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Four Easy Delegation Strategies

Posted By APSO, 08 September 2015

Four Easy Delegation Strategies


About the Author: Bill Radin is one of the most popular and highly regarded trainers in the recruiting industry and trains across the United States.

There’s no substitute for interacting with your candidates and employers in real time. But unfortunately, there are only so many hours in each day. By delegating routine, repetitive or data-oriented tasks, you can save time and in many ways exercise more control than if you were to perform every single function personally.

Here are some tips on how to delegate your tasks. Remember that delegation doesn’t necessarily mean that you give tasks to other people. I’ve found that in many cases, I can use various instruments of delegation to leverage my efforts. Here are a few examples:

  • CV templates. 

Years ago, I used to spend time coaching candidates to help them improve the quality and appearance of their CVs. Today, I ask them to go to my website and study the template of an exemplary resume and revise theirs accordingly. In this case, the template acts as an instrument of delegation, and the exercise spares me a lot of the time I might spend as an editor, not a recruiter. If the candidates can clearly see how to organise their accomplishments, they can re-format their CV and improve their chances of getting hired.

  • Position comparisons. 

If a candidate is unclear about the merits of a new job, you can use itemised lists to help make A-B comparisons with the old job. To compare compensation, I use a simple side-by-side spreadsheet to examine items such as base salary, bonus, deferred compensation, insurance costs, hidden expenses and health care benefits. To compare intangibles, I’ll provide a worksheet to examine the qualitative differences between jobs to help the candidate make an informed decision. By delegating to the worksheets, I can change the candidate’s perception of my role from salesman (“Here’s why you should take the job”) to advisor (“Let’s analyse your situation based on the facts”).

  • Interview prep

You should always custom tailor the way you prepare candidates prior to their interviews. But there are also many standard conventions regarding attire, attitude, punctuality and so forth that you can just as easily give to your candidates in the form of a reading assignment, rather than as a night-before lecture. Delegating the talking points of your interview prep to a brochure or web page saves time and allows you to concentrate on the candidates’ understanding of the position and on any interviewing skills that need the most attention.

  • Applications and navigators. 

Often, you can get better information in a more timely fashion directly from the candidates and hiring managers themselves than you can by an exhaustive interviewing process. By having the employer fill out a questionnaire (which I call an “executive search navigator”) and the candidate fill out an application or bio-survey, I can get routine demographic information in advance, freeing me up to concentrate on the more intangible and subjective aspects of their needs.

One Delegation to Avoid

I know this may sound counter-intuitive, but the one instrument of delegation I never want a candidate to see is the company’s job description. There are three reasons for this: First, most standard-issue job descriptions are so exhaustive with their “must-have” lists that they tend to demoralise candidates who don’t check every single box. Second, most job descriptions are outrageously vague and superficial, and rarely address the issue of “why” the position needs to be filled or “how” the right candidate will help the company solve problems or achieve goals.

Finally, a job description can undermine the recruiter’s value as a matchmaker and interpreter of the company’s unique opportunity relative to the candidate’s true potential. The last thing I want is to find a candidate, establish trust and present a job I feel is a good match, only to have a job description contradict or confuse the narrative. 

Tags:  APSO  Bill Radin  candidate  clients  coaching  delegation  job description  planning  strategy 

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Turn Reference Checks into Placements

Posted By APSO, 26 January 2015
Updated: 18 December 2014

On the surface, a reference check's purpose is to verify a candidate's background information: Education, work history, job title, salary, professional accomplishments and so forth.

Due diligence, after all, should play a key role in any important decision. And as recruiters, it's our professional responsibility to make sure the hiring managers we work with are empowered by the data we provide, and protected against misrepresentation, deliberate or otherwise.

To the savvy recruiter however, a reference check is much more than a fact checking exercise. It's a vast ocean of information to explore, and an invaluable tool that can turn doubt into confidence.



There are several different objectives—and potential objectives—with respect to reference checking. These range from the obvious, like making sure everything lines up properly in the candidate's chronology, to the less obvious, such as exploring marketing and lead-generation opportunities with the person you're talking to

Hidden Potential

But there's one objective that's mostly overlooked by recruiters. And that's the chance to cross-reference the prospective employer's concerns about the candidate, and find out whether any perceived weaknesses are real, relevant or potentially game-ending.

Here's an example. Let's say the prospective employer you’re working with and your candidate has interviewed with each other a couple of times. Both meetings went well. At the conclusion of your second-level interview debriefing with the candidate, you correctly ask the closing question, "Do you want the job?" and the candidate says yes. Later, at the end of your debrief with the hiring manager, you ask if he likes that person and wants to move forward, and he says yes. So then you ask the question, "Should I go ahead and contact the candidate's references and verify his degree?" To which the hiring manager says, "Yes, by all means."

Now, here's the point at which most recruiters end the conversation, go off on their merry way and start calling the references.

What you should do is slow down. Take a deep breath. And ask the following question. "Are there any areas of concern you have about the candidate? And if so, is there a question I can ask the referees that might be useful in evaluating the candidate with respect to that concern and how it could potentially impact the candidate's performance, if that person were to join your team?"

Now, you might think this is exactly the wrong path to take. In other words, why inject the element of doubt in the employer's head—or worse, reinforce a potential negative?

My answer is that the concern is going to be there anyway. And if that’s the case, I'd rather get it out in the open and deal with it now than sweep it under the rug and let it become a big problem later.

Besides, the most powerful aspect of a reference check is the ability to focus on the exact issue that concerns the prospective employer and let a disinterested third party allay that fear. If I, the recruiter, were to try to deal with the concern, it would probably be seen as an attempt to serve my own interests at the expense of the employer’s.

But if the former employer can vouch for the candidate, the whole issue can be put to rest—or depending on the judgment of the previous supervisor, might even have the effect of converting a negative into a positive. In sales, we call this technique "closing on the objection." And it can be a beautiful thing.

If it turns out the hiring manager's concerns are well-founded, I suggest you ask the same question to the next reference—and the next. If there's unanimity of opinion, it's your duty to report back what the references have said about the candidate. You may not be thrilled by this turn of events, but at least you've done your duty, by providing accurate information that can be used to weigh the candidate's suitability for the job.

If there's no clear consensus regarding the concern, it's also your job to put the feedback on the table, or even encourage a dialogue (if it's appropriate to the situation) between the references and the new employer.

I've learned that if you work proactively, reference checks can work not only to your advantage—but to everyone's advantage. On the flip side, being in denial or delegating the reference checking process to people who are less experienced only closes the door on opportunities. And once that door is closed, it can be a real struggle to get it opened again.

AuthorBill 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. For more, visit www.billradin.com. Article first appeared on www.net-temps.com

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  candidate  placements  reference checks 

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting

Posted By APSO, 09 October 2014
Updated: 18 September 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting

Jobvite, a global recruitment platform recently released their whitepaper, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting.” Included hereunder is an overview of these so-called “sins”...are you guilty?

We all (at least I think we all do) understand that the world of work has changed and with these changes, so too have the expectations of clients and candidates and the methods by which we source, engage and recruit them. Therefore, it stands to reason that the way that we operate as recruiters should change too.

Check yourself: Read the 7 deadly sins, according to Jobvite, and see if you need to amend your behaviour to improve your success rates as a digital age recruiter.



#1 “Find them and forget them”

It’s no longer acceptable to go out sourcing candidates and then, when the job is done, to simply forget them, starting afresh with each new job spec. Quality, skilled candidates require (and expect) nurturing. If you haven’t already invested in a candidate management system you need to start today. Build brand loyalty through regular, effective and efficient communication. Consider leveraging technology, including multi-channel communication platforms, to build and maintain strong candidate relationships.

#2 “Shots in the dark”

Analytics are essential for any business today, especially recruiters. If you don’t analyse where you source candidates, how best you engage with them and what behaviours translate into placements and future business referrals, you’re simply shooting in the dark. To ensure you have the right information at the right time, invest in technology that allows you to: (1) trace candidates back to the origin, (2) maintain contact and determine when/why/how they apply for your positions, and (3) pull reports that are simple, accurate and flexible.

#3 “Failure to feed the funnel”

You never have enough candidates. In today’s fickle society you always have to consider where you can grow your candidate base. Ensure that you consistently source new candidates through social recruiting, effective communication campaigns and candidate referral programmes.

#4 “Devalue the power of PR”

As important as Employer Branding is for your clients, Candidate Branding is equally important for your recruitment business. Invest time, energy and resources in building and maintaining your brand through consistent messaging and targeted PR campaigns.

#5 “Stuck with what we know”

As much as you shouldn’t throw out techniques that work, it is dangerous to rely too heavily on systems simply because “they’ve worked up to now”. Leverage new ways of finding and engaging candidates and clients, including social recruitment, digital marketing, use of specialised recruitment apps and platforms. Actively research what is available and give them a try. Remember too to integrate wherever possible to leverage every avenue and reduce administration.

#6 “Failure to get buy-in from the top”

Keep your management team informed and share the successes resulting from your innovation. When servicing clients, consider how you can educate them about your expertise and utilisation of technology, especially if you wish to increase fees and highlight your value!

#7 “If you build it, they will come”


No matter how much you invest in technology, fancy websites or snazzy marketing material, you still have to consciously go out and get the business. To really attract the right clients and candidates you need to properly understand your target audience and what appeals to them. Now, more so than ever before, marketing is about creating value, sharing quality content and positioning yourself as an expert. Enhance your success rate by: (1) Delivering quality, relevant content, (2) Make it easy for people to do business with you, and (3) Consider what would appeal to candidates in particular.

 

 

 

 

Tags:  APSO  apsogram  candidate  employer branding  innovation  PR 

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It's a Question of Ethics

Posted By APSO, 18 September 2014

Attie Botes, It’s a Question of Ethics

It may be legal, but is it ethical?


Since the beginning of the year the ethics department was especially made aware of a gruelling and highly controversial issue by candidates and members alike. The issue related to certain penalty clauses contained in a client’s offer of employment and/or contracts of employment. The most common of these are penalties related to being liable for repayment of the placement fee incurred when the candidate (then an employee) leaves the employ of the client within a certain period of time.

In the example a candidate’s offer of employment and/or contract of employment will contain a clause requiring him/her to stay in the employ of the client for a certain period of time (usually 12 months but in some cases even longer), failing which the candidate will incur the liability of repaying the placement fee that the client paid to the agency who placed him/her. In principle this appears to be legal and may even be seen as a logical way for a client to “protect” its business interest for which it has arguably paid a hefty fee. There are however, in my opinion, several problems with action like this.



Firstly, most agencies provide a guarantee for their service to a client, generally around three to six months. If the candidate’s employment is terminated for any lawful reason within this guarantee period the agency will usually try to find a suitable alternative candidate, failing which a part or the whole of the fee received would be paid back to the client. In this regard the client’s contractual provisions with the candidate would be superfluous. It is important that an agency discuss this with their client, especially at the risk of losing a good candidate and having your brand associated with the client and its actions.

Additionally the candidate was not a party when the placement fee was negotiated between you and your client. He or she did not have an opportunity to partake in the negotiations of a matter that would ultimately have an impact on his or her future. Also, candidates are somewhat on the back foot when it comes to securing employment as the current job market is tough. A candidate is just so happy to have got the job and do not want to prejudice their position with their future employer in any way and might therefore be unwilling to raise this concern/issue at the outset of the relationship. Here the agency plays a significant role as mediator in matter such as these.

Lastly such a provision may amount to a naked restraint, stopping the candidate from securing any future position outside the employ of the client for the contracted period. Ten to twenty five percent of an annual gross salary is a significant amount of money for anybody to pay and this is sure to be enough to stop a candidate from seeking alternative employment, even in circumstances where they are unhappy in their position or even when their personal circumstances warrants same. This is surely not a positive situation for your client or for your agency as the word is sure to spread to stay away from such and such a company or agency.

The bottom line is that your agency’s name will inevitably be associated with your client’s and the candidates you source. Just as important as it is to source high calibre candidates the same applies to servicing your clients and making sure that they remain preferred employers for candidates. It is therefore imperative that you engage with your clients on topics such as these and make sure that they are aware of the repercussions, especially negative, of them. Educate your clients and try to find ways to develop your service offering to them in an effort to avoid scenarios like this. It will no doubt result in you becoming the “go-to” agency because of the high level of service and business solutions you can offer to clients.

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  candidate  client  ethics  placement fee 

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Performance Managing your Recruitment/Staffing Providers

Posted By Natalie Singer, 06 June 2013
Updated: 06 June 2013

Most companies have structured performance review systems in place for their employees but only a handful have anything to assess their recruitment/staffing provider.

Recruitment costs are significant and whilst many companies have strict tendering requirements and service level agreements in place with their preferred suppliers, too few have a system to accurately assess delivery. After all, what do you measure?

  • Price / Spend?
  • Number of CVs submitted per vacancy?
  • Number of interviews set up with candidates?
  • Number of placements?
  • Success of the placed candidate over a period of time, i.e. 6 months?

People are not products

Applying simple service delivery assessments, as associated with products, doesn’t work. People are by nature flexible, unreliable and open to a myriad of things that can change their circumstances and affect their employment. You can’t say that if "employee A” doesn’t work out the provider should simply substitute with "employee B”, as would be the case with a defective product. 

Most of the staffing industry provides a form a guarantee but companies are cautioned against viewing this as a guarantee on the individual. After all, no one can predict what another person will do in the future. Rather, this guarantee should talk to the delivery of the service that has been agreed between the provider and the client. For instance, it would not be reasonable to expect an agency to replace a candidate who suddenly becomes ill and incapable of doing the job, except if it could be proven that the agency knew about the illness and purposely did not disclose this to the client, knowing full well that the placement would not be successful.

The controllable aspects are the recruitment methodologies and due diligence undertaken by the agency in assessing the candidate, not the decisions of the candidate or employer once the placement has been made.

Avoid comparing apples with oranges

On the surface most recruiters seem to be offering the same service, but don’t be fooled. There are a myriad of different recruitment methodologies and clients should ensure that they fully understand what they’re buying. When assessing a provider, ask the following questions:

  • What is their area of specialisation?
  • Can they prove success?
  • How do they source their applicants?
  • What processes are followed to screen applicants?
  • Method of interview, assessments, verification checks etc
  • What is the experience/expertise of the consultant assigned to manage the account?
  • What kind of success do they have in terms of placement and do their candidates remain in employment for a significant period of time?How much do they know about your business?
  • Will they be able to effectively source people who not only meet the technical requirements but would also be a good "culture fit”

It may be worthwhile to invite interested providers to do a formal presentation to your HR team. This way you can access their level of expertise, question their methodology and determine whether there is a "fit” for a mutually beneficial partnership going forward.

Annual Reviews

There is no point in having a preferred supplier list as long as your arm if the companies on it are not performing. Spend time each year assessing the suppliers against your expectations and their actual delivery and chop those that haven’t made the grade.At the end of the year, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which agencies actually made placements in the past year? Remove any that haven’t.
  • Of those who made placements, what kind of placements did they make? For example, have the tended to excel in placing IT people, finance, or technical? Separate your suppliers into subject-matter experts. Keep these lists separately and only send them specs for relevant positions, rather than the shotgun approach of sending all specs to everyone on the list.
  • Of the candidates who were placed, how many did not make it through the probation (or guarantee) period? Interrogate why this happened? Was it related to poor recruitment, or something else? How often has it happened per agency? If the problems appear to be with the initial recruitment process then consider ditching agencies that consistently don’t perform.
  • How many of the placed candidates have proven to be value-added employees who are contributing to the overall goals of the organisation? These are the agencies you want to work with so invest time in these relationships.

A shorter list of specialised providers is not only easier to manage, but you’ll be surprised at the increased quality levels that will come from providers who are no longer competing with every Joe Soap and who feel they can invest time and effort in developing long-term relationships with you.

Tags:  agency  APSO  assessment  candidate  CV  guarantee period  interview  performance management  placements  preferred supplier listing  recruiter  shortlist  skill  staffing  verification 

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