HR FAQ Carnival - Second Edition - January 25th, 2013

HR Carnival

Hi everybody,

Welcome to the second edition of the HR FAQ Carnival. Can you believe that January is almost over? I can't believe how fast time passes - it was only yesterday that we were wishing each other "A Happy New Year!".

This month's carnival focuses on three main topics: LEADERSHIP, CUSTOMERS and one of the most important jobs for mothers that need to go back to work...well, doesn't sound as important as the other two, but for a lot of people it is...NANNIES.

Let's start then with LEADERSHIP. Max Herrera proposes a very well documented post concerning the
"15Qualities of Successful Leaders". To be a good leader, you must be working hard, you must persevere, be flexible...and... of course you need to read the post to find out the other 12.

Then, Astrid van Dorst  sends us a post concerning CUSTOMER SATISFACTION and its connection with employee engagement in "2013 Customer Experience Predictions" . It's going to be a hot topic this year. Don't see the connection between the two? I didn't either at first, but, trust me, you need to read the post to get the idea, because the connection is subtle, but clear.

Last, but not least, all mothers will appreciate the following articles and will understand better the job of the ladies (and not only - men on the job are the new trend) that they trust and hire to take care of their children:
- from Brittany Martin: "How to Evaluate Your Nanny";
- from Denise Thompson: "10 Training Tips for Aspiring Babysitters";
- from Brittany Harris: "Revelations From Downton Abbey";

 Thanks everybody and see you in February.

Take care,


Best HR Junior Blog - Two More Nominations


I am back with fresh news. After browsing through 190!!! more blogs, I managed to find two more valuable candidates. Imagine that I have browsed through around 260 blogs so far!

So, without further ado, the second nominee is.....

BLOG http://hrpadawan.wordpress.com/
Author Niels van Hellemont
Criteria % Details Total
Total number of posts 15% 10 1.5
Google Page rank 10% 1 0.1
Total number of comments from readers 15% 11 1.65
Blogger's HR relevant profile 20% 1 0.2
Number of posts with advice that can be actually applied practically 25% 9 2.25
Number of months the blog has been live 5% 11 0.55
Consistency 10% 4 0.4
100% 6.25

Niels' score is not very high, but I nominated him here because he has great potential and he needs to be supported to go on on this path. All his posts are very well documented and I can see that he's passionate about the field even if his experience comes from HR internships.

The third nominee is.....

BLOG http://www.ameetingwithhr.com 
Author Kelly Weinheimer
Criteria % Details Total
Total number of posts 15% 127 19.05
Google Page rank 10% 1 0.1
Total number of comments from readers 15% 10 1.5
Blogger's HR relevant profile 20% 10 2
Number of posts with advice that can be actually applied practically 25% 58 14.5
Number of months the blog has been live 5% 9 0.45
Consistency 10% 7 0.7
100% 37.6

Kelly's blog impresses by the great number of posts, however, she needs to be more consistent and engage the readers more as I see great potential in her too.
Coming back to the blogs that didn't deserve unfortunately to be nominated, here are some more details that I can add to my previous post. The rest of the blogs were not nominated because:
- they had severe lack of consistency (the posts were sometimes from March, then December);
- a lot of them had 2-3 posts only and a huge amount of commercials;
- a lot had promising descriptions on Technorati, but when checking what the blog had to offer in terms of looks, information, easy navigation, everything was disappointing;
- some were abandoned after the first post;

I can also separate the blogs in 3 main categories:
- top blogs - consistent and ongoing for years; full of useful information (about 10%);
- former top blogs - blogs that used to be valuable, but stopped posting after 2-3 years (another 10%, of course rough numbers only);
- 80% of the blogs were low level quitters - blogs with low number of posts, abandoned for years, created just for ads.

I have to admit that all my findings are sad, but what I can confirm is that the number of real HR bloggers is very low, so if you are good at it, it is a great niche.

I will be back with more nominations and with the final winner at the end of the month.
Take care,


Human Resources Mysteries: What's Does a Recruitment Agency Do?

For all those of you who have never worked with them, recruitment agencies are a great mystery. What do they actually do? Are they any good? What are they to start with? Companies?  NGOs?  Employers? Governmental organizations?  So many questions… So let’s clear the air a bit.

First of all, recruitment agencies are companies – basic and ordinary companies that have employees, that pay taxes and that make profit (or at least try to because the niche is very difficult and competitive). On the market there are a few global high rollers that are present in several countries (like Lugera & Makler, Adecco, Trenkwalder), a few small agencies that specialize on a niche, are good at it and actually make profit (like SAP recruitment) and several others which try to survive (but most of the times don’t).

A recruitment agency covers mainly two basic activities: helps candidates find a job and helps other companies find good candidates for the open positions they have. So they are a mediator on the market between candidates that search for jobs and companies that search for candidates. Most agencies (I use “most” because all of those we have worked with did it, but I can’t bet that all in the world are in the same situation) offer mostly free services to candidates and get paid by companies only.

To a candidate, a recruitment agency offers the following services (basic services are free):

-          Receiving their resume and inserting it in a database which helps search for candidates with a certain skill; for agencies operating on the same market, competition is huge because they end up eventually with a similar database, so winning the client gets tougher; also, small inexperienced agencies can’t compete with large ones which already have a huge list of candidates that they can search in minutes;
-          Helping the candidates build a professional resume (sometimes paid service);
-          Assessing the candidate’s skills by applying tests (IT, language, professional psychological tests) or during interviews;
-          Offering improvement suggestions (sometimes paid service) and offering to include them in training or coaching sessions (also mostly paid service);
-          Sending the candidate’s resume to employers who have open positions, according to required skills (free service mostly);
-          Offering the candidate feedback in case of rejection or mediating the salary offering process (mostly free service).

To a company, a recruitment agency offers the following services:

-          Search resumes in their database;
-          Post ads on suitable recruitment channels;
-          Interview and test candidates;
-          Propose the best candidates for the available positions;
-          Replace candidates for free if candidate leaves or is being fired (on candidate’s fault) within a certain time limit (3-6 or even more months depending on position);

How does the hiring process work?
1.       The client of the recruitment agency opens a position and offers it to one or several recruitment agencies, depending on internal requirements, policies or depending on the signed contract between the two parties;
2.       The client may be required to pay an advance fee (used for posting ads or for initial time spent on interviews). Fee is not returned. Depending on initial agreement, this fee may be skipped and a final success fee paid instead (only if agency manages to fill the position with the suitable candidate);
3.       Agency posts ads, selects resumes, interviews candidates;
4.       Agency offers a final list of top candidates to the client;
5.       Client interviews final candidates and offers one or several;
6.       If position(s) is (are) covered, taxes are paid and process stops; else, recruitment process starts again. If several agencies work on the same position, the first one to fill it gets the money. The rest just waste time.

A recruitment agency works just like any other company. It is a service provider. Its employees are recruiters (the people who do the actual recruitment and selection), sales people (who search for clients and sign contracts – sometimes in small agencies sales people are also recruiters) and support people (like finance people, building maintenance, drivers, any other internal position necessary for a company to work efficiently).

I hope the role of a recruitment agency is clear now.  For further questions, please feel free to comment upon this post.

Kind Regards,