Recruitment Trends for 2017 and Beyond

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By Mark A. Leon

This year has started out like a bang, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are tapping their way into the recruitment space, challenges of identifying specialized technical skill sets is still causing sleepless nights, IoT (Internet of Things) talent is one of the fastest growing fields, companies are looking for ways to cut costs becoming less reliant on agencies and big job boards and the need for recruiters with deep technical sourcing skills and an understanding of marketing is the new purple squirrel.

How do we keep up?

Great question!!! Here are some trends and a few tips to should keep very close to heart as we glare into the shiny future of recruitment.  Things are moving fast, so buckle up.

  1. Data can no longer be ignored. It must be collected, scrubbed, analyzed and interpreted so the proper decisions on effective recruitment marketing spend can be made.  Companies are starting to open their eyes and realize how much money they have wasted over the years on traditional post and pray methodologies.  As companies are getting leaner on operational costs, they want to see their return on investment.  The answer lies in “data”.  Good old fashioned numbers and analytics.  Learn what tools are out there, understand how to interpret and communicate results and ensure you are part of the new data driven world of strategic based recruitment.
  1. Recruiters are no longer processors. I do not mean to minimize the life of a full life cycle recruiter.  In the past, this process may have worked well.
  1. Post the role and wait
  2. Review warm candidates
  3. Screen them based on a template pull out key words to determine if a candidate is qualified
  4. Schedule them
  5. Interview
  6. Offer
  7. Process

I imagine that process map sounded familiar to many.

That day is over.  The best talent isn’t waving a giant flag, saying come and get me, nor are they posting their resumes on a job board to gather dust.  Great talent is fluent.  They are constantly growing and thus they aren’t planting their roots anywhere and are harder to find.  You need to learn to become a technical sourcer as well as a process driven recruiter.  Finding the talent themselves of become as difficult if not more than closing the deal.

  1. Stay abreast of new technology. There are hundreds of thousands of tools, apps and extensions that are there to make our lives easier.  From helping find the talent, to finding their common interests to contact information.  They all promise the world. Most do not deliver, but you need to read up on the new technology, test the solutions and determine those that provide you with the most value. Many are free and most offer free trials. Take advantage.
  1. Never lose touch of the human side of recruitment. This is a reminder that all relationships are built on trust, comfort and commonality.  Research your candidates as they will you and your company, find common ground and built a relationship during the candidate experience, so that when it is time for the offer, they already feel like part of the family.
  1. Be a client champion: If you don’t believe in your company, your candidate never well.  Find out what makes you passionate about being there and make sure that comes out with every interaction.
  1. Be vulnerable: Every year after the NCAA March Madness tournament ends, I wait for the infamous “One Shining Moment” video.  It makes me cry.  We make decisions based on emotion.  We are human (at least for now).  Candidates do too.  Share your story with them.  Whether it is a great success or emotional tearjerker, be vulnerable to them.

I am going to stop here.  That isn’t to say there aren’t more trends to share; nor does this mean I won’t do a sequel.  It is just a good time to stop.

Take this to heart.  The function is changing.  Some things remain and some are getting a major facelift.  Determine what you need to do to change with the times.

Good luck

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Where Have All The Beautiful People Gone? – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

Where have all the beautiful people gone?
The arms of the Lord have closed and the blood drips between the fingers
Oh, father
Oh, mother
We looked to your spirit for guidance; protection; salvation

Offered a world of plentiful bounty
Invited to a village of beauty
Led into the darkness of mischief
Masqueraded jesters laughing
Forced to dance with the devil on a floor of fire and disease

Where have all the beautiful people gone?

On that playground of love, I used to know, showered by raindrops of honey
It was a place wholesome and pure

Promises made by many
Realities kept by none

Innocent to invincibility
Forever, was our motto

Blessed by the sun
Cleansed by the ocean
Guided by the sprinkles of stars
Tickled by the wind
Hidden by the playfulness of darkness
Cuddled by the snowflakes
Nourished by the berries of a fertile land

Where have all the beautiful people gone?

Friends sworn by the union of a pinky
Pledges of eternal fortitude
My buddy, my soulmate, my everything

These were written in the fairy tales
The chapters of our childhood bible
Read to us every night by the safety of your voice
Words of kingdoms and princesses swept away to a land of happiness
Treasures we held close to the heart
Bonds never broken

Where have all the beautiful people gone?

War decided by a card flip
Fights ending when we rolled to the bottom of the hill
Arms raised for hugs
Daisies more powerful than bullets

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Where are you?

Slow Parade of Tears – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

Life is a slow parade of tears
We are born with an illusion of invincibility
Trained to store emotion deep in the core of the heart
With a trigger, given the power to take life

Soaring like eagles
Perishing life fallen leaves

On the sidelines, we wait for our turn, looking back at the stream of tears
A wasteland of romance and heartache

A remember her, the girl that gave too much
I have vivid memories of him, a brother in arms
I hear the sound of a Mother crying as she let me go into a world of discovery
A father whose life lessons were set on the foundation of hard knocks

Each step more difficult than the last

I remember fondly, the first time I saw your eyes meet mine
With childish shyness, I turned away
I soon looked back to find you possessed all the power
I feel in love with you

In an instant, I saw our life together until the very last lullaby
It was a story of compassion
Chapters filled with greatness and empty pages of just our thoughts; our secrets

In the distance, the feel of her soft curves as the scorching water penetrated our pores and cleansed our bodies as they pressed close together

Tangled in a web of love vs ambition

Taking to the road alone, I only had the sun to warm my soul
Only her shadow remained as far off as the distant mountains

In the clouds, the smile of an angel
A wicked grin, with lips as red as fire
Outstretched arms further and further away

The rain of ideology burned by the reigns of immortality

A life led with passion scorches
It leaves scars so deep, yet unseen by the naked eye
Hidden truths sheltered in the words of journals
A childhood friend, imaginary in nature, threatened by the fierce winds of reality

This path is salty from years of fruitless tears watched off the shore into the abyss

The road is rocky now
The fog is blurring my vision

This life is truly a slow parade of tears
Tearful hello
Tearful goodbye

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Suicide Isn’t Painless – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

I just saw a good man die
A victim of a warm against love
Compassionate soul in a desensitized world
His blood spilled on a dying planet
One last effort to feed the roots of humanity

A witness to genocide
A product of the machine
Villages pillaged; families destroyed; lives forever changed

He honored the code, but lived with the guilt
Every minute, every hour, every day

Trained to kill; raised to heal
Yearning for a home

Blocking the only cure to his disease with an unbreakable wall surrounding his soul

Alone, he searched for answers

I saw a good man die
Self-inflicted by his own pain

Counting the seconds as sand crystals feel down the narrow hole of the hourglass
Silently pleading for a community to call his own

Waiting for that call that would come too late

Cries internalized
A soldier never shares
Freedom at any cost; never hesitate
Guarded he remained

His heart, a fragile rose
Encased in a wall of glass

Afraid to live, he chose death
A final act of valor
Leaving behind so many unanswered prayers
With one sunset, this spring became a winter

Cold and dark
The fire extinguished
It is snowing now

Each flake, a story of remembrance
Each picture, a glimmer of a smile

With one final toast, we say goodbye and remember forever
The curtain falls on a good man

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The Humanity of Networking

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By Mark A. Leon

In the spring of 2015, I was asked to represent my company as a speaker in San Francisco for Hirepalooza.  It was an honor to be asked to represent my company’s brand and image, but who would say no to speaking at a conference call Hirepalooza?

The few days I spent there speaking, listening and most importantly engaging, reminded me of the essence of recruitment.  From the resumes stored in file cabinets to Chrome Extensions allowing you to track down any human being, one element has remained over the years, the human relationship.

I went out there thinking everyone wanted to work for a start-up, work 100 hours a week for three to five years and then drive off into the sunset with their Tesla and big bag of money.  It turns out my stereotype was shattered.  What I did find were many intelligent young students and professionals that are struggling with the same concerns we all have about careers and the future.

During the conclusion of day one, I was sitting with two academic students during the post seminar networking event and I asked them both, “What Makes You Great”.  They both laughed and shrugged their heads.  Neither had an answer.  I continued saying that we are all filled with greatness.  It is a pool of passion, courage, risk and determination.  It is the combination of those energy sources that takes your from mediocrity to greatness.  Once you find your own personal inner greatness, you can’t ever not succeed in life.

I continued for several more conversations with these students even after I returned to the East Coast providing some level of counseling and advice.

This past Friday, I spoke with David, a UC Berkeley junior I also engaged with during this event.   This most recent conversation was a result of an email he sent me earlier expressing how discouraged he was with networking and the lack of connection.  Before I even said hello, I told David he was far too young to be this cynical and that life will get more and more challenging with the shift toward digital connections and away from human relationships.

This led into an hour and twenty minute candid discussion of which the entire time I was reminded of what an important connection I had made.

David is at least twenty years my junior, but I can learn as much from him about life than anyone else in my inner circle.  He is wise beyond his years and sees the world from a new digital perspective.  He was raised on the mobile phone, apps, computers and gaming.  I think Wiffle Ball, tag and running bases are foreign terms to him.

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He sees the present from an immediacy perspective.  I see it from a watch the sunset and lay under the stars ideology.  He sees responsiveness as immediate based on sound bite approaches.  I see calculated responses based on research and understanding.

Still, we talked and talked and talked.  At the end of the conversation, he had to go pack for a trip to Oregon where he and some friends were going to be in the great outdoors without wifi for a few days.  It was a fitting reminder of what a life can be when you connect to all the elements.

I live in a world with 8000 LinkedIN connections, 2800 Facebook Friends, 12,000 Twitter Followers, 16,900 Instagram Followers, 2700 Pinterest Followers and 5 close friends.  I’m sure that sounds familiar to many.

I still believe in a common truth that human connection will always be the key to personal happiness.  I believed that when I chased my brother around the block on my bike when I was 10 years old and I believe that today.

David is that living breathing evidence of a connection I made in 2015 that remains strong today.   He sought me out for advice on careers and I learned a little about life.

At the end of the day, a tiny piece of electronics will make our lives easier, but human emotion will make it fulfilled.

 

My Endless Love – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

Rock a bye baby

Rock a bye off to sleep you go

My beautiful wreck

Brushing my fingers through your hair, it is all so familiar as the nightmares rage on

Your demons chase you to the edge of sanity straight into the glass

Shattered with perfect edges, they cut through my soul

Under the light of a rainbow and cleansed by the rain you swam deep into the great unknown waters of life

Led by confused clarity, you sought escape

As your body disappeared toward the end of that rainbow, I felt you closer than ever before

High atop the balcony I stood gazing away as the world disappeared leaving a painting of the ocean and your silhouette

Tomorrow you will wake and we will create the dream for one more day

Stay tonight for tomorrow you are gone

Far away under the same sky we will dream together

It is a surreal novelette we have written

From the simple gestures to the mountainous climbs

It is a story that began in the roaring 20’s and will last throughout time

Rock a bye baby

Rest your weary eyes

As you drift away into another place, remember you are my endless love

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Words – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

Letter writing is an art form

As ancient as the words of Socrates and intimate as the moment Eden’s apple rendered its power on the end of humanity

The words flowing from the heart of the pen
A declaration of yearning unleashing vulnerability

Words can destroy civilizations; find love in darkness; hope in tragedy
Words have the power to heal
They inform the ignorant of tolerance
Bless the weak and indulge our senses

I can smell your feelings with each new letter I receive
They are reminders of what we share
Helping me breathe as we are slowly suffocating from the toxins

In is true simplicity, words open the gates of imagination; a flood of wonder

They take us to the infinite depths of space
The deepest waters of the ocean
The highest mountain tops of the world

As I write, I smile at the evolution of thought
It is a beautiful rainbow inside my mind

Now, I let go of my words
I give them to you to hold, cherish and value