What it takes to recruit?

I often receive messages from recruiters that contain a link to a job ad or just the whole body of that very same ad. That’s not what recruitment is about. If I’m interested in a job, I can see the ad on the job boards (or at any other medium) and there’s no need for someone to send me the message. I admit, having someone personally send you the message at least gives you a person to contact in case you are interested; but it’s easy enough to add the contact details in the job ad itself, so anyone can get more information before applying.

In a job market where you get dozens or hundreds of applications for single position, you have to choose the best applicants. This is a hard work, one that requires not only skill, but good intuition as well. When you hardly have any candidates however, which is the case in many high-tech jobs, screening is not enough. You have to attract the candidates first. And if you are going to reach them directly via e-mail or social web sites, it’s an even harder job.

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Paying people to join, to stay or to quit the company?

When I started this blog 5 years ago, I didn’t know the term sign-on bonus. Back then I suggested offering employees a “welcome bonus” as an unconventional way to attract talent. It turned out it was already a common practice – one that gained a lot of popularity in the recent years.

Now, 5 years later, I still think sign-on bonuses need reinvention. What’s different between my original idea and all of the implementations I found is the reasoning behind such a policy, and I find my reasons closer to the “pay-to-quit”, first offered by Zappos in 2008. Continue reading