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My name is Chris Russell and I'm an HR freelancer.  I've been on my own since 2016 when I left my last corporate recruiting position. Actually I was fired. It was the first time that ever happened to me.  So called "management" was harassing me daily about small things that didn't matter, and I could tell they were looking for reasons to let me go. I had just finished a big ATS installation and apparently they thought they could live without me at that point. I had a starting salary in the $90s and they were notoriously cheap so I put two and two together. I was miserable anyway and ready to quit, so it turned out to be a blessing. Life is too short to work for assholes. Especially ones who didn't care about their employees. Today as I enter my fifth year as a freelancer I have multiple sources of income that range from advertising revenue, to clients, to ebooks and more. I consult for both sides of the hiring fence: Employers, HR tech vendors and Job boards. I have a successful podcast and webinar series , and I make a six figure income. It took me 4 years but I finally feel like a SUCCESSFUL freelancer. Being a freelancer in HR today means building a personal brand for yourself. The more you can show people how good you are at your craft the more clients you will get.  That's why I publish so much content. I write weekly, do a podcast, conduct webinars and speak on occasion. Do these  things consistently and your consulting practice will surely grow. It also means staying on top of industry trends, tools and tactics. My clients follow me because I share all this and more on a daily basis. Be a resource for your clients past, present and future! Time and persistence are on your side so keep grinding my freelance friends! View my profile
The rapid pace of technological change in the recruitment industry coupled with the resounding gong of the Fifth Industrial Revolution has many organizations scrambling to make quick decisions to keep up. But fast decisions are not always the best decisions, especially considering the time, costs and change management required to effectively launch a new technology and its adoption organizationally.  Large Fortune 500 companies with hefty budgets can afford to make a poor recruitment technology decision/implementation here and there, but for small-mid sized companies, this can mean major financial impact.  To ensure a wise decision, it is critical to:  Identify a qualified person to lead the recruitment technology initiative within your organization  Task that person with a Needs Analysis of technology current state and desired future state You don’t have to have the expert in-house on all the technology options out there, but you do need to have one person dedicated to understanding the vision for recruitment technology for your business.  It is also critical to evaluate antiquated process that will have to change to accommodate new technology and develop a plan for ensuring that once a new technology is identified and procured, there is user adoption, measurement and evaluation. What should you consider in the Needs Analysis phase: What are the current tools in the toolbox? ATS/CRM Job Board – Postings and Resume Sourcing Social Networks – LinkedIn license Email marketing Videos Costs associated with those tools What is the ROI?   What is in scope – are their tools to remove and new tools to explore What is the desired state What new technology solution will move the organization from current state to desired state Set a timeline – what is the roadmap.   What ROI or metrics do you expect to see from technology in your future desired state I am a firm believer of not re-inventing the wheel and leveraging free resources wherever possible.  I have always been a fan of the many templates that Smartsheet offers for free, one of them being the Software Gap Analysis Template . This document will help guide the discovery phase as you review your current recruitment technology stack. Another critical piece is to survey your recruitment teams to better understand their pain points and where they see areas of opportunity as it relates to technology.  Having sat in every seat myself, from Sourcer to Manager, it has always surprised how much time leadership spends in hammering out processes that are quickly shortened by those who are working fast and furious to fill positions.  If you want to ensure you are making wise recruitment technology purchases, it just makes good sense to understand the true need of those in the trenches. Once you have your completed Needs Analysis and compiled survey results in hand, it’s time to begin the technology sourcing process.  Having sat through hundreds of demos in my career, don’t get sucked into the shiny object syndrome. Be sure to have multiple individuals on the demo for a well-rounded assessment.  It helps to go into the demos with specific questions, even having each attendee within your organization responsible for asking questions about specific areas of the technology. Ask the same questions of every vendor to get a true side-by side comparison of the tools.  Everyone claims that their tool is an “AI”, but they all have a different definition of what that means. Be sure you are very clear on what it is you want the tool to be able to accomplish and where the Recruiter fits into that.  There are some fantastic resources available to help you determine which tools you should demo based on your need. TalentTechLabs Ecosystem HRTech HRtechbook RecruiterHunt The impact of the recruitment technology evolution is moving fast, but don’t be afraid to slow down long enough to make a wise decision in moving your recruiting organization to the next level. Written by Angela Westfall Angela is a Talent Acquisition leader, with an eye toward the future of Talent Acquisition technology and its impact on the industry.  In her 17 year career, she has managed international recruitment teams and projects, configured and launched large scale recruitment technology solutions as well as designed and delivered a global e-learning curriculum on Advanced Candidate Sourcing techniques.  In her current role, she is responsible for providing thought leadership and project management for endevis, an Inc. 500 company, regarding its talent acquisition technology strategy.  
Michael Amiri, a talent executive from the Seattle area is up next in our spotlight series. Check out his full profile here . 1. What do you consider your top 3 skills as an HR freelancer? Recruiting & Talent Acquisition Team development, mentoring and management Employer branding and market intelligence 2. Describe two of your past projects/gigs you were hired for? Developing and managing end-to-end recruiting lifecycles plans to attract highly skilled candidates for domestic clients in several locations (Washington, DC, Seattle, WA and Tulsa, OK), including both technical and non-technical roles (Java, SaaS, Cloud, Database, Web Developer), and high priority and niche requisitions and identifying key personnel for selected assignment opportunities. In-process of developing a business plan to customized sourcing and talent acquisition strategies for early stage biotechnology company in Los Angeles, CA. Advised C-suite concerning Talent Acquisition initiatives in areas of relocation, compensation and pipeline strategies and then implemented new functions and processes from the ground up for second location in San Jose, CA as a part of new market expansion.  3. Which project from your past work are you most proud of? Built an executive search and staffing firm from the ground up to provide Human Resources, career-coaching and lifecycle recruiting support to startups, evolving small-mid-size organizations (1,000+), and  publicly traded companies growing their technology and support teams. Led recruitment strategy for new business development initiatives, provided competitive market intelligence, and brand-new recruiting strategy, resulted in winning two (2) largest contracts in history of InfoReliance ($178M+ value), and established recruiting strategy and processes for all programs in the company, increased number of hires by 400% (from 113 to 450+).  4. Do you believe the HR/recruiting industry is poised for more freelancers?  Because freelancers are a large and growing population, and offer unique advantages that otherwise would be underlooked and ignored. Global economy changed everything for companies around the world. Depending on the type of freelancers, companies have access to required expertise with much shorter startup time and more cost effective. Companies by mixing and matching talents can reach their goals under highly challenging circumstances.   5. What’s a fun fact you want people to know about you? That is a tough one- I always wanted to design and make my own car-I love car designs and all effort that would go to built one- I still have not done that! I also love to travel. I have traveled to more than 24 countries. I love to connect with people and learn about their culture, music, food and what we share together as human race. I love art, I have been taking classes in drawing and photography for several years. I think this would help me to be more expressive about my inner feelings.
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