Talent Circles

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Are Employers Ready for the iGen?

Although the jury is still out on whether they are the iGen or Generation Z, the teens and young adults born around the mid 90’s show a lot of promise for employers.

Unlike Generation Y before them, Gen Z appears to be more realistic and career-minded. As this age group starts to enter the workforce, they have some strong attributes to bring to the table and hiring managers and business leaders would benefit from making an effort to get their attention. Here are some of the characteristics shared by this cohort to help you effectively focus your hiring campaigns.
  • They like their privacy. Being aware of the dangers of social media, they tend to be cautious about their personal information. Providing opportunities for this group to easily reach out to you, so they have the feeling of remaining in control of the situation, is likely to generate more interest than if you seem to be invading their space.
  • Human connections are very important to Gen Z. And they actually prefer in-person connections to those online. This is where local alumni have a good advantage over businesses who are reaching out coldly. That alumni connection holds a lot of weight when it comes to letting people in and making plans to meet up and discuss opportunities.
  • This group is willing to listen and learn. According to Susan Magrino, President & CEO of TalentCircles, “I am coaching several recent grads who are at the very start of this generation. They come prepared with questions, are eager to listen to what I have to say, and immediately take what they’ve learned and implement changes. They want to see if they can make a first-time position become a long-term career.”
  • Generation Z is more open to diversity than any generation before them. With all of the technology and social media this group has grown up with, they are used to a much broader range of cultural differences and interests than prior groups. They’re more likely to take a variety of viewpoints into consideration when making decisions and coming up with ideas. They will have a strong ability to leverage this world-wide connectivity, which helps them be more prepared to do business globally.
  • These individuals are focused on experience and fulfillment. The iGen wants to enjoy their work and feel they’re making a difference. They tend to look for opportunities to help out in their communities and gain relevant career-related experience before they even begin college. Colleges who have alumni start reaching out early to high school students to form bonds and be active together in the local community can bolster enrollment, develop a strong continuing alumni program, and help the companies the alums work for develop a strong talent network.
  • They have advanced technological skills. And advances in technology don’t seem to be slowing down. This group has grown up in a high tech world where they’ve become used to change and are accepting of new ideas. Their skills and openness will be very valuable to employers.

The iGeneration appears to be starting out strong. Start making connections with them now and they are likely to become excellent business partners for their older Gen Y counterparts.

For more information about hiring the best talent the iGen has to offer, please contact us at 415-835-0202 or via email sales@talentcircles.com.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

College Seniors Need to Make the Most of Alumni Resources—Now

Today’s post is the first in a four-part series that will focus on various stages of college alumni. This week we want to look at college seniors and how current alumni can help them – as well as how they can start planning now for their soon-to-be roles and alums themselves.
Many students don’t think about the services alumni associations offer until after they graduate but, the time to start using them is while they’re still in school. Alumni themselves and alumni services programs can be great for connecting current students with wonderful opportunities they may not even be aware exist. These include things like:
Scholarship Money – Many alumni associations have scholarship programs for students. Through fundraisers and donations, money is often awarded to students for stellar academic performance.
Internships – Alumni and alumni associations can get current students in touch with businesses who offer internships that aren’t readily advertised. This enables the student and the company a chance to take a “test-drive” to learn more about their likes, dislikes, and compatibility.
Early Career Networking/Job Opportunities – By contacting alumni early, students can get a jump-start on job hunting. Alumni associations and career services offices can often provide lists of alumni, including where they live and work. Reaching out to alumni can often lead to part-time jobs while still in school, as well as provide students with job opportunities not posted to the general public.
Being Part of a Talent Pool – Many alumni are also part of one or more talent pool databases. This keeps them connected with companies and communities so they stay in the loop when new job opportunities arise. Alumni can help guide students in joining worthwhile, relevant talent pools.
How to Connect
Alumni connections are often more important and useful than many students realize. So you really need to start leveraging them. Start with your campus resources. This is part of what your tuition pays for after all. Go to the associations or offices that interest you to explain what you want or just hear what alumni opportunities are available. If you get a list of appropriate alumni to contact, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Even in the age of social media, meeting face-to-face is still a popular option. It’s great to actually get together with someone over lunch and have a true social experience. So, if you connect with local alumni, try for the more personal, in-person get together whenever it’s possible.
That being said, obviously, social media is the easiest way to build connections. In fact, most schools have alumni groups or networks on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +. Students can start building relationships with alumni now so they’ve established ties they can reach out to upon graduation and beyond.
Career Services Offices are also very helpful in connecting students with alumni who are employed in companies that have internships available. This connection can help students get noticed rather than allowing them to disappear into the sea of applicants. It also gives students a chance to get the true inside scoop on what it’s like to work for the company.
Many schools also offer on-campus events that alumni attend to help with everything from interview tips to mentoring programs. Be sure to attend these events when they come up. In addition to the subject matter, it’s just a great way to meet and work with your school’s alumni.
And, remember, as you seek out alumni-related resources and begin making your connections, it’s also important to think about what you’ll be able to offer when you become an alumnus. Giving back in the form of donations is always encouraged and is a good way to show that you you’ve benefited from alumni connections. But you can also show support by being active in setting up and participating in alumni events.
Alumni can help you make connections, share their expertise and experiences, and aid you in understanding what it takes to be successful in your field. The time to start building these relationships is now.

For information on how we work with career services and alumni associations, as well as how to join a good talent pool, call us at 415-835-0202 or email us at sales@talentcircles.com.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How is Workplace Diversity Changing?

A diverse workforce isn’t simply a numbers game focused on how many members of certain groups of people you employ.  It’s about bringing the diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures of those groups together to make your company a better place.


This starts with inclusion. Beyond just accepting people’s differences into your existing culture, the focus needs to be on valuing and respecting those differences in order to create a new learning culture. A culture that appreciates differing viewpoints and inspires healthy conflict rather than conformity. If you create an environment where people are comfortable being themselves and are encouraged to voice their opinions, you’ll be able to build a fully contributing workforce

Neil Lenane, Business Leader Recruiting at Progressive Insurance was quoted in a recent Forbes article saying, “If you do not intentionally include, you unintentionally exclude.” Time and again, research shows that businesses who focus on building diverse teams outperform those who don’t. A big part of that performance is due to the innovation that comes from combining all of those people’s different outlooks.

Diversity is something that makes us smarter

In fact, a recent Scientific America article, says that diversity makes us smarter. It cites several studies that show how social diversity brings unique experiences and input to workplace problem solving, which in turn leads to better decision-making and business outcomes. The lesson, the article says, is “when we hear dissent from someone who is different from us, it provokes more thought than when it comes from someone who looks like us.”

According to the article, just bringing different types of people together causes them to believe that they will automatically have different perspectives and this makes them work harder to explain their own viewpoints as well as to understand the outlooks of others. This ultimately leads to better outcomes.

In Scott Page’s book, The Difference, he says that “progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality.”

Extending beyond employees in the workplace
Something else to consider when it comes to including diverse groups in your workforce is how those different perspectives can be applied to your customers. The innovative ideas that come from these groups can open you up to new product, service or marketing ideas that you might otherwise have never thought about. You’re likely to find there are all types of opportunities to expand your market by reaching out to minority groups or capitalizing on niche markets.

If you want to learn more about developing a robust diversity and inclusion strategy, and how to measure the impact of a diverse, inclusive and culturally competent workforce, check out SHRM’s upcoming Diversity & Inclusion Conference & Exposition.

And, for information on how we can help you add diverse talent to your existing talent pool, call us at 415-835-0202 or email us at sales@talentcircles.com.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Talent Leaders Say Quality of Hire is What Matters Most

When asked what single metric is most valuable in tracking their recruiting team’s performance, talent leaders say that quality of hire is what matters most. This is according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report.

The top three methods companies are using to measure “quality of hire” are 1) new hire performance evaluations, 2) turnover or retention statistics, and 3) hiring manager satisfaction.

While performance evaluations and retention statistics were nearly tied—at 50% and 49% respectively—as the most commonly used methods for measuring quality of hire, the majority of respondents in the LinkedIn study said they feel there is definitely room for improvement in the way quality is currently being measured. 

When you consider that some estimates put almost half of all new hires in the category of “failures” within 18 months, the “quality of hire metric” seems to be a pretty important one.
Some suggestions for better measurement strategies when it comes to quality of hire include replacing standard job descriptions with performance objectives. The majority of job descriptions tend to emphasize skills and experience, or talk about competencies in broad behavioral terms. Concentrating instead on ramp-up time, specific end results and definable accomplishments provides a way to actually measure and track success.

Since quality of hire denotes the value a new employee brings to an organization, companies also need to be clear about what “value” means to them. Things like employee engagement and cultural fit have become extremely important when it comes to employee retention. And since retention is one way employers measure new hire quality, recruiters who really understand the culture and corporate brand of the companies they work with, will be the most effective at providing high quality new hires.

Speaking of corporate branding, another one of the trends the LinkedIn study reported is that 59% of respondents said they will be investing more in their corporate branding strategy than they did last year. Social media has made corporate branding more important than ever. This is actually good news when it comes to the “quality of hire” issue. A company’s brand is all about its core values, beliefs and purpose. When a company’s branding is really clear, it helps lay the groundwork for ensuring the candidate and company are a good match for each other.

Accurately capturing and tracking performance data not only gives you a clear picture of how you’re currently doing on the talent management front, it will also help you continually improve future recruiting strategies.

If you have questions about tracking performance data or how to recruit the highest quality new hires, we can help. Call us at 415-835-0202 or email us at sales@talentcircles.com.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Want to Improve Your Campus Recruiting Process? It’s All About Relationships

While the need for instant access and automated everything is standing strong, the ability to balance the speed and ease of technology with the power to build and maintain solid relationships is what will set you apart from the competition. Start incorporating these strategies into your new college recruitment plan and you can look forward to a highly successful campus recruiting season this fall.

Strengthen your relationships with Career Services – Beef up your alliances in the Career Services departments of the universities that interest you. Making them your key point of contact gives you a central, reliable location for information and introductions. They can get you opportunities with student organizations, suggest the right department heads to contact and help you build solid partnerships within the university.

Get personal – Start getting to know the talent you want to recruit before you even step foot (whether virtually or in-person) at the campus job fair. Using social media, you can track candidates based on their interests, groups and activities and continue to follow those that show potential. Shortly before the job fair, make contact to introduce yourself and encourage them to meet with you during the event for a quick chat. Associating a real and amiable person with your company can go a long way in encouraging top talent to apply and/or join your talent network.

Offer internships and create ambassadors – One of the best ways to create a strong talent pool is to provide internship opportunities for college students. They get experience and exposure to your company, and you get to test drive a potential future hire. The relationship you build with interns can be far reaching. Whether they continue to work for you or not, they can make your company name recognized among peers and faculty. They can help market your brand, share information and become some of the strongest ambassadors for your organization. Additionally, if you have alumni working for your company, include them in your campus recruiting activities as presenters, interviewers or just as a friendly face who has something in common.

Keep Everyone Well-Informed – Honesty and integrity are key when it comes to building relationships. This is no different in the recruitment process. Let people know right away what you’re offering and what you’re expecting. If you don’t have any immediate job openings during the career fair, be honest about that, but also explain how they could benefit in the future from being part of your talent network now. When you are actively trying to fill jobs, stay in contact with students who have interviewed so they know where they stand in the process while decisions are still being made. Any feedback you can give on their resumes and interview skills will be greatly appreciated as well. It’s also a great idea to keep career services informed about how many students you interviewed, extended offers to, and hired. Let them know how their students’ work performance compares to that of students at other universities you’ve worked with and offer to be part of a regular follow-up program. The university, the students and your organization will all benefit.

Remember, it’s all about building and nurturing the relationship so that everybody wins. Here at TalentCirclesTM we can help you do that as efficiently as possible by using technology and tools like TalentCatchTM to capture and organize all the information you gather. Contact us at 415-835-0202 or sales@TalentCircles.com to make following up and engaging with your university contacts and the students you want to keep in your talent network a cinch.