Talent Circles

Monday, June 30, 2014

3 Reasons Why Your Automated Job Postings Aren’t Working

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

In the world of social recruiting, it’s very common to distribute your job postings. Applicant tracking systems often use a process called RSS or an XML Feed to auto distribute your job postings to aggregation sites or social networks like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. I’d like to include a description of what the RSS and XML Feeds are.

According to Luke Hopkins, CTO of Broadbean Technology, an RSS job feed is “generic and provides the reader with a short list of ‘articles’ like a summary, title or date. RSS job feeds are automated systems designed to scrape the full job content off the original website.” XML job feeds on the other hand, according to Hopkins, “contain all the information about the job, so title, summary, date as an RSS, but then also full description, location, categorization information, job type (full time, part time etc); all that other essential information.” This means that everything you need to know about that job is in that XML; you don’t have to go elsewhere to get the full info.

Sometimes recruiters are shocked when they begin measuring the results of their social recruiting and automated job posting campaigns because they are not working. Here are three reasons why you can improve your automated job postings via social networks today.

There is no engagement.
Social media is about a mix 2 way communications and one way distributions. If you are not contributing, commenting and sharing more than a series of automated job postings, you are not engaging in what is really social recruiting. You have to find a mix of automated and engagement to increase your click-through, applications and social sharing. This is probably the biggest mistake recruiters make when using automated job postings. They think its one click and you’re done, but in reality there is a lot of nurturing and maintaining to achieve the results their wanting.

Your job openings are only posted for a short time.
One of the benefits of TalentCircle’s platform is their circles where you are engaging and building relationships with job seekers even if you don’t have a current job opening. Job postings are about reacting instead of being proactive and most importantly, your postings are only active or published for a limited amount of time. The best recruiters have already built the funnel or pipeline needed to post a job and instantly get the right qualified candidates whom they are already aware of. There’s no more of this posting and praying when using technologies such as TalentCircles.

Your hash tags aren’t reaching the audience you seek.
When it comes to the most viral social network, Twitter, hashtags are extremely important. Think of hashtags as the Dewey Decimal System of Twitter. The better the hashtag, the more targeted the audience you reach. Not having the right hash tag keeps you from reaching and engaging a unique and specific audience of job seekers. Learn the right hashtags that are trending in your industry and use those to post. Over on Blogging4Jobs we’ve created the perfect list of the most appropriate job hashtags when you’re promoting your next position.

Automated job postings are amazing and can really help the recruiter if used right. Make sure you have a place for candidates to go and learn more about your company as well as you learning more about them. Using TalentCircles promotes success within your recruiting strategies.

How are you managing automated job feeds?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Your Social Recruiting Strategy

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I love social media. Don’t get me wrong. My business is built on using social media to engage job seekers, employees and candidates. Social media is a great way to engage an audience of job seekers who are both passive and active candidates, but it’s not really a strategic activity.

Social media and social recruiting is a real time activity. Yes, there is an art form to using a hash tag and properly creating content to tweet. But what’s really strategic about building candidate pipelines involves more than pushing out an automatic job posting.

For social recruiting to be strategic, it needs to involve these four things.

A long-term plan and strategy.
Going beyond publishing photos and holiday content but focused on resources for your ideal candidate that are valuable and will last for the long term. It’s not enough any longer for companies to post pictures of GEICO Camel for ‘Hump Day.’ Consumers are looking at brands to provide them with real content that they’re able to use professionally.

If you’re a marketing agency you should be putting out tips and tricks that help consumers navigate their brand and presence. Don’t give them the secrets of the trade, but give them enough where they’re educated about the necessity for a stellar brand image. If you’re a software company put out information that educates the consumer on the importance of your offerings as well as industry-related types of content that keeps the reader coming back for more.

You need a long-term content strategy and overall plan for building your brand into a resource for not only potential customers, but also current customers.

Create an inbound candidate flow.
Keeping in mind with the talent network a strategic social recruiting strategy means creating a constant flow of potential candidates to your talent network and pipeline. When you post a new job requisition you should already have 3-5 candidates in mind from your current pipeline that you can ask to apply for the job. Using software like TalentCircles allows you to bring all the candidates you source on social networks into one central location where you can keep them updated on company news and open positions that might peak their interest.

Creating an inbound candidate flow and you’ll basically be golden for filling positions. Most companies don’t realize that there are great technologies out there that allow them to place all candidates in a central hub. Once you’ve found someone on social networks get them involved fast so you can fill positions more easily.

Use your resources.
A real relationship with job seekers going beyond just social activates your entire recruiting funnel. Utilizing your resources and technology focused on unique engagement and meaningful conversations that go beyond just surface but focused on building an employment brand and recruiter relationship that speaks positively about your company. Candidates and job seekers like to feel engaged and important. One off answers when they have a few isn’t going to cut it. If you want to find the people who are really engaged and loving your brand make sure to take the time in responding to each and every question that job seekers ask.

Focused on metrics.
Sometimes social media is fuzzy. Like any type of engagement-focused activity, not every conversation or tweet means that every interaction is with a candidate. The focus is on metrics, conversation and where candidates are directed to your talent network and then ultimately hired or engaged.

Before you start building out a social recruiting strategy make sure that you have benchmarks in place to determine how successful you are at your efforts. This will also allow you to discuss with your team what is most important to your organizations whether it be X number of candidates in your funnel, good conversations with potential candidates, or brand awareness while building your pipeline.

Your social recruiting strategy is more then “likes” on your Facebook or followers on your Twitter. It’s about the relationships you build over these networks and turning those relationships into brand ambassadors or employees to your company. Create a shareable story about how you recruited a candidate and build off the momentum to get the results you’re looking for in social recruiting.

How are you stepping up your social recruiting strategies?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Monday, June 23, 2014

4 Keys in a Cohesive Candidate Experience

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Although you may hear the words “candidate experience” nearly every other day, it’s far from an HR buzzword. It holds real meaning and value that focuses on providing content, information and other resources to potential candidates when and where they need it. All this access not only keeps them in your talent network but also helps you build your employment brand as your reputation is increased with each interaction or touch point.

The main way that the candidate experience differs from simply making information available is that it incorporates both planned and unplanned engagement, conversation and information, creating a cohesive effort that spans many channels. It goes beyond answering questions and engaging to form an employment brand strategy that connects you with candidates while satisfying the constant need for a real-time conversation and information stream that we have become accustomed to in this day and age.

When the candidate experience includes all the necessary channels, it can be easy for your message to become diluted and inconsistent. When a candidate talks to you about your company, they should hear a message that’s in line with what they find on your website, which should also be parallel to what they discover in your organization’s Twitter conversations, LinkedIn profile and in collateral materials. Define your employment brand, develop strategic messaging around it and let that be your guide for every interaction, both directly and indirectly, that you have with a candidate.

It’s important not to confuse consistency with impersonal or non-flexible engagement. In fact, customizing and personalizing your messaging is one of the most important aspects of a successful candidate experience. No one likes to feel as though they’re only worth the time it took to change the name in a form letter, so take an extra moment to consider the individual you’re communicating with. Another pitfall that companies tend to succumb to is communicating when, where and how it is most convenient for them. Communicate on your candidate’s terms to make the most of the time you’re spending to engage.

Follow up
We’ve all been part of one-sided conversations, and they typically leave a bad taste in our mouths. Don’t be that company. You’ve taken the time to develop messaging, provide the information that candidates need and make it easily accessible, so now is not the time to drop the ball. You’ve done the work to reel them in so it would be foolish not to unhook them. Provide multiple ways for them to reach out and then use those same channels (or the channels of their preference) to follow up.

Anticipating needs
Making resources and access points available to candidates before they even know they need them is powerful in the candidate experience because it allows all interactions to be positive and proactive. This performance of now not only positions you as an employer with stand out recruiting practices but also empowers candidates to find out about the company and the position, doing some of the legwork that often falls to you during preliminary candidate screening.

A cohesive candidate strategy has many moving parts (that often require us to perform a balancing act) but they must touch on these four keys. When these four keys are put into practice, it’s clear how powerful a cohesive candidate strategy can be, both in the short term and in the long term.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of providing a cohesive candidate experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Friday, June 20, 2014

Can You Have it All: Automation or Engagement in Recruiting?

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

If you’re like most of us, you feel like your time is stretched impossibly thin at work. You’re trying to keep 50 balls in the air while adding new ones every day. It’s a lot to keep up with but the fact is, it’s the new standard in the industry for those who aren’t satisfied with the status quo. We know by now that it’s really not enough to choose one thing and do it really well because our competitors are doing it, and more, just as well. Companies feel pressured to develop employment brand campaigns and build talent pipelines at the same time, leaving many wondering - do we automate or engage?

Now more than ever, it’s a fair question. We have better and more advanced automation tools than ever before but at the same time it is more important than ever that we engage in order to build our talent networks. Below, we analyze the good and bad of automation and engagement and how to make them both work so you truly can have it all.

Automation at its best and worst
There is definitely a case to be made for automation, especially in large companies or HR departments that are stretched just a little too thin. Automation makes it possible to screen candidates quickly and without focusing all your attention on the process. To add to the argument for automation, the technology continually improves and is further honed by the customization you do to make it work for you. On the other hand, automation is notoriously impersonal, may not do as good of a job identifying candidates as you could and certainly doesn’t do much for building a talent pipeline because it requires, and even encourages, minimal interaction between candidates and companies.

The case for and against engagement
Most of us would agree that engagement is king in the recruitment world. We need it to build a talent network, connect with potential candidates and develop an employment brand. In a perfect world, we would likely spend our days building connections with potential candidates, but in the real world, there are too many people and not enough time to do it effectively. This is when the engagement begins to drop off and we let valuable candidates slip through our fingers. Your attention is split between an indefinite number of candidates when only a small percentage of that group turns out to be ideal candidates.

The best of both worlds
To be truly successful in recruiting today, you’ve got to take both automation and engagement and find a way to make them work together for you. The key to making it happen is to play to both of their strengths. Use automation for what its most effective at and engage where it matters.

First off, many people see engagement as just interacting with candidates but it actually goes much further than that. In fact, the kind of engagement that truly makes a difference is the overarching efforts such as webinars, blog posts, job notifications and documents. Just because you’re engaging with the masses instead of individually doesn’t mean it’s not still effective engagement. Another area of engaging that often goes overlooked is in the small things, the things that you don’t think twice about but a candidate will remember as part of your employment brand. Those things include email responses, returning phone calls and other ways a candidate could feel like they were left hanging.

Secondly, automation is a must for any recruiter who absolutely must make the most of their time. To avoid letting the great ones fall through the cracks, you need powerful screening tools that do the legwork for you. Couple that with scored questionnaires that are automatically sorted and semantic job searching that produces a report outlining which candidates are the best matches for a position and you’ll save your company an enormous amount of time, allowing you to focus on the candidates who will make a difference in your organization.

What is your biggest deterrent to making use of both automation and engagement? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Monday, June 16, 2014

How to Create Content and Community for Job Seekers That Means Something

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

As I mentioned in previous posts employment branding is everything in the new world of recruiting. Digital storytelling and content creation is the new key to engagement and relationships. The question is how do you anticipate the types of content, information and resources that your candidates are craving?

For Blogging4Jobs and the other clients I work with that we develop content for, I start by talking with my target audience either through a survey, phone calls or in person meetings. I want to gain insights in pain points they experience and the small but important things they point out as clarification or tools they need in their industry.

Three to four times a week, I talk to a handful of individuals who I consider my muses to make sure my new content is on par, it resonates with my audience and is appealing. Because in the world of content creation and digital storytelling, quality content matters but speed to publish and build is everything. Follow these three easy rules and you’ll be able to run a very successful community for job seekers.

Make the content useful.
When creating content for your job seekers community it’s important to create content that is actually useful to them. Have you hiring managers or recruiters deliver secrets about your company that a job seeker would actually need to sign in to get.

The benefit is you get their information and possibly a really good employee and they get insider tricks into how to obtain employment at your company. Don’t waste their time on information they can find anywhere are the web, they’ve signed up for your company for a specific purpose, to get a job at YOUR company.

Engage the job seeker.
If you find someone that could potentially be a good fit for your company, engage them! That’s what communities are for after all. You’ll spend less money and time courting a candidate if you’ve already built a firm relationship with them by engaging them in questions, comments, or concerns they have about the company. Be upfront and let them know the realities of your company culture and what it’s like to work at your company. The worst thing is hiring a new employee only for them to find out the complete opposite and quit.

Offer advice.
Did a job seeker recently apply for a job in your company that you see potential in, but they just didn’t make the cut with your superiors or colleagues? Take the time to offer them advice on the process and what they can do make the cut the next time around. Being supportive is what they job seeker is looking for. Whether it is a new grad who has no clue what’s going on or someone who has experience but interviews terribly. Offer advice and help develop the job seekers in your community.

If you offer advice, engage the job seeker, and create content that is worth the time of day you’ll have no problem with retaining the candidates in your pipeline and finding a perfect fit for an open job requisition.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Friday, June 13, 2014

How Employment Branding Changes Everything in Recruiting (Part 2)

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Yesterday we talked about how doing your homework can not only help avoid past mistakes, but can help determine how certain successes in your employment brand can be duplicated and change how you recruit. In this part of the series we’ll talk about a few benefits of how a strong employment brand can change everything in your recruiting and a few more ways to build a strong pipeline.


Creating a Strong Pipeline Supported by Your Employer Brand 


Use channels to funnel candidates to your ultimate destination. 
Whether it’s a careers pages or a talent network, using Talent Circles, you are building keep in mind the end game isn’t the number of Twitter followers, it’s building relationships with a community of qualified and targeted candidates. Recruiters get hung up on it all being about the number of followers or the size of your network when in reality it’s about the qualified candidate pool.

Having a network where these candidates can go to network with you and your team will keep them involved for future opportunities.

Be engaging.
Provide resources, information and content that your audience needs. Share regularly and build a reputation that rises above the noise and elevate your own recruiting efforts with employment branding. It’s not enough to have candidates sign up for your talent network or fill out a form on your career page. You must be engaging to keep the candidate interested in your company. Building a strong employer brand can help with these tasks.


Benefits of a Strong Employer Brand 

Attracting the right candidates to your company.
The perfect recruiting strategy doesn’t really involve finding the perfect candidate in the perfect job. It’s finding the perfect person for your company. When finding the right candidate it’s important that they fit in well within your company’s culture and they mesh with current employees. This has been proven to not only create higher workplace morale, but better productivity between employees.

Set the right expectations and improve retention.
No one likes turnover. Communicating clearly and upfront what it’s like to work for your company will set expectations in the minds of your candidates. Having a strong employer brand will help you attract the right people for your organization. Therefore, you will experience higher employee retention rates and better performance over companies who have a weak, ‘care-free’ employer brand attitude.

Showcase the skills and traits that are valued in your organization and you’ll be able to obtain new hires that know how to emulate them.

Building a strong employer brand will help dictate the candidates who fall into your pipeline. If you work on your brand and overall recruiting strategies you’ll see high retention and productivity rates. Your employees are the key to success. Start investing in a strong employment brand strategy and you’ll see results you’ve been looking for.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Press Release: TalentCircles Talent Community Selected For ResCare Workforce Services

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (June 12, 2014) – ResCare Workforce Services - America’s leading provider of workforce services - has established a working relationship with TalentCircles that will improve the way employers and job seekers are matched together in more than 300 Career Centers throughout the nation.

The recently formed business partnership will leverage a new ResCare Talent Market technology that will assist veterans, adult and dislocated workers, people with disabilities, welfare-to-work participants and America’s youth in developing career profiles that are perfectly aligned with thousands of online job postings from large and small businesses.
“Our staff is constantly searching for alternatives to improve the way we connect businesses with the talent needed to strengthen their bottom lines,” said Mike Hough, Executive Vice President and Operations Officer for ResCare Workforce Services.  “Our new relationship with TalentCircles provides us a unique tool that greatly enhances our ability to ensure job seekers and businesses are appropriately matched in the hundreds of Career Centers we manage across the country.”

ResCare Workforce Services provides training, education and employment assistance to more than a million job seekers every year.  The company will use the entire month of June to launch youth programs that utilize the TalentCircles platform.

TalentCircles provides ResCare staff with powerful capabilities such as email campaigns, webinars, job matching, video interviews, etc. in a coherent platform that enables ResCare to manage the end-to-end process from intake to placement.
 “It is very easy and gratifying to work with a client whose commitment to social responsibilities is so closely aligned with our own values,” said Marylene Delbourg-Delphis, CEO of TalentCircles states. “It is an honor to help address one of the most important aspects of any person’s life, having a job. ResCare Talent Market combines the many features and functions of our platform with the exceptional experience of an organization that has over 45 years of helping the unemployed fill company needs.”

About ResCare                                                                                                                                                                          
ResCare Workforce Services is the nation’s leading workforce services provider with more than 45 years of experience in successfully matching job seekers with the needs of employers. With operations in more than 300 locations, their national footprint has allowed them to build an expansive staff of workforce experts who use the industry’s best practices to help reduce poverty, crime and unemployment in the communities they serve.    

About TalentCircles
TalentCircles, a technology firm based in the Silicon Valley offers a transformative approach to talent acquisition by enabling organizations to create and manage their private branded talent pools. Hiring is a huge problem for large, small and midsize businesses. TalentCircles solves it with a solution adapted to the needs, behaviors and expectations of the 21st century. We offer an outstanding experience to potential candidates and we give recruiters the capability to proactively manage the needs of their organization.

For additional information, contact: 

DeVone Holt- DeVone.Holt@ResCare.com                                                                
or Susan Magrino- Susan@TalentCircles.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How Employment Branding Changes Everything in Recruiting (Part 1)

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Having recently launched my own Talent Network on Talent Circles exclusively for contract HR and Recruiting employees, I’m in the mode of employment branding.

Building an employment brand online involves time, effort and most importantly a strategy that resonates with the ideal job seeker you wish to reach. It’s more than just a Twitter feed and a Facebook Fan page. It involves many moving parts that goes beyond just basic social networking.

Because of this, employment branding, particularly due to the ease of access to candidates through social networks and online, has transformed the face of recruiting. It’s a noisy space out there in the career and job search world as job boards, career social networks and recruiting teams compete for the eyes and clicks of a wide base of active as well as passive job search candidates.

In order to attract the right candidates, recruiters need to have a specific strategy and strong employer brand. In a candidate’s market it’s important for recruiters to do the following in order to build their pipeline.

Do your homework.
Interview and survey recent hires, past candidates and other groups to better understand what’s important to them online. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Relying on your gut is no longer an acceptable employment branding strategy. Doing homework will not only help you gain a better understanding of who you’ve previously reached, but it’ll give you a benchmark for future improvements.

There are few strategies out there that have been successful on the first go-around. Knowing errors that you’ve made in the past and fixing them based on newly obtained information will save your company millions. Do your homework on what works, what doesn’t work, what type of candidate is successful, what type of training program prepares that candidate, and things within your brand that have been able to pull the most candidates into your pipeline.

Target and segment your messaging.
The phrase “one size fits all” no longer applies to recruitment marketing. The ‘post and pray’ rarely works when you’re looking for a higher skilled set of candidates. It’s important to segment the group of people you want to reach then target your messaging to each different group.

When hiring a technical worker versus non-technical worker your messaging should be different. In order to effectively target your messaging you must have clear segments. Collecting a vast array of information early on in the recruitment cycle can do this. Whether you obtain this information from an application form online or collecting the information from social media channels, it’s important to collect as much information as possible on a candidate. This will allow you to direct your messaging more effectively making your job easier.

Catering to a niche demographic can be challenging without having all the information or the perfect recruitment strategy. That’s why segmenting your candidate pool and then delivering specific, targeted campaigns works better then ‘pray and post’ or a ‘one size fits all’ recruitment strategy.

Join us tomorrow to find out two more ways employment branding changes everything in recruiting.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell