Subscription-Based Org Charts Are an Interesting Recruiting Tool...

If you're a consumer of news, one of the things you've seen in the past is that there's a trend towards the best news outlets creating paywalls and trying to get you to pay for a digital subscription.  The game plan at the Washington Post, New York Times and other outlets is to give you something like 10 free articles a month on your phone, then stop access and make you pay.

Have you paid the fee?  Me either, but I'm always doing the math in my head if I should.  If the content is good enough (and maybe more importantly if the SEO moves the source to the Information top repeatedly), I'm always inclined to consider paying.  Another trend in digital journalism is to create a deep, deep coverage level of a small niche and then ask the readers with hyper interest in that niche to pay for the coverage.  That's the plan at a source called "The Information".  Here's a description of that news outlet:

Jessica Lessin, a 33-year-old former Wall Street Journal reporter, has created a tech news site, The Information, which could become a new digital model at a time when ad-supported Web news is in need of an economic lifeline. 

The Information has gained notice for its contrarian, old-school approach to digital news, which includes a no-joke $399 paywall, relatively scant attention to social media (at least when compared to other digital-first news sites), and a newsroom ethos that encourages reporters to write fewer, deeper stories, as opposed to a constant drip of quick, often thinly reported hits. The Information’s sweet spot is the serious pursuit of business news: Snap Inc.’s IPO plans, the boardroom travails at Uber, an investigation into the founder of Nest Lab.

I'm interested in The Information because there's a lot of interesting HR and recruiting stories in the valley.  In addition, one of the recurring features they have is basically underground reporting of the top 2-3 levels in any company, which is a bit of a an org chart on HGH - below is a picture of how they teased the org chart of the people who matter the most at self-driving car company, Waymo (click through if you don't see the image below):

TheInformationOrgChartDive

If you're a recruiter in a niche industry, my sense is that you would pay $399 a year for the an org chart like this every two weeks alone - to say nothing of the other features and deep reporting on an industry you're trying to rip talent from.

The question is whether sources like The Information can survive in a world of free.  See the box top left - $400 per month across 10,000 subscribers = 4M in revenue.


Candidates Who Try To Cheat the Behavioral Interview Are Actually Doing You a Favor...

A week or two back I penned a post wondering out loud if the Behavioral Interview was dead.  Of course, I don't think it is, and a big part of my thought process is that it remains a tool that we just haven't spent enough time training on. 

So it's easy to say that it doesn't work.  Of course, our managers for the most part aren't great at interviewing and we haven't really tried to train them on interviewing skills across corporate Assumptions-ahead-signAmerica. 

Finally, there are people rationalizing that just because there are thousands of returns in Google providing advice to candidate to "beat the behavioral interview" - we should abandon it as a meaningful tool in the interview process.

Candidates are trying to cheat the behavioral interview?  Sounds like the perfect candidate to me.  My readers agree - from the comments section of the HRC:

From a reader named Kimberlee:

Yeah, it bothers me that so many people (still?) think that interviewing is a gotcha game or a power play or a thing a person can "pass" or "fail." It's a pernicious perception on the part of both employers and candidates. Interviews should serve purely as a way to talk out whether the candidate is right for the role and right for the company. If candidates are preparing better for those conversations than they were in the past, that's perfect. That's ideal. Anything that will help me take the scared spitter-of-canned-responses candidate in front of me and turn them into someone who can just tell me about themselves, what they've done, and what they hope to do is great in my book.

More from a psychologist named Gary:

Wow, thanks for pointing out this rather alarming trend with respect to how behavioral interviewing is being perceived. As a Business Psychologist, I can say that behavioral interviewing is still an effective tool that is a staple of my candidate assessment/selection process (along with other measures, like personality and cognitive assessments). It's almost as if people believe that the "list of behavioral interview answers" has been released on the internet, while professionals know that there are no "right" or "canned" responses that will "pass" the interview - it just doesn't work like that. And, in agreement with another comment on this article, I also believe that candidates preparing for behavioral interviews by thinking through their best work examples is a win-win for both the candidate and the interviewer. So, in my view, behavioral interviewing is "alive and well", and will be considered best practice for a long time to come.

And a guy named Matt from California (via Mississippi) broke it down in 15 seconds of typing:

So candidates know about behavioral interviewing so they spend some time thinking about various scenarios they have encountered so they are more prepared and can effectively relate them to the interviewer... Win/Win! Maybe I have oversimplified.

Yep - these are my readers!  Way to smart to take the bait on bad advice.

 


Is Behavioral Interviewing Dead? The Internet Said So...

Deep thoughts today, people... Deep thoughts.  

Was at a conference last week and heard a keynoter basically proclaim the following (I'm paraphrasing):

"Behavioral interviewing is dead.  Just google the term and you'll find thousands of pages designed to help candidates beat behavioral interviewing."

OK.  Let me break that general thought process down a bit.  There's one word that comes to mind when I hear a thought leader proclaim that behavioral interviewing is dead with that logic as the reason. Rationalize

Rationalization.

People are tying to help candidates beat behavioral interviewing!!  That means it's ineffective as an interviewing technique, right?

Um, no.

When behavioral interviewing doesn't work well, it's because you haven't giving your managers the training they need to be successful.  Actually you might have given them the training.  What you haven't done is given them the gift of failure.

For anything related to manager training, failure=role play as part of your training.  You've got to give them real practice using the skills you're teaching them.  If they don't fail as a part of your training, there's ZERO chance they're going to try and use the skill in the real world.

If you don't force people to fail in your training, they'll never be effective in their real lives as managers.

Is behavioral interviewing the end all/be all?  No.  But it's an effective way to drill down on candidates (no hypotheticals! What did you do specifically in that situation?  Not the team - you!) if you give your managers the training they need.

I'm cool if you don't like behavioral interviewing - shine on, you crazy diamond.  Just don't fail to give managers what they need and then blame it on the Internet.  That's called rationalization not to train.

PS - If you're in the market for cool training your managers will actually like, check out my training series called BOSS - Leadership Skills for the Modern Manager.  It's full of stuff that will engage your managers and give them the skills (and initial failure) they need to get better!  Bonus - below is the first video we show as part of our behavioral interviewing training - featuring Vince Vaughn and Owen Willson (email subscribers click through for the video).


3 Candidates: Know Your Role and Your Recruiting Strategy...

"The problem we're trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams. Then there's fifty feet of crap, and then there's us. It's an unfair game. And you guys just sit around talking the same old "good body" nonsense like we're selling jeans. Like we're looking for Fabio. We've got to think differently. We are the last dog at the bowl. You see what happens to the runt of the litter? He dies."

--Billy Beane, Moneyball

-----------------------------------------------

Recruiting is sales.  To be effective at either, you've got to know your market.

More importantly, you've got to know where you slot in within that marketplace.  Knowing both of these things allows you to create a recruiting strategy. Bell_curve

Without knowing the market, where you slot and your strategy, you're a spaz.  You're just flopping around and as you do that, you're wasting a lot of time and energy.

Let me give you an example - the following are three candidates, functional area doesn't matter.  Take a look at tell me which one you'd target for your company.

--Candidate A - the best candidate available.  Has the experience you need, but cost 120% of what you'd like to pay.  Works at a company that seems to have a better brand than yours.

--Candidate B - a good candidate with some experience you need, but not the perfect candidate "A" is.  Costs 105% of what you'd like to pay. Looks less accomplished than candidate "A".  Has only been at currently company for 15 months and is in the marketplace.

--Candidate C - recent grad with 18 months of semi-related experience in the area you need.  Can be acquired for 65% of Candidate "A".   No other details available.

Which one do you hire?

We're all attracted to "A", right?  We want all of that, but it's more than we can really pay and the candidate's used to being at a company with some brand swagger.  You, my friend, have no brand swagger.  

If you're chasing "A" without the means to satisfy them, you're going to be disappointed.

That's why the key for most of us is thinking about the options that remain - B or C - and creating a strategy around that.  Are we hiring experienced talent that we can afford and doing our best to pick the players from the rejects in this group, or are we saying "#### it" and committing to a strategy of hiring new grads - and creating the training/development that's necessary to bring the kids on?

If you can chase and land "A", good for you.  Most of you/us can't.  And yes, there are functional area considerations and many candidate profiles you could add to the list above.  Do that and come back to the question - what's your strategy?

Stop wasting time by knowing who you are and where you can be most effective in the talent game.

Knowing who you are and what you can land on the recruiting scene and then creating a strategy to deal with those realities is key.  You've got to make lemonade out of lemons. 

Or you can keep trying to date the hottest candidate and get crushed.


VIDEO: Google for Jobs: What Do HR and Recruiting Leaders Need to Do Next?

Going video for you today - lots of buzz about Google for Jobs, what it means and what HR and Recruiting Leaders need to know.

If you've got a big Indeed or Job Board spend, do you have to take action today?  Yes and no.  Take a look at the video below (email subscribers click through for YouTube clip if you don't see it below) as I interview Tim Sackett on Google for Jobs.  Tim covers how to make the most of Google for Jobs today, I cover the threshold you need to keep your eye on to know that someone's moved your cheese and when your current job board/Indeed/recruitment marketing allocation isn't working anymore.

BONUS - I sit in the cube of one of my direct reports who was on PTO and evaluate her "To Do" list which includes items with my name on them.

Good times!


MESSED UP PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Wall Selfie in Workplace (Confidential)...

Yeah, so I travel a bit for work - and I always try and grab some photos.  Ended up at a employer not to be named and took this one a few months back.  To be fair, this wasn't in the entrance of the building but a next level hallway.  Take a look and I've got a comment or two after the jump (email subscribers click through for image):

Selfie

Comments:

--Yes, that's a selfie being taken by a camera, not a smartphone.

--Yes, it's unclear if there's a viewfinder which would indicate it's digital over film.  We're not sure.

--Employer business is focused on sales to youth.  No, I'm not ####ing you.

Bonus points for getting the good looking people right.  Note to marketing director - just take the original art/image and cut that #### down and make it this:

Selfie2

I'm here for you, companies of the Brontosaurus age.  You're vintage, I'll give you that.

 

 


HR PROBLEM: When LinkedIn Recruiter Doesn't Work For Your Team...

Here's a new world take on an old-world saying:

"No one ever got fired for buying recruiting services from LinkedIn"

That's a spin off on what our boomer fathers/mothers/grandparents used to say back in the day: LinkedInRecruiter

"No one ever got fired for buying IBM".

New world. Same type of saying.

If there's one thing that's true, it's that LinkedIn is ubiquitous these days when it comes to recruiting. As i've written before, the old big job board world got pushed aside by the Indeed (owns the new job board posting, powered by SEO), LinkedIn owns the candidate database and Glassdoor owns company reputation.  With the launch of Google for Jobs, this current order is likely to change again.

But the problem for Indeed/LinkedIn/Glassdoor comes back to monetization.  What's the best way to get people to pay for the service?

For LinkedIn, it's putting together a package of job postings, company page assistance, display/social ads and a tool called LinkedIn Recruiter.  LinkedIn is masterful at selling all this in bundles, because that's the best way to maximize revenue and limit focus on the effectiveness of any one feature/tool.  Everyone gets job postings as a concept and will pay for them.  Check out my company's breakdown of the major platform's version of social ads and their effectiveness (LinkedIn trails other options) for a deeper dive into that LinkedIn tool set.

That leaves us with LinkedIn Recruiter.  Ah yes.  Here's the feature set you get when you buy LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, pulled from the LinkedIn solutions page:

  • Zero in on the right person with 20+ Premium search filters
  • View full profiles for the entire LinkedIn network – all 460M+ members
  • Contact anyone with 150 InMail messages per month per team member
  • Easily and collaboratively manage your pipeline
  • See what your team’s up to with powerful reporting and analytics tools
  • Source on the go with Recruiter Mobile, the iPhone and Android app

All that is great and btw, I think LinkedIn is a great service.  Love it or hate it, they've built something truly useful.  It's what you pay for that can be the issue.

When it comes to LinkedIn Recruiter, you're conceptually paying for a form of access to candidates that others don't have.  My company (Kinetix) has onboarded new recruiting clients and had HR and TA leaders provide us access to up to 20 LinkedIn Recruiter licenses.  When we go in and look at those, it's shocking to see the level of adoption present.

Bottom line - There's a lot of companies that buy LinkedIn Recruiter licenses because they're bundled with job postings, and the sales people are trained not to remove the bundle.  There's a good reason for that - job postings almost always get used, but LinkedIn Recruiter licenses can sit vacant and well, it will just go unnoticed and we'll say those recruiters are lazy, etc.

But recruiters aren't lazy for the most part - but they are who they are behaviorally.  Some are hunters, most are farmers.  To use LinkedIn Recruiter effectively, you've got to work - and hunt by really personalizing the InMails you send.  Here's a clip from a LinkedIn product manager describing how the best recruiters use InMail to get great results over at Fast Company:

This may seem cliché, but using the word “connect” tends to boost response rates for InMail. The same goes for mentioning that you’d like to follow up—using terms like “talk,” “chat,” “call,” etc. can all improve response rates.

But don’t go much further than that! Among the InMail recruiters send, we’ve actually found that phrases related to scheduling (like specific days of the week), salary, and sharing email addresses, all tend to decrease the likelihood of response.

If you're imaging what % of your recruiters have the ability/time/smarts to become email marketers and do a drip marketing campaign to a passive candidate and nurture them over time, you're right to think the low numbers that come to mind in your head...

It's 1 out of 10.  That's why so many LinkedIn Recruiter licenses sit dormant.  They can't do what's required to make InMail effective, so their response rates crater and they don't use the tool. But you bought the job postings.  Hell - you needed them.  But there's a reason that LinkedIn bundles it's stuff with such a high degree of urgency.

It's because some of the stuff doesn't work for the vast majority of recruiters.  Doesn't mean it's not a great product - but it does mean that you can't provide a $50,000 violin to a county fair-level banjo player and expect them to use it.

Sometimes the banjo player just needs a banjo.

But if your music store is telling you they can only sell you a banjo WITH the $50,000 violin - well, then you have a decision to make.


Targeting Companies Doing Layoffs in Recruiting Strategy - Smart or Lame?

If there's ever been something that's generated a "yeah, duh" in the halls of corporate America, it is the following:

"Company Z just announced a big layoff.  We should go after them from a recruiting perspective."

Well, yeah.  No Sh##.  The devil of course, is in the details.  That's what makes this recent tweet by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, so interesting.  He's going direct and talking to up to 5,000 people recently impacted by a Microsoft layoff, encouraging them to consider a career at Salesforce.  See the tweet below (email subscribers enable pictures or click through for image):

 Microsoft announced July 6 that it would cut 10% of its global sales team — around 5,000 people. Around the same time, Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois resigned, although it's unclear whether his departure was related to the company's reorganization.

But back to the concept of recruiting people from companies doing layoffs.  Thoughts/questions for your reading pleasure and comments:

  1. Do we really want the laid off people?  They were the weak ones, right?  (damn - that's harsh. Bear with me)
  2. At the end of the day, most of us would love to create FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) in the minds of everyone at the targeted company.  Benioff has a big enough microphone to do that on a macro basis, but the rest of us can't really do that.  Neither can our CEOs, because most of them are babies when it comes to their use of social, their following, etc.
  3. That means in order to target survivors, your recruiters have to do the equivalent of the Mosul ground initiative (read up on your news!) and plant FUD the old fashioned way - by reaching out to candidates one at a time.
  4. But let's face it, if there was ever a time where you were going to reach to a passive candidate or two at a competitor with a "just checking in, heard about the BS" note, it's when a layoff occurs. Sadly, most TA shops have so much going on this won't happen unless it's demanded.
  5. Follow up notes on the value of laid off candidates - I believe they have value.  The bigger the layoff (5,000 is pretty big) and the better the economy when it happens (means the company missed on strategy, not a reflection of the talent), the more there will be high quality employees in the layoff.

Should we recruit from competitors who just announced a layoff?

Um - yeah.

But it's harder than it looks.  And you're CEO tweeting is likely to give you jack in the process.  So get ready to roll up your sleeves and spend a day targeting and pinging candidates with a personalized message.

PS - Benioff is talking to the survivors at Microsoft as much as he's talking to the impacted.  That's the value of having a rock star CEO who can "imply" a whole bunch of things with the social megaphone they have.

 


HOW TO: Use Social Media Ad Buys to Get Better Recruiting Results...

My team at Kinetix is dropping a whitepaper today - The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide To Social Media Buys for Recruiting.  You should check it out.

There's a lot of options for your recruitment marketing spend - Job Boards, Indeed, the new Google Jobs (actually not asking for your spend yet, just disrupting for now) - it's a confusing Social ad buysmarketplace and it's easy to miss changes in what works.

One of the places most of you haven't experimented with yet is doing social media ad buys to drive candidate flow.  Simply posting your jobs on social platforms without targeting has very limited effectiveness. You need to target and spend to make it really work. The process works like this - each of the major social platforms has targeting options where you can pick who you (by career track) want to see your ad, which can be a job, content related to a career at your company or a mixture of both.

You target and then pay the social platform on a per-click basis.  Sounds easy, right?

Well, all social platforms aren't created equal when it comes to their effectiveness in helping your recruiting efforts.  That's where this paper comes in handy - download it today and we'll give you the following:

--Data on which social media ad platforms you should be using to drive raw candidate flow to your jobs.

--The Kinetix experience related to which social media ad platform delivers the best results when trying to attract quality applicants.

--A rundown of factors that Talent Acquisition and HR Leaders should evaluate when picking the right social platform for their industry and recruiting pain.

--And of course, we rate 4 major social platforms related to their overall recruiting effectiveness so you know where to go first!

Download The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide to Social Media Buys for Recruiting today and learn how to stay ahead of the recruiting and hiring curve using social.

Remember - if you need recruiting help, Kinetix is just a phone call/text away!  

Download the paper via the form below or use any of the links in this email.


Google For Jobs Launches: Are You Going to Nap On This For the Next Year?

It's go time for Google for Jobs.  

Earlier this year at Google I/O, the search giant announced a new initiative named Google for Jobs. The goal is simple: leverage Google’s skills at organizing information to make finding jobs easier. Today, one of the first steps in this project goes live, with the launch of an improved job search feature rolling out on mobile and desktop.

The feature is pretty simple. For searches with “clear intent” (e.g., “head of catering jobs in NYC” or “entry-level jobs in DC”), Google shows a preview of job listings scraped from various sources. These include job sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor, but also information hosted on company’s own websites — if they’ve updated their sitemap, that is. Users can then click on results to get more information, and filter listings by criteria like location, employer, and the date of the listing.
 
They don't scrape/include Indeed, btw.
 
 
There's 2 things that you can do right now to experiment with that 10%.  You can buy social ads targeting the type of candidate you want on social platforms with great targeting (Facebook) and you can get ahead of the curve on Google Jobs.
 
Much like Indeed back in the day, there's no way for you just to write a check and say that your jobs are being maximized on Google Jobs right now.  Instead, you'll need to look at standards and understand some technical details.  Click here for a developer guide to improve search results for jobs in the Google engine.
 
Some of you were years late to the Indeed party.  That party isn't over yet, but let's just say it's winding down.
 
Search changes.  Indeed changed the job posting over a decade ago by understanding SEO, scraping every job in the world and forcing you to pay for preferred placement in their ecosystem. Now the ecosystem they built that practice on is in the jobs game, and while Google has included job postings from sources like CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor, they haven't included Indeed.  Logic suggests the others might find themselves on the outside looking in as time goes by.
 
The cheese moved.  The best way for you to spend resources on Google Jobs is to maximize your own jobs and not be reliant on a partner.