What Makes a Good Recruiter?

08/26/14 0 COMMENTS

Is it a secret sauce? One part confidence, two parts networking, a dash of strategy – shaken and then stirred? Are there a select group of people who are destined to be a success in the recruitment profession? Or is it measurable, quantifiable and learn-able?

For me it’s a bit of both. Certain traits are helpful – this is the case in any industry, but recruitment is changing, it’s diversifying and it’s opening up to different skill-sets. Some of the most successful recruiters are interested in sales, marketing and communications; they’ve fallen into recruitment and thrived. The key to success could be a composite mix of these traits, add them together and you create the “perfect recruiter.”

Introvert vs. extrovert

Extrovert-ism is typically prized by the recruiting industry. Conventional wisdom prizes the extrovert. Great recruiters are always seeking out new opportunities and connecting with new people, building relationships and closing deals. Personable, outgoing, maybe even eccentric – these are the traits we tend to associate with successful recruiters.

Ben Slater

But there’s a new breed. The growing idea of inbound recruitment is giving rise to a new breed of recruiter. Tools like social media and talent communities let recruiters create and nurture online networks of candidates. Sharing and marshal-ling influence in this fashion allows typical introverts to thrive.

The salesman

The best recruiters understand that, at its core, recruitment is sales – except it’s harder. You have to sell twice. Step 1: sell your company to the candidate. Step 2: sell the candidate to your hiring manager. The best are flexible and can leverage their skills to influence candidates from all walks of life, and can then send (thoroughly examined) applicants through to a (pre-sold) hiring manager.

Successful recruitment is a competitive sport. HR bloggers constantly reference the war for talent and the talent shortage that companies have to deal with. What might fit better is the phrase “shortage of quality talent.” Selling to applicants swells in importance when you consider that companies are competing for the same candidates; it’s one giant game of “Hungry Hungry Hippos” (one of my favorite childhood games)! Recruiters are responsible with highlighting their brand as the sexy choice, the only choice for applicants.

The marketer

With companies redesigning recruitment around candidates, engagement is more important than ever. Companies need to be branded and personalized, and recruiters are referring to the marketing playbook for ideas. This needs to pervade all areas of the hiring process. The language of job postings and descriptions needs to be carefully considered; they need to be presented in a candidate centric manner: industry jargon and arbitrary ‘perfect candidate’ profiles (that companies then base all hiring decisions on) need to be phased out.

As a result, the importance of community interaction is growing. The growing genre of talent community hiring is making candidate-recruiter dialogue a necessity. Recruitment is losing some of its transactional feel in the name of “candidate experience,” and recruiters are developing pre-need relationships with candidates, sizing them up for future roles.

Great recruiters also know exactly how important it is to track performance, but realize that the old standards of time-to-fill and cost-per-hire are losing relevance. Instead, to calculate the true ROI, they’re focusing on tackling lost opportunities. Reducing the average 97 percent bounce rate from companies’ careers sites and tracking the sources that provide the best inbound applicants are the first steps, and marketing style technology offers the capability to help.

The final takeaway…

Most important, the best recruiters are reactive. The only intrinsic quality that separates the very best is the confidence to adapt to developing trends and leverage any tactics that can help them stay one step ahead, and attract and hire the best talent.


Ben Slater

Promote Productivity by Promoting Happiness

08/19/14 0 COMMENTS

Imagine walking into your office in the morning and being greeted by a sweet smile and an enthusiastic “Good morning.” How does that special greeting affect your mood?

Now imagine the opposite – the person walking in the door ahead of you lets it close in your face. Your office mates greet you with grunts or simply look the other way. Which scenario do you think will positively impact your productivity?

Positive emotions increase productivity

Positive people not only influence the environment around them, but they also work more efficiently and get more done according to the study Why does affect matter in organizations? The co-author Sigal Barsade PhD, says, “If you’re in a negative mood, a fair amount of processing is going to that mood. When you’re in a positive mood, you’re more open to taking in information and handling it effectively.”

The study also says employees who are positive are usually actively involved in pursuing goals and are more likely to be successful.

Consider the team dynamic known as forming, storming, norming and performing. When the team is forming, there are sometimes disagreements (Storming) before the team gets to a balanced state (norming) and working collectively (performing). Negative emotions usually mean the “storming” segment of the cycle lasts longer so the work product takes longer to complete. The negativity can affect team members’ moods long-term and reduce productivity.

Anyone who’s managed teams has seen this issue play out. So what’s the best way to resolve it?

Educate your team. When they understand that being positive not only affects their performance, but their coworkers’ performance too, they may embrace a more positive outlook at work.

Ask each teammate to be more positive. This discussion paves the way for managers and coworkers to remind staff of their commitment to optimism when they become negative.

Lead the positivity movement. Be that person who says hello to coworkers and smiles. When you actively practice kindness, you can influence your entire workplace.

Find the good in each situation. Failure might not feel enjoyable in the moment, but it can be a valuable learning experience. When dealing with mistakes and disappointments, try to find the lesson in the situation and shift your focus from feeling unhappy to improving the work tasks at hand.

No one is asking you to blast “Don’t worry – be happy” over the company intercom to help team members embrace optimism. Instead try leading by example and encourage a sunnier outlook. You just might be surprised at the boost in performance in your workplace and the stronger team morale.

Best, Worst Cities for Employee Satisfaction from Glassdoor

08/12/14 0 COMMENTS

According to the second annual Employment Satisfaction Report Card by City (2014), which was released by Glassdoor, San Jose ranked first for the second consecutive year in a comparison of the 50 largest metropolitan areas by overall employee satisfaction, number of employers hiring, business outlook expectations and other criteria. San Francisco was ranked second in the survey. Both cities are home to several companies that won a 2014 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, which recognized the 50 best places to work.

Washington, D.C., climbed five spots to third place, followed by Norfolk, VA., and Salt Lake City, UT. Salt Lake City also ranks first in employee optimism for business outlook. More than half of Salt Lake City employees believe business will improve in the next six months. Local employees report several benefits of working in Salt Lake City, including enjoying a healthy work-life balance, in part comprised of working reasonable hours and being able to take advantage of both urban and outdoor attractions.

The Top 10 Cities for Employee Satisfaction:

1. San Jose

2. San Francisco

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Norfolk, Va.

5. Salt Lake City

6. San Diego

7. Seattle

8. Oklahoma City

9. San Antonio

10. Austin

The Bottom Ten Cities for Employee Satisfaction:

41. Milwaukee

42. Charlotte

43. Riverside, Calif.

44. Portland, Ore.

45. Buffalo

46. Phoenix

47. Tampa

48. Las Vegas

49. Denver

50. Pittsburgh

HOPEFUL – The Acronym!

08/05/14 0 COMMENTS

H umorous

O ptimistic

P atient

E nergetic

F aithful

U seful

L istening

Be a live HOPEFUL acronym today! You will meet many people needing you!


Russell H. McCullough


07/29/14 0 COMMENTS

As a team, we came up with our core values and one of them is “mindfulness”. The month of July is devoted to this topic. Our Core Values team lead, Claire Spence shared a quote with us, that I would like to share with our readers. I hope it means as much to you as it does to us.

Our suffering stems from ignorance. We react because we do not know what we are doing, because we do not know the reality of ourselves. The mind spends most of the time lost in fantasies and illusions, reliving pleasant or unpleasant experiences and anticipating the future with eagerness or fear. While lost in such cravings or aversions, we are unaware of what is happening now, what we are doing now. Yet surely this moment, now, is the most important for us. We cannot live in the past; it is gone. Nor can we live in the future; it is forever beyond our grasp. We can live only in the present. If we are unaware of our present actions, we are condemned to repeating the mistakes of the past and can never succeed in attaining our dreams for the future. But if we can develop the ability to be aware of the present moment, we can use the past as a guide for ordering our actions in the future, so that we may attain our goal.

S.N. Goenka

Why I Take a Walk…

07/24/14 0 COMMENTS

My mind seems “full” lately — you may have experienced this. While I’ve committed hours and hours each day to absorb words, facts and figures, my devotion to “down time” has been — well, paltry. I’ve neglected that part of work life that we all need, to pause, reflect and process information. (Because of this, I’m certainly less productive.) Being busy is a great thing — information overload another. To be productive in life and work, we shouldn’t “bully our brains”.

I’ve recently read a fascinating article about how some of the most incredible individuals of the last 400 years, chose to spend their time. (See it here. More on the book Daily Rituals, by Mason Currey, here.) While their areas of expertise were varied (and remarkable), there was one obvious link among many of them: From Milton to Tchaikovsky, many set aside time for a daily walk. A few ventured alone. One with family.

Shame on me — I really know better.

Here are just a few of the benefits:

Digestion. I’m not referring to gastronomy — I’m referring to all of the information you’ve taken on-board today. It’s difficult to see patterns, and develop connections when your brain isn’t allowed the time to process effectively.

Fresh air. I love my office, but a change of scenery does help me to feel rested and refreshed. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a beach, skyline or a handy mountain range to view, as some of my lucky colleagues. But the breeze is just as refreshing here in the mid-west — and the birds just as vocal.

Lowered anxiety. With our busy work lives comes our unshakable friend, anxiety. Physical exercise has great way of managing this nagging work life by-product. You simply have to make the commitment to incorporate exercise into your day.

Digital reprieve. Not sure how much time you must spend in front of a computer — but I do a lot of my work on-line. At times, I simply forget there is more to life than a keyboard.

I’ve committed 20 minutes each day this summer to get out and walk. Whether it’s a stroll around your office building, a nearby park, or a quick trek down the block to grab lunch and back — I challenge you to do the same.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk

Lennar Colorado Celebrates 60th Birthday At Its New Home Communities

07/14/14 0 COMMENTS

Date: 07/10/2014 | Colorado

For over 60 years, Lennar Colorado has had the reputation of building excellent homes of quality, value and integrity. Lennar has followed these same principles at their beautiful new home communities. These extraordinary new homes offer a tremendous value with tons of upgraded features already included. You are invited to come help Lennar Colorado celebrate during their 60th Birthday Sale happening July 7th to 13th!

As Lennar’s birthday gift to you, they are offering “60 Years, 60 Deals*” at select communities throughout the Denver area! Plus, $6,000 price reduction for this week only! You won’t want to miss out!

“We feel honored that we have been able to serve the needs of home buyers for so many years and are excited to celebrate this milestone with our buyers,” said Rusty Crandall, Division President. “From the beginning, our company has always catered to our home buyers and provided them with the superior care, quality and attention to detail that they deserve – this is also the standard we have used at all our homes across Denver.”

The communities offer a wide variety of floor plans ranging from 1,542 up to 3,937 square feet, two to five bedrooms, two to four bathrooms, and spacious living areas in 11 cities throughout Denver.

These communities include a high level of standard features and introduce a new level of upgrades in its Everything’s Included® package. Among the most noteworthy of these features are slab granite counter-tops, beautiful upgraded cabinetry, hardwood floors, full unfinished basements, air conditioning, Nexia™ Home Intelligence home automation* and much more.

For those looking for options for dual living situations, Lennar’s Next Gen® – The Home Within a Home® floor plan has been a favorite among buyers and presents a wonderful residence for multi-generational families. The Next Gen® suite is attached to the main home and includes a separate entrance, living space, kitchenette, bedroom and full bath. Lennar designed this floor plan to be incorporated into the main home floor plan in a way that allows it to be a separate space but also offers direct access from the main house, depending upon the family’s needs.

Denver is known for outdoor activities, such as, skiing, snowboarding, hiking and, exploring the variety of parks and trails the state has to offer. Colorado holds tons of family fun by taking in a Denver Broncos, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rockies, or Denver Nuggets game at the Pepsi Center or Coors Field.

Founded in 1954 as F&R Builders headquartered in Miami, Florida, Lennar Corporation began building their well-known reputation for high standards, quality construction and uncompromising value. In 1971, F&R became a public company under the corporate banner of Lennar and has since grown to become one of the nation’s leading and most respected home builders. Lennar has a longstanding history of building exceptional homes in only the most well planned and desirable locations throughout the country.

For further information, call 303-507-9393 or visit Lennar.com/Denver.

12 Habits of Successful Recruiters

07/08/14 0 COMMENTS

Being the best is no easy task. It requires hard work and discipline. It doesn’t take long to realize how dedicated you have to be at your craft, in order to be the best at it. The world’s best recruiters know and understand this. To excel at their craft, they have learned to develop a set of habits, which define the set of skills that make them part artist and part scientist. These big cats carry with them a set of 12 notable habits that highlight the makeup that makes them great.

1. Driven By Vision

The greats are always driven by their vision to be the best. The best recruiters have a vision that compels them to succeed. And what is that vision? It’s the ability to transform recruiting strategies from vision into reality that sets the tone for top recruiters. They know how to implement recruiting strategies based on their ability to prioritize, communicate, and use technology.

2. Know How To Prioritize

Part of being the best is being able to decide what needs to be done, in what order and when. Moving from one point to another requires prioritizing. The best recruiters get work done, because they are doers that can move from A to B as quickly as possible. They are able to prioritize tasks through to-do lists that can take as little as ten or twelve minutes to put together, and save at least two hours from wasted time and effort.

3. Personalize Communication

The best recruiters can amplify communication between employers and candidates, simply through personalized communication. They speak in a language that’s frank and straight to the point, but also sincere and genuine. They know that if they can effectively communicate an employer’s brand to candidates, then 68 percent of them are likely to accept a lower salary if given a great impression.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

When you’re the best, it’s because you never stop fine-tuning your craft. Top recruiters are always working to improve. They take the time to learn and get better by practicing what they have learned. It’s not uncommon to see recruiters spend at least three hours every day sourcing candidates. Getting better always takes time and effort. There may not be too many, if any, recruiters that don’t understand this.

5. The Trendy Type

The best can stay at the top of their game by applying forward HR thinking and trending strategies. They would see that 47 percent of Millennials admit to finding an employer’s online reputation on equal footing to the job being offered, as an opportunity to seize social HR recruiting, according to Spherion Staffing. Top recruiters are able to see what the year will bring them.

6. Tech-savvy

There are over 300 million users on LinkedIn, which makes for a fairly large playing field. Besides the obvious fact that recruiters need to be engaging candidates through social networks, they need to know how to use technology to their advantage. There’s a large pool of talent out there, and finding it may require knowing to use an applicant tracking system or conducting online video interviews. Whatever the case, the best recruiters have no trouble with using technology to handle their business.

7. Use Social Media

You probably won’t find too many recruiters that don’t operate in social networks to find candidates. Today, about 91 percent of recruiters are using social media networks to recruit candidates. And why wouldn’t they? The user bases on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are huge. These networks create an opportunity to engage with candidates in real-time and establish connections.

8. Talent Community Builders

Social networks are great for establishing connections, but what good is this connection in the long-term if you can’t harness its true power? Great recruiters not only work to match candidates and employers together, but to establish long-term relationships with both sides to build trust, customer loyalty, and referrals. According to the CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning survey, the ‘war for talent’ rose from 20 percent in 2009 to 62 percent in 2013. Building a talent community or pool is a much more effective way to play the game.

9. Super Effort Trackers

Nothing spells disaster like not knowing where your effort is best being spent. The best usually know why they are the best. Top recruiters learn in what aspects of their work they excel in by tracking metrics that can tell a story of their progress. In 2013, 40 percent of employees who started out in a new position left their jobs voluntarily after six months, based on data from the workforce insights arm of credit-reporting agency Equifax. Top recruiters work to minimize this percentage; it does not count as a win and reduces the chances of receiving a referral. Knowing information like this tells them when something’s wrong and needs fixing.

10. They Go The Distance

The best recruiters always give it everything they got from beginning to end. They go all in. Matching candidates and employers correctly means the candidate is more likely to stick around because they are engaged. Companies with engaged employees earn two and a half times more revenue than companies with low engagement levels. Not only does everyone win when this happens, but the best recruiters know this kind of pay-off drives personal business results that are worth going the distance for.

11. Build Reputation

A smart recruiter keeps it real with candidates and employers. They do so because this is who they are. The best recruiters use their engagement, customer satisfaction, and candidate referrals to build a reputation for themselves. Candidate referrals tend to experience greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies: 46 percent over 1 year and 47 percent over 3 years. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the best recruiters can build a candidate referral pipeline that they are known for, and have earned by being upfront about the recruiting process.

12. Ready For The Next Task

It’s never all said and done with the best. There is always a chip on their shoulders. Great recruiters are ready for the next candidate placement task or emerging recruiting trends. They are not afraid of tomorrow, because they are well prepared for it. They are target-driven, due to their vision they have turned into reality through their recruiting efforts.

Job-seekers! Actions you must take while seeking employment.

07/02/14 0 COMMENTS

1. Applying directly to job postings should represent no more than 20% of what you do. Getting referred to a job is 5-10X more effective than applying directly. If you’re going to apply, only apply to jobs when you’re a perfect fit for the skills and experience listed on the job description.
2. Leverage your understanding of the recruiter’s role. Most recruiters are extremely talented and want to work with the best people to craft great career moves.
3. Implement a 20/20/60 job-hunting plan. A job hunting plan requires a performance-based resume, an understanding of how recruiters find candidates, and applying through the backdoor. Networking is the key to the backdoor. It must represent 60% of what you need to do.
4. Focus on the job, not the money. It’s better to be underpaid than overpaid. Getting promoted or obtaining a big compensation increase will only occur after you’ve demonstrated great performance.
5. When asked, present your strengths and weaknesses via short stories. You must validate each of your strengths with a specific example of how it was used in a real job situation. In addition, you need to demonstrate how you’ve turned your weaknesses into strengths. Never say you don’t have any weaknesses! It means you’ve stopped growing.
6. Divide and conquer by asking the universal question. Very early in the interview, or phone screen, you must ask the interviewer to describe the focus of the job, some of the big challenges, and how the new person’s performance will be measured. Pick at least two from this list. Then prove each is your core strength.
7. Use the phone screen to minimize the impact of a weak first impression. Even if you make a good first impression, it’s important to ask the universal question (see above) early in the phone screen. Answering it correctly will increase the likelihood you’ll be invited to an onsite interview. This will help focus the actual interview on your past performance, instead of box-checking your skills and experience, or judging you on first impressions.
8. Uncover any concerns before the end of the interview. To determine where you stand, ask the interviewer about next steps. If they’re not specific, you probably won’t be called back. In this case, ask the interviewer what’s the biggest concern he/she has about your background. Then ask how the skill, trait or factor mentioned is used on the job. To overcome the concern, you’ll need to prove you can handle the requirement.

Getting a job for some is no fun. For all, it’s hard work. But working hard on the wrong things is a waste of time. So rather than complaining, take some advice from Jim Rohn: “Things will get better for you, when you get better.”

Women…What Not To Say When Negotiating Your Salary

06/24/14 0 COMMENTS

When you think back to your last job offer, were you happy with the result? I’m not proud to admit the number of jobs I accepted without attempting to negotiate anything, only to be discouraged about the outcome later (thankfully, I’ve learned my lesson).

Which is why I’m grateful there are people in the world like negotiation expert Victoria Pynchon who help people — especially women — learn how to navigate the world of money and power. If only I had discovered her sooner.

Victoria is an author, attorney, mediator, arbitrator and negotiation trainer and consultant. She is also the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training and the She Negotiates blog on Forbes. Although Victoria’s focus is now on closing the wage and income gap for women, she has been training lawyers and business people of both genders in mutual benefit negotiation strategies since 2005.

Here’s Victoria’s advice for what you should avoid saying when negotiating your salary or asking for a raise:

“I’m sorry.” Women tend to apologize for things they shouldn’t. I’ve been known to reflexively apologize to the furniture when I run into it. Apologizing in the negotiating room lessens the weight of your argument. Stay away from saying things like, “I’m sorry to ask for this, but I feel that I deserve a raise.”

“My market value is $90K/year but I’ll take $70K.” Don’t discount your worth right out of the gate with language like, “My rate is $5,000, but I’ll take $10.” You are already being valued less than you’re worth because you are a woman. Practice with a friend until you sound confident if you can’t actually BE confident. (Fake it until you make it.)

“Yes” (to the first offer). If you aren’t in a position to make the first offer (and make it more than you’re willing to take) then at least don’t agree to the first offer given to you. Your employer expects you to negotiate and has more authority than the first offer made. Say, “I appreciate your proposal. I did a little research on my current market value [handing the proposal over] and it’s 10 percent (or 20 or 30) more than that.”

“No” (if you believe you’ve reached impasse). The point of a negotiation is to drive the conversation to an agreement. Saying “no” closes off the conversation and makes it difficult to start back up. If your hourly fee is $350 but a potential client tells you he can only pay $200 per hour, instead of saying no, ask “What stands in the way of paying my fee?” Feel free to offer accommodations like payment over time or consider bartering services if that’s possible. Always be moving toward getting the deal you want.

Question marks (upswing) at the end of your statements. This tends to be a generational tick that Gen-Y women continue to misuse in business. “Like, I said to him ‘I need a raise?’ and he was all like ‘You’re lucky to have a job’ and then… ”

No, no, no, no. Do not use teen slang in business.

Not only does it tend to make you appear to be immature, it destroys any attempt to project an image of authority. The person with the greatest negotiation power is the person who appears to have the ability to walk away from the deal. I put the emphasis on “appears” because thousands of in-house and private firm lawyers – both men and women – answer the question “Are you in a weak bargaining position?” in the affirmative. Eighty percent of movie studio lawyers said they lacked bargaining power as did corporate executives, mid-level managers, high level consultants, and professionals of every stripe.

Once again, if you don’t yet possess confidence, fake it. Eventually you’ll grow into your own power without having sacrificed raises and promotions along the way.

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