Tag Archive for recruiting

The Talent Tipping Point

I’ve never been a big fan of the talent community concept. I get the idea. It would be nice if jobs, careers and companies were interesting enough to support real communities. A real community in my opinion, enables everyone to be able to connect, communicate and set the agenda for conversation. Whilst there was a lot of talk by companies wanting a community, what most really wanted was a talent network. The talent network can be defined as up and down communication between the recruiters and potential candidates when the messaging is relevant. Companies like AT&T have done a great job of this by utilising technology like Findly, that enables a simple sign up and the segmentation of data.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the Talent Tipping Point, and what this might be for different organisations. What I mean by this is the number of connections an organisation needs to reach the point of having all the message points they need to fill all of their future hiring needs. This need not be in a formal way via an organised talent network, it might also include social media connections such as fans of the Facebook career page, followers on Twitter or a LinkedIn page. All of these data points are searchable, which simplifies segmenting data, matching to content and jobs, and relevant messaging.

When we consider all of the data points that might be open to recruiters:

1) Current employees for internal mobility. All of the source of hire reports indicate internal mobility and promotions as the number one source. When employee data is retained in the CRM for matching and access by recruiters without the need for permission, and employees are made aware of every relevant opportunity.

2) Ex-employees for boomerang hires. As attitudes are changing to rehiring, organisations are increasing their percentage of rehire’s. This provides another pool of data within the CRM for recruiters, and increased connections. Ex-employee data is valuable because past performance, conduct, skills and achievements are known.

3) Social referral data. Modern referral technology such as RolePoint, (Disclosure: I serve as the lead advisor to RolePoint), enable recruiters to match opted in employees social media and other connections with content and new opportunities. When we consider that the average employee will have 125 Facebook friends, and 240 LinkedIn connections, it is easy to see the potential of gaining access to this data, with the opportunity for matching and messaging.

4) Previous applicants. Consider the high volume of applicants who have shown an interest in the company in the past. When this data is organised for search and retrieval, (rather than simply storage), this provides a huge pool of qualified data of people, some of whom will have already been met and assessed. When the candidate experience has been a good one regardless of the outcome, there could well be an interest in reapplying for the right opportunity.

5) Friends, fans and followers. Individuals are increasingly connecting with companies via LinkedIn and other social pages, Fan pages, Twitter accounts etc. The numbers will increase, and whilst there may be some attrition in connections as people choose to disconnect, other branding activity will bring in new people. This will also include people who choose to sign up for a talent network to keep in touch, in the same way as they might follow a company page.

When we look at these five data sets and consider the volume and relevance of connections, it is easy to see the potential for reaching a Talent Tipping Point of all the connections you are ever likely to need for future recruiting. If we can identify this point, (including relevant skills), backed up with technology for accurate and timely data retrieval in real-time, analytics, data mapping for succession planning and workforce analytics, and relevant messaging, then the focus of the talent acquisition team takes on a new dimension. Hit the tipping point of connections (and you may already be there), and its all about maintenance of relationships and cleanliness of data over new talent attraction.

Exciting times!

Bill

The end of the in-house recruiter? #DiceTru #TruLondon

Recruitment is changing, there is no doubt about that, but there is a particular trend that seems to be gaining momentum that recruiters should be very conscious of because it could have a major impact on the role of the in-house recruiter. This could be the beginning of the end of in-house recruiters as we know them, or could be an evolution in to something completely different. Over the next 4 weeks I’m going to be exploring this in a bit more depth by talking to lots of recruiters and asking lots of questions about what is really going on. We will be hosting #DiceTru in partnership with EmployersOnDice in Mountain View, USA on the 15th August, and in San Francisco on 16th August, and then again as part of the #Kellylive hangout at #trulondon on 6th September.

I first started really thinking about this at the beginning of the year when I did a bit of a San Fran tour and caught up with the sourcing technology companies Gild, Entello, DiceOpenWeb and others. What surprised me at the time was that I was consistently getting told that it was hiring managers who were buying this technology directly, rather than sourcers or recruiters. Through the work I have been doing with social referral company RolePoint, I was becoming aware that more and more hiring managers were looking to run their own referral campaigns outside of the normal company process. RolePoint have had to go as far as creating a whole new work and data flow to accomodate this.

The data from the candidate experience awards in both North America and the UK was showing us that an increasing number of hiring managers were being set KPI’s for things like time to hire, cost of hire, candidate experience etc, the kind of metrics we had previously always associated with recruiters. We have also witnessed a growing reliance on the business to generate employer and culture brand content for talent attraction, and for employees to engage directly with potential candidates. My friend Rob Van’Elburg had also just started a new project with ING Bank to co-ordinate the training of all the hiring managers in technology across the world to run there own hiring campaigns through Taleo, from creating job specs to offer management. All of the technology recruiting for a global business being co-ordinated by one person. All the signs were pointing in one direction.

Probing a bit deeper in to why this was happening, with a number of hiring managers at global corporations, some of the reasoning behind this became clear. For a start, a lot of the tech jobs had never really existed before, and hiring managers wanted more access to who was out there in order to shape what they were actually looking for. We were also looking at data for a number of hiring managers where they were getting to see 5 in 1000 applicants by the time the ATS had sifted out 70%, usually on random criteria, the recruiter had eliminated CV’s, then done video or phone screens, then interviews, then other tests like assesments for team fit, skills etc before the last few standing got in frount of the hiring manager. It is no small wonder that hiring managers have started to want to look a lot closer at that pipeline for themselves.

I have also been aware of a new recruitment model evolving at Oracle in the EMEA region, which has since been adopted globally. Recruiting is a profit center that charges the business for their time. Recruiters are responsible for sourcing, (along with a sourcing and social media team), new potential hires. They don’t do any admin or logistics, that is all they do. Find people, qualify them, send them on to the hiring manager. The only time they ever get involved again is in helping to close candidates.They deffinitely don’t do any interviewing or anything like that. Very different, but very effective against aggressive hiring targets, with 30% of hires coming from social media, 30% from referral and 40% from direct sourcing. I’m begining to see this model being mirrored in other organisation looking to achieve the same thing, making recruiting being about sourcing, on a just in time basis.

That leaves us then with the question: If hiring managers are going to drive their own recruiting, what is going to happen to the recruiters? I asked this question at the #tru sessions at lRecruit earlier year. I was running a track that had about 18 heads of talent acquisition in the session. Industry analyst Josh Bersin was quick to pick up on this and ask if this really a trend in the organisations, given that most of the participants were senior and represented global brands. 18 of the 19 companies all confirmed that this is the direction they are going in, with more and more hiring managers taking on more and more of the day to day responsibility for hiring in their teams, assisted by some clever recruiting and assesment technology. It is becoming clear that this is much more than a trend, and not isolated to one region or one sector. That would be too simple.

My thinking is that in-house recruiters, and recruiting functions are going to go in one of four distinct directions:

1: The super recruiters. The last few years have seen the rise of the super recruiter. People like Matthew Jeffery at SAP, Chris Hoyt at Pepsico, Paul Maxin at Unilever, Jeff Moore at Google, Arie Ball at Sodexo, Donna Quintal at Sears, Anne-Marie O’Donnell at Oracle, Lars Schmidt at NPR, Ted Meulenkamp at Roche, and a number of others. Individuals who are much more strategic than tactical, who have high level influence. This is a great opportunity, but they are in the minority.

2: The sourcers – As with the Oracle model. 100% focussed on generating candidates by effective sourcing, and leaving the decision making, selection and recruiting to the line. A very lean, focussed role, with niche or location specialists. More opportunity for direct sourcing functions within larger organisations. Numbers driven, lean operations working on a just in time, on demand basis. Many of these roles could be filled by the new breed of contract recruiters, who come in as needed, and drop off when things are slack, or through RPO operations, importing expertise at the sourcing end. Potentially this will mean less opportunities for in-house recruiters.

3: Talent Networkers. I couldn’t think of a better term, although I’m sure there is one. This changes the recruiters role from filling jobs to populating the pipeline and the talent network. Sourcing people who are a cultural fit, with longer term potential as hires, and organising the data in the talent network for the hiring managers to recruit from. Whilst this role is proving valuable for those companies who go down this route, few companies will prove as forward thinking. We will also see a rise in companies like Norman Broadbent company Social Media Search providing this as an outsourced function.

4: Administrators – Managing the admin and logistics around recruiting such as interview scheduling, assessments etc on behalf of line manager, back to the days of the personnel manager. Whilst this has to be the least appealing option, cost considerations may well see this as the most likely route.

You might think I’m mad in thinking this, but it is too big a trend to ignore. You can come and disagree/discuss/debate this point with me at #DiceTru in Mountain View on the 15th Aug, SanFran on the 16th or #trulondon on the 6th Sept. I look forward to the debate!

Bill

Abba – A Recruiter’s Lament

Guest post by Elkie Holland from Prospectus IT Recruitment.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the lyrics of “Ring Ring”  by Abba from 1973.  Listen to it again now and visualise a Recruiter sitting at their desk having advertised their latest job and waiting for the star candidate to call them.

I (recruiter) sit and wait and wonder about you (quality candidate)
It’s a dark and dreary night
Seems like nothing’s going right
(no placements)
Won’t you tell me how can I go on here without you?
(no quality candidate = no placement)

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

Is this a sad visualisation or a stark reality or perhaps a prophesy about to come true ?

Well, times have changed dramatically in the recruiting world and if Recruiters don’t change with it, they may well be sitting there singing this song.

You were here and now you’re gone
Hey did I do something wrong?

To be honest, the Recruiter may not have done something wrong, but they certainly aren’t doing things right if they’re still stuck with the mind-set of 1973 i.e. drafting up a nice little advert, placing it in the newspaper or trade magazine and sitting back and waiting for dozens of quality candidates to give them a call to tell them how great they are for their vacancy. 

Now I know 1973 seems a long time ago, and most many reading this won’t have been born then let alone been Recruiting at that time !  However, recruiting was still like this up until not so very long ago, except adverts were placed on the job boards rather than in newspapers or magazines.

Tell me, are we really through?
Won’t you hear me cry and you will know that my heart is breaking

The answer to this is that Recruiters are not finished.  They are still needed.

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Recruiters need to adapt and move with the times.  Unless you’ve been hiding under rock, then you’ll have realised that Social Media has arrived and it’s here to stay.   Social Media has turned the Recruiting world on its head.  Recruiters are being forced to ‘hunt’ for quality candidates rather than just rely on ad response and waiting for their phone to ring.

It’s not that quality candidates are all hiding or don’t have phones and never reply to adverts but they are now being approached in a variety of different ways.  Therefore, they don’t always need to hunt vacancies on job boards and respond to adverts.  If a quality candidate has a LinkedIn profile, chances are they get a half a dozen or so In-mails a week starting with  ……. “I hope you don’t mind the approach, but I found your details on LinkedIn and wondered if you would be able to help me/be interested in etc”.    They may also have a Facebook profile and have been sent a personal message, or have been contacted via their Twitter account.  So candidates are being served opportunities in more ways than just traditional advertising from recruitment agencies and direct employers !

Won’t you please understand the need in me
So, ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

So, if you’re a Recruiter and you’re just sitting waiting for the star quality candidate to call you, then this song could be your song very soon !   Instead of you lamenting that the candidates “understand the need in you” and that they “call” you,  perhaps you should understand the needs of the candidate and go to them.

1973 was a great place to be a recruiter (and so was 1983, 1993 and 2003) but times have changed and you need to change too.  2012 is still a great time to be a Recruiter but you need to adapt to the exciting changes of the time.

To summarise: 

I am not saying job boards are dead, I am saying that Recruiters are no longer needed.  What I am saying is that Recruiters need to do more and get Social if they wish to avoid adopting the Abba song “Ring Ring” as their Lament  !

When did recruiting stop being an HR function? #ConnectingHR

I will be hosting the #ConnectingHR #CHRChat on Wednesday 2′nd Feb at 8.00PM G.M.T. Thats 3.00PM EST if you are in the states.
The topic of the chat: Recruiting as an HR function.

I’m not going to fire questions in to the twitter stream every 5 minutes or so, I much prefer the open mic approach. set up the topic and see where we go. Anyone can contribute using the #CHRChat hashtag, don’t wait for an invite.
The topic I want to tweet/talk about is why recruiting is seen as separate to the HR function. I’m not quite sure when this happened, but just recently I’ve been attending events where I have regularly heard the comment from Talent Acquisition teams “We had to get permission from HR” and even “we had to ask HR forgiveness”, and all of this in relation to using social-media for recruiting.
I understand that as more organisations move away from the agency recruiting route in favour of direct sourcing, the recruiting (or talent acquisition to give its posh term) functions have developed in their own rite and needed dedicated experts. Personally, I don’t view this as being any different to training (now called learning and development), payroll or any of the other specialist functions that impact on the people in an organisation outside of operational responsibility. Management structures may have flattened a little to create a Human Resources team rather than a department with a head. These flat teams consist of function specialists, one of which will be talent acquisition and as such I see them operating collectively within the HR function.
The clue for me is in the “Human” part of “Human Resources.” Surely the function that acquires humans for the organisation is a central part of the HR function, and as such wouldn’t need permission to do anything? Perhaps collaboration over strategy and execution, but not permission from the function they are a part of.
Perhaps I’m out of touch. What are your views on where recruiting sits within the organisational structure? If you outsource the function, do you outsource the responsibility with it?
I look forward to the conversation on #CHRChat on Wednesday. If you’ve never taken part in a chat before, the best way to follow the free-flowing debate is by using one of the chat applications. This will enable you to follow the conversation on the hashtag outside of your usual stream and to contribute without needing to add the hashtag each time. I use tweetchat for this, though tweetgrid is an excellent alternative. you can log in via twitter and search on the hashtag #CHRChat.
It will be fun, but please don’t wait till Wednesday to share your views, what do you think?

Bill

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PS: I will be moving to a new domain with a new look over the next few days. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement!

What is all this “Un” stuff?

The Unblog – Norton Folgate

The unblog is the official blog of The Recruiting Unconference London  (if anything can be official about such an event!). This is the place for random thinking on recruiting and social recruiting, debate and discussion. In the spirit of the unconference, anyone can post here on any topic, start their own blog or leave comments. The comments are unmoderated, it is down to you to respect common decency just as it will be on the 19th November. All you need to do is register and start blogging. Word, video, podcast, whatever method you favour, post it here.
A what & a why you might be asking. What is an unconference & why Norton Folgate? (unless you are full of madness, you probably won’t know the answer to either.
An unconference is an unconventional event that has built momentum from the technology sector in the states. From barcamps to gatherings in parks, the unconference is seen as the best way to share and communicate and come up with real solutions without the clutter of structure or set agendas. Its also an ante-dote to attending a traditional conference, knowing half the speakers already and paying £3 – 400 to see one of them.

There are no rules or fixed structures, speakers or auditoriums, and definitely NO death by powerpoint. The event is broken in to tracks with trackleaders in most cases, who have some expertise in the discussion area. Their role is to encourage conversation, input where needed and support the exchange of ideas, communication, conversation, disagreement, debate and discussion. Anyone can join in and if you get bored, you just change the conversation or move to another track. I lead a track at Recruitfest09 in Toronto and this great event convinced me that we needed to do the same thing in London.
Norton Folgate is the name I’ve given the blog for  The Recruiting Unconference London or #trulondon if you live on twitter. I mention Madness, or the nutty boys for two reasons. Firstly they are by far the best band ever, and second, their recent (and excellent) album is titled “The liberty of Norton Folgate.” The release of the album drew my attention to the history of a part of London that was was named Norton Folgate, tucked between Whitechapel and the Bishopsgate. (The quest for the venue starts on the location of the Norton Folgate then head east from Mr.Truemans beer factory via the gas lights).

 The area was declared by statute a liberty i:e: A free land with no rules or order. Being a liberty, it attracted all of Londons society and became home to the artists, poets, performers, artistes, free thinkers, buskers, anarchists and the like. You might expect anarchy without order but the story , as the song goes saw a society spring up where people accepted each other, helped and shared views without the need for law and agenda, the people in effect policed and organised themselves.
The liberty of Norton Folgate may have been forgotten in time but for Madness, reviving it in song and retelling the story. By some strange chance, and in an event eerily unconnected with the band, property developers planned to pull down the alleys and buildings that form Norton Folgate and replace them with functional but faceless glass skyscrapers to match most of the surrounding areas. Norton Folgate seemed doomed forever when local protest met a brick wall of bureaucracy. By chance, a local historian opposed to the destruction of this piece of history found the Liberty and discovered that by error, the beaureaucrats had never actually revoked it. By evoking the Liberty, and declaring that the land did in fact belong to the people and not the planners, the demolition has been prevented at least for the time being. At the same time, Madness had read about Norton Folgate and had written a series of songs on London, culminating in a 10 minute classic celebrating the Liberty. The protesters, on hearing this, adopted the song as their anthem and the two movements combined. Madness, being a bit rebellious (but nice), in their day were honoured that their musical mischief making had coincided with such a rebellious event!
On my part, the spirit of Norton Folgate is exactly what the Recruiting Unconference London is all about. No set rules or structure, self policing, the tracks and controlling the content. We are expecting enjoyment, engagement, laughter, a little anger and plenty of learning. I view it that as The Bill Boorman Consultancy is the name above the door, it’s our job to facilitate the event, it’s the job of every attendee to organise it and make sure that the content is just right for them. You choose what you want to know, what you want to talk about, where you want to contribute and where you want to listen. Then just like in Norton Folgate, the evening will end in revelry.
The Recruiting Tweetup is a quarterly event organised by Jamie Leonard of The Ladders and Matt Alder of Penna Barkers, the social media ringmaster himself. The London RTU brings your networking offline and enables you to put faces to the tweets whilst enjoying the odd ale, liquor or similar exotic tipple. The London RTU is the place where the debate will no doubt continue long in to the night fuelled by intoxication. A great end to a great day!

The Recruiting Unconference London or #trulondon takes place on the 19th November.
You can book for The Recruiting Unconference London at http://recruitingunconference.eventbrite.com