Archive for the ‘talent acquisition’ Category

Pursuit for an ideal candidate is not uncommon in our recruiting world. I am sure we have all experienced the following:
1. Our managers and our hiring managers have all insisted for ideal or perfect candidates at some point or other.
2. We have squandered away many hours and excellent opportunities to work with simply “fine” candidates on several occasions.
3. We ignore perfectly fine candidates and are sent on these missions to find that “ideal” someone almost on a regular basis.

Although, most of us have come to terms with the reality that there is “no ideal candidate”; it puzzles me that a large population of our hiring managers is still clutching on to the hopes of finding that ideal ONE. Here are some guesses as to why:

Find the “Perfect” Mindset: The hiring manager has set expectations from candidates and if they fall below that then they are not good enough.

Here is how Merriam – Webster defines “Perfect”:
a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless
b : satisfying all requirements : accurate
c : corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept

While it’s okay to have a mindset of finding “The Perfect one”; the reality is that no one really fits the definition! It is a subjective term!

Too Many Choices: Too many choices confuse the heck out of us whether it’s standing and staring at an isle in the supermarket with hundreds of soup cans or simply a set of candidate resumes on our desk! I have seen managers staring at resumes of ten candidates that they have interviewed and not being able to make a decision.

The Next One: The hope of “perhaps the next one will be the one” is also a common practice with hiring managers who are unable to make a decision quickly. We have seen this time and again that hiring managers get into this frenzy of interviewing one candidate after another. The problem with this approach is that the next one may not be as good as the one who was interviewed perhaps three months ago before the last two candidates and after the 10th candidate!!! The next candidate may also only have 50% of the skills required and may not have 35% of the skills that 70% candidates have had!!! Not a good situation for either the business, hiring manager or the recruiting team.

Skepticism: It is the state of suspended judgment or systematic doubt as the literal definition says. In business world, we call it the inability to arrive at a decision quickly and live with it. “Maybe – Maybe Not” is the problem here. Too many hiring managers fear – what if this person does not work out! What if this person fails to do the job! What if I am held responsible for this failure! And hence the search for that perfect one.  And saga of interviewing continues.

Unfortunately, all of the above leads to an unfilled spot and more:

1. Business is directly impacted by the delay in hiring.
2. Due to ongoing search the morale of recruiting team goes down over a period of time.
3. The talent pool shrinks as there are not many candidates to be interviewed.
5. If its a high impact position and if the process goes on for months; the company loses its credibility in the market – as candidates eventually start talking about the fact that position has been open for a long time and the company cannot make a decision.
6. And finally, candidates who fit 80% of bill and are excited about the job, eventually lose interest and move on.

After all is said and done, I am sure most of you will agree that the pursuit for an ideal or perfect candidate is futile.

While Superman is highly desirable, I think ordinary people who meet most of the requirements should be able to do any job!

Enjoy Recruiting!


Book Review: Behavior-Based Interviewing – Terry L. Fitzwater

Behavior-Based Interviewing.Behavior-Based Interviewing is a  Thompson Course Technology’s Crisp Fifty Minute Series book. And indeed, it is a crisp fifty minute read – quick, simple with ample information for interviewers across the board. Terry’s approach to interviewing is step-by-step with enough examples to get the point across. There are 4 phases in the book (Chapters) filled with tips, glossary, examples and scales to assess the interviewee and interviewer. Nice to also have are the 200 behavior based questions and appendices (appendixes) at end of the book.

Overall it’s a great read for someone to get some basic but ample information on behavioral based interviewing.

About the Author: “Terry L. Fitzwater is a principal with Fitzwater Leadership Consulting with principle office in California. He has authored three books in the Manager’s Pocket Guide Series: Preventing Sexual Harassment, Documenting Employee Performance, and Employee Relations. He is also the author of Preparing for the behavior-based interview. He is a frequent speaker and university instructor, an instructs on-site business classes in performance management, employee relations, and other topics”.

We have, over the last couple of years understood the immense potential that connecting with others has. In fact, we have known about benefits of networking all  along; internet has just made it easier. We are all on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Plaxo, Jigsaw and a million other sites. We obsessively  check our mails and phones for mails, tweets, updates, texts etc. We are breathing interactive media and living it every minute of our lives.

But amidst all this chaos and activity, we should perhaps pause for a moment and ask ourselves this question – As recruiters- are we truly connected or are we a mere presence on the web? I have asked this question to myself several times and I am diligently working on answering it! I remind myself again and again that for me as a recruiter, every connection is important. As important as the other one! I also remind myself that off-line etiquette also applies on-line. Here are some pointers for us to reflect upon.

Initiate connecting with as many relevant people as you can: Successful recruiters go where candidates are and so why shy away from connecting with any lead or candidate or recruiter. Take a leap and send an invitation. You never know how this connection might be able to help you in future. You will look back someday and give yourself a pat on the back.

Be open to connecting with others: Received an invitation to connect! Don’t know the person! Not sure what to do! These are some of the questions that run through my mind when I receive an invitation to connect over social media. If you are worried about privacy; keep your personal accounts separate from professional. Its also a good idea to open two facebook, my space or twitter accounts. That way your family is separated from your work. Going back to that invitation; take a moment and look at this person’s profile. Everyone has something tangible or intangible that we can benefit from. On Linkedin please don’t “I Dont Know this  person” (IDK) anyone. Ignore or archive but 5 IDKs will blacklist this person who is simply trying to connect with you. Also, Off-line etiquette applies to all on-line interactions. If you receive an email from a connection seeking help or advice; please reply back. I am sure if you are in need and need help; you would expect the same from others. And also because that’s what we would do under normal circumstances.

Say Hello! Just a quick “hello” can go a long way. Say hello to your candidates and connections once in a while. Its hard to stay in touch with people, when you have 500+ connections or several hundred friends on social networking sites. But a quick  thumbs up to their posting or reply to their posting will definitely help in staying connected.

Please Don’t Spam! Its easy to get carried away when you are connected to a large community of professionals. Please don’t send repeated emails to people asking them to fill out questionnaires and polls. Please don’t send them requisitions and requests again and again. No one in your professional network wants to know what you had for breakfast or what your kids have achieved at school or that you are coming home after 2 weeks. Please don’t end up alienating people in your network or very soon you will see people fleeing your network.

Convert! On-line contacts are great but if you are connected with people in the local area, then why not meet them. That applies to meeting with other recruiters and candidates or really anyone with similar work or interest as you have. Sit down with them and convert that contact from an on-line to a real life contact. Meeting people one on one will give you an idea about what they are doing, about the industry or region or understand what is new in recruiting. We have all known all along that there are numerous benefits of knowing a person in-person than online. And so lets take that first step.

Finally, as recruiters let’s enjoy connecting and make long lasting workable relationships.  In this recruiting life; lets not be a mere presence on the web!

Is recruiting an art or science?

Most of us have never paused to think about this but as I start to dive deeper into recruiting models, methodologies and doctrines; its starting to become clear that recruiting is a “subject” in itself.  A field of study, which is not merely a practice but a subject backed by a body of knowledge.  Lack of formal training and non-availability of ample training programs in the field has also kept us away from thinking of recruiting as a “subject”.

While a majority of us have known recruiting as simply a practice or profession at the operational level; USAREC – US Army’s Recruiting Command, stands out in treating recruiting as a subject  and in satisfactorily answering the above question.  USAREC not only provides manpower to America’s army but also transforms exceptional soldiers into A Class Recruiters. Backed by a formal training program and book of knowledge, this institution has mastered the art of generating successful results through its recruiters. Their recruiting doctrine clearly defines recruiting as both an Art and Science.

“At the headquarters, USAREC practices almost pure science: Demographics, market share, and so on. In the station, recruiters practice almost pure art. Recruiters use their interpersonal and conceptual skills to win over America’s young people and promote the merits of Army service”- Army recruiting manual 3-0.