Tag Archive for the future of recruiting

Why sourcing is only just starting #Sourcecon

I’m really excited to be at Sourcecon in Atlanta. the night before the event, and much of the talk has been about a post from Dr.John Sullivan that sourcing is dead. OK, not dead, but the title of the post is that the end of sourcing is near. This is, of course rubbish. sourcing has never been in more demand.

The point Dr.John makes is that everyone now has a digital footprint. finding people is easy. I don’t disagree with that but …

Can you find the SAME people as Glen Cathey? Probably not.

Will you look in the same place as me? No

Have you built the same reputation as me in the market we source in? Time will tell.

Can you read a profile and know what it really means? I doubt it

And here is the thing, sourcing is just starting. There are plenty of tools for dissecting and finding data that gives you the answers you want. The tools may no longer mean that you no longer need to know Boolean or other internet searching tips,but understanding what data means is a real art. It is not about finding people, it’s about understanding people. Things like who might be most ready to move. who has accumulated experience since they last updated a profile. Finding people might be easy. People are represented by data, and anyone with the right tool can find data, but interpreting data is a real skill. Understanding who is right for an approach, and who might be right for your offer is the art of the sourcer.

In my opinion, the art of sourcing is just starting. The easier it is to find people, the harder it is to source people, because all recruiters are ending up at the same place. The real skill is ending up at a place and with a person no one else has found, because the way in which you looked was different to everyone else.

My message to Dr.John is don’t mistake finding with sourcing. Anyone can search on LinkedIn and find 30 profiles with the right job title, or use the latest tool to find profiles that match. That doesn’t make the people you find candidates. That is the art of the sourcer. To find 30 people who look the same, but understand who is different. To understand that it is not about finding needles in haystacks, but understanding which haystack needs a poke around with your pitchfork.

There is much more to it, and a lot further to go in developing sourcing techniques. Sourcing is not near the end, it has only just started, and I’m looking forward to the next 2 days to discover where the art might be going!


Whats next in Social & Mobile with @KWheeler #ATCSM

Kevin Wheeler is closing a great conference in Sydney, talking about the future. Wheeler starts by talking history in order to understand the future. The first SMS message was sent exactly 20 years ago to a Vodaphone UK cellphone from a PC. The message was “Happy Christmas”.

The first website was in 1991 at CERN. 1993 was the first internet browser Mosaic. The world-wide web was launched in 1994, with Explorer launching in 1995. The cellphone in 1983 and  the first social network six degrees launched in 1997. Myspace and LinkedIn launched in 2003 and Facebook and Twitter in 2006. For most of us, this has been in our lifetime.

MIT recently dropped a box of iPads in to an African village with no instructions. The children of the village figured them out and were learning songs and lessons in only a week. This proves that technology is intuitive rather than requiring instruction. The digital generation have figured this out and are driven by on-line exploration and discovery without fear.

Words and content have no value, it is their interpretation and use that has the value. We are at the end of the beginning of control. We come from a world of control and rules, but data ownership no longer applies. content comes from the crowd. Hierarchy no longer works because no one can own and control anything. The way in which work is organised and done is changing as companies learn to communicate and collaborate through social. The new way of work is smaller, leaner and more agile.

Words are disappearing, replaced by pictures, video and images, but recruiting sites and content is still 90% words. This need to change because people want the message in a way they can relate. We are the people of the screen with very short attention spans.

Candidates and employees become the center of hiring, and the recruiters role needs to significantly change. The next generation live and communicate by games, recruiting needs to reflect this. software is dead  with the future being app based.

Manager means control and a block. blocks won’t work in the new world of work. The challenge is being able to understand data in order to change the way recruiting works. Facebook has an uncertain future, LinkedIn will plateau twitter will slowly rise, Instagram will grow and career sites will disappear. By 2015 recruiting will be about seamless conversations between prospects, candidates, employees and managers. words are going to disappear, replaced by images. the best recruiters will be analysts, choreographers, editors and coaches. Higher social influence scores will be essential to be found. I would add that interaction is critical for visibility, and those who don’t take part will become invisible.

This is an exciting world for me, and in my view we are only 12 months away.




“She Said,He Said” HR Edition: The Future Of Recruiting

“SheSaid,He Said” is a new monthly series on this blog featuring the conversations I have with my friend Robin Schooling on and off-line. Robin and I live in different worlds. robin is a practicing HR professional with Louisiana State Lottery, living in Baton Rouge, USA. Robin and I have great conversations, where she brings the reality of day-to-day HR in Louisiana, where I talk about a connected world, where everyone is on-line and doing cool things. Somewhere in the middle is reality for most people, and I learn every time we speak.

Robin is working hard to bring social, small step by small step to her Louisiana Community. We decided it would be fun and interesting to post the thoughts behind some of our conversations so everyone can join in.
Next year I’m going to be delivering the closing keynote at Louisiana SHRM. During the conference we are going to be running a live “she said,he said” session that everyone can join in. This is the beginning of that conversation. I hope you enjoy it and join in with your own comments. Robin will be featuring the same series on her blog. Her blog is brilliant.Please visit!

She Said:

I adore the conversations, blog posts, and twitter chats that dive into the topic of recruiting. Although I’ve been toiling plying-my-trade as an HR Generalist for a number of years, I cut my teeth as a recruiter and often find that my first love within the vast scope of HR continues to be in that realm. So over the years I’ve continued to hang out with the recruiting crowd wherever I may find them – blogs, conference, twitter chats – you name it and I’m probably lurking on the sidelines. Luckily, because of this, I continue to come into contact with lots of smart, amazing, and forward-thinking people – those who push the envelope, push the conversations and push the boundaries of possibilities.
The other night I was participating in the weekly #TalentNet chat where the topic was “Recruiting IS Strategic…Or it Can Be.” Good info and conversation with the discussion ranging from how recruiters move from being reactive to proactive and what role does social media and technology play in recruitment strategy. The wrap-up question was: How is the recruitment function evolving, if at all? What does the future of recruiting look like in 5 years? 10?
As expected, folks on the chat weighted in on the merits of the universal candidate profile, mobile recruiting technology and ultimately the ‘death of the resume’ – a topic on which I’ve had my say. And I get it – these smarty pants people from whom I continuously learn are dabbling with new and awesome technology and finding innovative ways to meet the candidates where they are. Quite often though I think this stuff that is talked about works well for either specific industries or for specific types of job seekers – tech dudes/dudettes for example or mid-level professionals who have carefully constructed their LinkedIn profiles.
I hopped up on my soap box once again and pointed out on the twitterz that “Susie who makes $8 per hour as a cashier does-not-have-a-resume let alone an online profile/presence #talentnet.” Comments back and forth with my friend Bill Boorman ensued (you can see his take on the matter below) which led me to ponder, once again, the situation around the “future of recruiting” as I see it down here on the field.
So the next day I conducted an incredibly unscientific poll which entailed sending text messages to a handful of HR colleagues – all of whom regularly hire pink-collar/blue-collar/entry-level candidates in the service, financial and manufacturing industries. I found that based on the position being filled the primary way to apply is to either submit a resume (fax, online, email, snail mail) for professional and higher level clerical positions or to complete a paper application. A few people indicated they “like” to receive resumes but they don’t require them; completion of the Employment Application (paper or via ATS) can suffice.
And like it or not, for many, paper still rules….
• According to an NTIA study from November 2011, “Exploring the Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use at Home,” only 54% of low-income families in the US (earning less than $25k) have a computer at home and only 43% have broadband internet access at home.
• The Pew Internet and Life Project found that 20% of American adults do not use the internet and 27% of adults living with a disability in the US are less likely than adults without a disability to go online. (Granted, survey results DID find that access has been enhanced through the use of mobile for some, including young adults, minorities and those with lower household incomes).
Thankfully, there are programs right here at home that are working to address the issue, including the Computers for Louisiana Kids program which works to put technology in schools and focuses on the importance of technology for workforce training – and future employment.
We can talk about talent communities all we want. However, when I think about MY community I continue to worry about how we can get the members of it ready for the ‘future of recruiting.’

He Said: (Thats me)

This is an interesting position Robin is taking now. I understand it for now, and it is not dissimilar to the position taken by many HR professionals across the world. They are so busy with the demands of the day, and playing technical catch up to now, that tomorrow is not really a priority. Any change is usually about enhancing what we have always done, rather than trying something new.
Minimum wage, hourly hires are on-line, that is for certain. What I have learnt over the last few years is that the candidates change what channels and technologies they use in their life well ahead of recruiters and HR, who are playing continual catch up. I would question if Robins contacts were really talking about the way they work, which has remained relatively unchanged over the last decade, and what suits their potential candidates. The wheels of HR move incredibly slowly.
Recently I featured the success Pizza Hut are experiencing through social recruiting, this is mostly for minimum wage staff who are applying for multiple positions using social profiles to sign in. the most successful recruiting project I have been involved in was Hard Rock Café in Florence, where the majority of the 120 staff hired, (and the 11,000) applicants were for minimum wage bar, waiting and kitchen staff. All applications were received through Facebook. UPS hired all of their casual staff for Christmas via a combination of a Facebook competition, YouTube and a fan page, again requiring a social sign in. The same applies to Sodexo and other brands, Facebook is the place where minimum wage, hourly employees are most likely to be on-line. I would be confident that “Suzie” would have an account, and the social footprint that goes along with it.
In terms of families with low incomes not having computers at home or access to the internet, this is rapidly changing through mobile technology and government intervention. Within 2 years, I would expect broadband and the internet being seen as a rite rather than a luxury. The Indian government has developed an i-pad type device that retails at less than 2 dollars, which is being introduced in to the education system. I’m sure the US is not going to be far behind. Devices and access are going to become cheaper and cheaper, probably paid for by subscription rather than purchase, and removing the price entry point will accelerate internet access in to the remainder of the population. Marketing, product companies and government departments need people to be on-line. E-books now outsell paper books and are available on demand. Education and learning is going on-line at a rapid rate, reducing the cost of learning, We are moving rapidly to a connected world, where everyone is on-line.
When we talk about the future of recruiting, we need to look at where we think we will be in 1 – 3 years, and not where we are now. We need to make access to employment easy, and that means moving processes on-line and connections in the places where people will be hanging out. Right now that looks like Facebook and mobile for the many “Suzie’s” out there. HR and Recruiting teams need to understand this, and be ready as the candidates move forward rather than playing catch up your community is moving on-line Robin, you need to be waiting.

Hope you enjoyed this. Please read Robins excellent blog to see the comments coming from her community and add your own. It’s going to be a great old school/new kool conversation. We can all learn from that!


A recruiting manifesto #truEurope

this document is not my original thought, though I concur with much of the thinking. This is a manifesto from Bjorn veestra, the founder of Employer brand Insights, prior to his track at #truEurope, in a bit of a Jerry McGuire moment. Enjoy and comment,

MANIFESTO – #trueurope
‘The future of labour: The Talent Stock Exchange’

Brussel, 19 april 2012

join the conversation at #trueurope

Author manifesto and track leader: @bjornveenstra
Founder: werkenbijmerken.nl and Employer Brand Insights

The labour market’s landscape is changing at a fast pace.
We observe a strong urge among university and college graduates for personal freedom and the ability to engage in entrepreneurial activity on an independent basis. Ask ten higher educated starters or professionals how they perceive their future role in the labour market and expect over half of them to reply that they are aiming to work independently at some point in time in their professional life.

Personally, I am convinced that within the next five years, this landscape will depict a fundamental shift from ‘work agreements’ to ‘talent contracts’. Within ten years there will be a new world in which every individual is marketing his or her own talents and skills either independently or through an organized format.

Talent contract©
Talent contracts will be known for its flexible attitude towards duration, be it extremely short-term (hours, days, weeks) or longer term (months, years). It will be directly connected to the talent and knowledge that needs to be delivered on, scarcity of talent and skill determine the tariff and the talent-contractor carries the risk. Nothing I’ve mentioned so far is new in any way, apart from the fact that it’ll become standard practice.

Talent Stock Exchange©
I firmly belief in action-reaction. Following the above train of thoughts I foresee a movement in which talent groups unite in order to market themselves to employers in an organized manner. Is this the birth of the Talent Stock Exchange? The reversed business model of the major current temporary work agencies, where talent unifies and markets itself. Employers can in turn perhaps also take part in this Talent Stock Exchange.

No matter how you put it, this is an interesting question because the role of the employer brand (as an integral part of brand-management) will only increase in importance. The labour market will be ruled more obviously by the principles of demand and supply due to the pressures of an ageing labour market and an increased degree of flexibility.

Who shall access my talent?
The above mentioned matter is merely functional, and oriented on recruiting talent. An at least equally important fundament of making decisions in terms of employment is determined by the employee: who would you give access to your skills and talent. Research amongst over 5.500 Dutch higher educated (Employer Brand Monitor) has shown that the decision of accepting a task or employer is more and more based on the match between the personal brand and the employer brand. In other words: whom do I want to give access to my talent? Values, norms, culture and archetypes are key in determining the match between the personal DNA and the Employer Brand DNA.

Engage and join the conversation at #trueurope
‘Based on all findings, remarks, opinions, suggestions I will formulate an updated Manifesto on ‘The future of labour: The Talent Stock Exchange’.



The Future Of Recruiting

I’m a big fan of Peter Cosgrove. He is one of the senior managers at Ireland’s leading recruiters, C.P.L. Peter is a thinking mans/women’s/persons recruiter. He “gets” social, is an advocate but also a realist. I like his thinking on where recruiting is going in the medium term. Peters track at #truDublin last year was one of my highlights of a busy 2011. Managing 100′s of recruiters across a range of sectors also means that he knows what is actually going on, and the challenges they face in their day-to-day jobs.

Peter is a recommended connection. This is his slideshare from a recent presentation on the future of recruiting. Nothing complicated or high faluting. More prompting thinking than giving exact solutions. We should all consider the future in our planning, because it affects the big decisions we make today. People who built websites without mobile compatibility because it was an optional extra 12 months ago are now regretting that decision. They considered how candidates were applying for jobs 12 then, rather than what they might be doing now, and it leaves them with a big hole today that needs filling. Mobile compatability should be the standard build, not an optional build.

 The future is important, it just gets lost in the busy hubub of today, and the jobs we need to fill now. Think again!

Thanks Peter for sharing your thoughts. What do you all think is going to be important 2 years from today?



Peter Cosgrove

Automating Recruiting #Trulondon

WhiteTruffle is a San Francisco based web start-up, the brain child of Frenchman Alex Deve, who describe the business as e-harmony for recruiters. I met Alex in San francisco, and again in London recently, where he brought me up to speed with the progress the business is making. I like the concept and thinking behind the site, and the way the product is evolving. It is deliberately disruptive. More of an automated recruiter than a candidate database or job board.

WhiteTruffle introduces engineers to companies, and companies to engineers, and they do it in a different way to a conventional job board or C.V. database, adding recruiter thinking to technology, using dynamic data intelligence to continually understand and match profiles. It’s not surprising that the site is designed to think like a recruiter, as Deve’s 2 business partners are executive headhunters in the technology sectors. I know from experience that although recruiters mostly believe they work on instinct to see a match, with no real repetitive process, the reality is quite different. I’ve had the same discussions when trying to implement a recruitment database for a national business.  Habits become so engrained over time, they become automatic actions.

Deve spent several months mapping what his co-founders did in their recruitment business. How they read resumes. The questions they asked while matching and profiling candidates, and how they learnt from feedback. He looked at the questions they asked to understand job descriptions, and how they took feedback from clients to modify and change what they are looking for. More importantly, he noted the consistencies between one recruiter and another to determine the outline for the platform.

Not surprisingly, given the recruiter influence, they’ve introduced a pricing model that is familiar. The site is free for engineers to put in their profiles, and it’s free for recruiters to use. A fee becomes payable when a candidate gets hired. At the moment the percentage and fee is determined by what the hiring company thinks the candidate is worth, and so far it has worked out close to what an agency fee would be for the same placement. There’s no policing of introductions, it’s all on trust, although candidates can claim a $200 voucher when they get a job through the site, and this acts to make them aware of hires. In the next phase the plan is to move to a subscription model, regardless of volume of hires. 

Registration is simple and quick, as all sites should be, with one click to import the LinkedIn and Facebook profile and a CV upload, with the only fields required being those left unpopulated. This is followed by simple qualifying questions over work status, permit etc, and a series of tags relating to type of employer. The company and job description follows a similar frame, and the automated matching starts, as you’d expect, with the usual key-words. Thats where the similarity to a normal career site ends.

Both the job and the profile are kept anonymous. The job seeker gets to see the job and decide if they are interested, and the hiring company gets to see the profiles matched. One party only gets to see the full detail of the other when both have expressed an interests. Deve expressed an opinion that Linked In and the Job boards are over populated with recruiters. The candidates who use WhiteTruffle do so because they were tired of getting too many irrelevant approaches when they used the traditional sites, often as many as 10 – 15 a day. By staying anonymous until everyone is interested in a conversation solves this problem for all party’s, with recruiters also only speaking to candidates who are interested. It’s much cleaner all round.

The site includes some Amazon like features, like, other candidates like you were also interested in these jobs, and companies interested in this candidate were also interested in these candidates. While this is useful, the feature I really like though is the way the system learns from the candidate and hiring companies choices. Preference is given to those profiles on either side that are active and respond to approaches, and are “rewarded” with new introductions, those who are less responsive drop down the list.

When a candidate rejects or accept a job or opportunity they are asked why. The same for hiring managers rejecting resumes. The information gathered after each action and the answers are used to build up intelligence to enable the system to make more and more accurate choices. The more the system knows about you from your actions and feedback, the better it works for you. The questions asked and the data gathered are the same as the questions I would ask candidates or clients when I was a recruiter, that helped me understand their needs and wants a little bit better after each interaction. The more I understood about the emotions and motivations of candidates and clients, the easier it was to make the right matches. People get interviews based on skills and experience, and candidates take interviews based on similar criteria. Increasingly, research is showing that candidates are only applying for jobs they are confident they can get and want. This process can only help in this, and I will be watching the feedback with interest, to see how these intelligent profiles work out.

What strikes me is that this kind of intelligence gathering and matching technology has been used successfully for the last few years, hence the description as e-harmony. What we do know is that dating sites like e-harmony have a fantastic success rate of matching couples based on emotional intelligence, interests and feedback. A job is a kind of marriage, with an interview being a first date. If it works in dating and few people now question it, why not recruiting?

Deve gets excited and animated when he talks about the need for disruptive practices in the recruitment marketplace. In his view, (and I’m inclined to agree), much of the existing technology and practice that is used today is unhelpful for jobseekers and employers. It’s clogging up the market on both sides, and although there are some exceptions, mostly an overhaul is needed. I’ve heard Deve’s fellow countryman and friend, Jerome Ternyck of  disruptive ATS company SMART recruiters, speaking on the same subject. It is Jerome s view that there’s lots of open jobs, particularly in the SME sector, and plenty of people with the right skills who are unemployed. Complicated application processes and lack of acknowledgement and feedback has led to applicant lethargy. The employers are unhappy because they can’t connect with the right talent, and the job seekers are just fed up because they can’t connect with employers. The technology needs fixing to make the process work.Both Ternyck and Deve are setting out to open up access to all, and I wish them well in that.

I asked Deve what the long term vision was for the business. Interestingly, he was more interested in how the product would develop, rather than what the exit might be. Similar to Lucian Tarnowski, over at the talented community, Brave New Talent, Deve sees a future where these technologies can be used to identify skills gaps between where a candidate is now, and where they want to be in the future, benchmarked against others, with on-line resources being made available to develop the candidate to the required next level. It’s an exciting prospect to develop careers platforms rather than purely transactional job finding services. These forward thinkers make a valid link between recruiting and development through technology,and I’m starting to think this vision is not too far away from becoming a reality.

At #truAustralia in Melbourne, Kevin Wheeler spoke about how in the future the recruitment process was going to be considerably shortened through automation, video selection, assessments and testing and referencing, using products like Checkster, the brilliant 360 degree reference tool. Wheeler contends that there’s far too much time spent on preliminary interviews conducted by untrained interviewers. This is not effective for the hiring company, and frustrating for the candidate. This process change would reduce the number of interviews to 1 or 2, with better outcomes. I couldn’t help thinking how this might fit in with developments planned at WhiteTruffle. Wheeler will be leading a track at #trulondon on this thinking, and Deve hopes to be there. It will be an interesting conversation.

Whilst WhiteTruffle is focussed on engineers, this technology and methodology is equally applicable to any niche sector. Deve is quick to point out that there will always be a place for recruiters who can bring relationships and a personal approach. I agree with this, and it gives further evidence why recruiters need to be moving from transactional practice to one based on relationships, and the winner in all this could just be the candidate. Thats got to be great news!



White Truffle

SMART Recruiters

Brave New Talent

Kevin Wheeler