Rage Against the Machine: A Recruiting Rant.

I’m currently reading a dense David McCullough book (an oldie but a goodie), The Path Between The Seas, which won a Pulitzer back in the 70s and is a compelling read for anyone with a sadomasochistic interest in the intersection of American imperialism and global capitalism, intermixed with minute details on things like maritime engineering, flood control and trends in 19th century mercantilism. I’m a sucker for that sort of thing (and yeah, I’m really boring, and a huge nerd, and I own it).

The feat of engineering that was the original Panama Canal overcame a tremendous number of obstacles, from pestilence and plague to worker mutinies, unrelenting terrain and widespread deaths and abuse among the imported laborers, thousands of lives lost in pursuit of a profit none but a few elite Frenchmen and some enterprising (and evil) American investors would ever see so much as a sou.

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Can It Be All So Simple: If You Want the Right Tech Talent, Buy The Right Tech.

We all know that salary is the single most important factor in determining whether or not a candidate will pursue a role and accept an offer. So if you’re paying under market, or your total comp package just isn’t competitive, than isn’t a damn thing in the world that a recruiter or candidate can do, culture fit or employer brand be damned.

It sucks, but if you can’t pay the costs to be the boss, then you’re probably going to be paying the costs to get yo ass on COBRA if you’re a recruiter.

Many organizations use accepted offer ratio as one of their primary outcome metrics, which means even if you’re the world’s best sourcer and recruitment marketer, if you’re trying to get a dollar out of fifty cents, it’s ultimately going to be your fault (and ass) when top of the line talent turns down bottom of the range offers.

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Why Microsoft Bought LinkedIn.

While I’m generally pretty good at reading the M&A market in the HR Technology space, I admit that the announcement that venerable tech titan Microsoft was acquiring LinkedIn took me, like many in the industry, by complete surprise.

 It is not an obvious fit, by any means, other than the fact that both are basically kind of the Miss Havisham (or maybe Norma Desmond) of the tech world, fading category killers whose happily ever after has been perpetually mothballed in the court of public perception.

This acquisition is sort of reminiscent of when Dell bought EMC; for forward thinkers and cutting edge companies, this announcement likely is the equivalent of two dinosaurs battling as both sink into the tarpit of technology.

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10 Things Only People Who Write Recruiting Related Content Will Understand.

The author apologizes for this post, which is both gratuitous and insulting. It adds nothing to the greater conversation, isn’t even well written enough to pass remedial English (or get into Arizona State) and will likely get him in trouble even though he doesn’t much care for it, either. What else is new?  Oh, recruiting. Never change. That’s right. You never do.

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Head of the Class: The Diversity Double Standard.

“Me move to Stockton, him fed him monster, I can’t live here no more. Sip holy water, turned working people into the working poor. Well I keep on knocking; I keep on knocking but I can’t get in.”

– Fantastic Negrito, The Working Poor

Every so often I have to make the trip to the belly of the beast better known as the Bay Area. It is not a trip I necessarily relish, and it’s got nothing to do with the preponderance of Giants fans, Berkeley alums or even the gratuitous use of the word “hella,” which hella sucks.

Maybe a decade ago, sure, but times is changing, and the drunks and trannies in the Tenderloin have been run out by the likes of Twitter. South of Market has gone from the middle of nowhere, or where you ended up if you got lost getting on the 101, to the center of the tech universe.

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Observations on Job Aggregation.

By now, I’m sure you saw the “big news” that Simply Hired was shutting down effective June 26. If you’re like 99.99% of the American population, your initial reaction was, “what the hell is a Simply Hired?”

The fact of the matter is, the bigger surprise for me was that this week’s announcement was perceived as news at all, really.

That fact, my friends, is actually the headline.

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Must Be The Money.

When I was recruiting, the biggest lie I ever told candidates was that salary is dependent upon experience.

If you ever see anything to the ‘DOE’ throwaway in a job ad, or if you ever hear a hiring manager or recruiter answer your comp question with either a lateral to HR (“we do a personalized comp study”) or some ambiguous reply about a “range,” they’re lying.

The truth is that most job descriptions – those boring, bullet proof lists – are, in fact, nothing more than compensation documents with a boilerplate bolted on.

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Why “Employee Engagement” Is The Successories Poster of HR.

Employee engagement is one of those perpetual trending topics in HR and recruiting, probably because for years now, pundits and practitioners alike still haven’t figured out how to confront what seems to be a fairly endemic case of malaise and apathy perpetually plaguing our workforce.

I’m not sure why it is that talent leaders and recruiting pros can’t to have a near obsessive fixation on what’s inherently an amorphous and highly ambiguous concept, but I think the primary driver of our engagement fetish is that it seems to be a convenient, categorical catch-all that’s more or less seen as the whipping boy for all of the manifold problems plaguing the HR and recruiting profession today.

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The Top 10 Reasons HR Bloggers Suck.

There’s the A List, the B List, and so forth. Of course, as Courtney Stodden and Andy Dick prove, even the F List at least get invited to the occasional VH1 awards ceremony and shop at Kitson. Below that, on the totem pole of fame, there are local network affiliate meteorologists, inspirational speakers and newspaper columnists.

Then, one level below that, you’ve got your King Curtis, Omarosa or Joe the Plumber types, and below them, you’ve got your convicted militia leaders, Congressmen and Canadian Football League players.

And then somewhere, somewhere far, far down in the bottom, like Dante’s Inner Circle, but with way more self-loathing and latency issues, are those people who sit somewhere between fame, infamy and dreams of grandeur.

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We Want Eazy: Recruiting Doesn’t Have to Be Hard.

Recruiting is never easy, but for some reason, many talent acquisition professionals make it somehow much harder than it really needs to be.

The fact that recruiters inherently work in silos and are largely forced to figure out the intricacies of talent sourcing and screening independently means that we tend to all make the same mistakes.

For the most part, they’re easily avoidable, but again, recruiters don’t really like to focus on what’s not working – after all, there’s too much work to do.

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