Cost of hiring

September 4, 2007

This one’s more for my other blog but thought I’d share it here anyway as I’m always asked exactly what a contingent staffing firm does.

The cost of hiring entails more than just the person’s hourly rate. These costs start to incur before before the employee works his/her first hour and may continue on even after the employment is over.

When you are hiring in a hurry and in volume, these costs and risks get magnified. This is an area where contingent staffing could provide a cost-effective solution.

How not to recruit on social networking sites

August 13, 2007

So I got my first rejection email last week from Facebook.

No, it wasn’t anything personal. It’s just that this person I was trying to connect to has personally sworn not to connect with any recruiters. Why? He’s been spammed by recruiters.

(Quick note: I’m not a recruiter, but I proudly work for a recruiting firm, one of the best in The Valley and I’m not biased. Ok so fine that makes me a recruiter too. )

Recruiters can cry however much they want about being treated like used car sales people (yeap, it’s true, we are treated that way), but who can blame those who view us that way? I get phone calls from recruiters and headhunters who find me on social networks and they call me about programming jobs. If they bothered to do a 30-second research or even read one sentence about me they’d see that:

1) I am not a programmer.
2) I am not looking for a job and
3) I am a competitor.

I troll recruiting forums and groups on Facebook and Ning and elsewhere and it’s ridiculous sometimes how recruiters use social media. Sure. LinkedIn has a ton of names. So does MySpace. And Spock. And you don’t even have to pay several hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to access them. But Facebook or LinkedIn isn’t a resume bank like or People aren’t necessarily posting profiles there to find a job. Just because the name is there doesn’t mean you gotta call it.

But in the interest sometimes of being the first to find a candidate, some recruiters take shortcuts. They do a keyword search and then they go for whatever list of names show up without even taking anything into context. Whatever happened to reading resumes?

The great thing about social networks is that there’s a ton of information available about candidates. Recruiters should see social networks as places where they could get to know their candidates beyond their resumes, be able to see the projects that they are working, be able to see recommendations from their peers. They should take that information and use it to offer that candidate a perfect job match. Something that person will at least think twice about. Not just another canned email you send to a dozen other names.

There’s a wealth of information there, but instead of taking advantage of that, they see the list of profiles as a mailing list and don’t bother to click on each profile to see if that candidate is a match. And in my opinion, that’s just the wrong way to recruit on a social networking site.

I am big on social networks and talk about it all the time with the recruiters I work with. I communicate the value of social networking in recruiting and even take them to community events with me. But never without the clear instruction to do it passively (isn’t that an oxymoron…”passive recruiters”). You’re not there to recruit. This isn’t Monster. This isn’t Dice. You’re there to meet people. People will ask you what you do. Tell them you’re a recruiter. If they need your services, they will come to you (and I’ve been pretty successful at receiving referrals via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku and Lunch20 without even “recruiting.”).

I’ve been using that approach. As it turns out, people actually like recruiters. They just don’t like those who spam.

How to beat Post-Bubble Stress Disorder and have fun at Lunch2.0

July 3, 2007

There were some interesting points that were brought up in my previous post on Simply Hired’s Lunch2.0.

Water pistols and tie-dyes and how they can induce flashbacks of the dot-com bust.

I admit I suffer from this as well. But probably because I barely survived the Bust and dodged the Pink Slip bullet a few times. It’s irrational, I know. But I guess it’s like PTSD. Certain things trigger it.

If you suffer from Post-Bubble Stress Disorder and want to get back into the tech scene without flashbacks, here’s how I deal with it. It’s overly simplified, I know. You can write a book. But if you need a quick fix, think of three letters.

ROI. The companies that tanked back then had fun with reckless disregard when it came to cost and the simple question “what for?”

Now this post started with Lunch2.0 and Lunch2.0 it shall be — why I think Lunch2.0 is fun yet makes perfect sense.

1) Not to get all cheesy here, but for little investment, there’s lots of return for Lunch2.0. From a conversation I had with one of the founders, Mark Jen, it probably costs about $500 (sandwiches and salad) to $3000 (catered) plus swag (optional) to host one. The return? Blog posts (ahem), plenty of links (search engine optimization, trust ranking, etc), plenty of buzz, and lately, mainstream media coverage too. Here’s one from the San Francisco Chronicle, and another from the UK’s Financial Times. Think back 10 years ago, how much effort would it have taken to get the Chronicle to give you a couple of column inches because you were hosting a lunch?

2) If you’re looking for technical talent, Lunch2.0 beats any recruiting event out there. Both in price and in turn out. A booth at a job fair will easily run you $3,000. Plus swag. Plus hourly rates to staff the booth. And for what? It’s a candidate market out there. The best candidates aren’t trolling the job fairs. They don’t have their resumes posted anywhere. They are passively looking. They usually like where they are while keeping their options open. Lunch2.0 events are great places to not only meet them but also talk to them in a relaxed setting. You’re getting the real candidate there, as opposed to the ultra-polished suited up and well-rehearsed candidate you might meet at the job fair.

3) If you’re a huge company it’s a great way to get some blogger love. I don’t know about you. But I just won’t come and eat your food and then say nasty things. Even if I hated you (in which case I just won’t go), ok so I don’t like you that much, I’d at least say thank you. The food was great. I had fun. Now, isn’t that worth more and cheaper than say…paying $1500 to get your logo on a jersey in some sports event somewhere (yeah I know…for a cause, tax deductible, etc…but we’re talking returns, here, peeps…)? Not to mention that at Lunch2.0, you’re the only star in the event, versus having to share the same space with 10 other companies in that jersey you’re sponsoring for $1500.

So yeah. It is fun and sometimes even childish and quacky (as Pedro C put it in the last post) but just because it is what it is doesn’t mean we’re headed for another bust. Having barely survived the last one, I have to remind myself of that too sometimes. These events are not only sensible, they are actually cost-effective from a marketing standpoint. I have to keep these things in mind to ward off Post-Bubble Stress Disorder, let loose, and have fun.

Busy busy busy!

June 21, 2007

I’m doing a little study on what is more cost-effective — job postings on social media (blogs, Facebook, MySpace) or on job boards, which can easily eat up your advertising budget.

We’re looking for several recruiters to support a huge national account. We’re looking for one in Arizona, one in Minneapolis, and one for our corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale. We’re also looking for several account managers.

Please e-mail me if you would like some details. Thanks!


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