If you'd like to see the other articles in his series so you can refresh your recollection of these notables, post a comment to this article (republished with permission) or contact me with your thoughts.
by H. Martin de'Campo
I highly recommend the new movie "Frida" as a must-see this holiday season. The movie gives wonderful insight into the mind and heart of the famed artist and wife of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo.
For the longest time, Frida Kahlo lived in the shadow of her louder, more opinionated husband. This was the case with many of the most avant-garde artists in the last century. Too often, great artists were quiet, sublime, and often overlooked until much later in their careers. Many were simply unsung visionaries who were simply focused on their creative work, too busy actually practicing their art to worry about telling others what they were creating. As such, many went unnoticed and unappreciated.
Well, I believe that recruitment is also an art form, except that our "canvas" is the organizations we serve. Like many of the unsung artists of yore, there are many notable and even avant-garde recruiters and human capitalists who, although they don't say or write very much, are truly worthy of our attention. It is these individuals whom I want to focus on in this article.
I thank each of them for their time, it was a great honor to speak to them during my research. I know you'll agree they're people we all need to watch in 2003!
RUSSELL "RUSTY" RUEFF (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
Being the global vice president of human resources at the largest, most highly regarded game developer in the world is not easy. One would think that frustration and stress would be common to anyone wearing the badge of VP at Electronic Arts. To better understand the magnitude of his job, consider the fact that last year Electronic Arts received over 40,000 applications from interested candidates!
Yet when I spoke to Rusty, I sensed no stress at all. On the contrary, I encountered a man refreshingly involved, excited, and even passionate about his role at Electronic Arts. He embodied the emotions of an "artist," excited with his past and present works.
To get to know Rusty is to also learn about his convictions of being responsive to all that gravitates in and around HR, both internal and external clients. He told me, "It's important to practice what you preach. People can tell if you're the 'real deal' or not. I was interviewed recently in an article that came out in Fast Company, and I received thousands of emails. I made a commitment to myself that I would respond to each and every one of those reader's inquiries, and that's just what I did!" As you might expect, only a man whose "walk" matches his passionate "talk" can succeed in such a position.
But despite Rusty's high profile successes, he's still not heard from much, obviously keeping himself busy. In fact, under Rusty's management, EA's recruitment strategies have been effectively aligned to reflect many of the same innovative qualities that encompass their game products. "We figure that since our games are dynamic and creative, our recruitment initiatives should also possess similar qualities," he says.
EA has in fact managed to tap into the hundreds of millions of young passionate consumers as possible future passionate EA employees! Rusty explains, "In every game we sell, you'll find an invitation to that consumer to join EA's Academy of future talent." And "join" is exactly what many do! His recruitment success at EA has provided them with an internal talent database (known as EA Recruiter) of over 200,000 candidates.
I was quite impressed to see that EA is a virtual laboratory of staffing innovations, and that Rusty has even more "artistic" recruitment plans for 2003. He expects to publish a book along with Hank Stringer next year called "The Talent Manifesto for the New Age." All this makes EA a definite "must watch" next year!
HOWARD ADAMSKY (HRINNOVATORS.COM)
Anyone who speaks with Howard Adamsky will immediately notice his natural and creative ability of analysis and communication. Howard is the author of Hiring & Retaining Top IT Professionals, published through McGraw Hill-Osborne and he will be publishing another work that is due out in 2003.
He and his wife and business partner Corinne Adamsky lead HR Innovators. Howard is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to attract and retain talent for both his clients and his own firm. Although Howard has just begun writing for the ERE, he possesses the experience and skill of an entire recruitment department! After having spoken with him, I walked away with a refreshing sense of our industry's future.
For 2003, Howard indicates that four very important issues will reveal themselves in the staffing world:
- The "candidate experience" in the area of technology development and recruitment process will begin to dominate the attention of technology developers and recruitment industry
- Corporate retention initiatives will be tied into the recruitment imperative.
- Tracking and improving the "cultural experience" of employees through internal employee surveys will become more critical than ever.
- Staffing agencies will need to change their business models so that they directly add value to their clients. Selling candidates for a sales commission will be widely seen as a "zero value" business model.
MARK DANE (BRASSRING.COM)
Mark is the founder of BrassRing, and he currently serves as chief scientist there now. Most people don't know that Mark is one of the original technology innovators in the area of talent management systems (TMS). Despite the fact that recruitment technologies have experienced a revolution of sorts in the last couple of years, Mark's ideas have continued to set the pace, challenging other "competitors" to raise the bar in job and resume database capabilities.
Anyone who speaks to Mark quickly becomes impressed with his balanced knowledge and capability. On the one hand, he's clearly the technology guru at BrassRing. Yet he speaks very much like a recruitment professional at heart. He clearly "gets" our business.
Mark's grasp of both technology and talent acquisition are what helped him to successfully develop BrassRing's E-Link tool, which replaces the vast majority of paperwork involved in staffing and enables end-users in the recruitment process to interact in every fashion imaginable without paper. The beauty of E-Link is that where once only paper enacted shifts in the process, E-Link now takes over. Another paradigm shift in BrassRing's technology is its ability to tie communications with everyone in the recruiting loop, without everyone needing to be subscribed to BrassRing. As long as the initial recruiter is subscribed into the BrassRing E-Link system, the other "players" in the recruitment process need NOT be subscribed with passwords into the system to read and assist in the recruitment process.
The implications of Mark's system are tremendous! E-Link has helped countless HR and staffing teams nationwide benefit from the best of both worlds: retaining control of the process, yet enabling the secure inclusion of others in the recruitment process.
For 2003, Mark believes that "the future of TMS, sourcing, and similar technologies will be the integration of professional recruitment consulting services." Knowing that Mark has positively impacted an entire industry with both his creations and perspectives, he and BrassRing are a team to watch in 2003.
DR. CHARLES HANDLER (ROCKET-HIRE.COM)
Charles Handler is the founder and principal of Rocket-Hire.com. His firm specializes in various screening and assessment tools and resources. He's also the author of various articles and works in the area of psychological candidate screenings. He is currently working on a new resource book where he'll profile online screening vendors, that'll be published in 2003.
Charles clearly qualifies for this list, because he's one of those individuals whose walk is louder than his talk. A rare attribute nowadays! Anyone who speaks with Charles will quickly know that he's an expert screening and assessment practitioner, and not simply a professional "speaker." His opinions and creative knowledge are all based on his daily work with his clients. So when Charles says, "in 2003, screening and assessment strategies will be a rising critical focus," you'd better listen and take note!
According to Charles, the continued glut of talent in a majority of the markets will mean the shift of sourcing as a focus to screening and assessment services as a major concern in the recruiting world. Charles' precepts, services and "loud-professional-walk" in the field of screening and assessments positions him as a man to watch in 2003.
YVONNE LAROSE, CAC (ENTRANCE-S.COM)
Yvonne is perhaps one of the most unique professionals in the field of recruitment I've ever had the pleasure to speak with. Her perspectives are unique and advanced. Her ability to relate to and validate the people she speaks with should be a REQUIRED skill expected of all HR and recruitment professionals.
It's this skill that places Yvonne on the constant forefront of staffing. Her daily consulting work with her clients take priority over any article or speaking engagement she may be working on, and this is likely what keeps her in the avant-garde of our field. Since she's constantly in the "recruitment trenches," she's a fine "barometer" of what's going on in the staffing world at any given time.
Some things are better said by the actual author, so in her own words, here are some of Yvonne's perspectives for our industry in 2003:
- "Leadership, management and entrepreneurial skills will be even more important next year. Corporations will place great value on employees capable of thinking outside the box, who can push the innovative envelope on behalf of the company."
- "The glut of talent in many markets has compelled many people to go back to school to improve their skills and knowledge. As such, we're going to have a renaissance in education, professionalism, and accuracy in 2003."
- "True diversity strategy will no longer remain only a 'desirable' initiative, but a necessity! Strategies will be implemented to derive the benefits from the many perspectives available from multiple diverse workforce facets of the market's talent pool."
DAVE LEFKOW (TMP.COM)
Dave is an interactive solutions consultant for TMP. He focuses on providing TMP's clients with strategic "big picture" solutions for their recruitment initiatives. As a consultant, Dave travels in the service of clients, not only making him the consummate practitioner of our profession, but also giving him the 10,000-foot view of what's going on in the recruitment world.
You may have already seen some of his articles here on the ERE, but in my opinion, we just don't hear enough from Dave. Speaking to him, one quickly realizes that he loves technology and how it integrates into the recruiter's daily functions. He reminds me that the evolutionary state of technology in our industry is very much in its infancy. "Technologies and what they can actually do for the talent acquisitions and retention function still have a long way to go," he says.
He believes not all the industries in our economy have embraced technology's contributions in staffing, and that not all candidates, such as hourly candidates, are exposed to effective interactive employment technologies. "The medical and healthcare industries are about five years behind in their adoption of recruitment technologies," he tells me. "Too many of our clients realize too late that spending millions of dollars on newspaper advertising is simply wasteful!"
"It's important that, for 2003, recruitment technologies continue to evolve, increasing their sensitivity to the candidate experience," he says. He makes the point that although many recruitment technologies have resolved recruitment communication and administration problems, they're still not geared towards making the candidate's experience positive or less burdensome. For 2003, Dave sees technologies becoming more candidate supportive, faster, and pervasive in all industries, especially in healthcare and in the recruitment of hourly candidates.
Based on his knowledge and "big picture" view, I hope the TMS and ATS industry is listening. His perspectives and quality of consultation to his clients, easily qualifies Dave as one player we should all watch next year.
SCOTT WESTON (FALCONSTRATEGIC.COM)
Another, person to watch this coming year is Scott Weston, principal of Falcon Strategic Group. His consulting, speaking, and forward-thinking ideas are fueled by his obvious passion about the strategic recruiting industry.
"This is an exciting time in staffing," Weston says. "The talent economy continues to unfold, and I believe internal staffing professionals have a prime opportunity to take their place at the executive table by better demonstrating their strategic value. There can be no more throwing a candidate over the wall to HR and the hiring manager after an offer is accepted. Recruiters need to start tracking and tying themselves to more qualitative measures, including a candidate's success and longevity in the organization."
"As a result," he adds, "recruiting vendors and third-party staffing firms are also going to need to follow suit and partner even closer to be in line with this expanded focus on value and retention."
Scott believes that in order to achieve this, recruiters will need to be aligned and held accountable with employee evaluations, exit interviews and even training. Although he's not written very much lately, you can expect to hear more about Scott, Falcon Strategic Consulting, and his visions for our industry's future.
Remember, anyone can be a member of the unnoticed recruiting avant-garde, and perhaps in one way or another, most recruiters are. So consider this a dedication to all of the unsung, practicing luminaries, you innovative leaders who are busy practicing the art of human capital to bother seeking recognition or rewards. This is a holiday dedication for those in the frontlines, working daily, managing, and driving the growth of our stagnant business community...those of you that go unnoticed, but deserve the greatest rewards nonetheless.
May your work, passions, and victories be revealed to all of us in 2003 and may the new year bring greater rewards for us all in the practice of our "craft"!
Until next year, let me know your thoughts, be safe, and as always, I'm here to serve.