?  Because there are good candidates on there too, and they can get the ball rolling while you are waiting on passive candidates to put their resumes together. 

5) Kill the F&%*$&g reports please! 

I get it, data is king.  In order for sourcers to prove their worth, they have to have data.  Why is this?  Normally it’s because the recruiters are either terrible at what they do, or are too competitive and consequentially do not give the sourcers candidates good play.   The sign of a method sourcer is that he or she will not want to do reports..why?  Our DNA is not content, it’s CONTEXT.  Every minute we spend in repetitive meetings or putting together multi-color reports to explain why it takes 150 candidates for the recruiter to be able to get the hiring manager to hire someone is the time that we could, would, and should be spending finding more candidates.   Yes, I am ranting! 


Your Customer Service and Public Relations Department’s ‘Trojan Horse’

 Prasanth is an out of work Product Manager.  He has a Computer Science degree from a state school that is not a top 20.  Even though he got a 4.0 GPA while working full time at a local tech company, he is still discounted among the elite companies in the space.  He has tried his hand at startups and found that he is more of a big company guy. The only problem is big companies don’t want to hire him. It’s a combination of being out of work for such a long time, his degree not high leveled enough, and found to be a little bit OCD.  


       He finally scores an interview with a top 10 tech company.  He arrives for his three part interview, only to be asked to leave after the first part.  Feeling jaded, he stops by his local Starbucks and starts tweeting while sipping his coffee to hopefully cheer himself up. Who is he tweeting to?  He is tweeting to his friends inside the company that just booted him out. He is tweeting to other colleagues holding an offer letter between that company and a hot new startup.  He is tweeting to his professors, who take it personally that the company does not think his curriculum is up to speed, resulting in educating his students to not waste their time interning at this company.  He is also tweeting to his blogger friends, involved in writing an interesting section on how companies treat  employees, future candidates, and people in general.  

     It sounds like he tweeted hundreds, and in effect, tens of thousands of people.  While this is true, the main concept to recognize is that it took only one single tweet to reach this audience.  When we live in a society where the most obscure dude living in his mom’s basement can create a social media nightmare for a company, imagine what an educated and networked candidate can do!

     Recruiting departments are the un-checked customer service juggernaut.  Too often they are guilty of dismissing candidates with poorly written and non-human form letters during the interview process, or even 10 minutes after the first initiated call.  Staffing firms are not resourced enough to handle that kind of scale; in 2012 and beyond they will have to be for greater success.

    Let’s make a test case for one single search.  Your company hiring manager needs a new Software Engineer.  So you post online, internally, and have your internal recruiting team start working on it.  After a few weeks, the hiring manager is still not finding that perfect candidate.  So the recruiting team sends it out to a couple of search firms.  Within a couple days, solid candidates are put into process, and the interview process begins.  About a dozen candidates are phone screened, and as the process shrinks to the field, to three candidates that are brought onsite.  One candidate is made an offer while the other two are kept in the dark until the recruiter knows the choice candidate accepts for sure, then the other 2 are released by getting sent a form letter.

   To hire one new candidate, your company had to tell approximately 100 candidates ‘No’.  Considering we are living in the first wave of gold spray painted plastic trophy toasting, super hero, rock star generation, my educated guess is you now have 100 customers that will likely not shop with you again.

    Luckily, most people will not accept this denial and keep trying two or three other attempts, in vain, to get hired at your company.

   I am not suggesting you hire them all.  I am suggesting you treat them throughout the process like a real human that you will have to speak to the next day ,or better yet, want to sell something too the next day.  Treat them as if it was your mother being referred to the company.  Coddle?  Yes man, I am saying to coddle! 

Talent Acquisition Services

Starting in 2012, PeopleOps will begin to build out several distinct services that will work in concert to provide a comprehensive approach to talent acquisition services.


Our core service, candidate sourcing, will be called PeopleOps | DNA.  We thought this name was appropriate as sourcing is truly the building block of all we do.  PeopleOps | DNA provides dedicated candidate sourcing for companies of all sizes.  Our fee structure changes to reflect the needs of startups, mid-size, and enterprise level customers. 

We also have an emerging passion to architect scalable communities around brands and departments.  To combat the rising cost and increasing ineffectiveness of paid job advertising, we have created a crowd recruiting solution called PeopleOps | ACA (Authentic Community Architecture).  Our ACA team will work with companies of all sizes to build sustainable social assets that will decrease the need for paid job advertising while increasing candidate quality. We do this by creating real social media communities utilizing numerous platforms to create a candidate pool of highly targeted passive candidates that are directly or indirectly engaged with a clients brand or department.

PeopleOps has also long been a proponent of concierge level executive search.   In 2012 we are recommitting ourselves to this service.  Our now called PeopleOps | CXO will cater to business critical searches with a salary level of $250k and up.  In this search, an unmatched level of attention is provided to the search, the hiring manager, and to the candidate experience. 


How Social Media is Changing the Staffing Game from the Ground Up

Disruption seems to be the name of the game in both social media and the collective business world.  From Apple completely changing the game for record companies to smaller disruptions like how we invoice, get merchant accounts, or pretty soon even how we bank.



Social Media disruption has also spread into other areas like customer service.  Forcing companies to suddenly be more accountable.  Why should we expect anything less to happen in staffing.  

I have been beating this drum for the better part of a year that the coming storm for recruiting is almost here.  Staffing serves as the trojan horse for marketing.  Why?  No other department, including customer service, touches more influential people every day then your front line recruiters.  Its not the candidates that you hire that is the concern, its the average of 100+ per requirement that you do not hire.  How was that candidate treated, where they followed up with, where they dismissed with a simple form letter ,etc.  Based on my experience with a large pool of Fortune 1000s plus many startups, many cases this is exactly what happens every day.

So we are living in the age when the most obscure introvert living in his Mom’s basement in Nebraska can create a social media nightmare for a fast food chain...doesn’t this mean the candidate that was just dismissed whom for all intents and purposes is vastly more connected, credible, and articulate couldn’t light your brand up online?  

The answer I hear most (from the largest of companies) is we do not have the resource to scale like that.  When companies are spending hundreds of dollars per post on paid job postings that for the sweeping majority do not produce candidates they are likely to hire anyway, why not convert some of that money into real jobs for people to be able to scale that.  Think of every dismissed candidate as an opportunity, because remember in today’s marketing Candidates are also Customers! 


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.


5 Reasons Marketing and Recruiting Should Get Married


style="color: rgb(56, 56, 56); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 23px; text-align: left; "> Marketing as we know is going through a dramatic 'shift.' The internet and social media is about to go to college ...and as we know most people start entertaining the idea of marriage about this same time.   Companies are scrambling to take what was a single eloquently crafted message that was delivered to millions and change it into several thousand authentically crafted messages delivered a couple thousand at a time.    Recruiting is no different.   Just like in marketing, social media has massively impacted recruiting.   I have not seen a physical resume on my desk in several years, more and more candidates are using their Linkedin profiles as their pseudo  resume, and candidates can now visible see second and third degree connections into an employer of choice via a number of online communities and clever smart phone apps.  
So what does this mean?   Marketing and Recruiting should really consider getting together is why:

They do life separately 

When your relationship is casual, you maintain your own places. Marketing lives in a cute sublet, and recruiting lives in a downtown loft. They don’t share anything, and they spend time separately. Marketing has girls’ night out and Recruiting has poker night with the guys. Their communication is sporadic at best, and it's obvious they just aren’t on the same page.

They Don’t Share Finances

When Recruiting and Marketing are just in the dating phase, they don’t pool their money. They don’t share expenses, and they don’t leverage economies of scale. For instance, they both pay their own rent and utilities, and they don’t have any family memberships at the gym. Let’s face it: they are wasting a lot of money because they don’t work together. 

They Sound Different

While Marketing and Recruiting are just dating, they don’t sound as if they are on the same page. When I talk to Marketing, she tells me one story, and when I talk to Recruiting, I hear something completely different. Marketing is always interrupting me with her advertising speak, and Recruiting is constantly talking reactionary based on getting "hires" and “budget” that. This is a big challenge for the people around them, especially the people they want to be close to: Candidates and New Customers...oh wait...could those be the same people?

They Don’t Complement Each Other

Before they commit, Marketing and Recruiting's' personalities are totally different. Recruiting is pushy, and Marketing tries to show me how smart she is. She has all the answers. And then there are the spats. Marketing thinks Recruiting is the problem and Recruiting thinks Marketing is the problem. They really need to be a team if they want to achieve their lifelong goals.

5 Reasons Marketing and Recruiting Should Tie the Knot

If Marketing and Recruiting got married, it would transform them from two individuals -- Recruiting and Marketing -- into one family, also known as the Growth Department. Think about it; what if they worked together as a single unit; as a team? Here's what would happen:

1. Matched Messaging: What if Marketing and Recruiting said the same thing? What if their approach was aligned, educating, helping, advising, and counseling all the way through the life cycle? The Recruiting presentation would match the messaging on the website. The Recruiters would be providing educational content and nurturing their candidates, helping passive candidates feel excited and confident about joining your company.

2. Return-on-Investment: What if they pooled their money? They could accomplish so much more. They would eliminate the unproductive things they did like traditional advertising, trade shows, and costly golf outings, and instead focus on the highest return activities like websites, email campaigns, lead nurturing, content creation, and social media management. They might even get on a budget and take their talent attraction to elite levels using a team like PeopleOps to galvanize their efforts. 

3. Integration: What if they lived together, working on challenges and focusing on the single task: getting results? They would understand each other so much better and be a tightly knit, integrated team. Just think about the potential. 

4. Content Collaboration: If they tied the knot, they could do things together like create educational videos that highlighted the hiring manager's so when they finally met their candidates, the candidates already felt like they knew them, liked them, and trusted them. What a warm, friendly feeling that would leave with potential new hires. 

5. Aligned Goals: Most importantly, if they were committed to each other, their goals would be aligned. Their hopes and dreams would now be one. Their Growth department would grow into the Growth Machine their parents hoped and dreamed of when they started their own families. 

While this marriage analogy is cute and I hope it got you to chuckle, this is becoming the new model in businesses of all sizes. The Growth Department is an aligned model where recruiting and marketing are a single team working together to drive one single measure: growth. 

Are your marketing and recruiting teams happily married? What benefits have you experienced from having successfully aligned marketing and recruiting departments?

Image Credit: jmscottIMD

This blog was a colorful adaptation to a guest post written by Michael Lieberman, cofounder and president of Square 2 Marketing.


The Method Recruiter


 The systematic approach for most recruiters I have been (attempted) to be trained by and those I have observed typically have a similar approach to recruiting candidates.  For the most part, recruiters avoid sourcing for numerous reasons:

Too Many Requirements 

Too Little Time

Too Many Meetings


   Recruiters are also a mixed bunch from a background perspective.  Its rare for recruiting to be someone’s career choice from the beginning.  Some have started out in HR which means they are typically more grounded in process then in the tactical it takes to actually recruit.  These are the vital people who make sure reports are solid and accurate, finance actually approves the reqs, interviews are coordinated properly, and the list of vital importance goes on and on.  One thing NOT listed though is ‘recruit great candidates’....oh and for the record ‘review incoming resumes in ATS’ is NOT the same thing. 

   This is not to say that all those above tasks are not important.  Quite honestly those previously stated tasks plus others like actually closing the candidates, putting together offer letters, etc are also critical to closing out requirements in a timely manner. 

   The Method Recruiter does not, should not, could not (a nod to Dr. Seuss) provide those tasks.  Why not?  Because they are a Method Rec*cruit*er.  Definition:  d Method Recruiter truly partners within a specific department to provide expert guidance and to deliver the best in breed candidates available for any given search within that assigned department.  

    So what does the process look like, or at least should look like?  The HR Function should have 2 people tied to it.  The HR Business Partner who has the authority to make sure Finance and other critical departments behind the scenes move with speed.  The other person would be the Coordinator the takes care of the ‘nuts and bolts’ items mentioned above.  

    On the hiring manager’s side, his assistant will help the Coordinator with department specific information.  The Hiring Manager will interview and in writing select the candidates and the Recruiter will focus on presenting a batch of 10 on the money candidates for a 1-2 day interview.  

     It sounds simplistic because it is.  In fact, this is all that needs to be said in this post. 


Recruiting Smart+Hard+Fast

The Method Manifesto is as much about the tactical of sourcing candidates as it is about the strategic.  The basic recruiting or sourcing model goes as follows:

Step 1:  Have an intake meeting with a hiring manager or recruiter about the search, understanding the must haves and idiosyncrasy of the role.  

Note:  keep in mind the person taking notes is a recruiter and not a person from the field they will be recruiting in.  

Step 2:  The recruiter will start scouring various online tools such as job boards, Linkedin, and if they are really savvy buying some targeted name generation.  

Step 3:  The recruiter then reviews each resume found and makes a call to the 1 in 5 that are actually on target.  Most likely the recruiter will dial through about 50 resumes in a day, however if they are a lower level recruiter they could potentially do as much as 100.  

Note:  The math behind this is, lets say they have a 40% contact ratio (which is fairly accurate high).  If the Sr. Recruiter makes 50 dials and speaks with 20 people over the course of 2 days to include call backs, they will most likely get about 5-8 candidates.  What happens next?  In order for them to get to that 50 dials they had to review almost 250 resumes.

Step 4:  When a candidate actually answers the phone the recruiter usually gives a little canned pitch and discusses with the candidate on if he or she would be interested in the role.  If so, the recruiter will do a quick phone interview discussing the role and then passes along those notes to the hiring manager. 

The results for a day long process will average 2-3 candidates.  

The Method bases sourcer would conduct their searches as follows:

Step 1:  On the intake session, The Method based sourcer will only care about two pieces of info (outside of the basics) what are your THREE top “must haves” and who are your TOP 10 competitors.  

The Method sourcer knows that most likely the person that will ultimately get hired will posses the three things the hiring manager really wants and will most likely or at least preferably come from a direct competitor. 

Step 2: Not needing name generation, the Method Sourcer will search ALL available online tools such as Linkedin,, Facebook, Twitter, Google & Bing Searches, Zoominfo, as well as through various other niche sites and platforms.   However, we do not save our work we simply shoot a “Method” based message to each candidate.  We already know based on our criteria that they are likely to be qualified so our question is really simple... “Are you keeping your eyes and ears open to an opportunity?” 

Step 3: Within an hour of beginning a search, the Method Sourcer has already located and reached out to (no spam, 1:1 reaching out) to at least 100 candidates.  Allowing them to reply back whenever they are available.  This free’s the Sourcer to move to another search or task.  

Step 4:  Out of every 100 candidates reached out to, the ratio is typically 10 responses (with resumes) and 5 are qualified enough to pass through to the hiring manager.  You may note that its about the same amount of results as the Sr. Recruiter.  While this is true, keep in mind it took that Sr. Recruiter a full 2 days of work to generate that, while the Method Sourcer only spent a little over an hour total.  

Average candidates daily for a method sourcer are around 10-13 per day and can be over 20 in a crunch.  Each candidate is interested, resume captured, from a targeted competitor, and possesses the three “must haves.”


Understanding the intangible’s of the “other” side of sourcing

Many if not most recruiting functions view sourcing as an augmentation or additive.  Most sourcers are viewed as Junior Recruiters.  Unfortunately many times this is true.  Sourcing is one of those generic terms like saying “He is a Quarterback.”  Quarterback of what?  There is a big difference between a pop warner league and the NFL, although ‘technically’ its the same game with virtually the same rules.  


The  happens in sourcing, although its simply not as obvious.  Just like in sports, there are folks that make is a hobby, something they do in school as they are making their way into the ‘real world’ and then there are the Joe Montana’s who take it as far as one can go.  

The Sourcers I am referring to are those sourcers.  These are the guys and girls you see on your Facebook and twitter talking about sourcing, tools, methods, etc.  They are sourcers by trade, by profession.  They view themselves in the leagues of surgeons, elite special forces, corporate espionage, and other colorful depictions that help their outside colleagues understand just how good they really are. 

Despite all of this, from top down leadership they are still viewed as an augmentation when based on the Method, they should be the center piece of a sourcing strategy.  The Method will dive into other pieces of sourcing later, but in this Chapter | Post | Talk we will focus on the other things a sourcer does that to most is not so obvious.

External Affairs:  To candidates that a good sourcer networks with while finding candidates are typically extremely well connected industry mavens and centers of influence.  Theses professionals are vital to getting good information about who is really doing well in a role, information that cannot be captured by any kind of social profile.  If the sourcer is not professional that Maven or influencer will not pass along their vital information to your company again. 

Public Relations:  Your companies CEO just had his hat handed to him last night on CNBC.  Sure, your public relations department is “all over it” with wordsmith embedded press releases, however, how many real people do they speak with 1 on 1.  None, if they can help it.  However, consider a Sourcer that still has to get their search completed.  Who are they speaking with?  By the nature of the caliber of candidates they should be speaking with, they are fielding these questions not just by friends and family but top producers from your companies competitors.  These candidates have a highly influenceable social graph that consist of vertically aligned colleagues.  If the sourcer does not do a good job it can magnify the ripple affect, however, if the Sourcer can properly orate the companies vision and direction, even with candidates that do not get hired can rapidly effect public opinion in spheres of influence that really matter. 

Management Consulting:  Your companies hiring manager needs a program manager to replace a retiring employee.  If your sourcer truly understands the space, they will know the proper competitive salary data, what relevant companies house the best talent, where that talent is located geographically, etc.  This data could also be contained by draining internal resources or by hiring a research or retained firm.  This information coming from your internal sourcer will be authentic an unbiased. 

Mergers and Acquisition Sourcing:  Sure a Sourcer’s main focus is to find talent, but in doing so he quickly learns which of your companies competitors are doing well, working on a large initiative, etc.  They also hear about growing startups, layoff’s before they happen, and other industry rumors.  This competitive inteligence can and should be constantly passed to your companies Mergers and Acquisitions department to help locate and source potential product and company acquisitions.  This information could probably also be helpful for a companies R&D department.

A good Method trained Sourcer will produce value that vastly exceeds the obvious immense value of finding the very best talent.  The will also help in cultivating winning authentic communities to drive the very best talent to your company.

The Method Manifesto | The Candidate is Changing

The hiring company has always pretty much had the upper hand in the candidate experience.  Sure competitive organizations use elaborate resources to locate and persuade the candidate to be interested in working with your organization, however we all know that only one is hired.  That means that by default, the number of rejects a company goes through for one single search is heavily lop sided compared to whom they will eventually hire.

Insert candidate horror story here.  Many organizations have relatively brutal interview tactics.  While this is within many Talent Attraction practitioners would say...”we are looking for people to fill jobs, not looking for jobs for people.”  A companies priority is to find the best person to fill an open role.  I get that. However, here is what is going to become the second priority..candidate experience.

Why?  The days of asking a candidate that is tanking an interview to leave are over.  The days of not giving any feedback until they completete a form letter...yep those are over too.  While companies are scrambling from a marketing and customer service perspective to become more human...what virtually all do not realize, is their staffing departments are the Trojan horse in terms of liability.

Why?  In a current climate where the most obscure customer in his Mom’s basement in Iowa can create an absolute customer service nightmare by way of social media for a major company...imagine what a business professional whose social graph is not only as extensive but by the vary nature of the credibility of the person far more potent.  So the business personal is being interviewed for a Project Manager role.  He is reached out to on Linkedin by a recruiter.  He replies with his resume saying he is currently employed but is an admirer of the recruiters corporation and would like to know more.  The recruiter, due to OFCCP requirement, sends the candidate a link and says he needs to apply online.

The candidate, although passive, obliges and takes the 30 minutes (was supposed to be 15, but he had to reset his password twice because your companies applicant tracking system is a joke) to answer the canned questions and apply himself to the role. 

Then, the hiring manager has interest and wants you to do a phone screen.  The recruiter calls the candidates and do the first interview.  The second interview also happens by phone with someone else on the hiring manager’s team.  They like him and ask for him to come in and interview face to face with the hiring manager.  This interview gets rescheduled three times due to your hiring manager’s travel requirements.  The interview finally takes place (keep in mind this is now week 3).  The candidate makes up some excuse, uses a sick day, etc to be able to come in.  The 1 hour interview drags onto 2 hrs.  The candidate calls the recruiter and says it went well.  The hiring manager, still not persuaded says lets talk to one more person.  In the mean time, the hiring manager for a myriad of reasons decides on someone internal.  The recruiter (typically) drops the ball and ignores the candidates follow up emails for at least 2 more weeks and then sends an automated response from within the Applicant Tracking System.  

The candidate opens his email after a 6 weeks of interviewing to get an auto-generated email.  The candidate says to himself  ‘they didn’t even tell me ANYTHING.’  So he shoots a tweet out @yourcompany’sname thanks for the waist of time...I would rather spend the day at a DMV then sit down with one of your managers again.  Even with the smell! 

Then...something imaginable happens:  @candidate..I had the same experience.   @candidate me too.  @ candidate  what happened? @ candidate those jerks.

Then it goes viral. 


Rewriting the rules...

I will not keep beating the drum that every piece is now this should be understood.  Implementing the method will help to immediately relieve the tactical side but what about the strategic? 

Lets examine piece by piece to understand how The Method would fundamentally change how staffing functions look, feel, and operate:

1) Employment Branding Websites.  I get that these are important, but why?  Branded websites target whom?  The job seeker.  It is known within the staffing community that for most companies inbound applicants result in under 5% of total hires for the year.  This is regardless of industry vertical.  Even in organizations where due to OFCCP and other government mandated factors that force corporations to MAKE candidates apply, those candidates are actually directly sourced candidates...this in many cases skewed up the percentages.  

Companies do not need to poor tens of thousands of dollars into a platform to chase candidates that they really do not want to hire first.  Most of the new applicant tracking systems such as Jobvite offer an embedded widget or stand alone site code that will function just fine.  Dealing with an Applicant Tracking System that does not offer a custom website option?  That’s can simply use a blog platform.  Wordpress or even micro blogging platforms like Posterous or Tumblr can allow RSS feeds of your jobs to auto-populate your blog page that broadcasts your jobs to all of your social media.  Candidates do not care about a slick branded fact it hurts the companies image with younger top candidates.  However, a simple but well connected job feed that is easy to navigate will do just fine and save your company tens of thousands of dollars a year.  

2) Employment Branded Campaigns:  After reading the above point, one rebuttal maybe “what about our employment videos.”  Employment videos, if done right, can be very powerful.  Most companies, depending on your brand’s cool factor, should move toward more authentic media versus highly edited content.  You will attract better talent with a flip camera that is edited on a Mac then you will be paying a production company thousands of dollars to produce a slick video brochure of employees reciting previously agreed to messages.   Every company should have a tour shot showing what the offices look like.  It is to be hoped that your offices have character...if they don’t add some as you would be surprised how much a really cool office has to do with employees liking their company.  Prospective employee’s, especially passive ones, want to see the grass on the other side.    In the tour include visuals of your companies perks.  If your company offers free snacks, lets you take your dog to work, has a gaming room, whatever, include that on the tour video.  After that its important to get a sit down with every department at every level.  This is both empowering to the employe’s contributing to the video as well as creates a massive credibility effect to your recruiting efforts.  Especially if your recruiters are following the method, this gives them vital ammo to distribute to their groups and targeted social graphs that they are curating for their departments. 

3) Search Engine Optimization:  This is important but your company does not need to pay a marketing company to do this for your recruiting efforts.  Here is why.  We know that more job seekers use sites like Simply Hired, Linkedin, and Indeed to search for jobs versus going to a job board.  So companies, instead of paying hundreds of dollars per post to many of these boards (and some are also doing both) are paying for SEO and paying for pay-per-click postings.  Here is why that should stop immediately.  You are paying significant portions of your revenue to target a candidate pool that results in only a 5% success ratio.  Why?  Also, if you are using the method properly, as you post your jobs they are simultaneously hitting groups, multiple twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and probably about 5 or 10 other platforms...guess what this does?  You guessed it, it helps it rank.  Bing, Microsoft's search engine, announced that Facebook likes now influence where an article ranks.  This is the beginning of that trend that will force search engines to become far more social then they are now.  By focusing on targeted 1:1 branding as detailed in this book, you will not have to “stack it high and let it fly” anymore.... This also includes not having to pay the bill that comes with it either. 


The Method Manifesto: State of the Union - Recruiter

   The role of a recruiter really varies from organization to organization.  If the recruiter works for a third party, they typically focus on numerous roles within a handful of verticals across numerous hiring managers.  Third Party Recruiters trade the admin component for the sales component.  Even when dealing with their best client, the posture for any internal staffing function is to beat the agency.  Agency (Third Party) recruiters are often sought after from hiring managers and loathed by internal staffing.  

   You also have corporate recruiters.  Often a corporate recruiters acts more as a facilitator then an actual headhunter.  Most organizations saddle a recruiter with so much volume they are lucky if they can spend a couple moments a day sourcing.  They have to rely on other resources for majority of their candidate flow.  This results unfortunately in a poor quality of candidate flow, which increases the odds of a hiring manager preferring the candidates from a third party (agency) because of the perception of a higher level of competency. 

   So what is the Method Recruiter?  The method recruiter does not handle administration tasks or coordinator support tasks.  No scheduling, no offers, no excessive meetings, no excessive applicant tracking systems or metrics reporting.  All of these tasks can be handled by HR support or by the hiring manager’s personal administrator.  The Method Recruiter’s sole purpose is to find the absolute best candidates for their hiring managers.  The Method Recruiter is a pure headhunter that doesn’t have to focus on finding his next search.  The Method Recruiter simultaneously focuses on making quick turn arounds for active searches but puts deep roots in the ground for future initiatives. 

  So if you are currently a recruiter how to do make your organization transition.  Truth is you may not be able to.  It may require a change in organization.  However, lets assume you are passionate about the company you work for (this is key for this to work), you need to create a clear 8 point plan to present to your staffing leadership and hiring managers or client groups.  

Here is what that plan should look like:

1) All administration tasks will be handled by a coordinator, HR Business Partner, and or hiring manager’s personal administrator.  As a recruiter, my greatest asset to the organization is creating significant increases in quality of our human capital.  This is where I should focus. 

2) Ownership of my clients.  It is important that I become my clients sole point of contact for all hiring initiatives.  Both external and internal.  This will help define business critical priorities and maintain a constant flow of qualified candidates. 

3) Speed of hire.  My goal is to locate a candidate that is ultimately hired within 14 business days of starting a search.  This means before a search starting the hiring manager is full engaged in the search and ready to make decision. 

4) Quality of hire.  All of my candidates will be from or alumni of our organizations direct competition except within searches where technical aptitude trumps industry affiliation.  No external “paid” advertising for any of my searches is no longer needed or requested.  My clients should receive a small amount of top candidates to select from.  No more then 4. 

5) Recruiting CRM.  With the money that we save from no more job postings, I would like to fund the adoption of a Recruiting CRM.  Unlike our Applicant Tracking System, a Recruiting CRM (like Avature or Jobvite) will allow me to create powerful realtime analytics across my searches.  Allow my clients to engage with candidates easily, to be able to track that data effortlessly, and allow for a better candidate experience. 

6) Seamless Social Recruiting.  I will build real authentic community with targeted candidates.  As these relationships mature and expand, our reach will also.  Creating results from our organic posts that will dramatically change the way we recruit moreover the way passive candidates view our opportunities. 

7) Easier Sourcing.  From requirement approval to final interview, the process should take place within 1 calendar month. 

8) Emerging Technology.  Our team should take advantage of free online tools such as Twitter, YouTube, etc to communicate authentic messages to our industry peers.  These are free tools that I can manage to create significant assets to my clients exposure.