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Recruiting Automation - Ben Eubanks Podcast

Our CEO, Jonathan Duarte, just completed a Live Cast on LinkedIn, with Ben Eubanks, of Lighthouse Research & Advisory, one of the top HR Tech analysts.

We talked about recruiting automation, text messaging with candidates, building ‘ReEngagement” campaigns, re-engage with the candidates in your ATS, to fill your recruiting funnel with candidates who already know your brand.


Recruiting Automation - Ben Eubanks Podcast

About Ben Eubanks:
Ben is a human capital management industry analyst helping companies and vendors with strategy, content, and more. He has worked as an influencer and analyst for more than ten years with seven of those in an independent capacity.
His experience working as an in-the-trenches leader in the human resources field has provided a broad range of opportunities to lead HR in smaller organizations, government contracting firms, and the nonprofit sector. Ben’s hands have been in pretty much everything at some point: recruiting, benefits, training, employee relations, executive coaching, and the rest of the spectrum you run across in an HR shop.

About Lighthouse:
Lighthouse Research & Advisory

Lighthouse Research & Advisory, is a modern analyst firm dedicated to setting the standard for excellence in talent acquisition and beyond.
By providing compelling research and actionable insights for recruiters, hiring managers, and business leaders, our mission is to navigate the rapidly-changing tides of human capital management in order to support today’s talent advisors.
From establishing frameworks for end-to-end recruitment marketing and high-powered CRM practices to illuminating the strategic impact of candidate experience and employer brand management, our goal is to chart a new course for talent acquisition.

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Candidate Experience - Measure It

Candidate Experience is a term being used quite a bit in talent acquisition and recruiting teams, but what exactly is a “candidate experience”?

What is Candidate Experience?

Candidate experience is the sum of interactions that an individual has with a company, or the company brand, where they might seek employment. These experiences might come from word of mouth referrals, search results from a job board, a couple of visits to the companies career site, good or bad mentions in social media, or from disgruntled candidates who applied and never received a response. Anyone of these interactions could be positive or negative for a company, but most companies don’t know what candidates think of them. In many cases, employers aren’t using tools for measuring candidate experience.

So Why does Candidate Experience matter, and why now?

Candidate experience matters because candidates have more employment options than ever before. With job aggregators and Google For Jobs posting nearly every job online, it’s common that online job boards are going to show not just your companies jobs, but your nearest competitors. I’d argue that prior to job aggregators and “All Jobs Everywhere”, candidate experience wasn’t as important, because there were fewer employment choices during the “Hidden Job Market” days. With more job options, candidates can look beyond just pay. They want to know more about hours, shifts, flexibility, PTO, company culture and of course working with companies they are attracted to or align with.

Candidates now have multiple ways to share their experience working at a company, or how they were treated during an interview. They have access to insider employee ratings through sites like Glassdoor, with CEO scores and employer benefits ratings.

To Understand your Candidate Experience, you have to understand your Recruiting Funnels.

Recruiting Funnels are the processes, or steps, or interactions, that occur between a potential employee and anyone that might influence a potential employee; including, the company’s brand reputation, career site, job descriptions, job application process, employer branding, interview scheduling, offer process, rejection process, and possibly onboarding.

While each department in your business might have its own recruiting process, there are often a lot of similarities. In smaller companies, the recruiting process is often left up to someone in human resources, a recruiter, or a hiring manager. In recruiting, many of the steps are manual, creating no consistency, and therefore producing inconsistent results. With inconsistent processes and no way to measure a candidate’s opinion, it’s impossible to know what’s working and what’s not.

In bigger companies, there’s often a handful of existing software solutions that don’t talk to each other but are required for recruiting and HR compliance. Are these technical issues causing candidates to drop out of the recruiting process? Is the process, from finding a job to applying, and hearing back from a recruiter, taking too long?

The typical Recruiting Funnel might start at job posting on a job board, with interested candidates then applying on the employer’s website.

When was the last time you searched for your own company’s jobs on Indeed or Google for Jobs, and tried to apply with the mindset of a candidate who has never seen your company before?

Whether you’re marketing on job boards like Indeed, or putting ads in a porta-potty, it’s important to understand every aspect of the candidate journey. How many clicks does it take to apply? How long does it take? Is the process easy to complete on a mobile phone?

From the initial first interactions to the completed application, the scheduling of an interview, to the uncomfortable rejection email”, what was the experience like for the candidate?

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

– Peter Drucker

If your Candidate experience isn’t up to par, what do you do?

If you think your candidate experience needs work, and that’s probably everyone, the first thing you have to do is document the process and the weaknesses, or problems. One way to measure how your candidates feel about the process is to survey them with a candidate experience survey.

If you want to improve something and get senior management to support your plan, you need to speak their language. In many cases, that means data and numbers. You’ll need to define the problem in measurable terms.  You’ll need to measure the cost of fixing the problem and the return on investment.  Creating an ROI for recruiting and fixing the candidate experience isn’t always going to be plain and simple, but there are ways. If you’re going to sell your idea to a VP of HR, or CFO, they want to see how you plan on tracking the results of the investment.

Consider an alternative, or “out-of-the-box” solutions, that can make it easier for candidates to apply, while integrating to your existing tech stack. Consider adding a text to apply recruiting chatbot, that can pre-screen candidates. Look at your recruiting funnels for areas where you can introduce recruiting automation solutions, to remove manual tasks, or speed the hiring process.

The Economic Cost of a Bad Candidate Experience

A couple of years back the Director of TA  at Virgin Media in the UK, released one of the first P&L effects of poor candidate experience on the overall companies bottom line. The negative impact of Virgin Media’s poor candidate experience was costing the company more money than the entire recruiting annual budget. After some exhaustive financial analysis, they could prove to the CEO and CFO that a bad candidate experience was actually costing the company money because those poorly treated applicants/customers were canceling their cable subscriptions. 

Like most things, it does take time for companies to understand the problem, adopt solutions and then create and manage solutions to institutionalize change to the new normal.

Benchmark your Candidate Experience against the Best.

The CandE awards started out of the passion of some of our industries’ most thoughtful leaders, like @GerryCrispin, @ElaineOrler, and @KevinGrossman with the intention of measuring candidate experience and understanding companies who were tackling the problem head-on, and then making those best practices available for other TA teams to learn from and replicate.

Some of the tools used to measure candidate experience, include Survale, a survey tool, that helps survey candidates about their experience with the company and the recruiting process. While many recruiting teams know about Glassdoor ratings, it’s also important to note that there are lots of employee review sites, and companies like Ratedly, founded by long-time industry insider Joel Cheesman, (also a co-host of one of the best HR and Talent acquisition podcasts (Chad&Cheese) aggregate employer reviews from multiple sites, making it easier to track and manage.

No matter what tools you use, it is possible to document and measure your candidate experience. Only then, can you start making measurable improvements.

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Port a Potties and Recruiting

What’s behind Door #2 will shock every recruiter!

Over the summer, I was taking my high school daughter to band camp (@WilliamTincup – no comment), and found one of the best recruitment marketing ads I’ve seen in a very long time.

So, what do Port-a-Potties have to do with Recruitment Marketing and Employer Branding?
You’ll be surprised!

With US unemployment at a 50 year low, job seekers have lots of options, and talent acquisition leaders have to get creative and learn from their marketing colleagues.

What this means to the employers, of course, is that what worked last year and the year before, might not be working anymore. If you’re still having the same hiring problems you’ve had for the last 5 years, it might be time to start thinking creatively, or looking at new solutions.

And to do that, you have to think and act like your ideal candidates.

So back to the Port-a-Potties.

Well, after a long, yet beautiful drive in the Redwoods of the San Francisco Bay Area, I needed a bio break when we got there.

So, I headed over to the port-a-potty, and my wife tells me…

You won’t believe what’s in the port-a-potty!

Of course, I’m intrigued.

USS Ad

When I open that flimsy plastic door, and take a seat (if you dare), and then look up… I see this…

It’s a glorious “Now Hiring” sticker on the inside door of the door.

At first, I don’t know what to think.

Holy Crap” (right?), that’s the weirdest thing ever. I’m kind of shocked.
I’m trying to make sense of it. Is this a good thing? Does it work? Is this good branding? Who are they trying to hire? What’s their target market?

And since I’m in the Thinker pose, sitting on the plastic throne, I start wondering about the campaign.

Thinker

Who is United Site Services trying to hire?
Drivers, hourly workers, equipment technicians… the same people who are working at construction sites or delivering materials to construction sites. The same people who would be frequenting a port-a-potty! Bingo!

It’s Highly Targeted Recruitment Marketing Ad! 

United Site Services is one of the largest construction services companies in the US. They rent and deliver construction equipment, including port-a-potties.

Placing stickers, on the inside of their hundreds of thousands of port-a-potties is cost-effective, highly-targeted, campaign.  Additionally, their target market is probably sitting down, and has a moment to read! (Just saying…)

Kudos to the United Site Services team

They’ve done a great job of targeting their potential workforce. When you’re going to do something different, there will always be risk, and this was definitely a risky move.

Now, just because I think the target marketing is great, it doesn’t mean the entire campaign is great, though.

For a campaign to be great, it’s got to work. It’s got to generate qualified candidates to be a success.

This is a really important point for all talent acquisition leaders, recruitment marketers, recruitment ad agencies, recruiters, and employer branding individuals and team members.

In a tight employment economy, Rule #1 = Make it easy for candidates to apply!

Take a look at the ad again. It’s great!

It has a picture of someone doing the job. Check!
The “Now Hiring” text really stands out. Check!
They include benefits, in simple text. Check!
They highlight “Full Time/ Permanent Positions” (job security is probably really important for their workforce). Check!

But, what about the call-to-action?

Look way down at the bottom right-hand corner of the ad… in the smallest font on the entire ad:

USS call to action

Here’s a great, attractive ad, highly targeted, uniquely placed, but the call to action isn’t highlighted, and unfortunately, I don’t think it works.

It’s time to check the Candidate Experience and journey.

So, now, I pretend I’m a job seeker and follow the call to action.

I take out my phone and start typing away, while sitting on the plastic throne, trying to get to the career site.

Remember it’s also really small print, so I have to look up at the sticker, and then back to my phone. And then up to the sticker and down to my phone. I have to do this a couple of times, and finally, since I’ve know the brand “United Rentals”, I give up looking up and down, and simply start typing.

I type “careers.unitedrentals.com” Fail #1.

Ugh. After squinting and looking really hard because it’s one big run-on string of 30+ characters with no capitalization, I notice… Oh, it’s not “UnitedRentals” it’s “UnitedSiteServices”. They were probably one company and split into two brands, but I didn’t know that.

I type “careers.unitedsitesedvices.com” Fail #2.

What? Ugh!!! Damn it… I typed the letter “d” instead of “r”… start over again.

Remember, Rule #1 is Make it Easy for Candidates to Apply.

It’s the candidate experience that counts. If you don’t make it easy for the candidates to apply, they won’t. To understand the candidate journey you have to test it as exactly as possible. We can assume candidates aren’t going to the port-a-potty with their laptops, so we need to test the call to action on a mobile phone.

A little frustrated, I took a picture of the ad, and went back to the car.

I failed 5 times until I finally got to the career site.

By then, I was pretty frustrated. I can’t imagine what a job seeker would have though, but it’s probably not good.

Typing 30 characters in exact order, on a mobile phone is NOT easy.

As a result, instead of getting candidates excited about opportunities, my guess is many candidates got frustrated and never make it to the career site at all. And, if they did make it to the site, they were frustrated.

Once I do navigate to the career site. It’s great. It’s mobile-friendly, lots of info, and probably cost $100,000 or more to build and maintain.

TIP: Follow the actual candidate journey, as a candidate would. No short-cuts.

If your workforce is “mobile-first”, you have to give them an easy to use, mobile-first experience. A 30 character career site url isn’t easy for the mobile workforce. Neither is a 20 character url, or even 15 character url.

Another Super Important Fact:

91% of career site visitors leave without completing an application!

Think about that for a minute. Since the evolution of applicant tracking career sites, about 20 years ago, the “default candidate journey” has been to send candidates to your corporate career site.

At the time, that made a lot of sense. Candidates were plentiful. The ATS helped with compliance and workflow process for the recruiters. Employers could add videos and other content to encourage the right candidates to apply.

But, less than 1 in 10 visitors complete an application. (The average visitor to application conversion rate was 8.52%, per Jobvite and Appcast application surveys).

If you’re wondering how you can generate more qualified candidates, without increasing your recruitment marketing spend, this “90% Applicant Drop-off” is a great place to start looking.

If you’re sending candidates to your corporate career site, you’ll want to track your “Visitor to Application” rate. (The total numbers of unique visitors to your career site, divided by the number of unique completed applications? Google Analytics is free and most ATS or career site or CRM should support this.)

A lot of large companies spend $100,000+ on their “career site”, or “talent network”, making them look really pretty and engaging, but if you don’t know if more candidates are applying, and if your attracting the right candidates, ie (qualified applicants), maybe what you have isn’t working.

So, What can you do differently? Use a chat bot!

Instead of losing 91% of prospective candidates, what if you captured 90% of those mobile visitors?

What if you could captured their name, phone number, location, email address, as well as some pre-screening and qualification questions?

That could be transformational, not just another “tool”.

You could massively increase your candidate experience and engagement, while increasing the number of qualified applicants.

Well… You can!

And you can do it today, through an automated text messaging conversation or recruitment chatbot!

Would that generate more qualified candidates for recruiters and hiring managers? Absolutely!

It’s called an Apply-by-Text chatbot.

And, with the candidates in your chatbot, you can add recruitment automation, by automatically scheduling interviews for candidates that meet your qualifications, saving your recruiters and hiring managers from the multiple back and forth emails and phone calls, while adding those candidates to your existing ATS via an integration.

Instead of trying to recruit with a call-to-action that isn’t easy, and and a candidate journey that sends candidates to your career site, that fails to convert job seekers to applicants, 90% of the time, you could try something like the below.

Apply By Text example

 

Which campaign do you think would more qualified applicants?

The 30 character alphanumeric career site URL, or a simple and easy-to-use text messaging application?

So, while I think the United Site Services targeting and ad copy was amazing, unfortunately, like so many candidate journeys, the call-to-action and applicant tracking system apply process often kills what could have been a great campaign.

For more information about recruitment marketing, recruiting automation, chatbots, for career sites, or Apply-by-Text, please contact us, or request a demo.

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The job application process isn’t working very well.

Consider that 90% of career site visitors don’t complete an application and 90% of candidates that do complete an application, never hear back from the employer, can we really say it’s working?

Ira Wolfe, long time Candidate Experience Architect, and Assessment Expert, GoHire CEO, Jonathan Duarte, discuss the job application process and how Apply by Text is the future of job applications.

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Wheres-The-AI-OneFrame

Thursday, September 5th, 2019 - 12 noon (PT)

Where’s the AI in “Recruiting AI” and “HR AI”?

The Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Recruiting AI, and AI in HR echo-chamber is alive and well in every HR Tech vendor’s pitch.

But “Where’s the AI?”

This is going to be a Live event with QA, with lot’s of in-depth info about the status of AI in Human Resources and Recruiting today.
We’ll discuss:
  • “Recruiting Automation” and workflow process automation vs “AI”
  • What is AI? and What isn’t.
  • The currecnt state of Recruiting and HR AI today, without a lot of technical gibberish.
  • The future state of Recruiting and HR AI
  • AI use cases, and how those might affect your recruiting and HR problems and opportunities.

Who should attend?
Anyone interested in AI in recruiting and HR.
If you’re a VP of HR, VP of Talent Acquisition, Director, Recruiter, or HR leader, you’ll definitely get something from the webinar.

Why should you attend?
If you’re having problems hiring, or looking at solutions for next year, you’re probably hearing a lot of “AI” from vendors.
Unfortunately, the sales teams aren’t always the best technical resources to describe what the “AI” is in the product, and what value it bring to you and your organization. We’ll get into what AI is and where it is working and where it isn’t, and if it really matters to your use cases.

About the speaker:
Jonathan Duarte is a 20 year veteran of the recruiting technology space. He’s built 3 companies in HR Tech, over the last 23 years, starting with one of the first Internet job boards, GoJobs.com, back in 1996, and the first US recruiting chatbot on Facebook Messenger in 2016. He’s lead technology integrations between ATS’, job boards, job aggregators, and background screening companies.

Jonathan has also lead and consulted enterprise artificial intelligence chatbot teams at some of the largest companies in the world; including Wells Fargo and EY.

Sep 5, 2019 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Text Alerts are one of the fastest ways to get your message to your customers, job seekers, employees, and prospects.

Using Job Text alerts is a great way for administrative, light-industrial, and labor staffing companies to quickly reach existing candidates.

SMS Text messages have open rates of 95% and are often responded to in minutes.

Using text messages allows you to quickly get your message sent and received.

All text messages are opt-in.

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Recruiting Chatbot News

Sometimes HR Tech can take a long time to evolve.
I found this old “Source of Hire Protocol” that I published back in January 2004.
14 years later, and we’re still talking about the same things… “How do you track the inbound source of candidates?”

Fortunately, we’ve moved forward, but it surprises me sometimes that even some of the largest volume hiring entities in the world, still have no real valid data on their “Source of Hires” or “Source of Applicants”.

**** Original Source of Hire protocol and article listed below ****

Source of Hire Protocol
Originally released January 4th, 2004
By Jonathan Duarte, Founder, GoJobs.com

“Source of Hire” reporting is becoming critical for any company utilizing metrics to efficiently recruit.

More and more employers are electing to push job seekers to their corporate career websites, to apply for open positions. Unfortunately, these same employers are learning that while the “recruiting process” might have been become more efficient, the ability to accurately track the inbound “source” of the job seekers is being lost.

Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, of CareerXRoads, recently released their “2003 Source of Hires” report. In the report, Mark and Gerry conclude that “source of hire” information is not being tracked as efficiently and effectively as it can be.

Why do we need a “Source of Hire” protocol?

The definition of a protocol is “a standard procedure for regulating data transmission between computers”. By creating an industry standard protocol for transmitting “source of hire” data, the Internet recruitment industry as a whole will benefit; including, job boards, applicant tracking companies, ad agencies, and employers.

The “Source of Hire” protocol that GO Jobs has released is inexpensive to adopt, non-proprietary, and can be used by any entity.

Of course, the real value of a “standardized protocol” is when it is recognized as a “standard”. For this to happen, ATS vendors, job boards, and third-party entities must adopt and maintain the standard.

A call to ATS vendors to adopt the protocol:

At this time, very few applicant tracking companies have implemented a tracking solution. Employers are quickly realizing the fact that their current “source of hire” data is inaccurate, or otherwise, “suspect”. By offering an automated, accurate “source of hire” your clients would have accurate reporting and place a greater value on the data being retrieved from your software.
For any ATS, considering a tracking solution, GO Jobs recommends recognizing the following protocol.

A call to job boards to adopt the protocol:

Currently, most job boards do not send “referral” or “source” information to the Apply Online URL provided by the employer. By appending the protocol fields below, any company website or ATS that adopts the protocol, will start recognizing job board source information immediately.
Most Fortune 1,000 company career centers are hosted by third-party applicant tracking companies. If the applicant tracking companies adopt the protocol, their clients will immediately gain from having accurate reporting.

If ATS vendors do not conform to a standard protocol, the job boards will suffer the greatest, as the job boards will lose the ability to justify their “value”. If each ATS vendor creates their own query strings and protocols, it will be unbearable for niche and smaller job boards to adopt to the standards of each ATS.

There are over 10,000 active job boards. By quickly adopting the below protocol, the job boards themselves stand to gain significant leverage, by moving together as a group.
Job boards that adopt the protocol, can start providing “source of hire” information to their clients with a nominal development expense.

Source of Hire Protocol:

(The protocol information provided below is intended for a technical audience who has an intermediate or above knowledge of website development tools.)

The “protocol” is made up of three query string values that can be passed to an employer’s website. If the company career site is compliant with the protocol, and therefore recognizes the query strings and the associated values, the employer will automatically and efficiently retain accurate “source of hire” data.

The protocol query string values:

Value
Definition
SourceID
A numeric value representing the job board where the job seeker found the job listing
SourceName
The name associated with SourceID
RoutedBy
A string representing an intermediate, or third party, such as GOJobs

Example:

Let’s say a recruiter wants a job seeker to visit their corporate website, to apply to a specific job.
The Apply Online URL the recruiter wants the candidate to link to is as follows:
http://www.companywebsite.com/jobdetail.asp?Jobnum=40241
When the job is posted on a job board, such as DICE, the recruiter adds the Apply Online URL above to the specific field on CareerBuilder.

Currently, when a job seeker finds a job on a job board, he or she, clicks on the “Apply Online” button, or link, and the jobseeker is redirected to specific URL on the company website.

In this example, both DICE and the employer loose valuable tracking data. DICE can no longer track the job seeker, and the employer has virtually no way to automatically track that this specific candidate came from DICE. As a result, both the job board and the employer lose.

If Applicant Tracking Companies (ATS), job boards, employer career center development teams, and other web design companies, utilize the above querystrings, everyone wins.
The employer receives accurate “Source of Hire” information. Job boards are recognized as the inbound source. Recruiters don’t have to maintain another “list of sources”.

Any job board, can utilize this query string protocol directly.
For instance, if DICE chooses to implement the protocol, instead of submitting the job seeker to the “Apply Online URL” provided by the recruiter, above, during job entry, DICE can Append the “Source of Hire” querystrings and the values related to DICE, to the clients Apply Online URL.
By appending the following string, DICE would automatically be recognized by the company website as the “Source of Hire”.
“SourceID=1&SourceName=DICE&RoutedBy=DICE”

The complete URL would look like the following:
http://ww.companywebsite.com/jobdetail.asp?jobnum=40241?”SourceID=1&SourceName=DICE&RoutedBy=DICE

The case for a centralized list of SourceNames and SourceIDS:
The are many reason for maintaining a centralized list of job board “SourceIDS” and “SourceName”s:

  • ATS companies, or web developers, can query a centralized, maintained list of job boards to receive updates to the “SoureIDS” and “SourceName”. By querying a centralized list, neither ATS vendors, or their employer clients need to maintain a “list of sources”.
  • Job boards can add themselves to the list at any time.
  • The list is publicly available.
  • A maintained, centralized list, will eliminate duplicate or outdated job board names and therefore SourceNames and SourceIDS.
  • There is no cost to retrieve the list of job board “SourceIDs” and “SourceName”.
  • As a job distribution service, and an Internet Recruitment Ad Agency, GO Jobs already maintains this information.

For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Duarte

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HR Examiner & GoHire with John Sumser

I first met John Sumser, the Principal Analyst at HR Examiner, and one of the most sought after HR technology analysts, some 20 years ago, back in 1998, or so. HRExaminer

That year, John hosted a cocktail party at his home in Milly Valley, CA for a small group of HR technology founders who where attending the SHRM conference in San Francisco. It was a pretty small group back then.

I’m not sure how it all came together, but the party started winding down, and typical to any great conversation with John, questions about the future of recruiting, technology, and the market continued to deepen.  At the time, there were only a handful of ATS systems and job boards. Most ATS systems were customized resume scanning systems that took paper and fax resumes, digitized them, and made them searchable.

The conversations continued late into the evening, concluding with conversations of mergers and acquisitions, while enjoying John’s hot tub. A memorable night for sure.

I recently had the honor of speaking with John on the HR Examiner Podcast series, where we talked about Recruiting AI, chatbots, text messaging, and loads of other technologies entering the recruiting and HR markets.

Over the years, I’ve had numerous memorable conversations with John, an wanted to share a couple of my favorite “Sumser Quotes”. (they’re paraphrased.)

A Social Network for unemployed people?

“Who would ever want to join a social network of other unemployed people? That makes no common sense. Who wants to hang out with bunch of equally depressed unemployed people?”

… John’s response to my question; “What do you think about Jobster?” at the Jobster launch party at ERE in San Diego 2004? Well we know how that story ended. Meanwhile, another little company had yet to surface publicly in the recruiting space, a social network for professionals… LinkedIn.

Diversity in the workforce:

“Here’s the problem with solving diversity in the workforce.

Say your company has been successful for years, and the one thing that’s unique about your culture is that everyone wears a clown suit.

As business continues to grow, you need to bring on more people.

So you interview some great people and hire who you think will be a great employee.

Then, on the new recruits first day of work, they show up bright and early… wearing lederhosen!

Now what do you do?

Do you make them change to a clown suit? Do you make everyone else wear Lederhosen? Do you find a way to embrace clown suits and lederhosen?”

If you ever get a chance to sit down and have some deep conversations with John, I’d highly recommend it.

Beware; Be prepared to think! Bring an open mind! And, Good Ideas and Data, go a long way!

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