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    Entries in Recruiting (129)


    A funny reminder of what normals think about many of us

    I am pretty sure my favorite, offbeat website is Dinosaur Comics. I know I have blogged at least a couple of times over the years with a take on something interesting that the genius behind Dinosaur Comics, Ryan North has posted.  And his idea, a comic series where the pictures, panels, and layouts are exactly the same every day, but with the topics and dialog between the two characters changing, is really unique and remarkable.

    Recently, Dinosaur Comics took on the topic of HR and Recruiting's favorite sourcing and people research tool, LinkedIn. Take a look at what two comic dinosaurs think about LinkedIn, and then I (natch) will have a couple of comments after the comic.

    Really funny, right? But to paraphrase the great Joe Pesci in Goodfellas - how is it funny? And should we really care beyond laughing? A couple of quick thoughts:

    1. 'Normals', i.e. people who don't live and die all day long on LinkedIn, are not all that concerned with their 'personal brand', and don't actually feel like their job is the most important thing about them likely make up the majority of your workforce.

    2. Most of these people, I think, are not at all comfortable with the notion that the divide or the separation between 'work' and 'not working' is diminishing (or even disappearing). Lots and lots of solid and even outstanding performers are not thinking about work after 5PM. And they are not spending their weekends sending LinkedIn connection requests. They are, once again, 'normal.'

    3. HR and Recruiting people love to tell everyone who will listen that 'They need to be on LinkedIn' and offer endless tips and tricks so that people can 'Get the most out of their LinkedIn profile'. They do this for primarily self-serving reasons - they want the full range of people that they someday might be interested in contacting about job opportunities to be easily findable and contactable, (facilitated by tossing a few $$ to LinkedIn). I wish some honest recruiter would just post an article that says 'If you ever want to be considered for a job at my company, here is what I expect to see on your LinkedIn profile.' But instead we get dozens and dozens of pieces about 'optimization' tips. So boring.

    I don't mean to take shots at LinkedIn, I am a long-time user and have gotten some value out of that over the years. But I also think it has become too easy (and lazy) to have one and only one source for universal professional information. And one that normal people don't really understand as well.


    WEBINAR: Get inside the brain of the mobile job seeker

    You (and everyone else you know) simply CANNOT PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY.

    You can't do it. Admit it. Just try and go 20 minutes disconnected from that little miracle device. 

    After five minutes you will give the phone a furtive glance. After ten minutes your palms will start to get a little clammy and you will be compelled to pick up the phone, (but you will still have it locked). 


    So you break down at minute seventeen only to find the only things you've 'missed' are some forgettable work emails, some strange dude who might be a 'bot followed you on Twitter, and your cousin 'liked' your latest Instagram selfie.

    Disappointed, you turn to one of the few important things your little handheld portal to the Universe has to offer - you start looking around for a better job. C'mon admit it, you have a few job board apps on that little screen, maybe a couple of company career site apps too, and you have definitely clicked on a few job ads that you've seen on the mobile apps for LinkedIn or Twitter.

    It's ok, no shame at all. You are just like the rest of us in that there really isn't much of a difference or distinction between the activities and expectations for information and capability that we want from our iPhones and what we grew up with on our old PCs.

    Whether it's processing work stuff, shopping, and certainly, looking for that next great job opportunity - if it is happening, it is happening more and more on mobile devices.

    So as an HR/Talent pro you need to ensure your talent attraction game is ready for this new playing field. But don't fret, your pals over at Fistful of Talent have you covered with the next installment of the free FOT Webinar series -  Happy Hour Job Search: Driving the Behavior of Mobile Job Seekers, to be held on Tuesday, April 1 at 3:00PM EDT.

    In the webcast, presented by Kris Dunn from FOT, and Ed Newman from iMomentous, the guys will hit you with the following:

    A complete breakdown of the basic demographics and behaviors of mobile job seekers, with strategies on how to use that data to influence candidate behavior.

    Inside information about power users of mobile career sites, including the level of education they’ve achieved, years of work experience and most prevalent zodiac sign (we’re kidding about the last one–but it would be cool if Capricorns were the most mobile savvy, right?).

    What behavior and life patterns surrounding mobile use cause employers to see spikes at particular hours of the day from mobile, and how that impacts your mobile recruiting strategy.

    The impact of mobile friendly career sites and email campaigns to click through rates from mobile candidates.

    Then, we’ll show you how all the factors listed above make providing highly relevant content and calls to action the key to success with mobile candidates.

    A winning recruiting strategy starts with understanding the candidate you’re seeking. Where is your candidate sitting at the moment they choose to hit “apply?” What are they doing 10 seconds before they land on your site?

    Remember how your parents thought the Internet was a fad? Don’t fall into the same trap with mobile recruiting.  Join Kris Dunn and Ed Newman on Tuesday, April 1st from 3-4pm EST for Happy Hour Job Search: Driving the Behavior of Mobile Job Seekers, and they’ll hit you with the best strategies to get the most out your mobile recruiting strategy in 2014 and beyond.

    Have a great weekend!


    How much does industry specific experience matter?

    Lifted from a comment left on Tuesday's 'Chocolate Foresight Activator' post was this question from commenter Stew, who wondered about my conclusion/observation that since Hershey didn't mention the word 'chocolate' at all in the job posting for this 'Chocolate Futurist' role, that maybe what they really wanted was the best marketer/planner/designer/strategist they could find, even if he/she didn't know much or even care about chocolate:

    This job scares me a little as it sounds more like the "Phillip Morris's" style job..

    i.e. you don't have to care about smoking - just love marketing.

    If you look at "Whittakers Chocolate" they would argue you should have a passion for the chocolate......and the marketing will follow.

    Another way of raising the classic question about industry specific experience, and its relative importance as a predictor of success in most types of support functions or back office roles.

    Or said differently, do you really need to have had 5 years experience as a chocolate company marketer, in order to qualify for a job as a marketing manager for say a jelly bean manufacturer?

    Or does someone's marketing functional experience generally translate across industries, making the fundamental or core marketing skills like demand generation, content creation, sales enablement, etc. the real prerequisites for success in most any marketing job?

    After all, a bright enough and motivated enough person can learn just about anything, (leaving aside for obvious reasons those highly skilled and really critical you don't mess up kinds of jobs like airline pilot, brain surgeon, point guard), so in the above example if an organization had a choice between a great marketer than did not know the candy business or a candy expert that did not know much about marketing, then which way should they go?

    But since no one has time, budget, resources to do much on the job training, we usually try to land candidates that meet both criteria - functional expertise and industry experience.

    We want candidates to show not only can they do the job, but that they can do the job here.

    I wonder how much of the 'skills gap' isn't masquerading as a 'industry experience gap?'

    What say you, how much, for roles that are generally pretty transferable from one domain to another, does specifc industry experience matter for a candidate?


    It's pretty easy to be a bad interviewer

    I've never been a recruiter and have not spent a significant amount of time doing candidate interviews over the years. I have, however, done about 175 HR Happy Hour Shows/Podcasts that are (mostly) centered around asking questions of guests and trying to evoke interesting answers. So I like to think, like most people do probably, that I somehow 'know' how to interview well, and that in fact, interviewing isn't really all that hard.

    And even if I didn't think that somehow I'd cracked the interviewing secrets, a simple Google search on 'Interview tips for the interviewer' reveals about 1.7 million results - surely with all that content available it should not be all that tough to become at least competent, if not proficient, at conducting interviews. Then fold in the usual familiarity with either the subject matter, (in the case of interviewing someone for a position in your organization), or the subject him or herself, (as in the case that I want to mention, talking to one of your family members).

    Here is the scene, (edited slightly for clarity and due to my failing memory), starring Me as 'Me', and my 13 year-old as 'P'.

    Me: So, P, do you have any concerns about your class trip to Washington D.C. that is coming up?

    P: No.

    Me: (after a pause). See, I made a mistake in the way that I asked you about the trip. I asked you a 'close ended' question. Do you know what a close ended question is?

    P: No.

    Me: I did it again. A close ended question is one that can be correctly answered with either a 'Yes' or a 'No'. What I should have done is asked the question differently, with an 'open ended' question. With an 'open ended' question, you can't just answer Yes or No. You have to give a little more information and hopefully share more of what you are thinking. Do you see what I mean?

    P: Yes.

    Me: Ok, let's try again. 'What concerns you about your upcoming class trip to Washington D.C.?'

    P: Nothing


    There you have it. Even though I think I am pretty clever, even though a big part of what I do involves talking to people and getting them to share information, even though there exists almost unlimited resources from which to learn, and finally, even though I was familiar with the subject matter, (the class trip), and extremely familiar with the subject, (my 13 year-old), I still failed as an interviewer.

    He still was able to tell me just about nothing, I failed at coaxing him to elucidate, and I don't really know anything more than if we never had the conversation.

    What is the point of telling the story?

    I think it is this - that we probably don't spend enough time thinking about getting better at interviewing because we think that one; it is easy, and two; we are already as proficient as we need to be.

    It is kind of like driving. Everyone thinks they are a good driver, yet the roads are full of lunatics.

    Ask around your HR shop sometime, I bet everyone thinks they are good at conducting interviews. That can't possibly be true, right?

    Ack - that was another close ended question!

    Happy Thursday!


    Super fast internet and talent strategies

    Did you catch the recent announcement on the official Google blog that named the initial short list of US cities that are potentially next in line for the construction and deployment of Google's super fast internet service called Google Fiber?

    If you are not familiar, Google Fiber is the search giant's ambitious project to wire up neighborhoods and cities with fiber-basd internet networks that deliver speeds 100 times faster than what most of us have at home today. Now Google is talking about expanding the Fiber program beyond the early projects in Kansas CityAustin and Provo, and has invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to collaborate and participate in an exercise to see what it would take to bring Google Fiber to those cities.

    Here is the map of Google's targeted locations, (courtesy of the Google blog):

    What can we take away, if anything, about HR, talent, or recruiting strategies from a project like Google Fiber, and more specifically, the locations where Google has or is considering investing time and resources on the Fiber project?

    I'd offer a few potential considerations:

    1. If you believe talented people will flock towards or be less likely to leave places that are 'Fibered up', then the location choices and deployment of gigabit speed internet networks should play into your talent strategy. You might be able to find talent, especially technical talent, in these locations more easily, and maybe even more cost-effectively than in other places.

    2. If you are located in an non-Fiber locale, and are not on anyone's short list for this kind of a project, then you may, eventually, have to make some accommodations on that front. If you are a Chicago company maybe you will one day need a small satellite office in a place like Kansas City, or similarly if you are looking to expand West maybe setting up shop in Portland over Seattle might be the right play.

    3.  If you are already in one of the nine large metros that are now under review for Fiber, and for some reason you are not selected, (lack of municipal cooperation, lack of infrastructure, not enough local support), and the Goog decides to pass you by, then you have to think about what that impact might be for you medium and long term. You might have to spend some time 'defending' your city, particularly with relocation candidates, as a progressive and hip place, not some backwater, (I am looking at you Birmingham), that did not make the cut for super fast internet.

    I am sure you can think of some other ideas about how, or even if, these kinds of quality of life projects impact organizations and their ability to attract and retain talent. I think too often in HR/Talent we focus so much about what is going on inside our own four walls that we forget that our prized talent, (for the most part), actually has to live and hopefully be happy living, within an hour's drive of the office.

    What do you think? Do you care about this or not from an HR/Talent perspective?

    But I bet if your city does get Google Fiber you would include that little tidbit in the 'About (insert your city here)' portion of all your job listings.

    Happy Thursday!