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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Jun 4, 2009

The HR/Recruiting Scourge of Blandness!

Sent to me by Robert Ayers, Senior Acct Mgr for JobsInME, from Peter Weddle's recent newsletter:

The Scourge of Bureaucratic Correctness

There is today a scourge of bland communication oppressing the performance of corporate and staffing firm recruiting teams. While social media have captured their imagination, the vast majority of recruiters continue to rely on job postings-placed on commercial job boards and in the Career area on their own sites-to reach and reel in top talent. And the content of those postings is so dull it would put a brick to sleep.

Jun 3, 2009

Two Sentence Job Ads Online?!

As a director with the leading online recruitment resources in New England, I've reviewed literally thousands of job postings over the past five years. While the use of internet resources, such as JobsInME, has become the norm across the country, both in urban areas and rural, many people writing the ads are still writing for print. That is, they are using abbreviations, are condensing their sentences, and (apparently) trying to conserve space.

The newspapers had been training advertisers toward this behavior for the past 100 years, rewarding them with cheaper advertising for taking up less space. As they say, old habits die hard. If your company is currently hiring, go online and take a look. If the ad is any shorter than 10 sentences (or the equivelant with bullet points), you need to rethink your strategy. Online resources give employers unlimited space and formatting options to put their best face forward in hopes of attracting the best possible candidate for every position. Regardless of what title or pay grade you're trying to fill, making better hiring decisions affects productivity and therefore your profitability.

When you take a look at your company's job postings, remember this one point: On AVERAGE, a job seeker will review 5-7 postings per visit to a job board, and spend less than one minute per posting. Just because you've posted your means neither that everyone looking will click on it, nor that those who do will care enough to apply. Here's a simple test to assess your posting's curb appeal:
  • Perform a search using the category you're hiring for, or similar key words.
  • Compare your job title to all the others. If you were to only open 5 postings, would you be compelled to open yours?
  • Next, print off 5-7 job postings for similar jobs and lay them down on your desk next to each other.
  • If you were a highly qualified candidate- very likely currently employed elsewhere and just looking to see what was out there- which job postings would you be most likely to apply to? (Read that as, "which job postings are you most likely to polish up your resume for, lie to your boss and use your paid time off to interview for?")

If your company's job postings don't jump off the table as the best opportunities available, you have room for improvement. There are lots of ways to make a job ad better, but the first step is to do away with the habits of the past. Spend the time to craft a job advertisement worthy of the time and attention of the best available talent. Remember, Talent Acquisition applies to every single job in your organization. Take the time to show your audience that you care about the quality of your next hire, and you'll see the quality of your candidates increase.

Jun 1, 2009

Tired of Staff Who Just Don't Care?

Tired of Staff Who Just Don’t Care About Your Business?

The hospitality industry has historically seen one of the highest turnover rates of any industry. While a large part of this is due to the seasonality of many businesses, a lack of attention to the hiring process is also a major factor. The hard truth is that this turnover affects your bottom line- whether through cost of running job ads, overtime paid to cover the missing staff, or lost revenue caused by diminished quality. This last issue, quality, is perhaps the most important of all. From front desk, wait staff, and bellhops, to banquet managers, sales managers, and spa staff, every interaction your employees have with a customer or guest affects their view of your quality, and therefore your value. High turnover can sour your employee engagement company wide.

An employee’s attitude can have the single biggest affect on a patron’s decision to return or to recommend your business to others. Because of that, making good hiring decisions- employees who fit into your culture and care about your business- is a critical factor of your success. And it’s a factor that most often gets the least attention. The fact of the matter is that you really CAN make better hires with just a little effort and focus on specific details. Here are some very basic tips to help you make better hires for every position in your business:

  1. Identify and Define Your Unique Workplace Culture. Are your staff all business, or are they like a family? Do your employees really appreciate any specific benefits or perks that are unique to you? Do you always try to hire from within? Are you a group of perfectionists? Do you have a competitive workplace, or are you supportive of each other?
  2. Communicate Your Culture In Your Job Ads. Remember, every new hire will have to work within your current staff. Retention of new hires is directly impacted by how comfortable they feel in your workplace. To attract a better fit, include copy about your culture and work environment so that you’ll attract people who want to be part of your company, and aren’t just looking for a job.
  3. Engage Candidates During the Interview. When interviewing candidates, paint a very vivid and real picture of your culture and your expectations. Clearly relate how this person’s position fits into the business, and the importance of having the right person in that role. Provide a brief history of the business- the good, the bad, and the ugly- to build the candidates understanding of who you are.
  4. Focus on Soft Skills! It is much easier to identify hard skills than soft skills. Many hiring manager fall into the trap of hiring by matching hard skills to the needs of the job. That is, when hiring a dishwasher, the focus is on dishwashing or Hobart experience; when hiring a banquet coordinator, the emphasis has been on event experience. You will have greater success in your hiring by focusing on soft skills and fit. If you can hire people that are motivated to work for you, and will fit into your culture, training them on your processes is easy. Trying to train someone who has the right hard skills to fit into your culture and care about your business is much more difficult.

Using an online recruitment resource provides you with two major benefits over a sign in your window or print advertising. First, it delivers your message to a much larger audience of people who are actively searching for jobs in your area and industry. Second, you have much more space to write up your job ad to attract better candidates, and unlike print, there’s no additional cost for larger ads or more color. In fact, it really is up to you to raise the bar for candidates. Set your expectations higher, and promote why the best available talent should work for you.

Dealing with careless, thoughtless, or unmotivated employees is a headache. Thankfully, this is a headache that you have the power to heal. While it may not seem so, there ARE great candidates out there who will become your next great employees. Make an effort to attract a higher quality, and make that headache a thing of the past!

That's the view from the Recruiting Front Lines.


Jason Blais on FoxNews

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Wordle: The Recruiting Front Lines

Using Video to Reinforce Employment Brand