Sunday, June 24, 2007

The best recruiter in your company DOESN'T work in HR

Boy - is THAT gonna get me shipped off to the HR dungeon! But it is true - I"m a recruiter and I humbly admit it. Now let me clarify - I'm not talking about someone whose full time profession is talent acquisition - I am talking about people in your company with other jobs. Salespeople, Accountants, Technicians, Admin Assistants and Widget Producers - all of these people can be (or already are), pound-for-pound, better than most recruiters at finding great talent to fill your company's needs!

With a properly designed and managed Employee Referral Program, these folks will understand the importance of their role in helping the company find and engage the most talented people they know. While some will argue that Employee Referral Programs are not the best solution, I say that they are one of a few critical weapons in your arsenal and will pay back many times the investment you make in them - IF they are properly oriented and managed - this article gives some great insight into what I mean. Just look at the success that some companies are getting with Referral Programs and you will agree that there's something good to work with here.

The items linked from here offer great advice, but the first move on this is up to you! Of all the weapons in the guerilla arsenal, this is probably one of the best to roll out because of it's relative low cost and it's potential to drive morale and hiring fast!


Consider your organization's stand on Employee Referral programs and see if what you are doing works. If it is working well (as referenced in the links above), keep reminding management and HR to help it evolve - if it's not working - refer your HR Geeks to this post and we'll get them on track!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Acquisitions... oh MY!

MAN!!! I just cannot seem to catch a break. Just 6 months after my company was wholly acquired by Dow Jones, now News Corp has made a bid for Dow Jones.... and the "big fish eats smaller fish" theory applies again.

So while I'm honestly a bit weary of the operational tempo associated with this I am neither worried or disheartened by it. In fact, if this sort of activity doesn't get you worked up just a bit, you should really check your pulse! It's natural for this type of thing to be polarizing, exasperating and more than a little exciting (like being chased by a pack of rabid wolves maybe?). I actually find this a great opportunity - let me explain...

The good guerilla knows that effectively managing in a time of change can open new doors. As I blogged in an earlier post about managing
within the vortex of M&A you can either lead the process and show the company your value, or you can shrink from the challenge and demonstrate what you don't have to offer. Given the choice, it's ALWAYS better to lead! Don't leave your fate in the hands of others who may not know your talents and desires. Step up, speak up and let everyone around you know what you can do, as well as what you want to do in the new world order.

Now, some of the more timid in the crowd will think this approach a bit brazen, but the battle is usually one by those who take it by the horns - Like the top guns of
the British SAS say - Who Dares Wins!

Take a look at the competitive space your company is operating in. Are you on the market to acquire, or be acquired? Don't wait for the news to tell you about a deal in the works.... start planning out now - what will you do if you are being bought? Plan your next steps and ensure you have everything ready when the storm hits - because you won't have time after the news breaks to make up for missed opportunities along the way.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Measuring your candidates - ask the right question to get the right answer

Interviewing is the topic today, and for good cause - it seems that most of us basically stink at it. Not having the right process and questions is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. But fear not intrepid reader - for you are in guerrilla-ville and we have a cure for this too.

The first key step in measuring your candidates is to decide what's important and ask questions that really gauge how well they can do it. There are loads of methods out there, but we are Guerrillas and we like to keep things simple. I found this great and amazingly simple article which explains how to do this. A much more thorough peek behind the curtains on this topic is here. Either way, I'm sure you will find this really helpful the next time you have to hire someone.

Don't wait for that key role on your team to open up - start developing an interview process for the role now - heck you can even help the person in the role develop by having them help you write the interview questions because they probably already know exactly what it takes to be successful in the job.


NEWSFLASH - Publishing smarter job ads gets you smarter candidates!

As a recruiter, I often find myself arguing (strike that... "persuading") my hiring managers to be very realistic when specifying the educational and experience requirements for a job they want to fill. You have no idea how many job posting requests I shoot down because they want a person to have an MBA and 15 years experience to take on an entry level sales role.... ?!?!! Ugh!

What we all need to think about is what are the experiences and education that are really necessary for someone to perform the job well. Doing so we can avoid the legal risk associated with posting for 15 years experience with an MBA, then finding our perfect candidate with only 5 years and a BA, or just plain looking stupid to our candidates for not knowing what it really takes to do the job. We need to get up to speed on this fast because the days when you could get talented folks to respond to a poorly constructed job ad are over - talented people are smart and can smell a line of bullcrap a mile away. They want to know more about the job and less about the price of entry.

Setting clear and defensible minimum qualifications up front will allow your candidates to self-select out if they don't measure up while not unnecessarily limiting your candidate pool. Remember, this isn't just a convenience issue - it's a potential legal problem. The US Department of Labor takes a VERY dim view of employers who post one standard, then allow someone below that standard to get the job. It's especially bad if someone in a protected class takes offense at being on the short end of that deal.


Take a long hard look at the job postings you are putting up. Are they a realistic statement of what it really takes to do the job, or are they some dream sheet? Get down to the basics of what job REALLY requires, then sell the finer things about the role, your team and your company to the candidates to ensure that smart, properly qualified candidates fill your pipeline!