Talent Circles

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What is Resume Parsing?


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Resume Parsing is when free form resume information is converted into structured information that is suitable for reporting and manipulation by a computer. The usefulness behind structured information works in the recruiters favor when thousands of resumes pour in from a variety of sources. In order to capture relevant information recruiters are able to use resume-parsing services data directly into the ATS saving time as well as room in your filing cabinet.

Recruiters gain enormous advantages when using resume parsing. We’ve come up with a list of a few of the many benefits recruiters obtain by using resume parsing:

More Usable Data: We’ve all been there at a job fair or a recruiting event leaving with a stack of awkward and useless paper resumes. Additionally, resume databases can be filled with inaccurate or incomplete data with tons of complicated records. Resume parsing makes useless information, useful and easy. When applicants submit resumes parsing software takes each bit of information and uploads it into a database that recruiters are able to use, search, and make better decisions throughout the entire hiring process. Imagine scanning your resumes before you leave the job fair with the candidate data automatically being uploaded into your ATS or talent community.

Reduced Cost: One of the biggest challenges recruiters face is proving ROI on investments. Resume Parsing allows a recruiter to automatically see information collected in such a way that it reduces the man-hours of looking through every single resume to only minutes by searching for information credited to qualified applicants. No more long lonely nights sifting through endless piles of paper resumes. No longer does the recruiter need to read a resume, give them some superficial rating and keep track of pros and cons.

Improved Candidate Experience: One of the biggest obstacles that recruiters face is providing an exceptional experience for each candidate. Using resume-parsing software allows candidates to forgo the dreaded application process that could take 30-60 minutes to fill out by simply uploading a resume. Let your software do all the work while improving not only your resume abandonment numbers, but by increasing your overall candidate quality.

Resume parsing was created to streamline a recruiter’s job when it comes to searching through unlimited resumes. It’s impossible for any department to function properly when the majority of their time is taking apart hundreds, if not thousands of resumes. A recruiter is able to take apart resumes by keywords and search data in ways that weren’t even possible before resume parsing was made available.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

3 No Fail Solutions to Increasing Your Quality of Hire


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The talent war is heating up making it is even more important than ever before to hire candidates effectively, but hiring quality candidates is more complex than I described in the rule of thirds. Measuring quality of hire is somewhat elusive, but necessary to make sure all of your different hiring programs are working properly. If over the years you’ve noticed your quality of hire decreasing, we’ve come up with three no-fail solutions that are guaranteed to help your company get back on track in increasing your quality of hire:

Accurate Position and Job Descriptions: The job description assists in helping define the source of candidates for a certain position. Instead of creating a list of skills and experience a candidate must have to fill a specific job, define the actual work the new person needs to do in terms of performance. Sourcing top candidates isn’t about knowing if someone is proficient in Microsoft Word, it’s more about defining performance objectives and criteria that need to be fulfilled to meet your company’s overall goals. In doing so, each candidate that applies will know exactly the quality of work required as well as the skills needed to perform that work.

No Spin Company Information and Resources: Candidates want to know the truth about the company upfront and not learn about it a month down the road. I’ve had a job where the company President sold the job to be the best workplace ever. I quickly found out that the company wasn’t as good as it seemed and after a few months I was already back looking for a new job. Not only did this decrease my productivity because I was essentially lied to during the initial interview, but it looks horrible on a company that distorts information to hire a candidate. It’s better to be upfront with a candidate about the types of resources that your company has in order to protect your investment.

Focus on Talent Pipelines and Long Term Recruiting Strategies: One of the most important and crucial ways that’ll boost your quality of hire is to invest in long-term solutions over short-term fixes. When a company see numbers drop, they usually focus more on the "here and now" than on what is going to happen 2-3 years down the road, much less 5-10 years. Talent Pipelines allow recruiters to understand where candidates are coming from and what is working. Your quality of hire may suffer from the fact that you simply don't know where you’re losing specific candidates. Do they fill out part of the job application, but quit halfway through? Does it take to long for a recruiter to follow-up with specific job applicants? Each of these questions can be answered if you’re monitoring your actual talent pipeline.

Follow these three no-fail solutions and your quality of hire is bound to be on the increase. Obviously there are thousands of actions a company can take to help quality of hire, but these solutions offer not only a good foundation, but also best practices to follow when dealing with candidates and quality of hire.

What does your company do to help increase quality of hire?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Company Job Postings Are Not Job Descriptions


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Sometimes job responsibilities aren’t always described accurately in the company job posting and during the interview, as much we’d like to believe. That’s because job descriptions were primarily designed to serve as a legal tool defining the position and not as a marketing tool for your corporate recruiting team to advertize that job. Here’s what you can do to better market your next job opening.

Employment Branding: Employment branding is the foundation of any company’s ability to successfully recruit and fill the candidate pipeline. When marketing a job opening it’s important for recruiters to offer accurate job postings as sloppy ones misrepresent your company. Candidates want to know that they’re applying for a job with a reputable, professional company, not one whose job postings are filled with errors and false representations. The candidate shouldn't ne the only one trying to make the perfect "first impression."

Get Rid of the Drawn Out Application Process: Your job posting virtually embeds every aspect of the actual job application. This includes developing the job, the job posting itself, the resume tracking, candidate follow-ups, interviews, and the actual time where an applicant applies. Get rid of the long, drawn out process and make it short and easy for a candidate to apply for a job.

Candidates are busy people too, and the longer the application the more chances you’re giving someone to drop off and quit filling out the application. Remove the initial form, allow candidates to upload their resume and if you’re impressed, invite them to a second round of questions. By fixing these details your job posting will now become more marketable and appealing to those who have been thinking of making a career switch.

Make a Good First Impression. Most candidates think that they’re the only ones that have to make a good initial impression. The truth is, recruiters and HR managers need to be able to make a good first impression on a company to retain and recruit top talent. The interview is not only a formality for job seekers, but when given the opportunity job seekers ask about company culture, work demands, and the overall feeling of working for the specific company. When the interviewer isn’t able to successfully attract that candidate they might lose out on high-level talent. Job posting goes well beyond the job description and the interview is one of the best ways to market your company.

Job posting is a process that takes several man-hours before and after the actual posts goes live. It’s important to remember that from the beginning to the end recruiters are put in the spotlight to not only deliver an exceptional job posting that delivers all the essentials points of a successful recruitment strategy, but they must keep the employer in a good light to obtain the best possible recruits.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to Enhance Your College Career Fair Strategy


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The first thing to know about any type of college recruiting program is that recruiters have to look at the long term techniques to reap the really good benefits. One of the most fundamental pieces of a successful college recruiting program is building relationships with the next generation of employees and leaders. In the next 12 years, 75% of college students will make up the current workforce. In this three part blog series we will take an in-depth look at not only the importance when it comes to engaging with college students, but how to engage and follow through.

Building and maintaining a strong presence at college career fairs can be done through increasing your competitive advantage over other companies who want the same students. Working with career centers to achieve the greatest success is just one way that recruiters can help develop their specific programs. However, there are multiple strategies that need to go into a college-recruiting program to make sure top talent is retained for your company. We’ve come up with three specific things you need to do in order to make sure build a strong foundation:

Use the Right People: Not everyone is cut out to participate in campus recruiting. When selecting recruiters to attend college career fairs you have to select the right balance of professionalism and energy. You can’t bring those who get bored easily with meeting student after student after student. You need someone knowledgeable that doesn’t divert the student’s focus to their website. Your reps will have the most influential role in recruiting fresh, top talent right out of college. If you don’t have well-trained representatives at career fairs you’ll start to notice a sharp decrease in ROI.

Maintain Proper Follow-Up: College students attend on average 2-3 career fairs each year and possibly even more during their senior year. Finding the top talent can be a challenging task as several companies are schmoozing the best talent at each college or university. If you find someone you think could match your company, follow-up starts within a week of visiting a career fair. This will let them know that you’re interested and will be following up with them shortly about new exciting career opportunities within your organization. Many times recruiters get buried in resumes and lose out on great applicants because they don’t maintain proper follow-up.

Utilize the Right Tools: When a recruiter visits a career fair they are inundated with hundreds of resumes and which can become overwhelming at times. Talent Circles has created TalentCatch, an iPad app that drastically reduces the amount of time it takes for a recruiter to capture a candidate record. With TalentCatch, recruiters are allowed to add new candidate information to Talent Circles talent network and if you don’t use Talent Circles, you are able to export candidate information in a simple Excel spreadsheet to continue the conversation with candidates by email.

What strategies have you undertaken to enhance your own college recruiting program as it relates to career fairs and campus recruiting?

Download Talent Circles College Recruiting: Engage whitepaper for more information about TalentCatch and how you can spruce up your college recruiting practices.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Social Recruiting is Changing the Value of Source of Hire


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

As more and more people move towards social media and employment branding as a method in driving candidates to your open requisitions, it’s becoming harder and harder to track concrete recruiting metrics like source of hire. Companies will have to find different methods to capture candidates through talent networks or touch points to help define the value of recruiting points and sources.

According to a new study put out by CareerXRoads, social recruiting has evolved into a more interdependent role where job applicants are influenced and pruned from a long list of social networks. The study only attributed 2.9% of hires directly to social media, but that doesn’t mean social media didn’t push job applicants to company career sites, job boards, college fairs, or any other source of hire.

It’s important to understand the value and role of social recruiting when it comes to source of hire. With everything going social it’s been difficult for marketing companies, public relations agencies, and now recruiting teams to figure out if going social contains a big enough ROI to continue. The jury has been out for a long time with no companies stepping up to the plate to prove overall ROI effectiveness. Facebook introduced their own analytics, companies have form to track link clicks (bit.ly, etc.) and Pinterest finally got their act together and started (well attempted) to track pins, repins, etc.

For recruiters all of this tracking, analytics, and mounds of big data means the world to them when attempting to prove the value of being online. Besides saying, If we’re not on social media we’re missing out, companies are looking for more concrete correlation between source of hire and social media. While there are ways to prove the value of being online, aside from pure numbers, it’s a recruiter’s job to find solid reasons to keep their social recruiting efforts alive. Here are a couple things that you can present to your manager at your next meeting:

The Social Recruitment Monitor: While this isn’t the most reliable way to present statistics on your social recruiting efforts, a company called Maximum has developed a beta product that will help you keep track of your efforts through what they called the SRM Index. This index takes a look at subscribe content, frequency of content, and social engagement. It’s something you could measure elsewhere through CRMs that provide that type of analytics (Sprout Social, Hootsuite (to some degree, etc.). It might take a little longer to pull these numbers manually and compare them to other types of information, but if you want to keep your social recruiting program alive, it’s worth the effort.

Invest in Simple HR Metrics: If you’re looking at social recruiting from a numbers standpoint, the biggest way that it’s changing the industry is reducing candidate acquisition costs. Since social recruiting is shaking up how candidates funnel through the talent pipeline, it’s important to look numbers associated with the source of hire. Being able to prove that social recruiting is working is one thing, but going one step further in proving it costs less will keep your program alive.

There are currently multiple ways that you are able to tell that social recruiting is changing how many recruiters find and calculate source of hire. How does your company prove a correlation between social recruiting and sources of hiring coming from those networks?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hiring Best Practice Using the Rule of Thirds


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

A best practice in photography uses the rule of thirds, where a picture, painting or photo is divided into three equal parts and nine boxes to make a visually pleasing and equally horizontal spaced image that is pleasing to the eye. Following this guide allows for the central points not only to be well-balanced and aligned but create more interest and energy that simply centering your subject in the middle of the picture or photography.

Hiring managers can follow the rule of thirds as a best practice when it comes to hiring their employees. To select the most well-rounded employee, managers should hire keeping these rules of thirds in mind during their next open requisition or position opening for a new employee.

Work ethic: 30% Hard workers are a huge asset to any organization. They walk in day in and day out ready to go the extra mile for their team and employer. It’s not a big secret that companies want these people. The benefits of a strong work ethic are numerous and aren’t limited to just the employer. When an employee has a strong work ethic it’s bound to spill over into their work which improves the company’s bottom line in different areas of the business. As a new generation enters the workforce employers are worried that past generation’s work ethic was much higher then those in their early 20s. When given the chance, 20 year olds can be more productive, innovative, and dynamic then their older counterparts.

Competency and Skill: Another important aspect of a new hire is their overall skill and competency levels. The cost of training a new hire is about 14,000 on average and training an employee who doesn’t possess the right competency and skill level is even higher. An important aspect throughout the entire hiring process is to find someone who posses the right skill set for the job. Prevention in this area is easily combated through skills testing and other testing methods. This part of the hiring process is important because it’ll allow an employee to enter their job without an excessive amount of training in the beginning. If a company is struggling to find the perfect fit with a certain skill set, this 30% is more important.

Cultural Fit: Every organization, from small business to large corporations has a culture. A company culture can affect everything from the reputation of a company to important HR metrics such as employee retention and quality of hire. The last 30% is based on how well a candidate or new hire can survive the cultural differences within the workplace. You can have the best employee ever, skill & work ethic wise, but if they don’t fit in the company culture they can really disrupt things. Make sure that those who you hire not only fit the competency level with strong work ethic, but that they mix well within your corporate company culture.

Each of these areas work together to form the perfect candidate, but finding that person can be difficult at times. Looking for a candidate that doesn’t possess all these skills can end up hurting your company in the long run. Finding a candidate that has a strong work ethic, but doesn’t possess the needed skills or finding a candidate that fit perfectly in your company culture, but lacks skills can potentially be a big issue.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

3 Reasons to Insource Your Executive Recruiting and Hiring Efforts

In a traditional corporate recruiting model, companies often leverage their recruiting teams to hire and recruit for entry level to mid level positions leaving specialty and executive positions to third party recruiters. A new study tells us that this once widely used practice is on the decline. HR and recruiting teams are moving to insource or in house instead of outsource their senior business recruiting efforts.

Brining Your Executive Recruiting In House Instead of Outsource

A now 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using in house executive recruiters to fill key positions within their organization which is up 15 percent from a decade ago according to the Association of Executive Search Consultants.  These internal executive recruiting teams seem to be flourishing as companies like Pepsi, Time Warner and Sears look for ways to cut costs while attracting the best talent for their organization and on their own terms.

As someone who has worked with a number of third party recruiters for executive and specialty positions, I can attest to the expense that they sometimes bring. For large organizations that work on a global scale, the cost can be staggering. It’s not uncommon for third party recruiters to expect 15-40 percent of a placement’s first year salary for their efforts. A number like that can really add up. 

  • ·      Executive Recruiting is Strategic. Internal recruiting teams are viewing their recruiting efforts as long term focusing on relationships with key players building a candidate pipeline for these executive positions before they become vacant.
  • ·      Executive Information is More Easily Available Online. With the growth of social networking sites and an increased focused of sourcing within large organizations, more and more senior business leaders can be found online. This practice will surely continue as business leaders focus more on building their personal brand and persona with the support of the Internet.
  • ·      Substantial Cost Savings. Recruiting and HR senior business leaders are focusing more on looking at bigger picture metrics and how human capital practices impact the entire organization versus just their department’s individual bottom line. These cost savings can be tied back not only to cost per hire but productivity of an entire team or division making a stronger business case for the practice of insourcing your executive hiring within HR.

Recruiting regardless of the position level within the organization takes strategy, skill and effort. Moving these senior level recruitment and hiring activities in house can be effective but only if a company creates a long term candidate engagement strategy and pipeline to facilitate these relationships focused on results. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Secret To Candidate Engagement is You


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The Secret To Candidate Engagement is You When dealing with an employee or workplace situation, the best way to get to the heart of the matter is to sit down, ask questions and have an old fashioned conversation. That can be a challenge when recruiting on social media or the Internet. Recruiters always are concerned about how much information, resources and personal insights they should share. Candidates want to feel like they’re important and that the recruiters listen to whatever they have to say. At the same time, recruiters feel like they aren’t able to share detailed information. So how do balance secrets and giving candidates information? Don’t worry. We’ll tell you what to do.

Develop a Social Recruiting Policy. In order to protect yourself and your activities on social networks, encouraging your company to develop a policy that outlines what is acceptable and what’s not will help balancing giving sharing information, but increase good forms of communication with candidates. When dealing with multiple channels it can sometimes be overwhelming and information sharing could happen without a second thought. Encourage your company to create a policy that clearly lists the do/donts of sharing information with candidates.

Invest in Talent Communities. Candidate engagement cannot happen without a talent community. There’s absolutely no way that a recruiter can routinely communicate with a candidate pool efficiently unless here is one centralized location. You can capture this type of information in any medium that works best for you, but it’s something that all recruiters should be doing. If you are able to build a community of great content you have a great chance of driving great candidates off the sidelines and into your company.

Have a Strategy. As the social landscape changes on almost a daily basis recruiters must be able to go where the candidates are. No longer can recruiters rely on the “post and pray” method. Each candidate enters the funnel at different states and it’s up to the recruiter to find them and make sure they’re captured. The Candidate Experience Survey asked candidates at what stage they entered the relationship with a potential employer. The majority of those responding indicated that they had some level of relationship with the employer at a later stage, which shows they are ultimately the employers to lose.

As the title of the blog states, “The Secret To Candidate Engagement is You.” No matter what route you take in your recruiting practices, know that everything is dependent on the effort that you put into each interaction with candidates. Having a strategy in place so you aren’t randomly posting, building a talent community to act as the central hub of information and engagement and creating policies to protect yourself and develop your program in one unified manner will all help make you successful in your recruiting endeavors.

What have you done to increase candidate engagement in your field?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Benefit of Stay Interviews


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Sometimes in the world of HR and recruiting we get bogged down in the process making things harder than they actually should be. Most Human Resources departments use the exit interviews to get the departing opinions of their experiences with the company, but why bother? Why not focus on what matters: Stay Interviews.

Stay interviews are designed to engage and work with the employee before they become an active job seeker outside your organization. At the 63rd Annual SHRM Conference, Richard Finnegan spoke on the importance of stay interviews. He stated that conducting stay interviews isn’t for the faint at heart. His reasoning behind this statement was that stay interviews allow HR to uncover employee and retention issues that might be hidden.

Stay Interviews are one of the hardest obstacles for a manager to overcome. Although simple in nature, they require a management staff that is fluent in the art of following up with their employees. Engagement and retention programs are only as strong as the leaders within your organization. The looming fear of an employee giving them the ultimatum of a pay raise vs. leaving the company is unfounded. No matter the situation a manager must be willing to field the hard questions. The limitations of each company can only bend so far. If there’s no money in the budget, the employee leaves. According to an interview conducted by Monster.com, they stated that few stay interviews come in with pay being the thing that makes them want to stay or leave.

The benefits of a stay interview are numerous. Not only do they give the employer a chance to fix a problem that a employee might be experiencing, but even in the event of an employee leaving, they gain valuable insights into the problems that might exist. On average one standard deviation improvement in engagement increases revenue $4,675 per year. This means that if one process can be fixed due to an employee leaving, that departure won’t be in total vain. Information gained in stay interviews are usually very real and truth telling. Most employees who are leaving a company are willing to speak out more because repercussions are very limited.

If stay interviews help fix and improve just one process per year, in the long run, it’s worth it. Most companies are afraid to invest in stay interviews because they’ve seen the long list of data and information out there surrounding other types of strategies to fix their company from within. In order to boost your bottom line and increase employee retention it’s important to invest in new strategies and techniques that encourage growth. If exit interviews and engagement surveys aren’t moving the needle on your organization’s employee attrition numbers, what do you have to lose?

Does your company participate in stay interviews? Why or why not?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Photo Credit.