My reply to “Does LinkedIn really get the job done?” on News.com.au http://www.news.com.au/technology/does-linkedin-really-get-the-job-done/story-e6frfro0-1226461168019 (if you haven’t read it, you probably should now)
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mark Mansour, I am an ex-techy, ex-telco salesman turned recruiter who has 8 years of technology and engineering recruitment experience in the Asia-Pacific market.
On Thursday morning upon my arrival to work, I went through my e-mails and setup my priorities for the day, and took 5 minutes to browse some substandard journalism on news.com.au.
This article caught my attention… Why? Because as someone who has filled hundreds of jobs via LinkedIn, I felt it necessary to put a human, real world touch on something that reeks of last-minute-article-submission-syndrome (Yes Claire Connelly, you has L.M.A.S.S!)
Firstly, I’ve conducted a couple of different searches (out of my own interest for Jeff Atwood), one via Google (searching for LinkedIn profiles with his details – no success), via LinkedIn Recruiter (again, no success) and via my own account which has 15,000+ direct connections (again no luck)… So, I simply ran a Google search for “Jeff Atwood” “software designer” and found his Blog – http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/ . In geek terminology, this guy is pretty cool. Same background as myself, grew up on BBSes.
Why did I do this? Well, I love to know who it is that complains about the #1 site for talent attraction and professional networking… (yeah I know, you thought I was going to keep rambling, didn’t you?)
I am a big advocate of sites such as LinkedIn (they enable me to proactively connect with people I wouldn’t normally interact with to provide them with opportunities to either
A) Work for THE largest global technology and services company
B) Work for a company the lives and breathes DIVERSITY
C) Take that next step in their Career.
Ok, so the above may come across as the “Mark Mansour Recruitment Sales Pitch”, but let’s think about the alternative…
- You apply to a job via a Job board.
- You hold your breath waiting for a phone call from the company or recruiter.
- How exhale because you have held your breath for too long
- You take another deep breath.
- You fall, hit your head on your computer desk and are rushed to the Emergency Room for a nasty cut, and potentially jailed for “assaulting and battering” yourself.
(ok the last is an extreme, but you get where I am coming from).
So let’s get back to basics… Who should use LinkedIn?
In my opinion, everyone, however, “white collar” workers have more to gain than blue collar workers. Why? Well, normal job boards tend to have a greater amount of these types of jobs advertised. If you are to call and follow up your application, the response rate will tend to be higher. However, where you could use LinkedIn is to identify who the “hiring manager” or HR rep for the organisation is, and either call them via the switch, or send a personal message via A) One of your connections (this will work better than à) B) Directly, to indicate you have applied for a specific position and are keen to discuss it.
Whether you like it or not, EVERYONE is a passive candidate. Depending on the way you slept the night before, whether the local café got your order right/wrong, whether your boss has given you a greater workload than others, you are a passive candidate!
What does this mean? You may be happy with your current job, but if someone came along and “sold” you the dream job, you wouldn’t hesitate to leave.
Dream job can be interpreted as:-
- More money (base salary or bonus)
- Greater flexibility (work/life balance)
- More interesting work
- Better management team
- Additional mentoring, training and support
- Extra benefits (medical insurance, life insurance)
- Or a combo of all the above.
So why does this mean you should be on LinkedIn?
Well, your LinkedIn profile allows colleagues, past and present, to recommend your work publicly. The more recommendations you have, the likelier you are to receive interest from a potential organisation about your skills. Also, at its basic level, LinkedIn does not cost you a cent. You list your skills and experience almost like you would on your own CV, and it sits there. You can see who viewed your profile. You connect with other colleagues or clients.
During the GFC, organisations that were still hiring did so through internal networks, which meant a reduced utilisation of agencies. By connecting with colleagues on LinkedIn, you are able to stay in touch and network regarding future roles.
As a final note regarding LinkedIn… As with everything in life, you get out what you put in… If you just list the titles of what you have done, add 1 colleague, and then expect the world to notice you, please be advised, You are not in a fairy tale. You should be active, engage in the variety of groups, add more information, recommend colleagues, add skills to your profile.
Most recruitment systems now allow you to apply by using your LinkedIn profile… So if you are sick of getting no replies from potential employers, use LinkedIn, build your profile, and the results will speak for themselves!
Rule candidates in, not out! How internal recruiters can hurt the process and what they can do to change it!
Agency recruiters look away, I am going to provide some advice to my fellow internal recruiters to assist them increase their direct fill rate.
As an experienced agency recruiter, I always tried to identify someone who was 100% on the mark for a vacancy I was working on. After a number of instances where the candidate was able to “hit the ground” running, but ultimately got bored and left because of the repetitive nature of their work, I changed my way of thinking… I asked my hiring managers whether they wanted a quick fix or someone who would grow and stay within the team. Being that the average tenure of IT Professionals in the same position/organisation is 18 months, was I doing my clients a disservice by finding them a “perfect match” for their requirements?
I began investing more time in my clients, understanding the nature of their business and realised that whilst most were under the pump continuously, having someone slightly more junior in their teams, who the senior members could mould and impart years of wisdom on to, was a more strategic approach to filling a void. The negative side of this was that as an agent, it was hard to justify charging the same fee for someone who couldn’t really do the job 100%.
Flash forward to where I am now. I work for a Global technology company that appreciates diversity, encourages diversity, promotes and sells itself to its employees on its diversity. My “consultative approach” to talent identification is now beginning to pay off.
Hiring managers are increasingly having buzz words painting apocalyptic pictures such as “War for Talent” thrown at them. The fact is there is no war. Talent Identification is and has been at peace for quite some time. The problem is that we rely too much on automated systems to do our job for us. We need to bring the people back into the system. We need to ask what workload can hiring managers really handle. We need to provide opportunities for growth firstly to our internal teams (all vacancies should be given to current team members to apply!) and then to the external market.
Hiring someone internally and training them in new technologies (or giving them to the opportunity to gain new skills) achieves one thing that is lacking from the employment market these days… It builds loyalty. Employees are always looking to do the right thing by themselves, which means continually attempting to climb the corporate ladder for greater financial or professional reward.
If they are not given the opportunity to enhance their skills within your company, then they will search for this elsewhere.
Don’t forget the main motivators for staff to seek new opportunities (in no particular order.)
2. Position/Work duties
3. Working conditions (hours/team/company culture/work-life balance)
4. Lack of training
6. Lack of career opportunities
In my opinion, your next step will be to go to market for someone who can step up into this position or hit the ground running. The latter will always be the obvious choice, however when you factor internal systems and processes that are required to be learnt in order for someone to be 100% efficient and “hit the ground running”, the former seems like a better option to an employer.
You allow someone who has not been given the opportunity to progress their career to do so within your organisation. You allocate senior members in your team mentoring responsibilities which will grow their skill sets. You now have 3-6 months’ worth of training and “ramping up” covered off by the new member of staff who in this time, would have (ideally) picked up a whole bunch of new skills, which in turn, is repaid with loyalty and appreciation to you as a manager.