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Recruiting & Candidate Development

The 600 lb. position opening in the room

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dougbbustThe critical position for which you are recruiting has been open longer than anyone would prefer. The issues and challenges that the hired candidate will manage are an increasing burden on the shorthanded staff. No one wants to say so, but people are muttering that this person must not exist. You are starting to have a growing sense of futility in your best efforts to find the right person. Those directly affected by this open position are turning up the heat.

One might say that this all makes no sense. After all, finding a person is what you do, is it not? So why is most of what worked for years simply failing now? The cause is inarguable. The impact of this talent shortage is long-term for most disciplines and many industry sectors. It is an opportunity for others. We are all subject in our best efforts to the conditions under which we apply them.

You may wonder if you somehow missed this on CNN or around the coffee pot. "It" has been staring at us for twenty-seven years and we have ignored "It" or let "It" go unnoticed. This is what "It" is: a serious shortage of professional talent.

How could this be? It is a simple math problem; Baby-boomers are seventy-six million, Gen-X is Thirty-eight million (One-half the size of the Baby Boomers) and The Millennial Generation's number; seventy-four million (nearly as big as the Baby-Boomers). It leaves employers with the challenge of competing for talent.

The U.S. Industrial economy, based and built upon a population twice as large as it is today, needs added professional talent to recover. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an unemployment rate among professionals of only 3+%; considered by demographic statisticians as statistical zero.

Many employers continue to pursue critical talent with paradigms and practices forged in an era with a much larger talent pool. Many job boards and their capacity to satisfy talent requirements are falling far short of expectations today. Web-centered recruiting is failing to rope in employed candidates (ninety-seven percent of the candidate pool). Gen-X reports that recruiters often besiege them to the extent that their work now suffers. The old technology tools will not be more effective if we just use them more than before. A surgeon using an old dull scalpel and cutting harder is guilty of malpractice. Are we using the wrong tools and practices?

Some people charged with finding needed talent face a struggle changing up their game even when they know they must. Once an individual provides for themselves and others or even thrives doing things a certain way, it can be emotionally difficult to adopt different techniques. This is human nature. This is also the central cause of most frustrations and disappointments in talent acquisition. Radical change in acquiring candidates is mandated by the conditions causing the limited supply of talent.

Human resources professionals are often either the architects or at least managers of the internal hiring processes and procedures expected to produce results. The Internet and some technology-based tools gave access to a pool of people from which they could select potential candidates. More specifically, job boards, social media sites and professional associations became a widely implemented replacement for direct recruiting. While the population was larger (prior to the exodus of baby-boomers), the results gained from "electronic recruiting" were acceptable and addictive. The use of these resources became commonplace. The inarguable math problem of a shrunken candidate pool has been the central cause of diminished results coming from the aforementioned alternatives to direct recruiting.

The term, "passive candidate" was birthed indicating a person who is not actively seeking a new opportunity. Technology seemingly offered a passive pathway to finding talented people. This of course was very dependent upon the expectation that those people sought were both on those sites and maintaining a current profile.

The professional workforce is much smaller. This is the result of two major causes; first, the biggest cause of workforce reduction is the exodus of baby-boomers, second, the remaining professional workforce is working longer hours with fewer resources.

Generation X is now the predominant professional workforce population. Unlike their predecessors, they had twice the number of children as compared to Baby-Boomers. This fact resulted in a Generation-X population that commonly places family and quality of life ahead of maintaining a current professional Internet presence. The proof of this is evident when visiting a professional social site and seeing how outdated and inactive many profiles have become.

Electronic recruiting seemed a hand-to-glove fit in finding passive candidates due in part to the passive nature of applying it. Replacing an approach and its tools that fall short of finding a critically skilled person is mandated by the very real conditions today that are projected to remain through this decade.

A key position remaining open for months (or longer) is widely reported by the employers we know. The inherent costs of a vacancy for any role can increase, as the position remains unfilled. The less realized cost lies in other negative impacts that can be more costly than lost sales such as rising costs and competitors delivering new products ahead of your organization.

Another overlooked damage factor is the loss of confidence by current employees who are also aware that their employer is not attracting crucial talented people. This does lead eventually to attrition of existing employees compounding the problem. The U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics display mathematical evidence that is impossible to argue. Dire predictions of shortfalls of professionals in our U.S. population indicate that millions of professionals possessing needed experience and skills increases daily and will likely result in millions of positions left unfilled in the coming years simply due to a lack of people in our population.

Doubling down in the use of the Internet and passive recruiting is a very bad bet. By now, it seems that this author is predicting a crisis and I absolutely see it coming based on the math. The answers and solutions to prevent an employer caught off guard by these population realities lay in an overhaul of talent acquisition practices. The successful resolution that prevents and immunizes an organization in a very tough spot without the people they need lies in adopting an active, not passive internal hiring process.

For many employers, the very notion of directly recruiting employed professionals is avoided. A myriad of reasons stand behind this avoidance. I am not arguing against the validity of the reasons. I am saying that both internal and external talent acquisition and recruiting evolution is mandated. Becoming a force to be reckoned with by your competitors will, be achieved by active and creative changes in how professionals are discovered, approached, managed and hired. The means to change begins with accepting the rational reasons for it. Changes in practices, laying aside ineffective resources and tools and accepting the realities driving change must be the starting point.

Employers must move out of the comfort zone brought by technology-based practices and accept the mandate of a hands-on process that involves more people within their organization. Today's discerning candidates are far more investigatory than their predecessor generation and that requires an organization to recruit first-hire later. This is commonly a reversal of practices and opinions of how to attract and retain talented people.

Third-party recruiters must adopt equally effective, hands-on practices synchronized with their client employers' internal process. Both groups already know that something is not working. Many employers report to us that positions have remained unfilled for many months and in some more complicated roles for over a year!

Sticking to a broken system is a recipe for more frustration, deeper losses and failures that no one wants. Change is never right or wrong but simply inevitable.

Our firm adopts the use of appropriate technology tools. They were never a replacement for our direct recruiting skills, process and proven expertise. We recognized from the onset of both the Internet and automated assets that they could never replace the ability to communicate to a very talented professional a vision of opportunity or manage a process that resulted in a critical position filled with a highly qualified, motivated candidate. In over fifty years of executive search we have seen many conditions and created effective solutions.

We have as any successful enterprise has, evolved in our application of new tools and modified practices. We never lost sight of the fundamentals enhanced at times by new tools and practices.

We often assist our clients in their own internal adjustments to aid them in being competitively effective in gaining crucially required professionals. Many of our clients are unsure of why they are not succeeding in their recruiting opportunities. By becoming an extension of our client and its culture to the actively employed talent pool, we create the solutions our clients seek. Our deeply detailed and fully engaged process delivers candidates who commonly remain an asset to that employer for many years.

Today's conditions are causing wide frustrations and confusion about recruiting the talent any organization needs. Our process is very different. Simply put, "It works". We are serving clients who, because of our process, are gaining critically talented people from a limited pool, ahead of their competitors. If your organization has a need that our expertise can resolve, we are ready to be of service. The results will surprise and delight your organization. As to the adjustments needed, we will make them less painful. Contact us for solutions and relief! We bring over three decades of search precision and exceptional results across the globe and many industries and disciplines.





Doug Beabout's professional career spans three decades of success and innovation in career management, retained recruiting, personnel and professional training. His career accomplishments include building four highly successful consulting businesses and co-creating hundreds of others worldwide.

Doug speaks to international, national, regional and private audiences sharing his highly praised career acquisition and employment processes. He is a consultant to many corporations and private firms. Doug is currently owner and president of the Douglas Howard Group, a professional retained search and contingency recruiting services firm. Doug is a pioneer and leading innovator in recruiter skills development training programs.

Doug brings over thirty-five years of expertise in personal top billings, personnel services firm ownership, and industry training.  His tenure in executive recruiting has resulted in his personal success at building four highly successful executive recruiting and executive search businesses as owner. A board member and advisor to NAPS; his reputation for training excellence has placed him, repeatedly, as a guest speaker domestically and abroad.

Having personally trained and assisted in the establishment of more than 450 executive recruiting and personnel staffing firms worldwide, Doug knows the secrets and proven process that creates success! He is a business consultant to many corporations, franchised and independent personnel services firms globally.

Doug is currently owner and president of a professional recruiting and a training services company in Destin, Florida.   Doug works a search “desk” every day in both the medical and automotive products industries. He is uniquely qualified as a personnel services industry trainer.  Many of his clients have put their net worth and corporate objectives and achieved recruiting excellence because of his training and guidance.  Prior to his move to Florida, he established and successfully sold a well-respected recruiting and search services firm in Kent, Ohio.

Earlier, as an executive officer of a major international franchisor for nearly 8 years, Doug established hundreds of successful personnel service firms and their staff members. Prior, Doug was owner and president of three successful contingency, temporary and retained personnel services firm for ten years in Dayton, Ohio.  He gained his initial placement experience as a personnel services consultant in an independent firm after serving for several years as a Strategic Air Command officer in the US Air Force.

Doug has held the title of CPC; certified personnel consultant (NAPS) since 1981, CSP since 1999. Doug serves on the board of the United States National Association of Personnel Services and is a past-president of the Ohio Search & Staffing Association.

 What qualifies Doug Beabout as a Trainer of Recruiters?

• Over three decades of experience hiring professionals resulting in the creation of collective applicant compensation of over $2,500,000 annually

• Successfully researched over 750 industrial markets resulting in establishing economic indicators, contacts and intelligence on near term and future initiatives and challenges

• Prepared over 39,000 professional resumes/CVs/presentation matrixes resulting in establishing an employer interview

• Researched over 4,200 new communities to reveal the facts regarding amenities, cost of living data and satisfy the needs of thousands of family members

• Prepared over 3000 professional candidates/applicants and employers for interviews that resulted in gaining new employment for the applicants

• Successfully negotiated over 3000 accepted offers of employment resulting in over $80,400,000 in starting salaries and $105,900,000 in total compensation with bonuses

• Coached, trained and advised candidates and employers in professional hiring projects that resulted in well over $1,200,800,000 in employee contribution to employer revenues

• Published author, speaker, trainer across the globe since 1989

References from recruiters Doug has trained and established in recruiting:

Doug’s people-centered process focuses on all the right things. His recruiter startup program is a slam-dunk that should be required for anyone considering the profession. His brand of high ethics, perseverance, & process efficiency emphasizes the needs of every player in the placement process. Doug is a great coach and teacher. He is the “John Wooden” of our search & placement industry!Alan M. Weisberg, Principal, Weisberg Associates

I have yet to meet anyone who has a more profound understanding of the search business than Doug Beabout does. In addition, he is a gifted teacher. I am not sure why he shares his knowledge so generously, (unless it is to give back to the industry, he loves). However, I am glad he does so, since I have benefited greatly from his wisdom.  Mitch Ellis Sanford Rose Associates-Florissant, MO

It is indeed a pleasure to write an endorsement of Doug Beabout, CPC. I have attended three seminars with Doug. Believe me if I had more opportunities to see him, I would not miss. Doug has a straightforward, direct manner in which he presents his training. There is "no hype", and it is very factual. Doug is a most valuable recruiter-trainer.  Delores F. George, CPC

Doug Beabout was instrumental in getting me into the recruiting business in 2000. After a 16-year career at IBM, I chose to enter the executive search industry. Doug's approach to recruiting was very complimentary to my personal selling style and he helped me refine my recruiting process that allows me to prove to clients that I add value over and above any other recruiting firm.    Curtis Kuttnauer

Thank you Doug for all the help over the last few months with coaching skills and sharing of your knowledge of the search industry; it has improved my skills and increased productivity. What I appreciate most, is your candor and providing solutions that work, not just fluff that sounds great, but has added real value. Your knowledge base is of the level that is most helpful to my firm.    Sam McCord

Doug is that unique person. A big biller, a trainer, coach, and industry leader everybody should know. Doug is the best trainer of top producers, bar none.   Bill Vick, Big

A note from Doug:
There are a number of people who offer recruiter training…, I am personally acquainted with all these folks. As both a franchisor executive and industry, state association president, I have hired most as speakers for various conferences and workshops.  The single most critical qualification in selecting a trainer, especially when you are putting your money on the table, is the experience of that trainer in successful recruiting.

More has changed in the last two years that dramatically alters how we must practice our business than has changed in the prior three decades. The near term future offers enormous opportunity for recruiters effectively trained by a working practitioner in today’s recruiting marketplace. As a recruiter who has continually been a top producer (750K plus), I am well versed in what works now and the pitfalls of this rapidly evolving economy and its employment market.




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