Talent Circles

Friday, May 31, 2013

Seasonal Hiring Best Practices in Retail

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The holiday shopping season is one of the busiest of the entire year. Black Friday, the official start to the mayhem and madness of shoppers flocking to reduced prices while wanting to get their shopping done early. By this time recruiters have slaved for months, like they do every year, to make sure positions are filled and season hires have passed all the necessary tests to start working. In order to be successful at seasonal hiring here are a things that every recruiter needs to follow:

Start early. When hiring a mass influx of staff it’s important that recruiters allow themselves enough time to hire effectively. You’ll want to make sure new employees are ready to start working right when the peak season hits.

Train. One of the most important things you can do is make sure all the employees you hire are trained efficiently. I’m not sure what’s worse, waiting in line for an hour or getting to the register and your cashier not knowing a single thing. Ensuring proper training about your company, procedures and culture will keep everyone from bickering and destroying the culture by gossip and childish behaviors.

Recruit former employees. In order to save money on time and recruitment opportunities take a few and call past seasonal employees and see if they are interested in working again. You save money in training, time during the interview process, and less applications to wade through.

Don’t compromise your standards. During the holiday seasons a customer expects nothing but exceptional service. 99% of the time they’re not going to know that an employee isn’t a permanent employee. The quality of service the receive will dictate if they finish shopping and complete a purchase within your store. When hiring temporary employees it’s important to never compromise your standards because even temporary employees can ruin your brand image.

Plan the interview process. With massive staff increases the interviews can get a little hectic and scheduling that mean interviews can be overwhelming. Develop a plan to handle the increased number by asking for other managers in your department to conduct some of the interviews. Before doing so make sure to develop a standardize list of questions so they avoid any type of possible legal problems.

Every one of these suggestions will help recruiters gain the upper hand on their competition when it comes to seasonal hiring. It’s important to keep your standards as high as they are despite hiring temporary workers. When training leave enough time to explain everything important to your company so that they’re able to carry on your values.

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Use Social Media to Recruit in Retail

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Using social media to recruit in the retail industry is becoming a necessity. Organizations who rely on hourly and part-time employees usually have the largest workforce so it’s imperative that recruiters seek out innovative ways to recruit through social media. With the introduction of social job boards, social media has played a big part in several companies hiring and retaining employees.

One of the best examples of a company effectively recruiting through social media is Macy’s. With over 160,000 employees Macy’s saw the need to boost their hiring efforts as they were expanding quite frequently. With help from an outside partner Macy’s was able to launch their portal site, macysJOBS.com that allowed them to send all social media recruits as well as job fairs, etc. to this site, which they were able to track their visitors. Macy’s was able to use the power of social media as a key element in their branding strategy to drive over 69,000 new hires in 2009.

Here are a few things to learn from Macy’s and their commitment to hiring retail employees through social media;

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Like Macy’s, they used social media as one element of their overall strategy. When you first start using social media as a recruiting tool it’s important to make it just an element of your strategy. By itself social media isn’t as powerful as traditional recruiting approaches. Especially when recruiting in the retail industry, you must have objectives and overall material that supports your use of social media. It needs to match up with the demand for jobs at your company as well as the specific positions you’re hiring for.

Improve the experience. Sometimes people ask why is it important to make the experience of apply for a company a good one. Some might argue that they’re only hourly employees and easily replaceable. In some instances that might be true, but looking at it on a much grandeur scale, the people you hire today will become brand ambassadors, customers, and essentially someone who is going to increase your bottom line. Retail is one of the few places where people will actually shop where they work. The experience you bring to these hourly employees who are applying, shopping, and talking up your brand comes in handy. Even if the candidate isn’t hired, if they had a good experience, they will want a job with your company.

Make it easy. You aren’t hiring someone to run and implement high-leveled strategies. Normally your hourly employee will be a cashier, stocker, bank teller, or a job that is more in demand than others with a constant flow of applicants. There is no need to make the hiring process long and drawn out. Don’t ask them 100 questions before they can work to be a cashier for your company. Make it easy to submit a resume, fill out a general application and if you need more information ask it in the interview. Rarely is there a need for a second interview in these cases. Keep it short and simple.

With 42 million retails jobs in the United States alone using other methods such as social media to start recruiting is a smart and imperative move. Although it’ll help, it’s not the end all solution and social media should be tied into your overall strategy. Macy’s was able to hire over 69,000 jobs in two years because they used social media as a strong element of their strategy, improved the experience of each candidate and made it easy.

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, May 23, 2013

How to Reach a Niche Recruiting Audience Online

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Being tasked with the job of finding a candidate in niche market can be a daunting task. Job boards like Monster.com and Indeed.com offer a wide variety of jobs and most of the time don’t hit niche markets. As a recruiter it’s important to advertise your open positions in places that job seekers are visiting. For instance, if I were hiring for someone in pharmaceuticals that particular job seeker would rather search where all the jobs are related to pharmaceuticals instead of cycling through hundreds of non-related jobs.

If you’re having trouble reaching your audience in a very niche sector I have come up with a few places and suggestions to focus your effort. Not all of these will work across the board, but it’ll give you a basic understanding of this part of the recruiting process:

Niche Job Boards: Niche jobs boards are becoming more relevant in today’s society as high-tech industries are becoming the new trend. Not all niche job boards will be successful, but the work for many reasons. One of the biggest problems in a recruiter’s job is finding relevant people. Out of 100 applications received it’s possible that less than five of them are relevant to the actual posting. Using a job board specific to whim you’re hiring creates relevancy and will help weed out applicants who aren’t qualified.

It also helps cut down on the cost of hiring. If you’re using a job board like Monster.com you’re paying for an audience that you don’t want. Most of the time you’re hiring for 5% of these bigger job board’s audience.

Hashtags: Something that has become extremely popular in the recruiting world has been niche-recruiting hashtags. Meeting and engaging with potential applicants in the Twitterverse is the new normal in online recruiting. Instead of throwing out random hashtags like most people do, here are a few hashtags that will allow you to reach a specific audience:

Remember: There is a billion tweets sent every four days. Using appropriate hashtags is essential when posting job listings on Twitter for a niche target.

#USGuys – This hashtag caters to the marketing community. As a recruiter using this hashtag when posting a job related to marketing will greatly increase your chances of being seen by someone who is looking for a marketing job.

#socialmedia – One of the most popular jobs in today’s economy is all about social media. There are tons and tons of tweets about social media so using this hashtag coupled with one like #USGuys will help narrow down your search for someone interested in marketing and social media.

Other popular hashtags include #business #Is #in #hirefriday and #jobs. For a deeper understanding of how these hashtags work you can read Top 25 List of Twitter Hashtags for Human Resources. Niche job marketing is easy if you know where to look. Try these tips to increase the number of relevant applicants for each of your job postings.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to hire for a very specialized industry try using these suggestions to find a candidate without wasting money and time. Not all of these will work for every job listing, but they have been proven to be very effective in recruiting trends.

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, May 21, 2013

How to Drive Candidates to Your Job Postings with Social Media

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Your career site remains the number one candidate resource for job seekers to learn about job openings, but with social media, mobile and other technologies these times are changing. Learn how to drive candidates to your job postings and talent community using social media 24/7 365 days a year. Driving traffic to your career portal is easy with these suggested steps:

Start Basic. When you first start using social media to recruit, have a plan in place to listen and be ready to adapt based on what seems to work best for your company. Some companies will finder larger successes on Facebook as opposed to Twitter or other social networking sites. If you’re looking for a C-level executive it might behoove you to focus all of your energy on LinkedIn instead of splitting it between networks that aren’t designed for high-leveled recruiting.

Engage. The best way to attract the applicants you want is to engage with them. Most applicants who are looking for a job will become active throughout your various social media sites and if you’re a part of the real conversation it’ll show them a small piece of your company culture. Encourage discussion amongst the fans of your networks. If all your social media posts are dry and boring potential applicants will treat that as your company culture.

Schedule Shares to Maximize Audience. Let’s face it; recruiters aren’t able to sit in front of a desk during their entire shift to repost job listings across multiple platforms. Scheduling your shares of job postings is the perfect way to maximize the audience you’re trying to reach. You will want to make sure that there is a good mix of job postings, status updates, and interacting with those on your page. Using social media as a feed will get you blocked and ruin all your efforts in trying to effectively recruit in the space.

Boost Applications with Facebook. When Facebook launched their career portal last year it became an instant phenomenon for those trying to recruit within the hourly-job sector. Many bigger brands have millions of followers and even smaller brands have quite a few. Looking for an hourly position? Go to Facebook! Recruiters are searching everywhere to fill vacant positions in the most cost efficient way possible. Leveraging an already established network will allow you to drive traffic to your job postings easier than ever.

In order to have an effective recruitment strategy it’s important to understand that social media is just a small piece of the puzzle. Creating specific job listings that attract the right candidates is important as well as continually engaging them through multiple channels such as social media, your talent community, and other in-person recruiting events.

What are some of the ways your company drives traffic to your career site through

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, May 16, 2013

Navigating Through Compliance when Hiring in a Highly Regulated Industry

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

In part one of this series we took a look at best practices in hiring for the insurance and finance industry. This week we are taking a look at compliance issues that recruiters must adhere to when recruiting and hiring within high-risk industries. Institutions around the world need staff that are able to manage most fundamental business needs including driving profits and making sure compliance mandates are met.

Building a team with these skills has become more difficult as firms are facing situation in which the demand for skilled professionals often outweighs the supply. Here are a few of the top compliance issues that the human resources industry must face when it comes to hiring:

Audit Scrutiny. Audits and examinations aren’t something new for both financial and insurance industries. Newer companies are subject to higher levels of scrutiny on portfolios and investments, but in any case it’s important to hire someone with a strong background in performing internal corporate audits.

Data Access. In an era where data hacking seems like an everyday occurrence, regulators are tuning into how carefully client data is protected. Insurance companies are one of the biggest regulated industries because they hold extremely sensitive client data just like financial institutions. Hiring within this industry is more difficult because not only do you have to find someone with the proper skill set, but you also have to find the right personality to deal with a data that is extremely confidential.

Corporate Governance. One of the biggest buzzwords going around since the Sarbanes-Oxley first burst onto the scene post-Enron in 2002. The SEC and NAIC are taking a bigger part in how companies in highly regulated fields are running. Companies need to have groups that are making real decisions informed with real access to company information. At the same time regulators are looking more carefully at what decisions were made and why they were made. Recruiters need to take heed because in the insurance and financial fields hiring ethically minded individuals will keep your company from failing audits and big disasters such as Enron.

While compliance issues don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with recruiting, it’s important that recruiters are looking with those who have the experience and capabilities in each of these areas to protect the company. Looking for these characteristics when hiring will make a huge difference in your company. Highly regulated industries require a certain mindset to be run properly and those in charge of hiring these mindsets plays a critical role.

Stay tuned for the next part of series where we take a look reaching a niche recruiting audience online.

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, May 14, 2013

5 Ways to Improve Your Candidate Experience Today

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Candidate experience is a new concept in the recruiting and hiring space. With only 50% of companies even providing an automated response to candidates when a position is filled, the bar is set pretty low. Here are 5 ways to improve your candidate experience using small and targeted changes to your candidate engagement strategy.

Curate Good Content. Engaging each potential candidate will help your company attract the right people when hiring. You already have good content out there so curate all your videos, blogs, and news to share with those you want to inspire. When your recruiting team is able to keep potential recruits informed they’ll be more likely to be prepared for an interview.

Create a Talent Community. Talent communities not only help the recruiter, but it makes the candidate feel a sense of belonging. If a candidate has a place to go after they apply for a job it’ll make them feel like they’re not just submitting their resume in a black hole. Talent communities allow recruiters to share company culture and information about the company. Creating a sense of belonging even before an applicant has gotten a job will make them want to keep track of future opportunities.

Make it Easy to Apply for Jobs Online. This is one of the most important aspects of the candidate experience that needs to be perfected. Choosing technologies that allow you to create an easy to navigate, fully branded career page that will immediately thank applicants after submitting a resume. In order to cut down on half filled out resumes, make this process as easy as possible.

Communicate With Every Applicant. Even if the communication is an automated response it’s an important piece of the puzzle. A recent survey conducted by CareerXRoads stated that only 27% of the 56 companies surveyed have a formal process to decline external applicants. It’s important that you treat each and every candidate like a customer and a simple “You were not selected” letter goes a long way.

Provide Additional Resources. If you aren’t going to hire an applicant, go one step further in the candidate experience process and provide resources. Give them advice that will help them with their search process, they will be grateful, even though you didn’t’ hire them. Going this route will increase the amount of referrals you get and improve the word-of-mouth advertising in the job market. If you don’t have a resource, you may want to set up a customized career portal.

Following these five easy ways to improve candidate experience goes a long way into creating a better atmosphere for candidates who apply for jobs in your company. In order to recruit top talent its essential that you take care of the candidate just as you would treat any customer who walks into your store.

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, May 9, 2013

Best Practices to Hire Online in Insurance and Finance

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Finance and Insurance are highly regulated industries, which makes recruiting and hiring especially with social media and technology a challenge. In this four part series, we’ll help you navigate how to hire, recruit and work with the best.

Since 2011 companies have been frustrated over the lack of talent in the insurance and finance fields, which has led the recruiter’s job to being more difficult. Companies are searching high and low for those who match certain requirements to fill any vacant spot in order to fully staff critical positions.

Because the industry is highly regulated, there has been hesitancy with using social media and social recruiting platforms as part of a company’s overall recruiting strategy. On April 1, 2013, financial services companies in both the UK and the US had clearer regularly guidance on how to conduct social media activity for these finance industry. Recruiters avoided online communities only because of the imposed business regulation.

The regulations, which are available by clicking here, provide guidance and instruction around sharing earnings, investments and other financial information on social networks. This is a completely separate activity from recruiting and building pipelines of candidates.

Most candidates in the financial or insurance professions specialize in a specific marketable skill set instead of a more generalized focus that companies are looking to hire. In order to be efficient in hiring for the insurance and financial fields there are a few guidelines that would benefit recruiters.

Industry-Related Experience. When recruiters pick and choose from the vast pool of insurance and financial candidates there are several fields in which these candidates have experience. It’s important that recruiters are recruiting within specific field types in order to attract and retain the best talent. When recruiters try and hire outside the specific industry knowledge and procedure, they won’t follow the candidate because it’s an entirely different playing field.

Hire Good Sales People. When working within the insurance industry it’s customary that the agent has great selling skills. Their industry is built off networking. Just like in the finance industry, financial planners and advisors are usually working for a bigger company whose job is to not only push products and services, but to sell the client on all of them.

Create Appropriate Career Paths. Most insurance or financial agents work independently from their main company. Being able to provide career paths that will allow individual agents to grow into managers or even corporate is a benefit that most companies tend to overlook. If you’re a recruiter looking to hire within one of these professions, it’s essential that you sell the candidate on growth opportunities within your company. That will not only give them incentive to sell your product, but give them something to work for while working for your company.

So whether you’re looking for a good insurance or financial professional it’s important to not only look for those who are good sales people and have industry related experience, but be able to provide appropriate career paths for growth of each individual agent. Join us next Thursday as we look into compliance issues when hiring within these selected fields.

How do you hire within the insurance and financial fields?

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, May 7, 2013

From Paper Resumes to Profiles using TalentScan™

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

On average college recruiters collect 40 to 60 resumes during each career fair. Over the course of a few weeks recruiters attending multiple career fairs at regional and state colleges can accumulate over 200 resumes. Even if according to research by TheLadders a recruiter can only spend 6 seconds on each resume, sorting through the mounds of paper can be somewhat overwhelming.

In order help recruiters Talent Circles has created TalentScan™, a resume scanning solution that allows to scan and upload candidate profiles directly into their TalentCircles-powered talent network. Once uploaded, the software parses the information found on the resume and places it in the candidates profile on the company’s private network. Then you can send a message to the candidates telling them that they can login and update their information.

It’s no secret that Human Resources departments are understaffed and technology that helps streamline processes are necessary for this department to run smoothly. The benefit of using this type of resume scanning software is limitless. Here are a two main reasons why investing in TalentScan will help your department fix efficiency issues:

Sorting Process: With this software recruiters are now able to sort candidates into groups.

Better Communication: Once a candidate is added to the talent network, recruiters are able to message each candidate and send specific email campaigns out to those who have either qualified for the next round, those who might be better suited in a different position within the company, or simply to tell them that their profile needs to be updated with more information. Better communication allows recruiters more information on the candidate, thus making a better decision when trying to hire someone.

Better Talent. When recruiters can communicate more effectively, they are also able to recruit better. Sourcing better candidates gives recruiters the ability to attract and retain talent. This also allows companies to develop stronger candidate pipelines.

There is no doubt that recruiters need to start investing in this type of technology to improve their processes and bottom line. The investment not only saves time, but it also saves companies from prevent errors that could costs them in recruiting better talent.

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