• http://www.brandemix.com Jody Ordioni

    Thanks for this great article Jackie. I agree with your advice about being honest. Our employer branding research proves that the greater the disparity from the employer branded recruitment communications to the actual culture and responsibilities, the greater the disappointment will be upon arrival. You can only sell a bad product once.

    Further,in this social age, bad news travels faster, making your recruiting work that much harder.

    There are always reasons why great employees stay. Find them and promote them.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks Jackye. I liked your article.

    “Skills are 25%. The other 75% falls under soft skills, personality, work ethic, environment, and whether or not the candidate would be a good cultural fit.” Sounds plausible. Where did you get your numbers from…

    “Your job as a recruiter is to find the perfect candidate for your company.” With respect, I think this is incorrect. Our job as a recruiter is NOT to find the perfect candidate, bur rather to find the best candidate that our employer can afford to hire who is willing to work for them.

    Also, all organizations have problems of some degree or another., some more- some less. If the company is majorly dysfunctional and you’re trying to get people who “fit in” you may need to hire other majorly dysfunctional people to work there.

    I think there is one big and very rare exception to what I have said.
    This is where a highly dysfunctional company is making a sincere and concerted effort at all levels to become more functional, not just more profitable. (A hint that this may be happening: substantial numbers of powerful but unpopular executives are getting/got the “boot” and are being replaced by folks who seem to “walk a good talk”.) However, I think such things are unlikely to happen in large centralize organizations unless there’s a major disaster in the organization’s circumstances.



  • http://www.jackyeclayton.com Jackye Clayton

    Thank you Jody. BTW http://brandemix.com/ made me want to workout and get smart! (and also wanted me to get some swag at http://www.jackyeclayton.com!) I hope to learn from you and connect soon!

  • http://www.asyncinterview.com Christopher Young

    As a candidate that experience the “cover up our reputation” routine and now seeing the employer side of things, this was a fantastic read!

    You provide great insight on how to try to recruit “all-stars” who can turn the team/organization around.

  • http://www.jackyeclayton.com Jackye Clayton


    Thank you!
    I got the numbers from Book author Peggy Klaus. She says: “Research, conducted with Fortune 500 CEOs by the Stanford Research Institute International and Carnegie Mellon Foundation, found that 75% of long-term job success depends on people skills, while only 25% on technical knowledge. Another study of headhunters hiring CEOs ranked the ability to communicate and motivate as necessary attributes for positively affecting the bottom line. And when they do provide these soft-skills training, the programs are often exclusively reserved for “high-potential” employees or senior executives.

    And you are right. There are no perfect candidates but I was referring more to perfect for the company you are recruiting for. Our definitions I think are very close if not the same! 🙂 And so maybe the arrogant jerk is the perfect candidate! 🙂 This new over sell under deliver mentality can be painful!

  • http://www.jackyeclayton.com Jackye Clayton

    Thank you and you are welcome Chris. I love what you are doing at Async Interview (http://www.asyncinterview.com/) Who doesn’t need to save time, money and effort!?! In fact, I really need to save money – can I use it for free? **wink**

  • Richard Araujo

    Excellent article, I agree with almost everything you wrote. This idea strikes me as impractical in some situations though: “Make sure you have an environment that invites employees to share their opinions, both positive and negative.” Sometimes the perceived negative is the lack of, and the near impossibility of implementing just this kind of feedback. I think speaking to potential and current employees like that isn’t the way to go in my opinion and is the opposite of cheer leading. Also, I myself could be seen as one of those whiners, but my gripe is not with my job or company because I chose to work there and I believe such companies can and do have massive opportunities. That’s why I’m there.

    My gripe is with sites like Ere and ‘thought leaders’ who often give great advice… for people who are working in multi billion dollar corporations with endless access to data and resources to implement every best practice idea ever conceived. The articles often seem completely detached from the reality many of us deal with, not often having access to the necessary reporting, the necessary resources, or top level monetary and non monetary compensation to offer to entice top performers.

    Opportunity cost is an issue not often dealt with, and articles more often than not present Great Idea X, but with little to no data to back up its effectiveness, and so little to nothing to use to make a decision on whether or not it’s worth pursuing if it means you would have to forego another option, and that’s what it always means.

  • Richard Araujo

    It’s also worth noting, though my company doesn’t meet the criteria for being included on that list of worst companies to work for, our rating on Glassdoor so far is 1.9.

  • Angela Cartwright

    Jackye – great article! Finding myself at a company that was once at the top of its game but due to economic circumstances is no longer, I have adjusted the pitch considerably. My company is located in an area where there aren’t a lot of jobs and people usually have to commute somewhere – this continues to be a plus for us and a motivator in attracting good candidates. We also have more work/life balance, continue to have good bene’s, etc. – you see where I pick out the good things since we have uncertainty and very little “opportunities for growth”. However, I am frequently surprised when I talk to people how little they know of what’s going on with us. I am honest and informative – it does no one any good to not be this way up front. Nothing is worse than having a candidate pull out along the way due to concerns about the state of the company – what a waste of time! By being informed up front, they are able to weigh the pros/cons in the beginning and if good, we can move on from there. It’s a challenge, but I appreciate the affirmation you give me in your article and reinforcement of other ideas as well to keep in mind. Thank you!

  • http://www.bright.com Jen Picard

    Great article, Jackye! I particularly like your first two points, stop recruiting bad candidates and don’t lie.

    What I think is missing, however, is an explanation of what the company is doing about their situation. Sure, you may find that candidate you mentioned that likes the chaos, but you’re sure to find many more that won’t give you the time of day. If you want to recruit top candidates, you have to be an employer of choice. On of my favorite stats: 75% of Americans wouldn’t accept a job at a company with a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.

    Yahoo has had this problem – nobody wants to work there, and employees frequently leave to work for top companies like Google, Apple or Facebook. Melissa Meyer has a plan to change that – and I’d bet she’s sharing it with recruits to get them to overcome objections. It’s a slow and arduous process, but a necessary one. You can’t expect candidates to walk into a disaster of a company, and actually stay put – you need to do something about it.

    I recently did a webinar on how to get better quality candidates through your employer brand – check it out and let me know what you think!

    Increase your Quality of Hire with Employer Branding


    Jen Picard
    Marketing Director, Bright.com

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Jackye: You’re very welcome. I think that when writers put out numbers, they should cite their sources, as you’ve done.

    @ Richard: you’re stealing my thunder! My beef with the so called (and possibly “self-proclaimed) “thought leaders” is just like yours- they work in a very rarefied environment far from “the real world of recruiting”. They get healthy fees to speak to and advise high-level staffing execs at wealthy companies, by basically telling them what they want to hear so as to make the execs feel that they are really doing something, when very little meaningful is actually done. (If the staffing execs REALLY wanted to do something, they’d work closely with those of us actually doing the staffing, listen to what what we suggest, and implement the best of those ideas. THEN, they’d go to the high-level consultants if additional help were needed.) After awhile, many of these bogus “TLs” start believing their own hype, and utter “pronouncements on-high” with only casual relationship to fact-based results. Their entourages of sycophantic followers keep them carefully oblivious of how divorced from reality they actually are, as does the continuing stream of well-paid talks and consulting engagements…Of course, none of these fake “TLs” are ever to be found on ERE.


    Keith “Wish I Got Money Like a Thought Leader” Halperin

  • Tim Donnelly

    Ouch, Jackye, I bet that was a hard article to write. Everyone wants to work for #1, right? Good for you for being realistic and give some down-to-earth, practical advice.

  • Richard Araujo

    “Ouch, Jackye, I bet that was a hard article to write. Everyone wants to work for #1, right? Good for you for being realistic and give some down-to-earth, practical advice.”

    I think everyone defines #1 differently though, Tim. That’s the key: find the people who do consider your company #1 or one of the best, or at least tolerable, and try and target them. Definitely scoop them up when they happen to come your way too.

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Everybody: I think we’re portraying a sense of false choice. A recent BLS report (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bls.gov%2Fweb%2Fjolts%2Fjlt_labstatgraphs.pdf&ei=h6cJUbTFKcqAiwKpy4HgCw&usg=AFQjCNHKYDUfVYhfTixjHUtdqwSY5L1SmA) shows about 3.5 job seekers/open job, so if we’re not talking about the “Fabulous 5%” or folks with some much-in-demand skills, the vast majority of people don’t have multiple offers to decide from, so (in most cases) you can get some quite good people happy for the work. “Quite good people happy for the work” are in the fact the people most companies should go after and expect to hire…


  • http://hcl.com Anmol Singh

    Thanks Jackye for this article.
    Stop Recruiting Bad candidates and Don’t lie were the best which i liked.Also while retaining an employee “If the company stinks so badly, why did you accept a position there”.

    Thanks again for this excellent contribution.

    Anmol Singh

  • Stephanie McDonald

    It’s interesting, a recruiter from Dish took the time to answer a question via LinkedIn and did a very nice job. I can tell they are using these techniques and differentiating themselves in a positive way.

  • http://www.jackyeclayton.com Jackye Clayton

    @Richard – Well y’all are sure stealing my thunder!!

    I agree with you Richard and you bring up a good point. In fact most recently I was chastised for suggesting to do exist interviews because the company stated, “we did that before and employees just got mad because we did not implement any change from the suggestions and exit interviews and it just caused more grief!) I did the research and have changed my stance a bit on that. In realizing that I could only change myself, because of my honesty, the 100+ candidates that I brought in came to me and let me know their challenges and personal wins and I think that counts.
    I am a bit unclear on what you mean by speaking to employees like that. I did, however, want to reflect that once you find the ideal candidate, who likes the environment, support them and cheer them on! A smile goes a long way in retention!
    To me saying “my gripe is not with my job or company because I chose to work there and I believe such companies can and do have massive opportunities. That’s why I’m there” is why you are an ideal candidate / employee for environments such as yours. You are not a whiner rather a survivor an a good mentor to those who may question what they are doing at the company!
    I have the same gripe with thought leaders who do offer almost an “in a perfect world” scenario. You bring up a great point. I hope you checked out my profile – I am the real deal. Check out my LinkedIn profile and go to http://www.jackyeclayton.com. I do get it! When I read stuff from some thought leaders, it is like Madonna telling me how to get my before children body back. Believe me, if I had chefs, trainers a gym in my house and a plastic surgeon I would! What I can do, like Ghandi said, “be the change I want to see in the world” and do the best with what I have. Sometimes, money is not the incentive but rather a smile and a pat on the back.
    Richard, thank you for your opinion and insight! Also, thanks for being real! I would love to connect and hear more of your opinions. It looks like I could learn a great deal from you.

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Anmol:
    Q: “If the company stinks so badly, why did you accept a position there”.
    A: “I had no other offers and needed the job” aka,

    “The usual answer most people accept jobs.”



  • Richard Araujo


    Thanks for the article, I’m definitely following.

  • http://www.jackyeclayton.com Jackye Clayton

    So do you think I am a real thought leader or a fake one? I can tell, you I am not in an ivory tower! 🙂

  • Keith Halperin

    Jackye, I think you make too much sense and are too much in touch with the “real world of recruiting” to be a “thought leader”.


    Keith keithsrj@sbcglobal.net

  • http://www.jackyeclayton.com Jackye Clayton

    Keith – you are funny. OK gang, so what should I call myself if “Thought Leader” is not appropriate? I feel a contest coming on!!!!

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Jackye. I’ve been told that before- often when I’m asking for a raise….

    “So what should I call myself?”
    How about a “Solid, Decent, and Competent Recruiter”?
    For many of the “Recruiting Thought Leaders” (not those here on ERE of course), if that description was EVER in their pasts, it was so long ago- “that boat hasn’t just sailed, it sailed, sank, and got filmed in IMAX for a documentary by James Cameron!”


    Keep up the Good Work,