Category Archives for "Recruiting"

A New Model For Creative Recruiting Messages

A new Model: Creating Recruiting Messages that Attract Top Candidates

Many employers use a recruiting message that is not conducive to attracting top talent…and then they wonder why their job posts, LinkedIn Inmails and recruiting emails are ignored. There’s a fix for that… a different model as explained below. But first…

Some Historical Perspective

For the past 25 years, I have been responsible for recruiter certification as part of Performance-based Hiring certification, part of which requires each recruiter to create an EVP (Employee Value Proposition).

Only about 4% know how to correctly construct an EVP., but it's not the Talent Acquisition professional's fault. They've never been taught how to create an EVP, nor why it's critcially important. The historical way of creating messages just keeps being passed down over time.

The majority of employer’s recruitment messages have an extraordinarily strong tendency to focus on what they want vs. creating a message that focuses on what top candidates want.

Most recruiting message are far too heavy on extrinsic values and contain little if any intrinsic values.

Extrinsic rewards - usually financial - are the tangible rewards given employees by managers, such as pay raises, bonuses, and benefits. They are called “extrinsic” because they are external to the work itself and other people control their size and whether or not they are granted.

In contrast, intrinsic rewards are psychological rewards that employees get from doing meaningful work and performing it well. What is most challenging and interesting about the work? What will they learn? How will the job help in their career advancement?

The New Model's Foundation

Everything changes when Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Professional shift their focus to the needs and desires of top candidates. Your EVP should quickly and easily answer questions such as:

  • Why would a top person want this job?
  • Does my message describe their work as interesting and challenging?
  • Does my message help them see they can achieve their career aspirations, i.e. where does this job lead in terms of career growth?
  • Does my recruitment message describe the job as more compelling than a competitor hiring the same person?
  • Does my recruitment message clearly describe what is important to my ideal top candidate?
  • Does your job post or inmail/email have always have a clear CTA (call-to-action)?

From this orientation, the value we as employers receive is no longer the driving force in our recruiting. Instead, our reward of hiring top people is the by-product of addressing the needs of our candidates.

The value we create is the cause. The value we receive in return is the effect.

Let that sink in for a moment. It's important.

Flipping the Recruiting Script

Recruiting teams would do well to study how their marketing colleagues create personas for their ideal customer and from that construct their marketing and selling messages. This process can be copied and extrapolated for recruiting.

Don’t use terms like candidate, incumbent, or “the person taking this job." Instead write your ad as if it was to be read by only ONE person which means using the word ‘you’, ‘your’, ‘you’ll’, etc. That makes your message sound personal for each person.

Paint a word picture focusing on intrinsic motivator terms. Phrases like "join our world-class team" are NOT impactful UNTIL you tie a benefit to that. You do that by asking this question, "which means". This moves your message into job branding vs. company branding.

A great tool - called an Emphathy Map - developed by Dave Gray, can be used to begin this transformation process. While this mapping tool was initially intended for marketing products and services, it is ideal for understanding your ideal candidate and constructing a compelling recruiting message.

I've modified this well-known and respected model to focus on recruiting top candidates.

Here are the 8 key elements of this Emphathy model. Click on each of the steps for details.

WHO are we empathizing with?

Who is the person we want to understand?

What are the most common job titles for this person?

What is their role in this job, i.e. individual contributor, team lead, manager, director, VP, etc.?

What industries, markets, products, might they have experience in?

What is the least amount of experience a top, fast-track person might have?

Who might know this person and share network connections?

Where do they "hang out" professionally?

How would they DESCRIBE themselves?

What are the key words found in their resume and LinkedIn profile?

What industry, association and employer terms/words might they include?

What "achiever" words, terms and phrases would a top person likely include?

What job titles might they use for current and past jobs?

What location information and/or zip codes might they include?

What do they DO today?

What job are they doing today?

What behavior have we observed about their job satisfaction?

What can we image them doing in their job day-to-day?

What would they like to DO differently?

What would they potentially like to do differently?

What changes in their job or culture would make them more satisfied?

What changes in their job or culture would make it more interesting and challenging?

What decision(s) would they need to make to reach their goals?

How will they know if they are successful?

What do they SEE?

What do they see in the current job market?

What types of jobs do they see in the job market they might find appealing?

What do they see their colleagues saying and doing about career growth?

What are they watching and reading?

What do they SAY?

What have we heard them say about their job and career goals?

What can we imagine them saying about their job and career goals?

What are the key job or career related topics are they talking about?

What do they HEAR?

What are they hearing from colleagues about the job market, job changes and long-term career outlook?

What are they hearing from friends about the job market, job changes and long-term career outlook?

What are they hearing from news, social media, and similar sources about the job market, job changes, and long term career outlook?

What do they THINK and FEEL?

Pains

What are their fears, frustrations and anxieties?

What would they like to change?


Gains

What are their wants, hopes and dreams?

How soon would they like to move toward achieving their wants, hopes and dreams?


Imagine Knowing Your Ideal Candidate This Well

Get “inside the head” of your ideal candidate and imagine how much more effective your recruiting could be, if you knew your candidate well enough to provide answers to most of the above questions.

Get together with your recruiting colleagues and hiring manager and brainstorm until you come away with a compelling EVP message. Then use this for both written and verbal communication to top candidates.

The next step is how to use the information gained from this exercise and wrap it into a well-crafted EVP. Next ensure your EVP appears in ALL recruiting messages tied to a SPECIFIC job. And worth repeating - this includes all written AND verbal discussions with your ideal candidate.

You may also want to read a related article - Candidates Not Responding

An ideal way to experience this difference is working with Carl Bradford conducting either a full search or a blended search.

A new model to create a recruiting message to attract top people. Learn 8 step formula for creating a compelling EVP - Employee Value Proposition.

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Why Many of Recruiting’s Bright, Shiny, New Objects Fail

How many marketing messages do you see or hear every week regarding a new recruiting tool, solution, innovation or process? AKA: Bright, Shiny Objects.

Each one is purported to solve a talent acquisition challenge…or at least improve on it.

Sometimes it seems we have a hammer in search of a nail!

This can become a trap that many Talent Acquisition Leaders fall unwittingly fall into. I’ll explain more below. But first a brief introduction to this dilemma.

It’s easy—and tempting—to chase after a new practice, a new expert, or new research that seems to provide some relief or a solution to a problem.

Talent Leaders in search of solutions to cope with recruiting top people in today’s hyper-competitive job market are faced with a daunting task.

I’m reminded of an article from Harvard Business Review a few years back that had this quote, “Falling in love with the problem rather than the solution makes it possible to avoid shiny-object syndrome, unconnected programs, and random HR innovation.”


One of the key lessons learned is to fully dig into the problem/challenge and seek to better understand. Then you aren’t quite so eager to embrace the first possible solution and move on. You spend some time letting the challenge soak in, studying it from various angles, and understanding it more deeply.

Understanding the Shiny Object Trap

I began to better understand this ‘shiny object trap’ over the past 25 years while I certified recruiting teams in Performance-based Hiring. This has included 2,000+ recruiters from about every industry you can think of…and, includes recruiting teams from many well-known employers.

This unique experience allowed me a most unique insight as I evaluated real recruiting work product that was submitted for certification purposes.

What follows is just one of those insights. i.e. why otherwise good solutions underperform.

Recruiting Foundation and Basics Were Most Important

What I discovered was that many recruiters don’t know what they don’t know. I also discovered that recruitment fundamentals varied greatly between the best recruiters and their average recruiter colleagues.

This variance was also observed when comparing recruiting teams from one employer with another. Some teams are just markedly better and hired more top people. The best recruiters submitted the best certification data. There were night and day differences when comparing the best with the rest!

Obvious Key Takeaway

Even implementing a world-class solution MUST be executed by the recruiting team and their hiring Managers.


Unless these people have solid basic recruiting and hiring skills and knowledge, the outcome will be sub-optimal at best!

Let me illustrate that with a sports analogy. Sorry if you’re tired of sports analogies but many years ago I spent the first year of my professional career as a football coach and I still value the lessons I learned and I’ve carried them with me for the many years that have followed into my Talent Acquisition career.

All football teams must obviously play by the same rules, but that’s where much of the similarity stops.


Teams use many different variations of both offensive and defense schemes. This includes special teams and various strategies for game day preparation. Despite these differences there are basic fundamentals that EVERY player must utilize regardless of different schemes or game day preparation.


These can be broken down into fundamentals, techniques and skills. These include weekly practice for blocking, tackling, agility drills, pass routes, etc.


It’s also revealing that even NFL teams routinely have their player consistently practice these basic techniques, yet most recruiting organizations rarely assess the execution of foundational skills, and knowledge among their current talent acquisition teams…or provide ways to practice and improve these critical skills and techniques.

It should be the same for recruiters. Top Talent Acquisition pros exhibit superior performance results across nine KPO’s (key performance outcomes) in their work. These same KPOs can be assessed prior to hiring. These nine KPOs cover the skills AND measurements of how well they execute the best techniques allowing them to hire more top people.

All too often, Talent Acquisition leadership focuses most of their attention on the latest tools, such as AI (artificial intelligence), etc. They typically spend little time reviewing the basics, auditing and evaluating their team’s execution of the basics.

I’m not saying these leaders shouldn’t focus on the new tools, strategies and solutions! They absolutely should look at how AI and other new methods, techniques and technology will help.

What I am saying that unless the talent acquisition team has solid basic skills and techniques, these new solutions won’t be nearly as successful as they could be! Remember it takes basic recruiting skills and techniques to execute these to their maximum benefit.

How Talent Acquisition Leaders Build a Top Team

Top Talent Acquisition Leaders can audit their teams across these nine (9) KPOs. They can arrange for additional education and training to upskill their teams.

A good place to start is with the Performance-based Hiring method which is built on a KPO foundation. This can include an outside recruiting team audit, internal and external coaching, on-site and 24x7 online training learning center, and certification. This can be customized and tailored to meet the needs of any recruiting team regardless of size, industry or challenges that are being faced.

I'm Carl Bradford. Call me for an introduction to the company I've been associated with for over 25 years that provides all of this and more.

Talent Acquisition Leaders should be aware of traps from pursuing the wrong birght, shiny objects. See how to avoid these traps.

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Pros and Cons: Outsourcing vs. Offshoring vs. Nearshoring vs. Remote Teams

Pros and Cons: Outsourcing vs. Offshoring vs. Nearshoring vs. Remote Teams

My contention is that these terms are often used interchangeably which not only causes confusion but frequently leads US companies to make the wrong decision when considering outsourcing some of their work.

What follows are my definitions and why I think it’s important to your staffing decisions. Your use case parameters will dictate which is right for you, so long as you understand the pros and cons of each one and choose accordingly.

#13​​​We’re strong advocates for Remotes Teams as defined below. Be sure to at least read the 13 Must Have Criteria for Choosing a Nearshore Remote Team section below if you are pressed for time.

Outsourcing – what is it?

The outsourcing definition is not written in stone, but its core is simple. Your company gives certain project (or projects) to a third-party firm (or firms) to be completed.

Example: A US company hires a software development company to create, maintain and/or update their app. This can be one person or a small team. Usually the engagement is project based with defined start and end times.

Outsourcing becomes Offshoring when the US company chooses a software development company from a completely different country as a trusted partner to develop their app. There are many places where companies can go to take advantage of a more economical labor market. For example, India, Eastern Europe or Latin America all of which have been used by US companies looking to offshore their work.

Benefits of Outsourcing/Offshoring

Contracts. No significant long-term contract needed. You sign a contract for a specific task or project.

Flexibility. It gives you the opportunity to change your staff very easy or to work with multiple staff until you find the ones best suitable for you.

No need to relocate. Since this is an impossible or impractical thing to do when your company operates in a certain geographical region.

Lower costs. This includes the hassle of hiring in-house professionals, which can turn out to be a very expensive when considering all the associated benefit and overhead costs. Cost savings can be realized by taking advantage of the availability of a more economical labor market while maintaining the same skill quality.

Shared Risks. You share the risks with your outsource provider. Obviously, your partners would need to assume certain responsibilities for the project you put into their hands, which is a good thing for your investments.

Talent Pool Availability. You can take advantage of specialized, trained and certified professionals that may be in short supply, which means they have the expertise needed to do the required work.

Increased focus on the core of your business. Outsourcing some projects and services can give you the necessary time to improve the core of your business or other parts that might not be working all that smoothly.

Potential Risks of Outsourcing/Offshoring

Hidden costs. Even if outsourcing is still the cheapest solution for companies looking to develop certain projects, you need to be aware of all the costs involved, so you do not end up paying more than initially budgeted.

Lack of deadlines synchronization. It can be easier to control project deadlines when working with an in-house team rather than with a partner half the world away, including the difference in time zones.

Confidentiality. You need to carefully assess what kind of information you’re passing on to the outsourcing partner and discuss upfront an NDA that will prevent them from revealing any sensitive information. This includes considering cyber-security measures.

Communication barriers. If the offshore staff are not fluent in English, this often presents a significant obstacle to efficient work. This become even more pronounced when the offshore staff performs work like customer or technical support by phone to customers of the client.

Different culture and work habits. Most of the time, your offshore staff will make the effort of adjusting their schedule according to yours, but you too will need to make some adjustments that might not be as simple as you think.

Distance. Thinking about visiting your offshoring partners? That could be difficult and costly considering the distance, the costs and time spent traveling.

Nearshoring

As offshoring became popular for US companies, the trend was to use countries like India, or the Philippines for staff. This gave birth to the term nearshoring which to outsourcing your project a little bit closer to the US. This trend uses Mexico and other Latin American countries for staffing.

Using the previous example, the US company would be using nearshoring contracting if the work was performed with a software development team in Mexico or Latin America to develop its app. There are several benefits to be gained by considering a nearshore partner.

For this example, I’ll use the benefits of Bradford Consulting’s join venture partnership. While we do not provide offshoring services, we can connect you with a high-caliber nearshore company that has a stellar reputation.

Remember, this is not outsourcing because our joint venture partner utilizes a Remote Team concept with only one monthly fee and no contracts. It’s on a month-to-month basis. Here are some key differences.

Benefits of Nearshoring

Central US time zone. A partnership with our Mexican joint venture partner mean you won’t need to work overtime or connect at extremely early or late hours in order to synchronize meetings between the your teams here in the US and Mexico.

Fewer cultural differences. Being in the same continental region, you and our Mexican partner will face fewer problems regarding the cultural and work differences. They are in La Laguna Mexico which provides significant advantages.

Still cost effective. You can expect savings around 60%.

Proximity. This allows for less expensive and more frequent face-to-face meetings that will most certainly increase the productivity of the collaboration. Direct flights to La Laguna are available and cost-effective. Even day trips are possible, especially from closer states like Texas.

Faster problem-solving. Time zone differences will not get in your way when certain urgent problems need attention both from you and our Mexican joint venture partner.

A Potential Disadvantage of Nearshoring

Higher costs than offshoring. For most US companies it’s possible that engaging a nearshore partner will result in higher fees than an offshore partner. Potential clients must weigh this potential disadvantage against the many of the above benefits of engaging a nearshore partner.

Remote Teams

The Remote Team term is often mistakenly associated with the above terms. A key different that is also often overlooked or misunderstood is that Remote Teams by our definition in not a traditional outsourcing method. To miss this is to miss out on a very attractive alternative staffing method.

There are actually two types of remote teams. This term could be referring to an in-house team that just works from a different place (other than the HQ of a company), from home or on the field. Examples could be a sales team that works on the field or a support team that’s located someplace different from the development team.

In the second instance occurs where a Remote Team is mistaken for traditional outsourcing. Here is the key difference…don’t miss this.

This where the Remote Team of professionals are working for a specific company in a nearshoring location and are dedicated to a specific project or type of ongoing work for one US company. It’s the same as a team in HQ or other US company location but this team is located in a nearshoring country other than the US. They are dedicated 100% to work for the one US company. Often this is a longer-term project or for work going forward indefinitely.

There are many different types of work that can fit into this description and here are a few examples. IT development, Digital Designers, Assistants, Data Entry, Purchasing, Cost Analysts, Tech Support, Customer Success, Translations, AutoCAD Engineers, and more.

Benefits for Remote Teams

Guaranteed Saving on Payroll. By choosing the right nearshore partner, savings can be as much as 60%.

Expanded work week hours. US companies doing business with a Mexican nearshore partner (like the one we recommend) will have the team working 45 hours per week at no additional cost.

Reduction in turnover. When near full employment of professionals in the US market occurs turnover can increase when competing employers consistently recruit from their competitors. This will be greatly reduced in this Remote Team concept.

Less HR time. The right nearshore partner will provide full HR support, payroll, benefits and related human resource support, including responsibility for recruiting top people for their US client.

English language proficiency. Your nearshore partner will be able to attract a talent pool not only with the necessary job skills, but who are proficient in the English language.

Increased trust between partners. When both the US client and nearshore partner work closely to one another of extended periods of time the trust level increases as they begin to better understand each other.

Productive communication. Daily based interactions between teams working in the same or near same time zone results in real time communication. No early or late-night phone calls or waiting 24 hours for a response.

Productivity increase. Establishing a well-done work process will result in high productivity and increased profitability.

Fully equipped facility. The nearshore partner provides state-of-the-art facilities with enterprise-level security and confidential, secure, equipped meeting spaces available for the clients’ use. This will include modern computer and communication equipment and software.

More control for the client. You can choose the people in your team and you are always aware of the necessary changes. The nearshore partner will help oversee all operational aspects of the team while the US client remains totally in charge of the team projects assignments, work performance and related.

13 Must Have Criteria for Choosing a Nearshore Remote Team

Financially stable. The nearshore partner must be financially stable to include the ability to provide everything you need to establish your Remote Team.

Easy billing process. Nearshore partners like the one we recommend will bill you one feel once per month. This fee should be all inclusive, totally transparent and contain no hidden surprises.

Month-to-month contract. This means no long-term commitments. The agreement should be 30 days and no longer. Easy to negotiate, easy to implement and easy to terminate should business need dictate.

Meets all the above benefits. When you choose a nearshore partner, they should be able to prove they can provide all of the above Remote Team benefits.

Understands your talent staffing needs. The nearshore partner should have experience in projects or services like the ones you want to outsource.

Demonstrates a talent attraction capability. Your nearshore client should know how to recruit from their location to attract top talent for your Remote Team. This includes relationships with local universities and technical schools. This will yield dedicated, qualified and trained professionals able to understand your needs and handle your projects.

Established track record. Your nearshore partner should have a proven track record of working comparable companies like yours.

Trustworthy References. Your partner’s references should be able to substantiate their ability to become a trusted nearshore partner.

Similar culture. Your partner should be culturally compatible with you and the people from your company. This will make the collaboration so much easier and productive.

Easy to visit. A nearshore partner in Mexico like ours can be reached by a direct flight from the US. This can mean even day trips are possible. When longer stays are necessary there are top hotels available.

Speak English fluently. This include the ability to conduct business in English which will lead to no communication barriers between you.

Solid business platform. Your partner should understand and provide business possess quality technologies and infrastructure, which will allow them to continuously improve performance and quality of services you receive.

Become a true partner. This means they have a grasp of your business objectives and are in a position to help you achieve them.

Next Steps

I hope you found this information useful. If you have questions or want to explore an introduction to a highly qualified nearshoring partner in Mexico, contact Carl Bradford.

Save 60% on Remote Teams nearshore, just South of Texas. #hiring #remoteteams #offshore

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Talent Scorecards: 7 Reasons Top Employers Use Them

Talent Scorecards: 7 Reasons Top Employers Use Them

See how you can achieve the same results as top employers...every time!

Top employers use a proven talent scorecard for every interview for the seven reasons listed below.

However not all employers use Talent Scorecards correctly and this is largely due to ineffective assessment criteria.

Their design typically isn’t mapped to successful work performance outcomes. Sometimes they’re used as an interview guide. Both errors have a high potential to cause inaccurate candidate assessment.

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Story: The Shrewd Recruiter

Amy: The Shrewd Recruiter's Story

How does this story compare to yours?

This is a brief story of how a shrewd Talent Acquisition Pro discovered a flaw in their hiring process while competing in a talent scarcity market, found a solution, convinced her Talent Acquisition Director, VP HR and critical Hiring Managers she had the answer. All done on a modest budget.

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The Hiring Process: Recruiter’s Hub

The Hub of the Recruiter's Wheel

The misplaced hub of most recruiters cause multiple challenges that are unnecessary!

Think of a recruiter’s search for top candidates as being like a wheel. Every search in the recruiter’s wheel is built around some sort of hub. The question is, “what does the right hub look like?”

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Why Behavioral Interview Questions Fail

Why Behavioral Interview Questions Fail

Traditional behavioral interview questions don’t produce the intended results.

The typical questions I’m referring to begin with…

  • Tell me about a time...
  • Give me an example of...

They aren’t necessary bad questions, they just aren’t used correctly by many interviewers. When used incorrectly failure occurs most often because the question is asked out of context. Here's why.

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