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April 2017

Join Me at Recruiter Nation Live (June 5-7) and We'll Dig Into Hiring Manager Batting Average!

If you're like me, you'd love to have more control over your relationships with hiring managers.  That's why I spoke last week at SHRM Talent on 7 Ways Recruiters Can Win With Difficult Hiring Managers

One of those ways to win was to get data driven - but not through time to fill, cost per hire or turnover. 

Turnover positions you (HR or TA) as the owner of turnover, which you and I know is false.

The next time you report turnover, create a supplemental slide that shows what I call Hiring Manager Batting Average (HMBA).  HMBA simply shows the percentage of people hired by a manager who are still around after one year.  You can roll this up to the departmental level to make it less personal, but its impact is simple - some departments are better at hiring than others.  The ones who are bad have the biggest negative impact to your turnover issues.  Find out more about this by viewing these slides.

I love this metric so much I'm creating a new presentation around it for Jobvite's Recruiter Nation Live (click this link for details and an early bird special).  If you're in the Bay area or looking for a reason to get there in in next 6 weeks, register and join me.  

Additionally, here's an interview I did with the folks at SHRM on Hiring Manager Batting Average to wet your appetite (email subscribers click through for the video):

Hope to see you at Jobvite's Recruiter Nation Live June 5-7 in San Francisco!


Some Thoughts on Recognition for Blue-Collar Workers...

Recognition. We've been trained to believe that everyone needs it.

Do they?

I think so, but something that's lost in the recognition/engagement market is that for many blue collar workers, getting recognition in front of their peers actually makes them feel Blue collarlike a dork/brown-noser.

Some notes from my life follow...  My dad, Kent Dunn (RIP CKD), was a lifetime telephone/telecom lineman. One of the greatest things he gave me was a work ethic.  The memory of hearing his boots hit the floor and go out the door while I was still in bed before school are riveted in my mind.  He had a bunch of positive qualities you'd want in anyone you hired from a pride of work prospective.

But one thing he never would have been comfortable with is public recognition.  Here's some things that are widely talked about today related to recognition he wouldn't have been comfortable with, with his likely reaction in parenthesis to whoever was trying to reward him with any form of praise:

  1. Recognition in front of his peers in a team setting (Don't ever do that again)...
  2. Recognition 1/1 from his boss (So what? That's my job. That wasn't special)...
  3. Recognition in a company communication (Nobody reads that stuff)...

Kent Dunn would have been uncomfortable with many of the recognition strategies we take for granted in white-collar America.  I think many blue-collar workers we have today in America are a lot like Kent.  When I think about alternative/best ways to do recognition to those folks (mostly older males in blue-collar jobs focused on making a living, not changing the world), I came up with the following two strategies:

  1.  Rather than recognize in front of the group, tell some of Kent's friends the feedback you got on his work when he's not around. Hearing that the boss was talking about your great work in a casual way among your co-workers is a passive, low impact way for the Kent Dunn's of the world to feel good.  It saves them the public humiliation (in their eyes) of praise, but the message is still delivered.
  2. To make sure the Kent Dunn's of the world hear the praise, share what the customer told you directly with him.  The strategy here is this - you praise Kent in the normal way and it feels like you are expecting to hug him, which repels Kent.  You tell Kent that 81-year old Mrs. Adams praised Kent, he knows you don't expect to hug it out and you talk about how Mrs. Adams is a hoarder and has 30 cats, but she's a nice lady.  Trust me, he heard the work context of the praise. 

In both scenarios, the recognition is still there.  The macho blue-collar worker still hears it, but based on how it's provided he doesn't feel like you expect him to come in contact with his feelings.

Feelings are scary for blue-collar employees, especially those of the male variety.

RIP Kent Dunn.  I still hear your boots.


CLONES: When Employee Referrals Make Your Average IQ Go Down...

You and I love employee referrals.  We wish we could get more of them.  But, for the rare company that can generate 25% or more of it's annual hire goal from this source, employee referrals can actually weaken the company DNA.

Here's why.  High volume employee referrals mean: Clones

1.  Your company is whiter (or whatever color is your majority.  Full disclosure - I'm white.  I'm Irish.  That means I'm really white.  Don't hate.)

2.  Your company has a declining average IQ.  People don't refer people smarter than they are - that's a threat.

3.  You company is more Blue as a result (or Red).  We don't refer people who think different than we do for the most part.

4.  Your company can hold the alumni meeting onsite without anyone getting in their car.  We love to refer people who went to college where we did.  Roll Tide/War Eagle.

5.  Your company is getting less attractive with each new hire class (which wouldn't be a bad thing if the candidates didn't know someone in the company)

Referrals are great.  Too much of a good thing ends up being a negative.  Cap off referrals at 10-15% of hires.  The change you get as a result will do you good.


HR CAPITALIST DEFINITIONS: "Gone Dark"

Gone Dark (ɡɒn dɑːrk)

You know this one:

1. A phrase to describe a person who previously was communicating with you, but now returns no message that you have sent for a period of days or weeks without explanation for the change. Dark

2. How you know something you thought was previously possessing high probability to close is now a train wreck.

3. Behavior that suggests the person in question (who has "gone dark") was less than factual with you in the runup to the time where they went dark.  They represented themselves, their thoughts and their reality as different from what was the reality, so the easiest thing for them to do is simply go off the grid related to communicating to you.

I hate it when people go dark.  Man up and just tell me things have changed.  It's not an episode of Homeland, people.  It's the recruiting business and whether you want this job or not.

You're not Jack Bauer or Carrie Mathison. You're just an candidate with a much lower jones for change than you led me to believe for a month.  Pick up the phone.

It's OK.  You don't have to start thinking about safe houses in the suburbs.  In fact, I'll probably see you Waffle House in the next year.  


CAPITALIST WEBINAR: How to Become the Best at Hourly Hiring in Your Industry...

Let's face it, I like to talk about a lot of upper end talent topics here.  I'm a little bit of a snob, right?

Wait, I've done the tough stuff too! Smashfly fot

For example, take hourly hiring. The majority of hiring done on a daily basis by most companies around the world is in hiring hourly workers, yet almost no one spends time on how to make this easier or do it better. That's why with the latest webinar at FOT (my other team blog), we're going to help our brothers and sisters in the trenches who are out there every single day, doing all the dirty work in their organizations. Those recruiters and talent leaders who are responsible for hiring the masses!  

In that spirit, we're back with the following webinar, The Forgotten Majority: 7 Techniques to Trump Up Your Hourly Hiring (sponsored by the good folks at SmashFly.) Join my good friend Tim Sackett on April 27th at 1pm EDT, and he’ll hit you with the following goodies:

7 things you can start doing to increase and simplify hourly hiring in your organization

3 ways top organizations are leveraging technology to do massive (over 1,000 hires per year) hourly hiring

Pitfalls most organizations fall into when hiring hourly workers, and what you can do to make sure you don’t go down this path

You don’t want to treat your hourly hiring needs like a last minute thought, and we at FOT want to give you the tools and insight you need to build that strategy!

So join us on Thursday, April 27th at 1pm EDT (12pm Central, 10am Pacific) for The Forgotten Majority: 7 Techniques to Trump Up Your Hourly Hiring and we’ll give you the benefits of utilizing CRM technology in mass hiring, along with so many other tips, tricks, and techniques.

REGISTER FOR THIS WEBINAR BY CLICKING THIS LINK!


The Battle-Tested Psychology of the 6/3/1 Recruiting Funnel....

So you want more data and analytics in your recruiting function, but you're not sure where to start...

Allow me to assist.  One of the metrics that is time-tested and true once you really start measuring every open job in your company is the recruiting funnel.  The portion of the recruiting funnel that really matters is what your hiring managers see.  With that in mind, the funnel looks like this:

Submittals (the candidates you formally present to hiring managers for consideration)
Interviews (who the hiring manager interviews)
Hires (if you need me to define this one for, please stop reading)

I was all about the hiring funnel long before I became more focused on recruiting at Kinetix.  As a part of the Kinetix team, I have access to tons of data across a bunch of different companies, thousands and thousands of hires per year.

Want to know what the hiring manager portion of the recruiting funnel says across all that data?  Great!  Here you go:

In a company that does more than 50 hires per year, the aggregate recruiting funnel looks like this:  We submit 6 candidates, you interview 3 of those candidates and hire 1.

Boom. <Drops Mic>. Walks off.

Do individual reqs look different that that?  Sure.  But once you get to 50 positions filled, the averages always come back to 6/3/1 across all hires/all departments.

That probably says something about the psychology of the hiring manager.  She needs to see some candidates, do some interviews and if you're doing your job as a recruiter, she'll find someone she likes.  6/3/1.

You probably know if a hiring manager is a complete ass and unrealistic once you've worked with them across 5 openings or more. 6/3/1.

Sending more than 6 candidates may actually confuse managers and train them that they need to see every candidate in the search, because they subsequently treat you like a coordinator and trust you less. 

6.
3.
1.

If you're wondering whether your service level in recruiting is up to par, start with this metric and compare what you're providing.  I've got 7 years worth of data that says it all comes back to 6/3/1.

Can you measure things like the total number of applicants it take to feed the funnel to get to those downstream numbers?  Of course you can (it's 45, btw.), but don't forget to remember that what the hiring manager sees and the service level they feel/get is the most important thing.

6 freaking 3 freaking 1.

Learn it. Know it. Live It.


Use This Quote When Convincing Someone to Decline An Offer From a Big Company...

"It's better to be a pirate than join the Navy."

-Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was brutal in many ways, but with his brutality came moments of pure clarity.  This quote is one of those moments. Johnny-depp

The stale way to make the same point is obvious - "Why do you want to go work for that big company?  They're going to bury your talent. You know all those ideas you have?  You won't get to chase any of them at IBM.  They'll just pod you up in the matrix and suck your energy over the next decade, leaving you a husked-out former version of yourself."

Wait - that's actual pretty good.  A more standard version is "You're going to there and be bored immediately."

Still, I like the clarity of the Jobs quote.  If you're working for a smaller firm, you need every competitive advantage you can get as you fight for the hires you need.  This quote, while not perfect, is a good tool to have.

It just so happens that the only people that it works on are the people who are actually inclined to believe that they're more than cogs in the corporate wheel.  Use this quote on a person who's happy being a cog, and they might dance with you a bit - but ultimately they're going to grab for the security that only thousands (often tens of thousands) of employees can provide.  Doesn't make them bad people or not talented - it's a preference for security and risk management.

But they're looking to enlist with a big entity like the Navy - not roam the seven seas on that cool, but rickety boat you call a company and wonder if you'll be around in a year.

If you're at a smaller firm, the best hires you will make are the people that don't look like pirates - but have it buried in their DNA.  If you think you have one of those people, I'd talk in broad terms about the pirate-like things you're going to do at your company.

Pirates like Johnny Depp, BTW - not Somali pirates.

Go buy some eye patches for your next round of interviews. Dare a candidate to ask you why you're wearing one.


The Increasing Tinder (For Vendors) Vibe of LinkedIn...

When I accept your LinkedIn invite, I'm not swiping right.  I'm just doing something slightly less than giving you a business card.

I use LinkedIn a lot.  I don't put myself out there as a Lion, an open networker, etc, mainly because I'm not even sure what those Linkedin things mean.  But I do know that LinkedIn is traditionally a great tool to network and make sure you know who people are, read things they share, etc.

LinkedIn has always had a bit of a meat market feel to it.  I think that's to be expected based on the amount of career games/recruiting that goes on across the tool/solution.  You're connecting with people for a reason - mainly because you think there's a reciprocal benefit to that connection - they can help you at a later point or vice versa.

But I'm starting to notice a HUGE uptick in outright "I'm here to sell you my service/solution" behavior from vendors.  As with recruiting, the vendor element has always been around LinkedIn - but I'm not sure it's ever been as quick to the pitch as it is now.

Can you at least say hi and thank me for connecting before you drop your pants?

The increasingly aggressive pitch goes like this:

  1. You get an invite from someone who's a founder or biz dev professional at a company that sells something in your space.
  2. You accept the invite, because you're an open networker and hey, vendors are people too.
  3. 10 minutes after you accept that invite, you receive a note back from the new vendor contact with a not only an deeper explanation of who they are, but a call to action and a request for a meeting.
  4. You wonder why the hell you accepted that invite.

I'm OK with being connected to vendors, but wow - the percentage of vendors that do what I describe above used to be 10%, now it's 60-70%.  It makes it hard for me to accept these types of invites from vendors if I think the outlined behavior is what comes next. 

LinkedIn has always paid light lip service to telling you that you should only accept invites from people you know.  But let's be real, their network effect is only in play if you accept as many connections as possible.

The Trojan Horse of Corporate America was LinkedIn selling itself to companies and HR pros watching the flock as "professional networking".  Turns out, it was a resume database.  Gotcha!

Now, the Trojan Horse of white collar America is LinkedIn telling you as an individual that it is "professional networking".  Turns out, it's lead generation for bad business development people.  Or maybe good ones- depends on where you sit.

LinkedIn could stop the madness I describe above in a very simple way.  If you invite me and I accept, but you try to sell me your service in the first __ months of our connection (you tell me what's reasonable), the connection gets voided or you lose the ability to invite people to connect for __ months (again, you tell me what's reasonable).

But that will never happen because LinkedIn isn't professional networking.  I was cool with that when it was recruiting.  I'm less cool with it now that it has bit me in the ass and everyone wants to sell me something within 10 minutes of accepting their invitation to connect.

When I accept your LinkedIn invite, I'm not swiping right.  This is how people start deciding to stop using the tool on a daily basis.


Degrees Measure Resilience In Employment...And That's Why We Require Them...

Do you have to have a degree to get hired at your company? 

Maybe.

Do you need a degree to be one of the best in any company?

Hell no.  That's probably why Ernst and Young decided to drop the degree requirement.

Then why do we require degrees?

I think for the most part we've progressed past the point where we think a degree means anything related to job performance. For the most part, degrees are used as a requirement by Neighborsmost companies because it's a test.

A test of what you ask? Of polish. Of the ability to put up with a process that has good days and bad days, but if you keep plugging away, eventually something good happens. You know, kind of like your career.

You don't have to have a degree - but people should never be able to pick you out as someone who doesn't have a degree. And that's the rub, right?

Google and Facebook can hire people without degrees who are exceptional and have been exceptional in their field since they were teens - or pre teens. It's clear to everyone they're brilliant. 

The rest of us? We tend to still want a degree - unless the candidate has plugged away for a decade with work experience that's directly related to the position we're considering them for.  Then and only then, we'll think about forgoing the need for a degree.

Does a 25 year old have the polish necessary to be a marketing coordinator (name the relevant position) at your company? We're really bad at evaluating that. Even when the interview goes great, we still have doubts.

A college degree is the ante, the chip that gets you to the table.

I'm willing to hire someone without a degree in positions that traditionally require a degree, but they need one of two things:

1. 5-10 years of relevant experience, directly related to the job in question.

2. Proof that they're exceptional in the field in question, which is usually confirmed by unusual accomplishments for their age that show passion and drive.

Don't have one of those two things? Then I'm going to rely on the degree to tell me something. Anything.

You made it through college - I know you have some ability to stick with the plan. To persevere. To accumulate debt.

Want to get hired without the degree at a young age? Have some passion and chase expertise that's directly related to the job. 

Unless you have that, you're just another sharp 25-year old. We're not smart enough to tell who's a baller and who's not. The college degree is the default.


Understanding Your Audience Is the Key to Great Onboarding...

I'm up over at CareerBuilder talking about how understanding your audience is the key to great onboarding, with some generational twists.  Here's a taste:

As with anything talent-related, generational differences should be considered as you are building your onboarding platform at your company. Here’s what you need to know about generations as it relates to onboarding:

  • Millennials/Z – Hopeful that you don’t absolutely suck as an employer, but actively scanning for signs that you do suck. This group is most likely to make a quick change if their BS meter goes off and their needs aren’t met. For best results, you need to automate the transactional (signing paperwork) part of your onboarding process (they won’t respect you if you’re analog) and consider having follow up sessions that are delivered on-demand. Those two things will go a long way with this segment (as will goal setting and mentoring programs), but you won’t maximize your street cred with this group without talking about corporate social responsibility. Knowing your company cares about something other than itself is huge toward this group sticking with you when the path becomes rough at work.

Head over to CareerBuilder by clicking this link to get the whole article!  Including notes about Boomers and Gen X, which is clearly the best workplace generation that exists today...