Thursday, January 24, 2008

Preparing your candidate for the client interview

If the client is interested in a candidate, they will usually request an interview - in very few instances have I ever had a client want a candidate to start with out at least speaking to them over the phone. The Technical Recruiter or the Account Manager should prepare the candidate for the interview and tell the candidate what will be expected of him or her, as well as what to expect from the client. Candidate preparation is a key element to insuring a positive outcome.

Scheduling the Interview

When the client requests an interview, you should try to get the client to suggest at least two or more interview times. That will increase your chances of the candidate's being available for at least one of the times and will minimize your needing to go back to the client to get alternative dates and times.

When you talk to the candidate about setting up the interview, you should also confirm the candidate's previous agreement to availability, salary, and interest in the assignment.

Entering Interview Details in the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

After you have arranged a definite time and date for the interview, you should enter the details in The ATS so that other recruiters who might be interested in the candidate will know that the candidate is scheduled for an interview.

Checking References

It is now time to check the remaining references for the candidate. Enter references in the References section of the candidate record.

Previewing the Questions the Client Will Ask

For many clients, there is nothing exceptional about the questions the client will ask. One might expect questions about the candidate's skills, job history, and experience with the application or hardware that the candidate will be working with.

For some clients, however, there may be additional information that should be conveyed to the candidate. It is up to the Technical Recruiter to be aware of the client's concerns and interests and to make sure this information is transmitted.

Following up with the Candidate

After the interview, the Technical Recruiter should call the candidate to find out how the interview went. Did the candidate like what he or she learned about the client and the assignment? Would the candidate accept the assignment if the client made an offer? If not, why not?

If the client does make an offer, the candidate should respond within a reasonable time, usually in one or two days. Sometimes a candidate prefers to wait for the results of another interview. This sort of request usually entails a considerable risk. The offer would very likely go to someone else. The Technical Recruiter should make sure the candidate is aware of the risk.

Following up with the Client

The Account Manager should also call the client to find out how the interview went. Did the client like what he or she learned about the candidate? Does the client plan to make an offer to the candidate? If not, why not?

Entering Feedback in the ATS

After the results of the interview are known, enter the feedback in the ATS.
Some examples of prepping the candidate for an interview

Framing the interview

“Just so you know what to expect, let me take a few minutes to help you get ready for the interview”

  • Describe the interviewer’s personality traits, values, and professional background
  • Paint a picture of the company’s location and physical characteristics
  • If appropriate, mention anything the candidate and employer may have in common, such as schooling, hobbies, etc

Previewing the candidate prior to the interview

“I’m going to prepare you the best I can for your interview, to help improve your chances of getting an offer. We’ll need to cover a number of topics regarding logistics, attire, and interviewing tips, so you may want to make a list or take notes”

  • Date, time, and location of interview
  • Proper attire
  • Interviewing protocol: How to respond to questions regarding your skills, compensation, and level of interest

Temperature check

“Just so I understand your current situation, let me ask you something. If this position looks good to you, and they were to make you a fair offer, can you think of any reason why you couldn’t quit your current job and start in two weeks?”

36 bits of information that will help candidates be successful during the interview – Good idea to share with them prior to the interview

  1. Dress for success - show a professional image
  2. Be early for interviews (12-15 minutes). Don’t go in until your appointed time
  3. Express interest and enthusiasm
  4. De-emphasize money and fringe benefits (open on salary)
  5. Compliment past employers or minimize if unpleasant
  6. Maintain good eye contact
  7. Extend a firm, friendly handshake
  8. Express appreciation for interviewer’s time - everyone loves to be complimented!
  9. Give direct responses to questions
  10. Ask questions about position and the company
  11. Be receptive to the possibility of transfer to other locations
  12. Exhibit confidence and poise (at ease, calm)
  13. Exhibit assertive attitude without being overly aggressive
  14. Exhibit tact
  15. Express yourself clearly (voice, diction, grammar)
  16. Express a purpose and goal to a career move
  17. Express willingness to “earn your stripes” - show you’re a hard worker.
  18. Express mature attitude
  19. Exercise good, courteous, well mannered behavior
  20. Make short, direct responses to questions on unfavorable factors in records
  21. Indicate participation in company activities (team play)
  22. Maintain your health, exercise
  23. Be decisive (make decisions)
  24. Fill out company application neatly and completely
  25. Show interest in finding a good career opportunity
  26. Express interest in long term opportunities (goals)
  27. Show understanding, compassion
  28. Display high moral standards
  29. Show interest in the company or industry you are interviewing with
  30. Be energetic; well rested
  31. Avoid prejudicial comments
  32. Show broad interests (work and play)
  33. Take criticism as a professional statement
  34. Do not leave any negatives or weaknesses unaddressed or without restating one of your positives
  35. Answer tough questions with a question to buy time to think
  36. Get an offer - then make a decision about the company

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Recruiting Philosophy

Recruiting Philosophy

  1. Customer Service… Continually improve your level of personal customer service. Internal and External customers share an equal importance, and how well you manage them will directly impact your level of success as a recruiter. No matter how much time and effort you put into improving your customer service, there is always more you can do; it is never ending.
  2. Professionalism… Treat people with respect and in a professional manner at all times. Only you hold the key to controlling other people’s perception of you. Treat your internal and external customers with the level of professionalism you would like to be treated. If you are having a bad day, show some restraint; take the time to calm down before you return a call or email. If time permits, take a walk; get your head back into the game. You would be surprised what wonders a short break can do.
  3. Relationship Development… A recruiter is nothing with out good relationships. Treat them like gold; protect them at all costs. You can continually improve your relationships by providing excellent customer service. It will be remembered and appreciated longer than you may think. Always treat people with the utmost professionalism. They will recognize you as a professional who can be trusted. Do little things to show your appreciation for any help or information you’ve received from them.
  4. Personal Growth…Continually seek knowledge and professional self improvement. The more knowledgeable you are, the more help you can provide to others. Experience and knowledge are about the only things you can call you own. So, in that manner, take care of your self, and continually improve your knowledge and experience.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Web 2.0 Recruiting Platform

Here’s a brief overview of what I’m referring to as an ideal Web 2.0 Recruiting Platform

I would look for this to not only have the traditional ATS capabilities, but to also accommodate collaboration and communication between internal and external sources at a couple different levels.

A few layers of interaction might be one for internal information, collaboration, process, and tracking; interaction between internal and external; another for the external community.

For the internal community, being able to track activity and process as a regular Applicant Tracking System, but to also have features such as built in blogs (regular or micro), Wiki type collaboration, discussion groups, chat, tag clouds, skill matching, etc

For duel interaction, it would be very similar to a system called Jobvite. The ability to announce to SIG or individuals about current openings and potential skill matches. Also provide them the ability to forward to peers or even send recommendations. If they aren’t part of a SIG, this would also be a great way to get them involved by also including an invite to a SIG that matches their predominant skill-set.

For the external community, I would envision the ability to create Virtual Communities that would be geared towards special interest groups. This could be a place where candidates and employees can go to learn and share ideas with each other. There would also be features as listed for the internal community.

Being able to reach out using services like LinkedIn, FaceBook, MyBlogLog, MySpace, Naymz, Plaxo Pulse, Spock, Blogs,, and Twitter, to drive people with targeted interests to the perspective SIG community, would essentially create the ability for an organization to “Virtually Capture” an enormous candidate pool. For a Recruiter, this would be an invaluable resource.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The 2 Minute Scenario

As we all know, the most vivid and lasting impressions can be made within the first five minutes of a conversation. How would you want to present your organization, their services, and how they differentiate them selves from the competition? What kind of impression would you like to leave?

1. You’re on an elevator and the person next to you is a consultant with a competitor. The elevator gets stuck in between floors for 2 minutes.

What would you say or do?

2. You’re checking a reference on a consultant and the manager on the other end asks you what kind of services your company has to offer?

What would you say or do?

3. Car Service picks you up from the airport and the driver asks, “What does your company do?

What would you say or do?

4. You’re taking one of your consultants to lunch and he decides to bring a friend along (who happens to be a consultant, too). He’s new to the area and has a family, wants stability. He wants to know what kind of benefits your company can offer.

What would you say or do?

5. You’re at a bar and you meet someone. You take out your business card to give them your phone number. They want to know what your company is.

What would you say or do?

6. You work part time at a restaurant the nights that you aren’t staying late to recruit! You overhear the conversation at the table you are waiting on and they are discussing how many technical consultants they’ll need for a project they are implementing and how they should go about finding them.

What would you say or do?

7. You are on a plane and the person next to you strikes up a conversation. He’s a consultant with Accenture and griping about how he’s tired of working on projects that he’s never going to do anything “hands on”. He likes to travel and work in different cities.

What would you say or do?

8. You accidentally drop your business card on the subway during rush hour. A consultant with Keane finds it and calls you. He’s curious...

What would you say or do?

Goal Setting

A goal is a general statement of what an individual intends to accomplish. Without goals, we have nothing to guide our actions for the year. Goals provide us with something to strive for and an evaluation measure to determine what we have accomplished over the year.

We should all engage ourselves in self-examination of what our current status is, and where we want it to be. Through this process, goals can be developed that will guide our actions and efforts. Before examining the process of goal setting, there are five main elements to remember about goals.

Goals should be:

Short – A goal should be brief and to the point so that it can be committed to memory. If a goal is more than a short paragraph, it may actually be two separate goals

Achievable – Too often the reason we fail is because the initial goal was not realistic or attainable. Set goals that are realistic for you. They should be high but not so high that you can never attain them

Measurable – Don’t use vague or unclear terms in your goals. Make your goals quantifiable. If you set a goal to increase your GP, state by how much. We will increase our GP by X% over the next year

Positive – Make sure you state your goals in a positive manner. State what you want to accomplish not what you want to avoid. Mentally this will help you work towards your goal

Time sensitive – Your goal will be broad so you will need to create objectives that determine the exact action that will be taken to achieve the goals. The objectives will have a set starting time and a definitive completion date. This will help keep you stay focused and lead to success

There are many different theories, styles, and ideas that exist for individuals and groups to set goals. The following outline should help you create a road map for your goal development. This process will help you determine where you are presently in your goal development, where you want it to be in the future, and how to get there. Remember, no matter what goals you set, make sure they are measurable so at the end of the year, you can clearly determine if you have been successful

Define your current state
Be honest in describing who you are as a recruiter and state what you need to improve on. For instance, I am a talented and effective Technical Recruiter, valued by the organization as a dependable professional who can be counted on to make good sound decisions. I do, however, need to improve my consultant follow up and retention activities, as well as increase my over all GP

1. What do I need to work on?
2. What areas can I focus on?
3. What has been successful/unsuccessful?
4. What are some potential roadblocks?
5. What resources do I have available to accomplish my goals?

Refine brainstorming to create goals
1. I will improve over all headcount and GP over the next year
2. I will work more collaboratively with at least three other Branches this year

Establish objectives
1. I will be responsible for placing X number of new consultants by given date
2. My GP will reach X by given date
3. I will participate in both Professional and organizationally sponsored events

Coordinate activities
1. Coordinate and host technical user group functions at the Branch in order to attract new technical talent
2. Conduct a raffle at the event for those prospective employees who attend the meetings
3. Implement an awareness campaign via the Internet and through advertisements in technical trade journals

Determine accountability
1. I will be responsible for keeping track of my progress in placing the consultants needed to achieve the desired GP level
2. I will coordinate all events, meetings, and related social events with the primary purpose of recruiting new professionals

Post Goals and Objectives
1. Post your goals and objectives where they are visible during all meetings so you remember to stay focused on them

Goal Evaluation
1. At the end of the year, review the goals to determine if you succeeded in achieving them
2. The goal process does not end until this final evaluation
3. After the evaluation, you can set new goals for the next year

Recruiting Resources

There are many resources out on the market for recruiting and the decision on what to use can be overwhelming. Recruiting is a broad topic and all of the reference materials, on the market, can provide useful tips and insights.

This list provides some excellent resources to assist you in developing a recruiting plan, allow you to overcome objections and have a prescreening plan in place:

Peter Weddle:

THE KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL RECRUITING AND STAFFING: Provides an understanding of how to win the Talent War and a strong understanding of the evolution of recruiting.
TAKING THE HIGH GROUND IN TALENT RECRUITMENT (Video): This video captures the evolution of online recruitment, the changing dynamics of the Talent War and the most effective techniques for souring and recruiting.
THE HOLLOW ENTERPRISE: This book describes what is plaguing American corporations with their decisions and their drive to chase out the best and brightest of their employees.
POSTCARDS FROM SPACE: BEING THE BEST IN ONLINE RECRUITING & HR MANAGEMENT: This book recognizes the time constraints facing Recruiters. The topics are covered in short essays (i.e. postcards) that will help you understand concepts and strategies. The book concentrates on providing you with easy-to-use tips and insights on how to successfully use the Internet for recruiting.

Bill Radin:

BILLING POWER! THE RECRUITER’S GUIDE TO PEAK PERFORMANCE: A How To Guide of building better scripts, strategies for closing more deals and how to convert candidates into placements.
THE RECRUITER’S ALMANAC OF SCRIPTS, REBUTTALS AND CLOSES: Contains countless techniques for handling every situation.
SHUT UP & MAKE MORE MONEY: Includes tools, training tips and methods to increase control
ADVANCED STRATEGIES FOR RECRUITERS: This is an informative book of the business behind recruiting
RECRUTING AND THE ART OF CONTROL – HOW TO FILL MORE JOBS IN A CANDIDATE DRIVEN MARKET: A How To guide on building stronger relationships with your candidates.

Barbara Ling:

EASILY FIND FREE RESUMES ONLINE: The book concentrates on providing you with easy-to-use tips and insights on how to successfully use the Internet for recruiting.
MAX JOB POSTING PROFITS: The book concentrates on providing you with easy-to-use tips and insights on how to successfully use the Internet for recruiting.

Peter Lefcowitz – Morgan Consulting:

NEW RECRUITER START UP (Video): Recruiting basics for all levels
WORLD CLASS MARKETING (Audio CD): Selling the client on you and your candidate
RECRUITER’S KIT: THREE ESSENTIAL DESKTOP TOOLS: What every recruiter should have on their desktops.
THE ART OF COMPETITIVE PREPARATION (Video): How to present candidates to attract your clients’ attention.
SOURCING, RECRUITING AND INTERVIEWING (Audio CD): Classic introduction to Peter Lefcowitz and his philosophies.
PLANNING AND TIME MANAGEMENT – CD: When and what you should do.


COMPUTERS: SYSTEMS, TERMS AND ACRONYMS – Reference Book: Explains computer technology and computer terminology in plain English – for the non-technical person.

International Staffing University:

E-MARKETING SALES & RECRUITING STAFF MANUAL: How to develop a tool that will allow you to manage and develop your workforce.
BUILDING SALES FROM THE STAFFING DESK: Become more of a contributor by developing sales leads from your recruiting calls.
DIRECT HIRE: The best practices for making permanent placements.

Magazines / Periodicals:

Workforce Magazine – from Workforce Management
HR Magazine and Staffing Management – from SHRM
Information Week – from CMP
Intelligent Enterprise – from Intelligent Enterprise

Free for Recruiters:
Software Guild:
Grand Slam Talent:
Electronic Recruiter Exchange:
Recruiters Online Network:
America’s Job Bank:
Networking News for Recruiters:
Staffing Industry Report:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
American Compensation Association:
Paycheck Calculator:
SHRM on line:
Technical Term Dictionary:
SAP Information & Resources:
Resume Search Engines:;;;;;;;
Labor Statistics:
Technical Interview Questions:
Technical Evaluations:

Time Management

Time management is a very common obstacle in a recruiter’s daily ritual of chaos. Some say they don’t have enough time to get organized, or they work much better on the fly… For the rest of us who use more of the right than left side of our brains, getting organized is an absolute critical task. With out being organized, most of us could probably get what needs to be done accomplished, but would more than likely sacrifice a significant amount of productivity and quality along the way. It’s not necessarily about getting it done, but getting more done, and doing it better, resulting in an increased bottom line, and ultimately resulting in a better quality of life. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Ok, let’s talk a little about time management…

Segment your planned activities (Sourcing, Screening, Outbound Calls, Call Backs, Follow ups, etc): Do one type of activity at a time, try not to multi-task across multiple segments. The more you can concentrate on one type of activity, the less fragmented you’ll be; things will get done, and your work will be at a higher quality.

For many of us, this is not an easy task. If you train yourself to concentrate on only one type of activity at a time, you’ll find yourself getting much more done each day.

Heed the 5 P’s – (Prior Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance). Plan each segment the day prior. You may be saying to yourself “I know what I need to do; why should I waste my time to write it down?” Organizing your efforts is critical; simply getting in the mind-set of planning and plan execution will help you actually get it accomplished. It makes it a lot easier if you get it done at the end of the work day. Set aside one hour at the same time each day (4-5 PM). Don’t let anything interrupt your planning time (hold all calls, don’t respond to emails or IM’s, etc)

Print and keep your plan visible so you can cross things off as you accomplish them. For most people this helps them visualize what needs to be done, and will increase your investment in completing your plan for the day.

Create a daily template that specifies what time you will do each activity. This is a critical part of managing you time. You must have a set schedule template in order to plan your day properly. See the example below

08:30-09:30 AM- Priority calls (prep/ debrief/ references/ offers etc.)
09:30-11:00 AM- Follow ups
11:00-12:00 PM- Candidate Interviews
12:00-01:00 PM- Lunch (very important to take a lunch break)
01:00-01:30 PM- Sourcing
01:30-04:00 PM- Screening
04:00-05:00 PM- Planning

It’ll take a lot of effort to follow your schedule at first, but it will pay off in the end.

Special Interest Group Networking

Attend Special Interest Groups (SIG), Association, and User Group meetings routinely. You can usually get information on a User Group from the vendor who sells the product, mailing lists, or a local computer society in your area.

Know when the User Groups in your sector are meeting, and if you cannot attend, contact that group and leave detailed information on a current opening. If we are not competing with them, you can just start by asking for names and numbers of members who might be able to help you out!

  • Hand out cards
  • Make friends
  • Tell them you’re there to learn more about their sector of the industry, etc., or that you want to become better educated and keep up-to-date on new technologies and products and what’s going on” in general.
  • Sponsor one of their meetings
  • Speak about your company ask in advance) or your profession at a meeting (let them now that you’re there to network, too. not to recruit all of the people).

6 Part Pipeline Generation Strategy

  1. Job Posting- Re-visit your current job posting, and if needed, further develop the effectiveness of those job postings. Make sure to include lots and lots of key words relevant to the individual areas. Not just a laundry list of key words- but relevant material that is rich in key words.
  2. Resume Agents- Set up an agent with the job boards you subscribe to, that target at least 3 of your pipeline areas; this should be a single agent that targets multiple skill-sets- not 3 separate agents. Have it set to deliver these agents on a daily basis. Ensure you review as part of your morning routine and contact appropriately.
  3. Email Campaign- Compose a general pipeline email targeted to your specific pipeline areas - should be short, to the point with a main goal of getting them into the office for a face to face interview.
  4. Candidate & Talent Referrals- Focus on targeting currently working talent, previously placed talent that have gone perm through your organization, and previously place consultants not currently on assignment. Also focus on well connected people who have a vast sphere of influence within your pipeline arena- these people don’t have to be current or former talent.
  5. Networking Groups- Work your LinkedIn and other social networking groups. Reach out to individuals 2 or 3 levels deep in your network. Introduce them to your organization and its services. Research and join other online networking groups.
  6. Data Mining- Use advanced internet search techniques to harvest names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. Introduce them to your company and the services you offer.

Creating a Sourcing Strategy

What is Sourcing?
Sourcing is the ability of an organization to use an effective recruitment approach in filling open positions

What is a Sourcing Strategy?
A Sourcing strategy is the details of how and where you intend on finding candidates to fulfill your open requirements

When determining an effective strategy, there are a variety of important questions that need to be asked

1. What types of skills does the position require?
2. What education level is required for the position?
3. Is the position Contract, Contract-to-Hire, or Direct-Hire?
4. What are the locality requirements?
5. Are there any security considerations we need to be aware of?
6. What tools do I have available?
7. Are there budgetary restraints?

Example Job Description

Must have…

Experience with C# development, distributed systems, relational databases, information retrieval, network programming and/or developing large software systems
BS or MS in Computer Science preferred or equivalent
5+ years of software development experience
Enthusiasm for solving interesting problems
Knowledge of financial industry

Would be nice…

Understanding of defect tracking, project management and code analysis
Knowledge of agile development methodology
Experience writing unit tests and functional tests
Broad knowledge of software industry and technology

Example Sourcing Strategy

Programmers of this caliber require a high level of technical knowledge acquired through formal education and often possess advanced degrees in Computer Science or Information Systems

These types of candidates, more often than not, are not going to post their resumes on online job boards as a means of attracting potential employers. Rather, they will rely on colleague referrals and applying directly to employers

These candidates will more than likely work in niche groups such as Equities, Derivatives, Fixed Income, Mortgage Backed Securities, ultimately reporting into a firm’s perspective Global Support department

There is constant change in this area and high quality candidates are often continuing their education and attending industry events such as user group meetings, trade shows, conferences, lectures, seminars, and tools training

Target active and passive candidates through specialized internet search techniques targeting industry organization member lists, online user groups, trade show attendance lists, seminar attendance lists, social groups and organizations, and training institutions that offer specialized tool training and certifications

Join and attend local groups focused on Web or n-tier development or tools associated with these functions

Promote and effectively utilize company referral program