Monday, December 17, 2007

EMA Seattle Presents: Passive Candidate Workshop

1/2/08 Update: This session is being rescheduled. Please check back for an update on the new date.

I've been actively involved in SHRM's Employment Management Association of Seattle - as VP Programs, then President, now Advisor - since its founding in 2001, so I thought I'd share some details about upcoming seminars with you.

On Wed January 30th, we're proud to host Steve Lowisz, CEO of Qualigence, the largest recruitment research firm in the US.

His seminar is titled A “How To” Guide for Successfully Attracting & Hiring Passive Candidates.

I've not met Steve, but our current EMA Seattle President saw him speak at the Kennedy recruiting conference in Las Vegas earlier this year, and thought he was one of the top speakers. Our goal is to bring Seattle area recruiting and HR professionals national-conference quality speakers in a smaller forum
(max 125 people).

Registration isn't open quite yet, but I wanted to share the date and info with you right away, so that you don't miss out (almost every program we've offered in the last 3 years has sold out).

Details will be available at within the next 2 weeks.

Hope to see you there!

Wed January 30th, 2008

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Things I've Learned the Hard Way: Vendor Referrals

I had a recruiting leader contact me recently, asking me for a few vendor referrals. I realized that - rather than simply rattling off a bunch of names, which I could have done - I hopped up on my soap box first.

Let me explain.

When you or I make a referral to a vendor, we're often putting our own reputation on the line, right? I mean, if the person who asks for the referral reaches out to the firm we refer, and has a bad experience, they remember the source of the referral, and our credibility goes down. Maybe now we're left with the stink of someone who "doesn't get it" or who clearly has "lower standards". Yuck. We don't want that.

I've adapted my personal vendor referral policy over the years:

I refer people, not companies.

I trust people I know. I don't "trust" companies. It probably comes from years of buying from the great sales rep, only to end up with the third-tier doers working my account once the sale is closed. Or sticking with a company when my rockstar account manager left, and I ended up with someone who didn't "get it".

So, maybe the next time you get asked for a referral, you might add the caveat that I add: "You should call Sherry over at ABC, she's great because she..." Make it clear that you're referring a person, not the whole company.

Without naming names (smile), do you have a bad referral story to share?

Note: Our consulting firm, Riviera Advisors, doesn't take any commissions or kick backs from the firms we refer. We don't believe we can be effective, objective consultants if our clients even remotely perceive some sort of financial incentive for us to refer any vendor other than the one that's best for their needs.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Employment Branding

I'm going to risk preaching to the choir here...

I believe companies build their employment brands one candidate at a time.

It's borderline amusing to me when people start talking about employment branding, and they immediately go to their "ugly careers site" and their "lack of a good tagline" and don't discuss their recruiting and interviewing process. Come on!?!

Now, there's no question you should have a quality careers site, and - I suppose - some sort of tagline (although most of those are so silly and generic - they're all some sort of take-off on "Imagine the possibilities" or "Come join the winning team", aren't they?)

To really build a great employment brand, though, I think most companies would be better off investing their time and money in their candidate experience. I've been able to meet with many new hires and survey current candidates (both as an in-house corp recruiting leader and consultant), and I'll tell you what - there's usually quite a bit of room for improvement. And the things we can do to impact our candidate experience often have an (admittedly hard to measure) exceptionally high ROI on our employment brand.

I'll talk about how you might baseline your current candidate experience, identify opportunity areas, and some of the lower hanging fruit (relatively cheap and easy) things you can do to improve candidate experience in future posts.

In the meantime, tell us: Are you measuring your candidate experience today? Do you have any insights into the way your improvements to candidate experience have improved your employment brand? Please share. We'd love to hear what you're doing.