Talent Circles

Friday, August 30, 2013

How to Align Your Employment Brand with Your Company Brand?

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

During this 3 part series we will be discussing the power of employment branding and how consistent voice and messaging demonstrates that the candidate experience is not just about the candidate, but it’s really the customer experience in disguise. According to the Candidate Experience Results over 21% of candidates said they were or have been customers to places they applied.

Employment brand is also often referred to as recruitment marketing or employment branding and is the most complex recruitment strategy to date pulling from all the elements of the social media hierarchy. The idea of employment brand is fueled by the philosophy where company sees candidates as customers focusing on a long term relationship with a job seeker over a course of time versus driving them to apply for a job opening through a single job posting, career fair or interaction with a recruiter.

In order to successfully brand your employer in the most efficient way, follow these three rules:

Invest in relationships: When working with candidates don’t just treat them like names on paper, but as individuals. In order to be successful in your recruitment process create specific and business-type relationships with each candidate to make them feel important and part of the process.

Don’t upset your applicants: It’s a fact of life that not every candidate who applies for a job will be hired and in most cases the majority of applications won’t be hired. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to upset your applicants. There has to be a lot of transparency in the process and the black hole of the candidate process needs to be destroyed.

Although communication is not required for every applicant, there are some instances where the job status should be communicated. The cost of no communication could be loss of sales, referrals, which leads to less money in the bank.

Be marketers: Recruiting is no longer about filling open positions; it’s about creating an employer brand that is candidate-centric. As recruiters you promote your company, which helps bring candidates into the hiring funnel while maintaining an ongoing relationship.

Follow these three steps and you’ll be on your way to create an employment experience that’ll not only benefit the candidates but also lead to better recruiting and applicants in the process.

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

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

4 Ways to Amplify Your Diversity Recruiting Efforts

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Recruiting a diverse group of candidates is essential to having a well-rounded organization where ideas, experiences and backgrounds help organizations and teams reach their productivity and sales goals. Diversity, in my mind isn’t just about race. It’s about the diversity of life. Here are four ways to amplify your diversity recruiting efforts.

Diversity job boards and forums Niche job boards are in and global job boards are out. Take a look at the type of skills you want to hire for whether it be a technology engineer or someone who can brand you perfectly. When the recruiter steps away from the global job boards they’re able to attract candidates who are specific to the skills they’re looking for and hire more effectively.

Hackathons Hackathons provide a space where high energy and the best possible output are made. High technology companies like Google and Facebook have used hackathons on a regular basis to find the best and the brightest candidates. Small businesses are using hackathons as cost-effective tools to tackle problems, recruit talent and unleash innovation. This is one of the best routes to take if you want to solve high-leveled problems in the most effective way.

Targeted Keywords & Content Use the tools available to you from Google and other search partners to find keywords that are targeted towards a certain demographic you’re trying to reach. In doing so you’ll be able to not only spend money wiser, but also target your efforts to hire certain subsets of people whom you want to work for your company. Whether you’re hiring these individuals to fit within affirmative action policies or you’re hiring those you know who have a history of higher scores in areas where you want to focus.

Talent Networks Talent Networks are great ways to develop a funnel of specific candidates. When recruiting certain events, whether it is at an all women’s college, or an event geared towards lower income minorities, talent networks will allow you to funnel and sort these candidates to a better degree. Diversity within your organization does not have to be related to the pigment of one’s skin or even their gender, but could be their income level or geographical region.

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

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Sourcing: What It Was, What It Is, What It Could Be (Part 3 of 3)

We recently looked at what sourcing used to be, and then examined how it‘s evolved. But it could be so much more, and it will.  Let’s peek into the crystal ball of the not-too distant future of sourcing.

Candidates as Customers
As much as some of us may not like to admit it, we spend most of our cognizant lives as consumers. We buy products and services, and trade money, time and energy in exchange for items of perceived value. This is also true in the world of work. Many of our clients and employees as well as our prospective clients and employees are all connected to each other in a myriad of socio-economic circles. The sooner we realize this, the better the candidate experience will become. Sourcing is becoming more and more a part of that experience.

In any modern sales organization, we don’t think twice about paying for a Client Relationship Management or CRM platform. But candidate relationship management is generally considered a luxury in talent acquisition today. These tools, or at least the functionality of these tools, I predict will become mandated and mainstream in the next 3-5 years.

Talent Communities/Networks/Pools
Whether branded, unbranded, user-generated/moderated or managed by an organization, our prospective candidate lists are becoming more organic and dynamic, and less of a static spreadsheet or database. This is taking the form of talent communities, or networks like TalentCircles.

Now, this isn’t your 1999 “talent community” which was basically a glorified database. We’re talking about interaction and discussion, knowledge sharing and distribution. A place where people can actually have conversations and learn about the real employee experience, via private and public messages or video chat. More and more, these platforms will offer a way to foster relationships regardless of geographical distance, over the span of a few months or years during a candidate’s career.

Just remember that a micromanaged community will look like a predatory watering hole near the Serengeti. And an unmanaged community or network will fall as flat as a dance club without a DJ to keep the crowd moving. The ideal balance is somewhere in the middle, depending on your audience.

Fit over Function - Soft Skill Sourcing
With the skills gap ever yawning, the emphasis will continue to be on attitude, personality and train-ability over specific skills. But how do you source for someone who thinks like a pirate, without the term “eye-patch aficionado” in your search string?

The answer is technology that interprets the meaning and intent behind text-based content and social behaviors. More companies like eiTalent will develop algorithms for core values and driving motivators. This will help us determine a better fit on the front end of a search, rather than an assessment right before a hire is made. Not to mention the positive implications of getting a recruitment marketing message *just right* for your targeted prospects. You do want the right people responding, don’t you?

Social Validation - fraud prevention
As sourcing becomes more of the forefront to talent acquisition, the teams and leadership are being tasked with intelligent checks and balances. I spoke to an industry colleague recently who was looking for a way to verify employment information in a candidate’s resume and social profiles. The reason? A prominent executive was hired with a completely fabricated employment and education history. I’m sure there were hundreds of thousands of dollars…lost.

This is another example of one bad apple changing a recruiting process. My recommendation? To leverage ZoomInfo, Hoover’s and social aggregators like Klout and Kred, for the double and triple-check.

Sourcing will grab more of the spotlight as recruiters have to tackle research and lead generation. They have plenty of applicants for open reqs, but the appropriately qualified applicants are harder to reach.

As candidate generation becomes a necessary skill set, I can see corporate Community Managers turning into Talent Advocates. After all, a good brand knows it has to nurture relationships with clients as well as candidates. Which means blended roles for both marketing and recruiting/sourcing professionals. They are all brand ambassadors and soon those that haven’t admitted so yet,  will learn to act accordingly.

To truly build a relationship, you have to focus on engagement. Marketers understand this, and build calendars of targeted, relevant content, to start conversations with their prospects. Why?
They know that if your messaging is only about the sale, then it will be one-note and turn off the audience quickly. The same is true for recruiting and sourcing.

Imagine a world where candidates get invitations to join a passionate network of similarly minded professionals. Not to look at a job or push an agenda, but to talk about what makes their creative or analytical engines purr. That’s engagement.

Now imagine that network plugging into their social graph, to determine who they interact with intimately, as well as their professional acquaintances. As a sourcer, you will be able to call out specifically who is connected to the right circles of influence in that niche. You will also see who would make an ideal referral, instead of asking the ubiquitous “who do you know?” question.

The future of sourcing is indeed social, predictive, and growing by popular demand. And as someone who started my recruiting career as a sourcer, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

About Bryan ChaneyBryan Chaney is a Talent Branding and Attraction Strategist. He most recently led employment branding and social media for corporate recruitment at Aon. Previously, he developed the recruitment marketing arm of a Texas based RPO provider that serves SMB and Fortune clients. He serves on the board of Social Media Breakfast in Austin and founded careerconnects.org, a community event platform, to gather niche recruiting and HR professionals with candidates to share career strategies. The Huffington Post recently named him one of the Top 100 Most Social HR Experts on Twitter. Connect with Bryan for consulting and speaking availability at Bryan Chaney.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is Your Talent Network & Other Recruiting Technologies OFCCP Compliant?

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

When it comes to building a candidate pipeline to fill positions before they are posted on your employment and careers site, talent networks are a great way to capture candidate information of job seekers who aren’t a fit for a position you currently have open but want to further explore. Traditional systems like your applicant tracking system or ATS are already in compliance with the OFCCP making it easy for auditing purposes if the department of labor comes a knocking requesting an audit. The challenge with your ATS, is that candidates only express interest in a single open position with limited ability to update a candidate’s profile or for the job seeker recruiter to get to know each other as well as the company outside of a job interview.

The need for non-ATS and recruiting technologies to reach, engage and attract candidates is real and provides organizations that utilize these a distinct advantage in employer branding and recruiting. The question remains then what to do with those non-ATS human resources and hiring technologies that are not part of the traditional hiring process as part of your OFCCP compliance and AAP. Are these HR and recruiting technologies OFCCP compliant and should they be included in your company’s affirmative action plans?

These online and internet HR technologies can include the following:

  • Sourcing Technologies and tools that use keyword search and proprietary algorithms to search multiple forums, online communities and social networks.
  • Social Networks. This may be a concern if your recruiting team uses social media to engage job seekers, distribute jobs or build your employer brand.
  • External Candidate Databases. Using outside internet databases through job boards, colleges or other communities to search and locate candidates often times utilizing their system email to message the job seeker directly.
  • Talent Networks. Technologies that exist like Talent Circles where the company owns and controls the community that serves as a “green room” before a candidate applies for a specific position.
The U.S. Department of Labor defines an “Internet Applicant” as individual who satisfies all four of the following criteria:
  • The individual submitted an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
  • The contractor considered the individual for employment in a particular position;
  • The individual's expression of interest indicated that the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and
  • The individual, at no point in the contractor's selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removed himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicated that he/she was no longer interested in the position.
Keep in mind an internet applicant must satisfy all four of the criteria. Yes, all four. The real key in the definition as provided by the U.S. DOL above is “particular position” meaning that the candidate must express interest for a single job opening. Job openings are published on a company career and employment page through the ATS ensuring that companies are in compliance with OFCCP. Recruiting teams who wish to stay in OFCCP compliance can use HR and recruiting technologies including sourcing can use these recruiting technologies to either apply for a specific opening on the careers site. Talent networks do not require candidates to apply for a specific job opening. Like career sites, they provide company information, position descriptions and videos as a way to fully engage the job seeker providing them helpful information and resources about the company while also providing the company a sourcing platform for future published openings.

Recruiters and HR professionals who are responsible for their annual affirmative action plan can include their internet, social recruiting and sourcing activities as part of the prior calendar year’s good faith efforts.

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

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Business is Fluid: The Case for Courting the Contingent Workforce

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Having worked in the retail industry for much of my human resources career, facility payroll and headcount requirements ebb and flow depending on holidays and time of year. If you work in retail organization that relies heavily on holiday and Christmas sales to finish out your sales cycle, you are likely planning and evaluating your temporary and contingent workforce strategies to fill the gaps of your permanent employees.

Contingent workers whether project based independent contracts or seasonable employees are more important than ever before. These free agency workers fill in short gaps whether and are growing in popularity among workers who are demanding flexibility and the opportunity to choose their projects and work-related activities like I, myself do.

Aberdeen recently released a report earlier this month titled, “Contingent Labor Management: Strategies and Solutions for a Flexible Workforce” and given my experience working in seasonal industries and those that are project and creative focused, I tend to agree.
  • Quick Onboarding. 5 days is the average time it takes for contingent labor to get up to speed.
  • Cost Savings. These temporary and contingent workers result in a 16% cost savings for the company.
  • Business & Talent is Fluid. While your business likely follows a sales cycle of somewhat predictable ebbs and flows, having a little wiggle room is good business. Sixty-three percent of Best in Class organizations agree relying heavily on contingent labor.
While contingent workers remain a great way to beef up your staff quickly, human resources teams are often seen as unnecessary when hiring the free agent worker. I hear time and time again from business leaders who use contingent labor to sidestep HR and their own department head count goals because either staffing goals are already met or HR processes get in the way of hiring and scaling projects quickly. Managers use temporary workers or independent contracts to beef up their headcounts and production outputs without these costs and numbers being reflective in their human capital expenses including payroll, overtime, and other employee related expenses. As someone who has used this tactic myself working in HR for my own department, it’s not right but I understand.

Even so, the argument for using contingent labor to subsidize your department or location efforts remains strong with or without HR’s approval. Strategies to quickly adding manpower to your project generally happen three different ways:
  • Outsourcing Your Contingent Workforce. Companies use staffing agencies as a way to try out these workers before they buy. These organizations are responsible for pay, benefits and other compliance and documentation responsibilities.
  • Billing and Invoicing Through Procurement. Consultants work directly with someone in accounting and procurement to make sure they are 1099’d properly.
  • Centralized Contingent Workforce Plan. HR or Recruiting manages the centralized process of permanent employees through their ATS as well as the contingent workers ensuring that contingent workers stay independent contractors in the eyes of the IRS using their 20 factor test.
Whether permanent, temporary or independent worker, building a network of quality candidates with real-time updated information about where they are at any given time and where their availability will be over the next days or weeks is absolutely critical. TalentCircles is the ideal platform for this.

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

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Use the KISS Model When Building Your Company Career Page

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

If ten potential candidates walked into your office interested in applying for a job, would you speak to just one and send the other nine away? Well chances are, that’s exactly what your company career page is doing to your applicant pool. In fact, an average of 90 percent of company career page traffic leaves without ever applying for a job. Your intentions may be good, but you may be missing the mark on reigning in those job seekers.

We tend to not think like potential candidates when creating our career pages. Emphasis is put on what makes sense to our business when organizing job openings, conveying need-to-know information and attracting candidates. But in order to catch the other 90 percent, we need to take a step back and keep it simple.

If You Think it’s Obvious, it Might Not Be
We live in a time of skimmers. What I mean by that is the majority of people don’t read every word top to bottom and left to right. This often causes us to miss important details. It’s the online equivalent of calling the cable company and complaining that it’s not working, only to look at the back of the TV and find the cable box unplugged. Even you - yes you - are guilty of overlooking. And those words “click here to apply” may not register when a potential candidate is skimming, even though they jump out at you. Your page doesn’t need to look like Vegas with flashing words and neon colors, but instructions should be incredibly obvious to your visitors.

Don’t Make Your Visitors Pull Out Google Maps
One of the most important aspects of a successful career page is simple and easy navigation. If anyone ever needs to look at a site map to work their way through your career page, it’s too complicated. To ensure that your visitors ease, not stumble, through your site, think like them. You already know the ins and outs of your company, the positions, how to apply and what’s involved in the application and interview process but they don’t. So proactively answer their questions, and think logically about where in the process these questions may come up. These details will help to determine the navigation of your site.

Make a Picture Book, Not a Novel
Aim to create something more like a grade-school picture book than a 400-page novel. People like graphics and are accustomed to being drawn to images over words, as evidenced by the enormous growth of graphic-heavy social sites like Instagram and Pinterest. Graphics are more likely to draw our attention and are understood quicker. Rather than writing 500 words about your company culture, show it with images. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true here.

No secret decoder ring required
When you do use words, don’t make people wish that a visit to your career page included a secret decoder ring so they can figure out what you’re saying. Tell your story, tell why you’re great and tell potential candidates why they would want to work for you. Don’t make them read between the lines or use a dictionary. This is your opportunity to sell your company as the candidate’s next employer so take advantage, but keep it simple.

What can you add to this list of simple ways to catch the other 90 percent of candidates visiting your company’s career page? A button that will take them to your private network!

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

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Secret to Building Your Employment Brand

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

HR professionals, it’s time to start thinking like marketing gurus. No longer can your marketing plan be an afterthought, but instead must be the first thought you have when it comes to the strategic path of your recruiting and hiring. Managing the staffing needs of your company may be your primary responsibility, but marketing your company as an employer is the first step in mastering it. Marketing in HR is nothing new. However, what is new are the tactics being utilized, and even more so the way they’re being used. Effective recruitment marketing includes pieces that are part of a bigger strategic plan or framework. Without that framework, it’s all just a shot in the dark.

When you think of building your employment brand, you likely think of the tactics involved, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, professional organizations and other networking opportunities. These are all proven and effective ways of recruiting, but without seeing how they all fit together, you have a constant handicap. It’s like the difference between using the instructions to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture and just winging it. You might make it through, but there will be that handful of screws left over that leave you wondering whether or not the bed is going to fall apart in the middle of the night.

This is where your talent community comes into play. A framework is created using all of your recruiting and hiring resources. It connects your contacts in professional organizations to your social media, which connects them to online discussions and blogs, which connects them to hiring events...and it goes on and on. Your framework must be built on a strategic plan. How do you want to connect with candidates? What kind of candidates are you seeking? How large of a pipeline of potential candidates do you wish to have? The answers to these questions help to shape your framework.

Your talent community essentially creates a pipeline of potential candidates for your recruiting and hiring efforts. The way it does so is by connecting you with these candidates far before a position ever opens up and keeping the line of communication open through multiple channels. It’s said in marketing that typically an ad must be seen several times in order to be remembered. The same is true of your employment brand. In fact, it helps to think of your employment brand the same way other companies think of their businesses, as having savvy customers who have a choice of where to visit or in your case, apply. Your talent community creates multiple experiences across many channels for your potential candidates.

Those experiences actually create a path for candidates, though it’s not a path you might define or expect to be the same from person to person. One candidate’s path may begin at a career fair, while another’s may start by discovering you on LinkedIn. The actual path taken isn’t as important as the fact that there is a path. The last thing you want is to invest your time and money into connecting with potential candidates for it to lead to a dead end. A talent community creates a constant conversation. This constant conversation puts your employment brand at the forefront of your applicant pool’s minds and makes recruiting and hiring quicker, easier and more successful.

What channels do you use in recruiting and hiring that you could utilize in building a talent community? Let us know in the comments below.

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

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Sourcing: What It Was, What It Is, What It Could Be (Part 2 of 3)

Last time, we stepped in the way-back machine to look at what sourcing used to be.
Surprisingly, people got very sentimental over their dusty binders full of candidate prospects.
As someone who keeps stacks of paper - and not very well organized - I can honestly thank my lucky wildcard asterisks for the internet.

Sourcing has changed in three evolutionary ways, according to my perspective. It’s the technology that supports the sourcing activity, the architecture of the teams that tackle the research, and the tactics that today’s sourcers have learned to leverage.


There’s a bevy of sourcing tools out there. Sourcing automation tools are intended for finding larger volumes of candidate prospects. They can take many forms and data sources, including:

- Resume database access from job boards, both general and niche
- Manual and automated search from major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo
- Custom career search engines like Indeed, SimplyHired and Beyond
- Sourcing aggregators like InfoGist, Broadlook Diver, TalentHook and SourcePoint

Sourcing augmentation tools are about finding those “purple unicorns” or the hard-to-source prospects. The majority of these individuals are passive and have limited information online.
Most of these take advantage of social conversation data, based on influencers, keywords and semantic search.

- Social sourcing platforms like Entelo, Diver, Gild, TalentBin, Rolepoint and OpenWeb
- Alternate search engines like blekko, blinkx, DuckDuckGo, sperse, socialmention
- Twitter Search, Facebook Graph Search, Google+ or FindPeopleOnPlus
- GitHub, StackOverflow, Reddit, the list goes on…


“Sourcing is typically part of the recruiting function performed by the HR professional, but it may also be conducted by managers within the company.”
Full Life-cycle Recruiters
Long-been the champions of the corporate world, the full-desk recruiter manages everything from the approval of the requisition to the job description, the sourcing, screening and assessment, all the way through interview and offer. Taking on every stage of the process means that the recruiter is the admin, brand ambassador, talent advisor, quality control and master negotiator, all in one. Which also means that he or she can realistically only handle so many reqs. The process of sourcing leads typically (but not always) takes a backseat to filtering through existing applicants.

Sourcing Plate-spinners
I’m talking about individuals that serve in a corporate or agency environment supporting a recruiter, or more likely, a team of recruiters. Having spent some time in the RPO world at the start of my career, I understand this model intimately. It wasn’t the most common method at the time, but has gained popularity. By separating responsibilities, you’re able to focus and refine your skills on one aspect of candidate generation: the research. You’re also able to work more closely with each recruiter and hiring manager (depending on the client relationship) to understand the job requirements.

Sourcing Teams
Separating what I call the upstream activities - research, first contact, pipelining and engagement - the sourcing function becomes the new face of the recruiting team. The de facto employment brand ambassadors in a system that understands the value of sourcing. Most teams are divided by internal business function or simply by geography, which allows deep understanding and a network of knowledge about a company’s hiring needs. After the prospect applies in the applicant tracking system, it’s up to the recruiting team, which now serves as more of an assessment and account manager function for the hiring managers.

The hiring managers also do their fair share of sourcing, because they have industry contacts and established networks to give the talent acquisition team a head start.


“Sourcing can identify either candidates who are not actively looking for job opportunities (passive job seekers) or candidates who are actively searching for jobs (active job seekers).”

Sourcing passive job seekers can include direct calls to businesses that employ individuals who match the key requirements of the position. Some people call it rusing, others just call it telephone sourcing. It can also be accomplished through networking with various business-related groups.

Both passive and active job seekers can be located by sourcing job boards, social media sites, corporate alumni associations and through all types of networking. After all, a resume that’s three years old in a job board database, may lead you to someone who’s no longer looking and thus no longer source-able on a career or job site. There’s gold in them there databases.

Another powerful tactic that’s gaining momentum is community engagement, or leveraging inbound marketing strategies to start recruiting conversations. By taking a holistic view of a candidate profile or persona, you can curate shareable content that’s keyword-engineered to attract talent. Using a free service like Google Trends, you can see what others are reading online and searching for by related terms. (Side note: Who knew actuaries like to play Sudoku?)

Becoming a reliable source of information, you gain both of the key ingredients to unlocking employment commerce: 1) trust and 2) relevance.

Next up, Sourcing: What It Could Be

About Bryan ChaneyBryan Chaney is a Talent Branding and Attraction Strategist. He most recently led employment branding and social media for corporate recruitment at Aon. Previously, he developed the recruitment marketing arm of a Texas based RPO provider that serves SMB and Fortune clients. He serves on the board of Social Media Breakfast in Austin and founded careerconnects.org, a community event platform, to gather niche recruiting and HR professionals with candidates to share career strategies. The Huffington Post recently named him one of the Top 100 Most Social HR Experts on Twitter. Connect with Bryan for consulting and speaking availability at Bryan Chaney.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Video Job Descriptions Can Improve Your Quality of Hire

Video job descriptions are short 30 to 60 second videos of the hiring manager or recruiter using video sharing the key points, skills and responsibilities for a job opening. 

Best practices for video job descriptions include:

Keep it short: Just like a written job description, if it’s too long candidates will get bored quickly missing important details. When recording a job description make sure to keep the video between our recommended 30 to 60 second time frame for optimal results.

Use good lighting :  One of the easiest ways a recruiter can ruin a video job description is poor lighting and an unprofessional setting. Remember, you have 30-60 to sell someone not only on the job position, but your culture. Use everything in your toolbox to your advantage.

Get to the point: The problem with most recruiters is you want to fit everything possible into a video to get the most that you start rambling and forget to highlight the most important parts of the job. Cut out the small talk and highlight everything that’s important.

Video has already proven to increase the number of applications for job openings by 34%, but will that result in a more qualified candidate? I say yes.

With TalentCircles you’re able to record a video presentation of the job on the fly within TalentCircles (no need to upload) and attach this video to a job both within TalentCircles and outside TalentCircles. By doing so, you can attach a question (video, text, multi-choice with one or many answers) checking if the candidate feels qualified or how the candidate feels he/she fits the requirements. As a result, you can easily monitor how many people considered this job opening both within or outside your network and use the job description as a real filter.

Video job descriptions provide key benefits:
  • It a new way to digest old content, your written job description.
  • It offers a human touch to your company.
  • It enables a candidate with an opportunity to self-select either in or out of the candidate application process
  • If you add one or two simple questions, it enables you to build a qualified pool of job opening prospects. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why the Candidate Experience is a Life or Death Matter for Your Prospective Employee

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The recession of 2008 took its toll on nearly everyone including my own family. My husband was laid off from his consulting IT job just two weeks before the birth of our daughter, Ryleigh. Confidence shaken but not shattered, I watched him smile and dial calling recruiters, contacts and prospects looking for his next consulting project. He searched tirelessly, effortlessly and without fail for ten long months. It was one of the most stressful and hard times of our lives. It’s not something I ever want to relive ever again.

For those individuals who are in the job search whether it’s by choice or forced through reduction in force or being laid off, it’s a critical time not only for one person but likely an entire family. The candidate experience puts recruiters and companies who are hiring in the shoes of the job seeker providing resources, information and making the candidate comfortable even when they aren’t your number one prospect for the job.

We don’t know the life situation of those job seekers who are applying for an opportunity to work for our company. That’s why making a positive candidate experience is critical not only for the job seeker but can make a huge impact a candidate’s impression of that same company. Without treating each candidate with the same type of attention and respect recruiters can potentially create an unfair bias that’ll discredit their hiring abilities.

The candidate experience is a life or death matter for your prospective employee because without it there is no loyalty to your company. As recruiters attempt to recruit only the brightest in a competitive job market, wooing a candidate can only happen successfully if they have a good experience during the hiring process. Delayed responses, lack of information, or unattractive career portals are guaranteed ways to disengage the candidate. Hitting on specific touch points in the candidate experience cycle will allow human resource professionals to effectively recruit with a successful employer brand.

One of the most important things that Human Resources departments can emphasis is how their employer brand is perceived throughout the entire candidate experience process. Without evaluating and setting proper expectations for each candidate that passes through your candidate funnel, not only will your company suffer missed opportunities in recruiting the best, but might suffer a loss in brand loyalty on the sales side of your business. Recruiting is no longer just about finding the perfect candidate, but the journey you take in getting there.

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

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Sourcing: What It Was, What It Is, What It Could Be (Part 1 of 3)

The line between sourcing and recruiting has become increasingly blurred. Where does one process stop and the other begin? I’ve worked for organizations that have separated the function into completely different teams. The line was the point of application. Everything before it belonged to the sourcers. Everything after, the recruiters owned. But more and more recruiters are being tasked with candidate research.

With the adoption of social recruiting and its brand exposure, the impact of sourcing on talent acquisition has been thrust into the spotlight. And to understand where we’re going, we need to understand our past.

First, we’ll hop in the way-back machine, to look at the “old school” version of sourcing and candidate research. Since I’ve only been in the recruiting field for 9 years, I didn‘t experience the “big binders full of candidates” era.

 Let’s take SHRM’s definition of talent sourcing as a starting point: “Sourcing is the proactive searching for qualified job candidates for current or planned open positions.”

I‘ve always associated sourcing with lead generation. It’s prospecting for companies and/or people that fit targeted qualifications. In the world of sales, it would be companies with specific products, or a particular number of employees. Many times but not always, with operations in targeted geographies. The sales person had to manage the process from start to finish. Very similar to sales, the recruiter would manage the entire process, or full life-cycle recruiting.

Within the last few years, market and business development roles have separated from the typical sales role. It’s the difference between inbound and outbound sales calls, and takes a very different approach as well as alternate personality characteristics of the people doing the work. Some call it the separation between hunting and farming tactics, because it takes more curiosity and initiative to stalk your “prey.” I’m sure we’re all comfortable with that analogy like we‘re comfy with a restraining order.

Source : http://tiptopmarketer.com/setting-up-a-profitable-sales-funnel-part-1-of-2/

Previously, lead generation or lead sourcing job titles were listed as “Inside Sales” or something similar, because these people were rarely, if ever seen face-to-face by the company’s prospects and clients. Cue the stereotype of sourcers as low-level recruiters.

As the spread of information and contact details increased and sales cycles got more complex, the need for a specialized business development approach was needed. Binders and Rolodex spinners gave way to Excel spreadsheets, which gave way to corporate databases. Ultimately, the data found its way into more user-friendly CRMs or Customer Relationship Management systems. The same is true of the divergence between recruiting and sourcing.

“It is not the reactive function of reviewing resumes and applications sent to the company in response to a job posting or pre-screening candidates.”

A recruiter’s job used to be the management of inbound candidates. Whether it was office or retail foot traffic, mailed resumes, or (gasp) faxed resumes and cover letters. The reason?  Research was easier. Job requirements were simpler. Personalities were very different for successful sourcing than they were for engagement and assessment.

Then we got fancy. Our targets got more refined and niche candidate generation started becoming the name of the game. Researchers scoured printed lists and telephone directories, looking for the right contacts to hand over, for the recruiters to contact.

“The goal of sourcing is to collect relevant data about qualified candidates, such as names, titles and job responsibilities.”

Hello, internet.

Over the last 20 years, we’ve been inundated with sources of online information. At first it was simple to search, but with burgeoning data, comes the need for more complex searching skills. More sophisticated search skills, means a more sophisticated sourcer.

Next up, part 2. Sourcing: What It Is

About Bryan Chaney: Bryan Chaney is a Talent Branding and Attraction Strategist. He most recently led employment branding and social media for corporate recruitment at Aon. Previously, he developed the recruitment marketing arm of a Texas based RPO provider that serves SMB and Fortune clients. He serves on the board of Social Media Breakfast in Austin and founded careerconnects.org, a community event platform, to gather niche recruiting and HR professionals with candidates to share career strategies. The Huffington Post recently named him one of the Top 100 Most Social HR Experts on Twitter. Connect with Bryan for consulting and speaking availability at Bryan Chaney.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How to Create a Convincing Brand Part 3 of 3

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

In the final part of our How to Create a Convincing Brand series we take a look at improving the candidate experience one step further. The goal is to drive the conversation to a company owned platform where prospective candidates can fully experience the candidate and employer relationship using multiple mediums and technology like video, branding, relationships and surveys in one place.

Talent communities have traditionally been referred to as ‘talent pools’ or 'talent pipelines’ or talent network. As businesses become more social it’s important to first create a relationship with a qualified talent pool. In order to become a more socially friendly business, your company needs to invest in a talent network.

Talent communities are not only helpful to the recruiter, but it allows a candidate to feel a sense of belonging, which is what convinces your candidates that you have a convincing brand. If a candidate has a place to go after applying for a job, it’ll allow them to feel included in the organization’s overall recruiting process.

Creating this sense of belonging even before a candidate focuses on a specific a job will make her want to keep track of future opportunities. Without the network job candidates will apply for a job and never visit your website again, especially if they never receive any notice about the status of their application.

As we discussed earlier in the week, one of the major steps in creating a successful employer brand is hitting on necessary touch points. Essentially what Talent Communities help recruiters accomplish is staying active and engaged with recruiters while enabling recruiters to provide relevant information. In order to create a convincing brand companies must provide a method for candidates to engage with recruiters and HR professionals, build consistent brand messages through multiple platforms, and hit on specific touch points that allow candidates to feel apart of the process.

In the end, a "convincing brand" is a brand that a candidate can feel related to and internalize. Your success is predicated on your ability to engage with candidates as human beings.

If you’ve missed part one and part two, you can follow up with them here:

How to Create a Convincing Brand Part 1 of 3
How to Create a Convincing Brand Part 2 of 3

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

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