First of all, heartfelt congratulations to my buddy Joel for winning the Recruiting.com 2006 Best Blog Awards. Now I won’t feel bad picking a really expensive place to have my victory dinner when the Gators show the Buckeyes who’s boss I guess I wouldn’t feel bad either way, but good for you, Joel. You certainly deserved this honor! It was your blog after all that inspired me to jump on the bandwagon.
I feel very honored to have had 22 people who thought my blog was worthy of being included in the top blogs, especially since I just started mine in October! So, what can a rookie like myself do to improve his or her blog over the next 12 months and be one of the top 10?
Why, subscribe to this year’s Top 10 of course! What better way to improve yourself than to learn from the best. I personally will be reaching out to each of these folks – I’m sure most of them would be more than happy to talk for a couple of minutes and share some success tips!
I’ve taken the liberty of putting RSS links to the top 10 recruiting blogs here:
Six Degrees From Dave
Gautam Ghosh’s Blog
ERE Group Blogs
Microsoft Jobs Blog
While you’re at it, might as well subscribe to the rest of the blogs who received votes! These are all excellent resources for anyone wanting to better themselves in recruiting and/or sourcing techniques!
Advanced Online Recruiting Techniques
Amitai Givertz’s Recruitomatic Blog
Amybeth Hale’s Blog
But Less About Me…
CollegeRecruiter.com Insights by Candidates Blog
CollegeRecruiter.com Insights by Employers Blog
Confessions of an Executive Restaurant Recruiter
Direcciony gestion de personas
George’s Employment Blawg
Intel Recruiting Blog
Jason Goldberg’s Jobster Blog
Job Search Engine Guide
Magic Pot Of Jobs
Secrets Of The Job Hunt
Simply Hired Blog
The Recruiting Edge
Your Hr Guy
Just read Seth Godin‘s post on bad customer service this morning (thanks Seth; I’m glad someone wrote about the decline of good customer service!). Since I did most of my shopping for Christmas online this year, I did not have to endure alot of nasty shoppers and apathetic customer “service” associates in the mall and elsewhere. But my few encounters were less than satisfactory:
- Delivery service. My father has been an employee of FedEx for quite some time now. He is a hard worker and I realize that this time of the year is INSANELY busy for them. But that’s no excuse not to do your job! I know this much about UPS and FedEx – that when the delivery truck is empty, your day is done. If you complete your route at 3pm, you are done. If it takes you until 9pm, so be it. Since I work remotely, I am home pretty much all day so I can receive deliveries with no problem. I was noticing however, that I would leave my place and there would be a note on my door that a delivery had been ‘attempted’. Knowing that I had been there the whole time and never heard a knock or a doorbell, this irritated me. So, I started putting a sign on my door that said ‘Deliveries: Please knock. I am home!’, hoping that this would correct the problem. Not so! I actually heard a note being put on my door one day, when the sign was out there, and i ran outside to try to catch the delivery guy but he must have sprinted back to his truck because it was already down the road and turning the corner. The delivery note on my door was stuck right next to the sign stating that I was home….The next time I heard this happening, I moved quickly and ran out to the truck and caught the delivery guys. I was nice of course and asked them if they wouldn’t mind bringing my boxes up since I worked at home and was home all day. They looked like kids who’d been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, and since then they have brought my boxes right to the door like they were supposed to.
- I couldn’t care less. I ordered a camera bag for my mom online at Circuit City and requested a pickup at a local store. When I got to the store, I stood around for about 10 minutes before even being acknowledged. Once I was finally acknowedged, I found out that the store did NOT have the bag I ordered and that I’d have to come back and get it later. No problem – I realize this happens sometimes. So about a week later, I went back. Again, about 10 minutes to be acknowledged. No eye contact, no “I’ll be with you in one moment”….just the attitude of “You people are really annoying me; I’d rather be text-messaging my friends right now”. Once again, no camera bag. It was suggested to me that I drive out to Western Hills (30 min away) or to Dayton (45 min away) and get it from one of those stores. Sure, I could do that – but the reason I picked this particular store is because it was close to where I was running other errands and I was on a time schedule. I opted out, and they said they would have the bag run over from one of the other stores. A week later, I went back. I had to pick up a game while I was there this time, so I got the game and went to the checkout line. No one at the register. Several ‘employees’ standing around talking to each other. Minimal eye contact. I stood there for a few minutes. No one at the register. Finally, thoroughly ticked off, I went back to the ‘Customer Service’ counter to pay for my game and to get my camera bag. You’d think getting this bag was rocket science or something. One boy behind the counter tried pulling up my order and could not do it, so he told me the other girl back there would help me. Guess he forgot to tell her that, because she ignored me for another 5 minutes. I spoke up and asked if I could please get my camera bag and pay for my game. She looked in the computer and proceeded to inform me that I was at the wrong store and that I was supposed to pick up my bag at the Western Hills store. I was done. I told her (as nicely as I could at the moment) that no, I was not supposed to pick up my bag at Western Hills, that they were sending it over from there, that I had been called at home to be informed that the bag was indeed here, that this was the third time I’d been here to pick up the bag, and could she please go to the back and find it for me. She got quiet, went to the back, apparently found my bag, and presented it to me while mumbling “Have a nice day”.
- Show me your boobs. Circuit City once again – I was looking at purchasing a new digital camera. I went to the store to look at and compare some different models. When I got to the store, I noticed that there were two boys behind the camera counter. Great, I thought, this should be pretty simple. Yeah, right. Little did I know that Chesty McBoobs was also in the store looking at cameras. Since I was dressed more conservatively (my boobs were not popping out of my shirt) I was ignored at the camera counter by both employees. And not just me, but the other woman who was standing beside me also looking at cameras. Even when one of them stood right in front of me. He was fiddling with the cameras right there. I looked straight at him and he would not make eye contact. Once, he looked up, and said “He’ll be right back with you ma’am”, referring to the other guy. I informed him that no one had helped me yet, or the woman standing beside me. She looked at me, smiled, and said “If my boobs were coming out of my shirt like hers, I’d have been helped by now.” I left the store without purchasing a camera that day.
By the way, I don’t condone yelling at or getting nasty with anyone else. You don’t know what other circumstances have occurred to another person over the course of a day so you don’t know what their mindset is. However, I DO condone doing your job with a good attitude, and doing it properly. And I also think it’s okay to (nicely) let someone know what you need and that they are in the position to assist you. But, I swear, what does a consumer have to do to get good customer service these days? Here’s my thought – buy online. My guess is that e-commerce has alot to do with 1) the lack of good customer service, and 2) the lack of customer service in general. Since more and more business is being done online as opposed to in a store, companies appear to be cutting back on employees in the stores to keep costs down. When I went into Office Depot the other day, I think I saw maybe 3 employees total, all standing around looking like they could not care and less about being there.
Hey – I know how it goes. I waited tables for 4 1/2 years. I know how it feels. My advice: if you don’t like what you’re doing, either quit, or quit complaining. Not everything you do in life is going to be fun and games. Jobs do not exist for your enjoyment, so suck it up and do what you’re rented for 8 hours a day to do.
Forgive me for posting off-topic, but I am one excited Gator alum!
One down, one to go….see all you Nuts in Glendale!
Jim slammed me, so here we go!
I was a competitive swimmer until age 15.
I won my elementary school’s spelling bee in 1st grade.
I still enjoy watching the clay-mation Christmas movies.
I learned how to read when I was 3 years old.
I won the Hartford Current Reading Rainbow writing award in kindergarten and got my picture in the paper.
Alright, I need to tag five other bloggers!
Consider yourself tagged! (I am crossing my fingers that each of these people checks out my blog from time to time!)
One of the most important things to do when you start working with a new recruiter, in my honest opinion, is laying out the ‘ground rules’, the ‘rules of engagement’, setting expectations, etc. However you want to label it, as a researcher you MUST let recruiters know some key points:
- Let them know a little about your researching background (if you have prior experience)
- Describe the concept of ‘Research’ to them
- Go over some of your procedures
- Set realistic expectations of your results
- Let them know YOUR best method of communication
Following these easy steps will help you develop an open line of communication and a good relationship with your recruiters, and it will also give them some insight as to what you, as a researcher, provide to them as a benefit. Otherwise, you may be viewed as a ‘junior recruiter’ or a ‘data entry’ individual (grr I hate those labels!)
- Describe your research background. If you have prior experience as a researcher, I highly recommend bragging about yourself a little to your new recruiter. This way, they will understand that you know what you’re doing and most likely have some respect for your function in the office. I usually like to include here some of the industries in which I have conducted research as well, so the recruiter knows where my expertise may lay.
- Define ‘Research’ for your recruiter. This is SO important, especially for recruiters who have worked with a researcher in the past. I usually break research down into two large categories: phone sourcing and internet sourcing. Since I am on the internet side of things, I will break down internet research into some sub-categories: active and passive. I then describe the difference between the two to the recruiter. Alot of recruiters think that internet researchers exist only to scour Monster, Hot Jobs, CareerBuilder, etc. and harvest resumes. That may be true for a researcher who conducts active research. But that’s not what I do! So I take the time here to explain what I do as a passive researcher. I also let the recruiter know the reasons why I avoid using job boards (because other recruiters are hungrily harvesting the same contacts; because alot of active candidates use your job opportunities as leverage for a raise at their current place of employment, or to gain a higher salary through another opportunity).
- Outline some of your search procedures. I always give some examples of some of my sources for research to the recruiter. Examples: I look at press releases, listservs, industry associations and trade publications, professional networking, company websites, discussion groups, etc. I usually add here that the movers and shakers in their industry are the ones being talked about in press releases and are actively participating in their industry associations. They are not the ones spamming recruiters with their resume.
- Set realistic expectations. I live by this rule: under promise and over deliver. The worst thing you can do is promise something that you cannot provide. Your recruiters will lose trust and confidence in you if you make promises that you cannot keep. There are a couple of important things to mention when setting expectations: establish a time line for project completion, and establish some expectations of your search results. Here, I will typically iterate that I am supporting several other recruiters and let them know how I work my projects (please see my post on Effectively Managing Your Research Projects). At this point they already know that I look at passive leads and may not always have a resume for a contact, but that I will always provide contact information for the person. I think it is also important to mention here that your role is to add to their recruiting efforts, and not replace their need to cold call. Maureen Sharib wrote an article awhile ago about a question she was asked regarding what one should do with the leads she provided. Don’t let your recruiter abuse you by making you do their job. Your job as a researcher is to provide leads. Their job is to qualify them.
- Go over YOUR chosen method of communication. I believe in following one process, and with that I believe in establishing your method of communication. Otherwise, you will receive your search requests in any number of methods. Let your recruiter know how you manage your projects, and kindly let them know how you want them to pass along their projects for your assistance. If you do not establish a preferred method of communication upfront, you will kick yourself in the butt for as long as you work together. If they begin sending you requests using other methods, gently guide them back to your preferred method. You can do this tactfully or not-so-tactfully, and I recommend using tact whenever possible! This will keep your relationship a happy one!
Once you have had this conversation, the recruiter will respect you more and be more likely to adhere to the things you have outlined. I have found it more difficult to set expectations with recruiters with whom I have never had this conversation. The ones I educate upfront on how research works are better at communication and understand what I do more. People don’t know what they don’t know, but if you take the time to explain this to them, they will appreciate your efforts!