Letter to Leaders – March 2021

I have a client that I’m close to (we’ll leave it at that).

Last month, they asked us for immediate help. A job opening they’d been trying to fill had garnered 8 resumes in three months. Each candidate wasn’t qualified for a fairly senior role.

“Can you help us immediately find someone?”

So my team put together several action steps to increase incoming resumes. I also decided to interview three people at the company who either have, or had, the same job.

(In case you didn’t know, adding videos always increases attention —especially on job posts).

I recorded a Zoom call with each of them. It was like a job interview; I asked their professional background and what the position was like. They also talked about the company culture. Their point-of-view is powerful, because it doesn’t come from HR or the hiring manager.

We turned the three videos around in 24 hours. We did basic editing, added graphics, and an introduction. I was proud of my team. It was immediate, powerful but—like many Zoom videos—not perfect. Some of the videos were fuzzy, the backgrounds weren’t the best, etc. But they were finished. And finished in record time.

The next day, one of senior executives decided they weren’t quite good enough. He told me they’d re-do the videos on their own. I wished him well.

Those videos, a month later, still aren’t done. Not coincidentally, the position is not close to being filled.

There are lessons for every leader in this:

  • Curb your perfectionism. Perfectionism is one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done. Sometimes (actually, many times) very good is better than nothing at all. Anything we do can be better. But if you fall into that trap, you’ll fail.
  • At most businesses, it’s 10x harder to get to ‘yes’; than ‘no’. In this company’s case, it takes the vote of each of the top 10 executive to say “yes”. But any individual executive can say “no”. When it’s easier to get to a “no” than a “yes”, the victims will be agility, creativity and progress.

Make sure you’re a leader who recognizes the importance of very good. Perfectionism has its place—but none of us are brain surgeons or nuclear scientists. We’re leaders, charged with progress, growth, culture.

And if you’re a CEO, business owner, or the lead in any business, re-think who can say “no” or “yes”. Without question, saying yes takes courage. If you say no, there’s zero chance you’ll ever get criticized or blame.

But fear of failure is not what leadership is about, is it?

Nine Tips For Recruiting on LinkedIn

Many small and mid-sized businesses are struggling with trying to find and hire employees. Moreover, those same businesses don’t have the staff to properly develop and manage their company LinkedIn page.

At Symmetry, we aren’t primarily a headhunting firm; we’re an HR Outsourcing company and we occasionally help our clients with search and selection. We’re always amazed to see common mistakes on the most important online website for employers – LinkedIn.

The first thing a candidate researches is your website and then your LI page. if they don’t like what they see, they’re not going to bother applying.

LinkedIn is an essential component in recruiting and hiring employees. Fixing common mistakes is fairly easy and definitely inexpensive. You just need to know what to look for.

Here are the most common mistakes or omissions we see when helping clients develop a more robust employer brand through LinkedIn:

1. The company profile page. Make sure it has the right business name and logo. You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t. If you have a common name (ABC Company) it’s likely there are a number of people who consider themselves your “employees” from throughout North America and Europe. Make sure you have a cool and relevant cover photo as well.

2. Get every employee on the proper company LI page. There are always a number of employees who aren’t connected properly. You can always tell: Go to an employee profile page. To the left of the job title and company should be the proper logo (like mine below).

3. Every key employee should have an updated profile AND an updated picture on their profile. And for goodness’ sakes, when you post a job on LI (or anywhere), make sure all your employees “share” that information with their network. With LI, it’s not really posting the job that will get you lots of candidates; it’s how your employees and network share that with their networks. That’s viral, and that’s important.

4. The “About” section. I’m always amazed when a company’s “about” section contains copy that’s completely outdated. So update it. Start by having this internal discussion: What is a compelling reason a great employee would want to work for you?

5. Post news, promotions, employee anniversaries to increase your visibility. Invite candidates who apply to follow your LI page.

6. Follow your clients, vendors, friends, and network. Get them to follow you back. It’s a lonely feeling when people see you only have 3 followers.

And when you do post for a position on LinkedIn, remember these tips:

7. Write your job post and headline as if you were a marketer. Don’t fall into the HR trap of writing it to comply with some imaginary law. Your primary aim is to get people to read and apply for the position! Make it inviting but realistic. The job title is probably the only thing a candidate will review.

8. Include the salary. There is a myth among many ignorant executives and HR folks that posting a salary causes all sorts of issues among current employees. Well, the opposite is true for candidates. No one is going to take the time to apply if they don’t know what the salary range is up front. (By the way, your employees should know exactly what the range is for every position at your company – it’s called transparency).

9. Add a video, interviewing current employees who have the job or had the job. What’s it like? What do you do? What is the culture? That’s information a candidate wants and needs – especially from people who aren’t the hiring manager.

The message is the medium. Reset your expectations. There is not a lot of talent out there right now. And those employees that are great are being well-paid and are happy in their job. They’re not going to risk a stable good thing right now unless there’s a MAJOR incentive for them to do so. Give that potential candidate the compelling reason.