Anyone Can Be a Recruiter, Right? (#RNL17)

It's a profession with limited barriers to entry and literally a million agency/corporate positions available.

It's a profession where the hardest workers and the most entrepreneurial usually get the best results.

It's a profession looked at with disdain by many candidates who are sick of hearing from members of said profession.

SO - Anyone can be a recruiter, right? Ari

I bring this up for the following reasons.  I'm just coming off a couple of days at Recruiter Nation Live 2017, a conference put on by the good folks at Jobvite.  Great show and good people, glad I went.

Speaking of good people - I heard no less than three times - in different ways - people talking about the fact they had told friends, family members and complete strangers that they should get into the recruiting game.  The common factor in all of this advice was that anyone could be a recruiter.

Career a little slow?  Not finding the right path for you?  Just got out of prison?

You should be a recruiter. Seems like anyone can do it.

My favorite story was one where a guy was in an Uber and struck up a conversation with the driver, and ended up giving him the advice to become a recruiter.  The guy messaged him two weeks later and told my friend that he landed his first recruiting job - at a place I'll call TereoTech - which means he'll either be unemployed in a month or become one of the greatest recruiters of all time - because that's what TereoTech does.

Which is the point of this post.  Yeah friends, anyone can probably be a recruiter.  Present yourself in the right way and appear scrappy as a youngster, and you can probably find a job.  If you're older, you can parlay your subject matter/functional area expertise into a gig recruiting people who do what you've done in the past.  We call that a specialty recruiter in the biz, and your experience in any specialty probably can give you a shot as a recruiter.

A lot of people can get a job as a recruiter.  

But just because you can get the job doesn't mean you'll be successful, or even like it. What dictates whether someone can actually do the job of a recruiter?

Recruiting in it's purest form is sales.  Behavioral traits that equate into success for recruiters are as follows:

High Assertiveness - you're going to have to ask for things without shame.

Low or mid-range Sensitivity - rejection is a part of the gig.  If you're a diva every time you get rejected, it's probably not going to work.

Low Team - doesn't mean you're a bad teammate.  The low Team designation simply means you're driven for high performance via individual scoreboards - you like to win.  YOU, not us.  Us is nice.  But unless you're motivated by seeing your name at the top of a list, you probably won't be satisfied.

There's more, but I'll stop there.  The same things that make a great salesperson also make for a great recruiter.

Lots of people can get a recruiting job.  Few can be good to great at it.  

Shout out to the Uber driver now at TereoTech - you'll know whether it's for you if you can tolerate the good folks at TT requiring you to make 120 calls a day and the rejection that comes with that.

Get a year in at TereoTech and then give me a call - we've got a great team you'll love at Kinetix one you figure out it's for you.


A Comprehensive List of Work Roles White People Should Never Be Selected For...

Of course, I'm kidding with that title.  I'm not the authority on the PC-ness of white people in roles that are typically exclusively held by non-whites.  

But I gotta tell you, I have some opinions.  First, I think there's a lot of roles that white people don't belong in.  Here's a taste of Closedduetocolonialsimsome of those roles:

--Any leadership position at a HBCU...

--Leadership positions with Diversity titles in Corporate America...

--Matt Damon playing the lead in a movie set in Song dynasty China (I get it - he's a mercenary from Europe, but still.. Can we find a Chinese star for a movie about the Song years?) 

White people in certain roles is a non-starter. Many of you would/will argue the other way.  But common sense tells me there's more than enough talent in the world without a member of honkytown landing in these roles, even if you're arguing the tried and true "the best person should be selected" mantra.  

Turns out you might have bigger fish to fry related to what roles IT IS APPROPRIATE for white people to be in. 

From the school of "you can't make this up", the Washington Post reports there's a movement afoot in Portland, Oregon to stop white people from stealing culinary ideas from other cultures, which is called appropriation by those seeking to stop white folks from starting any type of restaurant that's not a Irish potato bar. Here you go:

Portland, Ore., has become the epicenter in a growing movement to call out white people who profit off the culinary ideas and dishes swiped from other cultures.

In the days since two white women were shamed into shutting down their pop-up burrito cart after telling a reporter that they had “picked the brains of every tortilla lady” in Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, Portland has become all but fed up with cultural appropriation within its city limits. One writer has stated, flat out, that “Portland has an appropriation problem,” going on to explain (the boldface emphasis is the writer’s):

Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly. These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise.

Someone in the City of Roses has even created a Google doc, listing the white-owned restaurants that have appropriated cuisines outside their own culture. For each entry, the document suggests alternative restaurants owned by people of color. One “Appropriative Business” is Voodoo Doughnut, the small doughnut chain accused of profiting off a religion thought to combine African, Catholic and Native American traditions.

That's a lot, right?  As noted in the lead, I'm a believer in the fact that white people shouldn't be in certain types of diversity roles - there's enough talent in the world where the aforementioned roles shouldn't be filled by someone named Ricky Bobby.  But in the slippery slope of workplaces and what's appropriate, I'm drawing the line and saying that if a white person wants to risk some capital and sell mediocre fajitas and Corona Lights, they shouldn't draw the ire of the PC police.

HR Director of a HBCU?  No.  Owner of LaCocina?  Sure.

If someone wants to risk their capital, so be it.  The dirty little secret is that the owners of these businesses, white or otherwise, will likely employ an employer base that's majority non-white. 

Of course, the great thing about this argument is that the market will decide how far the appropriation movement can go, and if you click through to the WaPo article, you'll see that people are overwhelming bashing the appropriation crowd in the comments, even going so far as promising to patronize the white-owned establishments listed in the Google doc link above to show their support and ensure the owners aren't bullied.

Fire away in the comments.  Where can whites play in a non-white world from an employment perspective?


McKinsey Report: Managing Others and Influence Safe From Next Wave of AI/Automation...

McKinsey has a pretty good report out about where machines/AI can replace humans, and where they can't. I'd encourage all in the talent space to take a look - here's the link.

What you learn from the report is that AI and other forms of automation aren't new related to their ability to destroy jobs and cause dramatic restructuring of workforces as we know them.  A recent HBR article shows that between 1900 and 1990, the population of farmers in the United States went from 30 million to 3 million all while the country’s population more than tripled. In other words, 97% of the farmers disappeared, 3% of the jobs were kept but changed dramatically, the cause: automation.  

Smaller examples - the large-scale deployment of bar-code scanners and associated point-of-sale systems in the United States in the 1980s reduced labor costs per store by an estimated 4.5 percent and the cost of the groceries consumers bought by 1.4 percent.  Huh...  Check out kiosks don't work now because humans are generally helpless to learn new things on the fly - once we can scan you walking out the door without you finding a bar code, we won't have check out counters. 

So automation is a fact of life.  The decision you have to help your kids (as well as grown relatives and friends) make is what careers will be viable in the next wave of automation.

If you look at the McKinsey report, you have to be careful when it comes to Skilled Trades.  We'll have those for the foreseeable future, but there will be pressure on these areas for sure. Look at the chart below from the report and we'll talk about it after the jump (email subscribers, click through if you can't see the picture):

McKinsey Work Automation Chart

What the chart says is this - the more predictable the physical work, the more jobs stand to be eliminated by automation.

Self-driving car technology is going to replace truckers.  Low-end recruiters are gong to be replaced by AI technology.

What's safe for right now?  Any position that manages others or requires influence (stakeholder interactions and applying expertise).

Managing others and influence have a lot of overlap.  They're also among the hardest things to get good at in Corporate America.  Unpredictable physical work is much less likely to be automated that predictable physical work.  It stands to reason that predictable work using your brain is much more likely to be automated than unpredictable work using your brain.

You know what's unpredictable work using your brain?  Dealing with those pesky people. 

Which tells me the HR generalist (jack of all trades, master of some - across all career levels) is going to be around for awhile.


Why I Had To Have The "There's No Crying In the Workplace" Talk With My Son....

When you read the title of this post, you might think I have sensitive sons.  Problems with emotions, crying, etc.

That's not true. I think they're pretty emotionally balanced, in the normal range, and generally OK.

I didn't have to have a talk about "there's no crying in the workplace" with one of my sons because I'm afraid his current behavior will transcend into softness in the workplace.

No - I had to have this talk with my son because all of the business reality shows feature business owners crying.  If not all the time, waaaaaay too much.

The worst offender is CNBC's The Profit.  I like this show, as it features a business investor (Marcus Lemonis) evaluating a business that's broken to decide if he can invest, take control and make money while he helps someone out.

The show goes through the process - Lemonis asks questions, challenges the owner and ultimately invests and takes control.  Along the way, there's always a shot of the owner crying, touting some hardship.

Now crying itself is not a bad thing. But if you were an alien evaluating how business gets done on Earth solely through The Profit, you'd make the assumption that the road to business success is making yourself vulnerable by crying.

Thus, the brief conversation with one of the Dunn boys who always is around and interested when I'm watching The Profit.  Here's what I was compelled to tell him:

  1. Normal people don't break down and cry when things get tough in the business world.
  2. PRO TIP - If you've got to cry, a nuts and bolts conversation about your financial statement isn't the place to do it.
  3. Instead of wanting to help you more, many people will believe you're unstable when you cry and treat you like you have a disease they can catch from you.
  4. Probably the only time its OK to cry in business is when you're showing empathy for other people.  In that way, it's acceptable and you'll be treated as someone who JUST CARES TOO MUCH.  An acceptable fault.
  5. Crying at any other time is risky.  And contrary to what this show illustrates, crying among business leaders is not common.  It doesn't happen every day - in fact, it rarely happens.
  6. PS - Man up.  You'll thank me when you're 30 for this advice.

I love The Profit featuring Marcus Lemonis.  But the crying thing might be teaching young folks things that can get them benched in life.

Clip of The Profit below if you haven't seen it.  Highly recommended for viewing with your kids with the above caveat made clear.


WHITE COLLAR CANDIDATES: You Hate Behavioral Interviewing, Here's How To Win...

Got a call yesterday for interview prep advice.  Great candidate, looking to take the next step with another company.  My friend was in the best position he could be in related to the interview - he has direct experience working with the technology required and he was a external referral of the PERSON BEING PROMOTED OUT OF THE ROLE.

There's just this one little problem.  He was anticipating a behavioral interview.

And he hates behavioral interviewing.

My advice was simple, and it's the most powerful thing any candidate can do when fearing the behavioral interview:

--Think about 3-4 themes that you think are important to the interviewer/company/position combo in question (for my friend, it was leading people through change, fear of technology,  and lazy people who don't want to learn new things, etc.).

--Then pre-prepare a behavioral interviewing STAR (describe SITUATION/TASK, then talk about the ACTIONS your took given that situation, then talk about what happened - RESULTS).

Each story should take about 3 minutes to share effectively.

If you want to win with behavioral interviewing, you should pre-prepare your stories.  It's amazing once you have 4 stories/STARS how you can use the same story to answer a multitude of questions.

They're going to ask "tell me about a time".  If you hate that, take your fear down by pre-preparing your stories/STARS.  

A little prep leads to a stress-free interview.  Even if they don't ask behavioral questions, you can find time to share the examples/stories you've created.

 


Jobs in the USA - Coal Miner/Trump Edition...

One of the things that's fascinating about the Trump presidency is some of the promises - direct and implied - he's made that the jobs environment is going to improve for the blue collar American worker.  The Trump jobs platform is a cocktail of trade policy, economic policy, protectionism and more.  

To be fair, there's no such thing as an easy solution to any of this, but one of the dirty little secrets is that a lot of the jobs are never - and I mean never - coming back.  Whether it's automation, robots, Solar_worker global trade or societal changes, a lot of jobs are gone for good.

Which means the unspoken truth for a lot of blue collar workers is that their prospects won't improve with retraining and possible relocation.  Consider this coal/solar/wind energy jobs rundown from Fortune:

"According to a recent report from the Energy Department, the coal electric generation sector employed just 86,035 people—57,325 of them miners—in 2016. That’s far fewer than the number who now work in solar: 370,000, up 25% from 2015. The wind-energy workforce, meanwhile, ballooned 32%, to 101,738, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics pronounced “wind turbine service technician” the nation’s fastest-growing occupation, projecting 108% growth between 2014 and 2024.

Compare that with the fate of coal miners, whose number dwindled by 24% last year. There are lots of reasons for that—the shale gas boom, declining demand, Obama-era regulations, and automation. Even for those in the industry, it’s hard to imagine all those coal jobs coming back. Luke Popovich of the National Mining Association has upgraded the industry outlook from “not great” to “improving,” in light of Trump’s early days in the White House."

My dad was a telephone line guy for years, and looking back, I'm proud of the adjustments he made when the business he was in become less POTS and more data and video.  He embraced that OK, but didn't have to change companies to get retrained - and certainly didn't have to relocate for the job.

West Virginia coal miners can't get a job in solar or wind without retraining, looking for a different company to work for, and yes, moving somewhere else.  And they're really going to hate the arid climates over Morgantown.

Many of the jobs aren't coming back.  Retraining is key, but as the economy shifts, relocation is another dirty little detail.  

God help us all when semi-trailers become automated and take out millions of jobs that blue collar Americans migrated to over the last 30 years.


Stuff the Capitalist (aka KD) Likes: The Trailer for "Logan"...

Who am I?  Who cares?  Good questions.  It's my site, so I'm going dig in once in a awhile by telling you more about who I am - via a "Stuff I Like" series.  Nothing too serious, just exploring the micro-niche that resides at the base of all of our lives.  Potshots encouraged in the comments.

I'm not a big comic book movie guy, but I have to say, the trailers for "Logan" (supposedly the final Wolverine movie in the X-Men series) look fantastic.  Take a look (email subscribers click through to see the video) and let's discuss it after the jump.

 What's it take to make a movie trailer like this?  

--Dystopian feel to the color and landscape. Check.

--Characters that are flawed yet cool. Check

--Great music over the trailer - aka, Johnny Cash covering Nine Inch Nails.  Check.

--Huge Jackman.  ##@#*@# @#@@ing Check people!

OK, now to the serious comments.  If you're over 40, how can you watch this trailer and not see yourself from a career standpoint?  You're a hero and talented, but tired.  You've got a mentor or two that's always in your grill about something - and they're usually right.  And yeah, you still have a lot to give, and probably a responsibility to lead some young folks that are coming up.

True - you and the equivalent actors in your life are nowhere near as cool as these characters, but there it is.  You're flawed. The world's going to keep coming.  Might as well flex the claws and get to the business of impaling some bad guys.

(Bonus - the trailer used for the Super Bowl was a cool version of Amazing Grace - click here to see that one)

We are all Logan.  


Should You Fight Age Bias By Only Showing Your Last 15 Years On Your Resume?

Old people. The problem with them is there's just so much...well...experience...

You know I'm kidding. But it raises a good point - should older workers looking for their next opportunity show all of their work history and graduation dates from college, or hide it to a certain degree?

I've come to the opinion that you have to hide it a bit - lest you get caught in a bias-filled resume screen process that says things like "What's the Clinton administration? I didn't know she was president before she lost to Trump last year..."

More on the topic of marketing yourself as an older worker from Fortune: De niro

"The new administration h as put some wind in the sails of the market and, some would say, the economy too—which is potentially good news for job seekers. But if you’re one of those seekers and you’re of a certain age, career guru Marc Cenedella has some critical advice: “Don’t list any dates on your résumé before the year 2000.”

Just zap it. Erase it. Pretend those years never happened.

To be clear, Cenedella, who is 46, isn’t saying that age bias is okay. He’s saying that it exists. The first person who reads your résumé will be an HR department screener who will be right out of college. “They’ll say, ‘Wait, this guy was working in newspapers in the 1980s? No way will he understand Snapchat.’ ”

Boom, like that, your paperwork goes into the trash. Sure, this is biased and unfair. But these are the gatekeepers, and you need to get past them.

Trimming the early experience from your résumé might feel dishonest, but the document isn’t supposed to be comprehensive. “Your résumé is an advertisement, not a product manual,” Cenedella says. Confining a résumé to a single page is good advice for anyone."

That's good advice.  Of course, the key is to not be accused of being too old when you get the first call on the job in question - the one that comes for a brief phone screen before you'd be selected to come in and interview live.  

When that call happens, you're probably going to be identified as part of the the older portion of Gen X - or dare I say - a Boomer.

Someone younger than you is going to be screening you.  The best way around any objections to your age is the following path:

  1. Connect with the person phone screening you - if you have a chance to research them, know a little bit about their background and ask them about it.  Because you're interested and see the value, not because you're skeptical if they're capable of interviewing you.  Be interested in what they do for the company and how they feel about the company they work for.  Making them feel like their opinions matter to you is a great track to them giving you a break for being "over-qualified".  
  2. Have work product available to share as a follow up to your call.  I've written about the portfolio effect for candidates before, so click here to see those thoughts.  You should follow up with something that displays your work - hopefully in a contemporary fashion.  Do it at the end of the business day you talk to them so they have to reconsider you before they make their final determination about whether you're going to move forward.

Most older workers are rightfully paranoid about resume reviewers and phone screeners being dramatically younger than them.  Take some years off your resume and be ready to loosen up and show your interest in your phone screener.  Put all your misgivings aside when that call comes for best results.

Good luck out there.  Peak economic cycle has never felt so hard for so many.

 


The Best and Worst Markets For HR Managers....

Had a client at Kinetix ask me last week where in the US I would build out a presence if my goal was to hire capable software developers with limited competition.  Made me think that would be an interesting question for HR positions as well.

With that in mind, here's the best and worst markets to be an HR Manager in America, with data pulled from Wanted Analytics...

Hardest Markets to Fill the HR Manager Role (These will have the highest salaries combined with a limited candidate supply and high competition - Which means conditions are optimum for HR Managers in these markets):

Fort Collins-Loveland, CO 

Columbia, SC       

York-Hanover, PA              

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC         

Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro—Franklin, TN     

Wilmington, NC  

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA       

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO      

Dayton, OH         

Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA 

Easiest Markets to Fill the HR Manager Role (These will have the lowest salaries combined with a strong candidate supply and limited competition - Which means conditions aren't great for HR Managers in these markets):

Charlottesville, VA             

Springfield, MA   

Peoria, IL              

Duluth, MN         

Boise City-Nampa, ID        

South Bend-Mishawaka, IN             

Colorado Springs, CO         

Visalia-Porterville, CA       

Tucson, AZ       

Surprised?  Hit me with a note and tell me more in the comments....