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The Power of Intelligent Sourcing

Our proprietary system, Reach Out, targets passive candidates and automatically indexes, aggregates and engages candidates from every major professional network and resume database including; LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Stack Overflow, GitHub, Monster, Dice, CareerBuilder and over 100 other global resources.

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LinkedIn CEO Outlines 3 Top Employment Trends, State-of-the-Company at Annual Event

hiring-guide-imageThousands of recruiters descended on Nashville last week to attend Talent Connect, LinkedIn’s annual conference. It’s a chance for LinkedIn’s most loyal users to come together and network, learn new ideas, and get an update on the company and its future.

The biggest star of these events, aside from product launches, typically comes down to the CEO giving a state-of-the-company message and painting a vision of the future. LinkedIn’s event was no different, with CEO Jeff Weiner presenting Wednesday morning. Wearing jeans and a button-up, collared shirt, both staples of the Silicon Valley executive, Weiner presented to a packed room of around 4,000 attendees.

“We’re going to talk today about LinkedIn’s role in a changing workforce,” said Weiner. “And when it comes to the changing workforce, there are three themes I believe are worth calling out. AI and automation, on everyone’s mind these days, the skills gap, and the rise of independent work.”

In regards to artificial intelligence, Weiner outlined the growing trend that threatens the livelihood of so many professions. He gave one example of Shake Shake, who is replacing cashiers with kiosks, and another showing that white-collar professionals were at risk too.

On the skills gap, Weiner described how there are currently a record 6 million job openings available in the U.S., but how there are 7 million people still unemployed, with 14 million people underemployed. Weiner believes there are “many skills gaps,” defined by a supply-and-demand imbalance with regard to specific skills in a specific area at a specific time. Weiner gave the example of Detroit, a city that faces a unique skills gap based on changes in the automobile industry.

Moving to the rise of independent opportunities and workers, Weiner noted that there are now 60 million people in the United States currently working as “giggers,” and that there are another 90 million people who are interested in such independent work.

What’s driving this trend?

Weiner said millennials, as a group, have a heightened desire to obtain a “side hustle” and make a living outside of traditional norms, adding that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. He said online marketplaces, such as Uber and Instacart, are helping to drive the gig economy, as well. Lastly, Weiner believes companies find independent workers to be more cost effective, only using them when needed and saving themselves from costs such as healthcare.

Weiner said these are irreversible trends, and companies must evolve in order to recruit and retain this changing workforce. He said LinkedIn believes that can be achieved, in part, by better metrics and insight into the hiring process and landscape.

After discussing these trends, Weiner transitioned his presentation to highlighting LinkedIn’s mission statement and how it has remained autonomous and dedicated to that mission and company culture in light of being acquired by Microsoft for over $26 billion almost a year ago.

Weiner did say, however, that LinkedIn is in a unique position to leverage Microsoft’s billion individual customers, as well as its talent base and experience in developing technology to advance their own agenda. Together, Weiner believes LinkedIn is in a prime position to connect the world’s workforce of 3 billion.

How will this be done?

Weiner believes it will be achieved by LinkedIn with what he calls the “economic graph, which will “digitally map the global economy across six pillars.” These include their members (530 million), companies (18 million), jobs (11 million), skills (50,000), schools (29,000), and updates viewed (190 billion). Boldly, Weiner believes every worker, company, job, and school will one day be active and available on LinkedIn.

The economic graph was a vision born five years ago, and Weiner says that company is making headway into achieving the goal over 100% penetration by constant development that encourages users to engage on a deeper level. Jobs is one example, and the company now features postings more clearly on its mobile app.

A new mentorship option has driven growth too. Another example of growth is the LinkedIn feed that highlights custom, relevant content for active users, such as storylines. Video is the latest driver of growth, enabling people to upload content into LinkedIn, and Weiner showcased examples of how users are using video on the platform.

7 Habits of Highly Successful Hiring Teams

Successful Hiring TeamsThe number of qualified applicants to your job posts is falling, your job offer to acceptance ratio has seen better days and your new hires are barely scraping their probation period. Adopt these habits of successful hiring teams and retrieve your talent acquisition strategy while there’s still time:

1. Understand why you made a bad hire: From a painful application process to repeatedly recruiting from the same talent pool, effective recruiters quickly analyze and understand the reasons for a bad hire. Don’t allow early departures among your new employees to become an epidemic in your business. The most successful hiring teams move swiftly to plug the leaks in their talent pipeline by analyzing their recruitment data and understanding where their best hires come from.

2. Offer candidate feedback: Providing post interview feedback to your candidates enhances your employer brand but 80% of businesses fail to incorporate this important step into their talent acquisition strategy. Ensure your feedback is objective, aligned to the skills of the job description and provides specific examples of interview responses that your candidates can work on in their job search. Allocate responsibility to one member of your hiring team to ensure uniformity in your response. The most successful hiring teams also understand that feedback should be mutual and ask for it too. Be prepared to act on those responses.

3. Pay attention to the candidate experience: Gone are the days where HR enjoyed the luxury of time and a surplus of qualified candidates for every vacancy. Successful recruitment professionals treat applicants like consumers, paying careful attention to every aspect of the candidate experience. Lengthy, repetitive job applications, ghosting of candidates and poorly structured interviews are eliminated from their hiring process to promote a positive employer brand and fast track the top talent.

4. Trust your data: The most effective hiring functions know that ‘gut feeling’ isn’t a viable recruitment strategy. They are among just one third of employers who wait until all interviews are completed before making a collaborative decision supported by the data gathered throughout the hiring process. Algorithms in recruitment software have been proven to make better recruitment decisions than most hiring managers. Reduce the potential for unconscious bias in your candidate selection by selecting the most suitable candidate based on job specific criteria and data, rather than your intuition.

5. Work (hard) on retention: Improving your employee retention levels isn’t a one-off event, it must form a part of your ongoing talent management strategy. 90% of businesses are concerned about holding on to their new hires. Retention begins with your on-boarding process and continues beyond the probation period. Prioritizing your ‘employee experience’ by providing meaningful work, taking wellbeing seriously and developing a culture of leadership and learning are just three ways to achieve this.

6. Talk to talent: Highly successful hiring teams consistently nurture their talent communities through regular engagement across online recruitment channels. A registration of interest allows you to capture the contact details of potential talent exploring your careers site and identify their job search preferences. Automated, personalized messages through your recruitment software on topics such as company developments and new job openings ensure you have a potential talent pool of pre-qualified candidates for your next vacancy.

7. Embrace automation: Less than half of businesses are prepared for the impact that artificial intelligence and automation will have on their talent acquisition strategy. Reliance on manual recruitment systems is not an effective hiring practice. The most successful brands support their entire talent acquisition process with world class recruitment software which enables them to tap into the latest tech trends to attract world class talent. Isn’t it time you joined them?

HR In Crisis: Planning For The Skills Shortage

talent shortageThe talent shortage continues to throw HR into disarray. The latest JobsOutlook Survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that two in every five businesses would need to recruit to meet additional demand in their business.

In the light of this report, employers have been urged to reconsider their approach to investment in training and up-skilling their existing staff.  At present, the majority turn to recruitment agencies and the gig economy to fill skills gaps. While addressing an immediate need, this approach doesn’t resolve a potentially ‘unprecedented labour shortage’.

A further report from the Institute Of Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that over five million employees are over-educated for their jobs, an increase of nearly a third since 2006. Its report Another lost decade : Building a skills system for the economy of the 2030s warns of the prospect of a further ten years of falling wages and productivity and calls on employers to take action to utilize the skills of their existing workforce. It revealed that:-

  • 30% of employers admit that they don’t tap into those existing skills.
  • Less than half have a training plan in place.
  • Less than a third of businesses have a training budget.

The report also notes that, while skills are in short supply, they are limited to specific sectors which is leading to an imbalance in organizations, leaving many workers feeling underutilized and disengaged.

Executive search business 6 Group also report that just one in five (19%) employers believe their workforce has the skills and capabilities to support their future business needs, identifying three areas which require urgent attention:-

  • Succession planning.
  • Talent pipeline.
  • Competency assessment.

Understanding what skills are already available in your business coupled with a long-term approach to talent management and a commitment to learning and development will enable HR to begin to address the skills gap. The following strategies may provide a framework:-

Get clear on your true hiring needs

Mismanaged recruitment processes which fail to provide clarity over the breakdown of your workforce, or the skills available, add to problems with employee engagement and productivity.  Access to data is vital to ensure accurate long-term planning and avoid unnecessary hiring. Start by investing in HR technology to gain insight into what is really happening in your hiring process. ‘Guesswork’ or rough estimations will only perpetuate your existing problems, particularly in sectors where qualified candidates are difficult to source. A recent survey found that HR departments in the tech sector were rated as the least effective. Hiring teams were judged on three criteria, their ability to get things done, technical ability and their responsiveness to other teams.

Change your attitude towards your contingent workforce

At present, for many hiring teams there is no alternative to sourcing additional skills through the gig economy or recruitment agencies to address their urgent requirements. To ensure an engaged, productive workforce, your temporary staff should be treated in the say way as your permanent employees. Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends Report suggests expanding your definition of employees beyond ‘people on the balance sheet’ to incorporate your contingent workforce too. Apply the same screening, background checks, on-boarding process and performance management strategies to encourage engagement. A quarter of employers plan to appoint their temporary workers to permanent positions within the next year, a figure which is likely to increase as the skills shortage continues.

Work on retaining staff with key skills

Employee retention, especially among new hires, is a problem for HR as one in five employees now leave their jobs during or at the end of their probation period. Improving your staff retention begins with your hiring process and ensuring that final decisions on candidate selection are supported by recruitment data, not based exclusively on the interview. Focus on wellbeing, ongoing conversations with your employees and career development and learning to ensure your high achievers aren’t tempted to explore alternative job opportunities.

Managing the imbalance with digital transformation

Concerns over poor training or lack of investment are not new. Over half of employees believe that their lack of digital skills is the biggest challenge in their job but a third aren’t given any training and one fifth of employees lack even basic IT skills. In their new report, Digital transformation and the future of hiring recruitment specialists Robert Half note that digitalization can offer improved efficiency and productivity, leading to ‘value added work’. It suggests that it will also provide opportunities for critical on the job learning. That transformation needs to begin now.

Investment in HR technology

Investment in training must go hand in hand with investment in HR technology in order to address the three areas highlighted by Group 6’s report above. Recruitment software enables HR to:-

  • Maintain talent pipelines by evaluating HR analytics and understanding your key recruitment metrics essential to building that pipeline.
  • Identify the sources and characteristics of your most successful hires to inform succession planning.
  • Assess the competency of new hires through online recruitment tools

It also provides ongoing insight to enable HR to continually review and adjust talent acquisition and retention strategies and plan for future hiring needs based on your own recruitment data.

Why Real Employee Reviews Matter

We all do it. Whether we are booking a holiday, buying a car or the latest smartphone, or looking for a reliable trades person. Reviews matter and we believe them.

But now they’re filtering into the world of work.

The trend for checking reviews before making significant purchases is filtering into the world of work, according to new research by BPS World. It found that jobseekers are increasingly reliant on researching their potential employers online and keen to have a number of job offers on the table before making their decision.

The survey found that more than three quarters of employees (79%) would check out an employer online before accepting a job offer, and 74% of employers doing the same when hiring someone. Facebook ranked the second most likely place a potential employee with LinkedIn and Glassdoor proving less popular choices. Researching potential employers online seems to be a recent trend, with 62% of employees admitting they didn’t check out their current employer before accepting their job offer.

Simon Conington, Founder and MD of BPS World said:

“These findings suggest that the open, consumer-led platform of Facebook is preferred for creating a truer picture of what the potential employer could be like, in a similar way to the ‘traveller’s own photos’ on TripAdvisor. There is an honesty about what people share online that often isn’t reflected in the way a company presents its employer brand.

This research proves just how discerning both bosses doing the hiring, and those applying for jobs now are. Both bosses and employees therefore need to think about how their company and themselves are talked about and presented online, and if there’s anything negative, controversial or inflammatory then they need to get it resolved or removed. Ignoring it could mean companies miss out on hiring a talented team member, or that an employee loses out on landing their dream job.”

So how can you make sure your employees say nice things about your company? Here are 4 expert tips for you.

1. Be human

Steve Ward, Talent Attraction Strategist, says:

“The greatest way to get authentic employee reviews, is to ensure you have an environment that genuinely allows employees to express themselves, be human, and be key contributors in business progress and exposure projects. When companies recognise the need to consider programmes with ‘bottom-up’ in mind, it engages the people at all levels, and when regular employees are the stars of the show, they demonstrate greater authentic pride, and inclined to amplify positively.”

2. Educate and encourage

Shaunda Zilich, Global Employment Brand Leader at GE, says:

“Educate employees on what candidates are seeing out there before they walk into the company. Let them know the numbers (traffic, reach, engagement) on reviews (example: over 80% of candidates now look at reviews before making a decision on employment). I am still amazed at how many of our employees are not aware of these sites or don’t realize how popular they are.

Encourage transparency. I don’t solicit for reviews with our employees but I do encourage transparency. This is the reason review sites are so popular and usually the more reviews that are left the more real the story is.”

3. Get reviews from current employees

Phil Strazzula, Founder of NextWave Hire, says:

“Many times reviews on employee sites are from disgruntled people since there isn’t a mechanism to get reviews from the typical employees in your company (hotels have done a great job of getting their patrons to leave reviews on TripAdvisor by emailing everyone after their stay, so it’s not just the people who had bed bugs). So, my advice to companies is not to over think it, and simply remind everyone in the company every 6-12 months that reviews are a good way to attract talent and if they have a few extra minutes to please take time to write something.”

4. Timing is everything

Will Staney, the Founder & Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, says:

“The idea is to get your employees to review the company around various company milestones. One of the ways I’ve done this in the past as a TA leader is to incorporate Glassdoor into onboarding practices by asking employees in each new hire class to leave a review of their interview experience.

Other ways I’ve done this is while congratulating an employee on their work anniversary (“Congrats on 1 year at ABC Company! Now that you’re a veteran here, do you mind sharing your experience working here on Glassdoor?”) or when someone is promoted (“Congrats on your promotion! As an example of an employee that is truly making an impact and exuding our values, we would love if you’d take a moment to share your experience and what’s made you successful here on Glassdoor).

Finally, as a follow up to a company event you could send an email out encouraging employees to upload photos from the event to the company Glassdoor page. You might find that while they are there, they leave a review as well.”

Hiring? Source Passive Candidates From 100+ Resume Databases with One Submission

Times have changed… The “A Players” do not and will not apply to laborious Job Applications or blindly submit their information to impersonal general ads…

Think about it, relationships have changed with Social Media and the Web itself. People demand a more personal connection.

The fact is that less than 20% of the entire global workforce applies to Traditional Job Postings anymore. That means over 80% of the workforce are deemed “Passive Candidates.”

With our approach, we take your Jobs just like the Traditional Job Posting companies. But, that’s where the similarities end…

We then automatically Source, Vet and Verify candidates that we obtain using our proprietary system “Reach Out”.

Like tentacles of an Octopus, our system sources from every major Professional/ Social Network (LinkedIn, Github, Facebook, etc.) as well as every major Resume Database including Monster, Careerbuilder, Dice, ZipRecruiter and over 100 other resources.

We then Vet and Verify Candidates before reaching out to them to gain their interest level. These are personal commutations that connect recruiters and hiring managers directly with the Qualified and Interested Candidates they need.

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Interview Questions Candidates Want You to Ask

Job candidates aren’t looking for an easy interview. They are looking for a great job fit.

We talk a lot about questions hiring managers and recruiters should ask, but we never talk about the questions that the job candidates actually want to be asked. If you want to find the best people for your open positions, try some of these questions:

“What makes you angry?” It made me think about how I apply my personal values in a work situation.

“Have you remained close with any former colleagues from past jobs?” It made me reflect on how shallow my work relationships have been.

“What’s the difference between a ’rounding error’ and a cost overrun?” The man who was going to hire me had used the dismissive phrase ’rounding error’ at least twice in his conversations with me, so when his manager asked this, I realized he wanted to know if I would challenge my boss.

“How would your integrate HR throughout our Company?” I was floored by it because this showed how the company I was considering viewed the value of HR. I like questions that press in on people.

“Who would you have saved first if your last company premises caught a fire?” It got me thinking. A lot. It made me think beyond conventional work relationships and pushed me to think about who were my friends at the last workplace. Brilliant question!

“What do you think would be your biggest challenge in this role? How would you struggle most to get up to speed?”

“What makes you think you can do this job?” The job was a pool manager for four pools in Baltimore, every one of which was closed by the health department the previous summer.

“Here are the problems with this job,” and then she listed several serious issues, “do you think you could work with that?” I loved this question because I knew my boss was going to be straight forward and I knew the challenges coming into it. I took that job and stayed there for 9 years, so clearly, being honest didn’t scare me away. I was grateful to not be shocked when I started.

Note that these questions aren’t easy and they aren’t pulled off a list. They aren’t something you can prepare for by Googling. They are often position specific. Your job candidates want to be challenged. A tough interview is more likely to result in a better job.

When you’re interviewing, it’s not like shopping for the best bargain off the shelf’; it’s like a date where you are each getting to know each other. You want to know what makes your candidates tick and how they would act in the job. They want to be in a position that fits them.

Additionally, be willing to open up yourself and answer their questions-even if they are

By Suzanne Lucas

Sometimes, I hire bad interviewees. And you should too!

Don’t be afraid to hire a bad interviewee.

One of my favorite things about recruiting in the corporate environment is an invested, long term interest in making quality hires. The collaboration and alignment of the talent acquisition and management organizations is essential to identifying and acquiring great talent. Part of the value talent acquisition can bring to the table is our extensive experience interviewing and hiring quality candidates. Since we do this for a living, we should absolutely be experts with an ability to bring some additional insights to our management partners. In the coming months, I am going to have a series of short posts outlining some tips that I share with interviewing teams to make them more effective during the hiring process. They might even help you!

This week my advice is not to be afraid to hire someone that might have had a bad interview. Anyone with any experience interviewing is familiar with the behavioral interviewing approach – the classic, “tell me about a time when” or, “give an example of” questions. When you use this approach, you’re typically looking for the candidate to outline the situation, the task, the action and the end result. The problem is that we often fall into a trap and instead of evaluating a person’s ability to do the job, we’re evaluating their ability to answer questions. This is a certain value in behavioral interviewing, but it is important to look past the surface of a “bad” response.

On many occasions I’ve received feedback from hiring managers that a candidate was too nervous, or was unable to provide specific examples in response to their questions. Whether it is an entry-level candidate or a seasoned professional, being nervous is part of interviewing. It is also possible that there was a misunderstanding or (bear with me here) you did not ask an answerable interview question.

In short, this tip is about examining your intentions so that you’re evaluating candidates on culture fit and ability to do the job vs. the ability to answer your questions. When you can see past a poor interview and instead see a good employee, the payoff is often big for all parties involved.

Happy Hiring!


(this article originally appeared on LinkedIn)

Posted by Brendan Orf 

Why Successful Individuals Wear The Same Outfit Daily

Every single day we make hundred of decisions: Should I hit the snooze button or not? What time should I leave for school/work? Should I exercise today? And if so, what time? What should I eat for dinner? Should I work more hours today or go home? Etc.

There are hundreds of things, if not more, that have to be decided on daily. Some decisions are important, but most are trivial. Unfortunately, studies have shown that as humans, our capacity to consistently make well thought out decisions is finite.

What this means is that when you use your brainpower earlier in the day deciding what to eat for breakfast, you’ll consequently have less of it later in the day when you have to decide if you should have that piece of cake or not. This is what’s known as decision fatigue, which is the psychological condition where making a decision in the present will reduce your decision making ability in the future.

John Tierney, coauthor of the New York Times bestselling book “Willpower,” says,

“Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue – you’re not consciously aware of being tired – but you’re low on mental energy.”

Simply put, every decision you make uses up your mental energy. Just the simple act of thinking about whether you should choose A or B will tire you out and reduce your brainpower. This means that the more decisions you have to make throughout the day, the weaker your decision making process will become.

This is why many successful individuals like Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein decided to reduce the amount of decisions they make throughout the day by doing things such as choosing to adopt a monotonous wardrobe.

They understood that less time spent on making decisions meant more brainpower and time for everything else.

For the majority of the time Obama spent in office, he always wore either a gray or blue suit. In an article by Michael Lewis for Vanity Fair, President Obama explained why he did this,

“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make. You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

Steve Jobs famously wore the same black turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers every day. This quickly became his signature look as well as a part of the overall brand of Apple. Steve also understood that he had a finite capacity of brainpower to make well thought out decisions. A minute more a day using his brainpower to decide which T-shirt to wear is less brainpower he would have to think about his company.

Albert Einstein was also known for owning several variations of the same gray suit so that he wouldn’t have to waste time and brainpower deciding on which outfit to wear every morning.

If you’re constantly worrying every day about little decisions like what to wear, you’ll become more mentally exhausted as the day progresses. In order to save your mental power for the important decisions of the day, you have to learn to automate the mundane decisions you go through every day so that you don’t have to constantly think about them and waste brainpower.

Here are some things you can do:

1. Like Steve, Zuckerberg and Einstein, find a few t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, and dresses you like and buy multiple quantities of them. Then essentially wear the same thing every day.

2. Schedule a set time to exercise every day. Don’t constantly use your brainpower trying to think about when is a good time to exercise.

3. Do your grocery shopping at the same time once a week.

4. Design a morning routine. The morning is filled with a lot of mundane decisions that you can learn to automate such as what to wear, what to eat, what time to leave, what time to wake up, etc. You can automate all your morning decisions with a routine.

5. Make a few meals that you have every day the same. This can be a great dieting tool, but the main idea is you don’t want to be worrying about what to make, which ingredients to use and what the nutritional value of each meal is throughout the day, every day.

These are just 5 of the hundreds of decisions that you make throughout the day that you can learn to automate. But truthfully, you could probably automate and eliminate about 80% of the decisions you make every day. You just have to be aware of this concept and learn to notice which decisions aren’t high quality important decisions and then delegate those.

Connect Deeper

If you resonated with this article then please subscribe to my personal blog where I talk about the best ideas from the books I read. And as a thank you, you will get a free copy of my eBook How To Become A LinkedIn ‘Top Voice.’

Thank you for reading! Have a beautiful day.


Edited by LinkedIn Campus Editor Miki Ding


How To Build A Talent-Acquisition Strategy

Now, full disclaimer, there is no “one right way,” and you will find a plethora of contrary advice out there, so you will need to choose what you feel works best for you and your specific situation. However, these have served me very well during a successful career, and I believe with slight necessary modifications, they can serve you also.

Step 1: Assess Current State

I will further divide this into four subgroups: Demand, Resources, Process, and Results. When entering the assess stage, do your best to withhold judgment or preconceptions. The more neutral you can be, the more effective your assessments will be.

Let’s start with demand:

  • What is average annual/quarterly/monthly hiring load?
  • How much of that is driven by turnover?
  • How much of that turnover is regrettable?
  • How much of the hiring demand is based on growth?
  • What is the geographic breakdown?
  • What is the position type breakdown?
  • How does all of this compare historically?

Understanding your hiring load goes a long way to crafting resource strategies when I get to that point. When you break it down to a monthly and quarterly level, you can better identify periods of high or low demand.

Turnover, of course can give you an eye into possible quality issues or external/internal pressures that may exist.

Regrettable vs. non-regrettable turnover is a clarifying area that will help you better hone in on reasons for turnover later.

I use the position breakdown to look at positions by difficulty in sourcing and recruiting. I use the following criteria: What is the barrier to entry for the role? This is usually defined at years of experience and education required, at the most basic level. What does the potential candidate pool look like? What I look for here is supply vs. demand and competition in my markets.

Finally, you need to do a historical comparison — a minimum of three years, if available. This will help you to start look at trends that have impacted the current state. Please remember that at this stage you are still neutral, so don’t worry about “good” or “bad” impact, just impact.

Now for Resources:

  • What is the current human capital supporting TA?
  • What are the role breakdowns?
  • What are their loads?
  • What tools are in place?
  • What is their utilization?

These are pretty basic, but need to be asked. Particularly in role breakdowns and loads. Are they fully applied to their role, or are they doing double (or triple) duty? Are they primarily aligned based on: internal customers? Locations? Recruiting methodology? =Based on alignment, what are their req loads? When gathering this information, you can look at position descriptions, but you should also ask, and observe your people in action.

When evaluating tools, first do an inventory of all tools and their costs. Next look at their utilization. I would break utilization down to the same buckets you broke recruiter alignment into. If you try to do an overall analysis, you could be starting with data that will skew your plans later.

Utilization can be measured on time spent using the tools, and/or number of times tools are accessed. Most vendors can provide these reports for you easily. Hold off on results for now, as that will come into play later.

Now I move into Process:

  • What is the current recruiting process(s)?
  • When does it begin?
  • When does it end?

These seem like really simple questions. However, the answers are often complex.

When looking at the current process, it is not about the current ideal process, the one that may be handed to new hiring managers, but the actual process. How much variation exists? How is the variation aligned? Is the variation based on individual managers, groups, divisions, locations, position types? How many steps, and how long does each take? Keep these times sorted by your alignment determined above. How many decision points? How many handoffs?

There is not right or wrong answer for when the process begins. At some companies it may be when the vacancy is announced, at some once the req is created, and at others when the req is approved. Just be certain to know how “start” is defined for your team.

The same is true for when it ends; there is no right answer. It can be at offer acceptance, clearance of background check, or start, for example. Again, just make sure it is clearly defined.

Finally, in defining the current state you need to look at and define Results. This can be the trickiest part of the process, since this is based so much on the quality of data being measured and how it’s measured. I’ve often found that I’ve had to go old school manual to get to the data I need, so do not be surprised if you have to as well. It’s far better than just relying on what has already been reported.

To that end, try to look at the following (and as above, segregate by any variation already identified):

  • What is the funnel and pass through from end to end? This should align with the process steps above, overlay prospect candidate and applicant numbers.
  • Tie this in with time, look at req aging, time to fill.
  • What is the offer filled percentage? Is it net gain, loss, or neutral?
  • What is the offer acceptance percentage?
  • What is candidate satisfaction?
  • What is hiring manager satisfaction?
  • If known, what is recruiter satisfaction?
  • If possible what is quality of hire?
  • What is the cost per hire?

Most of these are pretty straight forward, so I’ll only pull out a few for further discussion.

When measuring satisfaction use the data you have to start. If it is inconclusive, do a current state survey to get a better benchmark. For candidate satisfaction, reach out to rejected candidates if you can; their experience is far more telling than hired candidates. I know almost no one measures recruiter satisfaction, which is a huge missed opportunity, but get their thoughts as well if you can.

Quality is the toughest to measure, and it really depends on how you define it. If it’s tenure, then you have an easy-to-measure data point. It may not be accurate to all quality, but it’s easy. If it’s performance based, make sure it is a consistent measure or can be easily defined. If not, skip it and deal with it later in the process.

Finally, take all the data and overlay cost. To factor cost, use hard costs that you can control at this point … salaries, tech spend, travel, agency, assessments, etc. Baking in soft costs will be harder, but it is safe to assume that a complicated process will be more expensive. If you don’t have super-sophisticated systems, the technique that can at least get you an estimate is to the following:

  • First take the sendout-to-interview ratio and using conservative numbers, factor five minutes per candidate in hiring manager review. Add that time up and multiply by the average hourly pay of your hiring managers. It’s not perfect, but it will get you close.
  • Step two: factor total time in actual interviews by candidates, and multiply by average employee hourly pay (again being conservative and assuming that interview teams are mixed).

Shake, stir, or adjust how you see fit. What you are looking for is the soft cost of lost time spent interviewing.

This will give you a good benchmark to work from in defining future outcomes.

Now I will discuss how to define a relevant, and achievable future state for your TA organization.

Building a TA Strategy — The Why

Now let’s focus on building the “why” so you can then start to build the “how.”

Above, I was about doing a neutral assessment of the current state, looking at various factors to define demand, resources, process, and results.

Now that we’ve mapped that out, move onto desired future state. There are really only two steps at this point: define and design. I can assure you that the number of steps correlates inversely with complexity!

Now I will focus on Define, as in defining your desired future state. More specifically, there is only one place to start, and that is the end. What is the end output that the organization desires? This is ultimately the question you need to answer, but first be aware that you cannot produce that answer in a vacuum, nor dictate that answer to the organization. That answer can only come from leadership. You may or may not agree with it, and you may or may not be able to influence it, but it is the only answer that matters, since that is who is determining how your success will be measured. The great news is you will get to apply your unique skills to designing and implementing the strategy to meet the defined future state outcomes.

The four most common outcomes desired are decreases in cost and time or increases in quality or quantity.

Let’s get a sense for each:

  • Reduce Cost: Who doesn’t want to save money, right? As you did your assessment from the first part above, where were cost inefficiencies? Agency spend? Unused or underused tech? Complicated process? You get the idea. You need to assess why cost is the issue as well. Does your customer feel they are lacking value for what they receive? If so, why? Has the company experienced an unexplained increase in hiring costs? Remember, unexplained does not mean unreasonable; it just means an expert hasn’t explained it to them yet. You also have to look at the dark side as well. Is the request for cost reduction an indicator of poor company finances?
  • Reduce Time: Just like cost, who doesn’t want to save time? So again where were the inefficiencies? Look for time gaps in your process map. I’ve used some simple visual tools in the past to show the process by position, manager, location, etc., with all the times displayed for each step. So where are the issues? Can you control it? Can someone else control it? You have to ask why time is important. The quick answer will always be “we need people yesterday,” but that doesn’t tell you anything. What you really want to know is the specific effect time has on company performance. What is the financial benefit to the company for each day that time to fill is reduced? If no one knows that, that’s a problem. Next, is there any relationship to time and quality that will outweigh short-term benefits with long-term gain? Is time causing a fall out of what appear to be top candidates? For the roles my team manages, I will always trade time for quality. In order to make that assessment, you have to be able to clearly show that the roles that you recruit for have differentiated outcomes based on the quality of hire, and specifically how much differentiation. As purely theoretical example, if you hire cashiers, there may be very little differentiation between your best and worst performers, whereas if you hire for brain surgeons, there may tremendous variability between top and bottom performers.
  • Increase Quality: Once again, who doesn’t want better quality hires? You need to know two critical pieces of data right away. First, why? Do you have data that suggests that a measurable improvement in quality produces a measurable difference in company performance? There are great examples out there that show this to be the case. Sullivan has presented on this in the past. Next, how is quality defined? What I just laid out is one definition; however, how an organization defines quality can be a fickle thing. I know organizations where quality of an employee is measured based on their obedience. Some may define it based on other “fit” measures aligned with culture. Challenge those ideas, unless they clearly demonstrate improved performance for the organization. Be wary of situations where the primary quality measure is tenure. It is almost never a valid measurement in my experience, and should be questioned thoroughly.
  • Increase Quantity: For the sake of discussion, this can be further defined as quantity of candidates. So what is the root cause, from the customer’s perspective? Is it a perceived lack of quality based on the number of choices presented? Is it a lack of diversity? Is it discomfort from not having “enough” candidates to review? Is it a lack of trust of TA to review and assess applicants? Is it indicative of a broken decision process? As with all of these, once you hit root cause, you can solve!

Below I will start breaking down these four outcomes into strategies.

Reducing Costs

Now I will focus on a strategy specific to reducing cost in your process. If you remember from above, I broke the drivers of your strategy into four buckets: reduce cost, reduce time, increase quality, and increase quantity. Each will be addressed in turn, and your end strategy may incorporate pieces that address each.

In order to start building your plans, return to the process work you did in the beginning. First, the heavy lifting: you need to assign a solid ROI on your various sourcing tools, whether they be human or automated. This means you have to have a strong degree of confidence in your source-of-hire data. As a note, candidate self-selected source of hire data will almost never allow you to have a strong degree of confidence.

As you begin this process, remember to start with hires, not the total number of applicants per source, just the hires that can be traced back to the source. The ratios are often in the form of a metric, but they are not truly a value add, so let’s just focus on results at this point. To come up with your basic ROI measure, simply divide the cost of the source by the number of hires produced. There are advanced calculations you can do to refine this, but that’s a topic for another day, for now let’s stick with this basic calculation.

Now that you have the numbers, rank your sources based on the ROI. Remember at this point to add your sources that you paid for that didn’t produce any hires as well. Draw a line so you can see which ones are above and which ones are below your average cost per hire. Does it line up with what you expected, or are there underperformers who have revealed themselves?

This is a tremendous opportunity to remove wasteful underperforming tools and reduce spend. Often time the myriad of sources you may use grow out of a sense of pleasing a customer by engaging in codependent behavior and supporting a “more is better” approach to sourcing. This creates an opportunity, as you build your strategy, to demonstrate your expertise and speak to the benefits of a better targeted strategy, and one that is more respectful of company resources. Your hiring managers will get that. They wouldn’t last long in their roles if they spend company money on things that didn’t produce results.

As a side note, I’ve seen situations where leaders are afraid to expose this information for fear that they will call their past strategy out as ineffective. As you introduce your new strategy, keep the focus always forward, you are doing the right thing, good strategy is fluid and agile and adjusts to adapt to our VUCA world.

Hopefully, you were able to make some significant spending reductions in this step. The next step is to look at unnecessary spend linked to process inefficiencies. These will vary by organization, but some common examples might be multiple flights and/or hotel stays for candidates to interview on site more than once, testing or assessment tools that have not been validated against performance, or even the soft costs of having too many people involved in the hiring process.

The upside here is that solving for these issues will help you create a more elegant process as part of your strategy. Most companies and their leaders, if not formally versed in process improvement, are well aware of the concepts and understand the value of reducing waste in various processes to increase the bottom line. So you will be speaking their language! The challenge will not be in identifying the waste, but in providing and selling the solutions you generate to alleviate the waste. Here, your expertise will come to the rescue. It is easy for you to build a case as to the negative impact on candidate experience based on too many flights to interview. What your hiring managers most likely perceive as a good or at best a neutral thing can cost them candidates, based on that poor experience of repeatedly taking time off work, leaving their family, etc. They may not understand that if there is no true value to actually physically being on site, video technology is cheaper, highly effective, and flexible.

With regard to overly complicated interview scenarios, use your expertise and knowledge to show the benefits of team interviewing, for example. Demonstrate how even though fewer bodies may be involved in the interview process, you can still accurately capture all the information you need to make a proper decision.

These are just examples, but regardless, the final step is to quantify the cost associated with the waste. Money and ROI resonate with your leaders, so provide them with before and after forecasts. Seeing the bottom line will better allow them to support your new strategy!

Stick around, to get into reducing time.


Time is something there is never enough of, and something you can’t buy more of. It is a valuable commodity, but the question is how valuable?

Time to fill is one of my least favorite metrics, but it one of the most heavily weighted in measuring the effectiveness of a recruiting team and their leader. As I discussed above, it is really only a valid measure if it truly ties into quality and has an impact on company performance.

The key to reducing time, in my experience, is twofold. First, don’t swing for the fences, seek incremental improvements, and second, manage what you can control, and report what you cannot.

In seeking incremental change focus on:

  1. Recruiter inefficiency: simply by providing guidance and coaching on how to best manage their desk and time, you can help your team get candidates into the pipeline faster. This sounds so basic, but oftentimes day to day you get pulled into things that aren’t value add or necessary at the time, and a leader can have a huge impact on results by keeping us focused.
  2. Flexibility: in corporate recruiting, one of the “sells” is that you don’t have the perceived brutal hours of agency recruiting. However, let’s first be honest. If you want to be a successful recruiter and/or recruiting leader, and think you can do it in a 40-hour week, well, best of luck to you. Part of the reason for this is based on candidate availability. If you work 8-5 and your candidate works 8-5, it will probably be tough to have meaningful communications during those hours. So allow your team flexibility to work when it make the most sense. You often serve two customers: the company and the candidate, but a good leader will insure coverage and give folks the freedom to work responsibly.
  3. Scheduling: this is a beast. The herding required, and the time it takes to make multiple phone calls, emails, texts, and IMs to get an interview team and a candidate coordinated to meet for an interview is Herculean. Look at your process map for this step. Anything longer than 30 minutes to make this (the scheduling) happen is too long. There are a number of ways to improve it. You can have “coordinators” on your team who set up interviews. Be careful that they don’t become a dumping ground and catch-all for work the rest of the team does not want to do, so as not to overwhelm your process. Another idea is to not schedule interviews. Why is that recruiting’s job? Empower the hiring managers to schedule their own interviews. They feel the pain of the vacancy more than anyone else; they can negotiate with their hiring team quicker and more effectively if one or more of the members needs to be asked to move something or to make themselves available. A great number of pros I’ve talked to are afraid to implement something like this. I’ve done it, and can tell you it is easier than you think, and can really get the process moving.
  4. Feedback I’ve looked at a lot of process maps in my day, and this seems like a common hangup point — recruiters and candidates sitting around waiting for feedback. My experience is to be proactive and not wait, but how do you do that? A couple of options: as part of the interview schedule, schedule a debrief at the end. If that doesn’t work, use an electronic form to capture the info. There is no guarantee that those will work, but if they don’t, and you don’t get feedback in a reasonable time (it’s best to get this agreement upfront from the hiring manager during the intake) let the manager know you are going to close the req. I’ve always explained that I’ve got a ton of other open positions and hiring managers that want to hire, so I’m going to work with them as a priority. It works.
  5. Interviews: Show what you control and what the hiring manager controls. Here’s a process map example you check out. It’s simple and is in real time. It also shows what recruiting controls and what the hiring manager controls, so if time is important, it can show pretty quickly if your interview process is working against you. Believe me, managers managers don’t realize this. You are always thinking about it, but they aren’t. Once you show it to them graphically, it’s like a light goes off!

So there are some quick and easy ways to improve your time to fill. Next I will look at quality.

A Quality Model

Now I will talk about setting, or resetting, your TA team up to focus on a quality model. This is the Golden Metric, the one that trumps all others. If you cannot introduce candidates who will perform well with in your organization, then you are, in a way, dooming your organization.

Quality is a very tough metric to measure, as I’ve discussed before, and I will need to divide this discussion into two parts: 1) You do not have a clearly defined measure for quality, and 2) You do have a clearly defined measure for quality. The caveat is this: hiring manager satisfaction is not the same as quality of hire!

Let’s start looking at the first scenario, where “quality” isn’t clearly defined, and performance is measured more subjectively. Although I am starting to see a shift, the vast majority of companies are still in this boat. So how do you measure quality? And how do you as a recruiting leader ensure your team is driving quality?

I’m going to give you three different measure you can use, either combined or individually as a starting place:

  1. Tenure: not a great metric because it only accounts for how long someone stays and doesn’t differentiate performance. However, for roles where there is little differentiation in performance, it can be an effective benchmark.
  2. Performance rankings: if this is subjective, the metric is only as good as the data in, but look for trends and correlations. You should also look at the one-year performance ranking against the interview score.
  3. Sendout-to-interview ratio and sendout-to-hire ratio: How many candidates does it take to get it right? The lower the ratios, then most often, the better job the recruiter is doing at identifying quality candidates. Be sure to control for positions where these ratios may be naturally low due to very small candidate pools.

These will help you articulate performance and results of your team. They are easy to understand and to display visually.

Now for those that fall into the second bucket, where quality is clearly defined and measured, your role switches to sleuth and analyst. To me, the fun part!

The method I like to start with is gathering the top 20 percent and bottom 20 percent of performers’ information from your recruiting system … all data, notes, etc. Within each group, look for commonalities, and you can subdivide within the groups as necessary, by team, location, etc. Is this group heavy with people whi have similar education backgrounds, past employers, tenure, experiences, source, etc.? I start looking at as many datapoints as I can, probably too many, but that’s my system.

Once you’ve done both groups, look first for what they share. For example, did a high percentage in both groups go to the same college? If so, exclude that as a predictive factor — it cancels out, and, it’s just proven itself not to matter. Now look at the differences. These will be the factors that you can use moving forward to do better targeted sourcing and recruiting. But don’t skip the first step and jump to the second. You must know what doesn’t matter … as much as what does. That’s because it shows you know what you are doing, and it will help you manage push back on certain recruiting targets. For example, if you show that a high percentage of your top-performing employees all have degrees from The Ohio State University, and a high percentage of your low performers have degrees from the University of Michigan, and your VP of marketing wants you to spent time, money, and resources recruiting at the University of Michigan, you can spare yourself the headache, because you have the data showing that there isn’t a positive ROI to justify it.

Good quality measures take you to the next level as a leader and help you best manage your teams’ efficiency and spend!

I’m not going to talk about strategies for increasing quantity, since there is a huge body of work on that subject both here, and especially from our friends at Sourcecon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you so much for being a part of the recruiting community. Your commitment to this profession makes all of us stronger.

By Jim D’Amico