The Opiate of the Masses?

A few notes from day one of the DirectEmployers conference in Vegas.

Joel Cheesman’s sporting a T-shirt with the line: “Monster is the opiate of the masses.” Cheesman also posts word that Craig’s trying to crack down on the verticals. Jason Goldberg calls Monster a “crap product.” (Mark Roachell, for one, recently disagreed.)

Avery Dennison (whose labels aren’t just on office products; they’re on everything from Old Navy jeans to Bud Light bottles, and the company sells $5.5 billion worth annually) has been quite happy with its VirtualEdge ATS (though it likes what Icims can do with reporting). It’s now working on integrating VirtualEdge with the PeopleSoft HRMS.

It’s also getting hiring managers more involved in the hiring process. “They’re not going to be on the sidelines anymore,” says Avery’s Ginger Barnes. The company’s referral program isn’t working well, but it’s going to beef it up, and may offer money to people outside the company who refer candidates.

Barnes says that the companies “winning the war” for talented candidates are “winning on salary. More sign-ons, stocks, more vacation for new employees with experience.” Companies giving three weeks’ vacation to new employees have a substantial advantage over those giving two, she says.

LinkedIn, she says, “has been very successful for us.”

Smaller companies, she says, are beating bigger companies for recruits by offering faster employee growth and higher titles. “Avery Dennison doesn’t give a lot of VP titles,” she says.

Also, Barnes is hearing that “candidates are receiving multiple offers and staying with present companies after counteroffers,” she says.

Several companies here are working on trying to tie quality of hire to recruiters. They’re trying to figure out, “Are Jane Doe’s recruits staying longer and performing better?” The problem is, a lot of that has to do with the opportunities they’re given to excel and use their talents once they’re on the job, something often out of the hands of recruiters.

Barnes says recruiters have seen a big reduction in administrative support in recent years. “Recruiters are doing more themselves,” she says.

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