Tag Archives: beach

2012 in review for HuTalentJam

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Recruiters: Can you tell if a candidate is pulling your chain?

Recently one of my recruiter clients talked about detecting, during a phone interview, a candidate’s response that might be “pulling your chain” or in effect lying to you.  I initially screen candidates on all levels for all kinds of jobs and never went into a phone interview assuming that they will likely lie about SOMETHING. At the same time I bet there isn’t a recruiter who has been in the business for at least several years who would admit they aren’t good at detecting lies during the interview.  Instead they might say something like “things don’t add up” or “I don’t feel good about this guy” or some vague misgiving they cannot pinpoint.

I am on vacation and wanted to see what I missed in TED talks this year.  Pamela Meyer’s 18 minute talk on detecting lies and the research behind it made me sit, watch and ultimately learn and that launched this blog post.  Here is is on my Pinterest Board for Recruiters: http://pinterest.com/pin/177962622746728692/.  I promise you will learn at least one thing that could make you a better interviewer besides asking the right questions.

What did I learn from it?  First, that really I shouldn’t be so naive to think that this doesn’t really happen on an initial screen where questions are pretty general.  The research says it WILL happen at least three times in the first 10 minutes!

Second, the language can give a person away in their answers.  Meyers give some examples that are obvious (using “that woman” by Bill Clinton) but also saying things like “to tell you the truth”.  I want to know more, especially since this talk’s insights are research-based.  It might allow me to ask the question  of “why would you move to (name a place) for this job?” or “why would you leave your current job at this time?” in a different way or maybe interpret the answer better.

Thirdly, Meyer’s comments on the challenge of social media and “sharing” one’s life (transparency) is not equated to honesty.  We intuitively know that but what do we do to get past the noise and get at the truth?  I tend to ask specific and pointed questions about job experience but what I don’t do is get evidence that collaborates it, even if it is indirect.  Should I do that as a Sourcer?  We know that reference checking doesn’t do that job well unless the hiring manage chooses the references.  If I do validatin would it be compliant with OFCCP?  Maybe I should form my questions better OR listen to their answers more closely instead.

To complicate this is the interviewing “PRO” – that person who is smoothly answering all questions, to the point and in a short time, while being friendly and open to more questions.  You get these once in a great while and they always are a breath of fresh air for you know they will interview well further down the line.   I have always been impressed by such sophistication and find it in people from those companies that train their managers well.  But this video made me stop and think about my prejudice.   Do they lie less?  How could I tell?

Looks like I’ll have to read Pam Meyer’s book to get more into the answers and formulate a way to deal with what seems to be a human enough trait but one that our clients are expecting we will help them with in assessing candidates.

What would a retail ad look like if it was a job post?

During SourceCon in Frisco TX this past week I was thinking about what one of the speakers said about advertising for jobs.  Think of some of the components of a retail ad (generated by Marketing) for whatever product you can think of – clothes, electronics, kitchenware, bedding etc.:

  • Images that describe the product as well as the retailer
  • Some copy but not too much; most of it bulleted
  • Price
  • Value proposition – why would I buy this? and buy it now?
  • Some information on where to go to order online
  • Placement – everywhere for a limited time of maybe a week
  • Assumes that anyone can purchase their products but making the ads accessible in various channels such as TV, print, website, in-store ads, etc.

But if they followed our typical job post template what would they do?  Be mindful we are now having ads generated by HR/Recruiting:

  • They wouldn’t put an image in it but might put the company logo
  • They would put lots of copy in it and some of it in running paragraphs
  • They would add that the price is competitive and sometimes negotiable
  • They would add what it is in for for the company and rarely give an urgency message
  • Some information on where to apply online at the very bottom of the ad
  • They would still place it everywhere that accepts the job  template for a limited time of maybe 30-60 days
  • Assumes that anyone can apply to their jobs if they look hard enough on the company website and are tapped into the right channels of advertising

Does it sound like this strategy would sell a lot of product?  In fact it sounds like they don’t want to sell as much as they want to lay out their one-way terms of engagement.

WOW – we can learn a thing or two from retailers!  How could we be more like them?

  1. Include Marketing in our design of job posts
  2. Doing #1 might add more images that show links to other parts of the website – such as “What is it like to work here?” or “This what I do” or “Here is someone already in this job – what they do”
  3. Make the copy bulleted and enough to make them go tot he website for more information
  4. Give an idea of the salary range and other benefits
  5. As the Army says “We want you!” should be the effect in the post
  6. Provide a short link that goes to the job but also another link that says – just register so we can tell you when something comes up
  7. We keep our jobs up there way too long  – two weeks is enough I would think
  8. Make it easy to see and apply – SMS is a bright idea for this; using other portals expands your reach; using QR codes could make it convenient and be anywhere

His and Her Recruiting Rules?

Came across this article in the Wall Street Journal on Sept 6th about “His and Hers Shopping Rules” – gender-based selling in retail by Sanette Tanaka.  The synopsis is:

  • Retailers know that men hate to browse so they keep all products related to men in one place
  • Retailers also know that women like suggestions so they train their sales associates to offer product alternatives
  • Studies show women are more affected by personal interactions with sales associates while men are affected by pragmatic factors such as product availability and parking spaces
  • Women are more risk averse – wanting more information before the “buy” such as the ability to feel fabric, see tailoring details
  • Men want their areas clearly defined so they know where to go once in the store and hate asking questions

Big Box retailers have had great success redesigning store layouts to accommodate some of this gender research on shopping habits and practices.  So why am I telling you this?  It struck me that many recruiters out there are likely doing gender-based selling already.  It comes out of the interview process – men want the details up front and transparency tends to make their day.  Women ask the organizational questions, work-life balance and the tone of the interview affects them a little more than it does men.  Of course you already found exceptions to this – the female candidate that asks about salary first, the man who can’t travel because he has a new baby.

More to the point though is how we are Marketing our jobs and companies on a precept of “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”.  Does our press kit, website, Facebook page, LinkedIN group appeal to both? For example, for men is the information they need within two clicks?  For women is there a live chat with recruiting, a culture story, evidence of diversity and clear stories of career progression?

Should we be more mindful of sex differences in the approach of candidates searching for a job?  We talk about where the candidates are all the time as Sourcers but have we ever put that in context of gender-based selling and more importantly SHOULD WE?  Yes the compliance question rears its head – the differences are undeniable but we treat all candidates the same, market to them the same and look for them in the same ways.

‘Like to hear your comments on whether or not you tend to adjust your processes according to gender.  I bet you recruiters at least do some mirroring – adjusting to the candidate as he or she is interviewed.  But do you source them differently?  I am thinking Pinterest can help differentiate between both segments (I know that 86% of pinners are female but it keeps dropping).


The Candidate as a God

I was reading the Wall Street Journal from Sat July 21 2012 – an article caught my eye entitled “Customer as a God” which centered around the future of shopping.  Source: http://careers.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/index.aspx.  I thought it was a great glimpse into the future of recruiting.

When you consider a candidate is a product that needs a buyer when they are on the market one can envision that the same technology that allows for fulfillment of immediate product needs could also be used for finding a job.


We already have the start of this concept – SMS (Short Message Service) of jobs that open and are sent to registered candidates who may or may not be on the market.  It’s a “pull” strategy that depends  on timing.  It also doesn’t give you comparisons of other jobs available that could be at the same level and price point.  Conversely, as we see in the article, a company could shop for a candidate and compare in the same way – as to salary or price point, features (attributes such as skills), and shipping (relocation fees).  I know that sounds like it is rather inhumane but any job seeker will tell you going through an ATS isn’t a humanizing experience.  Also consider that if jobs continue the upward trend into temp/contracting and are more project based, this scenario becomes even more plausible.  We can take it further – job seekers get validation certs and “likes” or “recommendations”.   The concept might seem so remote but LinkedIn is doing that part of the profiling job seekers need already.

What do you think?  Is the analogy going too far?

Optimizing LinkedIn for Your Personal Branding

One of the outcomes of going to TalentNetLIVE! in Dallas was to hear Craig Fisher, the meeting’s organizer and LinkedIn trainer, speak about “Awsomizing Your LinkedIn Profile” based on LinkedIn research that is not generally known about.

Starting with the headline,  Craig’s advice is to to say what you do.  If filling job openings is what you do, then the word “jobs” should be in the title.  If you work for a company then mentioning that is good to from a search result perspective.

As for the photo – which you do have up right? (40% more click-throughs using a photo) – research shows that for MEN – the off-profile, non-smiling (will a smirk be OK?) head shot works best.  For WOMEN – it is the full face, smiling head shot that is most appealing.  If you have a shot with a pet, as long as you can see your face clearly, that is OK too since it is more profersonal (nod to Jason Seiden).

In the Summary section Craig feels you should have three things mentioned:

  1. Say what you do
  2. Show you’re better
  3. Be profersonal (non-business comment)
  • Provide keywords on your specialties but be mindful of your audience.  So as a person who posts jobs I added:
  • CPG jobs
  • Marketing jobs
  • Clinical jobs
  • Social media recruiting
  • Sourcer


Craig suggested searching Google Adwords keyword helper (https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS ) to search on most searched upon terms by your audience.  As an example. adding “job seeker” to the search bar shows that that term isn’t as popular as job, job search, job hunter, looking for work.  So his advice of having these words in your profile will allow it to come up on a search more often when job seekers are searching LinkedIn.

In your Work Experience area, Craig suggests NOT telling about your accomplishments. Adding a short story as to what you learned and found interesting about the job is more likely to get read through.  You can add one-two sentences about your duties and accomplishments.  Following Seiden’s “make your world profersonal” it allows someone reading your work experience to go beyond the most current job.

Under each job Craig said he adds a paragraph with your name, keywords that cite location, title, duties, awards, etc.

For your links, you add links right? – make the description more salsey – such as “Great jobs at Kimberly-Clark” in place of that long url.  Add your Linkedin url everywhere you can – email signature, blog, guest blog post, slides, etc. since that is a nice back link to your profile and highly indexed by Google.

If you have added an Amazon list to your profile it will tell the reader what your hobbies are, how you keep up – in short – the more personal side of you.  I’m amazed how this list has worked wonders for my profersonal branding – many reach out when I post a new book I have read.

Finally Craig feels you should spend the time to create a slideshows, that should be highly visual, of topics such as your career history, the company you work for in terms of culture, product/service line and jobs and a hobby and how you pursue it.  Post this through SlideShare application on your LinkedIn profile and it will help with your visibility on search engines.   He also mentioned visualize.me – that will do infographics for you based on your LinkedIn profile.  Very cool – these images can then be shared on Google+ and other netowrks.  You can also export it as a pdf file to add to Box.net on your LinkedIn profile.

Craig’s full presentation is on talentnetlive.com and thanks to him, we can keep our profiles fresh and up to date.

Will the Internet Allow Us to Grow?

Just reading in The Economist a book review of “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You” by Eli Pariser – full article is here:http://econ.st/InvisSieve  .  Eli Pariser is an Internet activist and is part of MovingOn.org.  Eric Schmidt’s (Google CEO)  musings of how Google will one day suggest what college to apply for or what book you should read next as a result of the search engine knowing you so well gave me a chill.  The concerns expressed by the author were exactly what I was thinking when personalization of search and almost everything was starting to take hold in about 2007.As someone who came from an R&D environment where serendipity and “prepared” chance discoveries could yield new directions or new interpretations of data gives appreciation for Pariser’s view of this extreme personalization being dangerous.  “Dangerous” sounds ominous doesn’t it? But I have to agree that not being allowed to see challenging viewpoints or alternative information to a query dampens growth and makes us conformist or shall I dare say -“dumber”?

I recall that when I went to college/university the educative idea was to expose a student to as many alternative viewpoints as possible.  Once you leave academe though you have to do this on your own – how does one accomplish  that today?  I try to read a more diverse set of news media to get those views on news and world events.  yet there are times when I feel that I am not getting the right mix.  Ever feel that way? Or maybe you can recall a few moments when you discovered what is now your favorite author, or your newest hobby or when you learned you were really good in art.  How did you discover those moments?  Would a search engine discover that for you?

Ironically as a recruitng Sourcer I depend on people slotting themselves in a career path (engineer, software design for example) and pretty much sticking to it.  It makes it easier for me to find them and frankly if one strays from a career path a resume isn’t looked upon as stable although that attitude by hiring managers will have to change.    The Generation X and Ys will change their career an average of six to 12 times during their work life, depending on what research you read.  They will have to morph their careers more often because of faster technology changes and global economic cyclic forces.  So my job will get harder but it begs the question – if you want to change careers and everything you touch is personalized for the “old you” how do you change it?

The book provides some suggestions to get away from the personalization profiling but I am hoping that the large companies that depend on personalization, such as Amazon or news agencies, will come up with a way to show alternative views or picks.  Think of the economic reason for developing that algorithm – it expands your area of interest so you buy more.   Right now I just ignore suggestions from LinkedIn, Amazon, CNN etc.  because I realize that they will only show me the same paths I already took.   Are you ready to break out of the mold?

Influencing an interview outcome – Dr. Cialdini’s Principles

I was cleaning out my desk recently and came across a “Pocket Guide” that I received from a sales workshop I attended quite a while ago.  Dr. Robert Cialdini (influenceatwork.com) was the speaker and the guide was an encapsulation of his “Principles of Ethical Influence”.  I thought it was a good exercise to relate them to the job interview for those of us who feel they need some polish – like myself.  How to get to “YES” from the recruiter, hiring managers, interview panels.

Dr. Cialdini starts his guide with this statement:

“The ethical use of influence means: being honest; maintaining integrity; being a detective, not a smuggler or bungler.”

I guess it is obvious that a job seeker should be honest about their accomplishments, education and crime record.  Yet recent data from SHRM (Society of HR Management) says that fully a third of job seekers lie on their resume and of course play that into the interview.  I had the experience recently where I quoted a salary range to a candidate to only have him tell the recruiter I recommended him to that I quoted him a higher range.  We immediately took him out of consideration.  Yet the other parts of this quote are just as important and so let’s go into his Principles.

CONSISTENCY (The Starting point)

Start: Small and build; With exisiting commitments; From public positions and Toward voluntary choices.

Are you telling the recruiter the same thing as you wrote in your resume?  What I see in most resumes and then talking to candidates that they leave out lots of information for the job I am talking to them about.  Many times I ask – so why did you take this job?  Why did you leave? Why did you make this turn in your career?  Have you planned you career well and is that obvious in your resume?

RECIPROCATION (You, then me, then you, then me…)

If your interview isn’t going like this – where you are the interviewer is doing all the talking – then there is no fairness and less likely to get to YES.  In a sales (interview) situation Cialdini says:

Be the first to give: Service, Information, Concessions

From an interview standpoint service could be a willingness to deliver, information is a willingness to reveal knowledge and concessions might come later or earlier – it can come in a  willingness to admit that they have to be made at all.

SCARCITY (The rule of the rare)

Cialdini says to emphasize: Genuine scarcity, unique features, exclusive information.

Are you a scarce candidate or are you a commodity?  What are your unique features and how will they benefit an employer?  Do you have exclusive information – not proprietary but perhaps exclusive kinds of experiences?  I recall being in an interview for a teacher position at a famous high school in NJ.  The Principal was grilling me after I had gone through a thorough interview with the Science Department Chair.  It went on a while and then I mentioned how I had done my student teaching during a time of racial riots at a high school nearby.  I was probably the only person in that school who had an experience like that and guess what – she hired me.  Think of those experiences that set you apart and tell them in a story.

AUTHORITY (Showing knowing)

Cialdini says to establish position through: Professionalism, Industry Knowledge, Your Credentials and admitting weaknesses first.

I think we pretty much do these on a resume but that last item –  WOW – does that make sense?  Humility I thinks can help sell but I think one can have too much of it.  It is very important to ground your abilities and capabilities against the competition in your line of work.  You should know what your function asks for if you are ambitious in getting ahead in it.  Do most people in your profession have Masters degrees?  Maybe some other certification?  Maybe some international experience?  To know this is to know your weaknesses  but also understand your strengths.  This will also keep you from applying for jobs that you do not qualify for!  Assess this by looking at jobs in Indeed.com that you strive for and see what you have to do to get to YES.  Cialdini tells a good example of this on his website’s video.

LIKING (Making friends to influence people)

Cialdini says to uncover: Similarities; Areas for genuine compliments and Opportunities for cooperation.

Do you go into an interview or screening session to make friends no matter what the outcome?  Do you know something about that person besides the fact they are the hiring manger or could be a co-worker or internal client?  I don’t think I have to tell you that many people do not get the job simply because they didn’t make friends even though they were qualified.

CONSENSUS (People proof, people power)

Unleash people power by showing: response of many others; others past successes and testimonials of similar others.

“People want to follow the lead of similar others” is what Dr. Cialdini tells us that consensus.  I interpret this as knowing the company’s competition well enough to understand that   what they are doing and that this company is not doing.  Does this difference make the competition more successful?  Can you bring them up to speed and maybe do one better?  Maybe another tactic is revealing that you understand what the company is doing right and how that influences the industry.  Most likely the company is looking at you to solve a problem.  Can you solve it?  What would make them think you can?  Can you tell them not only how you did it but how others have done the same thing and were successful?  Obviously the risk assessment on their part in hiring you to solve this problem is mitigated by your having a record of experience but also that it worked for others.  Another interpretation could be the importance of  testimonials of your character, your expertise, your spirit and your influence.

I would love to hear what you have to say about these principles as they apply to getting to YES in the job interview.


Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of the groundbreaking book, Influence, is your guide, translating the scientific research into practical business applications.  His widely acclaimed studies are highly instructive to those who want to be more influential.  Dr. Cialdini’s books Influence: Science & Practice and Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways To Be Persuasive were listed on the New York Times & BusinessWeek Bestseller lists.

Using Wordle.net to help you with a job campaign

I recently found out about Wordle through a Recruiting Sourcing guru – Jim Schnyder of Pepsico as a tool to dissect resumes and also position descriptions.  The goal for recruiting purposes is to determine what words, which can be used as key words in search engines, are important in the job description.  Conversely it can also make sense out of a resume that is very technical by highlighting the words that are the most descriptive of the candidate.  It can then be compared to the job description to determine that person’s fit.  It is nice tool to use for technical, engineering and scientific resumes  for example.

Here is how Wordle describes itself:

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

From a  job seeker’s point of view this tool can come in handy to test how effective your resume is describing you.  First make a list of three to five words that best describe you.  For example mine might be: Researcher, Sourcer, Headhunter, Recruiting, Social Media.  Then you simply add your resume text to Wordle under the “Create” tab and see what words pop out. Adding my resume to Wordle I get a cloud of words such as Recruiter, Research, Researcher, Recruiting, Developed, Texas, Media, Management and Candidates – in that order from largest to medium-sized text.  I was satisfied with that as a resume for a recruiting-related job.  Obviously if a word appears too small compared to your descriptive list you need to make it pop out with resume edits.

A second test is for job descriptions that you are interested in.  How do their word clouds compare to yours?  I found a job for a Sourcer through Indeed.com by adding one of my descriptive words – Sourcer – to the keyword box and left the location blank.  These words popped out in order of size: Candidates, Sourcing, Search, Including, People, Devices, Mobile, Position, Products, Networking and Devices.  Comparing this cloud with my resume cloud,  in applying for this job I might have to mention Candidates and Search more often – but it depends.  This one I clearly needed to have mobile telecommunications recruiting or research experience and I don’t have that.  This can tell you a lot about what is emphasized if it isn’t apparent.  It can facilitate the tweaking you have to do to your resume to customize it for particular jobs.  I help candidates do this all the time!

I encourage you to use this tool not only for your job campaign but also for presentations.  Some of the examples in the Wordle library are fascinating –  it will give you ideas on how to use it.

How effective are LinkedIn job postings (to groups)?

A recruiter writes to me:

I notice that you have postings on the LinkedIn Job Boards. I am interested in doing the same thing for my company. I don’t yet have any idea how effective the LinkedIn job postings are.

I was curious how well the job postings work, the number of responses a typical posting generates, and the quality of the postings. Any information or guidance on posting on the LinkedIn job boards would be appreciated.

My Answer:

…about the postings – I post to very targeted groups for the requisitions I have.  The more targeted the more successful they are. Doing the generalized job postings to jobs2.0 for example do not work as well in my experience unless it covers an area that is remote – like some parts of Canada.  Also the timing of the post is critical in order to be seen – that will depend on your audience – experiment with that.  Also don’t think one time posting will do it – from what I can see you need at least three weeks, at one per week, at the right timing to get a critical mass of responses.  I find the quality of responses to be pretty high if the job description is well tailored.  If you are a niched recruiter managing the groups is easier because then you can join most of the large ones in that niche.  Unfortunately I don’t have that luxury so I am constantly switching to get my jobs posted.

Any reader of this post is welcome to comment so this recruiter and sourcer can learn from others as well.  What has your experience been?