Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Interviewing recruiter - hints on interview questions

If we say that recruiting is very important for organisation then organisation needs to have top-shelf recruiters to recruit top-shelf staff but they need to have more top-shelf recruiters to recruit more top-shelf staff...
....anyway how to qualify top-shelf recruiter during the interview?

It's been always a nightmare to interview guys that are used to tricky questions and they pass them along among each-other.
Since I interview recruiters for our team I have few of my favourites. I usually shoot 2-3 questions and 1 case study to see what is his/her (real) experience like and what is the way my fellow recruiters think.

Q1: What is the difference between good/the best and bad/regular recruiter?
Q2: What are top 5 important things that recruitment team needs to have in order to be successful?
Q3: Give me an example from your non-professional life that shows that you're a good recruiter?
Q4: Give an example from last 6 months when you made an impact on how recruitment works in your company?
Q5: What was so far the most challenging positions you had to fill?
Q6: How would you present an offer to candidate taking into consideration that his base salary will be 20% lower then current one but with potential bonus it might go as high as 120% of current annual pay?

Case studies:
CS1. Company has a strong product brand but is not among top 10 employers of choice. How would you increase number of applications they do receive?
CS2. Start up company has stable financing, innovative product but pays 75% of market average. How would run recruitment strategy and how would you sell company to candidates?
CS3. You work for a company where policy does not allow headhunting/approaching candidtes directly, you need to fill 30 senior positions per year but with your budget you can retain 10 positions with agencies only. How will you fill all 30 positions?
CS4. What position do you recruit for? What keywords would you use to find person like that on LinkedIn/search engine/ATS?

Good luck with interviewing recruiters!!! :-)

So cool!!! I want to be in HR ;-)

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Communities within corporates = Referral 2.0

I'm more and more engaged in building Google's presence in Krakow and there is a decent number of referrals coming in from day one.
As you might guess we receive number of referrals from Polish (or Polish origin) Googlers who do have number of community contacts in their neighborhood (like Bay Area) and number of ex-colleagues, friends, schoolmates in the 'old country'.
This is a kind of eyeopener for me and shows that building successful referral system should start with encouraging or even driving communities within the corporate. This might be also used for other then international recruitment assignments - let's just take an example of struggle that every engineering organization has with attracting women-engineers -> maybe driving community effort is the good place to start.
Referral is not enough -> we should move to REFERRAL 2.0

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Google in Krakow

After being pinged few times I do confirm Google engineering center will open in Krakow.
For those interested in applying I recommend this link.
As for what Google will do in Krakow.... hmm as usually we're looking for people who do like challenges in computer science so we can give them some of the most challenging tasks in CS...;-)

Monster needs a shake up!

Few weeks ago I read in RED HERRING about some changes @ Monster.
I think I'm not the only one who sees this service in Europe as poor, over-priced and not efficient.
Hints for new Monster's leadership:
- create jobserve like, contract, up to 200 characters adverts for contractors
- clear up your candidates database - you have so much trash!
- make posting user and price friendly + introduce some personalization
- make your service locally available. Besides of UK & Italy your products offering across EMEA is awfully poor
- where are your mobile products?!
- do something with you UI (again -> jobserve = good example)
Why do I want you to change? Because you're the only global provider and if I would have a choice I would go with someone else but I do not so please ... change.

Accenture sourcing - utilizing brand potential

I met with my BetterHalf's boss on Friday and we had interesting conversation about the way Accenture does the stuff. I'm must say it's a shame that while Accenture has such a good employer brand in Central Europe it has problems (OK she did not say problems it's my conclusion) with graduate sourcing and with headhunting.
Graduate sourcing - I remember from few campuses that Accenture advertises as a consulting organisation while they do not advertise themselves as an employer openly - there is a space for improvement in that matter
Headhunting - I was surprised to hear that Accenture does not allow their internal sourcing teams to headhunt. In this global hunt for talent I don't thing that this strategy pays off in along run
Master Yoda would say: On your sourcing problems meditate I will

PS. On Prague recruitment chamber meditate i will too

Friday, December 1, 2006

Pracuj goes east!

I learned 2 days ago that Communication Partners - owner of pracuj.pl is taking over rabota.ua - looks like a good move. I think that there are few other opportunities to investigate I would try Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania + pracuj did not utilized it full potential in Poland as well - where are the local temp jobs?
I'm curious what is happening with ONREA initiative these days - I would expect some integration here.

it's a cool dilbert day!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

ride a bull in emerging markets.. WHOA!

No matter what your experience is with emerging markets is I'm sure that 'challenging' pops out with every second sentence. I will try to focus in future on particular markets from Central & Eastern Europe (home sweet home) and maybe give you some ideas how to crack into them but let me start with genesis of this 'challenging' situation.

1. Poor information flow - growing up in a western democracy you're pretty much used to good access to information anytime anywhere even before the Internet revolution, while in my native Poland in mid-80s where communistic censorship was strong (can you imagine newspapers with blank columns?) main source of information was word of the mouth. Despite almost 20 years of free media, 50% of population using the Internet still word of the mouth is the most trusted source. How come there is a place for only 2 large job portals in 40M people country? (pracuj.pl and monster owned jobpilot.pl) -> because people do not tend to look for information that does not comes from friends/family/colleagues (my kid-brother recently found a student, part time job trough a recommendation because he thought it's going to be better then the one he can get thought an advert). To get a real life example how hard is it to find any information in CEE region I recommend figuring out the directions on the Moscow tube -> if you don't speak Russian (meaning you cannot ask for help) you're lost!

2. Me too strategy! There is nothing wrong about going for attractive investment opportunities especially when they benefit all sides = end user gets better/cheaper service, country with FDIs gets jobs, investor makes money. As no-one is so enthusiastic about word off-shoring anymore there is alternative one near-shoring. Corporate language is often confusing so let me explain: near-shoring is off-shoring in a location when any moment you can get in the plane and smack your off-shoring team for not following the SLA. Near-shoring in Central Europe is on the rise for last 5-6 years (4 major examples: Accenture in Prague, Hewlett Packard in Wroclaw, Diageo in Budapest, Microsoft in Bucharest) and others do follow. Following players like that makes perfect sense because if HP spends loads of money on McK people to set up their operation in Poland it means that they know what they do. So we will make the same, let's do it, let's do it now!... but my questions is: Do you know where it ends? Are you sure you will find 300 Dutch speaking graduates every year in Hungary?

3. Fast growth > pool of candidates = high wages Russian market is a very good example for that. So you have a GDP growth hitting a roof but at the same time you have university producing the same number of students as they were in early 90s (when Russian GDP was decreasing). When you notice that the barrel is somewhere around USD 60 and all of corporates want a piece of the action they start to raise the wages and lower hiring bar -> in the end of the day you have a part of the population that is making enormous money (comparing to total population) while having lower skills then their western counterparts. At the same time you have bloody hunt for talent because everyone want to have them on their ship. Another example: AD 2003 SAP in Poland (40M population) was making EUR X/year, SAP Denmark (5.5M population) was making EUR 0.75X. SAP consultants population in Poland estimated: 1000 vs 1000 in Denmark -> AD 2006 SAP PL revenues = 2X vs. 0.8X in SAP DK, consultants in PL = 1200 vs 1100 in DK. That's what I call a charm of emerging markets.... scary!!!

... but in the end of the day what recruiters are for ... aren't they to overcome the 'challenges'.... take emerging bull ride ... WHOA...but don't fall off ... those who fall might end up in local hospital and it's not a secret that hospitals in emerging markets are often in poor condition

PS. My colleague from Moscow just sent an email explaining that they have power outage for a 2nd day in the row so he cannot work... extreme blind date recruiting?...;-)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Shally's idea... so simple

I have an appointment with my BetterHalf's boss who is running recruitment effort for one of big 4 consultancies. She wants to decrease dependency on external agencies but she does not have an idea how to build sourcing capabilities but there is on thing that she definitively needs to read - how to keep sourcing team happy.
I have never met Shally Steckerl in person (although we worked together in MSFT at the same time) but I believe he's one of the sourcing professors.

BTW: According to his blog Shally left MSFT recently and is planning on consulting corporates how to build own sourcing capabilities... sounds like a plan - Good luck!

EMEA? hmmm Where is that?

When our bosses/colleagues from the other side of the big water say EMEA they usually mean: Germany (and neighborhood), France, UK&IE, South (Iberia + Italy), Eastern Europe + Russia & CIS, Scandinavia/Nordic, Middle East and Africa or even more simplified Europe, Middle East and Africa. In fact from what I learn EMEA region is much more complex and it's hard for (usually) US corporates to understand where this complexity comes from. Europe itself has complicated history that started with ancient Greece, Roman Empire and then moved to Byzantium, Franco-Germanic Roman Empire, Ottoman and Napoleonic wars, Austria-Hungarian Empire, Raise of Russia's Tsars, 3rd Reich and soviet domination and all of those historical events created specific place on Earth that is absurd and hard to understand for anyone from outside not to mention that a lot of Europeans don't understand that either.
What I'm trying to say is that corporates, if they want to be successful in their operations have to get to learn the territory better then putting everything in one EMEA basket. The same applies to recruiters working in this challenging geography.
My recommendation is as follows learn about the geography you work with, learn about it's history, review the few recent headlines to know what is happening there then go for a gold!
I know that it might sound stupid or at least naive to spend time reading about Austria if what you need is a DBA that is willing to work in Vienna but from my experience it's very helpful in a long run.
Good luck
PS. Taking into consideration how many recruiters I know are after political sciences/journalism I think that they might have basic geography knowledge but no matter what I always have map of E MEA in front of me...;-)

first post - welcome!

I'm a recruiter with 7+ years of experience in IT recruitment in EMEA. Over my career I worked on both sides of the fence with 20+ markets in EMEA so I have some overview of the industry and day-to-day job.
I created this blog to share the best practices in recruitment in EMEA region, things I figured out myself and tips & trick I learned from the others.