Tag Archives: Recruiting

Sourcing: How to Find Great Talent on Purpose [Podcast]

[Email subscribers click through to listen to the episode]

Sourcing isn’t a new activity in the talent acquisition world. There have always been hard to fill jobs, but we’re seeing more of this kind of issue than ever before. In fact, a recent CareerBuilder study puts the cost of open positions at nearly $800,000 annually, tallying up costs that ultimately hurt business performance. Organizational leaders say these are the top problems caused by jobs they can’t fill:

  • Productivity loss: 45 percent
  • Higher employee turnover: 40 percent
  • Lower morale: 39 percent
  • Lower quality work: 37 percent
  • Inability to grow business: 29 percent
  • Revenue loss: 26 percent

In addition, our Lighthouse Research study of talent acquisition priorities pegs sourcing as a top area that business leaders plan to focus on in the coming year (just 1% behind onboarding, which was the highest priority).

In this episode of We’re Only Human, host Ben Eubanks is joined by the amazing Madeline Laurano, co-founder of Aptitude Research and co-host of Research on the Rocks, another HR Happy Hour network show. She and Ben discuss some of the key aspects of sourcing, such as employment branding, recruitment marketing, and technology’s role in the process. Madeline shares some great insights in this episode, and she stumps me at the end with a question that shouldn’t have been that hard to answer!

In addition, they examine the impact of AI, machines, and algorithms on the sourcing world, breaking down some of the hype and illuminating an amazing competition that pits recruiters against robots to see who is the best at sourcing great candidates. Not to spoil the surprise, but the real story here exemplifies that to get the best results, we need humans and machines working together. Get all this and more in the latest episode of We’re Only Human on the HR Happy Hour podcast network.

*Please note, if you like the show topic and want more in-depth discussion of sourcing and recruiting in a future episode, please feel free to comment below or email me!

Check out our other episodes in the We’re Only Human podcast archive.

2017 Priorities for Talent Leaders: Strategy, Process, Impact

The new year brings new challenges and opportunities as we attempt to whip our HR and recruiting functions into shape. One of the new projects we’re working on at Lighthouse is our Global Talent Acquisition Sentiment Study. With more than 400 votes, we are helping to narrow down the most pressing priorities and topics across the talent acquisition function. The infographic below offers some insight into what those priorities are, and my forthcoming report on the topic will delve into how the data shows differences in US and non-US populations, what trends are driving the relative importance of each of these issues, and what to expect in the coming months.

I’m also delivering a presentation on this topic in March and would be glad to share these insights with your group in a lecture, workshop, or webinar. Just reach out via my speaker page and we can discuss. 

Below are some of the noteworthy findings.

Key Priorities are Not Function-Related

Some of the key priorities in the study that came out on top were focused not on specific practices in recruiting, but on more broad aspects, such as process improvement and business alignment. This is a positive finding, because all too often when I’m working with clients I see that they have a great onboarding or branding program, only to find out that it’s working in opposition to their goals and business strategies.

Onboarding, Sourcing, Candidate Experience Top the List

It consistently surprises me when I see a group of talent leaders prioritize onboarding. Not because it is unimportant, but because it seems like so little effort is placed on it in reality. It’s possible that 2017 is the year we turn that around, making this a strategic differentiator for growth.

Next up is sourcing. I see a great divide between the highly capable digital sourcing professionals and the rest of the HR and talent leader community. This is so pronounced that it almost seems like a different profession, akin to marketing or customer acquisition more so than HR.

Finally, candidate experience was barely edged out for third place. In our recent research on the candidate experience, we pointed out some not-so-obvious ways to improve this practice with assessments, video interviews, and more. This discipline is steadily becoming more of a concrete science for talent leaders, which means we can find what works, make specific process improvements, and deliver higher value to our future employees.

One final note: you’ll notice that not much room separates any of these in the infographic below. This is good in that companies have their priorities in order, but it is also challenging, because when we have competing priorities it means we’re going to be less effective. It is critical to find the specific talent practice your team needs to work on and make it happen before attempting to move to other opportunities in the list.

Lighthouse 2017 TA Sentiment Study Graphic

Hiring at the Push of a Button: An Interview with Wonolo Cofounder [Podcast]

were-only-human-logoThe idea of a “gig” isn’t anything new, but the concept of using gig workers as an alternative source of talent certainly is. More companies are starting to realize that getting a job done doesn’t always have to mean creating a requisition, posting a job, interviewing candidates, and making an offer. In the case of some new applications on the market, companies can bring talent to their front door at the veritable push of a button. Yes, really.

In episode 5 of We’re Only Human, host Ben Eubanks interviews AJ Brustein, cofounder and COO of Wonolo, an on-demand hiring application. Ben and AJ discuss Wonolo’s beginnings as a startup within Coca Cola to solve a specific talent challenge and how it spun off into its own brand. In addition, they talk about how companies can make use of gigs to not only meet company objectives, but to help meet the needs of workers as well. It’s a fascinating conversation and one that will challenge your assumptions about the on demand workers you meet on a daily basis.For more information about Wonolo, check out http://www.wonolo.com

If the gig economy topic interests you, be sure to check out my previous post on the topic about how to use the gig economy to find talent.

Subscribers click through to stream the show below or click here to visit the podcast site. As always, if you subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app, you’ll be notified of the new shows and never miss an episode. 

To check out other episodes of We’re Only Human or learn more about what Ben’s up to, check out the podcast or the Where I’ll Be page.

New Research: What Candidates Really Want from Employers

Last week I published some new research that frankly surprised me. When we hear about video interviews, assessments, and hiring processes, we expect candidates and employers to be on opposite ends of the spectrum.

But it’s not the case. When asked a series of questions, both groups responded similarly, and the priorities for each group matched in terms of ranking, even if not in terms of exact percentages. In short, it was a very interesting set of research. I’ve posted a chunk of it below, but to read the full piece you’ll need to head over to Lighthouse Research.

The Candidate Experience: Perspectives on Video Interviews, Assessments, and Hiring

In some ways, hiring looks very similar to what it did twenty years ago. People search for positions, indicate interest, and are filtered down until the most promising candidate is offered a job. However, the technology we use has upgraded considerably over time. Today employers have tools to increase efficiency and efficacy, including video interviews, automated assessments, and more.

In a recent Lighthouse Research study backed by mroads, we explored some of the key aspects of hiring with video technology from both candidate and employer perspectives. The November 2016 pulse survey reached more than 250 individuals and employers, uncovering some interesting findings that both validated existing beliefs as well as uncovered some new insights. Here’s what we found out.

lighthouse special report

Key Findings

  • Stress Factor: Nearly 8 in 10 job seekers say that video interviews are as stressful or more stressful than in-person interviews.
  • Attracting Top Talent: 61% of companies say that peer interviews and interactions would be the best way to attract top talent with video hiring solutions.
  • Candidate Preferences: Nearly 25% more job seekers said they would prefer a live video interview to an in-person interview.
  • Candidate Assessment Perspective: Just under two-thirds of candidates think the right kind of assessments—those that give them an opportunity to showcase their skills or a work sample—prove their value in the hiring process.
  • Candidate Experience: Candidates believe that resumes are just as valuable as employment tests/assessments (25% each), but half of candidates say that video interviews are the most valuable tool for helping them stand out in the hiring process.

Click here to read the rest of the article (1,600 words total)

Talent Mobility Webinar: How to Recruit and Retain Internal Talent

I realized this weekend that I didn’t let you guys know about a free webinar I’ll be doing tomorrow with RecruitingBlogs. If you’re interested in joining me for the session you can sign up here

Talent mobility. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s the practice of using internal talent to fill roles as well as creating new paths and opportunities for your staff. It has a whole host of impacts and benefits.

  • Recruiting: instead of immediately looking externally for talent, you consider your internal talent inventory to determine if you have someone you can move into the role.
  • Retention: by using internal staff for filling positions, you increase retention and drive satisfaction for career-minded employees (this used to be Millennials, but I’ve heard stories of all types of workers fitting this bill).
  • Learning and development: instead of putting someone in a class, you give them an experiential/social learning opportunity by plugging them into a new environment.

In the webinar I will be talking about some companies that have made talent mobility a priority, from Chipotle to Hootsuite and World Bank Group to Tata Consultancy Services. Each case study tells a slightly different story, and I’m excited to share those examples.

In addition, we’ll look at some different sources of research on the topic that allow us to dig deeply into why this talent process matters. The research I’m doing these days around gig workers and the talent economy (I’ll be sharing some info on this in my next post) points to the fact that people want more control over their own careers and development. With that in mind, giving them flexible opportunities to contribute, grow, and develop just makes sense if we want to not only engage them, but keep them long term.

If that sounds interesting, I’d love to have you join. I try to make my webinars fun and entertaining (lots of stories) while still giving you some actionable takeaways.

Body Movin’: Why Talent Mobility is King of Retention

Recruiting Analytics, Ownership, and Accountability (New Podcast)

Today the second episode of We’re Only Human aired on the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network. The show is focused on recruiting analytics, owners, and accountability. My guest for this show is Kristina Minyard, the Senior Talent Manager at Ignite. During the show we covered some of the interesting aspects that separate staffing and corporate recruiting as well as some of the common challenges and opportunities for recruiting leaders.

Show Notes

Episode 2: Recruiting as a Service

The We’re Only Human show was created in part to help showcase the personal aspects of the employment relationship, and recruiting pulls in a variety of opportunities to explore those interpersonal relations. Despite changes in technology and strategy, many organizations are struggling to find the right talent. Is it about picking the right tools, or is there a more fundamental issue at play with the hiring manager, recruiter, and candidate interplay?

In this episode of We’re Only Human, host Ben Eubanks interviews Kristina Minyard, Senior Talent manager at Ignite. The focus of the conversation encompasses the candidate experience, how to develop a partnership with hiring managers, and some radical thinking around ownership of recruiting metrics. Ben references the recent Lighthouse study around the Modern Measures of Success in Talent Acquisition which can be found at the link below.

Modern Measures Research:

Kristina’s information:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HRecruit
HR Pockets Blog: http://hrpockets.com

How to Analyze Source of Hire Data to Validate Recruiting Efforts

If you’re interested in additional insights on measuring talent acquisition success, be sure to sign up here to get a free copy of the upcoming report I’m working on. 

What if you had a way to not only see what sources your candidates were coming from, but which ones delivered you the best people that you ended up hiring? This isn’t just possible–it should be a regular activity you perform as an HR/recruiting leader so that you can validate your hiring efforts and expenditures. For instance, what if that job ad you post with every opening sends you a lot of traffic, but nobody actually applies? Or what if your job ads net you a lot of low quality applicants but never anyone that you actually hire?

Recently I was talking with a client about their recruiting practices. While they have things like salary negotiation and first year retention down as far as recruiting goes, they are having some challenges on the technology side. They currently spend a healthy chunk of money every month sponsoring job ads to reach candidates. I am working with them to put a new applicant tracking system in place to allow candidates to apply online and be reviewed by hiring managers. Best of all, there are EEO reports and applicant flow logs they can run to be compliant with the OFCCP regulations. Win, win, win, right?

The challenge comes with their limited budget. If they are spending the money on a recruiting system, then there is less to spend on the sponsored job posts. The problem immediately arose that there were fewer candidates flowing into the system than were found previously with the sponsored advertisements. Hiring managers were a bit unsettled, and the HR team felt like it had to continue spending on ads even though they were also committed to paying for a new applicant tracking system.

My recommendation to them? Look at your source of hire data to see where your best candidates are coming from.

Analyzing Source of Hire

The process for determining source of hire is not challenging if you’re not hiring many people. If you are hiring a lot of people on a regular basis, then hopefully you have a system in place to at least track where they are coming from.

Here is the simple process for determining source of hire.

  • Create a spreadsheet
  • Put in the names and jobs for your last 20-30 hires
  • Add a column to track the source of the candidates (employee referral, sponsored ads, career site, job board, etc.)

Once you have this data, it’s time to do a bit of analysis. Where are you finding your best candidates most often? What source is driving the most hires?

Validating Your Approach

At this point you should be able to see where I’m going with this. By looking at where the candidates are coming from before they ultimately become hires, you are ensuring that your spending is in line with your results.

source of hire data

This ensures you aren’t spending money on resources and advertising channels that aren’t actually performing. Consider this example of a marketing professional trying to gain exposure for her business. She puts $2000 into radio advertising, $2000 into online ads, and $2000 into TV ads.

  • The TV ads bring her 100 leads and 10 of them become customers.
  • The online ads bring her 1000 leads and 90 of them become customers.
  • The radio ads bring her 50 leads and 2 become customers.

Which source was the most effective? If we look purely at conversion rates, the TV ads converted 10% and the other two channels were lower. However, the online ads brought a higher volume and still had a pretty good conversion rate. The radio option was the weakest performing in terms of quantity and quality. Going forward, the marketing pro would use a mix of online and TV ads to continue bringing customers to her business. We can also use the dollars spent to show an ROI. On average, the TV ad customers cost $200 to acquire. That’s valuable information to have, because it tells you how much you have to make on a customer to achieve a breakeven point and start making a profit.

The same concept applies for recruiting. Let’s say you have spent $1000 on sponsored job ads, $1000 on job board posts, and $1000 on your employee referral program. In this example:

  • The sponsored job ads brought you 500 candidates and 10 of them were hired.
  • The job board posts brought you 600 candidates and 5 of them were hired.
  • The employee referral program brought you 10 candidates and 7 of them were hired.

So, what should you continue spending money on, and what should you scale back? Let’s break it down.

  • Sponsored ad conversion rate: 2%
  • Job board conversion rate: 0.83%
  • Employee referral conversion rate: 70%

Clearly the employee referrals were the winner, but as with life, this isn’t a clear cut answer. While it might make sense to spend more money on employee referrals to drive more leads, it also is a somewhat finite resource, which makes it important to evaluate other sources and continuously try to see what is bringing you the best return. Maybe you tweak your job ads with some split testing and find out that you’re able to triple your conversion rate by linking to some employee testimonials or your salary/hiring data on employee review sites.

One final reminder: this might not be the same for all of your jobs or job classes. You may find that for technical/engineering jobs, the best source is a third party recruiter or LinkedIn sponsored content. You may see that admin roles are best filled by job board postings or referrals. That’s why in the first step I had you break down the last set of jobs filled because it’s a good chance that there is a cross section there representative of your organization’s overall hiring efforts.

Once you have your top sources of hire identified, you can move on to things like the candidate experience and recruiting like a marketer to improve your overall results. I recommend a regularly scheduled analysis of your recruiting performance from a source of hire perspective as a way to determine the best sources for finding the right candidates for your organization.

Reminder: be sure to sign up here to get a free copy of the upcoming report I’m working on around measuring recruiting efforts.

What sources consistently bring you the best candidates and hires? How do you know?