Six Seconds That Cost You Dearly….

It’s one of the great statistics in recruiting…”Recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume.” According to The Ladders, 4.8 of those seconds are reviewing four areas; name, current position, current employer, and dates of employment. It seems like a ridiculous statement (how, exactly, does one measure this?), unless, of course, you’ve spent time as a recruiter dealing with a motherlode of resumes – then it seems like a pretty rationale estimation.

Bad recruiting? No, it’s more likely a matter of bad habits, bad systems, over-appropriation of requisitions, or some combination of the aforementioned. But here’s the kicker – this lack of attention is only committed to the resumes that are actually seen. There exists another great statistic in recruiting: 80% of submitted resumes are never even seen by a recruiter.

Think for a minute about the impact these two trends can have on the overall talent of your organization. If these statistics hold true, a recruiter averaging 1,000 resumes a week is scanning 200 of them for a total of 20 minutes spent reviewing the qualifications of l,000 candidates. That’s the price you pay for allowing “paper” (realizing most of these are viewed electronically on an ATS) to speak for people.

You know, part of the occupational residue of being a recruiter is to expect resumes to be perfectly constructed to get to the point quickly, be SEO optimized (redundancy alert, thank you), properly updated and ripe for Boolean search. That’s not necessarily the case for a great number of people; those who are heavily tenured, or those who might be first-time job “shoppers” may very well have a pretty dysfunctional resume. Chances are it matches a rather spare LinkedIn profile – a lot of us (guilty) exist in a social media bubble where we expect everyone to have a user-friendly format, . Careful, or you’ll end up hiring a great resume.

So that’s the situation, but what is the solution? Is there one solution? Doubtful. So what do you address first?

First, let’s talk about what you don’t want to do —- resist the urge to follow your initial reaction. Do NOT try to minimize your resumé flow. As a matter of fact, open the dikes.

Next week: “Riding the Avalanche

John Whitaker is Vice President, Talent Acquisition for DentalOne Partners. For more than 20 years he has built and developed high-powered recruiting teams focused on developing a competitive advantage via strategic Human Capital positioning, planning, and practices.   

Scattershooting…on Bosses Day

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Chris Rock…

Here, on the most awkward of “celebrated” office days, it seems appropriate to share my own reflections about becoming a “boss.” Being put in a people-manager position, like a lot of things, should also come with the warning of “careful what you wish for” ~ management status provides its own share of uncomfortable moments (like when your employees feel they have to give you a gift on “Bosses Day”) but there are more subtle lessons along the way that remind you: “You know you’re a boss when….”:

  • You actually have to remind yourself to make a distinction between “friendly” and “friends.” We’ve all had a boss (or two) that is a nightmare, but I’ve also had a couple that were bonafide friends – that’s a dicey situation, but you see more of the barriers being broken down as a younger generation enters the workplace….”You know you’re a boss” when you really begin to empathize with your own boss – a lot of us look at the elevated title, income, and status, but have no real reference for the other side of the coin; increased responsibility, increased accountability, increased blood pressure – most of which your direct reports never see (and are certainly uninterested in hearing about them)….You know you’re a boss when you come to terms with this fact that “yes, they probably ARE talking about you behind your back.” Did you really think you were this funny? Do you believe your ideas are always “brilliant!”? To make up for that nonsense, your directs probably throw a few darts at your face later in the evening. That’s what people do….
  • You know you’re a boss when your workday ends at 5pm, then kicks back up around 8pm.
  • You know you’re a boss when your role at the office Happy Hour changes – you’re there to fund, not necessarily to participate. You can’t afford to show your a** to the people who work for you, and yes – they are watching.
  • You know you’re a boss when (similar to parenthood) you find yourself saying things you swore would never come out of your mouth – i.e., “working remote is a privilege, not a right!
  • You know you’re a boss when some of your suspicions are proven true – bosses really do have favorites, and try as you might to maintain objectivity, your other direct reports can easily determine who the “favorites” are. It’s like being a Little League coach for your son/daughter’s team – you’re almost obligated to start treating your favorites with more scrutiny, lest you raise the ire of the rest of the team.

It ain’t easy being the boss. Your flaws become magnified, and many of your strengths from your previous role are innate – you find it hard to “teach” things that come naturally to you. There will be times of self-doubt and times where your workload seems overwhelming, but that’s the job you signed up for…so, on this day, let’s give the boss a break. Because starting Tuesday, it’s right back in the fire.

Energizing Employees for Better Performance

What exactly is “energy” – in the social or workplace sense?

There are a number of definitions and explanations, and perhaps this one gives us a good idea of what we are talking about:

“Energy is …a type of positive affective arousal, which people can experience as emotion (short responses to specific events), or mood – longer-lasting affective states that need not be a response to a specific event.”

The big question is, how do you attain that state of energy, in which people positively affect each other with their good moods, enthusiasm, and “can do” attitudes? Because there is no doubt that a happy, energized workplace is also a productive workplace.

According to research recently published by the American Psychology Association, energy is infectious whether positive or negative, and coworkers can infect each other either way. As Wayner Baker, one of the study’s investigators, put it in his article for the Harvard Business Review, “We ‘catch’ energy through our interactions with people.” This is called “relational energy”— and as the study concluded – it affects our performance at work.

This phenomenon can be understood well in other contexts too. Ask any stage actor how much better they perform when the audience is enthusiastic, responsive and energized. The vibe from a great audience flows across the footlights and positively infects the actors. The audience often feeds on it too.

The published study, entitled “Relational energy at work: Implications for job engagement and job performance,” cites energy as an emerging topic of importance to organizations.

And no wonder. There are people in the workplace who lift your spirits. They are energizing because they give off positive vibes, by seemingly loving their job or generally being in a good mood. Their vibe can be infectious, creating a positive and even a more inspiring atmosphere for those around them.

Similarly, an energizing boss, can help employees feel more engaged in their job, going so far as to create a sense of a personal stake in the outcome. The experience of relational energy created by a good leader can increase an individual’s motivation and desire to succeed which can translate into higher and better performance. The more people are energized both by what they do and each other, the higher their potential individual and cumulative performance as a team.

In the end, an energized workforce is a workforce that both understands and is committed to realizing its goals. That particular kind of energy is a vital organizational resource and asset; the trick is to engender and then harness it. Four examples come to mind as examples of ways organizations can encourage a culture of positive relational energy to help make that happen:

  1. Help employees foster high quality connections with like-minded colleagues through shared projects or challenges. These may or may not be directly related to their jobs.
  2. Create energizing corporate events with an explicit focus on creating energy, not just delivering content, products or services.
  3. Promote a “giver” culture. Helping someone at work creates energy in the form of positive emotions — the “warm glow” of helping. Receiving help creates energy in the form of gratitude.
  4. Organize high energy, team building events, that get the adrenalin pumping and allow people to have fun while working together. Being together doesn’t always have to be about the work.


Ultimately, the right kind of relational energy can help create an environment that makes work feel a little bit less like work, and more like a place employees are happy to be a part of. And as Baker puts it in the title of his article, “The more you energize your workers, the better everyone performs.” No doubt this benefits everyone.


Ido Rabiner is co-founder and CEO of Strayboots, a global provider of corporate team building events, workplace activities, and organized company outings. Strayboots helps customers increase employee engagement through customized mobile scavenger hunts designed to foster connections, improve performance and build trust. Strayboots hunts are used by more than 1000 organizations including Fortune 100 companies, city governments and businesses worldwide. To learn more about organizing your next team building event with Strayboots please visit