Friday, December 20, 2013

Recruiting the Hunger Games Way

Recruiting the Hunger Games Way

Doug Douglas
Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 1.50.57 PMMay the odds be ever in your favor.
Ten million skilled labor jobs went unfilled in the U.S. last year alone. 10,000 Baby Boomers retire each day. Do the math and something needs to happen to put the odds in your favor if you are a recruiter. Here are a few to consider.

Be Memorable

Advantages came to the contestants in The Hunger Games who were the most memorable out of the 24 who were competing. You’re probably not Google, Facebook, or Apple. You don’t have instant name recognition that helps to sell your brand. But you do have a story to tell. Psychologists have been studying the impact of sharing stories and how they directly impact a person’s attitudes, values, hopes, and fears. But somehow, in the recruiting world, we haven’t grasped that power yet.
So much of recruiting today is creating a job description with an unending list of bullet points and communicating what they company demands of the candidate. Very little emphasis is placed on telling the candidate about the company — what it does, why it does it, what impact it makes, and the causes that company supports. Once a company can have interested parties visualize themselves working there, the battle has been won.
In addition, an emphasis on that candidate’s experience is mandatory. It’s a no-win situation to tell a remarkable story and have a candidate envision themselves working there … and then totally disregard the candidate through the rest of the recruitment process. Common human courtesies will help to make your company memorable.

Alliances Get You Further

As with any good movie, you have the good guys and the bad guys. The Hunger Games was no different. As the battles began, individuals quickly aligned with each other to try to defeat the others.
In this battle for talent, new, fresh, innovative thinking is required — a business alliance. For some, it might mean aligning with a firm that can focuses on sourcing and driving candidates to your recruitment team. For others, it might be a marketing ally that help you to tell your story — online, print, video, social, etc. Some will choose an ally that is focused on recruitment optimization — taking your current strategies, processes, technology, and team and fine-tuning it to make it run more effectively and efficiently. Or you might align yourself with a totally outsourced recruitment partner that delivers on your behalf.
I have been warning recruitment leaders for the past few years that a major transition was about to take place in the way that recruiting is executed. This is mostly because of the generational shift of our candidate base. Two main reasons why this change will take place:
  1. It is the first generation to grow up with the Internet accessible to them every day of its lives. It has reshaped communication skills. It has reshaped problem solving. It has reshaped how businesses operate. It has reshaped just about every aspect of our lives. But somehow we think we can still recruit with the same tired strategies and processes that we used 5-10-15+ years ago.
  2. This is also the generation where everyone got a trophy and we quit keeping score. Candidates have a deep need for communication and reassurance … and having an ATS with knockout questions that eliminate the vast majority of applicants within 30 seconds of their application being submitted doesn’t really feel good to these candidates.
The role of recruiter is changing to more of an influencer … and that means alliances must be in place: Networking alliances. Campus alliances. Referral alliances. Optimization alliances.

Your Mentor Changes Everything

In the movie, each Tribute had a mentor assigned to them. One of the most appealing things that a company can do to draw in new talent is assign that new person to a mentor. Someone to show them the ropes, answer their questions, and give the newly hired person a very personal sense of dedication and appreciation. It will take some screening and training on your part to find those who will truly embrace the role of mentor, but this commitment is well-worth the extra effort when competing for a candidate with a competitor.
You may not be the biggest company. You may not have the most resources. You can, however, put the odds in your favor by developing and executing on a plan based around these ideas.

Monday, December 2, 2013

What Does The Future of Hiring & Recruiting Look Like?

The Future of Hiring and Recruiting, Circa 2020-2025

"Maximizing personal growth and job satisfaction in the short-term will maximize compensation in the long-term."

In 1998 I took a snapshot of the hiring process used at most companies. (It was a special camera.) The picture that emerged looked similar to the image shown. With this past in mind, I’ve decided to take a picture of the hiring landscape 10 years into the future. I’m pretty sure I’ll be retired by then, so I’ll use this post to reminisce about the future that could be.
  1. Talent becomes a business strategy, not just a mission statement. Company leaders will finally realize that if hiring great people is the most important thing hiring managers need to do, they’ll actually be measured on how well they do it.
  2. The elimination of skills-infested job descriptions. Skills, academics and experiences don’t predict on-the-job performance. By proving that candidates are competent and motivated to do the actual work required under the actual circumstance, you’ll discover they have the exact level of skills, experiences and academics required. This shift will also open the pool of prospects to diverse candidates of all types regardless of age, race, gender or physical challenges. (Here's a legal brief you can download describing this process as not only superior, but more legally defensible.)
  3. Performance-based matching becomes fully effective. Rather than matching people on key words, the ability to use artificial intelligence to match a person based on their past performance becomes available. This allows anyone who has a track record of comparable accomplishments to be considered. This will instantly open the door to more top candidates in different industries, including and especially, returning military veterans. Comparability will be based on job complexity, types of decisions made, underlying business conditions and job pressures, organizational structure and sophistication, and breadth of team responsibility.
  4. Companies finally realize that the best people are not interested in lateral transfers. It’s pretty obvious that if a company wants to hire a great person, they need to offer a great career opportunity. The posting of traditional job descriptions will be banned as archaic, and recruitment advertising will be story-based, emphasizing what the person can do, learn and become, not the skills they must have. Here’s a sample of this type of futuristic ad.
  5. Auto-engage high probability prospects with career opportunities. People give lots of clues whenever they’re thinking of switching jobs. For example, they buy this book on job-hunting secrets or watch this video, they update their LinkedIn profile, they expand their professional network, they attend more industry events, they Google for jobs to see what’s available, and they check out Since their LinkedIn profile is public, it’s pretty easy to push jobs directly to these people when these job-hunting activities reach a certain level. They’ll actually respond if these jobs represent career moves, not lateral transfers.
  6. Assessment accuracy emerges from the dark ages. Competency models and behavioral interviewing will be tossed out as far better tools emerge. These outdated tools are as bad as relying on the continued use of skills-infested job descriptions to attract people. I’m going with Performance-based Interviewing, objective evidence-based assessments using talent scorecards, Career Zone analysis, and AI-based fit assessments.
  7. People will become an investment to be nurtured, not a cost to be controlled. Robust public and private knowledge databases will be available (think LinkedIn on steroids), that fully describe a person’s performance and potential. As new jobs open up, companies will be able to instantly target their current and former employees who are best suited for these roles. This will enable a company to finally leverage it’s human capital.
  8. Hiring becomes a legitimate business process. If the demand for top talent is greater than the supply, you can’t use a process designed to weed out the weak, you need one designed to attract the best. Real time feedback metrics will ensure the process is in control and functioning properly. This shift is now underway at companies in highly competitive talent markets, like Silicon Valley. Some are using Performance-based Hiring as the foundation.
  9. The emergence of the hiring manager self-service model driven by the ERP and VTC. With all of the above taking place, it will become increasingly easier for a hiring manager to tap into his or her company Employee Referral Program (ERP) and instantly obtain a list of pre-qualified, warm referrals. Candidate pipelines will become a thing of the past as Virtual Talent Communities (VTC) became the primary means to connect people with opportunities. VTCs are the sum total of a company's employee's first degree connections.
  10. Candidates make rigorous and balanced career decisions. The Career Zone model presented in an earlier post offers job-seekers a sophisticated means to evaluate any career opportunity by considering all of the long- and short-term factors in balance. It starts by figuring out where the person is positioned on the career curve and selecting new opportunities that maximize job stretch and job growth, not compensation. Maximizing personal growth and job satisfaction in the short-term will maximize compensation in the long-term.
Image, the impact of improved workforce mobility as described. There'd be better jobs for everyone, more satisfied people, a more productive economy and a big drop in unemployment as jobs are filled more quickly and more accurately. But hold on. About 10 years ago, I put together another list of hiring predications for circa 2010-2015. Funny, they looked a lot like the above. I guess I’m not very good at predicting.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

7 Stats about Candidate Sourcing in 2013

7 Incredible Stats about Candidate Sourcing in 2013

sources of hireRecruiting has changed a lot over the past few years, and it's still changing. If you're not changing with it, particularly your candidate sourcing, then you're going to miss out on great talent by selecting your candidates from such a small pool of the population. In fact, there is probably a thing or two that you can do differently, as the following seven incredible stats will illustrate. Candidate sourcing may not be what you think it is.

Over 2.8 Million Jobs are Advertised on Craigslist

publically available job ads resized 600Recruiters like to scoff at Craigslist, citing it as a place that can't possibly find white-collar jobs or serious professionals. Craigslist can be hit or miss, but that doesn't mean you can count it out, especially since it is the predominant player when it comes to publicly available job ads. It's certainly not social media, where LinkedIn only has 256,000 job ads. This chart is a snapshot of a four-year period, with the final numbers representing April 2013.

Dice is the Best Source for Technology Hires, while Monsters is Great for Manufacturing

best sources of hires by industry resized 600"What we would recommend to any provider, or to any company looking at [their] job marketing strategy, is that it's really more important to look what are the type of positions you're hiring for and what is your industry," said Ray Rike, chief operating officer at Accolo. "Then, you get a little more granularity into what is the best place that candidates are likely to see your job."
LinkedIn doesn't even have half the tech industry jobs that Dice has, while LinkedIn only has about two-thirds as much as Monster in manufacturing. In the retail, financial services, and insurance industry, Careerbuilder leads in all three. This is because the types of jobs in these industries don't necessarily attract the people who are going to be promoting their skills and resumes on LinkedIn.

Social Network Statistics are Compelling

The previous two statistics said that LinkedIn wasn't worth the time. It doesn't have the market share and it's really not the place for positions in certain industries. However, don't count out social media recruiting quite yet. Below are a few compelling statistics that show it is the recruiting strategy of the future.
  • LinkedIn has 202 million members
  • 36% of its members are in the US
  • It accounted for 40% of mobile job views
  • The site as 90% revenue growth in its talent solutions last year
Even so, LinkedIn isn't the only social network out there. The big takeaway in social media recruiting is that Twitter, yes Twitter, is the fastest-growing network for certain demographics (40,000 new members per day) while being the most underused social network for recruiting. In fact, this leads us to our next incredible statistic:

LinkedIn is the Slowest Growing Social Network for Those 25 to 44

social media recruiting by demographic resized 600"For those of you... who say that LinkedIn is dominating social network growth, especially for hiring, I would ask you to challenge that bias," Rike said. "We were on the LinkedIn wagon five years ago, and although we're seeing more jobs there, we're also seeing more candidate fatigue."
Rike hypothesizes that if recruiters only focus on LinkedIn, they risk continued and increased candidate fatigue, leading to increased possibility of missing out on passive candidates who may be on the site.

If these incredible stats have changed how you think about your current sources of hire, then you need to view this webinar:
"Amazing Charts & Stats About Candidate Sources for 2013."
The 60-minute webinar features interesting hiring stats about job board performance including CareerBuilder, Craig's List, DICE, Indeed, Job Central, (The) Ladders, Monster, Simply Hired as well as compelling hiring stats about social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Access the webinar now.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Could A RECRUITMENT PROCESS SUPPLEMENT (RPS) Solution Be The Answer To Your Recruiting Challenges?

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21  2PM EST            

Are you having a challenge keeping up with your hiring needs, finding the right talent or spending too much on recruiting fees?  This webinar will walk you through how a Recruitment Process Supplement solution may be the right answer.

Recruitment Process Supplement is a fairly new but growing solution where a RPS firm will partner with your organization to have one of, or team of, their recruiters help you with whatever recruiting function you need assistance.  These firms not only provide you with experienced recruiting support, but often these recruiters come with large databases, strong data mining techniques, behind the scenes recruiting support and leadership.  Solutions can range from handling difficult searches, or simply supporting your team with sourced and screened candidates to complete recruiting outsourcing.  Typically, the only fee you pay is an hourly fee.

This webinar will talk about what kinds of companies and situations benefit from this type of solution, how to choose the right firm, how to determine the right support level, tips to maximize integration into your process and ideas on how to structure the right deal for your organization.  No sales will be done in this webinar, only information for you to decide if this solution can increase your organizations effectiveness in hiring, reduce time to fill and recruiting costs.

To sign up, please email Jeff Taylor at

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Exit Interviews - A Missed Opportunity

A colleague of of mine wrote this about Exit Interviews.  ...a very good reminder for us all.

Exit Interviews- A Missed Opportunity
By: Sarah Hall

My first exposure to the idea of an exit interview was in a college lecture about underutilized evaluation tools. My grad school professor painted the picture of a generic survey completed and stashed away into a termination file, never to be looked at again. The protocol of a human resources generalist awkwardly asking an often disgruntled employee a series of questions about how they feel about the organization, and if they would recommend a friend to work there has caused us to undervalue the concept of the exit interview for too long. In truth, the exit interview is a gem of a tool that, if utilized correctly can serve as a powerful engagement resource.

It’s the question that counts
If your exit interview form is an outdated photocopy of generic questions with an accompanying 5-point Likert scale, throw it out. Exit interview questions should provide insight into the true reasons employees want to leave your organization. Starting a new job is often a painful process.  New employees must adjust to a new routine, team members and processes. Additionally, leaving a job to start a new one is a gamble. There is no way to guarantee that what someone is walking into is better than what they left…yet people choose the difficult unknown path over their current jobs every day. There is a reason for this, and there is incredible value in finding out why. When you have the opportunity to ask someone why he or she chose the unknown over your organization, take it! Is it about leadership, money, benefits or culture? You won’t know until you ask. A few of my favorite go-to exit interview questions are:
·      Do you feel as though you were able to build strong relationships with co-workers? 
·      Did your manager set you up to succeed?
·      Were you given an accurate preview of what the job would look like during the interview process?
·      Was your decision to leave caused by a single event?
·      Did you receive timely and appropriate feedback about your performance?

Rather than ask a ton of questions, try to cover the basics and dig in as deep as you can. For example, the information you gather by asking: Did you receive timely and appropriate feedback about your performance? May provide insight into the performance review process, organizational leadership or any one specific manager. The interview process should resemble a conversation, and the more relaxed and engaging you are, the more valuable information you will be able to collect from fewer questions.  

Good information gone to waste
It’s unfortunate that often times the completed exit interview is reviewed by one person and stashed away into an employee termination file. All of that glorious insight into your organization is sitting untouched in a dark cabinet. Take every opportunity to share the findings from an exit interview with your leadership team. If you have significant turnover, look for patterns. You can only drive meaningful and effective change if you have a grasp on what needs to be changed, and why.

Sharing exit feedback is not enough to reap the full benefit of their value. Save interview findings for a specified time period and use that feedback as you formulate your strategic plan for the next year. Or better yet, commit to a regular exit analysis with your senior leadership team on a regular basis. What finer guidance than the honest, candid feedback from people who chose leave your organization? Exit feedback is critical as you think about leadership development, engagement and determining a compensation strategy.

Turn the tables
I never understood why we often wait until employees are fed up enough to leave the organization to ask about how things are going. Consider talking to employees from a different perspective and facilitate a STAY interview. Why do you choose to stay with our organization? What are we doing well? What can we improve? The same caliber of valuable information is collected in a stay interview- and we don’t have to backfill a position!

Exit interviews provide a wealth of insight into what is going on in your organization. Consider implementing a robust strategy for collecting information related to why people leave (or stay with) your organization, and watch how quickly you will be able to align your exit process with the strategic goals of your organization!

Friday, November 1, 2013

How Online Dating Skills Can Improve Your Job Search

...and interesting article from on the parallels of online dating and searching for a job.

Ladies and Gentlemen: you’ll be pleased to discover that those hours of your life you’ve wasted on OKCupid, e-Harmony and may come in handy – your online dating skills can help you improve your job search. How?
Finding the perfect company is a little bit like online dating… minus the fake names and creepy messages, of course. It can be overwhelming at first. There are thousands of potential matches out there, many of which you would probably enjoy – however, there’s a major difference between Mr. Right and the dude you let take you out to dinner because you’re flat broke, desperate, and sick of eating ramen noodles with your cat.
If there’s one thing more important than finding a job you love, it’s finding a company that you love. A job might make you happy in the short term, but being with a company that shares your personality, values and ideals will offer you opportunities that can keep you happy in the long term. Ready to improve your job search?
Like online dating, you have to narrow down the pool. Why? Because you want to:
A) Ensure that you don’t waste your time
B) Find a company in which you will flourish
Your first step in the hunt for your ideal company should be similar to how you’d proceed on an online dating site. Spend some time getting to the bottom of who you are. What’s your personality? Who are you and what’s important to you?
IMPORTANT: absolute honesty is key here. If you’re not upfront with yourself about your personality, you won’t be able to narrow your search effectively. For example, maybe you’d feel warm and fuzzy if you went to work for a non-profit that encourages volunteerism – but if you don’t give a flip about volunteering, it’s not going to be a good fit (and let’s face it – you’ll seem like a total Bozo every time your team gets excited about a trip to the soup kitchen while you roll your eyes and go back to your spreadsheets.)
So ask yourself – who are you?
Are you an introvert? If so, you should probably mark off the companies that put a big emphasis on teamwork. Are you an extrovert that needs constant action? If yes, then you’ve just marked through a big chunk of employers in the government sector.
Also, consider what is important to you.
What about your personal values? Do you value time off more than money? Making that distinction will definitely narrow down your choices. What about things like religion or politics? Could you work for a company that politically supports an idea that you’re in strong opposition to?
You should even consider your hobbies and recreational pursuits.
Do you absolutely love the arts? Sports? Accounting? (Seriously. Some people do.) Maybe a company in one of those industries would be a perfect match. Or maybe not – you might be the type who wants to keep work and play separate. It’s just as important to know what will make you happy – and what will make you miserable. 
Once you’ve made a list of all the things that define your personality, spend some time searching for a company that fits that profile. Narrowing companies down based on your personality type will not only make your job search faster and more relevant, but you’ll be a much more attractive candidate when you do land that first date…er… interview.
No fake names required, of course.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When the salary request is a huge jump

Every now and then you will be interviewing a candidate and they will indicate that they want a significant jump in compensation over what they are currently making.  Presently, they are earning $45,000 but in their next position they only want to consider opportunities that are above $70,000.

While your first reaction might be to politely tell them that they are out of their mind, I have always used the following question to broach the subject:

“You are asking for a significant increase over what you are currently making.  My client will ask me about that.  Tell me, is their something that has changed in your world like an additional degree or specialized license that would warrant the such an increase?”

Sometimes, you are surprised and learn something that really allows you to sell this candidate.

When there is no justifiable reason for the increase you need to address it.

“Without any significant increase in education or experience, it will be very difficult to get that kind of compensation.   With that in mind, at what salary level would you not want me to reach out to discuss a possible opportunity?”

You will often find that with the subtle reality check that you gave them, it brings the expectations back in line.

Monday, October 7, 2013

4 Types of Interview Styles & How To Prepare Your Candidates For Them

There are 4 main types of interview styles.  By preparing your candidate for the interview style of the person they meet with you will increase their effectiveness in the interview.  How do you know what kind of interviewer your client is?  You get this information when you debrief the first candidate you send in to interview.  They are your Guinea pig that sets you up to prepare everyone else extremely well.

This is the interviewer who will ask very detailed questions on what is on the candidate's resume as well as what is not on the resume.  This is also the interviewer who asks detailed questions based on the answers to other questions.  Behavioral Based interviewers fall into this category.  They listen intently, don't miss much and quickly recognize conflicting information or answers that don't make sense.

The way to prepare a candidate for them is to let them know to be prepared to talk specifics about their experience.  Where there are accomplishments or awards noted on their resume, the candidate should be prepared to explain how they did what they did - in detail.

This is the interviewer who may start off the interview with "So, tell me about yourself."  They are very comfortable to talk to, are very friendly and open...and candidates will often find themselves opening up and sharing details that they never intended to or wanted just seems like such an open conversation between friends.

The best way to prepare a candidate for this type of interview is to explain that they are very friendly and open and have a way of getting candidates to open up.  Make sure that the candidate knows to make sure the details they are opening up about pertain to their career, accomplishments and experience.

Negative interviewers feel that they need tell you about every possible negative thing you may encounter about the company and job.  These people aren't always negative people, they just believe that if you are going to work there you should have full discloser on everything that could be negative.  They will say things like: "So, how do you feel about working 80 hour work weeks with no feedback?" or "Here you will be exposed to a great deal of swearing and inappropriate behavior, are you OK with that?" or is could be a simple as constant comments like "We are slow to make decisions, are you a patient person?"

The way to mitigate the impact of a negative interview is to let the candidate know this is what they will experience in advance.  Failure to do this will cause the candidate to want to run out of the interview as quickly as possible.  The approach can be as simple as "Timmy believes that he owes it to people he likes to tell them everything negative they might experience.  He does this not to scare you but is in the spirit of telling you everything - don't let it scare you."

This is the person who doesn't interview much, has never done one, or just doesn't care what is appropriate.  They will ask inappropriate and sometime illegal questions. "So, got any kids....are you married?"  It may be as simple as swearing in the interview or not knowing what questions to ask and they end up asking questions that never allow a candidate to explain their qualifications or experience.

The best way to prepare a candidate for this type of interview is to let them know that the person doing the interview doesn't do them often and may spend their time asking questions that don't have anything to do with the job.  Let the candidate know to quickly answer the interviewers question in as simple and appropriate way as possible THEN follow up with a comment about the job and how their experience will allow them to excel.  It might sound something like this:  "On the weekends, I like to ice fish.  I notice on your job description that they main thing you are looking for is someone that can take care of your purchasing of raw materials, I have 100 years of experience doing this and have developed procedures that allow me to minimize the cost paid and maximize credit terms.  What do you currently use for purchasing software?" 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don't Think Positive Reinforcement is Important? Run A Marathon

In 2000 I completed my first, and only, marathon.  I remember limping across the finish line bleeding, blistered, exhausted and very excited to see my wife and 2-year-old son.  I checked that item off my bucket list, and hadn’t put on shoes for the purpose of running in nearly 12 years.

I put the medal they give you when you cross the finish line in a shadow box on the wall in our basement along with many of the other family accomplishments.  Over the years, my sons and I have talked about running a marathon together someday.

Fast forward nearly 13 years and my eldest son and I are training to run a half marathon with a full marathon soon to come.  We created a solid training plan and have been sticking to it religiously.   During a recent longer run my son had finished and I was struggling a bit.  After he finished, he came back, gave me high five, said “You’re doing good dad, lets finish this,” and we finished the run together. 

His simple act of positive reinforcement helped me finish and reminded me of my marathon.  It was around mile 22 and I was simply putting one foot in front of the other with nothing left in the tank but determination.  Turning the corner, I saw one of those very long San Francisco hills and my heart sank.  As I started the climb I noticed that there were a number of people who had already finished the race who were walking the course backward to encourage those still struggling.  At that point, even a complete stranger reminding me “you have almost made it, you’re still moving forward and by pushing a bit more you will finish” – meant the world to me.  That simple act of timely positive reinforcement was enough to give me the mental strength needed to make it up the hill and finish.

As business leaders, it is often too easy to fall into routines or get hyper focused on a goal and forget the importance of positive reinforcement for those on our team.  Positive reinforcement not only reminds people that they have the skills to complete the task, but that they also have the confidence of their mentors.  When people know their leaders believe in them they are empowered to push harder, take risks and often over-achieve the goal.  People who receive regular appropriate positive reinforcement are more excited to come to work, will stay in their jobs longer and be more forward thinking in their ideas to improve – because they know they have support behind them.

There are those leaders, and I have worked with a number over the years, who believe positive reinforcement is over-rated.  To them I would say – run a marathon, see what that reinforcement does for you when you are wiped out and then imagine what it could do for someone you work with.  Remind your people how talented they are.  The results are amazing.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's Your 20 Seconds? ...Here's Mine

When I finished a run the other day, I looked down and noticed that my time was 20 seconds off from a personal record.  20 seconds! 

After grumbling through my cool-down, I began to think through the why.  It could have been my slightly slower start as I pondered if my recovering ankle was 100%, it could have been the slow down because I started the wrong playlist and needed to adjust.  I was spacing out when my GPS informed me of my time and pace when I had only a mile to go and I knew I still had energy left in the tank when I was done.

In short, my head wasn’t in the game when I started, I didn’t prepare properly, didn’t pay attention to the details while in the moment and didn’t give it all when I had the opportunity.  A change in any one of these details could have made the difference, if I had none of these challenges I could have significantly broken my record.

This same review and lessons can have a tremendously positive impact on your business. 

As a salesperson, the extra effort of one more new prospect call per day can make a huge difference.  Keeping focused and on pace all day decreases distractions and increases results.  As a leader, preparation for each day, month, quarter, year is essential.  Pay attention to the details along the way.  Finally, when you commit to start something, be all in- with maximum effort at all times!

The extra effort doesn’t need to be elaborate to make a significant difference.  You just need to recognize where you can put that extra effort in, then commit and execute.  The results can be the difference between a strong result and a result you measure all future efforts against.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

10 Things You Should Know About Every Candidate

1.             Complete compensation details. Understand exactly how the candidate’s current compensation program is structured. This means more than the candidate’s base salary; the base salary is just part of the overall package. Be sure that you ask about bonuses; if, how and when they are paid out, stock options or grants that have been awarded. Compile a complete list of benefits and how they are structured and know when the candidate is up for his or her next review, because this can alter cash compensation.
2.             Type of commute. Commute is a quality-of-life issue and discussing it is important.  If the commute to their next job is worse for the candidate than it is in his or her existing job, bring it up and see how the candidate responds. If the commute is better, use it as a selling point. Be sure that you understand the candidate’s current commute and how they feel about the new one.
3.             The “what they want vs. what they have” differential. Most candidates do not change jobs just for the sake of changing jobs. They change jobs because there are certain things missing in their current position that they believe can be satisfied by the position your client is offering. This disparity is called the “position differential” and it is the fundamental reason a person changes jobs. Know what this position differential is and you will be able to know if you have what the candidate is looking for. If so, you will be able to develop an intelligent capture strategy when it comes time to close.
4.             How they work best. Some candidates work best if left alone, while others work best as part of a team. It is your job to know enough about the client’s philosophy and the way the hiring manager works to see if the candidate will either mesh. Beware of recommending hiring a candidate who does not fit into the current scheme, because, at times, style can be just as important as substance.
5.             Overall strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to get some understanding of the candidate’s strong points and the candidate’s limitations. All of us have strengths and weaknesses. Your role is to identify them and be able to present them to the hiring manager. Hint: Ask what functions the candidate does not enjoy performing. We are seldom good at things we don’t like.
6.             What they want in a new position. Everyone wants something. Find out what the candidate wants in a new position. Be sure to do whatever is necessary to get this information. Feel free to pick away during the interviewing process with open-ended questions until you have all of your questions answered. It is difficult to determine whether a given hiring situation has a good chance of working out if you do not know what the candidate is looking for in a new position.
7.             Is the candidate interviewing elsewhere? This is big; I don’t like surprises and neither do hiring managers. I always ask the candidate what else they have for activity. If the candidate has three other companies they are considering and two offers are arriving tomorrow, this is absolute need-to-know information. If the hiring manager wants to make an offer, it’s time to advise them as to what the competition looks like and move this deal onto the express lane, fast.
8.             What it will take to close the deal. This is a first cousin of #6 above but it is more specific and flavored with a “closing the deal” mentality. #6 relates to what the candidate wants in a new position, but this one quantifies that want. For example, if the candidate wants more money, this is where you will assess how much it will take to close the deal. As another example, while #6 will let you know that the candidate wants to work on different types of projects, this one will tell you exactly what types of projects those are.
9.             Can the candidate do the job? Even though, as the recruiter, you might not be able to determine if this is the perfect candidate, you should exit the interview with an opinion as to whether or not the candidate can perform the functions of the position. Furthermore, that opinion must be based upon information that was unveiled during the interviewing process and not just a gut feeling. It has to be based upon what the candidate has successfully accomplished and how that aligns with the needs of the current position. If you can’t offer a solid opinion on this one, you need to dig deeper until you have a solid case for why the candidate can or cannot do the job.
10.          Will the candidate fit into the culture? Predicting the future is tricky business, but someone has to take a shot at evaluating a candidate’s chance for success. Not everyone that is capable of doing the job will have a successful run at the company, because culture does play a role in candidate success. For example, the culture of a buttoned-down insurance company in Chicago is very different than the garage culture of a software startup in Silicon Valley. If you have a reason to believe that the person is the wrong DNA for an organization, it is imperative that you raise the issue.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Single Most Important Interview Question Is...

There are a great deal of interviewing strategies, techniques and methodologies out there.  Some of these techniques are good, some good only in theory.   However, interviewing doesn’t need to be so complicated that it warrants books on the topic.  An interview is nothing more than a conversation with a purpose – with that purpose being to learn if this person is a good fit for the role and culture of the company.

There is one question that will tell you a tremendous amount about a candidate…

“What made you decide to leave that position?”

If you ask this question about a candidate’s current position and every position they list on their resume you will learn a tremendous amount about how they process the world around them, their character and what drives them.

In order to make this question work for you, you must really dig into the answer.  Don’t accept anything vague or answers that don’t make sense.   Listen to what they focus on, as that is what drives their internal motivations.  Be sure to look at trends.  If a candidate left their last 3 jobs because of the same reason, there is likely more to the story.

Think about these responses:

·      “Personal” – Not good enough, ask for more information about what was happening that made them decide to leave their employment.
·      “It was time to make a change” - Why?
·      “Wanted more money” – Was this not an option where they currently work? What prevented you from getting a raise?  If the candidate has only been there a year ask: “If you were excited to take the job at this salary, what changed to make you feel you need higher compensation at this time?” 
·      “Layoff” – I like to ask how large the reduction in force was.  If it was just them, dig in a bit more.
·      “The company was going through changes and everyone was leaving” – Not acceptable.  You want independent thinkers.
·      “Company could not make payroll” – You can’t argue with that one.
·      “I outgrew the role” – First ask if there was any opportunity at the company to grow in the direction they wanted.  If there was and it was not available to them, dig in there may be a red flag.  If there wasn’t, or there is a logical reason for that opportunity not being available, then this is a valid reason.
·      “I am not a cultural fit” – Dig in more, but may be valid and you have to applaud the candidate for being wise enough to recognize it.
·      “I have learned I want to have challenges in…” – If those challenges are not available where they are now, this is very valid.

The list of answers could go on and on.  If you really dig into the answers to this single question, you will have a solid understanding of the candidate’s drive, character and motivation by the end of your conversation.

Friday, September 6, 2013

13 Best Social Media Management Tools

Social media management can be overwhelming.  Adam Connell did a great job summarizing the pros and cons of the top tools used today.

13 Best Social Media Management Tools

13 Best Social Media Management Tools
1 Sep 2013
In the following post you’re going to discover some of the most powerful social media tools on the market. These will help you save more time managing your social accounts, pull out actionable insights about influencers and ultimately help you get results.
Social media has some huge benefits, you can use it to promote your content and you can use it to connect with influencers.
That’s great, but when you’ve got various profiles across a number of different social networks, managing them can become extremely time consuming.
What if you could find a way to save an incredible amount of time, connect with more influencers than before and ultimately get more from your social media marketing efforts?
The collection of tools that I’ve put together for you are the answer – all of them are extremely powerful and have some great features.
Hold on to your hats …

Top Social Media Management Tools

Social Oomph (Free + $)

Social Oomph - Management Tools
Sure, it doesn’t look pretty but it doesn’t need to be. Social Oomph gets the job done.
Social Oomph will take your productivity to the next level with advanced scheduling, integrated timelines, click tracking, advanced methods of combatting Twitter spam, support for Facebook and Linkedin along with support for unlimited accounts.
You can even manage multiple blogs right from your account which means managing your blogs can be done easily. Social Oomph supports a number of different platforms from free blogging platforms to self-hosted WordPress installations.
There are free and paid accounts available, but you really need the paid account to make the most of it, pricing starts at around $26 per month and you will never need to pay any more than that no matter how many accounts you use.
I have a paid account and it saves me loads of time, it’s an integral part of my social media toolbox.
Sign up for an account | Read the review

Buffer (Free + $)

Manage Your Social Media With Buffer
Buffer makes scheduling status updates so easy.
The annoying thing about pressing the tweet button or publishing an update on most social platforms is that it goes out straight away, not when you want.
Sometimes you want to share a few posts but if you share them all at the same time then chances are you’ll annoy your followers – Buffer allows you to spread them out how you want.
Just add an update to your Buffer and they will be published at pre-determined times which you can change to whatever you like.
The great news here is that Buffer is now compatible with Google+ pages which isn’t supported by many platforms (yet).
There’s also helpful analytics and the option to setup team members.
The ‘Awesome’ account as they call it, starts at $10/month.
Sign up for an account

Hootsuite (Free + $)

Complete Social Media Management With Hootsuite
Hootsuite is the tool that I use for my day to day management of my social media accounts.
It makes responding and updating profiles really easy and their mobile app makes things pretty easy when I’m on the go.
The free account limits you to 5 social profiles, gives you basic scheduling and reporting but the real good stuff happens when you get on the pro account.
The pro account allows you to monitor and update over 50 social profiles along with some other helpful features.
You can also import unlimited RSS feeds to your social profiles and while you are better off doing things manually, this is a quick way to keep your profiles updated if you are short on time.
The free account may do what you need, but it’s well worth giving their 30 day pro account free trial a go to see what you think, if you like it then it’s only $8.99 a month.
Sign up for a 30 day pro account free trial

Tweepi (Free + $)

Clean Up Your Social Profiles With Tweepi
The way that Tweepi can help you is by giving you the ability to clean up your account and figure out who to follow, who to unfollow etc.
The unfortunate part is that you can’t really do all that much with the free account, all the good stuff is part of the premium account (as you’d expect).
Premium accounts start at $7.99 per month but the data you’ll be able to get back more than makes up for it.
You’ll be able to make decisions based on Klout score, verified accounts, protected, location, # followers, # statuses, follow ratio and clean up all those accounts with the egg display picture.
Sign up for an account (Free + $)

Get more social insights with Commun.It is unlike any other Twitter management tool I have ever come across.
It is geared towards helping you engage with influencers which is awesome because Influencer Marketing is huge but what really makes this platform great is that it tells you what to do next.
The free account is quite limited however, but it’s still incredibly useful.
Pricing starts from around $30 if you’re paying monthly which allows you to add 4 profiles and have unlimited engagements – if you need more then there are a few other accounts that add other helpful features.
Sign up for an account

Manage Flitter (Free+ $)

Manage Your Social Profiles More Effectively
Manage Flitter is focused mostly on Twitter as opposed to the likes of Social Oomph and Hootsuite that offer a more complete social media management solution.
That being said, Manage Flitter has some extremely useful features that highlight who to follow and who to unfollow. For example, are you following fake profiles? Manage Flitter will tell you.
You can also use Manage Flitter to import your Google+ posts to Twitter.
One feature that really jumps out at me is the ‘Power Post’ feature that allows you to post updates at the best times.
You can add different pieces of data and overlay it on a time line so you can visually see when the best time to post is.
Types of data you can add boils down to when particular segments of people are on Twitter, you can add particular locations, people you follow and the pro account allows you to add your followers which is incredibly useful.
Sign up for an account

Market Me Suite (Free +$)

Social Media Marketing At It's Best
While Manage Flitter focuses more on Twitter, Market Me Suite is a different kettle of fish (so to speak) it’s positioned as more of a complete social media management tool.
Plans start from free but you’re restricted to 1 profile and only a few scheduled messages although if that’s enough for you then I’m sure you’ll find some of the features interesting.
The pro plan starts at $15 per month and lifts the limit on profiles and adds team members, analytics and other add ons.
The way Market Me Suite works isn’t as much about ‘personal’ social media use but using social media for generating business leads.
Sign up for an account

TweetDeck (Free)

Ultimate Twitter Management With Tweet Deck
TweetDeck is pretty awesome and it’s completely free; providing you an easy to use tool that you can use to monitor and manage unlimited accounts, schedule tweets and more.
There is a mobile app too so staying updated on the go is extremely easy.
Despite this being a tool owned by Twitter it also integrates Facebook too.
On a personal note, I do prefer the feel of Hootsuite (maybe that’s because I’m so used to it) but TweetDeck does seem to deliver more data in your Twitter feed, including who’s followed you etc.
Learn more here

Raven Tools ($)

Your Complete Social Marketing Platform - Raven Tools
Raven Tools comes in at a higher starting price point ($99 p/month) but you get so much more because this is a complete marketing toolset that includes in depth research tools, rank tracking, PPC management, SEO and social media management tools.
I won’t go too much into the other features here (please note, they are awesome) since we’re talking more about social media.
Raven Tools is currently compatible with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – it includes a monitoring tool that pulls in mentions from search results across a bunch of different platforms, so if you’re looking for an alternative to Google Alerts too, then this is the tool for you.
There’s even some really useful reporting functionality that pull in metrics from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Raven Tools is team friendly and also has a built in CRM and task management system – the Swiss army knife of marketing platforms.
Sign up for the 30 day free trial

Sprout Social ($)

Social Media Management At It's Finest
Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media marketing platform that puts all of your social profiles in one place.
There’s a task management system built in to make tracking what you’re doing easy, especially if you’re working with teams.
Sprout Social has put a lot of thought into scheduling, similar to Buffer there is a ‘Sprout Queue’ that you can add updates to that will filter out whenever you like.
You’ve got all the usual search and profile clean up options that a lot of other social media management tools (especially those that focus on Twitter) have these days.
Supported social platforms include the following:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+ Pages
  • Linkedin
Along with integration for RSS feeds and Google Analytics.
Sign up here

Social Bro ($)

Social Management with Social Bro
Social Bro currently just supports Twitter but it brings you the complete package that allows you to;
  • Target the right people
  • Engage with the right people
  • Analytics and tracking
  • Twitter management
There is so much to this tool that you really need to sign up to their free trial to see exactly what it can do.
A few other interesting features include Hootsuite integration and their ‘best time to tweet’ function.
Overall, Social Bro starts at a lower price point than most tools, but it does have a few restrictions
Sign up for the 15 day free trial

Social Motus ($)

Social Media Analytics and Tracking Tools
Social Motus is a complete social marketing platform that will help you manage your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
You’ll also be able to schedule posts, find highly targeted prospects and track the success of your marketing campaigns.
You can also monitor your blog or brand name to see what is being said – great for reputation management.
Sign up for an account here

Sendible ($)

Ultimate Social Media Management with Sendible
The problem with a lot of social media management tools is that they only support a few services, what If I could show you a tool that allows you to manage a huge number of social platforms easily?
It’d be great right?
Well, say hello to Sendible!
Here are a few of the social media sites that Sendible supports:
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • Ning
  • Instagram
  • Foursquare
  • Delicious
  • Diigo
  • Instapaper
  • Tumblr
  • Blogspot
  • WordPress
  • Typepad
… The list continues.
In addition to being able to manage the above platforms you can also measure the success of everything you publish, monitor, respond and more.
There’s also built in support for an SMS auto responder and a number of free email services along with more cool stuff.
Sounds good right?
Pricing starts at around $15.
Sign up for the 30 day free trial

Rounding up …

Now you’ve had a good look at what social media management tools are available on the market, I hope you can come to a good decision to really make your mark on social media.
The tools I’ve listed incorporate a good mix of tools that do other awesome things, especially the likes of Raven Tools that will turn you and your blog into a marketing powerhouse with all the tools you’ll need to succeed.
And right down to straight up productivity tools that enable you to get more from social such as Social Oomph.
So now my question to you is – what do you find difficult about managing your social media accounts?