Flight Cancellations Have a Silver Lining…Sometimes

I was headed back to Dallas from Phoenix after attending an amazing SilkRoad users conference #silkroaduc.  After a great presentation on #talentnetworks and meeting some incredible people such as @recruiter_gee @hrbartender, and many others.  But as luck would have it, storms passed through Dallas, my first flight was cancelled, my second flight was delayed and 5 minutes late…you guessed it.  As good American Airlines flyers do, they start to bark and moan about the lack of customer service.  I started talking to one guy whose name is Mark, a Systems Engineer for a defense contractor in Fort Worth. Mark and I start talking, we end up at the same hotel and decide to grab a bite to eat.  In the interest of building my network and being the recruiter that I am, I began to dig into his past.  Mark spent 25 years in the Army.  He told his dad that he was headed to the Army when he was 16.  Talk about focus.  After talking about his military training and moving around the country as an RF Engineer, he began a stint as a Drill Sergeant.  Needless to say his career was interesting but this is where it gets good. Drill Sergeant is a mindset that takes the nicest person in the world and turns them into the meanest SOB for two to three years.  Mark told me that he would pick the biggest  and meanest looking recruit and focus on making his life miserable to the point of tears on the first day.  He did this with every recruiting class and his methods never failed.  What I already knew but he confirmed is that the Drill Sergeant has an agenda:  To take a group of people and turn them into soldiers.  The job of a Drill Sergeant is that simple.  The pride and satisfaction that I saw and heard as he told several stories of how he turned boys who came in with zero confidence  then by the end of Basic Training..men who could do and would do anything they put their minds to.  Absolutely incredible The principles are the same in Talent Managemen and Talent Acquisition.

  • We are lured in by Recruiters and hiring managers who sell the culture and opportunity
  • We tell the recruits that the future at this company and the potential to grow in the job and with the organization.
  • Once the recruit signs on the dotted line, we train and immerse the new employee into the culture then provide them with the tools for success.
  • As the employee grows and is promoted,  s/he becomes more confident gaining skills not used before
  • With each new rank in the organization, they are put to the test to see iff they can handle their new assignment
  • Companies place that employee into their succession plan because they show potential and have already been promote

And in the end, the employer wants the employee to “sign on the imaginnary dotted line” again so that they make a career move and stay with the company until it is time to retire  or seek a new life outside the organization.   Even though my day took a detour, I got to meet a great guy who told great stories and who knows how to make a difference in a person’s life.

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It is Ok to Have Whoops Moments…No Matter What You do

I have been on vacation this week.  When we travel we like to stay in nice hotels that deliver the finest in customer service and can almost guarantee a great customer experience. This trip was no exception – the #RitzCarlton.  If you have not read The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company by Joseph Mitchell, I strongly encourage you to do so.  It applies to everything we do even in Talent Acquisition.

On my trip I encountered the Ritz Carlton Service I had read about first hand.  Interestingly enough it was a whoops moment on their part.  Here is a brief synopsis.  As lounge on my beach chair, we are approached by a server, Brianna.  As Brianna was taking our order, a thunderstorm is approaching the island but is still about 5 miles away.  She didn’t hear or see the storm approaching until I said something to her about the flash of lightening I just saw.

Without a beat she went catatonic, threw of her ear piece and as she walked away said “sir excuse me, I will have someone else take your order” and she was gone in a flash (no pun intended).   My family just looked at each other and thought that was just about the strangest encounter we had ever experienced at this hotel.  Fast forward, another server comes, takes our order, but by then the storm is closer and we go inside.  Storm passes through and 45 minutes later we are back on the beach

Suddenly Brianna is back and when I look up she says, “Mr. Goldberg, I am so sorry about what happened.  Last August we had a similar storm come through and I was on the beach when I was struck by lightening in the head.”.  All I could muster was “oh my gosh, I am so sorry”.  She went into a few more details, but the bottom line is she owned up to her mistake andexplained herself.  That took guts.

Brianna did not have toexplain anything but she did.

Recruiters and all employees no matter what their position is have whoops moments.  Yes even Presidential candidates have them.  But how many of you can be like Brianna and show the courage to admitting to poor service?  My advice is to admit mistakes and hold yourself and your fellow employees accountable for their service delivery to their external and internal customers.  You come off more professional and your customers will respect you more.

Bravo Brianna!  She made me and my family customers for life with Ritz Carlton.

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Hello, My Name is Michael and I WAS Addicted to Job Boards…Until now

I cannot begin to tell you how upset I am about job board companies. I had a conversation with one of our job board vendors (ends in ER but can’t say who) today where the salesperson just didn’t listen and wanted to charge me more money for brand wraps that have not changed in the last year. Furthermore this is the 5th account rep with that one company I have been given in the last 5 years.  I AM DONE!  I am at a turning point and need to make a tough decision about whether or not to keep them.

The issue….it is all about the money to them.  They say they care about driving candidates to your site, but I can use many a free resources versus paying serious money that yields poor ROI and a Source Ranking of 9th.

Our company has been very dependent on job boards for the last 10 years and we have spent a large chunk of money with below average results.  As we enter our new fiscal year in July, I have cut my job board spend with one vendor in particular by 65%.  My boss challenged me when I said I was cutting my job board spend.  “Be careful” she said, “If you don’t have the candidates then our service levels go down.  “It is a source of candidate flow.”  My reply, “It is a source of candidate flow, but the candidate quality is poor.  We have many other options and we will not let the quality or service levels drop because we are cutting back on the amount of postings purchased”.

Too many companies still depend on job boards to bring candidates in through post and pray methodology.   Why?  Recruiting organizations can lean on the excuse that they have not presented candidates because not enough have applied and the ones who have applied are not qualified.  Surprised?  I am not.  I have seen the trend downward the last 5 years.

Bottom line…Recruiters are addicted to Job Boards as a source for candidates.

I am excited because I get to take that spend and push towards building Talent Networks, a CRM tool, training and development for my recruiters around sharpening their sourcing skills. Am I nervous?  Yes, but in a positive way as I take a chance to rely on the creation of microsites, Indeed.com, SimplyHired instead of using job boards to drive candidate flow.

Bad news job boards, I plan to cut another 20% by next fiscal year taking that money to invest in social, mobile and candidate engagement.  I am no longer addicted to the fix of candidate quantity.  Our focus is quality and my team knows how to find A-Level candidates.

Are you ready to cut back your job board spend?  You should be because your ROI on post and pray is very poor and your leaders are concerned because you are wasting the company’s money.

Let me know if you have cut back and how your company did!!

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Build a Talent Network Before Building Your Community

I just completed my a presentation that I am doing on Talent Networks for the SilkRoad Users Conference in Scottsdale, AZ next month. The first draft was focusing on building Talent Communities and how to engage your candidates. When I was speaking with the Princess of Social Recruiting @theonecrystal, Crystal Miller, she started asking me about how we are going to build Talent Communities (TCs) at our company. As I started explaining, I got the “hold on Michael” as in years past when my mom would call me out on something. Used to the guilt, I waited for it.

Crystal said, “Michael, you are building a talent network and not a talent community.” I asked her how they were different and like my friend Crystal always does…she enlightened me.

I thought I would share those differences with my readership even though superrecruiter has been very busy at work and at home. Here are the facts on Talent Networks:

Talent Networks…

  1. Focus on engagement of candidates for immediate or future short term needs. If you know you have a Project Manager leaving June 30th, a strong Talent Network would include a group of qualified project managers who you pulled from your ATS, LinkedIn, Facebook, or an Associational site over the last 3 to 6 months.
  2. Focus one way communication – recruiter to specific network – where the candidate generally opts-In to the network via one of the ways discussed above. Do not get me wrong, there is two-way communication exchanged between you and the candidate, but you need to feed the candidates information about your company, a position or other events related to the types of positions you are recruiting for.
  3. Targeted content is broadcasted to certain populations. If you build a talent network made up for creative designers, you want to share information with those networks about the latest 3D Design and Graphic Technologies.   You send them information on logistics they will not be interested because that is not their focus.
  4. Engage your Talent Network.   To engage the content will need to be timely, relevant, meaningful, but most importantly, make it actionable.

Actionable content puts the onus in the hands of the reader to “take action” on your post to them. Example: Great Job at XX Company that you may be interested in! Looking yourself? Click Apply! If you are not currently looking, share this link with 10 of your friends and have them share it with others in their network”

You are taking the simple step to send out your latest hot job and asking the recipients to take action on what you have shared. A basic request to your talent network will not only lead to your job being broadcast to your network’s network who have relevant experience thus giving you a nice pipeline of candidates. In some companies there are frequent referral programs where “networkee” lets the Recruiter know they have shared the link with X number of candidates. Once they hit certain number of referrals or information push-outs from you, they get recognized on the whole talent network or receive a gift card as a thank you.

Where do I store the info? Easy – a CRM. There are quite a few out there such as Avature, Talent Circles, and Talemetry to name a few. You can even look at Salesforce.com’s product Chatter. Most ATS’ are not candidate engagement tools, they are a talent attraction tool. What you do with that information in the ATS? Create shared pipeline folders. Now what? ATS were not designed with engagement in mind. Their goal is post, pray and stay compliant with DOL, OFCCP, and the EEOC. CRM tools can sit on top of your ATS System and allows you to set up drip campaigns, track engagement, and report on who is in the pipeline. Just ask the likes of JCPenney, Raytheon, AT&T, Pepsico, and other medium to large sized organizations. The great part about a CRM tool is it takes no more than 6 weeks to implement and the cost is very reasonable depending on the number of users you have.

So that is my take on Talent Networks. They are NOT the same as Talent Communities, but as @theonecrystal says Talent Networks are a great place to start leading up to Communities (i.e. crawl before you walk mentality).

Talent Communities take a lot more work and direct communication with individuals who you may be pipelining for the longer term (succession plans or evergreen positions) but the details of Talent Communities is for another blog post.

If you are looking to get your network started or ready to start Talent Communities, I would strong seek Crystal out to help your organization get you started.  There is a lot to do, but the long term impact will make you shine in your customer’s eyes.

Tags:  @theonecrystal, #avature, #talentcircles, #talemetry, #chatter, #crm #ats #openhire, #connections, #silkroad, #recruiting, #talentnetworks, #talentcommunities, @superrecruiter, #community, #talent

Posted in Recruiting Talent | 6 Comments

SocialBro – Cool Twitter Analytics Tool


The last two weeks of the year are great.  Before the January rush, you should be doing some winter clearing and cleaning to your social media tools.  I decided to take my friend and colleague, Chris Hoyt’s (@therecruiterguy) advice to streamline my social network so I can have a better social imprint and build better talent communities.  So as I was strolling through the Google Chrome App Store, I came across a great tool called SocialBro.  Now I may be a little late to the party but this is the first time I have been able to come up for air.  I think its a stroke of analytics genius.

SocialBro allows you to manage your twitter feeds as well as serves as a strong analytics tool to get a good overview ROI on twitter.  If any of you are looking to build a Talent Community, SocialBro will allow you to do so effectively.  No just to be clear, I am not on twitter as much as I should be, but this tool tells me when the best time to post, what my followers are tweeting about, when I get more RT and what resonates the most.  Here is an example of my analytics report.  It is a great report card for me to see where I need to build my social influence and my target talent pools.  I see the best time to post this for me will be tomorrow morning at 11 AM CST.  I am going to post it now, but publish to my network tomorrow at precisely 11 AM CST.

This tool also gives me an Insights Report that tells me where I need to improve and how my potential candidate pools look. I also liked the feature which allows you to perform a keyword search that pulls from the Bio section.  Once I have that list up, I can either do a one off DM or send a post or link about something our company is doing by mass.  The recipient sees it as if you were sending directly to them.

There a quite a few of these Twitter clean up tools out there, but I have found that Social Bro seems to provide me the analytics I need to build a better social recruiting world.

Have a Happy, Safe and Healthy New Year.  

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Building Your Recrubulary (re’ -crue -bue -larry)

#TNL Chicago was held yesterday at the JSTN studios in Aurora IL.  We had over 100 people in attendance and there were great networking opportunities to meet with some of the top recruiting leaders from all over the country.  Topics focused on Sourcing Tools and Strategies, Candidate Engagement, Social Influence, and Mobile Recruiting.  It never ceases to amaze me what an incredible and intelligent network of people I have engaged in the last 10 years.   But I have started noticing a trend of word combinations as tag words.  Let’s examine a few below

The Talent Industry is moving faster and faster.  As you know, Talent Acquisition provides us the ability to be creative and have social recruiting opportunities to have great conversations about the talent communities we exist in – “Convermunity”.  Last night over dinner after TNL, the word convermunity was coined and trademarked by myself and a few of my very talented talent acquisitionists/linguists -@mverver, @marenhogan, @mattcharney, and @thiislars.  Funny, is this what is has come down to?  The speed at which we must move to find the best talent forces us to shorten words, put them together?  The answer is yes.

Bruce Morton of Allegis Group Services opened the presentation yesterday at the TNL Chicago event.  One mind blowing stat he covered was that we will undergo 20,000 years of change in the next 100 years. One way to create change in the TA world –“wormbinations” or word combinations Morton’s wormbination…. “Talentsumer” – talent (candidates) shopping companies before they decide to join companies…like a consumer of brands..talentsumers are shopping the companies before deciding to work for them based on their technology, resources available, level of talent and the similarities they are to the talentsumer.

Are our brains ready for a condensing of words?  How much of that information will we be able to retain?  Are you ready for that?  You will need to be if you want to win the proverbial war on talent and keep your tweets to 140 characters or less.  We started shorting expressions in our texts going from Oh My Goodness to OMG or WTF or Why The Face (Modern Family Reference) a few years ago.

Here are some other words I would like to propose we use in the talent acquisition community.  Sounds crazy, but let’s have some fun. I propose the following words to use in our Recrubulary or recruiting vocabulary starting in 2012:

Socruiting- n.  Social Recruiting     Sentence:  I was talking to my friend @fishdogs who is a huge believer in socruiting.

Twitinface- v. or n. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (we could mix it all kinds of ways) Sentence:  Recruiters like to use Twitinface as their main source of connecting with potential candidates and creating convermunities.

Talemunities – v.  Talent Communities    Sentence:  @Marenhogan’s specialty is helping her clients build talemunities.

Sourgoo – v.  Sourcing on Google     Sentence:  The Recruiting Bar developed by @ryanleary provides you search strings to sourgoo all day long.

Cangagement n. – Candidate Engagement

Sentence:  It is very important to measure cangagement as part of your metrics.

Sofluence – n.  Social Influence    Sentence:  Am I really having sofluence on anyone by writing this blog post? OR I listened to a panel yesterday on sofluence in which @TheOneCrystal raised many interesting points.

Mocruit(ing) – v or n.  Mobile Recruiting     Sentence:  @joelcheezman spoke on mocruiting yesteday at #TNL stating that more companies need to use mocruiting as a medium to attract candidates.

Recruketing n. – Recruitment Marketing    Sentence:  The best recruketing guy I know out there is @therecruiterguy

Yes, its silly, but I wanted to have some fun.  I would like to build a dictionary of recruiting wormbinations, but I need your help.  Put on the creative hats and put it out there.  I will do a TNL Session next time on the new vernacular. J  Who knows?  This could the start of a new recrictionary!

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Over the last three months, I have been seeing demo after demo of the best ATS Systems in the world.  I mean they got everything we need-OFCCP Compliance, Excellent Reporting Tools, and my favorite…it is configurable.  I will say we have it down to our top choice who I will keep nameless for the time being, but the road to getting down to the selection has been extremely exhausting.

Five parameters I set at the outset of the search:  Needs to be configurable, easy for our field offices, easy for candidates to apply, easy for the recruiters to use the system and finally, keep us compliant as we are a federal contractor.  Simple, right?  Not exactly.  As our company selects and begins implementation, I will be blogging about the experience and add some helpful hints so when you and/or your company goes through this, you will have some insight.  I will throw out a disclaimer that what works for one company may not be a one size fits all.  As always know your culture, your business partners and your resources available before starting.

Pushing the Easy Button:  I cannot say enough that every time I ask about a certain feature it was always how how easy it for my customers to do X or how easy is it to do Y.  Who are the customers?  Hiring managers who will use the system to review the candidate information, set up requisitions, and find the information they need quickly.   My second customer is my candidate.  How many clicks does it take to get to the candidate portal?  Can they find the job(s) they need to apply to quickly?  Most important, number of clicks it takes to apply for the job.  Ask anyone, the less the number of clicks to apply, the less candidate drop off you will have in the process.  We are in beta with a company who is measuring the analytics around candidate drop off within our site (stay tuned for some results in a future blog).  We will use that data to determine the clicks we want.  My goal is to keep it to three (3) clicks.  Companies with poor career sites beware…if you want candidates to apply, keep them engaged throughout the online profile process so they do not drop off.

The goal in selecting your ATS is to have all questions and can the system do this questions answered before signing on the dotted line.  Do NOT settle for, oh yeah, it can do that.  I have heard too many horror stories over the last few months of 100K later and we are totally unhappy, false promises, poor delivery lead to the assumption that recruiting made poor decision making.  No one wants that kind of egg on their face.   Avoid the mistake by asking “What can’t the system do”, “What are the upcoming updates in the next 3, 6, 9 and 12 months?” Reporting is where the questions need to be asked.  Get sample reports and ask to play in the sandbox.  Test out all screens and get your clients involved when you are in the sandbox.

We believe we have made the right choice and I will be announcing our decision in the coming months.

Stay tuned to my next blog on Project Planning when Implementing an ATS coming soon!

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