The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted April 19, 2018 by

Succession planning should include development of entry-level talent: Interview with Kelly Renz


Succession planning often focuses on executive roles only, but as Kelly Renz of The Novo Group says, “that’s missing the boat.” I caught up with Renz, who is CEO of The Novo Group, where they believe better people means better business. She claims to be a non-conformist when it comes to business practices and she’ll be a speaker at SHRM 2018, presenting “Demystifying Succession Planning: It’s Easier Than You Think!” She insists that succession planning is not rocket science and has great insight into the importance of developing your entry-level talent.


Posted November 10, 2011 by

Bonuses Rising In Many Firms, Survey Shows

Some employees could see bonuses this year.  Maybe you are one of them.

Bonus checks may be a little bigger this year, a Robert Half survey suggests. Thirty percent of executives whose companies awarded bonuses last year said they plan to give higher bonuses this time around. Human resources (HR) managers were most optimistic about increasing bonus levels in 2011 (42 percent), followed by technology executives, at 25 percent. Only 14 percent of those interviewed expected smaller bonuses than last year. (more…)

Posted November 12, 2010 by

Employer Branding Is More About the Candidate Experience Than Fancy Graphics

Kelly Bartkiewicz of MARSJonas Barck, marketing manager for Universum Communications, invited me to attend their employer branding conference this past Wednesday at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. In addition to the facility being absolutely top notch, so was the content.

At about 2pm, a recruiter for one of the many Fortune 500 employers in the room commented that his takeaway from the day was that employer branding was a lot more about delivering a positive candidate experience than fancy brochures, web sites, pamphlets, or career fair giveaways. Yes! In one sentence, the recruiter absolutely nailed it. All of the fancy collateral in the world won’t result in the improvement of your organization’s brand unless there is real substance to back-up the style. In other words, actions speak louder than words. If you tell candidates that you have a collaborative work environment — which Gen Y loves — then they better not walk into your office and find a Dilbert-esque cube farm.

One of the presenters who did a great job talking about branding was Kelly Bartkiewicz, Personnel & Organization Director – Talent Management at MARS. You’d think that with all of their wonderful candy, pet food, and other consumer goods that branding would be the least of their problems and yet it actually is one of their most significant problems. You see, consumers and therefore candidates have preconceived notions about MARS because MARS has a strong consumer brand. But that brand isn’t what they want to project to their candidates because working at MARS is a lot different than eating their candy or feeding your dog Greenies or any of their other pet-related products. So MARS has to stay true to its consumer brand yet also carve out a different employment brand. That’s not an easy task but it seems that Kelly and her team are having real success in achieving that goal.

Another large but very different organization that we learned about was the National Security Organization. Lori Weltman, marketing manager, delivered the keynote presentation on how the NSA connects with its candidates. As a very selective intelligence agency, it takes them months and months to go from the point of initial contact to extending an offer of employment and just that delay frustrates a lot of candidates and inevitably costs them some good hires. Yet they’ve also learned that their candidates value working on some very, very leading edge technology without the pressures of earning a profit this fiscal quarter and their candidates want to do real, meaningful work that helps their nation. So the NSA focuses is branding messages on those and other hot button issues. Unlike MARS, the NSA has no consumer brand as it doesn’t sell anything to consumers. Yet that lack of consumer brand presents challenges to the NSA as they need to explain what they do to an awful lot of very highly qualified and difficult to hire candidates. Again, Universum picked a great presenter as Lori did a great job of communicating their tactics and strategies and her employer seems to have great success in achieving their goals.

Kudos to Universum and all of the presenters. The conference was informative, engaging, and well worth the time for everyone in attendance.

Posted October 28, 2010 by

ERE offers real solutions by real practitioners

Today is my last day in Fort Lauderdale. I have been here for meetings, the International Association of Employment Web Sites fall congress, and ERE conference.

Last night vertical job search engine and partner hosted a reception. One of the people with whom I spend a fair amount of time commented on his first ERE conference by saying the speakers were great as they were real practitioners and offered real solutions. I don’t think that David Manaster, CEO of ERE, could have said it any better.

Posted October 21, 2010 by

Human Capital Supply Chain

Human Capital Supply Chains book coverOne of the people that I hoped to meet with at the recent HR Technologies conference in Chicago was Tim Giehll, CEO of Bond Talent. Tim has over 30 years of experience in the staffing industry with an emphasis in technology and manufacturing. He’s drawn on his years of experience of managing workforces at IBM, Manpower, Sequent Computers, Chen Systems and Control Data in which more recent work with helping over 800 staffing firms automate their operations.

Tim wanted to discuss the new book that he co-wrote with Sara Moss, co-founder and CEO of The Code Works Inc.. The book, entitled Human Capital Supply Chains, initially put me off because I really, really hate the term “human capital.” I find it, quite frankly, dehumanizing and therefore demeaning. I wanted to talk with Tim about his ideas for the workplace and also see if I couldn’t persuade him to move away from the use of terms like human capital but the meeting just couldn’t happen due to my schedule. Tim was very understanding and even reached out to me after the conference to offer to meet back in our hometown of Minneapolis. He also sent to me a copy of the book.

I’ve read through the book and really like what Tim and Sara have written, even though I still wish they had used a term like “talent” or “human resources” rather than “human capital.” But if you can get past the “human capital” phrase or perhaps not be bothered by it at all, the points that Tim and Sara make in the book are excellent. As stated on the introduction page of their web site, “Corporate leaders who are able to react to market improvements with agility are best positioned to hire the best human capital faster than their competition. Human Capital Supply Chains explains how companies can link their strategic workforce planning and staffing functions more tightly to their business planning functions to optimize workforce productivity and decrease the total cost of human capital, while maintaining or increasing the overall quality of their workforce.”

When I first read that and also watched their YouTube trailer for the book, I was prepared for a cold, bottom line, who cares about people kind of approach to staffing. But that wasn’t the case. Instead, Tim and Sara make the case in the book that when we head into recessions — even terrible ones like we’re coming out of — business leaders should have a more fluid approach to managing their workforces. If the leaders had done a better job of understanding that their businesses were slowing, they would have done a better job of gradually ramping down their staffing levels such as through attrition. Instead, many and perhaps most business leaders reacted in a state of panic and engaged in massive and far more painful layoffs. Organizations of all sizes and the people who work for those organizations would be better served by leaders who “calibrate and fine tune their workforce, quickly responding to changing market conditions in small steps rather than in painful mass layoffs or mass rehire campaigns where workforce quality is likely to suffer.”

If you’re a leader of a large organization, a procurement manager, or a staffing leader, this is a book that you should read. The massive layoffs of this recession are still very fresh in our minds yet I suspect that few organizations have really sat down to de-brief what they did and what they should have done instead. This book will help them with that reflection and planning. We have an obligation to our organizations and shareholders to survive and thrive but we also have an obligation to our employees to treat them as human beings and that means with respect and compassion. Massive layoffs caused by panic in the executive halls is not respectful or compassionate. So whether your focus is on doing right for the bottom line or doing right for your fellow workers, this book will help you.

Posted October 12, 2010 by

Learning How to Recruit and Retain Millennials

Judy Anderson and Terese Corey Blanck of Emerging AdvantageI don’t have a human resources or recruiting degree of any kind yet, as an owner of job board, I need to understand the issues facing those who do. I attend a lot of human resource and recruiting conferences and try to take in as many of the sessions as possible and speak with as many practitioners and thought leaders as I can. Today I had the good fortune of listening to two of the foremost experts on the recruitment and retention of Gen Y / Millennial young adults: Terese Corey Blanck and Judy Anderson.

Terese and Judy are the principals behind Emerging Advantage, which helps organizations gain a competitive advantage by providing services which engage and accelerate the development of entry-level employees impacting retention, performance and promotability. In a 2.5 hour presentation to a packed room, Terese and Judy skillfully played off each other and the attendees in first making the case that Gen Y behavior frustrates many employers then proving that it has been misdiagnosed as a generational issue and then laying out specific recommendations for how employers both large and small can recruit and retain those 18-30 year old, emerging adults so they are ready to replace the Boomer Generation as the retirement of those older workers accelerates over the next decade.

The session was sponsored by the Emerging Leaders Association, which also deserves kudos for putting on such an interesting and informative event in an effort to help its members and guests like me guide our future leaders to a state of readiness for the uncertainties and challenges ahead. If your organization is struggling with recruiting and retaining Gen Y candidates, I urge you to contact these two fine organizations to learn more about how they can help.

Posted September 24, 2010 by

Offer Rate to Interns Varies Widely by Industry

When it comes to recruiting and retaining their interns, not all industries are created equally.

A good internship program is all about the three R’s: recruitment, recruitment, and recruitment. In other words, if your organization hires a student to intern and then fails to convert that student into a permanent employee upon the completion of their internship, then you should regard that internship as a failure. Some organizations would disagree and say that internships are provided to students to give them experience and some less altruistic organizations would say that internships are great sources of cheap labor. I can agree that students get — or should at least should get — great experience from their internships but organizations should not look upon interns as cheap labor. Given that they typically require far more supervision than experienced employees, the reality is that interns are rarely cheap. If the organization looks at the cost of producing the service or product rather than the hourly wage paid to individual employees, they’ll almost always agree that they don’t save money by hiring interns.

It is commonly known in the world of college recruiting that some organizations manage to retain a far higher percentage of their interns than others and that interns in some industries are far more likely to be retained than interns in other industries, but leave it to the Wall Street Journal to do the analysis that others haven’t. Yet another reason why I’m a subscriber and you should be as well.

This graph shows the huge discrepancies between industries. It is startling, actually. It clearly shows that an internship with a utility, architecture or construction firm is FAR more likely to lead to an offer of permanent employment than an internship with an insurance, media, or non-profit organization. So kudos to our friends in the utility, architecture, and construction industries. As for the insurance, media, and non-profits, well, you’ve clearly got a growth opportunity.

Posted September 17, 2010 by

Employers: Tell the Association for 60,000 Job Boards What You Love/Hate About Our Industry

International Association of Employment Web SitesThe International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS) is the trade organization for the global online employment services industry. Its members include, the American Medical Association, Society for Human Resource Management, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, Jobing VetJobs, and Collectively, these organizations power or operate over 60,000 employment-related sites worldwide.

The IAEWS is conducting a survey to determine employer and recruiter views of job boards, career portals, social media sites and other Web-based providers of employment products and services. They’d like to have your input, as well. Please click take the survey.

It’s anonymous and takes just 10 minutes. In addition, if you request it, they’ll send you a copy of the aggregate findings of the survey when they’re published.

Posted September 26, 2006 by

Voted 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2006

It was announced yesterday morning. It was astounding news. It is the grist of retention and healthy corporate culture fundamentals. The announcement was made by Working Mother magazine CEO Carol Evans regarding the 100 best companies to work for in 2006, the most mom friendly.
Now it is true that this site is dedicated to serving the interests of college students and recent college graduates. However, those populations are not entirely your traditional student. With the fact that so many are admitting that a degree is important to one’s career opportunities and advancement, many are either returning to university after a break or embarking on studies at a more mature age. So it’s not entirely unreasonable for us to be interested in companies that address parent-friendly issues. In fact, the criteria for making the list are: (a) flexibility, (b) leave time for new parents, (c) child care, (d) elder care, and the (e) number of women occupying top jobs.
Likewise, college students do start families while in school. Additionally, there are women who have left the workforce in order to raise familites for a time and are now ready to re-enter the workforce. These populations have dual priorities: (a) where to work that will be healthy for one’s career and (b) where to work in order to have an environment that bends to the demands of raising the next crop of responsible and focused workers.