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OnRec Expo 2006Global Summit for Online Recruitment

Event: OnRec Expo 2006—Global Summit for Online Recruitment
September 12-13, 2006, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center, Chicago

What: OnRec, through its conferences, magazine and Web site, aims to shed light on topics related to all aspects of online recruitment. This is OnRec’s first expo. The company attracted such sponsors as CareerBuilder, Taleo, Arbita and LatPro. There are an estimated 200 delegates who attended from all over the world, including Australia, South Africa, Canada, Croatia and Pakistan.

Conference info: For more information about OnRec events, go to onrec.com.

Day 2, Wednesday, September 13

Rock-y on: Whether it is Rocky, the lovable squirrel who dared to eat nuts within the reach of humans, or Rocky, the underdog boxer who triumphed over adversity, Joel Chessman admires them for one reason: their ability to take risks. The CEO of HRSEO, a consultancy for search engine optimization and marketing strategies, urges companies to follow in the footsteps of both Rockies. He is not keen on cookie-cutter approaches, like using Monster, for reaching the best talent. “There is just too much spam,” he says. “Users have to endure ads from Phoenix University to get where they want to go.” Instead, he points to out-of-the box tactics like using pay-per-click job boards, including Indeed.com. He also promotes the use of blogs as a tool for attracting candidates. “Shame on you if you have a job site and don’t blog,” he says. But blogs are like puppies, Chessman cautions: They require adequate care and maintenance.

Cultural sensitivity: Interested in mining for talent overseas? You could run the risk of coming up empty-handed unless you do your homework before embarking on your mission, says Shally Steckerl, manager, central sourcing team for Microsoft. Solicitation can be considered downright rude and inappropriate in some countries, so you need to know what methods of recruiting will mesh well with the culture. Don’t be surprised if you get little response from e-mail solicitation in countries like Russia, Romania and the Ukraine, where there is a certain fear factor–perhaps a remnant of the old political system.

Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of lumping two cultures together just because they share a common language, he warns. English is spoken in both South Africa and Australia, but solicitations won’t get you far when it comes to recruiting directly in the African nation, where direct response is very low. You stand a better chance if your company is referred by someone the candidate knows, such as a friend or a former professor. In Australia, however, direct calls work best. That’s because candidates in Australia are used to being approached by recruiters and headhunters.

Success formula: 2GP+3N+2D=1GH. Relax, this is not an algebraic problem designed to test your math skills. Rather, this is editor and publisher Peter Weddle’s formula for successful recruiting. He is a big proponent of blending a variety of tools, including: Two General Purpose sites, such as Monster and CareerBuilder; Three Niche sites, like MediaBistro.com; and Two Diversity Sites. But just make sure that the diversity sites that you use are linked with a profession, like Women in Technology or African American Accountants. What will all of this get you? One Great Hire, according to Weddle.
–Gina Ruiz

DAY 1, Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Feel like you are constantly struggling to make you department’s budget work? You probably are. That’s because, on average, companies allot a miserly 2 percent of their total budget to HR, according to Yves Lermusiaux, president and founder of Taleo Research. Going from rags to riches won’t happen overnight, but speaking the language of the C-suite may help to inject a bit more balance in the equation. For example, Wall Street pays close attention to corporate productivity—derived by dividing a company’s total revenue by the number of its employees. Therefore, Lermusiaux suggests HR execs utilize this information for gaining leverage when negotiating budgets and salaries. Another sure way to get the CFO’s attention is by highlighting the fact that turnover can chip away at a company’s bottom line.

Besides his useful bits of wisdom, Lermusiaux kept the audience intrigued by proclaiming that he is perfecting the antidote to one of recruitment’s biggest headaches: the mounds of résumés that hiring managers have to sift through to find the appropriate candidate. His new company, Checkster, is exploring ways of perfecting matchmaking by drawing closer correlation between employer requirements and candidate skills so that recruiting is made faster and easier. “It will be revealed in due time,” Lermusiaux said. For more information, go to checkster.com.

Job board effectiveness: Despite all of the negative chatter about online job boards, perception about their effectiveness among corporate recruiters is fairly positive, according to a newly released joint study by the Electronic Recruitment Exchange and Classified Intelligence. “We were surprised by the outcomes,” says John Zappe, recruitment analyst for Classified Intelligence, who presented results from the survey.

Nearly 50 percent of survey respondents, who included several hundred corporate recruiters, say job sites are effective or very effective in helping them achieve their hiring goals. The study confirms what many had suspected, which is that recruiting using print is becoming less and less popular. Most respondents have an unfavorable perception of using print as a tool. Some 60 percent of respondents said that print is an ineffective or very ineffective means of recruitment. Not surprisingly, most of the candidates said they plan to reduce budgets for print usage in their recruitment efforts.

Zappe presented his findings to the truly global audience in attendance at the expo. Not only were the participants from all corners of the world, but so too were the presenters. In fact, all three of the speakers that preceded Zappe were from overseas. “I hope you can all understand my California accent,” he said jokingly.

Tailored recruiting: A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose–perhaps in the world of Gertrude Stein, but not when it comes to international online recruiting. The approach used for recruiting may vary drastically, depending on where you are conducting your search, says Rob Weber, North America staffing manager for Schneider Electric. In India and China, posting a job online is as accepted as it is in the United States. Nevertheless, companies may want to make special considerations given the vast differences amongst these two societies.

Both India and China are facing stiff competition for qualified talent. But the situation in China may be even more intense because its education system is simply not producing the volume of trained students and workers necessary to meet the needs of its insatiable economic engine. Some $1 billion of foreign direct investment goes into China each week, which means that the need for workers is expanding exponentially, says Jerome Ternynck, CEO of Mr.Ted.com. As such, not only will recruiting strategies need to be tailored to a particular population, but so too will retention tactics, he explains. Throwing money at Chinese workers, however, may not be the solution for generating loyalty. Ternynck recommends one key approach: training. “These people are very serious about learning,” he says. “It is a good way to win their hearts and minds.”
–Gina Ruiz