The Masters of Modern Recruiting Podcast! - Episode 4 with Dean Da Costa - The Ultimate Modern Recruiter

The Masters of Modern Recruiting Podcast! - Episode 6 with Amy Miller - Head of Tech Recruiting at Google

In today’s episode, Derek chats it up with Dean Da Costa, a highly experienced staffing professional and author (The Book of Recruiting; Da Costa Style…check it out, it’s awesome) about the number one “method” every single recruiter needs to utilize if they want to be successful.

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 Episode 4 Transcription:

MMR Episode #4 Transcription

Derek:    Hey there, my recruiting maniacs. Derek Zeller here. How are you today? Cool. I hope everything's going great. I am here with my next guest, my latest guest. You don't know who this individual is and you might want to rethink your career with inside recruiting. It is the man, Dean Da Costa. How are you man? 
Dean:    I'm doing good man. How are you? 
Derek:    I’m good man. Had a good weekend. It was a good time. It was nice and relaxing. So congratulations on the new book. 
Dean:    Appreciate it. Appreciate it. Thank you for your help with it since you edited it. 
Derek:    No, thank you. It was fun. It’s a great book folks. It's a Recruiting Da Costa Style. You want to go out and pick one up on Amazon and it's also on Kindle. $13.95 I think for the book and then I think we did nine something for the $99 for the Kindle, right? 
Dean:    Note even close dude. It was $12.99 for the book and I believe the Kindle was $2.99. 
Derek:    Ok yeah, Dean didn't write this like me when I read my books, we don't write it for glory or money. We just want to give back to the community. So check his book out. It's out there for sale. So Dean?
Dean:     Yes sir.
Derek:     Couple of questions for your man. I know normally everybody goes on after the tool, man, so on and so forth. But I want to kind of talk more about your thoughts and some were going on within the industry and anybody can go out and get on and so forth. One of the questions I had and set aside for you is, does Boolean even matter anymore?
Dean:    Yes. First of all, tools come and go. Companies have security protocols which don't allow certain tools work in there. So what is what? Ask yourself this. If you were stuck in a system where you could use no tools, got the internet but no tools, how would you source? DNS still revolves around Boolean or semantic or natural language, which are all offshoots of Boolean. So the question is, if you don't understand the basics of Boolean and you don't have the tools, how would you source? You wouldn't. It hasn't changed. I was just on a webinar where I taught somebody. The whole group asked, about a hundred people, a reasonably interesting Boolean string that found some stuff that you wouldn't find with these tools because that's not the way the tools work. And it was a really cool string because I basically x-rayed all .org’s, every single site that's for resumes and found 30 sites that were full of resumes that were .org. And in my case .org/resumes and I put the word hacker, so I specified hacker. Once I took away hacker I can put in developer and found thousands. And these are all sites that are, or different orgs because I use a wildcard. So it's different words and they all have boatloads of resumes. I think the least amount was 10 the most with something like 700. 
Derek:    Ok, interesting. People are like leaning you know, are always leaning more and more on tools. I mean I've worked for one. I work for ENGAGED Talent and they are the ones sponsoring the show. But like you said, if all these tools went away, you can still find the information, but it would just be more time consuming. 
Dean:    Exactly. Exactly. That's what these tools really do. I'll give a great example because I do this search probably once to twice a month. Find a thousand people. Example, Facebook, use a tool search Facebook, scrape the information. Thousand people say the tool I use, will go ahead and find me a percentage of emails. I stick what's left into another tool if finds me a percentage, the rest and another tool, it finds me the rest by the time I’m done, I believe I had 995 emails. My hands on time? Five minutes. Now could I do that manually? Oh heck yeah. I could've done all that, but it would probably take me a whole week. So what these tools do it's an ROI thing. Data. I can't find that thing, but the return on investment, the money saved by doing it one way or the other. That's what tools do. The tools don't replace my basic skills. In fact, let's be honest, the best tool, that top tool that everybody should be using first and foremost is your brain. Because what good are all these tools? If your brain doesn't even allow you to consider other ways of doing things, I mean everybody can search for Java developer. What about other ways of doing it? Using the tools even or not? Either way, you need your brain to be able to do all that. I got asked about finding registered nurses. And I asked, where'd you look? And basically they looked. They use tools and they looked at one place I go, you are aware that every state has a health site where every doctor and registered nurse must be listed by law with who they are, their certification and where they work. Why is that so that you know you're not being scammed by fake doctors. And there are quite a few. So you can just go there, scrape it. You’ve got their name and where they work, you get the work email, you can use these tools to find more info. And the person that asked the question was like, really? I didn't know that. That's my brain and that's the best tool I got. My brain knew about that. Not any other tool. Just my brain. Yeah. 
Derek:    has sourcing passive talent become the industry standard now? 
Dean:    I think so because they're, they're enabled innate problems. Number one is fact is there more jobs and people. And there are only so many active people and those that are active either might not be very good or they might want a lot of money or whatever. But the problem is you're fighting for the same people and there's only a finite number of them. And then you add in the fact that you can easily burn a bridge with somebody if your communication style kind of sucks. The days of, hi, my name is this and I work here and I have a job for you. Just ain't working right now. Won't work. So you've got to be a little more, a little more personalized. That takes more time. And there are only a finite number of people that are always active that are actively looking. And then remember it, I don't know if you read this, but a lot of people I hope read it. The government has just put a temporary stop to visas. So that's going to make the talent crunch even more tight. 
Derek:    The H1B’s? Or visa’s in general?
Dean:    H1B’s. That means the race for talent is going to be even tighter, so you don't have a choice but to go after passive candidates. Now, here's the thing though, my thought process is different than this. Everybody's like, we get active, passive, and then people who aren't interested. No, you got active, passive and potential active. They are actually passive. They're willing to listen. Potential means if you make the right argument, yeah, they could be, maybe not now. Maybe it's a week from now, maybe it's a month now. But here's the reality, there's no such thing as not a candidate. I don't care who you are. If I offer you enough money and enough perks, you're going to take the job. Now, it doesn't mean I can do it, but if I do, I could. Therefore you’re potentially a candidate, just a matter of timing and the offer. 
Whereas passive people are, you know, they're open to listening right away. The other is you got to give them a little bit more. But it all comes down to your ability to message them, to get their attention enough to engage. Once they engage, then it's up to you.
Derek:     I don’t really think, personally, there is a passive candidate. Because a passive candidate means  candidate because they're not looking, but they’re looking. That means they’re still a candidate. They’re still actively looking. Kind of, right? 
Dean:    I would argue if you're active, you might be going out on the job boards and doing stuff like that. Whereas if you're passive, you're waiting for things to come to you.
Derek:    But you're still engageable.
Dean:     Yeah, but I think the difference is if I'm actively going out and applying to jobs and stuff like that, that is a much easier engagement level than if I'm open to listening. Does that make sense? 
Derek:    Yeah.
Dean:    It's a level of candidacy and it's just based on if you are proactively looking or, or if you're just listening. If someone contact you from the right company, you will list to them. If it's the wrong company, you won't waste your time. That's passive.
Derek:    Someone like on Linkedin. I’ve seen people say they’re not interested but then you go down and they’re like “What are you interested in?” With LinkedIn, they’ll say “I’m interested in new opportunities.” So it's a flip and flop.
Dean:    Basically what they're saying is, you know what, I'm not going to go out and look for jobs, but if you want to, if you bring them to me and it's one I’m interested in, I'll contact you back. That's basically what they're saying. 
Derek:    So what are challenges in recruiting today that you’re seeing? it's a pretty tight market and now visa’s are going away, or at least being put on hold. But I’ve been with a lto of companies that couldn't use visa’s anyway.
Dean:    Right. I think a bunch of things I'm seeing right now, in the market is the ability to work remotely is becoming larger and larger, which is really odd considering it was not more than a year ago several companies decide to pull back the remote workers. I believe Yahoo was one of them, if I remember correctly. But the ability to work remotely is huge. If you offer that, you have a better chance of getting people. Because people are starting to realize, especially in the big cities that the hour to two hours of dead time going to work and some and maybe the same coming back from work just isn't worth it to them. And then the wear and tear on the car or even if you take mass transportation, they're still dead time and it's better for them to work from home and that ability to work from home means something to them. 
You know what that is? I don't know. A guy I know took a job for less money because it allowed him to work from home, but when he did the math, he actually was making money because for him there was no mass so you would've had to drive in you. He took the time it took to drive the commuting distance to wear and tear on the car, the gas, all that. The difference in pay was only about $7,000. You know what? He ended up saving 5,000 because the wear and tear on the car alone was going to be about 12,000 bucks between gas and oil changes and then the time stuck in traffic. 
Derek:    When I was living back in DC, I worked until 5, 5:30, 6 and then I went across the street and got dinner and hung out until 8:00. There was no point in trying to get home to get home. It took an hour to get home and if I took the toll road it was like a $20 one way and you know, at peak times. That’s 100 bucks a week or $400 a month. Not including gas, not  including the wear and tear on the car.
Dean:    That $400 a month is about $4800 a year and that’s not counting the wear and tear on the car and all the other crap. So you're right, it adds up. That's big. The other thing that's big as, and it's really interesting as people started figuring out the company is only part of the picture. How the company is, how it stock is its benefits are only part of the picture. People have started figuring out that the manager and group they work in is very important and I think that's just thing. I learned this lesson years ago when I worked at Microsoft when I moved from one group to another, realized everything was the same except the manager and I hated it. 
    I did well, but I didn't like it. And so people are starting to learn that that manager they're going to work for is really, really, really important. I actually was talking to a bunch of people I know who were friends of mine who've started looking. They're like, you know what Dean, one of the things I do when I'm talking to managers, I asked him questions like, what's his plan for the future? How long does he plan on staying? What's his leadership style? All these things because I don't want to move into a position with a company where my manager is going to be there for six months and leave. Knowing this because I learned that the right manager can really make or break you in a group. If you have a great manager that takes care of you as your back and keeps the junk off of you so you can do job, that's great. 
    But if you have a micromanager, that's there over your shoulder all the time. That sucks. So people have learned. It used to be, they didn't care, they were, it was all about the company. Now people are learning that manager means a lot. And so a lot more people are checking out manager and in general they're checking out people in general, there is more checking out of managers and people on interview loops than ever before. I mean social media, trying to figure things out about the people and trying as much as we're checking them out, they're checking us out just in case. The idea of interviewing being a two way street finally boots all the beat to a lot of candidates. And I think it's just because there are more jobs than people and they can now afford to be a lot pickier and, and do their due diligence instead of looking for any job, they’re looking for the perfect job. 
Derek:    It’s weird that you say too. The last speaking event I did over in Acquisition Talent Day, on the 5th was in Salt Lake City. I did a presentation on telling people how to do almost inbound marketing for recruiting. I said the new generation of, of job seekers are really are taking us to task. They’re not just going out and hoping they're going to get a phone call from a recruiter or from somebody in HR. When it comes to finding a job, they're going out and saying, well, who's the recruiter for that position? Or who's the recruiter for that company? And they're not looking at you, they're looking at your website. What is your background? How long have you been with the company? I'm going to be, I got a lot of those questions. My last time I was working a year six months ago, a lot times people came in and they go, I had certain developers say this just doesn't fit my mojo. I don't think I would be happy here. And, and it was cool. I mean I'm like, I'm glad I know now as opposed to going through the whole process with you, but that's kind of why we interview, right? 
Dean:    No I, I 100 percent, 100 percent agree that that's exactly what's going on. And for me per se, I think it's pretty cool because I have no problem with them checking me out or checking out my company because, you know, I, I don't want someone there that doesn't really want to be there anyway. So for me, I don't really give me, I don't care. But there are some companies out there it's not so good for. There are some companies that have a bad reputation. And in their lives, the other part of the question, you know, you used to have, and I forgot the name of the site right now because I'm just drawing a blank where you could see what people who interviewed think of the company and stuff like that. And it was one site. There's several sites now where you can give feedback about company. 
    What was it like to work there? What'd you like? What you didn't like? How, how was the interview? I mean, and people are starting to look at that stuff. You know, it's not like it used to be where it was no big deal. Now if you say something bad or director is something everybody knows about it. And it's funny because people are more willing to say, to tell people about their experiences now because their logic is, hey, if I piss off this company, it doesn't matter. There's more jobs than people. Some companies going to want me. So what do I care? When it comes down to it, the candidates got the power, not the company. 
Derek:    Now it’s always been the great IT drain. You know we have Silicon Valley is just basically eating on itself and pulling people, you know, I left Google to go to Microsoft. I left Microsoft and go to Amazon. I left Amazon to go to Google. It’s just kind of like this revolving door. But now they’re starting to see that trades workers, trade workers can make 75, $80,000 a year without a college degree. 
Dean:    Yep. 
Derek:    And some will even train and they can't fill roles. 
Dean:    Nope. And there's some reasons for that. We were going to stay out of the politicalness of it would just stick with the fact that there's just…what's going on is a lot of the workforce is getting older, significantly older. And that's a part that's a huge part of the problem. It, they're getting the baby boomers, they're getting older. I mean look at you and I mean, you and I are okay, we got another 10, 15 years, but that's not that much in the big scheme of things, you know. And then so you got to look at all the people that are already there. And then you got to look at the fact that education costs are really, really high so people aren't able to go get it. Right up here in Seattle, you know, when I first got in the military, 50,000 bucks, I could live on that with my family and be ok. Now you can barely, barely, literally paycheck to paycheck. Make It. 
Derek:    It boggles my mind how somebody is a bartender or a server even here in Portland now, you know, to actually make, to make ends meet.
Dean:    They probably have two jobs, 
Derek:    Sometimes two jobs, some have three roommates in a two bedroom apartment. 
Dean:    It's really, really, really tough. And, and the problem is cost of living has gone up, but wages haven't gone up to keep up with it. And, in their lie and, and despite what some may or may not feel, taxes are still high. Whether people liked that thought or not, based on what you heard there, it doesn't matter. The taxes are high, especially when you're only making $50,000 a year. It doesn't matter. People don't understand, okay, if $50,000 a year, I only have to pay eight, what? Fifteen percent taxes, you know, it's not as much as someone who makes 200,000 years has to pay 20. But here's the difference. Yeah, someone that makes 200,000 pays 20 percent to taxes, that's $40,000. They still have $160,000 to live on. $50,000, you got to pay 15 percent tax. That's $750. Seven thousand 500. That's only $42,000 now. And now they're almost below the poverty poverty number. People don't understand. It's not an apples to apples comparison. 
Derek:    Right. Sure. 
Dean:    I mean when you make $10,000,000 and you have to pay 4  million taxes, Ooh, 6 million bucks. Yeah, let me have 6 million dollars. I could live the rest of my life on $6,000,000 and what exactly at the level I'm at now. When you're making $50,000 a year. Yeah. Not so much. 
Derek:    $6,000,000, I might be off on my island off the coast of Costa Rica, just selling shells to the tourist or something. 
Dean:    Well, the weird part is the cost of living down there is significantly less, so you probably could live there for the rest of your life and my life put together. But I'm just saying, people just don't understand that it's not so simple. And like I said, you're right. People are making a lot of money for doing jobs and it just makes you head go wow. But when it comes to that, it's just I can't find people and they're willing to train because they know people can't afford to go to college. There aren't a lot of people kind of. I mean, I started a college fund for my granddaughter knowing that if I didn't, she wouldn't be able to make it get to college. It’s just too hard.  
Derek:    Yeah, it’s ridiculous. 
Dean:    I mean, I'm about to start school again and I'm planning on, in uh, in winter what basically January. And if my company wasn't doing what they did, well I wouldn’t be able to. Well I could, but it would be hard because it's expensive. 
Derek:    It definitely gets crazy. So in your opinion, and this is an opinion, is it okay to engage talent at their workplace? 
Dean:    Okay. Can we be more specific? Do you mean…. 
Derek:    You've used all the fancy tools. You have younger Boolean strings and you're done all this and all you can really find for this individual, his contact information. I know you can pull people off of indeed, for example, you don't get their contact info so you go run , you run an ENGAGED Talent search or something like that. The only thing that anybody can ever come up with rep technically at that point is just a work email. 
Dean:    For me anyway okay, we’ll just stay on the work email, I won't get into any of the higher level details. I have no problem with it, but to me it's about messaging. If you're going to try to send them and say hey my name is this and I work here and I want to talk to you about job then no, of course not only does it not work. That's not the email you should be sending. You gotta be a little more covert than that. Hi, my name is Dean. I saw your profile on Facebook. I saw you're a comic book collector. So am I but make sure you are because trust me, they will figure out you're not, you're lying. I'd love to talk to you a little bit about it. Now in my case, they're gonna check me out on Facebook and they're going to notice that I am a member of the Nova Facebook group. Nova is a Marvel comic book character. 
    So he's going to say or she, okay, let's talk. Obviously he is and we'll talk and eventually we'll get into other things and eventually I'll recruit them and eventually I'll get him hired. Now I know for a fact that that could work because I did it back at Microsoft days. That's how I hired a security person. The only person in America that we could afford that had the skills one, nobody could get ahold of them getting to talk to them. That's how I did it. So I know it works and I ended up emailing him at work because it's the only email we had. And back then we had none of these tools. Matter of fact, if I remember correctly, back then, Linkedin wasn't even alive. I don't think I've heard of at that point and the only reason why I found that he liked comics because I happen to see a list of a list at a comicon and there was a forum and I happened to see his exact name there and I thought, wow, that's kind of interesting. 
    And then I decided to go to what was supposed to be a small comic, get together where he was supposedly there and I knew what he looked like and he was there. I'm like, okay, I got, I don't know what I'm doing now. And that's how I did it. It worked. So, if you're going to go to contact at work, you've got to be covert and you've got to be smart and you got to be engaged, you've got to be personalized. It's that simple. And if you don't have time for that, well then you really shouldn't. One, don't contact them at work, move on to somebody else too. Get a new job, right? 
Dean:    Because I know somebody who used to work at the company I worked at who used LinkedIn pretty much exclusively. He would send out thousands of InMails. His response rate was about 10 percent. How he didn't get kicked off, I'll never know. Okay. But the 10 percent response rate, he was able to convert a decent amount of them. Now he gave us a bad reputation, which we took care of. But he was able to convert some of them. You know, so for me to contact somebody at their work email, I'll have to have tried everything else, which means if they're not on LinkedIn, so I can't InMail, if they’re not on Facebook, I can't connect. I mean literally I'll try everything. Work email is my last resort, but I'm not afraid to do it. 
Derek:    Speaking of LinkedIn, I’ve noticed in some of the groups that you and I are both on, the Sourcecon challenge is going on right now up online and live. The Sourcecon challenge is live and a number of people it seems are complaining that they're getting kicked off or they're getting locked out of LinkedIn more so now than ever. And these are some people that are pretty smart cookies that, you know, I know they know how to, to, to kind of get around that. Is this becoming, in your opinion, and I know you’re out there with the tools and everything else, do you see this as, going to be a more standard reaction from Microsoft and LinkedIn? 
Dean:    Well first of all, I think the biggest issue with these people getting kicked off is that they're misusing….they’re not playing within the rules. And what I mean by this or they're not controlling the rules either way. You want to go out. So I'll give you an example what I mean. In order to use LinkedIn, and use tools with LinkedIn, there are certain things you have, you have to understand. First of all, what is their user agreement? User agreement one is you can't a mess with their UI. So if you have an extension that works in any way on top of their UI, I'll give you an example because this is the one that's getting people in the most trouble is Discoverly, it actually puts a green silhouette right in the right on the profile that breaks their rules. Now, if they did that same thing, but it was in the white space to the left or right, they wouldn't, that wouldn't be an issue anymore. But they actually put it right on there and the last four people on Facebook who said they got kicked out, it ended up being Discoverly. In fact, LinkedIn contacted them and told them that it was Discoverly, which I thought was pretty cool because I remember back they wasn't used to tell you. They just said it was an extension. Figure it out. 
Number two, there's certain rules you got to keep in mind, and I'm going to say this, knowing that means LinkedIn’s going to ahold of this and probably figure something out, but some of the rules I'm going to talk about a really common sense so it wouldn't matter. Number one, if an extension requires permissions from LinkedIn to work, there's potential for a problem. And if you're going to use it, given us permission to use it, and before you get out of LinkedIn, revoke its permissions. The reason is if you've given it permission, that means it could stay doing stuff within LinkedIn when you're not paying attention. And if you go over so many views a week they can give you, can suspend you for that. What that number is seems to vary. I tend to stay around 500. That seems to be a number that safe. So far anyway. 
    So that's number one. Number two, people stay signed into LinkedIn. Which means if they're signed into LinkedIn, they're using extensions. That means they're signed in via Chrome, which means all of those extensions can still be working in the background with it. But more importantly, that means LinkedIn can monitor you. Sign out. I don't stay signed it, I signed, I signed in and out. My phone tells me when I get mail. And then because it's in mobile app, it has no bearing on Chrome, Chrome extensions where me being signed just because I'm signed on my phone, I still have to sign in on Chrome on my desktop so they're there until they're not, you know, they're not in sync totally. So that means if I get something I can do that on my phone. I don't need to hope up there. The only time I signed into LinkedIn is when I have something I have to do and then I sign in, do what I gotta do. I sign out. 
Dean:    Those  are things you can do to keep yourself out of trouble. But, the last few people, it's because of Discoverly. A couple of people for that. Well, I viewed something like 1200 people this week. I go, well, that's why you got kicked out. You’re not allowed to view that many.  I was using….Oh, I scraped LinkedIn. I go, what? I scraped LinkedIn. Okay. I don't care how you did. My first question for you is how long were you scraping LinkedIn for? Oh, about an hour or two. I go an hour or two. How fast did you move from one profile to another? Oh, a second or two. I go, let me explain something to no human can go from one profile to another in two or three seconds and they know that. Pay attention. I have a whole list and I'm willing to share if somebody emails me.. 
I don't want to talk about it here because like I said, LinkedIn will probably hear it in. There used to be a way where you could see the old list view and somebody was dumb enough, put it up on Facebook and sure enough LinkedIn stopped. So I don't want to say these secrets because LinkedIn will just stop them or find a way around them. But if you want to know how to stay in LinkedIn jail, I gotta list. There's only about six or seven things you got to do that will keep you out of LinkedIn jail. The thing to remember is the nefarious LinkedIn, a chrome extension. It tells you all these extensions. That's not the extension you can't use. Hell, some of them don't even exist anymore. It's extensions that they are keeping an eye on should they ever change and violate any agreement. Right now most, not all of them, but probably 85 percent of them don't. Later on down the road. You never know. 
Derek:    Hey kids, if you really want the list, just buy Dean’s book. Everything’s in there. It’s a great book. Great read. Take it from me, I was the editor and there's even a little something from me in there as well for you. Dean, thanks again for coming on board, man. I look forward to seeing you real soon. 
Dean:    Yeah. Like, uh, tomorrow? 
Derek:    Alright guys. Thanks for listening and have a great one. Take care now.

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