INCONCEIVABLE

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We have a great summer tradition here in Denver, where Loxo is headquartered. It’s called “Movies on the Rocks” and Red Rocks, which is better known as a concert venue, turns into a large outdoor movie theatre for you and 9,449 of your closest friends. This past week’s event featured the fabulously campy cult classic, The Princess Bride. If the phrases “mahwwaige” and “twue wuv” aren’t echoing in your head right now, I just don’t know what to say (and you might want to stop reading…)!

But another classic phrase resonated with me this time — “INCONCEIVABLE!” The character Vizzini is the criminal “genius” and leader of the rag-tag Fezzik (yeah, André the Giant!) and Inigo Montoya (“you killed my father, prepare to die!!”). Vizzini repeatedly exclaims this as Wesley is successful in his pursuit of Vizzini, who has kidnapped Wesley’s love, Buttercup.

I realized this is actually the perfect analogy for what we (you and us here at Loxo) experience everyday as entrepreneurs and business owners. Vizzini is the status quo, all of those who look at you like you’re crazy when you explain your vision. Those who exclaim “INCONCEIVABLE” when you make your idea a reality. We love surprising and delighting clients. We live for those moments when they realize there is a better way to manage their recruiting business and workflows. We identify with Wesley — someone who recognizes that when you find someone/something you are passionate about, it’s not something you take lightly or give up on. You scale the Cliffs on Insanity in pursuit and you don’t let anything stop you. And while there may be a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved, it’s all worth it in the end.

Have you had many Vizzini’s in your career? How have you overcome them? And what was your favorite feeling in that moment when you reached your goal?

So work on that legacy and have a movie night if you need a little fun encouragement. If a 1987 movie can have a 97% Rotten Tomatoes critics’ approval 28 years later, imagine the impact you can have!

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Passion and Vision

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With all of the press surrounding the Google I/O (their annual developer conference), I came across an interview of Sundar Pichai on Verve (Pichai has taken over most day-to-day responsibilities from co-founder Larry Page). You may be thinking to yourself, “Google is cool, but why are you sharing it on a recruiting blog?” Fair enough — here’s what inspired me.

Entrepreneurship. You are either running your own desk or are a critical part of a larger team, you are entrepreneurs and business owners. You saw a gap in the market and knew you could fill it better. And while comparing yourself to Google may bring up like a gnat-on-an-elephant analogies in your mind, I always find it a great reminder that their leadership is driven by that same vision to fill a void, set back by Page and Brin when no one knew what Google was. As Pichai states, Google’s exists “to work on big problems that help solve big problems in users’ lives” and “drive technology as an equalizing force, as an enabler for everyone around the world.” WOW — I don’t know about you, but his passion and sense of purpose just jump off the screen to give me a mid-week inspiration boost!

Technology. Translating that vision into practical application means “giving people everywhere the power of Google’s machine learning whenever and wherever they need it” and “organizing the world’s information,” according to Pichai. Google has changed so much of what we do that the name is even used as a verb! From search, to ads, to Maps, to Drive and beyond — technology has changed how we do most anything in our lives, whether related to business or personal. Yet it is still only the tip of the iceberg, especially in the recruiting industry. We still operate using old databases, paper files, computer programs with a difficult user interface. Just like Google, recruiting needs the power of machine learning and organization of data. Wouldn’t it be great if our ATSs worked as intuitively as our iPhones, or were able to manage a job order as easily as we can manage our banks accounts from our phones, tablets and laptops without ever stepping foot in a physical branch? This is the gap our co-founders saw and are passionate about solving — increase efficiency and effectiveness through technology, both the user experience and the power of big data. But similar to Google, with that higher purpose of helping people achieve their greatest potential!

So, I’d encourage you — take 10 minutes out of your day for a little inspiration and thought-provocation. Are you delivering on your mission and are you ahead of the curve when it comes to empowering your business with technology?

Image Credit: Google

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Graduation Season

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Graduation season is upon us, with leagues of eager, wide-eyed twenty-one year olds ready to start their careers. This time of year always reminds me of the best career advice I got in my first job. After two years as a management consultant, I realized I was hitting a glass ceiling where the next step was to go back for an MBA. Taking a step back, I realized I needed to have more clarity about what I wanted to do post-MBA before dropping the cash and time on an MBA. This also meant it was time to look for a job that would help me gain said clarity.

I had one issue though — I didn’t know know my market value. I second guessed myself — I had a great paying job for my age, what am I thinking to enter the mid-2008 layoff-heavy job market!?! Thankfully, my mentor helped me identify this issue. It was a tough dose of reality, but he was right to point out that

“no one was going to care more about my career than I would

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and it was my responsibility to make sure I always had options.”

I needed to build relationships with recruiters and be in regular contact.

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I needed to keep my resume up-to-date at all times, to have a pulse on potential job opportunities.”

If I didn’t take control, I could be caught off guard by a layoff, restructure, or merger, be unprepared for a salary negotiation or not be able to walk away when my current role/company was no longer the right fit.

This advice greatly shaped my approach to my career and, I believe, enabled me to be open and proactive about my next career move. But I’m curious — what advice has shaped your career? How do you as a recruiter open the minds of potential candidates to the world of opportunities at their fingertips?

Interested in trying Loxo? Just click “Get Started” at the top of the page to get a demo and get ahead of the curve!

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What actually matters these days?

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I recently read this article on Forbes.com: Why Your Job Title Doesn’t Actually Matter. The author, Ryan Smith, accurately points out that “the best organizations know that too much hierarchy kills innovation” and highlights how leaders truly lead by doing, not by sitting and barking orders from the top. At Loxo, we strive to be on the cutting-edge of development both with our technology and our culture. But the end of the article left me puzzling two unaddressed questions as it applies to the recruiting business: 1) how do recruiters help move clients towards this new model of thinking, so they understand the quality of candidates being recommended and 2) how do recruiters better identify candidates who will lead through doing and have a material impact on a client’s business?

With regards to the first question, changing the culture of corporate America is like turning the Titanic. It’s going to take a long time and the smallest error can lead to disaster, which is the least desired outcome with an important client. We believe the ability to track, access and organize a candidate’s data will help you build a winning case for your recommendation. Rather than scouring post-it notes, old emails and spreadsheets, the nuances of your client’s verbiage and how best to communicate with them should be at your fingertips.

With regards to identifying better candidates, technology is the answer, but is only starting to have the revolutionary impact on the recruiting industry we’ve seen in other industries (hello, airbnb and Uber andSlack and and and). When faced with a vast candidate pool, recruiters need ways to quickly classify candidates and determine where to focus. Maybe a candidate’s prior title is indecipherable (Lead Marketing Specialist II, anyone?) and historically that resume has hit the trashcan for efficiency. But what if that was the perfect fit? At Loxo, we believe in the power of data and empowering recruiters with easy access to and ability to analyze the vast amount of data points available on a candidate.

As Smith points out, finding this new type of employee is how to “survive in this new era of business.” We agree — the goal is to ensure the recommended candidates are ones who will help the client succeed in today’s competitive marketplace and not just take up headcount. After all, happy clients turn into repeat clients and the ability to move beyond title and other surface-level candidate qualities helps create this virtuous cycle. And helping you do

Image Credit: Examiner.com

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Trendspotter: The Power of Candidates

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With economic growth on the upswing, there has been a shift in the dynamics of the company-recruiter-candidate relationship. Power has shifted from the companies and recruiters to the candidates. It’s pretty simple math — more jobs, more opportunities, more choice for elite candidates.

According to The Recruiter Sentiment Survey by the MRINetwork, 83 percent of the surveyed recruiters acknowledge this trend. But what are the implications and how do you adapt?

  • Recognize that top talent is busy kicking butt at their current job and needs your help to conduct a job search. You still have a ton of value to offer, you just need to help them understand how you can help them.
  • Increase your focus on passive candidates. Elite talent may be content in their current role, but are usually always open to hearing about an opportunity that helps them take their career to the next level.
  • Utilize the best tools like Loxo. Never miss another candidate hidden in your database again with Deep Database Search and Talent Mining.
  • FASTER! Elite talent is likely being courted by several companies. It is important to ensure cultural fit, but the days of taking 9 weeks and 6 rounds of interviews will only leave you in the dust. And be careful of the impression you are giving the candidate — if you can’t seem to make up your mind after a few rounds, they will certainly favor a company that has decisively shown interest and that the candidate is wanted.
  • Be holistic. Candidates today are about so much more than salary. Don’t forget all of the selling points of the opportunity — work/life balance, quick advancement, strong mentorship, ability to rotate and gain different skills within an organization, valuable benefits and retirement plans.
  • Invest time in relationships. When bombarded with multiple opportunities, it’s human nature to default to the people you trust, whom you know have your best interest at heart. Despite all the benefits of technology, don’t forget this is a people business its heart.

What else would you add? How have you adapted to this new dynamic?

Interested in trying Loxo? Just click “Get Started” at the top of the page to get a demo and get ahead of the curve!

Image Credit: Free Digital Photos

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What does LinkedIn see that no one else does?

One of my favorite tweets of all-time was by Chris Dixon:

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I found the witty tongue-in-cheek tweet by the former entrepreneur-turned-venture-capitalist to be a profound statement about disruptive innovation.

As a tech entrepreneur I have a keen appreciation for what Uber has accomplished by dramatically improving upon the way something had always been done, yet the reality of technological evolution changing an entire industry practically overnight needs to garner more awareness.

If you haven’t noticed, the Internet and wave of technology innovation is accelerating. I was first introduced to this idea and deeply fascinated by the concepts popularized by futurist Ray Kurzweil in Transcedent Man and Singularity. While some of his predictions seem unfathomable to many, I believe there is no doubt we are beginning to see what he proposed as the Law of Accelerating Returns

“technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.”

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This exciting technological age is already impacting the way we live and as we move forward it’s going to increasingly impact how we make a living.

The future workforce is going to look different than what it looks like today — dramatically different. Think we have a skills shortage now? Just wait until we get to 2020

We are a long way away from robots taking over the jobs that farmers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, real estate agents, marketers, sales reps, recruiters, administrators, and what every other profession does today, but we can no longer ignore the role technology is going to play and how that impacts career paths.

I’ve spent the last decade of my life working in technology startups. The majority of that time I’ve been studying the relationships between innovation, business models, professional development and many of the concepts in this post. I live and breathe this on the front lines every day in the HR Technology space while I’m talking to thousands of recruiting executives all across the country. Our team is so deeply immersed in this space; we could not be closer to the epicenter. It’s something I find fascinating, but also something I realize there isn’t a great deal of awareness about.

There is a riveting economic evolution building quietly under Main Street

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The middle class jobs are where the most disruption will occur

  • There will not be a single climactic event. The transition will take time, however it is well underway and the beginning stages are providing the most opportunity for career growth — particularly for those who can bridge the old world with the new.
  • The Internet has changed the game. Those who are most connected to the jobs and closest to the digital economy are going to be gaining the type of experience that has sustainable demand.
  • The Internet originally started out as a medium to communicate, entertain, consume and share content and it’s evolved to a point where web based technologies are embedded into the foundations across industry sectors and institutions. The next wave is going to go much deeper and start influencing how we do our daily jobs to a much larger degree.
  • The sheer velocity of this transition has not only created a talent shortage, but has caught traditional organizations off guard who are notoriously slow moving to adapt to change.
  • This is complicated. The majority of employers are struggling to understand what is actually happening. “Finding talent” is a top 3 priority for every organization, yet the scarcity in talent has more to do with our educational systems and professional training vs a lack of talented people.

If you want additional validation for how significant this shift is, take a moment to consider what the world’s leading professional site is doing with their largest acquisition in their history.

The real reason LinkedIn acquired Lynda

Linkedin’s CEO Jeff Weiner’s commented that it “fits the last piece of the puzzle.” What started out as a professional social network is morphing into a business that has visibility into the economic graph and the skills required to fill those roles. If our traditional educational systems were adequately preparing the workforce, do you think LinkedIn would have acquired Lynda for $1.5B and called it the final piece in the puzzle?

There are three core factors contributing to the underlying problem:

  1. Organizations aren’t adapting fast enough
  2. The skills required for the future aren’t being taught in today’s educational systems
  3. The delta between education costs vs the ROI of that education is getting too far out of balance

Mark Cuban has been outspoken in the past about the ROI of a college education and perhaps it’s time to take heed of his advice for those individuals and organizations considering where to invest in their future.

When you add these three factors together on top of the fact that student loans are now the second largest source of consumer debt it becomes more clear that LinkedIn is acting on the same type of market dynamics that helped Uber reshape transportation.

The technology age and law of accelerating returns are here to stay. Regardless of what field you are in, it’s time to start considering how that might change your career choices and approach to continuous learning or risk becoming obsolete, as stated recently by Josh Bersin. Those who understand and embrace this reality of continual learning will see perhaps the most dynamic and exciting career trajectories over the coming decades.

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How are you building your employment brand?

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“Employment brand” is a popular buzzword these days. Fifty-six percent of 4,125 global talent leaders in 31 countries surveyed for LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends said they believe cultivating their employer brand is a top priority. We know a strong employment brand increases retention, employee engagement and productivity.

But the importance of employment brand does not just apply to your clients, it applies to you, whether you are just running your own desk or you are part of a small boutique.

Your brand is simply defined as people’s perception of your business. Every interaction with a client or candidate either helps build or hurts their perception: your emails, website, social media posts, phone interactions, status reports, and more.

You can instill confidence in clients and candidates (potential or actual) with a clear, consistent, professional delivery of your message. I’ve seen top executives derailed by the smallest details — an errant comma, a poorly worded sentence, a text-dense slide, a verbiage slip-up .

And let’s not forget about the power of a candidate in today’s environment — similar to clients, they are choosing which recruiters they want to work with. You want talented individuals to reach out to you first when considering their next job move. How great is it when a candidate comes to you or is always willing to take your call about a new opportunity instead of having to hunt for them?

What brand rules do we live by here at Loxo?

  • Remember our vision — “Loxo’s vision is to empower ambitious people to accelerate their career trajectory and achieve their greatest potential, so they are able to live life the way they want.” Wouldn’t that get your blood going and make you excited to go to work?
  • Be guided by our mission — “Loxo’s mission is to be the the most trusted, user-friendly software platform that intelligently matches talent to opportunities, enabling recruiters to achieve their greatest potential.” It’s clear to us what guides everything from our product decisions to customer interactions — building trust with customers, creating a tool that is easy for them to use and helping them achieve their goals!
  • Exemplify our values in all of our interactions — our email tone, blog post content, conduct on conference calls, these all need to reflect and reinforce what we stand for!
  • Pay attention to detail — This is “table stakes,” but is often overlooked. If we can’t take the time to check our work and take pride in our work, why would you believe we care about your business and your reputation?
  • Treat a client/candidate how you’d want to be treated — Frustrations always arise and mistakes happen in a today’s time-constrained, high-pressure work environment. But we value building trust and relationships, so we try to take a step back to remember we’re all human and focus on finding a solution.

Maybe you can’t quickly outline your ‘brand rules’ or there isn’t team consensus on your mission and vision. It’s ok — but take action! Investing the time upfront to know how you want to be perceived in the market will pay dividends on the back-end as clients and candidates willingly align themselves with you.

Image Credit: Managing Americans

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http://promo.loxo.co/texting?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image_CTAMillennials, Post-Millennials and Generation Z

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While I’ll admit I technically qualify as a Millennial, I will vigorously contend that there is a huge break in how candidates born in the 1990’s approach their careers.

For kids of the ’80s, cell phones were a novelty for emergency only, I learned about Google at university and Facebook was restricted to the Ivys during my collegiate years. In contrast, kids of the ’90s got their first iPod at 10 or younger, first iPhone at 13 or younger and may have no idea what Encyclopedia Britannica is because, uh there’s GOOGLE. Facebook is “kinda old school,” but hit them up on on “IG” (Instagram) or Snapchat. They are truly a digital-first generation: always connected with enormous amounts of (empowering) information at their fingertips (literally).

While these generational labels are hotly debated, it isn’t about making a positive or negative association. It is about acknowledging how different these candidates are and how recruiters need to adapt to successfully match them with the right opportunities.

A colleague shared a recent experience with me that highlights the challenge. She had a 23-year old on her team who was very bright, ambitious and respectful. Yet after a meeting with an important client, she had to remind him to stay off his phone, pay attention and show respect during meetings. Puzzled, he look at her and stated he was paying attention, he was just using his phone to take notes. Shocked? We are used to people taking notes via pen and paper, but we automatically assuming that typing on one’s phone is texting or Facebooking, not using Evernote to store their notes in the cloud.

Maybe you’d rather just not work with this segment of the market? Well, U.S. Census Bureau data states that 3.4 million people will turn 65 in 2015, the common age of retirement, and the next generation has to help fill that void.

So what are some strategies to bridge the generational gap?

  • Don’t play the age card. Emphasizing your differences only exacerbates them and jokes about age difference can come across as condescending.
  • Meet them where they are. Millennials are inherently social and on-the-go. They expect to be able to read and respond on their phone, not have to find a desktop to access a website or a job description. LinkedIn is the new resume, so invest time and money there. You also can find out more information about them from their social footprint than older candidates, so use this data to save yourself time and qualify them before reaching out.
  • Focus on the total opportunity. It’s not just about salary and title. Millennials want a role where they can immediately contribute, are seen as having value (not just another cog in the wheel) and have upward mobility. They value work/life balance and the total employee experience (e.g. modern offices, perks, flexibility).
  • Acknowledge their candidate-driven perspective. Call it the “me me me” generation, but these candidates grew up in an era of positive economic growth (no depression era mindset of being thankful to have a job) and have access to a ton of information (even if the reality of Google is slightly different than the movie “The Internship”). They want the best and won’t accept being treated like the bottom of the pile strictly because of their age.
  • Adapt to the candidate-driven market. With the growth in employment, there are lots of opportunities and millennials are not shy about looking at multiple opportunities and choosing what they believe is best for them.

None of this diminishes the importance of evaluating their strength as a candidate, but a slightly tailored approach will help you find the best of the best, regardless of age. What have you found most effective in placing millenial candidates?

Interested in trying Loxo? Just click “Get Started” at the top of the page to get a demo and get ahead of the curve!

Image Credit: Time

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Link ❤

Here’s our round-up of what our owl spied this week while scouring the interwebs. Have anything to add? Comment or tweet us @lox_o!

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Do recruiters dislike being approached on LinkedIn or Facebook by a Candidate?: An interesting perspective on how candidates should and should not try to connect with recruiters. What’s your style? How often do quality candidates reach out to you versus you to them?

Mistakes Inexperienced Managers Make: While some of these may seem like common sense, this is a great list to keep you focused and not get too caught up in the day to day. Managers need to be engaged in recruiting and hiring to keep the quality of their teams high.

Are You Ready to Become Obsolete?: Great reminders about the need to adapt in our world of continuous reinvention. How are you adapting to today’s recruiting trends? At Loxo, we’re passionate about how technology can enable recruiters to fulfill their greatest potential while helping candidates find a career they love.

How to Make Your Employer Brand Shine and Attract the Best Talent: It’s hard to overstate the value of employment brand in this era of transparency and information. Are your clients doing all they can to put their best foot forward and attract talent? How are you helping bridge the gap?

i.c. Stars Partners With Recruiting Firms to Help Low-Income Chicagoans Land Tech Jobs: We love sharing stories about others who have a similar mission to ours: helping people achieve their greatest potential. Read and smile today, and think about how we can all have an impact in our communities.

Image Credit: Fortune

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Ninja Day!

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Wednesday is Administrative Professionals’ Day. While this is sometimes a discrete position, I find most recruiters’ responsibilities include a chunk devoted to these types of tasks. This is in a competitive marketplace; running your own desks or as part of a small boutique team, you need to be do-it-all ninjas.

I don’t know about you, but that last frame in the image above definitely sums up how I feel trying to take care of the data and tracking side of this business. Spreadsheets galore, intricate Post-It note systems, clunky software that feels like the functionality hasn’t been updated since the days of hair bands. If my iPhone works so simply and intuitively, why can’t my ATS?

This was one of the frustrations turned inspirations of our founder, Matt. Netflix revolutionized how we search content by using simple visual tiles that people instantly recognized. Steve Jobs brought Apple back from the brink with an insane focus on simplicity (as humorously contrasted to Microsoft here). In the same vein, Loxo’s mission became “to be the most trusted, user-friendly software platform that intelligently matches talent to opportunities, enabling recruiters to achieve their greatest potential.”

What impact does this have on your day-to-day activities? Think of Loxo as your intelligent assistant who simplifies the data and administrative side of applicant tracking, allowing you to focus on your passion — helping people find their ideal next career opportunity.

How do we do this? For starters, being the most innovative and easiest to use technology platform in the marketplace is embedded deep in our DNA; that’s paramount to keeping our organization focused on making you significantly more successful. We also went through (and continue to go through) extensive customer development cycles, paying attention to every last detail and designing to meet your needs. For example, a streamlined workflow and 1-click speed features enable you to interchange all day long with almost zero data entry. Helping you build talent pipelines and engage more high qualified candidates than ever before.

So on this day, I think you owe it to yourself to check out what tools you can leverage to make your more successful and treat yourself and anyone else who helps you with this thankless, but critical part of running your business. And please share what tools you can’t live without or your “wish list,” so we can keep improving Loxo!

Interested in seeing how Loxo can become your intelligent assistant? Just click “Get Started” at the top of the page to get a demo and get ahead of the curve!

Image Credits: Know Your Meme

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