Wednesday, December 18, 2013

You've Gotta Play to Win - A MegaMillions Career Lesson

Quick topic this week but a good lesson from this weeks crazy MegaMillions drawing and my love of scratch tickets (yep, you read that right)

As everyone knows, the MegaMillions drawing was HUGE...over $600M.  Well, like everyone else I picked up a few tickets and while I was there...I grabbed a few scratch tickets.  Again, I love those things.  I didn’t win...obviously, or this would be a very different blog.  Anyway, the lesson here is you’ve got to play to win.  If you don’t play the lottery, you’ll never win the lottery.  Period.

This lesson is really important when you’re looking for a job or thinking about taking on a new project.  If you don’t try or take a can be sure you won’t succeed.  Have.To.Try.  Another great way to phrase this comes from Wayne Gretzky who once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

Makes, my question for you is this….are you taking the shot?  If not, why?

Enjoy the holidays, I’ll be traveling around a bit but will try to write more.  BIG post coming in the new year reflecting on some of my experiences in 2013 so that will be fun.

And finally, my scratch ticket won $10...which I reinvested into another ticket and lost.  My wife, won $100….laughed at me and pocketed her winnings.  That’s fine, I’ll keep taking my shots and it will keep paying off

Friday, December 13, 2013

My take on creative job search tactics

I’ve been hearing a lot of stories lately of people using unique and interesting ways to get recruiters attention.  I figured I’d take a little time to talk about them and give you my take.  I’ll be honest, I’m not really a big fan of this kind of stuff but I’ll try to be impartial.  Anyone who knows me, will tell you I’m more of an old school networker.  I like chatting on the phone or having a beer via G+ Hangout…..get beyond that and honestly I start to twitch.

Anyway, this isn’t about me...this is about you using some off the grid unique ways to get noticed by recruiters or hiring managers.  With we go:

Running ads with your name on them -  This one was pretty popular a few years back and there were a ton of examples.  Apparently this worked and it became pretty popular but I never really understood the appeal.  It’s a little too shotgun approach for me, although optimizing and targeting the ads definitely helps.  The example I posted cost $150 which if you think about it is a great deal.  I don’t hate this approach, but when I see ads like this targeted towards me I always think they are spam and I just ignore them.

Making your resume look like a product or web page - This one has been popular for a while and will probably continue to be popular.  This particular post is a great example if you’re looking for one.  From my perspective, this is a good idea if you’re early in your career or in the market for a creative job.  A few candidates through the years have sent this kind of resume to me and I always enjoy checking the creativity.

Video Resume - I’m a sucker for the video blog, especially this one.  They haven’t really taken off but some places ask for them and there are a lot of good examples out there as well.  Done right, a video resume is a great way to show off your skills and personality for a potential employer.  You want to make sure use good quality video and have a well scripted plan to develop a professional video.

Creating personal action figures - Ok, last one. A coworker sent me this blog last week and I have to admit I love the idea.  I looked into making “Jeff Moore - Recruiter” action figures but kind the cost scared me off….I’ll keep researching.  Anyway, I think this is a cool idea but is potentially pretty expensive.  If you are in the toy industry or another creative role, this could really get you a great job.  For me, I just think having my own action figure would be fun :)

Alright, so there are a few thoughts...obviously, I’m only one data point and every recruiter is different.  Doing something creative can be a great way to get noticed but you’ve got to make sure whatever you do reflects your personality and your voice.

Good luck out there and if you find another other examples please share as I’ve love to see other examples.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Your priorities define you...

Happy holidays everyone!  Hope things are going well.  It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged but I really wanted to share something.  I had an interview this week and the candidate made a comment to me that I really loved, I mean….loved.  They said:

“The priorities we set define us”

It got me thinking, for those of you experience a job search or thinking about moving your career needle...what kind of priorities have you set?  Now, the idea of priorities is pretty complicated and honestly only you can set your priorities but I did spend a lot of time thinking about this and had a few thoughts I wanted to share

Rank your priorities - This one is obvious right?  The question really is, do you want to be the best parent in the world?  Best recruiter?  Does money matter?  Do you work to live or live to work?  Literally, there are a bunch of things to consider.  What you need to do is figure out what really matters to you...define it and then optimize your more tactical priorities from there.

Set sub-goals - Ok, so you have your high level priorities set.  Awesome...huge step and most people never get there so feel good about this.  Next, start trying to define what each one of those priorities really means and what you need to do to accomplish them….and be realistic.  

Build a timeline - You’ve got your priorities set and you’ve got a bunch of tactical steps you need to take to accomplish your you need a timeline.  The timeline will keep you honest and make you focus.  A key here again will be to be realistic.  For example, you can’t say you are going to interview for 50 jobs in the next month...not enough days in the month.  So, really focus on setting a timeline that you can work with and get things accomplished.

Get going - This is the most important step.  Get going and get it done.  The difference between superstars and everyone else is superstars get stuff done.  Now is the time to define yourself by not only setting priorities but getting them done.

That’s it this week, I’ll try to get a few more posts done by the end of the year and start strong again in 2014.

Good luck out there, the holidays are a GREAT time to amp up your job search

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My review of "BA to Boardroom"....a no BS review for a no BS book

This post is sort of a testament to the awesome connected world in which we live.  Let me give you the backstory.  I was flying out to San Francisco for a week a Google.  Well, the person next to me was writing while I rocked out to Iron Maiden.  His name was Chris, and he was writing a book about having a great career.  I was writing a blog on “The No Asshole Rule” so we got to talking about his book, his ideas and started to share a few thoughts on having a great career.  We exchanged info, and went off to find our rental cars.

A few weeks later, I get an email from Chris asking for my address to send me a copy of the book.  AWESOME!!  So, after moving cross country and finally getting settled in the Bay Area I’ve had time to read “BA to Boardroom With No BS, Skills for Life” and wanted to take a few minutes to blog about it and share my thoughts.

First of all, it’s a great read.  Very down to earth and practical.  I also think it’s the kind of book that anyone can read and learn a few new things.  You don’t need to be a new college grad to heed Chris’s advice….even a dinosaur like me took a few tips, wrote them down and focused some of my energy on getting better.

Ok, with that, here is a quick summary of a few things I thought were really great about this book:

A Positive Approach - On page 23 Chris talks about approaching all individuals and situations in a positive way.  LOVE this!  Honestly, negative people suck (like that?) and are less successful.  People who can have a positive attitude and approach are well liked and able to leverage relationships more successfully in the workplace.  Chris gets into a little more detail on what this means and it’s all good stuff.

Applying yourself - Page 25 here, same general area of the book but Chris talks about effort.  Obviously, I agree with him 100% here and think honesty and accountability to work effort is critical.  For me, effort is one of the few things as a manager I can’t coach.  Either you work hard and really push yourself...or you don’t.  Developing this skill will serve you well over the long haul.

Making Choices - Right around page 33 Chris starts talking about how and where to start your career.  One quote I’d like to share:

Jobs vary in content but have some common characteristics.  Looking at what characteristics feel best to you will help you select a role that can produce the highest likelihood of being one in which you feel comfortable.

Such a great line.  When you’re starting your career and frankly at any point in your career focusing on a role that maximizes your skills and allows you to be comfortable is a huge step.  It takes time, you shouldn’t expect to just wake up and realize your calling in life but once you figure it out...embrace it.

Managing Up - In Chapter 5, he talks about a lot of skills but one in particular really rung true to me.  Managing up.  It’s not the sexiest skill and some people might call it brown’s not and it is sexy.  Managing up means making sure your boss and other leaders know what you are doing and ensuring they are there to help you.  Ever meet someone who complains they can’t get the resources they need...meanwhile you never have an issue getting what you need?  Well yeah, that’s because you’ve managed up well and received the support and faith of senior leadership.  HUGE skill.

Opportunistic Ambition - Chapter 6 talks about opportunistic ambition, having mentors and building a personal plan.  Really great chapter.  As someone who’s had a personal plan for a while, this really jumped off the page at me.  I very much enjoyed Chris’s idea of putting yourself first and then secondly having a contingency plan.  These are extremely hard concepts but really critical for your career.    In my experience, these skills don’t come naturally but once they come...they are like a tidal wave that pushes your skills into the next level.  I’ll stop writing about this now, go buy the book

Learning to Lead - Another fantastic chapter as this skill is another one that really can carry you through your career...even if you end up switching professions.  The big take away for me in the book is when Chris talks about creating a high performing team.  I mean, talk about the holy grail of work.  Being able to attract top talent and put them into a position to perform is literally the difference between great leaders and crappy leaders.  So, again, take some time to really learn how to lead.  You’ll thank Chris for this, it’s so important.  When I look at my team or other teams I’ve lead, I always ask are we a destination for great talent?  If not, how do I fix it.

Ok, LONG blog for me this week but I really enjoyed the book and couldn’t recommend it any stronger.  The link above will get you to Chris’s website and allow you to buy the book...just do it.  One closing thought.  I met Chris on a flight, and I’m the guy who never talks to people on the plane (thank you Bose headphones) but for whatever reason, Chris and I really connected.  There is a lesson here….when you meet people along the way, take time to get to know them….you might just meet someone really cool.

Until next time, good luck out there the job market is still tough so you’ve got to work extra hard.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The importance of setting goals

Been thinking a lot about this topic so kind of excited to write about it.  Now, it’s kind of boring and a little lame...I’ll admit it.   But the truth is, without goals you’re screwed and your career will go no where.

Let me explain.  Goals get you places right?  I mean...I’m going to get my Master’s Degree is a goal.  Get it done, check the box...winner right?  Well kind of, there is a lot more to the idea of goals than checking off a few things on your list.  With that, here are a few thoughts on the importance of goals

1) Yeah, they get you places - See above but when you’re talking about recruiting or your career they are even more important.  For example - Saying “We are going to hire 50 Software Engineers” allows you to understand resources, develop benchmarks and understand the difference between success and failure.

2) Goals tell your story - Ever complain about the dude across the cube who got promote but you think  are the better performer??  Chances are, he had goals, articulated them to the powers that be...and crushed them.  The best way to show off your success it to set some lofty goals and get them done.

3) Shared accountability - Ah, here is the big one.  Setting goals, allows you to clearly state what each person on the project owns.  So, when the rubber meets the road everyone is accountable for their piece.  If the project succeeds everyone knows why/how….if it fails, well that’s ok but everyone will know how and why as well.

So there a you go a few thoughts on goals...the key to all of this is setting realistic goals and trying to get them done.  If you’re working on a recruiting team that doesn’t have goals or even worse has messed up goals...take a stand and figure out goals that will work for your team.  Trust me, you’ve been far more successful w/ rock solid goals than if you just float around and wish for a positive outcome

More soon

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's not just a recruiting problem...

I’ve been totally slacking with the blog lately, my bad.  Big topic this week, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to write for a while.  

You hear a lot about companies or hiring managers who complain about their recruiting team and how they can’t find the right people.  Well...maybe, I mean sure..some recruiting departments suck but a lot of the time it’s a company wide issue but its much easier to just blame the recruiters.  Why take accountability when you can just thrash the recruiting folks?  It's easy, that's why. However, the truth is recruiting is a company wide project, everyone needs to be all in or you all fail.  It’s that simple.  Here are my quick thoughts on what each person in the company needs to do in order to successfully recruit...leaving out the recruiters of course because um you guys just do your job.

Hiring Managers -  So, these guys are key.  If you’re a hiring manager you've got a huge job to do here.  You need to respond quickly to resumes and be decisive.  If you meet someone great..hire them..don’t play games, hire the person.  Another key way to contribute as a hiring manager is to help sell candidates and close candidates on joining the team.  The last one, and this is important...hiring managers need to be engaged.  They need to listen when the recruiters push back on the process or decision making process.  Recruiters and managers are partners in hiring.

The rest of HR - The rest of HR play a huge role in recruiting.  The biggest, and frankly the hardest is attrition.  HR absolutely needs to focus on making sure people are leaving out back door as fast (or faster) than the recruiting team can hire them.  A lot of HR teams don’t like to hear that but it’s true.  If you have high attrition, you could have greatest recruiting team on earth and you’re still screwed.  HR also can focus on compensation, benefits and all the cultural stuff to make a company attractive.  Like I said above, it’s a team effort and HR/Recruiting are the essence of team so make sure you’re truly supporting each other.

Interviewers - Ahhhh, the interviewers.  Honestly, probably the most unappreciated piece of the recruiting puzzle.  Hiring Managers, HR and Recruiters can all do their job but if the interviewers are late, disrespectful, uncalibrated or just plan bad…….everyone fails again.  As an interviewer you've got pretty clear responsibilities.  Be prepared, be positive and make sure you give the candidate a great experience.  When you’re done, give prompt and decisive feedback to the recruiters so they can hire great people.

Executives - For senior leadership it’s pretty easy.  Stay engaged.  Don’t float above the fray and assume hiring will be easy.  Get into the process, talk to candidates, review resumes and generally do the things you’d have done before you became an Exec.  A lot of exec are “too busy” to interview or give timely feedback….I call BS.  If hiring and recruiting is a priority...get it done or delegate the authority to someone who can and will meet the companies hiring objectives.

The moral of the story here is simple.  Recruiting and hiring is a company wide project.  It’s not just the recruiters who are responsible for hiring...sure, we carry the heavy load but if the rest of the company can’t convert the pipeline to hires….you lose.  It’s that simple.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Should you move for a job? Maybe....

As my loyal readers know, I recently moved out to the Bay Area for my new role with Google.  Honestly, a year ago if you told me I’d be living in California I’d have said you were way.  Well, things happen in life that make you change plans.  Sometimes its easy, sometimes it’s not so easy.  Regardless there ARE times when it makes sense to move for a job.  Let me explain a few times when packing up and moving is the right call:

The opportunity - This is reason #1 and #2 you move for a job.  You move for opportunities.  If you can’t find a job that’s even close to as interesting as the one you’d move for….take it and go.  You know how I feel about having a “career” as opposed to a job so if opportunity knocks get it done.

The adventure - This can go hand and hand with the point above, but the location matters.  For example, moving to California or Europe or some other moderately exotic location can be a great adventure….whereas you could have a great job but if it’s in Timbuktu you might want to think twice before taking the job.

The team - Sometimes a team is worth moving for and uprooting your life.  If you can find a “Dream Team” that will really grow your career and teach you all kinds of Jedi it. The team is the most important part of any opportunity so honestly this can make the whole thing worth it.

The cash - Now, you’ll notice this is pretty far down the list.  Moving only for the cash is crazy, bad bad idea because money can’t truly buy happiness.  Yeah, yeah, it can come close but it’s not the only factor in life.  That being said, I’m not stupid and neither should you be when it comes to moving for a job.  The cash matters.  Can you afford to live there?  Will the comp move you into that next level?  Again, it matter but it’s not the only thing.

Well, there you go..a few quick thoughts on relocating for a job.  You know how I feel about having a career, but the it’s bigger than that.  Life is an adventure and every once in awhile it makes sense to spice it up.

More soon, but good luck out there...the job market still sucks so try to keep focused on your longer term goals.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Avoiding the awkward "Thank You" letter

I’ve been blasted this week hence the lack of tweets and blogs…...but here I am!  This weeks topic is kind of a funny one but really if you’re looking for a job it’s not funny at all.  It’s about the awkward interview or meeting follow up.

Now, before I get into this….NONE of these examples are from people who’ve interviewed w/ me recently.  Been talking to a lot of people and it’s not cool to talk out of school.  Ok?  Ok.

We all know that the post interview follow up is really important.  To me, it doesn’t really matter if it’s email or a written’ve gotta follow up and say thank you for the interview.  No brainer right?  Well...unless you send a really uncomfortable follow up.  What does that mean?  Here are a few examples:

Spelling the persons name wrong - Do I need to even say anything else here?  Right

Using the wrong pronoun - Um yeah.  Referring to a he as a she, she as a he….whatever, not the kind of thing you want to screw up.  I’ve seen it.  #fail

Emailing the wrong address - Nothing takes the wow factor away than having someone else forward you the “thank you” note.  If you’re going to email, make sure it’s to the correct address

Assuming you’ll get the offer - Confidence is great, arrogance is annoying.  Your thank you note is just a thank you….that’s it, nothing more.  Don’t assume anything just be nice.

There are a million other things you can do wrong here so just play it safe.  Send a polite and timely follow up….nothing more, nothing less and wait to hear about next steps.

More soon, I’ll try to pick up the pace.  And, as always good luck out there...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why recruiting is harder than you think...

I write a lot about recruiting tips and tricks and little nuggets I’ve learned over the years.  Here is one I don’t usually share...recruiting is a REALLY hard career.  It’s amazing if you’re into it, even better if you’re good at it.....but it’s hard.  No joke, it’s harder than it sounds and here are a few reasons why:

Sell the candidate, sell the company - Recruiting has a lot in common with Sales, tons of grinding and prospecting to find business (or candidates if you’re a corporate recruiter) so you spend a ton of time of time on the phone.  No big deal, the phone is fun.  The challenge is are ALWAYS selling.  Sell the candidate on the role.  Sell your client on the candidate.  Sell the compensation.  Sell the benefits.  Negotiate the agreement. Sell, sell, sell. You’ve got to have that mindset from the start.

Most recruiters don’t last - Little know fact, most people who start a career in recruiting are out of recruiting within 3 months.  If they make it past that...maybe two years but most people get worn down over time because all they do is hammer the phone when the get started.  What they don’t realize, great recruiting is more than just hammering the phone...but when you first get started you usually can’t see the forest from the tree.

The numbers don’t lie - My first boss in recruiting taught me many lessons, this one has really stuck.  “If you play baseball and hit .300 you’re an All-Star, in recruiting if you hit .200 you’ll do really well...but what that means is 80% of the time you’ll fail.  Hiring metrics, pass thru rates, submittal numbers etc etc don’t lie......recruiting is a game of failure and how well you can keep your eye on the wins....and the wins will come.

Most of the tools suck - Yeah, I said it.  Most of the tools you'll use suck so when you pull a report...that data sucks too.  Recruiters are many things, great tool builders....meh

You’re always on the chopping block - Look, hard truth here.  Recruiting is always the first function to feel a slow down.  We are the ultimate cost center.  Not only are we expensive...but we hire people who are at least as expensive as we are and add to the bottom line.  So, when revenues are down or the market crashes who gets laid off first?  Recruiters go.....sad but true.

It’s always a hiring problem - Final hard truth but it’s something you’ll find at most companies.  Companies always blame recruiting.  Attrition high?  Hire more people.  Miss revenue?  Recruiting didn’t hire enough sales people.  Expenses too high?  Recruiting over hired and drove up expenses.  Can’t hire enough engineers?  The candidate pipeline is too small.    Honestly, I’ve seen all of these examples in real life.  What’s funny, is it’s almost never JUST a recruiting problem.  Sometimes it is sure but usually it’s a bigger issue about the culture or the way the company operates it’s just easier for everyone to point at us recruiters than it is to say there is a culture or management problem.

There are a million other things that make recruiting hard but this is just a quick short list...for those of you getting started or considering a career in recruiting I hope it helps.  My blog can be a lot of puppy dogs and ice cream and I wanted to make sure I keep it real.  I love recruiting and will probably spend my entire career doing it but don’t think it will be easy.  Chances are you’ll work longer hours and have more ups/downs than most of your friends......but that’s ok, we can handle it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

So you're a great what?

Ok, so by now you've already read my post about what it takes to be a great recruiter right?  Well, if not check it here....

Anyway, you've done all this cool stuff and you're an amazing recruiter.  You can fill any job, your peers love you and clients sing your praises.  Awesome right?  Well....kind of, I mean, yeah of course it always feels good to be awesome.  See Barney Stinson video resume:

Seriously, this is all great.  But how do you take this awesomeness and become sought after in the industry...someone who doesn't LOOK for jobs, because jobs look for you?  Here are a few thoughts about building your recruiting brand:

Build a huge network - It wouldn't be a Jeff Moore blog without a networking tip right?  Honestly, for us recruiters we're only as good at our network.  Most of us have networks of engineers, or sales people but slack off terribly when it comes to networking with other recruiters.  Why?  Honestly, I don't know but it's crazy.  Build a network of other great recruiters and you'll never be looking for a job again.

Speak out - A great way to build your brand is to speak at events.  Now you don't need to speak at ERE or Talent Connect(although those are great), tons of local groups or job fairs are always looking for recruiters to speak about hiring, resumes, etc etc.  I'm a big fan of the "unconference" like #Tru events which are a little more casual but give you great exposure (I'm speaking here in a few weeks).  Additionally, I'd be willing to bet your school would love to have their rockstar alumni back to talk about all things hiring.  The more you do it, the better you'll get and next thing you know you'll be leading a track at ERE.

Get social - Recruiters are social people but I'm always amazed at how few of us tweet or blog.  There is really no better way to build your brand than to share you're awesome experience with other recruiters looking to learn.  You don't have to have a million followers to make an impact, start small by following a bunch of folks and'll be social before you know it.

A few recommendations on people to follow can be found here and here

Amp up the LinkedIn profile- This one is pretty obvious but let's just be honest.  Recruiters are all over LinkedIn trying to find top talent.....does your LinkedIn profile represent your awesomeness? It better.  Take time to add content and recommendations to really show off your skills.

Hope this helps, building your personal brand is tough...but do it right and you'll be mad you didn't do it sooner.

Happy hunting this week!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Living on a Prayer - Recruiting Advice from Bon Jovi

Alright, hope everyone is doing well.  As some of you know...I’m on vacation back east.  Spending a bunch of time off the grid in Maine or New Hampshire.  We did however venture out to see Bon Jovi in concert.  It was pretty awesome, nevermind the fact that the J. Giles Band was great to see Bon Jovi and relive my 80’s metal days.  As such, I wanted to write a quick blog with a few recruiting/career inspiration from Bon Jovi.  Now, before you make fun of me....most of the lyrics are from older tunes in the catalog...what can I say, I’m getting old.

Ok, here you go....

Rainy night and the worked all day, We both got jobs cause there’s bills to play, We got something they can’t take away, Our love, our lives - Born to Be My Baby

We’ve all had these days right?  Rainy day?  Daylight Savings Time?   Let’s face it, everyone has a day that just sucks.  But at the end of the day, to live, not live to work.  It’s really important to walk away, get home and enjoy life.  If you can’t do that...its time for a new job.  Trust me, it’s happened to me and I’m a better man for it.

Take you higher than you’ve ever known - In and Out of Love

I’m pretty sure this lyric is about sex in the original song....but that’s not the topic here.  This line really makes me think of your job or externally a great mentor will help you get higher than you every dreamed in your career.  Don’t have a mentor?  Find a few immediately....

Faith: you know you’re gonna live thru the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Faith: don’t let your love turn to hate
Right now we got to...Keep the faith - Keep the Faith

Pretty simple message here....through the tough times and rough days...keep the faith and focus on getting your job done.  If you can’t....maybe it’s time to look around for something better.

Right now the rules we made are meant for breaking - Lay your hands on me

This line is definitely about sex but I guess this is what I get for a Bon Jovi themed blog....honestly though..this is a great line.   Rules are meant for breaking....sometimes, not all the time.  The key is knowing when to ask for forgiveness or permission.....great employees bend rules or break rules when the need to do the right thing for the business.....just think twice :)

Tommy used to work on the docks
Union’s been on strike, He’s down on his’s tough, so tough
Gina works the diner all day, Working for her man, she brings home her pay
For love - for love - Living on a Prayer

Obviously a great song, one of the best.  The moral here?  You’ll have ups and downs through your career but you’ve got to keep working to bring home the bacon for the family (or retirement, or whatever)

Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end - Never Say Goodbye

Insert “Jeff Moore always tells me to network in his blog” comments here......

Well now that we’re together
Show me what you can do - Raise your hands

Great line here, and a great moral for your career.  Once you get the’re like 10% done.  Once you are there, you’ve got to produce.  Get it done.

It’s all the same, only the names will change
Everyday it seems we’re wasting away
Another place where the faces are so cold
I’d drive all night just to get back home - Wanted Dead or Alive

My favorite Bon Jovi tune by far, so good.  This one made me think of having a long commute.  Man, nothing sucks more than a long commute.  I’ve got a short one now so I’m spoiled but meh....I’d drive all night to get home.  Think of that next time you take a job, go on an interview or transfer locations....a crappy commute can ruin your job.

Ok, that’s it for tonight.....I might write a few more this week, we’ll see.....lots of ideas the question will be motivation!

Good luck out there

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's the difference between a good recruiter and a great recruiter.....

I've been thinking a lot about what really makes a great recruiter.  A lot of my friends and colleagues are looking to add folks to their teams and they all want great talent, not just good talent.  (Frankly, I'm trying to do the same thing on my team but that's not the topic of this blog)

So, what really makes someone great?  I we even know?  I don't think anyone has the magic bullet for finding a great recruiter but here are a few of my thoughts between good and great recruiters.

1)  Good recruiters fill jobs, great recruiters build the organization - This one is crystal clear to me.  Most recruiters fill jobs and move one.  Weak.  Great recruiters partner with the business to help build the best organization the possibly can.  Now, this is hard.  You can't always be your managers friend.  You've got to push back on things and speak your mind when you disagree with a decision.  Which leads to #2.....

2) Good recruiters work on their headcount, great recruiters drive headcount and are vocal about hiring decisions - Honestly, any knucklehead can fill a job....seriously, what we do is not rocket science.  But a great recruiter finds talent that forces the business to hire opportunistically and get creative.  Great recruiters find so many great people that they business has to think outside of the box in order to get as much talent as they possibly can.

3)  Good recruiters leverage programs, great recruiters build programs - Again, not rocket science here but lots of really good recruiters who can leverage all kinds of recruiting programs to build candidate the great recruiters dream up new programs and build them to fill a business need. 

4) Good recruiters sell the job, great recruiters over-communicate the opportunity - This sounds like a subtle one but trust me the different for your organization is crazy.  Good recruiters know their roles and can sell candidates on the job.  Big deal.  Great recruiters over-communicate with the candidate and can explain the opportunity (not just the job).  Truly great talent doesn't take a job...they look for exceptional opportunities to grow.

5)  Good recruiters have all kinds of tricks....great recruiters share their tricks and make everyone better - This is probably the most important.  Plenty of recruiters have little tips and tricks they use to get the job done but the great ones are share and collaborate with team to make everyone better...thus creating a great team.

Clearly this is an incomplete list but it's a start.  I'll do a follow up post on a few more things (general smarts, creativity, etc etc) that make a great recruiter.  But for anyone out there trying to hire a team or build a recruiting function you can't rely on "good" folks to take you to the next've absolutely have to find great recruiters who are smart, can get things done and move the needle for the organization.

Good luck out there this week and more soon before I go on vacation!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Navigating the summer slowdown

Happy 4th of July everyone, my favorite holiday.....although Thanksgiving is a pretty close second.  Busy times for me as we are settling into the move and our stuff is finally arriving on Friday so the unpack begins.

Anyway, I always think of 4th of July as the unofficial start of the summer job season....which basically means, there are tons of companies hiring but the job search is a pain in the arse.  People are on vacation, people are kind of out of it thinking about the weekend....all in all, productivity is down.

Here are a few tips on how to survive and still find that dream job over the summer

1) Chill out - Hard to do, I know it...almost impossible if you are looking for a job aggressively but you've got to mentally prepare yourself for things being slow.  If you realize things bog down, you won’t spend all of your time freaking out if you are getting the job or not...and more time networking and/or interviewing for other gigs.

2) Learn something new - When things slow down....the truly great people get a new skill and get better.  The summer is a great time to teach yourself a new skill, take a class or just brush up on some rusty skills.

3) Network - Yeah yeah, every blog I tell you to network but when something do it over and over again.  Honestly thought, summer networking is the best.  You can meet people for a coffee outside or connect with folks at outdoor events or organize other meetup type events to help you network.

4)  Enjoy it - This is the most important tip of them all.  The summer is the best time to recharge the battery.  Doesn't matter if you are in a job, looking for a job or between jobs.  Take time this summer to recharge and refresh yourself so when things start getting crazy again at the end of’re ready and have the energy to get it done.

Have a great long weekend everyone, I’m trying to write a ton now that I’m in CA so keep your eyes out for more posts and if you need any help/ know where to find me.