Monday, July 18, 2011

Defining What Effective Means

Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler are well known in the staffing world, and with good reason. Their consultancy called CareerXRoads has been adding value to the world of talent acquisition for quite a while now. 

One of the things they do is to publish a (free) quarterly newsletter they call CareerXRoads Update. In the most recent edition, there was a piece called: Measuring the Right Thing is Crucial to Social Media in the Future*.  It is well worth the read for both recruiter and candidate alike.

Worth it for the recruiter because it helps to put some important factors into perspective such as the difference between what really constitutes a "source of hire" and the process by which hiring decisions are made.

After all, if one looks at the track record of hiring decisions that turn out to be really good ones, it becomes pretty clear pretty fast that the source from which a contact is first made isn't nearly as important as the quality of the process that leads to the decision to hire since it is common knowledge that a very high percentage of hiring decisions that everyone hoped were home runs end up going South.

Point being that at the end of the day, the corporate recruiters add up the "source of hire" stats and then pat themselves on the back because of all the money they saved on ads or search fees or whatever because they sourced "X"% of their candidates from Facebook, Twitter, employee referral or some other free source.

If you read the piece, you will quickly understand the foregoing assertion that the original point of contact is not nearly as important as the process in terms of trying to measure "effectiveness" fo the hire.

Worth it for the candidate because what is really (or should be) critical to them is not how they "found" the opportunity but rather did they do their homework before saying yes in order to do all they could to make sure that they were making the right decision. After all, if it turns out that what everyone hoped was going to be a good 'marriage' ends up in a divorce, it is the candidate's life that is the one most damaged, not the company's.

So, given that ExecuNet is not in the recruiting business, why would I take up space on this topic?

Answer: Because like any business, we are frequently asked by prospective members "how effective are you" or "what is your "success" rate? A very fair question if you happen to be in a job search and your definition of”success" or "effectiveness" is defined as "a job offer"

Now, don't get me wrong, we post jobs on ExecuNet (have for all 23 years that we have been around) and I lost count long ago as to the number of members who have ended up with acepting offers as a result. And if I were to extend the definition to "interviews" (F2F or phone) I couldn't even begin to count, but that's not the point.

The point that so many forget is the percentage of job changers who actually make a change as the result of responding to a job posting is quite small especially when compared to those made as the result of networking.

And at the senior executive level, those who get jobs as the result of ads (i.e. postings) even less.  While the stats I have seen over the years in terms of jobs obtained as the result of postings runs around 10-15% give or take, when I talk to our members who have 'landed' 70% tell us that the "source" was networking, and that's just those that I hear from, my guess is that the percentage is actually higher.

So where I am going with all this is simply to say to the corporate staffing world that Gerry and Mark's update makes a lot of sense.

To the executive job seeker my point is that in measuring the effectiveness of a resource you are utilizing in a job search, look at and determine the "value" of what you feel the resource brings to your effort so that when the opportunity surfaces, by whatever channel, are you better prepared to take full advantage of the opportunity than you otherwise might have been because of the investment of time and/or money that you have made in that resource.

Said differently, when the "what" (i.e. the interview) comes along, how much did the resource help you with the "how" so that you were able to sell yourself as the aspirin for their headache and actually get an offer? 

If you don't know what the "how's" are and more importantly how to use them, knowing where to see thousands of "what's" is more often than not nothing more than an exercise in frustration.

*  Re-published with permission of Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler of CareerXroads, your staffing strategy connection. To reach Gerry or Mark, email or visit their web site at

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

You Think You've Got Problems?

I am as I am sure you are, keenly aware of the magnitude of what Japan experienced.  I am also equally sure that when the images of what the quake did to Japan it reminded us of events like Haiti, Joplin, Katrina, the flooding in the Midwest and any number of other catastrophes visited upon us by mother nature.

On the other hand, with what we are confronted with on and off the Internet on a minute by minute basis, both natural and man-made, I also wonder if we have become so used to the carnage that we see going on that when things cut to commercial we then turn to our dinner companion and say something like "wow that's just awful isn't it?  What's for desert?"

Throughout most of our lives we are reminded constantly of the fact that no matter how tough we feel our own indiviudal situations may be, there are always others who when we compare our own reality to thiers we blush with embarrasment that we were complaining at all.

I thought about this a good deal over this holiday weekend and reflected on how incredibly fortunate I am to have been born in this country, to have parents who could afford to give me the chance at an education, to have never even thought about where my next meal might come from, and to have only faced one real health issue in 70+ years.

I don't know about you, but I've been doing a lot of blushing lately.