Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A sarcastic reply to a sarcastic suggestion about careers sites

Sarcasm gone a little too far?

I was suggesting to one of my clients that - when we launch the new ATS-powered online careers site - they should create a more visible home page link to their careers site, as it's hidden now under a link to "411". Love this client, as they make me laugh - and share a common love of sarcasm in email!

Their response:
I was planning on putting it under 411 and then having a hot button “More 411” and then a hot button “411 Extras” and then a hot button “Want to Work at [Retailer]?” and then “Really Want to Work at [Retailer]?” and then “Apply Here”, but I guess a Jobs link on the home page would be ok.

My response:
What would be even cooler, is if people had to create an avatar (online pic of themselves), and dress them in only [retailer] brands, and then literally go on a treasure hunt to find jobs on the site. We hide the jobs all over the site – like in investor relations and privacy policy areas. They collect “hoops” for jumping through hoops, and when they reach 100 hoops, they get a special code SMS’d to their cell phone (Verizon only). With this code in hand, they go to a new website (www.jumpthroughthis.com) where – after entering their 16 digit, case sensitive code - they get to see the magical “apply now” button (Mac only, no PC users). We would get SOOO much press if we did that – wicked cool!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One month on Twitter

So my friend Carmen Hudson (we worked together at Amazon.com; she's now with Yahoo) told me I had to try twitter. I said my initial exposure to it was not good - random comments from people "waiting in line to get a latte" and 140 character ponderings about politics or fashion from people who clearly had too much time on their hands.

Well, admittedly, you do get some of that. But what I've found - after a month really using twitter - is that I like it. Here's a few reasons why...

  1. It's an easy way to stay connected to people you know. Lots-o-people I know are on it. I was surprised, frankly, at how many experienced, senior level folks I know use it. You probably know a lot of people on it, too.
  2. The messages are short, and often funny. It takes little time to write and read "tweets", and at least 1/3 amuse me, 1/3 educate me, and 1/3 are just little status updates (telling me where someone is, or what they're doing at work or home).
  3. Assuming the people you know have similar interests, you can benefit from community filtering of news or events. A recruiting leader I know writes a 5-10 word intro to an interesting article he read, and then links to it in his twitter update. I know he's "vetted" the article for me, as he's no dummy, and wouldn't pass it along if it wasn't interesting.
  4. You can share timely, important updates with your network. For example, a recruiter friend of mine just went through a 40 person layoff last week. I put a note out on twitter saying I had a contact there if anyone was interested in these folks, and immediately got 3 other recruiters interested. Another friend publishes his "hot job" of the week on there, instantly exposing it to 100s of people who follow him.
  5. You can connect your updates to feed into sites like facebook, so that you update your status in one place, not two or three.
  6. You learn things about people you thought you already knew. I've learned what I do - and don't - have in common with people I know. Politics, hobbies, favorite restaurants, travel destinations, vendors they like, conferences they like, news sources they read, etc.
I'm going to stick with it. Have you given it a go?


Monday, October 20, 2008

If you're in the Seattle area, connect on Linkedin

Hi - Just a quick note to let you know that I set up 2 different Linkedin Groups over the past month.

SMA Seattle's Seattle Recruiting Group:
Join this if you're an HR or recruiting professional interested in the Seattle marketplace. We're just about to 100 "members" now.

Corporate Recruiting Leadership Group/Seattle:
This group's membership is limited to corporate (no vendors/search) recruiting leaders (managers/directors/vp's only) in the Seattle area.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tweets, Blogs, and Widgets – Oh MY! Web 2.0 for Recruiters

Join me and about 125 other Seattle-area recruiters and recruiting/HR leaders for a great lunch and learn session on Web 2.0 on Nov 12. Details at www.smaseattle.org. Hope to see you there!

Our November program will welcome back Carmen Hudson to the Pacific Northwest! She’ll talk to us about Web 2.0 and describe emerging trends in web technology that aim to enhance creativity, information sharing and collaboration. This fun, interactive session will go beyond LinkedIn to explore the world of social media, “cloud recruiting”, blogs, widgets and avatars. What is Web 2.0 and why should recruiters plug in? Do sites such as Twitter, YouTube and Second Life yield real-world hires?

Carmen Hudson, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Yahoo!, will share her experiences, wins and pitfalls of leveraging Web 2.0 to attract talent, as well as discuss exciting new tools on the horizon. Bring your questions and observations to prepare for this lively exchange!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Referral Bonuses - I saw something new today...

When I was a Corporate Recruiting Leader, we'd make changes to our employee referral bonus payouts to see where the law of diminishing returns kicked in (if we double it to $4,000, will we get twice the hires?). We also recognized that we wanted to set reward levels differently based on position, but it was a hassle to administer and track, so we generally set bonus levels for big groupings, like hourly and salaried.

This week I'm reviewing ATS's for a 350+ store retailer/client, and - today - I received a demo of HR Smart.

They offered something I've never seen, but often wanted.
  • In their system, you can set different employee referral bonuses based on the req. So your easy-to-fill marketing job may have a small or no referral bonus, while your tech job may have a $1,000 bonus and your tech manager job may have a $4,000 bonus.
  • The referral bonus amount for a job is shown to the employee at the time they review open jobs on your internal careers site. No need to refer to a separate ER policy/program page matrix to figure out what each job pays.
  • You can set it up so that the bonus pays out in phases - maybe $500 if their referral makes it to an interview, $500 if hired, and another $500 on their 30 day anniversary.
  • And, you can even set up referral bonuses for non-employees. So that anyone who reviews your careers site can see the $1,000 (or whatever) bonus you're offering for a job.
Granted, I got a 75 min demo, and didn't see how all of the back-end processing works (or doesn't work). But I love the fact that a systems company is looking for ways to help us maximize our #1 source of external hires.

p.s. Again, I get no commissions or kickbacks from this or any ATS vendor.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Well, spent a good part of the day getting a demo of Virtual Edge, a top rated ATS. Coming soon to a theater near you...they're going to be offering SMS text notifications from their ATS. Very cool.

I have a client that hires mostly 16-25 year olds into their retail sales positions. And I'll tell you, SMS/texting is going to be great for them. Email is sooooo 2006.

Imagine auto texting an acknowledgment of an application submitted online, notifying someone of a new job opening that fits their job-agent criteria, confirming interviews, or even sending referral solicitations directly to kids' (er, young people's) cell phones.

I don't know of other ATS vendors that offer this. But am glad to see it's coming. Soon.

p.s. I don't take any sales commissions or kickbacks from Virtual Edge or any ATS vendors.