The Journey of an Ethical Recruiter with Mike Rasmussen

In this enlightening episode of The Sourcing School Podcast, the magnificent Mike Rasmussen joins the unstoppable duo Ryan Leary and Brian Fink. They embark on a journey through Mike’s recruitment adventures, from his days as a traditional corporate recruiter to his current role in the nonprofit sector.

Mike spills the beans on how he courageously switched industries to bravely face recruiting within a worldwide faith organization. He juggled an insane number of requisitions, yet mastered the art of prioritization like few seasoned recruiters could.

Brian can’t help but shower Mike with praise for his legendary LinkedIn presence, where he spreads wisdom and motivation like confetti at a party. Mike’s positivity is so infectious that it’s rumored to have cured even the most stubborn cases of the Mondays. And let’s not forget his uncanny ability to turn complex concepts into bite-sized pieces of recruitment information! He makes even the most bewildering ideas feel as simple as ordering a pizza.

But beyond the laughs, Mike’s genuine and relatable personality shines through. His attitude proves why he’s the epitome of an ethical and highly effective recruiter. His passion for making a positive impact is contagious, and his expertise has solidified his status as a revered figure in the industry. He continues to dazzle audiences with his thought-provoking keynote speeches, leaving everyone inspired and ready to conquer the recruitment world.

So, get ready for a wild ride with Mike Rasmussen: the maestro who turns sourcing into a symphony of success.

Listening Time: 23 minutes

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Mike Rasmussen
Senior Talent Advisor/Sr Recruiter and Sourcing Expert The Source and Recruit Company

Mike's main focus is his passion for Staffing/Recruitment which is his main HR discipline impact for most of his career.

In Mike's Staffing tenure he has been instrumental in 1500+ Placements which includes both Sourcing and Full Cycle Staffing projects with both Staffing Agency and Internal Corporate environments.


The Journey of an Ethical Recruiter: Mike Rasmussen

Brian Fink: [00:00:00] welcome to Sourcing School with Ryan Leary and Brian Fink. We are excited that you’re here with us. Thanks for tuning in. Ryan. How’s it going? You’ve been a traveling madman recently.

Ryan Leary: I have been traveling, man, it’s just been week after week. Latest one was With SHRM, we did some podcasting from the Accurate booth on the floor live, which was amazing. Dude, they had [00:01:00] 23,000 people. I.

Brian Fink: That’s incredible because when I think of the recruiting community, I think of events that are like 800 people or like yesterday’s HRTX, where we had 2300 people who were logged in all the same time collaborating around the proverbial campfire.

That’s a way to come to jettison pretty quickly into our conversation today about recruiting, about community, and about beginning with the end in mind. We are joined today by Mike Rasmussen, who is a practitioner who has 15 plus years of recruiting and HR experience.

Mike, welcome to the program. We are so blessed to have you. Thanks for joining us.

Michael Rasmussen: Yeah. Excited to be here.

Brian Fink: I wanna say that Mike was one of the first people that I met at one of the first source cons that I attended, and he just has this genuine glow about him. Has this persona that brings you in, makes you feel comfortable, and that may be why you’re one heck of a recruiter.

Ryan Leary: Be [00:02:00] before you praise his song too much. It looks like he only has a 4.95 rating out of five on DoorDash. So someone doesn’t think he’s glowing. What’s up with that dude?

Michael Rasmussen: Oh, it’s DoorDash. So it’s the side gigs, the side gig delivery gig. I do. So I also do gig work on the side. It’s a lot of fun. I do enjoy that work. You can pull in. 200, $400 and some days on the weekends. So it’s good. It helps. Yeah. Although my car’s going into the shop later, so we won’t talk about that. It’s gotta get the bumper fixed,

Ryan Leary: oh no. But it’s the 4.95 is not glowing. Think we gotta figure out why.

Brian Fink: Okay, so I think he’s a five star recruiter and I think that his actions across the board, whether it’s the thought leadership he provides on LinkedIn or the in-person leadership that he’s provided at different conferences, really speak to who he is as a [00:03:00] motivational individual and really taking big concepts and making them and not removing the nuance, but breaking ’em down so that everybody can enjoy enjoy that attitude and that shift and the positive momentum that he creates. And Mike, I wanna let you know I tried to channel some of that when I did my last keynote. So thank you for being an inspiration. I appreciate you.

Michael Rasmussen: Oh, you’re too kind. But you absolutely nailed that keynote out of the park, Brian. It was pretty inspiring. It was fun to be on the front row and watching you in your zone. I, we, I learned a lot from you.

Brian Fink: We’ll, talking about being in the zone, in the front row. Give us the front row seat.

Who’s Mike Rasmussen? I talked about the journey from ADP just a little bit like two seconds ago, but I don’t think I, I don’t think I gave it enough depth or breadth. Who’s Mike Rasmussen? What’s going on in his world?

Michael Rasmussen: So two years ago I made a critical choice that was a very unique choice to, to go from a traditional corporate recruiter into what [00:04:00] essentially was a nonprofit world at the Church of Jesus Christ, Latterday Saints.

Now they have a recruiting function, and that was probably one of the most unique moves I ever made. Just a lot of change. We’d just come out of Covid. My desk was literally 30 recs and I went from having 30 to 50 recs at the church at any given time and had to learn to prioritize and grow that way.

It was a good journey. I got international recruiting experience from that. In a worldwide faith organization. It was the most unique, one of the most unique roles I ever worked in. Worked on many different types of positions from facilities managers to, all the folks who have to manage the day to day at our, at the religious buildings.

And I’m making sure that. They’re clean and they’re, they serve the populations that they do. And land people natural resources people who work on helping with all sorts of [00:05:00] humanitarian relief is just such a unique position. I just never done anything like it before.

They even had tech roles, so across the board it was a busy. But then in, just recently here in January, I made the move to go to the source and recruit company. And that’s been a great experience. What a great team. They operate what’s known as a fractional recruiting model and fractional recruiting is essentially recruiting on demand.

You could describe it as r p o. We take on 10 hours of outbound recruiting for our clients and really focus in, we’re like the SWAT team that comes in when our clients need the extra help. And so we do have the traditional contingency model, where you give some of that.

But most of our clients are on the hourly where we’re their partner and we’re like working side by side with them. And I love that. It’s such a great thing. But yeah, we were talking about the end is where we begin.[00:06:00] I heard this crazy song which I love that it’s from a band called Thousand Foot Crutch.

And they just started playing that song and I, I don’t know why it stuck with me and it hit me. It’s been with me for the last year and I started pondering this concept over time. And then I just got the gumption to write up this article that you’re talking about, and it all just came out.

Sometimes that’s what happens with your best writing. You just start writing it and it just comes out you, so

Brian Fink: you know I agree with that. Like I try to. And people ask me about this is that I try to write every morning and I try to get 200 to 500 words out. And sometimes it ends up on LinkedIn, sometimes it ends up in the book that I’m working on or the books I’m working on.

Really to create that perspective. You touched on the transformation that you made from a d p to the church to now fractional recruiting. Where do It’s been a difficult five years for recruiters, like we’ve been up to the top of the [00:07:00] mountain and been able to touch the sky and been the most sought after role in, in according to LinkedIn and Indeed and all the other job boards.

And then now we’re in a funk, is that, with the crash of big tech there, there’ve been a lot of people who, I don’t wanna say that they’re hopeless, but they have lost hope. Mike? What would you say to help lift them up?

Michael Rasmussen: I think it’s a good question.

I think we, one thing that recruiters do really well for our, for others, They help them with their own careers, but then sometimes I think it’s because you’re taking care of everybody else. You forget about your own natural needs as a human being. So if there was one piece of advice I could give all recruiters is really just have self care often.

If you’re not doing that, you’re gonna get. Burned out. And I, I think that’s, the emotional rollercoaster that every [00:08:00] recruiter’s been on. Let’s just say it for what it is. Mental health is very important right now. And if you’re not taking care of that, you’re not gonna be an effective recruiter.

How can you evaluate candidates on a personal level and have conversations if you’re not your best self? And that’s just so important for what we do. We have to be, when we’re representing an opportunity, we have to be, have a good attitude. One of my, the other day, I’ll give you an example, I was I’m working on a tough search and my colleague he caught me and he goes, Hey Mike, be positive.

Even if the, the client has to see you in your best always. And that stuck with me. It’s almost this end is where we begin type of thing. It’s your own attitude, your own positive mental energy is gonna make a big difference. So for recruiters especially, keep working on yourself.

Going to conferences [00:09:00] like Source Con, going to the RecruitingDaily, H R T X even being online in webinars and interacting with other recruiters. Whether via social or other tools, you’re gonna lift yourself back into the game as a net result of. You being with other human beings that, that share your pain.

And you know what I found is when I went back to Source Con Dallas when I was sitting across the table from you, Brian I couldn’t help but see your positive energy and it was infectious. I, my favorite picture of that whole conference was the one I took of you helping other recruiters.

And they were all surrounding you. And I did that too. I was sitting at one of the round tables for high volume recruiting, which I know is a pain for a lot of recruiters and just sharing ideas and getting that out there and seeing them light bulbs go on with them and then they then interchanging ideas with me.

So the number one thing we can do [00:10:00] is serve each other. If there’s any one thing right now that we need more than any other time, if you’re laid off, if you’re struggling, serve other recruiters. Because what that’s gonna do is it’s gonna get your brand out there. It’s gonna help you be successful. It’s gonna help you feel in a better place.

Cuz if you’re into yourself and you’re in a, in a dark place where you’re not really being effective it goes back to that mental health that you have. We have to take care of ourselves. But in order to do that the first thing is to serve. We’re in a profession that serves and if you serve other recruiters, your game is gonna be better.

It’s just a net result of that. Mike,

Ryan Leary: I’ve got two, two questions for you here. One, one is around recruiting and what are some ways, in your opinion and I know we, we talked about this a lot, but. How can a [00:11:00] recruiter make sure that they’re staying focused? What are some best practices around that so that they’re staying focused and not falling down and not getting behind the eight ball and feeling like the world is crash coming crashing down on them.

And then secondly, I wanna jump into fractional recruiter. We talked about that a bit pre-show, and I wanna get your thoughts on more about fractional recruiting as

Michael Rasmussen: well. Yeah. So your first question how do you stay focused is really what I think you’re asking right.

Brian Fink: Yeah I think that’s what he’s asking.

But I also want to, I also want to, I think he’s piggybacking off of the need for positivity. Am I right there, Ry?

Michael Rasmussen: Yes, sir. Yeah. I think a lot of times we get overwhelmed, right? We’re facing challenges that are unique, so let’s just take a step back and give ourselves credit for what we’ve dealt with.

The last three years historically have been the toughest labor market in a generation. [00:12:00] It’s not an easy thing. Because we’ve dealt with so many strange things all back to back in a short period of time. So to stay on the eight ball, you have to give yourself credit if you’ve been in an environment where everything’s coming at you, because it has.

So look at the macro level issues. We’ve got Gen Z coming in the workforce. We’ve got artificial intelligence that’s coming up. You’ve got. Covid and people that have never worked remotely, working remotely. Now we’ve got, a situation where things were shut down and then now business was booming and then it swung back the other way.

Where there’s, some of the companies are being careful. So it’s a whipsaw effect. And if you’re going through that, give yourself credit, because I think that’s the first thing to stay positive is I, oh my gosh, I’ve actually gone through the [00:13:00] fire and come out on the other side and done some really amazing things.

I’ve made fills, I’ve made placements. If you’ve closed a candidate in any of these circumstances in the last three years, give yourself a pat on the back because this market is so competitive and the. The factors that are affecting the human factors that is, that have affected our candidates, make them even more, what’s the word I want to use?

It’s it makes them, so they want to be more careful about the selectivity of the next opportunity they take. So even getting a job filled. Is a big accomplishment. This is crazy stuff. It’s not an easy market, okay? It’s just historically one of the most remarkable markets we’ve ever witnessed in a seesaw fashion with all the really crazy world events that have happened.

Inflation being included, let’s just, what about, let’s just, what about, let’s just make sure we give ourselves credit for that.

Brian Fink: What about [00:14:00] that second question about fractional recruiting, because I see that model popping up more and Ryan’s spot on. I wanna learn a little bit more about that cuz I don’t understand it.

Michael Rasmussen: Yeah. When we say fractional recruiting, I also refer to this as recruitment on demand. So it’s think of it almost like a recruiting consultancy. You’re. You’re coming in. It’s not like your traditional agency model where you might have a temp and then you’ve got a markup on top of the head of the CAD that you actually placed in the temp role.

It’s all, it’s definitely different. This is for full-time recruiting, so it’s when a, an organization for example, construction, this is a great model for construction roles because, the construction industry is still very competitive And it’s still a lot going on there. Unlike tech, which had a little bit of a pullback.

Construction’s still red hot. And environments like that Medic Medical that’s another great place where fractional recruiting works. So again, it’s [00:15:00] basically you do in the model you dedicate a certain period of time to a recruitment. So it’s like the SWAT team coming in, and then it’s a billable hour.

So the recruiter is has a bill rate almost like a lawyer. And then they Act as a service to. Stay by that client until the client is ready to make the offer, and then they make the offer. So you’re actually going out and it’s out. It’s, it works really well for outbound, so you source a certain amount of candidates per week.

You contact all those candidates and you’re the army for that busy client that may not have the resources necessarily to always hire a recruiter, or their recruiters are overwhelmed and then it’s just acting as a. A second pair of eyes to help them and partner with them.

So really what parse this,

Brian Fink: I’m sorry, go

Michael Rasmussen: ahead. I’m sorry. It’s a really cool model. Anyway. What were you saying? Sorry, I wanna parse

Brian Fink: this a little bit, right? So like it’s like you said, like an attorney. You can turn it on. You can turn it [00:16:00] off. Do you feel that it’s more, more or less there to augment the pipeline with passive candidates or to address the needs of active candidates?

What, which way do you see

Michael Rasmussen: it going? More passive for sure. So it’s outbound recruiting, so it’s definitely reaching out to candidates that you go out and find and hunt and then go out, and then you’re actually. Trying to convince them to take action on your role. So it’s an outbound recruiting focused model.

Now, there is an inbound option that, that they have. You can, but that’s more when. The same thing can be used and they can parse out those resumes. But you might not bill as much for that cuz there may not be as much time involved to, to go about that.

Ryan Leary: Mike, what about, so out outbound recruiting obviously is, it’s a big thing now.

With companies like Hire Easy and it’s not something that’s new, it’s something that’s been around. They’ve now taken it to the [00:17:00] forefront. But for the audience that’s out there that’s really hands on this is a very interesting topic. What are a couple tips from you around outbound recruiting that they, or the recruiters that are listening need to know

Michael Rasmussen: about?

Firstly, messaging. Messaging. Messaging. So being able, when you get an opportunity in front of you and you’re actually going to try to convince a candidate, To take action on your role. Messaging is everything, and that means personalized working to try to figure out the best approach that’s gonna register with that candidate.

You can almost think of it like for every discipline, for every role you might recruit for. There’s usually a persona, like you can use the marketing concept of personas. To drill down to your target audience and then focus on what that community, what’s gonna register with that community.

There’s usually universal things that might [00:18:00] register with a candidate pool. Okay, so F one example might be the schedule. It could be the remote work or the benefits or the work-life balance. It may not always be about salary. It might just be as simple as their ability to do their job autonomously.

So you, you’d be amazed at how many things you can actually use to attract a candidate that might not necessarily be money related. So it’s a, especially with remote work now, the being what it is and more. And more organizations being open to remote candidates. You have to think about, okay, what issues come in a remote work setting?

So that’s another thing to think about. The lines have blurred between work-life balance to some degree. So how do you balance that? It’s, I think that’s another key atone that will register with me with many candidates is. The ability to do [00:19:00] remote work while still being able to attend to their families and not be essentially on call when they’re salary.

You know where you have a leader that. I think the leader makes such a difference too. You can, as a recruiter, you can actually sell an opportunity based on the manager, the leader that’s involved. So I’ve found that to be, I like that.

Brian Fink: You know what I mean? I like that a lot. It was like, I was having a conversation with Shally the other day, and we were talking about the, like the, there are some recruiters that sell the culture of the organization, the company, and they talk about how great the culture is.

Whereas like one of the things that I picked up at Twitter is really working hand in hand with these managers. I was able to say, oh look, you’re gonna be able to do X, Y, and Z with this manager. This is where their leadership and their expertise rests. And Mike I think that’s a great, I think that’s a great note to wrap things up on.

Is about the importance of leadership, about the importance of [00:20:00] mentorship. Cause like I said, at the beginning of the conversation, I look at you as somebody who’s mentored the greater sourcing and recruiting community. If you had one thing, just one thing to leave the audience with today, what would it be?

What, what would you put on a billboard? What would you wanna say from the rooftops?

Michael Rasmussen: I wrote this article, the End is where we begin because of the meaning of that phrase to me. So I would definitely shout that from the rooftops because when, whatever it may be in your life or whatever you’re dealing with, even in your recruiting venture, If you start out with the end in mind, it could be anything from how to make your operation more efficient.

It could be how to get the right outcome in the recruitment you’re facing. It could be, helping that candidate, see the why behind your opportunity or why it’s gonna be really good for them. I think the end is where we begin is such a powerful concept. That [00:21:00] keeps me focused. And it’s been interesting is I, the more I focused and honed in on that in recent months, the better my recruiting game has gotten.

It’s actually been uplifted. It’s been enhanced and I have to give credit to my current team too, because I love these folks at Source, the source and recruit company. If I had something to tell you. It, find a good home. That’s one gonna challenge you. And it’s also going to enhance what you’re doing, and that’s another piece to end on is.

The end is where we begin. In your career, where are you focused on? What’s ma gonna get you outta bed to be happy every day so that you can recruit effectively. It’s such an important thing. And the people that challenge you I’m grateful for, the folks I work with who wanna make that make me wanna be better.

They’re amazing and they just, my team enhances who I am. And so that’s huge, right?

Brian Fink: Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off. [00:22:00]

Michael Rasmussen: No, I’m good. That was just, I just finished that thought, awesome.

Brian Fink: Speaking for Ryan, or Ryan, you can speak for yourself. We have thoroughly enjoyed having you as a guest on the program.

I really love that we were able to talk about, beginning with the end in mind, being able to connect people to community, having the opportunity to provide an uplifting message for them, and then round out around leadership and beginning with the end in mind or begin, or it begins where it ends.

So I will leave you with that. I’m waving as if the world can see me wave. Mike, thank you for being here. Ryan, anything you wanna say to close us out? No, man.

Ryan Leary: Mike, thank you so much. I’m always a big, always been a big fan. Glad you to to be able to get you on here. [00:23:00]

Sourcing School Podcast

Ryan Leary

Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drives RecruitingDaily. He’s our in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industries top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran to the online community and a partner here at RecruitingDaily.

Brian Fink

As a Talent Acquisition Partner at McAfee, Brian Fink enjoys bringing people together to solve complex problems, build great products, and get things done. In his recent book, Talk Tech to Me, Fink takes on the stress and strain of complex technology concepts and simplifies them for the modern recruiter to help you find, engage, and partner with professionals.


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