Thursday, December 04, 2008

How can we help each other (and ourselves) in a down economy?

Most of the time I love my job... but this economy is making it more and more challenging every day!

As a recruiter, I get to help companies find great candidates to fill their open positions as well as helping candidates find better jobs. And the companies pay me for my expertise which provides me with a living. Recruiting is my chosen career and I have over 20 years experience here. My income is just as affected (if not more than some) by the down economy.

The recruiting industry is like a pendulum swinging from high good times (a tight candidate market with more jobs than people) to the middle range (just enough jobs as there are qualified candidates) to the other high side where we are now (companies downsizing and laying off with many people unemployed).

Most of my calls lately are from former candidates who have been downsized or friends of theirs who are out of work. And they are almost all good, skilled, experienced employees. These people would normally be my “most place-able candidates” in a good economy. Some of the resumes I am receiving are absolutely stellar and I want to do everything possible to help them find a job.

So my question to you is… how can we help each other in these uncertain and unstable economic times?

My advice to out of work (or transitional) candidates is generally to join networking groups, go on as many interviews as possible, take this time to improve your resume, use Internet tools like LinkedIn to research companies where you want to work and contact the hiring managers directly to sell yourself to them. I wouldn't recommend going through HR right now as they are otherwise occupied and most likely won't return your calls.

I would also recommend that you volunteer in whatever organization means something to you… whatever you are passionate about; church, civil, school, or social. Keep yourself busy… maybe take some continuing education classes and get that advanced degree you have been thinking about for years. You can also use this time to re-evaluate your career choices and perhaps change fields altogether.

Whatever you do... helping someone else is the best way to help yourself. And you never know… the person you help today may be the exact person in a position to help you later on down the road. Treat everyone with respect and do your absolute best... the pendulum will swing back, I promise! Use the opportunities you have now to affect the lives of others while improving your own at the same time. You won’t be disappointed.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Start Up or Stay Put

With everyone in “survival mode” in this tight economy; how does this impact the start up companies who are trying to recruit the best players to come and work for them? Are candidates willing to take the plunge again after the last .com bust? If you are the “best of the best” with all the right technical skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, strong work ethic and want to see your efforts making a difference in the direction of a company… would you leave your current “safe” job with an established employer and relative job security for a “less secure” position with an unproven new start up company? What are the risks versus the rewards?

Stay Put… you are already established at the company, have good benefits, know exactly what your take home pay will be every month, know your co-workers and already have a working relationship established, and pretty much know what to expect each day when you go to work. But… are you still challenged with the work, do you feel you have more to contribute and want to be more involved in setting standards and decision making policies, and have more control and input?

Start Up… you come into an exciting workplace almost new and different each day, with rapidly changing priorities, are part of a team that is creating a new product or service, working with all the coolest toys and technologies, shaping the way the company is viewed and evolves and you have ownership in the company, a real vested interest. But… are you in a place financially to weather out any upcoming storms, can you risk unemployment if the venture doesn’t work out and do you need the security and benefits from a larger, established company?

I’d like to hear your thoughts… are we ready to step out and step up again?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

3 Minute Overview on Using LinkedIn

I noticed this simple video on using LinkedIn while scrolling throuth my blog reading. Maybe it will help you get started.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Working for the Weekend

Well, it’s Friday again and almost time to get started on my weekend. Naturally, my first thought is... who do I have to reach this weekend for work? Being a recruiter we all understand that there are times we have to make calls to candidates on our “off hours”… especially those that travel extensively, are passive candidates, hard to reach, or those who simply refuse to talk to you during business hours. As recruiters, are we accustomed and expected to work more than other professions? How does this “overtime” affect the standard 40 hour work week OR do we even have a standard work week? Does your family life/free time suffer from your profession?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

RPO, Retained Search or Contingency? had a great article last week... Let's Revolutionize the Standard Recruiting Model. The author, Mark Bielecki, posed some interesting solutions to recruiting in a down turned economy. One possible solution was to have the client's pay the contingency recruiters a lesser fee for the qualified resumes that are submitted or interviews scheduled rather than a larger fee only when a candidate is hired. This solution would allow the recruiter to be compensated for their knowledge and efforts even if circumstances beyond their control prevent a hire from being made. What a concept... I like it!

Having come from a contingency agency background, working for RPO's the past few years has been an absolute breath of fresh air. While contingency searches bring in more money in fees, the percentage of hires per job order is much lower. After all, who hasn't had that contingency search where you worked for weeks to find that purple squirrel the client demanded only to have the hiring manager decide to put the position on hold during the offer stage or decide not to fill it at all?

Here at HumCap, we typically fill every RPO order we receive. Is that because the customer is paying for our services on a time and materials basis and they have more invested in the process? Working within this more consultative model, we are truly partners in the process and are better able to advise, counsel and educate the hiring managers to ensure the success of the hire. I can remember the last time I did contingency searches, coming up with a "contained search" model... part retained and part contingency. This was way before the RPO concept and required the client to pay a partial fee upon initiation of the search and the remainder of the fee when the hire was made. This win/win approach gave me as the recruiter an incentive to fill the position quickly and the client a vested interest in working with me to accomplish our goals.

I still prefer the true partnership of an RPO project or retained search and believe this is the future of the industry but I'm all about being creative and making money... what about you?

Friday, April 11, 2008

TGIF - HumCap Idol

Do people still celebrate Friday's? I am single handedly going to bring back the Friday end of work day celebration. In an effort to bring a little levity here at work... we have instituted the HumCap Idol contest. (I am stunned that Michael Johns was voted off American Idol last night... does anyone else agree?) So far, this is the leader of our HumCap idol contest. Send me an email to vote for this contestant! (Tad, please don't hurt me;) Stay tuned... more contestants to follow! Just to keep this about recruiting... do you think American Idol would benefit from professional recruiters working with their team? If so, would you want to be one of those recruiters and what would it take to get you there?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Are You a Rock Star?

According to the recent post on I am a Rock Star Recruiter as well as a Dinosaur. That would make me a Rock-a-Saurus... living proof you are never too old to rock on baby!

Is there really that much of a difference in the generations of recruiters? Do the “seasoned” recruiters have both feet in the past and the “recent” recruiters have both feet in the present? How do we take the best of both worlds and make them work? Do true Rock Star Recruiters straddle both timelines or can you be a Rock Star in your own world? (Which is not the same thing as a legend in your own mind;) Tell me your thoughts… Leslie

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Are we a Society of Over-Achievers?

Tying in to my last posting on motivators… assuming we are all motivated and acting to our full potential, are we truly a society of over-achievers? If so, how does that apply to the generational categories in recruiting? According to all the studies I have read lately… the Baby Boomers were all instilled with a strong work ethic and think nothing of putting in 60 -70 hours per week. The GenXers are “all about me” and what will this job do for my career and my retirement. The GenYers are more about work/life balance and really have to enjoy what they do for a living… otherwise they will quit and never look back. The Millennials are just beginning to surface in the workplace and it appears that they are gravitating towards even more flexibility in their workplace. What do you think… can these diverse sectors all be over-achievers?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What are your Motivators?

I had lunch with Dennis Smith today from to discuss his presentation for the IEEE CVT Chapter in April on LinkedIn, Blogging, and Social Networks. Besides the great company and an awesome Thai meal, an unanticipated result for me was the desire to come back to the office and blog. Dennis is a great speaker and motivator… you can’t help but catch his enthusiasm and excitement for the industry and his presentation should be very entertaining.

This also prompts me to ask… what inspires and motivates you? Either in your private or professional life… is it recognition, image, being able to add value to something, money, toys (tools/technology), being around good people, being your own boss, working independently, or helping others?

What can we do as recruiters to help get you out of bed in the morning?

Monday, February 04, 2008

HR vs Recruiting

In the past is seems that most of the time HR and Recruiting have been separate entities with vastly different goals. Now that companies are streamlining departments and cross training employees, I am finding more and more instances where HR and Recruiting are being combined into one department with a joint function. Even in our company, the outsourced Recruiting and the outsourced HR divisions have been combined to form just one Managed Services Department.

What do you think of this trend... care to comment on the good, the bad and the ugly? Can we really ALL just get along?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New FordyceLetter Blog

Many kudos to Jason Davis for putting together the FordyceLetter blog... what a great resource for recruiters. He has put together the best articles from the past 3 years in one convenient place. I was especially impressed with the articles confirming the value we third party recruiters add to a company and why our experience and expertise has worth. Great job Jason... keep up the good work!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

2008 Recruiting Predictions

Happy New Year everyone... I cannot believe it is already 2008! Coming back from the holidays can often take time to get back into the swing of recruiting, so I thought I'd pass along this information from Zoom Info... it's a down loadable report from 5 recruiting gurus with their predictions for 2008. (Hope this helps get you jump started;)