Friday, December 11, 2009

Four Sources of Candidates - by Bill Radin

As a recruiter, I’ve found that there are four basic sources of candidates. Or, to put it another way, there are four ways in which I can organize and make best use of my candidate resources. These sources are:

1. Candidates I own.
These are all the people who I already have in my database. I don’t own them in the literal sense, of course. The term “candidates I own” simply applies to the people who are in my contact files—and my files are something that I own.

The candidates I own are the people I already know about or whose contact information, profiles or resumes are in my database. Whenever I start a search, I turn to these people first, not only because they’re the most accessible, but because over the years, I’ve gotten to know many of them, and I’ve qualified them, sent them to interviews, and maybe even placed them.

I feel like if I already have a history with people, and they trust me, and I’ve invested time in developing them, then those relationships will result in better decisions on my part as to whether they’re right for a job. And certainly, someone I have a good working relationship with will make for a more reliable and generous source of referrals. Even someone I’ve only spoken to once a long time ago is an owned candidate, because there’s some degree of history between us.

2. Candidates I rent.
These are candidates whose names or resumes are made available through job boards, resume banks, databases, directories and split networks. I call them “candidates I rent” because they’re in the public domain, and they’re available to any other recruiters who are willing to pay a subscription fee or join a network in order to gain access. Once I make contact with the candidates I rent and import their records into my own files, they can be merged into my community of talent, that is, the candidates I own.

3. Candidates I cultivate or find through original research.
Let’s say I do a Google search and I discover someone who’s written an article or a technical paper and the person’s got really good skills. Or say I get a referral from a candidate who mentions the names of three of his peers during the course of a sourcing call. Or let’s say I visit a trade show, looking for applications engineers and I strike up a conversation with someone at a booth, and she gives me her business card. These are candidates I found through original research, and after I get to know them and add them to my files, they also become candidates I own.

4. Candidates who come to me through my pipeline.
These are people I reach out to or attract by virtue of all the things I’ve done to market my services, advertise my expertise and build my brand and reputation. If you have an account with LinkedIn or Facebook or MySpace or Twitter or any of the social networks, your contacts are a major force in your pipeline.

Pipeline candidates are also the people who visit my Web site and send me their resumes, or respond to a job posting, or ask to receive my newsletter or candidates who are referred to me by word of mouth. Pipeline candidates are people who hear about a workshop I’m giving on interviewing techniques, or see an article I wrote in a trade publication.

I take my pipeline very seriously, and I set it up and maintain it for the express purpose of magnetizing people and drawing them into my community. Once they find me—or we become “friends”—they too, get merged into my files as candidates I own.

The Power of OwnershipI’m a big believer in candidate ownership, because when you own your candidates, you’re less dependent on other sources, and you won’t need to spend your hard-earned cash on rental candidates who are accessible to any number of other recruiters. Given the choice, I’d rather be self-sufficient and in control of my own resources.

Another reason to own your candidates is that—and this is a slightly advanced concept—once your database reaches critical mass, it’ll begin to have an asset value unto itself. And what that means is that your inventory can then be leveraged. So, for example, if a company or a recruiting partner or a third party is looking for a particular type of candidate that you have a reputation for owning, you have leverage. So if you choose to do so, you can earn a higher fee for a placement, or do a split on favorable terms if you decide that sharing the candidates in your database would be a good business decision. With ownership, you have that control. If you’re just renting candidates everyone else is renting, your control becomes very limited or even non-existent. Of course, it goes without saying that this is the strategy that works best for me. The most important thing is to find what works best for you and stick with it.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Tips - If I've learnt 3 things in recruitment

1. Rejection isn't personal!

2. The longer you procrastinate over something the harder it becomes

3. Sometimes you just have to walk away from a deal

-by Diane Marker, MD, Marker Consulting -

Source:UK Recruiter Newsletter #419, dated 2 September 2009.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Microsoft Excel: How to Hide Tabs

If your spreadsheet is shared and used by others, you may want to keep your formulas and some data from being viewed or changed by others. By hiding the tabs that these are located, you can allow others to use your spreadsheet without having to worry about them playing where they don’t belong.

1. Open your saved Excel Spreadsheet.
At the bottom of your spreadsheet, you can see all available tabs. For this example, we will hide the Formulas tab.

2. On your keyboard, press ALT+F11 to bring up the Visual Basic editor.

3. At the top of the left pane, locate the desired tab that is to be hidden and select it.
4. Go to the bottom of the left pane and locate the Properties for the selected tab.

5. Go to the Visible setting and use associated dropdown to select 0 -xlSheetHidden.

6. Go back to the top of the left pane.

7. Right-click VBAProject and select VBAProject Properties.

8. Select the Protection tab.

9. Check the Lock project for viewing checkbox.

10. Input a password, repeat it to confirm the password.

11. Click the OK button.

12. Go to the menu, click File and select Save.

When you return to your spreadsheet, you will now see that the tab is hidden.

To make the tab visible again, press ALT+F11 to open the Visual Basic editor. Input the password and change the Visible setting for the tab back to 1 -xlSheetVisible.
Source: Tech-Recipes

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How I Made 3 Hires with Twitter in 6 Weeks

Article by Megan Hopkins (Full story available on Boolean Black Belt )

Twitter Hire #1

I posted my first requirement for a .Net developer and (I’d have to check my Twitter diary to be certain…and yes, I kept one…stop laughing. No, seriously. Stop.) waited for any sign of life on the other end. It seemed like 17 minutes went by (again, that’s in the diary) and then finally, someone RT’d (“retweeted” for all you newbies) my Tweet. “Holy crap!,” I thought, “This is working.”

Eventually, I had several people retweeting my post that day and by the end of the day, I had five referrals, three interviews, and…wouldn’t you know it…a placement…with a great .Net talent I never would have known otherwise. This is when I started to really believe in the power of Twitter. The fact that this candidate saw my Tweet because someone I didn’t know reposted it blew my mind. I was addicted. So addicted now, in fact, that even as I write this blog post, I am Tweeting about it…well, that and how my dog smells like corn chips.

Twitter Hire #2

My second placement happened much like the first one. I had a position come in that I was on the fence about – partially because I was slammed…and partially because I’m a dev-loving snob (this position was infrastructure…ick!). In any event, I updated my Twitter followers on my newest need and it got retweeted several times. I’ve found it helps to ask for a Tweet to be retweeted but more on this in a second. This was position was slower to fill (it was a “purple squirrel”) but about a week or so after I posted it, I got a message from a candidate (and now Kforce contractor) that was interested.

It seemed he had just been laid off unexpectedly and was now on the market…and was just the purple squirrel I thought I’d never (ever, ever) find. He emailed me his resume and within four hours we had him driving up to Jacksonville from South Florida to interview face to face. He received an offer a day later and he started work the following Wednesday. This was a particular success for me because he was an out of area candidate that I would have never met otherwise, he was one of very few that had his skill set, and it was a perfect match with a brand new client (that coincidentally, came from a Twitter lead). @OrlandoTechNuts was feeling pretty darn good about herself at this point.

Twitter Hire #3

My most recent placement is the one that gets me most excited. I had been recruiting (or stalking) this candidate for about a month (at least!). He was absolutely dead on for a position I was working on (again with a new client) and for some crazy reason, he would not answer his phone, and he would not return my hundreds of voicemails and emails. I briefly contemplated showing up at his house but I was advised against it (seriously…or not). I had just about given up on this candidate (apparently he was too good for me) when I got a direct message on Twitter about a job I had tweeted.

My contact had a friend that was looking and was looking for a reputable recruiter to work with and he saw the RT of my position. He was interested. Well, wouldn’t you know if that the candidate that was interested was the very same candidate that I had been chasing down and losing sleep over (yes, I get very involved in my job). Looks like @OrlandoTechNuts now had the upper hand. For a moment, I thought about acting like I was a jilted ex-girlfriend and not calling him back…but, I am a recruiter. We’ll always call back. Long story short, he FINALLY answered his phone when I called and we got him a job (and a great one!) within two weeks.

Twitter Hire #4 is in the Works!

Stay tuned! I’m very close to getting my fourth Twitter hire in the next week. Assuming our client doesn’t go MIA (again…gotta love that, right recruiters?), I should have another great dev talent working very soon. Like the others, this was a guy that I had never met, nor probably would ever meet, because he is a passive channel candidate and not on the boards…and frankly, he wasn’t too keen on recruiters (until @OrlandoTechNuts got to him, that is!).

Following the right people (and having the right people follow you) along with tweeting relevant information is a great way to build your credibility and it can effectively separate you from the hundreds of other recruiters out there – that is what really helped move this potential hire along.

How to Use Twitter in Recruiting

I look back now and kick myself for not being open to Twitter sooner. It took a while to get Kforce onboard and unblock it for me but once I got going, I was not going to stop. Twitter has become such an integral part of my every day life (even outside of work) and I’m not sure what I’d do or how I’d effectively recruit without it at this point. Sure, I’d manage (after all, David Dunkel didn’t have Twitter and somehow he managed to do ok), but I would not be able to touch nearly as many people and connect with my community as deeply as I have.

Your use of Twitter needs to be approached like any other aspect of recruiting or sales. It is a long term investment and you really have to care to grow and develop your relationships. One of the most common concerns I hear from candidates is that recruiters seem to be all about instant gratification. They tend to view talent as a commodity and lose sight of the fact that they are working with people. The relationship is not important and there is a strong need to take your “kill” back to the den as quickly as possible.

If you go into it (it being Twitter, in this case) thinking, “What am I going to get out of this and how soon?” you might as well stop now. Chances are you aren’t going to walk away with an immediate “reward”. I think the majority of my success has stemmed from actually caring about the connections I make and what is going on in my (IT) community.

I try my best to contribute daily (and this time I’m not referring to my Tweets about my smelly dog) and demonstrate that I am very much invested in my community. It never hurts to be engaging. Ask questions, respond to Tweets that interest you, and basically, take an active interest in what your fellow Twitter folk are doing. It has to be more than just posting a job opening you have. It never hurts to RT other people’s Tweets, either. That goes a long way.

Now, when you do decide to Tweet your positions, make sure those Tweets count. Make sure you don’t use all 140 characters (that is a pain to RT…and I learned that the hard way in the beginning) and if you want others to RT your positions, ask for it. I always do and people are more than willing to oblige.

Of course there is also the risk that Twitter can drain all of your time, but so far, even though I heavily rely on it, that really hasn’t been an issue. I do keep it up all day at work…and on my phone…but I check it once an hour or so to see if there is anything relevant I can comment on (or occasionally heckle some of my dev friends) and then I post something as I feel like it. I’d say if you added up the collective amount of time I spend tweeting, it is around an hour or so per day. Considering that I’m a full time recruiter who works about 60+ hours a week, that’s a relatively small investment and the rewards have been huge…plus you make some pretty interesting friends along the way.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, I really don’t think there is just one way to leverage Twitter successfully. My experience was very much trial and error and so far, I’ve managed pretty well (other than making a few rookie errors). Like anything, stick to the basics. Remember that relationships are king and you can’t make a withdrawal if you never make a deposit. If you keep this in mind as you Tweet, I promise you will be right on track to make 3 hires in 6 weeks using Twitter too. Trust me. After all, I am always (almost) right.

About the Author

Megan Hopkins is a senior technical recruiter working for Kforce in Orlando. She specializes in recruiting .Net developers and is very active in the Microsoft development community, regularly attending events such as Orlando.Net User Group and the Tampa ASP.Net MVC Developer User Group at Microsoft - she’s also the exclusive sponsor of these groups and several more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Facebook used to screen potential employees!

US - More employers are using social networking sites such as Facebook to screen potential employees, says a new CareerBuilder survey.
Forty-five percent of 2,600 hiring managers report using these networking sites to research job candidates, a huge increase from 22% last year. On top of that, 11% plan to start using these sites for screening.
Out of those that conduct background checks and online searches of job candidates, 29% use Facebook, 26% use LinkedIn and 21% use MySpace. 11% of respondents search blogs, while 7% follow candidates on Twitter.
The industries that screen job candidates via social networking sites or search engines vary; those which are most likely include jobs specialising in technology and sensitive information. For instance, 63% of employers in the information technology industry screen candidates, while 53% in professional and business services do so.
Thirty-five percent of employers report finding content on these social networking sites that caused them not to hire candidates. Some reasons include finding out candidates posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information, bad-mouthed previous employers, co-workers or clients, and lied about their qualifications. Also, 14% of employers have disregarded candidates because they sent a message using an emoticon, while 16% had refused to hire because candidates used text language in an email or job application.

On the flip side, 18% of employers have found content on social networking sites that made them hire candidates. Most commonly, the candidates' profiles provided a good feel of their personality and fit, or their profiles supported their professional qualifications.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy hiring days are here again!

Singapore: There's something positive, bullish and a general feeling of subdued excitement in everyone's outlook these past few weeks more so within the recruitment community.

Look around and you will see, hear and feel the difference in the air as compared to few months back.

News are abound with confident boosting plans, actions and positive forecast for hiring needs.

For some this week itself has brought in loads of business in the form of new assignments and projects that they've not seen in the past 2 months combine. Pipelines are very strong so are the billing numbers.

The feeling that I get when I spoke to couple of recruiters is that they are going to end with a strong quarter. Which needless to say is a very welcoming change indeed.

I am very confident that this positive momentum is going to see us through the remaining quarter and take off in Q1 2010 to something of a record of sort.

Some of the notable banks that are in hiring mode are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, StanChart, ANZ, Credit Suisse and even the locals banks.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is resorting to having specialist in-house recruiters for different streams by infusing new blood by hiring experience recruiters and also calling back some of their recruiters who were made redundant during the aftermath of BoA buying ML. They are now poised to hire financial experts and technocrats in the hundreds.

Barclays is as strong as ever with every recruiter fighting for a share of the headcount pie.

Credit Suisse on the underhand is looking for senior leaders in big numbers while they continue to build their offshore support strength.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group which was very much a small player, an unknown entity here in Singapore is bursting in its seams with their program to built a Super Regional Bank and now added to this aggressive growth plan they also have the huge task of hiring in hundreds resources for their integration with RBS (retail, wealth and commercial businesses).

StanChart is still in the news with their plans to hire 850 priority bankers while ANZ is planning to hire over 100 private bankers over the next 18 months.

The hiring market is bullish indeed but I am positive that we are still in the initial stage of the bottom curve and we can be prepared to see much more hiring frenzies in the months to come.

Happy hunting and bigger billings to all the recruiter folks out there!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tips - If I've learnt 3 things in recruitment

1. It actually is a numbers game (as annoying as my previous managers were in drumming that in to me!), and you do need to make hay while the sun is shining

2. Complacency is the root of failure!... Never take a candidates word for granted (or client for that matter)

3. You're only as good as your last quarter

Provided by Claire Whalley of ARM Ltd

StanChart to boost pool of relationship managers to 300

AS AFFLUENCE in Asia rises, Standard Chartered Bank is ramping up its wealth management business in Singapore.

In an expansion of its priority banking business here, the foreign bank yesterday said it planned to hire 300 relationship managers over the next three years, more than double its current number.

So far, it has hired 80, it said. Priority banking caters to individuals with $200,000 or more in net assets.

Other banks are also hiring more. HSBC says it is planning to take on about 100 staff in wealth management, while OCBC says it will continue hiring selectively.

Market watchers say this is a good time for banks that are relatively unaffected by the financial crisis to capture more market share.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Singapore's economy bounces back

There was a big sigh of relief for many Singaporeans as the economy expanded in the second quarter at its fastest rate in nearly 6 years.

Growth surpassed expectations, with a more than 20% rise from the previous quarter. All thanks to a surge in biomedical production.

Manufacturing is not exactly a huge part of Singapore's economy, but the island specialises in pharmaceuticals and high-end specialist manufacturing.

And increased demand for flu vaccines helped an already recession-proof sector to expand.

Exports, which are the real lifeblood of Singapore's economy, rose nearly 6% in May.

Shipments of raw materials such as iron ore are picking up. The reason, yet again, appears to be China.

The rest of the manufacturing sector is still struggling, however, and retail sales are still down. Domestic consumption is not picking up, so analysts say the worst may not be over yet.

- Mariko Oi, reporter, BBC Asia Business Report

Sunday, July 12, 2009

If I've learnt 3 things in recruitment...

1) Be completely flexible to your clients' needs

2) Don't promise something you can't deliver

3) It's not rocket science! The basics of hard-work, integrity & good client/candidate relationships will pay off.

By Michelle Jones of e-recruitment buddy

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Recruiters worst fear - back out!

Continuing from my previous post I would like to dwell here on the subject of back out in a little more detail.

The pain of losing out on a deal a billing does not apply anymore now that I don't have to worry on targets but it still does leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I still believe that one should always be transparent if not at least there is such a thing as courtesy and that one is obliged to his or her recruiter in explaining the circumstances under which he/she had to back out or turn down an offer. After all, Singapore is but just a small island and you never know whom you bump into around the corner street or at the food court.

A good and wise candidate typically will have at close contact a doctor whom he can trust for his general well-being, a mentor a guru that he can always go to for advice or seek wisdom on life and someone also said a good recruiter whom he can call up anytime to seek career advice/better opportunity or simply banter with like good friend.

To everyone job seekers out there or for that matter anyone aspiring for better career opportunities you will gain more if consciously you try and cultivate a good relationship with your recruiter by giving and or showing respect and regards. We recruiters thrives on such and don't be surprised your gesture might just be reciprocated with similar kinds or even deeds ;-)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Singapore job market shows signs of pick-up!

This is my second post in as many weeks on the improving sentiments in the job market here in Singapore. I would also like to believe that this positive waves will continue for another quarter to allow us to propel through the rest of the year into the 1st quarter of 2010.

Almost every paper this morning carried news of survey results collated from some of the leading multinational recruitment firms. Everyone echoed similar sentiments; higher recruitment projection for the next quarter, substantial increased in hiring this quarter and the two sectors that showed most remarkable turnaround are IT and Banking Finance.

Q3 forecast as per Hudson's May survey shows - 32 percent of respondents in banking and finance expect to increase recruitment as compared to 19 percent in Q2.

While in IT & Technology due to the result of solid pipeline of revenue-generating projects built up in Q2 25 percent of respondents expects to grow headcount.

As an in-house recruiter in a mid size regional bank contrary to the negative hiring trend in the market outside in the past few quarters we've never slowed down on our recruitment pace.

However, lately and even more so this last 2 months I am getting to experience candidates that are willing to turn down or back out of offers while in the process of signing the contract or in one instance just days before reporting for work.

This to me, from past experience ( Y2K project and SAP boom days) is one sure sign that the job market is bullish and that candidates have in their hands multiple job offers.

Wishing all the recruiter folks out there happy hunting and good billings!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Singapore employment outlook brightens

Singapore, June 2009: Could this represent a "green shoot" for the Singapore economy? According to Manpower's quarterly employment outlook survey, more employers are expecting to return to the hiring table over the next three months.

Of the 697 employers considered for the third quarter update, 12% expected to see an increase in their headcounts. A further 7% predicted a decrease in staff while the remaining respondents expected there would be no change in the third quarter.

Philippe Capsie, country manager of Manpower Singapore, says this represents a significant turnaround on the group's second quarter survey. Then, more employers expected to reduce headcount, rather than increase it. "While there is no quick fix in this current economy downturn, employers' hiring confidence is improving," he said. "Most employers are saying they will retain present staff in the third quarter, indicating that the worst may be behind us."

The survey considered seven distinct industry sectors. Of these, four (including manufacturing, finance and construction) predicted negative employment growth overall. In contrast, modest growth was predicted for the transportation, utilities and retail trade sectors.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If I've learnt 3 things in recruitment - by Anonymous

1) Go with your gut instinct...............if you think a candidate will let you down at some point, they will.
2) Keep in communication with clients. If you're struggling to fill a role, tell them so and manage their expectations effectively. They will respect you a lot more for it.
3) Everyone makes mistakes, just don't make them twice! I would prefer not to be referenced.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Standard Chartered to hire 100 bankers

Singapore - Over the next 12 months, Standard Chartered will hire 100 private bankers to support its wealth management in fast-growing markets across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

While the bank did not elaborate further on its hiring plans, a bank source said most of its new hires will take place mostly in Asia, with the remaining going to Europe and the Middle East.

Peter Flavel, global head of its private bank unit, says Standard Chartered is in good shape despite the global downturn. "'As we're seeing a continuing increase in client demand for our private banking services, we will continue to invest in attracting talent to further strengthen our proposition," says Flavel.

He adds that the bank is scouting for talented candidates with excellent track records and consistency in fulfilling client expectations.

"'We are here to meet clients' needs. To achieve this, we need a certain type of relationship manager - someone with exceptional people and advisory skills, a strong team player, commitment to building long-term partnerships with clients."

About 100 out of 350 relationship managers in Standard Chartered worldwide are based in Singapore, according to a report by The Straits Times.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

SG job ads rose 18.6% in Q1

Even as the economic recession deepended, the volume of job advertisements, interestingly, has picked up between January and March.
The number of job ads in Singapore rose 18.6 per cent, according to the Robert Walters Asia Job Index which tracks ad volumes, online and in print, for professional positions.
I guess, we can take this as good news considering the fact that everything else seems so 'bearish' at the moment.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What is Your Recruiting Strategy? By Lou Adler

Do you have a recruiting strategy, or do you just adopt the latest fad and see if works? This probably won't work. Tactics don't determine strategy; strategy determines tactics. And when business conditions change, a company's strategy needs a corresponding change. So does the company's recruiting strategy. Some of these strategic changes are brought about by technology innovations, demographic shifts, changes in government policy, and economic cycles. Regardless of their causes, incorporating these changes and shifts into the business planning process allows companies to remain competitive.
Those that recognize and incorporate these shifts first enjoy a significant competitive advantage. Consider Microsoft in the 1980s and Google today, or Western Union (telegraph) in the 1850s, as examples of how to adapt to these big changes properly. Now consider GE which figured it out for 100 years, but blew it in the last 10.

Over the past 10 years I've been predicting recruiting industry trends based on similar technology, political, economic, and demographic shifts. In many cases I was spot on; in others, off by a year or two; and in very few, dead wrong. With this as a backdrop, here are my latest predictions on what you need to get ready for the next war for talent:

1. Demise of the major job boards.
I've been predicting this for 10 years. It just makes no sense to me why a good person with multiple opportunities is willing to spend the time to find and apply to a boring job that is just like every other job. Of course, what I missed were the aggregators acting as intermediaries to make the job boards more efficient and the growth of niche job boards. However, my prediction is that the big job boards will further diminish in importance over the next few years in parallel with the economic recovery, except for companies who have a high volume of jobs to fill.

2. The adoption of consumer marketing principles to recruiting.
I started discussing this trend in the mid-90s right after the job boards became a major sourcing tool. In consumer marketing it's obvious that those companies that had more creative ads that were positioned to be found had better results. The search engine marketing and optimization piece of this was the driving force behind the rise of Yahoo! and Google Search. In the early 2000s a few brave companies started adopting these same consumer marketing concepts for recruiting, but it took 3-4 years after they were proven out in the consumer world before they were generally accepted by HR/recruiting. Around 2006, recruitment advertising was only 1-2 years behind its consumer marketing cousin; and today, with the most progressive companies, it's even. Based on this trend, it's not too far-fetched to predict that the majority of companies will be adopting these consumer marketing principles without any lag time. The most progressive will be adopting them in beta.

3. The rise of the "ERP-pipeline-CRM-talent hub" sourcing model.
With the rise of Web 2.0, social media, blogs, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it's pretty obvious that finding the names of potential candidates will have little value, but nurturing them and having them follow you will have tremendous value. This is why building a pipeline of prospects kept warm by robust CRM systems will be critical. It's also obvious that your best employees have heard of, or personally know, the best people in your industry and in their field of expertise. Tapping into this direct and indirect network through a far-reaching and progressive employee referral program will be a critical component of tomorrow's ERP programs. Replacing individual postings will be search engine optimized talent hubs, where candidates can search for jobs by class and company (e.g., all Flash developers at Google). These are company- and job-specific niche boards that will replace the need for aggregators and all public boards. At these sites prospects can submit resumes, be funneled to specific openings, or just be followers.

4. Time of possession will become the dominant recruiting metric for hiring top people.
Getting the names of great people is now simple, but getting them first isn't. The sourcing sweet spot of the near future will be to get these people to call you on the first day they decide to get serious about considering a new career opportunity. You can see where you stand on this measure by starting to ask the best people you come across how long they've been looking. If it's not on the first day, worry. Then start tracking it. Of course, you need to add this objective to your recruiting strategy and then figure out how to pull it off. It's pretty obvious that those candidates found on day one are of higher quality than those found after they've been looking 2-3 weeks. (Note: good recruiting agencies are already doing this.)

5. Increased focus on top performers vs. the masses.
A basic principle of consumer marketing is to identify an ideal target customer and develop messages that meet their motivating needs. They then need to be pushed to them through the best media channels, like TV, radio, blogs, Facebook, etc., to drive the highest response rate. Up until the recent past, most recruitment advertising has been targeted to attract average performers (consider your boring job descriptions) and pushed to where the best rarely go (the big job boards). Building an ideal candidate persona is the first step in determining the messages and the appropriate media. This profile examines the prospective candidate from multiple perspectives identifying job hunting patterns, their decision criteria, networking and social connections, motivators, and short- and long-term career needs, to name the most obvious. For example, the best CPAs will soon want to be involved in the conversion of U.S. GAAP accounting to international standards, and the best electrical engineers want to work on developing new ways to create a secure smart grid.

6. The rise and fall of Twitter will be offset by the increasing importance of the corporate recruiter, employer branding, and job linking.
In a sea of sameness and info overload, the brand will become king again. Twitter will become useless unless a loyal group of followers is developed and maintained. The dominant reason top people accept offers is the opportunity to learn something, make an impact, and grow. An employer brand can establish this overarching message. Linking the corporate vision and strategy to each class of job through the talent hub can increase the number of prospects and followers as long as the tweets and emails enhance the story. However, the corporate recruiter will become the critical cog in this system – just as the sales rep is in any other complex buying process. If corporate recruiters are just doing data updates, box checking, and admin, the possibilities offered by consumer-based Web 2.0 marketing will fail to launch.

7. There will be no silver bullet.
For the past 10 years, many corporate recruiting leaders have based their strategies on becoming early adopters of the latest fad. This actually is not a bad way to go, as long as you're first, and are willing to change horses once diminishing returns set in. While this will still work, there won't be any overarching new technology that solves everyone's needs, since once everyone has it, the best you can get are average results. A sourcing strategy needs to be built upon a strong integrated technology platform flexible enough to handle the latest cool stuff.

8. Hiring will become a business process.
Actually, I'm not too sure of this one. But it seems odd that with hiring top talent such an important issue, most company execs and HR leaders don't really do too much to ensure it's done properly. Of course, they'll sometimes train their managers in an interviewing process they don't use and they'll give the recruiting department some extra resources when hiring spikes. However, this is not a strategy; this is a tactical reaction to a change in business conditions. Despite this typical response, some companies actually have implemented an end-to-end integrated process for hiring top performers with startling results. This covers how jobs are defined (clarifying performance expectations), the implementation of consumer marketing-based sourcing programs, the use of an evidenced-based interviewing process, all tied together by a solution-based sales system for recruiting. This is the process described in my book, Hire With Your Head.
The most important of these predictions is the idea that hiring must become a business process if you want to hire top people on a continuous basis. However, to pull this off you must recognize that there will be no silver bullets or short-term panaceas. The silver bullets do work in the short term, so making the use of these as a component of a recruiting strategy if it's tied to the overarching idea of doing everything described here. While these are predictions of where the industry is going, they're really not predictions at all, since many companies are now doing most of these things already, and successfully. The key here is not to get caught in the trap of tactics driving strategy. This is a fool's game that can't be won.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Executives' pay most affected by downturn

Singapore - Top executives have been most affected by the wage freeze, a widely-adopted measure taken by companies to cut costs and retain employees.

A global survey conducted by Hay Group across 2,000 companies from 88 countries last month reports Singapore as the country hit hardest by the economic downturn in South East Asia.
Eighty percent of the Singapore respondents predict that they would not be able to hit their business targets, compared to the 21% in a previous Hay Group survey in November 2008.
The report also show Singapore as registering a 0% base salary increase, with clerical level and high-performing employees as they only two groups of exception toreceived modest pay rises.
Many companies believe that the downturn has the greatest bearing on clerical level workers,and the nominal pay increase is used to balance the cost of living.

Friday, March 20, 2009

How to Overcome Objections Related to the Recession - Mark Whitby

The "Number One" question I get asked these days is "How do I overcome objections related to the current economic climate, for example: we're downsizing, the project is on hold, we're making cutbacks, we don't have any budget for recruiting, etc."

1. There's No Such Thing as a New Objection
The first thing to realize is that these objections are not new. They're just variations on the classic objection: "We are not recruiting," or "We don't have a need," or "We don't have any vacancies." The only difference is that we're hearing it a lot more often these days, which I realize is incredibly frustrating when you're trying to generate new business.

Often a prospect assumes that if they're not hiring, there's no point in talking to recruiters. For most recruiters this objection signals the end of the conversation. It's basically "Game Over," right? So what we can do about this situation?

2. It's Not Personal
Secondly, realize this is not personal. They're not rejecting you personally and they might be just as frustrated about the situation as you are - they might even be worried about their own job security! So try not to let this objection upset you. They're really just giving you some information; it's what you choose to do with that information that separates the good recruiters from the great recruiters.

3. Don't Give Up Too Easily!
Next, don't give up too easily. If you handle this objection the right way it can still lead to a very productive conversation. The key is to use a soft sell approach, not a hard sell. You can't make someone give you their vacancies, especially if there's none to be had. So, take the pressure off yourself and especially take the pressure off your prospect. The more pressure you apply the more resistant they will become.

4. You Can Still Make the Call a Success
Finally, if they're not currently recruiting, focus on achieving your "secondary" objectives. Your goal in this situation is not to get a vacancy or to get an interview for your candidate; the desired outcome is to have a meaningful conversation, to build rapport with a potential client and to gain as much information as you possibly can and agree a timetable for staying in touch.

Even if they have no immediate need for your service, take the opportunity to have a conversation with them. At the very least you'll be building a relationship for future business.

"Mark Whitby - The Recruitment Coach - helps recruiters and recruiting firm owners to maximize their billings and business performance. If you want to generate more clients, candidates and placements, get your FREE tips now at:"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Barclays set to hire in Singapore

BRITISH banking giant Barclays is sticking to its aggressive plan to hire up to 1,500 highly skilled staff by early 2011 in Singapore - despite the turmoil that has ravaged many financial institutions.

The bank wants project managers, applications development managers, and software and IT specialists for its Business Technology Centre at Changi Business Park Central launched last year.

Barclays has already hired 250 staff - mainly locals - and wants to increase this headcount to 650 by the end of this year.

The centre will allow Barclays to run its international cards and banking platforms out of Singapore.
The new staff are in addition to the 2,500 that Barclays already has for its investment banking and wealth management businesses in Singapore.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Hudson Report (Hiring & HR Trends) - Q1 2009

The Hudson Report Quarter1 2009: Singapore employers keep hiring cautious and headcount steady.
Key Highlights -
  • 23% of respondents expect to increase hiring in this quarter, down from 37% in Q4 2008, with the majority of respondents (65%) who will keep headcount steady whilst 12% of respondents will decrease headcount;
  • Expectations show a substantial decline year-on-year: the 23% of respondents planning to grow headcount this quarter compared with 51% in Q1 2008;
  • Expected salary increases for new managerial hires remain healthy, with 39% who will pay a 6-10% increase, and 32% who will pay 11-20% increase;
  • Most respondents will give out year-end bonus payments, with only 17% of respondents planning to pay no bonuses;
  • Across all sectors, 47% of respondents forecast that their company’s performance will be excellent or good in 2009, while 7% say it will be poor;
  • Freezing headcount, along with global headcount approvals and strategic hiring, are HR strategies most likely to be adopted in response to the economic downturn.

    Click here to download Hudson Report

Friday, January 23, 2009

How to Switch Desk Specialties by Bill Radin

If you're recruiting in an industry that's at death's door and nothing you do seems to revive it, a change in desk specialties may be in order.

You don't necessarily have to drop your existing specialty altogether; you can keep your "core" constituency active while mining for gold in other areas. However, to get the most out of your efforts, the more concentrated time you spend on your prospective market, the better.

As you begin the exploration process, look for a niche that draws on your existing assets, such as your database of candidates and companies, plus your industry knowledge and technical expertise. For example, if software developers are no longer in demand, there may be a market for software sales managers. If no linkage to your assets can be found, then you may be forced to rebuild your desk from scratch.

To increase the odds of a successful transition, consider the following tips:

1. Find a niche that's in demand, not only now, but promises to be in the future. The last thing you want to do is reinvent yourself all over again in two or three years.

2. Make sure you have some degree of affinity for the population you'll be mingling with, and at least a modicum of interest in the new field's technology, skill set or culture. It's hard to be an advocate on behalf of an industry—or a candidate population—that leaves you cold or makes you feel uncomfortable.

3. Don't expect instant success. It takes time to learn the nuances of a new desk specialty and reach the point when the pieces begin to fit together. It's been said that a prospect needs to be contacted six or seven times before any sort of name recognition or rapport can be built.

4. Remember the basics. Your primary objective is to arrange sendouts, either by candidate marketing or by writing job orders. The more interviews you set up, the faster you'll get your production on track.

5. Stay focused. If you wander in too many directions, you'll end up with a Balkanized desk, comprised of disparate candidate and company populations that have no common language. The trick to desk specialty management is to keep your nose to the scent of new business, without taking too many forks in the road.

Bear in mind that the fundamentals of the business will remain constant, even if you switch your desk specialty. If your technique is sound, you'll make progress quickly, provided there's business to be found in your new area of interest.

However, you might want to brush up on (or rehearse) your marketing presentations and recruiting calls before you start making calls to new prospects. Your seniority in the old specialty may have masked weaknesses in technique, and if you're starting fresh, you'll want to make a good first impression, even if you have many years of recruiting under your belt.

Bill Radin is a top-producing recruiter whose innovative books, tapes, CDs and training seminars have helped thousands of recruiting professionals and search consultants achieve peak performance and career satisfaction. Please visit Bill online at

Friday, January 16, 2009

Google to lay off 100 full-time recruiters!

Amidst all the fresh news of gloom and doom around the world and the enevitiable end result of job losses in the form of lay offs and retrenchment happening almost every day I just could not stop myself from mentioning Google specifically.

And thats because I've always been a big fan of Google and their innovative approach to anything they embark upon including their stringent and out-of-the-box recruitment process.

Having said that it was rather dissapointing to know of Google laying off 100 full-time employees that too their recruiters!

Google is known to have one of the most profitable business model and a mean reputation of technology industry's most resilient companies and that raise a question in my mind.

When such entity like Google are necessitated to resort to laying off workers, who else can remain isolated and safe from being layed off?