Engaging Top Tech Candidates Doesn’t Have to be a Mystery

Dice May 2015Finding – and more importantly – having conversations with tech talent is an ongoing challenge isn’t it? If you’re looking for an Application Developer with Agile or JavaFX experience (by tomorrow!) it can be tempting to rush in and contact any and all hot prospects in an attempt to get some sort of activity going.

And if you’ve ever done that you also likely saw it delivered lackluster results. Oh sure you broke out into a sweat with all your feverish typing and dialing but you still didn’t end up with any viable candidates.

So what to do?

Fortunately Dice has just published a fantastic resource.

 

The Definitive Guide to Engaging Top Tech Candidates takes you through the process with 3 Easy Steps to message top tech candidates via email, phone and social media channels. (seriously…go download the guide via Slideshare).

John Vlastelica with Recruiting Toolbox, in partnership with Dice, has put together this guide and he tells it like it is. Download this guide and you’ll learn:

  • John’s three steps to effective messaging: (1) preparation, (2) personalization and (3) persistence
  • How to decide what candidate information to use in your communications and when to use it
  • Rules of engagement for email, phone and social media channels – with templates to get you started

Templates!! I LOVE templates!! Why reinvent the wheel…am I right?

Look…we all make mistakes when, as recruiters, we craft a message to send to the passive-and/or-elusive talent we’re seeking. In this guide you will find out how to avoid making those mistakes and how to create the right messages.

“The best messages are never about you or the job you’re trying to fill.  

The best approaches start with the work that they are passionate

about and how you can connect them to

1) new, really challenging problems in their space, and 2) help them grow in their career.”

Andrew Carges, VP Talent Acquisition, GoDaddy

Nice.

Hey…we can ALL win in this.

Dice Big Mistakes

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Embrace change…and a little chaos

chaos“I accept chaos, I’m not sure whether it accepts me.”

Bob Dylan

The future is scary. It’s rushing at us and it’s as if we’re not even keeping pace today let alone preparing ourselves for tomorrow.

To further complicate matters, the tendency of some – not all – who work in human resources, honed after years of practice, is to hunker down, pretend that change is not coming, and keep maintaining the status quo for as long as possible.

I’m not making that up. I meet HR professionals who, even after implementation, are hoping and praying that the Affordable Care Act will go away. I talk to HR practitioners who gripe about the burdens brought on by the Family and Medical Leave Act…and the FMLA has been around since 1993.

Employee reviews on Glassdoor. The rise of the contract worker. The demands for remote work and flexibility. The globalization of talent. The economic demands of underdeveloped nations. Politics. Wearable tech. Robots. Generation Z.

For some it’s all too overwhelming.

It can be somewhat comforting in this volatile environment for HR professionals to want to go back to the basics and focus on legislative updates, benefit plan utilization reports, 401(k) administration, and the doling out of annual performance reviews.

But you can’t retreat to the comfort of the familiar.  Your CEO doesn’t close the door and refuse to pay attention to trends. Your CFO is checking the markets and conferring with financial advisors to make projections on where to invest the corporation’s assets. Your CMO, originally terrified of Twitter and Facebook circa 2010, quickly learned that she will no longer be the only one controlling the company’s message.

Put your ear to the ground.

“But I am,” you protest (I can hear you). “I belong to my local SHRM chapter and go to monthly meetings and get updates. I read that HR Magazine they send me in the mail each month. Once a year I go to a legislative conference so I know what’s been proposed on the state and federal levels.”

That’s not enough.

I want you to explore and learn and be aware about issues going on in the economy, politics, and the technology sector. I want you to pay attention to consumer trends and pop culture. I don’t care if your favorite musical genre continues to be 80’s hairband music (Guns N’ Roses forever!) and you’ve made the statement that what passes for music today is crap; if your employees are tuning in to Common and Pro Era you best have them on your radar because your references to Will Smith as a hip hop artist are not going to cut it.

I’m not even going to talk here about the need to know your business and industry. That’s a given. If I hear one more HR pundit trot out that tired old line as if it’s some sort of earth-shattering revelation I am going to, perhaps quite literally, stab someone with a fork. Obviously if you work in the restaurant industry, you best hustle your butt into the restaurant and work a shift or two. If you work in banking you best understand how bankers categorize assets. Oil and gas? I want you to be able to talk, with some degree of understanding, about supply, demand and how pricing per barrel occurs. You get the picture.

But what I’m talking about goes far beyond that. Listen…

  • I run into HR professionals who have no idea who is running for national office in their district. “I don’t like politics so I don’t pay attention.”
  • I know HR leaders who have never heard of Glassdoor or other similar sites…even though their company has scathing reviews listed. “They can do what on what website?” 
  • I encounter HR practitioners who don’t pay attention to the changing workforce demographics and the rise of independent workers. They don’t comprehend how wearable tech and the “quantified self” is not just coming to the workplace but has arrived. They think they will use robots and data and technology on their terms instead of realizing that their lives are already affected.

“ I don’t have time,” they lament. “I’ve got work and my kids and my family. I sing in the choir every Sunday and we have choir practice on Wednesday nights and soccer on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

C’mon now; don’t be that guy/gal.

I want you to be wildly curious about everything. Subscribe (or read the free versions…there are plenty out there) to Fast Company, Forbes, and the Harvard Business Review. Peruse Architectural Digest and Popular Science and Psychology Today. Check out Rolling Stone (yeah…sometimes it’s still relevant), Politico, and your local newspapers. If you live in the US watch the BBC News. Explore your town. Drive to the neighboring city and take a walk. Ask questions. Seek answers.

I want you to look forward … not backward.

I want you to welcome the future … not run from it.

I want you to embrace change … and a little chaos.

“Chaos in the midst of chaos isn’t funny, but chaos in the midst of order is.”

Steve Martin

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3 Things Your HR Department is Doing Right Now

old officeManaging employee data on spreadsheets

I recently read a job posting for an HR Director position with a mid-sized organization (several thousand employees). There, amongst the laundry list of job duties, was “Provide annual wage adjustments on Excel spreadsheet and relay wage increase information to the Payroll Department.”

Lesson: If you work in HR please don’t think you’re the only one who is behind the times. You’re not the only HR professional cobbling together your systems of record and HR data using spreadsheets, word documents and paper files.

Watching you

I had a conversation at a gathering this past weekend and a friend mentioned that his employer is “putting cameras everywhere. They’re all over the building now. They just want to catch us doing something wrong I guess.”

Lesson: No matter the reason for increasing the amount of cameras at a workplace (safety for staff, 24 hour monitoring for security reasons) rest assured that employees will be convinced the HR Lady decided to install cameras so she could catch employees in the midst of sinful transgressions. An employee once accused me of placing a camera in her office because we knew she changed clothes in there before heading to the gym; she was convinced someone in the security department was enthralled with sneaking peeks at her bra and panties.

Hiding Out

Last week a friend mentioned that her company’s HR Department (already well known for having a locked HR Department that requires employees to buzz for admittance) has recently spent a considerable amount of money ‘frosting’ the plate glass windows of the HR lobby. The explanation, as it has been relayed, is so that employees don’t see their co-workers and colleagues sitting in the HR Department.

Lesson: If your HR collateral claims your organization is warm-hearted, compassionate and open you need to make sure the HR Department understands the symbolism behind their actions. Ensuring privacy for sensitive conversations is a good thing thing but this group is sending the message (no one can see in our windows!) that the HR Department is a bad evil place just barely removed from the circles of hell. Even though the rest of the company’s employees dwell in cubicles and gather in collaborative work pods no one just pops in to chat with HR staff.

And that’s what your HR Department is doing right now.

They’re also probably on Facebook trading inspirational quotes and sharing pictures of puppies; you know, before updating the internet access policy that blocks your access to Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and…..

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Surprise Me Rob Lowe! #WorkHuman

workhumanThere are many things I’m looking forward to at the Globoforce WorkHuman 2015 conference including hearing from Tania Luna who is a trainer, consultant and “surprisologist.” She’s a founder, along with her sister, of Surprise Industries where, according to their website, they provide “a collection of non-routine experiences for non-routine people” as they focus on surprising and delighting individuals, couple and companies. Working with SI, a friend, partner, or employer can provide personalized and unique gifts, customize events to create memories, or schedule events ranging from a private yoyo workshop to a Michael Jackson class where one can learn the dance moves to MJ’s Thriller, Beat It or Smooth Criminal.

Imagine giving Karl in Purchasing (who loves loves LOVES MJ!) a never-to be-forgotten memory? That’s just one example but it’s illustrative of how organizations are refining their understanding of how human relationships at work can energize, excite, and transform the business. HR and business leaders are starting to “get it;” appreciation and recognition is much more effective when we bring the personal-and-human element back into the workplace. Karl probably doesn’t want another lapel pin to toss in his dresser drawer…but Karl will never forget learning how to moon walk.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about at WorkHuman. We’re going to explore engagement, recognition, psychology, and technology. We’re going to discuss the business impact of the human-centered workplace. We’re going to hear from keynote speakers including:

  • Arianna Huffington (Co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post)
  • Rob Lowe (Best-selling author, activist, and award-winning actor)
  • Adam Grant (Wharton School professor of psychology and best-selling author)
  • Shawn Achor (Harvard-trained researcher and NY Times best-selling author)

This is going to be good. I don’t even care which Rob Lowe shows up; I’m just looking forward to his stories about teamwork, risk-taking, work, and life. (Oh…and please please please let him talk about the Snow White at the Oscars thing…)

According to Globoforce CEO Eric Mosley “WorkHuman is designed to empower organizations to harness the transformative power of emotional connections among colleagues, and supercharge efforts to build a humanity-focused workplace culture.”

Interested in joining us? Use code RSWH15100 and you’ll receive $100 off the registration price.

I hope to see you there!

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Hypocritical Leadership

do-as-i-sayYou’ve made it!

You’ve been promoted and now you’ve got that nice cushy management gig with the corner office, embossed letterhead and a budget to take other big-shots out to lunch.  You vow to never forget what it’s like working in the cubicle-farm, churning out the product and getting results for the man.  You draw up a mental inventory of what you’re going to do to be a great leader.  You WANT to influence others, accomplish objectives and move your group and organization forward.  You KNOW that your actions can and will inspire others.

But as the years pass, some subtle changes in your behavior start to emerge.  And suddenly – you’ve become a ………. hypocritical leader…….

(1) A person who engages in the same behaviors he condemns others for. (2) A person who professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them. (3) A person who holds other people to higher standards than he holds himself
(from the Urban Dictionary)

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“Not me!” you say.  “Why, I live by the same rules and set of standards that I expect my employees to live by.  I haven’t forgotten what it’s like!”

Huh.

Check it …

“We have an attendance policy and I expect you to be here on time or else I’ll have to give you a written warning.” (But I’ll stroll in whenever I feel like it)

“When you’re here at work, it’s time to work.  We can’t allow access to LinkedIn, MSNBC or gmail because you’ll just waste time and not get your job done.” (But I can play Words with Friends on my company provided iPhone all throughout the day)

“The company email system is to be used for work-related purposes only.” (But I’m going to forward the vacation pictures from my Cancun trip to all my friends and co-workers).

“My personal motto is ‘I hire the best people and get out of their way so they can do their job.” (But I’m going to need you to cc me on every e-mail and give me a written progress report of how you’ve spent your time each day).

Indeed.

You may still be the Boss…but are you still the Leader?

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this post originally ran at the HR Schoolhouse 

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