The Importance of Hiring Manager Feedback

Managers love to call me and complain about their open roles not being filled quick enough by recruiters. Of course, my job is to ensure all of my clients are happy but about 80% of the time, the obstacle to filling the job is not the shortage of talent or the lack of talent but rather, the length of time it takes for managers to provide feedback on the talent. I find a lot of managers don’t understand why it’s important to provide quick feedback on candidates.

Some of the common complaints I hear are from managers include:

  • “My positions aren’t being filled quick enough.”
  • “You guys take so long to get a new hire on board.”
  • “Why does recruiting take so long?”

As a recruiter, I am always more apt to work harder and quicker for the managers who have a quick turnaround time for feedback. Usually, these managers are not the culprit of complaints because we’re in constant contact throughout the process. For those managers who don’t understand why it’s important to provide quick feedback on candidates, let me share some recruiting secrets for you.

It’s all about partnership

As recruiters, we see ourselves as your partners in the search. Our job is to find the best candidate for your role in the shortest amount of time. Those of us who have been “on the line” before going into recruiting understand every day you do not have your candidate is a loss in productivity and profit. True partnerships have to have communication to be effective. When you don’t provide feedback in a timely manner, we will tend to move on to jobs with managers who are willing to truly be a partner. So if you want our job filled, honor the partnership and give feedback quickly.

Helps the recruiter look for the right candidates

The first stage of my recruiting process includes what I call a “fly-by” list of candidates to ensure I’m on the right track. It’s a great way for me to zero in on the right candidate profile and not spend time trying to develop a candidate who the manager feels is not a fit. Sure, I can read a job description but all of us know there are things not listed in a job description critical to a candidate’s success in a role.

For this, the quicker the feedback from the manager the sooner I can start finding that rockstar.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

It’s a Candidate’s market

Perhaps one of the most frustrating scenarios is when I spend time developing a candidate’s interest in a role, only to have the manager delay providing feedback. It’s a candidate’s market so if you want your role filled with the most qualified candidate, you have to act while they are interested. Passive candidates, those who are not actively looking for job, will view the lack of manager response as no interest and begin looking at other companies. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had the perfect candidate for a role, only to have a manager drag their feet and the candidate decide to take another position with a competitor.

The best way to get your job filled by the best candidate in the shortest period of time, provide quick feedback on candidates! Work with your recruiter to establish communication guidelines and agreements.

Start by agreeing on a weekly update at the same time every week until the role is filled. It could be a 15 minute standing call to keep everyone communicating. If the role is critical, you might want to consider having a touch point call twice a week to shorten the feedback loop.

In Sprint Recruiting, feedback is the module that keeps candidate flow moving. If we reach our WIP limit in recruiting, we stop and determine where feedback is needed to keep the process moving. It’s a joint effort between the hiring manager and the recruiter. (If you want to learn more about WIP limits in recruiting, check out this post.)

Either way, the best chance for success in your search is to work with your recruiter and commit to provide quick feedback on candidates.

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Is Talent Acquisition Ready for Influencer Marketing? A lesson from Adidas

My sixteen year old daughter taught me a lot about influencers three years ago when she became obsessed with certain YouTubers and Instagram celebrities. Her free time revolved around when these influencers would post new content. At the time, I thought it was just a fad but have also become intrigued lately with a question. Is talent acquisition ready for Influencer Marketing?

Is this just a fad?

Last year, Adidas began a new program for shoe enthusiast to have early access to products, exclusive drops and special events according to Fast Company’s article on the subject. Adidas hopes to strengthen the relationship with these influential fans by allowing them to open a store in only three clicks on the Storr app. Sellers are to receive a 6% commission from every sale. The firm hopes to have a bullish launch by inviting roughly 10,000 members to participate.

Adidas’s senior director of digital activation acknowledged the success the company has experienced leveraging social media but hints at a “new revolution” in the influencer space. Here’s his quote from the article:

“We do interesting stuff through Instagram, or through our affiliate marketing where we’re utilizing sneakerheads, influencers, and even our athletes to sell our products, because they’re influential and consumers are spending time with them. The next evolution of that is the democratization of social selling, allowing our consumers to act as wholesalers or retailers on our behalf.”

Honestly, I love this concept!

This is a genius way to make your consumers salespeople. Who better to sell than those who already love your product? And a 6% commission for such sales is a low price to pay to your loyal fans who sell your product. It’s much more efficient and cost-effective than opening a new site and paying a sales staff.

Kudos to Adidas for figuring this out!

Photo: Bogdan Glisik/Unsplash

What does this mean for Recruiting?

Employee referrals are always a great source for candidates. Unfortunately, I don’t think many companies have the perfect way to capitalize on the leads generated.

Most companies tout an employee referral program but the system or process for entering and paying out on these referrals is botched. It’s either manual or too dependent on recruiters’ memories. Most employees I speak to note the pain involved with trying to get a high quality candidate through the process.

You would think that Applicant Tracking Systems would have some incredibly easy interface to help accommodate the process but let’s face it, most of them barely get candidates through the process correctly. You could rely on a work around like an online form for internals to enter their recommendations but who has the time for updating yet another spreadsheet?

If we could find a way to follow Adidas’s lead and leverage a platform like Storr to easily track and pay for quality referrals, it would be a true game changer.

Future of Recruiting-Inflencers Welcomed!

Imagine identifying a select group of truly engaged employees to be your influencers for recruiting. They would be your brand ambassadors to help share viable and engaging content to their groups, identify pools of candidates for recruiting groups to target and help further sell opportunities with your firm.

This is the future of the old Employee Referral program. Rather than simply begging for referrals and paying a nominal fee for a placement, you will now empower and compensate your most engaged employees to help become an extension of your Talent Acquisition strategy!

Although the recruiting industry is severely behind brands like Nike and Adidas, we can learn from their efforts to capitalize on influencers. Rather than increasing sales, our goal would be to increase quality hires.

Increased Efficiency

This approach is not only the wave of the future but also more cost effective.

Rather than begging for addtional headcount within your recruiting group, your focus would then become how to increase the number of influencers within your organization. It’s like leveraging a resource that another group is already paying for!

More importantly, potential candidates are more likely to believe employees within your organization over some random recruiter calling them about an opportunity. Creating recruiting influencers is the no-nonsense approach to expanding your reach without increasing your budget.

If you’re not exploring how influencers can help your organization and your recruiting function, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity.

Remember to start with a small group and test a couple of methods before going all out. It’s better to make a few small mistakes and learn versus unleashing a half-concocted plan that will cause more harm than good.

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Data Analytics And Recruiting

Most people are freaked out when they are surfing Facebook or another site and find targeted ads related to a product they were researching earlier in the day. Ok, I’m a little freaked out but I am also amazed at how companies know to bring content to me based on data. I guess that’s why I love the topic of data analytics & recruiting.

Information exists in unimaginable amounts, telling various stories, supported by statistical data. Any business desiring to gain a competitive edge have begun using this influx of data to their advantage, alongside technology organizations who are creating the power to analyze and interpret this data. I’ve become obsessed with how we can use data analytics in recruiting.

Here are my ideas.

Photo by Tumisu

Faster & More Efficient Hiring

One of the themes I touch on in Sprint Recruiting is the idea of hiring faster and more efficient. Part of the Sprint Recruiting methodology is the retrospective which allows our team to examine what worked and what didn’t during the sprint. We will often use data analytics to analyze candidate flow, bottlenecks in the process and other vital data points to help with the upcoming sprints.

To increase hires, it’s incredibly important to analyze where your hires are sourced from. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on job boards, you might find many of your hires come from internal referrals or other sourcing methods. This analysis will not only help you decrease the time a job stays open but also help you reallocate money spent on useless candidate sources to more effective sourcing strategies.

Better Hires

Leveraging data analytics in recruiting will help recruiters focus on finding the right candidate for the right role. Analyzing successful employees currently in the role being recruited can help recruiters lock in on the rock-star candidate versus merely someone who will do the job.

Using a tool like Visier or another HCM analytical tool can help you gather the needed data to beef up your sourcing strategy. It can also help you fine tune the interview process to ensure you and your hiring managers are asking the right questions to gain the right insight on candidates.

Increase Engagement

I’m a huge fan of MailChimp and other services to help with managing the content marketing process. The true value of services like these is the data analytics it provides to help you better understand your audience.

If your goal is to leverage content marketing in your recruiting strategy, it’s vital for you to know what your readers want to increase engagement. MailChimp and Hubspot offer incredible analytics to allow you to track how many clicks and shares your posts receive from those on your mailing list.

As content marketing becomes more prevalent in today’s recruiting strategy, you will want to be sure you are an Ace in how to use data analytics in recruiting.

You don’t have to be a statistic nerd to appreciate the vast number of enhancements data analytics can bring to your recruiting strategy. My advice would be to start small in an area you would like to enhance and learn your way through trial and error.

For those of us who geek out on this type of stuff, the growing influence of data analytics in recruiting is akin to a binge on the latest Netflix series…. we just can’t get enough!

If you would like to learn more about Sprint RecruitingClick here to join our mailing list. You’ll get premier access to:

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The SPRINT in Sprint Recruiting

Everyone has an obsession in life and one of mine is my health. I admit I am a vain guy. Sure I like to focus on my health to have a better life but it’s driven more by my desire to look good. Believe it or not, it’s one of the ways I got the idea for Sprint Recruiting.

I began my health journey in 2012 after realizing I had gained sixty pounds of fat and was pretty miserable. I’ve tried all kinds of fad diets, eating styles and workout styles. Part of my research led me to High Intensity Interval Training as a way to drop fat quicker. I was more interested in the quick part of the promise to lose fat than I was the workout. 

One of the workouts I tried included the use of sprints during runs. The idea was to alternate sprinting and walking during a set period of time to increase the heart rate in bursts. The first time I tried it I absolutely hated it but it was better than spending forty five minutes on a treadmill going nowhere. 

Doing the HIIT training for thirty days was probably the most miserable health decision I made but the results were incredible. I dropped ten pounds and experienced an increased focus and determination. Of course, the nerd in me wondered whether this was a fluke or if there was actual science behind it. 

The National Council on Strength and Fitness released an article encouraging trainers to consider sprint training to help clients meet their goals. It goes on to say that studies on sprinters showed less muscle decline than those athletes who only did the traditional form of working out, resistance training. 

During sprint training, the heart works very hard to meet the energy demands necessary for the success of the exercise. By utilizing short duration, sprint-type activities, the strength of the heart will improve. At the muscular level, most individuals will not experience the same adaptations normally associated with aerobic training. The studies quoted showed more calaries are burned during a sprint training than an aerobic training. 

One thing I found that helped me push through HIIT was the duration. Unlike trying to convince myself to stay on a treadmill for forty five minutes or run four miles, the HIIT routines were short but intense. I could mentally break the thirty minute routine into, “OK I’m going to do this exercise for the next five minutes.” For me, it was easier to get through those sprints than it was being bored with traditional cardio. 

The same lessons I learned from my experience trying HIIT are applicable to Sprint Recruiting. 

Defining the sprint helps relieve the constant pressure I once felt looking at all of the open jobs our team had to fill. It made the daunting task managing a lot of jobs easier looking at a defined scope of time. You will find that just like sprint training, your focus will begin to narrow on what can be accomplished in two weeks versus your brain being overwhelmed and shutting down. 

Photo by Gratisography

It may sound demeaning to the jobs I’m working, but I treat the daunting nature of sourcing for a number of jobs like cardio. If I work in sprints and only focus on a select few, important jobs, I can make a lot of progress because it seems doable. I use the priority points set by my clients to determine which positions require my attention each week and allocate time to source, follow up and execute. 

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your workload, try breaking it down to smaller, bite-size pieces and work in a sprint. Try limiting your sprint to one or two weeks and measure your results. That’s where Sprint Recruiting becomes your secret weapon!

I’m willing to bet you’ll find yourself twice as productive and able to source more, qualified candidates which will lead to not only raving candidates but happy clients! 

If you would like to learn more about Sprint RecruitingClick here to join our mailing list. You’ll get premier access to:

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Content Marketing as a Recruiting Strategy

As I look through my emails, I notice a scary trend-email after email from some of my favorite brands. Unlike the normal “salesy” emails, most of the brands I follow capture my interests with their content. It’s made me go all in on content marketing as a recruiting strategy.

First, if you don’t know what content marketing is, it’s loosely defined as a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts). The primary goal of content marketing is not to explicitly promote a brand but to stimulate interest in its products or services.

Successful recruiters do content marketing by default. For the high valued targets on your recruiting lists, you may send industry articles or share valuable content occasionally as a way to stay on the recruit’s mind. All I am suggesting is to make content marketing a permanent, planned part of your recruiting strategy.

How to use content marketing as a recruiting strategy

The task can seem daunting at first but once you set up the framework, it can run like clockwork. A successful content marketing recruiting strategy will be engaging your high valued candidates while you focus more energy on developing new targets and adding them to the list. Influencers like Gary Vee and Arianna Huffington are masters at developing content weekly, if not daily, that informs their base while consistently driving them to buy into their brand.

So how do you do it?

Develop your list

Start first by developing your list of prospects and getting them into a marketing platform like MailChimp or HubSpot. These tools are great for not only storing your contacts but also helping to develop content in the form of template newsletters and other email templates.

Both platforms offer you the ability to develop landing pages for candidates to self-select in to your marketing program. This is a great way to help the list generate more leads for you by asking for referrals from your top prospects.

Create your content

Remember-the goal for content marketing as a recruiting strategy is not to put on the hard selling tactics normally used. If you have a list for data scientist, share articles from other companies or publications with value insight into the industry.

You can start by creating something simple like a once a month mailing showcasing the top articles of the month and build your program after you gain experience. Be sure to insert an article from your current firm if you can find one that is relevant. Essentially, you will allow candidates to see your firm’s publication alongside industry leaders. This tactic will encourage your candidates to begin thinking of your firm as those industry leaders you’ve included in the piece.

Compared to the constant phone calls from recruiters, content marketing allows candidates to engage with you and your brand on their terms at a time they choose.

Schedule ahead

Another valuable option platforms like HubSpot and MailChimp offer is the option to schedule content in advance. This helps maintain some consistency in your schedule. It also helps you dedicate one to four hours a month putting your content together to be scheduled.

Typically, I dedicate one day a month to develop content and then work on the schedule. Creating this discipline has helped me be able to spend less time developing awesome content and more time engaging awesome candidates.

If you create and maintain a schedule, you’ll also condition your candidate pool to expect content from you.

Use the metrics

You will never know if your content marketing is effective unless you utilize metrics. The two platforms mentioned previously offer such metrics as open rate, clicks, shares and many more. If you are spending the time to evaluate content marketing as a recruiting strategy, you’re measuring what works and what doesn’t.

There’s no use in doing all this work if no one is engaging in the content. Dig into the data to see what candidates like to read and produce or find more similar content to share. This is where the gold is in this strategy.

Leveraging content marketing as a recruiting strategy can be overwhelming at first but if you stick with it, you may find yourself having more fun with it than you thought you would. It’s a great way to get in the mind of your prospective candidates which can also help you with your more traditional recruiting strategies.

Brands who do content marketing well stay at the top of mind of its target clients. They engage their clients in a way to help them continually come back to them for purchases, not because they’re always selling something but because they’re always providing value.

If you would like to learn more about Sprint RecruitingClick here to join our mailing list. You’ll get premier access to:

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Why Some Recruiting Strategies Suck

If you find yourself wondering why you are not seeing the right candidates or any candidates at all, there’s a good chance your recruiting strategy sucks! The good news is that you can make some quick adjustments to get everything back on track and find that rockstar employee.

Know what you’re looking for

In my previous posts, I’ve spoken at length on the importance of a good job description. The job description is the marketing add for the role you’re essentially selling potential candidates. Before you even get to that step, you have to know what you are actually looking for.

Start with a list of top 3-5 skills that will serve as “the price of admission” for consideration of candidates. Be realistic about your expectations and spend as much focus on the acumen of candidates as you do on the minimum qualifications.

Know your market

One major reason why your recruiting strategy sucks is being unaware of the talent market. When I work with hiring managers, I spend time providing market research to help manage the expectations. Variables such as the depth of the candidate pool, competition and compensation expectations are all important items to consider to avoid later realizing your recruiting strategy sucks.

One of the components of Sprint Recruiting is the 48-hour feedback loop recruiter provide managers during the sprint. If we spend the first 48-hours searching, only to find a shallow candidate pool with salary expectations outside of our budget, we quickly huddle with the manager to reassess our recruiting strategy.

As an industry professional, you should have insight to help your recruiting partner know where to search for the candidate you want and can afford.

Be ready to move quick

Today’s marketplace is all about speed. If your recruiter finds a candidate for you, be sure to honor appointments for interviews.  It amazes me how managers will blow off phone interviews or miss appointments with candidates who are interested in the position.  There are no words for what type of impression that leaves with a candidate.  And when you have met with them, provide feedback to both the candidate and the recruiter about next steps.


So, you’ve interviewed several candidates, narrowed it down to the one you want… so what are you waiting for?  Many times, I will have had to endure constant requests for updates and hounding about a particular position only to have the offer negotiation process drag out for weeks.  If you know what you want, then you should know what you want to pay for it, therefore, you should be able to pull the trigger. 

This is the last place you want to appear indecisive. If you are the bottleneck, then you are the reason your recruiting strategy sucks! Own it and fix it before you lose out on a great employee.

Your recruiting strategy sucks because it isn’t a priority

One of the primary reasons why your recruiting strategy sucks is because you are not making it a priority. With all of the turbulence in the market and in every industry, excellence in recruiting can sometimes take a back seat. 

I would urge every leader to be wary of this common mistake. 

If you would like to learn more about Sprint RecruitingClick here to join our mailing list. You’ll get premier access to:

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Introduction to Sprint Recruiting

Traditional recruiting is sometimes the very definition of insanity. You get a job, you search for candidates, conduct interviews, place the candidate, they quit, and the cycle repeats. Numerous issues and landmines frequent the journey for the recruiters searching for the best talent. Sprint Recruiting helps prioritize the work, keep your focus and enables you to kick ass!

Unmanaged Expectations

Hiring managers can be unrealistic but in many cases, this is the recruiter’s fault. In an effort to please and dazzle our hiring managers, we rarely manage their expectations. Sure, it can be confrontational but if you are not defining the process with your hiring managers, you will fall prey to their expectations. 

Let’s not forget the job description of the purple squirrel that every manager dreams up. They want someone with all of these skills and experience with a budget that would barely afford a recent college graduate. Most of us kick into the “I’m going to rock your world” mindset and become hell bent on finding that elusive candidate.

Meanwhile, hiring managers wait like a disgruntled old person in the line at the DMV. Why?

Clear expectations were not set by the recruiter on the front end.

Talent Shortage

The truly sexy, in demand jobs are the toughest because there are usually ten firms looking for that talent. Recruiters are feverishly working to find the talent, engage them in the selection process and in some cases, convince the hiring manager the talent is actually the right person for the job.

There are some serious challenges ahead including talent shortages, skills gaps and location issues.  If that doesn’t stress you out then globalization should.  Companies are fighting for talent in a candidate driven market.  Candidates are now savvier and more educated about the companies they want to work for.   

Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report suggests that only 67% of the recruiters search for candidates with relevant job experience. There is a shift in many companies, including my current employer, to search more based on competencies and acumen versus relevant job experience.  Finding the right employee that fits the criteria makes the hiring procedure a daunting task if you are still recruiting using the traditional methodology.

The Process

I’ve worked for several medium and large corporations and one thing is true in all of them:

There’s no such thing as an easy hiring process.

Most of this is due to regulations, antiquated hiring protocols, untrained managers etc. The obstacles are real but rarely addressed.  After all, we have to be polite and not let anyone in the process get their feelings hurt right?

How Sprint Recruiting Helps

Sprint Recruiting brings the AGILE methodology to recruiting to allow for quicker and more efficient hiring. The sprints give the recruiting time to stop and evaluate the needed analytics to make hiring smarter and not harder. The Sprint Recruiting methodology follows 3 rules:

Our team has found that with Sprint Recruiting, we have more time to spend on the data analytics in recruiting that will make us the consultants our clients deserve.

If you would like to learn more about Sprint RecruitingClick here to join our mailing list. You’ll get premier access to:

  • Each chapter as it’s written
  • Resources including graphics, reports and training
  • Special Q&A sessions to learn how Sprint Recruiting can help you transform your Talent Strategy.