RPO: Vendor or Partner?

RPO:  Do you want a VENDOR or a PARTNER?

There is so much movement in the RPO space and some of you may be saying.. RP WHAT? Recruitment Process Outsourcing has been around for a few decades, but recently what was once a controversial concept seems to have beaten the perception held by skeptics that thought that “outsourcing” was a bad thing, or that it would just go away.

Several Higher profile acquisitions are beginning to make RPO a way of doing business that is not only effective but also competitive. IBM and SAP have acquired companies to serve as their RPO arm, but just remember bigger is not always better.

When you hire an RPO firm, they need to be a fit for YOUR culture. Often the first experience any new hire will have with your brand and hiring experience will be in the hands of the RPO firm you partner with.  So ask yourselves, do you want a VENDOR or a PARTNER?

 

First off you have to decide WHY RPO?

I have a hint, its not always cheaper… but it should always be more effective.

When thinking about the cost of hire often times RPO services are not always cheaper… where you get your money’s worth is in reducing the time vacancies are open, because the cost of vacancy can cripple you, and it’s a silent bill that accrues interest and fees at an alarming rate.  You need to increase deficiencies and remove barriers, while increasing candidate experience and brand awareness where

 

What are some of the benefits of working with an RPO?

  1. Specialize in the process of hiring
  2. Strong efficiencies based on bulk process
  3. Reporting, Data, and Analytics
  4. Stabilized costs

What can be some of the areas that could be an issue?

  1. Getting both sides to agree on how to best represent the culture, while adhering to process
  2. Change isn’t easy but it is necessary, if you don’t have a willingness to change, it won’t be any better
  3. The RPO firm only worries if it is able to hit SLAs and KPIs and think that is enough. You need them to explain the data, be proactive and forecast not just react
  4. Lack of flexibility / one size fits all approach. The process will work, but there will always be nuances that need tweaks to make it your own
  5. Duplicate Efforts, internal partners don’t adhere to process and continue to duplicate efforts.

How do I know if I have the right Partner?

  1. SPEND TIME at the delivery center
  2. Be open to the expertise they have to offer, but really involve ALL key stakeholders in decisions around process and change
  3. Give it a chance to work
  4. Check References
  5. Remember a partnership takes two … both sides have to work at the relationship
  6. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Company Party’s Do’s and Don’ts (5 Tips)

Many company’s have gatherings, summer picnics and/or holiday parties.     This is a great chance for you to make a name for yourself and get to know others, in your company, by doing it the right way.   Do not be “that” employee who regrets what they said, did or acted like in front of everyone.

Below are some tips of things to do and to stay away from:

  1. Sit with others you normally do not work with, on a daily basis.  
  2. Spread out and network with others in the company.  Introduce yourself to others – who you do not know.
  3. Do Not Drink!   Have a coke or juice.   There is no rule that says you have to drink at these functions.    If you do drink – I recommend stopping after one.
  4. This is still a work function – Be Professional.   Don’t be that person everyone is talking about the next day at the office.
  5. No flirting.   This is not a dating event.

 

This is your chance to maybe meet some other managers, directors or even C-Level Executives.    Be professional, network and use this moment to build your career.   Don’t ruin it with a stupid mistake.

You shouldn’t Burn those Bridges and Always leave on Good Terms

I know it is said all the time, but still in 2012 so many people do not follow this very simple rule of thumb. Have I absolutely adored every single person I have ever worked with? Of course not! But I am friendly with and stay in touch with all. Check ins and networking with past coworkers and bosses are so important as you just never know what is down the road for you.

I have a very recent personal example on why leaving on good terms is so important.  8 months ago I left a role to go work for another company. It was a smaller company and I believed I could grow in my career more and make more money too. Unfortunately they shut down and I found myself out of a job 6 months later. I was lucky enough find another role and was not unemployed for very long. I started this week, and guess what?  My previous boss from the company I resigned from starts next Monday! Luckily I didn’t feel I had a need to burn any bridges, but it is more than just about not burning bridges it is about leaving a good terms. My boss and all of my coworkers knew I respected them and enjoyed working with them and I was leaving because it was a chance I felt I needed to take. They know all this because I communicated it with them. I WANTED to leave on very good terms because I know that I have no idea what the future holds and I was right.

My other example comes from a good friend and shows the importance of not burning bridges. You know that person you thought was a slacker and had no work ethic at your job 10 years ago that you desperately wanted to tell off before you left the company? Believe it or not they could be working at the company you are interviewing with today and the company WILL ask them what they think of you and how you left things with them 10 years ago will be a huge deciding factor in how they respond. THIS actually happens. In the case of my friend the past co-worker was actually going to be the new boss. It was a really good thing he kept quiet when he left.

Another point to make is the industry you work in is smaller than you might think and you never know who is friends with who or who networks with each other. If you leave on bad terms, I promise you that is a rumor that will spread.

My suggestion is to look everyone in the eye, extend a hand and say “it was a pleasure working with you, let’s stay in touch” !

Recent College Grads and An Award Winning Resume…

How ready is your candidate’s resume that recently completed college?  How can you spice up a resume that doesn’t have much history? 

It’s possible, I promise!

There are a few points to pay close attention to: Length, Format and Font.

Although the “one page rule” can be overridden in some cases, for college students and recent graduates, a single-page resume should be substantial to list their achievements and experiences.  Employers want to see a snapshot of their work, coach them to be thorough but =concise.

I always suggest using a font size between 11 and 12 point.   Avoid filling the page with non-necessities and large font, it appears juvenile. They will also want to make the page look like there is history and is a complete picture of where they have been and are now.

If they are struggling to fill the page, consider coaching them to add an executive summary at the top of the page. In a short paragraph, ask them to explain experience with meaningful activities (tutoring, keeping the books for your fraternity), schoolwork (relevant coursework, GPA), and personal qualities.

Even if a company has a laid back culture, the experts caution against using wacky fonts, symbols, or anything that suggests lack of professionalism. They will not want employers to think they are still in college-mode and unprepared for the business world.

I will caution candidates from including a hyperlink in the resume for a web site or a LinkedIn profile as most employers don’t have the time to reference this, the resume should hold the majority of the candidate’s background on that one page and should avoid external links.

Also, this is often difficult for recent grads but only include experiences that are relevant to the job they are applying for.

Depending on the position the candidates are interested in, they may be able to highlight past experiences to show their skill development, even if they are volunteer activities or hobbies.  I actually recommend including a skills and/or volunteer section for recent grads as that shows that the candidate takes the time to go above and beyond to participate in the community versus party in their free time.

Beyond the Resume

They can also include letters of recommendation from teachers or former employers/internship opportunities or take it to the next level by asking their references to make a phone call on their behalf to a potential employer. Submit all references on a separate page; the candidate can have one academic reference, but keep them mostly work-related.

Finally, the biggest mistake that a new college graduate can make on their resume is attempting to fill the white space with elaborate information that doesn’t exist.  Employers that are willing to hire new graduates are already aware of their graduation date (it’s on their resume) and will quickly see the B.S.  This is great news and will save everyone some time on getting to the facts.
Finally, providing employers with supplemental pages  can further substantiate qualities and experience as long as they are relevant. Supplemental pages can show that the candidate is responsible and is serious about the position in question, this may mean a custom cover letter for each job the candidate applies for or even a list of awards received during the candidate’s academic successes.

Powerful Words in Job Search

Many times, I’ll have my clients ask me what are the “magic words” or “key terms” they need when they start on their job search. While I do go over their career history with them and determine what themes and terms that they have had over their years, there are no more powerful words to offer than a simple “Thank you.”

When someone reads your cover letter, looks over your résumé, and determines that they want to pursue you further as a candidate in their company, they are taking time out of their day to consider you. Furthermore, should you go in for an interview, you’ll be taking even more of their time in everything from the preparation they need to assess your skill set and fit, to making room in their schedule to see you. Think of the last time you had to stop what you were doing in order to prepare for a meeting or task. How much of your time did it take?

By sending a simple note to say “thank you,” you are distinguishing yourself to that employer. You’re thanking them for putting whatever they were doing on hold, in order to speak to you about working with them. You are thanking them for the preparation, the time they may ultimately take checking your references, and their consideration of you.

This may sound like a simple step to you, which might be easy to overlook. I cannot stress to you how important this is. By taking this gesture, you are now going beyond the minimum, and displaying your ability and drive as a future employee to that candidate. Taking the 15 minutes it takes to write “thank you” on a card and throw it in the mail may very well make the difference between you being the competition, and you being another interview for the position.

Jeremy Worthington | Buckeye Resumes

Don’t be the Annoying Orange (5 tips to help)…

Are you a Job Seeker?   Are you in Sales?   Are you trying to get someone’s attention?   Don’t be the Annoying Orange.   If you are calling a Hiring Manager or Recruiter:   Have a good reason to contact them, not “just to check in.”

 

 

 

5 Tips to help you not become the Annoying Orange:

  1. Be Professional
  2. Don’t be overwhelming
  3. Ask when is a good day and time to follow-up with them (get permission to call them back)
  4. Establish a partnership with them
  5. Help them with their pain.   Don’t be the pain.

Your goal should be to establish a partnership with them, not to anger, annoy, harass or make them upset.    It is a process, they will not be your best friend overnight. 

 

 

6 Steps on How to Train a NEW Recruiter…

To be a successful recruiter, you need to possess certain traits.   These are not learned they are part of who you are.    However when you do hire a new recruiter (Newbie), you cannot throw everything at them at once.   Here is a the step-by-step approach that I like to use.

  • Step 1:  Start with a job description and how to dissect it.  Next, teach the Newbie how to navigate the job boards.   You want them to be able to demonstrate they can find and deliver matching resumes to job descriptions.   They need to master this first.  It is important to know how to dissect both a resume and job description to find a match.
  • Step 2:  Searching LinkedIn and social media.   Now that your Newbie knows job boards, it is time to master the next step.   Can they find and source candidates using social media?   Get them set up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and any other social media sites that may be useful to their sourcing.
  • Step 3:  Create a culture of learning.   There are many free webinars out there, about recruiting.   Go to YouTube and watch “how to” videos.     It is time to start learning more advanced sourcing (Boolean Strings and so on).   These first three steps are about sourcing and how to find the candidates that are active on the boards and the ones that may be passive.
  • Step 4:  Time to start talking to the candidates.   Now that your Newbies are delivering matching candidates (at least on paper), it is time to pre-screen.    Initiate conversations with candidates, verify they are interested and go over the basics.    If they are a fit, let the candidate know a Sr. Recruiter will contact them to go over the job requirements and their background in more detail.    (Let the Newbie sit and listen to your conversation with them).
  • Step 5:  Your Newbie should now also be sitting and listening to you while you talk to the client and candidate.   They need to be learning and listening to the interview prep, briefing and all 30 steps of the placement process.   All of these steps will probably take at least up to 6 months if not longer to learn…training is an investment and a marathon – not a sprint.    
  • Step 6:  Finally, when pre-screenings are accurate, Newbies are ready to be fully engaged.   Start them with a job or two as a full-cycle recruiter and see how they do.   You will need to sit and listen and be available for questions.

The goal of this six step method is to get the Newbie to be an expert, one step at a time before they move on, to the next.   

What are your thoughts?

Help Your Client’s Ace the Interview (tips you have permission to steal!)

Potential candidates are going to be nervous so set them up for success!

Look Sharp 

Before the interview, select your outfit. Depending on the industry and position, get out your best duds and check them over for spots and wrinkles. Even if the company has a casual environment, you don’t want to look like you slept in your clothes. Above all, dress for confidence. If you feel good, others will respond to you accordingly. 

Be on Time 

Never arrive late to an interview. Allow extra time to arrive early in the vicinity, allowing for factors like getting lost. Enter the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview.  I worked at P.F. Chang’s in college, their motto is “Chang’s time”, 15 minutes early will never hurt you.

Do Your Research 

Researching the company before the interview and learn as much as possible about its services, products, customers and competition will give you an edge in understanding and addressing the company’s needs. The more you know about the company and what it stands for, the better chance you have of selling yourself. You also should find out about the company’s culture to gain insight into your potential happiness on the job. 

Be Prepared 

Bring along a folder containing extra copies of your resume, a copy of your references and paper to take notes. You should also have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview.   Review your resume if you haven’t lately, some interviewer’s ask questions regarding what’s on there, you should be ready to answer these.

Show Enthusiasm 

A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence. Speak distinctly in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky. 

Listen 

One of the most neglected interviewing skills is listening. Make sure you are not only listening, but also reading between the lines. Sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said. 

Answer the Question Asked 

Candidates often don’t think about whether or not they actually are answering the questions asked by their interviewers. Make sure you understand what is being asked, and get further clarification if you are unsure.

Give Specific Examples

One specific example of your background is worth 50 vague stories. Prepare your stories before the interview. Give examples that highlight your successes and uniqueness. Your past behavior can indicate your future performance.

Ask Questions

Many interviewees don’t ask questions and miss the opportunity to find out valuable information. Your questions indicate your interest in the company or job.  Make sure though these are not about benefits, pay or anything related to HR.

Follow Up 

Whether it’s through email or regular mail, the follow-up is one more chance to remind the interviewer of all the valuable traits you bring to the job and company. You don’t want to miss this last chance to market yourself. 

 

The 4 Do’s and Don’ts of Networking

Are you networking?    Some people are, but EVERYONE should be.    While networking this past month or so, I have run across some Do’s and Don’ts that I think everyone should follow.   

DO

  1. Keep in touch with industry leaders  (Nationally and Locally)
  2. Have coffee or lunch with industry leaders, co-workers and even competitors at least once a quarter.
  3. Pay it Forward
  4. Use social media to stay up to date on your industry and their trends.  Make sure your online profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and About.me) are filled out 100% with details describing who you are and what you do.

DON’T

  1. Ask someone to lunch or a coffee, to pick their brain, to ask for advice and then make them pay.   If you ask for the meeting, you should pay.
  2. Take, take, take and never give.
  3. Send a generic invite to connect on social media – Personalize each one.
  4. Be concerned with only your agenda.  Always ask how you can help them.

JobSeekers: Be prepared. That next phone call could be me…

Job Seekers – Did you know that the first conversation I have with you is probably the most important?     This is where I do my initial screening in and decide whether we are going to continue our conversations.   If you are looking for a new career or job, then be ready for that phone to ring.   You never know when the person on the other line is a Recruiter trying to contact you about a job.  You should:

  • Be Professional
  • Not use slang or profanity
  • Not talk bad about a past employer, manager or co-worker
  • Answer the phone in a professional manner
  • Be honest
  • Show enthusiasm and excitement
  • Drop what you are doing and make this call a priority.   If you can’t, then apologize and ask when is a good time for you to call the recruiter back. (within 24 hours)
  • Print off the jobs you have applied for and be ready for a call.  
  • Have a professional voicemail message and email id.  (NOT:  Yo, you reached Smitty leave a message and I’ll call ya back.)

Reminder:  As recruiters we talk to candidates all day long and we are on the phone all day.    We have goals and SLAs we need to meet.   Our time is also precious.    Let’s make the first conversation count.   Impress me!  

 

 

30 Steps in the Placement Process

I received this list over 10 years ago and just refound it.   I love the fact that it says “Placement Process” and not recruiting process.    We are in this business to make placements!  

30 steps in the Placement Process

  1. Take a COMPLETE job order
  2. Make a Recruiting Plan
  3. File Search
  4. Name Gathering
  5. Candidate Contact
  6. Candidate Profile
  7. Presentation of Candidate to Employer
  8. Set-up First Interview
  9. Confirm Appointment with Candidate and Employer (Prep Employer)
  10. Debrief Candidate
  11. Debrief Employer
  12. Set Second Interview
  13. Reference Check
  14. Second Interview, Prep Candidate (Trial Closing)
  15. Second Interview, Prep Employer (Trial Closing)
  16. Confirm Second Interview with Employer and Candidate
  17. Debrief Candidate (Closing)
  18. Debrief Employer (Closing)
  19. Closing/Negotiating
  20. Offer/Acceptance/Start Date
  21. Resignation Debrief
  22. CELEBRATE!!
  23. Billing Prep
  24. Fill out Billing Information
  25. Stay in Touch with Candidate
  26. Confirm that the Candidate has Started
  27. Stay in Touch with Candidate and Employer
  28. Get the Check

What would you add or delete from the list?

 

 

Fear of the Invisible

In all my experience with preparing candidates for interviews, the hardest interviews that people have are with phone interviews. And understandably so – phone interviews are a lot harder than the face-to-face interview. Not only are you dealing entirely with verbal cues as to the interviewer’s interest, but you are also on the self-timer when it comes to answers. Go too long, and you’ve lost the interest of the person on the other end of the line. Go too short, and you can be interpreted as lacking experience and credibility for the job you are interviewing for.

You know the saying “an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure?” Nothing could apply more directly for the phone interview. Preparation is the key to getting to the next step in the hiring process, and being passed over by the recruiter for the next candidate.

First, start by doing your research on the company and the position. What are they looking for? What deficits does the company have that you can immediately fill with your skills and experience? How do you fix their problem, and fill in the needs of the company?

Next, research the individual you will be interviewing with. Put their name in on Google and see what comes up. Check out their LinkedIn account to view their background. If you can draw parallels with them and find common ground by which you can both work, your conversation will go that much easier on interview day.

Finally, prepare your answers to the interview. Brevity is key on this one: Don’t go so long that you lose their attention, but don’t give too little detail that you don’t answer the question. Try to have your answers prepared for thirty seconds or less. If you have more to share, you can always ask if they want you to continue, or if you have answered their question.

The phone interview does not have to be as intimidating as it sounds. With the right preparation, you can be ready to sound like the competition, instead of a competitor.

Recruiters offer HOPE…

Recruiters need to remember the one thing they offer candidates, is HOPE.  I recently participated and presented at the Scioto Ridge Job Networking Group, Tuesday Tune-up.  I was there to help Job Seekers search for work using social networking, using internet tools and to give tips and suggestions.   One of the main points and discussions was on, how to work with a Recruiter.  I had many conversations, with different individuals – all looking for one thing – HOPE.

The next candidate you talk to – even if they are not a fit for your opening or company – Remember you are still able to give them the HOPE they need to help find work, in this economy.  Maybe it is a hint on how to improve their resume, an interview tip, an internet site that may help their search, a networking group – or any bit of information that may help them.  Take a minute with each candidate this week, this month or longer and give them HOPE.

8 Phrases that Describe a Successful Recruiter…

A Good Recruiter is:

  1. Having relationships with a side of good timing.
  2. A partner/advisor.  
  3. A candidate and client ally.
  4. A person you need most when you least expect it.
  5. An interview coach/job coach.
  6. A salesman and negotiator.
  7. A cyber sleuth.
  8. A networking expert.

What would you add or delete from this list?

 

See also my post on top traits of a successful recruiter.

Networking: Enough to go Around…

People always ask me, why I network and share my ideas?  Why would I help a competitor or another recruiter gain expertise and knowledge?  Simple, there is enough to go around, try to build good karma.

As you know, Recruiters don’t always have the best name/reputation in the business.  There are “used car salesman” recruiters that give honest recruiters a bad name and a bad rap.  But if I do the little things, with my fellow recruiters and my candidates, I am changing that view, one conversation at a time.

I try to keep in contact with old candidates.   I network with them.    I communicate and partner with them.    I may not have the right job for them today but you never know what will be open tomorrow.  Staying in contact with candidates also helps me get candidate referrals.   Good candidates always seem to know other good candidates.  

If I am unable to help a candidate today and they need a job – ASAP, I refer them to other recruiters.  You never know who may be able to help them.  Networking and sharing candidates, ideas, procedures with other recruiters,  will make me a better recruiter and a better person.   And it helps the candidate who needs that job. 

Networking and sharing helps me identify the candidates and recruiters, who I want to partner with.  Are there Recruiters who help me and give me new ideas?  Of course there is.  Are there Recruiters who do not share?  Yep, there are those also. The ones that share and network, I feel will also be successful.

In short – there are a lot of good people out there and enough knowledge and networking to go around.  Try it and pay it forward.