Talent Circles

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Capture the Power of Passive Recruiting

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The best candidates have options. They also research for their next career opportunity long before applying for a single job posting. These candidates aren’t looking to make a lateral move in their career and will search high and low before accepting their next job offer. To recruit the best of the passive job seekers it’s important to build a strong funnel of passive candidates and help them throughout their “buying” decision.

Passive recruiting is important for multiple reasons. First, when a job seeker is passively looking at other opportunities it means that they’re not happy with something that’s going on in the workplace. It may be they’re not being compensated fairly, they’re not being challenged enough, or there might not be room for career growth. Secondly, they’re generally looking at one of their competitors for their next job. They already know the market and they want a place to grow, what better then for them to look for a competitor. Same industry, same type of work, but a better work environment!

Having a talent community for these passive job seekers to go and learn will make their buying decision that much easier when they’re ready to make the leap. The key is to make sure candidates receive the right information and data to make the buying decision to apply with your company when the passive candidate becomes an active one. By utilizing a talent community you’re able to nurture the candidate.

The Talent Pipeline and Recruiting Funnel featured above is like marketing and sales in that it is focused on relationships and qualifying the funnel of candidates through resources, interactions, and information. When dealing with passive candidates it’s important to hit all three points of engagement. Utilizing a talent community like Talent Circles allows you to see all your candidates in one place and put out specific information about your company, basically wooing them and helping the overall buying decision of the passive candidate.

In order for one to have a successful talent community they must do the following:

Provide resources
For a talent community to work you must start providing a reason for the job seeker to stay and be active. Providing resources and information on what makes a great hire for your company will allow these job seekers real knowledge on how to gain employment at your company.

Give access to recruiters
Recruiters are no longer the veiled wizard. Put your recruiters on the front lines in your talent community. Having a few recruiters available to answer questions will allow keep them around longer. Talent communities should at all costs avoid terrible communication issues between a candidate and the recruiting team.

Passive recruiting takes an entirely new approach because these job seekers aren’t necessarily ready to make the move. In order to capture the best of the best it’s important that you invite and interact with these job seekers just as much as the active ones. Keeping the lines of communication open will give your recruiters the one up on a candidate when they turn from a passive job seeker to an active one. Using a talent community is the perfect tool to do just that.

Looking for the perfect talent community? Request a demo of TalentCircles.

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, July 28, 2014

How Data is Driving the Optimization of Your Recruiting Strategies

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Smart hiring is the key to optimizing your recruiting strategies. Less is more, but in candidate targeting instances, more custom engagements is best. Using surveys and focus groups either with recent new hires or current candidates, we can better understand what appeals to our job seekers and how many “touches” they must have before they apply for our job posting or join our talent network community.

I strongly recommend surveying and meeting with these candidates in addition to using reports, metrics and analytics to further support or shed light on your recent findings. In order to be a successful HR department a practitioner must understand the necessity of optimizing practices. With the amount of data available for most business practices, it’s important for the practitioner to be on top of how different recruiting strategies are performing.

On a very basic level practitioners look at how many hires they’ve had as a direct result to a certain campaign or strategy. However, we’re not living in the early 2000s anymore. Not only should practitioners be concerned about how many hires they’ve received from a specific campaign, but how long that hire has stayed at the company, how well their performing, the cost to hire that candidate, and many more data points. Even in the past five years data has become a strong driver in how practitioners optimize their recruiting strategies.

With the type of information available they’re able to see which strategies perform the best overall, no longer just looking at how the amount of direct hires that had resulted throughout the campaigns lifespan. When coming up with your next big push in recruiting it’s important to follow these few steps to get the most out of the data that’s made available to you.

Have specific goals in mind
It’s important for a recruiter to start thinking from a strategic or ROI-based perspective and see what they can be doing to increase their effectiveness. Before you start recruiting via job boards, social media, or any other avenue it’s important to think strategically and know your specific goals for picking different mediums. Post and pray was the archaic method of recruiting and it no longer works because of things like competition, candidate experience, and employer branding.

Knowing the right questions to ask
Most companies will start hiring and not know the basics of what they want to get out of each recruiting campaign. It’s no longer enough to say, “I want 5 hires as a result of this campaign.” The type of information available to practitioners allows the conversation to switch to “this is how much it’s going to cost me to hire a candidate this way, can we hire for cheaper?” The HR department serves an important function, but they aren’t given the credit they’re due. Having cost-per-hire information allows them to tie their department directly to the bottom-line of the company essentially allowing them to get their foot in the door when it comes to having a seat at the table.

Learning to use specific data to project future business outcomes
Not every recruiting strategy is going to be a winner. Learning to use past mistakes and data from previous campaigns will allow recruiters to avoid the same mistakes twice. For instance, if there is a trend of employees who were recruited from job boards having an extremely high turnover rate, it could be for several reasons. Using the data to justify spending money elsewhere or fixing an internal problem will go along way when developing strong employees and an even stronger candidate pipeline.

Data will tell you almost everything you want to know when it comes to recruiting. Using data to optimize your specific recruiting strategies will save your company money and show your C-suite executives the importance behind the HR department. With all the new tools and information out there it’s important to invest in what will give you your best return on investment.

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Power of Inbound Marketing in Employment Branding

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Earlier this week we talked about the power of inbound marketing for your employment and recruiting strategy. Most companies don’t understand where to start and if they are to start who should spearhead the efforts. If you’re a smaller company it’s most likely true that your HR department is already a department of just a few individuals, if not just one. The importance of
an Employment Brand Manger not only helps you recruiter faster and smarter, but the ROI is prevalent.

What is an Employment Brand Manager?
The Employment Brand Manager is someone who is in charge of creating a unified brand and message across all different employment channels. Larger companies will generally have a team of employment brand ambassadors, but for smaller companies it’s important to have at least one person who is focused on unifying the message. An employment brand manager’s main function is to establish a clear message that allows recruiters to basically be on the same page when recruiting.

What tools should an employment brand manager use?
When an employment brand manager is in a department of one or a team is looking to unify their message in one central location, using a product like TalentCircles allows them to do just that. TalentCircles can help serve as a centralized career website and talent network that helps drives candidates to a central point. This talent network will be owned by your recruiting team and helps them quantify their efforts when implementing concrete employment branding solutions for your company.

When your company is able to invest in products that help centralize your recruiting efforts it makes it easier for your employment brand managers to manage the brand more effectively. When building out your employment brand ask yourself a few questions to get things started:
  • What are the most attractive attributes of your organization that could potentially lead candidates to your organization?
  • What roles are the most critical to your success as an organization?
  • What types of characteristics are you looking for in a future employee?
  • What are the current perceptions that you as an organization are working with? How does it affect your company and what steps have you taken to remediate the situation?
These questions will help you get started in telling your story through your organization. It’s critical that as a company you paint a picture that attracts not only the best candidates for your open positions, but retains your current employees so turnover numbers are low. Take ownership of how those perceive your company and formulate a plan in order to highlight or rectify problems that exist.

Inbound marketing plays a crucial role in building a storyline that tells candidates who you are and what your company stands for. Use this information as a jumping off point to figure out how your newly appointed employment brand manager can start working at creating a positive brand environment.

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, July 21, 2014

The Future of Recruiting is with Inbound Marketing

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Inbound marketing and digital storytelling is the future of recruiting and hiring strategies. The key with inbound marketing often referred to as recruitment marketing or employment branding in recruiting and HR circles, is that relevant content and information is king. It’s the best way to establish a relationship with the candidate and job seeker creating an experience of your community of job seekers providing them with resources, information and news to help them learn more about your organization, be better in their own careers or grow with your own company.

Inbound marketing in the recruitment industry serves several purposes and when you combine them all together you’re able to make a stronger case when sourcing more competitive candidates. However, inbound marketing is more than writing a blog post or putting out a whitepaper every quarter. It takes a consistent, focused approach on content building and sharing within the recruitment industry. Done right, inbound marketing will allow you to attract, convert, close, and satisfy your candidates and employees.

Attracting job seekers
In order to attract the most competitive candidates your company needs to have an extremely strong employment brand. With a strong employment brand passive job seekers are able to track and see what is happening with a company even before they decide to apply. The most active and attract brands are those who are engaging candidates and job seekers with their specific resources and information.

Converting job seekers into candidates
Once you’ve attracted the job seeker into an actual candidate it’s important to keep them active within your community. Using tools like TalentCircles recruiters are able to take the candidate experience once step further and provide resources and real-time updates on statuses of applications. The last thing a job seeker wants is to throw their name in a hat and never hear back from recruiters. Feedback in the form of what they’re doing right with the job process etc. is a crucial and will attract the best job seekers.

Closing the candidate
You’ve attracted them as job seekers, converted them into candidates, now you’re looking at using inbound marketing to close the candidate and show why your company is the best using inbound marketing. To do so, you’ll want to paint a picture and sell the candidate on the benefits of working with you. All of this is done through inbound marketing.

Satisfying your candidates and employees
The use of inbound marketing doesn’t stop when you’ve hired the candidate as an employee of the company. You’ll still want to put out resources and information to employees to keep them engaged with the company. The key to low turnover and productivity is making sure each employee is happy and satisfied with their employment.

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5 Ways to Optimize Your Recruiting and Hiring Strategy

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learning to optimize your recruiting and hiring strategy can not only save your recruiters and marketing teams time, but they will be able to increase their ROI in a shorter amount of time. Take these five easy and affordable solutions to your recruiting and hiring problems.

Great, relevant and timely content
Content is king. No one will deny it and no one will dare to say otherwise. In the world of content marketing, blogs, podcasts, webinars, and everything else under the sun, relevant and timely content will help optimize your recruiting and hiring strategy over and over. Five years ago no one was blogging. You had news sites and the occasion opinion articles popping up, but this platform and idea of content was still fairly new.

The number one content management system, Wordpress, states that in July of 2009 there were only 4 million posts published per day. Today they publish over 36 million. That’s a 900% increase in blogs on Wordpress alone. The trend is here and if you aren’t producing content on a consistent basis you’re about five years behind.

Leveraging SEO, circles and tags to engage a targeted audience with job postings, blogging and social media.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important factors when dealing with blogging, job postings, and social media. Being able to accurately leverage SEO to produce quality, high-focused content will help boost your efforts tenfold. Researching popular keywords through different tools will allow recruiters to find searchable terms and market a job posting to a larger audience. Understanding the trends will allow recruiters to stay ahead of the curve and allow them to spend less money and reach more job seekers.

Create moments of engagement.
Whether through a webinar, video interview or document sharing like TalentCircles offers, these engagements are important to building relationships with your talent network and community. The worst thing a company can do is have candidates apply for a job and forgetting about engaging them. Make sure recruiters are able to create moments of engagement with each candidate, no matter how small these moments are. Utilizing talent communities, like TalentCircles, gives recruiters a strong tool to engage each candidate that funnels through their pipeline.

Leverage multiple mediums that matter with your community.
Ask your job seekers what channels matter to them most and focus your recruiting and marketing efforts. The “post and pray” recruiting strategy is outdated and irrelevant. Survey job seekers as they apply and see which mediums they’ve used to follow, engage, and ultimately the reason they decided to apply. Knowing this information will allow you to spend less time in marketing, but also increase your ROI.

Create an experience.
This is the most important out of all five. Great candidates have options. Create a dynamic resource and community that lifts your brand head and shoulders above the competition. If you’ve found a few candidates whom you’d like to work for you keep them engaged throughout the entire process by having a spot where they’re able to interact with recruiters and get a better look into your company. In a competitive market it’s important for job seekers to feel welcomed and wanted. Creating an all-star experience will allow your recruiters to do just that.

What are some of the ways you’ve optimized and strengthen your recruiting efforts?

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, July 11, 2014

Is Recruiting an Art or a Science?

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

As we move towards big data and recruiting analytics to better help us determine when, where and the how of recruiting, one would argue that the business of recruiting is based on science and hard facts. We use metrics and data to measure our recruiting and hiring success. We evaluate our best source of hires and discuss the positive impact that a formal onboarding program can bring.

Recruitment has often been described as that gut feeling in the bottom of your stomach telling you that you must offer this candidate. The ability to navigate social media for recruiting and see potential in candidates and those diamonds in the rough is a coveted recruiting skill to have. Some can consider recruiting a science except when in factor in those intangible factors that make me believe that recruiting is a creative activity.

When you factor in the creativity and art options that recruiting brings as we look to engage candidates and build an employment brand based on digital storytelling, graphics and content that appeals to our candidate pool using technology. Your CEO however, demands the hard facts, numbers and metrics to back up your creative recruitment activities.

The question bears is recruiting an art or a scientific business activity?

It’s both. The art of recruiting is both. Although it’s becoming more of a science as executives are closely evaluating our recruiting budgets with a fine tooth comb and we are use big data, workplace metrics and algorithms to help support our hiring and retention strategies.

Recruiting as a science.
There are standard processes on how to recruit a candidate and there are scientific formulas that help determine what type of candidate is more likely to succeed in your organization. Analytics has already started playing a huge role in the hiring process and with that comes science being applied to how recruiters work. As big data becomes a more important role in a recruiters everyday work they’re going to be able to see what type of hiring methods are working more effectively and what methods they should stop investing time.

Whether you believe it or not, science has been a crucial part of recruiting ever since metrics like quality of hire and monthly turnover have been used. In the past 5-10 years we’ve developed a deeper understand of analytics and how to use big data to our advantage, which has turned the recruiting profession into more of a science, then an art. Companies have sprouted up focusing on recruiting analytics and turning what was once an art into more of a science proven by metrics and formulas.

But some disagree. Some say that recruiting is just as much an art as it is a science. Personally, I love the art and creative component that recruiting offers except that the time has passed to just build a recruiting strategy where the wind takes you. You must use the numbers and data to justify how you are spending company money.  

Recruiting as an art.
If you surveyed 100 companies you’ll see that they each recruit differently. Each company has what works for them and each recruiter has their own style or form of art to how they recruit candidates. If recruiting was all science there would be no need to go to college for the field nor would there be much room for error on how to recruit the best candidates. Your company would get some scientific score on how good of a company they are compared to each candidate’s overall “fit level” and it would be an automatic process. It’s not that simple.

Recruiting involves people and a company’s culture works well when people place other people who are a good fit. Computers can only dictate how well candidates score on assessments they’re not able to determine a good fit because personalities are 100% scientific. Companies are able to recruit stronger talent because of the recruiters they have on the forefront. They’re able to recruit more effectively based on relationships that they’ve built over the years and that is something computers or science just can’t do or predict.

So is recruiting an art or a science? It’s both. Analytics help determine which candidates are working, how HR departments are performing, and gives us ample information to be as efficient as possible. Creative recruiting, art and finesse help differentiate us from our competition limited only by our imagination. Effective recruiting offers endless possibility.

TalentCircles Helps Measure Specific Data 
TalentCircles tracks 400 data points and actions, which enables you to monitor the interest of the candidates you attract, the efficiency of your branding efforts as well as your interactions with candidates.

For example, using TalentCircles, your sourcing efforts become measurable and allow you to fine-tune your engagement strategy on social networks. It's critical for you to measure your Talent Engagement Index™, which is the percentage of active or passive candidates who opt into your private network, Or you can measure how you execute on your social recruiting plan and establish guidelines as well as goals: This is your Candidate Engagement Index™.

All the data can be combined and graphed on any graphic tool for you to see how you execute on your social recruiting plan and establish guidelines as well as goals. Schedule a demo to see TalentCircles in action.

Is recruiting a science or an art? What do you think?

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

Thursday, July 10, 2014

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Recruiting & Employment Branding

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Employment branding efforts offer two different benefits in engaging your current employees as well as future candidates and employees. Employment branding doesn’t have to be expensive or complex but must make sure to highlight and elevate your recruiting and workforce messages showcasing the best of what it’s like to work at your company.

Companies like All Children’s Hospital in Florida are using a simple Blog Talk Radio Podcast to build relationships with current and future employees sharing knowledge and information in a casual yet actionable way. For under $2,500 a year, they are making a big impact that is sure to get the attention in the competitive healthcare industry. Not only is this giving future employees a taste of what it’s like to work for this company, but it’s giving their current employees a place to go and gain knowledge in different areas of the company.

Recruiter Open Houses
Whether it’s Facebook chat or on the TalentCircles talent network platform, it pays to be available to engage and field questions with the candidates you are courting. Considering offering different types of mediums to engage including chat as well as video the most comfortable medium for your target employee. Candidates love to be engaged. The only sure way to make sure you win out over your competition is to be available and engaging with the talent that funnels through multiple channels.

Chances are your candidates are searching for answers about your organization and what better way to quickly answer their questions through a short blog post and point them in the direction to your job openings of talent network community. Keeping content on your site fresh, relevant and engaging is a great way to improve SEO and increase engagement with a group of highly coveted job seekers. With that said, blogging does so much more for your company throughout all areas of the business. It promotes transparency and welcomes candidates, employees, and customers to see the inside workings of your company.

Tell Your Story
One of the most simplistic ways for a company to develop a stronger employment brand is for them to tell their story. You might have a great product and your customers might love you, but telling the story of how you came to be, the purpose and mission behind your organization will draw people in and want to work for your company. It’s no longer enough to have an awesome product, but you must have a culture to match. Telling your story is an easy way to express what type of culture and how it is to work for your company.

These are four easy and pretty cheap ways to help strengthen your employment brand. Companies need to start looking at the benefits to having a stronger employer brand and how it helps them recruit better employees. Whether you have a large budget or no budget at all, these four tips will help you brand the experience candidates and employees have within your employment brand.

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, July 8, 2014

How to Take Advantage of Guerilla Recruiting to Elevate Your Employment Brand

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

We’ve all been there. Quarterly layoffs or some bad PR that really impacted your organization’s employment branding or kept you from getting a really great candidate because of a bad review on sites like Glassdoor and even a referral gone wrong from someone who used to work at your company.

There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where a brand or organization isn’t negatively impacted by something happening in the news. Someone from marketing tweeted something inappropriately or a scandal broke that sent a rival company scrambling. For recruiters and those in employment branding who are competitors, this is an opportunity for you to really shine and engage those job seekers combining a number of tactics including online, in person and digital storytelling.

Share your strengths.
I don’t recommend mentioning the rival organization that is in question, just focus on the benefits and perks to working with you. When something negatively happens with a competitor stay positive and focus on why your company has a better culture. Taking advantage of a competitor’s mishap will allow your company to shine brighter. As I said earlier don’t mention that company, but use what happened to your advantage by strengthening your position in the market.

Focus on the positive.
No one likes mudslinging, and you don’t want to damage your own employment brand. Reach out to a targeted group of job seekers who may be looking for new careers with you. Target those ads using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks to engage those job seekers driving them to your TalentCircles talent network. A little targeting can go a long way. Focus on what makes you stand out and why the environment you offer in your workplace is positive.

Use Traditional PR.
This helps increase the virility of your message. Work directly with your PR and marketing team to help branch out into avenues you might not have access to. A strong PR and marketing company will have connections in the industry that you don’t necessarily have as a vendor. Use them to your advantage when dealing with negative news against your company and employment brand. These companies are designed to help reach a broader audience in a shorter amount of time due to the number of connections that they have and the face paced nature they’re used to in their everyday work life.

When a competitor is facing a scandal it’s time to skip traditional recruiting tactics and put all hands on deck to recruit stronger candidates that might’ve choose them over you. No one wants to start at a company that is going through a scandal and being able to snatch up the strong candidates at your competitors’ time of weakness will help strengthen your workforce. Use these three suggestions to help expand your brand beyond what you’re used to and start guerilla marketing when it matters the most.

Have you ever dropped traditional recruiting practices to hire more aggressively against a competitor? Let us know.

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why You Should Be Sourcing Your Own Candidate Pool First and Today

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I’m always a little surprised at the amount of money, we as recruiters spend in building relationships, posting jobs and engaging job seekers. We focus on metrics like time to hire, source of hire, but we forget to tap into our most important resource, past candidates. If you rejected a past candidate because they didn’t fit one job opening it doesn’t mean they won’t fit another.

A candidate’s time is very valuable, especially if they’re out of a job and if they take the time to fill out an application and go through the (sometimes) long and drawn out process, they might be a good fit to your company. Those who show zero initiative are the ones who will walk when a better job opportunity arises.

I’ve sourced my own applicant tracking system. It’s incredibly painful, tiresome, and time consuming, but it’s often the best source of candidates to fill your ever growing list of company job openings, and doing so doesn’t cost you a thing. Using your existing candidate pool to hire talent is the future of recruiting. All companies should possess a talent community in order to build a pool of well-qualified candidates. This allows recruiters their own personal pool of candidates who have already gone through the process of uploading their resume, learning more about the company, and (hopefully) engaging with recruiters. Recruiters should be sourcing their own candidate first for these three simple reasons:

It’s cost effective.
How much time and money are you spending advertising a job to the masses, whether it is on a job board or through PPC? Probably a lot more then it would cost looking at candidates who made it through an initial pre-screen, but for some reason or another didn’t get the job they originally applied for. You should already have their information saved and ready to go so the next step you should do is contact them if they fit the new job you’re advertising.

It’ll save you time.
A recruiter’s time is extremely valuable. When you have a hundred positions you need to fill learning to do so in the least amount of time possible while saving the most money possible is an HR Managers dream. Be smart about looking for candidates.

It’s less competitive.
When sourcing through a previous pool of candidates you do not have to spend money on attracting people who may not even be interested in your company to begin with. If someone has taken the time to apply for a job at your company it’s generally a good assumption that they’re interested in working for your company. It’s one thing to sell a position to a candidate, but selling your company will take a whole lot more time and energy. Save the second step by taking a look at those who have previously applied to open positions within your company.

So before you decide to throw money at advertising a new job position, post it on your website, then search through your previous applicants. Use your ATS or Talent Community to search for previously qualified individuals. You’ll thank me after you’ve done it.

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