Tuesday, January 17, 2012

5 ways to make the Recruiters you work with more effective

Our blog has moved. You will find this blog post and fresh content on our new Global Engineering Jobs blog.
Whether it’s an agency you’re dealing with or your own in-house Recruiters, you’ll get what you need faster if you can deliver these five simple things:

1. Decent Feedback
When it comes to refining a search and delivering you a better candidate, knowing why you’re passing on the ones you’ve already been given is invaluable. A trial and error approach is no good for anyone. In a world where job descriptions are often mass produced from a template and access to the real decision maker can be limited, some simple, direct feedback is vital. Ultimately it’s going to save you time and get you what you need faster.

2. Some Exclusivity
If you’re working with thirty agencies on your vacancies, you’re not going to get the best service from any of them. If they know their work is unlikely to bear fruit simply based on the fact that they have a one in thirty chance of getting their resumes properly reviewed, they’re not going to send their best people. The cream of candidates, those who are not available from job boards and agencies en masse will always go to the customers who take the recruiter most seriously, retain a few close relationships with reputable agencies and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the more resumes they get, the more people they will hire.

3. Access
The more a Recruiter can understand about your projects and your culture, the faster they can get you the people you need. Don’t be afraid to invite your two or three best recruiters to see what you’re working on, to get a feel for your business and your team. This will help them to understand your real needs and provide you a better service. I always council clients to be suspicious of vendors who want to take them out for expensive dinners, or drop off fancy gifts. They’re only paying for it in the short term. In the long term, they’re going to want something in return that they haven’t earned. It’s the recruiters who want to meet you and your team in your office who are probably the ones worth taking seriously. They’re prepared to let the work do the talking.   Let them come; most of them are house trained and the benefits will come back to you.

4. A Little Respect
Recruiters have it tough. Whether they’re corporate or commercial, you can bet they’ve got more jobs to fill than they reasonably can, more competition than they’ve ever had before and a great deal of pressure coming from the people they’re accountable to. Like agents in any field, there is a long held misperception that they are reckless cowboys who will do anything for a fast buck. For the vast majority, who are working long hours for modest base salaries, this is hugely inaccurate. During my time working with a lot of different Recruiters and recruiting teams, the biggest frustration expressed by strong, professional recruiters has been that their motives are constantly doubted, even by the customers with whom they had developed good relationships. When something bad happens: when someone pulls out at the last minute, or drastically increases their salary demands, remember that it is highly unlikely to be your recruiter who’s yanking your chain. They just lost their lunch.

5. Realism
Recruiters work the vast majority of their hours for free. The no win, no fee payment structure removes client accountability for the time recruiters put in. The trouble with this is that when a company thinks they might need twenty five people, they often get their recruiters attention by forgetting to mention the ‘might’.  I’ve seen so many urgent jobs that turned out to actually be bids. The thing is, I would have been delighted to help on the bid – heck we could have helped make the bid better if we’d known that’s what we were doing. Give your recruiters your best assessment of the real opportunity. If there are ten openings but you think you’ll fill five of them internally, let them know.

All in all, Recruiters live at the behest of their customers, and that’s how it should be. A decent Recruiter should be working on delivering a better service with each opportunity they get. They should want to earn your business every day. If you think you’ve found an agency who is genuinely doing those things, then meet them half way. It’s good for you, it’s good for them and ultimately, you’ll get a better, faster service.

Richard Spragg writes on various subjects including global engineering staffing and global engineering jobs.

Friday, January 6, 2012

9/11 Museum construction takes a $440m backward step

Our blog has moved. You will find this blog post and fresh content on our new Global Engineering Jobs blog.
by Richard Spragg

Regular readers of the blog will remember my post last September on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks praising everyone involved in the design and delivery of the remarkable memorial at Ground Zero.

Three months is a long time in construction and the entente cordial is back in the rubble. The New York and New Jersey Port Authority is embroiled in a financial dispute with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum foundation over millions of dollars and Mayor Bloomberg is stating categorically that the museum will not open on time later this year.  

Artists's rendering of the Museum (New York Post)
The Port Authority claims it is owed $300m in infrastructure costs, the Foundation claims it is actually owed $140m due to delays in the project. They are $440m dollars apart. Work has stopped. 

There’s very little comment coming from anywhere on the situation. Only the Mayor has made comments about it during unrelated press conferences and journalists from the Wall Street Journal and other major outlets have been largely unable to secure comments on the record since the story broke.

1 million people have visited the 9/11 memorial since September, putting it on a par with the Statue of Liberty and Empire State building as a pull for visitors. As with Ground Zero itself, some will be gawkers and some mourners but the majority are sure to be genuinely interested visitors unsure of what they will take from the experience.

The sooner those visitors have access to the museum exhibits, to add facts and back story to the open reflection of the monument, the more valuable an experience they will have.

Whatever the bureaucrats need to do to make this happen, they need to do it now.

Richard Spragg writes on various subjects including global engineering staffing and global engineering jobs.