Thursday, December 18, 2014

Does Corporate Culture really matter?

So, the new buzz in recruiting circles these days is “Corporate Culture”.  After all, if you listen to or read the thousands of blogs that recruiters like me post out there day after day…then money no longer matters…it’s all about finding a company culture that fits you best. 

Darn “Millennials” are screwing everything up.

Does culture really matter that much?  I’m not saying that a good company culture doesn’t play a part in hiring decisions…but is it really the most important things to people these days? 

Ok…let’s make the assumption that corporate culture is the ultimate way of attracting talent to your company.  If that’s the case, then 95% (or more) of the companies out there looking to hire top talent are doing it wrong right now.  Take a look at any job board and tell me what you see.  Companies typically list the following in a job posting:
·         Short summary of what the company does (industry, product line, etc.)
·         Required skills, experience, and education
·         Technologies used
·         Position responsibilities
·         Location
·         Sometimes a compensation range

If culture is what attracts “Top” talent, why do companies rarely mention anything about their corporate culture?  Sure there are a few that use culture as a differentiation…. examples would include:  Zappos, South West Airlines, Apple.  But are they attracting the top talent with culture differentiation?  I can’t speak to South West or Apple, but I have recruited for Zappos in the past, and I’ve had as many skilled software developers turned off by their “culture” as turned on by it.  Honestly…most didn’t seem to care much…they just asked what projects they’d be working on and how much they could make.

So if the new “corporate culture” differentiation model is so great, why are most companies slow to adopt it in their own job postings / talent acquisition marketing campaigns?  My best guesses are as follows:
·         Most companies don’t have a discernible / definable culture
·         Whomever is putting the job descriptions together isn’t concerned with culture attracting talent
·         Companies don’t have a culture that they think will attract top talent
·         Hiring managers really don’t care about culture fit…they just want talent fit

Questions, Questions, Questions…..perhaps I’ll find the answers soon.

Friday, November 7, 2014

You WILL Fail - deal with it.

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas A. Edison

Just a quick word to every job seeker, recruiter, or person that ever thought about just quitting….DON’T.  Life unfortunately is as much about failures as it is about successes…you should embrace both and figure out how best to react…that is where the real growth occurs.

I work with job seekers every day.  They all want to find a great company with a great position and great compensation.  In fact…don’t we all want that?  Sometimes I wish we could redefine the vernacular that we are all accustomed to.  I wish we could show that success is actually defined by effort…not by achievement.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a big proponent of the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality…what I am saying though is “Don’t give up….keep pushing and you’ll get it”.

Let me share some numbers from my own experience.  Most companies that use a recruiter have already exhausted their own “internal pipeline” of referrals and have also made some sort of an effort to advertise the opening (job boards, company website, social media, workforce services, etc.).  By the time I see an opening as a recruiter that a company wants me to fill, they have seen 10-50 resumes already on average.  Let’s just go with 30 as an average.  That is 30 people that have already failed (to obtain this job)!  Most companies will engage 2-3 recruiting agencies on a contingency basis.  Common rule of thumb in recruiting is to send over 3-5 candidates for each opening a company has engaged you to search on.  3 agencies x 5 candidates each = 15 more candidates (if you are keeping track, that is 45 candidates so far for the opening).  In order for a recruiter to find 3 qualified candidates to send to a company, industry average dictates that you will speak with 10 people to find one who is both qualified and interested in the position.  More math you ask???  …An additional 30 more conversations with people.  But….not so fast….not everyone picks up the phone or responds to a recruiter’s email.  On average…it takes 100 calls/emails to speak to 10 people as a recruiter.

Let’s summarize:
·         One job = 30 failed internally generated candidates
·         3 recruiting agencies = 15 candidates presented
·         15 candidates presented = 15x10 conversations or 150 conversations
·         150 conversations = 1500 calls/emails

What does this all mean?  On average, for one person to “succeed” or “accomplish” landing the job….1529 other people failed.
1529 failures

Obviously there are many factors that make this number move up and down for each open position that I see, but the point is simple.  YOU WILL FAIL.  Everybody does.  One of the first things I tell a new candidate is – rarely do I place someone on a first contact…but we’ll work together to find the right fit…it might be now – it might be a year from now. 

The best advice I can give a job seeker (or a new recruiter that keeps hearing people say “no thanks..not interested in a change right now”) is:  Get used to it, embrace it, learn and grow from it.  You will fail…we all do.  Just don’t quit.  You might be the next person on the list a recruiter is about to call for a position that is a perfect fit for you.

Monday, February 17, 2014

5 Reasons NOT to use a Recruiter

Never thought you'd see this coming on a Recruiter's blog right?  Without further ado....

1.  SALARY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FIT - If money for this particular hire is tight....then stop.  Don't call a recruiter to help you if you are worried more about your salary range than you are about finding the right fit for the role.  Don't get me wrong....salary and budget parameters are important, but many companies worry so much about "fitting a range" that they miss the best fit...over pennies.  Recruiters are trained to find the best fit - period.  Is it okay to have restrictions?... sure...but be flexible.  I realize many hiring managers that don't work with recruiters regularly will automatically assume that a recruiter is just trying to "push the price up" to get a bigger fee...honestly, the benefit of pushing a salary up is minimal for most recruiters.  You need to remember that (especially in IT), there is more demand than'll need to entice the "best fit" to leave something good.....for something better.

2.  YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE AN EXHAUSTIVE INTERNAL SEARCH - Nothing will kill your workforce's drive to succeed and loyalty like hiring from the outside without first searching inside.  Make sure that you've looked at all possible candidates internally that might be ready for a new role and new responsibilities.  Also - make sure you have a referral bonus or some type of program in place to provide incentives for your own workforce to share their network.  If they like working for you, they'll want their friends and people they trust to work there as well.

3.  THE DECISION MAKER/HIRING MANAGER ISN'T ENGAGED IN THE HIRING PROCESS - If the decision maker doesn't have the time to take the following steps, then the position isn't ready to be filled yet:  describe the position in detail, speak about the daily duties and goals for the next person to fill the role, review resumes within 24 hours of receipt, interview qualified candidates within 48 hours of reviewing resumes, provide feedback on interested candidates.  If there is no time set aside for talking with candidates that might be interested, you will do more damage to your company's reputation than anything else.  Good candidates not only have more than one option, they also look for potential employers that make good impressions.  Who wants to work for a company that can't respond to a request in a timely manner? screams "hi, come work for us...we are completely disorganized and/or disinterested".

4.  THE POSITION IS JUNIOR OR ENTRY LEVEL - You should rarely spend money on a recruiter to fill entry-level or junior level roles.  Save your bucks to hire a recruiter when you have a mission or time critical role that needs an expert.  Refer back to #2 - you should have internal people that love to work for you....each of them have a network of friends that can fill those roles.  If that doesn't seem to work, try developing an internship program - or speak with your local colleges and other educational organizations.  They are always looking to help place people that they've trained - usually with no charge.

5.  YOU DON'T HAVE A VALUE PROPOSITION - Why should someone come to work for you?  Why is it better than what they are already doing?  What will they gain from this role?  If you can't answer these simple questions, then you'll struggle to find the right person...and so will a recruiter.  Again, the market is run by supply/demand and most people aren't looking to make a lateral's much easier and less risky to stay put....unless there is a value to a move.  Your job is to show them the value in joining your team.  Value is not just could be growth opportunity, cool projects/technology, great team atmosphere, special benefits and perks, stability, risk.....all of these will entice good candidates.  Remember, people typically don't change jobs on a whim....they do it to gain value!