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HOW TO RECRUIT
PURPLE SQUIRRELS,
INNOVATORS AND
PIONEERS
Feb 6, 2013
© Dr John Sullivan
1www.drjohnsullivan.com
2
Dr Sullivan’s background
• 40 + years in HR
• Former Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies,
the HP spinoff with 43,000 ee’s
• Fast Company Magazine called him the “Michael
Jordan of Recruiting”
• Staffing.org called him “the father of HR Metrics”
• SHRM called him “One of the industries most
respected strategists”
• Selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers”
• Authored more than 900 articles and 10 books
• Currently he is a Professor of Management
• Advised over 175 firms on all 6 continents >
3
The global reach of Dr Sullivan
Work Published in 43 Countries
Publicly Presented/Advised in 27 Countries
I Have Spoken On All 6 Continents
High-tech Consumer products Others
1. Adobe
2. Agilent technologies
3. AOL
4. Apple
5. Cisco
6. Compaq
7. Dell
8. Ericsson
9. Facebook
10. Google
11. HP
12. Intel
13. KLA-Tencor
14. Microsoft
15. National Semiconductor
16. Nokia
17. Oracle
18. Pac Tel
19. PeopleSoft
20. Qualcomm
21. Siemens
22. Sprint
23. SUN
24. Symantec
25. Yahoo
26. 3M
27. BMW
28. Carlson Companies
29. Choice hotels
30. Coors
31. Cox Communications
32. DrPepper/ Snapple
33. Emirate Airlines
34. Fairmont Hotels
35. GAP
36. General Mills
37. Macy’s West
38. Marriott
39. McDonald’s
40. MGM Grand
41. Nestlé & Nestle Purina
42. NIKE
43. Pepsi
44. Quaker Oats
45. SC Johnson
46. Sodexo
47. Starbucks
48. Whirlpool
49. WL Gore
50. Wegman’s Food
51. Abbott labs
52. Bank of America
53. Charles Schwab
54. Catholic Healthcare West
55. Chevron
56. Dow Corning
57. E&Y
58. CUNA Mutual
59. Fidelity Investments
60. Deloitte consulting
61. GE
62. J.P. Morgan
63. Johnson &Johnson
64. KPMG
65. Genentech
66. Lockheed Martin
67. McKinsey and Company
68. Monsanto
69. Morgan Stanley
70. Merrill Lynch
71. Pfizer
72. Raytheon
73. Stanford hospital
74. Transamerica
75. Vanguard
5
• To make you think
• To have some fun
• To show you how to successfully
recruit Purple Squirrels
• To give you a handful of things to
add to your “I’ll try that” list
• To answer your questions
My 5 goals for today
6
• What is a purple squirrel?
• Why are Purple Squirrels becoming
a high priority?
• Are they worth all the effort?
• The benchmark firms
• Why existing recruiting approaches
won’t work
• The available strategies
• The 10 key steps for recruiting
Purple Squirrels
Topic areas we will cover
7
Introduction
Part I
Do some firms in the media and information space
have more productive employees?
A comparison of employee output estimates
(rev. per employee)
Pearson PLC $141,181
Thompson Reuters $222,400
Yahoo $352,100
Bloomberg L.P. $538, 462
Google $931,600
(Calculated using 2013 data from http:// www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=apple+revenue+per+employee ) 8
9
A quick definition of a purple squirrel
A rare individual (less than 1% of all employees in a field)
who is highly sought after because they are capable
of bringing a major breakthrough to a firm…
because they have a successful track record of
producing innovations that created a measurable
ROI of at least 10X that of the average employee…
These innovators go by a variety of names including:
Purple Squirrels (Google)
Pioneers (Facebook)
Game changers (GE)
Disruptors (Intel)
10
The most noted purple squirrel
Tony Fadell conceived of the concept of the iPod
MP3 player… and he was recruited away from
Philips to Apple, where he made them billions
11
The business case for recruiting and
retaining Purple Squirrels
Part II
12
You hire Purple Squirrels… because of their ROI
13
Why you should prioritize recruiting
Purple Squirrels
1.Innovation is replacing productivity as the #1
corporate goal (as a result of the success of the Apple approach)
2.Technology superiority is becoming essential in
every industry and at every firm
3.A purple squirrel’s areas of expertise are critical
to dominance in the marketplace (i.e. product
development, mathematics, the monetization of
products/services, marketing, SM and technology)
4.Their economic impact and ROI are so great…
that they will measurably impact company
products/services and revenue within 18 months
14
Why should you prioritize Purple Squirrels?
5. The impact of innovators (that are mid-level in
the organization) is becoming greater than the
impact of many executives
6. Adding Purple Squirrels to your workforce will
instantly improve your employer brand image
and the likelihood of attracting other top talent
15
Some firms have already calculated
the performance differential of
Purple Squirrels
Why should you prioritize Purple Squirrels?
The performance differential for Purple Squirrels
16
A “star” is worth 5-10
average performers.
Jack Welch
while at GE
The performance differential for Purple Squirrels
17
“The difference between the
average programmer and a
great one”… it's at least 25
"The secret of my success is
that we have gone to
exceptional lengths to hire
the best people in the
world”. And when you're
in a field where the
dynamic range is 25 to 1,
boy, does it pay off."
Steve Jobs
while at Apple
The performance differential for Purple Squirrels
One top-notch engineer is
worth “300 times or
more… than the average
…
we would rather lose an
entire incoming class of
engineering graduates
than one exceptional
technologist.”
18
Alan Eustace
Senior Vice President,
Engineering and
Research
The performance differential for Purple Squirrels
19
“One great programmer is
worth 1000 good
programmers.”
Bill Gates
Former
Chairman
Quote courtesy of AIRS
Is recruiting top performers worth the extra effort?
Acquired “engineers are
worth half a million to one
million”
What is your cost per hire…
compared to your value add?
(Pennies on the dollar)
20
Vaughan Smith
Director of Corporate
Development
21
Do you have data to prove…
which Talent Management function
has the highest impact on profit?
21
Let’s now answer that question…
Which HR function has the highest business impact?
(BCG)
22Source: BCG/WFPMA - From Capability to Profitability: Realizing the Value of People Management, 2012
Mid and lower impact HR functions
23
24
Are customers satisfied with recruiting’s work?
(Hackett group)
Source: Business Services Talent Management Performance Study - The Hackett group, 2012
TM functions Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Total % of
unhappy customers
1. Collaboration/
knowledge sharing
48% 31% 79%
2. Retention 38% 32% 70%
3. Learning & develop. 29% 40% 69%
4. WP and succession 31% 37% 68%
25
A focus on innovation
shows up on the bottom line
26
You must demonstrate the “value add” of
recruiting of top performers
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x/full
The remaining half of the bell curve
represents… the bottom performing ½
of all employees
Employee output
is in grey
This half of the bell curve
represents… the top
performing ½ of all
employees
27
Top performers produce an amazing
percentage of all output
This grey area to the left of the red arrow
represents the amount of output produced by the
top 5% of all employees (26%)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x/full
This small grey area represents the
amount of output produced by
the bottom performing ½ of employees
Around 5% cost
you $ (stay home)
Innovation shows up on the bottom line
What performance level are you targeting?
The DMV?
An average firm
IBM like
HP like
Facebook like
Microsoft like
Google like
Apple like
Which of these firms have the most / fewest
Purple Squirrels? 28
Do the firms with the most innovators dominate?
A comparison of employee output (rev. per employee)
Average $208,000
IBM $246,900 (22% above the average)
HP $354,800 (Nearly 1¾ times the average)
Microsoft $811,000 (Nearly 4 times the average)
Facebook $1,105,810 (5 ¾ times the average)
Google $1,209,000 (Nearly 6 times the average)
Apple $2,249,000 (Nearly 11 times the average)
Key learning - It takes 9.5 X more employees at
IBM… to produce the same revenue as Apple
(Calculated using 2012 data from http:// www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=apple+revenue+per+employee ) 29
Does innovation increase profit?
Dollars of profit per employee (Profit per labor $ spent is a better measure)
HP $14,949
IBM $37,057
Microsoft $259,378
Google $327,357
Apple $610,063
Key learning - it takes nearly 16X more employees
at IBM… and 40X more at HP to produce the same
profit as Apple
(Calculated using 2012 data from www.wolframalpha.com ) 30
OMG!doesn’t that make
you curious… as to
what causes the
difference?
How to do your own PS dollar impact calculations
31
 Work with the CFO… (the King of metrics
calculations and credibility)
 Identify jobs where the performance is already
calculated for each individual (i.e. sales jobs,
programmers, customer service, call centers etc.)
 Calculate the percentage differential between the
average performer and the top performer in the
same job family
 Multiply that % increase by the average rev. per
employee… to get the $ impact of a purple squirrel
 Have senior managers provide their own estimates
 Use the final agreed upon % of performance
differential to extrapolate to other jobs
32
The benchmark firms
to learn from
Part III
33
Benchmark firms
Google
Facebook
Apple
Zynga
Microsoft
Zappos
Sodexho
Nike
Miami Heat / New York Yankees
Major entertainment/music firms
34
Why existing recruiting approaches
don’t work on Purple Squirrels
Part IV
35
From a recruiting perspective…
10 ways in which Purple Squirrels are different
1. Even though they are rare individuals (less than
1% of the workforce), they can easily be
identified because of their past high impact work
2. They must be fought for… because they already
have a good job, their boss will fight to keep them
and they constantly receive “anytime you’re ready”
job opportunities
3. Rather than perks and even money… you must
realize that their primary motivator is “the
work” and the opportunity to do the best and most
challenging and impactful work of their life (Apple)
36
10 ways in which Purple Squirrels are different
4.They are “super passive” prospects... that cannot
be successfully recruited or even contacted using
traditional methods
5.They realize their value and power, so they will
expect special treatment and a great candidate
experience during recruiting and after being hired
6.If they don’t experience innovation during the
recruiting process, they will assume it doesn’t
exist at the firm… and they will drop out
7.Offering remote work is a necessary option
because Purple Squirrels expect “the work” to shift
to… where they want to work
37
Using video interview tech might impress them
Initial interviews are now done live but remotely
using a web cam
Firms that have used it include: Zappos, HP,
Microsoft, Google, Whirlpool, E*TRADE ,
PepsiCo, Wal-Mart and Starbucks
It now has an app for iPhone interviews
38
10 ways in which Purple Squirrels are different
8. Skill assessment becomes secondary because
they have a successful track record of
implementing innovation that is… pioneering,
game changing or disruptive
9. Because they probably already have a
personalized job and work environment, you must
be willing to offer at least the same level of
personalization (their “dream job”)
10.A longer-term relationship and understanding
their “job acceptance criteria” are both
required before you can even discuss a career
opportunity
39
Select a recruiting strategy
for hiring Purple Squirrels
Part V
40
Select a recruiting strategy for Purple Squirrels
Six recruiting strategies for Purple Squirrels
1. A recruiting culture / referral based strategy
2. An employer branding strategy
3. A direct poaching strategy
4. A senior executive recruiting strategy
5. A talent community strategy
6. An involve them in your work strategy
41
Select an overall recruiting strategy
A recruiting culture / referral based strategy
Basic premise – employee contacts with Purple
Squirrels may be numerous. Employees in the same
profession are more credible and they can better sell
the experience that “they live”.
Benchmark firms
Facebook - Employees are experts on social media
Google – “Great people know great people”
AmTrust bank - Referrals can exceed 70%
Agilent - Offered a referral bounty on key targets
42
Use the right source to get quality hires
Source effectiveness /quality of hire
1. Employee referrals
2. Large job boards
3. Niche job boards
4. Temp to perm
5. Recruiters
6. Trade media
7. Staffing services
8. College recruiting
9. Career fairs
10. Co-op education
11. Mass media
12. Military
Source: staffing.org 2011
Source popularity Volume
1. Referrals 28.0%
2. Job boards 20.1%
3. Career site 9.8%
4. Recruiter initiated 9.1%
5. College 6.6%
6. Rehires 4.3%
7. Social media 3.5%
8. 3rd party 2.8%
9. Print 2.2%
10. Temp to hire 2.1%
11. Career fairs 1.9%
12. Walk-ins 0.8%
Source: CareerXroads 2012
43
Select an overall recruiting strategy
An employer branding strategy
Basic premise – getting “best place to work” and
“most admired” rankings and providing viral stories
can together become a powerful attractor.
Benchmark firms
Google, Wegmans, Genentech – #1 on the
Fortune great place to work list
Apple – #1 on the Fortune most admired list
Zappos - Stories and videos are easy to find
Some examples >
44
Consider a story book
Zappos publishes a book full of 300+ employee
written stories about what it’s like to work there
(Available on Amazon)
44
Their CEO also wrote a book… Delivering happiness
45
Employer branding is the only long term rec. tool
Make “finding the excitement” easy for outsiders
46
Branding requires story inventories
Microsoft “Spreadthelove” internal website
Their “Spreadthelove” website allows Microsoft
employees to "write up" their own individual
story about their career with Microsoft (their story
might include pictures, testimonials and video)
 Employees can then share the web link and
"spread the love" with targeted friends, family
and with potential Purple Squirrel referrals
47
Select an overall recruiting strategy
A direct poaching strategy
Basic premise – the best Purple Squirrels work at
major competitors. Poaching them away helps your
firm… while simultaneously hurting your
competitors.
Benchmark firms
Facebook
Apple
Zynga
Google some examples >
48
Aggressive poaching from top competitors
What firm has directly poached 22,676 hires from
Microsoft – 4,981
IBM – 4,480
HP - 2,580
Yahoo - 2,438
Oracle - 2,043
Accenture– 1,849
Cisco - 1,620
Intel - 1,367
Apple - 1,345
Sun - 1,340 48
The world’s only
recruiting machine
49
Aggressively e-mailing a competitor’s employees
Hi
I am a member of Microsoft's marketing staffing team…
I know a lot of people from Yahoo! have been reaching
out to us lately because they are nervous about the
pending layoffs…
You've read this far so you must be at least a bit intrigued
by what we may have to offer...
Global Central Sourcing Team, Microsoft >
We’re Hiring!
Silicon Alley Insider 1/08
49
50
Boldness is the “new normal”
Is this a subtle recruiting approach? 150 baskets
51
Free tacos attract resumes and the media
Tokbox parked a taco truck across from Yahoo's
12/10/08
52
Would this be an aggressive poaching?
EA vs. Radical entertainment (ASK-EE)
53
Select an overall recruiting strategy
A senior executive recruiting strategy
Basic premise – the CEO (and other senior
executives) needs to be the chief recruiter for Purple
Squirrels.
Benchmark firms
Facebook - Campus visits by the CEO
Apple – Direct CEO calls
Zynga - Private meetings
An example >
Convincing hard to sell candidates to say “yes”
Starbucks CEO calls
 I called CEO Jim Donald and asked him to help
close particular candidates that were critical
“Not only did he enjoy being asked, it sent a signal
to him as the CEO that “not everyone wants to
work at Starbucks …” Jason Warner
54
55
Select an overall recruiting strategy
A talent community strategy
Basic premise – building relationships over time…
based 100% on learning and best practice sharing
may be the only way to reach Purple Squirrels.
Benchmark firm
Microsoft An example >
Microsoft uses “talent communities” to assess and
build relationships over time
56
MS twitter communities:
• Music
• Zune
• Gaming
• Xbox live
• Xbox 360
• XNA
• Games for windows
• Microsoft game Studios
• Connected TV
• Mediaroom
• Specialized devices
• PC hardware
• Windows automotive
• MACBU
• Surface
• Hardware
• Windows media Center
• Communications
• Mobile
• Danger
57
Select an overall recruiting strategy
Involve them in your work strategy
Basic premise – getting them involved in your work
and your team… either as a consultant or a beta
tester, may be the best way to convince Purple
Squirrels.
Benchmark firms
Wells Fargo – Involve them in selection
Agilent Technologies – An invited open house
58
The 10 primary steps
for recruiting Purple Squirrels
Part VI
59
Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 1
Set your goals and develop a plan
Prioritize your jobs – determine which jobs would
absolutely require an innovator
Set your yield ratio – determine how many Purple
Squirrels must you target in order to hire one
Develop a recruiting plan – develop a unique plan
for each prospect
Assign accountability – assign both an executive
and a recruiter to each target
Set your recruiting budget - for each target
60
Step # 2
Implement a process for identifying your targets
Proactively ask top performers to make referrals
Utilize “names research” firms
Look for award winners
Look for conference speakers
Post advanced questions on technical forums
and question sites (i.e. Quora, Focus)
Ask during interviews “name the best innovators”
Use contests to find the best
Reward employees for providing names only
61
Some examples
Children’s hospital in Dallas
Pays $100… just for names in key jobs… even
if they are not hired (Must provide contact
information, they must be someone working in the field
and be interested in a new job)
25% of the names result in a hire
62
LinkedIn tools can find anyone
LinkedIn Recruiter
You can do polls, form groups and find anyone
63
Contests identify innovators
Experience has shown that… “applicants who fill
out the hiring challenge are the ones who are
talented and already have a job."
To qualify, engineers must first solve 3 practice
problems
Once a month, qualifiers face a one-minute
challenge problem… that is assessed by a Quixey
operator who is on the line
Every winner is automatically invited to
interview
6464
Talent pool targets over the next five years
This NFL team builds a talent pool by pre-
identifying the key players on other teams that it
wants to recruit away over the next five years
Source Lou Mantinelli BPI 2006
65
Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 3
Conduct your market research (behavioral profile)
Set up a “Google alert” on each target
Identify where they “hang out” (websites, social
media sites, video sites, forums, blogs, groups etc.)
Identify events that they attend
ID their favorite topics (personal and professional)
ID their preferred communications channels
A behavioral profile reveals where targets “hang out”
Would we find a purple squirrel?
66
67
Step # 4
Make your initial contact
Join the online groups that they are members of
(Personal and professional)
Friend them on Facebook, link with them on
LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter
Look them up at events and meet-ups
Read and complement them on their work
Ask a mutual friend to make an introduction
68
Amazon is bold and agressive
They placed information on their educational
reimbursement benefits on…
Their hope page!
69
Step # 5
Build your relationship over time
Build outside of work relationships
Ask them a technical question
Criticize their work
Ask them to review your work
Ask them for their predictions
Ask them to join your firm’s talent community
70Source: Whirlpool
____
71
Step # 6
Get to know them over time
Identify the factors that cause them to enter “job-
search mode”
Identify and monitor the factors that may cause
them to want to leave their current job
Identify their minimum job acceptance criteria
Identify their dream job criteria
72
Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 7
Identify the “right day” to discuss an opportunity
On most days, you would get a hard “no” from
purple squirrels… except on these “right days”
 A boss/ mentor/ best friend / CEO left
 Day of a merger or layoff
 Lost a promotion or a key project
 After their yearly bonus
 After their performance appraisal
 When their project is ending
 Their last child graduates
Mobile recruiting… the hard way
This firm drove a van around the neighborhood of
their “target” competitor (Blue Coat) when they
were in trouble… with this sign in order to enticed
their employees
73
74
“Right day” recruiting
175 sent out and 130 responded
75
Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 8
Influence the influencers
Identify who they will consult with before
making a major decision (i.e. spouses, colleagues,
references, mentors etc.)
Make a subtle sales pitch to each influencer
Two examples >
76
You must “influence the influencers”
Dear Mrs. Wallace.
You could be driving this
car if…
My wife told me to!
77
“Bring your parents to work” influences them
4,000 showed up
77
78
Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 9
Be able to move fast when they are available
 Assess their work over time on the Internet
 Assess them through friends and colleagues
 Open a “corporate resource” position for them
 Let them use a LinkedIn profile in lieu of a resume
 Prepare a personalized offer in advance that meets
each of their job acceptance criteria
 Be able to make a hiring decision in one day when
they become available
 Be prepared with a counter offer strategy
79
Purple Squirrel recruitingstep # 10
Include bold offer strategies & at least one WOW
 “Dream job”
 Hire them both
 Pick your own boss / team / project / location
 Exploding offers
Additional bold and aggressive
recruiting approaches to consider
80
Convincing hard to sell candidates to say “yes”
FirstMerit… skipped the interview and mailed
them an offer letter
81
Can you match this – Free beer for life
Hipster… offered $10,000, a lifetime supply of
Pabst Blue Ribbon, "authentic" skinny jeans, striped
bowties, and a pair of Buddy Holly glasses
82
83
Google attracts purple squirrel math majors
84
Would $20,000 get your attention?
DNAnexus offered a $20,000 referral bonus… plus
a free DNA screening for referring a new hire
Guess what the job was?
http://www.genomeweb.com/blog/interesting-referral-incentive
A software engineer
8585
Are you ready for this?
Individualized recruiting is here
They plastered her name on billboards, pizza boxes
and gas pumps -- and even aired a commercial on
MTV -- in hopes of getting her to enroll. As one
message put it: "We just hope you're on your way to
Wilkes University next year."
Mobile recruiting… the hard way
He also handed out business cards, cut out of
cardboard with their URL scrawled onto it in black
Sharpie pen. “Find me a programmer and we’ll buy
an island together,” he told interested programmers
86
Notice the intentional
mis-spelling
As time permits…
let’s go over any remaining questions
JohnS@sfsu.edu 87
Did I make you think?

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78 2 1 13 recruiting purple squirrels innovators for t r

  • 1. HOW TO RECRUIT PURPLE SQUIRRELS, INNOVATORS AND PIONEERS Feb 6, 2013 © Dr John Sullivan 1www.drjohnsullivan.com
  • 2. 2 Dr Sullivan’s background • 40 + years in HR • Former Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 ee’s • Fast Company Magazine called him the “Michael Jordan of Recruiting” • Staffing.org called him “the father of HR Metrics” • SHRM called him “One of the industries most respected strategists” • Selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” • Authored more than 900 articles and 10 books • Currently he is a Professor of Management • Advised over 175 firms on all 6 continents >
  • 3. 3 The global reach of Dr Sullivan Work Published in 43 Countries Publicly Presented/Advised in 27 Countries I Have Spoken On All 6 Continents
  • 4. High-tech Consumer products Others 1. Adobe 2. Agilent technologies 3. AOL 4. Apple 5. Cisco 6. Compaq 7. Dell 8. Ericsson 9. Facebook 10. Google 11. HP 12. Intel 13. KLA-Tencor 14. Microsoft 15. National Semiconductor 16. Nokia 17. Oracle 18. Pac Tel 19. PeopleSoft 20. Qualcomm 21. Siemens 22. Sprint 23. SUN 24. Symantec 25. Yahoo 26. 3M 27. BMW 28. Carlson Companies 29. Choice hotels 30. Coors 31. Cox Communications 32. DrPepper/ Snapple 33. Emirate Airlines 34. Fairmont Hotels 35. GAP 36. General Mills 37. Macy’s West 38. Marriott 39. McDonald’s 40. MGM Grand 41. Nestlé & Nestle Purina 42. NIKE 43. Pepsi 44. Quaker Oats 45. SC Johnson 46. Sodexo 47. Starbucks 48. Whirlpool 49. WL Gore 50. Wegman’s Food 51. Abbott labs 52. Bank of America 53. Charles Schwab 54. Catholic Healthcare West 55. Chevron 56. Dow Corning 57. E&Y 58. CUNA Mutual 59. Fidelity Investments 60. Deloitte consulting 61. GE 62. J.P. Morgan 63. Johnson &Johnson 64. KPMG 65. Genentech 66. Lockheed Martin 67. McKinsey and Company 68. Monsanto 69. Morgan Stanley 70. Merrill Lynch 71. Pfizer 72. Raytheon 73. Stanford hospital 74. Transamerica 75. Vanguard
  • 5. 5 • To make you think • To have some fun • To show you how to successfully recruit Purple Squirrels • To give you a handful of things to add to your “I’ll try that” list • To answer your questions My 5 goals for today
  • 6. 6 • What is a purple squirrel? • Why are Purple Squirrels becoming a high priority? • Are they worth all the effort? • The benchmark firms • Why existing recruiting approaches won’t work • The available strategies • The 10 key steps for recruiting Purple Squirrels Topic areas we will cover
  • 8. Do some firms in the media and information space have more productive employees? A comparison of employee output estimates (rev. per employee) Pearson PLC $141,181 Thompson Reuters $222,400 Yahoo $352,100 Bloomberg L.P. $538, 462 Google $931,600 (Calculated using 2013 data from http:// www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=apple+revenue+per+employee ) 8
  • 9. 9 A quick definition of a purple squirrel A rare individual (less than 1% of all employees in a field) who is highly sought after because they are capable of bringing a major breakthrough to a firm… because they have a successful track record of producing innovations that created a measurable ROI of at least 10X that of the average employee… These innovators go by a variety of names including: Purple Squirrels (Google) Pioneers (Facebook) Game changers (GE) Disruptors (Intel)
  • 10. 10 The most noted purple squirrel Tony Fadell conceived of the concept of the iPod MP3 player… and he was recruited away from Philips to Apple, where he made them billions
  • 11. 11 The business case for recruiting and retaining Purple Squirrels Part II
  • 12. 12 You hire Purple Squirrels… because of their ROI
  • 13. 13 Why you should prioritize recruiting Purple Squirrels 1.Innovation is replacing productivity as the #1 corporate goal (as a result of the success of the Apple approach) 2.Technology superiority is becoming essential in every industry and at every firm 3.A purple squirrel’s areas of expertise are critical to dominance in the marketplace (i.e. product development, mathematics, the monetization of products/services, marketing, SM and technology) 4.Their economic impact and ROI are so great… that they will measurably impact company products/services and revenue within 18 months
  • 14. 14 Why should you prioritize Purple Squirrels? 5. The impact of innovators (that are mid-level in the organization) is becoming greater than the impact of many executives 6. Adding Purple Squirrels to your workforce will instantly improve your employer brand image and the likelihood of attracting other top talent
  • 15. 15 Some firms have already calculated the performance differential of Purple Squirrels Why should you prioritize Purple Squirrels?
  • 16. The performance differential for Purple Squirrels 16 A “star” is worth 5-10 average performers. Jack Welch while at GE
  • 17. The performance differential for Purple Squirrels 17 “The difference between the average programmer and a great one”… it's at least 25 "The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world”. And when you're in a field where the dynamic range is 25 to 1, boy, does it pay off." Steve Jobs while at Apple
  • 18. The performance differential for Purple Squirrels One top-notch engineer is worth “300 times or more… than the average … we would rather lose an entire incoming class of engineering graduates than one exceptional technologist.” 18 Alan Eustace Senior Vice President, Engineering and Research
  • 19. The performance differential for Purple Squirrels 19 “One great programmer is worth 1000 good programmers.” Bill Gates Former Chairman Quote courtesy of AIRS
  • 20. Is recruiting top performers worth the extra effort? Acquired “engineers are worth half a million to one million” What is your cost per hire… compared to your value add? (Pennies on the dollar) 20 Vaughan Smith Director of Corporate Development
  • 21. 21 Do you have data to prove… which Talent Management function has the highest impact on profit? 21 Let’s now answer that question…
  • 22. Which HR function has the highest business impact? (BCG) 22Source: BCG/WFPMA - From Capability to Profitability: Realizing the Value of People Management, 2012
  • 23. Mid and lower impact HR functions 23
  • 24. 24 Are customers satisfied with recruiting’s work? (Hackett group) Source: Business Services Talent Management Performance Study - The Hackett group, 2012 TM functions Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Total % of unhappy customers 1. Collaboration/ knowledge sharing 48% 31% 79% 2. Retention 38% 32% 70% 3. Learning & develop. 29% 40% 69% 4. WP and succession 31% 37% 68%
  • 25. 25 A focus on innovation shows up on the bottom line
  • 26. 26 You must demonstrate the “value add” of recruiting of top performers http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x/full The remaining half of the bell curve represents… the bottom performing ½ of all employees Employee output is in grey This half of the bell curve represents… the top performing ½ of all employees
  • 27. 27 Top performers produce an amazing percentage of all output This grey area to the left of the red arrow represents the amount of output produced by the top 5% of all employees (26%) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x/full This small grey area represents the amount of output produced by the bottom performing ½ of employees Around 5% cost you $ (stay home)
  • 28. Innovation shows up on the bottom line What performance level are you targeting? The DMV? An average firm IBM like HP like Facebook like Microsoft like Google like Apple like Which of these firms have the most / fewest Purple Squirrels? 28
  • 29. Do the firms with the most innovators dominate? A comparison of employee output (rev. per employee) Average $208,000 IBM $246,900 (22% above the average) HP $354,800 (Nearly 1¾ times the average) Microsoft $811,000 (Nearly 4 times the average) Facebook $1,105,810 (5 ¾ times the average) Google $1,209,000 (Nearly 6 times the average) Apple $2,249,000 (Nearly 11 times the average) Key learning - It takes 9.5 X more employees at IBM… to produce the same revenue as Apple (Calculated using 2012 data from http:// www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=apple+revenue+per+employee ) 29
  • 30. Does innovation increase profit? Dollars of profit per employee (Profit per labor $ spent is a better measure) HP $14,949 IBM $37,057 Microsoft $259,378 Google $327,357 Apple $610,063 Key learning - it takes nearly 16X more employees at IBM… and 40X more at HP to produce the same profit as Apple (Calculated using 2012 data from www.wolframalpha.com ) 30 OMG!doesn’t that make you curious… as to what causes the difference?
  • 31. How to do your own PS dollar impact calculations 31  Work with the CFO… (the King of metrics calculations and credibility)  Identify jobs where the performance is already calculated for each individual (i.e. sales jobs, programmers, customer service, call centers etc.)  Calculate the percentage differential between the average performer and the top performer in the same job family  Multiply that % increase by the average rev. per employee… to get the $ impact of a purple squirrel  Have senior managers provide their own estimates  Use the final agreed upon % of performance differential to extrapolate to other jobs
  • 32. 32 The benchmark firms to learn from Part III
  • 34. 34 Why existing recruiting approaches don’t work on Purple Squirrels Part IV
  • 35. 35 From a recruiting perspective… 10 ways in which Purple Squirrels are different 1. Even though they are rare individuals (less than 1% of the workforce), they can easily be identified because of their past high impact work 2. They must be fought for… because they already have a good job, their boss will fight to keep them and they constantly receive “anytime you’re ready” job opportunities 3. Rather than perks and even money… you must realize that their primary motivator is “the work” and the opportunity to do the best and most challenging and impactful work of their life (Apple)
  • 36. 36 10 ways in which Purple Squirrels are different 4.They are “super passive” prospects... that cannot be successfully recruited or even contacted using traditional methods 5.They realize their value and power, so they will expect special treatment and a great candidate experience during recruiting and after being hired 6.If they don’t experience innovation during the recruiting process, they will assume it doesn’t exist at the firm… and they will drop out 7.Offering remote work is a necessary option because Purple Squirrels expect “the work” to shift to… where they want to work
  • 37. 37 Using video interview tech might impress them Initial interviews are now done live but remotely using a web cam Firms that have used it include: Zappos, HP, Microsoft, Google, Whirlpool, E*TRADE , PepsiCo, Wal-Mart and Starbucks It now has an app for iPhone interviews
  • 38. 38 10 ways in which Purple Squirrels are different 8. Skill assessment becomes secondary because they have a successful track record of implementing innovation that is… pioneering, game changing or disruptive 9. Because they probably already have a personalized job and work environment, you must be willing to offer at least the same level of personalization (their “dream job”) 10.A longer-term relationship and understanding their “job acceptance criteria” are both required before you can even discuss a career opportunity
  • 39. 39 Select a recruiting strategy for hiring Purple Squirrels Part V
  • 40. 40 Select a recruiting strategy for Purple Squirrels Six recruiting strategies for Purple Squirrels 1. A recruiting culture / referral based strategy 2. An employer branding strategy 3. A direct poaching strategy 4. A senior executive recruiting strategy 5. A talent community strategy 6. An involve them in your work strategy
  • 41. 41 Select an overall recruiting strategy A recruiting culture / referral based strategy Basic premise – employee contacts with Purple Squirrels may be numerous. Employees in the same profession are more credible and they can better sell the experience that “they live”. Benchmark firms Facebook - Employees are experts on social media Google – “Great people know great people” AmTrust bank - Referrals can exceed 70% Agilent - Offered a referral bounty on key targets
  • 42. 42 Use the right source to get quality hires Source effectiveness /quality of hire 1. Employee referrals 2. Large job boards 3. Niche job boards 4. Temp to perm 5. Recruiters 6. Trade media 7. Staffing services 8. College recruiting 9. Career fairs 10. Co-op education 11. Mass media 12. Military Source: staffing.org 2011 Source popularity Volume 1. Referrals 28.0% 2. Job boards 20.1% 3. Career site 9.8% 4. Recruiter initiated 9.1% 5. College 6.6% 6. Rehires 4.3% 7. Social media 3.5% 8. 3rd party 2.8% 9. Print 2.2% 10. Temp to hire 2.1% 11. Career fairs 1.9% 12. Walk-ins 0.8% Source: CareerXroads 2012
  • 43. 43 Select an overall recruiting strategy An employer branding strategy Basic premise – getting “best place to work” and “most admired” rankings and providing viral stories can together become a powerful attractor. Benchmark firms Google, Wegmans, Genentech – #1 on the Fortune great place to work list Apple – #1 on the Fortune most admired list Zappos - Stories and videos are easy to find Some examples >
  • 44. 44 Consider a story book Zappos publishes a book full of 300+ employee written stories about what it’s like to work there (Available on Amazon) 44 Their CEO also wrote a book… Delivering happiness
  • 45. 45 Employer branding is the only long term rec. tool Make “finding the excitement” easy for outsiders
  • 46. 46 Branding requires story inventories Microsoft “Spreadthelove” internal website Their “Spreadthelove” website allows Microsoft employees to "write up" their own individual story about their career with Microsoft (their story might include pictures, testimonials and video)  Employees can then share the web link and "spread the love" with targeted friends, family and with potential Purple Squirrel referrals
  • 47. 47 Select an overall recruiting strategy A direct poaching strategy Basic premise – the best Purple Squirrels work at major competitors. Poaching them away helps your firm… while simultaneously hurting your competitors. Benchmark firms Facebook Apple Zynga Google some examples >
  • 48. 48 Aggressive poaching from top competitors What firm has directly poached 22,676 hires from Microsoft – 4,981 IBM – 4,480 HP - 2,580 Yahoo - 2,438 Oracle - 2,043 Accenture– 1,849 Cisco - 1,620 Intel - 1,367 Apple - 1,345 Sun - 1,340 48 The world’s only recruiting machine
  • 49. 49 Aggressively e-mailing a competitor’s employees Hi I am a member of Microsoft's marketing staffing team… I know a lot of people from Yahoo! have been reaching out to us lately because they are nervous about the pending layoffs… You've read this far so you must be at least a bit intrigued by what we may have to offer... Global Central Sourcing Team, Microsoft > We’re Hiring! Silicon Alley Insider 1/08 49
  • 50. 50 Boldness is the “new normal” Is this a subtle recruiting approach? 150 baskets
  • 51. 51 Free tacos attract resumes and the media Tokbox parked a taco truck across from Yahoo's 12/10/08
  • 52. 52 Would this be an aggressive poaching? EA vs. Radical entertainment (ASK-EE)
  • 53. 53 Select an overall recruiting strategy A senior executive recruiting strategy Basic premise – the CEO (and other senior executives) needs to be the chief recruiter for Purple Squirrels. Benchmark firms Facebook - Campus visits by the CEO Apple – Direct CEO calls Zynga - Private meetings An example >
  • 54. Convincing hard to sell candidates to say “yes” Starbucks CEO calls  I called CEO Jim Donald and asked him to help close particular candidates that were critical “Not only did he enjoy being asked, it sent a signal to him as the CEO that “not everyone wants to work at Starbucks …” Jason Warner 54
  • 55. 55 Select an overall recruiting strategy A talent community strategy Basic premise – building relationships over time… based 100% on learning and best practice sharing may be the only way to reach Purple Squirrels. Benchmark firm Microsoft An example >
  • 56. Microsoft uses “talent communities” to assess and build relationships over time 56 MS twitter communities: • Music • Zune • Gaming • Xbox live • Xbox 360 • XNA • Games for windows • Microsoft game Studios • Connected TV • Mediaroom • Specialized devices • PC hardware • Windows automotive • MACBU • Surface • Hardware • Windows media Center • Communications • Mobile • Danger
  • 57. 57 Select an overall recruiting strategy Involve them in your work strategy Basic premise – getting them involved in your work and your team… either as a consultant or a beta tester, may be the best way to convince Purple Squirrels. Benchmark firms Wells Fargo – Involve them in selection Agilent Technologies – An invited open house
  • 58. 58 The 10 primary steps for recruiting Purple Squirrels Part VI
  • 59. 59 Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 1 Set your goals and develop a plan Prioritize your jobs – determine which jobs would absolutely require an innovator Set your yield ratio – determine how many Purple Squirrels must you target in order to hire one Develop a recruiting plan – develop a unique plan for each prospect Assign accountability – assign both an executive and a recruiter to each target Set your recruiting budget - for each target
  • 60. 60 Step # 2 Implement a process for identifying your targets Proactively ask top performers to make referrals Utilize “names research” firms Look for award winners Look for conference speakers Post advanced questions on technical forums and question sites (i.e. Quora, Focus) Ask during interviews “name the best innovators” Use contests to find the best Reward employees for providing names only
  • 61. 61 Some examples Children’s hospital in Dallas Pays $100… just for names in key jobs… even if they are not hired (Must provide contact information, they must be someone working in the field and be interested in a new job) 25% of the names result in a hire
  • 62. 62 LinkedIn tools can find anyone LinkedIn Recruiter You can do polls, form groups and find anyone
  • 63. 63 Contests identify innovators Experience has shown that… “applicants who fill out the hiring challenge are the ones who are talented and already have a job." To qualify, engineers must first solve 3 practice problems Once a month, qualifiers face a one-minute challenge problem… that is assessed by a Quixey operator who is on the line Every winner is automatically invited to interview
  • 64. 6464 Talent pool targets over the next five years This NFL team builds a talent pool by pre- identifying the key players on other teams that it wants to recruit away over the next five years Source Lou Mantinelli BPI 2006
  • 65. 65 Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 3 Conduct your market research (behavioral profile) Set up a “Google alert” on each target Identify where they “hang out” (websites, social media sites, video sites, forums, blogs, groups etc.) Identify events that they attend ID their favorite topics (personal and professional) ID their preferred communications channels
  • 66. A behavioral profile reveals where targets “hang out” Would we find a purple squirrel? 66
  • 67. 67 Step # 4 Make your initial contact Join the online groups that they are members of (Personal and professional) Friend them on Facebook, link with them on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter Look them up at events and meet-ups Read and complement them on their work Ask a mutual friend to make an introduction
  • 68. 68 Amazon is bold and agressive They placed information on their educational reimbursement benefits on… Their hope page!
  • 69. 69 Step # 5 Build your relationship over time Build outside of work relationships Ask them a technical question Criticize their work Ask them to review your work Ask them for their predictions Ask them to join your firm’s talent community
  • 71. 71 Step # 6 Get to know them over time Identify the factors that cause them to enter “job- search mode” Identify and monitor the factors that may cause them to want to leave their current job Identify their minimum job acceptance criteria Identify their dream job criteria
  • 72. 72 Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 7 Identify the “right day” to discuss an opportunity On most days, you would get a hard “no” from purple squirrels… except on these “right days”  A boss/ mentor/ best friend / CEO left  Day of a merger or layoff  Lost a promotion or a key project  After their yearly bonus  After their performance appraisal  When their project is ending  Their last child graduates
  • 73. Mobile recruiting… the hard way This firm drove a van around the neighborhood of their “target” competitor (Blue Coat) when they were in trouble… with this sign in order to enticed their employees 73
  • 74. 74 “Right day” recruiting 175 sent out and 130 responded
  • 75. 75 Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 8 Influence the influencers Identify who they will consult with before making a major decision (i.e. spouses, colleagues, references, mentors etc.) Make a subtle sales pitch to each influencer Two examples >
  • 76. 76 You must “influence the influencers” Dear Mrs. Wallace. You could be driving this car if… My wife told me to!
  • 77. 77 “Bring your parents to work” influences them 4,000 showed up 77
  • 78. 78 Purple Squirrel recruiting step # 9 Be able to move fast when they are available  Assess their work over time on the Internet  Assess them through friends and colleagues  Open a “corporate resource” position for them  Let them use a LinkedIn profile in lieu of a resume  Prepare a personalized offer in advance that meets each of their job acceptance criteria  Be able to make a hiring decision in one day when they become available  Be prepared with a counter offer strategy
  • 79. 79 Purple Squirrel recruitingstep # 10 Include bold offer strategies & at least one WOW  “Dream job”  Hire them both  Pick your own boss / team / project / location  Exploding offers
  • 80. Additional bold and aggressive recruiting approaches to consider 80
  • 81. Convincing hard to sell candidates to say “yes” FirstMerit… skipped the interview and mailed them an offer letter 81
  • 82. Can you match this – Free beer for life Hipster… offered $10,000, a lifetime supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon, "authentic" skinny jeans, striped bowties, and a pair of Buddy Holly glasses 82
  • 83. 83 Google attracts purple squirrel math majors
  • 84. 84 Would $20,000 get your attention? DNAnexus offered a $20,000 referral bonus… plus a free DNA screening for referring a new hire Guess what the job was? http://www.genomeweb.com/blog/interesting-referral-incentive A software engineer
  • 85. 8585 Are you ready for this? Individualized recruiting is here They plastered her name on billboards, pizza boxes and gas pumps -- and even aired a commercial on MTV -- in hopes of getting her to enroll. As one message put it: "We just hope you're on your way to Wilkes University next year."
  • 86. Mobile recruiting… the hard way He also handed out business cards, cut out of cardboard with their URL scrawled onto it in black Sharpie pen. “Find me a programmer and we’ll buy an island together,” he told interested programmers 86 Notice the intentional mis-spelling
  • 87. As time permits… let’s go over any remaining questions JohnS@sfsu.edu 87 Did I make you think?